Did You Know?

There have been
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divorces in the U.S.
so far this year.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Randomness in Pictures

January came and went so quickly. Here are some random photos of what we've been up to around the hive:

Sunset picture - had to take it for Exp. Physical Science. I have to do this for 14 weeks. This is the first one I've gotten.



Savannah put on my boots and strutted her stuff!

Kylei LOVES to read!!


Sassy Savannah



Kylei made a Valentine out of bendaroos

(Savannah later destroyed it-glad I got a pic)



For my class, Experimental Physical Science, I have to take a pic of the moon each night and then estimate the altitude and azimuth. Sounds like fun huh?







Look out February, here we come!
God Bless!
Queen Bee












100 DAYS











January 26 was the 100th day of kindergarten at Kylei's school. I don't remember celebrating this milestone when I was in school, but evidently it's a big deal now. All the kindergarteners were to bring 100 small items and they were going to count them this day. This will make them a part of the 100 Math Club. They were also given 100 words (sight words, number words, color words) to be able to read, and if so they'd be a part of the 100 Reading Club.








Kylei came home with her sheet they used to spread out her 100 items (each circle was to hold 10 items), a hat they made that had 1 0 0 on it (there's no pic of this) and a really cool t-shirt that you can see she's wearing.








I can't believe it's been 100 days and that she's over half-way through with kindergarten. As every parent can attest, your children grow up fast. I've heard it goes by much faster once they're in school. It almost breaks your heart. But it's been amazing to see how much she's learned in the past 100 days and I know it will just get more amazing as time goes on. Kylei is a very intelligent child and enjoys school.








Next year, I'll have both of them in school. Kylei in 1st grade and Savannah in Pre-K. That will be very interesting. ;)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Baby, Take a Bow













I hate that I haven't had much time to write here, and really, I shouldn't be now, but I'm so tired of having my head in a book and thinking...my head literally hurts.

But enough complaining, a few nights ago, the girls were having to entertain themselves (bless them). They are actually pretty good at that most days, and it doesn't hurt that they got a few crafty things at Christmas.

One of those was a multi-activity booklet thingy and one of the things it consists of allows the girls to color and make their own lil puppet show. They had a great time doing this and I managed to squeeze in a little time to watch them and take a few shots. :)










Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Purpose of Life

The Purpose of Life

Rick Warren (REMEMBER HE WROTE 'PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE') .

This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, 'Purpose Driven Life ' author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, 'which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.

It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder.

For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.

God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

God's Blessings on you today.

(Thanks to Karen)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Snip, Snip







Wednesday, when John was at home with Vannah, he took her to get a hair cut. This was much needed. Savannah's hair gets tangled very easy and it's always a battle to get her to brush it. I think it looks much healthier and we didn't take off too much.


This first pic is just a good one of both my girls ;)











Gun Control Does NOT Work



A man defends himself and his home from burglars, and not only gets sentenced to life in Prison for it, but may get SUED by the criminal??!!

If any country needs a Revolution; it’s Great Britain!

But wait, is America headed for the same?? We just elected Barack Obama as our president, and this is his views on the subject: (I'm sorry about the quality of the "computer generated" narrator)

Unworthy to be called Yours

"The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

I have seen and read this countless times before, but this morning, it really convicted me. This is me. Not all the time. Not every day. But much more than I'd really like to admit. But this is my confession. My repentance. I am a Christian...who sometimes denies Christ by my actions. I am too much in this world. I am sorry, Father. I do love you and need my actions to show that I belong to You, and I've failed. Please forgive me.

____________________________________________

The above was written by me back in July of last year. Again, I feel convicted and want to tell the world and God that I'm sorry for letting you down. I'm praying for strength. I'm praying for wisdom to see the situation as it is AT THAT MOMENT, and change my actions quickly and accordingly.

I want to be a better person. I want people to SEE Christ in me. And somehow I need to do that without being prideful about it, which may be just as much a challenge as the first. I am asking for your prayers.

When I Say, "I Am A Christian"

When I say..."I am a Christian"-Maya Angelou

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'.
I'm whispering "I was lost,Now I'm found and forgiven.

"When I say... "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumbleand need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weakAnd need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failedAnd need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect; my flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!

Human Milk for Human Babies



"Imagine that the world had invented a new "dream product" to feed and immunize everyone born on Earth. Imagine also that it was available everywhere, required no storage or delivery -- and helped mothers to plan their families and reduce the risk of cancer.


Then imagine that the world refused to use it.


Towards the end of this century of unprecedented discovery and invention, even as scientists discover the origins of life itself, this scenario is not, alas, a fiction. The "dream product" is human breast milk, available to us all at birth, and yet we are not using it." -- UNICEF

Trying to Understand...and coming up short

This is a blog post I had on Myspace and is something I'm still asking myself. I want to clarify one thing and say that I know that Christians are not perfect. I am not perfect and I sin. But these are some big issues that have been coming up a lot lately in the world, and I feel should be out there for others to see and think about in their own lives.

I cannot tell you how absurd it is when I hear someone admit to believing in God, and then having no shame in saying that homosexuals should be allowed to change marriage from being between one man and one woman to whomever you choose. It is absurd to say you believe in God, and then say you see no problem with abortion. It's absurd to me to say God is real and alive, and then believe it's okay to "steal" my money and give to others or invest it for my future.
I understand to a degree why some believe it's okay to steal from the rich to give to the poor. Here is the problem with that. Some poor people aren't doing enough for themselves. God said that if we don't work, we shouldn't eat.
I understand that though some poor are working and trying to make it, times get tough. I fall into this category myself. As Christians we are told to take care of these people, and I am fine with my time and money going towards causes such as these. I believe it is the servant attitude God commands of us to do such acts. Money is not always the answer. Time sometimes is required of ourselves. Often a caring, listening ear goes a long way in serving others. But regardless what we do and use, it should be left to us to do...not the government to say how our money should be used. As Christians, how is this being a servant, if we aren't the ones actually serving? It means more to us when we serve and it means more to others when they see we care enough to do so.
Have you ever listened to Dave Ramsey talk about credit cards/debit cards? He says to spend cash more often, because you will actually see your money being handed over. You will feel that pinch in your pocket much more than if you hand over plastic. The government is taking our money, but they're using plastic. They are not thinking as much about how this money is being used- if it's being used as sparingly as needed or if it's being used in a way where it's stretched. And it NEVER teaches or helps the underlying problems in those that are poor.
So....in regards especially to abortion and gay "marriage" and also being a believer in Christ, where is the line? Have you drawn a line in the sand that states that while you believe in a God, you don't believe in his commandments? Do you not believe He'll keep his promises? Do you believe in God, but not Hell and Heaven?
I really do want to know. It's unfathomable to me. This is not a republican thing, nor a democrat thing. This is something I've noticed in both parties.
So, speak. Possibly enlighten me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good Bee-havior

I have to brag. I'm a mom; that's what we do! ;)

Kylei, my 5 year old, came home the other day from school with a TY beanie. She had a story to go along with it.

Apparently, the school's officer (Officer Green) came into Kylei's kindergarten class and asked her teacher, Mrs. Carter, to name a child that had been exceptionally good all year long. Mrs. Carter picked Kylei. Officer Green then had Kylei write her name on a poster (not real sure what this is, unless it's just put on the wall for others to see) and took her into his office and let her pick anything from the two tubs of toys he had.

I just bragged and bragged on her, explaining that people take notice of our behavior and that it will go rewarded. I told her to keep up the good job.

I tell ya....she may get attitude and she and her sister may fight when she's at home, but this really made me feel proud of Kylei- to know that she is good in public and that others are appreciative and take the time to let her know that. It doesn't get much better for a parent than that!

**Thank you Lord, for my children and may you continue to bless my family, keeping us safe and constantly in our hearts to be considerate of others. May you continue to guide John and me in raising these girls to be Christ-like.

Farewell President Bush

President Bush's final address to America:

"Fellow citizens: For eight years, it has been my honor to serve as your president. The first decade of this new century has been a period of consequence – a time set apart. Tonight, with a thankful heart, I have asked for a final opportunity to share some thoughts on the journey that we have traveled together and the future of our Nation.

Five days from now, the world will witness the vitality of American democracy. In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people. Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land. This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole Nation. And I join all Americans in offering best wishes to President-elect Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two beautiful girls.

Tonight I am filled with gratitude – to Vice President Cheney and members of the Administration; to Laura, who brought joy to this house and love to my life; to our wonderful daughters, Barbara and Jenna; to my parents, whose examples have provided strength for a lifetime. And above all, I thank the American people for the trust you have given me. I thank you for ...

....the prayers that have lifted my spirits. And I thank you for the countless acts of courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed these past eight years.

This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house – September 11, 2001. That morning, terrorists took nearly 3,000 lives in the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor. I remember standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center three days later, surrounded by rescuers who had been working around the clock.

I remember talking to brave souls who charged through smoke-filled corridors at the Pentagon and to husbands and wives whose loved ones became heroes aboard Flight 93. I remember Arlene Howard, who gave me her fallen son’s police shield as a reminder of all that was lost. And I still carry his badge.

As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before Nine-Eleven. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.

Over the past seven years, a new Department of Homeland Security has been created. The military, the intelligence community, and the FBI have been transformed. Our Nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorists’ movements, freeze their finances, and break up their plots. And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them.

Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school. Iraq has gone from a brutal dictatorship and a sworn enemy of America to an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the United States.

There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil. This is a tribute to those who toil night and day and night to keep us safe – law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, homeland security and diplomatic personnel, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

Our Nation is blessed to have citizens who volunteer to defend us in this time of danger. I have cherished meeting these selfless patriots and their families. America owes you a debt of gratitude. And to all our men and women in uniform listening tonight: There has been no higher honor than serving as your Commander in Chief.

The battles waged by our troops are part of a broader struggle between two dramatically different systems. Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience, and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God and that liberty and justice light the path to peace.

This is the belief that gave birth to our Nation. And in the long run, advancing this belief is the only practical way to protect our citizens. When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism.

So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity. We are standing with dissidents and young democracies, providing AIDS medicine to bring dying patients back to life, and sparing mothers and babies from malaria. And this great republic born alone in liberty is leading the world toward a new age when freedom belongs to all nations.

For eight years, we have also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home. Across our country, students are rising to meet higher standards in public schools. A new Medicare prescription drug benefit is bringing peace of mind to seniors and the disabled. Every taxpayer pays lower income taxes.

The addicted and suffering are finding new hope through faith-based programs. Vulnerable human life is better protected. Funding for our veterans has nearly doubled. America’s air, water, and lands are measurably cleaner. And the Federal bench includes wise new members like Justice Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.

When challenges to our prosperity emerged, we rose to meet them. Facing the prospect of a financial collapse, we took decisive measures to safeguard our economy. These are very tough times for hardworking families, but the toll would be far worse if we had not acted. All Americans are in this together. And together, with determination and hard work, we will restore our economy to the path of growth. We will show the world once again the resilience of America’s free enterprise system.

Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.

The decades ahead will bring more hard choices for our country, and there are some guiding principles that should shape our course.

While our Nation is safer than it was seven years ago, the gravest threat to our people remains another terrorist attack. Our enemies are patient and determined to strike again. America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict. But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard.

At the same time, we must continue to engage the world with confidence and clear purpose. In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led.

As we address these challenges – and others we cannot foresee tonight – America must maintain our moral clarity. I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere.

Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This Nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense and to advance the cause of peace.

President Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” As I leave the house he occupied two centuries ago, I share that optimism. America is a young country, full of vitality, constantly growing and renewing itself. And even in the toughest times, we lift our eyes to the broad horizon ahead.

I have confidence in the promise of America because I know the character of our people. This is a Nation that inspires immigrants to risk everything for the dream of freedom. This is a Nation where citizens show calm in times of danger and compassion in the face of suffering. We see examples of America’s character all around us. And Laura and I have invited some of them to join us in the White House this evening.

We see America’s character in Dr. Tony Recasner, a principal who opened a new charter school from the ruins of Hurricane Katrina. We see it in Julio Medina, a former inmate who leads a faith-based program to help prisoners returning to society. We see it in Staff Sergeant Aubrey McDade, who charged into an ambush in Iraq and rescued three of his fellow Marines. We see America’s character in Bill Krissoff, a surgeon from California. His son Nathan, a Marine, gave his life in Iraq. When I met Dr. Krissoff and his family, he delivered some surprising news: He told me he wanted to join the Navy Medical Corps in honor of his son. This good man was 60 years old – 18 years above the age limit.

But his petition for a waiver was granted, and for the past year he has trained in battlefield medicine. Lieutenant Commander Krissoff could not be here tonight, because he will soon deploy to Iraq, where he will help save America’s wounded warriors and uphold the legacy of his fallen son.

In citizens like these, we see the best of our country – resilient and hopeful, caring and strong. These virtues give me an unshakable faith in America. We have faced danger and trial, and there is more ahead. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great Nation will never tire … never falter … and never fail.

It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President. There have been good days and tough days. But every day I have been inspired by the greatness of our country and uplifted by the goodness of our people. I have been blessed to represent this Nation we love. And I will always be honored to carry a title that means more to me than any other: citizen of the United States of America.

And so, my fellow Americans, for the final time: Good night. May God bless this house and our next President. And may God bless you and our wonderful country. Thank you."

Goodbye President Bush. Thank you for your love of this country and for doing what you deemed best. I wish you happiness and peace in the years to come.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Literacy Autobiography

I love literature. I love when someone can transform my mind into a playground and set up such wonderful scenes, using wit and many other literary schemes to seduce me further into the story. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. I enjoy many different genres of literature, some of which is a more recent desire, namely the politically inspired and some biographies.
From my earliest years, I was inundated with books. My mother says she read to me while I was in the womb, and it didn’t stop there. I have very fond memories of my mom reading to me, curled up on the couch. She was an avid reader herself, as were many members of my family. Some of my earliest Christmas memories involved the Highlights magazine for children, sent to my brother and me from a great aunt. As we got older, she paid for us to have a subscription to National Geographic as well. Mom had subscriptions to Guideposts and Reader’s Digest which I loved, and still do. My paternal grandmother always read before taking a nap midday or before bedtime at night. She always had books on hand and encouraged reading to the grandchildren. My father still recalls poems she recited and stories she read to he and his siblings when they were young. As a child, my family went to the library at least once every two weeks, and my brother and I were given our own library card and nearly always left with the maximum number of books allowed. I grew up in the church and with Sunday school classes and at home studies, the Bible also was a highly read book.
I can barely recall how I learned to read, only remembering that we learned the alphabet and what each letter “says” and then learned to sound out most words. I called my mom and she said she wasn’t entirely sure either but knew that we also learned our short and long vowels and we brought home books to read to our parents, many of which used repetition as a means to recognize words quickly without having to sound them out. I also know that in class, we would divide into reading groups. I was in the advanced group and felt proud of that. In 2nd and 3rd grades, if I’m remembering correctly, the students made journals in which we wrote in (and illustrated at times). Some of the writings were based on a question the teacher posed, and others were just diary-form. These are neat to look back at and read. These journals weren’t graded for spelling or other grammatical errors. My mom remembers a story I wrote around this same time frame and recalls thinking I might grow up to be an author. While I enjoyed reading, and still do, writing never actually took off for me.
Book fairs were a big deal in school as well. I enjoyed looking through the catalog and browsing all the books at our school’s library. Mom was usually good about giving us money to pick out some of our favorites. Some of my favorite books from this time were Ramona Quimby, Amelia Bedelia, any Curious George titles, There’s a Monster at the End of this Book, and all the Little Golden Books. I believe I was in the 4th grade when our school began the Accelerated Reader program, and I enjoyed this. The books I most remember reading and falling in love with was Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, which was in the 5th grade.
Late elementary and middle school seem to be a blur of Sweet Valley High and The Babysitter’s Club type books. I also read some of the classics like The Secret Garden and The Prince and the Pauper.
High school is full of required reading and many papers to write. My freshman year we talked in depth about poetry and even had to write many ourselves, and turn in for a grade. I hate that my teacher kept those. It would’ve been great to have and look through again. I didn’t read a lot outside of school those four years. We were kept pretty busy with the required reading, both during the summer and during the school year. I loved most of the books we read, excluding all mythologies and anything by James Joyce. I am very grateful to have been required to read many of the books we did, for some were classics, and others I’m not sure I ever would have picked myself, such as The Once and Future King, which I actually enjoyed (and it was a summer read!). The only thing that has ever really bothered me about having to read books in school, was knowing you would be tested on it later. This sometimes took the fun out of it, as the day of the test, instead of talking about what we thought of the book or what we’d learned from it, the students were making sure we knew certain details and any information we could think may be found on the test. It was nerve-wracking.
I am now a 28 year old woman, married with two children, as well as a full-time student and housewife. Surprisingly, with more things on my plate, I still love reading and have been trying to find more time to do that. Between school semesters, I am running to the library. My kids, ages 4 and 5, both loved to be read to, and the oldest is in kindergarten and is learning to read. They each have their own library cards and like I did, they usually end up with more books than we can carry! My mom will also stock up on library books for my girls when she knows they’ll be coming to see her. I think I enjoy reading the children’s books almost as much (and sometimes more) than I do reading the ones I picked out for me. Over the Christmas break, I was able to read two books, Stop Dressing your Six Year Old like a Skank and How I Helped O.J. get Away with Murder. These are two completely different types of books and yet I enjoyed them both fully. I have started reading Sophie’s Choice, and hope to finish it soon, though it is one of the harder books I’ve read. Some of the vocabulary is above my own, and makes it crucial to use context clues (and I’ve even had to break out the dictionary a time or two). I have also blogged some in the past year or so. I have recently created a new blog. It has no real theme, but is just about what’s happening in the lives of me and my family. I think it’s great to have some record of big events and even the small ones that just explain who we are at this given time in our lives. I enjoy it, but am frustrated at my lack of wit when writing.
As I think about teaching and how literature will be a vital part of that, I am both overjoyed and somewhat rattled. Before I started doing any school observations, I would’ve just been overjoyed. When reading is such a fun hobby of mine, I couldn’t wait to share that with my students and see the same joy in their faces. However, I was very na├»ve about many things. My observations made reality hit me in the face. I had no idea how difficult reading is for many children and how others may be able to say the words on a page, but have no feeling behind it, or even a comprehension of the story line. I am hoping to create a love for reading. I think makings sure students have a good grasp on their imaginations and realizing the magic of stories, through thought-out, creative processes, I can achieve this.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Aw, Pa!

Okay, so once again, it's Sunday morning and I haven't been able to sleep. I noticed a friend had a new post on her blog (http://thechickmanifesto.blogspot.com), and one of her links took me to another blog and it had this link. So I went to it and answered a little survey thingy and found out which Little House on the Prairie character I'm most like (haha).
http://www.quizilla.com/quizzes/992597/which-little-house-character-are-you
If you're as bored as I was, go ahead and click on it. Leave your results in the comments section.


Which Little House Character Are You?

My Result:
You are Charles Ingalls. You are independent and pioneering, yet neighborly and friendly. You are a thrifty do-it-yourselfer and jack of all trades. Practically tireless, you will stay up all night to protect your family from marauding indians, and spend all day plowing the fields.

HAHA!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Singing in the Shower

My girls are ages 4 and 5 and tonight is the first night they have ever taken a shower by themselves! WHAT A MILESTONE! To be honest, I wasn't sure what the "preferred age" that this is supposed to happen. The girls have taken a few showers with me before. I've never really cared for these few times; either one or all of us get cold at some point and/or shampoo in the eyes. ugh. But tonight they asked to take a shower and I said I wasn't going to take one with them, so they decided they could do it on their own. So we let them. They did everything, minus turning the water on and adjusting it to a correct temperature. I'm very proud of them. I think they really enjoyed it too. They always do when it's apparent that they are becoming more independent. If only I could get this to roll over to them cleaning their room! ;)

On another note, John rented a Wii for 2 weeks. He's really had the bug to play some video games. I don't usually care for them and don't want us owning any. I mean let's face it, we find enough things to preoccupy us from doing the things that need to be done around here as it is! But it's been kinda cool having the game. I don't care to actually play many of the games that are out on the market, but the Wii Sports is fun. Kylei doesn't do to terribly at tennis, even though this is her first time really playing any gaming system. Savannah has a tougher time figuring it out, but is okay at boxing. Big surprise that our "lil fighter" would enjoy that huh? ;)

Tomorrow will be my second time helping with Children's Ministry. I hope it goes a little smoother this week.

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. God Bless!!

~Queen Bee~

Friday, January 16, 2009

Papers, Books, and Organizing, OH NO!

So, I have been trying to read over my syllabi for my classes (the ones I have so far) and organizing my notebooks and things. It's starting to get a little overwhelming already...so I made sure to highlight various things of importance hoping not to overlook them when needed, and have jotted down, in my planner, things to do each day until Tuesday to make sure I get off on the right foot with my readings and the homework I've already been assigned.

So, on your mark- get set- GO!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Holy Butt Frost, Batman! It's freeezzzzinng! Does anybody remember it being this cold in Tennessee? I'm sure it has, but not in a long time for sure. Today was not a good day to be outside, and had I any choice, my booty would've been at home. As it was though, my first day of classes started today. I was in class by 10 a.m. It was actually a great class. It was wonderful to see all my classmates again and our teacher seems very down to earth and excited to be there, so as far as this class is concerned, I'm sure I'll enjoy it. We got out an hour early and from there, my friend (and classmate) Barbara headed to the Boro to pick up some of our books from MTSU. Before heading to campus for books, we had a nice lunch at Fazzoli's and visited (i.e. TALKED A LOT, lol). Then on to campus and the terrible job of finding a parking place. Luck was on our side (Thank you, God) and I found us a place not too terribly far from the campus bookstore. We found the book I had to get from there, and then headed back outside (bbbrrrrrrr) and headed to the cheaper Blue Raider (off campus) bookstore to get some other books. Unfortunately, my luck had run out at that point and they only had one of the two I had expected to get there. Dangit- back to the campus bookstore (BBBRRRRR). Once I finally had the books I expected to get today (I still lack one, but that's the teacher's fault...no really), it was back in the car where we cranked up the heater!

John had the girls today and he said they were bored, and after running some errands, had pacified their boredom (somewhat) by walking around the mall. I had to laugh...I can't tell you how many times I've done that with the girls, just for a change of scenery. So I met up with them, scheduled eye dr appointments for John and me and then we let Kylei pick where she wanted to eat tonight (as it was already late). About an hour later with diet approved, Subway-filled bellies, we headed home.

Maury County schools are closed tomorrow because of the extreme cold (another first for me...but not entirely surprising). Personally, I'm glad. I didn't want to get out tomorrow morning myself, let alone want Kylei out. So we'll have a nice long weekend, yay! I plan to get all the laundry done and put away, and get a head start on my school work.

I hope you all stay warm and cozy this weekend. Praying for continued health for our family and yours.

God Bless!
Queen Bee

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Honesty and the Self-pity that seems to follow

Anybody ever watch Jon and Kate, Plus Eight? I envy this woman at times. Not because she has two sets of multiples (Lord help me!) or because of her infamous family and a little network called TLC, she can afford all that she can (okay, maybe I'll a little jealous of that too), but mostly I'm insanely jealous of all the video footage she now has of her children and family. Forget scrapbooking pictures, she literally has a video scrapbook of her family, their life, their ups and down, their fights, their vacations... I have millions of pictures of my children, very few professionally. Very few of these millions are in frames, picture albums, or scrapbooks. (So much for that Mother of the Year nomination) No, they're either in large tubs or online. Through Myspace and Facebook, I have managed somewhat to atleast be able to date these online photos (I'm trying to find something of which to be thankful). But I sit here and type, my children are doing some of the funniest things (picture Kylei on the floor rockin' it out with a guitar) and no image whatsoever of it. I wish we had cameras going at all times somehow to capture them.

I enjoy watching True Hollywood Story and it always seems to impress me that all these famous people have childhood tapes of them doing exactly what they would eventually be doing as a career in the spotlight, and not only that, but it wouldn't just be tape of them on stage during a school performance, but at home too. Or America's Funnies Home Videos....who are these people that they not only have tapes of school programs and weddings, but the ones who just seem to have a camera running for no reason and voila! they capture something hilarious (or painful, if you've ever seen that show, evidently running into a pole=funny)

What about people who (perhaps only outwardly) seem to have it all together- beautiful house, beautiful family, skinny mom whose youngest of three is just weeks old, creative in every way, always have plans, and a multitude of friends, perfect job, and all the benefits that go with it. You know, the American Dream, White picket fences stuff.... Call it what you will, most of us wish that was us. When I actually see those qualities in some, I become engulfed in jealousy. I will tell you that I am a very jealous person. I'm not in all things, and certain things rub me more than others, but overall, I admit that I am. I don't know how to change this. I know I'm blessed. I just also know that others seem to be more blessed. I rarely stop to think about those who are less blessed and what a spoiled jerk I must seem to them. How do I change? How do I look at the glass half full? These are things I'm trying to work on in life and it's not easy in the least. It may be my own self esteem that's taken a hit, but because I don't fit this ideal that I felt I should have (especially at this point in my life), I think others look at me and treat me differently as well. Sort of below them, or as a child. It's degrading.

What a pitiful post this has turned into. I think I've probably made myself sound really sad and even childish bringing it up. Yay for honesty!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Un"bee"lievable Changes

Good morning! How excited I am to have found the perfect background. What do you think?

Today is Monday, the start of a new week. I'm nervous about this week, because I start back to school on Thursday. I have lots to do before then, and am asking for everyone's prayers that I can get much accomplished between now and then, and most importantly, prayers that I will stay focused, motivated, and without procrastinating too much this semester. I really need that, so thank you ahead of time.

Yesterday (Sunday) was the first time I had helped with the Children's Ministry at church, and it was something. haha! I don't know many of these kids yet, but found out that they are all a little wild to put it mildly. I'll be helping the rest of the month, and am hoping it gets a little easier and also that I can start putting names with faces, and learning some more of the families this way. I think Kylei thought it was pretty cool that Mommy was in there with her. :)

Well, I better get to started with this day. I wish everyone has a great week!

God Bless!
Queen Bee

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Gadgets for Your Pleasure

I just added two new lovely gadgets at the bottom of this here bloggety blog.

Now that you know I'm trying to lose weight, you can look along with me at the Weight Loss/Nutritional Tip of the Day .

You may also be a movie buff like the hubs and I are, and therefore may be interested in the top movies at the box office.

If you wish to know either of these lil tidbits, check them out below.

Peace, and God Bless!!
Queen Bee
Here I sit. It's 6:04 in the early morning. I couldn't sleep and so I got online and piddled around a bit. I'm not very ready for bed, and yet I know better than to try and sleep now. I am supposed to be up in a couple of hours to get ready for church. If I go back to bed now, I'm almost certain I'll definitely not want to get up when the alarm goes off. So instead I'm trying to think of things to do until I must get ready for church. Some options buzzing around in my head are: fold the laundry that has been sitting in a basket for a couple days now; get an early shower and refresh my weary self; clean the dishes in the sink by hand (as we are out of dishwashing detergent at the moment); pick up the various items that were left in the living room this evening; put on some socks, shoes, and a coat an take a brisk walk or run; or to simply keep sitting here thinking I probably have time for all or most of those, but certainly am too tired to do any of them.

As I lay in bed trying to sleep earlier, I also thought about things I should've done while on Christmas break that I never got too and now are stressing me out. I'm stressed because school starts back for me on Thursday and I'm taking a rather large load of hours (18 total) and know that I always tend to get behind on household chores and things and starting out behind and taking a larger course load than usual, well....it's just not a good formula for the hive to operate very efficiently. I have the next few days to organize things around here. I really need to push myself to get them done.

Changing subjects.

I hate it when I feel I've somehow hurt someone else's feelings. I hate people being upset with me for any reason and typically try to go out of my way to make sure I am in good graces with everyone. Today I fear I hurt someone. To be honest, this isn't the first time I've hurt someone by something I've commented on (we're talking blog here). Both times it was a case of neither of us knowing all the facts or being able to "read" the love and intended feelings behind those cold black letters. I suppose that's why emoticons were invented, but even with those, I think there's just nothing like expressing yourself face to face, getting the whole look, feel, and sound behind a comment. I hope I never offend anyone. I certainly don't mean too.

Changing subjects again.

Savannah can do the splits! All the way. It's so cool to see her do it. It wasn't long ago she wasn't able to go quite all the way and then suddenly, she can. lol She jumps and tumbles, flies and flips around here all the time and I tell John all the time about how great she'd be in gymnastics. I cannot wait until we can afford to put our girls in various activities. I know it will open up many opportunities for them and it'll just be fascinating for John and me.

Kylei is reading so well. She simply amazes me everyday with this. There's something so heart warming seeing your child, your baby reading. Kylei has always loved books and for a couple years now, she would grab a book and from the pictures and her own huge imagination construct these stories that just astound you. She uses big words. She lets you know who is talking. She would describe feelings. It was magical. Gosh, how I wish I'd taped her doing these. I still could I suppose; she still does this if she picks up a rather lengthy book. But back to her reading "for real"- in her kindergarten class they bring home "Book Buddies" which is really simple (think Jack and Jane books) sentence books, no longer than about 5 pages. Kylei reads them perfectly the first time. Her teacher aggravates us because she'll send the same book home with Kylei for 3 or 4 days. It's boring for Kylei and VERY boring for me.

We've been going to the library pretty often to get books for the kids and myself. They each have their own library card pf which they're so proud! :) I'm so glad my girls enjoy reading. I enjoyed it as a young girl (and still) and think there's nothing better for helping them academically and yet can still be fun.

John's work is going really well and we're all very hopeful about the future with this company. John is great at it and he enjoys doing it, which is awesome. He and his bosses are so excited about their successes so far, that for the first time in awhile, John and I get to dream. Things like affording those activities for the girls, buying a house, and saving are on our minds a lot. It helps of course too, that I have only 1.5 years left before I graduate and can start my career. We finally feel like we are putting our lives back together- the lives we had when we were first married. Some of you know the road we've beeen down and it's been a hard one. I am so glad to tell you of the long way we've come and the happiness we have now. Our life hasn't been a fairy tale and sometimes that bothers me. But when I think what we've been through and overcome, I dare anyone to judge us.

I have made this post quite along, and I apologize if you're still reading and bored out of your mind. I'm sure I kept writing to waste time (still trying not to convince myself to go to bed right now). I love each of you.

Happy Sunday morning. God bless!

Queen Bee

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weight Loss

How funny when I just start talking about myself and trying to lose weight, I go to a blog of a friend of mine and she has stated some of the same. She one-upped me though and really laid it all out there- her stats I mean. I am, for better or worse, going to do the same. It's not so that you all can gasp at the astronomical number of my weight (and you probably will....just don't tell me that you did, and we'll be fine), but so that I can look that number in the eye and say "no more!" No more am I gonna allow that to be a part of my stats. I need to let others know also as a motivator. If I tell people that I'm trying to lose weight, then I better do it. I'm hoping to update these numbers. Hopefully they'll go down (continously) to show that I can do it and to be an encourager to those who also want to lose weight or are thinking about it. I also hope that if you see my struggling, you'll lift me up and keep me going.

So here goes:

Starting weight- 188
final goal weight-130

Goal by end of June- 165
Goal by end of 2009- 130

So I'm giving myself a year to get to my FINAL goal weight. Wish me luck. (And to my friends who are also doing this- I love you and wish you much luck as well)

YMCA

Whew! We all just got back from the Y, and I'm both disappointed/sad and proud. How is that you may ask? Well, unfortunately I have gotten SO out of shape that after playing basketball with John for about 15 minutes and hitting the elliptical for another 15, I felt dizzy. I had to sit down directly in front of a fan to cool off. I was completely red-faced (that's not abnormal though, as it takes very little for that). We did a lot of upper body stuff after that, and I had to take it slow, as my legs were still shaking. We ended the night in the sauna for about 15 minutes. That was nice and relaxing and I got to read some more. (BTW, I'm reading "Sophie's Choice at the moment- so far, so good)

I'm proud because I went...and stuck with it. John says tomorrow we'll go and work on our legs. Pray I do better. :)

The kids stayed in the Kids Zone and played and did activity sheets. They had fun I beelieve.

At any rate, I'm trying. I think my biggest thing now will just be sticking to it, drinking LOTS more water, and smaller portions. I was cursed with what my mom calls the "Abernathy appetite." I LOVE FOOD. I can't help it. I'm hoping somehow to eat without going overboard. But I no longer know what is an appropriate portion. :(

My friend, Vannessa, is getting married in June (up from December- thought I had more time!! Love her, but she's killing me here!) I am to be her matron of honor, and I want to feel great in the dress and look good for her pictures. It's going to be hard. So all the encouragement and advice you have to give, will be MUCH appreciated.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I know some babies that are dealing with RSV right now, and I ask that you all keep them in your prayers too.

God bless!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Styrofoam is Evil

Kids will always make messes. This is something as a parent you just realize and deal with as it comes. Today, Savannah took it to a new level. I'm used to toys everywhere, clothes (clean and dirty) thrown all around their room, crumbs on and under the table....but today I had to clean up millions of tiny pieces of styrofoam from the carpets. In fact, I think there are still pieces in her hair as well, that keeps falling out as she jumps around. (Guess I'll be vacuuming those later too). I should have thought a little bit longer about letting her open a certain box. I knew it was encased in the molded styrofoam, but knowing I'd already pulled it out once (and stupidly, put it back for the time being) without trouble.....well, obviously I underestimated the whole situation. She literally dug out the item, instead of pulling the whole thing out and easily pulling the styrofoam from the wanted object. Also, it's not the easiest thing vacuuming up tiny pieces of styrofoam. It is so light weight that the fan from the vacuum actually blows it around. And as you roll over it with the vacuum, it tends to just get pushed down and not blown up. (This part may be because I'm fairly certain I need to change my vacuum bag, but it was my last one and I had to make do). I finally got it all "basically" cleaned up and made Vannah go around on her hands and knees picking up the rest...like those pesky pieces that are just out of reach under couches, etc.

I love that lil girl, but she just had no concept of the level of difficutly this would cause me. I actually think she dug more out than needed and rolled in it. I can't imagine how else so much got in her hair and on her clothes...and ya know, that stuff clings to ya.

....buzzing around......

Queen Bee

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bucket List

I actually created a bucket list (all those things you want to do before you die) a few months back. I put them into a list on my page. Please take a look. Who knows how long it'll take me to do these things, and some may end up be "wishful thinking". But I figure, why not have a goal, some dreams in life? I encourage everyone to create their own Bucket List. I may edit this through the years. Hopefully, I'll add a date when finished by those I actually get to. And I'm sure as the years go by, some items may be deleted and others added. Aren't we always changing our minds and dreaming big?? haha

I have blogged some (mostly political and faith-based themes) on Myspace, but I'm hoping this blog will be more personable. BUT, I am not guaranteeing that those same type issues won't show up here. Those things are a part of who I and this family are.

I hope you feel free to comment. I have no problems with positive or negatives. I like to know what people think and why. So don't hesitate....even if you know me and that worries you. I'd rather know how you think and feel than make you sin by "gossiping" to someone else. ;)

God bless everyone!
Queen Bee