Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Grocery Shopping

We made it back from Florida to find an empty refrigerator. We got home late Saturday evening, partially unpacked, and went to bed. I had to be at church at 7:45am to play for the early service and then the day just unfolded into its usual Sunday schedule which left no time for the grocery store.

Monday morning, we got up and I decided to brave the grocery trip. The girls were in rare form...very giggly and much like little bulls in a china shop. So, you can imagine my DREAD of the trip. It was early, so I knew that there wouldn't be many people in the store.....maybe they won't run into anyone as they go twirling down the aisles like a ballet stage....but then the picture flashed in my mind of the neatly stacked cans tumbling to the floor and rolling all over the place as one of them (or both) twirled right into the canned vegetables.....(shudder)

Then it hit me.....let them do the shopping!!!! So I began the lists. Each girl got their own grocery list with specific details that would require careful reading and following of directions.

tea bags--decaf in green box....family-sized.....either
Luzianne or Lipton....decide which is cheaper or on sale today

cucumbers--three or four....medium-sized ones, not too big
(the bigger ones don't taste as good)

paper plates--bottom row....large bag....heaviest plates

cat food--14 small cans for two weeks worth...only "flaked"
types...no gravy (upsets Lucy's stomach)

bananas--not too ripe, a little green so they'll last

grapes--red, not green, make sure they aren't squishy which
means they are going bad

butter milk--half gallon....non-fat
There was more, but this is just a good example of things they had to  get.  Yes, I know that I didn't write them in the way I would have done my grocery shopping. I would have started with the produce section and worked my way over to the frozen foods. I had them going all over the store (sometimes from one side to the other) looking for each item on their list. Each took their own basket (Not a cart!!! Can you EVEN imagine that?? I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid!!) and they went off on their hunt.  Can I just say....it was glorious! There was hardly anyone in the store and I told them exactly where I would be---working my way one aisle at a time across the store for the other items.  It passed the time, kept them busy and was the best idea yet. I've done this before by allowing them to each go pick up one or two items and meet me at the check out counter when we only needed a couple of things on a short trip, but I've never done this on a big trip.  They met the challenge with a determined and quite mature enthusiasm. They read the directions and got the correct items, checking prices, sizes, etc....And not one can fell on the floor!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Grammar is a tough subject. We all make grammatical errors on a daily basis. It is a given fact that every single time I use improper grammar my Mother will not let the conversation continue (overlooking my error), but instead, will immediately correct the mistake that I knew I made the minute I made it!!!! No mercy!!! haha

It's not the little things that bother me....it's the BIG ONES. When you are typing something it's bad enough that you don't recognize it, but to think that people actually might say some of the things they write and think they are correct astounds me.

I was reading a blog the other day and someone said, "Keith and I's anniversary was this week."

I's ???? Would someone actually SAY "I's"? Ridiculous.

Before you go saying something about my own grammar mistakes, I admit I make them daily....hourly.....in haste of typing, writing, etc...I am the world's worse when it comes to sentence structure in writing. That's why I use so many...............when I'm typing.....
When I type, I am writing as if I were speaking to a friend......I pause.......think......and continue.
It works for I....oh, I mean ME! (just kidding, couldn't resist)

So, the next time you are talking about yourself.....think before you use "I"....and please...please....please....don't put an apostrophe 's' after it.......

I's get really irritated when that happens.

We've been busy...but we've had fun!

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Christmas 2008

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Why Go To Church?

Why do we go to church? There are so many good "Sunday School" answers to that question, aren't there? I look around sometimes at church and wonder why we are all there. We all seem to be going through a routine. I used to disagree with the more liturgical denominations that went through a set liturgy, routine, up and down, recited prayers, etc... I often thought that the set pattern of the service, the creeds, prayers and cantoring left no room for the Holy Spirit to move in a service. I think that having "order" in our worship is a good thing. When a strong spiritual leader leads the church through an "orderly" service, there is still much room for the Holy Spirit to breathe on the body of believers and move in the hearts of individuals in distinct and very personal ways. The order is there ironically for FOCUS, not for restriction, and especially not to lead us into boredom and staleness. The order is for focus on Christ.

We have become comfortable in church today. It is like going to a program. You enter, you sit, you listen, you applaud, you check your program, you donate to the plate and when the program is over, you go out to lunch or dinner. It's easy. We have even made our intimate time of Bible Study a more casual time of fellowship. No longer do we come having studied our lessons and eager for discussion, but we come late, hurried and distracted. We even get up early to prepare to bring a breakfast item of some kind to share because it's fun. I enjoy having breakfast on occasion at church, but it has become a habit that easily overshadows why we are there in the first place. Have you ever noticed that many times people make it to church (late) with a warm dish to share but no Bible? Don't get me wrong, I love to fellowship. But we are so busy in our daily lives that we have turned church into our social gathering, instead of our corporate worship.

Many times we do these wonderful things in the name of evangelism. It comforts guests. It is inviting to a visitor to have breakfast and coffee waiting. We are doing everything we can to relax and enjoy church ourselves and also to call it "guest friendly". We fool ourselves into thinking that people won't come to church if they don't feel comfortable and relaxed. So we dress more casually to make our guests feel less intimidated by thinking they have to come in fancy clothes. I don't believe that we need to be dressed in fancy clothes. I think there have been many people over the years in churches that have looked down on others for not being dressed "appropriately". That is so wrong on so many levels....but equally wrong are those who have taken the casual dress to a whole new level. Casual, dressy, fancy, plain....call it what you want to, but clean and neat is a whole different ballgame. Forgive me for sounding judgemental (it is not my intention) but if you are capable of dressing neatly and nicely, why look as if you just rolled out of bed or are headed to the pool the minute the postlude is played and the benediction spoken? Truth be told, I think we have become casual in the name of "seeker friendly" but truthfully for our own desires. It's not the clothes, it's the attitude behind them. You can be plain and unadorned without being so casual that you draw attention to yourself.

How many people are growing in their faith through our Bible study classes on Sunday mornings? If someone were to come in to visit our churches, looking....truly SEEKING Christ, do you think it really matters that we have breakfast, coffee, and and entertaining service? If that's what they are seeking, then it isn't Christ they are after. If someone is seeking Christ.....to taste and know Him because they are hungry and thirsty for the TRUTH, will they find him in our church? Or will they get plate of great food, a hot cup of coffee, and a great social gathering of friends? Yes, yes, yes...I know that these things are important. I know that friends, relationships, and genuine fellowship is essential to the Christian faith. But if we do not feed the SOUL first, the fellowship may never make it past this life into eternity. How tragic that would be.

So if you were seeking something to fill your soul....
Seeking to heal the void in your life you'd tried to fill with everything else....

What would you find at your church?
Something to relax you?
A great program to enjoy?
A fun group of friends who like to chat and fellowship?
Interesting topics?

Or will you find Christ?

The face of churches today has changed. The purpose of the church, I thought, was (and is) for the body of BELIEVERS to come together and worship. The body of Christ meets together to fellowship through the study of God's word. We then GO and tell others about Christ through daily relationships and encounters with those whom God puts in our path. Then the Lord will add to our numbers....believers...believers who will be discipled and trained.

So how does this effect the believer who is looking for a strong body in which to join in fellowship with? Have you ever moved to a new town and tried to look for a new church? Have you asked yourself what you were looking for in a church?

If a strong believer comes to our church looking for a STRONG, Bible teaching church, what will they find? If they bring their Bible, seeking a fellowship of deep, spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ....what will they find? Will they open God's word? Will they use it? Or will it sit in their lap and hold their plate? Will it remain closed?

Seeker? There are two kinds of seekers. Those who are seeking something they do not have....and there are those who know HIM and are seeking deep spiritual fellowship through worship and study. What will they find? I would hope both would find what they are looking for.

I watched the Christmas Eve midnight Mass in Chicago on TV today. Nothing entertaining.
But as I watched the faces of those in attendance, I will admit, my first thought was judgemental. I figured it was a bunch of people doing church for their "once a year visit". I'm sure there were those in attendance. But as I watched the service, listened to the creeds, watched the sacraments being made Holy for communion, I looked at the faces of the people again and saw something different. I saw people singing as a congregation what was set before them, praying earnestly, listening, and worshiping. It was ALL about God.....every moment.

So these are the thoughts in my head on Christmas day.

Let's make our churches HOLY places. Places where people will find God, no matter what their spiritual maturity. Let's not seek to please, but to worship God and feed the souls of all who enter...

including ourselves!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fiddle-dee-dee again!

Janey had her third violin recital this month. Her teacher uses this beautiful old chapel of an Episcopal church here in downtown Greensboro. It's just the right size for a nice recital. There were probably 100 or more in attendance.

Janey and her friend, Hollins, played a little duet first, then Janey did her recital piece alone. Her Noni and Papa were here for the recital and we all went to Panera afterward...Janey's pick!

(she loves the soup...and it was about 20 degrees outside!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Open my eyes...that I may see...

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!
(Clara H. Scott)

I've been thinking about the miracle of our senses. There is a teenager at our school who has just found out that he is going blind quite rapidly. That will make you stop and really think about the gift of sight. My eyes are not that good. Without my contacts or glasses, things are very blurry. I could not drive safely for sure! Without my glasses, images on the television screen have outlines, but no faces or definition (even in HIGH DEF!). Our senses are miracles of creation! I wonder what I would do if I found out I was losing my sight. I think I would "look" at things from a totally different perspective.

Maybe I would gaze more.

Maybe I would linger while watching a sunset.....or actually take the time to notice one.

Maybe I would memorize every line of my husband's face and the smiles of my children.

I would probably get up earlier to see the day begin.

I think I would see differently. I would notice....

Maybe I would be more sensitive to others because I would actually notice them instead of being so lost in my own thoughts and concerns that I look past them.

How often do I look past my own children or husband when they are talking to me?

How often do I look past the beauty of God's creation?

Oh God, that I might take the time to really SEE!

I think that if I take time to really SEE with my eyes...
practice and exercise really noticing others....
look at things in deeper detail....
maybe then the eyes of my soul and spiritual understanding will deepen so that the eyes of my heart will open to see Jesus in a way I've never seen Him before!

Psalm 34:8

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Dresses...New Attitudes

Well, the dresses speak for themselves. Don't you just love a really good sale? The kind where you get two for the price of one? In today's economy, I just get a little giddy over them! So, when I went to Meredith's closet to get out some fall things and NOTHING fit her, I happened upon the great 50% off sale at dear old Penny's. So each girl got two dresses to last the season.

On to the new ATTITUDE. Even with the extra hour of sleep, it seemed my oldest was in a rare funk this morning and decided to have an attitude.....and not a very good one. This is very unlike her. She is usually very pleasant and happy. After two soft reprimands on the way to church about her attitude (isn't that typical....always on the way to church), she had reached her limit in my book. She decides to try and turn the tide by asking if I'd like her to read me a Bible verse.....and I ever so sarcasitically (sinfully) said, "Maybe you ought to read yourself a Bible verse." (I know, uncalled for, but timely)

"Tell me where to look", she says.

"Anywhere!", I quipped.

"Anywhere? Can't you just TELL me where to read from?"

"Proverbs! Read from Proverbs. Anything from there will help you!", I said.

So she opens her Bible and reads from Proverbs with conviction....

"Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
whoever is led astray by them is not wise." Proverbs 20:1

Now, that may not be a funny verse, but after all the attitude from the child, and the sarcasm from the Mother.....I just cracked up in hysterical laughter. Of all the verses for her to read.....

Maybe next time, I'll worry more about my own attitude and give her a verse to read and not just send her to the Word with no guidance. Afterall, isn't that our job as parents?

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

This leads me to another point. In order for us to lead our children to the Word and to scriptures for daily instruction, we must first be knowledgable in the scripture ourselves.

I think today's adults are lazy...and I include myself in that assumption. We have scripture at our fingertips. Literally. We can pick up our Bible (the good OLD FASHIONED way), we can listen to the Bible on CD in our cars "on the fly" and "on the go", and we can go to our computer and find Bible websites that allow us to type in key words that take us directly to the passage or scripture we are looking for. It's so easy. Almost too easy. This wonderful technology has made us lazy in memorizing scripture. We can just open our laptop, pop in a CD, do a quick search and there it is.

It scares me to think that I'll be sitting with someone trying to witness to them someday, and want to quote and share a particular scripture passage and will instinctively want to reach for my laptop and not my Bible. It also scares me to think that I have wasted so much time searching but never memorizing.

A friend sent me a devotion recently on the importance of memorizing scripture. The devotion came within a day of me having this same conversation with myself about laziness in memorizing scripture. God is placing seeds along the way on a daily basis. We have Bibles (plural) in our possession in every translation available.

I say lets turn off the CD, close up the laptop, and get out our Bible and some good old fashioned index cards and....

"Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." ~ Deuteronomy 6:7-9

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Grand Night For Singing

Last weekend my family and I traveled back to Samford University for Homecoming. We made the trip in order for me to participate in a weekend tribute to my formal choral conductor/teacher who served at Samford from 1967-2000. Over 300 choir alumni returned for the weekend with their families making the numbers soar even higher. Friday evening was a three and a half hour tribute full of stories, songs, video tributes and messages, instrumental performances, and tears. I watched a former professor who is retired now sit at the nine foot Steinway and play Chopin's A-flat Polanaise like he was 20 years old! I cried all the way through it because I missed my own piano professor so much who died this past year. (I actually had to take a remedial technique class under the man who performed this weekend and my fingers BLED during my time with him....no lie!!!) Even so, I went to speak with him afterward and told him how moved I was to hear him play.

I renewed countless friendships, didn't recognize a lot of people (does that mean they didn't recognize me??????), laughed until my cheeks hurt from smiling so much, lost a lot of sleep, and enjoyed being away with my children and husband for the first time since......well.......I can't remember when. (which means it's been way too long) We took off work and school and decided that life is too short to be tied to schedules and work/school and miss out on opportunities.

I can't even put into words how it felt to sing these songs again. Difficult pieces. Beautiful pieces. There were people in this alumni choir from the 1960's all the way to 2000. It was a wonderful experience. I haven't been able to make that kind of music in a long time.

Back to the tribute night....

The program was billed to go from 7pm-9pm with a reception immediately following hosted by the President of the University. It ended up lasting until 10:30pm and the reception followed that. At 10:30, I had a mini family reunion with a cousin and his wife and children in the aisle of the concert hall. Then decided that we would head back to the hotel and hit the sack! My sweet girls had sat in the concert hall in their Sunday dresses for three and a half hours!!! I told them we were headed home and they looked at me with their sleepy faces and said.....

"But what about the cookies???"

So, of course we stayed. After all, they had behaved so nicely for SO LONG that who could deny them a cookie?

Monday, October 20, 2008

I would love a "do over"....

Unfortunately, there is no such thing in real life. We don't get "do overs". But if I ever wanted one...it was today.

I wasn't feeling very well this weekend and on top of that hosted a slumber party. (see previous post) So, needless to say, things didn't get done over the weekend like they should have. Normally, I spend the better part of my Saturday doing laundry. I would love to say I clean the house EVERY weekend, but it just doesn't happen. In my mind it does. I imagine what it would look like if it were being cleaned. So far no miracle has happened, and the laundry didn't get done.

I awoke to the house like a block of ice because we forgot to set the heat to come on for the first time. As I was getting dressed this morning, I was trying to psych myself of for my Monday. My Monday is the most stressful day of the week for me, with Wednesday being a close second. I began my morning list of reminders for the kids. I began with ballet clothes for after school. Here is where the day went downhill before we even left the house.

The ballet clothes for Janey hadn't been washed and were SOMEWHERE in the pile of laundry waiting to be washed. Now when I say pile of laundry, I am speaking in literal terms. Maybe I should go as far as to say piles of laundry. So the search began. It took me fifteen minutes to sort through all the laundry....but there it was....the blue leotard. Popped it in the dryer with a "make it smell good for one more wear" dryer sheet, and then made it downstairs to find the sink full of dirty dishes.

I knew that any attempt at closing my eyes and picturing the kitchen clean wasn't going to work, so I skipped breakfast and cleaned the kitchen.

That's when it all hit me. The flood of feelings of inadequacy and failure. It wasn't just the laundry and the kitchen sink. The overwhelming sense of having no time to actually rest when you don't feel your best, because you will only fall that much farther behind.

This is where my husband found me quietly sobbing in the bathroom.

It's a gift really. The silent and very ugly cry. It has taken years of perfecting it, but I think I have it down pretty good. You don't want anyone to know you are crying, but you just can't hold it in any longer. If you cry out loud and really release the stress, then the children are ALARMED and ask a thousand questions that will send you into another whole level of stress!  So, one must perfect the silent sob. So, my husband finds me in the bathroom trying to blot my make up before I have to go fix it all over again. By now, I have the "crying headache" and wish I could just crawl back in bed and start again. But, no time for tears. The day must go on.

I forge on through the stressful Monday.  On Mondays I literally run between K-12 classes all day and can barely keep up. Around 12:45, I'm still teaching (class number five of the day---and it isn't even lunchtime) and that's when it happened. I had left my laptop on the floor of my classroom right next to the piano. I was trying to teach and write a memo for the students in the room to take home at the same time. I put the computer down to focus on a particular song we were working on and left it next to the piano. I got up from the piano to go help some students and.........


Yep. I stepped on the laptop screen. It's ruined. I've never seen a screen look like that before.
Beautiful in a heart-breaking kind of way.

As I looked at the computer screen and it's "cracked" mess, I realized that my life is pretty "cracked" these days. Shattered in so many different places and jumbled beyond recongnition. I wonder who I am at times. I am thankful that God is working to take this cracked and shattered heart of mine and repair it. It is taking some time, but I can feel the balm healing one area at a time.

His mercies are new EVERY morning....not just on the mornings when the laundry is done.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

slumber parties, giggles, pizza, movies, noise, belly laughs!

Five giggly girls celebrated Meredith's 9th birthday. What a night! I am still tired. Girls can laugh and giggle about absolutely NOTHING! And they all talk at once and somehow still know what each person is saying. Unbelievable. I guess women can be just as bad, but we aren't nearly on the same decibel level.

Simple fun....ChuckECheese, sleeping bags, movies, popcorn, and lots of laughter. After arriving home from the pizza place, we spread out the sleeping bags, had cake, opened presents, and then it happened. I knew the day would come, but never thought it would be so soon. I got the inevitable, "We've got it covered, Mommy." (Stab! Pain!) That was the nice way of saying, "Leave!" "Go upstairs!" "No grown ups allowed or invited!"
I'm old.

Friday, October 10, 2008


My sweet baby girl in her recital dress getting ready for her second violin recital! She wanted the violin to "match" so it got a ribbon!

Monday, October 6, 2008

No...I don't think so......Can't do it......Not this time.......I'm sorry........

No matter how many ways you try to sugar coat it....saying "no" is never easy. Well, maybe it is to you, but I find it difficult. As I get older I am realizing more and more that the problem with saying "no" lies totally with me and no one else. Let me explain.

If people know that from 6:00-7:00 pm on a given day you are not otherwise committed to another activity or responsibility, they automatically assume you are "available" and ready to fill that hour you "just so happen to have vacant". People don't take time to understand that maybe...just maybe... you intended or planned that hour to be open. In a sense you have planned and committed that hour to something. Maybe it's NOTHING, but it's still SOMETHING. Am I making any sense at all?

Life has gotten so crazy that when we have "free time" it is because we have had to bend over backwards (after cartwheels, round-offs, splits and a hurkey or two) in order to find some time that we save for ourselves and even our families.

This summer God grabbed me as I whizzed by to another event and shook a little sense into me.
I had to finally admit that I am not Wonder Woman/Super Mom. See, it's hard to even write it, much less say it. But, after getting that reality out in the open, I felt much better.  But...then I actually had to do something about it.

You see, God never intended me to be a super woman. This is not news to most. I'm just slow. I had the "Sure!"..."Yes"....."I guess"......"That's fine"...disease. Well no more.

God showed me that my home was a wild and chaotic place. God wants it to be a place of peace and rest. Not only was it the opposite of peaceful, we weren't even there very much. After I finally admitted this to myself, I set out on a path to undo what I had created.

In order to "make the change", I had to learn a new word...."NO". Some people have NO problem saying NO. If you had asked me if I had issues with that word before this summer, I would have told you "NO". I quickly realized that I was wrong and began making the necessary adjustments.
I gave up some things that I had been involved in and decided to give that time to my family. Now, this doesn't mean I'm sitting at home doing nothing. In truth, I'm still stretched pretty thin. It just means I'm spending the time on my family....not on everyone else. As soon as I began implementing my "plan"....my plan was put to the test.

"We really need you."
"We can't find anyone else."
"You are SO GOOD AT THIS!"
"You're not doing anything during this time."
"Everyone else is so busy during this time and we can't find anyone who is free that can do it."
"We need EVERYONE committed to this."
"Can you help me out?"

Difficult is an understatement.

I was given a taste of my own medicine through guilt-trips. I got so tired of saying "no", but eventually it got a little easier. I began to go through a time of questioning my decision to back off some things. I started to think that maybe I was wrong. I had to get back on my knees and recommit! It is a daily task. But it's working.

I feel myself slipping into guilty mode every now and then, but I know it's Satan.
I'm sticking to my guns. I'm not giving in. I look into the faces of my husband and children and know that I'm making the best decision. I am reminded by God that many times I thought I was saying "yes" to others, but in reality I was saying "no" to my family.  Life is better. Peace has come back into our lives.

EVERY DAY I am faced with my decisions. People question my lack of participation at times or sudden disappearance in certain areas, but my children and husband haven't complained.

I dug my own hole, and I am now filling it back up with what I hope is good and fertile soil.

Friday, September 26, 2008


If you haven't been out on a date lately, take your spouse and go see the movie, Fireproof. It is by the group that produced Facing the Giants. It is nice to see God glorified and scripture on the screen! Support the movie! Christ's love is the center of this film on marriage. Christ is our ultimate example of love. Without the understanding of His love for us, we cannot truly love our spouse. God's love is amazing and so is my marriage. Thank you, Lord! I am blessed.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Out of the mouths of babes....

Today we were driving down the road and discussing what happens when you call 9-1-1. This is a reoccuring conversation with kids. Anytime you see an accident, an ambulance, a fire truck, a police car....same conversation all over again.  Today she asked exactly what happens when the 9-1-1 operator answers. I told her that they will answer and say, "9-1-1...what is your emergency?" My little actress says, "And you would answer something like......'Help! Someone has just passed out and is suffering from SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS!"

Yes, daughter, there are times when we could possibly pass out from "self consciousness."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's Finally Fall!

This photo was taken this morning. It turned fall overnight!  The girls had nothing that fit that was "weather appropriate"; however Janey, my youngest, thought her sleeveless sundress was just fine until she realized the temperature was in the fifties. We had to run out last night and try and get some fall things. Time flies.....they grow so fast!

First Day of School

High-Ho! High-Ho! It's off to school we go! First day of a new year. This was taken four weeks ago and I'm just now pulling things off my camera. Unfortunately some of the smiling was "forced"...I mean....summer's over.....bummer, right?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Memorable Moment

I have been reflecting on my journey at my current job. These students have come so far in only two years. As we completed our second year together, there was a moment in our spring concert where the choir was "on their own". They presented a piece of music entitled, "Lord, Have Mercy". It was student led and accompanied, and I had the priviledge to sit and watch. It was breathtaking from my seat. It was a moment where I finally got to sit and listen from the perspective of everyone else in the audience.  I was able to enjoy and be a recipient of what they had to offer as musicians. What was so amazing was that the gift they gave their audience was one of authenticity. They allowed us a look into their hearts. They love Jesus. They love their music. They allowed us to worship alongside them. They were worshipping, and we were allowed a glimpse of that worship. It was beautiful and such a blessing to me as a teacher. It was a true picture of what our school aims to do through a classical education. In the study of rhetoric, students learn how to express what they know and what they are learning. The rhetoric stage is built on a foundation of accumulated knowledge and is the capstone of the Trivium. On the stage that night was a beautiful example of this stage of their educational journey and their spiritual journey.

Another highlight from the evening was the first "Men's Choir" from the school performing a beautiful indian love song. One of the students posted it on YouTube. You can listen below.   I listen to it when I need a reminder of why I love what I do. The moments that keep you going back every day.

It was a great night...memorable moments!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Giving God Credit

My youngest who was pictured in the previous post was confused as she brought me her homework assignment sheet from school. The conversation went something like this:

J: "Why did my teacher type NO HOMEWORK in both Wednesday's box and
Friday's box?"

Mom: "Well, your teacher goes to church on Wednesday nights, too, and I guess she is
thinking that homework on Wednesday nights might be a little rough on some families."

J: "You mean......we don't have homework on Wednesdays or Fridays?"Mom: "That's right."
J: (with her hands in the air....) "The Lord has freed me!"
Sure makes a Mama proud that she's giving God the credit!!! haha

To tell the truth, I did an inward high five to the teacher. What a relief. Wednesdays are TOUGH. One less child with homework to try and rush through late after church is better than both!

In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Bonus Baby.....

She's my bonus baby. While I was rocking my 3 month old first-born, trying to learn the ropes of motherhood, I woke up one morning to find out that I was expecting my second! Shocked, scared, confused.....so many emotions come to mind.

Two in diapers, two in cribs, and eventually TWO IN COLLEGE at the same time. Needless to say, I was pretty overwhelmed.

This brown-haired, brown-eyed baby doll entered the world screaming, and screamed for six straight months! I wondered if she would ever stop. Finally, around six months old, she woke up one day and decided to be happy! It was a glorious day!

This baby that came to us unplanned and unexpected has captured our hearts beyond explanation. She is funny, smart, talented, intuitive, and scares me to death!  She figures things out without help. She will often sit back and quietly listen to things we are discussing with her sister.  When we question her sister on her homework, this second child will answer before her sister has a chance to process the question. Now...that could be because the older sister is too busy thinking about "more important" things......like fun and play!

Our beautiful bonus baby has music in her blood. She plays the violin and LOVES to be on stage. She will begin ballet lessons this year and can't wait to dance and put on those ballet slippers. She can do a mean "Ariel" while singing in the shower! Her rendition of "Part of Your World" is dazzling to say the least! She is quite the little performer....even behind the shower curtain.

This second child of ours will not be messed with. She has quickly figured out that being #2 sister has it's perks and has it's drawbacks. So, to insure her rightful place, she has turned into quite the bossy little thing! We are working on this daily. Sadly, the blonde child is such a pleaser that she often let's her boss her around.

My bonus baby.......she keeps me on my toes!

She gives the best hugs!

She is learning to please God and to ask his forgiveness when she does things that do not honor and please Him. It is starting to REALLY matter to her. It is such a blessing to watch her grow spiritually and in her relationship with Jesus.

I love her.

I like her.

She makes me laugh.

I wouldn't trade this "BONUS" for all the money in the world!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Isn't She Lovely.....

[luhv-lee] –adjective
1. charmingly or exquisitely beautiful: a lovely flower.
2. having a beauty that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye, as a person or a face.
3. delightful; highly pleasing: to have a lovely time.
4. of a great moral or spiritual beauty: a lovely character.

We all love our children. I know that. So the thoughts I have are probably identical to those of every other Mother in the world, but they are uniquely mine, just as this lovely creature that God gave me is uniquely mine.

This is my first-born. She's blonde....through and through! The fact that she is blonde is even more unique to me because my entire immediate family is brown-headed and brown-eyed! So this lovely girl is special.

LOVELY is a word that always comes to mind when I think of my daughter. She genuinely loves life. She purposefully sets out to enjoy every minute of every day. She enters every activity, every chore, every encounter with the excitement of Christmas morning.

One story that explains this celebratory character trait happened one Sunday morning at church. During the announcements, the pastor informed the church body that a former minister was celebrating his 70th birthday. There was to be a "party" at a local seafood restaurant for anyone who could make it at noon one day that week. The pastor continued on to say that anyone who could make it that week at lunchtime could come by and have lunch and celebrate this man's birthday. My lovely  girl leaned over to her dad and with more excitement that you can even imagine asked, "CAN WE GO?????? " She didn't know the man, nor did she know that the "party" would consist of mainly senior adults who are retired and able to attend a lunch time gathering on a weekday. I'm sure in her mind she pictured games and lots of fun!

She hurts when someone hurts.

She laughs when she doesn't even know what's funny, but because everyone else is laughing.

She lives to please.

She loves everyone.

She genuinely apologizes for her wrongs without prompting.

She SAVORS life.

She is LOVELY and

she inspires me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Could it get any worse?

It rained 40 days and 40 nights.  Well, not really, but it has rained so much that we are really experiencing flooding all over town. We arrived at school today and had to take off our shoes in order to WADE (no exaggeration) down the sidewalk. The RIVER that stood in front of my building was the next obstacle and therefore we remained barefoot. Once I deposited the children in their proper places, I went down to my classroom and began to prepare for the day. I didn't have a class first period. I did, however, have a meeting.....one of MANY that I seem to have in any given day.  I was trying to  go over a Teacher Improvement Plan with one of my teachers, discussing their steps for working on their goals, all to the percussion of the DOWNPOUR from the sky. Seemed like a squall! Then, as if it couldn't get any worse, the FIRE ALARM GOES OFF unexpectedly and the entire school has to be evacuated to wait on the fire truck....

yes.......in the DOWNPOUR! There stood all the students completely soaked all the way to their underwear, I'm sure. Can't you just picture the chaos?

And no, we never did find out why.

The students returned to class and the teachers tried to gain some sort of control again while the weather kept getting worse. About the time we thought we might be back on track.....there was a tornado warning.  Unbelievable.

So......do we take the students out in the weather for the fire drill, or put them on the floor in the building for the tornado!!!??? In or out? Or as our Head of School says, "Burn or blow?"

So...."welcome back to school".  My oldest is coughing, sneezing, and can barely talk for the hoarseness. My husband is sick.  My youngest is getting over the coughing and sneezing.

I'm tired.

Is it Christmas yet?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Lord's Day

Today is the Lord's day. I woke up very early because I had to be at church before 8:00 am. I left everyone in my house asleep....and sick. Seems my oldest came down with swimmer's ear after practically living in the ocean and pool for 4 days.  My youngest has some strange virus that caused a horrible head cold.  Then there is my husband who began coughing, sneezing and moaning yesterday. I feel terrible for him. I guess he caught it from our youngest.  So, I tip-toe out of the house around 7:30 and go to church.

The pastor preached on Psalm 51 today.  It was David's heart-felt confession to the Lord. I've always thought this was a beautiful picture of brokeness and transparency before God. I am especially moved by the passage in verse 8:

8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Sin had caused a deafness in David's soul. This is so evident on our culture today. So many suffer from depression....a type of depression that is a result of being lost in sin. I am not referring to clinical depression, but I am referring to depression caused by being so lost in sin that one cannot hear or feel joy. What a sad place to find oneself.

I was also moved by verse 14 and 15:

14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

Our sin causes us to be unable to praise God. When we confess our sins and He cleanses us....our lips are "unsealed" and we are once again able to sing the praise of our Lord. When our prayer life seems stale, we should pray for God to reveal hidden sin in our life so that we may unlock the flow of praise that should flow freely from a righteous life.

I watched our pastor begin clapping during a song of praise this morning entitled, "Sing To The King". Clapping doesn't bother me when it is out of true joy and praise. It's the clapping without knowledge of what one is really singing about that bothers me.  I guess you'd call them the "beat-keepers."  Our pastor began clapping during a portion of the song that proclaimed, 

"Come let us sing a song, a song declaring we belong to Jesus.   He is all we need. 
 Lift now a heart of praise.  Sing now, with voices raised to Jesus.  Sing to the King!"

Our pastor doesn't always clap. So I guess that is why it struck me so today. He actually encouraged others to do the same and then spoke about our heart of praise.  He was also moved by the singing of "How Great Thou Art" today which is one of my all-time favorite hymns. As I accompanied this hymn I was meditating on the profound meaning behind the words:

"Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee, 'How Great Thou Art!' "

Do we really love Him that much that our very SOUL just HAS to sing?  We love Him so much that our soul cannot do anything but sing!

The pastor spoke about how many people don't get anything out of church today. They complain about the preaching, the music, and say that they just aren't getting anything out of it. He asked us "What did you put into the sermon this week? What did you put into your soul this week? Did you come expecting to meet God today?"

My Daddy always told the choir that very same thing many nights at choir rehearsals. We must come expecting to meet God, and God will bless us with something in the service even if things aren't the best.

So as I go throughout this week, I pray that I will meet God in all my circumstances because I have an expectation that He will be there.  I pray that my sin won't keep me from experiencing the blessings that God has in store for me....

so that God can unseal my lips to praise Him,
so that I can hear joy and gladness,
so that my soul can sing......"How Great Thou Art!"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

If you can't beat'em...

It has often been said..."If you can't beat'em....join'em"....so here I go.

I have thought many times that this blogging thing would fade out and people would find something else to do with their time....like read a book. I do like to read. I actually love reading any spare minute I get. But I have recently taken to reading a few blogs on a regular basis and realized while doing it that it has become a daily habit. I don't know if this is a good thing yet or not...only time will tell. I don't know if anyone will ever read this or cares to, but I'm going to do it anyway so I can add another knotch on my "trying to be techy" to-do list.

I guess some people would say that blogging is for chatty people. Well I guess I fit that description, though sometimes I talk so much during the day that by the time I get home I don't really want to talk anymore. Typing seems like a much better option. Your mind is filled with things and if you don't want to say them out loud, "blogging" them out of your mind sounds like a great alternative. 

So some may ask why the blog is called "Planting Daisies"......well my Mother always said that you can plant daisies wherever you are, meaning that no matter your circumstances, no matter your physical location, no matter how bad things may seem to you at the time...planting daisies makes things seem a little better, a little more like "home" and it helps your spirit.

So...I'm planting daisies where I am these days.

It helps.

Mother is always right.