Sunday, December 21, 2008
When I walked in the dining/living room and saw Chistopher sitting on his stool, I could tell something heavy was weighing on his mind. When I asked him what was wrong, I was completely caught off-guard by his response. Now, most children ask where babies come from - and when that question comes, I think I'll be ready for it. But Christopher's question on this day pulled at my heart-strings in a way I could never begin to explain. He wanted to know WHY his baby wasn't coming. I tried not to read too much into the statement and asked which baby, each time he pointed at himself and said emphatically, "MY baby!" His eyes pleaded with me to help him understand. When I finally mustered the courage to ask him if he meant the baby that was in my tummy (a year ago), he nodded his head. As my heart broke with his, I wrapped my arms around him and reminded him that baby went to live with Jesus (for those of you who don't know, we had a miscarriage at the end of December last year). He then asked, "Why won't Jesus give my baby back?" As tears filled my eyes, I could only hug him in response.
When I shared this with David later, his eyes filled with tears. Christopher's words today were echoing the very same questions we have been asking God! Christopher wants a little brother or sister so bad. He loves playing with Cobh, the little boy we watch on the weekends. Christopher is so loving and patient with Cobh, and when Cobh is hear - they act just like brothers!
We would also love to have more children. We have been trying again since the miscarriage, since we now know that we can get pregnant. But, for reasons we may never know, God has not yet blessed us in that way again. Due to financial constraints, we aren't ready to adopt again. And we don't think Christopher's quite old enough to understand the fostering process. We went through the classes to be in the foster-to-adopt program a couple years ago, but didn't complete the process. David's mom gave us some very wise advice - she said that Christopher might watch these other children come and go and wonder if one day he'd have to leave, too. It's hard enough on the foster parents to watch the children leave, but I don't want Christopher to ever worry that his place with us is in any jeapordy!
Please pray with us that God will grant the desires of this little boy's heart (as well as the hearts of his Mommy & Daddy) and bless us with a little brother and/or sister for Christopher! We know God CAN do it, we believe He WILL do it, we just don't know WHEN it will happen! I hope that I don't have to wait, as Sarah & Elizabeth in the Bible did, until I'm past the age of child-bearing, but that day is drawing ever closer! However, if that's what God choses to do, then I know He will bless us beyond anything we could ever imagine and that He has a great plan in doing so (just as he did for Sarah & Elizabeth)! :)
Saturday, December 20, 2008
On the other hand, others have asked Christopher the same question and he replies that Santa is bringing him a "Monster Truck" - again, no clue where this is coming from! We've never seen monster trucks, to my knowledge, never played with monster trucks, never even talked about them...and yet, on the days when Christopher thinks he might be on Santa's Nice List, this is what he is convinced Santa is bringing! It's funny what these kids come up with! I just love how his little mind works sometimes! :)
As an update to our lives...David had outpatient surgery this week. Nothing major...just something that needed to be taken care of - so he did while he was able to take time off from work. Needless to say, it hasn't exactly been a fun week around our house. Besides the normal complications of surgery (soreness, pain, & inability to lift anything over 10 pounds), David is allergic to Codeine (the pain drug of choice among most surgeons). We made certain at every turn they knew about his allergy, so the doctor gave him Percocet (sp?) - well, all was fine the day of the surgery, but the next day, David couldn't keep anything on his stomach. Come to find out, Percocet is a derivative of Codeine! Imagine that! So, once we switched to Tylenol and the Percocet got out of his system, things were better! Christopher was so concerned, that he asked his teachers several times, "Will you pray for my Daddy?" How precious it is to see his complete faith in God to make all things better! Whenever something is bothering him, he always asks us to pray about it...and when we do, you can tell it gives him comfort. I think this is what the Bible refers to as Child-like faith! I need to work on that in my own life! :)
By the way, for those of you wondering if you got cut from our annual Christmas letter list, the answer is no! :) The quite honest fact is that I have yet to write it. There are many reasons for this. I could blame it on being busy, which I have been - but that would not be the whole truth. The real reason is that I'm having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. This really bugs me, too! Christmas is my favorite holiday - but this year, I just can't seem to muster up whatever it is I need to feel jolly & merry! I'm usually chomping at the bit to put in my Christmas music - but this year, I was caught off-guard by hearing it on the radio before I even thought to pull out my Christmas CD's. I also usually start writing my Christmas letter in October - at least the first draft - because I just can't wait (and it's usually in the mail sometime around Thanksgiving)! This year, it was mid-December before I even thought about it! And when I did try to write it, the tone was so depressing, I couldn't stand it! Yes, we've had a rough year, probably the hardest year I've ever faced - but that shouldn't completely take away from the joy of the season...or the REASON why we celebrate CHRISTmas in the first place! So, what's wrong with me? I really don't know. I just pray that I find my "Happy Attitude" (which is what I tell Christopher to find when he gets grumpy - and he's SOOO much better at finding his than I am mine!) - and that I find it before Christmas! As for my letter, I've decided to make it a New Years' letter this time around - mainly because one thing I'm counting on is that 2009 will be a MUCH better year for us! :) So, don't worry...as soon as I find my "Happy Attitude" - or can at least fake it enough to write a letter that encourages rather than depresses, my letter will find it's way to your home - as long as I have your mailing address, that is! :)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
On Thursday, November 20th, Christopher had his very first school program. It was the most precious thing I've ever seen! They started by walking in while singing "God Bless America" - which has become Christopher's new favorite song, as he sings it all the time! They then sang several other songs, this video below is just one of them (the video was taken during rehersal just before the program):
After the program, there was a special Thanksgiving luncheon for the kids, their parents & grandparents. Since the rest of the school has their Grandparents' Day on a Friday, when no Pre-K students are at school, the Thanksgiving program was the also the Pre-K Grandparents' Day! Grandma Jansen joined us for this special day. Christopher is very blessed to have Grandma J living so close so that she can have such an active part in his life. These are the memories that Christopher will probably remember for the rest of his life!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Lately, Christopher has been almost obsessed with figuring out what is and isn't a bad word...and he has become the "Bad Word Police" as a result! Now, in my precious little 4-year-old's mind (and in the minds of most kids who go to FBA), "stupid" is a bad word. Thankfully, this is about as far as his concept of bad words go! :) And he is on a mission to clear this word from everyone's vocabulary!
A few months ago, we were at Grandma Jansen's house and Uncle Chuck was talking about the "stupid Tampa Bay Bucs" (which he happens to support - but was not currently happy with their performance)! Well, before any of us knew what was happening, a little four-year-old finger shot out and started wagging away...followed shortly by Christopher's rebuke, "Uncle Chuck, we do NOT say that word! That is a BAD WORD!" Now, for the first time I think, Uncle Chuck was rendered completey speechless as he tried to figure out just WHAT he had said! :) We informed him of the "s-word violation" and after a moment of processing it, appolgized to Christopher, which finally ended the slightly uncomfortable, but completely hilarious moment!
A couple nights ago, we were watching Law & Order when Christopher woke up with a bad dream. We let him stay up with us for a little bit and eat some dinner (he had fallen asleep shortly after we'd gotten home from school that day & slept through dinner time). Well, apparently one of the characters on the show must have said something that caught Christopher's attention - because he said, "Daddy, that guy on TV said a bad word. Can we pray for him?" This totally caught David off guard and at the same time completely blessed my heart! While David was trying to figure out how Christopher thought of that, I was remembering what happened a couple weeks earler...
I had gone to the public school where I used to work so I could deliver some Avon. As I was leaving, he art teacher was talking with me about some of the crazy things going on in the school. She was using some choice words - but whispering the ones the world considers inappropriate for children out of courtesy for the young ears with me. But, since our standards are higher than that, there were bad words she wasn't aware were bad, therefore she felt no need to whisper those words. I could hear the gasping in the back seat (we were car to car while talking), but thankfully he was respectful enough to say no more until the conversation was over. As I drove away, it was obvious that the discussion had troubled him. As he asked me, with deep concern in his voice, why that grown-up lady was using bad words - I wasn't sure what to say. The answer must have come directly from God's mind to my voice as I explained that the reason she used those words was because she didn't have Jesus in her heart & didn't know any better. Then I asked Christopher if he wanted to pray for her & he seemed relieved that I'd asked! :) So, right there in the car, we prayed for the art teacher's salvation!
As I re-lived this moment for David, my heart swelled with appreciation that Christopher has such a concern for others and such a belief in the power of prayer! And, I must admit, there was also a little pride that the impromptu lesson had such an impact on this precious gift God placed in our lives to guide and direct! :)
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I have been tagged by my friend Teri to share the following information with you:
- Where did you meet? In the singles group at church
- How long did you date? Officially...just a little more than a month, but we were friends for about 2 years before that...actually, when I think about it, we didn't really "date" - it was more like courting! :) We spent a lot of time together with our group of mutual friends from church...it was only in that month or so between our "first date" and our engagement that we were descerning the possibility of marriage. :)
- How long have you been married? 6 years this past September
- What does he say that surprises you? That I'm beautiful
- What is your favorite feature of his? His loving eyes, sweet smile, happy laughter, and his strong, loving arms (oh...was I supposed to pick just one?)
- What is your favorite quality of his? There are so many, it would take forever to list the all...but if you were to take a peek at the "Most Important Qualities in my Future Husband" list that I prayed over during my single years, you'd soon see that God created David according to that list...David loves God with all his heart, mind, & soul; he is the spiritual head of our household, he loves me unconditionally, and he is an amazing father! God is sooo good! :)
- Does he have a nickname for you? Sweetheart/Honey
- What is his favorite color? red
- What is his favorite food? Seafood, particularly salmon
- What i his favorite sport? Chicago Cubs baseball (it's the only one he watches)
- When and where did you first kiss? On March 30, 2002 after the worship service, at the fountain in the courtyard of our church, just after he asked me to marry him (and I said yes)! :)
- What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? Go to amusement parks...particularly Universal Studios, since that's where we started to see each other as more than "just friends"
- Do you have any children? Yes, Christopher (4) & we are praying God will bless us with more children in the near future! :)
- Does he have a hidden talent? He's very good at building things out of wood...he can imagine it and then create it - no plans or anything! He built the most amazing movie cabinet/book shelf I have ever seen - from nothing more than the image in his head and a few items from Home Depot! :)
- How old is he? About 9 years older than me (we're both at that stage where we'd rather not tell our actual age! Ha! Ha!) Let's just say we were both alive when man first walked on the moon...but only one of us was old enough to remember it! ;)
- Who said, "I love you" first? Don't really remember...but I love the fact that we both say it to each other several times during the day, and always before we leave each other's presence!
- What is his favorite type of music? Country & Contemporary Christian
- What do you admire most about him? That he usually thinks things through before acting - he RESPONDS to things, rather than REACTING to them like I sometimes do!
- Do you think he will read this? Ordinarily, I'd say no...but since he saw me typing it & I wouldn't tell him what I was typing, then probably yes! :) Love you, sweetie! ;)
I tag my friends Rhonda, Kelly, Kim, Cherie, & Amanda! I'll be checking your blogs, girls! ;) I can't wait to read all about you & your hubby! God bless!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Something else that I'm a little anxious to see how it goes is life under our newly chosen President of the United States. Not anxious, as in scared...because I know God is in control and there is NOTHING that Obama can do without God's permission! But rather, anxious as in uncertain. I've found it interesting how Obama made statements & decision that at the time were convenient for his campaign...and then changed those statements & decisions if they became inconvenient, expecting that Joe Public (not to be confused with Joe the Plummer) would not notice...which, apparently they did not. David, being the history buff that he is, has been sharing with me some rather uncanny similarities in things that Obama is saying to things Hitler said when he was first elected into office. I can only hope that America will not be so tolerant that we repeat the mistakes made in Germany several decades ago and soon become a dictatorship rather than a democracy!
The other thing that has me wondering what this new term will bring is realizing just how close we are to the end times. While I have always been interested in Revelations, the second coming of Christ, and the end times, I am not one to stand out on the street corner with a sign declaring the end is near. However, as I read scripture and see just how many prophesies have been & are being fulfilled, I do suddenly feel more of a sense of urgency than I ever have before. I can remember as a young teen, my grandfather shared with me that he thought Jesus would return sometime during my lifetime. Even though it initially excited me to think that such a grand event would actually happen in my lifetime, the thought now is rather sobering. I completely believe that no one will know the exact day and time of Christ's coming, and at the same time, I also believe that He gave us the signs of His second coming for a reason - so we could be prepared and reach others for His kingdom.
I do not know if we will be able to recognize & socialize with each other in Heaven as we do here on earth, but I sure don't want to get there and miss a single friend or family member...especially knowing that if they aren't with me, they are spending eternity in a place called Hell - where there is eternal darkness, blistering fire, and constant pain & suffering. I've often heard the saying that for Christians, earth is as close as we'll ever get to hell...but for those who reject Christ as their Savior, this is the closest they will ever get to Heaven. What that says to me is that as bad as things are here on earth, they will be a gazillion times worse in hell...and on the flip side, the best things on earth pale in comparison to how amazingly wonderful Heaven will be! Can you imagine walking streets made of gold, without the worry of someone knocking you over so they can rip it up for themselves? Can you imagine a world where there are no more tears, no more sickness, no more suffering, no more anger...only love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, & self-control? How amazing Heaven is going to be!!! Are you ready??
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Our first stop of the night is always at Grandma's for our only Trick or Treating experience. Please forgive the orientation of the video below...complete user error. Someday someone is going to make a fortune when they create a camera that automatically adjusts to the correct orientation when taking a video!
Christopher had a great time playing all the games - and he was quite good at the ones that involved throwing balls, bags, and other assorted items! Someday he's going to make a great pitcher! Of course, the best part of playing those games was the loot...
And of course, the eating of said loot...
Christopher spent quite a lot of time climbing up the inflatable slide and sliding down. Funny thing is I can remember not too long ago he was terrified of these inflatable playgrounds! He would not step foot in a bounce house, let alone a 10-12 foot inflatable slide! The boy is growing up! Once I showed him where to get on the slide, he just kept going in circles...if he knew we could have something like this in our backyard, we'd be in MAJOR trouble! Ha! Ha!
And who should we find at the inflatable slide, but the Preschool Director at Christopher's school! As you can tell, Christopher loves Miss Sherri!
Among other special friends we found at Hallelujah Night was Ra-Ra (Robyn) & "Uncle" Jeff and their dog Romeo! Romeo had his own booth where he showed off all the tricks he knew and let the kids hold him for a picture. Christopher actually got to help with some of Romeo's early training in preparation for Hallelujah Night! Fun!
We quite literally closed down the night at Hallelujah Night at 10pm - and the only one NOT ready to go home was Christopher! He really got into Hallelujah Night this year and I'm so glad it was on a Friday Night so we could let him stay up late and enjoy all the fun he wanted!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
My Mother-In-Love (hearafter referred to lovingly as Mom J) & Sister-In-Love (Betsy - David's middle brother's wife) have been coupon queens for years. And bless her heart, Mom J has been passing coupons along to us for the last 6+ years we've been married. We've used a few here and there - but when I was working, David did most of the grocery shopping - so consequently, not many coupons got used because he usually stopped on the way home from work and the coupons were almost always here at the house. But not anymore! Now, thanks to my handy-dandy coupon holder (which I'm quickly outgrowing, by the way) - those coupons now get filed away and taken with me to the grocery store on Sundays!
I know, I know - Sunday is probably the worst day in the world to go shopping because everybody and their brother is also at the store doing their weekly shopping...but, in some strange way, there's something fun about that because you never know who you might run into while doing your weekly shopping! :) I actually choose Sundays because that's when the paper with all the coupons comes out! One less stop I have to make during the week.
Today, I was so proud of myself! My first stop was Costco, where I saved $30.50 with coupons on stuff we use anyway (some of which will last us a long, long time...but that's OK because it's non-perishable)! :) Then after a brief stop at the bank to deposit my Avon monies, I headed off to Publix. I am so very thankful for the BOGO tip! If you find the Buy One Get One Free sales at Publix & have 2 coupons (each good for $ off 1 item), then you can use both! For example, Kellogg's cereal was on a BOGO sale this week at Publix & I had two $1 off 1 box coupons. One box of cereal is usually about $4, but today, I bought 2 boxes of cereal for $2 - that's a dollar a box! Gotta love that! I saved $63.89 at Publix today (could have been more if I'd remembered to use the $5 off $25 coupons...oh well, I'm learning!), again, savings were on stuff we use anyway! My rule is I don't use a coupon unless it's something I'd buy anyway...and I'm trying to use them on BOGO sales as much as possible! :) The lady at the checkout wasn't too happy with me & she was obviously not very familiar with coupons. It took a long time to check out because she first took time before checking me out to study the coupons I'd have so she'd know what I had coupons for & then proceeded to find the coupon for each item I purchased (and considering I had a coupon for almost everything I bought today, that was a lot)! I just kept apologizing to the poor souls who showed up in line behind me...only to decide after a few minutes that they'd be better off finding another line! :) If I hadn't realized when I got home that I saved almost $100 today, I might never have clipped another coupon! But, the coupon bug has bitten! Think I'll be signing up for lessons from my couponing friends & family so I can save even more! :)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
I look at all my friends' blogs every day...and I know that feeling of disappointment when there's nothing new to read, and yet, I'm just as guilty! So, here I am trying to catch those who read my ramblings up on our life!
The first thing I have to share is that Christopher FINALLY had a fully green week at school! YEA!!! Up until now, he's been 3 green & 1 yellow (see my post on the Highs & Lows of PK4 to see what these colors mean). Then a couple weeks ago, he was home sick two of the four days - but got Green tickets both days. David and I decided that it might be the opportunity to follow through on his reward so he could see what was at stake if he earned 4 green tickets! Well, it must have done the trick...because he's now had FIVE green tickets in a row (4 last week and one today)! So, last Thursday, we drove up to Carvel and Christopher got to pick out his own ice cream (blue something-or-other) and add as many sprinkles as he wanted (they have a self-serve sprinkle bar)! We'll see if we can make it 2 full weeks in a row!
The next fun thing is Christopher is starting to learn sight words and recognizing them in text other than his special books from school. His favorite one (probably because you can find it in just about any story) is "the" - here's a video of him finding it on a page of his children's Bible (never mind the orientation of the book):
It was a very impromptu moment. We were relaxing on mine & David's bed just before bedtime & Christopher decided he was going to read us a bedtime story (which he almost always does from his story Bible - probably because he can read the pictures fairly well! Here is an example of him "reading" to us from his Bible:
Yes, he was got a little sidetracked by finding one of his sight words - he was SO excited! I hope he always stays this excited about reading!
Last night, Christopher and I had to fight off some monsters! It was a little after midnight and I had finally been able to settle down enough to just about fall asleep when I heard a terrified little boy calling for his mommy from across the house. I practically leapt from our bed and sprinted across the house to Christopher's bedroom (I'm sure it was quite the sight to see...thankfully, David was snoring soundly and there were no witnesses to my lack of agility)! Tears pouring down his face, sobs racking his body, I could tell it was a bad dream. I scooped him up in my arms and held him tight - he held me tighter. I asked him if he wanted to tell me about his dream. Between sobs, he told me it was about monsters and they were biting him! Poor kid! After awhile, he finally relaxed enough that I could lay him down, but his heavy breathing told me the fear was not gone. so I lay next to him - rubbing his back & running my fingers through his hair. When his breathing slowed down, I decided it might be OK to head back to my own bed. My actions were met with a very tearful "I wanna go you bed, Mommy!" I decided under the circumstances, it would be OK. So, I scooped up frightened little boy and his Cars pillow and headed back to our bed. Even nestled between Mommy and David, he still needed the reassurance of holding my hand to finally fall asleep.
We rarely let Christopher sleep in our bed - for many reasons, but partly because he is NOT a very good bed partner (bless his poor wife someday). For some reason, he always sleeps sideways - his head is almost always sharing David's pillow or somewhere on David's body...his feet (which are NEVER still) are on ME! Finally, around 5am, I had endured enough of the kicking and figured the crisis was over, so I again scooped up my little boy and his pillow and escorted them back to Christopher's bed. I think I got about 45 minutes of good sleep before the alarm clock went off this morning! Yawwwwnnnnn!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
If you have not already seen the movie FIREPROOF, I highly recommend you go see it as soon as possible. It is only supposed to be in theaters until Thursday, unless something happens (i.e. ticket sales) which causes the theaters to keep it longer! I personally think every person over the age of 12 should see this movie, particularly married couples and single adults who hope to get married some day. Some of the scenes are a little too intense for young children (nothing inappropriate, just intense emotional stuff), so if you have young or immature children, I suggest you get a babysitter.
David and I went with our Bible and Life Group (also known as BLG and Sunday School) today and it was amazing. Kirk Cameron plays the lead role - a firefighter who risks his life to save strangers, but isn't willing to put forth much effort to save his marriage. That is, until he embarks on a "Love Dare" from his father. This is one of those movies that takes you through the whole range of emotions! Be sure to bring your tissues, but also be ready to laugh. One of my favorite lines from Steel Magnolias says it best, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." There will definately be tears, laughter, and even some intense action drama for the guys!
This movie was made by the same people who made Facing The Giants. I haven't seen that movie, but I've heard great things about it, and if this movie is any indication, then I plan to see it first chance I get!
If you are interested in finding out more, you can click on a link in the "widget" above. You can see a trailer of the movie, or learn more about it. And if you get the chance, please take the time to see this while it's still in the theaters. I know, money is tight for everyone (we haven't seen a movie in the theaters since...hmmm, I don't know when - it's been that long!)...but this one is definately a must-see! :)
Friday, September 26, 2008
My absolute favorite sound in the whole world (without question or hesitation) is the sound of Christopher laughing. I've always loved the sound of children's laughter - perhaps that's because of the doll my grandmother gave me that would laugh when I threw her up in the air...or maybe just because that's how God made me. But, it's been something I've always enjoyed. And I don't know if it's because I have the joy and priviledge of being Christopher's mommy...but I find something extra special about his laughter. There's just such pure joy in it - no matter whether he's running and playing with his friends or being tickled by his Mommy & Daddy (which is exactly what I did for the sole purpose of getting his laughter on video)! Maybe you just have to hear it for yourself (click the arrow below):
Yes, he's still sucking his thumb...but mostly when he's tired or watching TV. Unfortunately, we can't throw his thumb away like a pacifier...but we're working on eliminating this habit of his. We even tried that stuff you put on the nails to keep him from sucking it - didn't work. Oh well...we'll keep working, and with any luck, he'll be free of this habit before he goes to college! Ha! Ha!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Well, I'm back in the world of ebay...that great online garage sale! I sold some things on there about a year ago...I thought that I was going to make a full-time income from it. I'm figuring out that I'm either too honest or not smart enough to do that. But that's ok, I found AVON to help me with that! Now I'm working from home most of the time (except when I step in as a substitute teacher) and LOVING IT!
I'll be adding things over the coming days, too - so check back if you feel so inclined! :)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I also think I live vicariously through them...as if watching the show alone would make me lose weight! ;) Actually, I have many, many times thought about signing up for the show (even printed and filled out the application a couple times)...but there's just a few things that hold me back:
- I couldn't be away from David and Christopher that long (especially without talking to them - though that actually might be harder).
- There's no way I'd want to get on a scale where the whole world could see what I actually weigh...I don't even like getting on the bathroom scale with just me looking!
- I'd never survive a Bob or Jillian workout - I'm too big of a wimp. Even though I know that's exactly what I need (someone urging me along - though I respond better to loving encouragement than the yelling and name calling Bob & Jillian do - especially Jillian!)...and though I might rise to the occasion with a quarter mil on the line...chances are higher that I'd break down and cry like a big fat baby! Which leads me to...
- I hate crying in front of people, so crying in front of the world on national TV would be total humiliation for me (maybe not in the moment, but certainly when I saw myself on TV later)!
That said, as I watched the people this past Tuesday night get up on the scale and weigh in for he first time, I realized that I would fit right in there with them. That is certainly not something I'm proud of...and something I can't believe I'm putting up here on the blog. But, God has really been speaking to my heart a lot lately about pride and humbling myself. Our women's Bible study at church (RefresHer) is doing a study on praying God's way...and guess what one of the blockers is to our prayers being heard...yep, PRIDE! In some of my conversations this week...what came up? Yep, PRIDE again! Then tonight in church, our pastor talked about...what else? PRIDE! And we're not talking about a group of lions here, either! It's that nasty stuff that comes before a fall (according to the Bible)!
Now, I never really thought about myself as a prideful person...but then again, I guess no prideful person really does. But, God has really been teaching me some lessons in humility lately. And I need to humbly admit that I need to lose weight. I know that's no big shocker for anyone who knows me...but it's a hard thing for me to admit...and even harder for me to deal with. My weight has always been a touchy subject for me. I have been overweight most of my life. I think the last time I was really thin was when I was 4 years old...and that was an odd year, I guess. I was a big baby (9 pounder), chunky toddler, husky child, overweight teen...well, you get the picture. There was one time in my life where I lost about 80 pounds and actually achieved the weight my driver's license said I weighed (closest I ever came to thin in my adult life)...unfortunately, those pounds quickly found me again and even invited their friends along...and being the nasty guests that they are, those friends moved right on in!
I'm not asking you to be my food police...I've had way too many of those in my life and I know that only leads to resentment and unhealthy habits on my part. What I am asking is that you pray with me about this issue and ask God to heal the parts of me that cause me to overeat and for Him to give me a desire for healthier foods (and less of them)! I have literally tried every diet known to man (including the sour kraut juice diet and even starvation) and I know that's not God's plan...that was ME trying to correct the problem in my own strength...otherwise known as PRIDE! I realize that I can only overcome this by the grace of God and I need your prayer support to get through it! :) Thank you for taking the time to read through my ramblings and for your prayers! That means a lot to me! God bless you!!!! :)
P.S. Amanda, if you're reading this...sorry for all the !!!'s! ;)
Friday, September 19, 2008
The group is lead by my friendJennifer P., whom I've known as long as I've lived here. We both started teaching the same year at FBA and our lives have been intertwined in one way or another since that day...something for which I am very grateful! We have shared both joy, uncertainty, and sorrow together...always willing to pray for one another.
Another precious friend, Jennifer G., is also one of the leaders in this group. She has a sweet little boy named Andrew who is one of the cutest little guys I've ever seen!
My dear friendTerri also gets to be a part of this group this year. We were both teaching up until this year, so this is a first for both of us. Terri's oldest son Hunter is one of Christopher's best buddies, she also has a precious little baby boy, Nathanael.
I was so blessed to know so many of the women in the group - I was so afraid I wouldn't know that many people (and the only ones I knew would be there were all leaders). If you know me, doing anything new, no matter how much I want to, is always hard for me. I'm just so uncertain, not sure if I fit in, that sometimes I hold back and miss out on so much. But, as I walked in the room, I saw some ladies from a Creative Correction class I took a few months ago through our Ladies Ministry and they invited me to join them at our table.
We had some time to get to know each other, heard the beautiful testimony of one of the members, and listened to a message from MOPS International. I am so looking forward to going back in a couple weeks! I've always longed to do "Mommy-things" like this and I enjoyed every single minute of it! If you have the option to join a group like this, I hope you will! Words alone are not adequate to tell you how much my heart was blessed by attending this group...you may just have to experience it yourself!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Ok...so it's not exactly Gone with the Wind or even Charlotte's Web...but it's a start! What I love is that he's so excited to read! He read it to me several times, then he read it to Daddy when he came home! We've always known he would be a reader...he has held books and studied the markings in them (we know those markings as words) since he was an infant! I have always been amazed at how he would just hold a book (even one without pictures) and look at it for hours, turning pages...if you didn't know any better, you would have sworn the boy was reading! Below, you can see an actual page from the book he read above:
As you can see, his High Frequency Word this week was "MY" - all other words had a picture to help him figure out the words. One step at a time!
Unfortunately, all is not gold in the world of Pre-K4! Each day, the kids come home with a ticket that tells the parent what kind of behavior they had that day. Green is the best, Yellow is not so good, and Red is the worst (and results in a visit to the Pre-K Director and a call home). Thankfully, we haven't experienced any red tickets (and if Christopher knows what's good for him, we never will)...but, sadly, we have seen a few yellow tickets. These are not acceptable...and David and I both believe in the philosophy that if you get in trouble at school, you also get in trouble at home! Having been a teacher, I know how important it is for teacher and parent to work together to correct behavior. Thankfully, Christopher has a wonderful teaher this year and we are most certainly working together! Please pray that God will give us wisdom to know how to handle each situation that arises as we seek to guide Christopher to be the man God wants him to be.
This week, I had the blessing of talking with the mom of a child who was in my Kindergarten class eight years ago. This child also had some behavior issues that his mom and I worked very closely to correct. As I talked with his mom at a Homeroom Mom's meeting this week, she shared with me that this child had no more behavior problems since that time and is now a straight-A student in 8th grade. It blessed my heart not only to get the update on C.A. but it also gave me hope with Christopher!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Anyway, one night David read a story to Christopher and then left him with the book. He went back to check on him a few minutes later, then came and asked me for my camera. Then he brought this picture back to me!
Christopher had fallen asleep on top of his book & didn't move...even when I removed the book from under him! I'm lovin' it!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Middle school was a little bit of a change for me, I've always taught elementary grades - but I've been around the older kids at church and such. All the same, it was a little intimidating the first time I walked into the room and realized they were my responsibility for the day! The middle school principal came in at the beginning of the first few periods to make sure that the kids remembered that when the tardy bell sounded, they were to be in their seats and completely silent...and much to my amazement, they were! Then, he would introduce me as their sub for the day and would leave me to do my job.
During the second period of the day, the school had its first fire drill of the year. I didn't have a class that period, so I simply had to walk out to where the kids were. This is was the most amazing thing I had ever witnessed. I watched these kids, Kindergarten to 12th grade, walk silently (single-file, no less), to their appointed place on the field. Even the teachers were silent - no reminders to get in line, no asking the kids to be quiet...they didn't need to! I was totally and completely blown away! I never would have believed it possible if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes!
The best part of the day was the first group of 8th graders that came in my room during 3rd period. You see, I taught many of them when they were in Kindergarten (which was also my last year teaching at FBA). It was great to see how some of them had grown up - to see how some had changed so much, and others really hadn't (except they are taller now)! That class was a lot of fun...and they are still SOOO good!
My last class, also a group of 8th graders, was my toughest...and yet, still nothing I couldn't handle. The other classes had been so wonderful, I was begining to think I had stepped into some sort of fairy tale. But these rambunctious teenagers brought me right back to reality!
Usually, on the first day of school (when I was a regular teacher), I would tell my class that I could be one of two kinds of teachers - either nice or mean - and it all depended on their behavior. If they listened and followed directions, I could be really nice. If they didn't, well, it was not a pretty sight! I didn't feel the need to make this statement all day...until the last period of the day! It was obvious they had no intentions of settling down unless I made them...so, I made my "two kinds of teacher" speech. When I got to the good teacher part, one girl piped up and said, "I choose that one!" I told her that was a good choice, and reminded the class that they chose the type of teacher by their behavior...and also reminded them that Mr. Mac (the principal) had told me that if anyone gave me any problems, all I needed to do was send them to his office. I really didn't need to say more! Respect for authority is a BEAUTIFUL THING!!!!
Now, as much as I love my precious son, I do realize he has a tendancy to get into trouble if the opportunity presents itself...and in public school, I learned while teaching there...it presents itself quite often! When I was told as a 1st grade teacher that using profane language (words that, if used in a movie even once, would qualify it for an R-rating!) was NOT a discipline issue, I knew something had gone terribly wrong with our public school system! I want my child to have the best education possible...but there are some things I hope he NEVER learns to do (such as taking the Lord's name in vain & using profanity). And so, unless something changes, I can't see that my child will ever have a public school education.
Being a product of the public school system, I never thought it was bad and always believed that's exactly where my child would go when the time came. But, you learn a lot when you see things from the inside...and what I saw from the inside of our public school system is not pretty! That's not to say that private school is always the answer, or even always the best, but for my child at this place and time, it is. As long as God leaves us here and provides the ability to do so, our child (and hopefully someday childREN) will attend FBA and/or be home-schooled!
Wow! I really didn't mean to go off on that tangent there...I really just meant to talk about my day as a middle school teacher-for-a-day! Sorry for that - let me step down off my big ole' soapbox before I really get started! Oh, me! ;)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
As a teacher, I knew better than to leave it at that - so, after a little more probing, I found out that they colored a picture, sang songs, played "I spy with my litte eye," and ate "snack" ("We didn't eat lunch, Mommy - we ate snack!"). Oh, how I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to watch him on his first day! I just can't believe he's so big already! Ok...now I might cry! Sniff! Sniff! Anyone got a hanky? (wink, wink!)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I guess he was mainly worried that he would be stuck inside all day long! When I went outside to take some pictures, he quickly became my shadow. I had to send him back inside to get dressed (he was just in his undies) - but he made me promise to wait on him and not come back inside (knowing that if I came inside his outside play time was over)! I took a few more pictures and he got dressed in record time! As you can see in the video below, he had fun playing in the rainwater! This was in our driveway just behind our cars.
Of course, when I let Christopher do the measuring, it suddenly got a LOT deeper! Just watch the video below and you'll see what I mean!
Thankfully, it's not REALLY that deep - or we'd have a swimming POOL instead of just a water park! Hmmmm...I've always wanted a pool - but I prefer the man-made kind that starts with a hole in the ground which is lined with concrete!
Overall, we had very little damage...but, we did have one casualty...
David's computer! It would not boot up this morning and since mine works fine, we're not sure if it's because of the storm or it just died of old age! But, nonetheless, David's computer is kaput! He's been pouting all morning...even asked me if we could send our new a/c unit back so he could get a new computer!
Oh yeah...you don't know about the a/c unit yet unless you've talked to me personally! A few days ago, we realized our a/c was dying it's own slow death! It would run all day, but wasn't cooling the house. We had the repairman out last week to see if he could fix it - and he confirmed what David had pretty much figured out, we needed a new unit. The repairman said that usually a/c units last about 10-12 years in FL & ours was 15 years old - so we got a few extra years out of it...not that it helped us that much right now! So, yesterday, just before FAY came to town, the guys spent the day at the house putting in our brand new $7,000 a/c unit! OUCH!
So, needless to say, our bank account is taking quite a hit right now. Not sure where money is coming from to take care of things...but God knows and it's all in His hands anyway!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Over the weekend, David and I had done lots of talking and praying about this decision, and were leaning toward me taking the substitute teacher position, but still had some uncertainties. It would be nice to have the regular schedule the Pre-K3 Aide position would offer - just three halfdays a week. But, I already had 2 events on my calendar in the next couple of weeks that would mean taking those days off (of course they fell on the days I'd be working). I had also been looking forward to attending MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) at my church, which meets on the 1st & 3rd Thursday of every month. There were other concerns, too - which were confirmed during my meeting with Mr. Rider.
When I walked into Mr. Rider's office this morning, he asked me about the Pre-K Aide position - so, I told him pretty much what I'd told April. He shared with me some additional information about the Pre-K Aide position that I didn't know (which turned out to be just the piece of the puzzle I needed to make the right decision) and said that selfishly, he would really like for me to be a substitute teacher because that was his greatest need - but like me, he didn't want to step outside of God's will. He suggested we both pray about it for 24 hours and asked me to call him in the morning to let him know where I felt God was leading me. He also said he was pleased to have me on board! :)
After I left his office, I called David and told him about my meeting. As I was sharing with him about my meeting, it became abundantly clear what I needed to do. Just in case, we decided to pray on it until after lunch (which we met for at Longhorn). After that time of prayer, I realized there really was no need to wait the full 24 hours - that peace I'd been seeking all along finally came. After struggling with the decision for several days, it was finally clear that the position I set out to apply for really was the one that God had for me. My roller coaster has finally come to a complete stop (I think!) and, as all roller coasters do, it ended up right where it began! Whew! What a ride!!!!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
It started with a phone call yesterday. As I was out delivering Avon, I got a phone call from Diana V., a friend of mine who works for the elementary principal at First Baptist Academy (FBA) - which is where Christopher will go to school this fall. I'd put in an application to be a substitute teacher...and for all I knew, that's what the interview was for! So, after a check with Grandma J to make sure she could keep Chistopher, we scheduled my interview for 9am today. When I got home yesterday, there was a message on my phone from the administrator's assistant asking me to call back to schedule an interview. Thinking I'd already taken care of that, I didn't worry about calling back. Then at church supper last night, April (administrator's assistan), who is also a friend of mine, came up to me and asked if I'd gotten her message. I told her about Diana calling me and that my interview was already scheduled. She looked confused.
It wasn't until I arrived on campus today that things started to add up for me. I showed up in the main office and announced I had an interview for a substitute position. The receptionist went back to tell (I assume) Mr. Rider (School Administrator) - then returned to ask me who called. I told her Diana had called and she disappeared again. A few minutes later, Mr. Rider came out and escorted me to Linda Shaw's office (the elementary principal) for my interview and, along the way, mentioned that he'd heard my name in connection with an aide position. I didn't know how to respond, so I didn't.
When I entered the interview, I realized that I'd been in a women's Bible study with Linda Shaw a few months ago. We had a nice interview...during which she told me that she was offering me a 1st grade aide position with hours of 7:30-12:30 Monday-Friday. This would have been good...except that Christopher is only in school Monday-Thursday. But, I told her I'd talk it over with David and we'd pray about it. She asked that I let her know by the end of the day.
On my way over to the gymnasium where Grandma J and Christopher were playing with some of the other preschoolers from our church, I called David to give him the update. He said to talk it over with Grandma and see what she thought about keeping Christopher on Fridays. Grandma checked her calendar, but could only promise until the end of September or October. As much as I tried, I just couldn't come to a peace about it.
After Grandma left us playing in the gymnasium, another friend, Sherri, came in a bit later and we were talking. She was telling me that she put Christopher and his buddy Jack in the same class - she's the Pre-K Director at FBA. After more conversation, I learned there was a 3-day position open...which fit a little more into my schedule with Christopher and Avon. So, over lunch, David and I decided that I would turn down the 5-day aide position and see where God would lead.
It's getting late...so in the interest of making this already long story just a bit shorter, let's just say that after several more phone calls, which brought about twists and turns of their own, where we are now is that Christopher and I will show up at 9am on Tuesday morning (August 12th). They have free daycare for the staff kids during the week of training before students start. When we arrive this Tuesday morning, I'll get Christopher settled & go to the Pre-K wing, where Sherri and I will call April to let her know I'm there. When Mr. Rider is free, I'll go for an official interview with him, since he is the only one who can officially hire me. I've been recommended as the Pre-K3 aide by Sherri...but I also understand there was some disappointment that I would not be as available to sub...so, we will just have to see what God wants to do!
David asked me at dinner what I'd say if Mr. Rider told me that he really wanted me to be a sub, not an aide, and I said, "Well, I guess I'd just have to say, 'OK' - who am I to disagree with God's will? Not my will, but His be done! I know His will is far better than anything I could imagine - and he can see LOTS further into the future than I'll EVER be able to...or, I suspect, want to!
So...that's my roller coaster story! Now that my tale's been told, I'm headin' to bed! :) All this roller coaster ridin' has exhausted me! Ha! Ha!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
David and I decided that $1 per week, paid in 10 dimes, is what his allowance would be for now. He can choose how many dimes to put in each of the sections, but he must put some in each section of the bank, starting with church, then savings, and the rest goes into the store. We explained that this is a benefit of being a big boy and helping around the house. Christopher loves to help put away the silverware from the dishwasher, help with laundry, and help Daddy in the yard (nothing dangerous, of course - mainly pulling weeds and dragging dead tree limbs to a pile)! We told him that since he's such a good helper, he gets an allowance! We're hoping this will set him for a life-long respect for the money he earns and will teach him how to use his money wisely.
I loved the story our pastor's wife, Janet Wicker, told about how her Daddy used to give her and her brother their allowance. She said every Saturday night, he would sit down with a stack of nickles and count out their allowance (50 cents, I think). Then he would ask them how much of that they wanted to give to God and they would determine how much to put in their tithing envelopes to take to church on Sunday morning. She said she gladly put 2 or 3 nickles in the envelope - which set her up for a life long habit of giving cheerfully to God through His church. I hope this will happen for Christopher, too!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The party was a blast! We dressed in 70's attire (if you could), brought our favorite toy from the 70's (my mom would prbably be pleased to know I brought the Madame Alexander doll she gave me when my brother was born), watched 70's TV shows & commercials, and played the Newlywed Game. David and I came in 2nd place - just a half point behind Nina & PJ! If David had answered correctly on the question about how long it we waited from the time we met until the time we first kissed, we would have won! I couldn't believe he got that wrong - we've told everyone for six years how we were friends for 2 years before we even thought of each other as more than just friends...then he goes and answers ONE year to the question! At least he still remembers that it was when we got engaged! Personally, I think we should have gotten a half point for that (which would have tied the game) - but that's OK...I still got to take David home...so that was prize enough for me (wink, wink)!
I would love to post pictures of the party for you...but silly me left the memory card in the computer when I posted pictures from the Hyatt Coconut Point on Saturday...so even though I remembered to bring my camera, it did me absolutely NO good since I didn't have anything for it to store the pictures on! SO...I guess you'll just have to use your imaginations!
Well, it's getting late and I really should get to bed. Just didn't want another day to slip by without posting. :) Does this mean I've become addicted??? Hmmmm.....