Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Park Day

The ducks at Copper Lakes were hungry today. They met us at our car and swarmed around us. Thankfully we were prepared with a little bit of bread and ritz crackers.

After we gave them everything we had, we decided to go home and get the new loaf of bread I had just bought and some old bagels that we were never going to eat and some old Doritos that had gotten stale and we went back and gave them to the ducks. They were so happy to see us come back. Avery even got to where she could pet a few of the babies. Tatum was afraid of them because they were so loud with all their quacking, and Laney just stared at them.

My little cutie going down the big slide
I cannot express how happy this curly hair makes me each day.

Typical Tatum smile


Tatum's knees have had a rough week. Once they scab over, she falls again and opens them right back up. I think it's because she always wears her shoes on the wrong feet and it makes her trip alot. I guess her mama ought to teach her to put them on the right feet!
Avery my goofball

Such a poser... she loves to model for my camera.



I just had to add a couple more pics from the dance recital.



Not really sure what I want to write about, but I feel the need to update the blog so I'm going to write something. What have we been up to lately? Well, Brian is still teaching summer school. He's home by 3:00 everyday so that is really nice. I am completely loving being home all day with the girls. We are staying busy, but not too busy. We usually have a playdate with Avery's school friends once a week, which has been really fun. Several of them have younger sisters that are Tatum's age and a few littler ones Laney's age, so it is fun for all of us. I have enjoyed getting to know the mama's too. It's funny how simply having a 5-year old gives you so many endless topics of conversation.


We also still have our kids' Bible study once a week. My dear friends, Bethany, Jeannine and Devon, and I have been doing this for almost 2 years and we have almost made it through the entire Old Testament curriculum from "Children Desiring God" with our kids. We rotate hosting and teaching the Bible lesson each week and it's been such a blessing for our kids to grow up together and learn more "in-depth" about the Bible with each other.
We are still enjoying our new church so much and loving being able to be involved in so many activities now that we live so close. I am hosting a ladies Bible study every other week through Beth Moore's Siesta summer bible study. We are doing "Ruth" by Kelly Minter and it has been so good. I just finished week one today. I don't know why, but I get so excited about being with other girls and discussing life and God's Word together, so this is super exciting for me. I am already so excited for our next meeting!

I am also doing some online professional development, which is kindof a drag but I know I will love myself next May when my hours are due and I don't have to cram them in in the midst of the busyness of spring. I have to get 25 hours per year and I already have 16 from the past few weeks of online classes! Wahoo!

Laney is finally done with bottles. I know that is pretty bad that it's taken me this long, but she refused to drink milk from a sippy cup for the longest time. She was fine with water or juice from a sippy, but would only take milk from a bottle. Well, I finally got to put the bottles away last week and we are all on sippy cups now. On the same note, I tried to give her an open cup (without a lid) several days ago and she was a pro at it. I'm pretty sure I didn't offer Avery an open cup until she was close to 3 years old. But Laney at 17 months old is totally in control of it. It's amazing how fast they can learn when given the chance.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Avery's 1st Dance Recital

I would be lying if I said I was excited about this day. I have felt completely awkward during this whole dance experience for Avery. I am so NOT a dance mom, but for Avery's sake, I have tried really hard to get into it and learn from the other moms how to do it right. She has enjoyed it, but thankfully she hasn't fallen in love with it. I'm planning for us to try gymnastics or something else besides dance next fall. Anyway, today is finally here... the dance recital! We got up at 7:30 to take her to get her hair done. Then dress rehearsal at 9:00 am. I didn't even know I was supposed to bring make-up, that's why she's the only one in the picture without make-up. I'll bring some for her tonight. These pictures are from this morning's rehearsal. I must admit, it was pretty stinkin' cute. The show starts at 6:30, wish us luck!




Avery, my precious princess, I love you so much. I will support you and do the best I can to help you in whatever activity you decide to fall in love with. For me, it was basketball (my poor mom). For you, it may very well be dance. And that's okay. Just seeing you enjoy yourself and learn new things (like doing a tondu, which I had never heard of until you taught it to me) puts a big smile on my face and makes me so proud to be your mama! I can't wait to see you on stage tonight!!

video

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brian

Asking for prayers again... check out Brian's blog to hear about his adventures in the Dominican Republic this week. I am so thankful is he following and serving the Lord there this week, but I am realizing now how big a difference his presence makes in my life. I am a better mom with him around (or at least with the hope of seeing him later in the day), I feel safer with him around, I feel more relaxed and at peace with him around, I feel secure and loved with him around. Why on earth did I ever encourage him to go on this trip?!?! Just kidding. Kindof.
I had a few moments of panic yesterday when it hit me that it is just me and these three little blessings for eight whole days, I know I need Jesus to help me in a big way this week. Please pray for Brian to be safe and have many opportunities to share Jesus with the Dominicans and please pray for me to have extra patience, gentleness and love. Thanks!

Also, I just have to recommend a great book I just finished. I bought it for Brian, but when I started looking through it, I couldn't put it down. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters will change the way you think about daddy/daughter relationships. If you are interested in knowing more about what role daddies plays in the way little girls turn out, you will not be able to put this down. It is not a "Christian" book, but I definitely think the author is a Christian. It opened my eyes to so many things about myself that my dad put in me... whether he knows it or not, I am in large part who I am today because of the way my dad went about his life during my childhood. And it makes me so thankful for the sweet, precious daddy that my little girls have too!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Heartbroken

This has been a hard week. First, I am so thankful to report that my dad is doing very well. He did have part of his colon removed last week, but he is recovering right on schedule and is already working again from home.

Also, we made it through final exams and the last day of school. It hasn't really hit me yet that it's over and I'm done for 2.5 months. But I'm sure once I get closer to dealing with this hard week, my joy will spill all over the place!

Also, Brian & I celebrated NINE years of marriage on June 2. Nine sounds like alot, but it has gone by so fast. Just think, in nine more years... I will be 40 (yikes!), and our girls will be 14, 12 and 10 (super yikes!). I am grateful more and more that God knew what He was doing when He paired us up. I love spending my life by his side.

My heart is broken for my friend & fellow history teacher, Cody, whose 3-year old son Jacob, passed away last Sunday. He and his wife, Joanna, who also works at my school, were at a backyard pool party with alot of parents and kids around, and Jacob went under. It was only for a minute. They got him out and several guys did CPR on him, but he didn't survive. When I heard the news, I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. I don't remember the last time I've felt so deeply sad, to the point that I haven't slept from my thoughts of what they are going through.

We spent Memorial Day in my in-laws backyard pool, and we had several "scares" where one of the girls put their face in the water for a second and got shaken up. I have been having trouble even letting my mind imagine how it would have been if it had been one of my kids that drowned. I imagined Cody & Joanna going home and putting Luke to bed, but not getting to put their baby Jacob in his bed. And I imagine his little shoes and toys laying on the floor, and his dad & mom realizing that he will never use them again. And all the hopes and dreams you have for your kids' futures, all gone. And the pain of knowing that you were right there when it happened. I know they would give anything to have that one minute of time to do over again.

I went to the Rosary last night. I had never been to a Rosary and I've only ever been to a Catholic Mass once in my life. I hope this doesn't offend anyone who is Catholic, but the service to me did not offer much comfort or hope. There were literally at least 100 Hail Mary's said and alot of repitition of rehearsed readings and prayers. It was very respectful and loving, but I just wished the priest would have said something from his heart rather than read words from a paper.

They had an open casket. Jacob was one of the most beautiful little blue-eyed, buzzed blonde haired little boys God ever created. He was so precious, with his cute little fingers holding a rosary. My sobbing was out of control. So was everyone else's. I hugged Cody & Joanna and held their hands. Cody said he got my email I had sent to him to tell him I was praying for him. I walked back to my seat and sobbed. I rode there with three of my teacher friends and we all sat together. Everyone grieves in their own way. Two of my friends are Catholic so they held onto their rosaries and rubbed them. I opened up my Bible to try to follow along with the readings the priest was saying, but he never gave any Scripture references, so I couldn't really follow along in my Bible. I kept watching the back of Cody & Joanna's heads. I kept praying the Lord will keep their marriage strong. And that they will forgive each other and themselves. And that they will let Jesus heal them and reach out for help, not shut themselves in.

God did answer my prayers that I could speak to my three friends about the Lord while on our two hour journey to the Rosary and back. One of them, my closest friend at school, is someone I look up to in many ways and I have prayed for her for 6 years. She is such a good person, but she doesn't think she's good enough to have eternal security. She is Catholic and believes it's her good works on earth that will get her into Heaven. We stopped at a Dairy Queen in Flatonia and had a good talk. I don't know that it changed any of thier lives, but I felt the Lord giving me the words to say and I felt like they listened. It is His job to open the eyes of their hearts to hear what He wants to tell them. And I am praying that He is doing just that.

So my grieving this week has been in stages. First, shock. Gut-wrenching sobbing and lots of questioning God. I still wake up every morning and it's first thing that comes to my mind. Cody's boy is gone. How on earth are Cody & Joanna going to make it through this? Now I'm to the point that I am still a little confused and disappointed that God chose not to intervene on this one, which I know He could have so easily done, but I also realize how small I am and how big His ways are. I'm glad I just read The Shack recently because it's allowed me to view this tragedy from the perspective of Mack. Who are we to judge God? This world is not our home anyway. I don't have much else to say about it. Please just pray for this family. Cody, Joanna & Luke (he is seven).

Also, please please spread the word how quickly a child can drown. Cody & Joanna are wonderful, attentive parents. They are not irresponsible or lazy. They were in the pool with the boys, but just looked somewhere else for literally ONE minute. I know I am taking our swimming outings alot more seriously and carefully from now on. And one more word from the pulpit then I'll get down... Your kids will be okay if they don't play on a t-ball team or dance ballet, but they CANNOT survive without knowing how to swim. Pay whatever price you have to for swim lessons. That is one extracurricular activity they cannot live without!!!