Friday, November 30, 2007

Where's Your Favorite Place?

Matt and Sarah often like to quiz Daniel with different questions to see what his response will be. They so enjoy the fact that he is now a thinking, talking person - well most of the time they enjoy that - except when he is thinking to freely with their things and tells them about it! Today's question was "Daniel, where's your favorite place to go?" They were trying to get him to say Target or Toys R Us, but without blinking an eye he said "PopPop's!" I am amazed that he remembers things like this. We haven't been able to get up to PopPop and Grammy's very often this fall - maybe only twice since September - but he knows he likes it there! I am so glad that our kids have the blessing of grandparents that really love them and pray for them. I am extremely thankful they have a place to go that they love and can build fond memories of - even at the age of two!

Our weekend is packed again as we have a family birthday party to attend tomorrow. Someday I will get the tree up and decorated. I had really hoped to have it up by now, but it just hasn't worked out. Hopefully by Sunday afternoon our house will start looking like Christmas. New neighbor's three houses down got brave enough to put up a huge inflatable snowman with candy cane lights encircling it in their front yard (a postage stamp sized lawn). I am amazed someone hasn't popped it yet! We'll see how long it stands! Maybe our neighborhood is getting better. I have always thought it would be nice to put up some decorations in the yard, but haven't for fear they would be destroyed. I'll wait and see what happens to my neighbors.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sweet Daniel

My poor baby has a cold! He has been the healthiest baby I have ever had. I believe this is only his second cold in 2+ years of life! He is miserable, but so cuddly! All he wanted to do while I was teaching Sarah math was sit on my lap. I really wonder how much he is learning just from sitting on my lap! He is really good at recognizing his colors, counts "1,2,3,4" and "7,8,9!" (hasn't figured 5,6 yet!), and is really great at singing songs like "Jesus Loves Me" and "Itsy, Bitsy Spider". His vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds. The teens at church are always laughing at the words that come out of his mouth. They're always saying "Wow! He's talking!" He is really funny! What a blessing he is to our family. Pray that he would get over his cold quickly.

Pray for Andy. Last night he was working on our prayer letter and the computer flashed an error and shut down the program he was working in. He had saved the letter, but the computer lost it. It is somewhere, he just couldn't find it. He had to start all over. He was very frustrated! He has so much on his plate right now. Computers are wonderful things, but they sure can be a thorn! His computer has been doing crazy things as of late. We had a friend come and work on it a little, but I think it still needs more work. Hopefully, during the break we can get the thing straightened out and working properly. We are all looking forward to the break to regroup. I really enjoy the winter break as there is not so much going on like the spring/summer breaks (missions trip, vacation, camping with kids, etc.). Though Andy told me today he has dates for me to mark off - maybe it won't be as calm as I thought it would be. I guess we'll see!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


That is the number of preteens we had out tonight! 62 eleven and twelve year old kids! It was INSANE!!!! We were also short two leaders so we had to handle 62 kids with three adult leaders and three teen guys. Praise God for the teen guys! They really stepped up to the plate tonight and helped out. Without them we would have never made it through the night! I have no idea what brought out all the kids - but it was great to see them all. I only hope that they really listened to the lesson of thankfulness. It was our last preteens of the year. Next week is Family Night and then the 11th of December is our preteen Christmas party. Please be in prayer as we prepare for the party. 50 kids were invited so we will need at least 60+ gifts (to give the kids choices) and shirts. Andy ordered the decals, now to the task of getting them on the shirts. We do have two churches that are coming down to help out with the program. Be in prayer for them, Trinity United Methodist and Calvary Chapel of Central Bucks, as they prepare as well.

Matt continues to have a great attitude with school. He is really trying and it is really showing. I am really proud of him and the effort he is putting forth. Even when things seemed to get difficult today he kept his cool and pushed forward. He is really maturing. Sarah also had a great day. She enjoyed math as it was a very hands-on lesson. We discussed measuring and had to use measuring cups and spoons. She loved that! A funny thing - tonight I put them to bed and about 45 minutes later went up to check on them. I caught her READING!!!! "I really wanted to finish the book!" she said. I had to laugh as I painfully took the book away. I can completely relate!!!! She is so much like me in that area! And this is the child I was sure would NEVER read because she couldn't sit down long enough to learn her sounds and letters! They have both been really into reading. One reason is I am trying to be more consistent with silent reading time during school. Daniel helps in this area as everyday he asks if I will lay down with him. I have found that the 15 minutes I lay down while waiting for him to fall asleep really helps me for the afternoon. During that time the kids read. They read for 30 minutes so the other 15 minutes I use to get ready for the things I'll be teaching in the afternoon. It really has helped their attitudes as well! We all win!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Where Does Time Go?

I can't believe we had a week off. My house certainly doesn't look better - at least where I wanted it to be at this point. Matt and Sarah's rooms look great - so fresh and clean! They were both cleaned from ceiling to floor with a fresh coat of paint. Sarah even got new bedding. She has been dying to put some "girl" colors in her room. When we were expecting her we didn't know if she was going to be a girl or boy, so we sponge painted the lower wall denim blue thinking a girl could go into a blue room but a boy could not go into a pink room and we both hated yellow. I found a quilt at Target that has the same blue with purple in it as well. She loves it! Now we are looking for pillows and curtains. She also moved to the top bunk. We only have one mattress on her bunk as she used the top as a play area (doll house). She really wanted to move to the top so now we use the bottom part as a play area. We are going to get a curtain and make it into a little hide-a-way. So girly! I'll have to take pictures and post them later on.

School went pretty well today. Matt had a great attitude and completed most of his work. Sarah was a bit difficult as she was not ready to do math. It is not one of her favorite subjects. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. Matt had fun tonight as he decided to turn in some of his Gameboy SP games to Game Stop. He was excited as he came out with $11.40! If he had taken the store credit he would have gotten over $18. But he wants some Cd's. He is getting to that preteen age. I am having a hard time adjusting to him growing up. Why can't they just stay sweet and little? I guess I would get tired of that!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday!

Yes, I was nuts! I couldn't sleep and was up at 5:oo am anyway - so I headed out to Target. Andy really wanted an external hard drive (his parent had given him money LAST YEAR for Christmas to get one of these!) and they had one on sale for $87. I was successful in getting him one and now he is a happy little owner! I also picked up a couple of things for the kids. One gift is for Andy and I - it's a splurge, but we received money for our anniversary in October that we were saving for a camera, but bought a 19" HDTV, DVD, Monitor, instead. We thought it would be fun to have it up in the school room - WEBKINZ on BIG SCREEN! The kids will flip! So thank you Mom and Dad and Aunt Louise for the great gift! We will all enjoy it!

I then came home, unloaded the stuff, and went back out to CVS where my beginning total was $63.81 and I paid $17.77 for a ton of stuff! I came out with like $36 EBC's for future purchases. I came home again and gathered the crew for a trip out to SEARS. Andy spent all his gift card money he had been saving for the year. We also bought a couple of gifts. Overall, I think we did well not overspending. Sometimes it can get crazy when you see all the deals and don't plan ahead. I really stuck to my list and determined NOT to overspend!

We got our car back today. It was the anti-theft system gone bad. We had to have a computer something or other replaced which came to the tune of over $800.00. Imagine our car thinking WE were the thieves! (I really think it's the car that is the thief - stealing $800!!!) That is why it wouldn't start. God is good as we have the money needed to make the repair and can now drive it again.

We are now painting Matt's room. I think we'll get to Sarah's room tomorrow. We will then proceed to move Daniel into the boys' room. That could be fun!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


There are so many things for which I am thankful for, the usual - a great husband, healthy kids, wonderful parents and in-laws, a warm home, and all the other blessings God has bestowed upon my life. One thing I am extremely grateful for are tremendous prayer partners and supporters in the ministry to which God has called our family. Without them we would in no way be able to do what we do - especially without the prayers! Our God continues to protect and care for us in tremendous ways due to the faithful prayers of his children. Thank you!!

Today was a great day. We enjoyed eating out with Andy's parents, Aunt Louise, Aunt Barb and Cousin Nate. We went to the Boyertown Cafe' and they had a great buffet. I was so glad I was able to eat after being so sick Tuesday night into Wednesday (terrible chills, nausea, fever, etc.). Thankfully it was just a 24 hour bug. It was great to eat and enjoy the food without being all stressed out about things. Later in the afternoon we went to my Aunt Bonnie's and enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the fixings. It was fun to see my cousin Lenore and her husband Mike and their three kids, my sister Lisa and nephew Sam, my grandmother Ruth, my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Ray, and my parents. It was really funny to see seven kids ranging in age of 18 months to 10 years old! I don't think that house ever saw seven kids at once! They all played great together and hardly heard a peep from any of them - except from Daniel who was particularly emotional tonight. If anyone told him no he burst into tears! I think he was extremely tired. He didn't sleep well last night (was up from 1:00 am - 2:30 am) was up early and his nap was cut short to get from one family to another. Hopefully people won't think this is his normal personality! He really is a pleasant little guy!

I hope and pray that you all had a wonderful day with family and friends. Now onto Black Friday! I may get brave and venture out for a while. I only have a few more things to get for Christmas - no outrageous purchases! Sometimes it's just fun to get out there with the crazy people! My mom, sister and I used to go to the WalMart in Quakertown, before I had Daniel. We would get there at about 4:30 am and laugh with all the other people that were there. I haven't ever done it in Philly as people aren't as jovial and can get a bit rough. We'll see how I feel in the morning!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 2 of No School!

Well, today didn't go as well as yesterday. Today I focused on Sarah's room. Her room is smaller than Matt's so I thought it would be a breeze - but she has so much stuff in her room! We went through EVERYTHING!!! I have always thought she had too much stuff, but today really emphasized it. I laid down the law and told her we HAD to get rid of some things. She had seven categories of toys: 1) Sweet Streets, 2) Cabbage Patch Doll & Stuff, 3) Groovy Girl Dolls & Stuff, 4) American Girl Doll & Stuff, 5) Hopscotch Girl Dolls & Stuff, 6) Stuffed Animals, and 7) Littlest Pet Shop Stuff. If it were just a doll it would be okay, but all of these categories have TONS of little things that go with them! It drives me CRAZY when they are all over the place. So, after many tears and agonizing hours, she decided to get rid of several stuffed animals, 1/2 her Sweet Streets, and her Cabbage Patch Doll. Most of it will go to our churches thrift shop - Nifty Thrifty. She wants to try to sell the Sweet Streets on eBay as there were quite a few going for some pretty pennies. She is trying to save up for an American Girl Doll as we refuse to buy them or let anyone else buy them for her. They are pricey and she needs to really earn the money to know the value of these dolls.

Now I am off to finish her room. I stayed home from Kids Club because I am not feeling all that well (headache, tired, etc.). I need to go to bed early tonight. I think it may be too many late nights catching up with me!

Monday, November 19, 2007

No School!!

Wow - I can't believe I haven't blogged in three days! Life has been CRAZY! Friday night Andy held his yearly All-Nighter for the Teens. After a day at the dentist and then time visiting with his parents he headed off around 10:00 pm. He went to bed at 6:39 am. The kids and I headed out of the house at 8:15 am. We ran to the King of Prussia Mall to get Andy's Christmas present. He needed a new Franklin Covey binder and the only Franklin Covey store in the area is at K of P. There used to be one in center city, but it closed. We also walked around to look at the different stores. The kids were so good and really cooperated. They had never been to that mall before and enjoyed window shopping. We returned four hours later in time for Sarah to attend her friends surprise birthday party. Sunday was our Thanksgiving Dinner outreach. We had a ton of people attend and three different churches helping out. It was great! It really went smoothly. I ended Sunday at Prayer Pals where we had a bunch of kids attend - it was wonderful!

Now it is Monday - the day I usually dread! Not today! Today was our first day off from school and I am thrilled with all that we got accomplished! Matt and I cleaned his room from ceiling to floor! We pulled out all the furniture, vacuumed and wiped down the walls, chair rails and baseboards. Matt wondered why we had to wipe down the walls - until he saw the water afterwards! He couldn't believe that much grim was on his walls! Everything is clean! Now we will paint the wall above the chair rail and ceiling on Friday. When he was going to bed he commented how he loves a clean room. He even said he didn't need all the stuff that had been taken out of his room (see post "Back to Reality" in September). I am so glad he is starting to realize he doesn't need "things". I think not having his stuff for almost two months has really helped. I also thoroughly cleaned two bathrooms and did a few loads of laundry! I love days when I get a lot accomplished!

I also hit CVS tonight. With kids in tow, we made through without much incident. Tonight I purchased:

1 crest Toothpaste (6.4 oz) $2.49
2 Olay Ultra Moisturizer Body Wash $10.58
1 Olay Ribbons Body Wash $4.99
1 St. Ives Vitamin E Lotion $5.29
1 St. Ives Facial Scrub $5.49
1 Keri Lotion $8.49
1 Gallon 1% Milk $4.09

The total was $43.68. I used $7.00 manufacture coupons and then my ECB's from last week, $25.00, and then another $5.00 CVS coupon when you spent $30. I ended up paying $4.42 and came home with $15 ECB's! Now, what will I do with all that body wash and lotion? Some I will keep - I LOVE St. Ives products. Some are Christmas presents. I am also putting some things aside for our annual Cornerstone Adult Christmas Party. We all are supposed to bring a gift for your gender - I have decided to make a basket of lotions, body washes, etc. A lot of the women in our neighborhood don't splurged on things like this. They will love it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tired Daddy!

Does something look off about this photo?My poor husband put two different sneakers on Daniel today and I didn't even notice until we were in the car. In his defense, Daniel brought him the sneakers, he just didn't look to see if they were the same. At least Daniel brought the left and right shoes!

This is Andy's thinking as of late. Between the car not working, preparing lessons for the different clubs, getting ready for All-Night Bowling tomorrow and getting ready for the different Christmas events (Kids Club, Teen Club, God Squad parties, gifts, ordering decals and shirts, etc) for the clubs - he is beyond busy! He gets focused on something and then finds it hard to redirect his focus. Please pray for him as he winds down this semester of clubs. Please also pray that the gifts and funds needed to provide shirts for the kids comes in in time. Our parties are scheduled for the week of December 10th.

With the van in the shop my parents offered to let us borrow their car. So ran up this morning to get it since Andy had Teen Club tonight. It threw school off a bit, but Matt and Sarah handled it pretty well. We didn't get everything done for the week (we worked until 5:30 pm) so we will have to do some work tomorrow and Saturday. The kids don't seem to mind as we are taking all next week off. We are planning on painting the kids rooms and doing some deep cleaning. The kids will receive cleaning lists each morning and when they are completed properly they will have free time. They aren't terribly excited, but I need the help and they are quite old enough to start chipping in.

Daniel has been a riot as usual. Tonight he opened the refrigerator and was checking things out on the door. He pulled out a jar of chow-chow and looked at me and said "Disgusting!" Where on earth did he learn that word!!!! I am constantly amazed that he not only says these words, but that he uses them correctly!!! Today he insisted on having his picture taken with his sheep.

He is so different than the other two were/ are! It is going to be an interesting life with Daniel! I am so thankful!

Matt has been busy building with Lego's. With no TV they are starting to get a lot more creative with the use of their time. Matt built a science lab:

Sarah is busy building a store with all the different things for sale - I'll post the picture when she is done.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


As a wife, mother and missionary one of my main goals is to keep this family afloat on as little as possible. I clip coupons, buy only sale items (the kids hate this when they want a specific thing!), and do my best at sticking to the budget. My friend Carisa is also a thrifty shopper and told me one day about CVS and their "Extra Bucks" rewards program. Shortly after she told me about it it was featured on the CBS 11 o'clock news. I rarely shop at CVS because I can usually find the item I want much cheaper elsewhere. Not so anymore! Tonight I made my first CVS run - this could prove to be addicting! It is a game of finding the right coupons to match the right products to get the most rewards dollars! It is interesting and confusing, but so well worth the effort! For example this is what I got tonight:

Hershey Kisses (9.2 oz) 2/$5
Dimetapp Cough & Cold 2/$9.98
Children's Motrin (4 oz) $6.99
Motrin IB Tablets (100+50 bonus) $9.69
Head & Sholders Shampoo (23.7 oz) $7.39
Garnier Nutritioniste Lotion $12.99
Garnier Facial Cleanser $5.99

The total before using their card was $62.99
After card $59.01
Coupons used (- $22.50) $36.51

I paid $36.51 out of pocket, but I received $25 in Extra Bucks that I can apply to my future purchases (by 12/14/07)! How cool is that! I am in no way an expert in the area of math, but I love trying to figure out the best deals. The cool thing is that the Internet has the ad for next week up already and I can try and figure out what to get and where to find the coupons!

One reason to save money is for our car. As I was about to head out tonight for CVS the car refused to start! I was so bummed! Thankfully, Carisa graciously offered to take me to CVS. Andy believes it is the fuel pump. We hope to get it fixed this week. Please pray with us that this car would last at least another year - if not two or three! Or that God would place a better car within our price range in our midst. He has always proven faithful - we have never lacked for any need. He knows what we need and when we need it. There is always a reason for everything - tonight I got the blessing of spending a few minutes with a good friend! A good trade I'd say!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday, Monday

Monday's - I don't really care for them. Our weekends are often so busy that I don't get done nearly what I need to and then Monday hits you - BAM! - and we are back into school mode! This weekend proved to busy extremely busy. Andy had an all day Urban Youth Conference in which several of the youth leaders attended. He left at 8:00 am and didn't get home until 4:00 pm. The kids and I hit the grocery store and then headed home to get to work. I cleaned the kitchen and the school room. Why does it take twice as long to get things clean than it does to make them dirty?? I also did several more loads of laundry - we have far too many clothes!

Sunday proved to be busy as well. We had church and then soccer at 2:00 pm. I laid Daniel down for a nap, worked at school for the week and then woke Daniel up early from his nap so I could go see the kids play at least one game. With Daniel's nap I haven't been able to see them play. They are getting pretty good - but with a coach like Daddy - how could they not! There were a bunch of kids this year. It was great! Unfortunately this may be the last year we can have soccer as the city is planning on taking the only green space in our area to build a new school. Building is scheduled to start sometime in the spring. I ended my Sunday with Prayer Pals. We had several kids out this week. We had been low for a few months. Hopefully we are picking up again.School went okay. Matt didn't finish everything which always puts a bit of a strain on the week. It's not that he couldn't get the work done - he just goofed around too much. This is a potential battle ground. He knows he needs to finish school in order to go to Kids Club and with the work he has to do for tomorrow plus his work from today - well it can get touchy. But we have been through this enough times that he knows the drill - no school work - no club. He will learn eventually.

We did do something interesting today. At one of the homeschool conferences there were several seminars about lap booking. I went as I thought it would be fun to try to incorporate this into my teaching - but it is a lot of work. My friend Donna has done several of them with her kids and now my friend Carisa is doing them with her son. Carisa has been "encouraging" me to try it. So, instead of doing our "normal" history I decided to take this week and focus on Thanksgiving - pilgrims, Indians, Mayflower, etc. It will count toward our American History that I am required to teach every year. We are going to attempt to make a lap book. Today we read about the trip over on the Mayflower and then the kids had to pretend they were one of the passengers and write a journal entry about a day on the Mayflower. They had to incorporate several things they learned like the food they ate, events that occurred (ex: the birth of Oceanus, storms), the conditions, etc. They did a great job. I think Matt even enjoyed it a little bit! I'll have to put it in pictures when I am done so you can see what they are like.

Friday, November 9, 2007


I LOVE Friday's! Especially today! Andy gave me two hours "off" from school and was my substitute teacher! I went off and donated blood!!! I know - there were probably better things I could have done, but I used to be an avid donor and have gotten away from it. I really want to start doing it again. Besides, it's nice to lie down - even if it's only for about fifteen minutes (I'm a fast bleeder - red head!). The kids were impressed because I came home with a t-shirt that says "Superhero". Now they want to donate blood! I told them when they were 17 I'd take them. Of course, Sarah would have to gain some serious weight!

The rest of school went pretty smoothly. We were finished our work by 4:00 pm and then we headed out to Toys R Us. They were having a big sale and I had a coupon that I wanted to use before it expired. I finished Christmas shopping for Daniel and my nephew Sam. I am almost done! I hope to be done by Thanksgiving. My goal is to have a peaceful December - no too much running around. We'll see how it all turns out.

We are off to clean! Andy has been tackling the basement and I am getting ready to put a bunch of stuff on ebay - cross-stitch stuff, stamping stuff - stuff I don't have time for at the moment, but don't want to hang onto until I do! We need the room more than I need the stuff! I did a test run on ebay this past week and sold two pairs of shoes Daniel had outgrown. He has a wide foot and wide shoes can be expensive, so I figured other mom's might need shoes for their kids fat feet. I was right! One pair sold for $5.50 and the other sold for $11.00! We are saving the money towards either a new car or new computer - which ever dies first!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Growing Pains

Matt and I are very much alike. We both like the same games, book themes, movies, and Lego's! We also are both competitive and have a temper. Tonight I realized just how much alike we are - it both saddens me and encourages me. Saddens me because I know he has a rough road ahead of him. Encourages me because I know he will learn and grow stronger in his relationship with God through this rough road. He will one day be an incredible servant for God.

Tonight was tough. Matt had decided he wasn't going to do something I had asked him to do and he lost it. Really lost it. Unfortunately, I lost it too. We both said things we didn't mean. I left him in his room while I got Sarah and Daniel ready for bed. After they were in bed I went back to his room. We had both calmed down and were able to talk. We had a really good talk. I apologized and then continued to tell him how I thought he felt and to let me know if I was wrong. I think I shocked him with how well I knew him! I told him I knew him because his fears were the same as mine when I was his age. He was definitely shocked at that! Sometimes I think we present ourselves in a light that doesn't depict what we were or are. Matt sees me as his mom, someone who isn't afraid and knows what is going on (far from it!). He didn't realize that I have had the fears he has now. In opening up to Matt we grew in our relationship with one another. He felt he was alone in his fears, but now realizes he is not. Growing up is hard; I think just as hard for the parent as it is for the kid! I really hate the fact that he is growing up so fast! I pray everyday that God would give me the wisdom to handle this parenting thing! Pray for Matt. He is a very serious child and takes everything to heart. His one prayer request right now is that he would find one good friend he can really connect with. We talked about how that may not happen right away, but God would answer in His time. Pray that Andy and I would be sensitive to Matt's needs and encourage him in his walk with the Lord. On a lighter note Andy and the kids had a great time yesterday playing with the Hinson boys at his parent's house. They raked leaves, played on the swing set, and jumped on the trampoline. I also had a great time. I didn't get done nearly what I wanted to, but I got a good start. I did get Daniel's clothes switched over, washed several loads of laundry and started cleaning the basement. I am looking forward to Saturday when I will have the help of three kids to finish the basement. Daniel is a great picker upper!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Night School

Tonight the kids and I did night school! It is the first time I have been able to convince them that this could be a good thing. I think it helped that they can't watch any TV and were getting a little bored! So we came up to the schoolroom and tried to get some of their school work for tomorrow completed. Another motivator to getting tomorrow's work finished is that Andy is running up to his parents tomorrow afternoon to pick up some chairs that a church is giving us. They want to go - I want them to go!!! I need a few hours alone to get a number of things done - like change poor Daniel's clothes from summer to winter, clean the basement, clean my bedroom and finish laundry! I am looking forward to my few hours of straight work. It's hard to get things done when Daniel is napping in my room, homeschooling until about 4pm each day and then cooking dinner and getting kids off to bed. I am making my list of things to accomplish. The exciting thing is is that I will have some time on Saturday to finish some of the things I don't get done tomorrow. The kids and I have no plans for Saturday. They are as excited as I am! A whole day at home! WOOHOO!!! I think it is the first one in about four weeks. Pray that I would use my time wisely tomorrow and Saturday and get a number of things that are on my list accomplished so I don't feel them weighing me down!

Monday, November 5, 2007


So, I have this love-hate relationship with the TV. I can easily plant myself in front of it for hours on end - I know, it's terrible. I enjoy watching various TV shows and love movies! But I also know it eats up so much of my time, time away from God and time away from getting things done that need to be done. In my effort to cut back I have gone cold turkey - NO TV! It is hard as one show I enjoy watching is on right now as I type. I am in the school room, so that I will not be tempted to just turn it on. The kids are not thrilled with this event! But I can already see it is good. There is a bit more peace and the kids were more ready for bed tonight than they have been in a long time. It would be easier to just get rid of them, but I need to learn self control in this area of life. I am hoping one day to be able to just watch one show, without it turning into three!

One saving grace has been a new CD I just received. I LOVE Michael W. Smith's music. Have since I was a kid. He just came out with a new CD "It's a Wonderful Christmas". It is absolutely beautiful! He is so incredibly gifted in music! It has a lot of instrumental, which I am very into right now. So, as I grade papers and clean, my MP3 player has been tagging along so I can listen to the beautiful strains of symphony. MP3 players are really an amazing invention! I really wish they would have been around when I was a kid!
Andy has been incredibly busy these days. Saturday and Sunday nights he spoke at a church in DE. Today he left before 9:00 am today to go to Philadelphia Biblical University for their Freshman Student Ministry Day. Tonight he is at God Squad. He has Family Night at Kids Club tomorrow night, Teen Club Thursday Night and Saturday he is going to an all day inner-city youth seminar. In between all those events he has food bank runs to collect the food needed for the big Thanksgiving food give-away this coming Monday, November 12th. Thankfully, we see him at dinner. We'll also have family fun night this Friday. We all look forward to seeing him on Friday nights! Me, because he'll put the kids to bed - the kids because he'll play games with them.

Today was an okay day. Matt still continues to struggle on Monday's. It's a funny story - it had been a hard morning and while I was making lunch I was praying that God would give me some answers on how to handle homeschooling Matt and Sarah. I was even thinking along the line that maybe we needed a change in scenery (read: to move!). Maybe Philly wasn't where we were to raise Matt. Maybe we needed to move back out to the country - away from city life. Move to a place where Matt could run, get energy released, join a sports team, go to a Christian School that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, work outside on a farm, etc. Anyway, my thoughts and prayers were everywhere. Before I was even done praying the phone rang. It was a supporter calling out of the blue to say how much she and her family appreciated the sacrifices we make by living here. She continued to say how much the church appreciated us and the work we continued to do and how they loved reading Andy's prayer letters and prayed for us continually. I was blown away as you can imagine. God is so good to give us the answers we need when we need them. I have to trust that this is the place where Matt is suppose to be. I have to trust that until we get confirmation otherwise, I am to homeschool Matt. I believe Matt and I are learning some important lessons in this journey. It is not easy and at times brings us both to tears, but God is good and will continue to grow us through this experience. Please continue to pray for us as we homeschool our kids and struggle to be the parents God wants us to be.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Our group of 30!

WOW! This weekend has been incredible! And LOUD!!!! I am amazed my ears can still hear with all the abuse they took this weekend! They are still ringing! But despite the loudness, God's truth was spoken, hearts were enlightened and the girls had an incredible time! The speakers included Jenna and Max Lucado (Max by video), Natalie Grant, Chad Eastham and Rachel Hockett. All were fabulous and really spoke to the issues that the girls are facing at this time in their lives. Of all the speakers I really enjoyed Chad Eastham. He set the girls straight on guys, their thinking, and the whole relationship thing. I really hope the girls were listening to him and take to heart his words. He was also very funny!

The singing artists included KJ-52, Natalie Grant, Ayiesha Woods and Hawk Nelson. KJ-52 is Hip-Hop, so I really didn't understand a word he was singing! I am old! It concerned me a bit during his concert because he seemed to be placing glory upon himself. Since I couldn't understand the words he was rapping, I couldn't hear anything about Jesus and God. I did, however, hear his name in songs. It troubled me that the girls would love listening to someone without a strong Christian testimony. But my fears were aleeved when they had a Q & A session at the end of the conference. One young insightful girl asked him how he felt when many were glorifying him instead of God. He gave a very good response, including a bit of his testimony. I only wish they would present more of their testimony so the girls can see their faith and not just their music. I really enjoyed Natalie Grant and Ayiesha Woods - both very solid testimonies during their performances. Hawk Nelson was interesting. I was glad I got to see him as he is currently one of Matt's favorite artists. I could at least hear and understand his words, though the music was so loud my rib cage vibrated! Matt would have loved it! He, too, had a good testimony, though a bit of an odd personality! Some of our girls actually went down to the stage area and got up close to him. He came down into the crowd and the girls went crazy. It is my hope that the girls would hear the message and not only see the messenger.
Hawk Nelson

Overall the weekend went really well. The girls had a great time and I really enjoyed getting to know them better. The girls in my group were Tina, Destiny, Judy and Ruthanne. Ruthanne is a real sweetheart with a tenderness that I pray stays about her while growing up here in Philly. Tina is a strong leader though quiet. The girls really seem to look up to her. I had a lot of fun and am looking forward to next year when Revolve returns to Philly.
Diamond and Ruthanne

On a family note, as I was brushing Daniel's teeth tonight I noticed two of his two-year-old molars (top right and bottom left) have FINALLY popped through! I am praying that this is what is causing his lack of sleep. We have decided to let him cry it out a bit. Tonight has gone better, he only cried a little and is up there calling for Matt or Mommy to sleep with him. Sarah is at MomMom's house, so he is missing his roommate! He's not yelling just talking. He is definitely going to be a people person - someone that loves to be with people, not alone! Just like his sister! Maybe the end of this phase is in sight and we can get back to a normal sleep routine.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


As you may have noticed from my posts, we have been doing a lot of running around. Life with kids is seldom quiet, but the last few weeks seem to have been extremely busy. It has left us all tired and it is starting to catch up! This weekend will prove to be busy as well. I am excited for the events taking place, but at the same time long to be home to get something done.

This weekend I will be attending the Revolve Tour with my Sunday School class. It should prove to be fun and interesting! The Revolve Tour is like Women of Faith for teenage girls. I think it has a few more concerts and a little less talking, but the girls that went last year really enjoyed it. I was not able to go last year so this will be my first experience. Please pray for the 25 girls that are attending (Laurie's and my Sunday School class and the God's Girls Sunday School class). The event takes place Friday evening and all day Saturday. Please pray for safety to and from the conference as we will be driving several mini-vans. Also pray that God would really speak to the hearts of these girls and they would put to work all that they learn. Pray for me to "be there" and not longing to be home getting things done.

What will also make this weekend a challenge is that Andy has been asked to speak at a church missions conference in DE. Since we are by no means fully supported, any churches that ask him to speak, he jumps to accept their invitation. He will be speaking Saturday night, so I won't see him as he will be gone before I get back, and Sunday evening. I really hate tag team parenting, but this is how life goes at times. Pray for him to be able to speak clearly about the ministry and that people will feel led to support us both prayerfully and financially. Also pray for Andy as he has lessons to prepare for next week. He will be a busy man!

Speaking of tired, something is up with Daniel. Please pray for him as he is suddenly not sleeping. He screams at nap times and screams when it is time for bed. He will only sleep if someone is in the room with him. He is exhausted. At the moment he seems to be frightened of the car sounds (alarms, horns, back-up beeps) in the neighborhood. This is something that is not easily fixed. There will be noise no matter what we do. Please pray that he would get over this phase, quickly, as it is driving me crazy. I do not handle screaming toddlers very well. I have no idea what to do about the situation. I have never come across this before. Matt and Sarah always slept or played, but never screamed during naps or going to bed. If you have any ideas you can post them by hitting the comments at the bottom of this post. I think you need to register a Google account. It will walk you through it. Please pray for each of us to get the rest we need to function properly!