Thursday, June 30, 2011

This Week's Update in Pictures

What a BUSY week!  We had VBS which I've blogged about and which we ALL enjoyed.....but we had lots of other stuff too....
The Biggest Highlights came for THE GIRL.....she not only got to go with Miss Molly to Miss North Carolina

She was also invited by Aunt Stacy to go to CAROWINDS!  These were both HUGE experiences for THE GIRL and these were both FIRST time experiences for her.  So needless to say she enjoyed her week!  She was up VERY late with Miss NC and she got up EARLY for Carowinds so she was a sleepy little girl!

She also had a checkup this week.  She is growing well......TALL (90%)  Very healthy...praise the Lord! 
Of course we are still at the pool with THE GIRL and swim team but that is wrapping up quickly!

She got her personal best time in her 25 Freestyle this week....22.37 seconds.....I think?!  I am so impressed with how athletic she is....and it's so natural....believe me we have not pressured her.....and she did not get these skills from me....maybe Aunt Stacy or Daddy....but definitely not me!  The Lord has just gifted her athletically.  It's so fun for me to see the young lady she is becoming.
He has also blessed her with sweet friends...
I don't know if she enjoys the swimming or the socializing more....

Mrs. Amber didn't think she had enough kids so she invited THE GIRL and Mrs. Jennifer's GIRL over for a sleepover.  They had fun and are now TOTALLY worn out!

These giggly gaggle of girls sure do brighten up my life!  LOVE THEM!!!!  SO glad to have them in our lives!

Now on to a not so happy note....this has unfortunately not been a great week for TWINKIE BOY.  My sweet, snugly, kind hearted, compassionate little love muffin has been a wreak this week :(  Not sure WHAT is going on.....but whew.....he's been a handful!  One day I'll have some BIG stories to share with his children about his antics.....and this my friend is the week they happened!!!

Do pray for him if you think of him.  He had his feelings hurt this week (which hurt my feelings) and I think as he gets older and his speech problems become less "cute" and more "weird" his feelings may continue to be hurt.  It hurts to see him hurt BUT I still am accountable for how I train him and although my heart understands his feelings and behaviors....I can not allow it just because his feelings have been hurt.  I need wisdom!!!  So I will ask!

On a brighter note....Twinkie Boy and Daddy did get to go see CARS together!  It had to be delayed a few days due to misbehavior....but they did FINALLY make it and TWINKIE LOVED his DADDY TIME!

He also really enjoyed VBS and FISHING!  We went on Saturday to the fishing tournament at church and THE TWINKIE BOY LOVES TO FISH.  Who knew?  We are not fishing people....but he is...and now he has his own rod and he can't wait to go again.  I didn't know he could sit so still.  He fished for 2 hours without moving.....he really enjoyed fishing!

All three little ones had fun on Saturday.

It was fun having just the little ones to focus on while the biggies were off on their adventures.

It was hot, the fish weren't biting, but we had a blast!

In other news....THE BABY also had a checkup this week.  She is growing well and also very healthy.  The doctor did say she wants THE BABY'S speech to be evaluated....ugh!  I HATE APRAXIA......just sayin'.  I knew I was hearing the same speech "mistakes" but they do seem to be milder....ugh....and APRAXIA does run in it's very likely....I just am TIRED of therapy and now I know that 75% of kids with APRAXIA of SPEECH also have triple UGH!  Oh, well I am going to trust....because God does know what he is doing....and he is allowing this for a reason that is for my good, their good, and his glory....Sometimes I just wish things could be EASY!  Oh, well this is not Paradise!
THE BABY has been instructed by the doctor to stop sucking her thumb.  So apparently she stopped.  Who knew that would be so easy.  She keeps telling me, "I'm not sucking my thumb anymore because the doctor told me not too!"  2 days and no thumb.....YEAH!!!
She has allergies....I just hope not to our dog!  So she is now taking a daily does of Clariton and we are hoping that will do the trick.
I taught THE BABY how to sort silverware and she LOVES her new job!
So Yeah!

TWINKIE GIRL has been a updates.....just busy enjoying life.

He had the wonderful opportunity last week to participate in 2 powerful Dramas directed by Legacy Productions
The first All That is Required was the story of young teens and the choices they faced in Nazi Germany
and the second was Trial by Voices which was the story of Joan of Arc.  I was AMAZED at what these kids learned and presented after just 1 week.  It was so good and the message was SOOOOO GREAT..... I cried!

It was difficult to see THE BOY playing a "bad guy"!
Randy and I both commented on how unsettling that was!

The Boy had a blast.....and now is off at Crossroads having yet another great week I am sure!
Can't wait to pick him up tomorrow!!!

As for me...

I have been carting kids all over the universe and busy writing syllabuses for next years school.

 Sweet Daddy Bear is out making money at his jobby-job and going to school (he's getting his masters in business management) and taking care of us.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Slow. Down. Summer.....

Okay I blogged back in mid May about all my big summer plans and now I am one month into the summer and it is time to see how exactly these plans are going......WELL....they are going....okay...sort of....

First What I have done:
I have gone on vacation and chilled and put my feet in the ocean and read.....but only 3/4 of one book.  I am not making good progress on my summer reading list!

We have gone to Mapleview Farm and had ice cream.  We have had several cookouts with friends and family and neighbors.  We have LIVED at the pool.  We have hung out with friends and extended family...although not enough!  We have stayed up late and caught fireflies.  I have taught the three little ones their address.  I have continued on with THE GIRLS tutoring....though not as regularly as I had hoped.  We did finish her Math.  We have done VBS, Sports Camp, Swim Team, Durham mission trip, Charlotte 24.  We have played a lot.  We've had story time.  We've done lots of art and gotten lots of sunshine.  I'm about 1/4 way done (maybe) with my school planning.

HOWEVER there is only about a month left in my summer!  I still have a lot to do!!!!!
I still want to paint THE GIRLS Vanity and Bedside Table and Recover her stool.  I still NEED to clean out the Garage.  I MUST finish planning school.  THE BOY must Finish Math.  I still want to go to Pullen park, a drive in movie, THE GIRLS got Camp, THE BOYS got a mission trip to Boston.  The little ones need to learn our phone number.  THE TWINKIE BOY and THE BABY need a new Speech Therapist....pronto!  Which means I need to find one!  I still need to work with THE BABY on writing her name and teach her to swing herself on the swing which=FREEDOM for MOMMY!  I want to teach her to sort silverware and fold towels properly which=help with the house this fall when life is really crazy.  I REALLY want to at least START working with TWINKIE GIRL on her reading.  She is so eager and ready.  I also want to teach her to tie her shoes and her and TWINKIE BOY to ride their bikes without training wheels because I'll never find time to do it this fall!  And I want THE TWINKS to take out trash and load the dishwasher this fall so I MUST teach them how this summer! 

Let's see....I also have not cross stitched one. single. stitch.  I knew that was a stretch.....but I do so love to....maybe I'll find time.....I KNOW I'm still dreaming!!!!

THE BOY has done A LOT this summer.  He's been gone most of it!  So after this week we have him home and swim team will be wrapping up so he MUST finish up his Math and help out around the house a bit.....CUT THE GRASS, Read a little, Practice guitar AND HANG OUT WITH HIS OLD MAMA because I MISS HIM!!!!

As for Randy and I....we still haven't had an alone date....we always double date....but hopefully we can sneak away and I still am hoping we can get away for our anniversary....we shall see!

Also.....Randy and TWINKIE BOY and THE BOY have done fun one on one stuff.  (TWINKIE-CARS 2 with just Daddy) (THE BOY Paint Ball with just Daddy).  I haven't done one on one anything with anyone.  So I need to get on the ball!  Randy still hopes to do a one on one date with each of the girls before the month is we need to get BUSY!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Real you know if you stop by here often....I've been enjoying my week of solitude.  If you don't know the back story....I've been home alone all week (at least for 3 hours each morning).  It has been wonderful.  I have cleaned....although you couldn't tell if you dropped by.  I have shopped.  I have worked on school stuff.  I have chilled.  Then today I did another thing that I rarely do.  I had coffee with friends during daylight hours.  My sweet friend Kellie invited me and another mutual friend Bev over for a pot of La Vida Dulce.  So we sipped coffee, munched on coffee cake and fruit, prayed, and shared our lives. 

If I'm being honest I was looking forward to hanging out with Kellie and Bev but at the same time I was a tad sad not to have one more block of time alone.  I do tend to be a recluse.  A happy recluse...but still a recluse.  Being close with others that I am not REALLY comfortable with just takes me out of my comfort zone.  I'm okay with being social.  I'm okay with being polite.  I'm okay with being surface.  So I always get nervous when I'm invited to share with people.  HOWEVER......I am so glad now that I went.  I am not going to go into any details but I will say this.  Coffee this morning with these sweet ladies may very well be a day I look back on that was the beginning of a beautiful season of growth and healing.  I tend to cower away from really knowing people and I am glad that they have pursued knowing me.  Not demanded to know me.  Not pretended to know me.  Not wanted to know me.  Not avoided me.....but rather quietly, slowly, patiently pursued truly knowing me. 

I also just want to say thanks to them for being real.  Real is not a blog post that shows a snapshot of one event.  Real is not a picture that catches a moment in time.  Real is rare.  Real is difficult.  Real is sometimes uncomfortable.  Real is sometimes ugly but always beautiful to me.  More then being real thank you for letting me risk being really real with you and loving me anyway.  I love you ladies and I appreciate your vulnerability.  Unsure of where the journey will lead but excited to be on it with you girls!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Playing Hookie!

So I must make a true confession.  My 4 youngest kids are in VBS at our church this week from 9-12, MY BOY is at Drama Camp all week from 9-4, My man is at work, and my dog is "in season" and spending the week at Golden Creek Kennel....and me....I am ALONE and LOVING it!

I am an introvert.  I am constantly around people which drains me.  So this time alone each morning has been a welcome refreshment to my mind, body, and soul.

Being as I homeschool and before that adventure began I was a stay at home mom I have not in the last 13 years been without a child for an entire week for 3 consecutive hours each day....ever!  This is new territory.  This is a new experience.  This is strange!

I've always been helping with VBS or staying with children too young for VBS.  When I realized that all 4 of my little ones were VBS eligible and that my oldest was going to be at a homeschool drama camp all day I began to toy with the idea of not signing up to help.  However, I prayed that if the Lord wanted me to help then I would be specifically asked and if he wanted me to have a break that I wouldn't be asked.  Nobody asked.....WOW!  So not only am I not helping out.....I'm not helping out AND guilt free!  That my friend is a good place to be!

So what am I doing all week:
Well Monday-I cleaned in peace!
and Today-I shopped all morning.  That is another thing I NEVER do!  I wasn't shopping for me....I was buying homeschool curriculum, and a special outfit for THE GIRL, who was invited by Miss Molly Deans to go to Miss NC Pageant tonight!!!!!  I was buying a baby gift for my aunt and Bibles for my little ones, and a few household items.  It was peaceful....and fun!
Tomorrow-I plan to lay at the pool and read.....alone.....for 3 hours!
Thursday and Friday are yet to be determined!

By the end of this week I will be rotten!

I'm glad this isn't my life.  I actually love sharing my life with my kids.  I love spending our days together.  I love helping out and serving at church.....BUT I must say.....I'm loving this little break too.

I have noticed more then anything how LOUD my kids and dog and house are.  My ears are literally ringing from the quiet. 

I've often heard about how kids grow up in the blink of an eye.....and they do.....with THE BOY 1 year from HIGH SCHOOL.....I can assure you it has been a blink.....HOWEVER.....with a herd of preschoolers I can also identify with the harried mother in the aisle of the supermarket screaming "I'M BLINKING!"  One of my favorite quotes that for years was posted on my refrigerator said,
"The days go slow but the years go fast!" 
So much truth in that statement!
In closing I say a HUGE Thank You to all you Mamas, and Grandmas, and Teenagers, and Ladies, and Ministers, and Seminary Guys who are serving in VBS in my place.  I can tell you one thing; This is one VERY THANKFUL Mama!  May the Lord heap blessings upon you.  I have been blessed by your sacrifice!


Monday, June 20, 2011

This Week in Pictures

Our week has been full and busy but it has also been lots of fun!
It started off last Saturday with THE 3 AMIGOS going to their buddies Birthday Party!
Happy Birthday Sweet Friend!

THE BOY was busy playing paintball with his cousin and THE GIRL went to see Kung Fu Panda with Pepaw.

The Party wiped them out!  So we rested up and then it was off to the church for the Church Chicken and Fish Fry!
Jackson was picking up the Ladies.  LOVE MRS. BROOKE!
Who's holding up the line?

Great Food and GREAT Music!

Sunday we said a goodbye to PRECIOUS AMY!  Oh....I love that girl!  Am so excited to see how God is going to use her!
Spent lots of time at the pool with friends!
It was a strange week with THE BOY being gone.  He was busy serving Durham on a Youth Group Mission Trip.  He had a BLAST!
2 polka dot princesses!

THE TWINKIE BOY.....playing with his sisters princesses!??!

The kids also participated in Kids Fitness Camp at my brothers gym this week.
They LOVED it.  Came home with all sorts of new and fun games to play.

They learned how to do squats.

Did a bunch of relay's

Lot's of fun games

and they came home wiped out and asking for naps!!!

Here's a link to his gym

Friday Night we had our Sunday School Ladies Night Out!
We played Dirty Santa and exchanged Beach Towels!
Lots of laughs

Lots of hugs!

Lots of fun!

Poor Phyllis had to make LOTS of trips back to the pile.....she KEPT having her towels stolen!

I just love these ladies.  I am so happy to be sharing life with them.

After my night out....Saturday swim meet came WAY TOO EARLY!
So I gathered up all my energy....
And headed out to cheer on the Orca's!
THE GIRL getting her pre-swim pep talk!

and she is off!

One word.....HOT
okay two.....WHINY

THE BOY and Daddy were off with the youth group (Carowinds and White Water Rafting) we got to leave as soon as the girl finished backstroke....YEAH!

Sunday was a great day of worship and then a fun time of fellowship.  My parents, sister, and sister-in-law and her boys came over.  My brother wasn't able to make it he had a prior commitment with work.  Randy's parents, sister and her family, and my grandparents also were able to celebrate with us.  So we enjoyed the time honoring the father's and my PAPA.  Today is his 88th Birthday!
Happy Birthday PaPa!
He was a bit surprised with his pirate candles (it was all I had :/)
The rest of the week was spent hanging out, doing chores, and running around like crazy people!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

100 Things.....

Well today is my 100th post.  So in keeping with blogger tradition I listed 100 things about me.  I must say....I had a time coming up with 100 things about me.  I've worked on this post for DAYS....and finally am DONE!  So this is just about all there is to know about me.  I must warn is not too exciting!

1.  My middle name is Lynne
2.  My middle name is also my Mama's middle name.
3.  My girls middle names are not Lynne.  They are Grace, Hope, and Faith.
4.  I have a degree in elementary education.
5.  My favorite ice cream in Mint Chocolate Chip from Maple View Farms in Hillsborough....YUM!
6.  I have never broken a bone.
7.  My front tooth is fake.
8.  I lost my front tooth from running a Duke Aquatic Center when I was a kid.  I fell.  The same thing    happened to my brother.  So don't run at the pool!
9.  I went to a wedding without my fake front tooth once. 
10.  I was embarrassed,
11.  I was "held back" in the third grade.
12.  I have an older sister.  18 months older.
13.  I have a younger brother.  3 1/2 years younger.
14.  I became a Christian when I was 7.
15.  I want a fancy camera.
16.  I started walking with the Lord when I was 23.
17.  I am scared of mice.  REALLY REALLY REALLY scared.
18.  I went to UNC-G
19.  I graduated from UNC-W.
20.  I got married when I was 20.
21.  I got married in Duke Chapel.
22.  We went to Disney World for our Honeymoon.
23.  I still love Disney World.
24.  I think the Magic Kingdom is Magical!
25.  My favorite color is brown with pink polka dots :)
26.  My dream car is a new, fully loaded 12 passenger van.
27.  My other dream car is a new, green, Jaguar convertable.
28.  I had my wisdom teeth pulled when I was 18.

YES I have lived a fascinating life :)......this is a lot of stuff to come up with!

29.  I have 2 neices. Trisha Lynn and Julia
30.  I have 5 nephews.  Tyler, Geer, Joshua, Booth, and Gray
31.  I like to watch court TV.
32.  I also secretly (well not so secretly) long to go on almost all the JOY club outings at church.
33.  I am really good at putt-putt (at least I used to's been a looooong time).
34.  I often dream of sitting at the ocean, with my feet in the water, reading.
35.  I have always wanted a bunch of kids.
36.  I have a bunch of kids.
37.  My first dogs name was Cracker Jack.  He was a golden retriever.
38.  I have lived in 18 houses in my 35 years.
39.  The house I live in now is the longest I've lived in a house since getting married.  It's been 3 years!
40.  I have no desire to move....ever.
41.  I will celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary in August.
43.  I don't remember meeting Randy (my husband).
44.  I wasn't drunk....I just was young....about 4.
45.  I have a tattoo
46.  I can't spell.
47.  I hate to do laundry.
48.  I have a golden retriever, named Mindy
49.  I worked in a coffee shop in collage owned by Newt Gingrich's daughter.
50.  I can make a mean latte.
51.  I would love to travel across the country in an RV with my family.
52.  I have all 4 of my grandparents still living.
53.  I can't carry a tune in a bucket....but I LOVE to sing.
54.  I have a permanent retainer on my bottom teeth.
55.  I am really nosey.
56.  When I was a baby I had to wear a brace on my hips because they were not aligned.
57.  I like to write.
58.  I love the smell of gardenias.
59.  My favorite tea is Strawberry tastes just like Chocolate dipped strawberries!  They sell it at Whole Foods only.....YUM!

Sorry I am not very interesting!

60.  My favorite fruit is an apple or watermelon.
61.  I am not a picky eater.....except peanut butter.....I only like Peter Pan reduced fat creamy Peanut Butter.  I know it's weird....but that junk is good!
62.  My favorite "church" song is I am Free
63.  My second favorite is Amazing Grace.
64.  My birthday is September 6th.
65.  I will be 36.
66.  I am surprisingly strong.
67.  I went to Eno Valley Elementary School.
68.  I went to Bragtown 6th grade center
69.  I went to Carrington Middle School
70.  I went to Cresset for High School
71.  I am not athletic
72.  I am fascinated by people.  Interested in their stories.  Intrigued by interesting!
73.  The older I get the more I like (love) coffee.
74.  I secretly dream of becoming a counselor.
75.  I am REALLY clumsy.
76.  I know all 8 reindeer's names.
77.  I secretly dream of writing a book.
78.  My favorite candy is Hot Tamales
79.  I know all 7 dwarfs names.
80.  I like blue cheese dressing with chunks of blue cheese.
81.  I like the sunshine.....a lot!
82.  I like kids.....a lot!
83.  I don't like all.
84.  I don't like when people fight....just to be right.
85.  I snore, allegedly.
86.  My children are the apples of my eye.
87.  I took didn't work.
88.  I am almost legally blind.  20/350 is my vision in one eye and 20/375 in the other.
89.  I still bite my nails when I am nervous.
90.  I am shy.....I just hide it well.
91.  I HATE public speaking.
92.  I LOVE public writing.
93.  Sometimes I sing in the car and use a hairbrush as a microphone. 
94.  I used to play school and mom all day.  Just like I still do.  Good prep!
95.  I randomly make up songs and poems.  Sometimes at inappropriate times.
96.  I'm not an animal all. 
97.  However....I do love my dog Mindy.
98.  I watch Law and Order re-runs....a lot.....Randy loves this ;)
99.  I have an aunt who is a year and one month younger then me.
100.  I am not having another baby......ever!

The END!
Whew that was tough!

Swim Team

I am a big time swim team fan....
Because my kids are good swimmers....
and I credit it to swim team.
When I say good swimmers....I don't mean the best  swimmers.  I don't mean great swimmers.  I mean they are strong, solid, capable swimmers.
It is a great way to exercise.  It makes me more comfortable with them around the water.  I love how they compete against themselves....trying to beat their best time...not their best friend.
It is a great, fun sport.....Hopefully next year I'll have the whole crew swimming!
This is THE GIRLS second year....and she is such a great little athlete.  Loves hanging with her friends too!

This is THE BOYS 7th year and he is very faithful and very consistent.  He just keeps on keeping on and I for one think there is a lot to be said for diligence.
This is the HOMESCHOOL swim crew.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Rabbi, Sweet Linda, and The Lesson

Well if you read my blog with any regularity you may think that I am a stalker of Shay....I'm not!  You may think I am a fan of Shay....I'm not...well, okay, maybe I am.....but the truth is the most influential influence and biggest encouragement in my spiritual growth throughout the years has been Shay, with perhaps the exception of "Sweet Linda."



Shay aka around our house as "The Rabbi" has truly been that to so many.  He is a GREAT teacher of the Bible.  I love when he teaches at church, or in small groups, or through his Ponderings.  I also LOVE that he is THE BOYS Sunday School Teacher AND The Youth Guru. Talk about generational influence!  He is having that in my family!  He not only has been a Rabbi to Randy and I but now he is being a Rabbi to our children. Love, love, love, love, love that!

I can not talk about Shay without talking about Linda.  I know it's Shay's birthday but what is Shay without Linda?  What a wise choice he made in snagging Linda.  She is a quiet, SWEET, gentle, consistent, disciplined woman of God.  She quietly and faithfully pours her life into others whether they are her precious children, women at church, or kids at school.  One night we were getting ready to have the Reyner's over for dinner and TWINKIE BOY was so excited and asked for like the 100th time, "Who is coming over today?"  I asked him, "Who do you think?"  He yelled, "CRAZY Shay and SWEET Linda!"  Yes Shay is awesome....but so is SWEET Linda! is Shay's back to Shay.  He has also taught me lessons that have really stuck and helped transform my life in a daily way.  Very rarely do lessons make such an impact that they become so internalized that they change the way you live your life.  Shay has taught me to INVEST in what matters (eternity and people) and he has taught me to be INTENTIONAL in the way I live.  Not only has he taught this with his words but he has taught it with his life.  He and "Sweet Linda" not only preach missions and take youth on fun mission trips they are sending their own precious children unto the "ends of the earth."  WOW!  They not only say INVEST....but they do INVEST!  In big ways and in little ways which can make a big difference.  As an example when they had a chance to go have yogurt as a couple alone, with peace and quiet, they spur of the moment stopped by our house and INVESTED Time and Money and took my 5, not peaceful and not quiet children, so Randy and I could have a few quiet moments!  Who does that?  Shay and Linda!  Who hears about your child's salvation and shows up at your door just to celebrate?  Shay and Linda!  This is not a one time is the tone of their lives!  This is how they have been for at least the last 18 years that I have known them.  Not just when I was "mom to 5" and walking closely with the Lord.  This is how they were when I was 18, smoking cigarettes, and NOT walking with the Lord.  This is how they were when I was 24 and just beginning to walk daily with the Lord.  This is how they are today.  How can you not love them? 

This is just a snippet of the reasons I love Shay (and Linda).  They are THE BEST....They are THE REAL deal......they point to Christ.......and they are investing in eternity with an intentionalness that is absolutely contagious.  I want to know Christ more when I am around them.

So Happy Birthday Shay.  How is he spending his birthday?  Serving Durham with a bunch of middle school kids.  That is Shay!  I am eternally grateful that the Lord brought him to RBC and that I have had the privilege of knowing him, sweet Linda, and their precious kiddos.  I am eternally grateful for the influence they have had in my life and in Randy's life, and now in my kids lives.