Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012...The Year of Chubby

According to that fancy placemat they use at the Asian Buffet and Chen's 2012 will be the Year of the Dragon.  Where do I fit in?  I was born in the Year of the Ox. [I'm guessing an ox is better than being born in the Year of the Rat or the Pig.  Who wants to be called a rat or pig?]  I always laugh at how incompatible some people really are [you do it too so don't try to act like I'm the crazy one] according to the year they were born.   Who knew that a monkey and a sheep couldn't marry?  Honestly, I just really would like to know exactly how you make an egg roll and how do you cut those tiny jello squares so neatly?  The world may never know....

I'm guessing I should give the obligatory "this is gonna be an awesome year" blog but I'm not feeling that one at all.  Not that I don't think that the next year will be amazing but there is something deeper that is beckoning me to speak [and no, it isn't the amazing sweet 16 birthday dinner we had tonight].  You ever just feel that tug on your heart and your mind that is so strong that ignoring it is impossible? That is how I feel.  I find myself constantly questioning my purpose on this Earth [yes, entertaining the masses is a given] and I keep hearing these same words to my favorite song...."I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way that He loves us" my head, on my lips, in my heart.  I know that He is speaking directly to me. I promised God, at MFuge, that I would listen to Him because for most of my life I listened with a "but". [Not that kind of butt either.]  I listened as long as it wasn't going to be uncomfortable or push me out of  my comfort zone.  For all of my "think outside the box" stuff I like to try in my classroom I am extremely uncomfortable in new situations.  I would describe me as awkward. [Some of you that have known me for a long time are now thinking, "Well duh"]  But, He is pushing me, to be bolder about sharing my faith.As the book of James (2:26) says, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

I have to be more steadfast in studying my Bible.  I have a confession - some of it I don't "get".  That is hard for me to say, especially to Craig, because I have always felt like reading was something that gave me the edge in the smarts department. [I ain't super smart but if I don't know the answer I sure know where to find it!!]  Craig studies his Bible - he knows what's there and how to interpret or "read between the lines" where I flounder [funny 'cause I really hate fish] at some of the things in the good book.  I love to read - always have - but reading has always been difficult for me.  Not the fluency part [let me throw some of my reading specialist stuff atcha] but the comprehension.  I have to read and study to make sure I understand because I don't retain knowledge [random facts - yes].  I'm a visual learner - draw me a picture or 'splain it in Missy terms and I'm good.  The Bible is full of analogies and these read between the lines ideas and sometimes the message isn't getting to me if I just read it - and I give up too easy.  I love Sunday worship, for many reasons, but mostly because Brother Chip explains all the parts of the scripture we are reading - the history, the Greek, the hidden meanings, everything - and I've filled up a small notebook in the last 6 months or so.   I am amazed at how much I've learned and then I can go back and fill in the blanks. [There are alot in that crazy, mixed up head of mine.]

I say all of this to say that I have to be more diligent and more focused when it comes to reading and studying my Bible as I enter 2012 [The Year of the Dragon for those of you with the attention span of gnats .  I have four children that are looking for my guidance in this area - how can I guide them if I don't understand the directions?  I want to be bold in my witness and not just quote scripture. 
Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until You and I are One
You won't relent until you have it heart is yours.

Part of this starts with making some drastic changes in my schedule so that I get to bed early enough to get up early and focus on time with God. [Which means no more impromptu blogging at 3:08am.]  The other part begins with letting go of  the regrets and worry and moving forward.  I think I've started doing this, in a lot of ways, and so far, its going well.  I'm not worrying so much about what someone might think [or not think] about me and I'm attempting to shed the fear and anxiety that has plagued me for a long time.  I blogged earlier about being free...truly free...and I'm more free than ever...but I have to keep moving forward.  It's not about me at all...ever...but about what God's purpose in my life is and about listening.

So, as the final day of 2011 looms large, I desire your prayers.  I have a special request that involves something that has been laid on my heart.  It is school related so I won't share the exact details, but just know that your prayers are appreciated. [FYI - I am perfectly happy being the dorky yet creative science teacher and other employment is not on my radar.  This is something that I want to do to outside of my regular duties as a teacher.]  

I have not forgotten about my resolutions [Did I mark out eat sushi?] and I will be giving you 100 days of Step Away, absolutely free of charge, in the first 100 days of 2012 [Which should be named The Year of Chubby] and more pics of the Shorties. 
As always, life as a Short is good :)
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

What Ifs....

One of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems is entitled the Whatifs. When I taught 5th grade this poem was a wonderful way to teach rhyming and couplets.  I would let each student write their own "whatif" then create a "whatif" to hang on our Po-E-Tree [Get it?  A tree with poems on it! Clever I know.]  This is my version....

(from Shel Silverstein)
Last night while I lay sleeping here
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:

(from me)
What if I lost a ton of weight?
What if celery was one thing I always ate?
What if Sundrop went belly up?
What if I just tried to pour water in my cup?
What if Molly learns to drive her new stickshift car?
What if teaching her makes Craig end up in a bar?
What if high school girls were not so mean and full of drama?
Of course, with some of them, look no further than their mama.
What if I could afford a really nice road bike to train for the tri?
It would be super cool if hundred dollar bills fell from the sky.
What if Gabe really does have all the answers to life's biggest questions?
What if we really followed all of his 5 year old suggestions?
What if I happen to win the powerball lottery?
I have more luck getting hit by a falling tree.
What if my Christmas decorations magically put themselves away?
That's about as likely as waking up in the Bahamas on Friday.
What if Cooper grows to be 7 ft 5 in tall?
Can you say scholarship UNC or even DOOK to play basketball?
What if Emma ends up working in a tattoo parlor?
I guess she'll be making money and not living in squalor.
What if I get motivated and get my rear back to the Y?
Then running that Cooper River Bridge would be as easy as pie!
What if I write a book and it becomes an overnight smash hit?
I could quit my job, stay home and blog, and live off my wit.

(from Shel Silverstein)
Everything seems well and then....
The nighttime Whatifs strike again.

I am glad that I follow a God that doesn't leave anything to the Whatifs. In my Bible study yesterday I read from Proverbs the following verse:
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
I needed to read that ~ now I have my New Year's resolution :)
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To Be Content

One of my favorite verses from the Bible is Phillipians 4:13 ~ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  This morning as I started my new devotional [from my favorite coach ♥] I had the opportunity to read some more in Phillipians.  I noticed that at some point I'd made some notes about being content in everything.  Phillipians 4:12 says this: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or living in want.  WOW....thank you God for always finding my toes and stepping firmly on them.  I so needed to read that this morning.

In the spirit of ringing in the new year with resolutions [I'll get to that in the more sarcastic part of today's blog] I want to be find true contentment in every situation.  I have focused alot these past couple of months on trying very hard not to complain [I said I tried and am continuing to try] and worry about petty things.  I have truly been much happier ~ honestly.  I think this has been most evident in my job.  Yes, I have complained about petty things ~ I am not going to lie ~ yet I have tried very hard to keep it to myself.  I love working there and being around the kids.  I love teaching and being a dork in front of them [which comes very naturally].  I enjoy the time spent with colleagues and laughing with my friends.  I think it's always been easy to find contentment at home because our house is so filled with laughter how could anyone not be happy?  Actually, if I am telling the truth, contentment found was always there just hanging in the background, waiting for me to say, "Hello! Come join me!"

I believe a lot of learning to be content comes from figuring out it ain't about us.  I've noticed that a lot of people these days are all about themselves [and I quote 'cause I sure didn't say this], "I don't care about you....Imma do me."  As if you could be someone else.  ME ME ME ME ME ME....blah, blah, blah.  It's not about me or you.  Being content isn't about not caring for others or having it all or showing off your wealth [or in alot of cases, your debt].  It is about looking upward and knowing that in EVERY circumstance, God takes care of us and deserves way more than we'll ever give him.  I know that this is an area I need to work on more and more so that is a resolution for the new year.

Speaking of resolutions....hmmmmmm......let's see....It is about time for all of those TV shows and people on Facebook to give us their resolutions for 2012.  Want to hear mine? [Thought you'd never ask.]  These are in no particular order [other than the one in my head].
1. Lose weight and get back in shape. [Of course for this one to actually work I must actually start it on January 1 and continue it through January 2, 3, 4, etc.  I believe last January my record was an hour or so into the new year.]
2. Train to do more than one triathlon this year. [This one might be the easiest and the hardest at the same time.  Time is such a factor in a family of 6.  See....I'm already making excuses.]
3. Finish the Cooper River Bridge Run in an hour or less. [Stop laughing.]
4. Join a book club.  [I kinda already belong to one on Facebook but right now I don't have a book to read so it's hard to converse about the books.]
5. Lead a women's Bible study. [I am doing that at the moment but I would like to do one at church.]
6. Eat sushi[I don't eat anything that swims in water.]
7. Blog every day. I am going to try, starting January 1, to post 100 blogs in 100 days. [I also want to include more pics ~ I only have thousands on my computer.]
8. Give up drinking diet Sundrop. [This one, by far, trumps all of those above in the hardest to accomplish category.  Addiction is a tough thing. I have to, before my insides turn to stone and my kidneys explode.]
9. Craft, craft, craft. [I am also addicted to craft blogs.  Funny thing I've figured out about them though ~ the majority of the ones I've found are written by Mormon women.  How do I know they are Mormon?  Many of them have subtle references or graphics on their sites with LDS or "the temple". I just found that very bizarre.  In fact, last night, I googled the question, "Why are so many craft blogs written by Mormons?" and I got some interesting answers.  I usually just search on the sites for craft tutorials so it makes no difference to me.  I just thought that was, well, interesting.]
10. [Just because I hate odd numbered list.] Go letterboxing and geocaching more!!!

I can't wait to see what this new year holds.  I've been so blessed how could life, as a Short, get any better?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Believe ♥

I realized last night that I wrote a pretty sarcastic Christmas letter LAST year so I'm guessing another post like that would be no fun.However, not to disappoint, I do have the word BELIEVE sitting on my mantel so I thought I would share some of the things I believe in [starting with IVs of diet Sundrop from vending machines and sarcasm].


....that dreams really do come true [I knew if I put that one first it would really get you].
....teachers should make as much money as doctors, lawyers, and the post master.
....that middle schoolers say some of the most off the wall and crazy things and yet we still love them. the discipline of children when they make the wrong choices [My daddy never hesitated to let me know he believed in it so why should my kids miss out?].
....that petty people deserve each other but should leave the rest of us that don't appreciate their "pettyness" alone.
....that raising children, in the world today, is the most difficult job anyone could ever have. can conquer anything.
....that you should laugh, out loud, every single day.
....everyone needs to find a cause, a charity, an organization to put their time and money into so that others who are less fortunate or in need will know that God's people really do care.
...Skittles should be added as their own unique food group: food that taste like rainbows.
...having a live Christmas tree makes my house smell really "Christmasy".
...that if you are going to talk ugly about  my children then you better bring your big stick and an army 'cause there is going to be a fight.
....Dr. Seuss had it all figured out.
....that no matter how many times you tell [and threaten] Emma to pick up her room she ain't gonna do it.
....that it is impossible to keep the kitchen counter cleaned off.
....if I really, really trained hard I could be an excellent triathlete.
....Facebook should come with a warning that what comes up does not have to come out [in other words, we don't really need to hear about your husband's cheating ways, how you've been throwing up for three days, or about the fact that you hate our President.]
....Christmas is the best time of year. basketball season makes some people super crazy.
....complaining over things that are beyond our control is a waste of time that you could be used to make someone's day easier. Whitney sang, that children are our future. day there will a cure for awful diseases like cancer - God has a plan:) Marilyn said, "Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."
....Craig is my soul mate and that he hung the moon.
....high school football is one of my favorite things to watch and be a part of every fall.
....being a teacher might be the very best job in the world and that I have some of the best co-workers and friends that a person could ever have. Granny was a saint and is keeping all of Heaven stocked with Little Debbie Cakes.
....I belong to the best immediate, extended, and married family to ever walk the face of this Earth.
....that Christmas Vacation should go down as one of the absolute best and most realistic Christmas movies ever ["Save the neck for me Clark."]
....that First Baptist Church of KM has some of the most caring, giving, and loving people in the world as members.
....that we live in this house because God wanted us to know that when He closes doors He always has a plan. mom and dad are the finest folks around and that they are a huge part of my life today and always.
....that reading books can take you on some of the greatest adventures you'll ever know.
....that I might one of the biggest nerds around ~ and that's just the way I like it.
....that I have some of the very best friends in the world and I love them dearly.
....being around women of faith has changed my life.
....that God's voice spoke to me at MFuge and changed my life for the better.
....Tim Tebow will change the game of football in such a powerful way that we cannot even begin to imagine how God will work.
....that anyone that does not believe that there is a God and that He loves us has never witnessed the birth of a child, seen Moraine Lake in Canada, or ever recognized a miracle in their life.
....that sometimes being the bigger person is tough but necessary.
....God sent Molly and Cooper first because He knew how challenging Emma and Gabe would be when they came along :)
....that my sister is one of the strongest and amazing people that I know and I love her.
....that UNC > DOOK.
....the Colts are going to make it back to Super Bowl contention soon...with any "Luck".
....dark chocolate far outweighs any other kind of chocolate.
....bacon really does make anything taste better.
....Friday Night Lights was one of the best TV shows EVER.
....doing something to make someone's life better really makes me feel good.

I believe that Jesus was sent to save us from our sins.  I believe that God's amazing and abundant blessings should be enjoyed and shared.  I believe that God has huge plans for my life and for the lives of my children.  I believe that prayer is always the answer no matter what the question. 

As always, I believe life as a Short couldn't be any better. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mending Broken Hearts

I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later ~ one of my children would get their heart broken.  [Right now Moo is wishing she were in the fetal position, under a rock, with camo on.]  Yes, that awkward "relationship" [I'm guess that's what it was called] abruptly ended - literally.  One day the boy is blowing up her phone and all, "We should hang out" and the next day eerie silence [that was for dramatic effect of course]

As a mom, [and a girl] you know when something is not quite right.  I didn't want to "hover" and ask a ton of questions [but, of course, I did anyway].  When she was ready to talk she told me all about it.  Basically, he just stopped talking to her.  None of it makes sense [as if men ever do] and she couldn't think of one "thing" that might have caused this sudden end.  My response? [This is fantastic...wait for it...wait for it...] "Yeah, I don't know honey.  Boys are dumb sometimes and maybe he wasn't sure about how he felt." [It is obvious I should stick to teaching atoms and molecules because there is not a future in psychology.] Her biffle put it so eloquently and it made perfect sense, "Maybe God needs for you to focus on something else right now; something He wants for your life." Wow....humbled me. 

Moo has figured out that she's perfectly OK. Yes, her feelings were hurt but, she told me, she's more mad that she spent so much time worrying about this whole awkward relationship.  I told her he still might be her lobster [remember, in a Friends episode, when Phoebe told Rachel that Ross was her lobster?] and, as she knows, God has big plans for her life.  She's going to be fine.  I ♥ her.

I am standing on my soap box today [some of you just did some major eye rollin']. I've held this in long enough and if I don't say something I might say something....get my drift?  I have issues with petty people. Now, we can all be petty at times, but I am talking about folks that just think it's all about them...people that think they should be invited to everything and recognized for everything and blah, blah, blah.  Really?  I believe in having lots of friends and then I also believe in having close friends.  I know that everyone wants to be included and invited and feel part of the group - I get that.  Yet, there are times when realizing that maybe it isn't about you at all is the only option.     

I've had my eyes opened wider to some people that have really shown their true character.  What makes it worse is that my Moo is having to feel the sting of negativity and hostility about some things that are very petty...Like  an adult who threw my daughter under the bus.  Are you serious?  I have prayed for peace for her [and for myself because I've nearly bit a hole through my own tongue trying to hold it] and for these petty folks.  I'm supposing that is all I can do.  I try very hard to NOT be that meddling mother when it comes to the relationships my kids have with other people. And believe it or not, [I know this is so hard to deal with] my kids are not perfect...and Craig and I are not perfect parents [some of you just had your Christmas completely ruined].  I will fuss at them if they are rude or ugly to others. We are not afraid to tell them what we think if there is a negative influence or a person lacking morals but other than that, we simply try to be a sounding board and the voice of reason [some of you just peed your pants on that one].  I know that sometimes we don't see the errors of our ways and we've tried to teach our children tolerance, acceptance, and compassion.  I think Craig and I have done OK. 

I tried to find some verses to share with Moo about this situation:

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phillipians 2:3-4

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:29 - 32

I can't "fix" these people and I have to teach her to stand on her own two feet.    Yesterday, she told me that she's just about "done" with them...I think that just about sums it up then don't you?

I am working on a Christmas letter from the Shorts [sarcasm included] so please come back and see what I've cooked up.  As always, life as a Short is awesome.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Family

As you know, Craig and I can be quite "irreverant" at times.  I don't mean like crude and disprestful but more like lacking in class. [Some of you are shaking your head and saying to yourself, "They are ALWAYS like that."]  One of our favorite little Christmas dittys is "Merry Christmas from the Family" [we like the Montgomery Gentry version] and we really like to sing it then talk about family.  Now before some of you check out, let me 'splain....we ♥♥♥LoVe♥♥♥ our families.  We both have the most awesome families and they mean everything to us BUT we also realize we are from 'round here and well, you get the picture.  Here's a little bit of the tune we like:

Brother Ken brought his kids with him
The three from his first wife Lynn
And the two identical twins
From his second wife Mary Nell
Of course he brought his new wife Kaye
Who talks all about AA
Chain smokin' while the stereo plays
Noel, Noel, The first Noel

So this past Saturday we had a get together with the Shorts [really, the mere saying of the last name evokes images doesn't it?] and we met at the Western Sizzlin' [some of you have just now peed your pants].  If you know Craig's story then you know that this particular side of the family has not always been as welcoming as they are now ~ he changed and they changed ~ so it is a tad uncomfortable.  [Well that and the fact that none of us really wanted to eat at the Sizzlin'].  We walked in the front door to be greeted by a rather frail man going back to the buffet [and this is merely speculation on my part] for his third helping of fried chicken and cabbage.  Cooper asked, "Is that a Short?" and I nearly peed my pants.  We continued on to the room where we ate last year [Yes, this is an annual tradition] and walked in the room.  "Are these the Shorts?" asked Emma, loudly.  Again, I nearly lost it, though I could understand her thinking.....Finally, after a scenic tour of the WS, we found who we were looking for and made our way to the empty table.  At that point it was if time stopped with everyone staring and whispering at us.  I can only imagine it went a little like this:

Lord, that is Craig and his family. [While some were sayin', "Who is Craig?] 
He is Ray's son - can't you tell? 
How many kids does he have?  My goodness.  Did he have that many last year? [Yes he did. No,we are not having anymore.  No, I'm not pregnant again.]
Is he younger or older than Kandace?
What are his kids names?  [Dopey, Sleepy, Naughty, and Bully]
Who is that dude with all those kids?  I've never seen him before.
Man, his wife is smokin' hot. [I am sure this was NOT said but I'd like to think it could've been some my life.]

We took our seats and then the questions from Cooper and Emma begin:
Who are these people?  [I have NO clue.]
I don't know anyone - do you?
Where are we eating? [Not here - trust me.]
When are we leaving?
How long do we have to stay? [Well, your daddy and Kandace are talking so my bet is it's gonna be a while.]
Can I just have something to drink?

And, of course, right on cue, Craig left me to mingle.  I had two options: Stare at the people who share my last name but I hardly know or stare at the people who look like they could have my last name and I hardly know on the other side of glass partition.  Choices suck. Several people came over to take our pictures and Craig's niece made a prophetic statement, "They are going to look at those pictures of us and ask who the heck we are in a few years!"  So true....

We spent about three an hour visiting and still never being introduced.  I mean, I had a conversation with a man about coupons [my new obsession] and the best places in town to shop and I wouldn't know him from Adam's house cat [who, incidentally, is probably a Short as well].  As in their relationship, they were together in the same room but still as far away from each other as one could get [mixaphorically speaking]

Incidentally, as we were leaving the Sizzlin', we started hearing banjos [reminded me of that apartment experience that one time I went to the urinal pool to swim] and I told Cooper to run before he heard, "Squeeealll like a pig!"  He didn't get it.  So, to top off a night, with the Shorts at the Western Sizzlin', we heard live bluegrass.  Who needs dessert?  

We bought National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on Saturday and then watched it....and once, again, thought about our own families. Craig and I are definitely the Griswolds.  [I'm not quite sure who I would peg as Cousin Eddie because the roles change frequently]. For one thing, there is an RV parked in the neighbor's back yard that could rival the one in Clark's driveway. [And that is about all I'll say about that right now....]  When Eddie says, "Save the neck for me Clark" I harken back to a time when I've probably heard those exact words around the dinner table at a holiday.

But the good Lord knew what he was doing when he placed us in this family.  For all of OUR quirks and funnies there are a million reasons why this family is the absolute best [my side and Craig's side too].  

As always, life as a Short is awesome :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baked Beans and Car Keys

I lost my keys today. [If you lived here you would understand that this is a weekly daily occurence.]  Craig's answer? [As if I'm really listening....let's be honest here.] "If you'd put them in the same place every night then you wouldn't have this problem."  Well that is just boring [and completely logical] and I like adventure [and pulling out my hair at 7:30am each day].   One time [absolutely, 100% true story] I lost them in my first grade classroom.  My first job was teaching first grade [incidentally, it was also almost my last job teaching because it was NOT a good experience.....bless those poor little children that had me as the teacher] and I lost my keys in my classroom.  I had NO clue, at all, where they could be.  I really thought I had either thrown them away or one of the rugrats [I use that term with adoration and affection] had picked them up and put them somewhere in the room.  I looked and looked and looked and looked and looked some more.  Finally, I gave up and called Craig [I'm pretty sure he said something to the effect of, "*&^$#_+" before he hung up on me] and he came to pick me up.  Fast forward about a week later when I pull some random teacher guide off my shelf and BINGO!  There I find my keys in the book.   Apparently I'd had the book out on my desk [which is absolutely, 100% always never free of clutter], sat my keys down in the book, closed it, and put it on the shelf.  Another time I put them in a different spot in my closet at school.  You guessed it - I couldn't find them to save my life.  What is funny is that I was actually looking at them but didn't see them.  [Live in my world a while then you'd understand.]  Another time, when living in the "papartment" they fell into the couch.  Not between the cushions or under the couch but actually in the couch.  The back of the couch was ripped and, just as luck would have it, my keys fell down into the couch. [What is even more strange is that I finally, after a week, thought to look there.]

Today's adventure actually began on Sunday.  Emma's baptism was Sunday so we invited ALL of our family over for BBQ and the fixins.  My mom had this huge can of baked beans [I mean HUGE] which also required an enormous can opener. 
I figured there would be one in the church so I, the person who cannot EVER find her keys or cell phone, decided I would simply [I use that term lightly] open the can up, put the beans in a pan, then in my car, then on to Sunday school so that I could just pop them in the oven after church.  Wrong....the can had other plans.  I ended up with a chest full of baked bean juice [which is gross anyway but super gross when it ended up...ummmm....right in "the middle"] with no time to spare before church....Thank goodness for zebra striped sweaters.  Finally, at the end of the service my daddy was able to get this ginormous can of beans open and in my car they went - Literally.  Now, I had baked beans juice on my chest, my sweater, my arms and my car!  I don't even like baked beans - at all!!  I get these beans home, cook them, and let the family partake of them.  However, I forgot one little detail - I spilled those devil beans in my car.  [I know that is a shocker considering, that on a daily basis, I lose my car keys.]  I remembered this morning when I noticed Cooper and Will covering their noses while waiting on me.  Yeah...we rode to school with the windows down as I IMMEDIATELY regretted forgetting to clean up those blasted baked beans. 

In my haste to exit the car before I needed respiratory assistance [or started smelling like "Ode to Baked Beans"] I left my keys in the car ignition.  That's right, the ignition.  Not just in there, with it turned off, but apparently I left the key in the "on" know that one you put it on when you are sitting in your car listening to  the end of Ice, Ice Baby or Goin' Back to Cali [or is that just me?] when you get home.  I am sure there was some sort of noise or ding to indicate my keys were still in the ignition...causing the battery to still be engaged...but yeah, I didn't pay it attention [total shocker I know]. Honestly, the thought that I was sucking the life out of a $145 battery or the fact that I didn't have my keys never crossed my mind until it was time to get Gabe to the dentist, in the pouring rain...I searched my room [even looking in books] for my keys 3 times before going to the find my keys.  I had to find someone with jumper cables, in the pouring rain, to jump start my car.  That sucker was so dead I had to reset the radio with some code [that incidentally is neatly tucked in my glove compartment].  Gabe made it to the dentist, dripping wet [and chewing his gum], and late to get his "silver star" aka filling for a tiny cavity in a molar.  Needless to say, I was glad to see my little house and tiny couch at the end of this crazy day....what an adventure.

Emma informed me that she understands why my eyesight is so bad and that would be because I am "older".  Maybe the bad eyesight, getting older, and just generally be a doofus would explain a lot of things about me.....

As always, from my house to yours, have a wonderific week :) Life is really, really good. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I Told Her Not to be Climbin' That Roof

I have a new affinity for the grocery store.  [That could be because I have an old affinity for liking food.]  Ask Craig - grocery shopping used to be a CHORE for me.  I hated spending the money to come home with hardly any food.  I cook dinner almost every night [I could make myself look like the super woman I really am but I will confess that some nights it's cereal or pot luck from a can at the Short house] so I used to make a menu, get approval from Craig, make a list, trudge to Shelby to go to Aldi and Wal Mart, and then back home.  I really could not stand it because I knew the outcome - a lot of money for a little bit of food.  Then....I discovered....COUPONS!! Woooo hoooo!! [I don't have much to get excited about so oblige me please.]  Last week it was $290 worth of groceries for $138 and this week it was $213 for $115.  Not too shabby  - in two weeks I've saved about $240.  Plus, my family is jumping for joy because there's extra food for snacking :)  [Again, we don't have a lot but we have good meals around here.]

So, the other night I had to go to Food Lion to get some cupcake holders to make cupcakes for Gabe to take to nursery for his birthday.  [The sweet monster made it to the age of five - bless him.]  As I was walking to the baking aisle I overhear someone talking, very loudly.  Follow me as I tell the story of an obviously hard of hearing older lady with a serious attitude.  I will refer to her as OL [old lady] and I am going to infer what I believe her friend on the other line might be saying as PF [poor fellow] The following conversation, though paraphrased for you, was spoken extremely loudly:

OL: Well she said her pictures were wet, and her couch was wet, and her floor was wet, and blah, blah, blah.
PF: Hmmm...why would they be wet?
OL: Well that's what I said.  To be honest, I think she's crazy.  You know how she is.
PF: Yes, I do.
OL: I know you do.  We've been knowing her a long time. 
PF: Why did she call you?
OL: I asked her the same thing!  I told her that I didn't climb no roofs.  I told her that was your job.  I couldn't tell her what was wrong with her roof.  You know if you ask me [but I 'm not sure that PF acutally asked her] I think she's losing her mind.  You know she needed to get something done to the tag with her car and I told her so. [I am thinking, to myself of course, "I bet you did."] Well, she didn't and now she's in trouble with the tag place and she can't drive until she gets it straight.  But I told her and she said I didn't.  I tell you she is losing her mind.
PF[I can only assume that by now PF is either asleep or close to stabbing himself in the eye with a pencil.  I know I was read to stab myself.]  Well I'm not at home.
OL: You are not at home?  Well I shouldn't have told her to call you.  I guess you can't handle it tonight.  She told me she was going to climb up there and check it herself.  You know what I told her? [Nope, but I bet you are going to tell us.] I told her not to be climbin' that roof. 
PF: Tell her to call me tomorrow.
OL: When I get off her I will call and tell her that.

Lessons that we can gleen from this conversation:
1. You don't want this man to fix your roof.
2. You don't want to tell this woman ANYTHING.
3. If you are hard of hearing and are having a long, drawn out conversation where you talking about some one then DON'T have that conversation while shopping.

Incidentally, I have a story that goes along with this one.  My Granny was once found on top of her roof. [Yes, we took care of her...just follow me.]  She was always concerned about leaves clogging up the gutters and she didn't want to ask anyone to check them.....sooooo....she climbed up on the house herself to clean out the gutters.  If I remember the story correctly, Rube Long drove by and called my Aunt Polly [whole 'nother blog], who then called my Grandmother and Paw Paw.  I think the following was said:
Aunt Polly: Betty, Rube just drove by Myrtle's house and Myrtle's on the roof.
Grandmother: Well my Lord! [as she yelled to my Paw Paw] Gene!  Mother's on the roof!  Lord, we've got to get over there.
Paw Paw: #@&^(*&!!
[Now I wasn't there but I am 100% positive my Paw Paw said that but it was way more colorful!!]

My Granny was a Saint - no doubts - but she kept us in stitches [and Little Debbie cakes].  I sure do miss her.  I miss my Grandmother too.  I miss my Granny Ferguson's 6am phone calls to say, "What do you know?" I miss my Paw Paw's Old Spice smell and perfectly combed hair.  Word of advice for those of you that don't visit your grandparents much - they will not be around forever so spend as much time as you can with them now. Trust me. All they want is your time and your love. 

As always, life as a Short, is wonderific :) 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

T. Swizzle ♥ and Things that Amaze Me

I am taking my girls to see Taylor Swift tomorrow night [T. Swizzle] and I must say that I'm a little excited myself.  I love concerts [I have even seen Milli Vanilli and they weren't even singing] and this one will be a first for Emma K.  We've had our tickets since LAST November so it's been a very long wait for the smallest Short chick.  Right now, she and Molly are making T-shirts to wear tomorrow night.  Our plan is to meet some girls from church, eat, and rock out!  We are taking Thursday off. [Yes, I am a horrible mother, who is also a teacher, and I am letting my girls miss a day of school to sleep...judge me...I don't care.]  Considering the anxiety over this past week I can truly say that I'm just ready to relax and enjoy my Moo and Flossie in all their girly glory :)

I guess it's the dork in me [I can admit my dorkiness] but I love finding stuff and showing my classes at school.  If we have five minutes at the end of class then I try to find something neat or different to show my classes.  For instance, I was on when I found this video:

I just think that is such a neat video.  [I had to look up murmuration.  It's a group of starlings. Now you learned something new today - check that off your list.]  It's a simple video that really has zip to do with what we are studying but a teachable moment.  It took two whole minutes and every single kid was watching it.  Pretty cool I think :)

Another fave is optical illusions.  Again, I don't spend my ENTIRE class with these but any extra 3 to 4 minutes we might have at the end of class:

Sometimes, we even do brain games like word winks.  [I told you many, many, many times that I am a dork.  This absolutely solidifies that fact doesn't it?]

I just think that getting my students interested in thinking about thinking [that would be metacognition for those of you shakin' your noggins] and interested in all things science then it makes it easier for me to teach.  Does that mean that they are all, 100% of the time, interested in everything we do? [Can I say yes and leave it at that?]  Nope - and that's OK.  I'm not going to make scientists out of all of them but if some of them leave my class with a little spark then the effort [and dorkiness] is well worth it.

Other things besides these obviously nerdy ones that amaze me?  Penn State [but not in a good way] and all that has happened there and the stuff that is yet to come out.  Sad.  I am amazed that sometimes people forgo their moral obligations to climb the tower of success.  I, like many of you, am sickened at the new revelations that come out each day.  We should all pray for this situation.

On the upside, I am amazed at my children.  I love to see Emma and Gabe play Just Dance on the Wii.  I love to talk about "the boy" with Molly and watch her eyes sparkle. [Yes...she really likes him and I'm pretty sure he likes her but again, awkward is how I would describe this relationship.]  I love to hear Cooper tell us Chuck Norris jokes. [I never imagined there would be so many though...]

I am amazed at the fact that I only spent $138 for $290 groceries.  [No I will not be one of those people who kicks their third child out of their bedroom to make way for 945 boxes of spaghetti, 389 cans of clam chowder, and 2,367 Reach toothbrushes.]  I honestly am hooked.  I am finding coupons all over the place to use.  I am already making out my grocery list for this next week.  [Yes, I have one of those notebooks.  Shut it.]

I am amazed at God's presence and grace ALL around me [if grace is an ocean then we're all sinking ♥] especially when I am so undeserving [that would be every day of my life].  I am amazed at the number of people, just today, who said, "I am praying for your daughter" and "If you need anything please let me know" and "Mrs. Short I just wanted you to know that I put Emma on the prayer list at my Bible study yesterday."  I am so blessed to have this amazing job with so many wonderful people that do not hesitate to stop and lift up prayers for my family.  I am amazed that we, the six of us Shorties, are part of such a large, caring, and giving family. 

I am amazed at the book of Revelation.  I am doing this awesome Bible study with a group of women from my church about this book of the Bible and it is fascinating.  It is such an in depth study of God's word and I am thrilled to be a part of it.  [Just another reason that finding and being invovled in a church is so important everyone.] 

I am amazed that I only drank 2 Diet Sundrops at school today. [This is because, for whatever reason, the Sundrop dude does not fill up our machine in the dungeon and I can't make it to the main office and back in 4 minutes.]  I would probably be amazed at how much money I'd have if I didn't put it in that cussed machine....can you say Intervention?  IV Sundrop available anywhere?  Is there a coupon for that?

Emma's bloodwork came back normal.  To fill you in a little, she had a knot come up on her neck a little over a year ago.  I took her to the doctor and we decided to watch and wait because it was not overly large or had any symptoms of anything more than a large lymph node.  Fast forward to about two weeks ago.  She found another knot on the other side of her neck so back to the doctor we went.  Not only was there an enlarged lymph node but her thyroid is also a little larger than it should be as well as some moderate weight gain, hoarseness, and irritability.  All of a sudden we are taking blood and talking about a thyroid problem.  Of course, I call my mom and she starts looking for answers [she's a nurse for those of you that don't know her] and she tells me worst case they take her thyroid out and best case is that it is something that will fix itself.  In the meantime, Craig and I are on pins and needles this entire time.  But honestly, in the midst of the unknown, I felt a true peace that can only come from God.  I knew that no matter what the test said or what news we recieved that God was protecting us and that He would sustain us.  I was nervous because that is human to worry but, like Molly told me, "God's got this Ma!" and I knew that all would be OK.  She will be going for an ultrasound so we'll maybe know more about the lumps in her neck and the thyroid.  I will keep you posted :)

Thank you God for all of the amazing things in my always, it's good to be a Shortie :) 

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Favorite Coach ♥

Tonight we are playing in the second round of the playoffs.  [I say we like I'm out there.]  Tonight....we play Crest.  If you ain't from around here then you don't know how serious high school truly is in Cleveland County. [I ain't technically from here but I've lived here long enough to know.]  I guess it could be because there isn't much else to do around here on a Friday night but I think it is more that each community truly loves their local team.  All four teams are still in the playoffs and all four teams are playing in the county tonight. 

My favorite coach has had quite a long football season.  He moved to the offense this year and asked to move to the top of the pressbox.  In addition to learning new stuff he is also in graduate school, a dad to four awesome kids [just like their momma], Sunday school teacher, head softball coach [they are not in season but still working towards this season's start], world history teacher extraordinaire, the budget Nazi over the First National Bank of The Shorties, and lastly, husband to yours truly.  He's busy.  That coupled with some "things" beind the scenes has made this a tough season.  He loves football. He loves coaching.  He is good at what he does because he not only teaches these young men but he's also trying to make them good, young men of character.  You see, it isn't always about winning and being the best but he sees his mission as a coach to teach these kids about life.  I happen to think he is the best [I am biased] at what he does and part of the reason I think that is because I know how hard he works behind the scenes.  He also works with an awesome group of men [they've been together now for about 11 years] and each of them has the same goal: winning by instilling character and perservance.  I pray, every day, that he is doing what God wants him to do and that he does it to the best of his ability.  One of my favorite things is to watch him as he coaches.  I love that man...he's my favorite coach.

Tonight we meet Crest, again, at their field. [Again, I had A LOT typed but deleted it.]  Prayers for a safe game and may the best team [Insert subliminal message here: KM, KM, KM, Mountaineers, KM, KM, Kings Mountain, KM, KM, KM] win.

I cannot believe that I am going to sit in this cold weather to watch a football game.  I must be crazy [some of you are shaking your head in the affirmative] and I'm taking the babies and my mother-in-law.  I guess supporting my favorite coach and my favorite high school football players will keep me warm [yeah, right].  

Asking for prayers for my sweet Emma.  There are some things going on, medically, so we covet your prayers.  We will not have test results until next week but as soon as we know I will pass it along.  I have a peace that all is going to be OK no matter what the results say.  Thank you in advance for your prayers.


[This blog started on Wednesday but I've just now had time to finish it.] I have said it before and I will say it again - Sometimes I am quite sure that teaching middle school is exactly the same as being pecked to death, slowly, by a bunch of angry, nasty chickens.  What a crazy, bizzarre few days this has been...oh my.  Don't you ever see something in someone that they can't see in themselves and it frustrates you to no end?  If you answered yes then you must be a teacher.  You gotta love them....even when you're not quite sure about their sanity [or your own for that matter]

In light of some "things" over the last few days I've decided to make a list of what truly matters in my life [for my own sanity....if that still exists]:
1. Salvation
2. Walking with God
3. My family   
4. Love - unconditional, never-ending love.
5. Children - my own, the ones I teach, the ones that don't have a family, all children

May you see God's blessings this week...they are all around you.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Where Do All the Socks Go?

I have become my Granny.  [No, I don't own a polyester wardrobe...yet.]  I reheated leftover coffee the other night and Craig said, "I am married to Myrtle Towery." I just wanted one cup and we don't own one of those fancy Keurig machines.  Nope...only the best for us.  We own a $10 coffee pot from Roses. [Yes, Roses from days gone by. Now if  Sky City and Tastee Freeze would come to the KM that would be sweet.]  Desperate times call for desperate measures and when the coffee pot broke the Roses came through.  [I will say that I use it then I unplug it for fear it will overheat or blow up.  What do you expect?  I only paid $10 for it.]  The iron also came from there and it it came from Roses.  I guess we should be thankful that it doesn't spit water that resembles urine all over our clothes like the other iron.  The downside?  It's really debatable if it can actually be called an iron or if we should call it an iron-shaped-piece-of-metal-that-heats-up-but-does-nothing-for-the-wrinkles-in-your-pants-at-7:30am-on-a-Monday-morning-thingy.  I guess quasi-iron will do.

There is a thief around here.  He [could be a she] lives in our house.  This thief really loves my socks.  I'm not sure why my socks are the favorite but I do know that any pair that I might have has gone AWOL.  I know Craig, Cooper, and Gabe aren't not the sock stealers. [Craig doesn't even like white socks] so that leaves Emma and Molly.  Emma has an issue with socks that don't fit properly.  [Emma has issues with a lot of clothing items.  She doesn't like shirts that have any kind of hem or stitching on them that actually touches her.  And smocking or elastic in a shirt? Forget it....she'd rather go naked.]  So.....that leaves only Molly.  I would blame her since she and I wear the same size shoes except for one thing - she can't find any socks either.  She's raiding my sock drawer on a daily basis.  That can only mean one thing - the KM Police need to be lookin' for a thief wearing white, no-show socks...and lots of them.  Really? Are we eating them?  Now, before I answer that question ['cause you know I have an answer] let me tell you about an interesting experience I had just this week.  A few nights ago I wanted some coffee [from my $10 coffee pot] so I go to my trusty cabinet and what do I find behind the coffee?  A HALLOWEEN SOCK!!!  What in the world?  It's a kitchen cabinet!! An overhead kitchen cabinet for that matter...why is there a Halloween sock in there?  At this point, be it the over abundance of caffeine that I've already pumped my kidneys full of today or the fact that I'm past the point of no return [aka one laugh from white coats and padded rooms] I begin to think, "Hmmmm.  Should I continue looking, in the KITCHEN CABINETS, for more socks?"  [The thought NEVER crossed my mind to question why, behind my donut shop coffee, there would be a sock.]  To my dismay, I didn't come across any more socks in the kitchen.  And, I'm still not quite sure why that orange sock with white ghosts is sitting next to the decaf tea and coffee.  In this house anything goes [including lack of common sense, sleeping where you fall, and cheap appliances] and that's the way we like it. [Yes, that is a subliminal KC and Sunshine Band reference.]

I've started couponing [is that an action?] and I must say it is addictive. [Not addictive like chocolate or Lizard Lick Towing but close.]  I've never watched that extreme couponing show and my goal is not to have 450 sticks of Secret deodorant, 300 boxes of macaroni, and 67 boxes of Tampons but I would like to save some serious money when buying groceries.  I spent $5 [What could that Lincoln have purchased at the Roses if a coffee pot only cost $10? I will never know] to take a coupon class.  I did learn some good ideas and got some great info about websites and places to order coupons.  And, in the last two weeks I haven't spent as much money and I have more food.  I just do not have a grasp on exactly how to save the HUGE bucks.  This lady that did the class said her grocery bill went from $170 - $215 to now, less than $75 a week. [And you know when I told the budget Nazi all of this that he actually danced a jig - I swear.]  I bought the paper a few weeks ago, cut the coupons, and saved a total of [Big drumroll] $3.50.  What?  Are you sure that doesn't say $35.00?  Are you serious?  I spent $3.25 for the papers so I saved a total of $.25?  I could've dug that much out of the couch and saved myself the trouble.  But do I give up? [Well, I did on finding more socks in the kitchen but that isn't the same.]  No...I will overcome and save money.  I am determined.  So determined [I can't believe I am saying this] that I actually paid money for coupons over the internet.  Now  I have an arsenal.  I am ready - and Harris Teeter has double coupons and BO,GO [Buy One, Get One free for those of you not into couponing lingo.  I am dealing with a bunch of rookies I guess....] on lots and lots of food the Shorties like [and we like us some food . I'm even going to a coupon swap next week. [Now I am a dork AND a domestic diva.  What's next - aprons while cooking in heels and supper clubs with the neighbors?]  I just want to have a little bit of extra money for that sexy pair of red heels or the occasional manicure.  I will be heading to HT in the am, armed with coupons, a list, and the anticipation of HUGE savings.  And, if you coupon and want to swap, leave me a message on here or send me an email [].

My Mountaineers and my favorite coach are going to round 2 next week.  Fortunately, we are blessed to be in this position considering the injuries and personnel issues this year.  Unfortunately, we have to play Crest again.  Now, don't get me wrong - I have so much confidence in the Mountaineers' players and coaches.  This might be our year just because this team refuses to give up.  I just hate that we have to play them - again - for the second time in three weeks. [And I should probably stop there before I say too much...I've been known to do that.]

Off to see my sweet girl play some softball tomorrow.  I look forward to a great day with all of the Shorties ♥ As always, life is simply fantastic :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lyrically Speaking

I love to hear Gabe's version of songs.  For instance, there is a song on the radio by  Foster the People titled Pumped Up Kicks [it actually has one of those catchy tunes that stays in your head for days].  Gabe loves this song but he doesn't quite know the words....
Gabe's Version:  All the other kids with their pumped up kicks, better run up the elevator, faster than my bulletin.
Real Version: All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.

Tonight he broke out Foreigner [Which BTW, is a totally hard word for a someone with an obvious lack of spelling ability like myself. I had to Google it. Or Goggle it as I usually spell it.]
Gabe's Version:  I wanna go where love lives....I want you to show me where love lives.
Real Version:  I wanna know what love is...I want you to show me.
When I asked him where he heard this song he told me it was on Alvin and the Chipmunks.  [And that is another reason NOT to watch that movie.  That and the fact that the animals talk ~ super creepy.]
Honestly, I like Gabe's versions much better.  

Halloween was fun. [That is really a breakthrough for me.  I like the costume part but I'm not much on the trick or treating part.]  Gabe and Emma had a fabulous.  Emma was a paper doll [I had to explain to her what paper dolls were...and to Cooper...and to Molly] and Gabe was Spider Man [a gift from Santa ~ bizzare, I know, but it was a Christmas gift].

We had a blast!!!  Emma's costume was a huge success [As if I didn't know that would happen] and Gabe was hilarious as always. It made me smile as I watched them make their way to a door, ring the bell, and simultaneously say, "Trick or Treat!"  I love those two babies dearly [Yes, I love the oldest two just as much] and they make me smile.  God has been so very good to us. [However, I did find it odd that a much older woman with a 19 year old trick-or-treater rang our doorbell, AFTER we'd turned off the universal "Have-Candy-Here" porchlight.  When we didn't open the door she came to the carport and knocked.  A. You are way too old to be trick-or-treating B. The light is off. C. Refer to A and B.]

My class reunion is coming up next Saturday.  My 20th reunion.  Wow...hard to believe I've been out of high school that long.  At first I really wanted to go.  I went to the ten year reunion [by myself because Craig's reunion was the same night....and since I married Mr. All-American, he had to help plan his so he couldn't go with me] and I really didn't have such a great time.  I think alot of it was a combination of alot of things: I was alone, I felt very uncomfortable about my weight, and frankly, not many people that I was friends with in high school were there.  Honestly, it really felt like high school all over again [and that would simply be a nightmare for me] and those insecure feelings crept in and took over.  Fast forward 10 years to this reunion.  I signed up about two months ago, thinking I would be able to go and take Craig with me [though he made it abundantly clear that he'd rather have his nose hairs plucked one by one than go to my reunion].   But, since Molly's switch to a new team, she is playing next weekend.  So I had to make a decision on going or not. And, if I chose to go, I would have to go alone because Craig does not like missing Molly's tournaments.  The more I thought about it, two glaring things kept creeping into my mind:
1. I would be selfish to go and miss Molly's tournament.
2. I just really didn't want to go.  At all.
I think [which is very dangerous] that, at the time the evite came around, that I wanted to go but as time has gone on, I am not that interested.  Chalk it up to old age [some might say I am a stick in the mud], lack of interest in hanging out with people I didn't know that well in high school [most of my HS buddies will not be there], and not wanting to spend the money to "hang out". 

High school, at least for me, was not a memorable experience.  [I am SO glad Molly's experience, thus far, has been a million times better.]  I've learned so much about myself over the last 20 years.  I held my own self back from so many great experiences and opportunities because I allowed self-doubt to dominate my life. I grew up with amazing parents and a wonderful sister and awesome friends yet I spent too many years comparing myself to others and I lost that time, that sense of who God meant for me to be, and those memories. I guess, in some absurd way, [imagine absurdity and me in the same sentence - absurd isn't it?] that going to the reunion might bring back those things I've left behind.  I am quite sure my lack of attendance won't make banner headlines or anyone's Facebook status. 

I am in a Fantasy Football league with some of my peeps from work.  There is zero money involved [we're a bunch of teachers] and really I was asked because they needed a twelfth person to create the "league" [and what a coincidence since I've been in twelfth place all season]. My team, Lost Shakers of Salt, does not have the best players [and that could be my general lack of knowledge of who the "best" players Marino still a QB?]  I have learned a few things about the boys [calling them men would simply be an exercise in futility and I have no time for exercise or futility] in my league:
7. A few of them don't understand the fact that it is make belive football.
6. Men will sometimes [if sometimes means ALL the TIME] whine about anything.
5. Some men will do ANYTHING to win, including drafting players for other other teams, refusing trades unless it benefits them, and just generally being turds. [Gabe would laugh at my use of the word "turd".]
4. They cannot spell or use correct grammar.
3. Most of them wear "manties" - I am 100% certain and I've never seen them....or want to see them.
2. They believe that if they crack enough "chicks can't" jokes that I will cry or take my "balls" [their words - not mine] and go home [ironically that would really be difficult for the majority of them].
And the number one thing I've learned this FF season,
1. I actually have a life.
I am just amazed at their general lack of, well for lack of a better word, intelligence.  I probably shouldn't be surprised but I am .  I enjoyed playing the last few years but this year has been zero fun - they can have it. 

As always, life as a Short, is good:)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Amazing Emma

My Emma has been going to the Good News Club after school for several weeks.  She's also been very inquisitive about Jesus and the Bible since the summertime.  I have prayed for her, as I do all my children, that if she was ready to give her heart to Jesus that she might know.  She is young but so curious and smart [definitely like her mom] and I've tried to answer her questions and encourage her.  Tonight this is what happened:Emma: I need to talk to you about something private.
Me: OK...go ahead sweetheart.
Emma: We've been talking about giving our hearts to Jesus in Good News Club.  Today I asked Jesus to come into my heart.
Me [choking back serious tears]Wow!  I am so proud of you!  Did you pray with one of the workers there?
Emma:  No.   When daddy dropped me off this afternoon, I prayed in my room. 
Me:  Thanks be to God for working in her life.  Amazing.

Could this day be any better?  I am so proud of her for listening to God's call in her life.  I am overwhelmed as a parent and overjoyed as a Christian.  I covet your prayers for this sweet, sweet child as she begins her walk with Christ. 

Thank you to every single person who makes a difference and reflect Christ in the lives of children.  Thank you teachers for stopping for a moment of silence and the blessing before lunch.   Thanks to Sunday school teachers, VBS workers, choir directors, children's ministry workers, and Good News Club folks.  Thanks to each of you that cut and paste and wear gold fish on your Sunday best.  Thanks to each of you that get in the floor, plan lessons, and finger paint in the name of Jesus.  Thanks to each of you that pray for children and their salvation. From a mother who is extremely thankful, because it truly does take a village to raise a child, I am in awe of the wonderful grace of God.