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Friday, September 30, 2011

We are all family

I'm at Jennie's house everyday.  I pick up her children from school and then, once I get them home, I sit for a while and we let our children play together (most of the time, that makes a house full of nine kids).  Jennie has begun to refer to my brood as her "second family" and calls us that as we walk in the door every afternoon.  Last week, after greeting us at the door with, "Hello, my second family!", Luke replied with direct eye contact and a smile and said, "Yep, we are in the same family. We are all in the same family."

Wow......he's getting the gospel.  
He's understanding community.
Jesus is gripping his heart.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jawan's Taco Soup (via Maja)

Since Fall is here and the weather will be cooling off a bit, I thought I'd post one of my favorite soup recipes.  Melissa is always emailing me for it since she is in a different state every year and misplaces her recipe card.  Really, I just think it's an excuse she gives to email, text, or call me....and I love it!  What was I talking about?  Oh, yeah.....soup. No one in my family likes onions or large chunks of tomato so you'll find none in my recipe...but you can always add them if you'd like!


1.5 lbs ground beef, drained
(1) pack Ranch dressing
(2) packs taco seasoning
(1) 29 oz can tomato sauce
(1) 29 oz can water
(2) cans of shoepeg corn
(2) cans of black beans

Brown, drain, & rinse beef.
Add tomato sauce & water. (After emptying sauce, refill can with water)
Drain/rinse both corn & beans - add to pot.
Add Ranch & taco seasoning.
Heat & stir!

Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, and corn chips.

This recipe makes a lot of soup so it's perfect for eating half now and freezing the other half for later. YUM!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The front row

I don't have to sit near the front if I don't want to.

...but I want to.

Sitting on the second row helps myself and my children to worship.  It gives them a direct visual line to watch their dad preach, the pianist and violinist play, to see the community they have been given, to see the sacrament of baptism with clarity, and to watch communion be administered and valued.

Sitting on the second row also means that the congregation gets a great view of me disciplining my children.  There's a sweet couple that sit behind us each Sunday and I've often turned to them after the service and said, "Carol, I apologize for the squirming and constant bulletin dropping on your feet", to which she's always replied, "What a blessing those children are! I count it joy to be able to watch your children worship, no matter how often I have to bend over and pick up their things.  If I didn't, we wouldn't keep sitting behind you all!".

Today, as a closing hymn, we sang "In Christ Alone". Although we sing this song often, the words still grab my heart and remind me of my desperate state.  How merciful and gracious is the Father!

...So, the congregation got to see the snot and tears flow from my orifices as I sang with my family this morning.

Praise God!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tea Party

~ The real thing ~
Happy birthday to our friend, Sarah Ann!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Because numbering my random thoughts wouldn't make any sense

Abigail has had a deep raspy cough for the past two days....and it's getting worse.  When we got home from school this afternoon, we sent the boys to their grandparent's house for some quality time and dinner while I got to stay home and snuggle in the bed with my sweet daughter.

When she woke, she turned over to me and said, "I like sleeping with you, Mama, 'cause you're always so warm."

Yep, I am extremely hot-nature'd. Fortunately, the thermostat for the rooms on my hallway at school is located in my classroom.  All the other teachers are welcome at any time to stick their head in and adjust the temperature - but for the most part, I get to choose where I want to settle in the 70s.  I freeze out all the teachers, I know.  "Thank goodness for sweaters", I tell them.

God has brought several new families to our church, most with young children.  There have been 18-20 kids on average each Sunday - the halls are filled with laughter and beautiful noise.  

In my preschool class at school (you know, the one with 12 girls and zero boys), we have been studying the country of Canada.  My little girls know the three seas surrounding our northern neighbor, the colors and design of Canada's flag, and that English and French are the nation's languages.  It's been neat to watch these little ones show interest and retain the information from day to day.  After coloring the maple leaf and sticking the Canadian flag on a straw this afternoon, I couldn't resist sending a text pic to Coralie.  Then, as a class, we prayed for Canada and for Abigail's friend, "Mackerdoodle".  Even though most of my students had no clue who we were praying for, but because this little friend was dear to their classmate's heart, they bowed their heads and listened as Abigail prayed out loud.  Wish I had had a video of it.....dang, where's my tissue?

During the summer months (which meant time off from work), I cooked at home almost every night. Now, I'm challenged to get a good meal on the table before two soccer practices, one ballet rehearsal, and errand running. I have no idea what to set out for tomorrow's dinner but I'm thankful for our school spirit night at ChickFilA this Thursday evening!

Tomorrow afternoon I will leave my four year olds and travel across town to teach basic photography fundamentals to 17 year olds.  I am so nervous.

I really enjoy deep conversation.  You know, the kind of conversation that makes you think, makes you grateful, makes you wonder and sit in awe, makes you worship.  

As I type right now, it's raining....hard.  The thunder is loud and the lightening is lighting up the whole house.  Everyone is asleep and I am sitting here by the window listening to Matt Kearny sing through my Spotify account.  Bliss!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Captured my own...finally

On our drive home through rural parts of Georgia Saturday afternoon, we saw a sign for a covered bridge.  We took the quick right and jumped out to explore.  This was finally my opportunity to capture a few cute photos of my own kids.  


I tell them everyday that they mustn't grow up.

Her first birthday

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just recent pics

I love this little girl.  So glad I get the honor of spending every moment of my day with her.

They hang out every afternoon together after school while I clean up my classroom.  They take turns doing what the other wants to do.  

We are doing a unit study on the country of Haiti. She loves looking at the picture of the people and culture life in the book.

Music reminds

Listening to JJ Heller tonight and being reminded of the gospel.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall kickoff

The fall season brings many changes to schedules in our lives.  Sports, clocks, weather....and small group!  Our church is growing and it's exciting to see the need for more room, more small groups, more Bible studies, and more conversation.  God has brought many Army families to our congregation that are actually going to be in town for 2-3 years - they've even bought houses!  Also, a Korean PCA church has begun meeting in our facilities so we now have Korean friends (and food!) that we see weekly and get to fellowship with over food and other events.

Our children are watching, listening, and learning to walk in grace through relationships, too.  I told someone last Sunday that I remember seven years ago when our children's Sunday school class consisted of just three little ones (two of which were mine) - guess how many kids were in SS this past week?  18!  There are now three children's classes and it seems that Children's Church will now require a third helper. Adult SS is packed with college students, new parents, empty-nesters, and those in an older generation.  I am encouraged to see friendships form between the women of all ages as we realize how much we need each other.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A walk along the river

I always have more pictures than words to publish.  

The weather over the past few days has returned to the 90s - so we've been sweating a lot! Naturally, it made sense to use a few hours of today to enjoy each other and ride bikes long the river that flows through our city.  Our kids loved the freedom of biking on the paved path and probably felt a little bit of independence being a good bit ahead of us on the trail.  I'd like to make this a weekly occurrence this fall!



Mitch and I held hands from time to time while walking
....and I liked it.  Tee-hee!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friendship is sweet

Last night was an evening full of fun with friends, albeit it blurry friends.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Q goes with U

It seems that the riding in the car is the time when my children really seem to share the most with me about their day.  Andrew reminded me of a language rule when coming home tonight:

Andrew:  "Mama....did you know that q can't go anywhere without u?"

Me: "Yep!  So good that you remember that rule, Andrew!  That will be a huge help to you when you're taking your spelling tests this year."

Andrew:  "U can go out alone but q has to stay home if he's alone."

Me:  "Keep reminding yourself of that when you're spelling words like....."

Andrew: (interrupting) " cutie!"

Well......not really.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A picture will have to do

Friday, September 02, 2011

a book in bed

Abigail  usually has a book in the bed with her when she falls asleep each night.  Tonight, she said to me in the darkness of her room, "Mama, do you know why I like to sleep with my Bible?  'Cause it makes me feel safe at night in case I get scared." 




Another tender moment just a few seconds later when she said, "I like the true story of Jonah, Mama.  God opened the mouth of that big fish and SPIT Jonah out just like that!  Jonah disobeyed at first but then he changed his mind.  That's so cool!".