Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer: Days 27-29

Oops! I've missed a few days. Sorry about that. (After all, I know you're all anxiously tapping your fingers & waiting to see my summer day count post show up on the blog! ha ha!) Let's see if I can get you caught up.

Monday June 27
On Monday morning, Savannah began a 3 day journalism workshop at the high school. I want to be sad for her losing 3 days of summer for a school thing, but honestly, this ex-yearbook editor mama sort of beams with pride every time I hear her talk about journalism classes. When I was in high school, I was on the yearbook staff for 3 years. During my senior year, it was my world. Everybody has a "thing" in high school that they really love. Journalism was that for me. (Big shocker seeing that I love writing even now, nearly 20 years later!) I try not to project any of my own joy about journalism onto her because she really does love it....but it sure does make me happy! And here's the fun part. My beloved HS journalism teacher, who was as much a good friend as my teacher during my senior year, is now the school's publishing company representative so she was there these last few days to teach my daughter how to use the publishing software that they'll use this coming year.

Aside from Savannah's return to school for a few days, our Monday was pretty uneventful. I loved it!

Tuesday June 28
On Tuesday, I began the 2nd summer session at the preschool where I'm working. (Each session is 4 weeks long.) I had a few new faces join the class this time around. Fortunately, 2 of those new faces are students I've had in the past so they weren't really "new" to me. It's so much fun to see how much these kiddos have grown in the past couple of years since I last had them! One in particular really knocked my socks off. I love these kiddos!

After work on Tuesday, I went through the drive thru at a local Starbuck's with a gift card & ordered a non-coffee drink. The lady at the window was giggling about my coming to a COFFEE place & ordering a NON COFFEE drink, but she was really funny about it and didn't make me feel like a complete psycho. I always get weird reactions from the people there when I order coffee-free things. (Note: I *never* go there without a gift card, so my visits are few & far between. I don't like coffee or tea, but I like frappucinos...or however you spell that!)

Wednesday June 29
This morning I went over & walked through a local rent house for a friend & took pictures of the front/back yards and inside. She lives out of town & needed to see the house before she made a decision. I sure hope they move into the neighborhood! What fun we'd have living closer!

After our stop at the rent house, Samuel, Sarah & I ran a couple of errands. Obviously I have created a bad habit in my children that WILL BE BROKEN! Let me explain.

You see, when Larry and I first met, I found it funny that every time we went somewhere he'd stop for a soda. At first, it was just whenever he needed to get gas -- he'd go inside the station to pay & pick up a drink. I always laughed because we were usually on the way to the theater or going out to eat. You know, where he'd be buying a drink! It seemed silly to spend money on a Coke when he was 10 minutes away from getting one. But being the sweet young lady I was, I never pointed it out (at the time) & told him that I thought he was nutso. I figured out later that he has a genuine excessive thirst problem. He's been tested for diabetes & that's not the problem, but he is just ALWAYS thirsty. Like REALLY REALLY thirsty. There's an actual name for it, but I can't remember right now. Hyper-something.

Anyway, over the years, I've become more apt to stop for a drink now & then, but it's still not every time I leave the house like he does. And the kids have picked up on that little habit and ask to stop for a drink every time we go somewhere. There are MANY MANY times that we will all be in the van & when Larry stops for his drink, the kids will ask for one & he buys it. And sometimes when we're out running errands, the kids will ask me for something. And you know, when it's 112 degrees outside (I'm NOT kidding--it really was that temp on my van thermometer today!!), we're all thirsty, so I get drinks for everyone. I know it's important for them to stay hydrated. But it's gotten out of hand. I can't drive to or from ANYwhere anymore without at least one of the kids saying "Can we stop for a drink???????????" and they say it in this pitiful, pleading voice like they're going to die without a drink. As you know, most gas stations carry far more sodas & "juice" drinks (read: Koolaid-type crap, NOT real juice!) than anything else, so they gravitate toward the junk.

Wow...where am I going with this?

Oh the kids & I were running errands today & wouldn't you know it? They started begging for drinks. Here's the clincher, folks. We drove a big circle around town doing the errands. And our whole town from one city limit sign to the other is maybe 5 miles long. I only made 2 stops. So it's not like we'd been out for hours & they were really parched. I said NO WAY and stuck to my guns. I know it's not healthy for them & it's sure not healthy for the checkbook. There MUST be an end to this little habit and it's going to get stopped in its tracks this summer! Bottled water travels just fine, so I suspect the kids will be carrying one with us everywhere we go now to keep me from having to listen to the pleas for Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew & the like!

After the errands, the kids & I returned home. On one trip to the bathroom, I spied myself in the mirror & thought "Today is the day!" The day for what, you ask? My friends, it was the day for a haircut! My hair's been almost to my waist for a few months now & I had told myself that when summer came, I was going to cut it "a little". Until today I haven't had any spare time to go do it! I like having long hair & didn't plan to give up a lot of length. I need to be able to yank it up into a ponytail on a regular basis, but I wanted it shorter due to those 105+ degree temps! In the end, I didn't end up changing styles really, but I got a shorter version of it. Like nearly 6" shorter! See?

And the front (excuse the fact that it's a little messy--this was RIGHT after I got home from the salon & hadn't done anything to style it yet):
After picking up Savannah this afternoon, I came home to upload pictures of my haircut & found that our modem had died. I called the tech line & the lady checked it remotely. Indeed it was a goner. She told me I could either load it up & take it to the local office & trade it for a new one OR she could set up an appointment for a tech to come to the house & install it. The soonest a tech could come would be Saturday, so I opted to go to the office. But at that moment it was 4:25. They close at 5:00. After getting the address from the lady on the phone, I pulled all the cords & wires from the back of our modem & high-tailed it to the office. Of course, once I arrived, the lady at the office said they don't handle trading modems at that office, but she'd be happy to set up a time for a tech to come handle it at my house. Grrrrrrr! However...funny thing...she could have someone come over TONIGHT & do it. Strange how the lady on the phone couldn't do the same thing til Saturday! Oh well, I just wanted it fixed! Without the modem, we had no phone or internet & come on....let's just all stop & realize how dependent we all are on technology. I didn't really want to go without a phone or computer for 3 days. We have cell phones, but they're not internet-accessible ones. They only call & text. So by 8:00 tonight, I had a new modem & was happy to be able to sit down at the keyboard & tap out this blog post!

Hmm....I think that catches you up on me!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer: Day 26

Sunday June 26

Today, like pretty much every Sunday, we went to church. But today's church service was a little unique. About 10-15 minutes into the sermon, the church's fire alarm started going off. Our sweet pastor stopped, looked around, realized what it was & searched the faces in the crowd for deacons, elders, other staff members who could go figure out what was going on. Was there really a fire? Did we need to evacuate the building? Was the alarm pulled accidentally? Fortunately for him, about 25 past & present deacons & elders jumped up & went to check out the problem. They pretty quickly came back & stated that it was a false alarm -- a child had pulled the alarm. Oops! But for the next 5 minutes, the alarm continued to go off. The congregation giggled, they got up to go get coffee refills....our pastor laughed it off & commented about how he could preach over a lot of things, but probably not this VERY loud alarm that kept going off & going off. At about the point that I was afraid he would tell everyone to just pack up & go home, it finally stopped! It turns out that no one could figure out how to shut the alarm off. Our worship pastor blogged later today that they ended up yanking the wires out of the unit to get it to stop. It was a funny interruption in the service, but Ross (pastor) jumped back in & never missed a beat with the sermon once the fire alarm stopped ringing.

I've wondered how the teachers in the classroom reacted to the child pulling the alarm. The 4 and 5 yr olds are the same group of kids I co-teach during the 1st service, so I suspect it was one of "my" kids. I'm sure the reaction was shock & then giggles because really....what kid hasn't wanted to (or tried!) to pull one of those alarms on the walls in their school, church, grocery store, etc? No harm was done and no one got hurt, but I'm betting that child and all the class learned a big lesson today....leave the fire alarms alone!

This afternoon, I crawled into our bed for the weekly Sunday afternoon nap. It was delightful! I'm so glad we observe the 11th commandment over here.

The 11th commandment is our silly name for it....we jokingly say that it says "Thou shalt nap on Sundays."

Tonight, I had a crazy fun time with a room full of 7 toddlers. I previously cared for the 3-5 yr olds at a local church during their small group meetings, but tonight I had the church's babies. It was fun, but tiring! How quickly we (mommies) forget how busy 1-3 year olds really are once our own children pass that age! Now I remember why I always taught 3-5 yr olds! They were all adorable & sweet & fun until about 30 minutes before pick up time---and then it got to be late, they were all tired, one mommy came to pick up her children & the crying train began. And everyone got on board. Whew. I think I earned my paycheck tonight. ha ha!

And now...a book review.

A few months ago, our church shut down the library to use the space for something else. When they closed, they asked church members to come & take as many books as they wanted. Since we are a family of book hoarders, we of course filled up several bags with books for our shelves. When I found Francine Rivers' book Her Mother's Hope, I grabbed it. It was still pretty new to the market at the time and I had already begun hearing people's reviews about this wonderful, amazing book, so I figured I would enjoy it. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to read it until recently when I pulled it off my shelf & dove in.

The storyline was good, but it was longggggggggggggggggggggggg. I kept thinking surely it would be over soon, but then the story would make a twist & a turn and I'd spent the next 200 pages focusing on that new plot. It just kept going & going & going. And in the end, it left me hanging. There is no resolution. It's like one of those movies that drags on forever & leaves you saying "I will never get that 2 hours of my life back." While I know other people loved this book, it was not one of my favorites. I have really enjoyed quite a few other Francine Rivers books. I would've quit & given up on it about 2/3 of the way through, but at that point, I kind of felt obligated to finish it and I kept hoping for some resolution to the many, many plotlines. I felt like I'd invested that much time into the story, so I needed to see how it ended. Now I'm looking back thinking "Yeah, I should've just quit then."

But here's the thing. After nearly 500 pages of living with Papa, Mama, Elise, Marta, Niclas, Bernie, Hildie, Cloe, Rikka, Elizabeth, and the bazillion other characters woven throughout this book, I'm stumped. I'm a tad curious what the resolution to this story is, but I really don't want to read another 500 page novel to find out--and I don't know for sure that it will all get resolved! Will it lead into a 3rd novel for this series? I'm stumped about whether or not to locate a copy of the sequel.

While I think on it, I think I'll just enjoy some of my stack of magazines for a while.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer: Days 24-25

Fri June 24

Friday morning, Samuel, Sarah & I went to the grocery store. Before I left, I posted this on Facebook:
Going shopping with 2 kids this morning. Will it be calm & sweet or will I come home wishing for needles to drive under my fingernails? Only time will tell....
Fortunately for the kids & I, I was able to put the sewing kit up when we got home. No needles were required. Although their attitudes toward each other left something to be desired throughout a few moments of the grocery store trip, overall they did well. I was proud.

Shortly after we got home, a girlfriend of mine texted & asked if I knew how to paint. I had to giggle because before we moved into this house, we repainted every single room. I even tackled painting the kitchen cabinets! Seriously, EVERY room was painted, all the woodwork/trim, inside the closets...everything! I have a pair of sweats with paint stains of many colors to prove it. Last night I went over & helped her and a couple other of her friends paint a couple rooms in her house. It was a fun girls' night out, if you count it as a GNO when my kids came & hung out in another room the whole time. ha ha! And guess what? I wore those same paint-stained sweats & added a new color to them. I think it goes quite nicely with the rest of the rainbow.

Sat June 25

This morning I had a fun trip into town in my pajamas, but I swear it was unintentional. ha ha! I've mentioned it here before, but there is a program we participate in called Angel Food Ministries. (Check their website HERE.) Anyone can purchase a box of food from them & use it to help with their monthly grocery expenses. The food in the boxes vary from month to month, but it's primarily frozen packages of vegetables, steaks/pork chops/chicken and a variety of other things. This month there was also eggs, instant oatmeal and some canned goods. There are fresh fruit/veggie boxes you can buy, as well as frozen convenience meal boxes (we don't get those). You won't find expensive organic things in the boxes unfortunately, but it does help fill the gaps if your grocery budget is an issue. It is not a welfare/foodstamps program (however they do accept foodstamps as one form of payment), but a ministry to help the general population cut their budget in the food bill department. I will admit, however, that many of the people who pick up the boxes appear to be from the welfare in case you decide to participate yourself, be forewarned if that bothers you. I really could care less who else is buying their cheap food at the same place I am! You order it early in the month & then one Saturday morning late in the month you go pick up your box(es).

For several months now, Larry has made the Saturday morning trip to pick up the box of food. He's assured me that you pull up, lean out the window & give them your name and the people working there bring the box out to your never even have to get out! We decided last night that I would go pick up the box of food this morning, so when the alarm went off early this morning, I threw a jacket on over my PJ's (cotton shorts & an old Tshirt) and drove to the church where you pick up the food. One little problem though--- there had been some set back & everyone was being asked to come inside to pick up their box of food. I sat in the parking lot, mortified that I WAS WEARING MY PAJAMAS. I couldn't decide what to all the way back home to get dressed just to turn around & come back? What if they got their 'glitch' worked out while I was gone & by the time I returned they might be working at their regular capacity? I sat & watched the crowd going into & out of the building and finally got up the nerve (based on the attire many of the other people in the crowd were wearing!) to go in & pick up my box. I went inside & stood in a short line and retreated as quickly as possible.

When I got home, Larry was still asleep in bed.

So I whacked him with a pillow & laughed as I told him about the crazy morning I'd had.

We hung around the house this morning & then drove a couple hours away to retrieve Savannah who has been visiting some out of town friends since Tuesday. She had a great visit with them and I am continually grateful for the way they welcome her into their home every summer. This family moved away the summer after the girls were in 1st grade. I am amazed that they are still friends all these years later -- they're going into 10th grade this Fall! How many little girls & boys do you know who form such strong friendships at 6 & 7 years old? Strong enough to still be friends at 15 when there is 3 hours between their homes? I am wow'd every time Savannah comes home from a visit & says they had a ball. I keep thinking that one of these days they're going to all outgrow each other, but I'm so glad they haven't!

The rest of the day has been spent hanging around the house & watching a movie together tonight. What a great Saturday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. What is your current favorite TV show?
I really don't watch much TV. Honestly, when my friends & family ask if I've seen the latest episode of this or that show, 95% of the time I have to say no. And shhhh! Sometimes I don't even know that the show they mentions exists. This past season of Dancing with the Stars was my first season to watch. We really enjoyed it & got into voting for our favorite dancers each week, but I haven't watched anything on a regular basis since the show ended in May.

With all that said, I enjoy several of the real estate shows on HGTV, but I don't watch them every time they're on. And I often end up watching several of the kids' shows with them while I'm cooking or when they ask me to come & watch a show with them. The TV is usually on Disney channel & Nickelodeon for those shows. I like iCarly, Wizards of Waverly Place & Good Luck Charlie.

2. What's the worst haircut you ever got?
The only time in my life that I remember really hating my hair was during the junior high/high school years when no matter what you do, you feel like a dork. But I don't think it had anything to do with a particular cut --- just the time of my life when I hated everything about myself physically.

3. What was something that you did as a child that you thought you were so cool for doing?
Oh gosh. I was a child of the 80's. I think I could go with a "'nuff said" sort of comment here.

4. Do you have any GREAT frugal family fun tips?
I have frugal tips, but I'm not sure that they qualify as "fun tips". They're just tips for saving money with a family in mind. Things like using white vinegar in a Downy ball instead of commercial fabric sofftener.....or clipping coupons & watching the sale papers to use those coupons....or buying generics....or cooking at home 95% of the time & skipping the meals out. I have others but I suppose I don't have a lot of frugal tips for family fun. At our house, if the family wants to have fun together & do it cheap, we stay home & watch a movie from the $1 Blockbuster rental machine. And if we're really feeling crazy, we'll pop some popcorn & maybe buy a couple sodas to drink/eat while we're watching the movie.

5. Would you drive across country if you had the money to fly?
That's a hard one.

On one hand, I have always said that flying is a vacation in itself for me. Since it's so rare that we take a long trip that requires a flight, it's a treat for me to get on an airplane at all. I like flying! It's really cool to get into a big metal tube in one state & get out in another state. Yes, I realize that in that manner it's similar to a bus ride, but I really just like flying!

But on the other hand, I really don't like long car rides. Traffic, big overpasses and driving on the freeway all scare me. But we have some of the best conversations & have made some really great memories in the car over the years! And some of those really long trips in the car have led us to see some really cool things & pretty parts of the country that we never would've seen otherwise.

So I don't know. My instinct says I'd fly, but maybe I'd drive home just for the experience.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer: Days 22-23

Not much to say for the last couple of days.

Wednesday June 22:
Aside from a quick trip to CVS for a few things and a run to/from Sonic for Samuel's youth group volleyball game, we stayed home all day. And I loved it!

Thursday June 23:
Worked at the preschool today, came home, had readng time with the kids, quick supper before a meeting at church.

See? I told ya....not much going on here. And that's just the way I like it!

Project for tonight, tomorrow & the coming months probably: add labels to my blog posts. Umm, yeah...I've been blogging for 5 years now. This ought to be fun. ha ha!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's nearly July.

I'm looking at the calendar & realizing that the month of June is nearly over. Already. Only about a week left before we're going to be turning the page to July.

And somehow, I'm okay with that. For the first time ever, I think. I'm usually the first one to wistfully say "wow....time flies...where did the month go?...I can't believe the year is halfway over already" and that sort of thing. But this time, I'm looking ahead. No, it's not because my kids are home from school & driving me nuts. (really they're doing just fine) Tonight I'm just antsy. I have a lot of things on my mind that are coming up, and I'm excited about them! Tonight, my head & my heart are going about a million miles per hour.

The month of June has sped by without me accomplishing a whole lot. I mean, we've done plenty (if you've been keeping up with the summer day count, you've seen that). But I haven't had any particular routine. And I like routines. I like having a schedule. I like knowing what to expect day to day. (Yeah, I know... that's not a big shocker for any of you who've read my blog for a while or know me in real life.) So July is quickly approaching and with it, I'm hoping to get the kids & I on a better routine! June has been a very full month. The kids have been involved in stuff with the youth group at church. I've been acclimating to working at the preschool again. We've been trying to fit in all the fun stuff we try to do every summer, but with a tight budget in mind. We've just finished up our vacation time for the year. But next month? Time to slow down a little & find a routine!

I haven't been to the gym all month. And well, that costs money. I took over handling our checkbook a couple months ago, so I've become acutely aware of where every dime goes. I don't want to cancel the membership for the summer & have to pay to re-start it in the Fall. But I also don't want to waste it! So at the beginning of July, I'll be heading back to the gym come Hell or high water. I was religious about it during the school year & there is no reason the kids can't stay home alone for 30-40 minutes three days per week during the summer! They do it now & then for other reasons, so there's no reason for me to "let myself go" all summer long! I never would've expected it, but I actually enjoy working out. Wait, I should rephrase that. I hate exercise, but I love feeling like I'm being intentional about spending some time on ME regularly. As most women (& moms!) know, we tend to put ourselves last and that's not good. I need to exercise not only for ME but for my family. They need me to be healthy for a long time! Now just to find a good time of day to go to the gym!

I haven't kept a regular Bible/quiet time/prayer time all month either. And you know, while I've read my Bible a little bit and prayed a little bit, it's not at all the same as when you have a dedicated time for it every day. This one really bothers me because I had gotten into such a good routine during the school year. I'm aching & hungry for that dedicated time again. I WILL find a special time for that daily in July!

Our church is on the brink of something big. And I'm anxious & giddy about it. They're talking about planting a church locally. I never would've thought that we might possibly be involved in a church plant, but I get butterflies in my stomach & feel my heart race every time I think about it. I don't know how we'll be involved or to what level we will be a part of it, but the Spirit keeps bringing it to mind. I'm praying about it & looking forward to seeing what God has in store.

I have no idea what is ahead for me in the Fall, job-wise. I've mentioned it here before, but the state of Texas is in a budget crisis (like so many other states in the USA). There is a big crunch on the public schools' funding so there are risks for any of us who have a "non-teaching job". (Of course, that name cracks me up because really... if you're on a campus with school-aged kids all day long, you're teaching them constantly...whether you officially bear the title of "teacher" or not. Trust me. It's just not possible to hold a "non-teaching position" if you work at a school & are in a classroom all day.) But since I am technically a classroom aide, I'm not officially a teacher these days, so my job is in jeopardy. While I could sit around & worry about this, I am really not. Maybe it's because being at the preschool this summer has rekindled a fire for little ones....and perhaps I'm not too worried about the possibility of losing my job with the big scary teenagers because it would open the door to me finding a job at a local day care with little ones again? I know, it sounds absolutely insane that I'd even entertain that possibility in my mind. Most people would run screaming from a day care classroom. But I desperately miss the relationships with the parents & kids and watching them grow and lesson planning and decorating for holidays and making bulletin boards and planning class parties and organizing the room and watching them graduate at the end of the year and being such a part of their lives and and many things. I know God's got a plan and for this season, He has me working where I am for a reason. And I'm content with that. I love the people I work with. I enjoy my job. But I'd be lying if I said it hasn't crossed my mind that losing this job (that is, if I were to lose it) wouldn't be the absolute end of my world. I'm going to be fine either way. God knows my heart. He knows what my family needs. And He will make sure I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, no matter what that is.

My dad's having neck surgery next month. My brother in law found out today that he will be having neck surgery & carpal tunnel surgery soon.

One of my best friends is heading back to Joplin, MO this weekend to help out with recovery efforts going on there, so she's on my heart a lot. Savannah really wants to go, too, and may be doing that next month when my girlfriend & her husband go back again.

The list of things on my mind tonight is so lengthy, but I'm going to hush now. Perhaps my pillow will offer my mind a little rest if I will just go put my head on it. Goodnight, friends.

Summer: Days 20-21

Rather than write out a big post about this, I decided to let you see what we did the last couple of days in pictures. We went on a little mini-cation to Dallas. We're home now, safe & sound.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer: Days 17-19

Friday June 17
Friday was Savannah & Samuel's final day to serve with the 5 day club in the park. I loved talking to each one of them at the end of the week & hearing what their favorite moments were & what they learned. I loved seeing them grow and mature, even after just one week of serving together. I'm proud of them!

While they were at the park with the youth group, Sarah spent the day at home. We played a bunch of games together and watched TV. I love those lazy days!

Saturday June 18

On Saturday, Samuel had to take a Boy Scout swimming test. I wish I had pictures, but Larry took him to his scout leader's house to do the test (in their pool) and had to be available to possibly jump in & help Samuel if he got into trouble, so he didn't take the camera. You see, Sam had to wear tennis shoes & socks, a long sleeved button up shirt and jeans (with no holes). Once he got into the pool (deep end!) he had to tread water while disrobing & then inflate the clothing to use it as a flotation device! Don't worry--he had on his swimsuit underneath--no naked swimming allowed!! He passed! Larry said he sat on the side of the pool with his feet dangling into the water while he did it so that he could jump in and help him if he got tangled up in his clothes while he was trying to get them off....but he didn't have to get wet after all. He said Samuel did great!

While Larry & Samuel were taking the swim test, I indulged (ha ha) in my favorite Saturday hobby. Can you guess what it was? (This was taken after they got home---there's our little super swimmer in the background!)

Saturday afternoon I took the kids to CVS to buy Father's Day cards & gifts for Larry. Each of the kids picked out a card and scoured the store for something special for dad. It was pretty cute to see what each of them picked out.

Sunday June 19--Father's Day
This morning, the kids came to the bedroom before Larry & I even got up to bring his gifts to him. Savannah gave Larry a card she had made and a Diet Coke with a Reese's PB cup. Samuel gave him a 2 liter Diet Coke and a can of squirty cheese & some Ritz crackers with his card. Sarah gave him a card and 2 cans of Silly String---so that they could have a silly string fight in the front yard tonight! And boy did they!

This was before...notice their joyful smiles & their hands tucked neatly behind their backs--they were already armed & ready to start shooting the string!


and after--notice their joyful smiles, clothes covered in silly string & their empty cans! ha ha!

A few days ago, I asked Larry what he wanted for his Father's Day supper. I won't type his first request....after all, it's the same thing he requests for every gift giving holiday....and it's not food. ha ha! But after that, he got serious & told me that he wanted to grill bratwurst. So that's what we had tonight for supper.
We are very lucky folks! A couple months ago, the rent house behind our home became vacant. The tenants left behind a lot of things -- including a gas grill. We have wanted one for years so we kept our eye on this one, sitting lonely in the carport of the empty house, for several days. I finally called the homeowner & asked if we could buy it. He sold it to us WAY CHEAP! I was so thrilled to finally put the grill to use tonight! It worked great & we are tickled to have it!!! God provides in fun ways sometimes!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. What is your favorite summer time activity?
You're going to laugh when I say this.

My favorite summer time activity is sleeping.

Told ya that you'd laugh! Seriously, my most dreaded part about returning to school/work in the Fall is having to give up sleeping late. And the funny thing is, I don't really sleep LATE. But having to get up at 6am the rest of the year makes 8-9am during the summer seem really indulgent! And you better believe that I take an afternoon nap every day that I get a chance during the summer, too!!

2. Do you have one laundry soap you stick to, or do you buy whatever's on sale?
My favorite is Gain original scent. I love the way it smells & it works well. But there are VERY FEW coupons for Gain. And it doesn't often go on sale. And since I am a coupon user & a sale shopper, I often end up buying some other kind of laundry soap simply because it's on sale or I have a coupon. But every chance I get, I buy Gain!

3. What is your favorite dinner to make in the summer?
Veggie/feta pasta salad. Yummy & healthy! But we JUST got a gas tank for our grill (that we just got back in the Spring) so I'm anxiously looking forward to grilling all summer!!! Can't wait to use it Sunday night for the first time---Father's Day!

4. Do you have any talents?
Oh yes. I can survive on little sleep, juggle the schedules of 5 people all at once, break up arguments, entertain a toddler, balance the checkbook, organize the pantry, cook a meal and have a phone conversation all at one time. I am a mom!

5. If you could instantly be an expert in something, what would it be? Why?
playing piano --- I think it's beautiful & have always wished I could magically have the talent to play effortlessly without years of hard work to learn it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer: Day 16

Thursday June 16

Great day. Worked at the preschool & ran a few errands. Came home & consumed every form of carbohydrate I could get my hands on. Hmm....PMS much? Seriously, I know you all wanted to hear that. ha ha!

Today made day 4 of the "5 Day Club" Savannah & Samuel are helping with. I am WOWed by the pictures our youth pastor is posting on Facebook nightly. I love love love seeing our youth kids walk outside of their little bubbles (you know, the bubble where everyone they know is white & Christian) and reach kids in the community for Christ. I love challenging them in a 'safe' environment where there is still supervision & a little bit of a safety net to catch them should they panic & fall. I love that it changes them & will give them something to draw from when they go back to school in the Fall & face kids who are different from them....physically, emotionally, spiritually. So proud of my kids. Here are a few pictures I 'stole' from our youth pastor's FB page. I'm betting he won't mind. (But just in case, I'm going to link him to this post so he can see that I stole them. Hmm....sorry about the PMS comment above Mark. ha ha!)

Samuel & a friend (Yep, it's a weeeeee bit hot in Texas right now.)

One of the kids attending the club working on their craft project today.

The teaching team (that's Savannah in the middle with her hair flying) teaching the kids one of the songs.

Savannah leading one of the stories or memory verses....I can't tell which.

part of the crowd --- I loveeeeeee the diversity! That's Savannah in the middle in the Coca-Cola shirt.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow for several reasons. I get to visit with a friend who is making a trip to Uganda with Parental Care Ministries soon. I get to hang out with one of my favorite kids (Sarah!) and I get to talk on the phone with a friend I've been waiting to meet for a long time while she shares with me all the cool things God is doing in their lives right now! Can't wait! Plus tomorrow is the final day of 5 day club & I know the older two kids are going to come home PUMPED!

Looking forward to the weekend ahead!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer: Day 15

Wednesday June 15

This morning, Sarah & I took Savannah and Samuel to the park where they've been serving this week in a VBS sort of program. We watched as little children filled the playground, trickling in one or two at a time, no parents or adults in sight. It was shocking & heartbreaking to see little bitty kids show up at the park on the "wrong side of town" without supervision. I guess we all know this happens, but seeing it in person is a little overwhelming. I'm so proud of the kids in our church youth group going there to serve in this capacity all week.

After we left the park, we went to visit a friend who had a baby yesterday. I am so very blessed to have so many ex-students' parents for friends. I have always made it a point to communicate well with my (preschool) kids' parents throughout the year. Often, by the time the year is over, I feel like we are far more than just a teacher/parent. The lady who had the baby yesterday is one of those parents. Such a treat to have her in my life! Congratulations Stephen & Ana on that sweet little boy! He is beautiful.

When Sarah & I left the hospital, we went to the grocery store to pick up a few things they have on sale this week. We came home afterwards & just hung out the rest of the day.

Tonight I got to sit & visit with the other 2 ladies I teach the 4 & 5 year old Sunday School class with every week. Rachel & I have been partnered for a couple of years now, but this year, we 'inherited' a very large group of kids, so the teen girl who had been working with them in the 3 yr old classroom moved up with them. And boy are we glad she did! Madeline spent her senior year of high school working with us and a very crowded class full of pre-k kiddos every Sunday morning. What an honor to work with such a mature & talented young lady! We took her out for a special graduation dinner tonight & had some fun girl time at a new local restaurant. She's going to start college this Fall and we are so proud of her! Thank you for being our 3rd set of hands this year, Madeline!

My days may not always be thrilling, but that's my Wednesday for ya!