Sunday, March 31, 2013

What it's all about

I have been so impressed with my children throughout this season of Lent. We have watched The Bible together and I have been amazed at all they have learned. On Friday we talked about Jesus being on the cross (Cole still calls it a heart sometimes). Saturday we talked about Jesus being in the tomb and today we have talked about God singing "Rise and Shine and give God your glory" to Jesus so that he would wake up and come out of the tomb.

Yesterday when the kids went out to play I watched them build something in the driveway. I didn't know what it was so I went outside to ask. Cole told me that they were building a tomb for Jesus, but that I shouldn't worry because they made sure to make a door and Jesus had the key. I was amazed that even though they are young they get it.

Now the Easter Bunny did come to our house and we did have an egg hunt, but I'm pretty sure they realize that none of that is what Easter is really about because we've been talking about it for weeks.

I've been thinking all day about when I was growing up. I was raised in a traditional United Methodist church (I even went to a Methodist college!). We would say the Apostle's Creed and I think that pretty much sums up what I believe especially when it comes to Easter.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth
and in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontious Pilate,
was crucified, dead and burried....(here comes the good part...keep reading)
On the third day HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD!
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

It goes on, but that is the most important part for today. Jesus took on the sin of each and everyone of us and died on the cross. I can't imagine how God must have felt to see his son in that much pain. God even had to turn his back on Jesus because He couldn't stand the sight of all those sins on Jesus BUT that's not where the story ends. He was placed in the tomb, but just like Cole told me yesterday Jesus had the key and when God sang, "Rise and Shine" Jesus woke up and walked out of the tomb and because of that we have the promise of eternal life if we trust in Him! It's an amazing day! I hope you are blessed and that you enjoy it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Jesus died on a.....

A few days ago this little man brought me a cross. He told me that it was a heart and that it was what Jesus died on. I corrected him, but the more I think about it the more I realize that my sweet 4 year old boy is much wiser than I gave him credit for. Jesus may not have exactly died on a heart, but he died because of his heart. He died because his heart was full of love for us and he wanted us to have a chance to be with him forever. Thanks, Coley Bear for teaching me that lesson!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Beauty and Blessings

Everybody has those moments where for a split second life seems perfect. Maybe your child cuddles up to you in the early morning before the alarm goes off. Maybe you’re a composer and you are conducting your opus. You could be an artist and create your most precious masterpiece or maybe it’s a moment of complete and total worship. I was reading about creation and the formation of the earth and I got to thinking. My house is always incredibly loud. I have a 3 year old who is apparently incapable of sitting still and a 4 year old who is still learning about how to use an inside voice, so quiet is something that I don’t get a lot of. I wonder how quiet it was before creation. We hardly ever experience complete darkness. There’s always the glow of a cell phone charging or some other device. In our house we leave lamps on for the kids because they’re afraid of the dark. I remember when I was in high school we went to Cumberland Caverns to sing every December. We’d take a tour of the cave and during that tour we would all sit down and they would turn out all the lights. We were left in complete darkness that you can’t find in the city for all the lights or in the country for all the stars. It was completely dark and completely quiet, but somehow seemed comforting. I wonder if that’s how God felt before creation. A friend of mine is having a baby today. I remember that feeling scared and excited every emotion all at the same time. It’s almost overwhelming. Did God feel like that? Since creation has he had a chance to close his eyes and put his head back and enjoy his creation. You know like Mr. Holland does when he’s directing his opus. He throws his head back and closes his eyes as he conducts. Does God ever do that? I have 3 beautiful children. I didn’t mention my 7 year old earlier because she’s almost always quiet because her head is always buried deep within the pages of a book. And thinking about creation caused me to think about beauty in a completely different light. I know that by society’s terms I am probably far from beautiful. I rarely wear make-up and I am usually wearing sweats and flip flops, but I do things that I believe are beautiful when I get on my knees and fervently pray for a friend who is having her first child or one who is very sick and in the hospital. I gave birth to BEAUTIFUL children and while I am not rich by any sense of the words I feel blessed. Blessed beyond measure… and in a strange way more beautiful than ever because I am a part of something beautiful. I have my own beautiful family. I have wonderful parents who are an amazing example to me, and a brother who I believe is truly the best in all the world even though I don’t see him very often. All four of my grandparents are still living and I have amazing aunts, uncles and cousins that are blessings as well. My life is not at all how I pictured it when I would swing on my swing set and make up songs, but it is so much more than I ever could have imagined. Today while the kids are sleeping I just feel so blessed. I’m having my hold my head back, close my eyes and just take it in kind of moments that you just don’t want to end. I am truly, truly thankful for all that I have because it’s more than I ever could have dreamed of. I may not have very much, but at times like this I feel like I truly have it all!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trojans and Eagles

We're finally here! Summer's that have as much uncertainty as this one has sure are hard to recover from! We've made it to Troy home of the Trojans and for the most part we're unpacked. This house is much smaller than our Reform house, so we're having to be very creative about storage. We thought we had gotten rid of tons of stuff until we put it all in this house. There's nothing like moving every your to make you realize just how much stuff you have. Not only are we here, but our townhouse in Clanton is being rented which is a tremendous blessing! We think we have found a church here. The kids really seem to like it. They just started the contemporary service, so there is not an option for Sunday School yet, so it's hard to get "plugged in", but we're trying. Elizabeth seems to be doing well in school. She and Jonathan are at Goshen and are Eagles now! She brought home a pack of papers to be signed and it was all A's and a B. She was very upset about the B, but I told her that the B wasn't going on her report card. It would be mixed with tons of other grades so that will help her. She wants to make all A's and gets stressed when she doesn't. She's only in the second grade, so we've got a long road a head of us. I started my first teaching job! I'm teaching a 3 year old and 4 year old class right here at home with Sarah and Cole. We have good days and bad days. I'm spending a lot more time with my kids than we did before we started school, but it can be rough. Both children are extremely stubborn. It's very difficult to work with your own children when they are so moody! We're working through it though. Today is day 3 and Cole is showing signs of improvement. I think the structure of our day is really good for him when he isn't trying to resist it, that is. We've worked on the letters A, B and C, the numbers 1 and 2, and circles. We do songs in the morning and then move on to work. Sometimes they enjoy the work and sometimes they don't. I try to mix in color sheets that go with what we're working on too so they have fun things to do while they work. We've used the computer and apps on our kindle a lot to keep them interested. Jonathan seems to be doing well. Football is going too, but not so well. School is going too, but it's just school. I think we're doing ok here in Troy. I wish there was a way for me to meet more people, but it's hard for moms that stay at home to meet people. I'm working on it though.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pouring out my heart

Warning: This may be incredibly long, but I have to get it out... I have always known that God has a plan for me. In high school I knew where I wanted to go to college. I was told I had to get the tuition down to what my parents would pay at a state school and somehow I managed to do it. I met my husband there and while I don't use my degree (religion and psychology) I know why I was there. Before we got married my husband got a job at Cascade High School near Shelbyville. I was there that we met some awesome kids (that are no longer kids) and parents that we still see today. They were our kids and we have gone to graduations and weddings (unless they were in Iceland) because we truly loved those kids. After 3 years there my husband was pink slipped and we moved into the back of a market for a few months. The market was owned by some friends of ours and they allowed us to live in the apartment rent free. That's where we took Elizabeth home from the hospital. The next school year I kept my job as a special ed teacher's aide, but my husband could not find a job, so we moved in with my parents (all 3 of us) and lived there for 9 months. We moved from there to Auburn for a year and from there to Cullman. God lead us every step of the way. While we were in Cullman we had Sarah and met some very wonderful friends. From there we moved to Clanton and we were blessed there too. We met some amazing people and were a part of the lives of some very special kids. Clanton will always hold a special place in our hearts. We had Cole while we were there. When he was almost 2 months old we almost lost him. He was very sick and before he was admitted to Children's in Birmingham he was lifeless. He was so dehydrated that neonatal nurses had a hard time with his IV and he could not even cry. There were no tears instead he made the strangest sound. It's amazing he's still alive! He was severely dehydrated from pyloric stenosis and had surgery to fix the problem the next day. If if hadn't been for his pediatrician sending us for an ultrasound that day Cole might not be here. God brought us through that and it wasn't until after the situation was over that I realized how severe it had been. From Clanton we moved to Reform and while we were only there for a year it was a great place and we met awesome people. We had some very special experiences there like winning a state championship. We were also luck to be blessed by a good school nurse when Elizabeth was going through so much trouble with her eye. Again we were always right where we needed to be at just the right time. This summer has been more difficult. Jonathan was pink slipped the day after all the other pink slips were given out (we thought we were safe after that day). A few days later our renter in our townhouse in Clanton had to move out. Maybe we should have moved to Clanton right after school, but I was convinced that God would take care of us just like he always has. We thought we had it take care of, but it didn't work out until right after we had made plans to move to Clanton and my husband drive back and forth to Troy (an hour and a half one way) we rented our townhouse. Today we went to Troy and found a house. We signed a lease and set up for utilities to be turned on. We are moving on Thursday, but on the way home we get a call and find out that the townhouse is not taken care of. I will be completely honest with you...this afternoon I have really struggled. We've been through a lot this summer and this was the LAST thing we expected to have to go through. I know that God has a plan for us and has sent us to Troy and Goshen High School for a reason. I also know that it will work out. It always does. Although we're tired of the roller coaster we know who is controlling it and we know we'll be able to get off soon. Please keep us in your prayers as we move on to Troy and continue to find someone wonderful for our townhouse in Clanton!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Adventures in Parenting (The things no one warned you about)

For the summer we had a goal for each child that we wanted to accomplish (or have them accomplish)by the end of the summer. By the end of summer we want..... Elizabeth to tie her shoes. Sarah to stop sucking her thumb. Cole to be potty trained. When we set these goals I don't think we imagined they would be so hard to accomplish. I'll start with Cole. He is doing a super job of going to the potty! I am pleasantly surprised with how well he is doing. We promised him that he could go to a baseball game with his daddy if he did really good, so this week they are going to a game (if it isn't rained out). Hopefully next week we will be confident enough in progress that we will be able to put him in undies. You may ask why this excites me like it does, well I will tell you. Elizabeth will be 7 in a few weeks. She was still in diapers when Sarah was born, and Sarah was still in diapers when Cole was born, so we've been doing diapers for 7 years! Elizabeth claims that she knows how to tie her shoes, but it never works out right. She says it's not her fault. I am not convinced. You see, she's the child that did not start walking until she knew her balance was just right (13 months). She's a perfectionist that makes straight A's and gets upset when she makes less than a 100. She says she doesn't want to play sports because she doesn't want to loose. It is my opinion that she does not want to try to tie her shoes because she doesn't want to get upset with herself when she doesn't do it exactly right. Anytime we practice tying shoes she gets upset and it doesn't matter who does it with her. This perfectionist thing does NOT come from me. I'm pretty sure it's not from her father either. It's one of those things that can be a stumbling block because she doesn't want to do anything she's afraid she won't be good at. Sarah is my stubborn, sweet, but sneaky middle child. We bought her a thumb guard because it was recommended by her dentist. The kit came with 2 guards and 60 bracelets in different colors. She was excited about it because like her sister if they do well they will get to go to the movies and that excites them. She wore it with pride and never fussed about it the first day. We put her to bed and she was worried she wouldn't be able to go to sleep. I went to check on her and she finally fell asleep sucking the other thumb. :( I was beginning to think we wouldn't be able to break this habit. The next night we used both thumb guards and she told her sister she couldn't sleep and slept in the bed with her (I will add that she also we her sister's bed. It was a LONG night). That night I had to pull her fingers out of her mouth! :( She's been doing better. Her sister helps watch her at night and one day we even forgot to take her thumb guard off her right hand (She only wears that one at night. She wears the other one all day.) She never fussed and once we notices (which wasn't until lunch) we cut them both off because they were wet inside. Here's the part no one ever told us about. No one tells you when you think about having children how hard it can be to potty train a child or how expensive it is to do diapers for 7 years! No one ever told me how hard it would be to teach my perfectionist how to tie her shoes. AND No one ever told me how hard it would be to get my Sarah to stop sucking her thumb (or thumbkin as she calls it), so I thought I would take the time to let those of you who don't have a almost 7 year old, a 4 year old and a 3 year old in so you would be informed. Now you know!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Adventures

It's been so incredible long since I have updated because I was so busy with student teaching, doing homework, and taking care of my hubby, kids, and home. I'll be honest...I did forget about the house most days just to spend time with the kids. I am finished with my student teaching now and officially have my Masters in Special Education. I am working on my certification and am looking for a job for the fall. Jonathan's basketball team won the state championship and he should be getting his huge ring sometime in the next month or so. We should find out next week if he will be able to work at PCHS next year. Elizabeth is finishing up first grade. In spite of her problems with her eye she has managed to make straight A's! She's such a smart cookie! Her eye is much better. She has been infection free for two months or more! It's so hard to believe that she will be in second grade in the fall! She is becoming such a smart, beautiful girl. Sarah Grace has learned so much this year. She can spell almost all of her color words and can write her first name. Honestly, I think she would be ready for kindergarten, but her birthday is too late, so she has another year before she can do that. She tells me she learned how to be smart from her sister. She's just as amazing as her sister and just as beautiful! Cole, well as his teachers say he's just Cole. He never stops. He can be outside for just a few minutes playing and his hair is stuck to his head with sweat. He has learned so much in school and he's only been there since just before Christmas. He knows the days of the week and can count to 20 sometimes higher without messing up. He's absolutely wild, but when he looks at you with those big brown eyes it makes it hard to get on to him. Despite the fact that he gets intro trouble, he's just so stinking cute! I guess that's about it. We're good. Kinda in limbo at the moment because we don't know about the job situation, but we're good.