Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's been so long...

I forgot my blogger password!

Is anyone still reading out there? Well, in case you are, here's an update that should cover the last 2 months. Let's see, the girls and I went to Texas for 2 weeks this summer. It was a whirlwind trip, hitting all the major cities and seeing lots of friends and family! It was VERY hard to come back to FL, I must say! When I'm here (in FL), I'm fine. It's when I'm there (in TX) that I become discontent. Why is that?

Lexi started first grade last week! I can't believe it! She seems to have another wonderful teacher, no surprises there! She's young, but very sweet and she is also a pastor's daughter, like Lexi! Ashton started her final year of preK and is loving it. She actually entered the classroom all on her own the other day WITHOUT them having to remove her surgically from my leg, which is quite a big step! I just finished filling out the book of an application to get her in speech services through the public school system. She needs some help before she starts kindergarten next year!

Other than a fast, busy summer full of traveling and trips to the ER and swimming, not much is new! I must confess there are 2 reasons I rarely blog these days...#1)Facebook! It's so much easier to post my thoughts in a sentence or two rather than typing a book on blogger! #2)My PHONE has replaced my computer! After getting one of those high techy phones that does EVERYTHING, I rarely turn on my computer these days. But to type a whole blog entry on a phone would give me carpal tunnel thumbs! But it's true, I'm having to dust off the computer these days to use it. And it's so much slower than my neat little phone! Plus I've sorta quit reading blogs, not because I don't care about people, but because I can keep up with everyone all in one spot on facebook!

So now you know....

I'll try not to go 2 months without another post! But in the meantime, you can keep up with every detail of life on facebook!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm taking up permanent residence at the E.R.

I knew it would happen eventually. Kids and E.R.'s just go hand in hand. When you have a child, you're always aware of the closest E.R. I don't do well with poop. Or vomit. Or blood for that matter. Come to think of it, I now realize why God gave me girls. And ONLY two of them. In fact, sometimes I see it as a miracle of all miracles that He gave me children at all, seeing as how I don't do well with poop. Or vomit. Or blood. But today at swimming lessons, Lexi was getting out of the water and while climbing up the steps and holding onto the metal rails, she lost her footing and fell and hit her chin on the concrete. The result was yet ANOTHER trip to the E.R....our 2nd in a week! The first trip was when Nanny fell. I said to someone, I'm probably going to be investigated soon. My grandmother comes in with broken ribs and my child with a big open gash on her chin! Lexi's chin was cut so deep, the bone was exposed. I was pretty weak in the knees just looking at it. She ended up with FIVE stitches! She handled it like a pro! Not a single tear! Me, on the other hand, I had spaghetti legs the whole time and the nurse kept coming in checking on ME, not her! Thank God daddy arrived in the knick of time! He's good at that kind of stuff. So no more swimming for a while! $100 bucks and 5 stitches later, we headed out to Dairy Queen for some lunch and ice cream! What a week!

Monday, July 13, 2009

What to do when your kids don't want to go to church and your husband is the children's pastor...hmmm...

I'm going to be a bit transparent here and don't act like you can't identify with what I'm talkin about! I think every mom, at some point, feels some pressure of living up to other mothers' standards or expectations. Because women can be brutal. Really. We can! Not me. But you know. ;-) But can I just be honest for a minute and tell you there's not any pressure in child rearing quite like having a husband who is a CHILDREN'S pastor of all things? Aren't my children supposed to be perfect? And quote scripture as freely as a 12 yr old girl sings Hannah Montana songs??? Aren't my kids supposed to be "issue free" if you know what I'm sayin? Don't our family nights consist of memorizing scriptures and singing Kum-Bi-Yah around the fire? Aren't I supposed to have all the answers when it comes to child rearing, because I must, after all, have the entire Bible memorized. Isn't that a prerequisite to marry a pastor? (I'm sorry, that one makes me laugh!) Let me amuse you by blowing all stereotypes OUT of the water right this second.

But what does the Children's Pastor do when his own kids don't want to attend church??? My children have never really enjoyed church since we moved here to FL. And I know it's in large part just due to their ages. And personalities. But I, like every other mom, have wracked my brain trying to figure out WHY they don't like to go. And I don't think there's any one particular reason, other than that stinky ol devil tries REALLY hard to mess with pastors' families in a multitude of ways! This being one of them.

But this past Sunday during the weekly, ritualistic, ugly, outright WAR of getting the girls ready for church, (I'm telling you, they REALLY don't want to go!) I approached things from a different perspective. Rather than saying my usual, "You know you don't have a choice, it's where daddy works for Heaven's sake!" I changed my tune. And some of you are going to be thinking, "Duh...Heather...this would be the common sense thing to do" Well, I'm a little slow! I explained to the girls that church really isn't about having fun or seeing friends or eating a yummy snack or playing outside on the playground. It's about worshipping God. God tells us in His word to reserve this day as our Holy day. And church is not about US, it's about HIM. We don't go to get something for US or to make US happy, we do this to honor God and to show Him of our love for Him. It's a sacrifice. And we don't always FEEL like going, but we have to do things in life we don't FEEL like doing.

I wish I could say they were all smiles and frolicked like gazelles happily into the bathtub singing How Great Thou Art. It wasn't THAT magical of a transformation. But I could see that FINALLY I had given them a reason they understood for WHY we go to church every week. Not to say I won't have to have the same exact conversation with them next Sunday morning. But eventually one day, maybe all this head knowledge I keep pumping into them will really be a heart decision.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Texas Aggie is BACK

Okay, really, I promise, no more bloggity breaks. I'm jumping back into this blogging thing, starting NOW! I don't really care if I only have one faithful follower these days. It's therapuetic!

So now that I'm back, what can we talk about? Well, my grandmother, who is 87 and has diabetes, COPD, and osteoperosis came to visit this past week and to help babysit so I could work. Her first night here, she fell and fractured 7 ribs and spent the next 4 days in the hospital. She's home now, in a lot of pain still, but home and doing remarkably well. So instead of babysitting, the girls have been doctoring her. I think she's still sort of enjoying her visit with us, despite the accident.

And in just 4 short days, I'll be headed to the Lone Star State! Me and the girls and Nanny. Cary is staying home with the animals and to work, and he's going to Peru for a week while we're gone. The girls have always been VERY excited about going to Texas until this trip. Lexi has been crying about it for 2 weeks ever since we told her. She's sad about leaving Daddy. :-( I guess she considers Florida her home now. Understandably. But I certainly won't let her forget her Texas roots! Aggie football starts in just a few short weeks!!!! That will definitely re-acclimate her to Texas culture! Dontcha think??? I'm hoping to make it back to a few games this year. Especially the Texas game and the Arkansas game which will be held in the new Cowboys stadium. Super excited about that one!

Well, time for family movie night...Kung Fu Panda! HI YAH!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Busy Summer Days

That had to be the longest bloggin break I've ever taken! Not on purpose, we're just so busy I rarely have time to gather my thoughts in paragraph form. I do, however, gather my thoughts in sentence form and update my facebook status daily!

We have been so busy though. The fist week of summer was spent going to waterparks mostly and swimming a lot. The second week of summer was spent in dance camp. The girls had a BLAST! It was at the church and taught by a youth in our church who has been taking dance all her life and is very talented and loves kids. They were so adorable! Lexi enjoyed wearing her hair in a bun every day and on the last day they got to dress up in recital costumes and perform for us all the things they learned throughout the week. It was just precious. Ashton did SO good! Well, they both did, but Ashton just surprised me b/c I thought she would be too shy to do it, but she was a little stage ham!

Lexi is continuing in gymnastics this summer. And this week has been Adventure Week at our church. Adventure Week is like vacation Bible school on steroids! I am serving my 2nd year as the coordinator of Adventure Week. Why, I do not know. It's very stressful. I think this will be my last year to do this job. We had over 280 kids the first night and about 260 tonight, even in inclement weather. And over 120 volunteers. It's fun, but very stressful.

In a few weeks, Cary will be going on a mission trip to Peru. And I'm hoping to go to Texas for 2 weeks. That plan is not final, but I'm hoping! And before we know it, school will be back in full swing. So far, we haven't had any relaxation time to enjoy summer yet. But hopefully after Adventure Week is over with, that will all change. I need some beach and disney days!

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Know This for Sure...

We've had a ROCKIN school year! Last year, I remember blogging about my hefty decision of whether or not to put Lexi in public school or keep her at the private school where she and Ashton had been attending pre-k, mainly for convenience and because I thought she wasn't ready to leave the nest. Boy was I wrong! I was the one not ready, she did JUST FINE! And I'm so glad my fears of releasing her didn't stand in the way of her getting some of the best life experiences ever! The Pre-k did start that kindergarten program, and guess what? I think it was in February or March...they dissolved the program and all those kids had to go to other schools. I'm so thankful, knowing what I know now, that I didn't put her in that school because she would have been so behind entering kindergarten in the public school mid year like that. They were rockin and rollin and doing things most kids don't learn till 1st grade by mid year. So she probably would have had a very difficult adjustment. She is leaving this school year doing so many new things. She has made the best little friends, all from wonderful families. I just could not be happier with our free public education! I don't think it's any secret that I'm a huge advocate of public schools. I attended them. I taught at them. And one day, I hope to go back to them as a teacher or administrator. I think they're wonderful! I get very offended when people talk down about public schools and I can't stand to hear a person say, "I would never send my kids to public schools." It's highly offensive to me because I'm so passionate about them. I know God will use my passion for public schools for His glory. I know not every family wants their children to attend a public school, but it has definitely been the best place for Lexi. It has been what was right for our family.

But I wanted to chronicle some of the amazing things Lexi has learned this year because I'm so proud of her:

She can READ! Today, she read 5 books to me. And I'm not talking those little 5 pager books, I'm talking REAL children's books with lots of pages. And needed help on very few words.

She can count to...well...the other day I stopped her at 500! Because it was kinda annoying! In the car! Really annoying actually! But WOW, 500??? This time last year she was only counting to 20!

She can add and subtract single digits...sometimes using her fingers, but mostly in her head.

She can identify pennies, quarters, nickels, and dimes.

She can sorta read a clock, but mainly just on the hour and half past the hour.

She can write a 3-5 sentence story with proper capitalization, punctuation, and phonetic spelling. The spelling is at least close enough that I can make out what she meant. And I have saved stories from the beginning of the year till the end of the year and what an amazing amount of progress she has made in this skill!

She can read cursive! She can't write it, but she can read it. I don't know how. I don't think they learned that in school!

She knows all sorts of interesting facts about dinosaurs, butterflies and other insects, outer space, weather, George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, and all sorts of other people, animals, and holidays!

She has learned some of those intangible skills like working quickly and staying focused to complete an assignment in a timely manner (this is HUGE!) At the beginning of the year, she wasn't completing her work and was just too slow and was bringing home so many unfinished assignments but slowly her teacher worked her magic on her and now Lexi can stay focused and complete things quickly and accurately. One of those skills that helps you be very successful in school!

She has learned how to study and memorize things and has shown such self discipline and determination in accomplishing personal goals. She was so determined to complete her 300 words to win a pizza party and wouldn't get up from the table each night until she learned those words. She got all 300 too!!! (And they weren't site words! They were HARD!)

She learned all her site words and made a 100 on EVERY SINGLE SPELLING TEST all year long!

She learned how to make friends and how to survive....THE PLAYGROUND...this is a very big deal. There are bullies out there. Lots of them. And those kid bullies grow up to be adult bullies! It's so great to learn this survival skill as a child!

She learned how to tie her shoes!

She learned how to ride her bike with no training wheels. Well, she didn't learn that at school.

She learned how to be much more assertive with other adults and ask for help when needed or ask questions. She was so shy before kindergarten. Now she will actually talk to waiters and waitresses at restaurants. I know this may not seem like a big deal to you, but for Lexi it's a big deal!

She learned how to take care of herself! She goes through the lunch line and buys her lunch, she cleans up after herself at lunch. She packs her own backpack to come home and remembers to tell me what I need to sign or look at in her backpack each night. She remembers to wear her belt every day and how to get dressed quickly in the morning to be ON TIME! She is learning to be responsible.

I'm sure there's more. I'm blown away at all she has learned! She blew that kindergarten testing out of the water. I am SOOOO proud of my girl! I'm thankful for a wonderful teacher, a wonderful school, wonderful friends, and all the wonderful new experiences she has gained. I can't wait to see what 1st Grade holds!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Missy the Navigator

Cary and I both have these high tech phones that we thoroughly enjoy and don't know how we ever lived without them. Our phones have voice activated searches along with voice activated navigation systems. So for example, I can search for the closest Starbucks by hitting a button and saying "Starbucks" into my phone. It calculates my GPS and then gives me a map and driving directions that I can either read or "SHE" will read them to me as I drive along, just like any regular navigation system. It's a nifty feature, except for one thing..."SHE" has a bit of an attitude, especially when we don't exactly follow her route. And "SHE" can get a little testy. It's quite entertaining. Sometimes I take a wrong turn just to make "HER" mad. Heeeheeeeheeee. Today, Ashton asked, "What's HER name?" And I was like, "Who are you talking about?" And she said, "Her, the lady talking on your phone." And it occured to me that we haven't given "HER" a name. But tonight as we were listening to "her" get agitated with us yet again, Cary said, "Oh hush up Missy!" And that's when it occured to me that her name should be Missy. Missy is kind of a sassy name and she is a sassy kinda voice! So here is a conversation that took place tonight between Me, Cary, and "Missy":

Picture us driving in a part of town we've never been in before...

Me: Honey, I think you should turn right at that light, I just really think that's the direction you need to head in.

Cary: Well, let's see what Missy has to say....pause....Missy says we should go left, not right.

Me: (At this point, he's getting the raised eye brow, slow head turn from me b/c how dare he not trust my sense of direction!) Well, are you going to listen to the woman who has never walked on this planet, or ME who just drove us here and feels like we should go back in sorta the direction we came in?

Cary: Missy gets her cues from satellites.

Me: FINE! Listen to Missy. But she's WRONG! I think you should turn around now.

A few minutes later....

Cary: Missy froze up. pause. Missy says we are off track and should take a U-Turn at this light and go back the other direction.

Me: That's what I tried to tell you 10 minutes ago! Now turn that thing off and listen to your wife!

Cary: But you don't have a satellite.

Me: No, but I have a BRAIN!!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lexi & Ashton isms

Tonight after dinner, we sat outside and enjoyed the nice weather while the girls played and ate ice cream. I said to Ashton (who suits up for soccer each Saturday but refuses to enter the field unless attached like glue to Daddy's leg) "So, Ashy, are you going to actually PLAY at your soccer game tomorrow?" And she replied, "Nope." And I said, "Why not?" And she said, "It's scary." I asked, "What's so scary about it?" And she said...no lie..."My team." Cary and I had a good laugh. They are all boys, so I guess that's why they're so scary!

At Lexi's school, apparently they've been talking a lot about safety. Today Lexi said, "You should always THINK before you leave." I was a little puzzled. Later on at the park, Daddy was pretending to "dig a hole to China" and Lexi said, "Daddy, you should really THINK before you do that."

Kids are SO funny!

Oh and just for a quick brag, Lexi got her DIBELS test results back. She BLEW that test right out of the water. On her letter naming, she was expected to name 40 letters correctly in one minute, she got 70! On the Phoneme Segmentation (they say cat and the child has to say all the sounds they hear in the word) and get as many as they can in one minute. She was supposed to get at least 35, she got 57! And on the nonsense words where they have to correctly sound out unfamiliar nonsense words like baf, ral, jup (made up words) she was supposed to get at least 25 and she got 65 in one minute. I'm soooo proud of her! But we worked really hard to get this far! Trust me...LOTS of homework! She also said her third 100 words today. They had 300 words to say for a contest, some were site words, but really most were not site words. There were some tough words like yesterday, because, round, might, once..those are hard! She has said all 300 now so she gets her pizza party. I'm so proud of her! 1st grade here we come!!!!