January 2012

Posted in church, Everyday Life on February 1st, 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

My blogging style has changed – maybe temporarily, maybe permanently.  It’s evolved, if you will, to meet the growing needs of my family.  I no longer have time to sit down 5 times a week and write about my thoughts, my plans, my stories, my ideas, nor do I have the time to detail my agenda.  With 5 kids now and all of the new things we’re doing (new baby, homeschooling, new career for both Hubby and I, new ministries…), I rarely do find myself sitting down and when I am, it’s rare that a computer is in front of me.  So for awhile, I will just post updates on the members of my family and our lives.  This will still serve as a way to keep in touch with those who read my blog (those especially that I cannot find as much time as I’d like to talk on the phone with because of all the noise in my house – phone conversations are nearly impossible at certain times of the day!), and my blog will also continue to serve as a family diary for us to look back on someday and enjoy together.  Updates:

Family – we began homeschooling last fall, and we still like it.  We’ve had to make some adjustments to our planned curriculum since new little bro Luke (born Oct 7 2011) is quite a happy though demanding handful.  We began co-op on January 9, which is a local program they have here at a church for homeschoolers.  We go every Monday, and each grade level participates in 3 different classes taught by the moms of the group.  Since it’s our first year, I don’t have a class to teach yet – I pulled nursery duty.  Yep – 3 hours every week working in the nursery with my little Luke and about 5 other babies – Luke is the only boy.  My husband asked me how I managed that one (because I LOVE babies!), and I don’t know – lucky I guess!!  Apparently there are some ladies who don’t want to deal with diapers and fussy babies and all that, but for me, there couldn’t be a better job for me to serve at co-op.  My other kids really like co-op.  Beeber (age 3) is in Preschool, and he came home the first week with a “carrot project” – the top of a carrot in a cup of water.  It was supposed to grow some green out the top, but ours didn’t.  He didn’t seem to mind though.  It’s funny because when he handed me his carrot as I was picking him up, I thought it was the remainder of what he had done with his snack until the teacher explained it to me – haha!  Disney is in Kindergarten at co-op, and she really likes it.  Since we’ve decided to homeschool our kids beginning at 2nd grade, Disney is also in public school preschool, and she loves both of them!  The older girls enjoy co-op too; it gives some of the structure of school without all the unnecessary rules and drama, and the classes are taught from a Christian perspective.  I like that the kids are held accountable to other adults besides their parents for their assignments and quizzes.  The Sunday-Monday rush is taxing for our family since we have seven bags to pack Sunday night for co-op AFTER a big weekend spent getting ready for church service, but it’s worth it and we are settling into a routine.  Wednesday sees us leading groups at youth group, and we had a friend offer to take the 3 middle kids to AWANA and they really like that.  Thursday we have Bible study, and as I said, much of our weekends now consist of planning Sunday church service and TRYING to find time to rest and relax.  Overall, we’re busier than ever, but I feel happier than ever – God is so great!  I felt so run-down and was having a really hard time for a few months, but I had some checkups with the doctor and think I got the problem solved.  I feel better than I have in years and I can’t thank God enough!!  Now we just have to get Hubby some more sleep since he is waking with Luke all night, every night AND working 2 jobs, not to mention all of the help he gives me around the house.

The past few months, I’ve learned better to accept the circumstances of life as seasons that are constantly changing.  I’ve also learned to better accept that the way things are now are most definitely going to change in a few months.  I’ve learned to look forward to seeing what God has in store for my family rather than to let the ever-changing dynamics of our lives fill me with fear, dread or worry.  As far as things at the new church, we’ve set up a wonderful childrens ministry, and we have about 20 kids that come every weekend.  This is an AMAZING thing when you realize that the church had 0 kids attending only 4 months ago.  We have been contemplating ideas for a youth ministry (tweens and teens) as well as some other things, and only God knows where we will be with that in a month or two.  As I tried to say, things change so fast that it’s difficult to update it all on my blog, especially when this post alone has taken me a few weeks of having to put it aside and come back to add more later in order to finish it!

Before I stop writing for the day, I do want to share an amazing God story we got to witness this past Sunday.  My husband had been up late most of last week writing his sermon, and there was a pancake supper at church on Saturday night.  I ended up staying home with my boys because I was feeling run down and Luke was crabby and oozing things from places (you don’t really want more details, trust me…  baby stuff).  So late Saturday night, Hubby decided to start telling God in prayer that he needed rest, and I was doing the same.  Sunday morning, I was making my runs for church – I am the designated driver for the childrens ministry.  Many of the kids that come to our church need rides because their home situations are…  let’s say complicated.  Our church is located in the middle of the country about 6 miles from town, so I make 2-3 trips there in the morning to pick up the kids and to drive my own family.  Sunday we saw a man riding a bike on US Route 6; his bike was pulling a trailer that normally is used for pulling children, but his was loaded with supplies.  I wondered if he was homeless or someone who was making a long trek because it isn’t all that unusal to see someone journeying down US 6 – our little corner of the world seems to be on the way to everywhere!  So we see people journeying down 6 from time to time, but not usually in the winter.  On my last run, as I pulled into church, I noticed the man on the bike was also pulling into church.  I got the kids settled, then went out to welcome him.  Turns out, his name is Michealangelo, and he had been on his journey on his bike for FOUR MONTHS!  He’s from Los Angeles, and he began by biking north in California, and then coming out this way headed to New York – because God sent him on this journey.  He saw the sign for our little church on US 6 and decided to stop.  Michael has amazing faith, and he had amazing stories to tell!  My husband asked him if he would share some of these with our congregation, and Michael obliged, even after sharing his concerns about the way he was dressed.  I don’t have the time to go into all of the amazing details of the personal touches that God put on this story – I’ve already burnt the eggs that I was cooking and the house smells disgusting.  But I will sum it up briefly:  Michael’s unexpected visit meant that my husband’s sermon that he had carefully prepeared was not used last week because we were treated to the testimony of Michael instead.  So my husband can rest a little easier this week knowing that his sermon is already prepared.  Also, we’ve been talking in our own family and at church about really living a Godly life and what that looks like; we’ve been trying to make opportunities to GO OUT and serve God rather than just sitting around, doing the same old things for US.  Michael’s testimony reaffirmed these concepts – here is a man who has devoted his entire life to doing what God wants him to do.  He left the life that he knew and WENT OUT THERE and is sharing the Word…  And here I am frustrated because my words are failing to convey the story…  And I wish I could find the links to the info about this guy on the internet.  Hubby found them so maybe when he gets home from work I can ask him and add them to my blog.

But anyway, it was a magical Sunday, and I am thankful that I got to be a part of it!  I will leave you now with a little update about my little Luke – he tried his tot wheels for the first time in January.  He likes it, but only for short periods of time.  He is a grown up little guy in a baby’s body with a baby’s attention span.  He loves to stand, and practice walking ALREADY even though he is not yet 4 months old.  He also loves to watch other kids in action – his sisters and brother and also the kids at co-op and at youth group.  WOW – I really have to blog more often!  Once I got going, I had so much to say but not enough time to say it…  sorry that I was kind of all over the place, but that’s the price I pay for sitting down and trying to do this with all these kids running around and my many tasks to accomplish!  Until next time…

 

lukes first time in tot wheels.mov

Getting Old… Er, Growing Up

Posted in church, music on November 9th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday November 9 is the 2011 Country Music Awards – an event once so important to me that I would put my schedule on hold so I could enjoy watching this annual awards show on tv.  For a few years now, I have committed my Wednesday nights to leading a small group for church’s student ministries.  The past 2 years, one of my kids happened to be sick on the same Wednesday nights as the awards show, so I volunteered to be the parent to stay home with the sick kid and I didn’t have to miss the show nor play hooky from youth group – I had a legitimate reason for calling in sick.  This year, there is again a virus circulating through our family, and I think I have a mild case…  but things have changed.  Even if one of my kids was ill tonight, I would be the one to go to youth group and let Hubby stay home with the sick kid(s).  Luckily, I think we’ll both be able to make it to youth group tonight, and I am so excited!  The new series we started last week is about demons, and it gave me a great connecting point with my girls – we had a great group time last week!  Now that I’m back from maternity leave and free from the distractions of pregnancy, I am stoked to build relationships with my youth group girls and help them build their spiritual relationships with Jesus Christ.  I am so excited about youth group tonight that the country awards show hardly matters to me – I might try to set up a recording device so I can watch it later, but watching it live doesn’t matter to me at all when once it was dire for my entertainment.

Maybe I’m getting old…  no, I think I’m growing up!  It’s so cool to me that God is teaching me about prioritizing and also about using my free time and leading me toward hobbies that glorify Him.  How amazing is it that I can be entertained, relaxed, refreshed, and feel fulfilled, not by doing something that only I enjoy but by doing something that affects others in a positive way as well?

One Foot Out The Door…

Posted in church on September 20th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Changes abound!  So many things happening that I can’t keep up writing about them on my blog.  It seems like every time I sit down to relax, I’m doing something with the kids – playing board games, homeschooling, doing puzzles, cuddling while we watch home videos together…  Mommy and kid time is so much more important than blogging, of course, so I’m not losing sleep over it…  but I do miss blogging, and I know I will miss having a chronicle of these days for future reading.  I was just looking back at my blogs from the past; looking to see how I felt after my cesarean 3 years ago, hoping to maybe find some tips for recovery this time around.  It was so nice to read about what was going on in our lives at that point, the challenges we were enduring, how the kids were growing, what they were doing, that kind of thing.  But these days, if I have a kid in my lap, there is NO extra room to have a laptop nearby!  As of Friday September 16, I am 36 weeks pregnant – home stretch for sure!  While my belly is not bulging nearly as much as it did with my previous 4 pregnancies (I’ve actually LOST weight since July, but dr said baby is growing fine and that’s what matters), I am looming large these days, and the seemingly most mundane of tasks is an effort on my part and seems to take me forever.  I am blessed with an awesome Hubby who has really stepped up around the house to keep us running despite the craziness and challenges that a 4-kid household brings.  Very Honorable Mention goes to my oldest daughter who has also been amazing lately with her willingness to help.  She has gone above and beyond, not only doing everything that is asked of her but also coming up with her own ideas to pamper pregnant mom, following through with these ideas, and also excelling in our newly designed homeschooling program.  A few weeks ago, Taylor surprised me with a manicure/pedicure, and she even kept going outside to check on the little ones while Mom’s nails were drying.  The other day, she came up with the idea and made me breakfast in bed.  Her emotional and spiritual growth lately has been amazing to see, and hopefully I will have the time to blog about the lesson in forgiveness that she taught our whole family.

So how is the homeschooling going for us?  If you remember, we began homeschooling our two eldest this year – 6th and 2nd grades.  Many people have asked how it’s going, so it’s time for a formal update on the blog…  It’s going GREAT!  Thanks for asking!  We began with a very planned out schedule, but we’ve found it necessary to be more flexible.  We’ve also tweaked our planned curriculum here and there and attended our first homeschooling book sale and picked up some things to supplement our curriculum.  All normal and necessary parts of the process, and we’ve seen the kids become closer with each other and us their parents, all while getting to watch them learn new things up close.  I can’t wait to jump in as a full time homeschool teacher, but my patience is being tested since I have to wait until I recover from my planned cesarean in October.

Now for the big news: a few blog posts ago, I wrote about many doors opening for our family.  We were still determining at that time which paths to explore, and our prayers have been answered; the paths whittled down to an almost definite road.  Loonnngg story made very short is this: my husband was offered a job as a pastor at a local church, and he accepted.  This means that we will be, in effect, switching churches.  Talk about something that came out of the blue!  There is nothing about our current church that I don’t like, and I had planned on going there for years to come and raising our kids among our church community.  But, as we all too often learn, God has plans for us.  And who am I to argue?  I KNOW His plans are so much better than any road map I could have drafted for myself and my family.  So now comes the transition to the new church.  It’s a much smaller church, so among my husband’s and my first duties will be to acclimate ourselves into the new church environment and create a children’s ministry.  It will be challenging but also extremely exciting.  My husband has one final meeting with the regional governing board of the church to finish out the interview process, but everything we’ve been told by the elders of the church is that this is just procedure.  So, last Tuesday, I sadly gave my notice to my friend and mentor that oversees my 2nd/3rd grade girls Sunday school class.  Oh, how I will miss those kids!  I’ve known them and watched them grow for a year and a half now, ever since I had them as 1st grade students last year.  But as I said, who am I to challenge God’s plan?  While this all happened so suddenly in our lives, the chain of events and circumstances that led up to my husband being chosen to lead this church was so obviously orchestrated by God that there is no need to doubt whether it was meant to be, nor is there need to go into detail about exactly how it happened.  I will just say how much we KNOW that it was meant to happen, and that will guide me in the future if I ever begin to have fears or doubts in my own abilities to fulfill His work for me.

October 7 is when I am scheduled to have the baby, and 2 days later (while I’m still in the hospital) is when my husband is to spend his first Sunday at our new church.  As soon as I feel up to it, I will join him there, and our kids will follow as soon as we set up our children’s ministry.  That leaves me 2 Sundays to teach my current Sunday school students, or possibly just one if I decide to go and meet more of the congregation at the new church before I go into the hospital.  I may have one foot out the door, but I’m walking into a whole new world.  Because it is the world that God has designed for me at this point in my life, I could not be more excited!!!

Highlights From A Beth Moore Bible Study

Posted in church on June 20th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

One of the activities that’s been keeping me so busy lately is the Beth Moore Bible study I’m attending on Mondays, called Jesus The One and Only.  It’s great; I’m learning a lot, getting to know other women from my church, and it gets me and the kids out of the house for a few hours every Monday morning.  The kids can blow off some steam while I go through the workbook with my small group and watch the dvd.  A fun class, but there is a side effect of all the learning: homework.  Our workbook is divided into weekly sessions, and there are 5 days of homework for every week’s lesson.  Each day has about 4-5 pages of homework that involves creative thinking and looking up passages in the Bible, contemplating them, comparing them, and answering thought-provoking questions.  Time-wise, it’s intense, especially for this pregnant mother of 4.  This is the 3rd week of class, and so far I’ve been able to get all my homework finished on time and am really enjoying it.  I struggled a bit at first with the stress of trying to find those extra hour 5 days a week that I was sure I didn’t have, but I’m managing and reaping the rewards.  Before I begin today’s homework, I thought I’d share some things that I’ve highlighted in my workbook.

Before I do that, however, I will recap in a nutshell what the study itself is all about: Jesus.  We began our discussions talking about Mary, and Beth Moore is really great at delving more deeply into things and encouraging the student to give more thought.  We talked about what Mary might have been like as a young Jewish woman (Mary was probably around 13 or 14 when  she was told she was about to carry the Lord’s child  – did you know she was that young?  I didn’t!), and we talked about her pregnancy (of particular interest to me right now), her thoughts and feelings, her journey to see her cousin Elizabeth, and then we moved on to talking about Jesus himself.  We talked about him as a baby, a child, and about how he was led into the desert, all while relating it to our own lives.  Some of Beth Moore’s statements that stuck out to me in the workbook are:

God seems to love little more than stunning the humble with His awesome intervention.

Seasons of intense temptation are not indications of God’s displeasure.

God emphasized that the road to redemption would be costly and confrontational.

Luke was the only Gentile God inspired to write a Gospel.

God allows circumstances to exist in our lives that drive us to dependency on Him.

God is far too faithful to let anyone make it through life without confronting seasons of utter helplessness.

The good news Christ may want to preach to you today is that you don’t have to subsist.  You  were meant to thrive.

I’m quite sure if my healing process had been painless, I would have relapsed.

Many people sincerely love God, but I don’t think anyone stands to appreciate the unfailing love of God like the believer finally set free from failure.

I WAS Gonna Blog More This Summer, But…

Posted in blogging, church on June 6th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am enjoying some of the freedom that the summer affords me: no youth group on Wednesday nights, no teaching Sunday school, no having to drop the kids off or pick them up at school – well, the kids will be out of school in 2 days, so I haven’t had a taste of that yet, but I’m looking forward to trying for my afternoon nap without time constraints – if only Terrible-Two-Dude will stop yelling my name during these nap attempts.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all of these activities, but there is something liberating about not being tied down to them for an entire summer.  As much as I absolutely loved teaching 1st graders on Sunday mornings, it was really great last Sunday to not have to get up at 8am and get 4 crabby kids ready for what amounted to a double church service for them  – one while Mom and Dad teach and one while Mom and Dad go to worship.  Our family rolled out of bed by 10, got ready, and left the house around 10:40, getting to church in time to relax with friends before the service with plenty of time to spare.  I enjoyed Wednesday nights with my 6th grade girls, but there was a lot of emotionally exhausting drama there at the end, and I so needed a break.  Besides, it’s nice to have Wednesdays free.  But wait, I don’t have Wednesdays free!  Hubby and I signed up to organize and facilitate a class at church called Changing Hearts, Changing Lives – a personal ministry class that utilizes a DVD series by Paul Tripp and small group discussion to lead Christians to be able to effectively counsel others in a God-loving and caring way.  We’ve had two weeks of this class so far, and it’s going great!  So I can’t really say that I miss my free Wednesday nights.  I  never got a taste of a free Wednesday night anyway; what’s that like?

I also signed up for a women’s Bible study series (Beth Moore for those of you that know her work) that meets on Monday mornings.  I hesitated with this one because it meets ALL summer – beginning today before school is out and going right through to August after the kids go back to school.  But there is child care there, so if my 4 kids haven’t killed each other by the time Mondays roll around, this will get us out of the house once a week.  Also, my oldest daughter gets to help with the child care with other ‘big kids’ her age,  so that will be good for her too.  I enjoyed my first class today, but I have to note the intensity of this class – 5 nights of homework per week!  Pre-Christian Taylhis 1.0  would have panicked and said ‘I don’t have time for this!!’, but Taylhis 2.0 feels pretty good about it.  I’m excited to immerse myself more fully in God’s word, and the structure of the class will have me getting to know better other women at my church.  I can find time for my homework; after all, isn’t more butt-time for the pregnant lady just what the doctor ordered?  I’m not sure about that, but it’s definitely on MY want-list because these days my feet (legs, thighs, etc) are killing me, and I have a lot more growing to do!!  Problem is, I’m going to spend that butt-time in front of my Bible and my class workbook rather than my blog, so there goes my plan of blogging more…  oh well, who said blogging more was a good plan for me anyway?

Easter 2011

Posted in holidays on May 1st, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Easter is definitely a favorite holiday of mine.  Can’t be THE favorite because nothing beats Christmas, but it’s proven to be even better than Halloween these days.  No matter how you celebrate Easter, there is always lots to do this time of year, and I think our family found the perfect balance between celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the traditional kids’ stuff like Easter eggs and bunnies.

Every year, our community has an Easter egg hunt, and my kids always love it.  My oldest is now too old to participate, but I was proud that she chose to come along with us and that she was a HUGE help with the little ones.  Our community’s Easter egg hunt is more of a candy scramble now.  They used to have it in the park, and the volunteer teens from the high school would hide the candy all around the park, but they got tired of having to move the event indoors at the last minute because of inclement weather.  With Easter being in April, you just can’t guarantee a sunny, dry, Saturday morning without muddy ground in which to hide the Easter surprises.  So now they have it in the middle school gym, and while they can’t exactly hide the candy, the kids seem to love it all the same.  If the kids find a piece of candy with a colored dot on it, then they win an extra prize, and 2 of my 3 kids did just that – those of you who know our family can guess who was the one with the (as always) bad luck  – poor kid.

At church the following day, we had two special guests join us – one friend who doesn’t go to church but began to come after falling on hard times in his life, and a new friend who is also going through tough times and looking to switch churches.  I’m so happy to report that New Friend now calls our church her church home – she and her kids really like it!  Also, Friend #1 has been coming to church every week since!  God is amazing!

Monday, we were invited by some friends to attend “The Living Last Supper”, a show near Fort Wayne Indiana staged solely for God’s glory – to depict the last days and the death and Resurrection of Jesus.  It was an awesome, powerful show; one I strongly recommend.  This will be an annual tradition for our family for sure!  Especially since all 4 of our children were moved by the performance, and we didn’t even need to use the child care!

Friday saw the annual kid-friendly tradition of egg coloring, and I think this was really the first year we’ve done egg coloring with a little BOY in the house.  Our son is 2, and what a difference there was between his rowdy excited way of dropping the eggs into the colors versus his sisters’ delicate quest for prettiness in their egg designs.  Our son barreled through his allotment of eggs so quickly that his sisters were still working on theirs when he was done, and this is what happened:

After dinner, our family sat down in a circle to do another one of our favorite Easter traditions: Resurrection Eggs.  It’s a set that was given to us by my sister last year, and I have to remember to tell her how much we enjoy doing this every year.  We even lent our set to some friends this year for them to enjoy!  It comes with a booklet, and we take turns reading the little paragraphs that tell the story of Jesus’ death.  The booklet asks questions and gives you places to pause,  and you open each of the 12 eggs when prompted.  Each of the different colored eggs contains a little something that represents the part of the story that was just read, and we have kids take turns opening eggs.  It’s a wonderful way to combine the eggs aspect and the spiritual meaning of Easter into a fun-filled educational family activity, and we love it!

Saturday morning the kids got a nice surprise – the Easter Bunny had visited early and hidden their gorgeous eggs!  I think the Easter Bunny thought it would be too much for us to search for eggs while trying to get to church on time Sunday morning, and he was right 🙂  Oh, here’s a pic of the kids with their eggs; Dude is still recovering from his egg coloring tantrum:

After the egg hunting , we attended a fun Easter event at the community theater up the street, and the weather actually cooperated.  There were Easter egg hunts, games, lunch, and plenty of prizes for everyone, and the kids had a blast.  We returned home and made a last minute decision to check out another Easter drama at a friends’ church.

It seems that the Easter Bunny made another visit to our house on Saturday night since Sunday morning the kids woke up to a laundry basket for each of them full of surprises.  We went to church, and I enjoyed a whopping class size of 13 first-graders to teach!  Problem was, all of their jacked-up-on-candy brains could only think about the other aspects of Easter, and we had difficulty doing some of our planned activities.  It’s often difficult to accomplish much when I have a class of that size anyhow, so I took it in stride and we went to the gym early to run around and burn off some of that sugar!  At adult worship, we were blessed to see enough friends join us so that our group filled up an entire row!  It’s not about quantity, but it was amazing to see some friends there who don’t regularly go to church and some whom we’ve been inviting for years and haven’t come until now.  I am so excited to see what God is doing in the lives of those I care about!!!

We went out to brunch, took a family nap, and then we took the kids to the movies.  No, we didn’t see Hop, which might have made sense for Easter, but our older kids have already seen it.  So we took in Rio, which is a cute family movie about a couple of rare parrots – fitting for our family since we reside with a jerky parrot of our own, and we had fun.

Overall, one of the best Easter seasons ever; actually, this season just keeps getting better and better every year, especially as I become aware of what the season is all about and how to really celebrate it.  I am truly blessed!

So a belated happy Easter to everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and have many more to come!  Celebrate Easter, celebrate Jesus, celebrate love, celebrate family – Easter is great & we have God to thank!

Drifter

Posted in church, music on February 28th, 2011 and tagged , , , ,

I really like this song our church worship band has been playing lately.  Enjoy Drifter:

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CMA Time Already!!

Posted in music on November 10th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s that time of year again!  Dust off your cowboy hat, put it on, and get ready for a rootin’ tootin’ time watching the 44th annual Country Music Association Awards!!

I’m going to try something different this year – I’m not going to watch it.

Not that I don’t want to, because I really do, especially when I go to the website and see all the stuff about live streaming comments and things like that.  It wasn’t too many years ago when I made my own blog of live streaming comments, and I had fun doing it.  But I won’t be able to watch the CMAs this year because I have something much more important to do:  I lead a small group of 6th grade girls at our church’s youth group on Wednesday nights.  I’m not about to put a tv show above those girls, and I certainly wouldn’t be prepared to tell them the reason for my absence was because of the CMA awards – that would not be acceptable.  If one of my own kids was sick and I stayed home for that reason (as it happened last year on CMA night), that would be a different story, but it’s a great thing that everyone is healthy enough for me to have to miss one of my two most favorite tv events of the year (not including a year the Chicago Cubs would make it into MLB playoffs, but that hasn’t been anything I need to concern myself with in quite some time, Grrrr – my other favorite tv event is the other big country music awards show, the ACMs in the spring).

If you watch the CMA awards, HAVE FUN!!  I’m hoping that whatever recording device my husband has in mind to record these will work – we often have bad luck with recording devices.  Part of me will miss being a part of the event, reading the live commentary and providing my own, and part of me was ready to move on anyway – seems I’ve become increasingly disconnected with today’s country music scene (now I just sound old).  I’ll still give my picks, but they are guesses at best because I really haven’t been following the genre lately.  I didn’t even know until I looked last night to find out what time the awards came on that Gwyneth Paltrow, the movie star, has a hit song on country radio right now.  I’m actually more into Christian music than ever before; there is some pretty good stuff out there.  And listening to Christian music gives me a chance to practice my dances I have on Sunday mornings with the 1st graders 🙂  But all of that leaves less time to listen and keep up with country music.

But what the hey, I’ve had fun trying to pick the winners every year so here goes.  My picks are in green with random thoughts in itallics:

♦♦Entertainer of the YearBrad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band (What?!?  No Kenny Chesney??  That’s great news for those of us who aren’t big fans…  now, who to choose to take his place?)

Female Vocalist – Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood (So great to see 2 of my favorites (Martina and Reba) back in the game!  I don’t think Martina will win, but I SO WANTED to choose her!!  Carrie Underwood is great too – I’m not a big fan of Taylor Swift, but unfortunately, I think she will win this one)

♦♦Male Vocalist –  Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Keith Urban

New Artist – Luke Bryan, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Nieman, Chris Young, Zac Brown Band (Explain to me how Zac Brown Band is still considered “new”?  They have some great music and have proven themselves, as I would think being a nominee for Entertainer of the Year would prove!)

Vocal GroupLady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascall Flatts, The Band Perry, Zac Brown Band (Let’s be honest, I think Lady Antebellum will take it.  But I just love the music of Rascall Flatts, and can’t bear to vote against them. I’m not trying to get 2 votes in – officially, my pick is Rascall Flatts)

Vocal DuoBrooks and Dunn, Joey + Rory, Montgomery Gentry, Steel Magnolia, Sugarland (The last year for Brooks and Dunn, and I don’t think they’ll pull a GARTH Brooks and pull out of retirement, so this powerful duo gets my vote – they are so talented, so they deserve it anyway.  I was lucky enough to see them in concert 3 times, and they did not disappoint once!)

♦♦Single – A Little More Country Than That by Easton Corbin, Hillbilly Bone by Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins, Need You Now by Lady Antebellum, The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert, White Liar by Miranda Lambert

♦♦Song – A Little More Country Than That, Need You Now, The House That Built Me, Toes, White Liar

♦♦Musical Event – Bad Angel by Dierks Bentley feat. Miranda Lambert & Jamey Johnson, Can’t You See by Zac Brown Band feat. Kid Rock, Hillbilly Bone by Blake Shelton feat. Trace Adkins, I’m Alive by Kenny Chesney with Dave Matthews, Till The End by Alan Jackson with Lee Ann Womack

Music Video – Hillbilly Bone by Blake Shelton feat. Trace Adkins, Need You Now Lady Antebellum, The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert, Water by Brad Paisley, White Liar by Miranda Lambert

Musician – Paul Franklin – Steel Guitar, Dann Huff – Guitar, Brent Mason – Guitar, Mac McAnally – Guitar, Randy Scruggs – Guitar

Hmm, 5 correct of the 11 I guessed…  not too great.  Oh well, it was a good show and fun to watch!

Soul Mates

Posted in church, Everyday Life on October 22nd, 2010 and tagged , , , ,

I just love it when our pastor’s sermons speak to me, which is actually quite often as he is a powerful speaker.  A few weeks ago, he was speaking of the relationship between Paul and Timothy, and the discussion that followed was of kindred spirits and soul mates.

This sermon made me think of my husband – we’ve always known we were made for each other.  And that leads to a funny story: just a few days before we heard this sermon in church, I was at the library looking for a movie to pick out for Hubby and I to watch that night.  My eyes fell upon UHF, a goofy late 80s comedy starring Weird Al Yankovic.  I  thought to myself, “He won’t want to watch that.” and I passed it up.  Later that night as we were picking a movie to watch, my husband says, “I feel like watching UHF, but we don’t have it.”  I could not stop laughing as I told him about how I thought of him in the library that day, and we had a good laugh together.  He had seen UHF years ago but not since and never with me (I had never seen it).  It’s not like it was one of his favorite movies or one he often felt like watching, and we had probably never even discussed it together.  Yet of all the movies just to randomly pop into our heads that day, we shared a random thought that was UHF.  🙂

Love You Honey

Fun At School

Posted in church, Kids on October 18th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Some random kid-related stuff to report…

First, my “visitor”  showed up to my Sunday morning class.  I haven’t had the time to blog about it, but basically there is a parent who came to drop her daughter off a few weeks ago at the worst time possible, and the kids were all over the place (it’s not normally like that, a set of circumstances culminated to create the ‘perfect storm’ – long story).  On top of that, her daughter is a 1st grader, which means that she has just come over to the north campus of church.  Our first graders “graduate” from the preschool wing and move over to the other building when they get in 1st grade, and their curriculum changes.  So this parent had concerns about what her daughter was learning and specifically where her weekly “coloring page” was.  So she asked if she could come “observe” my class, and I was all upset and nervous.  I sat and pondered this, I prayed about it, and I decided to give it my best shot and show this mother what a wonderful childrens’ ministry we have.  I wasn’t even  nervous, and I used the entire ride home from Illinois planning out my lesson for class the next day.  And what happens?  She is a no-show.  Fast forward to the next week, which was in reality this past Sunday, and she shows up.  Luckily I had kind of figured this would happen, so I was well-prepared again.  But I also  had 9 kids to look after – of course she couldn’t come observe when I had 4 kids last week when games and lessons are much easier…  But I think it went well!  I can’t speak for the “observer”, but the class ran as smoothly as it could have with 9 kids running around.  She wasn’t just a statue standing in the corner making me nervous during class, but an active participant (after some encouragement by me) in the crafts and games.  It is my hope that she came away from experiencing her daughter’s Sunday school knowing that our childrens’ ministry program at church is wonderful!  We have so many components (there is music, dancing, skits, big group games, small group games, story-telling and crafts – all in one hour every week!)  and super volunteers who bring it all together which provides a variety of ways for kids to learn one lesson and virtue.  I am so proud of how well my 1st graders are picking up on this month’s virtue, which is “initiative”.  I know, a huge word for such small kids, but the lessons are broken down and relate to kids so well that they really are getting it – especially my 1st grader at home, which really surprises me!!  So anyway, I just wanted to express my relief about how I don’t have to worry about my “visitor” anymore.  At first I was terribly upset, but after a lot of thinking and praying, it all worked out for the better!  I was able to step back and take a look at our childrens’ ministry and appreciate it even more when it was under scrutiny, so I am very thankful to God for opening my eyes and getting me through this.

Next bit of kid news – last week was National Eat Lunch at School week, so  us parents were invited to eat with the littles.  My husband and I folded ourselves into the kiddie-sized lunch tables and visited with the 1st graders.  One problem I didn’t see coming though – we brought little brother (he is 2), so of course he starts running around the lunchroom, but…  Mom and Dad were so crammed into the little lunch tables that we could not get up to chase him unless someone else got up first – we were packed in like sardines!  Finally we were able to get out and get him before he caused too much trouble, and we had a great time for the remainder of the lunch.  I think Sammie really enjoyed haaving her family at lunch.  Here are my 3 youngest at ‘big kid’ first grade lunch:

And at recess it was so neat to see some of my 1st graders from Sunday morning childrens’ ministry!!

So after lunch in 1st grade, it was time to head to the fire station for a field trip with my preschool-age daughter and her class.  I brought my 2-year-old along to this also because I thought he would enjoy it, and he did, even if it was a challenge trying to get him to hold still while the fireman was talking.  But as soon as the fire gear came out and the fireman began to put on his boots, gloves, hood, hat, etc, my son was very attentive.  After that, each of the kids got a turn “driving” the fire truck!  My son made his way up to the front of the group and reached his arms toward the fireman – it was really neat to see because a few of the pre-schoolers, one being my daughter, were nervous about being lifted up by the firefighter and into the big fire truck.  But once they saw the little dude have a turn and how much he loved it, they were all eager to try too!

So overall a great week!  October is always so busy for our family, but I enjoy every minute of it!!