Thursday, December 2, 2010

J Show and Tell

Each week, Micah's preschool class studies a new letter. And on Thursdays they each get to bring something from home that begins with that letter, and share with the class for show and tell.

This week they've been learning about letter J. As we were talking about Letter J Show and Tell, Micah had the great idea of bringing J-J-Joey. We made our plans, got permission, and it was settled. And they were soooo excited.

I couldn't be there, but I did happen to catch them in the hall as Micah was picking Joey up. (Believe it or not, Joey's weird little face there was the beginnings of a squinched up smile. :)post signature

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rescue?

For the last several weeks and months I've been feeling, in several ways, spiritually lifeless. Without going into too much detail, I had come to realize that a major cause of this is busy-ness. We've all heard the sermons and read the devotionals - when you are too busy to fit time with God in, your just that - too busy. Something needs to go.

Once I landed on the root of the problem (or at least one of them), I felt sure that I would be able to correct it and get back on track. But instead I've found myself still frustrated and lifeless. I'm in a rut and having a very hard time getting out.

And then this afternoon as I was rearranging furniture in anticipation of a Christmas tree, I unearthed a children's Bible. It's one I like to read to the boys, one I like to use in my classroom, and I had really been missing it. It's my favorite children's Bible right now, and I was really excited! So I put it back down in a safe place and told myself I'd get it back out tomorrow to prepare for next week's Bible story in my class.

But I found that I couldn't stop thinking about it. I just couldn't wait to read this Bible's version of the story of Jonah. What was I waiting for?

So I pulled it out and read it, and sure enough, found God waiting for me in those colorful pages. Jonah had just been thrown into the water, and it said, "Just then, when Jonah thought it was all over, when he was sure he was going to drown, God sent a big fish to rescue him."

Wait. Rescue him? I had never thought of this fish, and the three what must have been absolutely miserable days that Jonah spent in it belly as a rescue.

So I got to thinking about the story...and yes, perhaps this was in fact a rescue. John was rescued from his path of running from God and fear of the Ninevites. Maybe rescue doesn't always come in the form of a knight in shining armor followed by the easy life...

...which got me to thinking about some very hurtful events in my past, specifically about 5 1/2 years ago. And suddenly I was able to see it all in a completely different light. Maybe that first event, which was just the beginning of a very long series of hurtful events, was actually a rescue. And like Jonah, I had spent "three days" in the "dark and smelly belly of a fish," but had eventually been spit "safely onto the sandy shore" here in Burleson - where the job that awaits is not necessarily safe or desireable - but it is in some sense a rescue from the path I had previously been on.

Wow. That's some food for thought for this next week.

And just like that, I no longer feel lifeless, but quite the opposite. God rocks.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving in Pictures

Our Thanksgiving plans were made...and then re-made and then re-made again this year. There were a couple of things that we thought we might do that for one reason or another fell through. And the same thing happened for much of the rest of the family.

So we all ended up at Chris and Lydia's house. Jodi just got a new camera, so we pretty much let her be the day's photographer. We didn't get any pictures of the food, but we got plenty of us hanging out later.

My kids were, as usual, glued to any and every iPhone they could get their hands on.
We finally got a picture of BooBoo and Yogi with all four grandkids.Conner declared all of his uncles enemies, and there was a lot of wrestling.
Micah got to hold new Baby Griffin for a few minutes. I love that this pictures captures how proud he was.
The kids played a jumping game that Lydia has. The bar spins, and you have to jump over it. They love this game.
We all spent some time looking at the Black Friday sale ads, but it was the boys who seemed the most intent...and it doesn't look like they appreciated being caught on camera! :)Even though it was cold, the Wellsbrothers spent some time outside. Yes, that it Joey you see flying through the air after the huge ball knocked him over! :)And after all of this, we swung into Bret's Granny and Grandad's house for a little while. Conner thoroughly enjoyed the leftovers - nothing like turkey legs for dinner!Happy Thanksgiving! We have SO much to be thankful for!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monster Blocker 3000

Micah has been afraid of the dark for awhile now, but it's recently taken a sharp turn for the worse. He's very afraid, especially of sleeping in or being in a dark (or even dark-ish) room alone. Yesterday he finally told me why - "Because you never know when a monster might come in, especially an invisible one. Some of them can go through walls, you know."

So Bret got on the internet and did some "research." He discovered something called "Monster Blocker 3000" and ordered it. Amazingly enough, it got here in time for us to use it tonight after dinner! :)

Conner and Micah were very excited, and a little unsure at first.

Monster Blocker 3000
For use on all monsters foreign
or domestic. Includes, ghosts,
invisible monsters, space aliens
and all others!!!.

Use the contents of this bottle
Plus: 1 cup water, spoon of garlic,
1 tbsp salt, 1tbsp pepper,
splash of Red Hot sauce

The contents looked a bit like rice and glitter - but surely that's not what it was! Excitement grew as they mixed the ingredients, even though it was stinky.It was dark outside by the time it was done, so they geared up with headlamps and flashlights,and went out to surround our house in Monster Blocker 3000.Then they came in and got ready for bed - confident that no monsters would come in tonight, and actually able to go to sleep in a dark room! We'll see how the night goes...

Don't my boys have a fantastic dad?! I'm proud of them all!post signature

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wild Indians

We had a Thanksgiving dinner with our Christ Journey friends last night. Joey wanted to wear his pilgrim hat from his school's Thanksgiving Feast, but we couldn't find it. And in the process of looking, somewhere along the way he decided that he'd rather have an Indian headband instead. And then Micah wanted one. And then Conner wanted on.

So here's a picture of the three wild little Indians that went running across the driveway to the dinner at Mr. Ron and Mrs. Debbie's house last night - Micah is making a fashion statement with his feathers in the front, Conner's headband says "boo-yah" on it, and Joey was very pleased with his own headband but was NOT happy about Conner touching him. :)And, by the way, dinner with Christ Journey was fabulous, fun, and uplifting. We have lots to be thankful for!
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Favorite Pilgrim and Indian

Today we celebrated Thanksgiving at preschool. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it, both as a teacher and a parent. Mine and Joey's classes were Pilgrims, and the four-year-old classes were Indians. They all sang a few songs for their parents.

Micah has been worried about this for weeks. He did NOT want to wear Indian face paint - even if everyone else in his class was wearing it. No really, he was adamant. He woke up everyday asking if this was the day he was going to have to wear face paint, would I please tell Mrs. Pam that he didn't want it. Of course, Mrs. Pam was never going to make him wear it - but after I talked to her about Micah's concerns and told him that she told me he didn't have to if he didn't want to, he was able to relax a little bit. :) And sure enough, Micah was the only little Indian with no face paint...and I'm sure it was no mistake that his headband only had one lonely little feather in it. That's my Micah!Joey was very into the songs and the motions - a picture says a thousand words. :)After the program, we were able to sit down and eat a Thanksgiving meal together - or drink lemonade and balance a macaroni on our lip, as the case may be.Micah Indian and Joey Pilgrim, you make your daddy and me proud! We love you!
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Nice to Meet You, Kallie

We got to go see our new Cousin Kallie last weekend! She is, of course, an absolute doll. (Yes, she's all dressed up in her Houston Texans dress to watch the game with her daddy. :) When we got there, the Wellsbrothers were all very excited to see her. Joey lost interest very quickly...but Conner could/would have sat there and held her all day. He's turning out to be such a good and attentive big cousin.Micah and Joey, however, found the gopher holes in the yard to be much more entertaining. They actually got to watch a gopher dig for a few minutes, and then decided to do a bit of digging (and throwing dirt into the air) of their own.I would like to say that we were able to spend our whole weekend cuddling a sweet baby and hanging out with our family...but...a few hours after we got there Joey started showing signs of being sick...and ended up with a tummy bug. We quarantined ourselves to Gammie's house and tried to lay low for the rest of our weekend. I did get to sneak back over to Tiffany's to get a few more baby girl cuddles before we left though!

Congratulations to Kevin, Tiffany, and Big Brother Kaleb! Kallie is beautiful! (And we're sooooo sorry to have brought nasty germs into your home...)
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Friday, November 5, 2010

The Fruit of Last Year's Jack-o-Lantern

We made a jack-o-lantern last fall. The weather was nice, so we made it outside. The boys, of course, had a great time playing in the "guts," and since we were outside we didn't really bother cleaning them up very good.

The boys also have a habit of throwing seeds - apple seeds, peach pits, plum pits, watermelon seeds, you name it - off the front porch just to see if something will ever grow. We always tell them that it probably won't, since the seeds weren't actually planted, but they love to do it anyway.

Then back in June a mystery plant started growing right by the front porch. We watched it for awhile, trying to guess what it might be. At first I thought it was an okra - we had been grilling a lot of Dad's okra around that time. But as it grew we decided that it might actually be a watermelon vine.

I began watering it regularly and weeding around it, anxious to see what it might be. But then in early July, it met a terrible fate with a weed-eater. I babied what was left, but too much damage had been done.

But as I was babying the dying plant, I noticed another little sprout nearby that looked very similar. So as I gave up on the larger mystery plant I began to baby the little sprout. I watered it generously all through the 100+ degree summer, and protected it from the weed-eater.

Eventually it became apparent that what we were growing was a pumpkin plant - undoubtedly from the pumpkin "gut" fun last fall. But my dad, the gardening expert, warned me that it had gotten too late of a start for us to actually get any pumpkins from it this year. Even knowing that, I continued babying.

We enjoyed the pretty yellow flowers that began to bloom,and eventually we ended up with a vine about 10 feet long stretching along the front of the house and then wrapping around the side.In the last week or so, some baby pumpkins have finally begun to appear - just as we got our first frost this morning. And even though I know it's a literally fruitless effort, I'm covering it with sheets - I just can't completely give up on it until it gives up on me!

So this year we saved our pumpkin seeds. We'll plant them at a good time, and continue the babying process - and who knows, maybe we'll have our own pumpkin patch next year!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pack 620

Conner has joined Cub Scouts this year. He heard about it, found it an easy task to talk Bret into finding out more about it, and the rest is history.

They went on their first camping trip with the pack a few weeks ago. Conner was, of course, very excited. But it was Bret who just couldn't contain himself. :) It was actually a family camping trip, but with me not even almost as excited about sleeping outside in the cold with no indoor plumbing...mixed with the "Josiah factor" (yeah, can you imagine?)...I quickly opted Joey and myself out...Micah followed suit...and that left Bret and Conner with a whole weekend of one-on-one in the great outdoors.

Of course, because I wasn't there, I don't have the entire story to tell. But, Bret did come bragging about how impressed everyone was with Conner's consistent quick wit. (For example: "There sure are lots of Daddy Longlegs around here...so where are all the Mommy Longlegs?!") He took a few pictures for us, too. They went on a hike,
decided not to cross the river,
played tug of war,ran into a log and nearly blacked his eye,lost a tooth (that's right, he's missing all four front teeth now), learned to use a compass,learned to tie a knot,had a campfire ceremony to receive his Bobcat Badge (which involved marker "face paint"), and made it through the weekend successfully - dirty, smelly, and less one tooth.Me? I was just glad I made it through the huge pile of disgusting laundry. :)

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cousin Kallie

We're cousins - and an aunt and uncle - again!

Kallie Joann Strong was born to Kevin and Tiffany today, November 2, 2010. She was 7 lbs, 11 oz and 19 inches long. After a couple of scares early in the pregnancy, we are pleased to say that Kallie is, in her delighted mother's words, PERFECT.Congratulations to Kevin and Tiffany, and Big Brother Kaleb! We can't wait to see you guys this weekend!

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween

I don't know about you, but I'm kind of glad Halloween is over. It really seemed to last forever this year. But we of course, made the most of it!

We carved our pumpkin and decorated our gingerbread haunted house. We madeand ate!jack-o-lantern cookies. We trick-or-treated at Bubba and Uncle Chris' house one night, and then at Aunt Jodi and Uncle Robert's another night. Micah and Joey had little parties at their preschools...and that was all before Halloween weekend.

On Saturday Bret got some ping pong balls and battery-operated tea lights to make some glowing eyeballs with the boys. It was all him - he saw the idea in the magazine, went and got the stuff, and helped the boys make them. :) I'm not real sure who had more fun - Joey, the overzealous marker-loving-toddler who was getting to use markers for the first time in awhile (yes, he's been "grounded" from markers lately!)......Conner, who pretended to be a zombie...
...Micah, who didn't want his eyeballs to glow at all, but wanted to glue them on some pictures he drew instead...

...or Bret, who thoroughly enjoyed watching the boys enjoy themselves! Here's the finished products:On Sunday we picked up some fifty-cent corndogs at Sonic, went to a little fall carnival at a local church, and then trick-or-treating with some friends......followed by a little feast of candy when we got home, of course.

Now we've got to get busy eating all that candy before the Christmas candy starts showing up...

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