Saturday, July 28, 2007

Creative Kids

This Summer, as with each one for the past 3 years, my boys have gone to the library's Summer Reading Program. They look forward to this every year, and it always proves to be a great experience for them. They always have awesome activities and prizes and, of course, it promotes a literate Summer vacation and lifestyle. I love that aspect of it because it is another adult teaching them that lotsa reading is important!
This year, our librarian put some cleaned up garbage in front of groups of kids and told them to use their imaginations to build anything that they could. Here is what my boys and the 2 others in their group came up with...Introducing: The Robot King of Liberty....

How 'bout that imagination! They did such a good job that this fella was displayed in the front of the library for the month. Ty was the only one I could catch long enough to pose here, but Jacob and Caleb (our neighbor) were a part of building it, too. GREAT JOB GUYS!!
Sadly, SRP was over on Thursday and we sure will miss it.
Thanks for hangin' with me through a Momma-brag moment.
Have a great day everyone! :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Storm's A-Brewin'

So I went outside this evening to shirk my, ahem...take pictures of the storm that is coming in and I took this one.
What do you see?
Hang back with me for a minute and cloud gaze. I just want to see if you see the same thing that I do. No pressure, but I'd love for you to participate!
Have a great day!

You are about to feel better about yourself...

I was just poking around the blogosphere this morning and I came across this post written by Karen who lives across the pond :^). I think that what she writes speaks of truth that took me awhile to get to.
Nothing special going on around here. I have been cleaning and decluttering things this week which always makes me feel like I can breathe better. My next stop is my classroom, and lemme tell have no idea what an undertaking this is going to be. I am tempted, ~but fearful~ to post the before pictures just so you can see what I have ahead of me. Hmmm, maybe that will motivate me to actually get it done because I will *have* to post the after shot pretty soon, right?...Ok, here it is...with fear and trepidation I post...

Ok, just in case you missed it...this is my desk up close:

Yeah, how bout them apples? If you can beat my mess in your office/classroom, I dare you...NO, I triple dog dare you (what the heck does that mean anyway...triple dog?) anyway, I triple dog dare you to post on your blog.
However, if you are choking on your coffee at the sight of these pictures....well...just lie to me, it'll be alright.
Have a great day everyone! And don't forget to read Karen's post (link above).

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Back to the Drawing Board

So, today it's just me and the Pooze (Julianna). The boys are all off doing their man stuff and we are here trying to get caught up on the 50 million things that I have to take care of.
I hate that feeling of being perpetually behind. The feeling like everything around me has to be done no later than yesterday. Anyway, *that* is where I am.
I have begged God for a Type A know, ultra-organized, life planned out to the finest detail, practically perfect in every way kind of person...but He isn't giving in (or maybe I'm not).
Actually, my problem isn't in the scheduling/planning of it all, because let me tell ya, I can make a schedule or create a plan to beat the band. It is in the execution of said schedule/plan that my problem lies.
If you look in my planner (yes, I have one...actually, I have 3 if you're counting), you would think for a split second that I have everything under control, right down to watering the plants, until you looked around. My issue is that somewhere along the way, LIFE happens and it always gets messed up.
Ok, I will admit, "LIFE" may involve some minor self-indulgences like blog hopping when I should be doing the laundry as per my schedule, or reading my book when I should be searching for curricula, and that may be part of the reason that I live in Perpetually Behind Land, but that isn't always the case. Really.
As I mentioned a few posts down, I am learning to deal with the curve balls that are truly thrown my way with a gracious attitude, but half the time they wouldn't be such a huge ordeal if I had been where I needed to be in the first place...Is their anyone on my planet here?
So today, yet again, I am going against myself to ask God to give me the grace to get a workable schedule/plan going for the Crew and I. I will, no doubt, come up with something beautiful to behold that would make all of our lives much easier and more smoothly run. Things will work for about a week, and then the wonderous thing will collect dust on my desk until I have to start all over again in about 8 months. is that for hope? Seriously though, if I didn't think that our God was in the business of giving victory in the places where we have fallen (even the places where we have fallen a kajillion times), I wouldn't even be attempting this. God is a God of order and not chaos (1 Cor. 14:33) and while I know that I will probably never truly be a Type A (and I am not so sure I really want to be), I do think that he would be more glorified with a little more discipline in my life.
That being said, I am off to plan!
Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Happy 4th Birthday Andrew!

Yesterday was my *baby's* 4th birthday and we had a huge day. Right after he woke up we gave him his blueberry muffin birthday breakfast...He still looks a little unsure about the whole deal here:

After breakfast, we all got together to clean out my nasty-mobile, which was completely heinous and had to be done, birthday or not. Then we all showered and dressed to head out to lunch at Andrew's favorite restaurant, Moes (which happens to be one of mine too...YUM!).

After lunch, we headed up to the zoo where members could be a part of a Between the Lions live taping! How cool is that? I was just thrilled that it happened to land on Andrew's birthday. :)

Anyway, "cool" was probably a poor choice of words because it was several hundred degrees out with a humidity level that made you feel like you were in a sauna on steroids. We arrived early to ensure a good seat, but they wouldn't let us start the line for another 1/2 hour. Soooo, we looked around a little. Here is Andrew checking out the baby turtles:

Finally, after sweating our buttunski's off, we were seated in a blessedly air-conditioned auditorium which was only *supposed* to seat about 100, but since it seems that every zoo member out there showed up, we were packed in like a bunch of stinky sardines (See my purse there? That was my space for my rear-end....not good.) Anyway, once the show began, it was all worth it. We had a GREAT time!

Everyone was exhausted on the way home, including Momma, which is why I *had* to buzz through Starbucks despite almost rush-hour traffic. No addiction here, I swear.
Anyway, the poor little guy wiped out almost as soon as we pulled away from the zoo.

After a quick trip to Wally World (I hate that place), we buzzed home where it was a mad rush to get the pizza in the oven, open presents,

Eat our dinner, and then wolf down some Spiderman cake:

He had such a great day, but it wasn't over yet. I loaded up my sugar-crazed, over-tired boy and his sister and we headed out to see the movie Ratatouille. It was a really cute movie!

We got home around 9:30 and we all wiped out pretty fast. What a long, but wonderful day!
Have a great day everyone! :)

Contest @ 5 Minutes For Mom

Wow! Guess What?! Horizon Organic is giving away $300 worth of FREE dairy products in a contest over here!

I can vouch for how good (and good for you) their products are...not to mention the money you could save with milk being almost $4 a gallon nowadays!

~You oughta go check 'em out~

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Eye Opener

Oh, the best laid plans.....
Yesterday, I had lofty ideas of doing some housekeeping, starting work on reorganizing the classroom and grabbing a few groceries after a late lunch with friends. Sounds totally fab, right?Well, Ty woke up with his left eye completely swollen shut.
No-can-do on the house stuff or the lunch because, of course, there were no Dr. appointments and we had to do the dreaded "work-in", which is usually translated "wait for 3.75 hours before being seen". However, we were pleasantly surprised when we were seen almost immediately after we arrived. :)
The Dr. looked around in Ty's eye with his light, but couldn't see anything, then he flipped his eyelid (completely gross) and still nothing. He ended up putting some kind of dye into his eye and turning out all of the lights before he found a small scratch caused by some unknown debris. He went whitewater rafting/camping with Mark and the scouts over the weekend, so it may have been sand or something that had already made its way out...
Anyway, the Dr. informed us that eyes are one of the fastest things of the body to heal and that it should be fine by today. So, he put some antibiotic lubricant in it and pirate-patched him up.
Here is a shot of him watching from the risers as his brother did gymnastics last evening. He was really sick of being the spectator by this point. It looked so much worse than it actually was with that gigantor thing on there!

Despite having all of that go on, though, we actually had a nice day. I am slowly but surely learning to "roll with the punches" when unexpected things arise by recognizing them as the providence of God for that day. I am realizing that my attitude about everything directly affects the way each situation is perceived by the rest of my family.
I won't lie to you; Yesterday, when I saw Ty's eye, I was so disappointed that things weren't going to get done *yet again*. But, I realized that I was at a crossroads with my attitude. I could make the best of it, still showing kindness, joy and love to those around me....or I could be a complete stressed-out hag who was worrying about my 10 mile long to-do list making everyone around me want to poke their eyes out. I had to choose the former and simply trust God with the rest.
I teach my kids that having a sweet spirit and a gentle attitude will draw people to Christ way better than a harsh, pushy or self-serving one will (duh!), but God quickly reminded me that I am not just the teacher of His truth, but His appointed example even more.
Hope you all have a great day!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

In The Heavenlies

Have you ever had one of those weeks when you can just feel the battle going on over your head? Well, that was my week.
Now, I am not one to blame the enemy every single time I stub my little toe....believe me. In fact it is one of my top ten pet peeves when folks act like every minor thing that isn't going their way has to be coming from the devil. I do, however, believe that we have a very real and active adversary who is out to thwart the work of our Father in us, and I am becoming more keenly aware of some of his tactics.
I won't go into a lot of detail here in order to protect those that I love, but in a nutshell, there are a few people in my extended family that God is drawing in, and I can see that. It can be so painful to watch them have to get to their lowest respective points before they will look up, but I remember that it is all in God's hands. He has given me the opportunity throughout this week to share His grace and His holy Word with each of them separately and I am so humbly grateful. Nothing on this earth makes me happier than when I can be used of the Lord.
Knowing all of that, you can only imagine how the enemy is fighting. He has done so much to distract, hurt, twist and destroy God's work that it is flat-out bizarre in some instances.
After the hardest day in all of it, I was reading a book of poetry by Ruth Bell Graham in the evening while Mark was watching the news and it got really dark outside. Soon thereafter came a driving rain and wind that was whipping the trees so hard that Mark and I both noticed it at the same time.
I went back to reading my book and after a few minutes, turned to a page that had a picture of the most beautiful rainbow overlooking the mountains where the Graham's home is. I just stared at it for a minute, lost in my thoughts, when....and I kid you not...Andrew came running into the living room hollering about a "big wainbow". I got up and went to the front door and this is what I saw (that's the corner of my screen door there on the left):

I am not mushy, people, but this...THIS was from the Lord. I have no doubt that He placed this big beautiful rainbow right in front of His battle-weary child to remind me that He keeps His promises. Because He is so amazing and wonderful and kind like that.
I'll tell you that I checked out for awhile that evening to lock myself in my closet and worship, and I don't think anything in this world could have stopped me. There is a driving force so strong when God speaks so tangibly to His children that they have no other choice but to drop on their faces in awe. Have you ever experienced anything like that? If so, I would love to hear about it.
Oh, and about the honeybees in the previous post....I have no idea what I was going to say...LOL!
Have a great day everyone! :)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I have a blog post in my head swirling around like a bunch of honeybees desperate to get out, but I just cannot formulate the words. It is something that I am so passionate about and see such a desperation in, but my mind will not let me put it into any kind of order, and it's frustrating, so until I am able to go there, I wanted to tell you about my all-time favorite hymn.

I have always loved this song and felt that it sang my own heart's desire so perfectly, however, I didn't realize the history of it until very recently. Coming from a family of strong Irish descent, I was thrilled to find out that this song originated in Ireland around 800 A.D.

During a time of constant turbulence in the small town of Slane Hill, the songwriter, thought to be St. Patrick, penned these beautiful words after his defiance to an edict of the King. This edict stated that Christians were not to observe Easter in the traditional way of lighting candles the night before, because of a pagan holiday that was celebrated on the same day.

St. Patrick's defiance could have easily cost him his life, but his response to that was this beautiful example of worship that we have here today:

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me save that thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, thou my true word
I ever with thee, thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I thy true Son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Be thou my battleshield, sword for the fight
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight
Thou my soul's shelter, thou my high tower
Raise thou me heavenward, O power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and thou only, first in my heart
High King of heavem, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, after victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

Amen... Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Rooster and Rockin'

I love living in the country. Just this a.m. I looked out in my backyard to see a black cat that doesn't belong to me, but watches me drink my coffee frequently, a little rabbit cautiously nibbling, but out of view of the wiley black cat, and a ROOSTER! Where in the world did he come from?
I heard his cock-a-doodle-doo as I was sitting here and I realized it sounded awfully close (I think he belongs to a neighbor behind me somewhere). Sure enough, he was strutting his stuff right past the black cat just as sure as you please. It's like the westie-zoo around here.
Anyway, the whole reason I logged on here is to say that my super-awesome friend, Gayle has bestowed upon me this super-awesome award:

I wonder if it's because of my last post? So the award rules are that you must pass this along to 5 other gals whom you think should have it. Being that we are no longer bound by the law, though, I will pass this award on to 7 others. And those others church sistahs!
Kim, Caroline, Andrea, Penny, Kimmy, Wendy and Michelle.
Come and get it girls! You know you rock...:)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Everybuddy Sin(g)

If you ever need a lesson in humility, take your child to the nursery. Something about that hour with all their little peers causes them to develop diarrhea of the mouth about all of their family's "quirks".
Their is nothing more hilarious to me than listening to a wide-eyed toddler tell you over their goldfish how Mommy called Daddy a *$&^% on the way to church. Yeah, you learn ALOT in the nursery.
However, I am not throwing stones here, because this week it was my cherub-faced angel that decided it would be appropriate to teach all the 3 and 4 year olds how to sing, with feeling, all of the stanza's to Queen's "We Will Rock You".
Apparently he pointed his little chubby finger at the teenage helper and spouted "there's mud on your face, you big disgrace....ect." Thankfully, he and his Mom thought it was funny, which leads me back nicely to where it all began.
We bought some Nintendo bongo drum thing for the kids awhile back and being the homeschooling Mom that I am, I thought it would give them the chance to pick up a lesson in rhythm and keeping the beat and all that good stuff. Well, it worked. But alot of the songs on there are some of those 80's tunes that we used to CRANK back in the day. So guess what? We cranked them again. And again. And again, until Andrew was crooning every one of them by heart. We thought it was hilarious (it is), so we kept doing it just to watch him curl up that lip and play the air guitar.
And then, just as we thought our little secret was safe, he heads to the nursery....and the rest is history.
While my older 3 grew up on Veggie Tale sing-alongs and Wee Sing tapes, my baby is being well-versed in good ol' Rock and Roll. If I knew how to You-Tube, I'd put it on here for you to see.
Anyway, just thought I would tell you that, apparently, my horns are holding up my halo this week. ;)
Have a great day everyone!