Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vacation Bible School

We're right in the middle of our VBS week at Grace.  Our Bible school curriculum is set up as a rotation.  Each night the kids go to a different room to hear a Bible story.  Everything in that room is themed around their particular story. Geron and I are teaching the story of Paul and Silas being freed from prison when God allows an earthquake to cause the jail to crumble around them (Acts 16).  We have a miniature jail cell in our room, nothing elaborate, just a few cardboard cinder block walls and three sets of prison bars.

Monday night's group fit right into our cell--a group of 2nd thru 4th grade boys.  I thought we were in for a rough night with that bunch--one of them had gotten in a fist fight over an egg at our Easter Egg hunt earlier this spring--but overall these guys were awesome.  Sure we had a few episodes of namecalling at the beginning of the night, but once we got into things, we had a blast.

Last night was our easiest group, I'd say.  I was right at home with our kindergarten/first grade bunch.  They listened well, memorized their verse, played games with no complaints and did a fabulous job on their craft.  Tonight, I found out why God let us have such a good bunch last night.

Tonight we had Cora.  Need I say more?  Not just Cora, but 9 other Coras!  Yes, we had ten 3 and 4 years olds (some were actually almost-3 year olds.)  And were they ever rowdy!  Cora was tickled pink to be in Mommy and Daddy's class.  Geron pulled out some candy at some point before the lesson and Cora thought she was in Heaven.  She didn't understand why we wouldn't give her more and not let everybody else have more, too.  She listened pretty well during story while some of her friends stood up and wondered around right in the middle of the group.  We attempted a game of "Paul Paul Silas" AKA "Duck Duck Goose".  That one was hard for a 2 year old.  Cora wanted to get up and run every time.  She never did get to be the actual "ducker", for lack of the right word.  After that game, we learned the memory verse.  Cora already learned it earlier this week...I've been practicing with her at home.  She says it flawlessly, pretty much.  Following memory, we went to the gym.  The past two nights we've played "Free the prisoners", a game of tag modified to reemphasize our lesson.  Tonight there was no tag.  It was strictly CHASE with a hint of "Ring around the Rosies" and "London Bridge Is Falling Down."  Next was snack, the best part of the night.  And I must say, we picked the perfect snack for this age.  They were already full of 3 year old energy, didn't need cookies to enhance it.  So, we had pretzel sticks and cheese cubes.  we stuck the pretzels in the cubes and made prison bars.  Most of the kids loved it.  ( We did this snack last night, too, and one little girl said "I don't like this. Pretzels and cheese aren't a healthy snack."  So I asked her what kind of snack she liked.  "I like chocolate chip cookies." )  Finally, we attempted craft with these teeny tinies.  We were making a simple paper chain with our memory verse on it.   we let the kids play with the glue sticks and put glue on their paper, but as for putting it together, the teachers and helpers mainly did it.  Then we gave them a coloring sheet and let them scribble to kingdom come.  After the second or third potty break of the evening, we headed back to the sanctuary for closing assembly.  Tomorrow night we have a group of fifth and sixth grade girls plus one boy, unless we have a few more boys show up.  I think it will be a nice break.

We've set a goal for a certain number of kids to show up this week.  If we reach our goal, Pastor Matt is going to dye his hair green.  Pray we reach our goal!  Pray we go over it!  And in the line of serious prayer requests, please pray for kids to be won to the Lord this week.  VBS is one of the best ways to reach kids for Christ and we want more than anything else for that to be what happens this week. 

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

In case you haven't been in Hallmark lately, broused the huge
grill-supply aisles at Walmart, or noticed all the tools on sale THIS
WEEKEND ONLY signs in Sears, Lowes and Home Depot, today is FATHER'S
DAY, a day to celebrate the dad's of the world.

So, here's my tribute to the daddies in my life.

To those who have passed on, Grandaddy and Grandpa, I love you and
miss you. My Grandaddy had a great sense of humor, loved to sing, and
adored his wife of 49 years and 360 so days. In his last days, when
he didn't recognize most of us from Adam, he knew my Granny and still
sang "Million Dollar Baby" to her...Grandpa (my daddy's dad) also
loved to sing and to tell stories. We used to sit around their
kitchen and sing hymns and listen to Grandpa's stories. I don't
really remember the whole story, but I know that one of his favorites
to tell was kind of a ghost story about the Mulberry Black Thing.
Grandpa was in a wheelchair and used to give us rides in his lap. He
passed away when I was in 6th grade, so I missed out on getting to
know his really well, but my memories of him are certainly good ones.

To Preston, Geron's dad, it is an honor to be your daughter-in-law. I
have learned so much from you about loving people as they are. I
could ask anyone who knows you what kind of person you are, and they
would all say you are a man of God. It is obvious that you love the
Lord with all your heart. Thank you for sharing what the Lord has done
for you. Thank you for setting a Godly example for Geron of what a
Godly husband should be. Thank you for always being here to help us
with whatever we need. You are the most generous person I know, and
Grace church can testify that I've told them so. You are crazy about
your grandchildren and they are crazy about you right back. I am so
glad God gave you extra years after last summer.

To my Daddy, I love you, Daddy-O. You have always been one of my
biggest encouragers. Thank you for praying for me growing up and
reading your Bible every night. Thank you for raising me in the
church and insisting I go whether I felt like it or not. Thank you
for teaching me the importance of giving God His tithe even when it
seemed I couldn't afford to do so. The fact is I can't afford not to.
Thank you for teaching me about faithfulness in the way you loved Mom
through thick and then. Thank you for coming to all my piano recitals
and concerts and encouraging my talent--making me count out loud
during practicing was always a pain, but I'm glad you could see the
big picture and made me do it anyway. Thanks for playing with us,
racing with us on the sidewalk, skipping with us into church, swimming
with us in the pool, and for building me my dollhouse (favorite
Christmas present ever) and my doll cradle, which is now Cora's.
Daddy, there are so many things I can thank you for, but most
importantly thank you for loving the Lord and loving me. You're as
special a Grandpa as mine was and more so!

Finally, to my husband, Geron. I love watching you in your role as a
Daddy. You are a Godly man and our kids adore you. You and Cora keep
me in stitches. She is a girl version of a mini-you. There's a
special relationship between a Daddy and his girl. She has confidence
because you believe in her. This year, you got "your boy" and the
bond you two have is precious. They are learning a lot from you. How
to have fun, music appreciation, good cooking skills, importance of
prayer, how to love and respect their future spouse. They are
learning the character traits of compassion, forgiveness, mercy,
gerosity, and love from you. Thank you for all you do for our children
and for me. I love you very much.

Happy Fathers Day to you ALL.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


My brother, Everett AKA Uncle Ebrett, has been in town this week.  Cora loves having people around all the time to perform for and she was cutting shines right and left for Uncle Ebrett.  His first night here, he was playing with her in the living room and apparently did something she didn't like so she said "Don't".  Everett didn't know what he'd done so he said "Don't what?"  to which she said "Don't, Ma'am."  (Good manners, a little off the mark there, though.)  Today, after hopping out of a bath, she ran into the other room and jumped on his bed (in her birthday suit.) She pointed at her bottom and said "That's my butt. That's where the poop comes out."  (Such a lady.)  Then she said "I can't see my hiney." 

All in all, we had a great visit with Everett.  He was a super big help with the kids, grocery-getting, and cleaning up after meals.  And we got to do one of our favorite "Everett-pasttimes", play Settlers.  We played it almost every night, AFTER the kids went to bed, and played at least two games of it each time.  Everett and Geron won most of them, but last night I kicked you-know-what and had a nice surprise win.  Yes, I basked a little much in the glory of it all.  But hey, Everett and Geron were my opponents!  EVERETT AND GERON!  Go me! Go me!

Hopefully he'll be back for his annual Labor day visit this year. Looking back to my adolescent years, I think there were not too many times when I appreciated what a good brother I had.. Of course, he was a little different back in the day.  But today, I wouldn't trade him for anything.  He's a great brother and an awesome friend.  (And Cora and Cohen would add, a really fun uncle.)  We love you Everett!!! Til next time!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Messy Boy

i fixed the problem with the picture displaying

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Buckin' Bronco

Our buckin' bronco is a pint-sized rocking horse.  Apparently, Cora found out that with carpet, you can get rocking horses to do a lot more.  She likes to ride hers through the living room and office.  It slides nicely across the carpet as she rocks and jumps at the same time. 

Last night, Geron and I were watching with amusement as she showed us her new trick, that is, getting the horse to rock her across the room.  At one point, she got a little carried away and jumped the horse right out from under her.  She flipped off the back and the horse went sailing over her head, landing down just shy of the dining table.  Geron was able to keep his composure and asked her if she was okay.  I, on the other hand, was shaking on the loveseat with laughter. 

She's going to have to take the rocking horse out to the corral and work on taming it.  It's still a little wild.

A Tea Party

I think Cora might be british, or maybe just a girly girl. 

Now that Cora and Cohen have their own rooms, I've been able to put all of their toys out where they can get to them.  Many of Cora's baby toys have found a new home in Cohen's room...had a little bit of drama when she'd find one that she recognized and asked "Is this mine?"  Explaining that it is a baby toy and that Cohen would have more fun with it than she would has helped a little. 

But Cora's had enough fun discovering girly toys she loves and has developed some new favorites.  Namely, her plush tea set from Granny.  Every morning she's up and ready for a lovely cup of tea.  And when anyone comes over, she has to offer them some cotton tea and cupcakes as well. OH, and the teapot doesn't even have tea in it, it's full of macaroni.  (What's up with that?)   It's gotten to the point that I had to put the crazy thing away for awhile. I mean, we were having tea practically 14/7 (she was asleep the other ten hours.) I think I'm going to follow some advice from some other moms I know and rotate the toys every few weeks or so.

In the meantime, pray for us.  Today, she found her doctor kit.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Single Mommies, How do you do it?

Geron is gone for the week, so I am attempting the life of a single mom.  I know single moms have WAYYYYYYYYYY more responsibilities to handle then I do for this short week, so let me say "Hats off to you who do it on a full-time basis. I bet your prayer life is incredible! 

Today, I braved McDonalds with Cora and Cohen.  I couldn't believe how good Cora was being while we waited to order.  She stayed next to me the whole time.  I noticed her watching the people around us. A lady with a rather large derierre approached the counter next to us.  Cora just observed her for a minute and then it happened. Her finger went up, pointed and she exclaimed "That's a butt!"  I tried to stifle what could easily be explosive laughter and looked around to see if anyone else had caught what she'd done.  Fortunately, noone seemed to notice, and more importantly, the lady herself didn't hear.  Woooo! We're off the hook.  Yes, I immediately told her that we don't point at or talk about bottoms in public and HOPE that does the trick for future opportunities to do so.  I ordered two happy meals, no special requests, filled drinks and headed to the play area. Cora ate like a bird and then wanted to play.  A little girl about a year younger than Cora came in and played with Cora for the longest time.  (Thank you, Jesus, for friends)  Cohen got a kick out of watching them play and laugh, and babbled and giggled up a storm as he watched.  He also ate, like a horse.  Thankfully, Cora only asked to go potty once...having a friend kept her from getting bored and needing to take the regular 4 trips to the potty.  When she finished playing, we both had ice cream cones and headed home for nap time.  AND FOR ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, THEY BOTH NAPPED AT THE SAME TIME!  AWESOME!!!  (Thank you, Jesus, for naps.) 

So, for the rest of the week, I am planning a movie day, fun at the park day(carousel ride and playing in the fountain--I also plan to bring a youth along on that trip), maybe a zoo day, and who knows what else.  Any suggestions out there?  If you think about it, pray for us as we're daddyless this week.  And pray for daddy and his buddy Stan and the kiddos at camp.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

All I needed to know in life, I learned from my daughter's pooped stained walls.

We are finally out of the old house and into the new.  It's been a hectic couple of weeks trying to get everything packed, moved and unpacked.  Apparently, one of our kids has been lacking for attention in this move and decided to go about getting it in a new way.

Sunday morning, Cora had a bit of an accident on the floor outside her bathroom.  She hadn't been up long, so she still had her pull-up on when the poop occurred.  She left us a nice poop stain on the carpet.  Geron was quick to help me get my wits about me and clean it up.  And he helped get it up, too.  Everything appears to come have come out nicely, but this was only the tip of the iceberg. 

TUESDAY brought a whole new side of Cora. Around 12 or so, I laid Cohen down for a nap and then got Cora ready for her nap.  When I thought she was settled, I went to the kitchen and began unpacking a mountain of boxes.  Much was getting accomplished in about 45 minutes, and then I heard the cough.  Thinking that Cora was waking up from a short nap, I went to her room to check on her.  As I opened the door, I was hit with the biggest shock of my parenting life...POOP!  Poop was on the floor, smeared in a two foot mess.  Poop was smeared on the walls in a finger paint design.  Ballerina Bear, a favorite toy that had been put away for some time, had poop all over her pretty head.  And Cora was laying in bed, with the covers pulled up to her shoulders, looking at me, just looking.  I saw her shorts and underwear laying on the floor beside her bed.  There was no poop in them.  Dare I pull the blanket back to see what mess was underneath? Slowly, I slid it back and found a practically clean bottom, a little poop on the legs and fingers,and a smudge on her nose...  YUCK! 

I have never had so many emotions rush forth at once as they did that terrible Tuesday.  I was shocked, I was angry, I was confused, I was humored, I was name it, I was it!  At first, I thought, I've got to clean this mess up.  How will I ever do this?  How much money will I have to pay to have the floor repaired?  I'm going to have to paint!  I called Geron and had him thinking something much worse had happened.  One of my piano parents called--a mother of four.  I told her what was going on and that I'd have to get back to her.  Her response "Been there, done that."  At that point, I started to calm down and see some humor in it.  I called my friend Keri, also a mother of four, and said "I need your help.  How do you get poop off of hardwood floors and off the wall?"  She gave me some advice and also helped me to relax.  When I got off the phone, I began cleaning and then realized "Cora still has poop on her body."  So, I stopped mid clean and took her to the bathroom.  I asked her what she'd done and why she'd done it.  She had an obvious answer for the first but didn't seem to understand the second.  I said "I'm going to have to spank you,Cora."  And I did.  (Later on, someone told me I should have made Cora help me clean it up, but I didn't want her touching it again. NEXT TIME, HOPING THERE IS NO NEXT TIME, I wil.)  After cleaning Cora, I took her back to her room and sat her in her rocker while I cleaned the rest of the poop.  Cohen woke up during the cleaning, so I sent her to entertain him.  At some point, it dawned on me that if there was poop on the wall and the door frame, there was probably poop on the door, too.  I closed the door and found some more finger painting.  Cleaned it up.  Took all the rags and threw them in the washer, threw the sheets in and Zoe, her favorite sleepy time toy, too.  Ballerina Bear, unfortunately, had met her demise and went to be with the other teddy bears who've passed on from this world.

Poop.  Lots of Poop.

Being a parent who tries to see the lesson in things, I prayed and asked God to help me see what was going on here.  Maybe some lack of attention, stress from the move, adjusting to a new house, etc.  I was so thankful that I had taught Cora a BIble verse last week because when I would start to feel angry, Cora would pipe up "For God so loved the world..."  She knows the whole thing.  After the first time she said it during an angry spell, I requested she say it during other times to immediately calm me down.  Thank you, Jesus, for your Word.

SO, I got to thinking, we learn a lot about God's love for us through our parenting.  I learned so many lessons on Tuesday. When we do something to mess our lives up, and get the yuck all over us, we can't clean ourselves up.  We have to let God do it.  And He doesn't want us to be dirty.  He loves us too much to let us stay in the "muck".  He longs for us to know how much He loves us and wants to spend time with us. He wants us to see our children the way He sees them, in need of love and a feeling of value. God wants us to make a mark on the world, but one that brings Him glory.

To look at her room, there is no evidence of poop having happened.  I want to leave evidence that love has.