Friday, October 31, 2008

Name That Tune

Emerie has recently graduated from singing songs to singing several stanzas of the same song. Here's a catchy little tune that you might recognize. (don't forget to turn off the background music...just push the pause button.)

Isn't it precious to hear our children singing about our wonderful Savior?! And I love her little hand motions...those chubby fingers.

Enjoy this......(American Idol here we come!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just a Few Photos

If writing a post for this blog could take 15 minutes or less, you might see more posts (does this happen to anyone else or am I just a super slow blogger?!). However, that never happens....and my time is so limited that, unfortunately, blogging has fallen by the wayside.

So to appease you until I can get some significant blogging time, here are a few photos from my life.

We attended our annual Fall Hayride at the Lisenby's again this year, with nothing but perfect weather! While this family photo is not worthy of the annual Christmas card, it is rare to capture all five of us looking the same direction!

Here is my phenomenal athlete of a husband showing off his man-skills. How do I know he's a phenomenal athlete? Because he tells me every chance he gets. I married him for his humility.

And here's my able-bodied husband again looking rather dapper! He and Landrie were dressed for the Father/Daughter Tea that afternoon. Yes, we have two other daughters, I know. But Landrie is our favorite, so she was chosen as Cody's date. Just kidding! This tea was for girls ages 3-7. Isn't that such a sweet tradition to start for daddies and daughters?

And, is a "Happy Fall" photo that was taken to send out via email. Did you get one? No? Oh....that's because I forgot to do it. The story of my life these days. Plus, I thought it would look odd that only one of my daughters was in the photo. But Landrie was in a bad mood and Kellie-Laine thought the scare crow was embarrassing. Emerie hopped onto the bench, no questions asked.

Do you notice something about the photo? Only my most faithful readers will see.....EMERIE IS SMILING! I said, "Smile, Emerie" and this was the look she gave me!!! Sniff, little girl has reached another milestone. She is properly camera-trained. Happy Fall, Y'all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I've Been Tagged....Twice!

I guess that means I should comply! Here are the rules:

1. Open your pictures folder.
2. Go to the sixth folder.
3. Open the sixth picture.
4. Import into your blog and tell the story.

So here's the photo:

This photo was taken in 2007 on our Spring Break trip to Wimberly/San Antonio. Our orignial plan was to spend three days in Wimberly....hiking, rafting, playing in the river. But Mother Nature had different ideas and it rained.....the entire time.

If you know anything about Wimberly, the entire livelihood of this place is the river and it's associated activities. It rained so hard that our cottage started flooding! Adding insult to injury, Flo and Grace had traveled three hours to partake in our vacation.

After a full 24 hours of being indoors and letting the kids watch too much TV (something our kids can do at home!).....Cody decided he would fix the problem. He took us all to Sea World! Thank goodness that the hour trip there gave us a little distance from the monsoon, and it turned out to be a really wonderful, overcast, cool day with Shamu!

So there you have I tag: Nicksterland, Heather B., Flo, Rachel, Mimi, and Juli B.!

Love you, girls!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Return on Investment

I am going to write this post but let me first add a disclaimer:

The story I'm about to tell is true.

These are actual events.

The people involved are not paid actors.

The moral of the story is not that private, Christian schools are better than public don't even go there.

Are we good now? This is an important, heart warming story, and I don't want you to miss the point by focusing on whether or not I'm saying private school is a superior education. We can debate that next time....(and I will win) but that's for another time, right?.

First a little history. This is a story about Kellie-Laine and her best friend, Phoebe. Here they are so you have a visual:

And here they are again, showing that best friends really do take on each other's nasty habits:

These girls have been best friends since Phoebe moved here many years ago, and luckily for our families, Phoebe's mom, Julie, is one of my most treasured friends on this planet. Isn't that just a perfect set up?

We have been through a lot with these girls....first camp experience, first crushes, family vacations, countless sleepovers, school projects, etc. But as many of you well know, best friends can have their blowouts....and we've seen this side of things, as well.

(Did anyone else have a traumatic Jr. High experience with their friends, or is it just me? I seem to remember that season of life was peppered with intense insecurity, flaky friendships, and lots of d-r-a-m-a. Can I get an "amen" here?)

So Julie and I weren't terribly surprised when the girls started bickering this week--it is, after all, what Jr. High girls do, right? However, we were surprised when three days later, the girls continued to come home in tears about the cruelty of the other girl. The drama escalated and infiltrated the entire 7th grade, and all the girls ended up choosing to side with either Phoebe or Kellie-Laine. Most chose to be on Phoebe's side, and I was left with a very crushed, very hurt little girl.

So after a quick email to Julie asking for her opinion of the situation and some intense praying over the girls, I received a call yesterday from our school's principal. "Angela, do you have a few minutes?" she asked. I should have known something was amiss, but our principal is pretty connected with each of the families in our school, so I simply thought she was calling about marketing or school board stuff. Her next question clued me in, "Can you tell me a little bit about what's going on with Kellie-Laine?" And then my heart dropped.

In a nutshell, the principal and the girls' Bible teacher had noticed the tension amongst the girls and started asking some questions -- which opened the floodgate of tears. So the principal, Mrs. Moore, called Julie and me to ask if they could pull the girls out of class for some "counseling". In fact, both the Bible teacher (Mrs. Johnson) and Mrs. Moore wanted a chance to speak with the girls, so the principal subbed for Mrs. Johnson during her class so that she could have some time alone with the girls. Mrs. Moore, in turn, kept the girls after school to make sure things were on the right track. Heartwarming, right?

I know I don't have to spell this out, but I cannot tell you how blessed I was by this whole situation. For starters, during the girls' counseling session, I called Julie on the phone and we spent a few minutes tearfully praying for our girls. I cannot get over the completeness and joy in that friendship....our love for each other, for our girls, and for our Lord. Secondly, I love that we are part of a school that values the emotional well-being of a child as much as his or her academic success. Our school truly, truly filters everything through the eyes of Christ. Whether it's a school field trip, choosing curriculum, or even drama-infused relationships....there is always the foundation of Jesus' love, grace and mercy in every approach.

So, Kellie-Laine got in the car after the counseling sessions and had obviously been crying...but she was happy. "I feel a lot closer to Mrs. Moore now," Kellie-Laine said, "but I don't like people to see me cry." (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, now does it?) And as we talked over her day, the drama, what she learned, and what the future looked like, I knew things were going to be okay. I was reminded of what Paul says in Romans 5: "...but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." This was definitely one of those character-building opportunities that he speaks of, and I'm so glad both the parents and the school administration was eager and willing to walk alongside these girls.

We invest thousands of dollars each year on private school---it is sacrifice at times. Especially when I think about how much money we would save if we weren't paying for two (almost three) girls in private school.....bigger house? Better vacations? But each time that fleshy desire and doubt starts to creep in, the Lord reminds me that our investment is also an eternal one.

Yesterday, I got a glimpse of our investment portfolio. So far, we're making huge gains.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Life in Photos

My life in photos.....

Life with a five-year-old who insists on getting the sparkly character shoes I swore I would never buy:

Life with a toddler who thinks rainboots and cowgirl boots are the same thing:

Life begins when daddy gets home:
Life is dangerous when you go to use the potty and come back to find your toddler here:
Life is simpler when birthdays are simple:

When life gives you pinto beans in a box:

Life with Harley, our new puppy:

In life, the only thing that matters to a 7th grader is that you have the right socks to match your volleyball uniform:

Life is gymnastics....and the perfect leg warmers:

Life makes me smile when I see Kellie-Laine crawl in bed with her sister each night:

Life with Girls: