Thursday, May 27, 2010

First Few Days of Summer!!

It's only been a couple of days we've been off and we have been taking it real slow! Last week nearly killed every single one of us!! Not to mention the work we did on the house Saturday!! So we are just trying to RELAX! It's kind of hard, though, we've been sooo tightly wound up!! So, I made a list of the things I've enjoyed the most these first few days of summer!! :) With 75 more days like this I should be good to go!! ;)

1. sleeping til 9:00
2. sonic happy hours
3. grilled steak dinner
4. spending all day with my family
5. strawberry shortcake
6. movie nights- we've been
catching up on some of the flicks
we missed during the school year!
(Astroboy, The Spy Next Door,
The Princess and the Frog, The Toothfairy)
7. sunny days
8. chocolate chip ice cream cones

***I thought I'd post a few pictures of what we've been doing! I haven't posted any for the month of May!! Enjoy!!

Will won his first baseball game!!

Our star jasmine bloomed on the deck!

Field Trip- Dreamland in Tuscaloosa!! Yummy!!

Playing Outside!

Playing in the sprinklers!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Kingdom

"for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
-Galatians 3:26-28

God gives each of us a part in the larger story that he has already woven. In that story we all have the chance to use our experiences to impact others for His kingdom. I am a product of the Birmingham school system and because of my exposure to other cultures I have a heart for racial reconciliation. Two weeks ago (Friday May 14 to Saturday the 15th) I got the chance to be a part of a camping trip put together by a gentleman from Briarwood, Harry Pearson. His vision was to have several of Briarwood's tenth grade boys go on a camping trip with several of our boys from Restoration. The liason between our school and Briarwood was Brian Goessling, who just came to Restoration from Briarwood this year. Normally, I would be super-pumped about an idea like this, but this has been a particularly hard and draining year, so I only reluctantly agreed to join in. I became even more reluctant when I was told that I would be the one delivering a fireside devotional that night. As we often do when we get tired, my mind justified my internal whining and complaining and the hope that I could just get the whole weekend over quickly. However, the Lord used this weekend to open my eyes to the power of His blessing and allowed me to witness a beautiful picture of the reality of His kingdom. None of the five students we took had ever been camping and so they were greatly excited when we got to the camp site and they saw four wheelers and canoes and kayaks. As the Briarwood boys started showing up in cowboy boots with their own fishing poles it became obvious that they were seasoned outdoorsmen, even at such a young age. Without any prompting from the adults present, the Briarwood students began to show our guys the ropes without even a hint of superiority. After paddling around the lake and fishing for a while they all set out on four wheelers and a Polaris ATV. We could hear them across the lake down in a bottom running around with engines wide open. After being gone for a little over an hour they returned just after dark and had managed to get more muddy than I thought humanly possible. The first picture was taken upon their return to camp and, for your information, the brown ATV we are gathered around started the afternoon bright yellow! We sat around the fire and I delivered a message based on the above passage from Galatians, which is one of my favorite passages to use with my students at school. After the devotional and smores, the boys headed out again to the same mud hole. After a little while, our curiosity got the best of us and we jumped in a four wheel drive and headed over to the spot and found the boys playing "capture the flag" in mud about a foot and a half deep by the lights of four wheelers. We captured the moment in the second picture. As I fell asleep in a lounge chaire by the fire when the evening was done I stared at the stars and marvelled at God's goodness. He used everything in my life to that point (every decision, triumph, and mistake) to bring me to that very moment on that very night and witness the coming together of His kingdom. As I reminded the boys around the fire during my message, forty years ago a group of black boys and white boys (not to mention the English dude that was one of the chaperons!) could not and would not have been sitting around the same camp fire in Shelby County, Alabama. God's kingdom is coming, and my prayer is that we in the American Church will be a part of that and will take part in the grand adventure that the Lord is building every day!

Focus on Fairfield!

Saturday was Focus on Fairfield day, where people from all over Birmingham come and help Restoration and the community! They paint, do yard work, clean up road sides, fix things at the school, etc. There is one each quarter and this quarter our Sunday School class came out to do some work at our house! I have never experienced the love of Christ in such a sweet way! There were a couple of projects we had to get done for insurance purposes and we were so overwhelmed! But it turned out that we had friends come paint our porch and fix some eaves in the back of the house! (I hope they are still our friends after we worked them to death)! It was a great day of fellowship! I am so thankful to everyone who was there to help~ it made a tremendous difference on the house, and lifted a major burden!! I promise it would have taken me and Clint three years to get all of that done by ourselves! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

"Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land." Psalm 41:1-2

****Sorry there are no before pictures!! It is amazing the difference paint can make~ especially on an 85 year old house! ;)

Monday, May 17, 2010

If I Stand

I've been in a funky mood lately! I just feel a little weepy now and then... I think it is just the stress I've been under with the last days of school, but for days I keep singing this song in my head all day long! I love it!! I love Rich Mullins and I miss him!
Anyway, this seems to help me feel better! :) Enjoy!!

"If I Stand"
(by Rich Mullins)

There's more that rises in the morning than the sun
More that shines in the night than just the moon

There's more than just this fire here that keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger than this room

And there's a loyalty that's deeper than mere sentiment
And a music higher than the songs that I can sing

The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance
I owe only to the giver of all good things

So if I stand, let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't let me fall on the GRACE
That first brought me to you

And if I sing let me sing for the JOY that is born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home

There's more that dances on the prairies than the wind
More that pulses in the ocean than just the tide

There's a love that's fiercer than the love between friends
More gentle than a mother's when a baby's at her side

And there's a loyalty that's deeper than mere sentiment
And a music higher than the songs that I can sing

The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance
I owe only to the giver of all good things

So if I stand, let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
If I can't let me fall on the GRACE
That first brought me to you

And if I sing let me sing for the JOY that is born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What? Mother's Day? Huh?

The end of the school year destroys my brain! I have been on major overload! I have about 20 million things to get done in one week, but I wanted to take a moment and reflect on Mother's Day this year! It was a truly wonderful day! This year I felt like I should be getting Will and Francie a gift and cards! I just felt completely overwhelmed by their love and thankful that I get have the honor of being their mother!
We had a cookout at my house this year with my Mom and Dad, and my sister and her family!! It was so great!! We should do that more, at least once a month! The kids did such a good job playing together and we all got to catch up with each other! Really, it was a blast! I made the yummiest Coca Cola cake ever, which turned out to be one of my favorite things about the day!!!

Me and Francie at church!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Few Good Things:

It's been awhile!! Things seem to speed up at the end of the school year!! We have been super busy, but we have managed to squeeze in some fun!!

1. Church Picnic! My Mom and Dad invited us to their church's picnic!! It was so awesome~ at our church picnic growing up we ate lunch in the graveyard and then we would play on the playground! This picnic was like a carnival~ face painting, cotton candy, inflatables and then we ate delicious barbeque in the AC!! We had so much fun! :)

2. Clint and I went to see The Tallest Man on Earth at the Bottle Tree~ it was packed out so I didn't get great pictures but I will share my one and only!

2. Ice Skating

It was Will's first time to skate without holding the rail or onto Daddy!! He was awesome, he just went out on his own!! It was fun to see him have a good time! :)Francie did a wonderful job ice skating! She didn't even cry!!

3. Loving Well! Last weekend I was able to go to the Women's Retreat at SMI! We did the Beth Moore Loving Well series! It was fabulous! Great friends, great worship, great food, great door prizes and T shirts, and a great message! Some of my favorite points: God is perfect love and nothing can separate me from God's perfect love!! He is the "loving well". We go to Him for the love we need to love others with! Sadly I have no pictures of this event. :(

4. This week was Teacher Appreciation Week! I was spoiled! My children brought me pens, pencils, notebooks, post-its, apples, oranges, bananas, flowers, candy, and chocolate!! I feel very blessed!! And it made the week with no air conditioner in my classroom better!!

(This isn't even all of my "happies")

****Seven Days of school left until Kindergarten Graduation! (This year my whole family will attend~ Anna is graduating and Francie's class is doing the intermission) This has been a special year! I have had one of the best classes I've ever had and I must say, I will be sad to see this group of kids leave me!!