Friday, December 19, 2008

No Snow Here!

Apparently, the rest of the country is in this deep freeze and is getting all this snow. David said this morning that they got snow in Arizona and Las Vegas (he's hoping to see a CSI episode soon now with snow in the background...), and Beth Moore's blog said they even had snow in Houston! What in the world. Not here. It's been in the 50s and 60s this week. Trying not to complain, but I sure would love a White Christmas!!!! May have to settle for the movie. Sigh.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

YES - I'm OKAY!!!

Okay, so I've got some posts uploaded now, and can finally sit and post a few things! First of all, THANK YOU to all who have been praying and checking in on me! Just tonight, I answered three emails that said "just checking in, haven't seen you on the blog, wanted you to know we are praying and checking in on how you're doing." How amazing is that?

We are doing okay. Here's what is happening. It has been a crazy, and overwhelmed past few weeks. In lots of different ways. On the one hand, our entire lives have been turned upside down with the news of David losing his job at the church. So every spare minute has been occupied with getting resumes together, sending information out, getting videos of him leading worship uploaded to the computer (you can go on YouTube and search for "David Schrodt" and they'll pop up!), etc, etc. It's been mentally and emotionally exhausting to process all of this, as well as having the conclusion of our service nearly upon us. I have cried more at church in the last 3 weeks than I have in my whole life I think! Our last worship service is this coming Sunday, and the finality of it has been hard.

We have been so encouraged by our friends and family - and even strangers that we don't know. We have heard amazing testimony of how God has used the Kinetic service to pull people back into church, to teach them what real worship is, to make people realize how intimately involved God wants to be. It has been an amazing blessing to us to hear these stories. We have seen God's faithfulness first hand. We have been blessed with prayers and gifts more than I can even describe. I haven't bought a single present for my children because of our loss in salary, and yet each of my babies have presents under the tree - some that we don't even know who game them to us! God is good.

It has been a very different kind of December for us so far. Because of the job loss, we have made cutbacks that have changed the season and some of it's activities for us. We haven't done some of the crafts and outings that we usually do. We haven't mailed out Christmas cards or pictures this year. We haven't been out shopping. It's been different. And some days that has been hard. I am a traditional person - I LOVE those traditions. But it's also given us some very sweet family time of just us without anything else vying for our attention. And our focus has truly been on the Lord and all of His blessings.

And of course it's December and with that brings all of the other schedule things that make your schedule crazy too. The Christmas parties, programs, concerts, etc that just keep you busy! So that's why my head feels a bit like exploding - lots of emotional stuff that I'm processing along with the regular old busyness of the season. Keep praying for us. Pray for us on Sunday. It's bound to be a hard day. Pray that we would continue to follow exactly what steps God has for our family. We'll be travelling the first week in January to visit a church that David will be interviewing at, so pray for that trip. Continue to pray for provision for us in the meantime. Pray that David & I would be able to be the parents that our kids need us to - even while somewhat distracted with all this other stuff. Pray that I can be the wife to David that he needs me to be right now.

I love you guys. I truly appreciate each one of you and the amazing encouragement you have been to me. I had a mystery box of diapers appear at my house this week, and once again, I wanted to fall to my knees and cry. I truly thank God for each of you. Okay, I can't handle any more of this. Gotta go fold laundry or something. Love you girls!

Kindergarten Christmas Program

The kindergartners had their Christmas program this morning - it was SO cute!!! Everyone got to wear their pajamas because they read a storybook called "Twas the Night Before the Nativity" - they had motions for it, and songs interspersed - it was so cute. Josiah did a great job and was very focused on doing exactly what he was supposed to do! He was very happy to see Jacob waving furiously at him!

You'll have to forgive the picture quality on these. I was on my own with Callie and Jacob bouncing around in my lap or at my feet, and I was trying to snap pictures/do video at the same time. And I couldn't figure out if I needed to switch to night vision or leave it on regular, etc, etc.

Josiah's the one in the back, up on his knees, in the red pajamas. They were getting situated on stage.
This was Jacob during the other classes' songs. Turned around backwards, bored already. (Oh, and notice that he's wearing his pajamas too - whatever his brother does, he does!)

Callie spent a few minutes down under the pew on the floor like this. See the smile? I think she was enjoying the attention and reactions from people behind her.

Here's Parker - he was getting his groove on during his song! :)

Again, Josiah towards the right side in the red pjs. Had I known, I would have sat on the other side of the sanctuary. I shot some movies with my camera too that they LOVED watching tonight. I won't bore you with them on here, but they were awfully cute!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

We had our annual Happy Birthday Jesus party yesterday - it was so much fun!!! It was strangely quieter because all of our big boys were in school this year!! (I shouldn't really say quiet - there WERE 13 kids in my house after all)! The other strange thing is that for the FIRST time, there were more girls than boys! How about that! The tide has turned!! We had a great time - it was so fun to see all the kids play together, and the mommies got to chat and catch up a bit (well, until the craft and decorating began that is). These are the only two pictures I got - you'll have to look on Sue, Jessica, or Mandy's blogs - I think they were the official picture takers!

Ryan and Jacob had a great time together - and YES, Heather, they both mentioned the fact that Anderson was missing! :(

Who ME??

Oh Callie girl. This sweet little girl has been keeping us hopping lately. She has learned two new tricks that have been making me crazy! The first trick is learning how to do zippers. Here's why this matters - because now she can unzip her diaper bag or my purse, pull out my wallet along with everything else in there (credit cards, receipts, money, etc). Sigh. The second trick is how to open doorknobs. This means that no longer does a closed door keep her OUT! For example, we keep the office door closed. But lately, I have found her in there either sitting at the computer desk, or - even better - up ON TOP of the washing machine (the laundry room is behind the office) poised and ready to do something - I don't know what - throw things, eat laundry detergent, who knows!
She's an awfully sweet girl, with quite a BIG personality, but she is keeping us on our toes (and on our KNEES lately). The nursery workers told me on Sunday that she's been a bit aggressive in her Sunday School class lately (she scratched some sweet girl last week), so they're going to be trying some different tactics with her. Poor girl - her big brothers have ruined her. All she knows is how to defend her territory and stand up for herself! So we're working on GENTLE hands!! :)

A FULL Saturday

Last Saturday was quite a full day of fun. It started out with our good buddy Samuel's birthday party. He and Josiah have been buddies since before they were born - Sandi and I were pregnant together with our first babies. What a joy it has been for them to grow up together. It has been harder this year with them both being such big boys and in school to find time to get together, but when we do, it is as if they never missed a beat. I'm so thankful for their family. (Can you tell it's been an emotional few weeks? I'm getting all sappy and reflective, and this post is supposed to be about a fun birthday party! Good grief!)

Anyway, later that night we headed downtown to Town Centre for a secret shopping assignment that we had. I love to eat and give my opinions for free food! :) While we waited, we walked around outside by all the lights and found ourselves a Santa! We got to go to Cheesecake Factory (fed the kids before hand so they didn't perish during the wait), and then had their Peppermint Bark Cheesecake. Unbelievable is all I have to say. It was AMAZING!!!

Sandi & I also discovered that the boys have the same jacket! We found that out when I tried to put Samuel's jacket on Josiah, and then realized that Josiah didn't wear a jacket there! It's like when twins are separated at birth and live separately, but still do all the same things and like the same things - it was so funny!

We Need a Parade!

You know how we Schrodts don't like to miss a parade! Well, these pictures are from the city parade that was earlier this month. Yes, all of kids were there, but I didn't take a single picture! Normally, I have a zillion of them and none of the grownups - so this time was the opposite. Jayne's house is right on the parade route, so it is so convenient for us! We ate a wonderful feast that she and Trevor had prepared for us, and then popped out the front door to watch the parade. What fun!

L-R Jayne, Heidi (4 weeks from her c-section - hello!!!), Sue, and Katy
The Husbands!! L-R Trevor, Dave, Craig, and David

These crazy girls almost got in a knock-down, drag-out fight over some crazy coffee candy bar that is only made in Canada (Jayne is from there). She brought some back for sweet Sue in order to make up for the last time that sweet Heidi ate all of them!!! (or something like that - as a non-coffee person, I stayed out of this one!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Deal of the Day!

Sorry for all my sweet friends that live far away. This one is only for the local girls!!! Do all of you know about the fabulous bread outlet? It's across the street from Walmart/Kohls - right in the shopping center with Party City. Anyways, it has bread (and bagels and cinnamon rolls and english muffins) at discounted prices. I LOVE this place! You never know what deals you'll find, but today's was a GREAT one! They had racks and racks of dinner rolls for 25 cents!!! I got two packages of Arnolds soft dinner rolls (16 in each package) for 25 cents each! My boys think it's a huge treat to get to eat their sandwich on a roll, so they were thrilled! It's the LITTLE things in life that make me smile these days! :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


What does that word "change" evoke in your head? Excitement? Fear? Apprehension? Unknown? Newness? Well, I don't generally do very well with change for lots of different reasons (hence the same blog layout forever!), and so often times, God has to give me a push in order for me to take the steps He wants me to take. The Schrodt family is going through one of those times.

We were told the week before Thanksgiving that David's position at the church was going to be eliminated at the end of the year. They are cancelling the worship service that he leads for both financial reasons and to try and unify our church and bring everyone back together under one roof. While I can understand both reasons, I'd be lying to say that my heart was in total agreement with the decisions. This affects our family greatly. Not only for the huge financial hole that we are now facing in just a matter of weeks, but also for this arm of ministry that we have been invested in for the last 4 years. Our heart breaks for the people of Kinetic - those that have been so dedicated over these last several years. Those who have persevered and hung with us through tough times. Because this means change for all of them too.

David and I have talked quite a bit over the last several weeks as we process this news. He knows that he desires to lead worship full-time somewhere, and God has obviously closed this door here. So we will be looking to see where God will lead us to. It also means that in a matter of weeks, we will have major holes in our income that was needed to pay the bills and are going to have to trust God for some supernatural provision. So please pray with us. Pray that God will lead David and I to exactly the place that He has in store, waiting for us. Pray that God would provided the necessary resources for us in the meantime as we struggle to make up some of the difference in the income. Pray for protection over my sweet family. That my kids would be protected from any extra stress. That David's faith would continue to be resolute and firm. Pray for protection over our marriage as both David and I have to work some extra hours and take on additional night/weekend work in order to make ends meet. Pray for our church as it attempts this next phase of transition. And pray that God would be glorified throughout all of this. We KNOW He has great things in store and are praying that through it all, our testimony of faith and God's faithfulness will speak loudly to others.

We have much to be thankful for. We have been loved on and appreciated by so many in our church family since Sunday when the news was made public. We are so grateful for our Kinetic family. I am so thankful for my husband, whose faith does not waver and who is EXCITED to see how God will be glorified through this. I am thankful for my sweet children, who are healthy and happy. I am thankful for the way people have tangibly cared for us in the last several days - for the bags of clothes that I was given today that will be just what I need for these colder months. For the pants that were given to Josiah that are perfect for school. For the gifts of love that people are showing us. And for the HOPE that we have in our Savior - for we know that His faithfulness does not end. So we are looking forward to the other side!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Like the New Look?

Hooray - thanks Judy!!! :) For those of you that are creative, you won't fully appreciate this. But for people like me who are NOT creative, I was SO excited about Judy redoing my blog layout! She had a little blog game and I won it - so she redesigned my blog for Christmas and I LOVE it!! I have NEVER changed my layout - not since the day I started blogging. Just don't have the time or energy or ability to mess with it. So now I'm going to have to beg and plead with Judy to change it again in January once Christmas is over I guess. But I LOVE it - thanks Judy! it was JUST the pick-me-up I needed today! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another Run!!!

Can I tell you how proud I am of this girl? I got to run with Beth today and watch her accomplish another HUGE milestone on her journey. She ran 5 MILES today!! She did SO great - she was talking to me the whole way, her breathing was totally under control - it was amazing!! She has come so far in such a short period of time. What makes it so special is that I am getting to watch her along the way - and I was JUST there!! I remember SO clearly because it wasn't that long ago that I was in her very same shoes. I had just had Callie, and was ready to finally get back into shape. It turned into this love of running, I signed up for my first half-marathon, and the rest is history! So now I'm getting to watch Beth - and it is incredible!! You're doing SO great Beth - I'm so proud of you for being so disciplined and determined. I KNOW how hard it is to put so much time and energy towards this, but you can see how it is paying off! I can't WAIT to see you cross the finish line at Shamrock!!! :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday Josiah!

Friday was Josiah's 6th birthday. How quickly time flies by. He was born on Thanksgiving Day six years ago - and in some ways, it feels like just yesterday. He is growing to be such a young man - he has a very tender heart and has grown so much since starting school this year. He loves to play with his brother and his dad more than anything I think. Quite often, he proudly declares that he does something or likes something just like daddy. He has always been very bright, but more than that, he has an unbelievable love of learning. As we have watched his reading take off this year, it is amazing to see this love grow even more. We pray that he will continue to be sensitive to the leading of the Lord, and use his gifts to be a wonderful leader and servant of the Lord.

Between all the birthday fun and celebrations, we also set up our Christmas decorations. The kids had a blast with this, and remembered many of the ornaments and decorations as they came out of the box. Being quite a traditionalist, I LOVED seeing this! We had our Christmas candles burning and the music playing - it was wonderful!!! We ate our Thanksgiving meal that night that we were SO thankful was delicious! The evening ended with birthday cake for Josiah (lemon with cream cheese frosting). He changed his mind about 5 times about his cake, but finally decided on superman. What a day!!!

(good grief...blogger did something weird with the order of these pictures again...sorry, i don't have the energy to move them around!!!!)

We don't have one of those "fussy" nativity sets that the kids can't touch - it's the same kind that we had growing up. My mom's mom bought it for her when my two older sisters were little - she wanted them to be able to touch and play with it too. There's nothing I love more than seeing the kids play with it!
All 3 kids loved getting up in the attic to help David bring down the Christmas decorations!

My sweet six year old - I can't believe it!

Donuts for breakfast!!!

Callie got to help David do the angel this year!

Callie helped me make Josiah's cake...and lick the spatula! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving

So it was a different kind of Thanksgiving this year than in years past, and I won't get into all of the reasons why, but it has been a wonderful few days. We have had some wonderful time together as a family, and it has been so neat to recount the things that we are thankful for as a family together. My mom flew to Florida to spend the week with my sister in Florida - she is pregnant with her first child, and they have had a wonderful week together, I know. So it was just us Schrodts - and it has been wonderful. Both David and Josiah had Wednesday off, so we enjoyed the family day of just being together. Thursday morning, we just played and watched the parade - guess who's a big fan of the Macy's Parade? Callie! She LOVED it! She kept waving to everything and pointing and saying "pretty!" it was a riot! The boys would periodically stop playing to see the balloons (the favorite was the Buzz Lightyear balloon and the announcement that they are going to make a Toy Story 3 Movie!!!), but Callie just loved it! What's not to love, right? :)

I decided not to cook on Thursday for a couple of different reasons. First of all, the Titans were playing at noon, and I certainly was not going to eat our Thanksgiving meal in front of the TV! Secondly, we made plans to head down to one of our homeless shelters/outreach centers and help serve the Thanksgiving meal there that afternoon. It was a wonderful opportunity to show the boys how much we have to be thankful for, and to give them a small chance to help serve and be a blessing to someone else. It was GREAT! Josiah was frustrated that we couldn't serve more people, so we'll have to go again another night.
Later that night, Beth & Anthony and their sweet kids came over for dinner and an evening of fellowship. How grateful we are for their friendship - I can't even begin to tell you. It was such a wonderful night of refreshment for David and I - and the kids had a ball together, as always. So it was a different kind of Thanksgiving - but one that I don't think we'll ever forget. We have SO much to be thankful for. Truly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Thanksgiving Feast

One of the biggest things I am thankful for this year is for the opportunity to send Josiah to school at Shores. We knew that when David started teaching there almost 7 years ago, this was one of the biggest reasons - so that our children could go there. And Josiah is loving it and doing so well. Today was his Thanksgiving Feast and it was a ball. His class wore turkey hats that they made, and all the kindergartners got to each lunch (at 10 am!!) in the cafeteria together. Josiah's main concern was that he could eat MORE lunch when we came home from school!! Callie and Jacob loved getting to see their brother with his friends and we had a great morning together.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A GREAT Ending to a Rough Day!

Sunday afternoon was a little rough around here. Our beloved Tennessee Titans lost their first game of the season...and it was terrible. We don't get to see them very often on TV because they aren't the regional team, and so we had been all excited all week long that they were actually playing our game. But then it was a disaster. We got beaten pretty badly by the Jets. Sad. At least we're still 10-1...and it's just a game, right? The other good news is that we play again on Thursday - Thanksgiving day! We play Detroit, which hasn't won a game YET this season, so hopefully the outcome will be much better!!!

But then things got much better!!! We had our first "social" last night with our new small group. We started this group about 6 weeks ago - not having any idea if any one would show up. We just knew that God was calling us to do this to provide a group for other young couples and families wanting to get plugged in and grow together. It truly has been so refreshing and encouraging to David and I to see how it has grown. We have had 20 people come, and are really enjoying getting to know them better. 5 of the couples were able to join us for a potluck dinner and game night last night. The fellowship was great, the food soooo yummy, and only the outcome of Pictionary was a downer (the guys pulled off a come-from-behind victory at the end...). We look forward to more fun in the future as we grow together!

Andrea (her husband is deployed right now), Kristina & Steve (and their baby Addysen), Mary & Charles, Laurel & Nathan. Somehow I didn't get Shawn & Jennifer in the picture - I think they were sitting by David & I on the opposite side of the couches.
My kids had their "own" potluck in the kitchen while we ate - yummy! Then Callie went to bed, and the boys got to watch a movie on the portable DVD player in their room. It was QUITE a treat! They did great!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Grand Illumination Parade!

After a lovely, and relaxing afternoon in Williamsburg, we headed back home to get downtown for the annual Grand Illumination Parade. They do this parade every year the weekend before Thanksgiving to officially kick-off the season. They have all of the buildings downtown outlined with lights, and at the start of the parade, there is a countdown, the lights are turned on, and the parade begins. They have a bunch of marching bands, some floats - it's just always so much fun! This year was definitely one of the coldest, but that didn't keep us away!!! We just came very bundled up and it was wonderful! We had the perfect spot to watch from - we had an empty street behind us that was closed to traffic, so the kids all played and run around for the hour before the parade started. That kept everybody warm and happy!!! The Ratz family and the Jackson family met us there, and it was a very fun tradition that I love doing every year!!! We didn't really feel cold until the walk back to the car - and then I couldn't warm up my toes fast enough! :)
Believe it or not, the boys weren't cranky because of the cold....they were mad that I made them stop running around so I could take a picture of them!!!
Callie LOVED the parade. She was only a baby last year, so this was her first REAL experience - and boy did she love it!

Chris and Jessica Jackson. Cody was so happy playing in the dirt that I didn't have the heart to bother him for a picture!!! :)

Dave & Sue Ratz (she's holding Madeline, and Alexander & Hamilton are in the stroller).

An Afternoon in Williamsburg!

What a perfectly wonderful afternoon we had on Saturday. Right after Jacob's soccer game, we hit the road and headed for Williamsburg. My mom and I had made plans to meet for a few hours in Williamsburg for the afternoon. It's not quite halfway (2 hour drive for her, 1 hour for me), but was the perfect place for a lovely afternoon! Mom is flying to FL to see my other 3 sisters for Thanksgiving, and so I wanted to get to see her before she left. Also, she is serving as our transport and is taking Christmas presents from us to my sisters in her suitcase....saving me not only postage but a trip to the post office!!! We had a wonderful time! We met at the Yankee Candle's almost like it's own little towne center or something. All these little individual "shops" inside, personalized ornaments, a general store, dip your own candles, a Christmas shoppe complete with real snow, and of course the BIGGEST yankee candle store you can ever imagine! We had a ball!

I love these pictures. We were waiting for lunch, and Mom was holding Callie. Callie all of a sudden got so loving with Mom - just kept giving her these big hugs and laying her head down on her shoulder. She is my cuddle bug for sure - very loving girl. Her face in the picture below just says it all - she was SO happy to see her Tutu!!!

The boys were dipping some candles....

Anyone surprised that Jacob's is blue???