Monday, August 28, 2006

prayer request update

On Thurs evening, I posted this:

"Please pray for Kourtney, too, as her "tic" has returned.  When she first moved in, she would sit around making these odd little "hmm" or "uh" noises.  Not like she was clearing her throat, but just a little noise every few seconds.  If she's talking, she doesn't do this, but when she sits still & watches TV or is just listening to someone else, she is constantly doing this.  And to watch her face, it's clear that it's a totally subconscious thing.  She's not even aware she's doing it til you point it out.  When I asked her about it tonight, she just shrugged her shoulders & said she didn't know why she does it."

UPDATE:  The tic is gone.  I think this must be her stress/worry habit & it will come out from time to time I guess.  After I returned from WOF (last night), she's been tic-free all day today.  I suppose she was worried about my leaving for the conference (my safety while I was gone, I guess...) or worried about missing me.  Whatever the case, she seems fine now!  :)  PTL!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thurs Aug 24

It's funny how kids talk in circles & assume you know what they're talking about.  Today on the way home from school, Kourtney announced "When I get home, I'm going to keep doing that."


So I said "What will you keep doing, honey?".

She groaned,  "You know!  My birthday is November 3.  I have the angel with my birthday on it."

HUH?  I sat there thinking hard, trying to figure out what she was talking about.  All I could come up with is a little statue figurine thing that's shaped like an angel w/ "November" across the front.  But what was it she was doing with it?

I asked again "Sweetie, I don't know what you're talking about.  What about your angel?"

She said "I was drawing on my little notepad & copying the angel on it."

Umm...ok.  Copying the angel?  Still not sure what she meant, I asked again.  "Honey, what do you mean?  I'm not sure I understand.  Were you drawing the angel?"

(Acting all put out that I'd ask her to repeat herself...)  "I was copying the word on my angel onto my notepad this morning."

LOL! how was I supposed to get that from "When I get home, I'm going to keep doing that."?????????

Apparently the crystal ball quit working for me.  Anyone got a spare?  :)  I'm not sure I would've got THAT from THAT.

Please pray for Kourtney, too, as her "tic" has returned.  When she first moved in, she would sit around making these odd little "hmm" or "uh" noises.  Not like she was clearing her throat, but just a little noise every few seconds.  If she's talking, she doesn't do this, but when she sits still & watches TV or is just listening to someone else, she is constantly doing this.  And to watch her face, it's clear that it's a totally subconscious thing.  She's not even aware she's doing it til you point it out.  When I asked her about it tonight, she just shrugged her shoulders & said she didn't know why she does it.

Also, pray for Andrew.  I usually cuddle with him almost every night when he lays down.  This is our special time & he's upset that I won't be here tomorrow (Fri) night to do that with him.  I'm leaving at 9am for Women of Faith in Dallas & won't be back til late Sat night.  Tonight he was really upset when he figured this out.  I promised him that Larry would snuggle with him instead, but he didn't seem as satisfied w/ that.  I wonder if he worries something will happen to me when I'm gone?  Like his mom?  :(  Poor kiddo!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Aug 23

Last night, while laying in bed w/ Andrew, he started coming up with all sorts of things that he could build or create to leave on Kelly's grave.  He talked about making a house out of popsicle sticks, pictures, etc.  When we were last there, we got the little temporary metal stake that the funeral home put on the grave until her headstone was placed.  It has her name on it, birth/death dates and the funeral home name.  Whenever they place the headstone, the family usually removes the little temporary marker.  We brought it home with us & plan to create a little memorial garden of sorts with it.  We're going to make a circle of stones or bricks or something & fill it with flowers w/ the marker in the middle.  We'll probably wait til the spring arrives to do it.  It'll be nice to see flowers bloom in Kelly's memory and to have a little place that the kids can go sit & think about their mom & remember her in our own yard.  We won't quit going to the cemetary, but will have a 2nd place for them.

On a funny note---Kourtney is always saying something that makes us giggle.  Bless her heart, she really is blonde deep down.  :)  On Monday, when I was walking the kids into the school, we had to walk up a kind of rocky red clay hill.  Sarah looked down at the dirt & said "Mommy, why is there sand a different color than ours?".  Kourtney said "Well's golden sand." as if she was the authority on all types of soil!  LOL!  It cracked me up!

The past month or so has been so nice.  Watching Andrew & Savannah finally reach a place where they are friendly to each other is so sweet.  I love walking into the living room & seeing them share Larry's recliner to watch TV.  Not in a cuddling sort of way, but just sitting next to each other & talking about what they're watching on TV is soo nice!  Savannah has a few computer games that Andrew has begun to really love & it's sweet to hear her instructing him on how to do this or that on those.  After several months of watching them go head to head on a daily basis (since they're both soooo firstborn!!!), it's such a treat to see them getting along soooo well, like friends!  I'm sure this won't be the end of all fights & arguments, but to see them cooperating, helping each other, talking about kid stuff, playing games's awesome!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Entry #2---awesome book I read---review!!

 Just to warn you ahead of time.......this is a little long............


    I started reading this book, a little at a time, about 2 months ago.  It was sooo very good.  I've never read any of Max Lucado's books before, but I do love his daily email devotional & the "Upwards" on Christian radio stations, so I figured his books had to be good, too.  This was my first & it's enough to have me hooked.  Now I've got to decide which one to read next!!  (If you've read some of his stuff, give me some suggestions!!)
    The title is "It's Not About Me".  The funny thing is, I got this from a lady on the MOMYS (Mothers of Many Young Siblings) list who lives in another state.  She offered it for about $1 & I bought it from her.  Not even a week after receiving it, someone suggested this very book to me as a study for our singles dept.  Funny how God works out those neat little coincidences!
    I can tell you it's 'good' & encourage you to read it, but I figured I'd go one step further.  If you want to hear some of the highlights of the book, read on.  If not, go ahead & delete this now.  I'm going to give you a couple of the really "WOW" quotes from the book's most meaty-deep chapters & then let you decide if it's something you want to follow up & read.  Trust won't be sorry.
    The message to the book is simple--- "It's Not about Me", but it's presented in a different way than I've ever seen that particular topic covered.  Read on to see what I mean...........
From Chapter 2, titled "Show Me Your Glory":
1.  When our deepest desire is not the things of God, or a favor from God, but God Himself, we cross a threshold.
2.  (in talking about Moses reaching a place where he asked God to show Himself to him....)Gleaming.  Bright as if backlit by a thousand torches.  Unknown to Moses, but undeniable to the Hebrews, is his shimmering face.  When he descended the mountain, "the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face."  (2 Cor 3:7).
    Witnesses saw, not anger in his jaw, or worry in his eyes, or a scowl on his lips; they saw God's glory on his face.
    Did he have reason for anger?  Cause for worry?  Of course.  Challenges await him.  A desert and forty years of great challenges.  But now, having seen God's face, he can face them.
    Forgive my effrontery, but shouldn't Moses' request be yours?  You've got problems.  Look at you.  Living in a dying body, walking on a decaying planet, surrounded by a self-centered society.  Some saved by grace; others fueled by narcissism.  Many of us by both.  Cancer.  War. Disease.
    These are no small issues.  A small god?  No thanks.  You and I need what Moses needed--a glimpse of God's glory.  Such a sighting can change you forever....................................
    At that moment I realized something.  I could look around and find fear, or look at my father and find faith.
    I chose my father's face.
    So did Moses.
    So can you.
From chapter 4, titled "Holy Different"
1.  What you are to a paper airplane, God is to you.  Take a sheet of paper & make one.  Contrast yourself with your creation.  Challenge it to a spelling contest.  Who will win?  Dare it to race you around the block.  Who is faster?  Invite the airplane to a game of one on one basketball.  Will you not dominate the court?  And well you should.  The thing has no brainwaves, no pulse.  It exists only because you formed it & flies only when someone throws it.  Multiply the contrasts between you & the paper plane by infinity, and you will begin to catch a glimpse of the disparity between God & us.
2.  Trace the universe back to God's power, and follow His power upstream to His wisdom.
From chapter 6, titled "His Unchanging Hand"
.....Even the strongest among us must eventually rest.  Lance Armstrong can maintain a bike speed of 32mph for a solid hour.  Healthy college males last 45 seconds at that speed.  I'd make 30 before wanting to throw up.  Armstrong lives up to the last half os his last name.  He is strong.  But at some point hemust rest.  His head seeks the pillow and his body seeks rest.  ......Call Jim Eubanks strong.  Swimming 70 laps a day and holding 1/2 a dozen endurance swim records would be proof alone.  But still logging a daily mile in the pool & winning races at age 85?  Don the Speedo & flex those lats, Mr. Eubank.  You are strong, but you won't be strong forever.
    God will.  The words "I'm feeling strong today" he has never said.  He feels equally strong every day.
    ........Think about it.  God never pauses to eat or asks the angels to cover for Him while he naps.  He never signals a time out or puts the prayers from Russia on hold while he covers South Africa.......  Need a strong hand to hold?  You'll always find one in Him.  His strength never changes.
2.  Catch God in a bad mood?  Won't happen.  Fear exhausting his grace?  A sardine will swallow the Atlantic first.  Think he's given up on you?  Wrong.  Did he not make a promise to you?  "God is not a human being, and he will not lie.  He is not a human, and he does not change his mind.  What he says he will do, he does.  What he promises, he makes come true". (Numbers 23:19).  He's never sullen or sour, sulking or stressed.  His strength, truth, ways, and love never change.  He is "the same yesterday & today and forever". (Heb 13:8)
3.  Cemetaries interrupt the finest families.  Retirement finds the best employees.  Age withers the strongest bodies.  With life comes change.  But with change comes the reassuring appreciation of heaven's permanence.  His "firm foundation stands" (2 Tim 2:19).  His house will stand forever.
Chapter 7, God's great love
1. the time Martin Luther was having his Bible printed in Germany, a printer's daughter encountered God's love.  No one had told her about Jesus.  Toward God she felt no emotion but fear.  One day she gathered pieces of fallen Scripture from the floor.  On one paper she found the words "For God so loved the world, that He gave...".  The rest of the verse had not yet been printed.  Still, what she saw was enough to move her.  The thought that God would give anything moved her from fear to joy.  Her mother noticed the change of attitude.  When asked the cause of her happiness, the daughter produced the crumpled piece of paper from her pocket.  The mother read it and asked "What did he give?".  The child was perplexed for a moment and then answered "I don't know.  But if he loved us well enough to give us anything, we should not be afraid of Him."
    Had God given his children a great idea or lyrical message or an endless song.....but he gave Himself.
2.  I know what my dad did.  Much to his credit, he let me help him.  He gave me jobs to do-- holding wrenches, scrubbing spark plugs.  And he knew my limits.  Never once did he say "Max, tear apart that transmission, will ya?  One of the gears is broken."  Never.  For one thing, he liked his transmission.  For another, he loved me.  He loved me too much to give me too much.
    So does God.  He knows your limitations.  He's well aware of your weaknesses.  You can no more die for your own sins than you can solve world hunger.  And according to Him, that's okay.  The world doesn't rely on you.  God loves you too much to say it's all about you.  He keeps the cosmos humming.  You and I sprinkle sawdust on oil spots & thank him for the privelege.  We've peeked under the hood.  We don't know what it takes to run the world, and wise are we who leave the work to his hands.
Chapter 9, My Message is About Him
I believe Satan trains battalions of demons to whisper one question in our ears: "What are people thinking of you?".
Chapter 10, My Salvation is About Him
Your salvation showcases God's mercy.  It makes nothing of your effort but everything of His.
Chapter 11, My Body is About Him
This chapter talks about various things in how we care for our bodies & how that can either focus us further or take us further away from His glory.  This particular part really moved me.  It's in reference to sex.  If you'd rather skip this one, just scroll on down to the next quote.
Casual sex, intimacy outside of marriage, pulls the Corinthian ploy.  It pretends we can give the body and not affect the soul.  We can't.  We humans are so intricately psychosomatic that whatever touches the soma impacts the psyche as well.  The me-centered phrase "as long as no one gets hurt" sounds noble, but the truth is, we don't know who gets hurt.  God-centered thinking rescues us from the sex we thought would make us happy. ......... Casual sex is a diet of chocolate-- it tastes good for a while, but the imbalance can ruin you.  Sex apart from God's plan wounds the soul.
    Sex according to God's plan nourishes the soul.  Consider his plan.  Two children of God make a covenant with each other.  They disable the ejection seats.  They burn the bridges back to Mama's house.  They fall into each other's arms beneath the canopy of God's blessing, encircled by the fence of fidelity.  Both know the other will be there in the morning.  Both know that the other will stay even as skin wrinkles and vigor fades.  Each gives the other exclusive for-your-eyes-only priveleges.  Gone is the guilt.  Gone the undisciplined lust.  What remains is a celebration of permanence, a tender moment in which the body continues what the mind & the soul have already begun. ..........
    Such sex honors God.  And such sex satisfies God's children.
Chapter 12, My Struggles are About Him
Your faith in the face of suffering cranks up the volume of God's song.
Chapter 13, My Success is About Him
God lets you excel so you can make Him known.
There is so much more, but these are just the big "WOW" quotes that jumped out at me.  I hope you get a chance to seek out this book & read it.  It's very much worth it.  It's a small book & if you have the time, it could be read cover to cover within a day's time.  Let me know if you read it & how you like it!

Sun Aug 20-- entry #1

Last night was the Library's prize auction.  The kids had varying amounts of money (everything from $40 all the way up to $1003!!!).  When it got started, the librarian told the parents "The kids are allowed to buy ANYTHING" & all the kids cheered!  There were over 100 items to bid on & they by one.  :::yawn:::

Savannah had the most money & spent several hundred dollars buying a dog that's almost the size of a twin-sized bed!  LOL!  It's really soft & cuddly, though, so I'm sure we'll have it for years.  She's been using IT as her covers at night!  LOL!  She also spent nearly $200 buying a little Bratz motorcycle for a little girl who ran out of money & was crying.  She spotted her tears & started bidding.  I wondered if she was buying it for herself (since she's sorta outgrown Bratz) & then watched her win & go hand it to the other child.  ::::glowing mommy::::  I was so proud of her!  She also bought a little car on a keychain to give Samuel for Christmas & a watch for Andrew for Christmas.  She's got such a tenderheart!  She got a really neat insulated lunchbox that came with a certificate from the place that donated it to have it monogrammed w/ her name.  I'm anxious to get that done!  I know it'll be really pretty when it's done.

Andrew only had $40, but somehow got another $20 from someone along the way.  He bought an electric guitar toy, some binoculars & something else...can't remember what.  He wasn't all that excited at first, but it was fun to watch him hurriedly counting his money when an item went up for bid that he wanted!  :)

Samuel had a little over $100 & bought a handful of junky little toys.  I can't even remember what he bought, but I know his favorite thing was the watch he bought for himself.  Now if I can just find the little paper that explains how to set the thing!!!

Kourtney had $53 & spent every penny on one item---binoculars!  She wanted another little pig toy but someone outbid her.  She was sooo upset about losing it & I felt awful for her.  Seeing her so disappointed, crying & laying on my shoulder was aboutmore than I could take.  (Think the other mom would've minded if I went & yanked the pig toy out of her daughter's hands?  LOL....ok, so maybe that would've been bad!)  Once she got over the grief of her pig-toy loss, she perked up & found the binoculars & decided to bid on those & won!  :)

Sarah used all of her money (just over $100) to buy a Barbie & a paddleball right off the bat.  She then had to sit with Larry & I and just watch for the next 2 hours.  She loves her Barbie, though, so she was happy to sit & play with her til the rest were done.

That was last is mine & Larry's 12th wedding anniversary.  We are going out for an anniversary brunch in the morning.  I had planned for our pastor to use a Powerpoint slide I had made for him tonight in church, but the person who puts together his powerpoint stuff wasn't there, so he couldn't do it.  Instead, Savannah got on stage to announce to the church that it was our anniversary & led the crowd in a round of applause.  :)  I'll take that.  That's about as good as having my pretty PP slide on the screens!!  (& just so you can see it, I'm including it as a pic above!)  And if ya don't know...Bullet is the nickname our pastor gave Larry when he started working there.

I guess that's about it....but please do go on & read my 2nd entry for today, too!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday Aug 19

So sorry I never got back to the journal after the first day of school.  Things got busy.  (Doesn't it always?)

See the picture above for everyone's first day of school clothes.  :)  I got them all lined up (except Sarah) & then realized she was sitting in the van crying.  She wasn't upset about going to school, but mad that someone had "taken her seat" in the van.  So although she looks sad here, she really isn't!  She's just mad!  And do you like how Kourtney's wearing her backpack?

Sarah has a couple of friends in her K class, so she's not totally alone at school.  Plus, her teacher is the same one we had for Savannah & Samuel.  We really love Mrs. Page!

Kourtney is across the hall in another class, with a lady we've been told is very tenderhearted & sweet.  So far, we really like her.  Kourtney has made a friend (a little boy named Cole) and seems to be enjoying Kindergarten!

Samuel loves being back in school.  His teacher is a young lady, this is only her 3rd or 4th year to teach.  She's very sweet.  See the pic above of him headed down the hall toward the classroom the first morning....ha ha....yeah, he was real upset about having to go back to school.

Andrew went into the school with shouts from friends calling his name.  He really liked that, I think, knowing that people remembered him & wanted to say hello.  So far, he really likes his school & his teacher.

Savannah, of course, is a big middle schooler now.  Scary!  She's walked herself in these first two days because, after all, 5th graders are old enough to do that.  (sniff, sniff....)  She's done really well, too, and likes her teachers.  I think her favorite part of the middle school is that there are microwaves in the cafeteria where she can heat things up at lunchtime.  That's a new thing for us, so packing lunch bowls & frozen things has given me a new twist to packing lunches!

I went in to work on Thurs & Fri and got my classroom ready.  I really like how we've got it set up this year.  My curriculum director set it up for me before I came in the first day and she did a great job.  Although I'm going to have a lot more kids this year, I think it'll be a good year!

Larry has gone to a funeral this morning & tonight is the library prize auction for the summer reading program.  The kids are all excited about that--and so am I.  They always have so much fun there & buy a lot of neat things w/ their prize money.  It's fun to see their excitement & enthusiasm at the auction.  :)

I guess that's about all for this morning.  I'll post tonight after the prize auction.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Whew...all better!

After babying my back all day yesterday & staying in bed on an ice pack, I was fine this morning!  THANK GOD!  I really NEEDED to be able to move today since it was the first day of school & my first day back to work.  I don't have students til Tuesday, but the first 3 days of school I'm going in to set up my classroom & all and I really needed to be able to walk!


More about the first day of school later tonight.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I have the best kids in the world! Aug 16

I do believe that I have the best 5 kids in the world.

At 4:45am, I woke up with the most excruciating lower back pain.  I couldn't figure out how I could've possibly injured myself IN MY SLEEP, but somehow I must have!  I needed to go to the bathroom, so I sorta rolled off the edge of the bed & half way crawled to the bathroom.  Ouch it hurt!  Sitting on the toilet was more than I could handle (sorry if that's TMI!), so after about 10 minutes, I was able to stand back up, crying, and walk to the kitchen freezer for an ice pack.  I went back to bed sleeping on the ice pack.  When Larry woke up, I described it to him & he said that it sounded like the muscle spasms he's had. 

He had to go to work, so as soon as I could fling some frozen waffles onto plates for the kids, I went back to bed with a new icepack.  (The other one was no longer cold by then!)  The kids saw me getting teary-eyed just standing up, so they knew I was hurt.  I have a really high pain tolerance, so they know when mommy is feeling bad, it must be really bad!  I was in bed literally ALL DAY LONG.  Thankfully, since I just showed Savannah how to do laundry yesterday, she took on that & between she and Andrew (who she taught how to work the machine today!!), they did all of the laundry.  Granted, the baskets of clean stuff are all over my bedroom, they did get it washed & dried!  :)  She assigned the younger ones jobs, too.  Samuel was supposed to distract me & snuggle me (hee hee...I like that one!) and the girls were supposed to clean off the kitchen table & make me cards.  At lunchtime, they all made their own sandwiches (he hee....Andrew made a Kit-Kat sandwich!  LOL!) and they brought me a plate w/ a PB&J sandwich, some yogurt & a can of Dr. Pepper.  I could handle the sandwich & yogurt from a horizontal position, but the can of DP had to go back to the fridge.  Even with a straw, I had no where to sit it, so I promised to drink it later.

About 3:00, I finally got up & took a shower...then went back to bed w/ a new icepack.  The kids entertained themselves all day long (TV, games, movies, etc) and although the house was pretty well trashed, we survived.

Around 4:30 I was able to finally get up & move some.  Not comfortably, mind you, but I got up & moved.  I'm still not exactly feeling good (11pm now), but I'm getting there....maybe I'll live after all!  :)

Tomorrow morning is the first day of school!  My babies will all go to school now.  Kourtney & Sarah are very excited & have their clothes on the foot of their beds, ready to throw them on bright & early.  Samuel & Andrew have matching red polo's & jeans set out waiting for them.  Savannah's got a little brown & turquoise skort set all ready to go, too.  Savannah also starts her art class tomorrow afternoon.  She's anxious to do that, too!

After we take them to school in the morning, I'll go into work & do what I can to get my classroom in order.  I'll do that again Firday & Monday, too.  Since Sarah & Kourtney get out at 12:30 the next 2 days, I will leave work in time to go pick them up & then head home each day.  On Tuesday, I 'officially' go back to work w/ a new batch of kids for the year.

Looks like fall is upon us!  Say a prayer for us, ok?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tues PM Aug 15

Today was good.  We didn't have any particular plans, so the kids worked (all day!) on getting their rooms clean & otherwise just vegged & watched TV or played on the computer or read books all day long.  Tomorrow is our final day of summer.  I think I'm going to take everyone to Burger King for lunch to bid a final adieu to the summer.

While we were home today, I was working on laundry when Savannah walked in & asked me something.  She was bored & looking for something to do, so I quickly decided that she needed to learn how to do laundry.  One of my plans has always been that when my kids turn 10, I will teach them how to do their own laundry, how to cook 1 simple meal and get them a good concordance to use in training/discipline from then on.  Well, since her birthday fell while Larry was gone to Mexico, we didn't do much of anything & planned to focus on her birthday when school starts & she has her birthday party.  I've just let it slide since then, though.  Anyway, so she was standing there, anxious to get started.  I walked her through how to start a load of clothes & she was sooo excited to learn how!  Tonight while I was gone to the "Meet the Teacher" programs for the boys, she did 3 more loads of clothes!  I'm so glad that she's enjoying this!  :)

Tonight we went to Andrew's school to meet his new 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. F.  She actually retired 4 years ago, but they convinced her to come back part time & teach from 8 to 11:30 in the mornings.  She shares a room with another PT teacher who only teaches in the afternoons.  In the afternoons, the classes all switch to another teacher, so when she leaves, Andrew's class goes across the hall to Mrs. H for language arts.  Mrs. F will teach the other subjects in the morning hours.  He seemed OK with both teachers, but is not exactly thrilled to death about school starting.  He'd prefer to just skip the whole thing, I think.

We also went & met Samuel's 1st grade teacher tonight.  She is young & silly and seems like she will be loads of fun!  This is her 3rd year to teach @ Whitehouse, so she's relatively new still, but I have already heard lots of neat things about her.  Her discipline management plan is totally different from anything I've heard of before & it looks really neat!!  Too hard to explain here, though.

Anyway, everything seems good.  I'm ready for school to start so that we can all get a little structure back into our lives.  My summers with the kids are usually very organized & routine-driven, but this summer was a little different than usual, so it wasn't quite the norm.  Next year, I'll have this down better & will be able to handle 5 kids more easily, I think.  (We'll see!  LOL)

I go back to work on Tuesday (22nd).  The first 3 days of school, the little girls get out early, so I'll spend those 3 mornings at the day care center putting my classroom together.  I'm anxious to get back to that, too.  I really enjoy my job & am anxious to meet my class!

only a few days left til school starts

Hard to believe that we only have a couple of days left til school starts.  The summer has flown by!  On Thursday, the kids will all head back to the classroom.

Sarah & Kourtney are starting Kindergarten.  Sarah has the same teacher that Savannah & Samuel had (we love Mrs. Page!!) and Kourtney is across the hall.  We requested teachers in the spring for both of them.  K's teacher was not on my list, but I did give the counselor/principal free reign to place her elsewhere if there was a teacher who would better suit her & her situation.  Last night at the Meet the Teacher night, I had several people say that the teacher she got would be PERFECT for her.  Good to hear that!  :)

Samuel is going into 1st grade.  His teacher is one we put on the request list.  We'll get to go meet her tonight.

Andrew is going into the 3rd grade.  We aren't sure, yet, who he's going to have, but we're crossing our fingers that it is either Toole or Shepard!  We'll find that out tonight, too!

Savannah is going into 5th grade.  We already have her teachers' names as well.  We don't have a meet the teacher time for her, but have heard lots of good things about them.  I can't believe she's a big middle schooler!!!  My baby is supposed to still be in diapers....not hanging out in a school where all the weirdness of pre-teens begins!

The kids are doing very well.  Everyone continues to adjust & settle in here.  God is GOOD!

:::chillbumps::: This is good!

I read this a few years ago & loved it.  I printed it out & planned to keep it & have it read at my funeral.  I want everyone who attends to know that they know that they know who God is to them.  But then I lost the papers where I printed this.  So now I have it again, and I have all of you as my witnesses that I'm putting this into our safe so that it doesn't get lost this time!

When I die, I don't want my body present at the funeral b/c I don't want everyone to stand there & focus on the dead, lifeless body in the building.  I want their focus to be on my eternity & how they can see me again!  I want a bunch of praise music sung & this read.  Period.  End of story.  And then everyone can see my closed casket at the graveside.  I want them to know that my shell may be there, but I am not!  I am secure, guys.  If you have a question about your eternity, please email me.  I'd be happy to tell ya about how I can say the following with all certainty!

He is the First and Last,
The Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be ...
unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!  
He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can't understand him,
The armies can't defeat Him,
The schools can't explain Him,
and The leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him,
The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him,  
and The people couldn't hold Him!
Nero couldn't crush Him, Hitler couldn't silence Him,
The New Age can't replace Him, and "Oprah" can't explain Him away!  
He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right,
His Word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and He rules my life!  
I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer of the overcomers, and all that is to come.
And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.  His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me, never forsake me, never mislead me, never forget me, never overlook me and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!  
When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!
He is everything for everybody everywhere, every time, and every way.
He is God, He is faithful.
I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.
So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure, understand this... He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side, and that means all is well with my soul.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Tues Aug 8 2 doctor appointments today

When Andrew & Kourtney moved in, we took them to the pediatrician for a check up.  That was the last week of February.  Andrew was fine, not behind on any shots or anything.  Kourtney was behind on her shots, having 6 or 7 to catch up on.  She also required a "finger-stick" to do some basic bloodwork.  While Andrew stayed in the exam room w/ Larry for his check up, I walked to the lab w/ Kourtney (in the same bldg) for her finger stick.  I was absolutely blown away by how she reacted.  Between the yelling & kicking, she flung her arms around & just went absolutely bonkers.  It took me and another lady to hold her down for the other lab tech to get a finger to poke.  I kept apologizing to the lab techs, who were standing back looking pretty stunned, too.  I can laugh about it now, but it was anything but funny at the time.
Because she reacted so wildly to the finger stick, we decided to only do 4 of the shots she needed at the time.  I knew I could always come back later & get the rest.  Oh, and on that day she weighed 65 or 66 lbs.
Today was the day to go back & get the rest of her shots.  I was pretty nervous about this b/c of her reaction the last time.  On top of that, Larry is still in Mexico, so I knew that I'd have to do it by myself.  But it went really well!  In the (almost) 6 months since that last check up, she's down to 58 lbs.  We've discussed her getting the other shots for a month or so now...complete with lots of cheering & high-fives about how I KNOW she's big & brave.  (Of course, there was also the threat of punishment if she threw a fit like that again!)  Yesterday, I told her that it was up to her.......if she wanted to get to go to McDonald's for lunch today, she had to behave when it was time for her shots.  It's ok to cry & say "ouch!" but the flailing arms, kicking feet, screaming & wailing was *NOT* gonna happen.  So when it got to be time for her shots, Savannah sat on the table w/ her & let her squeeze her hand.  I was on the other side w/ her squeezing my hand, too.  She got a little panicked at the last minute, claiming she needed to go potty, but she made it!  She was very brave & strong & never screamed, never cried...just sat there & squeezed our hands.  I was soooo proud of her & she was quite proud of herself, too!  She ended up showing off her bandaids to everyone in the office on the way out--even the other patients in the waiting room!  :)
Savannah is growing & doing fine, too!  She was up to 63 lbs (I think?) and was 50 1/2" tall.  For the average 10 year old, that's shorter & thinner than usual, but she's doing perfectly on her own growth curve.  She was excited to see that she was over 50" tall today!  :)
We had a nice lunch at McDonald's today on the way back home!  Hooray!  Healthy kids!
The one downside of the of Kourtney's shots has to wait a few more weeks.  It has to have been over 6 mo. before she can get the next one in a series & it's about 3 weeks shy of 6mo. since that last check up.  We'll get that one when she goes back in November for her annual check up.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Sun Aug 6

My sweet girl is 10!  TEN years old!  That's a decade, ya know?  That's just 3 shy of being a teenager.  WHERE has the time gone?  I know that it's been 10 years, but really......I can remember her birth and her 1st birthday...and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, they were just yesterday!  In just 8 years, she'll be old enough to walk out the door & go marry some yucky boy if she wants to!  Eeeekkkk!!!!!

Heavenly Father,  Thank you for the gift that is my daughter.  You knew her before I did.  You knit her together so tenderly in my womb.  You touched her with your hands before I did.  You had a vested interest in her eternal life before I ever layed eyes on her.  You gave her life, allowed her to take her first breath, and stand at her side, day in & day out.  Thank you for being the life-giver for my daughter.  Thank you for giving her to me, loaning her out for her time here on earth.  Thank you for choosing me to be her mother.  I have learned much through this precious vessel of your Spirit and am honored that you chose me to be the one to raise her.  THank you, Jesus.  Thank you.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Savannah's birthday tomorrow

Big plans....

We'll have cake for breakfast (a birthday tradition here!) & let her open her present.  (Shhh...don't tell....I got her one of the little 20 Question handheld games.)  We'll go on to church afterward as usual.  After church, I'm going to stop at the video store & let her pick out a movie for us to all watch together.  We'll come home & have lunch and naps & then we're going to be real heathens & stay home from Sunday PM church so that we can eat popcorn & watch her movie as a family.  She will "officially" be 10 at 6:43pm!

Andrew is also going home w/ a friend after church tomorrow, which he is ecstatic about!  He recently asked me why no one ever invited him over to their house, so now he gets a chance!

Sat Aug 5

Larry left the house about 6:40 this morning.  :::yawn:::  Of course, he woke me up before he left for a good-bye kiss, so I'm thinking a nap is in order today.  What am I going to do in a couple weeks when I have to start getting up at the crack of dawn to take kids to school?  Yikes!  The extra sleep time is my favorite part of summer!!  I talked to him about 11:50am & they had made it to Giddings, TX...somewhere way south of us.  He said they didn't expect to get to Mexico (where they're headed) til about 7:00 tonight.  If you know where it is, they're staying in Reynosa, Mexico.  They will be building a house for a homeless family and working in 2 orphanages.  Wait....have I already posted this info?  I can't recall. is back to normal.  The kids have spent the majority of the morning just trying to clean their rooms (ugh...always a mess!) & arguing about "this isn't mine...YOU put it up!", etc.  :::sigh:::  I'm glad they're home, though.  :)

Late Fri Aug 4

Our campers are home, safe & sound.  They enjoyed every MINUTE of camp, grinning non stop from ear to ear all evening....talking constantly about all the neat stuff they did.  We bought a camp week DVD w/ music & pictures.  We watched it tonight & it looks like they all had SOOOO much fun!  I'll let them share the week's events & excitement with you, but wanted to let you know they're here & safe and LOVED IT!!!!!!!  They have both already said they want to go back next year!! 

Friday, August 4, 2006

Fri Aug 4

My babies are coming home today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can't wait to see them.  The kids & I are making "Welcome Home" signs today & will be holding them up for the kids when they step off the bus.  (Yes, we're complete saps over here---and I love it!!!!)

After we get them off the bus, Larry & I are going to take all 5 kiddies to Burger King for supper & to hear all the details of the kids' week.  Larry has to be back at the church about 7:00 to pack the van.  He's leaving at 7:30 tomorrow morning for a mission trip & won't be back til Wednesday evening.  We're going to work in that family time one way or the other!!!  :)  If you don't hear from me any more tonight, it's because we're trying to shove in every last minute of time together before he leaves.  I wish there was a short break (at least 24 hours!) between their return & his departure, but there's not.  :(  Oh well......we'll make it.

Sunday is Savannah's 10th birthday!  If you'd like to send her an e-card, feel free to send it to me & I will make sure she sees it.  I can't believe my baby is going to have a double digit age!  She's a decade old!  Man, what does that say about me?  (hee hee....I know, I know.....I'm not old.  I started out having babies early!  But I feel old!)

Thanks for your prayers for the kids this week & all the emails & cards & letters sent.  I know they loved that!!!  And if you're up for it.....start praying again!  Larry's group leaves early tomorrow & they will spend all day Sun/Mon/Tues building a house for a family in Mexico and doing a daily puppet show & Bible school of sorts for some children at an orphanage.  I know he'll be changed & will love this...but we sure will miss him!

Love & hugs to you all! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

our week so far July 31-Aug 2

I'm sorry that Monday's entry was so short & to the point, but I didn't the energy for much more.  Monday was very draining.  Andrew & Savannah left for camp that morning and I had a hard time watching the bus pull away.  Knowing that they would be gone for a week, far away....well, it just makes a mama sad.  I would've been OK, I think, had Andrew not looked out the window of the bus at me with a face that said "I'm not sure I want to do this!!".  As they pulled away, his sad little face locked eyes with me & I just lost it.  I knew he'd be fine & had no worries about his safety, but I am a big sap when it comes to my babies & their EMOTIONAL well being.  If I know a situation will make them sad, I'm crying right along with them........if I know it'll make them mad, I get angry, too.  So much for that umbilical cord connection.  I never shared that w/ Andrew physically, but I may as well have.  I'm as connected to that kiddo (emotionally) as the ones who grew in my belly.  Once I composed myself, it was time for the next adventure!

I ran home, ironed an outfit & got ready for court.  I knew that it wasn't until 1:30 (about 2 hours past my usual lunch time) but I also knew that there was no way I could eat anything.  I figured the judge would prefer NOT to see my lunch on her courtroom floor.  LOL!  Court was scheduled for 1:30, but it was closer to 2:00 before they got to us.  It was interesting to sit in a courtroom for the first time in my life & see how that all works.  The lawyer ended up only calling Larry to the witness stand, so it wasn't as bad (for me!) as I thought it could've been.  I just sat, listened & watched & then left.  At about 2:15pm CST, Judge Carole Clark signed the papers & we were officially named as Managing Conservators for the kids.  Yahoo!  It's done!  Afterward, we went to lunch w/ Larry's parents (who came to court with us) & enjoyed some time of breathing a big sigh of relief.  It's nice to have that behind us.

While we were at court, mom picked up Samuel from daycamp & kept he and the girls at the house.  When we got home, the girls went with mom to spend the night w/ her.  Larry took a nap.  I made a couple of phone calls while Samuel worked on cleaning up his room & then it was time for the next event of the day!  A friend babysat for us (for free!!  Thank you Angela!) & we went out to use a gift certificate we had for Texas Roadhouse.  Although the service wasn't so hot, it was nice to get out & just be a couple for a few hours.  We finally ended the day by eating our take out food in the front of the TV while watching a chick flick.  (It was Just Like Heaven in case you're looking for a sweet love story!)

Tuesday morning, Samuel went back to day camp.  The girls & I ran a couple of errands & then went back to get him.  I can't think of what we filled the rest of the day with, but it seems like we were busy then, too.....oh well.....

Today (Wednesday), the kids' camp picture got posted to the camp's website.  Here is our church group plus all the other kids who are at Camp His Way this week!   Savannah is sorta of out in the middle of the picture in a BRIGHT NEON yellow Tshirt.  Andrew is over to the right side.  Only his head is showing from behind a boy w/ a "B" baseball cap on.  Our children's pastor is the guy in the white sleeveless Tshirt back behind them.  They look like they're having fun.  And to show ya just how much is the group's GOOFY group picture:   I can't wait to get them all home on Friday & see how their week was!!!!!!!  I know they're going to have lots of stories to tell & pictures to show me (they both have a disposable camera with them).

Today was Sarah's annual check up with her allergist/asthma doctor.  He is a friend of ours from our old church & a real sweetheart.  The kids love him.  Today he got to meet Kourtney & he proceeded to hug her & tell her how much he loves our family...and that she's blessed to be a part of it.  He told her to make sure & bring Andrew back next time so he can meet him too.  :)  Sarah's check up went fine.  She has mild intermitent asthma & very mild allergies.  They were worse when she was a baby/toddler and it's progressively gotten better over the years.  I'm sure she'll probably be like me & have this sort of stuff her whole life, but it's nice to hear the doc say she's not getting worse!

Samuel is loving his cooking camp!  Tonight he told me that when he grows up, he thinks he might be a chef.  I love it!  I told him about Emeril & that he's really famous & makes a lot of money & he thinks that would be really neat.  Of course he also said it might be fun to be a paramedic or a fireman so who knows?!  He did decide today that he's going to continue swim classes this fall instead of doing Cub Scouts with Andrew.  That's fine with us.  We'll just have to figure out how to work it in & when the classes are.  So far, the kids are doing quite a few things that will keep us busy!

Savannah is taking art classes from Jan Widner.  If you live locally, I highly recommend her!  She's a super art teacher & a precious saint!  Jan is a member of our singles group & we all adore her.  Savannah's art class is Thurs afternoons from 3:30-5:00.  That ought to be a trick since I don't get her off of the daycare bus til 3:30!  Ouch.  She'll have to be a little late every week, but I won't have far to drive...maybe 5 it won't be too bad.  And then the really interesting part will be getting back to Whitehouse by 5:15 for Sarah's "juh-nastics" class (as she calls it).  That's until 6:00.  So let me just tell ya now......once school starts, if you try to call me on a Thursday afternoon, don't bother til at least 7:00 so that I have time to come home, breathe for a minute & feed supper to everyone.  Hmm....Thursday may become our designated fast food night.

Andrew is planning to be in Cub Scouts & play soccer again.  We're not sure yet which day of the week Scouts will fall on.  Hopefully it'll be on a day when we can do it!!  Soccer is on Saturday mornings once it starts, so that won't be an issue as far as scheduling goes.

Kourtney is going to take twirling & jazz.  That's on Mondays.

I think that there was a Friday afternoon swim class Samuel could get into.  We'll see........

Whew.......I think I'm going to be signing up for all the free gasoline contests I can find.  I have a feeling I'm going to need it!