Month: March 2013 (page 1 of 2)

Outdoor Education and Writing

My kids got the wonderful experience of going to our Outdoor Education program this week.  Grace LOVED it for many reasons:  1.  she got to learn lots of cool stuff  2.  she got to hang out with other kids all week  3.  she got to hang out with our awesome staff all week.  Ben was able to hang in there amazingly well, despite the long days.  It was such a blessing for them to get some time with other kids!  Thanks to our wonderful Outdoor Ed staff (Skywalker, Silverado, Diesel, Aqua, and Waldo), you guys ROCK!

Ben did the zipline for the first time ever this week!  (Don’t you love that he has on Crocs?  The perfect shoe to fall off of his feet while on the zipline.  Way to go, Mom!)
Grace also did the zipline for the first time.  She loved it!
On a completely different note, I am searching for some really great writing ideas for school.  I know that some of you reading this can point me in the right direction.  Here is the thing, writing with just one   child is very different from writing with a class.  All of those cutesy things we do in classrooms, really are practical right now for Grace and I.  I want writing to be fun, but also want to accomplish things in a timely manner and not waste unnecessary time on unnecessary things.  Someone throw some ideas at me, please!  (Oh, and let me clarify that I am wanting 4th grade ideas.)  Thanks friends!
Happy Thursday!  

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Church

One of the hardest things when you move, especially to another state, is finding a new church home.  (I know that I have said this before, but every Sunday reminds me of this harsh reality.)  I guess that I didn’t realize how hard this would be until we got here.  In my past life, I pretty much always had a connection to some church in every town I lived in.  (That is the perk of being a preacher’s kid!)

When I left for college, I went to ETBU, which is where my sister was.  She could tell me churches to visit, and I did.  Then I transferred to SHSU, and my parents were able to tell me which churches I should visit.  After Micah and I married, we moved to Conroe, and visited West Conroe Baptist where I knew both the Senior Pastor and Children’s Minister.  It became home instantly!  When our lives took us back to Huntsville, we went back home to UHBC thinking we would never leave again. Well…here we are in SoCal, and there is no one telling us “hey a friend of mine is the pastor at ________.”

It’s been tough.  Fun to visit lots of churches, but tough because I am ready to call a place our own.  I think the most interesting part of our search for a church home has been that I really have had to pray about what exactly I am wanting, needing, looking for.  I don’t think I knew.  Sad!  I know, but I am trying to be honest.  I have learned that I can’t look for a church based on what others think is a “good” church or the “right” church, but rather based on where the Holy Spirit is leading our family.  (Um, I think I have said before that I process things out loud, so please do not think that I am a super shallow person after reading this!)

So, this week we visited North Coast Church for the second time.  The kids love it, and I have left both last week and this week changed, ready for action, ready to dive deeper into the word.  I have hesitated to say that I like this church because it’s one of THOSE.  You know, lots of cool looking people, several venues to choose from, amazingly designed children’s area, preacher who wears flip flops and jeans…(let’s just pause for a moment there!)……………….okay, everyone still with me?!  Anyway, I did not want to like this church because of these things.  Not because I don’t think they’re cool, oh, I do, but because LOTS of people are there.  How could God really want me at a church like this when there are so many others that are “toned down,” not as big, more needy?  Well, I’m not sure why God is using this church in our lives right now, but he is!  We are going through the book of Genesis, and covered chapter 26 today.  Not one or two verses from chapter 26.  No, the entire chapter so that we had the entire context from which this story came.  Powerful!  Good stuff, the bible is GOOD STUFF, the BEST STUFF, and when someone preaches straight from it, it is GOOD!  Okay, I will calm down.  I think that the best thing so far is that there has been no “feel good” moments.  The sermon is not sugar coated.  I need that right now!  How about you?

Anyway, pray for us as we continue to seek God’s will for where we will go each week.  Remember, Micah serves full-time in ministry, and that means that our family serves right along with him.  We need a place where we can be filled and ready for the ministry that comes our way each and every day here at Palomar.  We want a place where there are people that God has prepared to help us grow our children and teach them the truths alongside us.  Pray with us.

And…here are my sweet children who got up and were out the door at 7:00 a.m. this morning so that we could make it to the 9:00 service.  (On a mountain FAR FAR away…is where we live.)   We would have been there about 30 minutes early, but today there was a road closed and we had to take a 30 minute detour!  So glad we left when we did.  (And we did all this without dad here to help!  Can I get a ‘”woot, woot!” for the mountainmomma today?!  Thanks!)  I guess that I should be honest and tell you that I bribed them with a trip to see The Croods!  LOL!  Yep, works everytime!  (The movie is really cute!)

I love these kids, even when they have mouths full of banana!  Don’t you just want to give them a big squeeze?!

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Just a Friday post

Today is Friday
And Micah is away
He went back to Texas
For a 5 day stay

The kids and I miss him
We don’t know what to do
We just lay around here
Crying, “boo-hoo-hoo!”

Guess we should go
Enjoy the beautiful day
The weather is amazing
Hip-hip-hooray!

So, we will get busy
Having some fun
Washing some clothes and
Getting chores done

We will enjoy our days
Having lots of good times
We love you, Micah!
So glad this all rhymes!!!!!!

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Sibling Rivalry

Do you have more than one child?  If so, you know exactly where this post is going!  SIBLING RIVALRY!!!!!!!  It’s natural, I know, but I don’t like it!  The second that I step away from the room that my children are in, I can hear it begin.  Someone touches the other one, and then the screaming begins.  How do you handle this my friends?

One of our biggest adjustments since moving, has been learning how to be with one other 24 hours a day.  Our lives Before California (b.c.  Ha! Ha!) were busy.  Not necessarily the good kind of busy (if there is a good kind of busy), but the “we are all going crazy” kind of busy!  I love that we don’t experience that anymore, and that our lives are much simpler, but we are still working on the “get along with one another” part.

I really would like your input.  Tell me how you pray for your kiddos in this area and how you talk to them about this.  (And…don’t anyone tell me about the t-shirt that says “this is our get-along t-shirt!”  LOL!)

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The Every Day and Dance Breaks

When I began this blog, I really did it in order for our family and friends to keep up with our life in California.  As we begin to get into a more “every day” routine, I find that I don’t want to blog because, I mean, who would want to read that?!  You know:

so, we had school today…we washed clothes today…i was really tired and wanted a nap but didn’t get one today…the kids argued today…

But, I am coming to realize that the “every day” is where our true happiness lies.  I love the mundane, routine kind of days.  I like just “hanging out.”  Those of you who really know me, know that I love to sit on your couch or mine and just “visit.”  (By the way, people in the West do not say “visit.”  We Southerners LOVE it though!)

So, I think my blog will continue to be my way of “visiting” with you.  I will write more.  I will not post only the fun, exciting things we do, but also our everyday things.

Today, we are having school.  We started a bit late, because I needed to finish a few things for Micah’s trip back to Texas tomorrow.  (Oh, yes, he is leaving us to go perform a wedding in Texas.  I am sad that we can’t all go, but we will be okay!  Okay, really, I am quite jealous, but I will work on it!)  Anyway, school is school, except that we can have random dance breaks!  I had music time/dance time in my kindergarten classroom, but it was nothing like our little dance breaks here.  (It’s much easier to get two kids to wind down after a dance break than 24!)  We were going to listen to some John Coltrane jazz after learning that he is from North Carolina, and when I turned on Pandora, Toby Mac was singing our FAVORITE song ever!  Me Without You!  Here it is…have yourself a little dance break, and enjoy the “every day!”

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Horse Lessons

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am not an animal person.  I mean, I tried to be one, but loving on animals just never really took for me.  I had a few dogs, several goldfish (I named each of them Sunshine), tried to have a cat (that was a tragic ending), and even got a guinea pig for my fist classroom (an even more tragic ending)!  It was just never meant to be.

Well, Grace seems to struggle with loving animals as well.  In fact, she is terribly afraid of dogs despite all efforts to help with this fear.  So, when we moved to the mountain, I was not sure how she would do with the horses.  The horses are very close to our house, and from the moment we arrived, she has walked right up to the fence and touched the horses with no hesitation.  COOL!  So, she started asking if she could take horse lessons, and Micah and I said OF COURSE!  This week, we had the first lesson!  Grace did amazing!  She was even able to guide the horse with no help from her instructor!  So proud of her!

And then there is Ben…no fear whatsoever!  He loves any and all kinds of animals, and has absolutely no fear of them.  So, he was hilarious when he got on the horse.  He is not able to guide yet, but he was having the time of his life!

The other kids here are taking lessons too!  Fun times!

Look at her go!
She was so proud!
Getting on for the very first time!
There’s Ben!  
He loved the horse!

I am so excited that our kids get to experience this!  I know that these lessons will be so great for both of them!

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How’s the Weather?

We live in San Diego County in Southern California.  This is the place known for the best weather in the country!  I would have to agree, however, I forgot to mention that we live on a MOUNTAIN in San Diego County in Southern California.  It is amazing how that one word, MOUNTAIN, can change so many things.  Especially the weather!

Here is what it looked like at my house exactly one week ago:

We had the biggest snow storm we have had since being here.  Lots of snow and ice!
Now, here is what the temperature was yesterday when I took the kids down to the dentist:
This was indeed the temperature in Escondido, which is not a mountain, but that is CRAZY!  It was actually about 75 degrees up on the mountain yesterday.  It is just wild to me that we had snow last week, and now we are wearing shorts and flip flops!  I have to admit, I actually like that we get to experience both!  It snows and lasts just long enough for us to like it, then the snow melts.  I don’t have to get tired of freezing or dealing with ice everywhere.  Then it gets warm, but there is no humidity, so it isn’t miserable.  Yep, I am going to have to agree that the weather is the best!!!!!  Crazy, bipolar, but the best!
On another note, we went by Wal-Mart yesterday to grab some rubber boots for the kids horse lessons. (More to come on that.)  Ben really wanted to go and look at the Angry Birds shirts that they had.   So, we headed to the shirts and he saw several he NEEDED, then…he saw the ONE.  Yes, he saw the shirt he wanted.  Here is the conversation:
Ben:  Mom, I want that no-sleeve angry bird shirt!
Mom:  What?
Ben:  That one!  I NEED that one!  The one with no-sleeves!
Mom:  No, we need sleeves on our shirt.
Ben:  No mom, I NEED that one so that I can show my muscles to my friends!
“Mom, I need to put my shirt on right now!”
See those muscles?!
So, he wore the shirt immediately yesterday.  He was so proud of his new shirt!  I got his pajamas out last night after bath, and he had already put this one back on.  And…he is still wearing the shirt!  I am sure hoping that I can get the thing off of him tonight!  LOL!

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Just thinking

The sermon today was on justification.  How we live our lives seeking justification in and through just about everything we do, to just about every person we meet.  I had never really thought about it, to be honest!  However, this got me thinking.  (I typically try not to be a thinker!  LOL!)  The cool thing is, I never have to justify myself to Christ.  In fact, I can’t!  NEVER would be able to!  I am justified because Christ lives in me.  I know I can’t say it the way I heard it, and hope that I don’t confuse anyone with my words.  Just been thinkin’ about this!

I have been thinking about the words to this song today too, because God is working on me.  We used to sing the song “He’s Still Workin’ On Me” when I was little.  Do you know that one?  I’m glad I got to sing it loud and proud as a child because I do realize that He is never finished with us!  I want to “learn to let go and rely on the One who walks with me, as hard as it may be!”  How about you?

Bless the Lord by Laura Story

You give and take away for my good
For who am I to say what I need?
For You alone see the hidden parts of me
that need to be stripped away.

And as You begin to refine
I’m learning to let go and rely
on One who walks with me
As hard as it may be,
You’re teaching me all the while to say:

Bless the Lord, O my soul
All that’s in me bless Your name
Forget not Your power un- told
not Your glory or Your fame
For You came to heal the broken
to redeem and make me whole
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

What have you been thinking about?

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Grace’s Birthday Bash: Part 2

So, her ears were pierced, we had some fun at the mall, visited Toys R Us, and had a birthday dinner.  This is where she thought the partying ended.  Well…there was more to come!

Little did Grace know that Micah, myself, and several of our staff had been working diligently to get everything in place so that she would have the surprise of her life!

We started the night before by making her cake and some cake balls for the party!

I got this idea for a sprinkle cake off of pinterest!  Fun!
I could not have made this happen without our sweet friend, Ashley!  (Thanks for the photobomb, Chase!)
Lookin’ good!
Yay!
Let’s be real!  It was fun, but we made a MESS!!!!!  Thanks Zach and Katie for letting me go crazy at your house!
I headed home late that evening, but left everything for our awesome friends to take care of the next day!  Our friends set up blacklights, got the food table ready, got the sound set up, and got all of the glow sticks ready for the surprise!  Here is how it went:
The perfect entry!

Glow sticks everywhere!

Dance like you mean it Noah!

Cool shirt!

Neon sisters!

Birthday girl is glowing!

Sydney!

Dance girl!

Food table.

Hollywood even made an appearance!

So much fun!

The whole crew!

Wooo!

After party entertainment!

And after party discussions.

Brenda and Grace were twinsies!

The Eddings!

The Morrisons!

Miss Jessica

Chase and Charity (soon to be Hartley!)

The Harris’
Our family!

Dani and Lindy

Mr. Sean

Pancho!
We could not have asked for a better day to celebrate our 10 year old!  Our camp family made her feel like Queen for the day!  They showered her with gifts and lots of love!  We can’t thank them enough for joining in on at 10 year old birthday party.
I went in to check on Grace after she went to bed, and this is what I found:
The perfect nightlight to end the evening!

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Grace’s Birthday Bash: Part 1

Grace turned 10 this week!  Boohoohoo!  Double digits, friends!  Boohoohoo!

Okay, enough wallowing in my sorrows, we must get on to the fun part!  So, as I was saying, Grace had a birthday this week!

Since moving, we have had many ups and downs regarding leaving our friends and family in Texas.  Things like birthdays seem to make us miss all of them so much more.  In the past few weeks, Grace had been really struggling with the fact that her friends from Texas would not be here to celebrate her birthday with her.  I knew that we were going to need to do something really fun, in order for her to realize that her California friends and family love her too!

So, the planning began. We had told her last year, that she could get her ears pierced when she turned 10, so I knew that would need to happen if she was still interested!  (And of course, she was!)  Then I decided that we should try to pull off a SURPRISE party!  Who doesn’t love those?!  The best idea of all was to make the party a glow in the dark party!  Don’t you just love blacklights and glow sticks?!  (Okay, yes, I am a child of the 80’s!)  So, here is how the day went.

First, Grace was treated to a birthday celebration at lunchtime in the dining hall!  Our staff is amazing and they make everyone a cake for their special day.  This was the equivalent to cupcakes at school for her!

Here is Grace with Ms. Hilda and Mr. Lane.  She even got a gift!

Here are our sweet friends:  Caitlin, Abigail and Noah.
Ms. Ashley made this awesome cake!

Right after lunch we headed for the mall to get her ears pierced.

Our first stop was Starbuck’s to get a little treat!  This is her friend Sydney, who lives on the mountain too.
Since they weren’t ready for us at Claire’s we walked around.  Grace just had to go into the candy shop!
Then we had a little fun in Justice!  Like the nerds?!
Next, we headed back to Claire’s where the most fun was had!
Excuse me ma’am, I “mustache” you a question!
Where do they come up with these glasses?!
Okay, so the girls weren’t the only ones enjoying themselves!

Can we say, Wizard of Oz?  Do you see it?
It was so much fun getting to be with the girls and watching them laugh and enjoy themselves.  Then things turned serious.  Time for the piercing!
A little nervous.
Smiling with the best dad ever!
Even happier with her great friend!
Dad, I’m gonna be just fine!
Getting marked up.
Does it look right?!
Here we go!  Look at her sweet daddy holding her hand!  Love that!
Looking at her ears for the first time.
And…they’re done!  She is cleaning them here.
Happy 10 year old girl!

My ears are pierced!

Grace could not have done better, and the ladies at Claire’s were amazing!  We wasted some time at Toys R Us, then headed to BJ’s for dinner.

Grace and Sydney with their new water bottles from Justice!  So fun!
She’s 10, can you tell?
Eating her birthday Pizookie.  (That’s a cookie in a small pizza pan with ice cream on top!)
This is the end to Part 1 of the birthday celebration!  So much fun!  Stay tuned to find out what fun we had later that evening!)

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