Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why are we leaving?

What a month May turned out to be!    If you had told me in March that we would have 4 kids swimming on the swim team I would not have believed you. I had a different plan for this summer and it most definitely did not include swim team. If you told me in March that my teenage son would be anxiously anticipating a mission trip to Guatemala with me I would have fainted. Yet he is!  I am so excited about the opportunity to experience another culture with him and pour out a little sweat, and hopefully bless the missionaries a bit while we are there.  If you had told me our family would be looking for a new church back in March I would have laughed at you.  Yes belly laughed!  Yet here we are.  God's plan and mine often don't match up.  Yet what a wonderful story he is faithfully writing with my life.  If you had told me back in March that in May I would have cried more tears than I had cried since Matthew had died, and I would have learned more about scripture then I had learned in a decade, and that I would have been angrier then I remember ever being and I would have had a deeper love and respect for Randy then I had ever experienced and that I would feel homeless, and vulnerable, and afraid, and yet at perfect peace I would have been terrified.
I am so glad God reveals things in his own timing.
I am so glad that I don't know things ahead of time because I often would be too chicken!
There is grace in the moment.  He provides his perfect grace AS we need it.
There have been many changes....and it was time....and they are good.  Yet I would not have chosen them. I lacked the wisdom.  I'm so glad he has a master plan that is good.
Yet it has been painful. 
Because I'm in LOVE with soooooo many of the precious people. 
Because that building holds a LIFETIME of memories for me.
Because my kids LOVE the people and the activities.
So why are we leaving......
Nice try!  I'm not going to go into that here.  It would not be appropriate.  Yet the rumor that keeps coming back to us is that we are leaving because of the way we were treated because we had an "unpopular political stance".  Well that is not at all why we are leaving.  We aren't leaving because we are mad.  I can promise you after 25 years at a church you don't get mad or hurt or angry and leave. So if anyone tells you that is the reason we left then just know that they have not talked to us and they do not know the real reason.  They are gossiping.  We have shared the real reason with a select few that need to know.  We will not share the reason further, so don't bother asking :) Have we been hurt?  Yes.  Is that why we are leaving.  Not at all! 
We will leave it at.....It is time. 
God has clearly shown us that he has a plan and part of that plan involves us moving out of RBC and continuing on in ministry.....somewhere else.  We will worship, we will serve, and we will follow.  Where?  We don't know yet.  But we are seeking.
One blessing from us leaving is that fine men like Brad D, David B, and all the others that are stepping up in leadership.  I am so proud of them. They are excited and they have a vision for RBC and their class and I am anxious to hear wonderful reports on how the Lord uses them there.  So very proud of those guys!  If we had stayed in our role they may not have stepped into their roles.  Part of our leaving has allowed others to step up!  God is so good! 
One thing Randy and I are discovering in the process of looking for a new church home is that we have never picked out a church for our family.  Ever.  It is hard work.  It is a huge decision.  We both went to our last church as teenagers and stayed after our families had moved on in other directions.  So it has been a neat, albeit awkward, experience to try new churches.  To talk about what is important to us in a church.  To see each others priorities.  To hear what our kids like, don't like, miss, want, desire. 
So friends pray for us.  Pray we will land and plant our family exactly where the Lord desires for us to be.  We are torn in so many directions.  Help plant a church, go to a deep theologically sound church whose music is subpar, Go to a great worship service with, great preaching, where you can't really know your pastor.  Go to a home church.......Choices abound!  We don't want to rush the process and yet we are anxious to get connected.  Our hearts will always have fond, loving, wonderful memories of the years and people and events at RBC.  It is hard to say goodbye to a place and to people who have loved us so well.  I'm just thrilled that we are still in the area and still in the community and will still get to rub shoulders and share our lives with some of these most precious saints. 
So yes some things have REALLY changed over the months that I NEVER would have guessed.  However some things have remained.  I still love RBC.  I still adore the Reyner family :) (had to throw that in----that and our Sunday school class made leaving RBC almost impossible!), I still am madly in love with Randy, I still want to be exactly where God wants me, and he is still in control.  I can't even imagine what July holds.....I may just stop making plans altogether :)  naw....I can't do that!  Yet I am learning to hold on loosely.  My plans are just that.  The plans that matter most....are His!  I want to walk in his plan...daily.....wherever that leads!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Post I'm not Ready to Write

Sometimes I can feel a post coming on.  My heart starts to swell and needs to be poured out onto the page.  I'm getting that swelling feeling.  But my heart is just too tender still.  The words don't seem adequate.  There is still too much rawness.  I'm just not ready.

So.....I'm just going to do a this is our week post.....

The littlest kept plugging away at school while the biggies were at camp.
Jackson was delighted to discover our toy cash register could really add and subtract! From the moment he made this discovery he BEGGED for me to let him use it....JUST THIS ONE TIME for his math.
I finally said okay...just this one time!  After all calculator skills are important too....right?  He LOVED it!

In other big news:

The Shack is OPEN! 
That is our pools snack counter and the kids LOVE is chocked full of cheap sugary goodness! 

They can't quite see over the counter so they spend a lot of time hanging around!

I took the crew to Jiffy Lube to have the oil changed in my van on Thursday.  I know, exciting!  I wanted to be ready to pick the kids up from camp on Friday.  My oil light came on Wednesday so I decided we should have it done before driving to Mountain Top.
Well we ended up hanging out for over an hour and spending way more money then I had planned.  It turns out I had 2 burnt out headlights.  2 burnt out turn signals.  1 burnt out brake light.  YIKES!
I also got my air filter replaced and the oil did get changed!
So......We left penniless...but at least the van is in better shape!
Speaking of the van....
Wowsers!  She needs some work!
I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of our free time and "extra" money at car repair shops in the days to come.  I still need to fix 2 door handles, replace the rubber around the driver window, and then we have some weird alignment issue going on!  I'm just praying the transmission holds up!
Anyway I know you don't care about my van issues......just part of the stress of my week!
But I'm thankful for my paid for van!
Warts and all.

Yes....Jackson did wear his PJ's on our outing to Tutti Fruity....

Yes.....Sophie did survive camp!
She loved it!
Sophie, Meredith, and Josie were camp buddies!

Today we got to celebrate with
The Estes

The Ruff's

The Stephens

They all had a homeschooler graduate!  What a special time for their families!
I got a little teary watching their video montage and hearing their parents speak.
What an inspiration these families are to me!
The kids had fun at graduation too!
They got to see all their co-op teachers!!!
They were especially excited to see Mrs. Rebecca!

Life keeps FLYING by!
Don't know how much I'll have time to blog next week with the girls Dance Recital...
But at least I'll have LOTS of cute pictures!

So glad Randy has off tomorrow and I am sleeping in!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pray for Me

It was one of those early morning......3:58......can't sleep so maybe I'll freak out mornings.  My throat is tight.  My mind is racing.  Why?  My girl is going to camp......without me!

So is Andrew....but he's done it before.  Sophie has not.  She's been to camp 2 times but both times were with church and I was a chaperon.  This time is with some friends and I'm not going.  She's excited and scared.  I'm excited and scared.  Every step she takes away makes me so happy and proud.  Yet it leaves me so raw.  So exposed.  It is a slow, gentle, necessary tear to my heart. 

I think it is especially hard with her because of her dyslexia.  I want to protect her.  I want to help her.  I'm afraid someone will be mean to her.  I'm afraid someone will hurt her.  I'm afraid she will get confused and need help and won't know how to ask....won't have the words to say.  Yet this is a chance to grow and to trust the Lord.  These are the details he cares about.  These are the moments I can keep her under my wing and keep her "safe" or I can push her out and let her fly.....or fall.....and get up....and learn and grow and become stronger. 

FLY Baby Girl....or fall and GROW.....but DON'T live controlled by fear!

I am constantly reminding is important....but it is not the goal.  Life is not safe.  Life is an adventure.  Life requires risk.  Life requires us to be brave. Mama's included!   Life is an adventure!  I want my girl to LIVE it.....not fear it!  So I must let her.....which means laying my heart exposed.  Risking more then I want to risk.  Being braver then I want to be.  Yet she is worth it.

Psalm 56:3
"When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust: I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me!"

He loves my girl.  He cares about her. His plan for her life is good.  I will trust him.

So if we pass your mind this week.  Pray for us.  Pray for my sweet girl.  Pray for Andrew.  Pray for the people who cross their paths.  Pray for a wonderful, fun, memory filled week.  And pray for their Mama to trust the Lord and not run to fear.

Ready for the adventure!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lessons Learned this Week....

Every little girl loves flowers.

Life is filled with waiting.

Little things, make a big difference.

My kids LOVE co-op, especially the last day!

What looks like loads of fun.....

Sometimes isn't :(
aka. Don't let Jackson pull the wagon :( :(

Dinosaurs are not extinct....they live in my neighborhood and have big scary claws!

Goggles come in a wide array of fun colors!

And Finally....I learned.....

That Jesse has....


This is not a summer camp activity!
Jesse is a professional!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


So....It's time to plan for next year.....which I LOVE!  As I reflect over this year I realize how far we have come!

The biggest accomplishments:

1.  Sophie CAN READ!!!!  Not on grade level.....but by golly....she can read!  I'll take it :)  Whew!  It was HARD.  It was WORK.  It was DAILY.  It was exhausting....not only on my part but on her part.  And it is not done!  You could see her brain working.  She would often have to lay down to rest after just 30 minutes and occasionally would be in a puddle of tears.  IT WAS SO HARD for her......But I am SO proud of her.  She is getting it!  I swear she is going to be the best speller in the family because she understands all the rules!  If things go according to my plan....and they usually don't.......she should be reading on grade level by the end of the next school year.  That is the goal....we shall see!  HOPE!

2.  Jackson holds his pencil properly!  Again a major feat!  He started the year holding it in his fist.  He has completed his entire handwriting book and done VERY well.....but his letter formation still does not come automatically.  Yet HUGE improvement in the legibility of his handwriting from the beginning of the year to now!  Again....WORK!

3.  Lydia reads well. Lydia writes well.  Lydia does math well.   She is zipping and zooming through her school work!  She is a whiz.  PRAISE THE LORD!!!  I needed an easy one!

4.  Audrey is VERY ready for kindergarten.  I have a feeling her work will be very easy for her next year.  She has excellent fine motor skills and really strong phonemic awareness.  She is really comfortable with numbers as well.

5.  Andrew is VERY ready for HIGH SCHOOL!  GASP!  He has done a GREAT job in his studies and if he would work on his handwriting and spelling I wouldn't have any complaints! 

I'm getting ready to sign them up for their EOG's.  This will be Sophie's first time taking them and she will do the Woodcock Johnson which is really good for kids with LD's because it is given orally so it won't rely on her reading.  Andrew will do the regular standardized test.  The littlest aren't required to take it I'll save my money until they have to!

This is going to be a strange summer.  I will be working the camps for a lot of the summer which will be lots of fun for the little kids.....but not so much for the older two, although I think Sophie will enjoy aspects of it.  I am paying them for their help so they are looking forward to that!  A lot of their camps/mission trips/plans for the summer have changed so they are really disappointed....but due to those changes they are going to be able to do swim team.  So they are super excited about that!  They are also hopeful that they will get more time to go to the lake with their grandparents since they will have more free time.  We also aren't going on a vacation this summer because Randy doesn't have time off work, we don't have the extra money, and we are going on a big trip in November with his family.  So working all summer, keeping up with reading for Sophie, and no vacation.....equals not the most exciting summer ever.  So....I am going to try to be really intentional (my favorite word) about doing some things here to make their summer fun....and I'm planning to make a day trip to the beach.....because I just HAVE to go to the beach and take them each summer.  We are just too close to not enjoy it for at least a day!

One thing they are really looking forward to though is going to Mountain Top Youth Camp with a bunch of their buddies from Co-op next week.  Andrew and Sophie head up Monday and will be there through Friday.  So they will enjoy that I know!  This will be Sophie's first experience away from home without Randy or I going.  She is scared....and excited.  I know she will miss us...but I also know she is going to have a blast!  So excited for her adventure!

Finally, we have decided we are going to finish what we have started with our homeschool journey.  Andrew is still going to be homeschooled although most of his learning will not take place at home :)  He will be doing Biology with a Lab, Spanish I, Civics and Economics, and Introduction to Literature at Co-op (most likely).  We will be doing Math at home.  I am thinking about signing him up for a Drama/Speech Class at Providence Homeschool Group as an art credit and he will continue with his Guitar Lessons as a Music Credit.  He will do swim team and play basketball for extracurricular.  I am hoping our co-op is going to do an organized PE class so he can get a legit PE credit.  I will also be on the lookout for some service opportunities for him.  I'm excited and nervous about this leg of the journey! 

So....that is what is happening around here. 
Hope you are enjoying the sunshine....The rain is coming :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Life Goes On.....

One thing I've noticed this week is that when the world seems off kilter.....
and seems to be spinning out of control.....
Life goes on....

Babies still need to eat....

They still laugh!

They still smile....

Celebrations still come!

Messes are still made..

Sometimes....dailiness can be a bit too daily....

But sometimes dailiness is exactly what I need.

I was talking yesterday to a wise man....and he was telling me about how we are kind of like cups.  On the outside we can look all pretty and then life bumps us.  When we are bumped the inside spills out.  Sometimes what is inside is surprisingly good and sometimes it is surprisingly bad and sometimes it is exactly what you expected.  But the bumps bring out what is really there.


It's been bumpy round here lately!    Some people have been bumped HARD and I've been splashed with their love not their Bible verses used as weapons....I've been splashed with their understanding....not their condemnation.....REFRESHING!
Jesus has spilled out of people and washed our family.....such a blessing!
As I look around I see some ugly. I see some sad surprises and it hurts deeply. Some ugly was very well masked. It hurts.
OOPS  so easy to see others hard to look inside.
Yet I'm not called to look at the speck in my neighbors eye....I'm called to look at the plank in my own.


I've been bumped too.  It's bringing up the dross.  It's bringing up the ugly. 
I think if when you're bumped you decide to adopt a new favorite life verse, about dumping hot coals on your enemies head by loving may have some issues :)....GUILTY!


I think if you get so outraged at people who you define as legalistic that you start to fantasize about fashioning a whip and going into the church....err....I mean the temple.....then my heart may be in need of purification! Just tryin to keep it real. The truth is he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.....yes he brings freedom but he also brought the law I so often hate.  Therein lies the rub.

I think it no co-wink-y-dink....that I just studied James.....
He is ever so faithful!

Redeem this sweet Jesus.  Restore the ancient ruins.

How does healing come after hurt.....the work of forgiveness.....

Forgiveness is a choice.  Yet I am commanded to forgive.  Immediately.  Everything.
Forgiveness does not mean there are no ramifications.  It does not mean life continues on as before.   It begins with a crisis. 
It often involves changes that are painful but necessary. 
 Forgiveness does mean you are choosing not to hold the sin against the offender.
It is a process that often may have to be restarted as oops.....I messed up again...I'm rehearsing the hurt again....I'm talking about them again.....thus the process.
So thankful we get do overs!

Again grateful we just did a whole unit on forgiveness.  Thankful to know what forgiveness is and what forgiveness isn't.

I'm also thankful for my Baby.....This girl is FUNNY!
She makes the craziest faces.  This week I was often found with tears streaming down my face....
And Audrey.....

was busy making me laugh!

Such a sweet and funny blessing!

And Lucky Ducky Sophie Girl.....
Her Birthday happened to coincide with this painful week....
And in my mother's heart.....I couldn't bear her disappointment.  I couldn't stand her tears.
So I bought her way too many birthday presents.
What is a Mama to do?

Life goes on.

My prayer now is one for healing and for restoration!
He IS able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.
He IS working.
He IS good.
He DOES have a plan!
May he be glorified!

Thank the Lord it is FRIDAY!!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I can't believe my girl will be 9 years old next Thursday......WOW!

We spend from February-June having a party every month....
This's Sophie Girl!

So last night she had her DREAM party.....only problem.....she could only invite a few friends.  She had soooooo many she wanted to invite.  BUT we had to keep it small.  So she invited a few of her non-homeschooled a few weeks she's going to have a few of her homeschool girlfriends over to celebrate.  Since they don't know each other we decided it would work better to keep it separate!

We loaded up the van headed to the Embassy Suites in Raleigh last night with a few of her buddies.  One friend had to meet us there because she had dance.  We checked in and the girls checked out the hotel.  They played "teenagers".  It was cute!

All smiles!

Sweet Girls!

I'm surprised they didn't kick us out of the hotel!

They were very excited!

Then we went across the street to Crabtree Valley Mall and had dinner at the food court.  3 girls had McDonald's and 2 girls had Subway.  YUMMY!

I let them look in a few  stores and each pick out a party favor at Claire's.  They LOVED that!

Then we headed back to the hotel.  They went swimming for almost 2 hours.  It was almost 10:00 when we got back to the room. 

They were ready to go to the pool!

and they also enjoyed the hot tub

Silly Girls!
They were HUNGRY.  So we chowed on some cake.....and soda......and chips......

Sophie opened her gifts....she liked all of them of course :)  and then we played a new version of Spin the Bottle.  GASP....But don't freak was just to see what color nail polish to paint each fingernail!  They loved it!  Their nails looked very cute!

After their nails were done they did a fashion show.....

Then it was supposed to be bedtime....
But they talked, and talked, and giggled, and talked, and giggled, and talked!

This is one sleepy Mama!

I'm thankful though that she has such a special group of friends.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Camp Update

Wow!  I have had a GREAT response for the Camps. 
I am really looking forward to this summer!
There are only a few spots left!  So if you are intersted please let me know ASAP!

Openings Available for
Children Ages 4-9
½ Day 9-1 Monday-Thursday $70 per week
2 Full Days $70 per week
1 Day $45 per day
Full Day 7:30-5:30 Monday-Thursday $125 per week

Full enrollment includes:
Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks
Theme related fun activities
Lots of Outside Fun!
Cool Crafts!
Cooking, Stories, Games, Treats, Movies
Sure to be summer to Remember!

Spaces Limited!
Non-refundable $20 activity/supply fee to reserve your child’s spot!

Full Price for 1st child in the same family
10% off for 2nd child in the same family
20% off for 3rd child in the same family
30% off for 4th child in the same family

Summer Camp Themes!
Week 1
Monday, June, 4-Thursday, June 7
Pool Party!
2 full time spots available
Week 2
Monday, June 11-Thursday, June 14
Week 3
Monday, June 25-Thursday, June 28
1 full time spot available
Week 4
Monday, July 2-Thursday, July 5
Red, White, and Blue
2 full time spot available
Week 5
Monday, July 16-Thursday, July 19

Week 6
Monday, July 23-Thursday, July 26
1 full time spot available
Week 7
Monday, July 30-Thursday, August 2
1 full time spot available
Week 8
Monday, August 6-Thursday, August 9
Fairy Tales!
1 full time spot available
Week 9
Monday, August 13-Thursday, August 16
Under the Sea!
Week 10
Monday, August 20-Thursday, August 23
Out of this World!