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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, Monday, December 19, 2011

Outside my window...like...not even cold! It's in the mid 60's. But I am NOT complaining. I hate cold weather.

I am remembering... Christmas as a child. My grandparents would spend the night at our house (even though they only lived 2 minutes away). We would all pile in my brother's stinky room to sleep since the grandparents had to sleep in mine and my sister's room. And my grandmother would make the BEST breakfast on Christmas morning. Egg in a basket and sausage rolls. Mmmmm.....

I am thankful for...my job that allows me to have 2 weeks off for Christmas.

I am creating...ehem...you mean "already done created." I finally finished the play kitchen for the kids Christmas. The most expensive thing was the faucet ($20) which I was not real happy about buying. I had originally bought a J pipe for the faucet and some cheap faucet handles, but it just didn't work out because there was no possible way to attach the stinkin thing. Can't wait for them to see it!

Before...


And after...

Soon...I will post a new creation that I made that I am super excited about. But you'll have to wait, because its someone's christmas present and they might find it on here!


I am going...to Arlington for a week tomorrow. Santa is coming early to our house tonight before we leave town!

I am reading...there will hopefully be lots of reading since I am on a 2 week break from school. My goal is to finish the tail end of Redeeming Love and finish the tail end of Radical. I think I only have 2 chapters left in each book. Then if there is time, I will start a new one. Any suggestions?

I am hoping...the next 2 weeks goes by SLOOOOWWW!

On my mind...Wastefulness. It's a huge pet peeve of mine. Yet, I am really good at wasting. I don't like food wasting, money wasting, and especially time wasting! It all boils down to being a good steward.

From the learning rooms...our lesson planning revolves around pinterest. Which may not be such a great thing, but we don't care. It has re-motivated us to do some new stuff!

We have had this in a center...

Made "rain" for a science experiment...

And I am excited to someday make these for my small group table...

Noticing that...my baby girl is almost 18 months old! It makes me sad that she really is not a baby anymore, but it is a BLAST to watch her grow. She is a hoot.

Pondering these words..."Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works." -Hebrews 10:23-24

From the kitchen...Going out to eat using a Jalapeno Tree gift card from some sweet sweet friends.

Around the house...we got some pretty new hardwood floors in our living room thanks to Jeff and my Dad. Jeff worked really hard to sand them and then my dad came over Thanksgiving break while we were out of town to stain them. Those 2 guys are just stinkin handy...


One of my favorite things... when I have the perfect chip to dip ratio.

A picture from my album... my little guy!



Friday, December 2, 2011

Manford and Lita

So our family nicknames for the kids are Manford and Lita. Weird I know. Its actually our wifi name too at our house. Haha.

COLIN WAYNE

Age: 4 years and 4 months

Weight: 38 pounds, 4T clothes, size 10 shoe

Feedings: Eats ALOT! The medicine he is on affects his metabolism so he is constantly eating. Still the same old favorites. Macaroni, Spaghettios, Lunchables, but some new favorites are chicken nuggets and popcorn.

Favorites: baseball, football, hockey, basketball, looking for leaves, race cars, The Cars movies, puzzles, Phineas and Ferb, counting to 100, writing letters and words.

Least Favorites: nightmares :(, being told no, crooked socks, green beans, going to bed

Issues: We are working on taking "no" for an answer. He just does not accept it! He will ask for the same thing 528 times and still not accept "no."

Personality: Intense, big thinker, deep emotions, clever, really concentrates and tunes other people out, physically affectionate.

Areas to Work On: Taking "no" for an answer, counting, doing tasks without begging for help (picking up toys, putting on clothes, etc.) Also working on NOT putting his hand down his dang pants. *sigh*

New Things: reading and writing simple words. Its very beginner level, but he is slowly catching on! T-ball is starting for him in the Spring so he practices alot!

Randomness: In Sunday School, before Thanksgiving, Colin's teacher asked them to take turns saying one thing they were thankful for. Colin's response was "I am thankful for playing t-ball with my daddy." :)



CARLEY ERIN

Age: 17 pounds

Weight: 17 months, wearing 18 month clothes and size 3 or 4 shoe.

Feedings: She eats what we eat. And she eats anything and everything! She loves it all and is so not picky. The only thing we have found that she does not like is eggs. She loves macaroni, ravioli, string cheese, crackers, yogurt, applesauce.

Favorites: her "patti" (paci), her "buee" (bunny) She loves puppies, babies, books, and legos, and sitting in boxes. She loves to just pace through the house. She never stops or sits! She also loves brushing her teeth!

Least Favorites: me fixing her hair, eggs, and water being poured on her head in the bath.

Issues: She pouts when Jeff spanks her hand, but laughs when I spank her hand. :/

Personality: silly, happy, friendly, content, determined, not physically affectionate like her brother,

Areas to Work On: Not climbing on top of furniture...

New Things: She is a busy busy walker! She is off and ready to tear apart anything in her path. We have to remember to move back all drinks, cell phones, etc. that we don't want broken or spilled! She also randomly has been saying 2 word sentences. She says, "more bites" and "I see Bubba" or "I see Daddy."

Randomness: She also likes to pull her jacket hood over her eyes and walk in circles until she runs into something. Strange kid...

Thank you, Lord, for Colin and Carley. Help me raise them to know you well.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happenings...

No rhyme or reason to this post.... just a little pukage of all the very random things going on in the Notelpat world.

1. Jeff and I kind of randomly ripped up the carpet in our living room the other day. I've been wanting to do it for a while as there were lots of stains. It looks awful! Paint stains, a few small spots of water damage, glue streaks all over it. We are going to rent a floor sander to sand it and then my awesome dad is going to come and refinish it while we are in Houston to visit Jeff's sister (and future nephew) and her hubs. It will be nice to come home to a finished and ready floor after Thanksgiving that will be just screaming for a Christmas tree to sit on!

2. Carley is not a happy camper right now. She has 2 HONKIN molars cutting through her fragile little gums. Poor thang. Lots of drool, Lots of patti (paci), Lots of holding, and Lots of tears. It makes me sad because its not like her to not smile!

3. Colin is doing fairly well with his new medicine. He had a few weird side effects the first few days but then those went away. The only thing that we have noticed with the new meds is nightmares. And he is all of a sudden scared of the dark when he lays in bed at night. But...the medicine is working. He is having WAY fewer seizures than before. We can hold a normal conversation and have consistent eye contact. He is still having them some though, so we will probably up the dose soon.

4. I've decided that Colin will be coming to my school for Kindergarten next year. I'm really excited! I had originally planned on him going to the school by our house because there had been issues at my school that have now been resolved due to district rezoning. So, he will be coming with me! I'm excited that I won't have to miss out on things like his first day of Kindergarten, awards ceremonies, etc. It might be a little of an adjustment for him to realize that he can't come see me whenever he wants or talk to me in the hallway, but hopefully that will resolve itself.

5. I love Jeff. Can't even explain why. We just have loads of fun together and make a great team. He is a great daddy too. I love life with him. We were talking today about how its weird to think that we used to "date" and we were scared to even hold hands. Then Jeff said, "Now we're...old. We're like adults or something." Yup. Kind of weird that we've been married for almost 8 years, have 2 kids, step on legos in the middle of the night, have a mortgage payment and entirely too much stinkin laundry. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful

I was going to wait until the week of Thanksgiving to write my annual "I am thankful for" post. But decided to go ahead and write now so that I can be in a thankful mindset this whole season instead.

My mother is what I like to call "Positive Polly." She would always make us tell her 5 positive things about our day or 5 things we are thankful for. I would tell her the cliche answers. "I have a home, I have good parents, I have food." Well, some days I just did NOT want to tell her, nor could I even think of, 5 positive things! But I see now the point she was trying to get across.

Now, I am not saying that you are a terrible person if you've ever complained or not been in a thankful mood. Sometimes life just sucks. We don't get our way. Tragedy strikes. We fail. We lose people. We get depressed or lonely. The Bible even says in Ecclesiates 3 "There is a time for everything...a time to weep...a time to mourn." I don't think we would be honest with ourselves to not hurt and be angry sometimes with the way that life happens. Sure...take the time to weep and mourn and be mad and grumpy.

However...

“To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” -Dr. Emmons

I have realized here in the last 2 or 3 years how very life changing it can be to have a thankful heart.

I heard somewhere that being thankful means learning to live your life like everything is a miracle. It is a continuous process of being aware of what you've been given. A funny thing happens when you practice thankfulness. Thankfulness depletes pride. Suddenly your life does not revolve around what you want or what you think you deserve or what you don't have. It turns into an acknowledgement of even the simplest things in life that we DO NOT deserve.

I do not know how we ever got to a point where we think we deserve all that we do have. I think back to the cliche answers I gave my mom as a child. "I have a home. I have food." That meant nothing when I said it, because I guess I thought I deserved to eat and be sheltered and did not realize how food and shelter is a rarity to some. I also did not know this little tid-bit of scripture at the time...

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." -Luke 12:48

The Message Bible says, "Great gifts means great responsibilities."

Everything God gives us is for us to give away and share with others. Not to hoard.

As we approach this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, practice bringing thankfulness to your experiences, instead of waiting for a good experience to make you thankful.

Friday, October 21, 2011

And we have an answer...

I got the call from Colin's doctor. His MRI came back clear. (Thank the LORD!) Hiss EEG showed quite a few abnormal brain waves. She said he has generalized absence seizures. And we are starting him on a medication for it on Monday. I am ok with all of this because I have had time to process it. I mean I've been watching him do this for about a year and had researched enough that I even assumed that's what it was.

My first thought was, "How much is this medicine going to cost us?" I will do whatever it takes to make sure my son is healthy, but its not fun to think about adding another section in our budget when we already don't make enough to meet the other sections. (Its all child care's fault! Lol) So I called CVS and they said it would be between 10 and 15 bucks! Woohoo! Thank the Lord again!

Now just pray that this medicine works and that we don't have to change to a different one. There are some possible side effects that may not be too fun depending on how severe. We also have to have his blood levels checked some to make sure they are stable. ??? Don't really know what that means yet, but I guess we will find out.

Thanks for your prayers, friends. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finally...

We finally have our appointment. We go this Wednesday to have Colin's MRI and EEG done at LSU Shreveport. Seems like every time I complain on this blog about something not happening fast enough it happens right after I complain! So next time you see a complaint, don't think "I wish she would hush!" Just think, "She's trying to get stuff done!" Haha.

I'm nervous for 2 different reasons. I'm afraid they will find something wrong with him. I'm afraid they won't find something wrong with him. Im fearful of the words, "He has a tumor." That would break my heart. But I fear just as much to hear, "It came back clear." Not that I want something to be wrong with him, but it would just leave an unknown why in my heart. Unanswered questions to his "symptoms." I would also be bummed that we wasted money on something that came back clear.

But for now, I am just darn thankful for a stinkin appointment!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Preach it brotha...

Memorizing verses does no good unless you obey it. My prayer is that he will obey later what he is so easily memorizing now.

video

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

on my heart.

Here is what has been on my heart lately. I'll try to keep it concise without rambling.

1. A get this "itch" every year or so to have some sort of BIG life change. The past 4 years have consisted of moving towns and houses, having babies, and new jobs. Well its been about a year since I have had a big life change (Carley) and now I am getting that "itch" again to do something big in our life. I know that is probably unhealthy in some ways and may seem a little "discontent" or like I get bored easily. Ill be honest and say that the thought has crossed my mind lately that maybe its time to move. We have been here for 4 years, I feel "comfortable," and selfishly I want us to have better paying jobs to support our little family. But I'll also be honest and say that every time I have that thought, God tells me no and I agree with him. I have never agreed more to the lyrics "Greater things are yet to come, Greater things are still to be done in this city." Lord, help me to not mentally check out of this town. I'm at a point where things are routine here and its harder to hear you and obey what you will have me do in the depths of my crazy routine habits. Give me a love and passion and patience for your people here in East Texas.

2. We had our first appointment with the pediatric neurologist a few weeks ago at LSU. I was nervous but we LOVED this doctor. She was very attentive to Colin's needs. Now we are going through the hassle of trying to set up an MRI and EEG appointment. However, insurance is a pain in the hiney when we have Blue Cross of Texas and LSU is not in Texas! So it should work out, but we have to wait for all the wrinkles to be smoothed out and wait on authorization from Blue Cross. That makes this momma's heart anxious and testy. All this extra waiting time has been filled with thoughts of "what if..." Seizures, Tourettes, Autism, and Tumors have all flown back in forth through my brain. I know his condition could be way worse and I am thankful every day his behaviors are mild. But the fact that it is not obvious what is wrong with him or what is causing it makes me stinkin crazy. Lord, protect Colin. Keep your hand on him every day. I thank you that you are our protector and provider and healer. Quiet my anxieties and thoughts with your love.

3. One of my biggest pet peeves is "TIME WASTING." I can't stand when people waste my time and I can't stand feeling like I just wasted someone else's time. I like productivity and efficiency. I confess that I've been a time waster lately. I spend way too much time on facebook and pinterest. I could and should be spending more time playing with my children and talking with my husband and digging into God's word. I know some of you good momma's are probably thinking "How could you not spend time with your kids!" Welp...I wish I was more like you. I adore my kids and do spend time with them but when I go to take a little "me break" it sometimes turns into a longer break than was intended. I long for God's words to comfort me and encourage me, yet I haven't been seeking his words as much as I should. Lord, you have the words of life. Give me discipline to seek them and to resist time wasting activities. Help me to make the most of my time with my family. Let me be a good steward of my family and my time.

So there you go...a little portion of things that have been on my heart. Now I'm going to get off here and play with my childrens!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Updates

So a few updates...

1) We had 17 students from our youth group go forward at a revival in Marshall and make a decision for Christ. Follow up on these students will be difficult with it being so many. So I will be taking Jeff's small group on Wednesday night so he can make a small group for those 17 students (I know, not so small, huh?) to talk with them more about their decisions and the next steps. Super exciting stuff! Please pray for these students. Pray that they would base their faith on truth on not emotion so that those days when they wake up and they are "just not feeling the whole God thing" or "just don't feel like it is real" they will KNOW its real because of the truth. Pray for Jeff to have words of clarity and encouragement when he speaks to them.

2) Work. is. killing me! So much "new" stuff happening. New report cards, new forms to fill out all the time, new assessments! And I'm in the process of being GT certified. I will be so glad I did it when it is finished, but as of right now I am not the best example of "Do everything without complaining (Phil.2:14)" But I have a super sweet class this year. I am enjoying their sweet and eager personalities. This class can totally handle creative activities that require lots of movement and freedom without me worrying that they will get too wild. Fun to try those kind of things with them!

3) I am going to go out on a limb and say that Carley is an official walker...when she wants to be. She can so do it. She will pop up and walk across that living room floor sometimes. But most of the time she crawls...cause its faster! She is my sweet joyful girl with that 6 toothed cheesy grin! I love her.

4) Colin's Neurologist appointment went so well! We LOVED his doctor. We were worried about LSU being such a huge place with so many people in and out. I thought she would rush through the appointment and not really listen to our concerns. She was so attentive to Colin and so kind. I feel like we struck gold with her! He will be having an EEG and an MRI sometime in the next few weeks so please pray for him and for the technicians. He is a special boy to us and we are anxious to get results and make decisions from there to get this under control.

So life is good. It is full of busy-ness, anxiety, and exhaustion...but its good. Normally during times like this I get extremely overwhelmed very quickly. But this time is different. And I really think its because of the Word of God. The Bible has never really been that important to me until the past year. I now have his word hidden in my heart for times such as this. These 2 verses have been my source of strength over the past month.


Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him. -Lamentations 3:22-24

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing. -Zephaniah 3:17





Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Simple

For Today, Tuesday, September 20th

Outside my window...
humid.

I am remembering...I don't know why I have this random memory. My grandma used to send my papa to the grocery store piled up with coupons. Well it made him nervous because he was afraid he'd get the wrong thing. So he would call me and say, "Ill pay you $20 if you'll go to the store with me and get all the stuff on this list."

I am thankful for...Colin's teacher. She is so caring and attentive to her students. She has created such a safe and stable environment for him!

I am creating...I will be making this hairbow holder that I found on pinterest soon!


I am going...to take Colin to the pediatric neurologist on Monday. We FINALLY got an appointment and I am anxious to get the ball rolling and find out whats going on.

I am reading...lots and lots of GT certification work online. It will be worth it when I'm done, but its a pain in my hiney right now!

I am hoping...I get the GT certification work done by the deadline!

On my mind...I am so longing for time with my family. I don't feel like I get enough time with my kids in the evenings. And we definitely don't get enough time with the Daddy of the house. His weekends are booked....all the time. Sometimes I want to declare him "Unavailable to the rest of the world." I would love one entire day of just us.

From the learning rooms...had to share this activity we did today and yesterday. It was really hard for some of them but made them really think. We talked about whether or not the letters in their names were made with curvy lines, straight lines, or both. Then they had to make the letters using penne pasta for straight lines and macaroni for curvy lines.


Noticing that...I hate to admit this on a publicly read blog... but just noticed today that I have not shaved my legs in about 3 weeks. Gross. But I wear pants all the time...I promise.

Pondering these words..."Respect is a minimum."

From the kitchen...I made "egg in the holes" last night and they were SO good! Tonight...ordering pizza.

Around the house...sleeping beauty girl, Phineas and Ferb loving little boy, studying Daddy, sleepy momma, and growling tummies all around!

One of my favorite things...when all students are engaged and on task. Doesn't happen often during my day because they are only 5, but when it does happen its GLORIOUS!

A picture from my album...Jeff and I at our rehearsal dinner 7 years ago. We both had so much hair!



Saturday, September 10, 2011

God provides

I just love how God provides. Sometimes its in a big ways. Like when we moved here, he provided for us a job and insurance and money for hospital bills after having a baby. Sometimes its just the little things that happen that are a sign of His provision. Lately...its been the little things. Something that just brings a sigh of relief and brings such a smile to my face. Examples...

1. Although there has been much smoke in the air from all of these awful fires, God has sent cooler temperatures to be that little bit of a relief.

2. The way our budget works, we have about 5$ left in our account after bills and groceries and all that. Suddenly Jeff needed bout 15$ to pay for parking at a game he was taking pictures at. That same day I had gotten a check for a piano lesson that was 15$. :)

3. After a crazy busy 1st 2 weeks of school, we had an unexpected schedule change in our normal day that allowed me and my teammates to just sit and talk and laugh together for about an hour!

4. I constantly get hand me down clothes for the kids. I never have to buy clothes for them.

5. I have a dishwasher. Yes I know that I got that like 6 months ago...but I still have not forgotten how much of my life was taken away from hand washing dishes. Its truly helpful.

6. After feeling a little financially desperate, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the verse “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." -Isaiah 46:4

6. I have a sweet friend who is one of the nurses at my GI doctor. Her kids go to the same daycare as my kids. She leaves free samples of my medicine for me at the daycare all the time so I don't have to buy any. :)

7. CVS extra care bucks. Enough said.

God is in the business of providing for His people. He is faithful and I pray that I never lose sight of his faithfulness and provision. There have been times in my life that I have felt forgotten or desperate. But I know that he has never left me because he daily sends me love and sends me what I need just when I need it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Notelpats Life

The babies have been with their grandparents all weekend and I miss them like crazy. So I'm going to write a blog post about each of them and what they are doing in this stage of life. I'm going to try to remember to do this every few months so I can go back and read and not forget what it was like to have little ones in the house. Before you know it, they will be driving and dating and getting jobs and .... well I'll just stop there before I have a break down!

1. Colin - Colin is 4 years and 2 months. He is right on track for weight and height. I believe he is around the 50th% for weight and 75% for height for his age. I just can't believe he is 4! He started Pre-K at his school and he LOVES it! There have been no tears since he started. He loves his teacher and his friends and I am so happy for this. His teacher is really preparing those kids for kindergarten. Honestly, he is ready academically. He knows all letters and sounds, can read a few sight words, can count to 30, recognizes numbers and can make those sets, and even does a little addition/subtraction in real life problems (not on a worksheet). Like the other day he was eating mac n cheese. I told him to eat 5 more bites. He had eaten 2 bites and said, "Mommy I have 3 more bites left." However, I don't think he is ready for kindergarten when it comes to his maturity. He is not a behavior problem, but he is and always will be the youngest in his class. He is more sensitive, and cries LOUD when he doesn't get what he wants. Not like throwing a fit, just loud crying. We are working on that. He is a great kid though. He is going to start playing t-ball in the spring on my friends husband's team that he coaches. We are really excited about that and already practicing! He loves all sports, puzzles, race cars, and video games (which we have limited to 15 minutes a day...cause he is that kid that could play all day and get obsessive if we let him). He has gotten to wear he wants to say the prayer at the dinner table and I love hearing it. I love my quirky Colin man!



2. Carley - Carley is 14months old. She weighs about 19 pounds and is around the 10% for weight. She is a tiny little thing but is steadily growing. Think she'll just be a petite thing her whole life. She CAN walk but really hasn't done it much. Stinker. She is so different than Colin with this. Colin LOVED for us to help him walk around the house by holding our hands. When we try to make her walk she throws her legs up in the air and plops down. But she will take a few steps here and there when she thinks we are not looking. She took 3 steps from the coffee table to the couch the other day and I was so excited! Carley got moved to a new big girl class. However, she is the youngest one in there too and its full of 18ish month old veteran walkers. I'm hoping that will motivate her to get up and move before she gets trampled in there! Carley is so laid back and independent. Doesn't need or want alot of help or comfort or snuggling. That kind of makes me a little sad, but I just let her be who she is...this will be a wonderful attribute later. She does like to be held and snuggle right before bed, so I try to soak up that time as much as I can. Lets see...things Carley likes to do...She LOVES to climb on the furniture. We have to keep our eye on her. I think we are going to build her a tree house or a jungle gym or something! She loves to mess up her brother's puzzles...and then laugh about it while he is crying. :/ She loves to rip off her shoes and socks and rip out her ponytails and hair bows (as you will see in the picture below). She loves stuffed animals to squeeze and hold and has inherited her brothers stuffed "puppy" and "money" (aka monkey). She is saying other words too like, mama, daddy, bubba, up, uh-oh, more, and juice. She can talk well, but doesn't talk often. Again, different from Colin. I think she's just going to be a quieter girl. She is a sweet heart girl and I love my Lita Lou.



3. Jeff - I guess I'll do a little update about the big baby too while I'm at it! Jeff recently set a goal for the youth group. He told them that if they got 50 students at their back to school event they could do whatever they wanted to him. Well...they got 51 students and they decided to shave male pattern baldness on him. What a trooper. And he even waltzed right into the middle of prayer meeting to show the rest of the church. He'll do anything to make people laugh. Below in the pic is Jeff with the youth member that he let shave his head. Jeff is a worker to the max. He does SO much stuff and its always for other people. The only thing that saves him is that all that stuff he does for other people, he happens to enjoy too. He is a jack of all trades, is multi-talented and can do just about anything you need done. Here is a list of things he has been doing. He started the Masters program at ETBU, he has started over seeing the college department at church and has started teaching their sunday school class, he has taken on ETBU football photography on Saturdays, and Marshall high school football photography for the newspaper on Friday nights. In the midst of all the "new" stuff he has taken on, he still manages to take care of all technology issues at church that arise, he manages to give baths and change diapers and feed kids and practice some t-ball in the evenings, and he even manages to send me texts in the middle of the day that just say, "Love you." I think I've got a pretty great guy. Love that man.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, Sunday, August 28th

Outside my window...
way...too...hot. I'm super excited for Fall weather. I love East Texas trees in the fall. Ready for bike riding, walks, pumpkin patches, etc.!

I am remembering...how much kindergartners don't know when they come in. I forget how much I have to explain!

I am thankful for...my husbands help this week! The first week of school is torture. I've had bus duty this week (which entails riding the bus with the kids in the heat). So needless to say I have wanted to just fall out when I get home. Jeff has given baths, fed, clipped toenails, changed diapers, dressed kids and taken kids to school. He's a good man.

I am creating...a blog post. Sorry...that's all I got.

I am going...to go insane if I get another Medical Bill in the mail. Pooo!

I am reading...Redeeming Love. Almost done! I would have finished it a long time ago because it is such a fast and easy read. But I started school this week and had no life. Hopefully I finish this weekend because the kids will be with their Granny and Pops!

I am hoping...Carley will stinking walk. I'm not worried because I know she can. I've seen her take a few steps. But the girl is almost 14 months old and will not walk! She just doesnt want to. Stinker.

On my mind...Leadership lesson to teach tonight.

From the learning rooms...Routines and Procedures all week. I have a great group of kids. They are very sweet. We are just working on the fact that school is not all play. We have to work a little too! Looking forward to seeing them grow.

Noticing that...Colin will be in kindergarten this time next year. Makes me sad! Colin's teacher has been talking to them about "getting ready for kindergarten" and Colin came home and asked, "Mom, when do I get to go to kindergarten?" Ummmm...no thank you.

Pondering these words... "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” -Lamentations 3

From the kitchen...I baked potatoes in the crockpot while we are church this morning and we had BBQ baked potatoes.

Around the house...Phineas and Ferb, Jeff asleep in the recliner, Carley asleep in her crib, and Colin fighting sleep!

One of my favorite things...these days...my bed!

From my picture album... my teammates!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Recognizing God as Creator

From the time we were wee little tots we have been drilled in church with recognizing God as the creator. We have all made those cute little crafts with handprints that say, "God made me special!" In fact Colin has memorized the right answers to this daily conversation that we have.

Me: Colin, who made you?
Colin: God
Me: How did he make you?
Colin: Special!

When he wants to be humorous and shake things up a bit, he will replace the word 'God' with 'Carley' and 'Special' with 'Goofy.' There is much truth in that second answer...

Anyway, I think because we have been taught this at such a young age that is unable to process complexity, its become nothing more to us as adults than it is for Colin right now. Its a memorized concept. We know God made us and made the universe and we choose to leave the thought at that. Heaven forbid we ever think further and stretch that thought from a memorized saying to possibly a new outlook on life.

Why should we recognize God as creator? Well why should we recognize anyone for who they are? Because we treat people differently depending on who we recognize them as. As a child you did not treat your best friend and the principal of your school the same way. You recognized that your principal had authority over you, and had power to do whatever they judged was best, and that they were just a heck of alot smarter than you were!

Why do we not think of God in this same way? Recognizing God for who he is as the creator changes alot of things.

1. You know longer see yourself as the one who knows you best. You see God as that.

2. Because of the above statement, you make decisions differently too. Instead of basing your decisions on what you want or how you feel, it would only make sense to consult with the one who made you and already knows your thoughts and desires and knows whats best for you.

3. You will begin to be a better steward. You acknowledge that your stuff, your family, your accomplishments, and even the brilliant ideas and thoughts you've had... are not yours! You didn't make yourself so you can't take credit for anything that you've done.
*Side note: I have a hard time understanding why we do birthday parties for this very reason. Its just weird to me! Its not like we can say, "You are so awesome because you ripped yourself out of you mother's womb on this day 28 years ago!" If anything, we should be celebrating God as the creator when we have birthday parties...not the person! I do like birthday parties though...I promise I'm not going to deprive my children of them in the future.

4. You realize that your "being created" is not done! I don't think God ever intended for us to say, "Thanks for making me! See ya later!" We are still a work in progress.

We have heard the lyrics, "You are the potter and I am the clay." Those cute little pots at Ellis Pottery in Marshall weren't just whipped up real quick and thrown on a shelf! The pots were first prepared for wheel throwing, then accurately shaped and trimmed on the wheel, then dried, then glazed and fired, then painted, etc. Its quite a process to get a lump of clay looking like a beautiful jar.

Sometimes we feel like a lump of clay. (I'm not just talking about physical beauty...I'm talking about our character.) Remember God is not done with you! Sometimes we take credit for being a beautiful jar. Remember that you used to be a lump of clay and you didn't put yourself on that wheel to be perfectly shaped and trimmed. He makes beautiful things out of us!

I pray that I would begin to take on this mindset and recognize and acknowledge God as my creator. I pray that Colin and Carley would one day understand this too.

Check out this blog post by Michael Gungor (Christian artist). You will especially appreciate this if you are a musician or just appreciate music!

Creativity and Music

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Frustrated.

I will probably regret this later, but I am allowing myself one post to "vent" and be real about what frustrates me. I have already decided that I will end this post by remembering what God has done for me and counting my blessings. I guess ending that way will make me not feel so guilty about this?

I'm frustrated that LSU STILL has not called me back. Colin's paperwork is there and now I'm waiting on a call. I know Colin is not the only patient but today was a really rough day for him. Lots of "seizures" ...some were even longer lasting than normal. (I put that in quotes because he has not officially been diagnosed with that...even though in my heart I feel like that is what is going on). And I hate how much these seizures even seem to effect his mood. On days that he has a lot of them, he just seems unsettled, irritable, and doesnt want to do anything.

I'm frustrated that every time he has a seizure it makes me think of my sister. I'm frustrated that she is gone.

I'm frustrated that I cannot seem to give equal attention to both of my sweet children. I've been closely watching and tending to the needs of Colin lately and I feel like I can't give Carley enough attention. She is precious...and never seems unhappy or neglected but it bothers me.

I'm frustrated that my budgeting skills stink. I take that back. My budget on paper is beautiful. Executing it in real life is always a fail. EVERY month we go over. This month we went way over.

I'm frustrated that there is never time... Never time to catch up on anything, never time to just sit and enjoy eachother as a family, never time to go on a date with the man I love, never time to do things I enjoy. I want to sew, I want to be crafty, I want to read books, I want to play the piano, I want to learn a new instrument, and if it were even remotely possible I would go back to school because I want to learn.

I can't keep enough clothes clean in this house. I can't remember to take my medicine regularly. I can't pee without a child walking in or little fingers sliding in under the door. I can't ever be on time because I can't ever find my keys. I can't.

Ok. I feel better. I am all about being real, but I know that it is detrimental to my spiritual health to complain like this all the time. I have been striving to be filled with the Spirit...and there is no room for the Spirit in a heart that is full of negativity, fear, and anxiety. God is good all the time. My circumstances may not be good all the time...but He is. There is so much to be thankful for. I have 2 beautiful kids, and wonderful husband, a job, a house, a dishwasher (hey! the dishwasher is important! A few months ago I would have said I was frustrated that I spent 2 hours a day washing dishes!) The most important thing I have to be thankful for is that He saved me. I am a changed life because of His love. I think differently, feel differently, act differently because I am not who I used to be. God is good all the time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Old Faithful

Faithfulness...

When I think of the word "faithful" I think of the word "always." I think of consistency and stability. I think of a single solid tree that has continued to fulfill its duty to stand even through the fiercest of storms.

I can't help but wonder if that describes me or not. It's easy to be faithful when I'm comfortable and happy. But what do I do when discomfort or negative emotions come about?

How can I learn to be faithful to God always?

Why not start with His example. We always say, "We love because he first loved us." Why not say, "We are faithful because he was first faithful to us."

"Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." -Psalm 86:11

I cannot rely on my circumstances or emotions, for they always change. I must rely on His faithfulness, for it never changes. My actions and decisions should be in response to His faithfulness not on what is happening in my life or how I feel.

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1

This is the mindset of the faithful. The faithful do not depend on what is seen or on results. They depend on what God has promised.

If you continue to read Hebrews 11, we get a running history of the faithful. We read, "By faith Enoch..." and "By faith Abel..." and so on and so on. I can't help but get chill bumps when I read this chapter...reading about the actions that came from faithful hearts. This chapter has 40 verses. But my sweet friend told me the other night that someone told her that if you could add a verse 41, would it include your name?

So...I wrote in a verse 41 to my Bible. *Gasp!* I know! I wrote in my Bible AND added a verse. Verse 41 says, "By faith, Sarah _________." Sometimes we forget that this story does not end in the Bible. We are the extension of that story.

I hope that at the end of my life I can fill in that blank and that my God will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, well done."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Goals!

Just wanted to publicly declare a few goals that I have .... with attached deadlines. I figured if I "said" it outloud...then maybe I'd be more likely to do it so that I don't let you guys down! You know...all 4 of you that read. :)

1. Finish revamping this play kitchen set for the kids for Christmas. Deadline: well...Christmas Day! This is the before, and I hope the after looks the way it looks in my head right now!



2. Write a 9 week Bible Study for Youth on the Fruits of the Spirit. Deadline: End of Summer 2012. I just started a Beth Moore Study on Fruits of the Spirit/Being filled with the Spirit so I'm hoping that will give me some insight.

3. Read all the Harry Potter books. Deadline: End of Summer 2012. I've read bits and pieces, but need to read straight through. I know for some of you that seems like a rediculous timeline. If you are like my husband he could read all of them in one night! But I don't work that way. I really love to read...but I fall asleep very easily and when school starts...life is insane!

4. Make a blog or website for my name frames that I'm wanting to start selling. Deadline: End of August. I'm really excited about this! My friend, Randa, has a business called Karleigh Grace Boutique. She makes awesome clothes! She's a genius and so creative. Anyway, she saw my frames and said she wanted me to make a few and put them in her shop. She also gave me a few new and fresh and way cute ideas on how to make some different kinds of frames! I don't expect to make huge buckaroos off this. But just a little eating out money and such would be great!



So those are my goals. My goal is to achieve at least 2 of the 4 goals!

Now for a little side note. I would like to ask you guys to pray for my Colin. Its nothing too serious, but he's been showing signs of either a tick or mini-seizures. There also might possibly be some sleep apnea or something going on. Anyway, we are being referred to a child neurologist at LSU in Shreveport. Pray that we will be able to find out what's going on in his sweet little brain.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23, 2007









We had only lived in Marshall for less than 2 months. We lived in a teensy weensy married housing apartment at ETBU. We didn't really know anyone yet. We had visited our church only 2 or 3 times, but had not joined yet. I had JUST met my new teammates for the first time at a 3 day workshop.

I had been having "cramps," but didnt think much of it. Jeff began timing them and he starting getting really antsy and hyper. He begged me to go to the hospital. I kept saying, "I'm not going in there just for them to tell me I needed to fart! That would be so embarrasing!" And I still had 5 weeks to go, so I knew I probably wasnt in labor. We went home. He called the hospital and talked to a nurse who said I should come in. I slowly paced around the house not having a clue what to do while Jeff installed the carseat and grabbed our toothbrushes.

We called our parents and told them we were going, but told them not to come because we figured I'd just get some medicine and go back home.

We get there and they check me and say, "You are 5cm and 80% effaced. There is a 75% chance you are having this baby tonight." And I got a few comments of "How are you not in much pain right now?!"

So we called the parents. They came. I pushed for about 30 minutes, and by 5 am on Monday morning we had a 5lb 5oz relatively healthy baby boy!

He did have to stay a few extra days because of low body temperature, not eating, and pretty bad jaundice. But nothing too serious. I think back now about how lucky we are that he wasn't more sick than he was for being so early.

I love this boy. He is my first-born. He has taught me so much over the past 4 years about what true unconditional love is. About Christ's love. Being a mom forces you to learn what that is really like!

Let me describe this little man to you.

Colin is intense. He intensely loves, intensely feels, and REALLY intensely thinks.

I love Colin's brain! Its so unlike the way I think. He thinks deep and wants to really understand things all the way before he moves on to something else. Very much like his dad. He loves puzzles and problem solving games. He loves letters, words, and the next step for him is easy reading!

The boy loves him some sports! If we are watching a game on TV...it is not enough for him to watch. He must play too! So he gets all suited up for the game and copies what they do on TV. And dont EVER take him to a real game unless you are planning on taking him down on the field or court to actually play to. In his mind he is a part of that team.

He's been labeled by our friends as "spastic." Which is so true. He's got a ton of energy and when he gets excited...its kind of crazy. But Jeff and I get to see his "down time." He loves to just sit by himself and work a puzzle. And hes not too old (yet) to say, "I want to hold you," and crawl in our lap so we can sing to him or tell him a story.

I pray that as he grows up and has lots more birthdays, that he will begin a relationship with Jesus Christ and that this relationship will be "intense." Colin is a very different little boy and I pray that he will begin to find out what God has in store for him and how God will use his wonderfully made personality and gifts for His glory!

Happy Birthday, big boy! I am so proud of you and cannot wait to see how God uses you. You are my heart!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wee Bit Wednesday





{one}
what is your dream job?
Gosh...I have quite a few. I would love to stay home with my kids/do youth ministry more than I do with my husband. But I would also love to do some sort of Family Help/Ministry. Like I would love to give parenting classes (not that I really know how to parent that well..I really don't ever know what I'm doing!) and just put on events for families!


{two}
how many best friends do you have?
I have lots! But I'm going to have to put my seester-in-law in the spotlight since she is about to crush my heart into a million pieces and leave me for Houston. I love my Jenni. We can talk about anything and everything or we could sit in silence for 30 minutes and its ok! We are opposites in alot of ways...and I like it that way! She's a fun gal.

{three}
what’s the longest road trip you’ve ever taken?
Dont really remember it but we drove from Texas to Minnesota for a mission trip.

{four}
if you had to do one single thing every day for the next year, what would it be?
Weird question...I guess I would choose take care of my family or read my Bible.

{five}
what’s one story your family always tells about you?
Jeff always tells people about all the times I have tricked him into thinking I was pregnant. I'm weird I know. I don't know why I think its fun. I guess because I like the facial expressions I get from him.

{six}
how did your parents pick your name?
I think my mom just liked it!

{seven}
what’s the one thing that scares you more than anything?
Rodents and seizures. But not those 2 things combined! I mean separately!

{eight}
are you a good cook?
getting better! I have picky eaters in my family though, so there's not alot I know how to make because there's not alot of dishes to choose from when the men only like meat cheese and potatoes. There is only so many forms of that to make!

{nine}
where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I'll be 48. weird. I'm not sure! And I'm ok with not being sure! I would hope that I'd still be serving in some sort of ministry.

{ten}
what’s your best childhood memory?
I remember lots of children camps and Vacation Bible Schools. I remember going to the 4th of July Parade every year with my dad. And I can't help but remember all the memories of sharing a room with my sister. Like her singing in the middle of the night or getting up to take a shower at 2 in the morning...just because she felt like it. :)