Monday, April 28, 2008

Walking Rosie

Grace came back from walking Rosie and said," That was a bomb! Rosie wouldn't let me be the human!" I knew exactly what she meant.

The world according to Olivia

Yesterday, we visited friends that we hadn't seen for a while. Olivia walked up to the husband and said, "When I was little, I was 2. "That sums up her world right now. Now that she is 3, she is always talking about how big she is and how she can do so many things that she couldn't do before. Sometimes she goes to the extreme. She informed me that she was big now and she did not need to hold my hand in the parking lot and another time told me that she was big now and could stay in the front yard all by herself.

She's got a lot to learn, and I am busy teaching her.

My pet lion

Mandi wore that lion costume almost every day last year.

A smile for you

Olivia one year ago.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kid's Church

I have been teaching children's church for over 20 years and I love it now more than ever. I started as a 15 year old who took the few preschoolers out during children's church and taught them an age appropriate lesson. I followed the curriculum to a tee. I was determined.

The first year in college, I taught 2 and 3 year olds. Most of them never spoke a word to me, but I kept singing with them and telling them the stories. Eventually, some of the parents asked me if I sang certain songs with them because they were singing them at home. I was inspired.

The second year in college, I attended a large church, just so that I could learn the tricks of the trade by working in their children's church. I was anticipating.

The third, and fourth years of college, Dick and I taught a children's church for older elementary kids. We also drove the church van and picked up kids for church. We fell in love with those kids. These kids were needy and hungry for the love of God. Our hearts broke because we couldn't do more. I was moved.

After graduation, Dick became a full time children's pastor at a small church. Dick and I experienced some of the most sincere worship with those kids, and had a blast teaching them. I was excited.

Next Dick became a full time youth pastor. We were there for 6 years and had our first two children while we were there. Dick and I worked together to teach children's church. I would usually come up with the lesson and just clue him in as to what his part was. Again, it was a lot of fun. But not every Sunday. Just like every other church, there were many days when it was all I could do just to put one foot forward. Dealing with squirmy kids, who were tired of being in school, who didn't really care how much time I spent preparing the lesson was quite challenging. I really tried to keep the big picture in focus. I was challenged.

Then we moved to the area we live now. We helped out at a few small churches before we started where we are now. We have been here 5 years. Now Dick is the pastor and I lead the children's church. God has given me a love for these kids. About half of them are from the surrounding neighborhood. Their parents don't come to church. They are needy in many ways. I don't feel like I am doing much for them, but I know I love them and I pray that they will know that and also experience God's love. He is helping me to see how valuable, precious, and unique they are. I know God has been and is working a miracle in and through me. I am thrilled.

After over 20 years, I remain determined, inspired, anticipating, moved, excited, challenged and thrilled. To God be the glory!

My House Cleaning Inspirational Sayings

I have completed 31 baby steps to developing cleaning routines with Flylady. One of the steps was to take negative thoughts about cleaning and turn them into positive thoughts. I had to write down inspirational quotes or sayings and keep them in my notebook. This really helped to make them concrete in my mind.

Here is what I wrote.

My family is worth it.

I want my guests to feel welcome.

I can do anything for 15 minutes.

I want to be the best at my profession that I can be.

Housework done incorrectly still blesses my family.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Baseball Season

This our family's first baseball season. Mandi and Levi are playing. Dick helps out any way he can. He is pitching for Mandi's game. The rest of us come to socialize and watch the game. Granny T and G-Pa are the kid's adopted grandparents. We were blessed to be able to spend a few days with them last weekend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Encouraged by the Cabin Faced West

I had been thinking about starting a vegetable garden, but I had numerous excuses not to try this year. Last year's garden was a flop. It was too late in the year to start. And it is just flat out hard work. Do I want more work?

And then I read to the kids from The Cabin Faced West,
"At this time of the year, he would say, every day of sunshine was gold in your pockets. He would also say, and was indeed, at this very moment saying, that sunshine shouldn't be wasted." p.32

I looked at my kids and I said, " We are going to have a vegetable garden."

I began planning the garden and found out that it was in fact not too late to start a garden. I researched what would grow in this area and bought the seeds.

Then I read
" It felt good to turn up the rich, brown earth and to work until her back and arms ached. Sometimes when she worked like this, Ann felt it was the strength from her own body that was making the vines so stout and healthy and turning the pumpkins golden." p. 73

That was the feeling I was longing for . I wanted to work hard and feel like my effort was making a difference.

That quote went through my mind several times as I was doing my daily routines or cooking supper. It was just the encouragement I needed. I realized that I don't have to have a garden or live like a pioneer to have that feeling. I could have it any time I gave my all to the task at hand.

So, this year we are growing beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and bell peppers. I am praying that we will get some vegetables out of it, but even if we don't, I will enjoy the feeling of turning up the sandy soil and working until my back and arms ache.