Friday, May 27, 2011

Jack's End Of The Year Program

Jack had his End of The Year program yesterday.  I now officially have a 1st grader...my goodness.
The program was so cute.  The classes did a great job!  
Below are some pictures of Jack's big day:
Jack and his buddy Wade singing some of their songs.  Jack and Wade are on All Stars together, he is such a sweet little boy



Jack walking up to his principal to get his certificate.





Jack and his teacher....have I mentioned I want her to move up with him every year???  ;)



Jack with Pops and Granna



Jack and Meme



My little sweeties!



Big smiles from my sweet young man!!!





Time to read cards ;)



I love these little kids!!!



We went out to eat at our favorite Japanese restaurant (Jack's pick of course)...the only thing missing was daddy.  We sure did miss him yesterday.  My day started off pretty hard...hard because I was missing J and just having a little sadness about wishing J could be there with us, but you can not stay sad too long with these 2 little sweethearts around...nothing makes me happier than listening to them and their deep belly laughs they were having while watching the chef cook.



Below is a little video of Jack doing his speaking part.  In case you have a hard time hearing him, he says "O is for obstacles we learned to overcome."
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So, it's officially summer here!  What's every one's plans???  Ours will be filled with All-Stars and preparing for R&R then finally R&R...=)

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Monday, May 23, 2011

All-Stars

Tonight is our last regular season ball game and though I am a little sad about the regular season being over, I am excited because my little Jack made All-Stars!  YAY!  I am so proud of him and all his accomplishments over the last year!  Of course, it is going to be a VERY busy summer for us, but busy is good and will help the time pass quickly (and for that I will not complain)
We had our first all-star practice yesterday.  It was great.  The kids got a chance to meet the coaches and to meet the other players on the team.  Jack was so excited because he knew a lot of the kids on the team already. 
The team practiced their hitting off the tee.  The league we play in uses a catapult (which I love because it gets the boys ready for the pitching machine) but the other teams we play against do not use a catapult so we had to go back to using the tee.  These boys can really hit the ball off the tee.  Here is Jack practicing his hitting:



Since this was the first practice, the boys played in several different spots.  It gave the coaches a chance to see where the boys should play. 



Here is Jack playing at 3rd base, which is where he plays during the regular season.  2 other boys who made the team also play 3rd during the regular season and they are all very good. 



A quick little team meeting.  I can not wait to watch this team come together...I know they are going to be GREAT!




I wanted to share a quick video from a regular season game last week.  I was telling J all about how intense this game was and how into it I was...let me set the stage for you...Our team is down by 8 runs.  It is the last inning of the game and we have final bat.  Our team is doing great and has scored 6 runs, so we are down by 2.  We have 2 outs.  Jack is up to bat with a runner on 2nd and 3rd (which would tie the game)...no pressure Jack (I am glad that at this age they are clueless about this stuff)  Jack is up...3 pitches off the catapult and all 3 misses...yikes...mommy is standing at this point.  The tee comes out...Jack hits it hard!  The ball goes all the way to the fence.  2 runs were scored to tie us up.  Jack gets a triple.  So Jack, which would be the winning run is on 3rd and there are 2 outs.  Next batter up gets tagged out, Jack's run does not count :(  It was a great game though!  So, I set the stage for you...now watch this video (pause the music player) and you can hear how into the game that I am...excuse the yelling and cheering (like I said I was into it) the video stops before Jack gets to 3rd base because I dropped the camera (ha!)
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Armed Forces Day



Today is Armed Forces Day...Thank you to all the brave men and women who have served and are currently serving here and abroad. May God bless and keep you all safe and out of harms way.


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Madeline's Graduation

Yesterday, I did a quick post with a picture of a few ingredients I was using to make some graduation treats for Madeline's class. 
Well, here is a picture of the finished product:
I put these on sticks for the students (we wrapped them up and tied pretty ribbons around them and attached a note from Madeline)
and then I put some caps on pre-made cupcakes for the family to enjoy after dinner: 
Click HERE to head over to my recipe blog and see the step by step =)




SO, last night was Madeline's graduation from 3yr old pre-school.  She has loved her school so much and has made some wonderful memories and wonderful friends!  I am excited that a few of her friends will be going to school with her again in the fall. 

Here are a few pictures from graduation:
Madeline leading her class in.

Such a serious look on her face :)



Singing one of the songs.


Singing one of her faves: Tootie Ta



A picture with mommy before we went to eat with the family.



Time for presents =)



A barbie from bubba!  I love her silly face here!!



Madeline and Meme



Madeline and Pops



Madeline and Granna








Madeline and Nana and Granddaddy



A picture with my pre-school graduate...so proud of all she has learned this year!!! 



And of course, I must take a picture with my handsome little man!


Below are a couple videos from graduation.  Be sure to pause the music player at the bottom so you can hear.

Madeline's class singing "I'm in the Lord's Army"
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Madeline receiving her graduation certificate.  Ms. Suzy asked Madeline what she wants to be when she grows up...her reply  : "A princess"  Well, sweet girl, you are well on your way to that ;)  after that, Ms. Suzy said a sweet little comment about each child.  I love what she said about Madeline.  (may have to have volume kinda loud to hear it)
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One graduation down and Jackson's next week.  I am loving this time of the year! 

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Making Treats

Tonight my sweet little Madeline will graduate from pre-school...my goodness this school year has flown by!  So, today I am busy making some treats....
The treats start off with these ingredients:

I will share the results in a bit...I must go finish these treats up before a certain little girl eats all the reese's (she is just like her daddy!)

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

OBSTACLES

The end of Jackson's kindergarten school year is quickly approaching.  To celebrate, the classes have an end of the year program.  Jackson's teacher (whom I adore and wish she could move up with us every year) asked if Jackson could have a special part in the program.  For his part, Jackson will say a letter of the alphabet and a little verse for the letter.  I asked him if he would like to do it and he said sure, so I let his teacher know that he would do the speaking part.  A couple days ago, she sent home his letter and verse. 

His letter is - O

His verse is - "O is for obstacles we learned to overcome"

Of course when I first looked at that verse, I thought to myself "how appropriate, we have definitely overcome a lot this year"  (and will overcome so much more over the course of the remainder of this deployment)

So what is an obstacle???
According to Dictionary.com:
ob·sta·cle/ˈäbstəkəl/
Noun: A thing that blocks one's way or prevents or hinders progress
 
Which got me to thinking...what (if anything) tries to  prevent, hinder, or block my progress??? 
So what has been some of my obstacles so far?
 
- Murphy...you know murphy's law right???  Everything must break down or tear up as soon as hubby leaves.  It has happened every deployment.  I come to expect it and try to prepare for it, but really there is not a way to completely prepare for it.  Though I did prepare mentally for it better this time.  My having a positive attitude about it helps so much.
My comfort: "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19
- Loneliness - loneliness will consume you if you let it.  It will make you think some really sad, depressing thoughts: no one cares, your in this alone, everyone is too busy for you..I have had these thoughts as much as I hate to admit it.  I have.  And if your not careful, you can believe them.  I know that those thoughts are far from the truth, but sometimes loneliness can really be an obstacle in deployment.
My comfort: "... the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6
-Sickness -Yes, sickness can be an obstacle in deployment.  If I get sick, who is able to take care of the kids.  If the kids get sick, it hinders our daily routines.  Let me say, I have gotten sick...and it always works out that someone is able to step in and help me out so I can rest and recover.  The kids have also gotten sick...why is it that every time daddy leaves, someone gets the stomach virus?  I mean really.  Nothing forces you to stop everything like when one of the kids have a stomach virus.  It definitely forces me to slow down (which in itself is likely a good thing)
My comfort: "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me"  Phil. 4:13 
-Inadequacy - I struggle with this one a lot...feeling like I don't have enough time for my kids. I have talked with several other moms whose spouse is deployed and have found that most of us have this same obstacle.  It is hard taking care of what is normally a 2 person job all alone. Feeling like I can not do it all...or even enough...it is a struggle. 
My comfort:  "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
-Weight loss - yes, this is an obstacle for me.  I struggle with my weight (I will blog about that eventually)  Food and exercise can be an obstacle for me.  I like food.  What else can I say about that.  Unfortunately, food likes me too and likes to hang around on my body in places I wish it did not...so I must exercise daily.  Exercising helps not only my weight, but my attitude as well.  I feel so much better after I exercise (and definitely notice a difference in myself on those days when I was not able too)
My comfort: "But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”  1Samuel 16:7
- Busy-ness - This is a huge obstacle for me.  I like to stay busy.  I like to have things to do.  It makes the time go by so much quicker.  Which in itself is a great thing...in moderation.  But sometimes, I get so busy that I neglect a very important part of my life - my quiet time.  Why is it so easy to allow the most important thing in your life take the back burner to all the other things???  I am constantly working on this.  I don't want to just fit it in to my schedule or hope it works out that I get to read my bible study.  I try to make it the first thing I do each day, but that does not always happen.  I am learning to conquer this obstacle.  I am learning to say no.  I am learning that I can not do it all and letting some things go.  Its hard, very hard for me to say no (that is probably a whole nother blog post within itself) but it is what is best for me and my family sometimes.  :)
My comfort: "No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:39
-Tiredness - this can be related to the busy-ness...I feel like I can not ever get enough rest. 
My comfort: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30
 
Those are just a few of my obstacles. 
 
What obstacles are you facing in life?  What is preventing you from reaching your goal?  What is blocking your progress?    How have you learned to overcome it? 
Lately I have been studying about perseverance.  I came across a verse I have read so many times...I actually have this verse in my kitchen window so while I stand at the sink, I can read it.  Today, it hit me differently:
 
"Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength.  They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.  Isaiah 40:31
 
So, as I stood at the sink this morning, I read the verse over and over.  I stood there and prayed for my obstacles (my weaknesses) to give way to God's strength.  And as looked at the verse and recited it, I inserted my name in place of  "they"
"Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength.  Jessica will mount up with wings like eagles.  Jessica will run and not get tired.  Jessica will walk and not become weary"
 
Let me encourage you to do this.  Apply this verse to you.  If your facing obstacles right now, recite this verse and put your name in it.  Let Him be your strength during whatever obstacle you are facing.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I have had such a wonderful Mother's day!  Actually, it's been a Mother's day weekend for me =)
It started off on Friday when I went to Madeline's school for a Mother's Day Brunch.  The children performed a cute little song for the mommies then presented us with some presents.  Saturday, my sweet friend Pam "borrowed" the kids for a couple hours then returned them to me with presents in tow!  They made me the most adorable heart plaques and bracelet.  (um, yea I was in tears)  This morning, Jack woke me bright and early at 6am to give me his special gift he made me at school.  Once Madeline woke up, they gave me the rest of the presents that Meme ( my mom) took them to the store to get for me.  I have been spoiled and feel so special!  I love my kids and love that I get to be their mommy!

Madeline and me at the Mother's Day Brunch


The kids with the plaques they made me...love those little silly faces!



my heart plaques and beach bag (thanks Pam for being such a thoughtful and wonderful friend!)



More goodies that the kids picked out just for me. 



I wanted to cook lunch for my mom and my mother in law so I had them over this afternoon.  My brother-in-law and father-in-law grilled out and I took care of the side dishes.  We had a wonderful afternoon.

I used the gifts from the kids as my decorations. ;)


My Jack and me...finally got him to take a break from playing a game of catch outside to take a picture with mommy.
My mom and me



The kids and Pops

The kids with my mother in law (Granna) and my brother in law



One last picture of the kids with me and my mom.



Below is a little video of Madeline and some of her classmates singing the special song at the Mother's day brunch.  (Be sure to pause the music player at the bottom) 
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I am so blessed with wonderful women in my life who are exceptional role models for me.  I am so blessed to be the mommy to 2 wonderful children.  I am definetly, so blessed.


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