Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School

Whether I like it or not, my children are growing up. Seth is starting to laugh out loud, Luke is learning to dress himself (I wish I could report he was using the potty but not yet), and Eli has started kindergarten.

About two years ago, on the way home from Dallas, I asked Kevin about putting Eli on the pre K at our church's Child Development Center. Our two hour drive home became a two hour argument home. He was against enrolling him in preschool and said that he would like to see me homeschool. I wanted to enroll him in preschool and was NOT going to homeschool our children. I was absolutely apposed to the idea. I knew we would probably have another baby by the time he went to school and I wasn't going to be weird and homeschool. The school issue became a very touchy subject for Kevin and I. We both wanted different things. I knew that we both needed to be on the same page dealing with the our childrens' education. I begin to pray that the Lord would either change my heart or change Kevin's. As time went by, the subject started getting a little easier to talk about. We decided to explore public, private, and homeschooling to make our decision. Looking at our finances we knew private school was out. So that left public and homeschooling. When we moved in January, we moved to a different school district that we knew nothing about. I had heard a lot of negative about Pittsburg High School but most said that the elementary was fine. We intended to visit the school in the spring but we spent our spring in the hospital or confined at home. We did get to visit a homeschool co-op meeting in Longview. But the meeting wasn't the best meeting to attend because it was bookfair.

Sometime this spring, my prayers concerning the issue were answered. I realized that homeschooling was what we needed to do for the moment. My heart and attitude had been changed. Kevin and I aren't signing on to homeschool K - 12th grade. We are going to take it year by year. I know people think I am crazy for doing this with two younger ones at home also. But to me, I think it is easier to homeschool than to have to drive 16 miles one way twice a day to take Eli to school with two younger ones in tow.

We are going along with Gilmer ISD school calendar since most of our church activities will revolve around the district's calendar. We have a four day school week and spend about an hour to an hour and a half on phonics, math, and Bible. For phonics, we are using Explode the Code. Saxton Math is our math curriculum. For Bible we are doing daily devotionals that he gets from Kids Klubhouse (children's church) and reading Egermeier's Bible Story Book.

So after all that explantation here are our pictures from Eli's first day of school!

Special First Day of School Muffins made especially for a red headed Kindergartner.

I must confess, this picture was taken the second day of school! I tried to get a picture of him by his books on the first day and he was not cooperating. I didn't want me forcing him to take a picture to ruin the first day so I didn't press the issue.

For lunch we went on a picnic in the back yard.

When Kevin came home, we blew up the pirate ship and the boys played.
I guess you could say Kevin was the PE teacher!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary

August 17, 1996

Twelve years ago, Kevin and I were married in my home church, Brister Baptist Church, in Emerson, Arkansas. It doesn't seem that long ago but then it seems like we have been together forever (in a good way!). In those 12 years, we have earned 3 degrees, lived in 4 different states, have had three children, moved 7 times, and have changed jobs 6 times. We couldn't have made it through all of that if we hadn't relied on the Lord to see us through the ups and downs of it all. I love you Sweetie. Looking forward to many many many more years together.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Learning to be independent

Luke has recently figured out how to dress and undress himself. This morning, I got his clothes out to dress him. I left out of the room for a few minutes and before I could return to his room to dress him, Luke came out dressed. I was so impressed with him and started to praise him. That was until he turned around. Then I started laughing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Look who is 3

Happy 3rd Birthday Luke Sidney!

This past Sunday, Luke turned 3. To celebrate his special day, I made Diego Cupcakes for his Sunday School class and then for lunch we went to the ultimate birthday party place, Chuck E. Cheese. Luke and Eli enjoyed their Sunday afternoon running around playing all the arcade games. He will have his "real" party at the end of the month. Our mission trip and Dr. Brockway's mission trip to Venezuela have Daddy's weekends tied up until the end of the month.

Fighter Jet from some good friends

Pirate pool from the family

The Pirate Ship Pool came with two swords, two shields, two pirate hats, a treasure chest, a pirate flag, cannons, cannon balls, steering wheel and a plank slide -- and I had to blow
ALL of them up.

First Sunday in Nursery

I put Seth in the nursery for the first time this past Sunday morning. He was all dressed up for the occasion. The nursery ladies took his picture for me. Can you believe that he is already 5 months old?

Mission Trip 2008 - Kerrville, Texas

Last year our church sponsored a family mission trip to Creede, Colorado. It was so well received that our pastoral staff and the missions committee decided to have an annual family mission trip. This year the family mission trip was located in the Texas Hill Country in a town called Kerrville. Fifty-four of us left Saturday, July 26 and came back on Friday, August 1. We partnered up with Southern Oaks Baptist Church in Kerrville to do construction on a mobile home, paint a house, help paint SOBC Children's Building, make appreciation bags for civil servants and conduct VBS for a small church in the Kerrville. We had a lot to accomplish in the 3 1/2 days we had to work but with the Lord's help we got it all done to best of our abilities.

I worked with the children. We made the appreciation bags for the civil servants. The children drew pictures on the bags that we stuff the goodies in. They also made bookmarks to put inside the bags. Inside the bags we put beef jerky, package of peanut butter crackers, chap stick, bookmark, a brochure about SOBC, hand sanitizer, kleenex, and a CD that our church hands out to visitors. We made around 200 bags to hand out to the Kerrville Police and Fire Departments and the Kerr County Sheriff's Office. When we took the bags to each department, they couldn't believe that we had made the bags just for them. The Fire Department actually gave us a grand tour of their fire department.

Sunday night through Wednesday night we held a Vacation Bible School at Western Hills Baptist Church. This church is full of senior adults that desperately wants young family to join their fellowship. We had a high of around 15 one night. The pastor was so thankful for the two or three good contacts that they were able to get out of us holding the VBS. Several members from Western Hills helped us in different areas and they seemed to love every minute. Even though they were senior adults, they didn't mind our youth praise band playing loud!

Kevin helped with both construction projects during the morning and part of the afternoon. In the afternoon, he would get cleaned up for VBS. He played bass guitar in the praise band (he is the geriatric member) and was over the opening and closing assemblies. Kevin knows pretty much nothing about reconstructing a house. But he was able to learn how to sheet rock through the help of others.

We stayed at host families for Souther Oaks. We stayed at a home with 15 others from our group. A total of 23 people were at the house during the week. Our family actually stayed in a pop up camper outside. No we didn't have an air conditioner in the camper but neither did the people that stayed in the house. The lady that we stayed with is allergic to air conditioning. We actually had the better of sleeping arrangements of those at the house, because the lived right on a creek with a water fall (very pretty) so their was pretty much a constant air flow during the night. The Mentch's home at night was filled with laughter, singing, and just all around great fellowship.

On Thursday afternoon, we went to historic Fredricksburg to shop and eat German food. While in Fredricksburg, we got to meet up with Ms. Rachel, our host home from Creede. Rachel lived and worked in Creede last summer. She had just graduated from college and was living in her family's summer home. This past fall, she moved back home with her family in the San Antonio area. Her parents and herself just moved to Fredricksburg earlier that week. So we got a chance to drink cream soda and root beer with Ms. Rachel at an ice cream parlor in downtown Fredricksburg. By the way, I am glad I am not German. The meat was fine but the veggies .. well not much on cabbage and hot potato salad.

We enjoyed our week in Kerrville very much, even without air conditioning! The boys were great. Seth had a horrible night Saturday when we arrived at our house. He screamed for at least an hour and half. After a dose of tylenol, he settled down and fell asleep. He was fine the rest of the week. Although he started fighting getting in his car seat after such a long drive to Kerrville. Eli fell of some playground equipment and busted his chin on Monday. Several of us thought he was going to have to have stitches but Dr. Daddy came and checked him out. Dr. Daddy said that no stitches were needed. Luke also fell while wearing a batman mask. The mask cut into his face under his eye. So we had one with a black eye and one with a busted chin. But through all the falls, screaming babies, and many dirty diapers, I had a wonderful young lady, Meredith Elms, that helped me tremendously. Meredith helped me out even when I didn't ask for help. She just saw what needed to be done and just did them. She was truly a blessing to me.

I will hopefully get a CD of pictures from "Big Luke" (that is what Eli calls him). Big Luke took hundreds and hundreds of pictures of all the work sites. When and if I get the pictures, I will put some of them on the blog. But for know, here are some of the pictures I took at VBS and when we delivered the bags.

Rocket Jump House that we rented for VBS kick off.
The Rockets went along with our VBS theme - Cosmic City!

Rusty bagging popcorn at VBS kickoff.

Luke being his silly self.

Mohawk Jayden
Jayden became Eli's new friend at VBS.
Jayden's little brother Jake also sported a mohawk.

Some of the cute little girls at VBS.

Meredith Elms
I asked her Dad Sunday night if we could adopt her!

Dusty on guitar and Eric on keyboards

The pastor of Western Hills Baptist Church
and the snack ladies.

Space Aliens Caleb and Maggie helped with
the Bible Story drama

Sweet Laney colored more on herself than she did the bags!

Kerrville Fireman in full gear.
They actually got called out on a medical call while we were there.

Our kids and the three fireman that showed us around.

Kerr County Sheriff's Department and FBC children.