Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lunch with Jacob

We decided to go have lunch with Jacob last Thursday - it was so much fun! I had a volunteer meeting that morning and so we stayed a bit afterwards to have lunch with him. We were about 15 minutes early for lunch so we headed down to his classroom and played in centers with him until it was time. He was so excited to show us all the things in his class, all his routines, etc. It was very cute! He was VERY quick to obey and follow directions (which a mom loves to see!) and Callie jumped right in like she was in kindergarten too! :) Lunch was exciting because he got to use his thermos cup for the first time - I sent in some mac & cheese in it and he loved it! :)

Christmas Music

You can tell we've had Christmas music playing in our house for over a month now. That's what happens when your husband is the Worship Pastor and has to choose his Christmas program in the dead of summer when it's 100 degrees outside. As I type this, Callie is sitting on the floor behind me playing with her Dora house and singing "Glo-------ria". She doesn't quite have the "in excelsis deo" part down yet though! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010


Beth is on vacation with her family this week down in Florida. Jealous, aren't you? Well, it gets worse. She's on vacation about 10 minutes from where my sisters are!!! I know - I'm dying! It gets even worse!! This morning, she got to do her 5 mile run with my sister Kelli!!! They had so much fun and it made me so mad!!! :) So totally jealous. Kelli is sort of like our running grandmother - she's the one that started all this craziness...then she got me hooked...and then I got Beth hooked. So it was fun for them to get to run together this morning....even though it would have been WAY funner if I was there too! :) whine whine...

Sunday, August 22, 2010


So now that Caleb is walking everywhere, I decided I'd better get him some shoes...
He hates them. Pulled them off as fast as he could manage....
and was SOOOO much happier back in his bare feet. Sigh. I'd really love to get him some crocs - we still can wear them here for several more months, and he'd still fit in them after winter. I keep looking and waiting for them to come down in price....
"where's my ball?"

"I FOUND my ball Mom!"
Joseph wore this shirt at Kristen's rehearsal dinner and I LOVED it. Fun seeing Caleb in it now! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Guess who went to the store with ME today?

It really is SO fun having this time to just pour into Callie. I felt the same way when Josiah went to school. I knew that I would miss him SO much, but that it was my opportunity to really pour into Jacob. For him to get to choose what we would play, what we'd read, etc. Well, now it's Miss Callie's turn and she is LOVING it! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The FIRST Day of School!!!

The boys were SO excited about their first day of school!!! I am SO thankful not to have a crying child holding on to my leg - it would make it so much harder I think. We had such a wonderful year last year and the boys were thrilled for the year to be starting up. I really prayed this summer for Jacob and for whose class he would be in. That his teacher would love on him and see all of his potential. Jacob was ridiculously excited - he was ready to go to school, to get to have all the fun that his brother has always had, and to just go! I was excited for him - and a little bit emotional that now I was going to have 2 at school all day!

The boys popped out of bed this morning - we started using an alarm clock this year for them since Jacob tends to be "slower" in the mornings. It worked like a charm!!! I had been up early doing my run and spent a LOT of time in prayer for the boys, their teachers, the other kids, for Callie & Caleb. I was excited too, I must admit! :)

Getting their lunches packed...new lunchboxes, new thermoses, pretty exciting. They took gogurt, chocolate milk, and fruit. Jacob had a ham/cheese melt and Josiah took leftover pizza (a new discovery for him - that he likes cold pizza). Josiah's was a compromise - he really wanted chili (because I got them new thermos food jars) but I didn't have the stuff to make it for dinner the night before. We had a pool party with pizza the night before - so he was good with taking that for lunch. Whew. Both got notes in their lunch with some new cool stickers on them :)
READY to go!!!
Josiah - My big 2nd grader!
Jacob - My big (gulp) kindergartener!
Best friends!!! (and their new backpacks that they picked out)
Both spent a lot of time picking out which style they wanted. They even picked different monogramming styles for their initials - go figure!
This is our principal Mrs. Mitchum. She's out there every day holding the stop sign at the crosswalk. She loves getting to see the kids FIRST every day - and they LOVE her. We LOVE her - she's wonderful. (This picture is REALLY for Judy - Mrs. Mitchum reminds me SO much of your mom!!! I know it's not a great picture - but I was trying not to look like a stalker!)
Callie was my helper making the after-school snack....

We had a fun day together. I loved getting to REALLY focus on the younger two. To get to do things totally age-specific for THEM...and not just have them "along for the ride" with the older boys. Here's what my day was like:
Played trains with caleb and callie in the morning.
Put together a princess puzzle with callie (found at the dollar spot at target – yippee!) when caleb took his morning nap.
Finished getting coupons together while callie watched dora (NOT batman or star wars!)
Went to publix with only 2 KIDS (sooo nice) and got back on top of normal grocery shopping again after all that vacation ($250 worth of groceries for $100!!!)
Callie ate princess soup for lunch
Getting ready to put two to bed
Have a plate of brownies ready for bus driver
Have 3 heart-shaped brownies on my “You are Loved” plate for the boys (and callie) when they get home.

Heart-shaped brownies...they've become a tradition...
Waiting at the end of our court for the bus...and our boys! :)
This was a BIG deal - last year I picked Josiah up everyday. He was emphatic that he did not EVER want to ride the bus. The bus that comes home in the afternoon ONLY comes to our neighborhood, so often times I was stuck behind the bus coming home in our car. The kids are literally on there for about 5 minutes, and they get dropped off right at the bottom of our court! So this summer, the boys started talking about how cool it would be since they'd be together, and they decided they wanted to ride the bus. As we met more neighbors and I talked with more people about it, we decided to let them try it. They were SO excited about it...I was a bit nervous...that they'd get on the right one and it would be okay.
Hooray - here it comes!!!!
Both boys got home just fine! They LOVED the bus - it was their "high" for the day. Whew - big relief for mom! It's nice for me because I can leave the little ones sleeping at home and just walk down the court to meet them. Last year, I had to wake them up at least 3 days a week to pick up Josiah from school. Hopefully this will makes things easier! :)
Walking home, they were already in their own world telling each other all about their day at school! :) Happy, happy boys!!! And a happy mommy - whew!!! First day down, 179 to go!! :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

He's REALLY walking now!!

Remember I said that Caleb starting taking more steps on his birthday? Well, he's totally walking now - everywhere!!!
...he's looking for his ball....

We do this for what seems like HOURS every day. He sits and throws a ball to me, and I throw it back. Repeat. A thousand times. He has a really good arm actually! Maybe one day he'll make us millions of dollars! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jacob's 1st (sort of) Day

On Tuesday, Jacob got to go to his classroom and spend about 20 minutes one-on-one with his new teacher, Mrs. Stewart. They have all the kindergarten students come in the week before school starts so they can have some one-on-one time with their teacher, get to see their classroom, and their teacher does some skills evaluation so they know where each student is at before the year starts. Jacob was SO excited to finally get to see his class and see some of the fun things they were going to do! He LOVED carrying all his school supplies in and finally getting to wear his backpack too! :) He's growing up!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I sure did miss these guys though! :)

WE had fun too!

David and I had a wonderful time. It really was an amazing weekend - SO just what we needed. Both as a couple, as a ministry team, as a pastor & his wife - it was awesome. We got up there late Wednesday night (it's about 1 1/2 hours away - we left after band practice that night) and got checked in to our hotel. the hotel was beautiful - and we had the biggest hotel room I've ever stayed in! Big king size bed, on the very top floor - it was lovely. Too bad we weren't going to be there very much! We had to be up at the conference the next morning at 8 am. We did our run that morning in the hotel gym, got ready, grabbed breakfast at Subway (which was surprisingly good...I'm a sucker for a good breakfast egg sandwich!), and then headed to the church.

For those of you interested in what we did while we were there, the conference was held at 1st Baptist Church in Spartanburg - what an amazing church! Incredible facilities, amazing people - it was just great. It's put on by Choral Festival a wonderful company (similar to Lifeway) that churches can order their music from. We had probably 10 different "reading" sessions. This is when each publisher has a packet of music they've put together for you, and you start singing through all of the new music - to hear what has come out and what it sounds like. It was SO much fun - being in a room of 1000 musicians and getting to sightread through all this new music. It was like All-state chorus again - except without all the high school drama and with REAL musicians! :) They also had some devotional speakers (Henry Blackaby - author of "Experiencing God" & Rev. Cliff Barrows - the man who led Billy Graham's music at all his crusades) and a hilarious George W. Bush impersonator!! (Totally hilarious - the hardest I've laughed in a LONG time!) We each got to pick 3 (out of 45 choices) workshops to go to. I was "sent" to 2 of them (on David's behalf - he wanted to be at about 25 of them!!) and got to pick one of my own. They were incredible. The one I picked was by Pam Andrews (she writes a bunch of children's musicals) and it was about new ideas for worship with children - I loved it...and am going to be using it VERY soon...more on that later. The other two were on Blended Worship in 2010 and Developing your Worship Team beyond music - that one was by Laura Story (she wrote "Indescribable" that Chris Tomlin recorded). That workshop was the BEST! My absolute favorite. All about how to invest in your worship team not ONLY musically, but spiritually and relationally too. it was great and just what we needed to hear.

Each night they also premiered a full Christmas musical so you could see what those would be like. Alot of the music we were singing through was Christmas music - since everyone there was working on putting their Christmas concerts together. They had concerts each night - the first night was Travis Cottrell...need I say more!! LOVE it - ALWAYS! The second night was the choir from the church in GA (can't remember the name right now) that has been behind Facing the Giants and Fireproof movies. Their next movie is called "Courageous" - and it's about the importance of fathers! Sounded great - their choir was awesome and I loved that concert too.

Our days were completely packed full. We would get to the church at 7:45 AM and not leave until after the concert was over at 9:30 pm each night. They fed us WELL and we got so much out of it. It was really cool to get the meet these people who have written and published all this music - to know that the people whose names I've grown up knowing and singing really are the real deal - they mean what they write. It was also so very encouraging. To know that we were in the midst of 1000 other people that know exactly what we're going through in our ministry...and have probably been there before. One speaker referred to us as "front-line ministry" - because the music guy tends to get the hits first along with the senior pastor. It was such a great time of encouragement to remember what we are called to do, why we are ministering where we are, and what our main focus is. We loved it!

The one thing I did NOT love was my long run on Saturday morning. I was tired from the week - tired from the very full schedule of the conference, and we had NOT a clue where we were running to. Spartanburg is very hilly and it seemed everywhere we turned we were looking at another big hill. Ugh. It wasn't the best run of my life, but we got it done. Poor David!

Mom literally has been to this very same conference for the last 20 years. She had prepared us well (even down to telling us where to eat breakfast - at this little hole in the wall diner that only takes cash!). I sent her text messages throughout telling her what we were doing because I knew she would know EXACTLY what we were doing! She loved seeing all my notes and hearing about the weekend.
Then David pulled out all the music and showed her the ones he really liked - and she got out her notepad! She said she felt like she was getting the benefit of knowing about the new good music (from David's recommendations) without having to sit through the whole conference! :) It was really fun getting to share it with her!

They sure did have fun!

The kids had a GREAT time while we were gone (oh, and Mom and Kelli had fun too!). I tell you what - it sure makes it easy to be gone for a few days when you KNOW that your kids are having a great time, being well taken care of, and don't even notice that you're gone! :)

You know how Jacob is - loves to get his hands on everyone! :) Joseph included!

Both of the boys have done SO well with piano - it's really been amazing to watch. But Josiah has ESPECIALLY taken to it - it comes very naturally to him (music has ALWAYS been just sort of "in his blood!") and he really enjoys it. I always find him playing the piano - not just practicing his stuff, but playing just for fun! I love it...and Tutu REALLY loves it! :)
I bet when Tutu bought this for Caleb, that she had NO idea how much fun BOTH Callie and Caleb would have with it! :) I got a text while at the conference with this picture on it - Mom said they must have done this for an hour - just laps and laps around the house! :)

They went and enjoyed the zoo one day :)

The boys had their first carousel ride!

Joseph loved it :)
Caleb loved it too...but held on VERY tightly to the pole AND to Tutu! :)
While the big kids were doing pony rides, Mom pulled some lollipops out of her purse for the babies. It was another FIRST for both boys - they LOVED it! Kelli said they sucked them down to the nubs! They said Caleb took to it immediately - knew exactly what he was supposed to do! It's amazing what things you don't have to teach the last child!

Kelli said mom's suitcase was like the Mary Poppins' bag - anytime someone was whiny or fussy or sad, she'd open up her suitcase and find another surprise in there that brought everyone's smiles out! :) She had some matching jammies in there for Caleb and Joseph - aren't they adorable?

Thanks Kelli and Mom - I know it wasn't a relaxing vacation for you like it was for David & me, but we sure did appreciate you doing it for us! We never would have been able to arrange this conference for us. It was an AWESOME gift for us to be able to go - so thank you! And Kelli, I can't wait to repay you when we get to have Joseph for a few weeks in the fall! Yippee!