It's no secret that I LOVE my kids (at least I hope not). =) But, I have enjoyed them so much this weekend. Not that I don't normally enjoy them, but I'm so guilty of getting caught up in the day to day stuff that I sometimes forget to just sit and enjoy the mere presence of these little blessings. I have some friends that desperately want to have a baby, but it obviously is not in God's plan right now. It has been several years for them and it breaks my heart because I know all too well that feeling of desperation and disappointment. My first loss was in 1999 and my second in 2001, followed by another in 2004, the month before conceiving Audrey. I became so angry with God. I could not understand WHY. I questioned so many things in my life, in my faith. But, oh, what a plan He had for me. I couldn't see it - and didn't for several years, but He knew all along.

I sit here today, with my "new life". I am blessed far more than I could ever have imagined. He has been so faithful, even when I have failed. Though I suffered great losses during a part of my life, He has given me two beautiful, precious little girls. I absolutely could not ask for more. They brighten my days. I have found myself, however, taking for granted that which He has given me. And, sometimes I need to be reminded of all that I have.

Now that I'm in this new phase of life with a toddler and kindergartner, I easily forget the times when life wasn't so full. I take for granted the little things. It's so easy to get caught up in the meal planning, house cleaning, errand running, bill paying, etc. and feel like I've missed out some very important things. So, I'm making a conscience effort to make a lot more time for my kids. Granted, I do have to wash clothes, cook meals, and wash the dishes every day, so I can't stop and play EVERY time Maddie asks, "Will you play with me, Mom?". But, I'm stopping more often and not thinking in the process what other things need to be done. We're even doing "Tot School" now while Audrey is in school. It's just a couple of hours a day that is completely devoted to Maddie and teaching her skills and having fun without interruption. I'm incorporating her more into the things that have to be done around the house as much as possible. And, I'm making an effort to really listen to Audrey more. I have to realize that, yes, all these external things need to be done - but my kids are #1 (and they won't be little forever). Everything else is secondary.

Thank you, God, for reminding me of the blessings that you have sent me. Thank you for entrusting me to be Audrey & Maddie's mother here on this earth. And, thank you for giving me a loving, faithful husband who loves You with all his heart. He often teaches me when my voice of reason is silent. He is not quick to anger and is calm and loving. Thank you, Lord, for our special family! Thank you for knowing what I need and providing. Thank you for the lessons that you continue to teach and for not giving up on me when I have clearly failed you.

New Look, New Adventures

What do you think about the new look? I thought I'd change it up a bit. It was a little bland before. :) So, we've had a good week. Audrey is just doing super. She absolutely loves school. She loves riding the bus. She's already made a lot of friends. She even got a marriage proposal. Oh, my! His name is Jaylen and has orange hair, apparently. She said, "He promised me he'd never break up with me again." So, I asked, "He's broken up with you before?" "Yeah, he's broken up with all the girls, but wants to marry me when we grow up." My, oh, my!!

Maddie spent the day with her grandparents on Tuesday and I got so much done. It's pretty amazing how much more can be done when I'm alone. LOL I miss my kiddos when we're apart, but I definitely appreciate the break. And, I feel so much better and productive when my house is clean and somewhat organized. I love my house, but the size itself makes it difficult to keep up with. Not sure that I've had all 3 floors clean at the same time many times, but I try.

So, I'm starting a little something new now that school is in session. When Audrey was younger, I use to work with her and we'd have "class time". We'd work on letters, numbers, shapes, colors, basic writing skills, etc. It wasn't a consistent, daily thing, but I did what I could with an infant in tow, too. However, I've noticed that Maddie is suffering the "second child syndrome". You know what I'm talking about... drop the paci on the floor "ah, it's clean", hand me down clothes & toys, etc. lol But, most importantly, she's missing out on that class time I gave Audrey at this age. So, after reading a few blogs of friends with children similar ages as Maddie, I learned that they do "Tot School". After a couple of days of research, I've ordered Hooked on Phonics and jumped in to class head first today. Today was the first day and it was more of a 2 hour craft session, but I'm working on more creative things to do with her. I have a little more planning to do, so this week we're winging it and having fun in the process. Like my friends, I have started my own blog to follow what we're doing. Now, let's see if I can keep up with 2 blogs, 2 kids, a husband and a house. lol

Updates and Stuff

A lot has been going on the past few weeks, so I figure it's time for an update. No catchy titles or witty things to say... just the facts ma'am.

So, first off, my baby started kindergarten this week. WHAA. I swear this was the shortest summer of my life. :( I feel like we just had the end of year party with her PreK class and now she's off to "big school", as she calls it. We started the day off with a bus ride. And, I have to be honest, I feared the bus more than anything for her. I hated the bus as a kid. But, times have changed. They don't have to ride with all the middle school & high school kids. There's only about 15 kids on her route and she's the next-to-the-last stop. The little kids sit at the front of the bus and the older elementary sit further back. I prayed for reassurance before "Kindergarten Roundup" (when the parents got to ride the bus with the kids and have a little meet and greet at the school before classes started). Come to find out, a man that sings in choir with me is her bus driver. He's a great guy! Made me feel a lot better - and she really enjoyed riding the bus. She doesn't seem to have my motion sickness gene either. ;) Anyway, I really like her teacher. She's an older, grandmotherly type. Audrey really likes her. She's got a buddy, too, who happens to go to Awana at our church and lives in the neighborhood next to us.

Seriously though, when did my kid get big enough to go to school?? I feel like she was just a toddler not long ago stumbling around, saying cute things, watching JoJo's Circus, and napping in a crib with her paci. She's growing up and I just don't think I like it. I never thought ahead to a time when my kid wouldn't need me as much or go off to school and spend half her day away. :( I'm still feeling some guilt from choosing not to home school. I still feel like it is very important, but it just isn't doable for us right now- and hubby isn't really on board. Anyway, I think Audrey will do really well wherever she is. She's a great kid!

Maddie, on the other hand, is in full blown Terrible Two's. She hit them later than Audrey, but she's making up for it. But, she is so stinkin' cute that you can't stay mad at her more than a second. She is so remorseful. LOL She is so animated with her emotions. She talks all the time and I wish I could convey to you just how incredibly cute it is with dramatic "and um"s and "I sowwy"s. The other day she had been scolded and I said, "Say, 'Yes, Ma'am" and she'd go "No, Sir". "Say, 'Yes, Ma'am". "No, Sir". We went back and forth a few times. It was pretty funny, but in all seriousness, I have to stay firm with her because she has a mind of her own! She knows exactly what she wants and will try her best to talk herself into whatever it is. Maybe she's heading towards a law degree?!

If I haven't said it enough, my husband is fantastic! He really is a great guy. The kids adore him. He's incredibly responsible and honest. I'm proud of him for the hard work he puts in (and extra work he does outside of his "day job"). I joke that he's my Walking Encyclopedia, but he's absolutely the smartest man I've ever known! He just got back from a conference in D.C. where he presented and chaired a panel discussion. He has a company that wants to create a position for him! And, a head hunter that has been talking with him about a VP position at another one. I'm really proud of him!

So, what am I up to these days? Well, I've lost my cell phone and gained 5 pounds for starters. Other than that, all is good. :) I'm pretty sure I left my phone at my in-laws house and I've worked out 3 days this week already, so I'm trying to get myself back together. As for the weight thing (which seems to be the thing that consumes me and this blog the most) it will always be a battle. I pretty much took the summer off from Weight Watchers and working out. Why, you ask? Just lazy I suppose. No, really, I was uber busy with kids, colorguard, and life in general. It's too stinkin' hot to do much of anything outside the essentials. And, I just lost my motivation, temporarily. I'm pretty proud of myself though. I walked 6 miles Saturday, 6 yesterday, and 3 today. I plan on riding the Trike the 14 mile route in the morning since Maddie will be hanging out with her Nana. Friday I'll do another 3 mile walk and then Saturday Hannah and I will push for 10-12. So, if I finish out the week as planned, I will feel much better! I'm having some problems with my left leg (the hurt one from the previous post). I hope I haven't overdone it. I noticed some busted blood vessels on the back of my knee after my walk Saturday. :( I'm just trying to walk a little easier right now. I'm only 11 weeks away from the 60-mile walk! In addition to the physical training, I'm still $1500 away from the financial goal that I HAVE to meet in order to participate. I still have at least 10 people that have told me they will definitely donate and just haven't yet. I'm also planning two fundraisers for the last weekend in this month. One is a Crop for the Cure and the other is a Longaberger show where 25-40% of the sales go towards the walk. So, hopefully between these I can get the majority of the rest. To me, this is the worst part of it. I hate, hate, hate to ask people for money. I know I've done direct sales forever, but I hate, hate, hate to ask people to buy things. I've been doing Creative Memories for years and LOVE it, but it's more for my own personal use (and a few loyal customers) and if someone needs something - great. If not, I'm ok. :) I'm going to continue to scrapbook no matter what. lol

OK, let's see... one last thing about me and I'm outta here. Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying our church. We've been there about 6 months now and I'm starting to "fit in" a little more. I've gotten involved more with the music program and people and love it. I taught VBS one week - and discovered it really isn't my "gift", but I was happy to help out. I was fortunate enough to audition and make the Praise Team, so I've been doing a lot with that. I was also asked to help choreograph/stage the upcoming Adult Choir Christmas Musical and also with the Children's Spring Musical. The scale at which these programs work I have never had the opportunity to be a part of (our church has a Music Conservatory), so it is all very exciting! This is all fresh on my mind because we had choir rehearsal tonight and it's like a praise & worship hour even through all the technical details. You just know that you're surrounded by His presence and all these people that love the Lord. It's a great feeling!

I know I said one more thing and that's it, but I just thought of one more. I have a huge prayer request for those that read my blog. My little brother got married back in April, less than 4 months ago, and his heart is broken. His wife has flipped her lid, to put it mildly. She goes to work and doesn't go home. She stays over at a "friend's" house, but won't tell him where exactly that is. There are so many other things, but I'll spare you the details. He's trying so hard to make it work and she just doesn't seem to care. I don't know what has gotten into her, but please pray that this is either resolved or dissolved QUICKLY - and that he can move on with whatever happens.

Anyhoo... that was quite an update, huh? Guess I should be more consistent with my posts so I don't have to write a novel each time. =)
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