Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Super Summer Wrap-Up

24 hours ago I thought it would be a good idea to blog a short list of what we did this summer. But I waited: Then I saw that my friend Jaime beat me to it. But instead of just forgetting about it, I've decided that I can blog about it too. So, hang on my friends because our summer was eventful!

1. Kids to GA
2. Bruce and Gina to Peru
3. Complete overhaul of house
4. VBS
5. Splash Kingdom
6. Snowcones
7. 18th Anniversary
8. 39th Birthday
9. Savannah's 9th Birthday
10. GNO
11. Movie date with Tucker
12. Tucker's first sleepover
13. Drought
14. Great Wolf Lodge
15. Grapevine Mills Mall
16. Airplane Rides
17. Dairy Queen
18. Howling Tornado
19. Junior Camp
20. Savannah and the Zip line
21. Rain Forest Cafe

It's been fun. But I'm ready for routine. For something more orderly. Here it starts Tuesday!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays #61-#71

It's been a busy couple of week and as life settles down I can honestly say that I'm glad for the routine...the everyday....even the mundane. I'm reminding myself...and maybe you too, of the multitudes I have to be thankful for this Monday.

61: New faces at choir practice today

62: The clean slate of a new school year

63: The 9th birthday of my sweet girl

64: The fun of 3 days away on vacation

65: A bargain

66: Ladies who rock babies during church

67: Moments that MAKE me depend on God

68: Kindred spirits

69: Good dr. visits

70: Making memories with the hubby on the Howling Tornado

71: Vanilla cupcakes

Do you see God in the everyday? What blessings have you noticed? Leave a comment and share what God is doing all around you!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


When Time Flies

As I type this I am reminded that time flies....faster than I ever imagined....Savannah turns nine years old in just a matter of minutes and that bittersweet reflection of her birth floods my soul again, as it does every year.

Wasn't it just yesterday when I strolled through Walmart hiding a pregnancy test under other items just in case I ran into someone I knew, hoping to avoid that glaring question..."Are you pregnant?"

Wasn't it just yesterday that I was daily struggling with morning sickness? Having christened just about every store in Beaumont, Texas? And the Alabama State Line, Hoover Dam and get the picture.

Wasn't it just yesterday that we found out you were a girl and all that shopping, and pink, and frills began?

Wasn't it just yesterday that we decided your name would be Savannah....from my GA roots and Malynne because it means "girl from God" and that's how we felt about you....a special surprise gift from God.

Wasn't it just yesterday that I started feeling bad? Really something wasn't right?

Wasn't it just yesterday that the Drs. looked uncertain and that friends surrounded us with worry lines and tears and prayers?

Wasn't it just yesterday that we welcomed you with fear, joy, hope, anxiety? Your 2 pound 6 oz frame so tiny and weak and frail and 3 months underdeveloped?

Wasn't it just yesterday that the ups and downs and sorrows and joys of 91 days in the NICU were over and Dr. Thompson hugged you and nurses cried over you with happiness and Dad and I took you home?

And wasn't it just yesterday that you stopped setting off the apnea monitor and you gained some weight and you took your first step and you spoke your first words and you learned to run and play and jump?

My, time flies.

I'm so proud of the young lady you are becoming. Your tender heart and sweetness makes me excited to see where God takes you.

Happy Birthday Savannah....may God's hand shelter you all the days of your life and may you be obedient to all He has in store for you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Preparing for the Best

The last couple of weeks  have been filled with prep for my classroom and students for the new year. We don't start until after Labor Day but I don't like to be rushed at the last minute so I've been working on it a little at a time.

It's funny how this time of year we never think about how we (as teachers) will be feeling around February 20th or so....tired, irritated, impatient, desperate for Spring break! We set out....preparing for the best year we can - Going the extra mile to be sure our students are welcomed and excited about the new year and learning. But somewhere along the way... some of us .....lose steam.

I learned a few lessons last year that I hope will help me in the coming year. I've also brushed up on some classroom management tips over the summer to help me deal with those problems that arise (in other classes...not mine, of course!) I'm spending time in prayer for each family that will walk a child through my door on September 6. For whatever reason God has placed them in my class, I pray that I'll be up for the task and sensitive to what God wants.

And come along February 20th when I'm tired and wishing for summer, I will try to remember that these children deserve the best all year long. That God deserves my best, all year long. That my boss deserves my best all year long. Anything less than that is preparing for failure. It's preparing to start strong and finish weak. To be a bad steward instead of one who works diligently. It's taking advantage of a paycheck without doing the work to earn it. And that's just wrong.

I hope that as a teacher who knows that my responsibilities go way farther than the 3 r's, I will openly share Christ in everyday actions, lessons, prayer and conversations. After all, that will be more important than any math and reading and handwriting I teach.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Last Birthday

This is what I woke up to on my birthday......

Yes....I do have some of the most amazing friends in my life. With Bruce's permission they broke into my car...filled it with 39 balloons and wrote this most hilarious graffiti on my windows. ...Oh and to their credit blessed me with a 2 liter bottle of coke and a card. 
Thankful for those friends who go out of the way to make you feel loved. 

Anyway...I'm getting older (not old) and at some point I think we all probably have that birthday that really makes you think about who you are. This has been that year for me. God has shown me things about myself that run the scope from horrifying to beautiful and in those moments when I realized the worst and the best of who I have become I was stunned. I look back (not too far) and see where God has brought me from and I see the beauty that He has created out of mere ashes and I hope, pray, desire for Him to take all the ugly that still resides in this imperfect, humans and deplorably sinful...yet forgiven life...and make it beautiful too. 

Here's to another 39!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Summer of Song

Music. The universal language. I remember standing in the store front church in Pichanaki, Peru for a worship service earlier this summer and listening as the small congregation of Peruvians sang worship songs to the Lord. I remember thinking what an awesome thing that God understands the universal language of worship. He doesn't have to know your native tongue because He knows your heart. That's all that matters.

This summer I've had the blessing of singing with an ensemble at church. I've loved it. It's been a while since I've sang with four part harmony in a small group and it's been so much fun. The people that I get to sing with each week have been hard working, fun, talented. Our worship choir will start back up in a few weeks and then I'll get to enjoy all the big sounds of many voices. It's all a win win for me because it's all about the music and the words and the worship. 

I sing at home, not necessarily in the shower, but it would not be unusual for you to pop in and find us with the music loud. I sing in the car....I usually am also beating on the steering wheel in some drummer type fashion...and from the time my kids were little they've had "their" song that I sing to them at bed time. 

Music has the power to take us back to places we first heard a song, it can carry us from sadness to joy, from anger to love, from frustration to peace. It's comforting, energizing, soothing, prayerful, insightful. It spans language barriers, cultural differences and generations. 

No wonder God gave it to us. I'm reminded that He has placed the New Song in my heart. The one that is different from the world. The one that worships Him. The one that whispers and shouts in the same breathe that Jesus in the only one for me. 

Psalm 40:3

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
         Many will see and fear
         And will trust in the LORD.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pizza Rolls

Here's another new recipe I tried out on my family last night:

Home Made Pizza Rolls
2 cans refrigerated pizza crust
garlic salt
Italian Seasoning
1 cup sliced and chopped pepperoni
1 cup shredded cheese (we used Provolone and Pepper Jack)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Ragu® Sweet Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce for dipping

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Dust a  large cutting board or piece of wax paper with flour and roll out each pizza crust.
  • Season each crust with garlic salt and Italian seasoning.
  • Top with  cheese and meat
  • Starting with a short end, roll crust into a tight log
  • Slice into 1″ sections
  • Place on lightly greased pan and bake for 10-12 mins.
  • Serve with Ragu® Sweet Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce for dipping
Super Yummy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Easy (And Delicious) Crockpot Chicken

I fixed this Tuesday night and EVERYONE in the house loved it. Super yummy. I used light cream cheese and the light cream of chicken soup and it didn't mess up the taste at all. So easy!


2-4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese (let sit out to soften)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 pkg. italian dressing seasoning (the dried kind in the packet)


Stir the cream cheese, cream of chicken, and seasoning together in the crockpot. I actually started it on low and let them sit in there for about 30 min so the cream cheese is softer to stir. Put the frozen chicken in and cover with the mix. cook on high 4-6 hours or until the chicken is cooked and fall-apart-tender. How easy is that!?

Cook the rice in a pot and smother with chicken mixture! The italian seasoning is the secret ingredient! So yum!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Empty Words

I've got nothing to say. 

And instead of boring you with empty words that mean absolutely nothing I've been staring at the empty computer page wishing that I had something to share. I've got 8 posts that are waiting to be posted...but all seem so ...empty. It's been bothering me. In three years of blogging it's never been like this.

Funny thing is that I believe this is right where God wants me right now. Empty....totally dependant on HIM to give me the words to say....the direction to go.....the answers to life's daily questions. At first I struggled against this....I like answers...maps....words....but God doesn't always give those.....sometimes He says trust timing....all of Me. And as I was reminded yesterday by an iron woman (that's what I'm calling those iron sharpens iron friends I have now....although I am pretty sure she'd like you to think she can powerlift 500lbs!)....I don't need to know....I don't need to have the answer....I don't need to feel ready or able....I just need to trust God to give me whatever it is I need when the time is right. 

So maybe sharing His Words for me might encourage you....if so then the silence has been worth it....

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt. 6

Monday, August 8, 2011

Things I Learned at Jr. Camp

1. Never underestimate the power of deodorant...especially in 115 degree heat.

2. Some children wear all the clothes in the suitcase during the first 2 days.

3. Some children will spend all their money in the first 2 days.

4. One child will look you in the eye and say thank you...and that child probably will not be the one you think it will be.

5. 4-6th grade girls will not claim their dirty underwear off the floor unless you hold the underwear up with a stick and publicly describe the underwear.

6. Some counselors were meant to go to camp. Others should stay at home and take their happy pills.

7. Clean cabin award incentive should not be giant pixie sticks. That's not really incentive for the counselors to motivate the children to clean.

8. Watching children worship in their environment is beautiful.

9. Leading a child to the Lord is breathtaking....everytime. What a privilege and a blessing to be able to share Christ with ready hearts.

I've worked with kids for years in one capacity or another. I'm more convinced than ever that parents and churches have a huge responsibility to train generations to know God and His Word for their lives. It would be great if we lived in a world where every parent did their job of teaching and that church was just a reinforcement of what is being taught at home. But let's face it. We live in a sin drenched world where parents don't do this. Even Christian parents don't do this, much less a godless people. Instead of just worrying about our own kids...which would be the easy things to do....we need to have compassion and extend grace to children who walk through our doors, who play with our kids in the neighborhood, who are in our schools, who play on our kid's soccer team. As the church for this generation, we need to step up and love and lead and reinforce and guide and partner with families who need what God has given us.

I'm thankful for the children's ministry of our church. It's comforting to me to know that my kids can go to a safe place to learn about God. God has gifted people to be teachers who can share effectively the messages of His Word. I'm thankful that He gave us these helpers for our family. It's just another way He provides. I'm glad I'm not in this alone. I'm thankful that, while I am very aware of my responsibilities as a parent raising children in this world, that God, in His grace, partnered my family with a church that takes children seriously, creates a fun place for learning and fellowship and exposure to gifted teachers who just might be the ones that say those words or present that message in a way that my kids are drawn closer to Christ. And I'm ok with that. Because in the end....the glory and praise is to the Father.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Camp Bound!

I'll be at church camp with Savannah and 37 other junior campers and counselors from our church this week so you won't be hearing from me. There's a probability that there won't be internet service, a greater probability that we will be so busy having fun....and possibly an even greater probability that the girls will have tied me up somewhere in OKLAHOMA....and that in and of itself could be the end all for this girl!

Seriously speaking please pray....

1. Children will realize how much God loves them and desires a relationship with Him.
2. That the heat (upwards of 106 this week) will not keep us from having a great time
3. Safety
4. And tons of fun!

Talk to you Friday!