Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Caleb's First Day of Preschool

Caleb started preschool today! He is going Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9-12 at a local church preschool. He was very excited today and he did great. I wondered what might happen when we got to his room, but he gave me a kiss and walked right in! No tears, no fussing, just excited to be at school! When I picked him up, he was having a great time. He told me that they read a book, he glued a heart, and played with balls and with Max (a boy in his class). I can't believe how quickly the past 2 and a half years have gone by! Here are some pictures from his first day of school:

Wearing his backpack ready to go!


Isn't his backpack great? Thanks Nana!

"Mommy! I don't have time for pictures, I want to go to school!"

Trying a New Shopping Method

Thanks to my friend, Leslie, in Florida, I have decided to try a new way of shopping- namely clipping coupons, and using CVS and Walgreens to get things for free or nearly free. It has been an interesting few weeks as I try to figure out this new system. But, I think I have finally started to figure it out! Here is what I got last night:

From Publix-
Total before coupons: $31.18
Total Out of Pocket: $10.61

From Walgreens-
Total before Coupons: $12.37
Total Out of Pocket: $0.99!

From CVS-
Total before Coupons: $26.83
Total Out of Pocket: $3.59

I have also been reminded of an important lesson through all of this. In the first few weeks, I was very frustrated because I felt like even though I was saving money, it wasn't enough! I felt like I was doing something wrong. What God revealed to me was that I was putting the burden for saving money and providing for our family on myself. This is not my burden to bear! God is our provider- God is our portion. While He has given me the abilities to take care of our family, ultimately it is God who provides for us. What a relief! So, thanks Leslie for showing me a new way to save money and Thank You Lord for providing everything we need!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our Crazy Life

Wow... so it has been several months since I have blogged. Maybe after you finish reading this one you will know why!

What a crazy summer we had! In June, Jack took our students on a World Changers mission trip to Biloxi, Mississippi. And because our bus driver backed out at the last minute, my dad, who has a bus license, went too. The boys and I went to spend the week with Grammy since Daddy and Pop-Pop were both gone. Caleb had a great time playing with Hayden all week- man those two really love each other! Here are some pictures from our week:
Hayden, Noah and Caleb in the backyard pool!

Caleb loves the pool! He jumps in, puts his head under and already swims and kicks by himself! Maybe the next Michael Phelps?!?

Mr. Blue Eyes is growing up so fast!


When Jack got home it was time for Father's Day and Noah's Baby Dedication. We had a lovely day as we dedicated Noah and Grammy and Pop-Pop and Nana and Paw-Paw were here for the occasion!Everyone at Noah's Baby Dedication

Just a week or so later, Jack went to Savannah for another World Changers trip. This time he went as the Project Coordinator and Worship Speaker. He truly is a gifted preacher and we are so proud of him and opportunities God has given him to speak! The boys and I decided since he was still in state we would head down for his Wednesday off. We had a great time with Daddy and the summer staff team.The Fam in Savannah- notice that Jack has grown a beard and we have both lost weight thanks Weight Watchers!

While Jack was gone we celebrated the 4th. Caleb was absolutely terrified of the fireworks! I have never seen him so afraid. Poor little guy!

When Jack got home from all of this traveling, we were both convicted about the quality time we spent as a couple and as a family. While we have a very strong and healthy marriage, I told Jack that I realized why there is such a high divorce rate among empty nesters. It is so easy to spend all of your time focused on your kids- they are so precious and fun! But in the process, your marriage is neglected. And on top of everything, being in the ministry is very draining at times and we find that much of our together time is spent talking about church! So, we resolved to have date nights every week on Thursday nights. One Thursday we get a babysitter and Jack and I go out together and the next Thursday night is Family Date night and we do something just the 4 of us! It has been really great- a big thank you to everyone who gave us giftcards last Christmas! Jack and I just used the last restaurant one and we still have a few movie tickets- free dates! :) And have enjoyed family picnics at some area parks. God has provided us with such a precious gift- our marriage and our children. No matter what, we need to make these things a priority! Tonight Jack and I are going to a different church to enjoy a worship service together- not as pastor and wife but as husband and wife worshiping our Lord together! Yay! Here are some pictures from our family date nights:
A self-portrait

Playing at the park!

Also in July we seriously tackled potty training and I am THRILLED to say that Caleb is potty trained! No more diapers!! YAY! He is doing a great job and just this week is very interested in privacy. He pushes us out of the bathroom and shuts the door! He says "No Mommy, I do it by "myfels" " :) Let me just take a moment to brag on my oldest. He is not yet 2 1/2 but he is potty trained, knows his uppercase letters and lower case letters, can spell his name, knows his colors and numbers, and even knows some letter sounds! He is such a joy to be around. In two weeks he starts preschool just two mornings a week. And now to brag on my youngest... Noah is such a sweet baby. He is smiling and laughing all the time now and just recently has discovered his voice! He can get quite loud! He loves Caleb and reserves his biggest smiles for his big brother!

Last weekend our friend Eric's band played at Six Flags Christian Music Weekend. We took the opportunity to take Caleb to the new Thomas Town to ride on Thomas! We had a great time!
Ready to go to Six Flags!
Daddy and Caleb meet Thomas!

Caleb and Noah grow more and more each day and I fall more and more in love with them- which I didn't even know was possible I already love them so much! And Jack is the biggest blessing in my life. I am in awe of God's incredible blessings in my life. I have been reading a book called "The Bathtub is Overflowing,But I Feel Drained." It is a great book for moms. And yes, there are days when I am incredibly drained, and times when the circumstances at church are hard, even painful, but I am learning to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS! Even in the midst of life's yuckies. Jack recently preached from Habakkuk and I want to share some of what God spoke to my heart through him. In the end of the book, Habakkuk was struggling with the circumstances in his life and struggling to understand God's answer to his prayers (something I am sure we can all identify with), but even in the midst of these struggles this is what Habakkuk says, "Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18. Habakkuk says that even if everything he needed for survival, for life, was taken away, still he would rejoice in God. I am daily praying for God to make this true in my life. Rejoicing in is a choice. I can choose to wallow in my circumstances or I can choose to rejoice in all that God has done for me and will continue to do! And so I choose to rejoice, and here are two reasons why:
And so, we have reached the end of our summer adventures. If you have made it through this incredibly long post then more power to you! I promise to update the blog more often!