Tuesday, August 26, 2014

8th Grade

8th Grade? Really? Can I have a moment to let it sink in that I not only have an 8th grader, but in a few weeks I'll have a teenager?!? Where has the time gone.

We decided at the end of the school year that we would not continue with online, public school and Shelby would go back to a regular brink and mortar public school. Even though the experience was good and it was a great bonding time for Shelby and I, we found it just wasn't for us.

I took Shelby last week to get her schedule, find her locker and have a look around her new school. It's huge. Lots of halls, lots or classes and tons of kids.

I restrained myself from walking up to everyone we saw and say "This is Shelby. She's new this year. She's really sweet. Will you be her friend?" I've been in her shoes more times then I'd like to count. Moving schools in Junior High and High School stinks, but I survived and she will, too.

Shelby got to start school at day later than everyone else because she spent Sunday night in North Texas at the One Direction concert with her stepmother.

She had a blast! She wouldn't stop talking about it yesterday.

So, today she was a bit tired, moving slow and had some attitude, so here is the first picture I got this morning.

I made her smile before we would leave...still not great, but at least I have the picture.

And course...let's look back at how much she's grown.


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd grade. I wish she was always this excited on the 1st day!

4th Grade

5th Grade

6th Grade

7th Grade

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Can't Help But Notice You Seem A Little at War with Yourself

Matt posted the following on Facebook this morning, so I feel like I can now share my feelings (which are no secret to Matt) about this new chapter in our lives.

From Matt's facebook

What an amazing Monday! For those of you that don't know, I quit my job on Friday and today begins the search for new direction. Things are a little crazy around here right now, but God is good and I know He will continue to watch over my family throughout this time.

The past few days have been a bit odd to say the least. 

Let me start by saying. I knew Matt was going to quit his job and I gave Matt my blessing to quit his job. 

The past 10 months have not been the best for Matt and I, but  are by no means on the verge of anything that would break us apart. Ten months ago Matt accepted a job in Houston which left me in North Texas for an extended period of time while we sold the house. I was relieved when the house sold and the girls and I were able to move to Houston to be with Matt, but it seems since we have been here we've seen him less than before. 

A normal week would be seeing Matt for a few hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then, he would go to work Thursday morning and the girls would not see him again until Saturday afternoon. Normally, Matt would leave the house by 6 am and on some (lately most) nights would not come home until 11 pm or Midnight. When he was home he was physically and mentally tired.

I had come to terms with this because this is what Matt did for a living and this is what kept a roof over our heads, so I sucked it up...sometimes with more drama then others and did what I could to support Matt.  

During the last few months Matt's job had become less and less rewarding to him, so he resigned last Friday. 

Want to know what it feels like to be me these days? Have you ever seen Tangled? 

I am bit like 

This is going to be so great! Oh my goodness what have you done? It's going to be so good to have you at home more! Holy Cow! How are we going to keep the lights on? 

This scene plays in my head lately

Let's talk about anxiety for a moment...I think my friend Laura had the best response to Matt's post because I know she was talking to me when she said, "Wow, prayers for all of you to keep quiet heart and anxiety at bay during this time."

Having your husband quit is job five months after buying a new house in a new city can quite possibly make a normal person without anxiety a bit nervous. I am not normal and I do have anxiety. And yes, I pray about it. I've got Philippians 4:6-7 memorized and I'm thinking about getting this tattoo once all this is over. My mom is so proud of that last sentence. 

 So, anyway to sum up how I feel about my husband quitting his job...I'm a bit freaked, but I know that God has a plan for him and I'm lucky enough to be along for the ride. This will be okay. It might get rough...not anytime soon, but I love my husband and I am here to support him. I got my blood pressure medicine refilled if your wondering and I'll be dousing myself in antistress essential oils. I plan to help out by growing my Thirty-One business (which has been amazing) and I'll continue to sew because creating helps my soul so much! Things will be fine. 

The past few days have been the happiest in a long time for Matt - I love that. We can do this with God's help and your prayers.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day Two

Today is the second day with just me and these crazies. We really miss Shelby. I miss being able to say things like "can you keep your sisters in the playroom while I vacuum." I know she's have a blast, but we can't wait for her to come home.

I don't want to say that I am struggling with Bekah getting older and independent, but I kind of am. Last night as I was drying off Morgan from her bath Bekah got out of the bathtub with out help grabbed a towel and started drying herself off. "I do it myself."

Then later she was watching a movie in the play room as I dealt with laundry. When I went back into the play I notice she had gotten a new DVD out, switched them and put everything back neatly. She was sitting there watching the new movie. "I watch Shrek now."

I don't like it! Now if I could get this "big girl" attitude to transfer into potty training things would be great!

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Weekend

My Neighbors finally ran out of fireworks. Thank Goodness! They were going strong past midnight on Saturday night, but last night all was quiet on our street - just the way I like it.

It was a semi-busy weekend filled with lots of time in the car and swimming!

On Saturday we dropped Shelby off in Marlin (which is a small town halfway between Houston and Dallas).  She's going to be gone for two weeks and I miss her already! I don't realize how big of a help she actually is to me until she's gone. We will see how her sisters react to her absence also.

On the way back we stopped in a small town called Calvert. I had driven through their quaint downtown so many times, but this is the first time I was able to stop with out the little girls. Matt and I were disappointed that all the cafes were closed on the strip and it seemed there wasn't much life left in the other shops. I'm happy to report I bought nothing, but did come home with a continued fondness of old buildings.

Sunday morning we were up much earlier than normal since Matt was part of the Men's Quartet during both services.

Matt just rolled his eyes I juggled between my phone to video and my cannon. I hear him sing right next to me every Sunday, but this is the first time for him to perform. The excitement was just like having one of my kids in a school performance. I think he was starting to irritated by my "Are you nervous yet?" questioning.

Here is the entire song:

Later in the afternoon he headed to the pool with my friend, Rhonda. The little girls love the water. Morgan spent almost the entire time dunking her face into the water and coming up with a mouth full of water. 

Bekah surprisingly swam with a pool noodle alone (closely monitored by Matt of course).  All of us would love to have a pool of our own, but just are in no mood for the upkeep. 

Last week I worked out five day with my friend, Becky and today I was up at 4:30 for a 5 am class. It feels good to have my exercise scratched off before 6 am. I am sure I will bottom out at some point today, but I am feeling good so far!

I have signed up to work-out 3 days a week for a month. And since I don't want to waste that money by blowing the rest for my day eating M&M's I've decided to get focused! I've also decided to re-vamp SkinnyTart. SkinnyTart was a blog I started when this blog was still called StrawberryTart (so you can see why it's named so). 

I am not going to change the name at this point since I may not post there after my 30 days are up, but my plan is to document the next 30 days of my journey to a healthier me. You can follow along here: http://skinnytart.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sparkler and Fireworks

I am dragging this morning after hearing fireworks until 3 am. Well, I didn't hear them the entire time since I got up and found earplugs, but when Bekah woke up in the middle of the night the neighbors were still going strong.

Last night we went to Matt's parents with my friend Shanna, her husband and boys (who have become Bekah's best friends). We grilled, ate yummy desserts and had great fellowship.

Once the sun went down it was time for a show from the driveway!

Morgan wore the same outfit that Bekah wore two years ago. See my post from yesterday,

It's big girls first year to hold her own sparkler. She had a blast. 

This guy put on a great show. 

They were huge and very loud. I need to perfect my capturing skills some though. 
In North Texas each city normally has their own fireworks show, so as you are driving down Airport Freeway from one event to another you can see each city's show. Last night as we drove home we got to see small fireworks shows on every street. It's a love/hate think. I love seeing the fireworks, but I majorly dislike still hearing them at 3 am.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day

Happy 4th!

All week I've kept saying, "This time two years ago we were in Branson." It amazes me how fast two years can go by.

See what I mean? Look at my girls! I think Morgan is going to wear the exact same outfit that Bekah has on today. An look at my Shelby...she was so young. 

As I was reminding Shelby of where we were two years ago she said, "Well, four years ago I was standing in front of the church." It took me a moment then I realized that today is our (mine and Shelby's) baptism birthdays! Shelby was baptized four years ago today and I was baptized 15 years ago. Yikes...15 years ago I was 21. 

Four years ago this picture was taken.

The afterwards I went on a road trip with my semi-new boyfriend to meet his parents. I was scared to death. It was also the trip where I'd see my dad for the first time during his cancer treatment. Oh wow...that made me tear up a bit. It's been for years since my father's battle with cancer. And on our drive back to North Texas is when Matt and I decided to move things a set forward which mean about a week after we were engaged. So many things revolved around July 4th for us.

Last year it was just me and the littles at home while Matt worked and Shelby was in South Texas. Bekah and I watched fireworks on the television.

Today we are going to relax, enjoy family, good food from the grill and some fireworks from the driveway. I pray that you have a great Independence Day and that you along with all your family stay safe.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Girl’s Still Got It – A Must Read

I am not much of a book review writer. Last year I joined a blogging for books group, but failed miserably. I have difficulty writing when I am supposed to write, when I am asked to write on a certain topic, so I read the book (or in that case the devotional), but never published a blog about it – I failed.

So, this post isn’t a book review, but a possible ramble about my love for Liz Curtis Higgs and her book The Girl’s Still Got It – Takea Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World.

Let me start off by saying that I have had this book for two years (I’m a bit behind on my reading stack). I purchased the book to go along with a Women’s Retreat I was a part of that covered Ruth. I think I made it through a few chapters before the retreat, but I have an excuse – I was in my first trimester with Morgan and my ADD was in full swing. That is really the only reason I didn’t finish the book. It is a very easy read – not easy like a Dick and Jane book, but Liz has a way of pulling you into a story. You get so wrapped up in the details that you look up at 1 am and wonder if you can squeeze in another chapter before you really really need to get some sleep.

There are just a small handful of authors that I adore and Liz is at the top of that list. I love love love her! She’s even more amazing in person. I had the awesome opportunity of meeting her during the Fall of 2012 at a women’s ministry conference where she actually sign my copy of this book (whoot! Whoot!).  She is purely delightful. You may know her from her Best Selling Bad Girls of the Bible series.

What makes Liz such a great Non-Fiction Christian writer is she started out as a writer of just fiction.  She sucks you into the events of bible by saying things like “All three women are wearing coarse sackcloth, woven from goat’s hair and dyed black. Make me itch just looking at them.” The words she uses to open the first chapter of the book make you feel like you are there with Naomi, Ruth and Orpah as they stand by the fresh graves of their loves. I love it, I love being sucked into a story.

I’ve sat through many a bible study where we through a chapter verse by verse and let me be honest it bores me most times, but the way Liz dissects Ruth and turns this chapter of the bible into pictures you can see and feel makes it so easy to pick up every detail of this event.

Right now I’m flipping through, looking for any highlighted passages I want to share without giving away any of the good stuff that you need to read for yourself because I really truly want you to read this book. This and all of her books. The Bad Girls of the Bible is a great place to start for new believers who want to learn about events in the bible. It has wonderful tales of redemption and forgiveness with a ton of DRAMA mixed in…I love love love that book. How annoying are all move loves getting to you?

Oh wait, found a quote that I love and won’t ruin the story for you:
Why do teachers and speakers and preachers go on and on about the Bible? Because “they are not just idle words for you – they are your life.” His holy Word fills your spirit the way food nourishes your body. Stop eating? Die physically. Stop taking in the Word? Die Spiritually.

She goes on to say, We live in a culture that make it easy to lose an hour on Facebook and hard to find ten minutes for bible study. Yikes – that hit a nerve in me. All of this was so timely as I begin to dive into the events of the bible.

I just flipped through again to see if there is anything else that I could share with you. I have a ton marked, but most of it is the meat of the story that you need to read and a few are things where I notated “I love how she said this. I love this wording.”

So, this can all be summed up by saying you really need to read this book. I am not sure if it’s at half priced books yet (which is where I get a majority of my books), but I know they normally have most of the bad girl series since it’s been a pretty popular bible study topic.

Let me leave you with Liz’s Ruth Rap. Oh man I love her!