Sunday, July 29, 2012

Prayers answered

Prayers I've had for awhile:

1.  Jesus please open doors for me to return to work
2.  Jesus please help me find the right care for Brennan if I do return to work
3.  Jesus please help me make new friends

I've got to say folks.  I see the Lord's hand working to answer every one of these prayers.  At the end of last school year Kadyn and discovered that the classmate she sat next to all school year just happened to live up the street.  I introduced myself to her mother and we both agreed that we needed to get the girls together for a play date some time this summer.  Easier said than done. Kadyn managed make it to her house one afternoon for about and hour, but other than that we were unable to coordinate our schedules to make it happen again so that us mothers could actually get to know each other better.

Flash forward a couple of weeks.  Kadyn was invited to a birthday party from her best friend in class.  It just so happened that her tablemate (the little girl who lives down the street) was invited too and her mother went with her.  Therefore, I finally got a chance to really get to know her mother better.  Through the course of conversation we discovered that her husband was looking for work.  Jeff thought that there might be a position within his company that would be a good fit for him so he agreed to take his resume with him to work.  A couple weeks later he had an interview with Jeff's company.  I'm not sure the outcome of the interview yet as I think there are followup interviews that are still to be had, but I have a good feeling about it.

While we were at the party the other mother and I also talked about what we did.  Turned out we had a lot in common.  In addition to her 6 year old daughter, she too had a 3 year old daughter.  She too used to do home daycare and was currently employed by a private Christian School as a preschool teacher.  She said she'd be happy to let me know if there were any openings in music,she anticipated an opening in another year.

Flash forward to last week.  I get an email from her asking if I'd be interested in teaching preschool.  I said yes and made a phone call to the owner.  The owner was unsure if there would be an opening and said she'd know in a few days.  She also said that their music teacher was leaving so there would be a possibility for me to teach both preschool and music. 

I waited a couple of days and got a phone call back from her this afternoon.  We talked a bit about myself and my qualifications and then she offered me the job on the phone sight unseen.  She said she had prayed about me all weekend and had a peace about me. She said she had told God that she was so busy she didn't have time to search for and interview new candidates.  She asked God to just put "someone in her lap"  Apparently, that someone was me as I called shortly after those prayers.  She said she usually has to have a feeling about anyone she hires and she has interviewed as many as 5-6 candidates for other jobs, but she just had a feeling about me.  She said she had never hired anyone sight unseen before.  Sigh!  What a feeling to know God was speaking to her about me.

I had also been praying for friends.  My new boss said that there were great Godly women working at the school and that I would love them.  They are like a family.  Oh, I can't wait.  Another prayer in the makings of being answered.  I will be attending a teacher luncheon in a couple weeks and get to meet and fellowship with these ladies in a couple weeks.   
Brennan will be going with me, although she will be in a different class while I am teaching.  The schedule is IDEAL for my first year back as a classroom teacher. I will be teaching my preschoolers from 8-12.  Then I will be teaching 2 half an hour music classes to the gradeschoolers M-Thurs.  This means Fridays I will be off by noon!  All the other days I will be done by 2:00.  Doesn't get any better than that!  That gives me more one on one time with Bren that I wasn't getting before doing daycare at my home. 

I do get a discount on Brennan's tuition so after that is deducted from my check I will be making exactly what I was making doing daycare which is exactly what we need to keep surviving.  It's not anywhere close to my old teaching salary, but it is sufficient for now.  Only God knows how long I will be at this job, but the good thing is that for now it is an good fit.

A little part of me panicked about breaking the news to the mother of the baby I watch.  She took it very well and was very excited for me.  She actually mentioned they may be moving at some point and she is contemplating staying at home with her little girl.  She said if the job opened up for me it may be just the catalyst they needed to start the next chapter in their lives with that.  I only tell this part of my story because it just seemed like God was taking care of every little detail.

So anyways, I am extremely excited.  Our God is very real.  He really listens to us. He really cares.  And he DOES answer prayers.  Thank you Jesus!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thankfulness 6

1.  Safe travels
2.  Great visit with great friends
3.  New fun things to explore
4.  Funds to create a craft area for the kiddos
5.  Rain
6.  Kids who enjoy helping me in the garden
7.  Picking weeds
8.  Early fall bloomers
9.  Placing membership at church
10. Possibility of sharing my musical gifts
11.  Excitement of upcoming school year
12.  Unexpected possible opportunities which may be answer to many prayers, MAYBE
13.  Seeing The Lord's hand in our lives and those around us
14. Finally figuring out how to deal with 3 year old back talking
15.  A clean house
16.  Ability to move materials to new spaces so they can function better
17.  Better child proofing
18.  Realization that some of our goals are getting closer to being within reach
19.  Little girls who are open to change and excited about change
20.  A good night's sleep
21.  First pepper picked from my plant....finally
22.  New shudders on the house that look fabulous
23.  Dreaming up new ways to landscape areas
24.  BIL who passed his summer courses and is an official grad
25.  BIL who has a new plan
26.  Birthday cards
27.  Support from mother
28.  Prayers from family and friends
29.  Being able to help new friends with opportunities and them doing likewise
30.  Getting better at the piano
31.  Singing songs I play the piano to
32.  Getting out my old violin and realizing I am still capable
33.  Spilling a whole plate of food and milk on the floor and not getting upset about it
34.  A 6 year old who can help with chores
35.  A 3 year old who is eager to do chores
36.  A resume that is ready to go
37.  Some old friends that are eager to camp with us for the first time this spring
38.  Girls playing in sprinkler while Mom gardens
39.  Online chatting with friend who is a town away
40.  Raw openness of sister
41.  Anticipation of being able to get rid of all baby stuff just taking up space some day soon
42.  Summer Olympics
43.  Continued appreciation for home I live in
44.  Continued appreciation for the country I live in despite it's flaws
45.  Left overs
46.  Frozen food

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Promised land zoo

Over a year ago we visited the promised land zoo.  We got to do it again this year and it was just as much fun as it was then.  There is scripture posted all over this zoo.  you drive through and the animals come right up to your vehicle asking for food. You can buy a bucket of food at the gate.  It is really a close encounter with wildlife unlike you would get a normal zoo.  We all LOVED it!  Our car was filthy afterwards with all the nose prints.

After you finish driving they have a petting zoo you can go too.  There were guinea pigs, rabbits, goats, mini horses, a baby camel, prarie dogs, snakes, porcupine, parrots,  some wierd monkey thing and even an alligator.  Of course you couldn't pet ALL of those animals.  The girls even got to feed some baby goats and some of the other kids got to feed the baby camel and cow.  Good times!  Definitely a repeat.  What's even more exciting, they're making one of these in Branson!  Woohoo!

Talk about close encounter

Somebody is looking for attention

These scared me.  They were gentle, just those beaks freak me out  a little
If you haven't been to one of these, you really ought to go.  It is way cool!

Cool in the pool

About 5 minutes after this photo was taken she started jumping in without her vest

Proof the girl can swim without a vest
Since my kids have become part fish this summer.  I though I'd document it on the blog. Kadyn is officially a swimmer. She can swim under the water, on top of the water, jump off the diving board, do canon balls, and swim all the way across the deep end without any flotation devices.  The picture of her jumping off the diving board with a vest was her first few times doing it. She wanted to try it with a vest a couple times before she tried it without.  So proud of her.  Brennan is swimming with a vest.  She can barely maneuver in the thing, but the point is that she is doing it none the less.  At the beginning of the summer she wouldn't let go of me to try and when I did let go of her, she would end up floating onto her back and couldn't learn how to keep herself upright with it on.  So being able to swim without Mama even if it is only a few feet is a big improvement.  Proud of her too.  My goals with the kids swimming this summer are officially accomplished!

2012 Summer Vaca

This year for our summer vacation we decided to go visit our good friends in Texas, the Roaches.  It was a nice relaxing trip.  My kind of trip.  We really didn't have much of an agenda other than to visit with good friends and take in a few sights.

We left on Friday, travel day. The trip down was great.  Thanks to a built in DVD player and some good conversation it went pretty fast.  The second day we all headed down to the local aqarium.  It was a small aquarium and packed!  Almost too packed.  Felt a little sardinish.  But....I LOVE AQUARIUMS.  I think my fascination stems from the bright colors, unique formations and looks of the creatures, and the way they move so fluidly.  It really is calming to me.  It's a whole other world that we are outsiders too.  It's fun to get a peak into that existence of sealife.  Anyhoo,  the kids and I really enjoyed it. 

The second full day Jeff, Keenan, and the big kids headed down to the Dallas Cowboy's football stadium for a self guided tour.  I think the big hits of the tour for the kiddos was getting to see the locker rooms of the players, the cheerleaders, and getting to run around on the field itself.  Jeff thought it was cool that they had highlights from an old K-State football game playing in one of the rooms. 

Later that day, Sara and I headed to the pool with the big kids.  I enjoyed just lounging around in the cool water and good conversation with a girlfriend.  We were grateful to have good friends that were willing to share their home and cook for us too.  Also, having children who are similar ages that got along marvelously was a great perk!  Brennan didn't want to leave :( We finished up our trip at IKEA.  We found some lovely shelving units to help us create a craft/preschool area for the girls and daycare.  More on that to come. Overall, lovely time with lovely friends. 

Burning some steam on the field.  Touchdown!

Apparently, the outfits hanging in the cheerleader lockers looked like they could fit my kids.

Cheerleader pyramid.  Go kids!

Representing the cowboys in the press conference area.

The jumbo tron.  This puppy is huge!

The Roach children representing the cowboys at the interview table.

The cowboy lockers

A view from above

These bubbles were so cool!  It's like you could get in the tank with the fish

The best part, walking through the tunnel

Hands on experience.  Touching the starfish and sea urchins

Learning about the sharks

Walking on glass and having fish swim under you......super duper cool!

My cowboy cutie pies

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Navigating the snakes

There is a dream I have had off and on since childhood.  It's not always exactly the same, but I think in general it is.  Basically I am outside walking around and there are snakes HIDDEN EVERYWHERE.  I am slightly frightened, but not paralzyed with fear. I slowly navigate my way through the snakes. Just when I think I see a clear spot another snake emerges and I must choose a new path.  Until last night I had never been attacked by a snake in my dream, only fearful of stepping on one.

Last night I had another of these dreams.  This one started out the same as the others, navigating through a big yard of snakes. Usually I am alone in these dreams, not this time.  This time Bren and K were with me.  I was telling them to be careful where they stepped and just as I said that Bren stepped right in front of a mean snake.  I stepped in front of her to shield her just as the thing jumped up fangs barred and leaping through the air at us.  It frightened me so much that I awoke at that moment. 

I really hate these snakes dreams and don't understand why they come back at various times in my life.  It scares me to think dreams like this might actually have meaning.  The spiritual side of me can't help but wonder, am I being warned to protect my children from future attacks from Satan.  Yesterday Kadyn had a horrendous tantrum.  She had been caught being naughty and felt really badly about it and chose to take out that guilt in a the form of a huge tantrum.  She hasn't done something like that in over a year; I thought she was too old for tantrums. I thought wrong. No doubt, Satan was at play with her emotions and choices yesterday.  Knowing that dream occured shortly after I had dealt with all of this makes me think, it's time to up my prayers for my little ones.  The older they get, the more they will have to navigate the evils that Satan throws at them.  If there's one thing I know how to do, it's arm them with my prayers and give them their swords (the Word).

While Kadyn was serving her time in time out, it occured to me to look up verses that were pertinent to behaviors that I had been dealing with in Kadyn.  I decided to have Kadyn memorize those verses and practice them daily. She was very receptive to my request and has even asked me to review them with her when she is bored each day; she enjoys scripture and I am thankful for this. They are verses I want her to hide in her heart. I am hopeful that the Lord will then use these to guide Kadyn throughout her life whenever she is tempted to sin in these ways. 

I have been told that when you memorize scripture the Lord will hasten it to your mind in times when you need it and he wants to talk to you.  One of the things K struggles with the most is using a respectful tone with her sister rather than an impatient, angry tone.  I found it interesting that she had a verse stuck in her head all day about refraining from anger.   

So anyhow, all this is to say that I hate snake dreams.  I have them a lot at random times throughout my life.  I hope they don't mean anything, but if they do, I'm just taking a few precautions.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cousin Extravaganza Summer 2012

Sigh!  I know I said this before, but I will say it again.  I am SOOOO happy my sister is only 4.5 hours away these days.  Because of the shortened distance we were able to arrange for her girls to come visit us for a whole week.  I admit, I was a little nervous at the proposition of having 6 kids in my home for a whole week (I say six because I wasn't able to take off an entire week of daycare).  Last time I had 6 kids it was a disaster.  I was very surprised that it ended up being easier than I thought.  In fact, it was almost like a break.

Why?  Jody's girls were incredibly helpful.  Jessa, the oldest, asked me if she could help me cook.  She vacuumed for me, she loaded kids in the van for me, and she helped entertain my littlest daycare lady, especially when she was fussy.  I'm not used to getting help during the day.  It was pure bliss!
Jody trained these girls well.  I didn't even have to ask.  They just did it all on their own.

Our girls were over the moon about their cousins being here.  Instead of hanging on their Daddy every night and talking off his ear, they were off romping around with their buddies.  It was a break for him too!  They slept in a tent we had set up in the basement for them the entire week.

Here's a summary of what we did:

1.  Crafts, crafts, and more crafts
2.  puzzles
3.  Movies
4.  Picnic by the lake,
5.  Fed the ducks at the lake.
6.  Saw a fish feeding at bass pro
7.  Played at a park.
8.  Went swimming
9.  Hunted for snipes
10.  Made a giant tent with blankets
11.  Played doctor
12.  Worked on multiplication tables (with Jessa)
13.  Taught Jessa 2 songs on piano
14.  Story times
15.  Attended pet day at the library
16.  Fed fish at the fish hatchery
17.  Glorious reunion with baby brother at Chipotelle
18.  Fun at the science center
19.  Jammy run to MacDonalds for ice cream cones

It was a fun filled jam packed week.  About the only thing the cousins didn't like was the fact that they discovered Aunt Darci was a stickler about eating veggies and waiting to eat until the prayer was finished.  Other than that, I think they really enjoyed their visit and we sure did adore having them here. 

This was supposed to be a giant flower, more like a giant flop
Another giant flop, supposed to be  yarn balls.  Oh well!  At least we tried!
Checking out the critters at the fish hatchery

Petting the armadillo at the fish hatchery

Hard to believe Gracy and Kadyn are one year apart!

All SIX kids feeding the fish at the fish hatchery.  Grateful for a mini van for without one, this would not have been possible.

They barely all fit in the tent. 

Jessa's craft invention...goggles!

Say Cheese!

Digging for bones at the science center

Picnic at the lake

Best of buds

Watching and feeding ducks at the landing

Watching the fire and light show at the landing
It was nice to spend a little time with my sister for a day before she took everyone home. Brennan was in tears when they left.  I hope we can make this an annual tradition.