Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Warming My Heart

Abby has said and done a few things recently that have really warmed my heart. She can sometimes be our more challenging child, but it is moments like the ones below that help me keep my sanity and bring me great joy.

During her prayer the other night she said, "Please give us some warm wind because it is cold outside." After the whole prayer Avery responded with, "Warm wind, huh?" The way she said it was like she was saying, "So that is really what you came up with, sis?"

Abby and her friend, Sybil, bring smiles to our whole preschool during chapel when they decide to belt out (I mean scream at the top of their lungs) "STAND UP AND SHOUT IT IF YOU LOVE MY JESUS! STAND UP AND SHOUT IT IF YOU LOVE MY LORD! I WANT TO KNOW, OH, I WANT TO KNOW, DO YOU LOVE MY LORD?" Their faces are priceless! My friend, Carrie, (Sybil's mom), and I are pretty proud of their singing/yelling. They are praising God with all they have. I am not embarrassed. We have sung several renditions of this at home, too. It really hasn't gotten old yet.

Abby, Avery, and their friend Sybil at the Teddy Bear Parade a couple months ago.

The other day Wes was walking by Abby's room and she was laying on her back on her floor with her arms and legs spread out. She was saying, "Where are you, Jesus?" Wes peaked his head in and said, "Abby, He is in your heart." She continued, "But I don't see you in my heart!" That is a tough concept to grasp for a three year old.

A group of friends from church and some of my friends from out of town (through email) and I are studying the book, Shepherding a Child's Heart, which is written by Tedd Tripp. It is a must read! It really challenges you to look to the Bible as you parent. It teaches you what your goals as a parent ought to be and how to pursue those ends practically. It teaches you how to engage your children about what really matters, how to address your child's heart by your words and actions. It has really inspired me to parent using God's words to train my girls, addressing the issues of the heart. Anyways, I highly recommend it. One of the things that Tedd Tripp challenges parents to do is to bring scripture into disciplining. Wes and I have really tried this, and I know the girls are hearing us, and I am pretty sure they are understanding. Here are some memorable moments we have had lately.

I was complimenting Abby as she was going down for her nap the other day. I was telling her what a good morning it was and how she had acted kind and sweet, and how she had obeyed me and made me happy. I was sharing that God is happy when she obeys her parents and that life is a lot easier when you obey your parents. She responded with something like this, "Yes, I didn't act yucky today. I obeyed. I didn't want to disobey like Cain when he killed his brother. I didn't want to have a hard life." I hope she truly understands those words and isn't just repeating stories we have shared with her. On another occasion right after we had disciplined Avery, she came over and said, (OK, more like bragged), "Avery is disobeying. She is disobeying God, too. That makes God sad. I am not disobeying. That makes God happy."

What a tremendous responsibility we have as parents to raise our children in a Godly way in a culture that is all about doing what is best for yourself. Some days it really overwhelms me to think about it all!

Pray! Pray! Pray!

Two Sundays ago our preacher Todd had a terrific message! As a part of his sermon series on the Holy Spirit he had several of our members share their testimonies through a method we called, "Cardboard Testimonies". We smiled, we cried, our hearts were broken. It was amazing to see how God had worked in the lives of these people. God is truly working today!!!! Check it out at Park Avenue Church of Christ's Website

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Fall Festivities

It is hard to believe its fall again. Time sure does fly!

The most exciting news we have is the birth of our adorable nephew/cousin James Tripp (he told us he would like to go by Tripp). He arrived on Wednesday, November 19. He is such a cutie pie and he has been adjusting well to his new life. It has been special to see Blake and Katy as proud parents. They are doing a wonderful job! The girls are elated to have a new cousin.

This made me almost want another one!

Avery getting in some sweet cuddle time.

The girls are interested in doing their own thing rather than taking a cute cousin picture.

Yes, I know I am good lookin'!

Two of their other cousins, Mylen and Aivlyn, celebrated their birthdays recently. Mylen turned 4 and Aivlyn celebrated her very first birthday. The girls always have a ball playing with their cousins and celebrating their birthdays. It will be even more fun when Aivlyn and Tripp get a little older and can hold their own around the older cousins.

I am a big one year old now!

Help me do this, mom!

I am so excited about my cake! (Janet, you always make the most amazing cakes!)

We took advantage of our fall festivities around the Grayson area. We hit the Sherman Fall Festival, Denison Fall Festival, and the Grayson County Fair.

Halloween brought along fun events such as our annual preschool fall festival, Avery's kindergarten Halloween party, and the Sherman Halloween Festival. Like most of you, we now have tons of candy. The girls didn't even notice when I took a big bag of it to share with the middle school girls I shared a cabin with on our middle school retreat this past weekend. Thanks girls!

Our little angel (most of the time).

Avery is the glittery witch on the cake walk. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of her in her costume. I will have to have her get dressed up again and do that. Oooops! That is what happens when you are trying to get pictures of your kids as well as your preschool students.

Abby's preschool class at the Fall Festival.

Wes and I and our wonderful middle schoolers on the retreat. Wish I had their energy!

Avery got her first report card, all E's (yipee!) and an E in citizenship. They have an awards ceremony every nine weeks when report cards go out. She got all the possible awards that a student could get. A reading award, citizen award, worker award, attendance award, and A Honor Roll. She has already done some state testing (kind of sad that kindergarten students have to take state assessment tests already). She got 100 percent on 7 of the 9 areas tested and between 92-99 percentile on the areas of the other test. We are quite proud! I hope and pray her joy in learning continues through out all her education years. I volunteer some at her school helping kids take reading tests, going on field trips, or helping the teachers with different projects from time to time.

Abby is doing well. She enjoys preschool and misses her sister while she is at school. She is our most affectionate child and I occasionally like to hold her while she falls asleep. She constantly cracks us up with her made up songs and dances. She is not shy! She has the sweetest prayers and most interesting ones too. She likes to pray for friends when they are sick, which melts my heart. The other day she prayed, "God, please give us the power!" Ha!

Our family has made the local paper 3 times. No, we don't have any friends on the staff, we just happen to be at the right spot at the right time, I guess.

Avery on the first day of school.

Our family at Open House at Avery's school. Yes, Wes is looking at his phone!

Our family is in top right hand corner watching the monkey show.

Avery got to participate in a mock vote at school.
Who should I vote for? I don't even know who these guys are?????

Can you tell me who to vote for?

Gotta love this smile!