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Thursday, December 31, 2009

the year in review

The Year in Review...again.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

bought a house!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

i don't usually make resolutions. i don't think they are bad, but i don't think resolutions should be reserved for just the new year. i am more likely to keep a resolution if God has convicted me of something rather than doing a traditional resolution just because.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! Taylor

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes

5. What countries did you visit?

none

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

a school-free jeff!

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Oct 3 - sister passed away and may 15 - move in date for the house

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

i think more than buying a house its been learning to balance my money with a mortgage payment and just live/spend differently.

9. What was your biggest failure?

i probably spent more time on the computer than with my son. :(

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

nothing serious. just sinus sickness. and IBS! haha

11. What was the best thing you bought?

my new blow dryer! it cuts off about 6 minutes of drying time because it is so powerful!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

jeffs for perservering! there were many times that he wanted to drop out this semester because it was REDICULOUSLY too much work. but he kept going. And still made every effort to be the husband, father, and youth minister that he needed to be.


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

sometimes our youth. they are good kids that just make stupid choices sometimes. and it frustrates me when i see such potential and those choices screw things up. i also am appalled at the amount of trash-talk and gossip that goes on in the youth in general.

14.Where did most of your money go?

mortgage and childcare

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

finding out i was pregnant

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

"I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter- but i have an excuse
iii. richer or poorer? neither, we just are using our money differently

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

spent more valuable time with Colin...more time talking to him.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

wasting time

20. Did you fall in love in 2009?

yes, i always fall in love with jeff and colin as we grow closer. and i fell in love with a little gummy bear on the sonogram screen!

21. What was your favorite TV program?

The Office!

22.. What was the best book you read?

The Shack!

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Chris Rice. he wasn't really new, but i had just forgotten about some of his older cds and they are awesome. such great lyrics

24. What did you want and get?

a deck

25.What did you want and NOT get?

a shed for the backyard

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

The Blindside

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 26. we actually made an offer on the house around that time.

28 What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

just being content and thankful. when you spend most of your prayer time thanking you find yourself asking for less and less. i am learning that.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

wow...fashion has gone down the drain for me. i'm just a jeans and t-shirt girl. i do have some really cute maternity clothes that i am excited to wear as soon as i am showing more.

30. What kept you sane?

understanding more that Christ's love is not conditional. it does not depend on what i do but what he has already done. kinda takes the pressure off!

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

hmmm.....i guess Kirk Cameron since I got to meet him. I just respect alot of what he does and stands for.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

i have no idea. i really don't pay attention to that kinda stuff.

33. Who did you miss?

my sister

34.. Who was the best new person you met?

sheryl! what a great friend and such an example of someone who thinks of others all the time. and its been fun to find out that we must be long lost sisters cause we are exactly like....from looking alike, to being carpet nazis, to needing our early bedtimes!

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:

This is something I knew but actually got to experience this year. God is good all the time. Even when life punches you in the stomach he is still the same God as he is when life makes you smile. I've learned not to even place my identity in the "bad events" that have happened to me but to place my identity in him. its not about me and what has happened to me. its about God being good ALL the time.

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Theres a peace I've come to know, though my heart and flesh my fail
Theres an anchor for my soul. I can say it is well.

37. The best thing you discovered this year?

skype!

38. The best thing you lost?

well i'm about to lose my babysitter for colin. she just is too tired and worn down from her shoulder to take care of colin anymore. she has been such a God send and I am sad to not be able to use her with the next baby.

39. What are you glad to leave behind from 2009?

the first trimester of this pregnancy...yuck.

40. What are you looking forward to in 2010?

meeting colin's brother or sister. figuring out how to be a mommy of 2!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Wednesday, Dec. 30th. 2009

Outside my window... wet (what else is new in East Texas) and cold. I am definitely SICK of cold weather. I have never been a fan of the cold. I am SO ready for spring. Ready to open my windows, have a cheaper electric bill, and let my boy play outside!!!

I am thinking...that this break has really spoiled me. It is going to be SO hard to go back to work on Monday. I have really really enjoyed my time with Colin and I will be sad to drop him off on Monday morning. :(

I am thankful for...the fact that I passed my glucose test this morning! Yeah!

From the learning rooms...i choose to not go there in my mind just yet.

From the kitchen...just got a HUGE amount of groceries yesterday. Nothing is better than a stocked fridge and pantry. grilled hot dogs tonight! Got to eat them before the buns go bad.

I am wearing...jeans, t-shirt, and chuck taylors

I am creating...a "potty chart" for colin to keep track of when he goes and doesnt go.

I am going...to get Colin (and baby) into a new day care. this is the best day care in town and they just so happen to be in the moving process. they are moving to a building that is RIGHT around the corner from us...like literally 1 minute from our house. Just heard back from the director and she has a spot for Colin and has baby on the list for the fall. So I am going to there open house on Sunday to check it out and all that. Im excited that they can help with Colin's potty training.

I am reading...well my mom is finishing up "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan and then she's sending it to me. So that is my next read.

I am hoping...to keep this baby inside me as long as possible. i am high risk for pre-term labor again. but surely it will be fine. i was only 5 weeks early with colin so it wasn't a dangerous early. hopefully this one won't be dangerous either.

I am hearing...HGTV and colin playing with his legos.

Around the house...a mess! Since Colin has been home during the days we have been pulling out all the toys and dirtying up all the dishes!

One of my favorite things...when Colin says, "I wanna hold you, Mommy."

A few plans for the rest of the week...clean the house today, youth lock-in tomorrow night (I'm only staying til a little after midnight!) then enjoying my last few days off.

A picture I want to share... well really a video of colin's talent on the drums! click the link below.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=393136785242&ref=mf

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

baby and Christmas


How far along:
10 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: almost back to original weight. had lost 7 pounds to begin with and now I've gained 5 back.
Maternity clothes: Just a few elasticy pants. And there are about 3 or 4 maternity shirts that don't look too awkward on me.
Stretch marks: nope.
Sleep: depends on the night! Already starting to have to get up and go to the bathroom in the night. If I don't get up in the night I am about to bust when my alarm goes off!
Best moment this week: well it was techinically last week (Friday). But I got to have my first sono. I was so relieved to see that everything was good...and to see that there was only one! Jeff has been really wishing for twins!
Movement: no
Food cravings: fried chicken, cheetoes, mac n cheese, pb and j sandwhich (not any of that together...that is just a list of things.)
Gender: don't know! Either would be so so so great!
Labor Signs: nope!
Belly Button in or out: in
What I miss: being able to wait to eat when I'm hungry.
What I am looking forward to: going to the doctor again on the 28th. might have to get an early glucose test though when I go back since I am high risk for gestational diabetes again. If they dont do it then, they will do it at the next appointment! Guess its good to find out as soon as possible though!
Milestones: baby has heartrate of 171 bpm!

Have a VERY busy next few days.
-Tomorrow: class christmas party and then staff christmas party in the evening. Colin also has jammie day at his school. Wish I could go! He will be so cute.
-Friday: Last day and early release. Then Youth Progressive Dinner in the evening. My house is providing the main meal! Gotta feed 30ish youth spaghetti. That could be dangerous. Think I'm going to tell them to go eat on the deck so they don't get it on my carpet! haha.
-Saturday: nothing
-Sunday: Jeff is "off" from church but that night we are going to our age groups Sunday School party. Should be fun!
-Monday: our family Christmas at home (just us),and looking at Christmas lights downtown
-Tuesday: head to A-town

Well I am about to go brown about 6 pounds of beef for the youth party. Better get started! Hope everyone has a blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

what i use when i want to write and don't know what to write about...

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, Dec. 7, 2009

Outside my window... very stinkin cold. makes me want to stay inside and bundle up on the couch!

I am thinking...about Christmas presents for people....that's as far as I have gotten is thinking about it. Wish I was a better gift giver. I want to give people meaningful gifts but never know what to do.

I am thankful for...Jeff's semester from heck almost being over!

From the learning rooms...going okay. We are learning about ordinal numbers, blending sounds, wants vs. needs, and water.

From the kitchen...well I was going to go to the grocery store today because we have NOTHING. But I was too lazy and I realized we really don't have any money left! So....we ordered pizza....with the money we do not have. haha!

I am wearing...jeans and a long sleeve white tshirt under a red marshall mavericks t-shirt.

I am creating...a little grape sized baby in muh belleh!

I am going...to try potty training again with Colin over the Chrismas break. I think the week after Christmas I am going to devote that entire week to getting him on a schedule, wearing undies a little, etc.

I am reading...i wish i could say the bible...but I would be lying. Should get back on that.

I am hoping...this cough that I have had for 2 weeks goes away VERY soon.

I am hearing...the backyardigans and colin singing.

Around the house...upper part of the house...pretty clean. downstairs...not so much.

One of my favorite things...being able to wear jeans to work until Christmas break!! yeah!

A few plans for the rest of the week...go observe at another school tomorrow morning. Wed-work and church. Thursday - work. Friday - no work! go to Dr Lin and get a sono!

A picture I want to share...I just have to show off Jeff's photography skills cause I think he is really good. He took pics of my friends baby girl.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

funk/baby/ear piercing

just thought I'd write about a few random things today.

I am having kind of a funk day. One of those days where I am just bummed. A large percentage of that is knowing I have to go back to work tomorrow. I have SO enjoyed just being with my family and not feeling overly exhausted by normal routine expectations. Part of it is a missing Erin thing. Most days I am fine and at peace. Every once in a while it just hits me like a punch in the stomach. But really...its just a bummer for me and others that are left behind. For her? She has nothing to worry or be upset about it! She is in the presence of God. (Not that she ever really did worry or be upset! ha!)

I am almost 8 weeks pregnant and really looking forward to my doctors appointment next Friday (the 11th). Praying all is good and healthy. Sometimes I don't feel or look pregnant and that makes me a little nervous, but I am sure it is fine. I have felt a little more sick with this one than I did with Colin, but its still not really that bad. Just a little queasiness when I get hungry.
I am very excited about adding to our family. I can't wait for this baby to just be here and to see Colin be a big brother. I just hope he is nice! Sometimes he can be a toot.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I respond to God. I feel convicted about my lack of response to him and his love. We talked about a verse in sunday school today that I thought was REALLY cool. So...I will share.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. -Psalm 40:6

I read that and thought, "What the heck does that mean about ear piercings?" Well I found out. Back in the day slaves were not required to be slaves forever. Its not like they were born into slavery and had to stay that way until they died. They had a certain time frame and then they were to be released. However, there were some slaves that CHOSE to stay slaves for the rest of their lives because they trusted and respected their master and knew they would take good care of them. If the slaves agreed to that, the masters would pierce their servants ear as a sign that they desire to be bound to their master for the rest of their lives. Jeff just informed me that this is called a "bond servant." (Lots of you probably already knew this, but I didnt! So I am excited.)

Anyway, it made me start thinking about my life. I have made that decision to be bound to Christ and to be under his care for the rest of my life. However, bond servants had a symbol to show the world that they had made their decision. People could tell by looking at their pierced ear. I hope and pray that people can tell that I am bound to Christ just by knowing/seeing me. Do I do enough/say enough/love enough? Or do I just fill my day with gossip and meaningless talk. Do I stay quiet about the one I have bound myself to and trust? Do I genuinely love people or do I judge or just wish they would go away? Its something to think about and makes me more aware of my actions and attitudes. If Christ is my master and I trust him completely with my life, then my response should be a changed life that is bound to him and obedient to him. And everyone should be able to tell that.



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Sunday, Nov. 15th

Outside my window... perfect fall weather! beautiful fall colored trees all around my house.

I am thinking...that I hope I can make it through one week of school before Thanksgiving. Work has been difficult lately.

I am thankful for...a sweet new baby on the way!

From the learning rooms...like I said, school has been difficult. ALOT of extra work that I don't feel like I have the energy for and alot of unnecessary drama between co-workers. sometimes i wanna say, "if I wanted drama I would have been an actress...not a teacher!"

From the kitchen...blah...not been a good cook lately. i really need to go to the store! I am going to make chicken alfredo tomorrow

I am wearing...jeans and a sweater

I am creating...I don't even know how to finish this sentence anymore. I really wish I was more creative than I am!

I am going...to try to get these fits of Colin under control! Its crazy. I've read all sorts of advice about spanking, a firm "no", ignoring. I really think for Colin I'm going to have to be better about preparing him for transition (1 more minute till we have to stop...) tell him no and why and then quickly change the subject to something else. We'll see. Hope all this is under control before baby comes!

I am reading...Psalm 139. My goal is to memorize the entire chapter.

I am hoping...that morning sickness continues to stay away. so far so good!

I am hearing...the cowboys game, jeff talking on the phone, and the train.

Around the house...not clean, but not horribly out of control either.

One of my favorite things...imexican food!

A few plans for the rest of the week...I plan on not seeing Jeff this week at all really. He has major papers due this week and a youth community worship service to prepare for. I cannot WAIT until he is done with school.

A picture I want to share...my boy

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Colin

So I stole this off a lady's blog who has twins. She fills these out every 3 or 4 months about her kids. Thought I would do that every once in a while. All mommas like to talk about their kids from time to time. Soon I'll be able to do this for 2 kids!

Colin


Age: 2 years and 3 months.

Weight: about 29 pounds. He wears some 24 month stuff, but mainly 2T clothes. And wears a size 9 shoe.

Feedings: I don't fight this battle anymore. He eats when he wants (not when I want). Some days he eats only goldfish all day. Some days he could eat an entire steak! He is picky. His favorites are yogurt, "my cheese" (which are lunchables), sammich (which is just one piece of bread) and refried beans mixed with rice.

Favorites: playing outside, going on walks, being startled, jumping, noggin, "take your pictures" (playing with daddy's camera) and identifying letters (He knows about 17 letters!)

Least Favorites: having shampoo rinsed out of his hair, being blocked out of a room or area, going inside after being outside

Issues: Colin is really a great kid. His issues are normal for his age. But his fits are rediculous sometimes! There are 2 problems with it. 1) He is a VERY loud cryer and screamer. So it always seems WAY worse than it really is. 2) His overwhelming emotions don't match up with his ability to verbalize and reason. There is no talking and reasoning with him. We have developed a system where when he is throwing a fit he puts himself in the corner until its all out of his system and then he turns around and says, "All done." That will suffice until he understands better how to talk and reason.

Personality: Silly, clever, basically Jeff's personality all over again with a little bit of my overly sensitive feelings. He gets his feelings hurt easily.

Areas to Work On: The whole talking through our feelings and not throwing fits (which will come later) and his colors. Its crazy that the kid knows almost all his letters but doesn't know or care to know his colors. That will come too though.

New Things: he can jump now....and thats all he likes to do! He also likes to identify types of transportation. When we are in the car all we hear is, "Schoolbus! Trashman! Car! Truck!"

Randomness: I asked Colin if he wanted a brother or a sister. His response was, "A mister!"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Colin will be a big brother!

That's right, I'm expecting. I asked Colin if he wanted a brother or sister the other day and he said, "A mister!" Too funny. He totally doesn't get it. But thats ok. Found this survey on someone else's blog that is expecting and thought I would do it from time to time.


How far along:
4 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: lost 7 pounds. Don't know why...not throwing up or anything. guess my body is using up the food i eat pretty quickly for energy.
Maternity clothes: Just a few elasticy pants.
Stretch marks: nope.
Sleep: sleepin good. just not enough!
Best moment this week: getting my blood test results from the doc!
Movement: Does gas bubbles count?
Food cravings: nothing in particular
Gender: wish I could know now!
Labor Signs: haha...no.
Belly Button in or out: in
What I miss: nothing really
What I am looking forward to: my first sono and nurse visit on dec. 11
Milestones: i think its cool that baby notelpat is forming ears, eyes, and nose!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Thursday, October 22

Outside my window... A cold front is blowing through! It rained today...ALOT. But this weekend is supposed to be sunny but cool. Perfect Fall weather that I love so mcuh!

I am thinking...that Friday makes me happy.

I am thankful for...the peace God has given me in the passing away of my sister. She is missed but I know she is with Him!

From the learning rooms...C-Scope is kicking my tail! The new curriculum causes me to fumble through lessons and at the end of the day I am almost embarrased at how the day went. Still trying to get used to it.

From the kitchen...we have been on a hamburger kick lately! Yummy!

I am wearing...black lounging pants and a gray t-shirt

I am creating...creating? what does that mean? I feel like the creative juices have been sucked out of me. I also do not have the time. I would LOVE to go garage saling or flea marketing and find a piece of junk to do a "trash to treasure" project!

I am going...to meet Kirk Cameron tomorrow night! A sweet lady at church gave us free tickets to a really nice dinner where we get to hear him speak and then get our picture taken with him! I am excited. I don't really care about famous people much, but I LOVED Fireproof and have much respect for him playing in those kinds of movies. Plus...it is a date with my husband. Haven't done that in....can't even remember when!

I am reading...C-Scope, C-Scope, C-Scope

I am hoping...to be able to sleep better at nights. I have NEVER been a restless sleeper. Everyone that knows me knows that when my head hits the pillow I am out in 2 seconds. But I have been having a hard time sleeping.

I am hearing...The Stars game on T.V. and the dryer.

Around the house...got our deck built and it looks AWESOME! I am so excited about it and want to go outside all the time now! Now we just have to save up money to buy furniture to sit on out there! haha.

One of my favorite things...inside jokes. Now...I don't like inside jokes when people use them to make other people feel awkward or left out of the joke or story. But I DO love how inside jokes are a reminder of memories you have made with someone!

A few plans for the rest of the week...tomorrow night: Kirk Cameron, Saturday: Papa's 85th birthday party in Collinsville!, Sunday: church and friends over to eat lunch, Sunday night: Jeff leaves to go to Arlington for the Youth minister's conclave. Really wish I could go with him.

A picture I want to share...The Deck!!!!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I Will Rise

I posted the song that was played at the end of my sweet sister, Erin's, memorial service on my playlist at the bottom of this page. It perfectly describes how even in the midst of despair...it is all under control because of the price Jesus paid for us. I know full well that Erin is face to face with God. I find comfort in that and I CAN say, "It is well." I am sad because I will miss her, but I know it is not the end and I will see her again. The most wonderful thing that was said at her memorial service was this...

"The beautiful thing about Erin's life is that she has showed us so much about God that she fades away....we fade away....and all that is left is the image of God."

I sure hope I can live a life like that too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

not very interesting

So I always hesitate to write because I so feel like anything I have to say is not interesting to anyone else. But I suppose I will ramble for a bit anyway...but this time I shall put it in list form.

Things I am looking forward to...
1. the nice cool fall weather!
2. A Canton trip in the nice cool fall weather (probably in November)
3. getting a deck built (with the help of Josh and Taylor)
4. Halloween costumes. Jeff=Luigi. Sarah=Mario (possibly complete with a mustache). Colin=toadstool! We are such nerds, but I am excited about it.

Things that annoy me right now...
1. new curriculum at school. I actually really like the curriculum, I just hate "learning" it and getting used to something new.
2. not being able to sleep. I wake up multiple times a night either because of Colin or my racing mind.
3. Can't think of anything else....guess that's all.

Things I have been pondering...
1. At what point does worrying become bad. There are 2 extremes to this. You can worry so much that you show a lack of trust in what God has in store. But then you can not worry enough that is shows that you don't care about how something turns out and so you don't do your part. Hmmm.....
2. When is it appropriate to confront people and when do I let it go. I have relationships with people that I do not agree with their choices or they have issues with their apathy toward Christ. I truly don't feel like I judge them. I still really love and care about them. But I struggle about being bold with them. Now, some of them are youth and I don't struggle as much with them about "telling them like it is." But some of these people are adults...and that's where I struggle. I feel like they will think, "You don't have the right to tell me I am wrong." But that's not what I want to tell them. What I want to tell them is, "Its not about being right or wrong. This is about the fact the God loves you so much and his ways are better than yours!" But its so hard. I don't want to push away some people that I feel like I have really great relationships with. I don't want to "ruin" it.

Things I like....
1. Colin talking in sentences. Him being able to tell me what he wants instead of whining. Oh wait...he still whines though.
2. The fact the Colin went to MDO the other day "tear free!" Just walked right in like a big boy.
3. my house and just the fact that it is mine.
4. our church and the friends we have made there.
5. my fall wreath. It looks so good on my red door

So....in the words of Jeff, "......WELP! See ya later!"

Friday, September 11, 2009

interesting church signs


Oh I'm sorry...I thought God already knows every part of us even if we don't know him.






this would be great advice if I could just figure out who this "Chirst" guy is.






this one took me forever to figure out. At first i thought it was referring to firemen. Apparently the 'c' fell off before the 'hose.'





really?!?







i didn't think that was the point of forgiveness. if you are still trying to "mess with their heads" that sounds a little more like revenge.






this one is just stupid.






ok.....what the heck is 'afesis?'

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Saturday, August 29

Outside my window... It's a nice Saturday morning and it is quiet. We live in a lovely and quiet neighborhood! The only thing I hear is a dog barking.

I am thinking...about the future. Thinking about finances and projects to do on the house. Praying about if/when to start expanding our family. Jeff graduates in May. Wondering what life will be like without him doing homework all the time! Im' sure that free time will be filled up though pretty quickly.

I am thankful for...a God that has no boundaries on love. I often feel like "i have let him down." But he reminds me that I don't hold him up in the first place. He holds me up!

From the learning rooms...I have a good class this year. Now it's only been one week and they can always turn on me! But so far so good. We had an AWESOME first week. Probably the best first week of school I have had.

From the kitchen...been cooking quick easy stuff this past week cause I have been too tired to much more than that at the end of a school day.

I am wearing...red gym shorts and a gray t-shirt

I am creating...NOTHING! But eventually (when we get tax return money) I will be creating a nice backyard. It will include a deck, a tree house for Colin, and a hammock between 2 trees and hopefully my vegetable garden!

I am going...to a youth conference in Tatum today with a few of our youth and to hear Jeff, Tim, and Jenni lead music!

I am reading...nothing right now. Haven't really read anything this week but lesson plans!

I am hoping...it gets easier to get up in the mornings and go to sleep at night! Not quite in that routine yet.

I am hearing...Colin munch on his breakfast cereal.

Around the house...I changed mopping chemicals. We have very slick tile floors in the bathroom, kitchen, mudroom and laundry room. The old stuff I was using was leaving a weird white film. I just switched to Lysol mopping stuff and it looks a LOT better. They don't "shine" like I want them to, but they don't leave a film or streaks!

One of my favorite things...coming home to my boys every day. I am SO SO SO thankful for them and love them to death. I had a dream the other night that we had another baby boy and he looked IDENTICAL to Colin (they were older in the dream...like around 3 or 4) and we were frustrated because we didn't know which one was which. Then we kept forgetting what the new boys name was so we would change it all the time. Talk about bad parents! Can't tell them apart and don't know their names! Anyway, even though it was an absurd dream, it made me excited about adding to our family later. A girl would be fun! Someone I can actually invest in and guide to eventually be a Godly woman. It would be fun to dress her up, go shopping with her, have slumber parties with her friends. But then another boy would be a blast as well! I love the idea of having a house full of rowdy boys that I am constantly cleaning up after. I love the idea of watching Jeff teach our boys how to be men of God. Well I didn't mean to ramble on this one...I'll move on!

A few plans for the rest of the week...youth conference in tatum today, church, another full week of school. Then next weekend is Labor Day weekend and I am going to Arlington.

A picture I want to share...why I love my husband so much. He is a man of humor!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Effable

Ef´fa`ble

a.1.Capable of being uttered or explained; utterable.

This is something new I am going to try. I found a website that is a Random Word Generator. Everyonce in a while, I will post the definition of the new vocabulary word and try to use the word at least 3 times in my post. So here it goes.....Effable!

LOTS going on! School starts on Monday and I am excited, but a little nervous. I met over 1/2 of my class on Thursday night. (Usually I only have like 4 kids show up, so this was a good sign to have 13 show up!) They seem like sweet kids that are excited to start school. I'm nervous about this new curriculum that we are starting this year. It will eventually be a really good thing for me and my students, but it is really going to stink this year learning and implementing it. It is a VERY in depth/time consuming thing to start! We'll see how it goes.

The youth ministry is rolling along! Loving it more and more everyday. But at the same time my heart gets heavier and heavier for these youth the closer I get to them. The more I get to know them and spend time with them and talk with them I see how very very broken and lost some of these students are. There are some that seem to slightly care and want to change. But then there are some that think they are just fine or know they are screwed up, but think its funny instead. That breaks my heart. But all in all, things are going good. We had our new 7th graders move up and that was exciting! We had Mess Fest (our back to school party) last Wednesday and the kids had a BLAST! It was so fun to watch....and even get ambushed a little. I got "floured" by some youth. Jeff got it worse though. He got "pizza faced" by one of our new 7th graders (probably a sign of things to come from that particular student! ha!). And then Jeff got body slammed into a pool of wet cheetos and tomato sauce. Gross! It was fun though. We have our D-Now coming up and I am SO excited! It is community wide (about 5 other churches join in). And our church is hosting it. We are getting a band, we are using the curriculum "Remedy" that my friend, Mary, wrote! She is awesome. She has this talent to make a lesson effable for youth! And Daniel is speaking all weekend. Very excited about all of that. Jeff designed the logo for the weekend that will also go on our T-shirts. He did a great job. Check out the logo here...

You can be the remedy

Colin is growing ALL the time. He is getting so tall! And his baby features are slowly going away. He has that "big boy" face now! We are working on talking in longer sentences. He can no longer just say, "Milk!" He has to say, "I want more milk please." He's really good at it, he just forgets to talk that way. I guess you could say I am teaching him to be more effable. He can say his ABC's, count to 10, and tell us all his body parts! We will probably start working on his colors and recognizing the letters of the alphabet in isolation. He starts his MDO program on Sept. 3. He will only go on Thursdays for now. Next Thursday will be his "Meet the Teacher" night. I am excited about that! He is such a sweet boy and I find such joy in watching him grow up!

We still have some things to call about/find out about. But we are hoping to buy the rest of the land behind our house pretty soon! We will probably be able to buy all the way back to the railroad track which should give us a total of almost an acre. Our neighbors are acting interested in selling us the portion behind their house as well. Which would be AWESOME! because that would be 1 and1/2 to 2 acres. But I don't think we would be able to afford that. But hey, I can dream, right?

I am never unamazed at how good God is. It is sometimes uneffable. I can't even put it into words. He provides for us all the time. There are months that I wonder how we are going to afford groceries until the next paycheck or where I am praying that Colin isn't sick because I can't afford to take him to the doctor! But we have NEVER been without the things we need. Sometimes I find myself being without things I WANT. But even then, I am finding that the things I want are changing to match just what I need. I need some food, and some electricity and water. I need gas in the cars. I need my boys and the rest of my family. I need my friends. And most importantly I need my relationship with Christ! I couldn't want anything else!

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. Job 10:12

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We are back...

from vacation. It was a lovely time. Very relaxing and very fun to watch Colin have fun. The only time I got frustrated is when Colin's love for wind chimes was a bit overstimulated in all the souvenir shops. He went WILD when he saw them. He would go running down the aisles with both hands sticking out as to touch as many as possible. At one store he got so excited that he fell and almost knocked over a whole stand of wind chimes. It was quite noisy. Needless to say...I bought him a wind chime. I suppose the rest of vacation could be told through some pictures, so here they are. Take a look...

Port Aransas 2009

Now I will ramble for a bit...

Now we are back and gearing up for the start of school. I am actually kind of excited. I always love starting fresh with a new school year and getting back into a routine. I am also excited for fall weather and EF football games. (I don't care at all about football...I just like to go and socialize). I am excited about our Community Wide Disciple Now that Crossroads is hosting. I am excited about halloween. I know that is far off, but its still fun.

Also, Colin will be going to a mother's day out program every Thursday starting in the beginning of September. I am excited for him. I really think he will like going to "school" and being around other kids. He doesn't get to do that too often and when he does he gets really excited. If all goes well (and depending on Jeff's schedule in the Spring since he is the one who will have to pick up/take him) we will have him go 2 days a week next semester. Then the next fall he will go all day to a dayschool.

On another note, I am SO excited that Jeff is graduating in May! I am so proud of him. He is so smart and has worked very hard. I was really excited about him NOT being in school for a while, but i think he has decided to go right back in for his masters. ETBU is on schedule to start a masters level program in 2010 and if it does he and some other guys are planning on going together. So, as much as I was excited about him taking a break, I am excited that he is going for that. And it does make sense to hurry up and do it and to do it with friends who can encourage eachother along the way. So, way to go Jeff!

I have run out of things to say.....

So goodbye.

Monday, August 3, 2009

White Man

Just got back from kids camp. Had a great time, but so glad to be back. Now I am preparing for vacation. We leave tomorrow. I am so so excited, but having a really hard time getting motivated to pack. Maybe its because I am tired of packing and unpacking. I feel like thats all I have done this summer! But its been a good and fun summer. I am also glad that this time of packing/leaving I get to take Colin with me instead of leaving him! I can't wait to see how he does. I'm a little nervous, because he is a little dare devil and is not afraid of anything. That is a good thing, but its also bad when he refuses to wear floaties or a life jacket. I have been trying them on him so he will get used to it, but he gets really mad and rips them off. What a wild man!

Anyway, I saw this video on youtube and thought it was really good, so I wanted to share. It made me think about The Shack that I have been reading. Without giving away too much (for those of you that have not read it), the book portrays God in a way that is not expected and that this world may not even be comfortable with. Now...for the record....I do not take this book literally. But I do, however, find truth in the fact that we cannot assume that we know God to his fullest extent. God is bigger than us and our brains. And when we think we know him fully....we "man-size" him. God does not deserve to be man-sized. Not that we shouldn't strive to know him fully.

Anyway, this video is a little silly, but there is alot of truth in it. It goes against the whole idea that America has that, "God is a middle-class white republican."

Here is the link...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvBz2Y0chdE

Monday, July 27, 2009

going on's

We are back from our Mission Arlington trip and I am so glad. It was a good trip, but I can't say it was restful when I slept on an air matress in a 700 sq foot space with only 2 bathrooms and 14 other girls that were....lets just say emotional and dramatic teenage girls. But it was a good week of really bonding with some girls that I haven't had the chance to do that with yet. So that was really really good.

We have a few days of rest. Then my mom and dad are coming here on Wednesday so that they can keep Colin while me and Jeff go to one last away trip. We are going to fish camp this Thursday thru Sunday with our 3rd-6th graders. It will be good to get to know the kids that will be coming to us in the coming years. I am very very tired of leaving my son though. He doesn't seem to care, but I do. I miss him when he is not with me.

Speaking of Colin, I will talk about potty training with him now. Back around March and April, we introduced him to the potty chair and he was using it ALL the time. Then I guess the "newness" wore off and he wasn't interested anymore. Once his babysitter asked if he wanted to go potty and he even said, "No mommy do it." Probably meaning, "no my mom will just change my diaper." What a stinker. Well we keep taking him and hasn't cared or gone in the potty at all this summer. But here the past few days he has been going in it alot. His face is so cute when he goes. He'll say, "All done!" and then I make a fool out of myself screaming and doing the "potty dance." Then he gets to dump it in the big toilet and flush it. He's been talking more about undies lately. He points them out in the potty book we have and finds them in his drawer. I hope hope hope this is the start again of being on our way to undies. I'm definitely not in a hurry and don't want to push it, but if he's ready....then so am I!

One more week til vacation! I'm so so so excited. I'm excited to just enjoy my family. I don't plan on wearing much make-up or answering my phone much. I just plan on playing and laughing with my boys and laying out in the sun!

After that, its full swing back into work mode again. NOT excited about getting back into a good sleeping schedule (for me and Colin both). We've been staying up late and sleeping late. But I am excited to get back into a routine. As nice as it has been to be lazy, it will also be nice to feel like I am being productive again.

I'll try to post again before we go to the beach. Have a fantastic day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I''m going to try to keep this short.

Outside my window... I saw the deer again. I guess I am amused too easily by that. But hey! I'm from the city! You don't see that kind of stuff in A-town.

I am thinking...that I can't believe C-man is almost 2! Ever since I have graduated college, time has just flown! I taught a year, got pregnant, moved, got a new job, had a baby, and bought a house all in a whirlwind of time. Now all of a sudden, I've been married for 5 years and have a 2 year old!

I am thankful for...our jobs. We both have jobs that we love, that provide for us, and we both have "bosses" that are good to us. Even though they are rather "emotionally demanding" at times, I wouldn't want it any other way.

From the learning rooms...Well, Im learning alot from my Beth Moore study that I have started on Esther. It is challenging for me, and it goes really slowly to allow time to go more in depth. I like that.

From the kitchen...I feel like all I ever do is wash dishes because we have been eating at home ALOT lately. Which is a good thing. We are saving money because of it. Tonight we eat at church, so i won't cook. Tomorrow I am going to grill some chicken on the George Foreman and have some alfredo noodles with it.

I am wearing...jeans, a "school spirit" shirt from my old school in A-town that I taught at, black flops.

I am creating...well this should be interesting. But I am going to slightly re-decorate my living room today for under $30. I'm going to buy cheap sheer curtains, buy new pillows for the couch, and buy some stuff at the dollar tree! Ha! That might be tacky for some people, but I am excited to see if it turns out good. I don't always have the best eye for decorating, so we will see.

I am going...shopping today at Dollar Tree and Walmart.

I am reading...my Esther study, and still trying to finish The Shack. I'm slow.

I am hoping...its not too hard to get up early again when school starts.

I am hearing...Yo Gabba Gabba on TV (that is a bizarre show)

Around the house...clean dishes, and clean floors

One of my favorite things...Colin's laugh. We took him swimming yesterday at a public pool and he LOVED it! We wanted to see how he would do since we are going to the beach soon. He's never been in a pool where he couldn't touch the ground. The pool didn't allow him to wear his floaties (which I thought was dumb) so I was a little nervous. Especially when he got so comfortable with it and a little dare-devilish that he wanted SO BAD to jump off the side into the deep end like the big kids. He was not happy that he could not do that. But I am so glad that he wasn't scared of it. He had a blast and laughed/smiled the entire time.

A few plans for the rest of the week...shopping, church, visit Ms Betty, clean, pick up Colin's cake, have a partay! Then we are off to Mission Arlington for a week!

A picture I want to share...this was like 6 months ago at the city park. I just think it is a cute picture. What a precious face!

Monday, July 13, 2009

my little ball player

We used this pic for Colin's birthday invitation. I just added words on top of the pic in Adobe Photoshop and at the top it said, "Come have a ball with us!" (*ba-da-ching*) ...I thought it was clever. Anyway, I'm getting his birthday party stuff ready. Very excited. It will probably be just family and a few close friends of Colin's, but I am excited about it.

On another note, I am having a dilemma trying ro figure out what to do for Colin as far as childcare this year. I was planning on having him stay with Ms. Betty (his sitter) for one more year. Ms. Betty is 82 years old but looks and acts WAY younger. She is very quick to respond and very healthy. She is SUCH a God-send and sooooo wonderful! Colin loves her and we love her too. And she is quite attached to Colin as well.

Well, last week while she was keeping Colin, she fell and dislocated her shoulder. (pray for her!) The doctor said she has to wear a sling for 6 weeks. She is the type that will take the sling off too early and start watching kids again as soon as possible. If she really is better I would love for Colin to stay with her for one more year. But I would also hate for her to push herself and halfway through the year get hurt again and not be able to keep him. So I am debating on whether I should wait or put him in one of the really good daycares here. There is only like 2 that I am comfortable putting him in. And one of them I think is just a Mothers Day Out. Not for sure yet. Pray for me as I make this decision. I also know that Betty would be heartbroken if I took him. She told me the other day that the only way she would be okay with Colin leaving her is if I had another baby to "switch out" with! Ha!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I admit...

I was not a good momma today. We took Colin to see Ice Age 3. Knowing full well he might not even do that well. Jeff and I even discussed it. We said, "Lets just try it and it is no big deal if he doesn't make it." Well he not only didn't make it, but we left in an embarrassing screaming fit only 15 minutes after it started! He just didn't care about anything except for the fact the he WANTED to go up and down the "big teps!" (big steps). He did stay quiet for a few minutes and that was only because he had my coke. Which he drank about 75% of it. Even though I knew he might not do well, my temper blew. I got really mad. He got spanked. I said a few choice words. We both cried the whole way home. And poor Jeff the entire time is making his face that says, "What is the right thing to say right now that won't get my head bit off?" So all that was accomplished on that movie date was....

1. screaming
2. wasted money
3. a tight stomach and tummy ache from too much coke
4. a not good momma

I don't know who actually reads this blog, but I hope my admitting that I said "a few choice words" does not offend you or make you think less of me. I apologize if it does. That is a struggle that I have that I am not proud of and it is a struggle that I can say is on its way to not being a struggle. But it did slip today in the rage of my frustration. We all have struggles if we are honest with ourselves and that is one of mine. For some reason though, I wanted to be "admitful" (if that is even a word) today on my blog. I know that I am not the only one who tries to make it seem like we are all put together and never have problems or sinful moments with selfish motives. And blogs are a great way to fake our way through that facade. I know that I am bad about using my blog to only post "nice" and "pretty" things about my life. So I guess I just wanted throw it out there that I'm not perfect and I have bad days. Sometimes I stink at mothering. And alot of times I stink at controlling my toungue. Im working on that.

And for the record, me and my son made ammends. We went home, he soaked up a diaper from all the coke, and I held him and rocked him to sleep and told him I was sorry and that I loved him. He is a good sweet boy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Tuesday, July 7, 2009...

Outside my window... Well I am not home, I am still in Arlington, but it is bright and sunny and surely hot. I am not a fan of hot anymore...unless there is water around where it would be an appropriate situation for me to dive into it to cool off.

I am thinking...about our Mission Arlington trip quickly approaching and how we are SO not ready for it. Perhaps it is a given that any events taking place in the first year of your youth ministry will be planned about a week before it happens! Hopefully our second year won't be so "procrastinatish."

I am thankful for...for our families. I have had a sweet visit with my parents and we had a very very sweet time at Jeff's grandparents yesterday. They are precious people.

From the learning rooms...I believe we have already discussed this! There is NO learning during summer!!!

From the kitchen... I had to leave some cash for Jeff when I left to come here for him to eat out because I knew he wouldn't make anything unless i was there to make it. He even called me one time and said, "We are out of milk. What do I do?" Uh.....go to the store? Silly boy.

I am wearing...our camp shirt and denim shorts. no shoes.

I am creating...I hate this question! I am not a creative person. I did make a paper mache letter S (for Stapleton) with scrapbook paper and paint to hang on our wall at home. I am proud of it.

I am going...to get Colin's birthday party stuff ready when I get home. We are going to have a Texas Rangers baseball party! He is officially obsessed.

I am reading...almost done with The Shack.

I am hoping...we don't run out of money before I get paid again!

I am hearing...the TV and Colin crunching on cheerios.

Around the house...around my moms house is all of Colin's toys, my mom and papa and colin watching tv, my dad piddling around the house, and jeff sleeping, which i am about to run and jump on him to wake him up. he really likes it when I do that. :)

One of my favorite things...shopping with my mom. its also a bad thing because she finds stuff that i really want...but like we discussed in the "i am hoping" section...i have no extra money! hehe

A few plans for the rest of the week...go back to Marshall today. Get Mission Arlington stuff and birthday party stuff prepared. Friday we are going to Watertown with our jr high students. I hate water parks...

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Colin watching the 4th of July parade in Arlington. His favorite thing, of course, was the drum line of the high school bands...oh and the Texas Ranger float!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Kitchen pics


first of all, here is the deer that we saw in our back yard!


here is the view of our backyard from the kitchen window


our eating area...and colin


our kitchen

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A few thangs....and Honest Scrap(edited)

So we are back from youth camp. We had an awesome time! Our whole group seemed to really unite together for the first time since we have been there. Our group has had big issues with the whole "social status" thing. Lots of groups, lots of people not liking eachother because of the "title" they hold. But it was different this week. One girl even said, "This is the first time that i have felt like this group was a family and not a group of separated people." We had quite a few students that seemed to make some pretty big realizations about their lives and what God wants to do with them. It will be interesting to see, now, who actually follows through with that. Its easy to rely on the "camp high" for growth. So we are really praying for these kids to make REAL changes in their lives.

I missed Colin SOOOO much this past week. That was the longest he had ever been away from me! I was so excited when he came home. He seems to be talking so much more now! He used to say, "mo jink?" for more drink. Now he says, "was sumo jink pees?" (meaning, "want some more drink, please?) He is just talking in longer sentences, following directions better, and seems to be slowly getting to an age where i might can start reasoning with him more. what a big boy he is!

And now, for the Honest Scrap...



Amanda, at A Special Blend, gave me the Honest Scrap award! There are a couple of things you have to do when you get this award:

~ You have to tell your readers ten things about you they may not know, but that are true.
~ You have to tag 10 people with the award.
~ Let all the people you've given the award to know that they've gotten it.
~ Make sure you link back to the person who awarded it to you.

1. I love love love squash and zucchini! This is actually a new found love for me. I mix them together and put them in the frying pan with a little olive oil and then i put cheese on top. So yummy!

2. I used to hate chuck taylor converse shoes, cause i thought they looked like clown shoes. Now I LOVE them. I really want some in green (cause its my favorite color) and red (cause that is our school colors). Today to church, the whole family wore chucks (even Colin!)

3. I would someday like to own 5 or 6 acres of land. Don't know if that will ever happen, but it would be cool!

4. We saw a deer in our backyard the other morning! It was so cool. It came back like 30 minutes later too! We told our neighbors, and apparantly that is normal to see a deer back there. How cool is that?

5. I take pride in the fact that I can drive a standard. Alot of girls don't know how to drive one! (Not that your worth depends on that...) I am loving driving the van, but i do miss my standard car. Well, i still have the car...jeff just drives it now. so i guess i could drive it whenever i want.

6. I am a new fan of The Office. I never disliked the show, but I now appreciate the humor because i understand the characters now. Good stuff.

7. I hate Tea, and root beer, and bologna.

8. I can't whistle. I can do it a little if I suck air in. But I can't do it at all while blowing out.

9. the older i get, the more easily overwhelmed i seem to get. i don't like that i am like this. i want to be laid back and flexible, but i seem to just break down and cry if i feel like there is too much going on. wish i weren't that way....i'm working on it.

10. i used to say that i would much rather be hot than to be cold...but after this past week at camp where i spent 100% of my time drenched in sweat (including sleep time) I might have to switch that around.

*Edit*
So I forgot to tag 10 people! Ha!
1.Jenni from The Life of a Bubbly Bride
2.Mom from Nena's Notes
3.Sharla from Maaaaaa
4.Mary from When God doesn't behave
5.Taylor from A Little Slice of Heaven
6.Stephanie from The Calderon Family
7.Joyia from The West Family
8.Karen from Karen's blog
9.Kristin from Kristin's Life
10.Maile from Jeremy and Maile

Sunday, June 21, 2009

packing!

well i am supposed to be packing....not getting very far.

we leave in the morning to go to a student life mission camp in Ruston, LA with 24 youth tomorrow. please pray for us and pray for the hearts of the youth that are going.

i am excited, but really really missing Colin right now. I am usually okay if I stay busy. It is the down time that I have when I start to tear up and miss him. But I know he is in great hands so I am not worried....just missing him.

Jeff will have his Iphone this week and will be taking pics and posting them on a flickr account that he created for the youth group. If you are interested, check out

www.flickr.com/photos/refuelyouth

He will post throughout the week.

Hope everyone has a great week! And if anyone from Arlington happens to see my boy, kiss him for me!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Thursday, June 18, 2009

Outside my window... bright, warm, and beautiful....and now muddy because Colin played in the sprinkler this morning

I am thinking...about finishing up VBS, and for the sweet little kiddos that I got to teach and for the couple of kids that asked Jesus into their heart! Beautiful.

I am thankful for...my home! I really love it and look forward to my future here. I look forward to taking care of it and slowly adding some "value" to the house. I am thankful for how God has never ceased to provide for us since we packed up and moved here to Marshall. A situation that I wasn't really sure how it was going to work....well it MORE than worked. It beautifully and perfectly fell into place. Thank you, father!

From the learning rooms...Who learns during the summer! We are here to PLAY!!!!

From the kitchen...i am planning meals that don't require the oven. The oven that was here when we moved in is not working. We called a guy to get an estimate and order the part. Well it will be fixed soon, but it ended up costing us 300$! And for just a tiny little part. Poooo!

I am wearing...black flops, black shorts, and a green tank that is very "flowy." I wore the same shirt last night to VBS and one of the youth girls asked if I was pregnant because she said I have been wearing alot of shirts that look like maternity shirts. Ha! (and no, mom, i'm not prego)

I am creating...a new budget. some MAJOR lifestyle changes are about to take place. The major one is there will be very little eating out (sad day...i love to go out to eat) and when we do eat out we will be ordering water, splitting meals, etc. Hopefully we will stick to that.

I am going...to take a shower in a little bit.

I am reading...The Shack. Very much enjoying it and enjoying that i actually have a little time to read!

I am hoping...that the summer doesn't fly by too quickly!

I am hearing...HGTV on a low volume and Colin slightly snoring next to me on the couch. Little ones are PRECIOUS when they sleep.

Around the house...a sleeping boy, some toys scattered on the floor, an absent husband (who is golfing with our pastor), and a "mud room" that really is covered in mud right now from our sprinkler adventure this morning!

One of my favorite things...ideas and visions! I was sitting in our backyard (which I LOVE!) and i have ideas and visions for that place that I can't wait to do! I want to build a deck, and then we have these 2 big trees that our about 4 or 5 feet apart that i would like to build a high up fort between the trees and then hang a swing from under the floor of the fort. Also got to get crackin soon on finding out about buying the rest of the land behind our property!

A few plans for the rest of the week...1 more night of VBS, then VBS family night picnic on friday, take Colin to granny's on saturday(*sniff sniff*), get ready for youth camp, leave for youth camp on Monday!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...as my little boy sleeps he has the same face now that he did back then! Just lighter hair and....no pacifier!



To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

new background

I got a new background and I designed the banner up at the top. Its nothing fancy but it took me FOREVER!

Well, summer is in full gear here at the Notelpats household. Summer holds a whole new meaning for me now that we are in the ministry. It is still relaxing in some ways but also very stressful and busy with planning camps and activities. There is also this added pressure to help bring about change in the lives of these teenagers through these camps and activities. But...it is all very exciting and I am looking forward to what we have coming up. In case you are interested in peeking into my calendar here are some upcoming events for us...

June 14-19: VBS for our children (I am teaching 3rd grade)
June 22-26: Youth Mission Camp (taking 25 students!)
July 2-6ish: Visit MomMom and Pepaw
July 18: Colin's birthday party!
July 19-23: Take youth to Mission Arlington
July 23: My little boy turns 2! (*sniff sniff*)
August 4-6: Port Aransas with granny, pops, jenni and tim

And now for your viewing pleasure...here are some pics of C-man enjoying his summer in the new backyard!




Thursday, May 28, 2009

Home!

I love our new home so much! It is nothing big and fancy. 1 bathroom. A little on the smaller side. A smallish quaint kitchen. But just right. I love it.

I love how quiet our neighborhood is. And how pretty. There are lots of trees. Our house backs up to the woods (rather than neighbors behind us) and it is really cool. Jeff took me out to the back tonight to show me a beautiful sight. Looking back at the woods we could see hundreds of fireflys! It was so cool. It almost looked like Christmas lights. There are also a ton of blackberries back there. You can smell that sweet smell as you walk down to the woods. I just LOVE it!

We finished the bathroom. Jeff worked on it today while I was at work. He had to patch up some big holes and repaint. Then he hung the shelves. He did a great job!




God is so good. I'm definitely praying alot about our future in this house. We will have lots of good memories and maybe even some sad ones. We might bring another baby home to this home. We might grieve over the loss of a loved one in this home. Colin might become a child of God in this home. Colin might break a bone in this home! Whether good or bad happens in this home...it is still home. And that is comforting.

Kind of like God. Whether good or bad happens...God is still God. And that is comforting.

I pray that this home is glorifying to God. I don't want it simply be a roof over our heads. I want it to be a safe haven for my family. But I also want it to be a safe haven for other people as well. I would LOVE for our house to be a place where someone might come to know Christ. I want to use this as part of our ministry here. I just hope that I remember that this is not MY house but a house that God has given to me to be a steward of. Really this is the case for EVERYTHING. Nothing belongs to me. My house, my money, my job, my husband, my son....all of it belongs to God and I am simply entrusted to it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Closing!

We close tomorrow on our house! So I am taking tomorrow off to run some errands (like buying a fridge that my mom helped us out with...Thanks mom!) and then we meet at 3pm to sign all the papers.

There is only one bummer though. We went by the house a few days ago to check out the property lines. They were staked out for us to see where our property ends/begins. Well basically, like the back almost half of the back yard is not our back yard. The house next door to us is rented out and the guy that owns it owns an L shape of land. It is really weird and really frustrating. That was one of THE biggest reasons for us going for this house is the amount of space in the back! But, our realtor was going to check into us possibly buying that chunk of yard from him. If not, maybe the guy will atleast be nice enough to let us use it and do what we want on it. We were planning on putting in a shed there and I was planning on planting my garden back there! Hopefully something will work out.

But I am excited! I am excited to paint Colin's room, to have a garbage disposal, to have carpet for my little guy to roll around on and not get hurt. I am excited to have a HUGE laundry room. And even though there is only 1 bathroom, I am excited that this one will be way more functional than our bathroom now. I am excited to have COVERED PARKING! And this may sound silly...but I am excited to have a red front door. It is so cute!

So we close tomorrow, and will start slowly moving stuff over there. We won't officially move (like live there move) until May 23. I am having a small garage sale this Saturday. Hopefully I can make a little money to go toward that shed and a mower.

I am so excited but really nervous about "revamping" our finances to make this work. We are really going to have to sacrifice on alot of things. But it is worth it...it will just be different. God will provide and we will ask him to show us how to honor him with the money/material things that he has blessed us with. God is good!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

prayer

I am asking for prayer for our youth at church...specifically the high school girls (mainly just because they are the ones I work the closest with). I had a God moment tonight in our small group where words came out of me that I hadn't planned on coming out of me. Jenni was teaching about being prepared for death. Preparing our lives for dying or Jesus returning. Then we started discussing what it meant to "be saved." These girls understand that it is more than just believing or going to church. They know that its more than just having the faith, but LIVING like you have faith.

Then the words came out. I told them that because of the way that alot of them live I wasn't too sure that some of them were saved. *Gasp* I can't believe I said that...but its true. I challenged them to think about their lives and decipher if they really are a child of God. Then I told them that Jenni and I would be calling them to ask them about it.

Pray for me...it is hard for me to hold someone else accountable. I don't like hurting feelings or making someone feel uncomfortable. And honestly, I haven't ever really cared about holding someone accountable, because I've never cared about other people before. So this is new to me...caring....and caring enough to call them out. That is one reason I am posting this. Is to hold myself accountable for holding them accountable. It would be really easy to just not call them. But now that I have posted it on here...I have to.

Pray for the teenagers in our group. It is so exciting to be a part of a youth group that grows in numbers. However, it is extremely discouraging to be a part of a youth group that does not grow spiritually. Out of about 35 teenagers. We are only sure of about 3 that are Christians. That is scary and challenging and overwhelming to us. And it is heartbreaking.

Anyway, I ask for prayers, because I know that I, or Jeff, or Jenni, or anyone cannot save them. But I know that God can. I don't know why, but I always feel selfish when I ask for prayers...like I'm bringing too much attention to myself or something...I know its stupid...I guess its really a pride issue. But anyway, I appreciate your prayers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Easter 2009

A-gagers

So we went on a field trip to Gators and Friends with my class last Friday. So I decided to take Jeff and Colin the next day. I wondered how Colin would react to the animals. He's not afraid of dogs, or kitties, but these are MUCH bigger animals and I didn't know if it would scare him or not. But he LOVED it! He was precious. He made a funny face every time the animals would lick his hands. He also was brave enough to touch the a-gager (aka alligator)! It was a great day! Here are some pics!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

4 things

Four names people call me:
1. Saeer
2. Mommy
3. Mrs. Stapleton
4. Stap-leee-tawn

Four movies I would watch more than once
1. Hmmmm...not much of a movie watcher, but I guess Cars
2. Princess Bride
3. Horton Hears a Who
4. Cinderella Man

Four places I have lived:
1. Kelly Terrace in Arlington, Tx
2. Van Zandt St. in Marshall, Tx
3. N. Grove St. in Marshall, Tx
4. about to be at Linwood Dr. in Marshall, Tx

Four places I have been in the last 48 hrs:
1. Gators and Friends in Greenwood, LA
2. Arbys
3. Mr. Kolaches and Donuts
4. Crossroads Baptist Church

Four People who e-mail (or call or text) regularly:
1. mom
2. jenni
3. kelli
4. jeff

Four of my favorite foods:
1. chips and salsa
2. tamales
3. zuchinni/squash
4. jeff's fried chicken

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. In my bed
2. in my new house
3. fixing up the yard at our new house
4. laying out in the sun watching Colin play


Four things I am looking forward to this year:
1. moving
2. Colin turning 2! He is growing up!
3. Summer events with church
4. my 5 year anniversary with the hubs

Four TV shows that I watch:
1. HGTV
2. Everybody Loves Raymond
3. The Office
4. Antiques Road Show

Friday, April 17, 2009

home on a rainy night

I just got a haircut and I LOVE it. I've gotten alot of cruddy haircuts lately and this is the first one I've had in a long time that I have been pleased with. Its not anything dramatically different. Just cleaned up, stacked in the back and I got a little bit of bangs cut. Its just right!

Not much new news on the house buying process. We got the house inspected, applied for the loan, now just waiting. Closing date will be on or before May 15th. I'm excited, but totally not looking forward to packing/unpacking (aka unorganization...you know me and my desire for cleanliness and organization). I am excited to "set up" the house and put everything in its place. We will have to buy a few things though. We need a fridge, lawn mower, and shed. Then there are things we want. I want a small desk, a twin bed with pop up trundle that fits under it, a dresser, and a toy box. One thing at a time, though, right?

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed lately. And when stress comes, IBS acts up! (I'm sure you wanted to know that...) Anyway, I get frustrated with dividing my time/energy/focus between my different responsibilities. I can't juggle it all at once. I wish I could keep all the balls in the air. You know, my mommy ball, my teacher ball, my youth ministry ball, my wife ball. I want to be able to keep them circulating and moving and happy. But instead I am forced to pick one ball at a time and the rest are laying on the ground...just waiting.

And I feel a great deal of guilt.

But over the past year, I have realized that God doesn't need me. He is God and he still works regardless of whether or not I can juggle it all. I am working on losing the idea that everything depends on me to keep going but instead trying to practice depending and trusting in God to juggle those balls instead. I just need to give them to God.

I can imagine God saying, "Hand over the balls... and no one gets hurt!"

I am a dork.

I am also convicted about not being prepared. Now...I am a preparer and a planner. But only for things that concern me and my work. But I've realized lately that I am not preparing my self, my mind, and my heart for HIS work.

For example, I want to spend time in his word. Yet I do nothing to prepare my self for time for that. I could go to bed 30 minutes earlier, so that I can get up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to spend time with him. But instead, I stay up 30 minutes later watching TV or playing on the computer.

Also, I want to be a servant and help other people. But I don't prepare my heart and mind to expect those types of situations to come up during the day. For example, a friend comes in my classroom at the end of the day to talk to me. Instead of eagerly embracing that expected situation to be a Christlike confidant, I get irritated that my time and routine has been interrupted.

So...I'm definitely working on not feeling guilt and worry for not living up to what I think I should be, but also trying to find practical ways to be what I know God wants me to be.

Hope all that rambling made sense...it did to me.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

House Hunt Update

Just made an offer on that house. We should find out Monday if it is accepted or countered. Scary!

The House Hunt and other stuff (very long post)

So we have been looking for a while. We have only seen 5 or 6 houses in person, but honestly there are probably only 15 houses listed in our price range total! So there is not a lot to choose from.

Jeff REALLY wanted (and I did too) a house on the other side of 20 closer to our church. But the reality is that there are less houses that direction anyway, making the chances lower that there is one for sale. We did find 2, but they wouldn't work for us.

We did find 2 that we REALLY liked here in Marshall. One is by Crockett (the "good" school....and consequently the "good" neighborhood). It is 3 bedrooms 1 bath. 1 bath kind of stinks, but it is a big bathroom, and 1 bath is not as big of deal until you have teenagers. Also there is potential to add a full or half bath. So we might do that to add value to the house. The kitchen is small, but updated and clean. The living room is HUGE. It has an attached 2 car carport that is really nice. The only work it needs is some landscaping and a deck in the back....and the 2nd bathroom if we chose to.

The other one is down town just south of the hospital. It is by South Marshall Elem. But also less than 2 miles to my school. It is a shotgun style of house. Older...built in 1920. But nice. The layout was NOT what we liked though. Its basically one big long hallway with rooms off of it. The living room was in a weird spot and it wasn't even close to the dining and kitchen. However, this house had 2 baths that were NICE. And the kitchen was SO big and nice. It just needed new countertops. It had very high ceilings which looked cool but is not very energy efficient. It did have potential for us knock out some walls to change the layout though.

However, we are leaning toward the first one. We like the neighborhood SO much better. And out of all the schools, I want Colin to go to Crockett. And if not,
he will come with me. We wouldn't have to do as much work on it either. And the layout is good. Its kind of nerve-racking. the whole making an offer, closing costs, inspections, etc.

People keep telling me "make sure you really want to stay there/here." Mainly because we came here with the intent of leaving right after Jeff graduated. I have that concern some too. Are we sure we want to do this? Well the funny thing is, I don't want to stay but feel at peace about staying.

Marshall is not that great of a town. There is nothing that appeals to me here. But we both feel that our work here is not done. Jeff and I LOVE the church and feel that we are making some great relationships there with people. I love my school and feel that I am making some great relationships there too. There are lots of lost people here (as there is anywhere). I know that I can't save people, but I want to be available to let God work through me in these relationships that I have built with people here in Marshall.

Also, Jeff has no doubt that God wants us to stay here longer. For the most indecisive person to say that is comforting to me. He rarely says that about decisions we have to make. He has only said that about 3 things since we've been together. Marrying me, moving here, and now staying here!

As far as Jeff working full time after he graduates. It will happen in some form or fashion. The church really doesn't know if they will do it or not. They might eventually. If not, Jeff said that he will sub at EF schools. Also, there might potentially be some work for Jeff with a photographer from our church. He does all pictures (class pictures and sporting events) for EF and another district and does alot of weddings. Jeff is actually helping him with a wedding today. But the guy kind of hinted that if things go well, maybe he could help him out with some other stuff. That would be great for him to do sporting events, since we go to some of those anyway. So I'm not too worried about him making a little more money after he graduates.

In some other notes. We've been hanging out with Jenni and Tim ALOT. I love them so much and have already cried twice thinking about them leaving next summer. I understand why they are and am excited for them to start a life somewhere else. I just hate that what God wants for us doesn't always include the people you love the most. But like Jenni said yesterday, "We just have to relish the rest of the time we do have together." And its definitely not the end. It will just look a little different. I hope to do alot of us sending each other's kids to eachother. Some cousin time. And some just visiting eachother for weekends!

Colin is SO dadgum cute! Just a fun little man. Talking in some short sentences, labeling things. He can 1/2 way spell his name (saying it, not writing it obviously). He says, "C 0 L ....Cockin!" Its cute how he says his name. He can also count to 7! By himself, its crazy. He loves to dance. He loves to look in the mirror when he is naked and slap his belly. He loves to write...not color though. He wants a pen or pencil. He's definitely in the throwing a fit stage though. Like the arching his back and plopping on the ground kind of stuff. He did that at the ETBU baseball game last night...it was embarrasing.

Youth stuff is going great. Having fun with the kids. We just had a junior high only event and took 18 jr high kids. They are crazy kids. We are having a service project coming up in a few weeks that will help pay for 1/3 of kids youth camp if they come. We have also just started a Wed night series about the parables of Jesus. That's cool. Everyone loves a good story. I am excited about continuing that.

Well I have definitely rambled on for long enough. Sorry it was so long. I had alot to catch up on!