Monday, August 31, 2009

The blessing of a broken dishwasher

My dishwasher isn't working, so I spent alot of time this past weekend hand-washing all the dishes that we used all of last week. At first I had a really bad attitude about it, but after I did one batch of dishes, I had this fulfilling sense that I was experiencing life the way women in earlier times did and it really wasn't that bad. Now don't get me wrong, I am having a guy come out this afternoon to fix the dishwasher, but I was surprised at how I really didn't mind doing them all by hand for one weekend. Avery has been mesmerized watching me wash dishes by hand. Pretty funny that she has never seen me do it before!

Here's a few recent pictures of the kids...

The oldest of my four children, and the handsomest, I might add:
He has been working so hard lately. He is coaching girls volleyball again this season and feeling alot more comfortable with it now that he knows what he is doing. He is also still working on his masters degree and should finish up in just 6 months! I am so proud of him. And of course, the list of projects we have here at home is never-ending, so he definitely has a full plate right now. But you would never know because he just goes with the flow and takes everything so well. The Lord knew I needed him because I am a crazy nut without his laid-backness.

Avery is so grown up. She calls Tatum "honey" and leads her two little sisters like the mother hen. She has needed alot of re-direction lately because she has become a little bossy, but I know she is the oldest for a reason and God is using this role in her life to shape her into the beautiful young woman He wants her to be. She has a great imagination and can always think up a fun pretend game to play with Tatum. I love that she doesn't care what anyone else thinks, she just does her own thing. She's alot like her daddy.
Tay-bird, we like to call her. So submissive and cooperative to all her big sister's imaginary games. Such a rollercoaster of emotions... one minute the happiest, most joyful little girl in the world, the next minute a sobbing, tearful mess. You never have to wonder what Tatum is feeling because she wears every emotion on her sleeve. She refuses to have anything to do with the potty right now. She uses her manners really well. She is in love with all things froggie.
My baby is pulling up! I walked in to her room last week to find her standing up in her crib holding on the rails, just smiling at me like she knew she had accomplished something big. Now she crawls everywhere and pulls up on every table or chair she can reach. The only problem is she can't get back down to sitting, so she cries until you come help her sit down. She woke up from her nap a little while ago crying and usually I let her cry for a few minutes and she goes back to sleep. Well that didn't happen so I caved in and rocked her back to sleep. There is no feeling in the world that compares to knowing that you are the cure for one little persons' every need. I'm so glad I caved. She completely owns me.

School is going so well. I am at peace about working, my students are all so cute and sweet (I am sure I will be taking that back in a few weeks), and I am enjoying learning a few new things this year about how to teach kids on laptops. A prayer request... one of my good friends since I first started teaching back in 2003 just found out she has breast cancer. She is having surgery in a couple weeks and chemo and radiation to follow. I can't imagine what she must be feeling and going through and I don't really know what I can do to help her during this time. I know she needs Jesus so please pray she will draw close to Him through all this. thanks!

Monday, August 24, 2009

One Day Down, 176 To Go

We got our kitchen updated! I can't believe how pretty it looks. After living for five years in a kitchen with pink countertops and 1980's wallpaper, I am absolutely thrilled to have such a beautiful & modern kitchen. You can scroll down to my previous post to see the before picture of our kitchen. Now here is the after pictures!

The first day of school went really well. I am being intentional about having a good attitude this year. Although this school year is gushing with reasons to have a bad attitude, I am going to (by God's grace) refuse to fall into that trap. This year each of my students will get to check out a laptop to keep for their own personal 24/7 use. I'm super happy for the kids to have this opportunity, however, I know there are still alot of kinks that need to be worked out from the teaching side of the project. All my lesson plans from the past 5 years of teaching are now worthless, and I will need to learn how to teach my students lessons that allow them to use their laptops in my class every day. I definitely have my doubts about how it's all going to work out, but like I said, I am choosing to have a good attitude.

Our district also decided they will allow facial piercings this year, so as a result, many of the precious children walked in today sporting their new jewelry, sharp objects protruding from their chins and colorful hoops from their eyebrows and lips. I personally don't have a problem with it, except that it surprises me how much freedom students have in school now compared to when I was in school. Whatever happened to one hole in each ear? I remember back in college when I got my belly button pierced. I thought it was cute and I enjoyed it mostly because it made me feel unique. I must admit I came very close to piercing my eyebrow too, but it was dependent on my brother martin getting his nose (or chin?) pierced with me, and I'm pretty sure it was him that chickened out. When I first met Brian, he had a big barbell pierced through his tongue, and I thought he was so dreamy. All this to say, I can excuse the piercings because it's really just an attempt to be different from everyone else, to be an individual. At least it's not as permanent as a tattoo. It's just different seeing all the students wearly them freely this year.

Our school is also in a huge financial crisis which means we don't get alot of "help" to get our kids to pass. Yeah, don't ask me why all the 11th graders get laptops, but we can't afford to buy paper or bus our students to school. Something is messed up. Oh yeah, good attitude.

Thankfully, there are no more than 30 precious students in each of my classes and I can pronounce all their names. God made each of those faces and loves them so much. I hope I don't lose that perspective.

Back on August 10, Brian's grandmother in Midland went to be with Jesus after a long battle with Alzheimer's. They called her "Boozer", not because she was a drinker, just because it just suited her. I will always remember her laugh. She was a role model in many ways, but I especially want to remember that she never let anything get her down... she laughed about everything. The Proverbs 31 woman could "laugh at the future" and that describes Boozer perfectly. We were all able to go out to Midland for her funeral and celebrate how precious her life was. We had a great time seeing the family out there and the girls loved playing with thier cousins.
Cowgirl Laney
Princess Avery, Princess Kenadi and Princess Tatum

Kade loved Laney! They were inseperable the whole time!

Kenadi, Avery & Tatum at the church

Sweet Girls

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Laney's first bath with the big girls! Please notice the look on Tatum's face. Poor sweet thing... this look captures her entire attitude toward her baby sister as of late. Not happy. Not amused.

Yep, we visited the beautiful island of Galveston last weekend to let the girls experience the beach for the first time in a long time. It was our first time back since Hurricane Ike almost a year ago. It's pretty sad driving around seeing all the familiar stores/hotels, etc. that used to be there gone. Thankfully alot of the seawall is built back up and looks even better than before, but there is still alot of destruction.

This was our first family trip with all 5 of us and only the 5 of us. Lots of ice cream (for them) and coffee (for me), and lots of laughs. Avery & Tatum could both be beach bums, they loved it!

At Moody Gardens, Palm Beach. We spent lots of time there!

At Stewart Beach

Just collecting sea shells

At Rainforest Cafe

I just got this totally random picture from about 6 months ago. Tatum & her BFF Julia playing at the park! Both are currently learning how to be big sisters for the first time. Not an easy job. They are such a funny & cute little pair!