"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kindergarten Wore Me OUT!

Out cold at 6:00.

First Day of School 2011

The first day of school has finally arrived!  Oliver was up bright and early with the biggest grin on his face.  Thankfully, I didn't do what I did when Clayton went to kinder.  Then, I was up all night weeping and wailing. I slept great but woke up a little teary.  I don't know who is ever truly prepared to send their kids off to school for the first time.  My sweet friend, Kristy, gave me a basket of all of my faves (boston baked beans, reeses pb cups and a 2 liter of diet dp, plus some kleenex) to help carry me through the day.  

He just studied his backpack for the longest time and then started asking me questions about what he would do with his lunchbox.  He was really concerned about what to do at lunch.  I told him just to put his lunchbox down and start eating.  He said, "Don't we say our prayers first?"  Melt my heart!  I told him to say his prayers to God in his heart.  He asked why they didn't say prayers like at MDO.  

 The lunch box
 Clayton's lunch box
 I found these super cute printouts to make bag tags.  The boys love them.
 Clayton is so big and so ready for 3rd grade.
 Els has no idea how much his life is about to change.
 This boy is READY!!!  So EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!

 Teacher gifts.  I put crystal light packets inside these cute cups!

 In front of the school..Clayton was like, "Seriously, Mom!!! (so embarrasing)"
 Off to kindergarten.  Oliver was practically pulling us in there.  He was so brave and could not wait. (Oh, I hope he is having a good day...I can't stop thinking about him...he should be at lunch right now).

 There were legos ready for him to build.  So fun!
 Clayton said he wanted to go by himself to class (really?  You are 8....I'm still cool!!)
 I went anyways....he kept his head down in full drawing mode.
I CAN.NOT wait to find out how the day went.  Hoping the bus riding goes well!!
I met some friends after for a little boo- hoo breakfast but no tears were shed except for the two year olds in the room had a few screaming fits.  I know Oliver is ok, I am just sad and miss him.  It is so quiet around here with just one kid.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I read this today and loved it...don't let the length of it stop you.  It is an awesome poem.

by Russell Kelfer
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...
and the Master so gently said, " Wait."

" Wait? You say wait", my indignant reply.
" Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate,
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a ' yes' a ' go-ahead' sign.
Or even a ' no' to which I'll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
we need to but ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
as my Master replied again, " Wait."
So I slumpled in my chair, defeated and taut,
and grumbled to God, " So I'm waiting... for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
and He tenderly said " I could give you a sign."
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause the mountains to run.

I could give you all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love,
When the peace of my spirit decends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of my heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond just getting what you ask,
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
wait it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But oh, what a loss, if I lost what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see,
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me...
and though often My answers seem terribly late,
my most precious answer of all is still " WAIT." 

My prayer is that I could just trust Him, just wait, and know that He's got this.  That His answers are never late, that they are right on time...His time.

Meet the Teacher

Well, it is almost school time.  YAY!!  We are getting so excited around our house.  Oliver keeps saying "only four more sleeps until school"!  Tonight, we got to take our school supplies and meet our teachers.  An answer to prayer is that Mrs. S (who was Clayton's teacher) is Oliver's teacher this year.  I could not be happier.  She is AWESOME and I know he is going to have a great year.  It is so much easier to leave him with someone that I know will love and care for him.  
He was being so shy!!
 Here he is with his cubby.
 I just can't believe he is big enough to be away from me all day.  It happened so fast!  No tears today...I am sure to have a few on Monday.  Clayton's teacher, Mrs. W, is a new teacher at the school, so I had no idea what to expect.  I have heard from many people that 3rd grade is a really hard year and I have been worried about who he would have.  I was so excited to meet her.  She was so so nice.  Such a relief.  Clayton really liked her too.  And, to top it off, Caleb (his bff) is in his class this year.  Could be fun...could be trouble. We are looking forward to a GREAT school year!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We made Pickles!

Clayton has been wanting to make pickles all summer. Finally, the last week of summer, we did it...and they were delish!!  I found this recipe here.

We didn't have jars, so we just used a baggie and it worked out just fine!


Monday, August 15, 2011

"When School Starts....."

....I will eat better.
....I will get back to running.
....I will clean my house.
....I will be more organized.

I have been a BIG FAILURE at keeping up with things this summer.  Healthy eating has completely gone out the window.  I have the "i deserve to eat (fill in the blank) because I have had a hard day" motto.  The fill in the blanks include chocolate, candy, pizza for dinner many nights...basically anything that is bad for me and JUNK!!!    So, for the past month I have just given up and said "when school starts...."  It has become a joke.  Well, today, I started slim fast (actually slim rite since I am a cheap-o and RARELY buy name brand stuff).  Hopefully I will not be a BIG FAIL on this one.  Just need to lose a little of my summer "I don't care" fluffiness.

I have been a BIG FAILURE on the couch to 10k program.  I got all the way to week 6.  I was feeling so proud of myself and then FAIL.  It got soooo hot outside.  I couldn't even run at 2 am if I wanted to without killing over.  My goal of running the half marathon may not happen this year because I am not where I should be in the training process.  Good thing it is on my 40 before 40 list!!  Still have five years!!!  My hopes are When school starts I will get back to some routine of exercise.  

I have been a BIG FAILURE on housekeeping.  It is impossible during the summer.  The kids play hard all day, we are tired, and I just can't bring myself to do it.  But, "When school starts"...my house is going to be sparkly clean, painted, organized, laundry always done....(HA!!! if you know me well, these are BIG GOALS and I might just be setting myself up for failure.)

We have had a BLAST this summer, but we are ready to have some routine back in our lives ("we" meaning "me").  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Reading List

I LOVE to read!!  It is what I do for down time.  It is what I do after the kids are in bed.  We don't have tv, so after 8:00, I pull out my books or kindle and just read, read, read.  The great thing about the kindle is that my sister and mom have loaned me a lot of books and I still get a lot of books from the library or from friends. I don't think I read one book that I did not like.  I loved them all.

I kicked off the summer reading The Distant Hours.  I have read her other books The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton.  This book was not my favorite out of the three, but still really good.
The Distant Hours

Roses is by Leila Meacham.  I loved it too.

Radical by David Platt.  I have not completely finished this book.  It was so much to take in all at once.  So completely convicting.  

The Hunger Game Series by  Suzanne Collins.  These books are hard to put down.  Once you start, you have to sit and read the whole series.  I can't wait for the movie to come out.
Hunger Games

  Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas.  This was a great parenting book.  I think every parent should read this.  

The Redemption Series by Karen Kinsbury.  It is a five book series.  I absolutely loved these books and fell in love with the Baxter family.  She is a christian author and the series is about God's redemption.  I had a hard time putting these down.  They are really easy to read too.  You can fly right through them.
The Firstborn series is a continuation of the Redemption series.  It is also a five book series.  My mom loaned me all these books on my kindle and I was so sad when the series was over....

But, thankfully, to my surprise...there were four more books!!!  The Sunrise Series.  The
Baxter family is a christian family that experiences happiness, trials, marital issues, new life and even death.  I loved how Karen Kingsbury writes and shows that as believers, we are not promised a perfect and happy life, but through our faith in Christ there will be redemption and He will not leave our side.  These are a MUST read!
Sarah's Key by Tatiana DeRosney.  This book was good, but really really sad.  It was about the holocaust and the story of a little girl who was sent to a concentration camp.  Very eye opening and so so sad.
Sarah's Key

I am not completely finished with this book, but I am loving it.  Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.  I often keep myself so busy with life, the kids, cleaning the house...etc. that I forget to just sit at the feet of Jesus.  Great book!
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World   -     
        By: Joanna Weaver

Raising Your Children with No Regrets!  by Catherine Hickam.  This is an excellent parenting book.  A friend of mine let me borrow it and it really spoke to me right where I am.  As Clayton gets older, I go into the unknowns of raising and dealing with an older child and this really convicted me on how I need to parent him and all of my boys.  
Raising Your Children with No Regrets: 7 Principles of an Intentional Mother

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  A dare to live fully right where you are.  A book about being thankful in the good and the "ugly" (ugly thanksgiving).  Finding contentment and thanksgiving in everything.  "He gives and takes away.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord."
And back to my fave Karen Kingsbury.  The Lost Love series: Even Now and Ever After.  I LOVE her books.

That is 27 books!!!  And no, I have not been ignoring my kids all summer.  

Books to read next are:
The Baily Flanigan Series by Karen Kingsbury: Leaving, Learning, Longing and Loving.
Sacred Influence: What a Man needs from his wife to be the husband she wants by Gary Thomas
Handbook on thriving as an adoptive family:Real life solutions to common challenges.  by David and Renee Sandford.
A Praying Life:  Connecting with God in a distracting world.  by Paul Miller.
Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers: A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness, As Sure as the Dawn.

Summer Vacay

This year we decided to take a small summer vacay to Sea World, San Antonio.  Although, we were sad to forgo our annual beach vacation, it was exciting to do and see something different.  I was a little leery of going to Sea World with it being 105 plus degrees outside.  I am not a fan of the heat AT ALL!!  Plus, Joel came home from work one day and a man had told him how horrible Sea World was and how horribly hot and crowded it is.  But, I had other people tell me it was great.  I had to talk it up and tell myself it would be fun and it would be okay.  
Sea World DID NOT disappoint!!  WE had a BLAST!!!

We had to start our San Antonio Vacay visiting the classics that I went to as a child.  First stop...
The boys just stood in front and took a picture...nothing but a picture.
Then we headed to Casa Rio.  We always ate here when I was a kid.  Joel said I needed to branch out a little and try something different.  He wasn't crazy about it.  We had fun sitting on the river walk watching the riverboats and feeding the birds chips.

 Then the riverboat tour.  

 The next morning, we woke up bright and early and headed on the *FREE* shuttle to Sea World.  We went straight to the dolphins to feed them.  

 Oliver was brave and fed them fish. Clayton...not so much.
 It was so cool to be able to feed and pet them.
 Next, to the Bay of play area.  This is a huge splash/playground in the middle of the park.  It helped us stay cool all day.  We would go see a show, then run through the Bay of Play.  The boys loved this little roller coaster.  You can see Clayton in the very back.

 Our first show was Azul.  I loved it.  It was my favorite show.  It was Beluga Whales, dolphins, and acrobats.  I think Beluga Whales are so pretty.  
This picture is horrible of Elliot, but I love the look on  everyone elses faces.  Amazed.

 We had an all day/all you can eat pass both days and it was well worth our money.  We got food and water and water and more water all day long.
 Oliver's favorite show was One Ocean with Shamu.
 We also got to see baby Shamu.  So cute and tiny compared to the others.

 The big boys cooled off on the Rio Loco
 While we chilled in the shade.....
 Love those eyes!!!!!

 Oliver loved the Journey to Atlantis.  He talked about it the whole time.  He loved this ride and wanted to ride over and over and over.  
 They are on the front row.

 Clayton's favorite ride was the Steel Eel.  I can't believe he rode this.  I rode it and it was kind of scary.
 Els loved running through the water.
 Joel's favorite show was the Sea Lions Cannery Row
 The sea lions are so funny because it is almost as if they are really acting for the show.  
 The sting ray feeding was really neat too.  
 We wanted to see them feed the sharks, but they only eat every few days.  Bummed.  
 We spent part of both days at the Lost Lagoon which is the waterpark.  That kept us cool for the afternoons.

 We stayed from 930 am and got back to our hotel at 930 pm both days.  They were completely worn out.  They slept until almost 10 am this morning before we headed home.  
Sea World was the perfect getaway for our family!  So many great memories were made!