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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just real quick....



Just wanted to share one of my favorite pics of Colin EVER. courtesy of Jeff Stapleton photography :)

I went to the doctor and he said I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Yuck. Jeff said I was a real Stapleton now...because I have irritable bowels.

Tonight we have a lock-in for the youth. I'm excited but pray that I can stay awake. If any of you know me, you know that I am NOT a night person. But we have lots of cool stuff planned. pics to come.

Colin threw up 3 times last night. Poor baby. I don't think he is sick though. I guess something just didn't settle right. He was so worn out after all that throwing up that he wouldn't even read his favorite page of "Brown Bear Brown Bear." He likes to say, "teacher, teacher" and he just wouldn't do it. But he slept all night (without getting out of his new bed) and seems better today.

I really don't want to go back to work on Monday. I've enjoyed my time with my boys even though we've all had upset tummys at some point during the last week.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Can't wait to see what 2009 brings to my family and yours.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thangs

So I got my haircut today. My cousin cut it and colored it. I LOVE the cut (even though it is pretty short). However, she accidently used the hair color that my mom picked out for herself on me. So....i'm a little bit of a red head now. But it doesn't look too bad. It's just hair, right?

On another note, Colin started sleeping in his toddler bed. He has one of those convertible beds, so it is still his crib, but with the mattress lowered and the little bed rails on front. He did really well the first night. He fell out once, but he didn't cry. I put this gymnastics mat thingy that we have on the floor in front of his bed in case that happens again. The next night though, I laid him down and then 5 minutes later I turned around and he was standing in our bedroom just staring at us. It was pretty cute. I think he will get used to it.

Christmas was really good. Jeff's parents got us a Wii and my parents gave us some money to go toward the "TV fund." Colin got lots of cool new toys and he even got a new little toddler sized recliner. I think Jeff is jealous that he doesn't even have one! It was really nice to spend time with family. They are greatness.

I have been SO sick lately with stomache issues. It seems that I am hit with either nausia or ....well....the other end...ATLEAST once a week (usually 2 or 3 times a week). I've tried paying attention to what I eat to see if it is a certain food, but I can't figure it out. I will be going to the doctor when I get back home. I'm thinking it is probably some sort of inflammatory bowel syndrome or stomache ulsers. So please pray that they will find out what the problem is. It seems silly to me to ask for prayer about a stomach issue, but it is getting rather dabilitating and really really old.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!



I do have permission to post this, because Jeff designed the card. I just wanted to share our greeting card and say "Merry Christmas!" I am thankful for you and pray that God blesses your Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

happenings

So yesterday was the last day of school. Woo-hoo! But we had a great party. I have the sweetest class. We had a PTA fundraiser that raised enough money to buy every kid in the school a hardback book. So I wrapped each book and we had a gift exchange type of game at the party. The kids faces were SO cute as they unwrapped their book. Each kid had a different book so it was really cool. They were excited.

Last night, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings with Jenni and Tim and then we went to a Mudbugs game. It was fun! We got some really close seats (like the 5th row!) Jenni and Tim are great and I LOVE being around them. We have great adventures every time we hang out.

Today we are going Christmas shopping and we are going to try to get it all done today! We haven't even started. The only thing I have bought is stocking stuffers and a new pair of high top converse chucks for Colin. Then tonight my house needs a long awaited cleaning. Especially the laundry. It is really bad.

Tomorrow we go to church and do christmas caroling at night time. AND my little man comes home! He has been spending the weekend with Granny and Pops since Granny had a few days off of work. Mommom and PePaw are going to pick him up and bring him back home. I can't wait to see him. It's great though because when he is gone from us I can talk to him on the phone now. Before, I would talk to him, but he wouldn't respond. When I talked to him the other day he said Mommy and Daddy a few times. And he pushed the buttons on the phone a few times too. I miss him.

Welp, that's all that's really going on right now. Not very exciting, but glad to have a break.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tag fever

These survey tags are going around like viruses!!!!

8 things you've always wondered about me!

I was tagged by Taylor.

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1. Chilis
2. Jalapeno Tree
3. Cafe Italia
4. Olive Garden
5. Fazolis
6. Homeros
7. Red Plum (haven't seen one in years)
8. Campo Verdes

8 Things that Happened Today:
1. ordered pizza
2. bummed around with Jenni and Tim
3. yelled at my students (not out of anger....but just trying to talk over them)
4. held my son and watched Sponge Bob
5. watched the Stars game (sort of....it was on atleast)
6. watched the original Rudolph movie with my students
7. passed out greeting cards at work
8. blogged...twice

8 Things I Look Forward To:
1. Friday
2. moving/Jeff graduating
3. Christmas
4. having more kids
5. going back to school....maybe?
6. starting a small group again in January
7. New Years Lock-in
8. sleeping

8 Things I'm Scared Of:
1. car wrecks
2. rats
3. not having friends/losing friends
4. not knowing where we will live
5. depression
6. failing at a task/ministry God has given me
7. lack of finances
8. loved ones dieing

8 Things I Wish For:
1. a successful ministry (aka our youth to ask Jesus into their hearts)
2. my son to become a man of God whose identity stand on that alone.
3. a home in the future
4. more kids
5. more sleep (haha...i don't think 4 and 5 go together!)
6. that depression continues to stay away (so far so good...its been a while)
7. to know the Lord more deeply (which means more discipline on my part)
8. to continue to grow closer with my wonderful husband. he is so good to me.

8 Things I Watch on TV:
1. House Hunters
2. Family Feud
3. Jon and Kate Plus 8
4. Extreme Make-over: Home Edition
5. News
6. How its Made
7. Myth Busters
8. Simpsons

8 People I TAG:
1. Nena
2. Sharla
3. Maile
4. Melissa
5. Jenni
6. Joyia
7. Amanda
8. Kate

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman's Daybook....


FOR TODAY Tuesday December 16

Outside my window...it is very very very cold. i hate cold. i'm ready for spring! I love to open the front door and open the windows

I am thinking...that I am sad that my boy is leaving me on Thursday. Colin and daddy are taking a little trip to meet granny half way. Then he is going to spend the weekend with granny and pops. them mommom and pepaw are going to bring him back on Sunday. I'm glad he gets to spend time with grandparents, but i'm going to miss him SO bad. But it will be nice to spend some time with my hubs too. we are going to see fireproof and finish some christmas shopping.

I am thankful for... the upcoming break. i am tired and ready to just spend some time with my family.

From the learning rooms...I had a student cut a hole in his uniform shirt today the size of a baking potato. When I asked him why he did that he said, "The shirt came like that." That cracked me up. But now I feel like a bad teacher that I wasn't "monitoring" enough to catch him doing it.

From the kitchen...i've actually been doing a better job about cooking and not going out to eat. we have had frito pie, burritos, and spaghetti recently. but tonight we are splurging and ordering pizza. i have to reward myself.

I am wearing... jeans and my marshall mavericks hoodie.

I am creating...my students made picture frames today as a christmas present for their parents. they turned out cute. tomorrow we will wrap them! (that should be interesting....5 year olds....wrapping.)

I am going...to hang out with Jenni and Tim tonight. i love them. jeff loves them. colin loves them. they love us. it works out great.

I am reading...5 Love Languages of Children

I am hoping...i know its early and i don't have to know yet, but i'm anxious about what we are going to do when jeff graduates. he isn't done until May of '10. if we are to stick around to keep doing youth ministry there isn't alot of real estate to pick from and renting just isn't an option around here. i don't want to buy a house just to live there for a year or 2. if we don't stay i want to move back towards the metroplex. But I also don't want to get my mind set on that if that isn't what God wants. I'm really open to whatever God wants for us....i just want to know.

I am hearing...Sponge Bob. And colin banging together his play kitchen toys together in his room.

Around the house...I cleaned up Colin's room and rearranged just a little bit. It looks alot better in there. It's hard to arrange in there since it is his room/guest bedroom. we have his crib, a dresser, a shelf of toys, bunk beds, and a night stand to fit in there. And he has so many windows that it makes it hard to have a "focal point" in the room. but it certainly looks better than it did.

One of my favorite things...what i'm doing right now. relaxing. i'm sitting on the couch with a blanket and the laptop (obviously). jeff is next to me watching sponge bob. colin is on the floor still banging the toys together and watching sponge bob. we are all here in the same room just enjoying each other's company.

A few plans for the rest of the week: work, church, work, staff christmas party, work and school christmas party, early dismissal, date with hubs, shopping, church, christmas caroling, etc.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...just wanted to share his cheese smile. :)




For more info go to http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 8, 2008

Got tagged.....

Taylor tagged me! Rules are, you must list 5 addictions and pass it to 5 people!

Addiction -- an abnormally strong craving

1. Cleaning and organizing. I could do it all day. If I weren't a teacher, I would be a maid or one of those professional organizers. I could be on that Clean Sweep show!

2. My husband and son. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my boys. They are so much fun! And they are just alike. Colin is Jeff reincarnated physically and personality wise. I get really cranky if I don't get to spend time with them. I love taking care of them and love that they love me.

3. Chilis. Its always been my favorite. We NEVER go without getting the chips and hot sauce. When we were preparing to move here, I was really bummed that they didn't have a Chilis here (well they do in Longview, but thats like 30 miles). But then they built one and I knew it was a sign from God that we were doing the right thing. :)

4. I couldn't think of anything, so when I asked Jeff he said I am addicted to "Checking my thangs." Thangs=things. Jeff makes fun of me that the East Tx accent rubs off more and more every day. Anyway, checking my thangs means I get on the internet and check things (or thangs) like email, facebook, and blogger. I check like literally every 30 minutes to an hour. However, this is the first time I've been on today and it is 8:00. I've been busy cleaning and organizing (imagine that!)

5. Word games. I love scrabble, boggle, scategories, scramble (on facebook). LOVE IT! We played Scrabble with Tim and Jenni. Tim's no fun to play with because he questions words that he even looked up himself in the dictionary. He's just jealous. So Tim....La and Lo ARE valid words! "You know that's right!" (in a high pitch raspy voice)

I tag....
Mom (Nena)
Sharla
Jenni
Stephanie
Mary

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a little late

Simple Woman's Daybook....a day late this time


FOR TODAY Tuesday December 2

Outside my window...is weather that I cannot stand. I absolutely hate being cold. This is the time of year that me and Jeff fight the most....and its over the heater. No matter how much I crank it up, I am still going to be cold. And Jeff would be perfectly content with the heater off all together.

I am thinking...that I am convicted about the fact that I like praise. Words of affirmation are my love language...but there is a fine line that I tend to cross alot between feeling encouraged and loved by words and stealing praise that belongs to God. Praise for myself is also my sole motivation in doing things sometimes....and thats not good either.

I am thankful for...the word of God. that he gives us something to tangibly touch and see. that it is "living and active and ....penetrates the soul."

From the learning rooms...I am having a come to Jesus meeting (not literally) with my boy students this week...about a few things such as play fighting, inappropriate language and peeing on the floor in my bathroom. I love boys.

From the kitchen...got nothing to say here. I wish i was convicted about the fact that I am not good at providing for my family in that area....but I'm honestly not. I'm tired and figure we can eat sandwiches or oven pizzas just fine.....not good. Now I am embarrassed that I just said that I didn't care.

I am wearing... a fleece vest thingy and jeans

I am creating...(attempting)a peaceful attitude towards people who are not peaceful...I've already failed some. Very hard.

I am going...to try to go to bed early tonight. I always say that and I never do.

I am reading...The 5 Love Languages for Children. We had a discussion about it at work today and I forgot that I even had the book and haven't read it yet.

I am hoping...

I am hearing...Colin say, "Baf?, Baf?, Baf?, Baf?" a million times cause the wants to take a "Bath."

Around the house...it is a mess. Yesterday I was on my way home and Jeff called and said that in like 30 minutes that people were coming over to work on a group project. Well there was laundry and stuff ALLLLL over the place. So I pretty much did the "fake cleaning." I grabbed it all and chunked it on our bed and shut the door. Well then I went to a concert last night and didn't get home til 1130. So I was so tired that I just threw all the stuff that was on our bed on the floor. Now it is everywhere cause Colin has decided to get each item of clothing and spread it all over the house. That's what he has been doing for the past 10 minutes while I am typing this blog. I could get up and make him stop. But I am enjoying my own world right now.

One of my favorite things...when Colin lays his hold on my shoulder and when he says "Oh man!"

A few plans for the rest of the week: work, church, work, work, work, christmas party for youth

Here is picture thought I am sharing...this is who my son's new hero is. He can't get enough of him. Good thing its on TV ALL the time.




For more info go to http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 30, 2008

categories

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. -2 Corinthians 2:16

We as humans are quick to see other people by how the world places value on them. We categorize them. We call them rich, poor, smart, slow, popular, nerdy, beautiful, plain. There are people who are different from us and have lived different life experiences and make different choices from us. Some of these people are easy to be around because they are like us. Some people we don't want to be associated with or we don't understand. God tells us to look at them differently....to see them as He sees them.

On the Titanic, people boarded the ship as people with labels. They were either 1st class, 2nd class, and 3rd class. Each group was vastly different in the amenities that they received. However, when the ship sank, there suddenly was only 2 categories of people....

Those saved....and those lost.

In the end all of the differences between classes of people did not matter. God does not see rich or poor, jobless or career bound, single or married, beautiful or so-so. He sees those that know him and those that don't.

And how much he desires that those that don't know him come to know him. Therefore, we are to be his ambassadors. Much like an ambassador carries a message from his nation to another, we are to carry the message of reconciliation to those who are lost. Regardless of where they are in life, regardless of how different they are from you, regardless of how much their personality clashes with yours...they are still a child of God who's life holds weight and value and deserves to know the love of Christ.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Give thanks in all things...edited

After talking to my smart husband I decided to reword a few things. I don't think it is safe to say that I am thankful for sin when sin displeases god. So...

I am thankful that god delivered us from lust and pornography. I am thankful that he delivered me from controlling jealousy that took over me because of it. I am thankful that god healed our marriage for it to be built back up stronger than it was before on a foundation of God. I am thankful that he has given us all that we needed to be able to honestly say that we are victorious over the stronghold that lust and jealousy held in our marriage. I am thankful that he has used the crappiest situation to bring me closer to Him. If I knew not how disguisting, hateful, and selfish lust and jealousy were, I would not have known its opposite....Christ's love. I am also thankful that it happened for we are now able to reach out to other couples who are struggling with the same situation.

That is easy for me to say that I am thankful for all of that now, because all of that has been redeemed. Christ has made all of that right. Christ has shown himself in all of that and been glorified in all of that.

If you had asked me to say that 3 or 4 years ago...I couldn't have done it. I would have cursed you for being so insensitive to my feelings. I would have said, "You don't understand." I pray today for the people who are in the midst of situations that have not yet been redeemed. I know it is hard to say thank you in the middle of all that. Know that a day comes when everything will be redeemed and made right.

Other things I am thankful for.....

  • the Lord's provision in moving away
  • my parents for their support and just making me laugh when I am around them
  • Jeff's parents for loving me just as much (if not more...haha) than their son
  • my loving husband and his commitment to me. he teaches more about discipline every day. i so look up to him and respect him.
  • my son. he is healthy and full of energy and learning new things every day. i love him and love being his mommy.
  • Jenni and Tiyum for being our best friends.
  • Daniel and Mary for being our best friends.
  • my house
  • my job and the people that he placed there for me to be friends with
  • Jeff's job. For the way that God placed that ministry in our laps. For the way God chooses regular old unequipped and unqualified people to be a part of something big. That is exciting.
  • Taylor. I am thankful for what she teaches me and for her genuine and real spirit.
  • I am thankful for Christ "sweeping me off my feet." I am thankful that he is beautiful and loves me unconditionally. I am thankful that he can meet all of my needs. I don't even deserve to have my needs met.

When I told Jeff about this challenge this is what he said. "I am thankful for student loans." haha....true. Not fun to say you are thankful for massive amounts of debt. However, if there were no such thing as student loans, he would not be going to school!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

because i am bored...2 posts in one day

I may have 3 or 4 posts before the day is over!


1. Two Names You Go By: Sarah and Saeeer (in a shrill voice by Jenni)....and Mrs. Stapleton by my students.

2. Things You Are Wearing Right Now: my new comfy mocassin like shoes and my favorite jeans

3. Two Things You Want Very Badly At The Moment: a bigger car and another baby

4. Two people who you look up to: Sara Lefever and David Rice

5. Two things you did last night: went shopping and ate at TGIFridays w/ mom and Jeff

6. Two things you ate yesterday: chicken and fried green beans from TGI's

7. Two people you last talked to: Mom and Jeff

8. Two Things you're doing tomorrow: eating lots of food and going to Granny and Papas

9. Two longest car rides: TX to Florida and Tx to Minnesota

10. Favorite Holidays : Christmas and 4th of July

11. Favorite Vacations : Port Aransas w/Stapletons and Branson w/mom, sharon, and alana

12. Last trip: coming here from Marshall for Thanksgiving

13. Two favorite beverages: Dr Pepper and Sprite

Tag you are it:
Jenni
Mary
Nena
Sharla
Cari

quick thoughts on gentleness

So I have always struggled with the verse that talks about having a "gentle and quiet spirit." I'm just not gentle. I tell it like it is. I am a proactive and productive woman who gets things done and gentleness has always seemed like something that would hinder all that. I never wanted gentless to compromise all of those very positive things about me. Gentleness in my mind has always been kind of a weak thing. However, I found a new take on gentleness. I read in an option from my sunday school lesson about what gentleness really means...

If you were lifting weights, would it be easier to lower the weights gently to the ground or to drop it? Of course, its easier to drop it. Therefore, lowering it gently to the ground takes more strength. This is the quote that got me.

"Gentleness is not the absence of strength but rather the control of it."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook....early


If I understand this correctly this daybook thing is supposed to be every Monday....but I am doing mine early because I will be gone all day tomorrow traveling and such.

FOR TODAY Sunday Nov.23, 2008

Outside my window...is a car that is LONG overdue for an oil change and a wash (inside and ou We are looking (sort of) for a new car. Not to replace mine, but Jeff's. We want to trade his in for a used older (2000ish) Yukon or Tahoe or maybe an Expedition. We want something with a 3rd row of seats that is not a van.

I am thinking...that ministry is hard. Much like teaching, it is a job that you can't leave at the office. It is with you always and it is such an emotionally involved thing. It drains me sometimes...and then sometimes I feel overjoyed and honored to be doing it.

I am thankful for... my God. He has changed me. We sang the song this morning (by Shane and Shane) "When I think about the Lord, how he saved me, how he raised me.....how he picked me up and turned me around, how he placed my feet on solid ground." I am thankful for the salvation and life that he has given me. I am thankful that he has provided and that he is faithful and able.

From the learning rooms...I am happy to say that there will be no learning rooms this next week! I am off and I am super glad.

From the kitchen...I have to make a "finger food" dish to bring to church tonight. I am thinking of making clam dip (my favorite). It is so good. Jeff hates it and I don't completely blame him because it gives me HORRIBLE breath. You mix cream cheese, mayo, minced clams, lemon juice, chopped onions, and garlic salt. You can eat it with veggies, but I love to eat it with fritos.

I am wearing... brown dress pants and a green shirt with a tie around the waist that I wore to church this morning.

I am creating...I am going to make stockings. I already have the stockings (cheap from Dollar Tree). I think I will get felt and cut out block letters of our names to hot glue on there.

I am going...home tomorrow. I am glad.

I am reading...Devotional Classics by Richard Foster (still) I am a slow reader.

I am hoping...to find a Yukon or Tahoe that we can afford with not too terribly many miles on it.

I am hearing...Jeff flip between the Cowboys and Survivor Man and him messing with the piano application on his new Iphone.

Around the house...its beginning to look alot like Christmas. Got the tree up...just need a few more ornaments. I cleaned all day yesterday and there is no evidence that that ever happened now. It is a wreck. I really think it is because Sunday morning occured. It is like a mad whirlwind of clothes and breakfast and diapers and hairspray and shoes trying to get us ready in time.

One of my favorite things...words. I love vocabulary and word origins and spelling, etc. I love when people or speakers or authors use words that are powerful. For example, the song "Near to the heart of God," could say "a place where sin cannot come." But instead it says, "a place where sin cannot molest." That paints a more vivid picture of sin does to your life. So....i like words. That is why I am obsessed with scramble on facebook.

A few plans for the rest of the week: travel to A-town, get Colin's hearing tested, go to Kooken, hang out with my fam for a few days, shop a little, go to Jeff's granny and papa's, spend the night there, hang out with jeff's parents for a few days, come home, go to church....back to work.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

He is beautiful.


For more info go to http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving

We had a thanksgiving feast at school yesterday and it was really cute and fun. Here are a few pics of my precious students that Jeff took for me.






Now, I am on break and I am SOOOOO glad. I bought a new 6.5 ft prelit tree last night (before I had a little 4 ft one). I decorated it and now I am going to have to keep little Colin man away from the ornaments all season long. He's cute though....I think he just thinks its a ball.

Today is Saturday and we have nothing to do for the first time in like 3 months. I am going to decorate some more and make some stockings. Then I am going to get my Sunday School lesson ready.

We are leaving on Monday morning after Jeff's staff meeting and then going straight to AISD's annex building to get Colin's hearing tested. Then we will spend a few days with my family and then a few days with Jeff's family. I am excited....we haven't been home really since Jenni's wedding. That's way too long. But thats how it is now that Jeff "works" on Sundays.

Well I most go now. Colin is in his crib letting me know that he is awake!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook




FOR TODAY Monday, Nov. 17th

Outside my window...it is cold. I do not like cold. However, ETBU put up their pretty Christmas lights and I can see them reflecting off my car as I look out Colin's window. It makes me smile.

I am thinking...about finding the balance between challenging myself and being too hard on myself.

I am thankful for... my husband. He bought me Claritin today just because he noticed that I was stopped up. He knows that I have never had allergy issues until we moved to East Texas. I am also thankful for my son. He is healthy and wonderfuly cute! He is learning so much. He is learning even some things that I don't want him to learn....like the word "no." He even points at me while he says "no."

From the learning rooms...I got observed this past Friday by my principal. She is a joy to work for. Her positive remarks mean the world to me and motivate me to keep going. I know I should be more of a self-motivator, but hey...words of affirmation are my love language.

From the kitchen...hmmmm....not alot goes on in there. I should be better about that. The biggest thing that happened in there is that I made a big pot of mac n cheese and some pigs in a blanket. That is gourmet for us!

I am wearing... the clothes I wore to work today. Except now, it has glue stick smudges on it, Colin snot, and a grease stain from when I made the pigs in a blankets.

I am creating...I am trying to create a safe and positive atmosphere in my classroom that encourages my students to monitor their own behavior and progress. Some days are better than others. Mondays are harder.

I am going...to put up Christmas decorations this weekend before we go home to Arlington for Thanksgiving. I am going to go buy a new pre-lit tree. We just have a rinky-dink 4 ft tree right now.

I am reading...Devotional Classics by Richard Foster

I am hoping...to find a house after Jeff graduates.

I am hearing...a documentary on TV about JFK and my son throwing every object that he comes across on the floor.

Around the house...I cleaned today. I absolutely LOVE to clean. When I feel like I have "order" in my life, I feel calmer. However, I REALLY want a dishwasher. Jeff would say, "We do have a dishwasher...its right there (and would point to me). haha. i don't mind washing dishes, but it is really really time consuming

One of my favorite things...chips and salsa from Chilis. I won $10 to chilis at the women's retreat, but I lost it! I was so bummed. If you know me, you know I frequent the premisis of Chili's quite often.

A few plans for the rest of the week: to survive...just kidding. I plan on taking a few high school girls out to eat on Thursday if they respond to my messages. Friday we are having a Thanksgiving feast at school. Then I'm off for a week!!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


This is my Jeff at Pikes Peak this summer. He sent this to me via Text while he was gone from me. I just think he is really cute. That is my only reason for sharing....cause he is cute.

For more info go to http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Home?

I've been struggling with feeling at home at here. Satan has definitely tried to tell me that no one cares for me here, there are no good relationships here, etc. to make me doubt our decision to move here. However, a good friend reminded me that "it takes time and memories" to feel at home somewhere. Of course! That changed my outlook on it. I started thinking about the memories that I have already made here in the past year and a half. Here are a few....

1. My sweet son was born here. This place will always be special to me for that reason. That was the most special (and hilarious) day of my life.

1.When my sweet son was born not alot of people came to visit (mainly just cause we had just moved here and no one knew us yet and it was too far for people in Arlington...I understand.) But our pastor at our church (which we weren't even members at yet) came to visit us. He and jeff talked for a while about his vision for the church....interesting since we didn't even know that Jeff and I would be part of that vision later.

2. We started a Tuesday night bible study with some other couples/friends. That really made some memories and some really really special friends. Then they all moved....and now I'm sad.

3. We found a WONDERFUL babysitter for Colin. Ms Betty is truly truly a blessing. She is so good to us about watching him late or telling us she will watch him so we can go on a date...and she never charges us. And she adores Colin. She gets mad at me if I don't bring him. Its wonderful to know that Colin is taken care of by someone who WANTS to take care of him. I don't know what we would do without her.

4. Jenni and Tim are a part of home here and I love that. They are a blast. We have great adventures with them. I love how we all squeeze in one car with Colins huge car seat just cause we don't want to drive separately...and we want to save on gas. And cause we want to help eachother find GPS's. THey are great and it makes me sad to think that someday we might not be in the same town. I think we should just move together.

5. Daniel and Mary were a part of home here and I am sad that they are not here anymore, but they are always a part of my heart. They are very special and I miss their accountability and the fun memories we have with them.

6.I have memories with my team at school. That means alot to me. Work is more fun when you "fit in" and enjoy your team. I care for them alot and know that they care for me.

7.Now...this is the part that means the most to me. My church family. This is where I have struggled the most with wanting to "fit in." But over the past few months, we have developed some really great friendships. All of the nursery workers (esp Ms Pam) are so good to us. They love my son, they love me and Jeff. Ms. Pam, shared her concern with me about thinking Colin might have a hearing problem. She looked nervous to tell me that. The fact that she is taking care of my son enough to notice that and the way that she told me with such genuine caring concern means the world to me. Also, Bob and Jeanie are so good and generous to us. They just give us stuff all the time! Like our bedroom furniture...and other smaller things. Its not the "stuff" that means alot. Its knowing that they have thought of us and them saying, "We just love you and think you have a sweet spirit about yall." Its been fun getting to know Ben and Tiffany who help us with the youth group. They are way cool and I think they are going to be great friends. Jeff is really liking getting to know our new music minister/associate pastor. I think that will be a great relationship too.

I say all of this just as a reminder to myself that memories are starting to be made in this place that is not my home. After time and more memories this place will be more of home to me. However, in just one week I will get to go "home" to Arlington and I am so excited. I miss my family and friends. That will always be home too. It's kind of nice to have 2 homes!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I just have to say...

that God is good. He is faithful to keep his promises. Right before Jeff and I started youth ministry, fear struck me like a storm. I knew my past. I knew that any other time of my life that had been filled up with too many activities, and not enough rest had sent me into depression. I didn't want to be at that place again and I feared that entering the ministry would take me there. And it still easily has the potential to do so. However...

God has PROMISED me that "HIS divine power will give me everything I need for life and godliness." (2 Peter 1:3)

I can't tell you how many times I've thought...."this is it. today is going to be one of those days that is going to send me over that line into the darkness of depression." But God has consistently and continually said, "no you won't...because MY power is greater than your fear of depression." I can't explain how I am not weary or weak in the chaos of my life. I can't explain how I am not brought to weeping because I am anxious and overwhelmed with my perfectionism. God is good and he is carrying me through the stuff that I can't walk through alone without falling on my face in exhaustion and tears. God is faithful and good and worthy of more than I can give him.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun


Colin loved the bounce house at the harvest festival!



I am a "black eyed pea." Jeff is "facebook." Colin is a monkey.



sweet man!!



Jeff and his strong-bad-o-lantern.


I am.....

So freakin tired. But I am enjoying every minute of the craziness of my life. I would much rather be doing this than to be doing what I was doing this time last year....which was sitting around being depressed, lonely, and crying.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed at not being able to have any type of break in the foreseeable future. And sometimes I get frustrated at not feeling like I am getting through or getting results with the different people that I am trying to reach out to. And sometimes I get frustrated that I still don't feel like this is my home yet. But I have peace with being here and doing what we are doing....even though we don't know what we are doing!

Soooo.....our schedule......

-Last night was EF's football game and haunted house at the high school that Jeff led groups through (which is funny since Jeff is a weany about scary stuff)
-Today Jeff takes pics at ETBU's football game and then we go to the harvest festival at 4:00
-Sunday is the next youth leader meeting
-All next week I have subs coming for me so I can test my kids.
-Friday (the 7th) is early release day and then the women's retreat til Sat.
-Nov. 15th is a youth mission project with the College students at the Weismann center
-Soon after that will be Thanksgiving!!!!! We both get the whole week off so we will be in ATown all week.

I'm thinking about taking a day off of work soon just to clean my house and watch tv all day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How did the chicken cross the road......

I really have no idea why I titled this post that. Just thought it would get some people's attention I guess.

So I got nominated for 2 awards! The first one is from Taylor. The second is from Kate. So I am going to kill 2 birds with one stone and do both of them in one post.


Rules: answer the following questions in 2 words or less.....

1. Where is your cell phone? -- table
2. Where is your significant other? -- with Tim
3. Your haircolor? -- blonde
4. Your mother? too far
5. Your father? -- too far
6. Your favorite thing? -- learning
7. Your dream last night? -- being rejected
8. Your dream/goal? -- obedience
9. The room you're in? -- bedroom
10. Your hobby? -- music
11. Your fear? -- rejection
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? -- being obedient
13. Where were you last night? -- church
14. What you're not? -- motivated
15. One of your wish-list items? -- dishwasher
16. Where you grew up? -- Arlington
17. The last thing you did? -- rocked Colin
18. What are you wearing? -- chucks
19. Your TV? -- is off
20. Your pet? -- fishies
21. Your computer? -- is yellow
22. Your mood? -- discouraged
23. Missing someone? -- home family
24. Your car? -- too small!!!!!
25. Something you're not wearing? -- necklace
26. Favorite store? -- Target
27. Your summer? -- without Jeff
28. Love someone? -- Jeff Colin
29. Your favorite color? -- green
30. When is the last time you laughed? -- today
31. When is the last time you cried? -- Tuesday





Rules:
list 6 things I value and 6 things I don't and then pass this award on to 6 people!

6 things I value:
1. My relationship with God
2. Jeff and Colin
3. Chilis
4. authenticity
5. words
6. sleeeeeeep

6 things I don't value:
1. media
2. the approval of others (well, I'm working on not valuing that more than God's approval)
3. fakeness
4. drama
5. the fact that i cannot beat mom's score on pathwords.
6. the new facebook

And now, the nominees are...


Nena, Sharla, Joyia, Maile, Sharon, Amanda

Monday, October 13, 2008

Natural Self vs. New Creation

I know that I am not the only Christian who has felt the internal battle for my heart. I feel pulled in two different directions. I want to appease my "natural self" but long to be obedient to Christ. The 2 just can't work together. I know this is kind of a goofy video (my mom told me about it), but this is often how I feel....

Aww Snap!

...like there are 2 different Sarahs going in 2 different directions and getting nowhere except for falling flat on my face. I have been reading excerpts from C.S. Lewis who says this...

Christ says, "Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work. I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it."

Such powerful words that make so much sense on paper (or on blog), but not so much sense put into my life. I love that God wants to kill my natural self. I heard it described as "using your natural self as a starting point for God to build on top of....like you've made Christ an addition to yourself." That is not giving all of me to Christ. I should allow God to kill my old self isntead of fighting him. I should allow him to give me that new life...to make me a new creation.

"The contrast between God's way of doing things and our way is never more acute than in this area of human change and transformation. We focus on specific actions; God focuses on us. We work from the outside in; God works from the inside out. We try; God transforms." -Richard J. Foster

However it does come with costs...this discipleship. Luke 14:25-33 speaks of this. It has already cost me some things, like friendships, approval, comfort, financial comfort, time. But there are some costs, some areas that I haven't given to him. I may have given back to him through some of my actions, but I have not given him my selfish or empty motives, my worry, or my autonomy in those actions.

"Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple...none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions." ~Luke14:25-33

Thursday, October 9, 2008

stuffity stuff stuff

I have no idea what to write about, but felt the need to. So we will see what comes out of my fingers! Things are going....and when I say going, I mean going. We are SO busy. Which is good and bad at the same time. I am excited about everything that I am involved in, but it also leaves very little time for very very important things like spending intimate time with God and with my family. I am also missing my "spiritual feeding" time. I miss going to a Sunday School class or meeting with our small group in my house. I am definitely feeling the effects (like my heart feels heavy that I am not being fed). I am SOOO hungry for it.

Youth ministry is going as well as it can. Meaning....it's hard to do this in a part time capacity. Jeff cannot wait to graduate so we can do this full time. But considering the time constraints its going pretty well for a first time experience. Jeff loves our pastor and the pastor loves us which makes it great too. Our pastor knows how to challenge Jeff and push him to do something more in youth ministry without making us feel like failures. That relationship is such a blessing.

School is going great this year. My kids are so stinkin sweet, but they can be little toots if you let them get away with it. I feel bad because I want to be really "soft" with them. I want to play with them and hug them and stuff. But the harsh reality of public school (especially in this community) is that you can't be that way or you lose control and as a result your kids don't learn. My kids (well all of Kindergarten, really) are very academically low this year, but hopefully since I have better classroom management this year, I will be able to get them where they need to be.

On another note, Colin is so dang BIG! He doesn't walk anymore......he RUNS!!!! It cracks me up. He has all these little riding toys and he will all of a sudden go shooting through the living room. But as a result of the walking, running, and riding, he gets SO many bruises and bumps now. I guess that comes with the territory. He has quite the vocabulary too. Here is a list of his vocabulary.....

1.mama
2.daddy
3.uh-oh
4.up
5. eat
6.poo-poo :)
7. thank you (which sounds like (dah-cue)
8.ball
9. go
10.bye bubbles (everyday he says bye to bubbles...that is Ms. Betty's fish)
11. He also says, "1,2"
12. yuck

Also, I am reading a book called, "Do Hard Things." It is really cool. It is written by these 17 year old twin boys who are challenging teenagers to a "rebelution." Basically the big idea is that they are challenging teens to rebel against low expectations. Honestly I think its something adults need to be challenged to do as well. I know I was convicted as soon as I started reading it. Very interesting. I added a link to their website and blog. Take a look.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Believe

First I just want to say that I LOVE the Lifeway material for our sunday school class for the youth. It is the "Known" series and it is good stuff. Anyway, we've been following this curriculum for a while and it has been a whole series on how we are sinful, we can't fix it on our own, but God can because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, etc..... I had a discussion with a girl who said, "I don't know if I even believe in God." That got me to thinking about what that means to believe in God. Then the very next Wednesday, Jeff asked, "What does it mean to believe in something?" My first thought has always been, "To know it is real." Now that means something totally new to me.

I started thinking about the things that we believe in and why we believe in it. We believe in something because we see the effects of it. We believe that air is there (even though we don't see it) because we see the effects through the wind and the leaves moving. Also.....it gives breath and life. We believed in Santa Clause because we saw the gifts he left behind and the evidence that he was there because of the leftover cookie crumbs.

Then I became convicted. We believe that God exists but don't believe what he can do. We don't believe in the evidence that He can leave behind. A few years ago, God just merely existed to me, but I didn't believe in his power until I allowed it to work in me and through me. Now I believe. I see the evidence. I have seen what he can do. I believe that he has turned my bitter and cold heart into one that beats for him. I believe that he has changed the most apathetic man into one of the most disciplined men I have ever seen. I believe that God has provided in a situation that seemed financially impossible. I believe that God has taken 2 very lost and sinful people and used them to bring others closer to Him. Not at all am I saying that I have arrived.....there are many things that I am still struggling to believe that God can do.

I looked up the definition of believe and it said...

to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something

Ok, I really like words....and the word that stuck out most to me is 'have' (oddly enough...it is just one little word) because it means I can possess this.

I have also heard that it means "to trust what one has heard or seen." I almost don't like that definition because it insinuates that I can't experience God for myself. I don't have to just hear about him from someone else's story. I can see his goodness, efficacy, and ability to do powerful, life changing things in my own life if I choose to let him move.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I got mooned today.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Uncle Rico

So we had 5th quarter after the EF football game at our church tonight. It was pretty fun. We had about 75 kids come. We decorated and made paper footballs and had a paper football tournament. Then we had guitar hero and a Jeopardy game and music videos going. Anyway,
Jeff gave a short devotion about Uncle Rico at the end. In case you don't know, Uncle Rico is a character from Napoleon Dynamite. He is like 35 years old, lives in his van, and all he talks about is his high school football days. His famous quote is, "Back in '82 I could throw a pig skin a quarter of a mile..." He basically left his self worth and identity back in '82. Jeff encouraged students to not be like Uncle Rico. Being a football player or a cheerleader or being in the band is great. We should be able to enjoy those things. But God never intended for us to define ourselves through those things but rather to find our identity in being a child of God. Pray for these youth. It is so normal in the teenage years to "find yourself" but they look EVERYWHERE for it. Our biggest goal for these youth is for them to find their identity in Christ. So please pray that we will know how to teach that and show that.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i'm quirky times seven

i'm quirky times seven

Kate at my messy nest tagged me to do a 7 quirky things post.


In no particular weird order....

1. When I pronounce words that end in a p, I very dramatically overemphasize the/p/ sound. Like when I say top or mop. I don't even realize that I do it until someone is like, "Why did you say it like that?"

2. Since we are on the topic of pronunciation, I must admit that I have picked up the East Texas accent. It is out of control. Instead of saying, "Why?" I say, "Whaaaaa?" and my name is not Sarah anymore, it is Sayruh. And Jeff is now Jayuff.

3. I am way anal about cabinet doors being closed. I can't stand for them to be left open. At school I put rulers through the door handles of the kid's closets to train them to conform to my standards of door shutting.

4. Ok, you know those mechanical pencils? Well, most people click the bottom of it with their other hand when they want more lead. I click it on my forehead.

5. My husband is crazy. He taught Colin to say "Dooky" the other day. What is even sadder is that I thought it was funny and I kept encouraging it. Now I am regretting it because he won't stop saying it.

6. I am the most gullible person in the entire world. If you tell me something, I believe it. My friend told me that the little bumps in the road (you know...the lane dividers) were for the blind people that drive. I believed it. And then I was thinking, "How do they see the traffic lights?"

7. I hate tea. I know, I know. I am not a true Texan. But I just can't do it. It is disguisting.

Now I tag:
Taylor
Sharon
Jenni
Mary
Mom
Joyia
Sharla

Monday, September 15, 2008

The results of Ike

So Ike came through on Saturday and hit hard. Harder than I had expected. We were without power for over 24 hours and some people still don't have power. While our power was out Jeff and I decided to go see if we could find a restaurant or a store open to get something to eat. What we found was the entire city of Marshall in pitch black. The WHOLE city was out. The next morning we went out and here is some of what we found.



a tree that split right across the street from my house



a tree uprooted and fell on the roof of this field house thingy at ETBU



assessing the damage



this is the street we live on. Just barely hanging on.


i don't know who's house this is, but this is awful.

Our yard is littered with branches leaves and pine needles. I went to WalMart today to replace all of the food that had spoiled in our fridge. It didn't occur to me that Walmart's food in their fridges had spoiled too. So there wasn't much there. Oh well. Anyway, while some of the damage is bad, Marshall is blessed. It could have been worse. I know students and teachers are blessed because they closed school for today (monday)!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What else is there to do on a hurricany day?

Layers of Me

LAYER ONE:
Name: Sarah
Birth date: April 6
Birthplace: Arlington, Tx
Current Location: Marshall, Tx
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: dirty blonde
Height: 5′3ish
Righty or Lefty: Righty
Zodiac Sign: Aries

LAYER TWO:
Your heritage: 3/4 german
The shoes you wore today: old tearing apart brown flip flops
Your weakness: chips and salsa
Your fears: not having friends
Your perfect pizza: pepperoni from Papa Johns
Goal you’d like to achieve: to learn to be a whole hearted servant of God who does not think about my own needs/wants

LAYER THREE:
Your most overused phrase on AIM: I don't use AIM anymore.
Your first waking thoughts: crap...(i think that's my new favorite word)
Your best physical feature: i have cute feet
What you miss the most: sleep

LAYER FOUR:
Pepsi or Coke: Coke.
McDonald’s or Burger King: McDonald's
Single or group dates: both!
Adidas or Nike: i don't freakin care...I can't afford either one
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: I hate tea
Chocolate or vanilla: chocolate
Cappuccino or coffee: cappuccino.

LAYER FIVE:
Smoke: no
Cuss: honestly...occasionally when I am startled or hurt
Sing: love to
Take a shower everyday: yes...in the mornings
Do you think you’ve been in love: Yes
Want to go to college: maybe for a Masters...i don't know
Liked high school: meh
Want to get married: not again.I will stay with Jeff FOR----EEEEE----VERRRRR (like on Sandlot)
Believe in yourself: Sometimes.
Get motion sickness: yes
Think you’re attractive: Sometimes.
Think you’re a health freak: crap no
Get along with your parent(s): Yes.
Like thunderstorms: i guess...there is a hurricane on the way!!!
Play an instrument: I play piano...used to play violin

LAYER SIX: In the past month…
Drank Alcohol: no
Smoked: no
Done a drug: no
Made out: well.....I AM married...
Gone on a date: we've gone to dinner
Gone to the mall: we don't have a mall
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: no
Eaten sushi: No.
Been on stage: well technically yes. Our attendance clerks office is on the stage at our school so I had to go get info from her. Oh....yeah we were in stage at church in view of a call
Been dumped: no
Gone skating: No.
Made homemade cookies: ooooh good idea
Gone skinny dipping: No.
Dyed your hair: no but I want to
Stolen anything: No.

LAYER SEVEN: Ever…
Played a game that required removal of clothing: no
If so, was it mixed company: no
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: no
Been caught lieing? yes
Been called a tease: I don’t think so.
Gotten beaten up: No.
Shoplifted: yeah I stole a small toy from Toys R Us when I was little. My dad took me there and made me give it back and apologize.
Changed who you were to fit in: yes...I'm done with that though. It's not worth it.

LAYER EIGHT:
Age you hope to be married: I wanted to get married later in life because I wanted to live on my own for a while. But instead I got married when I was 21
Numbers and Names of Children: Colin - 13 months
Describe your Dream Wedding: didn't really care too much about the wedding. I just wanted to live with Jeff.
How do you want to die: I want to die with as little regrets in life as possible. I want to die knowing that I have been a faithful servant
Where you want to go to college: don't know if I will go again
What do you want to be when you grow up: I wanted to be a teacher...and I am
What country would you most like to visit: Israel, New Zealand, or Germany

LAYER NINE:
Number of people I could trust with my life: a few
Number of CDs that I own: i have no idea. I just listen to my MP3 player
Number of piercing: 4 - in ears
Number of tattoos: 1
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: a few times for awards at school when I was little and once for our wedding announcement
Number of scars on my body: none that I know of
Number of things in my past that I regret: I regret my past attitudes about things

YOUR TURN! If you decide to play…let me know cause I wanna read your 9 layers!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

These feet were made for walking...

Our little man is a walking machine. We walked all over the backyard today.


It looks like he's saying "Bring it" with his hands.


What a goofball. I guess he was trying to show off his new teeth on top.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

There is never enough time

I had a day off today and it was nice. I had to go to the doctor for a check-up and then get lab work done. It took FOREVER! I waited for a long long time. But it was kind of nice to just sit there and read a magazine...I never get to sit and do something mindless. Then I went and got a haircut. It was much needed. I was looking scraggly...if that is even a word. So today was the first time that I didn't have to worry about time. I didn't have to be anywhere I try to squeeze in a bunch of responsibilities.

I get frustrated with the aspect of time. I'm only given so much to do what I am called to do. I am only given 9 months to get kindergartners to the level they need to be at. We are only given an hour on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings to teach youth about the God that loves them. I am only given around 3 hours every night to spend meaningful time with my son. I am only given about 30 minutes do some form of housekeeping so I don't kill myself by tripping on something. Then I am only given a short time to go to sleep so I am somewhat functional the next day.

But that's the thing. I don't want to be "somewhat functional." I want to be effective and inspiring. I can't be those things unless I find time to rest in the Lord. I am so struggling with that right now. I can fit in work, parenting, youth ministry, and time with Jeff. But is hard to find time to listen to God, to worship him, to talk to him, to learn about him, to read his word. I'm not saying that as an excuse because I don't want to. I DESPERATELY want to. I am hungering for that. I am afraid that me not being intimate with my Savior will eventually cause me to burn out, become ineffective, and lose purpose.

On another note...I just need to talk about how much I love my husband. He is grand. My 2 favorite things about him are his sense of humor and how disciplined he is. He is SOOO awkwardly funny. He says the most ridiculous things that make no sense. He is so relational about it to. He uses his humor to connect with other people. People are comfortable building a relationship with him. God will and is using that aspect about him for HIS glory.

Also, his discipline is something that never ceases to amaze me. He never wants to do anything half-way. He takes everything he does so seriously. He is disciplined in school, in youth ministry, in his relationship with the Lord, and with being the husband and father that God has called him to be. I love him for that. I love that I am taken serious and that he sees me as something worth fighting for. He sees alot of the things he does as something worth fighting for. It has been amazing how our love for eachother and for Colin has taught us more/helped us understand more about the love Christ has for us. Anyway...I love my husband.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav

Please be in prayer. Gustav is hitting New Orleans right now. Marshall has already received a few thousand evacuees from down south. The Civic Center is housing some. ETBU is housing people with medical needs. Then they have a list of who would house more people that come. If there is more, First Baptist will take some, the Cumberland Presbyterian, then Crossroads (that's our church) would be next. Maybe it won't get to that point, but if it does we are a little nervous. Our pastor is in Israel right now, so Jeff is the only minister on staff right now. So he would kind of be in charge along with the head deacon.

But whether they come to our church or not, please pray that God's people in this area would seek opportunities to minister through this. Pray for the evacuees. I cannot even imagine being forced to leave my home and not knowing if I will even be able to go back. Pray that their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. Also, I don't know what this means for possible new students in our district. 3 of our schools are already full, but maybe we will take them anyway. If that happens, pray for teachers to be able to meet the needs of students with as much patience as possible. I really don't know what will happen. Maybe it won't happen, but pray anyway. It's just a time of uncertainty and we don't know what to expect. Thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Entrusted

So my classroom did NOT look like that picture below. I had 22 the first day, and we did have overflow but they went with our reading intervention teachers the first days. So that was a relief to us. My class is REALLY good. It gets loud and its taking a while to learn to walk in a line...but everything I tell them to do is always followed by a "Yes ma'am" and even sometimes an "I'm sorry." even when I didn't ask them to apologize. They are very sweet. I am excited about this school year. It's like a fresh start! Last year I was not myself. I was going through some depression and it really brought out the worst in me. I wasn't as effective as I wanted to be...as a teacher, as a mother, as a wife, as anything. I have hope that this year will be a year that I make a positive difference in other people's lives. But I know I can't do that unless I rely on God's strength. There is so much going in our schedule....we are already exhausted! And it would be easy to become so tired and bitter and whiny that I could become ineffective. I refuse for that to happen this year.

So the new youth ministry job is going well so far. The youth have really impressed me. There have been times where when Jeff and I are preparing a lesson for them and I think, "This is going to be way over their heads...they won't understand or care." But they understand a lot more that I think they do. Their responses to questions or discussions have really surprised me!

Our goal for these youth is for them to find their identity in Christ....not in other things. They try to find it in popularity, fashion, extra-curricular activities, boyfriends or girlfriends, in other's approval, etc. You guys know! We were once teenagers and know what it is like. But Jeff and I really think that most other issues that students have would be "dealt with" easier if their self worth was dependant on what Christ has done for them. Pray for us as we try to instill that in them.

On another note....My Colin is growing up! He is so smart and is walking a little more. Pray for us as parents and for him. The more he grows up the more he is going to be aware of and learn about this world. That scares me some. We want him to be in this world, but not of this world. It's scary to think of all the sinful things of this world that he could easily get wrapped up in. I don't even like to think about that. I am afraid that Jeff and I will not be able to do enough to teach him who God is and when he eventually accepts Christ as his savior...I am afraid that we won't be able to teach him how to be holy as He is holy. I know it probably be fine, but it is such a huge and burdening responsibility...especially when it is your child.

I am just overwhelmed at the amount of people the Lord has entrusted to me and Jeff to guide. My son, my 22 kindergartners, and the teenagers of our community and church. Wow. I am just afraid that everything we do will not be enough to teach them and show them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Upcoming Stuff

Our life is really about to get crazy!! We have some fun stuff coming up that I am excited (and nervous) about. I'm trying to engrain all of these upcoming events into my head so I won't forget. So typing it out might help.

Monday Aug.25 - First Day of School
Wednesday Aug 27 - Back to School Party for Youth (and Sharla/Granny's BDay)
Saturday Aug 30 - First Elysian Fields football game in Gladewater
Monday Sept 1 - Labor Day (a day off!)
Thursday Sept 4 - doctor's appointment/day off (and my dad's bday)
Tuesday Sept 16 - Open House
Sept 19 and 20 - Disciple Now
Sept 24 - See You At The Pole Rally

Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happenings

Well.....we are officially "on staff" which is kind of weird. We did our first "official" event on Wednesday night. It was pretty fun! We had 30 youth there and we had to go find more chairs. We definitely are not going to fit in our little youth room if we keep going like that! Jeff really wants to make it to where youth will come in and feel comfortable rather than them coming in and sitting quietly and awkwardly. He did a good job of that. He had music videos playing on the tv and he was pegging youth with wiffle balls as they entered the room. They even started playing wiffle ball using a couch cushion as the bat! It was pretty funny. Anyway, his lesson did not go as well as he wanted, but we definitely learned what we could do better next time and even have a few ideas that we are excited to implement. We have a few events coming up pretty soon that you could be in prayer for. On Sept 19th..ish we are having a community Disciple Now. Actually I think that is our only event now that I think about it. hehe. But please be in prayer as we are looking for "curriculum" and also for our first youth council meeting....that it would be a productive and purpose driven time.

Well, school starts on Monday and I am really excited. I meet my kids and their parents tomorrow night. The only bad thing, is that we are going to have BAD overflow issues this year. You see, another school started a dual-language Kindergarten program which means their "overflow" kids come to us. The max I can have is 22, but I might have more for the first week or so until they find places for them. It's going to be a mess! My classroom might look like this on the first day of school....

....except they probably won't be sitting that well behaved.



Sunday, August 17, 2008

We are....

the new youth ministers of Crossroads Baptist Church!

Friday, August 15, 2008

School is starting! UPDATED!

School starts in a little over a week. I feel so much more prepared this year than I did last year. Last year I was starting a new school, new grade level, in a new town, with a new 5 week old baby. Let's just say I was far from prepared. But I am ready this year. I know the ropes and know what to expect and had more time to get ready. I don't usually get into "themes" for classrooms, but my team...actually our whole hall way....is doing a western theme. It's been fun getting ready. So here are a few pics....



my door. I will write the student's names on the little bandanas. I have 22 of them this year!!!


my classroom. my mom made the curtains and Jeff cleaned my windows for the first time in probably 50 years. It was really gross.


my reading center and "All About Me" board


this is "my corner." This is where I keep all my 'stuff' and where I pull small groups of kiddos to work on stuff with.


I got a little too happy with the glue gun. Practically EVERYTHING in my room is held up by hot glue. That stuff is amazing!

This is my pathetic little home center. You see someone basically stole my home center. Well I had already bought all the toys for it (dishes, baby doll, etc.). So I thought, "By gosh we are still having a home center!" So that desk is the kitchen table and that little shelf is the stove and counter top. Hey...you work with what ya got!

I'm quite proud of my little stove!

My calendar and such. I'm quite obsessed with pocket charts. I can think of a million uses for them!


Well I lost a home center but gained this really cool easel. A teacher left and I inherited this. It has really cool organizational tub thingy's and a book rack on the back. It's quite multi-purpose.


This is my color change system for discipline. Buffalo bucks is my reward system. I give them bucks for good behavior. Once they get 10 'bucks' they can buy a reward (something from my treasure box or a pickle...which is quite popular) On the rest of the doors is my word wall and the kids put their backpacks behind the doors. I put the rulers through the handles to train my kids to shut the dang doors! (That is just a small pet peave of mine)


This is my boy's bathroom. I try to keep that door closed as much as possible because it smells horrendous in there. I guess little boys can't aim very well at this age...I don't know. See the little green boot? One side is green and says 'go' and the other side is red and says 'stop.' This is to tell them if it is occupied or not. I had to start doing that last year because I did not realize that kindergartener's lives would fall apart if someone walked in on them. I literally had another teacher walk into my room to see if everything was okay because when of my girl's screamed like she was being murdered when another girl accidentally walked in on her. They are crazy...

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UPDATE!!!! ok so after looking at my classroom and these pictures a million times....we just now noticed the funniest thing! If you look at the picture of "my corner" you will see that in the upper right hand corner of the pic are some alphabet letters on the wall. O and P are backwards!!! I have never laughed so hard in my life when I noticed that....especially cause Jeff is the one who put it up! It's even worse that I didn't catch until now. HAHAHA!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Walking!

Colin has started walking a little! I am so excited. He is so cute because he will walk by holding our hands and then when we let go, he will throw his hands up in the air to show us he can stand on his own. But then he starts giggling so much (because I am screaming out of excitement at him) that he falls over. But the few times that he hasn't fallen over he has taken like 3 or 4 steps at a time! I will try to get a video of it soon and post it. Sorry...just had to share.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thank you Thank you


Wow!!!! Taylor gave me the "Smile Award" yesterday. I am honored. There are so many people I want to thank, first my producers and my fans.....just kidding. But seriously, even though it is just one of those silly blog awards, Taylor's words on why she picked me mean the world to me. Thanks Tay!

Now to tell you about Taylor. Taylor is one of my very best friends who has gone through quite a journey. Her story is amazing. (which you can find at a little slice of heaven.) It is full of grief and sorrow, but even more full of God's love and grace and power. You see, Taylor had struggled with infertility issues and when she finally became pregnant was asked to give that baby back to the Lord. Her sweet son, Nathan Taylor, had Trisomy 13 and when he was born he lived just a few short moments before going into the arms of Christ. She has shown unbelievable strength and dedication to God through all of this and more than anything is using her "story" to bring others closer to our God...including me. We have been best friends for quite a while now but her friendship means more to me now than ever! We have some fun memories like dragging Jeff by a rope in a field behind her car, many fun lake trips where bouncy balls hit my teeth, and helping each other hold up our huge wedding dresses on our wedding day when we had to go "potty." The thing that I love best about our friendship now though is how we are teaching eachother and encouraging eachother toward Christlikeness. She has really been a source of strength and comfort for me as I am about to enter the ministry. She is amazing and I love her for considering me a friend.

Now I am supposed to grant this award to 5 blogger friends... I think I only have 5 blogger friends on my list anyway so this should be easy! Hehehe.

These are the rules:
1. The recipient must link back to the awards creator the
babblings of mere
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (not necessarily at all times--we are all human)
2. Must love one another
3. Must make mistakes
4. Must learn from others
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world
6. Must love life
7. Must love kids

1. Mary (http://marynorton.blogspot.com)~Mary is one my best friends. She is such an encourager. This may sound kind of selfish, but I love how she always makes me feel like she's my biggest fan! We've been friends for about 4 years now. We have some great memories ranging from going to Broken Bow and playing "panties" to pouring our hearts out to each other while our dorky husbands play video games! And she has 2 really dang cute kids! Her and her husband have played a HUGE role in me and Jeff's life. They have encouraged us to follow God's leading and not the world's. They have shown us what a "John 10:10 life" looks like. We do "life together" and I love that. I am really sad that they live far away from us now, but thank goodness for blogs so I can still "hear" her words. She is really dang smart and I always learn more about God's character just by her character and her words.

2. Jenni (http://jdarst.blogspot.com) I love my Jenni! Jenni is my sister in law (Jeff's sister). She is also one of my best friends! We can't go a week without seeing eachother. We have withdrawals and we just can't function. Jenni energizes me. She is my battery (haha). Even though I sometimes hate it, she makes me branch out by trying on crazy clothes at stores and doing pilates with her. She is a woman who is passionate and loves the Lord. She just got married to Tim (who is a riot to be around by the way) and their "newlywed love" is so pure and sweet. It's cool to see how we have grown to be so close. She started out merely as Jeff's cute little sister and is now my best friend and someone that I look to for an example of godliness. You are great Jenni....even though you had a thumbchunk!

3. Sharon (http://thebaileybeat.blogspot.com) Sharon was like a second momma to me and to many others. She helped out a lot with the youth at my church I grew up in. We had some fun memories at camps and such. I remember getting in a chocolate pudding fight with her at a camp where we were wiping it on each other's faces and everyone was looking at us like we were crazy. I also remember her leading a bible study for the youth in the girl's bathroom on the floor because she needed a room that was pitch dark and that was the only room. She put a sign on the door that said, "Out of order." But some old lady walked in and was probably appalled that the youth (including teenage boys) were hanging out in the girls bathroom. I loved how Sharon could "come down to our level" by playing and joking with us but then could "bring us up a level" through her bible studies and her example.

4. Amanda (http://aspecialblend.blogspot.com) I went to high school with Amanda but didn't really know her then. I just knew who she was. I actually just found her on blogger and facebook probably a couple of months ago. But I can say that I do know her now just by reading her blog. Her blog is amazing and inspiring. She really conveys a love for Christ that is quite contagious. She is very knowledgeable and shows a passion for interpreting scripture. Even though we still don't "know" eachother that well, I am truly blessed by her words and am grateful that I found her.

5. Kate (http://mymessynest.blogspot.com) Kate is another girl I went to high school with that I didn't know all that well. She is actually good friends with Amanda. Kate's blog is the one I go to when I need a good laugh. She is freakin hilarious! It makes me wish I could hang out with her in person! She is also quite inspiring when it comes to domesticity. She writes and posts pictures a lot of room decor, recipes, cleaning tips, etc. It is so great and she is quite talented. So thanks, Kate, for always bringing a smile to my face!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Anonymous comments

I did not realize until today that my blog was set up to block any anonymous users to leave comments. Since I know that there are SOOOO many anonymous people reading my blog out there (that was sarcasm in case you didn't know) I just wanted to let all you anon guys know that I fixed it so you can comment now! I know this is probably a waisted post, but you never know who is reading your blogs that might want to comment. Have a blessed day!!