Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I love Jesus.... but I drink a little

In Sunday school this past sunday, we got to talking about what kind of old person we want to be.

I know..... what does that have to do with God?  Why were we talking about THAT?

Well, because we were getting to know each other.

Isn't THAT part of being a church?   getting to KNOW one another!!!
I'd like to think that Jesus sat around with Paul and John talking about crazy stuff like that.

This morning I met a friend for coffee and she showed me this AWSOME video.

Yes, THIS is the kind of old person I want to be.

No, I don't want to have a drinking problem and NO, I don't want to sit around watching tv and calling into shows all day.  But I DO want to be that old person that is carefree and loves to giggle.

you know, kinda like I am now.
So, basically, when I'm old, I want to be my 28 year old self!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Paul is getting better at Volleyball

I'm beaming with proudness.

Does that sentence make any sense?

yep, umm, probably not.

Anyway, you get the picture.

I am so PROUD of Paul.

I started teaching him about volleyball when he was 1 1/2.
We started off by playing volleyball", with a balloon, in the living room.

You all, he is finally ready to graduate to a REAL volleyball.

Seriously, he is awesome! 

No joke, he is already better than his Dad.

HA HA HA   sorry roger.  But it's true.

Look at how good he has gotten!

yes, I am aware that my daughter is talking to herself and has a bug on her forehead.

That's just how she rolls. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Steel Magnolias

My favorite movie since, well, since I can remember ever having a favorite movie, has been Steel Magnolias.  As a little girl I fantasied about living in a small little town surrounded by interesting characters that both annoy and love the heck out of each other.

In my child mind, the movies were never like real life.

I never thought a town like that truly existed. 

But that didn't stop me from dreaming about someday finding it.

As an adult you begin to realize that dreams become realities only if you are willing to work hard to make them so.

The great thing about being in a ministerial family is that when you move to a new town, it is typically because you are moving to a new church family.  With new church families comes a new group of people who are not only anxious to get to know you, but are anxious to help you find a new home in THEIR town.

One Sunday, after church, as Roger was standing at the back door shaking hands as people left the building, a man handed him a slip of paper with an address on it.  "I don't usually do this, but I bought this house and I'm remodeling it.  We just started working on it, so it looks pretty rough, but if you want to take a look at it.  If you want to see inside just give me a call and I'll take you through."

We rushed over to check it out and fell in love.  We called Curtis immediately.  He walked us through a house that had been COMPLETELY gutted, explaining where the walls would be and the dream that he had envisioned for the house.  

I felt like the little girl in The Secret Garden, when she FINALLY finds the key. 


The house was completed in November of 2010. 

The front porch was painted the day we moved in.

We immediately began exploring our new town.

Moving anywhere new is scary.  Social situations with a whole new group of people in a new town can be so overwhelming that we are tempted to lock ourselves up in our comfy new homes.  Stepping out, opening ourselves up and exploring the world around us, is the only way to make our small existence seem worth while.

I've already told you all about the the local yarn shop by our house,  but I have yet to mention our lovely hair stylist.

If you're a girl (or woman) reading this, you probably know that finding someone to cut your hair is one of the FIRST things you do when moving to a new town. (after first finding a yarn shop!)   I've had my share of hair disasters to know that you have to find a good stylist.  That stylist will not only cut and style your hair, but will become a close confidant.   You will go to them a stressed out momma and leave beautiful and relaxed. 

My hair stylist works from an old house on Mulberry Street.  It is a hop, skip and a jump from our house on Park Ave.  She only takes cash or check. Why bother with a visa machine?  

I love the homey feel.  

Prince Albert!  It is was what Pawpaw smoked. 

If you come for an early morning hair cut, there is always fresh coffee waiting for you.  
Many a morning I have gotten up, taken a hot bubble bath and walked down to get my hair shampooed and trimmed.  I jokingly call her my Mrs Truvy.  She too loves the movie Steel Magnolias. 

What woman doesn't?  

Often times people from around the community stop by for a quick trim or chit chat.  Several times I have walked in to find church members sitting in the chair, sipping coffee.  One afternoon a fellow mother was getting her hair cut and began talking to me about how giddy she was to have a day all to herself.  She had brought a bunch of magazines from the super market to look through while she got pampered.  She joyfully shared the celebrity gossip with us all.  

Anna and Paul are now getting their hair trimmed by Mrs Jennifer.  She has now met my whole family!
Yesterday afternoon, while dinner was cooking in the crock pot, we all walked up to Mulberry Street.  

Paul was in need of a cut.  

Anna wanted to tag along so she could play beauty shop.  

And Roger joined us because it was such a BEAUTIFUL day for a family walk.
he might get mad at me for posting this, but doesn't he look so lovely?

I have found my Steel Magnolias! 
It took time and hard work, but alas, I am living my favorite movie.

I hear older people talking about "the good ol' days."  I can't help to respond with, "the good ol' days never existed.  We have selective memories.  It's a fact."  I get weird looks.  But it's true.  If we want community we have to get out there and make it.  It we want a small town atmosphere to blossom in  and our kids to grow up in, we have to get out there and make it.

Any town can be as big or as small as you make it.

It takes intentionality to make community.  

Like friendships, community doesn't just magically appear.

It is made! 

You have to to seek it out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Anna has talked nonstop about THE approaching day.
The day she will start preschool.

Every afternoon, as we wait for Paul to get off of the bus, she wears her backpack.  As I lead Paul into the house, asking about his day at school, Anna pipes up saying "I had a great day at school too.  Got a LOT of homework mom," as she follows closely beside her older brother. 

Tonight was open house.  The night we got to see her classroom.
"Mom, we are going to go to MY school and we are going to look for the door that has MY name on the list!"

You can tell she really looks up to her brother!

In fact, she BEGGED Paul to go with her to the open house because she wanted to show him around her new school and introduce him to her Teacher.

The brand new school that houses the Kindergarten and Preschool

Playground in the middle of the school for the protection of the little ones

showing off for her big brother

"Mom, my name is at the TOP of the list!"

"this is where I will be learning all kinds of stuff."

"this is where I will play kitchen with my friends."

"This is MY cubby Paul.  My cubby!"

the preschool wing of the school

"Mom EVERYTHING is MY size!!!"

Her first day is set for Thursday.

I am not nervous at all about her heading out into the world to learn more about how to be social.
However, I am a little nervous about how I am going to be, emotionally, that day.
I have been her sole caregiver for over 4 years.

Fearing that I might have a major crying spell when I arrive at an empty house after dropping BOTH of my children off at school, I have arranged a nice long walk with my friends.  I'm sure if I need to hold their hands and cry they wont look at me strange, instead they'll probably pull a big wad of tissues out of their back pockets.  

I'm excited for Anna because she is so excited.
At four years of age she has expressed to me how much she loves staying home with me but how BADLY she wants to start preschool so that she can make "lots of new friends" and "learn all kinds of new things."  

I'm excited for this new transition in our lives.

I'm excited that my children are so excited about learning!!!

It makes my heart smile.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wine and Cheese

Last night was girls night!

Roger took the kids on a daddy date, leaving the house all to me... and my girlfriends.

On the agenda was list making; we were coming together to work on our lists of 30 things that we want to accomplish before we turn 30.

Over a month ago I began thinking of the 30 things that I wanted to accomplish before I turn 30.  My friend Summer gave me the idea.  After an afternoon of staring at an empty computer screen, with an annoying blinking line,  I  decided to enlisted the help of my friends.

Invitations for The Wine and Cheese Party went out.

You've got to have wine and cheese while working on a list, right?!?!  

At 5 pm we had a Dinner Party on the front porch.  Everyone brought  either a side dish, cheese, or wine.   Summer and I stuffed the peppers and fought the smoke detector.

At 7pm we headed in through the house, out to the back porch. That was where the list making was to begin.   "welcome to the Wine and Cheese Party!"

yes mom, I made those clip boards

Everyone grabbed a clip board, pen, piece of paper, and a conversation starter.  We spent the first hour asking and answering the conversation questions while sipping wine and reminiscing about the past.

As the sun was turning orange we plugged in the string of lights, lit the candles, and popped open another bottle of wine.  It was finally time to begin our lists!

Some of us put major things like "get a tattoo" or "own a jeep" while others put more simple, particle tasks, like, "go to the dentist."  We all seemed to agree that the majority of our "to do" items would be a lot more fun with a friend.   Things like "Girl's camping adventure" and "friend trip to Nashville" began appearing on our sheets of paper.
lauren took this lovely photo.  she's the photographer of the bunch!   

Before the night came to a close most of us had a good chunk of our lists complete, with side notes as to which friend would accompany us on which Grand Adventure.

"Mary going to a gun range?  I've GOT to see that.  I am totally going with her on THAT one."

Friendship is very important to me.  It is what holds me together.

Those dear friends are who hold me together.

Whether it be in the form of consolation, criticism, laughter, or companionship, life would be unbearable without good friends.

Relationships are tricky, you have to be very intentional when it comes to them.  Close friends don't magically appear, they are made through vulnerability.  When we open up not only our busy calendars, but also our true inner selves, then, and only then, can the soil of friendship begin to churn.  

Tending to friendships becomes harder and harder as we grow.  No longer do we have those endless summer days stretched out before us as we did in our elementary school years.  We have jobs, husbands. children, and a million other obligations and stresses that come with adulthood.  Often times it is easier not to fight the battle of keeping up friendships.  Escaping into ourselves, our own lives, becomes more appealing.

 But alas, the need for community draws us out.  Our need for friends that love us enough to point out when things don't seem right and are willing to take our hand to walk us through  the darkness, eats up our souls if it is not satisfied.  That's what draws us together.  The glue, if you will.  It's nearly impossible to grow on our own, to enjoy life on our own, to mourn on our own.

In Sunday school this morning we talked about the need for community.  Summer, the friend who helped me stuff the peppers, who also happens to be my Sunday School teacher,  pointed out Hebrews 10:24-25 to us.  "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." 

let them eat cake... and have a glass of wine

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Anna wanted to do a puppet show today.

So together we made what we lovingly called "the redneck theatre."  

I took two of her old baby socks and drew faces on them.
Yes, I know it's not anything to post to pinterest, but that child had a blast making her own puppet theatre out of random junk in the house.

 I sat in the floor for a good long time laughing while she did show after show, with intermissions in which she sang several songs.

This afternoon Paul came home with a mysterious looking, very tiny, leather suitcase.

I was intrigued!

His teacher had sent this home for him to fill with things to show the class as a way to introduce himself to his classmates.  In the suitcase sat a journal and pen. He was to gather things, then write a small entry in the journal about why he chose them to share.

The first thing he asked for upon entering the house was my sling shot.

This sling shot is VERY special to me.  

I keep it in my underwear drawer, out of the kids' reach.

He had a "i know you're not going to let me take that to school but I'm going to ask anyway" look on his face

My Pawpaw made it for me when I was little.

What's in the suitcase
insect feeder
sling shot

This is what Paul had me write in the journal that the teacher will read to the class.

My name is Paul. I am 7 years old. I enjoy protecting my fort that I built in the backyard this summer. That's why I put the rock in there. 
For my birthday I got an ant farm and a lady bug habitat. I love animals and insects. That's why I put the insect feeder in there.
This sling shot reminds me of my Great Pawpaw. He made this sling shot for my mom when she was a little girl. I love things that are made out of life.
When I'm not outside playing in my fort, I enjoy building things with my Dad's old legos and some of the legos that I bought.

You all, these kids amaze me every day.  They are so much fun to have around! 
I'm beyond blessed.  I truly am.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dancing in the kitchen

I want to start this blog off with something witty or beautiful, like "I was startled awake by the sound of buzzing in my ear."

But I can't.

I'm too excited to keep the reader in anticipation while I punch out descriptive words of my morning.

Let's start with the excitement, shall we?

Anna was accepted into the preschool!!!

I know, I'm excited too!

I've had to stop myself from calling every one I know to announce this exciting news.

So, I guess I'll blog about it and tag everyone I know.

I'm telling ya, I've been stressing a bit about this preschool stuff.

In march I started trying to find her a place to attend but with our 1 income, 2 homes, budget, it was plum near impossible to find anything.

I started looking for FREE education.

The town that we are currently in has just opened a BRAND NEW preschool/kindergarten education center.  I'll have to post pics of it later, but let me tell you, it is INCREDIBLE.   

Getting her signed up, evaluated and accepted has been a bit tricky.

First of all, since the program is State Run, we had to wait until the Federally Run Headstart met quota, which took from March until the last of July.  Before I could apply for the preschool I applied for the Headstart in hopes that she would be turned down, because like I said before, this new preschool is INCREDIBLE, with amazing teachers.  I, however, was nervous about being turned down from Headstart, because what if she got turned down from Preschool.  Then I would be out of options and would be forced to hold off Seminary for another year and she would NOT be ready for kindergarten.

This morning was the evaluation.

I was a bit nervous.
The child doesn't have a developmental delay.

Although, I did try to teach her how to talk with a lisp.

ok, so I didn't do that, but yes, I was tempted.

This program is mainly for children with developmental delays with a few slots for low income families.

Turns out being a poor genius can get you somewhere!!!  
Anna was accepted!!

I squealed, jumped up and down, and leaned in to hug the woman but she gave me that "you are a nut job" eye, so I hugged Anna instead.  

We immediately went to the store to get little miss preschooler a backpack and school shoes.

This child is BEYOND excited.

Look at those pink cowgirl boots!

yep, that's my child.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

the First day of a GREAT year

Yesterday (monday) was an oh so sweet day!

Paul and Anna spent the entire day outside building forts and taming wild horses.

They said they were Indians! 
anna-"howdy! I'm a cowgirl."   Paul- "no we're not.  we're INDIANS!"

Taking them to Colonial Williamsburg and to the Jamestown Colony this summer has really left a stamp on their imaginative play.

Paul is all the time making tools out of rocks and sticks.

The other day I found him "doing ancient exercises" in the backyard.


Anna knocked on the backdoor, acting winded,  and asked if I had a place for her to stay because the British had burned down her "house."  When I "invited" her in she asked if I was a princess because I had such a "huge, beautiful house."  Her "house" was made out of grass and sticks.

I stood at the living room window watching the kids play outside while I folded the laundry and listened to my Etta James Pandora station.

yes, it was lovely!

  1950's housewife?

I found the following so incredibly hilarious, and cute, that I grabbed the camera to film it through the window.
Paul was "taming the wild horse" for Anna.

The big patch of sticks and weeds is their "indian house."  Paul spent all morning building it while Anna gathered the supplies.  The bikes are their "horses" and they are riding through the "prairie" looking out at all the other "wild horses."

Yesterday was the last day of summer break.  It couldn't have ended on a sweeter note!

This morning little, itty bitty, baby boy, Paul,  headed to 1st grade.
(sorry for the sappy mother stuff..... no I'm not)

At first he didn't want me to walk him into his classroom but as soon as the school was in view a little voice came from the back seat.  "Mom? can you park and walk me in for the first day?"

Sure can!

He hardly said bye to me, he walked straight into his classroom and started working the room. 
"Hey! hey! I'm Paul."
I stuck my head in the class, waved to the teacher, waved to Paul.
He gave me a cool kid, "hey that's my mom," wave and head nod.

I'm so happy for him!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Life's A Leap of Faith

I was driving home from Georgetown last night, I had just dropped my final papers off at the seminary, when a song came on the radio.

It was one of those perfect moments when the sun was setting over the corn field, the kids were calm in the back seat and the car was driving ever so smoothly down highway 64 causing my hair to dance in the summer air.

You know those moments?

They're lovely aren't they!?!?

I was feeling both overwhelmed and excited about life.

Getting two children signed up for school, making sure all the paper work is turned in, doctors appointments are made, school supplies bought, and teachers met, on top of trying to get myself ready for Seminary, has been a bit exhausting. 

Mainly because I am still in summer mode.

I have been such a slacker and have put all of the above mentioned stuff off until the last minute.

That's typically not how I am.  I am usually that annoying person who turns in papers a week early.  I enjoy getting nagging tasks accomplished!

As I was driving home from the seminary, feeling a mix of emotions about the next grand adventure of my life, this amazing song came on the radio.  

It was perfect!  

I declared to Roger that it was my Seminary song.  

I'm corny like that.  

My life has a play list.  

I'm confident that MOST of my friends have their own personal play lists.  
You all do don't you?
Don't try to hide it.  I know you do.

Well Done 
by Moriah Peters

I'm headed down this narrow road
Chosen by the few
And all that I know is
You told me to follow You

I'm taking a risk and leaving it all
Not knowing what I'll go through
But I'm not alone
As long as I follow You

So when my life's a leap of faith
I can hear You say

Well done, well done
I'm gonna chase You, Lord
I'm gonna show the world Your love, woah
I'll run, I'll run
I'm gonna run this race
To hear You say well done

If people walk with me, talk with me, looking for truth
They're gonna find out soon
If they're following me then
They're gonna follow You

So let my life speak loud and clear
Lord, I wanna hear

Well done, well done
I'm gonna chase You, Lord
I'm gonna show the world Your love, woah
I'll run, I'll run
I'm gonna run this race
To hear You say well done

I'm so glad that I get to serve You, Lord
You're the only One I am living for, woah
I'm gonna run straight into Your open arms
I'm gonna follow You with my all heart, woah, woah

Well done, well done
I'm gonna chase You, Lord
I'm gonna show the world Your love, woah
I'll run, I'll run
I'm gonna run this race
To hear You say well done

I'm gonna run this race
To hear You say well done

Well done 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Simple Pleasures Of Summer

Enjoying a morning cup of coffee while the kids play in the yard.

 Bird Watching

Summer nights on the back porch with good friends.

Fresh tomatoes from David's garden.

Cooling off in the kiddie pool.

Bike races.

non rushed dinners.

I love this simple little existence that we have!