I know I am about to start school on Thursday, but I guess I am still trying to be in vacation mode. I had such a great time with my family and still want to hang around there in my thoughts for now. I sent letters to my choir today, so I am not totally in denial, but watching this video I made while we were at the Georgia Aquarium is something I can always go to when the school year gets tough. Like Calgon.........
I could have stared at these fish for days. (I think I may have already said that.)
Matt is playing finger style guitar now in the kitchen. I think we may be recording again soon. I am excited about maybe not doing things that will take lots of money to buy copyrights to. We are going to be putting our CD on CDBaby this time. It is a company that sells independent artists' CDs. That is a little dream of mine. I guess more and more now I am wanting to just get out and sing. Matt and I got to for the Golden Prospector group at our church. It was so great. We gave away CDs for the first time and it was so much fun. What a cool blessing that anyone would actually even want our music. I can't believe it when someone tells me that they listened to our CD when they were having a tough time and God comforted them. This is what I want to do.
Please pray for us in this. I love kids, and I love teaching and everything else that we get to do, but this is probably my biggest passion. I have had a passion for singing since I was a mere tot. It has never left me. I feel like I kind of have to suppress it when I am teaching because teaching and talking all day take a toll in my voice. ( I know that may sound silly.) Anyway, this is where God has me now.
Oh, for some reason I started thinking about my weight loss goals and overall fitness and need to comment on that. Eating wise, I did terribly today, except for eating lots of tomatoes. I did, however, stretch on the exercise ball that Matt bought for his back. I also did some push-ups on it. Later, I walked with my neighbor, Jennifer. So I guess I am moving in the right direction. I was feeling so old and stiff. It is amazing how just doing a little more makes a huge difference.
I have to say that when I hear some talking about their mothers-in-law being terrible, I feel for those describing them. My mother-in-law is so great to me as well as (probably expected) her grand kids.
I pray that I am as sweet when I am a mother-in-law. You may be asking....what do you want, Laurie? Really, I don't want anything. My mother-in-law, Judy, among being great all the time, took all of us shopping yesterday. I think we bought out Osh Kosh (well, not really). Thank goodness they had a great sale. :) Matthew got new duds. Even blackish jeans. He loves those black clothes. Matt wasn't there, but, even he got new clothes. The kids were psyched to get new backpacks and clothes. Claire got a flowery backpack. Cute. I know she would probably not want me to say, but, thank you, Mamaw.
My mom is also the greatest. She did so much to make our vacation great. She is always there and goes over board for us. I have to check myself every once in a while to make sure that we are not just taking from them. It is so easy sometimes when people are used to giving (and you are the baby of the family) to wake-up and realize that you are doing a little more of the taking than the giving. Our moms are so unselfish. I try to think of things that would be extra special for them. Somehow it always seems to not be quite as much as they do for us.
This makes me think about the movie Pay it Forward. Our moms give to us, we give to our kids, hopefully they will give of themselves and their gifts to others.
Anyway, if they are reading this....we love you moms.
Oh, going shopping also makes me think of what I wrote to Southern Fried Fatty. Wow, do those fluorescent lights show everything. I am going to join you in your goal to lose weight. For now, I will be big and beautiful (hopefully). I do like the big girl clothes I got. They are pretty. :)
We had such a great time in Atlanta. This is Claire inside the Ocean Voyager exhibit in the Georgia Aquarium. It was so amazing. Here is a link if you want to see a short video I made there. Esnips Videos The whale sharks were incredible. I could have spent days just sitting there watching it all. There are some great pictures taken by people with fancy cameras on Flickr (Georgia Aquarium pool).
My sister-in-law's brother got us discounted tickets because he volunteers there. Nice! He gets to dive in the tank with these beautiful fish.
The next day we got up and went to Six Flags. This could be a very long story.
This was our little people's first experience with anything like rides like these. Needless to say, they were a little shocked at some of the rides. We only rode 1, actually, before we got rained out. Jacob did ride the Crime Wave while the big guys rode Batman. Claire wanted to, but she wasn't tall enough. So, Jacob had to ride it by himself. I felt like such a bad parent after it started. I guess I just went with his enthusiasm and the fact that he was tall enough.
As Benjamin later said, "Just because you are tall enough to ride a ride, doesn't mean that you will like it!" There you go.
Then after Jacob was good and traumatized, we all rode the Mindbender together. This was one that Claire could actually ride. She sat by Uncle Ron. Matt sat with Benjamin and I sat by Jacob. When we were at the top of the coaster, Benjamin said "Can I get off?"
Matt and I basically spent the entire ride leaning over our scared children. We ate lunch, then on our way to the place with more kiddie rides, the rain began to pour. We had a good time staying out of the rain together. Mom shared her rain parka with Jacob and Claire at one time. It was great. When we got back to my brother's house, it was beautiful outside. I guess it was meant to be. :)
Today I went to school to get my schedule for next year. I am excited about everything. I like my schedule. I will actually have a great block of time for planning.
Here is a drama that the group at First Methodist in Clinton did in Mexico and all over. (This isn't them performing it, though.)
I found this video of the drama on GodTube.com. Click on the title of this post to go there.
We enjoyed having the Hodges over for lunch today. They had a basset hound in the past so it was neat talking about their's. I cooked lasagna from a great recipe I found last night. We wanted it to start cooking while we were at church, so I looked for one that you could prepare the night before. Here is the one I used: Overnight Lasagna It was good. I changed it a little to just use ground beef instead of meatballs. I figured you were going to chop them up anyway..... I also made chocolate cheesecake. I am glad that the kids haven't acquired a taste for cheesecake yet. :)
Tonight, we are having the Watkins boys over. Aaron and Ryan are good guys that our boys love playing with.
Anyway, that is my day. Thank you, everyone who asked about Coltrane.
I am so happy today because our doggie was able to come home last night. He didn't have any major injuries from his accident. He is walking very slowly today, though, and probably will be for a little while. He is having to take an anti-biotic and pain medicine for a while. He would not even be here if it hadn't been for two nice people, the lady from the Oxford Animal Shelter and the nice man who helped her lift Coltrane into her car (he is a little large).
Thank goodness someone who worked for the animal shelter came by right as Coltrane was trying to cross Hwy. 7 (big, busy hwy. by our house). When we talked to her later at the vets, she said people weren't even slowing down to let him cross. They just whizzed by until someone hit him.
I just don't understand this. What is wrong with people today? Are we so busy and hardened that we will just hit a dog rather than slow down for 5 seconds to let him cross? Obviously, these aren't the same people who help out during hurricanes or 911 disasters, etc. I pray that something doesn't happen to me with these kinds of people around. OK, I am being a little dramatic about it, but, sheesh. Anyway, he is home now.
If you click on the picture or title of this blog, you can go to the website of the animal rescue. If you feel like it, you can donate to them in honor of Coltrane or adopt a pet, etc. They also have a wish list of things they need. I am indebted to them. They need volunteers, so I may go help out sometime.
We are getting ready to go out of town again. This time on a trip for all of us. We are going to the Georgia Aquarium and Six Flags. :) The kids just about can't even contain themselves. I hope I can take the rides. It has been so many years since I have ridden anything. I'm a little old, now. I think your equilibrium changes so that you feel rides like this more. I know I tried to swing a couple of years ago and really felt sick. Not like the days when I tried to go so high that I would flip around the swing.
OK, I've got to get over this and get young again. :) Matt and I were looking at the Six Flags website and saw all the rides and how tall you have to be to ride them. Matt and I ran to Claire's bed with the tape measure and measured her while she slept. Kind of strange, huh? I thought so, but we just couldn't wait. We were too excited. I think Mamaw has offered to doggie-sit her granddog. Thanks so much, Mamaw!
We've looked for Joe Shelton off and on for the last few years and have even read other people's comments on the web wondering where he was. Well, we found out that he's not that far from our new home. This link has some writings from Joe.
On a sadder note, Coltrane-the-dog is in the doggy hospital tonight. He was hit by a car today, and we're hopeful that he'll pull through. The vet said that her "gut feeling" was that he'd make it. We'll find out more, tomorrow.
I was so proud tonight. Jontyler was out of town, so big Matt filled in for him leading worship for the youth. He and Matthew were leading together. They sounded great and were such a great team. I pray that God will give us some really good times during these next few years. He has three more at home before he leaves the nest. We have had our share of trying times together, and I know Matt and I have been pretty tough on him at times. He is our first born. We have learned, a lot of times the hard way, with him how to be good parents. Well, we aren't there yet, but maybe someday, like when we are 70.
I am so proud of how he is really using the talents God has given him. It is wild to watch your child become the person God created them to be and it has nothing to do with you. Cool....
By the way...Matt is FINISHED with his classes for the summer. These two classes were squeezed into 1 1/2 weeks. He had something new everyday to turn in and we are soooo happy he is done. Thank you, God!
This is Jacob and Claire at Nana's house while I was at camp and Matt was heavily studying. They went upstairs and painted a baby blanket for their puppet show. On one hand I want to say "Awww, that is so cute and creative of them", and on the other hand I am thinking "You mean they went upstairs and painted a blanket without permission?"
I think they were inspired by the "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" author. Should I call and confront her? :)
Today is Matt's big day of presentations. He has worked really hard and only has today and tomorrow left to go.
It is pouring down rain here today. Matt has been doing a lot of work in the yard off and on, and it has really helped. There are these beautiful streams going around our house, but not staying right around the house. :) He is so talented.
I am so excited. I couldn't remember one of the songs we sang in worship at Centri-kids. I was looking and found a pdf file with all of the songs. What a great resource! Now we might be able to do some of these for worship soon. Yeah!! You can click on the title or the picture to go to the site.
I remembered two "pokey little puppy" stories from this week. We call them "Pokey Little Puppy" stories because Benjamin is like the PLP in that he doesn't say much (around most people) but he ususally finds something cool and then everyone around him wants to do what he is doing.
#1. He LOVES coke floats. In the cafeteria, B started going and getting a glass, filling it with ice cream and then coke. Yep, everyone saw what he was doing and started doing it. :) #2. During our last night of camp right before we went into the dorms, B started rolling down this big hill. He did it by himself for a while, then slowly but surely, kids started to do it. He stopped and stood back and watched. I think he was really proud. He is hilarious that way.
Anyways, (my Nacho Libre reference) B and I leave this morning for Jackson, MS. We are going to get our family and bring them home tomorrow. :)
Hope to see a lot of our moms while we are there. Matt can't come to the reunion tomorrow because he has so much to do for school, but we may still go, or just be with Mamaw and G'madnG'pa this next weekend (if they will let us :) ). Not sure yet.
Just found out school starts for me August 2nd. This year it is actually the same for Matt and me. At least that doesn't sound as bad as Aug. 1st.
We gotta get a lot more summer in before them....oh yea!
I love this picture because it pretty much captures my B's personaltiy. Calm with a lot of mischief that most people don't see. He was trying to do a goofy look and then I tickled him and we somehow got this picture.
We had a great time at camp and now I am so happy to be home. It made me a little glad that I "only" have 4 children of my own.
I highly recommend Centri-kids. I don't know when I stopped being like the staffers there. I see myself as young as they are, but somehow when we were dancing to the music I didn't quite jump as high.
That is my goal for this year.....to get in shape so that I am not only young at heart, but also able to leap tall buildings with a single bound. I also almost broke my ankle playing "IT" with the kids. The fault was with my dumb flip-flops that have these really impractical wide high heels. I was "IT" and my shoe broke leaving me on the ground. I think the kids were a little speechless.
I totally missed the 4th of July. Happy Birthday, America! We'll have to celebrate later.
Can't wait to see Matt. He is still in class right now, but he, B, and I are about to go to Rataouille. I have missed that guy!
Well, I'm off to meet up with our church kids and Bro.Ken at Centri-kids camp. Two sweet ladies have been with them, also, since Sunday and now we are passing the baton. :)
I won't be blogging for a couple of days. I will try to live and enjoy life before technology. It will be good for me. I don't really like it when our family is so disconnected, but I guess this is the way it was supposed to work out. Nana and Mamaw are so sweet to keep our people this week. Even though Matt doesn't like it, he will get more done with us gone.
Well, Matt has just left for a day of classes at Ole Miss (University of Mississippi if you aren't familiar). He is pretty swamped with assignments. Good thing is, he only has another week and a half to go. If he can just hold on, he will finished. He is sad that our kids are gone.
Mom took Matthew, Jacob and Claire to Jackson so I can leave tomorrow to join up with Benny and our church group at Centri-kids.
It is Benny's first time to go to camp. I hope he is having a good time. He is the youngest one going. There were some pretty big guys he doesn't know going, so I pray that they will be nice to him.
What to do today? There is always cleaning.....there could be picture hanging....or furniture painting....shopping for trip tomorrow, furniture re-arranging, paper sorting (my least favorite), planning for school that starts in August..........
I have already had my quiet time, so I feel ready to go. I have such a hard time organizing my time. My expectations are usually so big. I am not doing that today. I am just going to tackle and finish a few things and pack for tomorrow. There.
I pray that you have an awesome Monday and an awesome week.