Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fourth Grade Journal Prompts

I downloaded this journal prompt packet to better help Jacob in his writing and I thought I would give one of the prompts a try...

Here goes...

"What is your favorite month?"

This one is EASY!

I love November. I love it for MANY reasons. I'll use a list to make my case..

1. November is the official beginning of fall for me. I know it's not the official start of fall on the calendar, but somehow, it just doesn't feel like fall to me until November.
2. NOVEMBER IS MY BIRTHDAY MONTH! I just love my birthday and I LOVE celebrating it for longer than a day!
3. November is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the first of the Holidays and it's the best time of year...until Spring comes along and then I feel like THAT is the best time of year...until Summer comes along and then I feel like THAT is the best time of year....until Fall comes around.....
4. Starbucks red holiday cups come out!
5. This year the boys did not play football and so I am LOVING the fact that we are getting to spend some quality family time more often than not.
6. FALL WEATHER! After a blistering South Texas Summer, I am really enjoying the cooler temperatures that make it much easier to be outside with the kids. (see number 5)
7. Scarves. November means cooler temps (see number 6) so I don't look like such a dork with my scarves around my neck!
8. Christmas movies! As soon as November rolls around, I feel much more validated in the watching of various Christmas that I love including such classics as: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Irving Berlin's White Christmas and The Santa Clause trilogy as well as some newer "classics" such as: Elf, Christmas With The Kranks, and The Polar Express.

Well, that's it. The reasons I love November!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm feeling...


I was really sick a couple of weeks ago and I'm feeling so much better. I'm STILL taking my antibiotics like a good little patient. Finishing all of it is apparently important. I'm just glad I'm better. I have NO TIME to be sick...and on top of that.... there is nothing more annoying and frustrating to me than being sick. Thank you God for making me well.


On that note. Abby is sick. She is pitiful and sweet and asleep, finally. She is about as good a sick person as I am. Meaning she will go and go and go until she hits a wall and then she melts into a pile of helpless whiny-ness that is basically unbearable. We've been to the doctor. She has her pills...after all, she is a big girl and liquid is for babies. Not my words, hers - to the doctor!


Because it's Sunday. Sunday's make me tired. We are up early, and trying to recover from the rest of the weekend in the afternoon and if the work week could be Tuesday-Friday I'd be the happiest person alive.


Jacob is working really hard in 4th grade, but is struggling a little in reading/writing. He is, as I said, working REALLY hard and we are praying that things start clicking for him. The same goes for both Caleb and Abby. They are both in Spanish Immersion and, on top of regular school work, learning a new language. Our prayer for them is the same, that sooner rather than later, it would just click.


Of my husband. He's pretty much awesome. He's G.R.E.A.T. at what he does and has such an AMAZING connection with students.


For this fall season. We have had a little hint of cooler weather and I have put up some fall decor as well as lit some fall candles. I am ready for fall. I'm ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. This promises to be a fun time in our household and I am ready.

short on time.

I keep feeling like I'm running out of time to get things accomplished....and then I tally up my time spent on Pinterest.....
maybe I should reevaluate and prioritize.


with this post ;)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stream of Consciousness

I'm about to write a blog that is completely stream of consciousness. Something many of my English teachers over the years would highly disapprove of, but they aren't here. I'm in charge of this blog and so I'll do what I want.

Anyway. Tomorrow starts a new journey in our lives. I will begin my first year teaching Kindergarten. I'm excited and nervous and then excited again. Hopefully all goes well. I have 21 students in my class and my principal asked me the other day if I was, "ok with that." First of all, do I have a choice? I didn't say that...I said, "sure, I've got God on my side." Not really sure why that was my answer, but it was and she was really excited/impressed by that. Ok. My kids start school tomorrow too. I now have a 4th grader, a 2nd grader and a 3rd grader. 2/5 of my family will be spending the majority of their day speaking Spanish...that's a little strange. Paul is REALLY excited about all of us going back to school. He will get his days back and and be able to get "a bunch of stuff done."

I'm watching the Cowboys right now and eating popcorn and chomping ice while I write this and I've told my kids to go get back in bed at least a bajillion times since 8:00. Apparently it's too hard to go to sleep "while it's still light outside"! When is Daylight savings time, again?

On a completely other hand. Church in our new building has been really good. No major glitches. Next week is our dedication service and our pastor announced that there will only be one service and sunday school next week which is going to make for, what I'm going to call, a "nursery nightmare" if you will. Oh well, we will get through it!

In other news, some of our best friends are moving in two weeks. I'm happy and sad all at the same time. Happy because it's going to be a better opportunity for him and his job as well as their family. Sad because, seriously? Does it have to be so soon and so far away? Ugh. I keep reminding myself to go back to the part of the story where God is in control. I reluctantly go back to that part of the story and God continually reminds me that His will is best, no matter how I feel about it.

It's now 8:24, the announcers on the game are showing pictures of New York City where it's pouring down rain. We haven't had rain in I don't know how long. It's getting pretty bad around here. It just doesn't matter if we water or not anymore. Everything is dying...even the cactus. Yep. Cactus'? oh whatever....anyway....the plants that live in the DESERT are dying!

I just had a wave of nervousness about tomorrow. I really need to get a hold of that. They can smell fear, right? Kindergarteners? oh that dogs? I'm truly looking forward to this year and one of the things I've done is commit every Monday morning to pray with and for my colleagues and I'm also praying for my class. I hope that more of my colleagues show up as a result of me inviting them over and over. I would love for God to use this opportunity as a way to bring light into a dark place.

Speaking of dark place, I just switched over to CNN during half time. Need I say more...

Ok. I'm done. I'm going to finish up this evening watching mindless tv with my husband and I hope I sleep well tonight.

doubt it.

Monday, June 13, 2011


A couple weeks ago our family took a short weekend trip to a nearby lake and stayed in a lake house owned by some dear church members. Paul and I desperately needed some "vacation time" after school let out and this was the perfect opportunity for us to get away and spend some good quality family time.

We got to the house and the first thing the kids noticed was the chess taught them to play chess.

I bet they played chess more than 50 times over the weekend. They played with each other, they played with Paul and I. Sometimes they won, sometimes they lost. It was wonderful to watch them play such a thoughtful game and enjoy the company of each other while doing it!.

We watched a lot of Animal Planet and Softball in the evenings. We fished. We did NOT catch....

Paul also had an idea to spend some concentrated Bible Study time as a family. So he used our last name as an acrostic and drew the concepts out of some familiar stories in the Bible. The kids were really excited about this (actually)! So the first night we went through the first two letters of our last name.



Paul taught us the story about David and his friends being taken into Nebedchadnezzar's kingdom. know the one....

David had to be BRAVE to ask the guard to serve him and his friends different food. He also had to be RESPECTFUL when he asked the guard because if he were rude or disrespectful his request might not have been granted.

The kids really grabbed ahold of the concepts...maybe a little TOO well! They started correcting each other throughout the day saying, "that's not respectful" and "just be brave and go get me a drink".

The next day was the story of the good Samaritan and the letters



He told us the story and then we watched a You Tube video depicting the story through Legos! Yep, that got their attention! It also got the point across. We talked about how being available doesn't mean just "being around" but it means to also be WILLING to help someone in need and being a neighbor is not just the "next door" kind but making yourself available to others in love and compassion and kindness.

Again, the kids really "got it"!

They started calling each other out about being available and neighborly! Paul and I were glad they were getting the points of our Bible stories and concepts, but we had to keep reminding them to actually BE respectful to each other while they were reminding each other of the other things we talked about.

And finally...



This one brought everything full circle. The reason why David needed to be brave and respectful was because he was devoted to God. God was more important than the King's diet and so he devoted himself to God and bravely and respectfully asked for new food. The reason the Samaritan stopped to help the robbed man was because his devotion to God caused him to have love and compassion for the hurt man.

I got another idea to extend these lessons even further....I'm pretty sure it was a God thing. Since there are 5 of us and 5 letters in our last name, I had the idea to do a family art project. Each of us took a letter and a concept and painted a picture. After praying about our pictures....this is what resulted....

Caleb had "B" for "brave". His painting is of the letter B with big muscles showing that he's brave.


Paul had "R" for "respectful". His painting is of two people (stick people ;) of course) being respectful to each other.


Abby had "A" for "available". Her painting (clearly) is of Daddy helping to change someone else's tire on the side of the road. Can you see it?


Jacob had "N" for "neighbor". His painting is of a "spiky haired guy" working on his friends 4X4. It's not his next door neighbor...he's being a neighbor because loves his friend enough to help him... in case you didn't know. ;)


I had "D" for "devoted". I was wondering how I was going to paint "devoted" but when I asked the kids what it meant I got my answer. Caleb answered, "Devoted is like 'sticking to' something!" Yes! So I painted "sticky notes" with notes about the things that our family is devoted to.


This art will be displayed proudly in my kitchen very soon and


Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Day Overview

It all started last night at dinner. Paul and the kids made me dinner and each had a WONDERFUL thing to say about me and my "mom skills". Then we played a very "serious" game of Ninja and hung out as a family.

I was woken up this morning by my three beautiful children, each bearing a hand-drawn card they had made for me. My husband got them all ready for church and then took them to Starbucks to get my favorite cup of coffee. We worshipped together as a family and then went to lunch with some friends.

After lunch we headed out to a Missions game, where much more fun was in store for us!

When we got there we found out that moms and their kids got to go onto the field for the National anthem. While we were on the field Caleb and Jacob got to take a ground ball from a Missions player and keep the ball!

Our seats were directly behind the dugout...which was handy for the kids to put their drinks on! So every time the Missions came in from the field the kids called for a ball from a player. Finally in the 9th inning, Abby got a ball from a player. At the end of the 7th inning, I got to go up on top of the dugout and play a game...and I WON a $25 gift certificate!

At the end of the game we hung around the entrance to the locker room and got some autographs.

I was such a FUN day! Happy Mother's Day to me!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gun Strategy

So I've been sitting here with my computer open for almost the entire episode of The Biggest Loser trying to figure out what to write about. There are many things. Do I want to talk about all the good things that God is doing in my life? Do I want to be profound and talk about what I'm learning? Do I want to toot my own horn and talk about how well my classes are doing? Do I want to be a proud mama and talk about how well my kids are doing in school? Do I want to talk about how busy the schedule is right now? busy that my husband and I have literally put family time and date time on the calendar.... Do I want to talk about all the baseball successes in our family right now?


I want to talk about Jacob's TAKS strategy.

A little background. Over the past few weeks, Jacob's teacher and I have been talking about Jacob's reading strategy... specifically for TAKS. His reading grades have not been super over the last few weeks. He just has a hard time focusing on passages that are pages long! For goodness sake! He's NINE! Anyway.... He's been bring home 70's and 50's to correct over the last few weeks. Not great. So yesterday Paul took him out of school early and had a guys day. They went to the shooting range to shoot Paul's handgun and then to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodderick Rules. They both had a great time and this morning on the way to school Jacob and I came up with a new reading strategy.

It's called the Gun Strategy. It goes like this....

1. loading the clip = reading the passage the first time
2. putting the gun on safety = reading the passage again to gain understanding
3. taking aim at the target = reading the question and marking the paragraph for important information
4. Firing = answering the question correctly

So I let his teacher (WHO IS F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C.) in on the strategy and she thought it was a great idea because it speaks to Jacob and his interests. She also told me that he would have a couple of times to practice today. So this afternoon I get a text from Jacob/Paul with a picture and the caption "The Gun Strategy WORKS!"

Well....see for yourself!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

70 years of marriage

My Grandparents are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary next week. SEVENTY YEARS! Is that unimaginable to anyone else? I mean, Paul and I have been married for 11 years and it feels like a long time...not in a bad way, just the passage of a lot of time. I cannot even imagine 70 years. A few facts about the year they were married, 1941

* Lenn T. Seaborg isolates and discovers plutonium
* First issue of "Captain America" comes out
* Cheerios was introduced
* The New York Yankees win the world series
* Walt Disney releases "Dumbo"
* "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Glenn Miller gets the first gold record
* The first solid-body electric guitar is made by Les Paul
* Gas was $.19, bread was $.08, a house was $6954.00, a car was $925, and minium wage was $.30 an hour

Things sure have changed. One thing that has stayed the same, through 70 years, is the love that my grandparents share. I pray I get to love my husband for 70 years.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

THIS is what I've been wanting to say....

This is what I have been wanting to say for some time now. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one dealing with this spirit of infirmity in our household.

I'm also pleased to report that God is answering prayers and moving mightily in other ways!

Check it out!

I have no idea how to link to the actual I just copied and pasted it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011
All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

The Jones family has been under the weather for the last week. I came down with some kind of weird stomach bug last Sunday night. I tossed and turned all night with a horrible stomach ache that stuck around for several days. I finally consulted Dr. Google, who diagnosed me with a stomach ulcer. That would make sense since I tend to be an overly anxious person. Remember my resolution not to freak out about things?

When Jackson started complaining of a stomach ache on Wednesday, I knew my problem had been a virus and not an ulcer. That's good news. The bad news is that Jackson had to go through it and now a week later, this virus is still in our house! Jackson refused his breakfast this morning and said his stomach hurt. It sort of appeared as though he'd learned to wield the power of the bowel complaint and was using it dishonestly. Surely the virus was not still in his body five days later. I busied myself getting ready and we finally got in the car to leave. A minute down the road Jackson's complaints got louder and his face was as white as a sheet. Curtis turned the car around to drop us back off at home and I started crying. I just wanted to have a normal Sunday! My attitude was pitiful. The kids and I had missed Wednesday night church because of this, too. I was and am so ready for everyone to be healthy and for us to get our lives back to normal.

I had Jackson lay down in his bed and he didn't fight me. That's a pretty good sign that he wasn't bluffing. A few minutes later he was in the bathroom puking. Bless his heart. My pouty attitude quickly changed to compassion and thankfulness that God did not let Jackson get sick in the car or at church. This was the first time we've seen puke all week and I'm definitely grateful for that. Hopefully this is an extension of the first bug and not a new one. Ugh!

So many weird health issues have come up lately that I'm wondering if there is a spiritual component to all of it. If the Lord brings us to mind, will you pray for my family that this infirmity would leave our house? I know without a doubt that there is a spiritual battle going on around our family - and yours too - and I would be grateful for any of my friends' prayers for our marriage and children.

As weird as this sounds, when we turned off our TV we became much more aware of the battle. For example, one day I started feeling unreasonably afraid for my kids' safety. It had been quite a while since I'd fretted about it and this paralyzing fear came out of nowhere. I might have blamed it on something scary I'd seen on TV, but that was no longer an issue. Because I was able to discern the source of this fear as darkness and not truth, it was easier to reject it and not let it set up shop in my mind. (I'm sorry I keep talking about the TV thing, but it has brought so much fruit into our lives.)

God is building our faith and giving us vision, which is incredibly exciting. He is answering prayers that we've been praying for years, but it has definitely turned up the heat. Pray that we will not shrink back from the enemy's intimidation, but that we will fight the good fight and believe our powerful, almighty God. Thank you, friends.

Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

The web address is...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The sickness/bacteria/germs in this post are just staggering, I tell you.

So I walk into the waiting room and the receptionist says, "Have you been here before?" And I look at her and in my funny and yet sarcastic, drop.dead.serious. voice I say, "Oh yes. This is my third time here in a week...but I'm out of children now so I don't anticipate coming back any time soon." She looked at me with an, "I'm really sorry I asked/I'm really sorry" look and handed me the SAME EXACT piece of paper that I have already initialed TWICE in a week so that I can initial it yet again...this time...barely legible. halfway on purpose. not really. ok kind of.

But let me start at the beginning.

A long, long time ago.....scratch that.

Ten days ago, Caleb started feeling pretty yucky because of the huge-gantic, ginormical pollen count that we have been experiencing here in the hill country. Paul took him to the Urgent Care on Friday and they determined that he had tonsilitis. So they gave him some meds and we began the process to we thought.

On Sunday he was still feeling really crappy and so I took him back to the Urgent Care and after long minutes and waiting and consoling my child who looked and felt h.o.r.r.i.b.l.e. they determined that on top of his tonsilitis he also had the flu. Good times. So we started more meds and NOW we are on the road to recovery...for real this time.

Skip to Tuesday. Caleb is back at school. Jacob is home from school. That's right. Jacob woke me up at 4:00 am with a significant fever. I took Caleb and Abby to school and then took Jacob back to the Urgent Care. I told them about Caleb, so they started with the flu test. Which by the way, takes 15 minutes to process. Do you know what there is to do in an exam room that is 1.way to warm and 2.way to small and 3.way to beige. Nothing...except for maybe look at my options for kicking my husbands tail at Words with Friends. ...anyway, back to the flu test. Negative. What? Are you sure? (that's what I said!) So on to the strep test. Positive. So they gave him some meds and we began the process to we thought.

Jacob did not bounce back from the strep like I felt he should and so for 5 days he laid on the couch and bed, eating nothing, drinking little and spiking high fevers every 4-6 hours. Today, Saturday if your counting, was the first day that he was upright and he ate 3 meals today...a record for the week.

But wait! I'm not done!

Abby has been complaining about her head hurting for the last couple of days. On Friday I really thought she was playing the "how come the boys get to miss school and I don't" card, so we let her stay home. She was spiking fevers every 4-6 hours all day on Saturday and we had decided to just let the sickness run its course. Until...

She was crying and her fever was on fire! I gave her some Tylenol and took her to the "Agent Care" (aka Urgent Care). That's when I had the little banter with the reception that I opened with. Fast forward.

And we waited and waited for Abby's flu test to be done. Side note: She was wearing her "What happens in Kindergarten, stays in Kindergarten" shirt and she said, "Mommy What GERMS happen in Kindergarten do NOT STAY in Kindergarten, they come home with me and get me sick!" We had a good little chuckle over that! Anyway...Abby tested negative for the flu and negative for strep. The doctor remembered me and Jacob and asked how he was. When I told her about his week long affair, she apologized and told me she should have gone with her gut. Which was to treat him for both flu and strep. That's just what she did for Abby. So they gave her some meds and we begin the process to healing...I hope, I pray.

I do not want to go back to the "Agent Care" no matter how nice they are.

Urgent Care Co-pay1 - $30
Meds round 1 - $48
Urgent Care Co-pay2 - $30
Meds round 2 - $132
Urgent Care Co-pay3 - $30
Meds round 3 - $8
Urgent Care Co-pay4 - $30
Meds round 4 - $132
...not to mention the countless bottles of Tylenol and Motrin...I've lost count

Being able to say, "My children are well." - I'll pay anything.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Warning...this post is raw feelings and emotion. Reader beware.

Well I hope you took heed to the warning in the title!

This is a post that is coming from a pretty raw place in my life right now. It all started almost a year ago when Paul and I really felt like God was calling me into a new place in my life. I went back to "school" and got my teaching certificate. (and by "school", I mean, 6 weeks of intense classes, reading, projects and a significant amount of money)

I finished and all I needed was a teaching job to complete the process. We felt so confident in the way that God was leading us. I had my first interview in May 2010 and waited and waited and waited to hear about the coveted job that I was seeking.

Well fast forward 8 months to January 2011. I have now been through the interview process 4...FOUR times and still have very little to show for it.

Don't get me wrong, I have a job, with the district, that I like. Which is MUCH more than many people have and for that, I am grateful. However I am so far away from where I thought I would be! I thought I would be in a Kindergarten classroom by now, teaching, using my gifts and knowledge.

Instead I have an aid position teaching preschoolers. Not a bad gig at all....just not the direction that I thought God was moving me.

I now have been passed over again. I will get to move to my kids' school (for those that know the full story) but it is a lateral move to another aid position. Please hear my heart when I say, I am THANKFUL that I get to move to my kids' school...again...just not at all where I thought I would be at this point.

Maybe my expectations were too high. But is that really possible with God? Is it possible for my expectations to be higher that His? I of course don't think so. Somewhere I went wrong, though. Or I'm not understanding His ways that are clearly higher than mine. Is He protecting me from something? Is He holding out on me? Is He saving something better for me?

For whatever reason, I know with my head that His best is always BEST. I struggle with believing that with the rest of my heart though. Because I cannot fathom what is better. I thought I knew what I wanted. I thought I knew what would best suit me. Apparently, I don't.

I'm so frustrated. Have I don't something so wrong that God is punishing me for my disobedience? Am I so far out of God's will that I can't even hear or trust Him with my decision? Honestly, I don't know.

I KNOW with all of my being that God has control and knows what is best for me. I also know that just because things are hard doesn't mean I'm out of God's will. But I. am. struggling. deeply.

This is arguably one of the hardest journey's I have been on with the Lord. I find it very difficult to decipher His voice from my wants and desires. My husband helps. a lot. but I must struggle through this. Honestly my desires and wishes continue to push to the front and it's a constant battle to hold them back long enough for me to hear what the Lord is saying to me. It's a constant battle with my flesh to hold back what I want in order to do what God wants.

...and I'm terrible at it...

God is still answering prayers for me though. For the longest time...and by longest time, I mean, this semester... I have wanted to be at the same school as my kids. That prayer has been answered...although...I'm so jilted about this whole process that I'm sort of at a "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude. I confess that attitude as sin though. I'm also to the point that I'm expressing my frustration to God. I believe He delights in my honesty and yet seems to be holding back on me in the answer department.

Of course I don't believe that God is really holding out on me. He can do as He wishes and is in much as I'll let Him be. Which is another area that I am struggling in. big.time.

What I really want is to hear Him more clearly in this situation. AND for His will to be my will. The problem is what I struggle with is I want my desires to be His will and at the same time MUST remain in His will because I KNOW it's the best place to be.

However, I can't see the forest for the trees. I can't hear God's direction because I'm so focused on what I thought He wanted for me. UGH!

I'm ready for this entire saga to be over, but I'm afraid it won't be over until I've learned what I'm supposed to learn from it. So I'm praying that God will be the Revealer to me over the next hours, days, weeks.

Above all, with tears streaming down my face, ABOVE ALL, I want more than anything to be in God's will for my life and for my family. I want what He wants, no matter how hard it is. I'm willing to do whatever. I may go kicking and screaming at times, but I'm going. I will serve Him. I will praise Him. I will trust Him.

Because I know He cares for me.