Monday, July 30, 2012

Its been a while....

....since I posted some items from my gratitude journal.  I'm sure if you've been reading, you've problably seen some of the things I've been thankful for lately.  Here's some....

~ covering a sleeping child ~

~ being reminded of my manners ~

~ gathering around the table for breakfast with family ~

~ quietly celebrating the 4th of July ~

~ a slow, steady rain ~

~ the boys helping with chores ~

~ a sleeping toddler's hand draped over his daddy's shoulder as he is carried to bed ~

~ being up before the sun ~

~ breakfast and good conversation in the car ~

~ hugs and kisses at the airport ~

~ a talkative Sunday School class ~

~ a young girl professing her faith in Jesus ~

~ those who volunteer for nursery duty ~

~ those who don't mind when you are late to get your kid from the nursery ~

~ the aroma of baking cakes ~

~ baking with 50 kids ~

~ shared scripture~
Romans 8:28 and 2Corinthians 2:15

~ 6 year olds smashing eggs instead of tapping them ~

~ Aunt Loretta to the rescue ~

~ good, clean Christian fun with grapes and silly faces ~

~ a Soldier's soul saved during AT ~

~ a learning opportunity for Jacob and Colin ~

~ knowing how to use a plunger ~

~ empty laundry baskets ~

~ watching loved ones reunite at the airport ~

~ reuniting with my Soldier after 2 weeks ~

~ a night alone with my husband ~

~ me time with hotel coffee, iPad, and National Lampoon's European Vacation ~

~ giving to a local organization ~

~ children clad in blue and orange Calvary t-shirts ~

~ Colin's first 10 years ~

~ how everything turns green again after a much needed rain ~

~ those who stand up for biblical values ~

~ drama free shopping with 3 boys ~

~ how he eyes my journal and purple pen, knowing he isn't supposed to have it ~

~ little boys who want to play with the big boys ~

~ the big boys who let them ~

~ the desire to do more for God ~

~ grown men who risk looking silly for the sake of kids ~

~ Leslie and her Bible Skills and Drills class ~

~ children learning God's Word ~

~ Are You Smarter than a Preacher? ~

You can link up with me and some other pretty amazing people at A Holy Experience.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sunshine Blog Award

I have to give a big THANK YOU  to Kathleen at Kathleen's Korner for showing me some love with the Sunshine Blog Award!  Thank you Kathleen!

Here's how this award works.

1. First, {and foremost} thank the person who honored you with this award. Thank you so much, Kathleen!

2. Answer the questions below about yourself. (See Below)

3. Pay it forward and nominate 10 fellow bloggers who inspire you. Be sure to let them know you are nominating them. Link up their blogs to yours. (See Below)

4. Be sure to copy the award and share it on your blog.

Here's a bit about me (in case you didn't already know):

Favorite Color?  Purple

Favorite Animal? Dog, and even though he drives me crazy, I do (secretly) love my cat.


Favorite Number? 2

Favorite Drink?  Sweet peach tea, Cherry Dr. Pepper, French Vanilla Coffee

Facebook or Twitter? Neither

Good Book or Movie? Movie, with 3 kids I have to be able to rewind! I do love a good book though.  I've been blessed to read some good ones lately through our Battle of the Books program at school and by doing book reviews. 

My Passion?  God and my family and children. More and more I want to serve my Lord.  This summer has been great with the children's activities we did at church and the time I've spent with my family.  Not that I am ready to quit my day job, but I am open to serving God in the way that He calls me. 

Giving or Getting Gifts? Definitely giving! Especially when it is totally unexpected. 

Favorite Day of the Week? Sunday

Favorite Flower?  Not sure that I have a favorite.  As long as they are pretty, I don't really care! 

 Now I get to nominate some bloggers that bring me SUNSHINE!  I am passing this award to:

Shannon - The Rest is Still Unwritten

Nicole - Team Pipkin

Nicole - Simply Created by Cole

Kim - Kylah and Dayton

Kristi - Extraordinary Moments in an Ordinary Life (you have to read her blog post about blog awards)

Mandy - Snapshot

Holly - Dunn Diaries

Kerry - Life in the Barn

Marcella - The Life of a Military Family

Kay - Kay's Little Korner

What type of sunshine do these ladies bring?  Well, I appreciate their honesty, their courage.  They inspire me.  The military wives have shown me that "I CAN DO IT."  Some of these bloggers I have "known" since I started blogging, and I have seen them grow in the Lord and it is simply amazing.  Thank you ladies for bringing me sunshine when you post!  Thanks again Kathleen for nominating me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today, my oldest (my baby) is 10 years old.

I am so proud to be his mama!  Happy 10th Birthday, Colin!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

By the numbers

15 - days until school starts back

1 - hours spent registering my kids for school today

3 - children that are not ready for school to start

1 - mama that is not ready for school to start

2 - weeks that Jeff was at AT in Texas

2 - nights spent at "our hotel" when he returned

3 - books waiting to be read and reviewed

0 - kids in our home playing soccer this year

5 - people in our home that are ok with it

2 - Soldiers that called me "Ma'am" at the airport

105 - the heat index at the moment

10 - age my oldest child is about to turn

2 - days until Colin's birthday

6 - people I have sent/received texts today

4 - people I have talked to on the phone

0 - people who care how many people I have communicated with today

3 -months overdue on oil change

75 - amount of a long lost check I found and cashed

2 - parents that are open to where God leads our family to do His will

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What I've Learned

1. I never found out what initially clogged my toilet, but the apple slices afterward really did help.

2. I am pretty good with a plunger.

3. My kids think it is funny to ride in Daddy's truck with Mama driving.

4. I have some really talented friends.

5. Kids act better at a friend's house than at home (according to other parents).

6. Never underestimate the power of chlildren on a mission.

7.  I can reprogram the universal remote.

8. Texting + tired = lots of backspacing

9. Be sure to put a space in "good night."

10. I don't envy those who live alongside tarantulas everyday in Texas.

11. Hunkering down in the hall with 3 kids when the lights go out during a storm is actually relaxing.

12.  3 Kids + homecooked meal + me - Daddy = bad idea.

13. 3 kids + fast food (or frozen food) + me - Daddy = better idea

14. 3 kids + any food + me + Daddy = best idea

15. Pancakes work great for breakfast and dinner.

16. Thanks to 3 pregnancies, I know when I need a break and some orange juice!

17. Chuck E. Cheese works wonders!

18. Coffee can be a good thing.

19. Laughing kids is the best medicine!

20. I am proud of my husband.

This two week education is courtesy the US Army! AT is over, my Chaplain is on his way home.  Ready for a weekend away. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Since July 1, children at our church have been participating in a Read-A-Thon to raise money for our local adult literacy center. 

From the 1st to the 15th, they read books and kept a reading log while asking for donations.  Then on Monday, the 12 participants spent 3 1/2 hours at church for what we called a Read In.  They created Use Me books, book marks, learned about church ettiquette, and had time for some more reading. 

Then on Tuesday, we took a field trip to the literacy center.  The children enjoyed a tour of the center and created learner toolkits for the centers "students."  They presented a check to the director and explained what all they have worked on in the process. 

I am so proud of these kids. They worked so hard.  These 12 amazing children read 151 books and a combined 44 books of the Bible.  They also raised $403.29. I appreciate Cindy allowing me to be a part of this. I also appreciate Cindy, Holly, Hilarie, and Leslie for helping out. 

On Wednesday, we presented the final project to the church and handed out awards to the top point earners. They earned points based on their reading, donations, and attendance of the other activities.  All of the children recieved a goody bag for participating.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Camp Creative Part 2

I have to say that this year's Camp Creative was a success.  I feel blessed to be a part of it.  Here are some more pictures to show off what the children did.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Camp Creative Part 1

This year, I was asked to take part in Camp Creative again.  Our church hosts this 2 day camp to offer children various ways to worship, minister, and play with their creative side.  This year we had some great classes:

wood working
cake decorating

Our themes were Christmas in July/Arctic and Pirates.  I was really excited about that since I was to teach the cake decorating class again.  Here is a preview of some of our activities:

I was considering using Psalm 34:8 again for my class, but Leslie had mentioned 2Corinthians 2:15, and I just had to go with it! I spent about an hour making my banner for tomorrow.

Wednesday night the children present their activities for their families. Check back to see more pictures!

Good morning.

It is nearly 5 am. I've been up since three.

The cutest two year old decided he didn't want to sleep any more.

That really isn't so cute though.

He has a dry diaper.

We have cuddled.

We've played Angry Birds. Watched some weather and an episode of Lilo and Stitch. Watching a triple count of Mickey on On Demand now.

He's laughed.

He's cried. I wanted to!

He's tooted and giggled about it. Where do kids learn that!

I tried getting this cutie to get back in his bed. No.

My bed. No.

Only the recliner will do. Oh, my aching back!

In about 4 hours I have to help about 50 kids decorate Christmas cakes and cupcakes at church. Yes, really. Christmas in July. I promise I'm not that delusional.

A good night's sleep was at the top of my to do list.

Not any more.

Oh, he is comfortable.

And snoring.


But this experienced mom knows that if I move too soon.....

He will wake up

Need more milk

And an episode of Doc McStuffins.

He is telling me "no" in his sleep.

And decided to finish watching Mickey.

I didn't even move!

Good morning.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Boy oh boy!

Being a mom is never dull, especially being the mom of boys....more boys!

You may remember the post I shared with you when my oldest had something in his hair.  Or when my middle child got marker happy (and stamper happy and black sharpie happy).

Well, I guess Carter is trying to catch up with his brothers.  Can you guess what is in his hair?

This is the second time since Friday that he has "colored" his hair.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Book Review: Cleaning House

Kay Wills Wyma's book Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement is a great book.  After reading it, I felt hope for my own household!

After a conversation with her oldest son, the author realizes the strong sense of entitlement that has engulfed her household.  Looking to make her children productive members of the home (and society), she develops an experiment to develop skills she wants them to have before leaving home.  In the process, the children learn to take their eyes of themselves and focus on others.  Wyma learns that there is hope for the enabling parent as well. She shows what happens when we allow our children to help even though it is easier, quicker, and less messier to do it ourselves. 

During the experiment, the children take lessons in housecleaning, cooking, hosting parties, and running errands among other tasks.  In each chapter, she details the task at hand with examples of how it all played out.  Wyma also includes tips from other moms and experts and what she and her children learned that month. 

As a mom who finds it difficult to relinquish control and who has silently encouraged her children to not take part in chores, I fully appreciated this book.  There is hope for us! I highly recommend this book for families looking to help their children grow and split up the household chores. 

I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of an honest review from WaterBrook Press.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Space Camp

How we got started:
About about 6 years ago, we took Colin to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.  He was already interested in space, and the trip really got him excited about being an astronaut.  After that trip, we watched the movie Space Camp, and Colin decided that one day, he would go to Space Camp. 

This year was the first year he was old enough to go.  So we started discussing it back in January.  Was he really big enough to go? We had to consider his maturity and responsibility. We had to consider the cost, both monetarily and emotionally.  We decided as a family that Space Camp was a Go!  We signed him up!

Last  Sunday, Colin arrived at Space Camp.

I didn't realize that the camp was actually divided up into tracks, so we decided that Colin would do the Robotics Track since he is on his school's robotics team. Not only would he already know about the program, but he would be able to learn more to help his team here. 

Colin spent the week making new friends, completing a space mission, learning about the space program, and working in the Robotics Lab.  He and I were both homesick.  But all in all, we both agreed it was a great experience.  For me, it was a humbling experience to let my child go and dive into "controlled" independence. 

Here are a few pictures from is Space Camp DVD the camp gave us:

Colin in the Robotics Lab

What a cool picture!
Our future scientists, engineers, and astronauts walking to class.

Colin in the MAT (multi axis trainer)
More fun in the Robotics Lab

Working on teamwork and communication skills

Flight Engineer 2 working on his experiment

Swimming at the Aviation Camp

Colin practicing in the MMU (manned maneuvering unit)
The DVD was so great. We were able to see the activities Colin and the other trainees took part in during the week.

After a great week, it was time for graduation. It was filled with many surprises (for Colin and his parents).

The trainees marched in by team and found their seats.

Astronaut Don Thomas addressing the crowd.

Team Gear receiving their graduation certicficates from Astronaut Don Thomas.

Colin's Robotics Team, Astro Tech, receiving their awards for Best Overall in Robotics. They received certificates, a patch, and have their names on the trophy to be displayed at The Space and Rocket Center.

I hate my camera, but I LOVE this moment!
Colin is receiving the Right Stuff Award from Astronaut Don Thomas!
Only one trainee from each graduating camp receives the award. They are nominated by the counselors and camp management chooses the winner. 
Much to our surprise, Colin was the winner of this award.
After such a difficult (emotional week), it was an amazing moment to say the least.

Marching out from graduation (daddy giving a high five!).

Colin with Wesley, one of his counselors.

Colin next to the Robotics trophy.

Showing off his Right Stuff award

Needless to say, we are very proud of Colin.  To be gone from his family for almost a week, to exhibit such strong, moral character traits, to be an amazing young man.....yes, we are proud of him.

I am glad to have him home!