Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Good News and the Bad News

The Good News First:
The hamsters have been found!! A few weeks ago, Jacob and Callie were playing for a LOOOOONG time with the hamsters. They had taken one of my tupperware containers for a cage, shredded green construction paper for food, etc. Then the next day when Jacob was at school, they disappeared. I knew Callie had probably put them somewhere while she was playing, but she couldn't remember and I had no idea. Jacob was VERY sad - asked for DAYS if I had found them. Even called David at work one day about it :). Well, yesterday I found them!!! She had put them beside our old TV in the playroom - it's in an armoire, and she had put them beside the TV all the way in the back of the armoire. Jacob was SOO excited! (That's his leg in the picture - they didn't leave his side yesterday after they were found!)

And now for the bad news:
My new Garmin is not a miracle worker. I didn't suddenly run 2 minutes faster per mile and feel as though I was flying. Bummer. Loved wearing it though. I'm telling myself that my run today felt hard (it was only 4 - totally should NOT have been that hard) because I had really pushed myself yesterday when I ran 6 miles and I DID run 2 minutes faster (overall...doesn't sound like much I know, but if you are a runner, you KNOW!). :) Oh well - I was glad at least I figured out how to charge it and turn it on for my run this morning. David can figure out all the other stuff for me later. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

* This morning, when I was headed home on my run (remember, it was pouring rain? I'm sure I looked like a drowned rat out there!), some sweet old man slowed down next to me before pulling into his driveway and said "do you need to come in out of the rain?" I told him I was okay and was almost home (I guess 2 miles counts as "almost"). If I lived anywhere else, I'd have thought he was an axe murdered, but not here - I love the south! :)

* While we were in line at Publix, the lady in front of us was talking to Callie (who was telling her all about how it was almost her birthday. She was so tickled by Callie and bought her a bag of Skittles (she asked if it was okay first). Callie thought that was the best!!

It's the little things, you know? :) Looking forward to the morning - getting together with my biblestudy ladies for a final fellowship and discussion. We finished our study last week and are getting together tomorrow for brunch and to share and "digest" all that we've studied!!! Good stuff!

Her New Do!

This was as much of a picture I could get of her! She was very busy looking at "the calendar", but at least you can sort of see!!! It's cut right at her shoulders, and they did put some long layers in there to help it shape a bit more. I think it's adorable. She LOVES headbands or wearing it just down, so I think this will help keep her from looking like a vagabond.

She totally loves it - she's been all about long hair until a few weeks ago and then started saying she wanted it short. She told the hairdresser that it's perfect and she matches me now, so I think that may have been some of it. She is SO all about playing mommy (of course, she calls herself Mrs. Katy when she is being the mommy), so I guess this was part of it too.

When we left to run our errands, she had her pink toy cell phone in her pocket because Miss Codee, one of her teachers at church, has a pink cell phone. And then as I'd drive down the road, she'd start singing something and it was her "ring tone". She'd dig her phone out and start talking to whomever it was! :) So hilarious that girl is!!


I was getting out my phone this morning and Callie immediately said "I have to call Tutu and tell her I know how to spell my name!" So I dialed the number for her and she took over. That girl LOVES the phone! (Then Caleb wanted in on the action too, so he was pretending with David's phone).
She's hilarious when she talks to my mom, because she just takes the phone and walks away. She'll walk all over the house (I'm sure imitating how she sees me when I'm on the phone). You don't have to prompt her, give her things to say - she is in constant conversation! :)
And in case you needed to know the different between boys and girls, here's one more. The boys have been all about their Star Wars action figures again (probably because they just saw the movie at David's office - remember the marathon long Sunday?). So these little characters are all over my house again. Callie lined them up on the table this morning - in circle - and then started singing "Holding hands, holding hands, we're all holding hands". :) I'm pretty sure that's not how the boys play with them! :)

And this post will serve as her official "before" pictures. We're going to get her hair cut today!!! She said she wants it short!

What I'm Most Thankful for Today.... my garage! Okay, so it's probably not what I'm MOST thankful for, but it's pretty high up there today! You see, it's been cold and RAINY all day today (it started when I was 2 miles into a 6 mile run)...not just a light sprinkly rain either. DOWNpours at times! For the first 11 years that we were married, we didn't have a garage. Our last house in VA had a converted garage - the previous owners had fully converted it into an office, which was nice for us for the space, but not so much for a garage. Everytime it rained and I was carrying in groceries or children or both, I always thought about how nice it would be to have a garage, just drive in and everything stays dry. So now that I HAVE that, I am EXTREMELY thankful for it today!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

i admit it - i'm a nerd!

I'm totally hooked on Decision Points - the new autobiography by George W. Bush. It's totally fasciating to me. I've never been a huge autobiography reader - I've always been much more of a fiction reader, but lately I've read some really good ones. I finished the Tony Dungy one a little while back, and just picked this one up and can't put it down! I've always loved "W", but have even more respect for him after reading through this! Love it! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Andrew & Angie's Commissioning Service

Sunday ended with a sweet, emotional commissioning service for two of our own - Andrew and Angie. They leave on Tuesday with their 10-week old baby girl for Haiti to live and serve as full-time missionaries. Angie played keyboards for David in the praise band and led worship in his absence several times. Andrew & Angie were engaged when we moved here, and married in July 2009. A precious young couple with heart to love and serve the Lord - and a calling to missions. They weren't sure exactly when or where, but knew God had something in store for them.
She opened the service with a few beautiful songs of worship to the Lord - she sings from pure heart with a beautiful voice. Her spirit is just so so sweet. She and Andrew shared their story - how God laid different things on their hearts (he loved Alaska, she loved India) and then all of a sudden through a total God-thing, Haiti landed square on top of them!
They will be partnering with Hands and Feet - an orphanage and ministry started by the lead singer of Audio Adrenaline. David brought AA in for a concert last spring and Andrew & Angie talked with them for a little while afterwards....and the rest is history!!
Our pastor of Missions & Evangelishm, Steve Allen, gave a wonderful charge both to Andrew & Angie, and also to us as a church body. Very encouraging and also overwhelming to know the responsibility that we have to support and pray for this sweet couple that has given so much to be obedient to God's call.
Pastor Steve invited anyone who wanted to come and surround Andrew & Angie as we prayed... can see the response was overwhelming!
We then had a Baby Dedication service. Their daughter, Faith Elizabeth, was born January 15. As in 10 weeks ago!!! And they are moving to a third world country...because God told them to! Is that not FAITH or what!!!

Angie closed with one more song...frankly I don't know how she could sing anything with all the emotion from evening, but she did beautifully!
We had a reception in the fellowship hall afterwards and I gave her one more hug! We LOVE you guys and are supporting and praying for you! We know that God has GREAT things in store as you serve Him obediently!!!

Sunday AM

it was crazy. just totally nuts. was loading my van with 3 crockpots of taco meat (15 lbs worth!), 5 batches of cornbread, and all the necessary accessories for a taco lunch for 100 people! We had our VBS kickoff lunch after church and it was a GREAT success! We're excited to continue to spread the excitement about the Big Apple Adventure! We weren't going to be able to go home because I had a 4 pm meeting that afternoon with the people who were going to be in charge of my set design for the kids musical. My VBS meeting was over at 2 pm, we put Caleb down for a nap in the pack & play in David's office. He left to make some visits and the other kids watched a video on David's secretary's computer. :) I worked on some children's choir things and then had my set design meeting. I'm SO not creative -glad other people are!!! It was a long day - Sundays always are - but this one was particularly full. Lots of good, fun things, but still quite busy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Food from the Heart

We grabbed lunch after the symphony was over an the left to drive back home. We stopped at home just long enough to grab some sweatshirts for us (it was rainy and COLD) and then headed to a Food Lion here in town to man our shift. Our church has partnered with Harvest Hope Food Bank for the last several years in conducting the largest food drive in the Midlands. We station volunteers at participating grocery stores all across the city and ask people to purchase a few extra things to donate to the food bank.

So we got out of our car and straight to work! We were teamed up with a sweet family that we are friends with and had a ball! Callie & Carlie are great friends and were very entertaining to everyone for sure! :) I'm not sure how much help they were.... David was at the other entrance to the store with our older boys and a few from the other family. He kept sending me texts saying "i'm collecting more than you!". I politely reminded him it was not about us! :) Seriously though, it was definitely hard for me. I don't love to talk to strangers. Certainly not ask them something when I know they'd rather me not. But this was about stepping outside of my safe little box comfort zone and actively engage our whole family - all 6 of us - for 3 hours in order to serve our community. If we can stand out there with 4 little kids, then anyone can! We later found out at church that we collected more food than in any previous year - 61 tons of food!!! You see - every litte bit does help!! All those people that just picked up one extra box of cereal or one extra can - it all adds up!!!

We finally headed home to get kids fed and in bed....and I started work on cooking a taco lunch for 100 VBS volunteers after church the next day! :)

The Charlotte Symphony

Saturday morning, we were up bright and early for a very exciting adventure! One of my assistants in children's choir had some tickets tht their family couldn't use for the Charlotte Symphony! They have a program called "Lollipops" - a Family Symphony experience! They have different themes that appeal to children and some pre-concert activities for kids to introduce them to music and instruments. We were SUPER excited to go and so thankful for this gift! We had a mini road-trip up to Charlotte (about 1.5 hours away) and made it up there at 10 am - just in time for the pre-concert activities to begin!
They had lots of activity sheets around with coloring pages of different instrument pictures, word searches of instrument families, etc. I picked up copies of all of them and stuffed them in my bag for later. They had a craft table set up where the kids could make their own castanets (finger cymbals) - Josiah, my artist, particularly loved this :)

Then we moved on to the musical petting zoo! They had ALL kinds of different instruments out for the all the kids to try out. (And yes, they cleaned each mouthpiece off after each person :) ) My kids absolutely LOVED it!!! Forgive all these picture, but I knew my Mom would just be in HEAVEN to see her grandkids playing all these instruments!!!

None of my kids could do the flute - I guess we don't give them soda bottles enough to learn how to blow across the top of them! :)

Both boys were able to get a sound out of the french horn though - I was SHOCKED! That's 6 feet of instrument to blow air through! They were able to play all the brass instruments and loved them!

Caleb and I took pictures of all the other kids and also played at a percussion table they had set up. That was more his speed - they had maracas, tambourines, a triangle, a djembe, and a snare drum set up. Fun stuff!
It was time to head in. We got to sneak a quick picture while the orchestra was still tuning. Callie said she loved the harp and wants to play that one. Of COURSE she would pick the FANCIEST and most expensive instrument!!!

We had an absolute blast. The concert was called "Green Eggs and Ham" and included some storytellers - one that narrated/acted out the whole story of Cat and the Hat. The orchestra played fabulous muic that the kids loved - including the Green Eggs and Ham song that had a soprano singing the "I do not like green eggs and ham" part, and a "Sam-I-am" character that was hilarious! They played some french music as part of a Mother Goose suite and told the kids to listen to different parts ("listen for the birds singing in this song", "listen for the clarinet - that is the voice of Belle; the contrabassoon is the voice of the Beast!") We loved it. It was such a wonderful way to give the children the symphony experience in the perfect environment - where it's ALL families with young children & it's okay that none of them could sit totally still and be silent! We had a BLAST! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

When you have an older sister...

....this is what happens when Mommy is trying to make dinner!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Grand Prix Results!

I had some SUPER excited boys at my house on Wednesday night! David was so bummed he wasn't going to get to see it, but he can't very well ditch his own choir rehearsal! :) The boys did think it was funny that I was skipping though! :)
One funny sidenote: the kids get to name their cars. Jacob picked the name "Sharky" long ago. Original! Josiah said he was going to name his "Chocolate Bar". I tried to convince him to go with something a little funnier, like "Just One Bite, Mom?" or "I'm Hungry Mom!" but he wouldn't go for it. Said it would be too embarrassing! :)

Josiah immediately found his place at the starting line to get ready and watch. Jacob started on my lap but quickly joined his brother :)
Each car got to race 4 different times so they had a chance from each lane. Their times were calculated from their 4 runs and placement determined by that. As a mom, I was hopefully that each of the boys would at least win ONE of their races - and they each did! :) The first time the boys' cars raced, they were racing against each other!!!
Watching the finish line - (I don't know what setting my camera was on...alot of these are blurry...sorry! :( )
Here's Jacob watching another one of his races. His feet are NOT on the floor -he was jumping up and down he was SO excited! :) He watched Josiah race last year, but this is his first year of Sparks, so it was his first time...and he LOVED it!
Waiting patiently during the award ceremony. We had a long talk before we got there about our attitude and how this was all for fun. There were some kids in tears during the night when their cars didn't win, etc - but thankfully my boys had great attitudes and handled their winning and losing well!! Whew!
All the racers...patiently waiting :)
Here are the Sparks winners for Best Design - Josiah won 3rd place!!! :)
Here are the Sparks winners for Speed - Jacob won 1st place!!! The boy was BEAMING!!!! The design awards were announced first and when jacob's name wasn't called, he got really quiet and I knew he was disappointed. So when the called his name for Speed, his face absolutely lit up!!! They also said he had the fastest car of the night from any division (Sparks, TNT, or the Leaders category!). Go figure!
I was so proud of them. They worked hard on their cars, but more than that, they had a great attitude through it all!!

Everyone gets a blue ribbon for participating...
"One more picture in front of the track, Mom!" They were DYING to go bust in David's rehearsal to show him!! :)