Saturday, January 31, 2009

And the Winner is....


Sorry I am a little late. I had a hair appointment that ran long. I want to thank everyone that contributed a book this week and I do so hope that you will join me again. Who knows, I may have more books up my sleeve to give out! So, without further ado....here is the random integer generator.

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

4

Timestamp: 2009-01-31 21:52:21 UTC

Now before you go looking to see who that is, I have another "happy"! Babybug has also offered $4 off a subscription for all you non-winners. So if you didn't win, email me and I will give you the offer code.

Congratulations! The winner of my Literacy Thursday Give-Away is Allison at a Slice of Heaven. Allison, send me an email with your address, as well as your children's birthdays. We just got our February issue in the mail and I can't wait to share it with Kendrick. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Thank you again to Babybug for generously donating a subscription!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dentistry

**Don't forget about my Give-Away this week! Post about your favorite children's book and link to my Literacy Thursday and you will be eligible for a free subscription to Babybug magazine!**


And now for Photo Story Friday!




Cavett and Kendrick decided to take the drill after their mouths today. Nevermind that it was a Home Depot Power Drill. I guess their daddy is wearing off on them. At least they like to brush their teeth!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Literacy Thursday and a Give-Away

**Welcome to Literacy Thursdays. This post is designed to highlight some of our favorite children's books in hopes that you will blog about yours. We are always looking for new books to discover. Literacy is so important and even at the youngest of ages is crucial to development. If you don't have children of your own volunteer at a school, read to a neighborhood child, but get involved. It's a great way to share quality time with the youngest of our society.

Here's the play by play: You blog about your book. Give me a shout out in your blog by creating a link to my blog using my Literacy button. Then at the bottom of my post, you will find Mr. Linky. Sign your name and add the web address of your post. Your post will automatically be linked to mine leaving a list for all to peruse. I hope you will join us.**



I'm just too excited about this one with the Give-Away. I had to post it early! This week I wanted to make sure that the very youngest of all have interesting books to read and look at. Our favorite is not necessarily a book as it is a sort of magazine. Let me introduce you to Babybug!


Babybug is a magazine just for infants through age 3, although Cavett still can enjoy them. It is published by Cricket Magazine Group who also publishes Ladybug, Click, Spider, Cricket and many more. It is published 9 times a year with May/June, July/Aug. and Nov./Dec. being combined.


As a parent, the best part about the books is the ease in transporting them. They are just over an 1/8" thick and printed on very durable, glossy cardstock. Many a time we have gathered up as many as we have and taken them on plane trips. They pack well and keep children engaged.

As a child, they love the stories, pictures and rhymes. Each book begins with a story about Kim and Carrots, her stuffed bunny rabbit. Kim does fun and interesting stuff or sometimes she is thoughtful or helpful. Each story has a purpose or can teach your child some objective. There are also usually 3-4 rhymes, poems or short narratives and then maybe one other story that also reinforces Kim's story. The illustrations are always good and varied. We like to count different things in the pictures or talk about the colors. Also, on the back, they feature 4 items from the book. You can use these in various ways--find where they occur in the book, do they have anything in common, which one is different, etc.

There are online parent guides to help you use the issue to its fullest. They are very helpful. Some of the issues I have read so much I have them completely memorized. Some of the poems I put to a random made up tunes. (If you look in the picture above, "Square Dance" is one of my favorite made up tunes!) But, one thing I will guarantee is that your little one will want to read it over and over and over.

Now, let me get on a soap box and tell you one more thing about repetition. Children need repetition. They thrive on repetition. The more times sequences, songs, patterns, words are repeated the stronger the neural connections become. My point is--don't not read a book because you have just read it. Read it again if they ask. You have to get over your boredom. You are building their brain.

It looks as if our next copy is on its way to our mailbox. And, a copy could be coming to your mailbox as well. The publishers of Babybug have generously donated a subscription to Babybug. Anyone who participates in Literacy Thursday this week by posting on your blog about your favorite children's book and linking back here will be eligible for the drawing. You have until Saturday, January 31 at 3:00 p.m. Just follow the directions at the top of the post!



Hosted by: jennifer @







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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Cookie

Sometimes I feel as if I am teaching another language. Ok, well, maybe I am. It can be quite comical at times. Take for instance this YouTube video.




Kendrick is beginning to talk more and he now has his own sound for cookie--much like that of German or Hebrew. Not quite as funny as Steve Martin, but close. (Due to my computer's technical difficulties, I was not able to edit the videos as I'd like with all the "CH" back to back. Sorry.)


"We do not quit! We do not quit! Again! Again!"
video

Lite Brite and Chromethesia






How many of you remember your Lite Brite? That large box with a hot light inside, the black construction paper with little letters written on it, those little plastic pegs, turning off the light to see your creation?




I was brought back to my childhood today as Cavett pulled out his gift from his cousin, Anna Grace. It was a modern Lite Brite--dare I say a laptop Lite Brite with updated shiny black paper, still with little letters--V standing for Violet and P for Pink. We had fun. I think I might have enjoyed it as much as he did. I highly recommend finding this classic.


While we are on the subject of colors...


Have you ever thought of music in color? The scientific name is chromesthesia and is when an auditory stimuli evokes a particular visualization of color. I tend to have this on a certain level. Certain keys of music evoke a color to me. When I read music, I think in terms of color. For me it also has to do with how many flats of sharps are in the key signature.
For example...


Key of C=white

G=somewhere between spring green and kelly green

D=yellow

A=orange-yellow

Bb=brighter purple

Dd=deep dark blue, richer than navy

B=red

E=turquoise

F=maroon

Eb=royal blue

Ab=chocolate brown

F#=bright pink with hints of orange


Not everyone sees the same color for the same key, but it's really cool when you are talking with someone about a piece of music and they see the same color. My favorite was the Wikipeidia entry. "the person afflicted with chromesthesia..." Far from an affliction-- I would say gift or blessing!

Now, I don't have perfect pitch and I have never really tested it out, so when I just hear a piece of music, there might be color there, but I am unsure of whether I stick to the color that I have assigned to a particular key when I read music. Maybe this will turn into a school science experiment one day for one of the boys.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Year, A New Look

This year's design is brought to you by Nicole at Lee Lou Blogs and with love from my friend and neighbor Claire Smith. Don't you love it!?!?


Here's the story...

I asked for a blog design for Christmas. Come Christmas Eve Stephen was trying to figure out how to pay for and download a gift certificate from Lee Lou. It never happened so he just put a little slip of paper in my stocking saying that is what he was getting me.

Christmas came and went. I began thinking about what I wanted and looking at lots of designs. I still had no clue. I sent an email out and never heard back. Halfway through January Claire asked me, "What's going on with my blog design?" I told her I hadn't heard back and she sent an email to the girl that worked on hers and also paid for a membership for pre-made layouts! What a sweetheart she is. I am so appreicative of Claire's help and generosity. Within a couple of days we were on track.


I wanted to go with something for the entire year and as I began looking at the questionnaire, I realized I needed a custom design. The theme obviously stems from my title and as I was looking through the paper packs, "Shiny Happy Life" stuck out at me. How can you pass up sunshine? But, there is more to it.

As Aristotle put it, we must find a "happy medium" in life. Take for example, breaking a horse. On the one hand, he is not running wild, but on the other hand you have not broken his spirit. The trained horse is motivated by a higher power guiding him. It is my hope that I find that "happy medium" with Christ as my higher motivating power guiding me.


At church today we sang "Joyful, Joyful" as our benediction and the last verse sums it all up.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began;

Father love is reigning o’er us, Brother love binds man to man.

Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife,

Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life.


Point being--God is the reason I am here and the joyful music that I sing leads me (and others) to the SON. We are victors through Him. May my "happy sun" be a reminder to you of His "happy medium."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Double S.O.S


My first Shout Out goes to my Mom. One of my highlights of the weekend was having some alone time with her. This usually happens when we head to a quilt material store and this weekend was no different.


On the way to the store we engaged in life matters and parenting conversation--the kind that is really below the surface. Then upon arrival we were like kids in a candy store. It's like a huge box of crayons just waiting to be used in different color combinations to create a masterpiece. She helped me pick out fabric for 4 quitls. I know--4 quilts! And they have to be completed by May! You know what I'll be doing in the months to come.


These are the times I cherish with my Mom. I love the joy I see in her when she is doing something that she enjoys or something for herself. (If only she wasn't working any more.) And, I appreciate the time she takes just for me. It makes me realize that both of my boys should spend time with me alone and to find time for that constantly as they grow. I love you, Mom. Thanks for grounding me and showing me the right path. You have helped me become a better parent and person.



My second Shout Out goes to Carol. She is a friend of mine who also works with the youth choir at our church. We are at different stages in our lives. She has an empty nest and mine is just filling. A couple of weeks ago we had an exchange about our places in life and she did a beautiful job of writing about it--click here.
She also commented on our Christmas Eve experience that I was hoping Stephen would fill you in on.




Thank you Carol for your friendship and helping me to see what I have and enjoy it while I can. Seems to be a re-occurring theme for me right now.

The Rear View

The Rear View is my new title for the "Weekend Review" when I don't get a chance to blog over the weekend. Ours was quite full.


Friday:

Had Birthday pancakes


Brought cupcake cookies to school for snack


I had MOPS where it was craft day and made a birthday pillowcase


Birthday haircut

Present opening


Nana, Anna Grace, Jonny and Amber arrived around 9

Celebrated Jonny's birthday with the Spider cake



Saturday:

Birthday Waffles

Cavett's Birthday at the Stomping Grounds




Chipotle for lunch

Silly String Wars




Naps

Alone time with Nana

Opened 30 presents!


Homemade pizza


Family Wii


Sunday:

Church for all



Pei Wei for lunch

26 Thank You notes written


Choir practice

Kids to bed

It was one wonderful weekend and I hope both birthday boys enjoyed it to the fullest. Happy Birthday Cavett and Jonny!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dear Cavett,

Happy Birthday my precious, sweet boy. Today is your fourth birthday and I am amazed at how the time has flown by and how much you have changed in a year. You are literally a big boy. You can do so many things by yourself! Your accomplishments this year--reading the clock to know if you can get out of bed, getting dressed alone, going to the bathroom alone, having the attention span to sit through chapter books, reading 3-6 letter words, and learned to ride a bike (with training wheels). And on that same note, you were given quite a big adjustment to get used to this year. The addition of Kendrick getting into all "your stuff" made things difficult, but you have learned how to share and enjoy him.


I love your brown eyes. I look into them and get lost trying to find the bottom. The sweet smile you flash melts my heart. I crave the sound of your voice when you ask for a "Cavett sandwich" at the end of the day. The giggle that you create when you are deep in laughter is contagious and I just want to bottle it. I want to tickle you until you can't breathe.



My favorite time with you this year was Disney World, of course. I would venture to say it was yours too. To see the joy and delight on your face was priceless. You were so easy going. It was good to have time alone with you again and re-discover who you were growing up to be. You became very loving on this trip--a much different child from your 2's. We enjoyed hugging and snuggling and kissing where ever and when ever. I hope you will always feel comfortable to at least give me a hug no matter your age.


You are so caring and thoughtful. You pray prayers that some adults have difficulty with. You know who needs help and you ask God relentlessly. You are trust worthy and faithful. I have been able to let you venture out just beyond our yard this year. To let you go out of sight is harder that you can imagine. You are also very friendly and kind. You make friends easily and treat them with respect. It was tough to here you say at our neighborhood Halloween party, "Dad, I'm eating with my friends right now."

You are a cherished Child of God and He has a plan for your life. I am excited to see what He has in store for you! I am honored and privilaged to be your mother and to be a part of your life. I love you to the moon and back, Cavett.












Love you,
Momma




PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Literacy Thursday

**Welcome to Literacy Thursdays. This post is designed to highlight some of our favorite books in hopes that you will blog about yours. We are always looking for new books to discover. Literacy is so important and even at the youngest of ages is crucial to development. If you don't have children of your own volunteer at a school, read to a neighborhood child, but get involved. It's a great way to share quality time with the youngest of our society.

Here's the play by play: You blog about your book. Give me a shout out in your blog by creating a link to my blog and using my Literacy button. Then at the bottom of my post, you will find Mr. Linky. Sign your name and add the web address of your post. Your post will automatically be linked to mine leaving a list for all to peruse. I hope you will join us.**

For Christmas Kendrick received a Dr. Seuss book. For now it is to old for him, but we are saving it for him for later, probably for his 4 year old birthday. For we were reminded of the very same book that Stephen bought for Cavett on his first birthday. At that time we put it away as well.


The book is Dr. Seuss' My Book About Me, by Me Myself. I'm sure most of you know about this book or at least have seen it. This past weekend we had a bit of some down time while Kendrick was napping and so we pulled out his book. It was perfect timing. He is in love with it. He is filling in all the blanks, making decisions on how best to answer questions and loves counting everything in the house. We are only halfway through the book; we tend to work in spurts. But, he asks to do it every chance we get.




The book allows the child to fill in the blanks and draw pictures all about himself. From hair color, to weight, to where they live, to the food they hate, to the school subjects they like to how many forks are in the house--it's all there. It's so much fun! I think age 4-6 is a perfect time to introduce this one.

We hope you enjoy it as well and here's to our 36 forks! How many do you have?


Brought to you by: Jennifer @ if you're happy and you know it





What Have I Been Doing?

I know, this year is not starting out with great blogs. I promise it will get better.



In the meantime, I'm sure you are asking "What has she been doing?"


Well, here ya go! We've been preparing for Cavett's birthday party. This week has been consumed with baking 2 cakes and icing, as well as wrapping presents. We also have a new tradition of "hiding" presents. They are just out of reach enough to be out of constant eyesight, but a reminder of what fun is to come. His party is Saturday and it looks like we will have my brother, future sister-in-law, sister and one cousin as well as one grandmother! Hurray!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A New Look....

It seems it has taken a while for me to get in touch with some one about a "new look" for my blog. My dear friend, Claire, has helped my get started and put me in touch with Nicole at LeeLou blogs, but I am still waiting to hear from her.

Here is where you come in....I'd like some kind of logo or trademark design.

What do you think of when you here my title of "if you're happy and you know it"? Ok, besides the song?

Should I go with real pics or clip art of some such design?

Any input you give will be greatly appreciated! Go on, comment away!

Family Moment Monday


Have their ever been times in your household where the kids say...."I'm bored." "What can I do?" Heck there are sometimes when I say that as I am with the kids too! We have remedied the problem to some extent in our house.


This week Cavett and I brainstormed about things to do or play with. We wrote them down on a piece of paper and he cut them into little strips. We found a mug and have re-named it the "To-Do" mug. When we don't know what to do, we draw a piece of paper from the mug and we must do whatever it says.


Here's our list of "To-Dos" (notice TV and Wii are not included)


  • Dress Up

  • Mr. Potato Head/Robot

  • Dominos

  • Blocks

  • Legos

  • Activity Book

  • Play Dough

  • Army Men

  • Puzzles

  • Hot Wheels

  • Craft

  • Board Game

  • Color/Draw

  • Monorail Train

  • Read books

  • Cards

  • Stamps

  • Science Experiment--try here and here and here

  • Math Puzzle/Game

  • Spelling puzzle/Boggle

  • Write a letter/card/salt

  • Outside

  • Pool

Of course the last 2 are only when the weather is condusive.


Hope this helps you beat the winter blues! Happy Family Moment Monday!


Hosted by: Melissa at Motherhood for Dummies

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gymboree


I know I have not spoken highly of the musical side of Gymboree, but Kendrick needed a class. I needed a class with Kendrick alone. So, this week we have started the Gym class at Gymboree. He is really loving it and I love their focus on language. This week we studied "in and out."


He went in and out of tunnels, barrels, tubes. Put bean bags and rings in and out of holes and basketballs through hoops. He put "Popcorn" in the popper. And, he pulled scarves out of wiffle balls. He loved all the activity and was not at all shy about jumping into the activities.


There are a few songs interspersed which are ok, but are not sung long enough for the kids to grasp. Once is never enough. But, by our second visit he had at least caught on to the "freeze" song where they beat on the air tube and then freeze when the music stops with their hands on their head. The excitement on his face was to die for!


So, until he heads to school this will be our Mommy and Me activity to share together without brother.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Season

Yes, I am still here as you can tell by Literacy Thursdays. But, my posts have been more infrequent and I guarantee that the next week will be just the same.

You see, life with 2 kids has hit and it has hit hard. Cavett is no longer napping and Kendrick's have been in the early afternoon and only about 2 hours. I'm not used to this. I am not used to not having ANY down or just me time. In an attempt to get just a little, on Wednesdays when Cavett is in school, Kendrick now has a snack at 11, sleeps and then we pick up brother at 2, snack following and that is his lunch. I get 2 hours a week alone.

Kendrick, of course is in to everything and he is in the season of climbing and terrorizing the entire house. Cavett's season is that he wants to be with me. How can I really complain about that. He wants to play games, he wants me to read. Even if I am busy, he just wants to hang around my feet or just be in the same room with me.

Now, Thursdays can be good. If we stay at choir practice late enough Wednesday nights, they are completely exhausted today. I put Cavett down for a nap and just pray that he is still able to fall asleep at night. Should I really be pushing and pulling these kids just for me to have a couple of hours to myself? Tough question and one I am still grappling with.


Just this past week I joined a MOPS group (Mother of Pre-Schoolers). Jill's opening devotional really stuck in my heart and has been echoing in my head. She spoke of seasons in her life--the potty training season, the crawling season, the "Why?" season--and that these seasons in her life right now are not about her. They are to serve the Lord by serving her family and her husband. Ephesians 6:7 says "Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people." Every time I do something, anything I am serving the Lord. To be more like Jesus I must be a servant to those around me. Tough calling.

We are such self-absorbed people, it's hard to follow through. I know this doesn't mean doing every little thing for them, but helping them learn their own way and teaching them counts. Grumbling about doing it doesn't count and neither does telling someone emphatically, "look what I did" sarcastically possibly calling them out on something they were supposed to do instead.

For example, at my house, it's the trash. In fact it happened this morning. Typically it is Stephen's job. But, quite often he forgets. I do it for him, grumble about it and then I call him and tell him that I took it out. I have got to stop this vicious cycle! Why am I doing it? So that he notices and feels bad probably. Not a good thing for a marriage. My mindset needs adjusting.

I guess what I am saying is that I need to enjoy this "season" that I am in. My kids won't be in my house forever. My husband needs my support right now so that when he comes home he isn't stressed out over another "job." It is my loving duty and job to see to their every need. There will be time for me later.

"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Literacy Thursday

**Welcome to Literacy Thursdays. This post is designed to highlight some of our favorite books in hopes that you will blog about yours. We are always looking for new books to discover. Literacy is so important and even at the youngest of ages is crucial to development. If you don't have children of your own volunteer at a school, read to a neighborhood child, but get involved. It's a great way to share quality time with the youngest of our society.

Here's the play by play: You blog about your book. Give me a shout out in your blog by creating a link to my blog and using my Literacy button. Then at the bottom of my post, you will find Mr. Linky. Sign your name and add the web address of your post. Your post will automatically be linked to mine leaving a list for all to peruse. I hope you will join us.**


I posted earlier this week about Cavett finishing listening to me read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," by C.S. Lewis. I had a conversation with a friend who didn't realize all the Christian parallels in the book. ***(Addendum: This friend hadn't actually read the book, though.)*** I thought maybe others out there don't know either. So, without further ado.....here is basically my senior thesis from English IV in high school.


I must first start by saying that I read this book to my 3 and a half (ok, almost 4) year old son without hesitation. He has a hard time sitting still, but comprehension was not an issue. He knew what was going on in the story at all times and learned a few vocabulary words along the way. If you have seen the movie, it has the same plot, but this book is fairly G rated. No graphic or gory details of battles, although a battle is implied. My point is, don't discount a book for a young child just because you think it is too old for them. Cavett asked to read this book. Help them and they will grow--challenge them and they will flourish!


Back to the book. Brief synopsis just in case--4 kids, find a wardrobe and discover another world which is currently being ruled by the White Witch. However, over the course of the book Aslan the Lion returns and saves Narnia and one of the boys, Edmund who was earlier tempted and held captive by the witch.


The main allegory is that of Jesus' crucifixion. Aslan, the lion is the obvious comparison. Many children wrote to Lewis about the underlying meaning of this character and his book. His response to them was this (June 3, 1953):


"As to Aslan's other name, well I want you to guess. Has there never been anyone in this world who (1) arrived at the same time as Father Christmas (2) Said he was the Son of the Great Emperor (3) Gave himself up for someone else's fault to be jeered at and killed by wicked people (4) Came to life again (5) Is sometimes spoken of as a Lamb? Don't you really know His name in this world? Think it over and tell me your answer!


Let's look deeper:

1--Lewis conveyed this similarity when Father Christmas says, "She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch's magic is weakening." Father Christmas also gives the children gifts and explains that they are tools, not toys. Lewis is referring to Ephesians 6:11-17 that says "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."


2--Jesus says in Matthew 26:63-64 that he is the Son of God.


3--Jesus is innocent of sins and he gave His life for all people to save us from eternal death. Aslan does the same for Edmund. And his sadness on the afternoon before his death suggests Christ's prayer that the cup my pass from Him. Matthew 26:39 But the request was not granted and Jesus is arrested, beaten and mocked. Aslan is bound, shaved and harassed.


4--In Lewis' story the Stone Table is representative of the cross on which Jesus died and the curtain which hung in the temple. And after, "the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and rocks split." Matthew 27:51 Both Aslan and Jesus rise again. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go to the tomb the next morning, but find an empty grave and Jesus greets them on the road. Matthew 28:1-10. While Lucy and Susan, the two girls in Lewis' story, were crying at the empty Stone Table, Alsan appears to them.


There are further allusion such as the Holy Spirit when Aslan breathes life back into the statues. It is as if they are "born again" in the same manner that Jesus bestows his disciples with the gift of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by a rushing wind and tongues of fire in John 20:22 and Acts 2:1-4. With this rescue of the statues it is just as Matthew 12:40 states that "The Son of Man will be 3 day and 3 nights in the heart of the earth" and He led "captives from captivity." Ephesians 4:8


Another instance is when the Beavers are speaking to the children about Aslan. They recite the old rhyme:


Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bears his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.


The first line alludes to Matthew 12:18-20 when God declares Jesus as His chosen servant and He will proclaim justice. The beginning of the second line Lewis comments on Hosea 11:10. "They will follow the Lord; He will roar like a Lion. When he roars, His children will come trembling from the west." The second half of the line comes from Isaiah 65:16 "...because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes" as well as my favorite I Corinthians 15:26 "and the last enemy to be destroyed is death"--the death of winter.


Although she is clothed in white, the Witch characterizes the Devil. She has total control over Narnia even to the extent that it is a perpetual winter. It is only when Aslan returns that her spell is broken. She also tempts Edmund with treats of Turkish Delight in order to lure him further and have him bring the other children back to her. The Devil does the same with you and me. He tempts us with worldly desires to the point that we are willing to do his bidding. It is only when Christ becomes Lord of our lives that his power is broken.


If I haven't given you new insight, at least maybe I've sparked a renewed interest in the book for you to dust off the cover and read it in parallel to the crucifixion story. Maybe you can find other verses that would correspond. Share it with a child or share it with a friend. Either way may God show you His love for you through Jesus' story.
Hosted by: Jennifer @ if you're happy and you know it




Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shout Out Sunday



Today's shout out goes to a person who made a huge impact on my life--Suzanne Cate (sorry I stole your facebook pic. My scanner isn't working for my high school pics!) Mrs. Cate was the Youth Choir Director while I was at Noel UMC in Shreveport. She gave me the love of choral music and of singing music with the message of God's word--one that is now written on my heart. (I'm not very good at memorizing Bible verses, but I can remember it when it is set to music.) She also was the first person (other than family) to take time out to reassure me that I was a good singer/musician.

At one point in high school I decided that choral music was my calling. I went to her and told her that she was my inspiration and to ask for help in exploring the options. I can't truly remember her comments as they were overshadowed by my Dad's response--"You don't want to do that. You have to give up your family and weekends." He was speaking from experience of having a father that was in the ministry.

But, I was still led blindly, I might add, to choral music. After 5 years I received a degree in instrumental music education only to teach choir in a middle school. I did my stint of 8 year in the public schools and dabbled in church choirs.

For the past 3 years I have had a small part in helping out with the Youth Choir at our church. What an opportunity! To find people like Mrs. Cate and Sid Davis who have such a love for Church Youth Choirs is rare and an experience that very few youth have. I have been so privilaged and fortunate to work with these people. I wish that these youth knew right now how important this time is. I made some of the best friends and went on some amazing trips.

This next Sunday I get to direct the St. Luke's UMC Pure Sound Youth Choir at both the 8:30 and 11:00 services while the adult choir is on retreat. What an honor and such a fantastic, talented group. I would venture to say that it is THE best Youth Choir in all of Houston. Who else is able to pull off singing Vivaldi's Gloria with orchestra on Christmas Eve? I digress, but the most touching part of the story is that I am directing a piece that I learned in Mrs. Cate's choir, "The Lord is My Shepherd" written by Allen Pote. I feel the Lord's power and presence everytime they follow every nuance that is in the piece.

So, thank you Mrs. Cate for teaching, guiding, metoring, reassuring, and ministering to me. And, thank you Sid for giving me the opportunity to reciprocate. I am blessed by you both.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Kannon!


Today entailed another birhtday at the Hawker residence. This Mom never ceases to amaze me with her birthday parties. They are usually at home and are themed. We've been to a Monsters, Inc. party where everyone got blue constuction hats with the logo, a Thomas the Train party where we followed blue (tape) track around the house for different activities trying to locate Thomas, and a Sponge Bob Square Pants party invitation in a bottle. She is sooooo artistic and creates the most elaborate cut outs of characters. The cakes are equally elaborate. It's so impressive and the kids have a great time!








Today's party was Star Wars themed. Each kid received a light saber and a Jedi cape with a hood. After some Jedi Training, Darth Vader showed up. The party went with out a hitch and Cavett had a grand time, even being the one to break the Darth Vader pinata blindfolded before some kids had a crack at it.



This is why we have Cavett's birthday parties elsewhere. I'm just not that clever to entertain kids for 2 hours! But, we are honored to be invited to Kannon and Kendall's parties and in awe. So, Happy Birthday Kannon!

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2 Accomplishments

Yesterday during quiet time Cavett and I finished "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." When asked which character was his favorite, he responded, "Peter--beacuse he has a sword. I liked the battle!" I'm quite proud of him for maiking it through the whole book and being so interested in it. As we have been going along, I have been asking him comprehension questions and he is nailing them with little or no prompt. So, for his birthday he will receive the whole collection.

He also learned how to fold socks and pants yesterday. We had tried to learn earlier, but now he's just about gotten it. This is a huge help to me as he can now really help with the laundry other than just sorting. Housework is so much more fun when you have a partner!
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Photo Story Friday

Last night while we were bathing the boys I started scrubbing Kendrick's head. He was standing up behind Cavett and so he started scrubbing Cavett's head. Luckily, Dad had the camera right there, because it had been a while since we had taken some bath pictures. We had recently bought some buble gum bubble bath and I was trying to get some bubble pictures, but we didn't get enough soap in the tub or the water didn't fill the tub fast enough. Either way, a better picture ensued.



PhotoStory Friday
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