Sunday, May 31, 2009

SUMMER DAY 2, Sun May 31

Not much exciting going on around here today.

Went to church, came home & napped a little, folded all the week's laundry, typed up the kids' summer chore lists, made supper & ate it. Whoopee...

Before I go to bed tonight, I'm going to figure out our first Scripture for the summer & get it typed up & printed out & posted around the house. My goal is to have the kids memorize one verse per week. I'm mostly going to focus on ones that involve getting along, being kind to each other, using nice words, that sort of thing. I'm going to let the Holy Spirit do the work on their hearts rather than having to harp on them all summer long. I'll let ya know how it goes.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

SUMMER DAY 1, Sat May 30

I'm going to try to count our summer days again this year. I did it last summer & the kids thought it was great that I had a day by day account of what we did over the summer. We'll see if I can stick to it.

If you weren't around here last summer, this is the song that inspired me to count the days of summer. It's the theme song to a show my kids like to watch on Disney channel. Note the first line of the song! The video part of the theme song is missing, but at least you can hear the song.

Today was our first day of summer. Samuel spent the night with a friend last night & was there til about 1:00. This morning, Larry and the girls & I just hung out at the house & went to the garage sale next door. The girls each spent about a dime buying some little junky thing that will probably end up in the mounds of stuff under their beds, but it made them happy this morning. After we picked up Samuel, we had some quiet time. I have not slept well at night in over a week because of the stupid nighttime cough I've dealt with, so I really hoped I could doze for a few minutes this afternoon. Unfortunately I mostly just coughed. Some Robitussin helped a little. After we rested a bit, we got everyone ready to go to the lake for a picnic & a little swimming. Unfortunately, today was the local High School graduation and the lake was COVERED in drunken teenagers, so we opted to go to the park instead. We ate our sandwiches & played for a while before coming home. It's been a good first day of summer!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Movie Review: Seven Pounds

If you know me at all, you know I have a thing for Will Smith. I think he's adorable & I love him in all the comedies he's done. I don't typically like his more serious movies, though. I guess he'll always be the Fresh Prince of Bel Air to me, so it's hard for me to wrap my brain around him in a serious, dramatic role.

Last Fall when Seven Pounds came out in theaters, several friends of mine saw it & told me it was a good movie. Others commented about how they didn't like the movie because it was so sad. So you know I had to see it for myself to decide which way I felt. In case you haven't seen the movie & don't know what I'm talking about, this is a commercial for it.

If you haven't seen it, I'm about to spoil the plot for don't continue reading if you plan to see it!

You see, this man (Will Smith's character) caused a wreck a couple years ago. Six people in the other vehicle & his fiancee (in his vehicle) all died. It all happened because he was looking at his cell phone. In his guilt, he decides that he needs to repay his debt (to society? the universe? God?) by giving 7 of his own organs for the 7 lives he took. He gives a lobe of his lung, a piece of his liver, a kidney, bone marrow but then can't give anything more without ending his life. Rather than sign up to be an organ donor at his death like a normal person would do, he steals his brother's IRS credentials & takes on his identity while tracking down people who really have a tough story--people who are behind on their taxes due to terminal medical conditions. He sort of stalks each one trying to find ones that are 'worthy' of a "gift" (his organs). He marks some off the list & finds others that he deems worthy. He ends up falling in love with the woman who he plans to give his heart to and almost gives away his secret to her. In the end, he climbs into a hotel bathtub full of ice (to preserve his organs) & puts a deadly jellyfish into the water with him to kill himself. He dies & his organs go to the people he wanted them to go to & everyone lives happily ever after.

Admittedly, I turned the movie off about 3/4 of the way through it because I found the storyline to be so creepy. Maybe I missed something vital to the storyline that would've changed my mind, but I don't think so. Sure, maybe it shed light on the need for organ donors & maybe some folks signed up to do that because of this movie. Great...but what about the spiritual condition of this man who felt like he had to somehow repay (whoever) for what he had done? It was an accident. Where does forgiveness and redemption in Christ come in? Did any of the families affected by the wreck ask him to do this thing? I understand grief & mourning is different for everyone, but oh my. At what point did his actions cross the line between feeling guilty & wanting to do something nice....and playing God?

Clearly, I didn't like the movie. It was just weird to me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

a little progress, maybe?

Last night, I took Nyquil before I climbed into bed about 11:30. I got out my book, got all propped up on a thousand pillows...and began to cough. I told myself (& Larry, who is so very loving & patient--and losing sleep because I'm coughing so much!) that I needed to give the medicine a little time to kick in. I layed there for another 45 minutes trying to read, but mostly coughing, before I gave up & went to the recliner in the living room. I took my pillow & water bottle and got cozy. I coughed a few dozen more times before I dozed off, upright. Like a miracle, I slept til about 4:30am when I woke up coughing. I guess the medicine had worn off by then. I took some Robitussin, went potty & got back in the chair & dozed back off to sleep til the alarm went off at 6:15. Although I got a TON more sleep than I had the previous night, I was feeling pretty awful this morning.

Larry talked about all sorts of worst-case scenarios because, well... I'm not a good patient. I told him I couldn't take a break today, I had things to do. I couldn't possibly lay down & sleep this morning because, after all, I'm a mom. The world would end if I took a nap right? After some serious discussion, Larry convinced me to take a swig of Samuel's Capital (Tylenol w/ Codeine) that he was given after his tubes surgery a few weeks ago. He never took a single dose so we've got a big ol' bottle of it just sitting here. Knowing that a doc would give me cough syrup with codeine, he knew this would help. Only thing was dosed for a 50 lb nine year old. And umm....I'm neither of those. He should've taken 3/4 tsp. I'm such a lightweight where medicine is concerned (because I take so little medicine--ever!). I took 1 tsp & it knocked me out! I slept for 3 hours and I really only got up then because the alarm went off. That entire time, I was horizontal on our bed (not upright in the recliner!) and I didn't cough a single time! I felt lots better when I woke up, even had some energy! Larry's told me that I *will* take more of that at bedtime tonight. I tend to agree!

Cross your fingers that I am able to sleep tonight! It sure would be good if I could!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cough, cough, cough, cough, cough

On Friday, it all began. I woke up with a hoarse voice & recognized the tiny bit scratchy feeling in my throat. Sinus drainage. yuck. I do this a couple times a year. I have some drainage & it settles on my vocal chords & I sound croaky & awful for a week and then my voice recovers. I don't usually FEEL bad, I just SOUND bad. I went to work expecting to be asked a thousand times if I was ok. Sure enough, they asked.

I guess it effected me worse than I realized that day. I came home after my last day with my class at school & layed down on my bed. I really wasn't sleepy at all. I just wanted to take a 5 minute break before I got up & went again. It was 2:50. I had 10 min til I had to leave to pick up the kids. At 3:35 the phone rang. As soon as I looked at the clock, I knew who it was! Sure enough, it was the school calling to ask where I was. I felt SOOOOOOOOOOOO bad. Luckily, I made it to the school in 2 minutes flat! (Seriously.) We're only about 2 miles from the school & the afternoon traffic was already gone, so I put the pedal to the metal. I think I went airborn over the speed bumps in the school driveway & pulled up to the curb on 2 wheels. The lady who had called me was on the PTO executive board with me this year (she also happens to work at the school) & she was standing at the curb with the kids, giggling. She knew how panicked I sounded on the phone & got a kick out of the speed with which I arrived at the school. I apologized profusely while she said over & over "It's ok!!!". The kids piled in & we went to pick up Savannah at her school where she was one of the THREE remaining kids.

Ugh. Worst mommy award for me! Luckily, I was able to win their affections back with some Sonic for supper that night. (ha ha)

It occured to me that night as I began coughing quite a bit that maybe, just maybe this sinus drainage stuff was wearing me down more than I realized. In case that was the truth, I went to bed a little early that night (it was only 11-something after all) and proceeded to cough a few times before falling asleep. I remember waking up coughing a couple times, but after a sip of water, I had no trouble going back to sleep. Yeah, I've got this whooped. No biggie for me. After all, I've got a great immune system. I'm soooo rarely sick. Right?

Over the weekend, it's progressed to a little more than that. I cough the most at night, but I do cough a bit during the day, too. Last night was the worst. I literally slept maybe 2 1/2 hours all night long because of the coughing. I've done all my usual remedies & so far, nothing's worked. I've put Vick's Vaporub on my chest & feet (google it if you don't know why!), I've taken Sudafed Cough & Cold, I've taken Robitussin. I've propped myself up on a hundred pillows. I've kept a water bottle on the nightstand & sipped on that when I wake up coughing (assuming I get to sleep at all--and of course that leads to a thousand potty trips for this 3 time mommy who is squirming & squeezing my thighs together with all this coughing!! Sorry...I know, TMI.). Last night I finally gave up & went to Larry's recliner in the living room about 4 am. I finally quit coughing enough to sleep a little bit.

Today, 2 friends recommended Mucinex so I decided to give it a try. I also bought some cough drops & some Nyquil (capsules). I took Mucinex about 3:30 & after about 3-4 hours, I did notice that it might've been doing something---breaking up the crud & making me cough more (but the coughing was a little more, umm, productive than before). Before I get in bed tonight, I'm taking the Nyquil & doing the Vicks thing again.

What bugs me most is that all the coughing has irritated my lungs enough to flare up my asthma a little bit. That's what happens when you cough for 4 days straight, a thousand times a day. I've pulled out Sarah's extra inhaler (because mine is out of date by about 2 years & we're not insured right now so I can't go get a new one) & I'm using it. We have the same type of inhaler so it's OK...and she's got several extras anyway!

You know, there are muscles in my back & shoulder blade area that I didn't know existed. They're all sore now from this incessant coughing. yuck.

On the bright side, I've nearly finished a book I've been reading. Haven't felt like doing much else!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Out of school for the summer!

Well...sort of.

This week was my last one with "my" kids at school. It was sweet to see them one last time, but one thing was clear. They were (mostly) all DONE. Ready to be out of school. The behavioral stuff always gets kind of rough those last few weeks. Spring Fever! But even if they were acting up & being monsters part of the time, I got a lot of tight hugs, took lots of pictures and enjoyed them one last week. These are my little munchkins.

This one is my Tues/Thurs class, minus one little girl who was absent on picture day.

And this was my Mon/Wed/Fri crew minus a different little girl who was also absent on picture day.

I held it together much better this year than I have in the past few years. Typically I have a hard time with taking down the nametags & stacking the last time. But this year, I cried a little on the way to work those last 2 days & held it together after I got there. I'm not sure how that worked out, but it did.

One of my little guys is autistic. At the beginning of the year, I was a little worried about how I'd teach him because he only had a handful of words. I looked at him as my biggest challenge this year, but he turned out to be my greatest joy! I would've never believed you if you'd told me how far he would come over the course of the year. By Thursday when he left for the last time, he was communicating SO well, talking in complete sentences, coming to me for a hug. He's still "behind" the other kids & will stay in a 3 yr old class next year, but he's come soooooo far. I'm SO proud of him! (Trust me....I'm not tooting my own horn, that was ALL God! Praise Him!!)

I'll go back on Tuesday for a workday to clean my room up, get it organized for the summer classes, move things around a bit ('cuz I'm always looking at the centers & eyeballing how I'd like to re-organize them the next year!). After that, I'm off til June 2nd when Summer Session 1 begins. It's just Tues/Thurs all summer long, which means much less work, much less time spent at the school.....and much less pay. Oh yeah, baby.......Summer Survival Mode has begun. ha ha

Tonight's supper was an example of a yummy SUMMER meal. It's time to break out the light meals that can be put together simply without a great expense. It was build your own salad night! I cut up 2 kinds of lettuce, ham, boiled eggs, grilled chicken breast strips, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery and had bags of sliced roasted almonds, shredded cheese, bacon bits and croutons. Yum! It worked out great. The kids were even asking "when can we do this again?"!! Score one for mom!!

If you were around here (this blog!) last summer, you'll remember my summer days count. Last year, we ended up with an 85 day summer. I wonder if we'll have more or less days this year. Are you ready for summer??? We are! The kids get out at 1:00 on Friday & then it's officially SUMMER! Despite the horrendous heat & humidity, I'm ready. Bring it on!!!!!

(Seriously, the humidity is AWFUL. The other day we looked at the forecast for the day & at 7:15am, we were already up to 91% humidity!! yuck!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Summer Layout

What do ya think? I wanted something that reminds me of the colors of snowcones & sherbert. Think I hit the nail on the head or what??

Now it's time for summer music!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

LIFE group & church

Tonight we went to LIFE group (our church's small group ministry) & I was reminded over & over & over again......we're in a good place. I know I talked about that a couple of weeks ago after our first meeting with the group, but I am in love. In love with feeling safe & comfortable & welcomed. Don't get me wrong, we were welcomed in our previous church, but there is something special about Bethel's people. We are where we need to be and I'm so glad we're there.

I'll probably repeat this a few hundred times in the coming months, so be ready for it. I love my church!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hi again!

I've been having trouble w/ Blogger in the last week or so. I don't know what's changed about the picture part of the site. I can get them uploaded but then can't move them around in the post. Grrrr...aggrivating. Anyway, I'm trying out a new way to do the pictures, so we'll see if this works.

First of all, these were projects created for my Mother's Day gifts. This first one is the compost cage we built.
sm compost cage

This is our new recycling storage area.
sm recycling

Sarah made this cake for me at school.
small moth day cake

And this is me & my little chickens on Mother's Day morning.
small Mother's Day

I finally swapped out the kids' off-season clothes. Ugh....there is a lot when there are 3 kids.
small off season clothes

My secret pal at work revealed her identity last week at the end of the year teacher party. This was my end of the year gift! I'm so excited because Larry & I have never had an icecream maker!! Thank you Sunday!!
sm icecream maker

At school this week, one of the kids brought a tiny little turtle to show the class. At the end of the day, her mom was trying to get RID of the turtle so I volunteered to bring it home to show the kids. I told her that I'd release it when we were done looking at him. Of course, the kids have adopted him & are calling him George so we had to make sure George had a proper home (rather than the shoebox he came to school in).
sm George

He's just a tad bigger than a quarter.

And last but not least --- on Thursday, Savannah's out of town buddies came to town unexpectedly & we got to meet them at Chick Fil A for a short visit. She was watching excitedly for them to park & get out of the car. So sweet!
sm Sav chickfila window

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What a crazy day!

Today was nuts at work!

The day began with one of our Pre-K teachers finding a lovely 4 letter word (that begins with F) on the chalkboard outside her classroom door. She jokingly said "I know I've taught the kids phonics this year, but I don't think any of them know THAT word." We can only guess that maybe the cleaning crew (who comes in the evening) brought their child with them & they wrote it. The teacher quickly got rid of that word...but maybe we should've taken it as a sign of the nutty day ahead.

About 11:30 or 12:00, the Kindergarten teacher was taking her class outside when a bird got into the building. It was scared & flying into the walls, dive bombing our music teacher, trying its best to get out of the building. In a panic, it flew into the resource room where one of our directors got a hold of it & released it back outdoors.

If only that was the craziest part of the day...

About 12:40, the teacher next door to me took her class outside for a short playtime before the parents came (at 1:00). They weren't out there but 10 minutes before one of the children fell off a toy & busted open her head! She quickly scooped up the child & brought her inside to inspect the injury. Before the rest of us knew that there was a problem, the directors had called an ambulance. Of course, it and a firetruck arrived right as the parents did and there was some mass craziness in the driveway to the school. Of course, I would panic too if I were them, but every parent came sprinting across the front lawn of the school worried that it was THEIR child. Thankfully, the little girl's dad showed up about the time that the ambulance crew was ready to load her up & transport her to the hospital. She needed to have her head sewn up, but otherwise she was OK. I don't envy the directors & that teacher. Between incident reports & licensing rep interviews...boy oh boy. What a day!

It was nice to come home to a quiet house with no crazy birds or ambulance crews!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Random Thoughts with Liz

Help? I am having trouble w/ blogger the past few days.

Obviously, I can't get this underline thing to stop.....
When I post pictures, I can't move them around in the post, they just post in some random order at the top of my post.

Grrrrrr....anyone else?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lots of Mother's Day give aways!

Take a peek!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A contest!

I've mentioned before that I read several blogs. Ok, so I read a thousand other blogs on a regular basis. Tonight, I discovered this give-away on one of the ones I read. Go check it out! She's giving away a $250 Visa gift card! Can't pass that up!!

In a good place

Throughout life, we all have times when we can say we're "in a good place". Maybe financially we're doing well or spiritually we've hit a high point. Or maybe we've struggled with depression & we're finally seeing a mountaintop. Whatever the case, we all go through "good places" & "bad places" in life.

In the past couple of months, I've felt a little down. Larry & I realized a few months ago that it was time for us to leave our church family & move elsewhere. Sure there were things along the way that we didn't totally agree with and there were days when Larry came home from the office wanting to quit & go deliver pizzas for a living, but I think everyone goes through that from time to time, no matter what their occupation. But when you reach a point where you know that God is saying "your time is up...pack it up & move on", it's hard to swallow. While we were (& still are) 150% sure that we made the right choice, it hasn't come without some labor pains & struggles.

Watching Larry transition from full time ministry to the "regular world" (read: anyone outside of full time ministry) has been an interesting process. There is of course the physical & logistical difference of his new job atmosphere of course (not to mention the financial difference), but there are also mental & emotional changes involved. Larry has had to face a lot of different emotions head on and I'm so very proud of the way he's handled himself. There have been moments when (if I were him) I would want to throw in the towel & go on a tirade of some sort just for the sake of blowing off steam. Anyway, the job transition has had good & bad moments.

A couple of weeks after leaving Rose Heights, we visited our old church--Bethel. When we left Bethel in late '04 to go to RH, it was very hard. I think it was harder for me (at the time) than it was for Larry. He was running full-steam ahead, excited about his new role in life, just wanting to jump off the high dive & get to work for Jesus. I, on the other hand, felt the full weight of leaving all the precious people who'd been our closest friends & confidantes for the past 7 1/2 years. It was something akin to stepping out of the plane when you sky dive. I knew I'd love it once I made the step, but getting to that point, leaning out over the edge & letting go was hard. I was attending MOPS at Bethel at the time when Larry got the official word that he'd been hired at RH. While I was thrilled to death & excited & ready to move into the jungles of Africa if that is where God had called us, I was also sad about leaving our friends. I drove to my MOPS meeting that next morning & bawled my eyes out with my table of WONDERFUL girlfriends. They were great, holding my hand, hugging me & letting me know that it was OK to grieve. Throughout the coming weeks, our friends in the LIFE group & our Sunday School class reminded us that they loved us and they cheered us on as we marked our final days with them.

Our time at RH was awesome. The people there made the transition time easy. They accepted us with open arms from day 1. There are so many things that I can say about that church that will stick with me for the rest of my life. So many positive things happened during those years. I look at our time at RH now and ponder a lot of things. The one I've been thinking most on lately is the idea that God moved us there for a season...and for a reason. He knew exactly where we'd need to be during some of the hardest days of our lives (Feb 06- Mar 07 and beyond). He knew exactly what we needed & maded provisions for us (physically, financially & all the other details) through Larry's back surgery in Oct 06. He knew exactly whose words we'd hear and really LISTEN to during good times & bad. He knew about the relationships we'd form and which people we needed to minister to and who would minister to us! He knew who our children would respond to spiritually in the days & weeks leading up to them accepting Christ as their savior. (Remember, 2 of our 3 kids got saved while we were at RH!) He knew every detail of the ministry Larry would have at RH. He recognized a need at RH and chose to use Larry as a vessel to reach those specific people at that specific time. Once again, a strong reminder that we are NOT IN CONTROL of anything! We like to think that we have things all planned out & the details figured up....but really we don't. God & God alone is the author of our days.

And so, I'm sure you're wondering how all of this ties into the title & the first couple sentences of this post! Well......

Today, we were again at our new church home (which is funny to say since we were there for so many years before...) and today was the mission week where all the church's ministries are layed out for the church to see & figure out which ones they'd like to personally get involved with, give to, serve with, pray for & so on. As we sat in the chairs listening to the presentation, I couldn't help but think about the way that this very thing --- how the church relates to all the various ministry groups --- was Larry's job at RH. It was up to him to create a relationship with each of the groups & to show the church how they can get involved with the various ministries. Some of the local groups are doing the very things that Larry hoped to get started at RH but never reached before we left. Some of the groups present very unique types of ministry that we will be excitedly joining forces & helping out with. It was fun to be able to find a place to get involved with these groups just a few weeks after coming back to Bethel.

Tonight we went to our first LIFE group (small group, connection group, care's all the same thing). We were able to re-join the same group that we left 4 1/2 years ago and although there is only 1 couple remaining who was there when we left, the same sort of fellowship remains. As we discussed the challenging topic of bioethics, teetered back & forth on topics that were a little "contreversial" in nature, cracked jokes about totally off-color non-churchy things, I realized we were indeed in the right group. As we wrapped up the night, we shared prayer requests and praises with the group. A couple of womens' requests for prayer stick out in my mind. They were requests for prayer for very serious things going on in their lives, the sort of topics that bring tears to the eyes of all in the room, the sort of things that I typically drop everything & pray for right away because I've been there & lived it or simply because I can FEEL their pain in the words that were spoken. I smiled to myself inside as I listened to these requests that were made just minutes after we were all laughing about something with tears running down our cheeks......I smiled as I realized how many times Larry & I have been on the other end of that prayer request, begging for our friends to rally around us & share a burden that seems far too heavy to bear alone.

I smiled because it hit me tonight.

We may not have all the money in the world, but we have enough to pay our bills with a little leftover each month. We have no choice but to live within our means.

We may not have the biggest home in town, but we have one that fits our family & all the junk that seems to always be overflowing from the drawers, cabinets & closets.

We may not go to the biggest, flashiest church in town, but we attend the one that God wants us in right now and we're surrounded by amazing people who are willing to laugh & have fun together, but also drop to their knees, hold hands & cry together when their friends need it.

Yeah....we're in a good place.

thank you, Father.