Saturday, January 30, 2010

FINALLY!

Late Friday afternoon, the snow finally started falling. When we got up this morning, the boys were so excited at what they saw!





After breakfast and dressing like we belonged in The Christmas Story movie, we set out on a snowy adventure.



The Courthouse Square


We drove to the park for some sledding fun.


Notice we weren't the only ones there! There are lots of hills at the park, so we had to decide which to take on. We decided to sled down the one with available parking!

The guys climbing the hill





Colin and Carson's first trip down






And the first of many trips back up





Carson going alone!





Carson and Kylie




Colin and Jacob
Jeffrey and Carson

Snowball Fight!



We had a great time. Even though I didn't even attempt to climb the hill, I stood at the bottom of the hill and enjoyed watching the faces of the kids as they came down the hill.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Still waiting......

This time for snow and lots of it (hopefully). We were excited to be sitting in our favorite Chinese restaurant Thursday night when Simpson County Schools came across the big screen as closed for Friday. We finished up our supper along with half of the town and then met up with the other half at the video store. Me and the boys got some $1 movies and free movies, plus a Wii game for Colin. Snow would be more fun. So we wait for it.

Super Saturday is cancelled for tomorrow. I'm sure basketball will be too. So we wait.

My doctor's appointment Wednesday was good. Carter's heartbeat is very strong and we both continue to grow. My next appointment is in 2 weeks. So we wait.

Jeffrey is at work and will be home for lunch soon. I'd rather have him be a bum with us today. So we wait to spend lunchtime with him.

If you haven't seen the video from my previous post, check it out. I'm off to do laundry and get a playlist for my class blog. My students are waiting for it.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fresh Prince

The other night while listening to Wally on Total Axxess, I heard about a video he had posted on the Total Axxess webpage. He played a bit of it and it was hilarious. I found the video and I've posted it below. This guy had a good sense of humor. (Mute the playlist at the bottom of the page).





Monday, January 25, 2010

Waiting

It seems as though most of life is spent waiting. Do you ever feel that way? What are we waiting for???


We are waiting for the arrival of our new bundle of joy. We have 8 1/2 weeks until my due date. I have a feeling the wait won't be that long. I was induced with Carson 2 weeks early. That's what happens when you have a big baby he first time. I'm sure the doctor will want to induce again, although he hasn't brought it up yet. In the meantime, I am now going to the doctor every two weeks. I've registered for gifts because my coworkers are having a baby shower for us. Jeffrey's mom has also said something about having one. I guess when people start asking, "Where are you registered?" then it is time to register!!! It is amazing the things I have forgotten that I have given away! I've looked for some things in closets, the attic, tubs, and the garage, but I'm guessing most of those things have been given away or sold in yard sales. Our refresher lamaze class a couple of weeks ago was a hoot. We didn't relearn (if that's a word) anything really. The class was crammed full, probably 100 people there. It was quite fun to listen to the gasps and comments of the newbies. They have no idea what they are in for!



We are also waiting for Jeffrey to be assigned to a unit and orders for chaplain school this summer. All paperwork has been completed and so it is a waiting game. In the meantime, My husband continues to complete his seminary work through Liberty University. He has about 64 hours and needs a total of 90 to graduate with his Master of Divinity. Getting closer. His blog has been added to the Army Chaplaincy website. He has also been asked to be a writer for the site. He posted his first article last night. I just read it and have to say, I'm quiet proud of him, as always. You can read it by going to the Army Chaplaincy Website.


What else? We are waiting for our new Saturday activity to begin. Colin will finish up basketball this Saturday morning and then start his new Super Saturday class Saturday afternoon. This time he his taking Desktop Design. He loves computers and creating things on them. You should see the PowerPoint presentations he creates on his own. Wow! Colin got asked to participate on our local youth traveling soccer team this spring. We are thinking it over. However, it will interfere with his baseball and we can't do both. Honestly, I'd rather have him play baseball. He is still growing in both sports. We'll see.


As far as Carson, we are just watching him grow and getting ready to be in pre-school in August. I can't believe it. He just seems too small to me. He started his pre-school choir class at church last night. I think he just kind of sat there and took it all in. I stayed for the first few minutes and snuck out. He liked it, just didn't participate much. Leslie does such a good job with the children.

Colin and Carson are getting excited about Carter's arrival. They are always asking questions, "hugging him," and making plans on what they can do with him. So far, they've agreed to feed him, read to him, and teach him to talk. Next Thursday, the boys attend their "big brother" class at the hospital. Colin has been asking about it for a couple of weeks now. They will both be great with the new baby.

So, while we are waiting for what is to come, we will be patient, we will serve our Lord, and we will continue to live life to the fullest.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

At the end of the day

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

I will never try to say I'm the best at anything. Truthfully, I'm not. I'm good at some things, and I'm a failure at other things.

I could be a better teacher. I could bring my work home with me and spend hours grading and planning, taking time away from my family. I could go in early and stay extra late, skipping lunch in between. I could miss out on the opportunity to really know the people I work with. I could spend hours inside that classroom striving to be teacher of the year.

But I choose to put my family first.

I could be a better wife. I could be more thoughtful and spontaneous. I could keep the house cleaner, the clothes washed up better, and the kitchen sink empty. I could slave over a hot stove more often and be less selfish at times.

But I'm not perfect.

I could be a better mother. I could be more patient and understanding. I could fuss a little less and control my temper a little better.

But I'm not perfect.

I could have low expectations of my friends. I could expect them to work their tails off and put their jobs first. I could expect them to be inconsiderate and rude.

But I don't.

I have a responsibility to my family, my friends, my students, my God.

I know that my students are all different. I don't treat them all the same. That wouldn't be fair. Some of them need lots of TLC and others need tough love. Some of them you only need to tell once and others need to be told 10 times. Some of them need the look and others need to be brought to tears. I love my students. No matter how badly I want them to succeed and do more than collect a check each month, I know for some that won't happen. So what do I do? I push them; I love them; I teach them manners, respect, and responsibility. If I realize that academics will never be important to them, I try to teach them to be good people. Unfortunately, some have a home life that erases everything I've tried to instill in them. I teach them stealing is wrong, but their parents teach them it is a way of life. I teach them how to be responsible for their actions, but their parents teach them that I am failing them because I don't do everything for them. At the end of the day, I have to answer to God. Did I do everything I could to make each child feel loved? Did I do everything I could to make sure each child came away from my door with something that will help them succeed somehow? Did I fail my students by not having high enough expectations for them, but allowing them to be rude, irresponsible, inconsiderate, and lazy?

At the end of the day, did I please Him?

My coworkers are just as different as my students. I work with Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and those who have other gods. I work with some who love good gossip, and some who wouldn't tell a secret if their lives depended on it. I work with people who are optimistic and fun and people who are party poopers and never have anything good to say. I work with people I consider true friends and some that we have nothing in common other than our employer. It would be easy to degrade some of these people, to snub my nose at them, or stay hidden in my room so I don't have to socialize. But at the end of the day, I have to answer to my God. Did I encourage my coworkers or tear them down? Do they know that I am a Christian and my faith lies in Jesus (by my words and actions)? Do they know that they can trust me and depend on me? Do they know the real me or are they unsure about who I am? Do I allow them to tear others down or join them in doing so?

At the end of the day, did I please Him?

I'm not a perfect wife and Jeff is not a perfect husband. I could complain about his having to work late. I could not be supportive of his goals and dreams. I could make him feel unloved, not respected, and alone. As we talked the other night, he said, "You think I give you a hard time about our house getting messy, I bet that is nothing compared to ----" I told him I didn't think he gave me a hard time, that I knew a lot of times he is just messing around to get me worked up. Honestly, I could get upset about some of the joking or teasing he does, but WHY? At the end of the day, I have to answer to God. Was I the best wife I could be that day? If I was rude or hateful, did I apologize? If I was selfish, did I admit it? Did I make my husband KNOW (not just feel) that he is loved and respected? Did I make him know that he is my one and only? Did I make him know that I'm glad he is my partner for life?

At the end of the day, did I please God?

I think the hardest job is being a mom. Sure I'm with kids each day, so you make think that taking care of my own is going to be so easy. NO!!!! Ultimately, Jeff and I are responsible for these children, our children that God has blessed us with. We have our own parenting style. Our parents may agree or disagree with how we discipline our own children or how high our expectations are. You know what, I'm ok with that. At the end of the day, they are my children. God gave them to us for a reason. He knew we would be best for these children. We could allow them to be rude and disrespectful. We could allow them to push and hit, to smart mouth, and be lazy. However, we have to think about how these boys are going to turn out. It is our responsibility to make sure these guys turn in to caring, responsible, mannerly, respectful, God-fearing men. I refuse to wait until they are teenagers to teach them how to act. Now is the time.
Don't get me wrong, I am not Hitler. My kids are kids. Trust me, they have fun and they don't want for anything. Sometimes we stay out late on school nights by going to a hockey game or running to Toys R Us just to look around. Sometimes we camp out in the living room or squeeze into one bed at night and fall asleep watching movies. We play in the yard, go fishing, ride bikes, read, play games, and get wound up playing hide and go seek at bedtime. We allow them to choose their extra activities and get involved (church, basketball, baseball, soccer, Super Saturdays, Boy Scouts). We bake cookies, go to "the ice cream barn," or take a late night trip to Sonic for a treat. We take family vacations, we go out to eat together (usually they choose), and we pack up and spend the night at "our hotel" just because we want to.

There is a time for fun and a time to discipline.

I will not allow my kids to smart mouth me or anyone else. I will not allow my kids to pull away or hit at me or anyone else. I will not allow my kids to take out their anger by throwing things or stomping off. I will not allow my kids to use rude slang (especially when talking to an adult). They know not to call someone stupid. They know that if Mama doesn't say it, they don't say it. They know that lying and stealing are wrong. They know to show respect by using good manners and treating others with kindness and love. If my kids do wrong, they are punished. However, I can't always punish them the same way. My boys are so different. One will stop immediately at the first mention of time out or a spanking. One will test you to see how far he can go. One will break down and cry if your voice level gets too loud. One will laugh in your face when spanked. One will pass the blame while one will immediately say I'm sorry whether he means it or not.

I have to pick my battles. Sometimes that is hard to do.

I don't want my children to expect anything to be given to them. I want them to understand that you work to have things. There's a difference between being given a gift and getting something because you want it. I see in the classroom everyday kids who get everything they want and expect to be given what they want at school.

I will not allow my children to be in charge of our home. They will not be bossy and be allowed to do whatever they want with no rules or responsibilities. If they are asked to pick something up, I expect it to be picked up. If I ask that something be put away, I expect it to be put away. If it's time to take a bath, brush teeth, and go to bed, then its time, no question about it. I don't make my kids pick up their toys every time they get something out. I don't make them make their beds and straighten their rooms. I do ask for their help when I am doing chores and I expect them to help. They are kids, sometimes they do it willingly and sometimes it is a battle.
Colin and Carson's personalities are so very different. I don't love one more than the other. To an outsider, it may seem if I am harder on one than the other. What we all have to realize is that Colin and Carson are different people. A seven year old and a three year old must be treated different. Because the boys think we are unfair at times, it would be easy to treat them the same. However, that wouldn't be fair.

When Colin was Carson's age, he hated bedtime (still does). So for my sanity and tired body, I allowed him to lay in bed and watch TV while I dozed off. As a second grader, Colin needs his rest. Carson, like Colin, has watched TV while I've dozed off. Colin thinks this is unfair, but doesn't understand (and can't remember) that he did this too. Now that he is in school, he needs more rest. He hates to go to bed and he hates to get up in the mornings. All he see's is that we are unfair. We are weaning Carson off of his moving watching. Allowing the boys to do that was our personal choice. On Friday nights when we have nothing planned for Saturday mornings, we allow the boys to stay up pretty late. They watch movies, play on the computer, or play toys. It is important they know there is a time for staying up late and a time to get some sleep.

It all comes down to this:
At the end of the day, I have to answer to God.

Do my kids know that I love them? Do they know that their daddy and I work hard to provide a home for them, food to eat, clothes to wear, and even fun stuff to do? Do they know our expectations or do we just out of the blue make up rules? Do my children know right from wrong? Do they know that ultimately, we are accountable to God for all we do?

My students aren't always going to agree with me and I'm not always going to agree with them.

That's ok.

My coworkers and friends are not always going to agree with me and I'm not always going to agree with them.

That's ok.

My husband is not going to always agree with me and I'm not always going to agree with him.

That's ok.

My kids are not always going to agree with them and I'm not always going to agree with them.

That's ok.

What is not ok is if at the end of the day I failed God.
If I succeeded at something, did I give Him the glory?
If I failed at something, did I admit my fault?
If I was to blame, did I say I'm sorry?
If someone hurt, did I build them up?
At the end of the day, did I please Him?

That's all that matters. I accept the fact (did so a long time ago) that I am not perfect. I will never claim to be and I will never strive to be. All I can be is me. As me, did I please Him? Did I ask Him for help when I needed it? Did I love those I encountered? Did someone see Jesus in me by my actions and words?

For some people, they want to have all the daily gossip by the end of the day. They want to be one up on someone else. They want to tear down as many people as possible to make themselves look better. At the end of the day, they want to please themselves.

When that 3:00 bell rings, I want my students to know that regardless of what happened, I love them and want them to succeed. We will try again tomorrow.

When I walk away from that school building, I want to walk away with a clear conscience that I didn't hurt anyone or drag anyone down.

When I lay down next to my husband at night, I want to fall asleep secure in the fact that he knows what he means to me, that my love and respect for him is strong, that I am appreciative of what he does for me and the boys.

When I tuck those precious boys in at night, I want to walk out of that room with them certain that I love them, that I'd do anything for them, that neither is more special than the other, that I cherish their differences.

I don't want to go to bed filled with guilt and weighed down with unnecessary burdens. At the end of the day, I want God to be pleased with me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Put in my place, gone, and enlightened

Well, this week........
I have been put in my place (no further comment), but I have learned my lesson.

Colin lost a tooth (STRESS FREE for ME). Totally unexpected. I've not dreamed about this tooth or fought with him to get it out. He came home from school yesterday and it was GONE.

I was also enlightened by my three year old. While quietly playing in the tub last night, he informed me we eat food, not snot. Very good, honey! Thank you for that, Ms. Pamela. I'm glad he knows and I'm super glad it wasn't my child twirling snot on his finger and eating it!!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why would God become a man?

I got this as an email today and wanted to share it.




There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to
let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like
Christmas.

His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have
faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments. One snowy
Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve
service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come,
but he refused. "That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower
Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the
children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a
blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding
snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he
heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window.

Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.
When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have
been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of
wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they
got caught in the snowstorm and could not go on. They were lost and
stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their
wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A
couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would
be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It is warm and safe;
surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked
over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited,
hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just
fluttered around aimlessly and did not seem to notice the barn or realize
what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but
that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into
the house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread
crumbs trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on. Now he was
getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the
barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction
except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn
where they would be warm and safe. "Why don't they follow me?!" he
exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive
the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't
follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he
said out loud.

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and
carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild
geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight
into the barn-and one by one the other geese followed it to safety. He
stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes
earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save
them! Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why
would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!" Suddenly it all made
sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost,
perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and
save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized. As the winds and
blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful
thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ
had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm.
He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: "Thank You,
God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,










But these two boys are so delightful!!


















Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What Lies Ahead

We live by faith, not by sight.
( 2 Corinthians 5:7 *NIV )

When I look back on last year, I can see that a lot of things happened that I never thought was possible. There were things that I wish would not have happened. There were prayers that were answered. There were prayers that were unanswered for whatever reason God had in mind.

Now, I'm looking ahead. What lies ahead? God only knows.

I look forward to the arrival of this baby in 12 weeks. But what will that entail? An early delivery? A problem free delivery? Three months of colic? I don't know, but God does. Whatever happens, I will have to trust Him.

What will it be like home with these 3 boys when Jeff goes off to South Carolina for 2 months? Will the boys stay well? Can I manage soccer camp for the 3rd year? Who will watch them when I have to work in my classroom after the end of this school year and the beginning of next? I don't know, but God does. I'll just have to trust Him.

What if I get sick? What if my kids or husband get sick?

What if we can't pay our bills? What if the van messes up and we can't afford to get it fixed?

What if I lose someone close to me? What if my grandmother has another heart attack? What if my other grandmother never comes home from the nursing home? What if someone I love is diagnosed with Cancer?

What if a friendship goes sour? What if someone doesn't forgive me? What if I lose my temper and act a fool?

What if that big tree outside falls on our house in this upcoming winter storm? What if our power goes out?

What if........

What if I just sat around and worried about everything? I'll tell you what: I would be one miserable person.

What keeps me from doing that? My faith in God.

My faith in God tells me that whatever He places in front of me, I can handle because He will be there with me.

My faith in God tells me that whatever evils and failures make their way into my life, I can over come them because He is there with me.

My faith in God tells me that I am not alone.

My faith in God tells me that I am loved, I am special, and I am somebody.

Who am I?

I am a child of God.

My faith in Him made me His.

What kind of faith do you have? Is it frail and weak because you have placed your faith in worldly things? Is it growing and becoming strong because you have placed your faith in God. Do you live by sight? Do you depend on worldly things?

Putting your faith in God and living your life for Him is the way to go. No, life won't always be easy. He never promised that. He did promise that He would be right there with us. Whatever we go through, He goes through as well.

Do you live by faith or by sight?