Thursday, April 30, 2009

Who are you and what have you done with my baby boy?!!!

First of all, if my son was to read that title I would be in big trouble. I guess he isn't suppose to be my "baby" anymore. But, are they not always our babies? I mean he caused me a lot of problems when I was pregnant with him. Shouldn't I get more than a "hey Mom!" as he rushes out the door? I think I should at the very least be able to call him my "baby" whenever I please.
I think I should also be able to keep him little for as long as I want too!

I guess the "Big Guy Upstairs" doesn't agree with me on this issue, for unfortunately my kids continue to grow and grow and eventually turn into these individuals I barely recognize sometimes. I see glimpses of the future teenage years and I'm starting to tremble in fear.

This week for some reason, I've noticed something new about my son. (AND I DON"T LIKE IT! ) Like typical boys he tends to show off for friends, but here recently he thinks it is "cool" to mouth off to mom in what he considers a comical way. Believe me this mom is definitely NOT smiling. If he makes that silly voice and goofy face one more time while repeating what I'm saying, I'm going to...

Really, what is a mom to do? I can always play the daddy card at anytime, and it works. However, just once I would like to understand what my son is thinking without saying "Do I need to tell your dad?!" Even though those exact words have passed my lips many a time, I end up feeling like a kid on the playground ready and willing to be the tattletale. And nobody likes a tattletale, including me...unless of course someone is tattling on my kid, cause I really want to know what they are doing at all times!

The truth is my son is growing up. And he is going through that impossible stage that makes the terrible two's look like a walk in the park. At least when they were two I could pretend that I didn't understand half of what they said and I was bigger and stronger so in the end, I had the last word. Now a ten year old who thinks dad hung the moon and mom is pretty close to being stupid about most things...yeah, is there anyway I can skip the next 10 years?

Now don't get me wrong. I have a pretty good kid. Teachers like him. Coaches like him. He always has plenty of friends. He is usually a rule follower and hates to be embarrassed and get in trouble...

Until now. Which means he is growing up, huh? He is this lovable boy who still wants hugs before going to bed, yet would die if I tried to kiss him in public. He totally thinks his dad knows everything, until a friend tells him something different. He is respectful most of the time, until he is trying to get a laugh from a friend. He is a pretty normal ten year old boy.

And I hate it.

Sniff! Sniff! I want my baby back!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

All in the day and the life of a class mom...

Well you see it is like this, they have this organization at school call the PTO, which sadly I never volunteer for. Please do not judge me on this, for here is the thing...I end up having to work at the events anyway. I will just never sign up to be president!

This year my son's teacher and the PTO President both go to my church. I might as well have raised my white flag the first day of school and shouted, "I surrender!" What a year!

The latest responsibility that has fallen into my hands is organizing a basket for my son's class for the the upcoming Basket Auction. Each class picks a theme for a basket, then asks parents to bring items to put in the basket with that theme in mind. Not a bad idea, unless the parents in your class decide not to send anything and you have to have a detailed description of your basket ready for the PTO by Friday!!!

Actually that is not true. I had one parent give me five dollars to spend on something for the basket and another parent gave me three Webkinz animals. OK , I decided to change the theme and just have a Webkinz basket, so I go down to the gift shop to buy a few more stuffed animals. I couldn't find them, so finally I ask the salesclerk. They are no longer selling them, but she asks the lady behind the counter just to make sure. I then realize it is my friend, the one who donated the three Webkinz in the first place and she happens to be working at the gift store today.

To make a short story even shorter, before I knew it she and the owner went in "back" and brought out 20 Webkinz, and 13 packages of the Webkinz trading cards. The store owner who is very generous with a big heart DONATED them all for the class basket. And then told me that they would fix the basket for me.

It doesn't get much better than that. I went from having hardly an idea for a basket to a basket worth more than two hundred dollars all in the space of fifteen minutes. Yeah!

I guess it is all in who you know and I was one lucky class mom. Scratch that...I was one very BLESSED class mom.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Picture With the "King."

Tonight was my scrapbooking night. Once a month I get a "girl's night out" kind of thing where I get to go hang out with a wonderful group of ladies, talk and be creative. I know many people are going to digital scrapbooking now, and I am not against it. I may do it one day just to catch up... However, the actual process of creating a page, cutting, picking out ribbon, stickers and brads is therapy for me. I feel peaceful when I do it. Unfortunately I never get much time to do it anymore and that aggravates me to no end, but then that is a whole different story.

Anyway, as I said, tonight was scrapbooking night. We were going to do Easter layouts and since my stubborn kids would not pose for me on the very rainy Easter this year, I was searching for some old pictures to use. As I was going through my box of pictures that for some reason were never put in an album, I came across many treasures. I might have to share a few in the future. (Amber, you are being warned!)

Again I got off on a tangent. Anyway, in my search I came across this special treasure.

It is a scanned copy of a photocopy of the original. (Did I just make any sense?) My dad had given Kayla a copy a few years back so Kayla could prove to her friends that her "Pooh pa" had indeed met the one and only Elvis Presley. Yes, that really is the "king" himself in the picture and not a wax model. And yes, my dad really did get to meet him in his Navy days. Pretty cool, huh?
Dad, you were so cute in your sailor uniform. !

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"These shoes were made for dancing..."

Last Monday I spent almost three hours watching a dress rehearsal. Last night I watched a two hour program. This afternoon I spent another three hours in an auditorium chair and tonight I spent...well you get the picture. Why? Because of these shoes...

My daughter caught the dance bug about four years ago and has tapped along ever since. I am in awe of her and her ability to tap. Along with the ability to sing like her daddy, when I get to heaven, I would love to be able to "river dance" my way down those golden streets.

I didn't take many pictures during the program, because my friend who is a photographer sits down front at every show and takes pictures of all the girls. Last year she got some great ones of Kayla. So, I took a few, but the lighting is horrible so you will just have to wait until I see what she was able to get.

However, in the meantime, I thought I would travel down memory lane a bit, after all my little girl is growing up. Here is to four years of hard work, money, costumes, a few tears and lots of smiles.

Kayla was in third grade. The story behind this picture is, I was out of town sitting with my very sick grandpa at the hospital and "Daddy" had to get Kayla ready for this picture. I heard about how "awesome" he was for weeks afterwards from all the other dance moms. He did pretty good, huh?

In fourth grade, there were no other girls her age dancing, so she was put with the older girls and thought she was big stuff! She did pretty good too! What I remember most though about this certain year was her chewing bubble gum during the recital. One of the teenagers had given her a piece of gum backstage. She was ballet dancing her way through the song, popping her gum along the way. I went back stage and fussed at her about the gum and almost made her cry. She was afraid she didn't do a good job, because the first thing I said to her was "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT GUM?" I regret that moment, because the truth was she was beautiful, gum and all.

Fifth grade was a hard year. We moved in the middle of the year. She was upset at leaving her dance teacher who she loved and a little uncertain of her dancing skills with the new teacher and the new class. There were many tears shed this year for different reasons. She wanted to quit so many times, but I wouldn't let her because of the commitment she had already made. (I would never MAKE her dance, but when she has a place in a recital piece, she needs to finish what she starts.) However, in the end it was a year of growth for her and she hung in there. She did a good job too. She just lost a lot of her confidence when we moved. But she didn't lose her love for dancing... and believe it or not, she wanted to dance again.

So here we are, finishing our fourth year. We have come along way. Kayla told me that this year she wasn't even nervous. She even smiled more while dancing along in the recital. She will never be the star of the show. (She could one day if her passion was dancing, but for now it's not.) I don't think she even wants to be the center of attention. She just loves to dance. I guess we will have to wait and see if she continues on this adventure we call dance, next year.

We are very proud of you, Kayla!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Painting a little history...

I think I've mentioned that Jordan is painting a bench. I really didn't realize what a big deal it was. He has just been telling me that he is painting a bench in art. OK?! I don't know what I thought he meant, but I found out the other day that it is a pretty big deal.

You see, his school has a new learning garden. The art teacher asked all the kids to draw a picture of nature. The pictures were voted on by a panel of judges. The best pictures were chosen. Those kids whose pictures were chosen, were asked to paint their picture on a bench that would go in the new garden. Jordan was one of the winners. I think there were maybe five benches altogether. Pretty cool, huh?

They had a dedication ceremony today, but it was at a time I couldn't go. So I contacted his teacher and she said I could come early and he could show me his masterpiece. He was really excited about me seeing his bench. He has been working hard on it, even staying some after school. To think, my son's drawing will now be a part of history at his school.

This is the new learning garden, where Jordan's bench will be put.

This is his picture that won.

This is his painted bench.

I'm pretty proud of him.

On a side note, Jordan won his ballgame tonight. He actually got to play the whole game. He made three hits and scored one run. Way to go, Jorboy!

Kayla had her first recital and did a beautiful job. I am so proud of her! She has to dance in the opening number of the two recitals tomorrow too. We will be busy! I'll post pictures later.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

It is a scary world in which my children live!!!

I have had a lot of worry and fear in the back of my mind lately. There have been a few incidents around town the past two weeks that have left me shocked and totally disturbed. Not to mention scared for my kids!!! What is our world coming to? I even live in small town America!

Everyday when I say goodbye to my kids, since they started school, I've prayed in my heart for their protection, knowing that I have to TRUST others with their safety. When the terrible things of this world start entering your child's bubble in life, getting too close for comfort, the mama bear fear explodes. What is a mom to do?

I know you are dying of curiosity, so without getting into too much detail, here is a condensed version of the news circulating around our town. A youth minister at a local church was charged for having an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl. This totally disturbed me as both a mom and the wife of a student minister. Then I found out that four SECOND GRADE boys held a girl down on the playground the other day, doing who knows what! Well I know "what," I just don't want to really think about it. SECOND GRADERS!!! Then to top off my week of worry, I was stopped by someone yesterday and told to tell my daughter to be on alert. Evidently there is some crazy man, camping out around the middle school, picking on the girls... they haven't caught him yet. As you can imagine, I wanted to snatch my kids up, lock them up in their rooms and never let the craziness of this world get to them...but I can't.

Last night my husband spoke about Joseph, in youth. It is a story I have heard over and over in Sunday School. I know all about Joseph and his beautiful coat of many colors. Yet, I don't think I've ever really truly thought about this part of the story, until my husband pointed it out last night to our group; God allowed some crazy things to happen to Joseph. However, even when he was mistreated (by his own family, no less!) God had a plan.

I don't think God wants us hurt. I honestly think he hurts when we hurt. But unfortunately we live in a sinful world. The comfort comes in knowing that he has a beautiful plan for each of us. He is there through all the tough moments that will soon enough find us and burst our "bubbles." I honestly don't know how people make it in this world without faith, someone to believe in. I can't imagine life without my Lord! It is hard enough as it is!

So, as I said goodbye to my kids this morning, thinking about all that has gone on lately in our town, trying not to worry myself to death, I let them go once again in God's hands. That is all I really can do every minute of every day. I have to totally trust my Heavenly Father, when I can't trust the world.

"For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-12

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Searching for the Energizer Bunny!

Since last week we have been going and going and going. However, unfortunately I AM NOT the Energizer bunny!!! In other words I am just plain tired. I'm cheering on today, because we are half way through this crazy week.

As you know, when you have children, your time is no longer yours...

Baseball. I am not a die hard fan like my sister. However, once I get there I enjoy the spirit of the game. Oh, let's be honest...I just go for the nachos!!! That is what I had for dinner last night while watching this guy. It's he cute?!

Yeah! He made a good solid hit in last night's game, unfortunately he has this way of hitting it towards first base every time. He has another game Friday.

I will not be at the game Friday, because this mom is going to be sweet and let daddy dearest off the hook. Kayla's dance recital is Friday night too. You can imagine which one dad wants to go to! Let's recital or baseball game? Believe me it was a very hard decision for him. :)

As for dance, by the time it is all over I will have seen umpteen girls dancing in tutus. Kayla had dress rehearsal Monday night...I was there for three hours!!! Her three dances will be Friday night. However, she is in the opening number for all three recitals, which means I get the honor and privilege of going to those too. We do get to leave after she dances on the Saturday performances, but since I have some senior girls from our youth group dancing Saturday night, I'm going to try and stay to see them. This weekend I will be danced out!!! Energizer bunny, where are you?!!!

Other news...

Kayla is taking French. The high school is offering a 6 week course, one day a week, after school. It is for the 6Th grade students. She had her choice between Spanish or French. I told her she needed to learn Spanish. She told me that she planned to learn both. OK. Hope she is better than I ever was at languages... I took both French and Spanish and remember almost nothing. She went yesterday and had a blast!

Jordan is painting a bench. He won an art contest and was one of the students selected to paint a bench in the new learning garden at school. HE is so excited! They are having a dedication ceremony on Friday. I have to work, but I'm hoping I can talk Kev into carrying a camera for me. My son painted one of the benches in the new garden, how cool is that?!

I went to the dentist Tuesday. She fixed a filling that had gone bad and took care of a cavity in another tooth. The crazy thing is that when she first started working on my mouth, I felt a shoot of pain that made me jump. She gave me another shot. It took three!!! I now have a bruise on my cheek. Moral of this story, go to the dentist...often. If you wait like me, you never leave the office and your wallet is drained dry.

Tonight was youth. I am soooo glad we meet on Wednesdays. I need that "lift" halfway through the week. My husband has started a series on Joseph. He was talking about how to know God truly cares when things don't always go like we think they should. God has a plan even through the difficult moments of our lives...can I get a big AMEN?! As my husband likes to say; "I think he was drinking my koolaid" tonight!!!

On that note, I had better go get my beauty sleep. Dark circles under my eyes would be too "matchy matchy" with my bruised cheek. I have a full day tomorrow too. Although it is my one "free" night from spectating and cheering for my kids, I have as my sister likes to say a "mountain of laundry" to do and a sink full of dirty dishes. ( How is it, if we are never home, we still find time to mess up every glass in the cabinet?)

Hope you have a great day tomorrow!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Who is the man in my husband's chair?!!!

I love my husband. We have been together since our first year of college in 1989. He was a transfer student and I was a freshman at one of the best colleges ever. His dad tells a story about how they were visiting during parent weekend and Kevin pointed me out and told his dad that he was going to date me one day. Sweet, huh?

It wasn't love at first sight for me, but because we started out as good friends, there was a foundation there that has helped us in our married journey together, after the newlywed bliss wore off and the children came along. I can honestly say he is my best friend.

We have been together through the ups and the downs. We have taken care of each other through the sickness (well he tries...) and health. We've backed each other in the war of parenthood. And we have enjoyed the blessings of a great ministry serving the Lord together.

Funny thing is, after almost twenty years of being together there are very few secrets or surprises...until today. When I came home there was a stranger in my house.

This is who I saw...

Could someone please tell me who that man is sitting in my husband's chair?!!! :)

I faintly recognize the face from, let's say, ten or twelve years ago...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My "Nemesis" was going down!

Please do not judge me. But unfortunately I happen to be a die hard "scaredy cat." Yep! There is no use denying it either. I honestly have a lot of fears. Just ask my husband. I make him feel "needed" on a daily basis. He is a great bug killer, mouse catcher and storm watcher (Only he likes to watch the storms roll in while standing outside...I like to watch the map in the corner of my TV!). Got to love the guy for putting up with me.

However, right up there at the top of my list is the creepiest, ugliest, scariest thing ever... the SPIDER. Hate them. Have nightmares about them. Just thinking about them makes my skin crawl. This is so hard to write about. In fact the only reason I'm even talking about the horrible creature is that I killed one last night.

You heard me, "I killed a spider in my bathroom last night!"

Now don't even begin to ask me how big it was, for you wouldn't believe me even if I told you. (My family thinks I often exaggerate when it comes to the hairy creatures.) Let's just say it was "big enough." My husband was gone to safe prom and would not be back for hours, my son was already asleep (although he hates them too!) and my daughter will do many things like hold a snake, frog or mouse, but she will not even attempt to save her mom from the scary looking spider in my bathroom. I was on my own.

I would like to say right now that my sister is rolling her eyes, calling me a "big sissy" under her breathe and trying not to laugh at my scary dilemma. I have one word for her...FROGS!!! :)

On that note, I did kill the spider. I decided that it was either the spider or me and this spider was going down! (It only took me fifteen minutes to build up the courage. Go ahead and picture me standing in fear for fifteen minutes with my eye on the enemy, wondering what I was going to do.) It had gone under a shoe and I didn't want to lift the shoe and... finally it crawled out and I knew that I had to do something before it got away. (Or I wasn't going to be able to sleep!) I grabbed the closest thing I could reach and our spider was a goner.

My husband, dad and my sister, I know, are all be so proud right now. After having to kill spider after spider for me throughout my life, every time I kill one I know they beam with pride! It's such an accomplishment. I'm growing up. I'm facing my fears.

Well, sort of...I mean here's the thing, I'm kind of embarrassed to tell you "how" I killed the spider. Most people would smash it with a shoe or a flyswatter. No, not me. Some people might get the bug spray out. Nope, we didn't have any. Actually, I grabbed what ever I could find.


Yes, you heard it here. I killed a spider with Lysol. That spider was drunk on fumes and smelling good when it entered spider ever after. And you know what else?

Not only is my bathroom spider free, it now smells clean too. And it only took half a can!

Have a great day!

A Fish Fry for Four!!! Yummy!

It is suppose to rain today. The weatherman said it would rain ALL day. Of course I have just about stopped listening to him since he said we wouldn't get any bad weather last week and I woke up to a tree in my yard and no power! ( I think I forgot to write about that...I know I took pictures. Oh well, another day! Back to the story at hand...) Anyway, my husband decides to go fishing. If you know anything about fishing, then you know that one of the best times to go is right before the weather changes. This morning was GOOD fishing weather! Or that is what he tells me...

He and the kids hopped into the truck and headed off to a pond at his friend Lee's house (He and Lee grew up together and then they went to college and were roommates at OBU. Lee has the most beautiful house as well as a BIG pond in his front yard. Anyway, there I go on a tangent again. Sorry, I'm bad about that today!)

So, yes I had a few hours of peace and quiet on the home front. (I can hear the jealous sighs of mothers everywhere!) However, I did have to pay bills, wash dishes, clean and wash my mountain of laundry. But it was done in PEACE. I'm still smiling.

Around noon today, the troops came marching in. Jordan was carrying a basket full of fish. They were all excited, because they knew daddy had already promised them if they caught any today, they could cook them for lunch. Yummy! (Now my family is saying right now, "Michele, you don't like fish!" To which I will now answer, "I like it when it is coated in cornmeal and grease!!!)
We had fish, hush puppies and french fries for lunch. And it was GOOD! As far as I am concerned, my family can go fishing every weekend. I had it pretty good. I had a few hours of peace and quiet and then my husband cooked lunch! Yummy! Doesn't get much better on a Saturday than that!

Kevin and the kids holding their catch. They really don't look their best... but then I guess the fish didn't care!

The wonderful, FRIED lunch my hubby cooked. No regrets today!!!

I thought I would include a few pictures from last week, just so you know I didn't make it up. A tree from next door fell in our yard, breaking the power line and the pole in half. It blew the transformer so we didn't have electricity for about 15 hours! Yes, Mr. Weatherman was on my hit list last week...

Well everyone, hope you have a blessed and happy weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My daughter's "soapbox"

Here lately, I would say my daughter has had ENOUGH! Everyday this week she has come home frustrated from school or church, because she has gotten into an argument of some kind. Now normally I would be frustrated with her. I tend to be a peacemaker. However, after hearing what she is fighting for...well this mom is just a little proud. Actually scratch that! I'm A LOT proud!

I thought I would share two of the examples with you.

Example #1:

We were in the car last night, getting a quick bite to eat after church. When out of the blue Kayla says she thinks she might have lost a friend tonight. Of course I wanted to know in "detail" what she was talking about. She preceded to tell me about a "fight/conversation" that happened between two of her friends. And then told me how she ended up in the middle... Here is their conversation.

I'm going to call her friends "Betty" and "Veronica."

Veronica is talking to Betty:
"I can't believe you wore those clothes tonight. You have the ugliest clothes. How do expect anyone to like you or want to be your friend if you come here looking like that all the time."

Betty remains silent, about to cry.

Veronica keeps at it until Kayla has had enough.

"Why can't you just be nice. Just leave her alone."

Veronica responds with a "you sound like someones mother!"

Kayla responds with a " at least I'm trying to act mature, while you are being immature!!!" (She is her daddy's girl! She can come back with a comeback every time.)

Veronica says that maybe Kayla should just go ahead and be friends with Betty. "Maybe you don't deserve to hang with us anymore!"

Kayla, although hurt, was more angry at the actions of her friend. Although I didn't praise her for fighting back, I did tell her I was proud she stood up for a friend, someone who doesn't have much, at the risk of losing friendships. Girls can be so mean at times.

I love this girl! She can frustrate me one minute, yet will turn around and do something like this...

Example #2:

I guess it is safe to say, that my daughter is Pro life.

Now before I go on with my story I am not going to apologize if you are reading this and are Pro choice. We will just have to agree to disagree on this subject, for my family and I do not believe in terminating a baby's life at any stage. (And I do believe that it is a baby at the time of conception. I also believe that most mothers, if it came down to it would give their life for their child, so save that argument.) I have taught my daughter my beliefs, yet I know she will have to make her own choices in life and decide what she truly believes in for herself. Today, she pretty much let her friends and me know that she is a Pro life advocate.

She started the conversation with a "my friends are STUPID!!!" Now in our family the use of the word stupid had better be selective and never used in calling someone a name, so of course I was going to get to the bottom of why she decided that her lunch buddies at school were "STUPID." Let me start with the fact that in my mind the "jury is still out" on a couple of friends. Not that they are bad kids. I trust them and their families to a point. They even all go to church, however, some of them have a few beliefs that are different than ours. This became apparent one day at school to my 12 year old.

Evidently her and a friend got into a heated debate over abortion. Yep! That is a tough one. Her friend believes in Pro choice. Kayla did not like this one bit. Even when she realized that all her lunch buddies believed the opposite of her, she did not back down. She stood her ground on what she believed, even when she was outnumbered. No matter what issue the debate was on, the fact that she stood strong while standing alone, made my heart beam with pride. There is hope that she might survive the teenage years after all!!!

She was telling me of all their arguments and how she responded...have I told you how proud I am?!!!

As I was saying before, I'm not here to debate the issue in this post. I'm simply having a proud mama moment. However, maybe I should take a lesson from my daughter's book and not be afraid to stand up for what I believe...even if it does cost me a reader or two!

Yep! I think I will just jump right up there on that soapbox with Kayla! No apologies...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where were you in the 80's???

I was a teenager. It was a "radical" time filled with big bangs, blue eyeshadow and Madonna wannabes. What can I say, I was in high school having "The Time of My Life." Would I go back? No. Well, actually maybe. Even if I seemed to be "Living on a Prayer" half the time. I mean if I could go back knowing what I know now and still enjoy the music, movies and fun of the 80's, I just might go revisit my past. Truth is, kids today would be totally surprised to find out that many of the things that have come out today are ideas carried from that decade.

I'm totally going to go out on a limb here. I am not one who usually has a great following on my blog. (Or maybe they just don't leave comments.) Which is alright by me...most of the time. But today I need a little help. So to my very few and faithful readers please help me out and give me your best suggestions and then go ask a few of your friends too. I need all the help I can get.

Anyway, the point of this post is all about "party planning." Every year I have a birthday celebration for my hubby. I usually do a big event for our youth group. The tradition is to have a scavenger hunt. I change the theme and the type of hunt, from year to year. This year I've decided to have an 80's extravaganza. Fun, huh? It will be a themed party where the kids dress up, participate in some trivia games, maybe a little karaoke, and of course there will be a scavenger hunt.

The idea for this year's theme came from a party we had at church, Super Bowl night. I was sitting at the table with some of the girls in our youth group and we were talking about old songs. Before I knew it, everyone was breaking out in spontaneous acapella karaoke (if there is such a thing!) and I realized most of the songs people were picking were my old favorites. The funnest part of the evening was when the girls had Kevin trying to learn the High School Musical dance. I know that it isn't 80's, but everyone trying to do Thriller right before that was... born was a vision.

Here is what I need...IDEAS!
Please help. Please ask your friends for help. Yes, I lived through the 80's and I do have many great ideas already, but I need help remembering... after all, even though I hate to admit it, my teenage years were a little ways back there.
So all you gals who wore faded denim, used a can of hairspray everyday and thought double mismatching socks were "tubular," here is your chance to recall a time in your life when you thought you were "it." Let me know what your favorite things to say, watch, listen to or wear in the 80's were. It could be fun traveling back in time.

Also, I need a list of ideas for the kids to find on a scavenger hunt.

If you have any great ideas for decorating, I would appreciate those too.

Kev's birthday is in May, but we plan on having the party the first week in June as a big end of the school year event. So, I only have a little less than a month to work on this. I would appreciate any help you can give me.

Thanks! You're awesome!

Oh, I thought you might get a kick out of seeing this picture. I was a senior in high school and I wore this to a dance... What was I thinking? (Actually, I copied the idea off of a picture I had of Whitney Houston. Enough said, huh? Oh, it was such a different time!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Praying on the bench...

My kids go to public school...they always have. I wish I was one of those moms who was organized, not easily distracted and could stay on task without help, but I know my limitations. If I was to try and homeschool my kids, we would end up with field days every other day and they might graduate by the time they are 25! Private school would be out of the question too, for this money well runs dry half the time... So, my kids go to public school.

For the most part they like it. They are both social butterflies and love learning and hanging out with friends. Jordan enjoys playing with pals at recess and doing science projects, while Kayla loves learning the flute in band and picking history apart in Social Studies. They do well. Decent grades. They get along with teachers and other students. This mom does her part and plans parties and activities with the PTO. Yeah, they pretty much like school...

Except for this week. The week of the dreaded BENCHMARK! Teachers and principals have them so uptight that they get sick. Kayla told me that one of her teachers told her class that if they didn't do well on the test, that they would hurt their school. Talk about pressure!!!

I didn't really worry about the Benchmark until two years ago. Jordan was in the second grade. He started waking up in the middle of the night with night terrors. They were the scariest thing. You feel so helpless as a parent. I finally asked the advice of a counselor who went to my church. She asked if anything had changed in our lives that would create anxiety for him. I could think of nothing. That is, until he made a comment after school one day. " I am going to be a loser if I do not do good on the test!" I figured out that the Benchmark test was in two weeks. I tried talking to him about it and his worries. However, with the school putting pressure on him, it was like he was brainwashed every day after school. The night terrors continued.

They stopped the day after the tests were finished. He hasn't had them again.

Last year he just felt sick during testing time, worried about how he would do. I'm thankful he has grown out of the night terror stage. Yet, even today I asked him if something was wrong and he told me he felt bad. I realized that testing starts tomorrow. He admitted that he was "scared."
I know school life is full of things that we have to accomplish that are never fun. The SAT and ACT about did me in, and of course public speaking is my Achilles heel!!! Needless to say delivering reports or giving speeches were not my strong points! Yet, why does it have to be so hard on our babies?!

When I went to kindergarten, I learned my ABC's and shapes. Today, kindergartens learn to read and write cursive! Before you know it, our society will expect every three year old to know basic reading skills! The stress of school is so much greater than what I remember it ever being for me growing up and I certainly wasn't a straight A student!

Why the pressure? When does a kid get to simply be a kid?

I could go on and on, for I am not afraid to tell anyone who asks that I simply HATE the Benchmark test! I hate what it does to my kids. But for now, we must endure. That is unless my sister wants to move to my town and homeschool my kids for me!!! :)

Please say a prayer for my babies. Their week of testing starts tomorrow. We will probably wake up with a tummy ache and who knows what else, tomorrow...

I guess this mom will be "marking" her week with prayer...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Something Beautiful...

Isn't it amazing how God can take something plain and ordinary (like our heart)

Dip it in the grace of Jesus and turn it into something beautiful?!!!

"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

Revelation 8:12

Hope you had a beautiful Easter. I did.

Thank you Jesus for making hearts beautiful with your grace.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Beautiful Gift...

He was crying. His cheeks wet from sweat and tears. He knew what he had to do, yet like any man, cried out for God to make the inevitable to go away. He knew the answer already. He knew the pain which laid ahead. "I just want to do your will, Father. Give me the strength to do your will."

What selfless love he had. He is the best friend, the caregiver, the big brother, the protector...all wrapped up in one. He was the true example of love. That night, he was pleading, yet was willing to do whatever it took to save those he loved.

He was beaten, called names, mistreated and betrayed by his own friends. Yet, he didn't give up until all was "finished." His last breathe was spoken on behalf of another...

Yet, he knew something others truly didn't understand. HE knew something that is still hard for me to comprehend at times. He had a vision for what laid ahead, on the other side of pain. He knew of the hope he could give to others by this one gift of sacrifice.

He knew me in that moment and He knew I needed him more than anything else in this world. He gave me the most precious gift...grace.

The man in the garden is my SAVIOR. He truly loves me, no matter what I have done or unfortunately what I will do. He knew he was my only hope and was willing to be my protector.

This is the week of Easter. It is a time to reflect and realize what a beautiful gift we all have been given. While we are picking out Easter dresses, coloring beautiful eggs and eating loads of chocolate bunnies and Starburst jellybeans, let us not forget the most beautiful gift of all. It is wrapped in love, tied in forgiveness and taped with eternity.

I am in total awe of the selfless love of my Savior.

Have a great Good Friday and Easter weekend!

Hey everybody! Let's celebrate, for Our Savior Lives!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Every once in a while...

I have to totally brag on my hubby! First because he says I NEVER write anything about him, as if he doesn't exist. If you actually read my blog, you would know that is a totally untrue statement. He is a big part of my life isn't he?!

Anyway, he is working really hard lately. YET, he found time today to help his family. HE came up to the daycare where I work and put book shelves together for my coworkers because they couldn't find another hubby willing to do it. He inherited his daddy's servant heart. I love that about him...

He then left work, before his work was done, to take Jordan and a friend to baseball practice. After practice was over he went and picked Kayla up from dance for me. He was in charge of dinner and homework tonight as well. (I think they had McDonald's.)


Yes, my honey deserves a hug because once a month he "handles everything" so I can have a girl's night out. I get to go hang out with other moms just like me, needing a few minutes to BREATHE!!! OR scrap!

Thank you Kev! I love you! See, I do talk about you (every once in a while!).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Have you ever wondered...???

I think I was prayed for today. I'm not sure what she looks like, but I can see her in my imagination desperately searching through her purse. I can see the frantic eyes, although I don't know their color. I can even imagine a tear or two...

I went to check my mail today during my lunch break. The post office was hopping! People everywhere. I notice a piece of white paper on the sidewalk in front of me by my car. I didn't think much about it. I went inside to check my box.

When I came out it was still there. So I bent down to pick it up. Then my eyes moved further to a spot in the grass. There was another piece of paper. When I picked it up I realized it was someones paycheck...SIGNED. And to top things off I was also holding the deposit slip!!! What do you do?

I couldn't find a phone number on the deposit slip, but I since it was a work check, I knew where the man worked. I called my husband for some numbers and directions. Like the good husband he is, he took the check to the man for me. The husband said his "wife" must have dropped it.

OH! My heart feels for her tonight. I wonder if her husband told her right away or left her "freaking out?" Yeah, I get the feeling she has been praying for me, the person who found her husband's paycheck all day. Or let's just say she was praying to find that check! I can't even begin to imagine how worried she was...her husband's whole paycheck, LOST! I seriously don't know what I would have done, had it been me. Panic?! Heart attack?! He can't kill me while I'm down, can he?

Tonight when I was talking to Kev about what happen and how I found the check in the first place, he told me it was God whispering to me "to pick the paper up." As I look back, I have to admit, I really was going to walk right by and did, but on the way back to my car something pulled at me to bend down and check out what was there.

Have you ever wondered as you walk through life, if you are someones answer to prayer? I mean, the little things we do, that might mean so much to someone else. A kind word, help finding a car in the mall parking lot, a flat tire, a hug or note of encouragement, or maybe finding someones paycheck. It makes you view your steps a little differently. I mean, when I think of how many times I've asked God for help...I never have really thought of the people he uses to do the little mundane tasks that help answer my prayers. I've never really thought that I could be answering someones cry when I speak a kind word, help a neighbor or give a little love away.

When I told my lunch story today, people were impressed I went to the trouble... WHY? What does that say about our world today? I don't know about you, but I was raised to think about others and how they are feeling, and all I could think about when I held that check was the despair someone, somewhere was feeling over losing it. I tell my kids to always treat others the way you want to be is so true. One of these days I might be a desperate woman, searching her purse, in tears, praying there is someone left in the world who might care.

A couple of weeks ago, Kevin and one of his teenagers were at Walmart. They were not there very long. When they came out the boy he was with said he thought this older lady was lost. He had seen the same lady, cart full, in the parking lot when they had entered the store. She was still out in the parking lot, cart full. Kev went over to ask if they could help her find her car. He said the relief on her face was priceless. I don't know if the lady was praying to find her car that day, but I do believe God sent Kevin and Kyle to help her.

You just never know. As you go through your day, be on alert. You just might be someones answer to prayer.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame...

It has been a crazy day!!!

First I had to help my daughter get ready for the dreaded DANCE pictures. I thought she looked beautiful (even if I'm not in love with her costume!) But unfortunately Kay woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. She was NOT a happy camper, which if you know my daughter, then you know that no one was a happy camper. However, we did get the pictures taken, so I got to check something off my to do list for today... I even took a few pictures of my own when we got home so you could see what she looked like. Crazy outfit, huh? They are dancing to "Disturbia" so I guess the outfit fits the theme. :)

Then I met Kev and Jordan at the ballpark at 10:30. He was playing game #2 of the tournament. His game had just started, so I only missed one batter. They won the first game. Yeah! Jordan scored a run, so he was happy. Here are a few pictures from the first game...

Jordan on first base.

Jordan running to third base.

Jordan in outfield.

After the game Kev had some things to do, so Jordan went with me. I asked him where he wanted to eat lunch. He chose Subway (Yummy!), so we had a date, just me and him. It was a fun moment. I asked him about all the players on his team (still learning their names!) and he told me about what he thinks about baseball. He then finagled me into buying him a new helmet (our Subway is in Walmart), by telling me that his was too small. Yeah, he pretty much got me, because when we got home, I realized it was the same size as his old one! Nice one, Jor!
However, I couldn't be too mad, because he has had the same helmet for four years. Also, my little man turned my heart to mush when he asked if he could give his old one to a friend who doesn't have one. Evidently he has been borrowing Jordan's. Moments like that are encouraging that you are doing something right as a parent!

We returned to the ballpark at 2:30. Jordan didn't score this game, but his team won. This year is a new experience for him, because he has a really big team and in the older boys league, well not everyone gets to play though out the whole game...unless you are really, really good. Jordan isn't really, really good, he is just average. He and five other little boys have to share spots and trade out, which means he spends a lot of time in the dugout too. Oh well, when I went to check on him earlier, he seemed to be having fun anyway...something about a sunflower spitting contest! Boys! Here are a few captured moments from game #3.

Jordan at bat. Kev took this picture. That is me right behind Jorboy!

I love this picture! My son having a good time with his buddies in the dugout!

Sunflower seed spitting contest. Who needs to be on the field to have fun, anyway! :)

Game #4. There is good and there is bad news. The good news is Jordan's team won the tournament! YEAH! Which meant we didn't have to play game #5, because we were undefeated. Great, right? It is unless you are a little boy who didn't get to bat tonight. unfortunately it was his turn to play in the second half of the game. The game ended before a few of the boys even got to bat. It was a 4 inning game, so they go by quick. So, Jordan is taking it a little hard tonight. It has got to be rough to work so hard, yet not get a chance to show it.
I could tell you that Daddy isn't real happy either... we tend to think that it is more important to be fair to the whole team, then just care about winning. But then again, that is sports for you! It is hard for coaches to be understanding of the average Joe when your kid is really good and never rides the pine. I guess it will just prepare him for school sports in the future...and life, for it is certainly never fair!
Don't worry baseball fans, we have not given up on the sport. Tomorrow he will be happy he was a part of the winning team. Nobody but him probably will even remember he didn't bat the last game. Although I didn't like what happened tonight, I tried to make him realize he was part of the team and the plays he had in earlier games helped win the tournament. He had an RBI and scored a run. He can be proud.
I was a proud mom today. My son showed patience, friendship and determination. He might have had a weak moment tonight, but I know many a grown man who would have been a little upset too. Overall we had a GREAT day! The sun was shining, Jor had fun with his friends (even went home with one between a games!), I had a lunch date with my special little man and his team were undefeated in the tournament.
Is it OK to say this mom is tired? Because I am. Goodnight!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Let the games begin...

Well it has started...we will now be busy pretty much every night of the week, for the next two months. It is called BASEBALL!!! Tonight was the first night of the weekend tournament, that starts the baseball season every year.

Highlights? Jordan got a hit. (Unfortunately, he got out at first, but we aren't making too big of a deal of that!) He is happy. His team won eleven to nothing... yeah, he is pretty happy about that too! I had ballpark nachos! Yes, I was pretty happy with my dinner for tonight!

Parts of the evening I didn't like? It turned COLD!!! I didn't like that. There are quite a few players on the team, so Jordan only got to hit once. (Hope since he made a hit he moves up in the batting order!) Didn't like that at all! When they finished their game they no longer had any chili nachos, which I promised Jordan he could have after the game. Not good! (He made me promise he could get some tomorrow!)

Well, we have to hit the ballpark again tomorrow at 10:00a.m. I'll have to let you know later how he does!

Happy weekend everyone! Ours is going to be a busy one...I think I will go to bed now.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

And the storms rolled in...

Since I was a little girl, I have never liked storms. Memories of sitting in the bathtub with my Mom and little sister during tornado warnings, sleepless nights from thunder and lightning, many an hour sitting and watching a map in the corner of the television... no, I hate storms!!!

Well today a big one decided to come my way. In fact I watched it roll in. The sky got black, the rain poured, thunder boomed and lightning streaked and the weather radio in my director's office kept going off. On the inside I was trembling with fear. Not only were my kids across town at school, but here I was in charge of ten little ones. Ten mommies were depending on me to keep their babies safe no matter what. It scared me.

I take care of these same babies everyday. I feed them when they are hungry, rock them when they are sleepy, change their diaper when needed and just love them during the hours that their mommies can't. However, I've never really thought about having to keep them "safe," until this morning.

Here I was, trying to stay calm on the outside, trembling in fear on the inside, while trying to control the panic that was wanting to come out. I went to the restroom... and prayed.

There in that moment, I asked for peace. Just like I had to put my own babies in the Father's hands, when they were not with me, I had to put these other babies in His hands too. And you know what, my Jesus is the Prince of Peace, because He brought it today. He raised a hand to the storm in my heart and mind and said, "Be still."

The storm passed, but it just served as another reminder of how I really don't have any control of any situation. None of us know what the minutes ahead have in store for us. I can chose to worry about them or give them to God. I wish I could say I will never be afraid again, but unfortunately I can't. I can however, rely on a loving God to bring His peace my way when things get rough.

The crazy thing is that another wave of showers came through this afternoon. Around 3:30 I felt this great need just to hear my kids voices. I just wanted to make sure everything was OK. I would find out later that when Kev was driving them home after picking them up from school that they almost had a wreck. A lady pulled out in front of them on the highway and Kevin had to slam on his breaks hard enough that they "squealed and left black streaks on the street." (Jordan's words.)

No, we just never know what lies ahead. We can chose to worry. We can chose to panic. We can choose to be afraid. OR we can choose to BELIEVE in the Prince of Peace. (while we still do all those other things too!!! Sorry, but I am human!)

"O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the works thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power thru out the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee
How great thou art, how great thou art!"

Lord, I pray that I can live everyday day in peace, knowing that you are there watching out for me and mine...