Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Tip

Getting a blood stain out of clothing is not an easy task, but I know a way that works every time if you catch it before the stain sets.

Run the blood stain under cold, cold water.

Scrub it with Safeguard bar soap.

Rub the clothing together vigorously.

Repeat if necessary.

I don't know if another brand of soap can be used; I just know that that's what I've used and works. This is a fail-proof method ~ great for cleaning up after your kids' scrapped knees or your unmentionables during [ahem] that time of the month.

Happy Scrubbing!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My 50-something year old mother in law jumping off the high dive.

In her words, "What you wouldn't do for your grandkids...."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ryan's 4th Birthday

We celebrated Ryan's 4th birthday way back in July with a robot themed birthday party. We collected lots of recyclable junk like bottle caps, lids, Chinese take-out handles, cans, aluminum pull tabs, and popsicle sticks for the kids to use to create their very own robots.

So, what started out looking like this....

Turned out looking like this....
[Note: man in background, is NOT a robot, but my father-in-law] :)

Mark made a robot pinata out of cereal and other food boxes.

And no robot party would be complete without the robot cake, which was fun to make and decorate....

Happy Birthday, little man! I can't believe you're 4 already!!
Speaking of birthdays, here's a scrapbook layout that I just finished about Ryan's 3rd birthday...

I was inspired to do the "party" banner from Chrispea's post and challenge. You still have until next Monday to try one on your own and post it to the Ally Scraps forum and it's a great way to use up some of those scraps I'm sure you've got laying around.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer of Firsts

Evan has experienced one "First" after another this summer. When I think about it, I really cannot believe how quickly my little man is growing up....

FIRST experience with school ~
Evan loved his kindergarten teacher, Mr. B

FIRST loose teeth and lost teeth

FIRST slip n slide experience

FIRST real roller coaster

FIRST boogie board experience

FIRST time off the low diving board

Followed shortly after on the same day,
FIRST time off the high diving board

And stay one more week, my baby will be going to FIRST grade!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pop-Pop the Great

Ten days ago tomorrow that my mom called us at 12:15 am to tell us to pray for my pop-pop ~ that he had collapsed and the ambulance was on the way to my grandparents' house. Unfortunately, my pop-pop passed away that morning from a heart attack.

He was 84 years old.

When I tell people that this happened, I feel the need to explain a little about the relationship we had with this special man. I think people who didn't know him think he was one of those grandfathers who we saw but once a year at the holidays. That he must have been sickly since he was so old. That he must not have known his grandchildren and great-grandchildren very well.
That couldn't be farther from the truth.

My pop-pop was the healthiest, most active, energetic 84 year old you'd ever see.

He took care of my grandmom, their home, their pool, and their 1 acre property faithfully.

He volunteered his time and talents with Bible school, the Veteran's Museum, the Veteran's Association, and the Republican Party.

He attended every family birthday party and gathering for all 3 of his children and their spouses, all 8 of his grandchildren and their spouses, and all 10 of his great-grandchildren.

He played and swam with my boys, and ran circles around me.

My boys called him pop-pop the great, or pop-pop with the pool :)
We saw him a few times a month.

He was cutting up a fallen tree in his backyard the Wednesday before he died.

I miss him terribly.

We had his viewing and memorial service last Thursday and I had the privilege of reading Psalm 91 ~ one of his favorite passages....the one his mother wrote to him when he was in WWII. And then, there was an opportunity to share memories and I wrote this:

"As I've reflected on my pop-pop's life and legacy this past week, I've thought a lot about how he lived his life. And I believe, that above all, he lived intentionally.

He granted my grandmom's every wish with the intention of serving his wife.

He volunteered to help with Bible school each year with the intention of serving God and perhaps mentoring some of the young people who volunteered to help.

He enlisted in the US Marine Corp with the intention of defending the cause of freedom for future generations.

He volunteered at the Veteran's Museum with the intention of upholding the memory of the cost of our freedom.

He gave of his time, energy, and money with the intention of helping others.

He played with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren with the intention of having fun and building relationships.

He imparted his love for cars and trains with the intention of sharing his interests.

He was an original scrapbooker with the intention of keeping memories alive for future family members to know and learn and understand their rich heritage.

He asked questions and genuinely listened to the answers with the intention of putting others first.

He attended every family event and gathering with the intention of conveying the importance and value of family.

He encouraged, supported, and rooted for each one of us with the intention of building us up.

He prayed with the intention of giving God control of his life and the lives of those he lifted in prayer.

He loved and served the Lord through his actions and interactions with everyone he met with the intention of glorifying God.

My pop-pop lived intentionally and he will be missed tremendously. I know he's in the Lord's presence and someday we'll see him again. I can almost see him ducking his head down and saying what he always said when we left his house ~ "Bye, now."

In other words, see you soon.

I look forward to the day we meet again in heaven and I hear his sweet voice say, "Hey, Amy~how're you doing, hon?"

In the meantime, I hope I can honor his life and his memory by choosing to live intentionally myself. I love you, pop-pop. I pray that you knew just how much."

The service concluded with a 21 gun salute on the front lawn of the church. And wouldn't you know, even though it had been pouring rain, it stopped and the sun came out for that. He would have been so proud.

On Friday, my pop-pop was buried with honor at the Indiantown Gap Veteran's Cemetary.

I still can't believe he's gone.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Literacy Coach...

....yes, that's me.

Starting the end of this month, I will be back in a school district as a 3rd & 4th grade literacy coach. I am really excited about the opportunity. ALL of my teaching experience is in 3rd grade and although I've had my masters degree in reading for 7(!) years, I've not used it yet. I feel like this job is the PERFECT fit.

I will be teaching 2 skills groups 2 hours/day and then the rest of my time will be spent supporting the classroom teachers either through co-teaching, modeling, or professional development. My principal seems like a wonderful person to work alongside and the teachers I met in the interview immediately made me feel comfortable.

Remember this post?

Yeah.....well, God was [IS] in control and had something better planned for me all along.

Let's see.....

this only 20 minutes away from home.
.....gave me credit for my 9 years of teaching experience
.....allows me to use my degree without the stress of having
my own classroom [no report cards, no grading papers] a $14,000 raise from the last time I was teaching ~ 4 years ago!!
.....allows me to be home when my own kids are home
.....was offered to me after only 1 (!) interview

I DO have mixed emotions about being away from my boys every day. It will be a huge adjustment for all of us. But, at the same time, I think we'll spend the time we have together much more wisely. I feel that God has blessed me with this opportunity and things will work out for the best. Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pedal to the Metal

I guess this is what happens when you're child #3....

The other two boys were not proficient pedalers until they were 3 years old.

Nathan, you can never say you weren't ahead of your brothers.

Gotta love the matching Lightning McQueen helmet and [backwards] shoes! :)