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Monday, June 30, 2008

School Angst

Still swimming in boxes around here, I don't have a lot of time for much else besides unpacking. However, one of the things that has really been plaguing my mind since we arrived is getting my girls registered for school.

Our oldest two children are school age. A. will be in 1st grade next year and M. will be in Kindergarten. As with all public schools, we are "zoned" to go to one specific school in the county we live in. Let me mention here that where we live isn't very big and there are only 2 Elementary schools in the whole county. The angst with this comes in with this......we are zoned for one school and it seems that everyone I talk with have their children at the other school -- whether they are "zoned" for it or not.

Everyone has their reasons. The school we are zoned for has "pods" and one lady didn't like the pods so she takes her children to the other school.

One lady said that there was a lot of anxiety for one of her children at the school we are "zoned" to go to because this particular school hasn't met their expected growth in a while and the teachers seem to pressured to "make the grade". And since her 2nd grader was coming home stressing over tests she switched her kids to the other school.

Lots of people would look at these things and say it is a no brainer -switch schools. But here is the thing for me.

First - I am a typical first born rule follower. It causes me great anxiety to think I am breaking the rules.
Second - pods don't really bother me right now. IF it ever comes to the point where my kids performance is affected by the extra noise around them, then I would do something to change things. For now though, I think that kids adapt and it won't be a problem.
Third - as a former teacher myself, I know that anxiety about tests comes from teacher anxiety about these sorts of things. If the teacher makes an issue of the tests and "making the grade" then the students become stressed about it too. Don't get me wrong - I want my girls to be concerned about their grades in school but I don't want it to be crippling to them in anyway. I taught exceptional children and I truly believe that the education is much more important than making a perfect grade on something.

However, my struggle is this. I want to do what is best for my kids. I don't know teacher's here and I can't choose which classes they should be in to start off with. I feel like I am going in blind and having to make decisions.

We plan on visiting both schools but from there I'm not sure what to do. I also feel the need to get us registered somewhere so that this can be one thing checked off my "to- do list". Which seems huge to me right now knowing that I am due to have a baby in less than 9 weeks.

Another thing on my "to - do list" is figure out what L., my 3 year old, will do since we moved. Before we knew we were moving I had registered her for a 2 morning a week preschool program that was on a school bus and she was sooooo excited about it. Where we are now, they do not have such a program. There are two preschool programs near here with waiting lists which we are on. There is also a private, Christian school that is starting a pre- k class for 3/4 year olds, and as a bonus it meets at our church. The down side? It is rather expensive since it is a private school. L. really wants to go to school next year and I really want her to get to go somewhere so that she gets the social experience of being with other kids and for the learning experience, too. The anxiety in this decision comes with figuring out if we can afford it or not.

These two things are causing me lots of extra concern and worry right now.

If you are still reading this after all of that, thanks for reading my rant.

On a lighter note, our first day at our new church went well I think. Hubs had a great sermon and it seemed well received. There was a reception held after church in our honor and we met lots of new folks who I hope will be patient as we learn all of their names. I don't think any of them know of my blog yet but just in case hear my plea ..........have mercy on me. I'm bad with names anyway and add being pregnant in there and it's just a mess. The community we have joined here is beautiful. I will try later in the week to take a picture out of my living room window. The view really is breath taking!

If you've got any advice for me about the school anxiety, I would LOVE to hear it!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Having A Mary Heart Giveaway Winner!!!

And the winner is............

Sherry at Life in The Parsonage.

Congrats Sherry! My very scientific number generator, also known as my 6 year old, picked your number!

Have a great weekend everyone. I hope by next week I'm done with unpacking boxes and onto hanging pictures and that sort of thing.....maybe then I will have more time to check in here! I hope so.
I miss you all!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I'm Back........sort of

HI everyone!

Well, we made it to our new home and moved everything in without any real problems. We got our computer stuff all set up yesterday, as well as our cable.
However, hopefully the cable folks are coming back out here sometime today because one tv doesn't work and the internet has been rather unreliable......

BUT - I plan to check in with all of you as soon as I can -- and whenever I need a break from unpacking boxes. And, you know, if the internet is working....

Speaking of boxes, I have no idea where all of this stuff came from. Our mover actually had to get a second truck to move our things. I think that adds up to too many "things". Now I'm in the throws of figuring out where to put everything. I'm currently still working in the kitchen. I say still because I started on the kitchen on Monday evening. Between arranging and rearranging and finding more boxes labeled KITCHEN -- I may never be done.

Hope ya'll are having a great week and don't forget to sign up for my giveaway. I will announce a winner on Friday.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Let the Water Works Begin!

I went and had my hair cut by the girl who has been cutting it perfectly for the past two years. My hair looks fabulous! I am really sad about this. Why?

Because, I find that the hardest part of moving for me is finding a new hairdresser. Maybe it is just vanity, but the thought having my hair messed up just makes me crazy. I know it is just hair and it grows, but if it gets fried -- it takes a while to fix that problem , friends. Trust me!!!!
Here is hoping I can find someone who can just work wonders for me up there in the next couple of months before my roots get to showing again...... This makes me cry -- the whole situation.

Today is going to be a day for of finishing up. We have to finish filling up boxes, the ones with just a little space left, and get them all taped up.
I have to clean out the fridge.....yuck. All the food is boxed up except for the poptarts for our children to eat Sunday morning before going to church. So, more eating out. Any suggestions for healthy, cost conscious restaurants?

The tv is packed up and the computer will be unplugged and boxed up later on today. Only to return when we get our new internet/email stuff set up next week......let's hope that is pretty quickly. Makes me wish even harder for that laptop I've been hinting about.....

That brings up a question for someone out there who knows something about techie kinds of things. Will I be able to just change my email address on blogger and keep this blog or do I have to start all over? This is probably a stupid question but I have no idea about these kinds of things.

Tomorrow morning at 8AM, the mover's will come and load up the truck. I will follow in one vehicle and hubs will follow in another. We will leave what he drives up there. This will bring tears again I'm sure. Just the whole process of seeing everything loaded into a truck.

We will go pick up our children from the grandparents tomorrow evening and return here to campout for two nights.
Sunday is our last day at this church. Again there will probably be tears. It doesn't pay to be pregnant and hormonal on top of being sad about something.
Then on Monday morning, we will head out of this place no later than 10 AM to our new home.

We are both sad and excited because we know God has a plan. And he is in charge of the whole thing.
Ya'll pray for our family this weekend and for our church family as we all transition. It will not be an easy weekend for any of us.

I will be back, as I said, when we get our new internet stuff set up.
Talk to ya'll next week. I'm sure I will have lots of catching up to do!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Having A Mary Heart Giveaway


Hey everybody. I'm so excited to get to tell you about the Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World gift edition.
When I was offered the chance to blog about this book, I jumped at the chance. I had never read it before but had heard wonderful things about it.
I was not disappointed! On the contrary, I feel like I have grown so much already and I still have a few more chapter's to go. The way that Joanna writes makes me feel like I am sitting at a table having a conversation with her. It is very easy to read and is full of great advice on how we Martha's can learn to choose the "better part" as Mary did and sit at Jesus' feet. I think in today's society it is very hard to be a Mary. I think a LOT of us are Martha's out of sheer necessity in this culture we live in.
Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World is celebrating it's 10th anniversary. This edition offers a 12-week companion bible study in the back of the book and it has been a very good study for me. I've really enjoyed reading a chapter each day and working through the study that goes with that chapter. It really helps take the reading even further and puts you into the truth's of God's word. This is the book that I quoted from yesterday.
About Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World:
An invitation for every woman who’s ever felt she isn’t godly enough, isn’t loving enough, isn’t doing enough.The life of a woman today isn’t really all that different from that of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit at the Lord’s feet…but the daily demands of a busy world just won’t leave you alone. Like Martha, you love Jesus and really want to serve him…yet you struggle with weariness, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy. Then comes Jesus, into the midst of your busy life, to extend the same invitation he issued long ago to the two sisters from Bethany. Tenderly, he invites you to choose “the better part”–a joyful life of intimacy with him that flows naturally into loving service.With her fresh approach to the familiar Bible story, Joanna Weaver shows how all of us–Marys and Marthas alike–can draw closer to our Lord: deepening our devotion, strengthening our service, and doing both with less stress and greater joy.
Here is some more information about the author of this incredible book, Joanna Weaver.
Joanna Weaver was voted the Most Promising New Writer of 1997 at the Mount Herman Writer’s Conference. She has authored Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World and written for publications such as Focus on the Family, Home Life, Aspire, and The Evangel. A pastor’s wife for more than eighteen years, she and her husband have counseled many couples, both those approaching their wedding and those struggling in marriage. The Weavers live in Montana and have taught young married classes and spoken on the topic of marriage throughout the northwestern United States.
Joanna is also giving away 7 copies of this book. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on Joanna's blog tour post here.

She is also giving away 7 copies of With This Ring, her latest release. To enter that contest, simply leave a comment on Joanna's blog tour post (same link) telling her which chapter of Having a Mary Heart was your favorite and why.
I also have a copy to giveaway. You can leave me a comment on this post to enter to win my copy. A winner will be announced on Friday, June 27th.
If you've not read this book, go here to buy your copy. I believe every woman in today's society should read this one!
To visit Joanna's blog, go here.
Her website: http://www.joannaweaverbooks.com/ is coming soon!
And finally, to see what other people have said about this book, go here.
Hope ya'll have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trust

This morning in the book I'm reading during my time with God there was this quote.


" We only trust people we know. If you are struggling to trust God, it may be because you don't really know God." - Martha Tennison

Ouch.

At a very basic level I think my fear of death comes from lack of trust in God. What Beth Moore would call "Unbelief".

I looked up trust in Webster's Dictionary. One of the definitions is: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.

Ouch Again. This struggle with fear of dying is an everyday struggle for me. It breaks my heart to think that it is because I don't know God.

So, I guess the question I have to ponder today as I pack up more boxes around this house is this:

Do I know God?

One way we know God is through his Word. Here are a few scriptures the book I'm reading reminded me that God is this day.

Psalm 27: 1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation...."
Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 100: 5 "The Lord is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues to all generations."
Psalm 145: 8 "The Lord is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger and rich in love."

I sometimes feel like I am the only person struggling with this and I don't talk to people around me a whole lot about this fear because I always feel like they are looking at me like I have three heads or something. Anyone else out there struggle with this?

Also -- what other things can you add to my list of who God is? Maybe compiling a list and thinking on them throughout the day will help remind me who I know God to be. Maybe they will help me know him more so that I will no longer struggle with this fear and unbelief.

Thanks everyone. Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Last Week

Well, this is it.
The beginning of our last week in this place. I don't think I will ever get used to moving. But, I know that God has a plan for us and that we all must trust him and believe that He is doing what is best. We may not see it right now but He has a plan. We may never see it in this life, but one day we will look back and see it all. We might be in heaven, but one day we will know for sure that this was all part of God's glorious plan for our lives.
Yesterday at church some people started giving us hugs and telling us how they would miss us. Since they won't be able to be at our last Sunday Service (next Sunday), they wanted us to know yesterday. It makes me sad to think about it. Moving away and not seeing these friends as often.
We get comfortable in our churches. We take for granted the people we see each and every Sunday. We don't think about that ending, not after only two years. People of the church, you have become dear to us and leaving will be very hard. You have taught us things and we hope that you've learned something from us in return. We've all grown in Christ together. And anytime you grow with someone, having that person move on is difficult.
Please know that my family and I feel blessed to have been a part of this community for the past two years. Keep in touch with us and visit us in the mountains anytime you wish!

For all of you out there (blogging friends, too), I won't be around much this week -- with all the boxes that are already packed and all the things still to get finished -- I haven't a lot of extra time on my hands. BUT -- be sure and check back on Wednesday for a new book review. This book is one of the best I've read. You won't want to miss it. Nor will you want to miss the giveaway, either. You will love this book!

Well, as I've said -- I've got boxes to pack and lots of cleaning to do. Anyone who wants to come and help clean out the refrigerator and all those other fun things you have to do when you move -- just come on over. I'll be glad to give the honors away. =)
But - since I know no one really loves cleaning the fridge -- I'll be diligently plotting along this week.

I hope to be able to catch up with each of you before we have to (gasp) disconnect the computer and leave.

I would leave my menu plan here as I like to do on Monday's but this week that would look like this ---
eat out, eat out, eat at church, eat out/sandwiches, eat out, eat out.......

Yep - that is a LOT of eating out -- but since I'm getting rid of all in the fridge and packing up all the extra pots and pans I left out last week -- we will have nothing too much to eat around here. I am a little worried about getting healthy food out all week. Maybe I will just pray that God could make my arteries slick this week so nothing sticks......

Ya'll have a good day. My family and I have a basement to clean out and get organized for moving today.

Don't forget to come back on Wednesday!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Blessed Day

Today I packed up my kitchen. Probably not what most would consider to be a blessed day, but for me it was one of my best days as of late. And the reason why is one of my dearest friends and biggest mentor's came to help me pack. She drove two hours here and is ,right now,driving two hours back home just to come and help me pack up my kitchen.

Let me tell you a little about my friend K. I met K when I was 16 year's old when her husband, T, became the new pastor of my little country church in Georgia where I grew up. This appointment was their first out of seminary. They were brand, spanking new to being "the preacher" and "the preacher's wife" and we youth group kids didn't made life easy for them at all.

See, we were rather fond of the pastor who was leaving our church. He was fun and silly and acted like one of us a lot of the time. He took us on youth trips and wrote skits for us to perform and he taught our Sunday School Class. He had been with us through out our "youth group years"( since I was 11) and quite frankly, we didn't want anyone new.

And I am ashamed to say that within the first few months of them being in our small community, we let them both know it. Matter of fact, T and K moved to our town in late June and in July we headed out on a youth trip to Florida and T was expected to go with us. He did go with us but we just made him miserable, I'm sure.

But as God planned it, these two people became an integral part of who I've become as an adult.
K started doing our youth meetings and she started a Girls Discipleship Group for us. They were young and I grew to love them both very much when I stopped allowing my own selfishness to color what and who they were.

They had their children while serving our church and those two kids stayed with me a whole bunch. I can't tell you how blessed I was that they shared their kids with me the way they did. I have always loved children but these two became very special to me. Lots of Sundays, I would take one or both of them home with me after church and bring them back at youth group time.

They stayed at our church for NINE years (and anyone who knows anything about Methodism know s that is a LONG time). In those nine years so many forming things happened in my life and through it all they were there for me. They were there when I graduated from High School, and started college. They loved me in spite of me in my "wilder" years of college. They saw me through being fired from my job and accused of stealing - something that was totally false. They saw me through my parent's separation and divorce and all the aftermath of that. We went on many, many youth trips and even went on two mission trips together. They saw me through lots of boyfriends and even saw me through when the one I eventually married broke my heart.
And when we got back together,they told me it would be ok to be a preacher's wife and that I would be good at it when I was anything but sure I wanted to be a preacher's wife.

I got so close to them that when I first started college and would come home in the afternoons, I'd just show up for a visit to talk to them. I was comfortable enough with them that it was ok for me to do that and they always welcomed me in lovingly. And I would say that lots of times, it was an inconvenient time to have company but they never let me feel that!

They came when I was 16 and moved when I was 25 and even though I knew that I was grown and wouldn't be there that much longer -- it devastated me when they left. Saying goodbye to them was like saying goodbye to family.

And that is what they all are to me - family. When I got married T came back to do my wedding and K and their kids were all a part of it, too. I joined K in the ranks of being "the preacher's wife" and I gained new understanding of what their lives were like. They now became more than my mentor's - they were my friends.
K has seen me through many a struggle as "the preacher's wife". Struggles in the church, struggles being a mom, struggles being a wife. And she is also one of the people who keeps me on track spiritually in all of these area's. When I email her ranting and raving about something -- she is one of the people who reminds me to see my own part of things. To check myself and see what my sin in the matter might be. She holds me accountable to be who I profess to be and to become more than I am.

We don't get to visit all that often anymore. She has two teenager's to chase after and I have three little ones of my own. So, today, to have her here - helping me pack was wonderful. We got the whole kitchen done which is something I couldn't have finished today on my own. But even more than that -- today filled up my heart. Just getting to chat with her and really talk to her (because see, she is one of those friends I can honestly share ANYTHING with and she will love me anyway) was priceless. I know I chatted and chatted and chatted and I'm sure she wondered if I'd ever shut up -- but I was just so glad she was here!

So, K if you read this. Thank you for coming to help me pack and get ready for this move. But more than that -- thank you for being who you are what you have been and what you continue to be in my life. You and T have had more influence in my life than you'll ever know. I love you both and your kids more than any of you could possibly know.

I know that there are probably times you look back and wonder how much of a difference you've made in the lives of the people you've pastored and known over the years. KNOW that I am a better person having you both in my life. And I hope that in some way you are proud of who I've become because you were a part of that becoming.

Today was truly A Blessed Day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Packing Advice

Anyone got any great idea's on how to pack big, bulky toys?
Things like strollers, Do*ra the Ex*plorer Van, and other large things like that?

This is my mission today. To pack up the playroom.......I am at a loss as to where even to start!

HELP!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Godly Friends/ Parenting Books

Yesterday afternoon, after church, I drove my children to a friends house to stay for the week. It is about an hour and a half away, and I miss them like crazy this morning. I know they are having a blast though and that I will be able to get LOTS of packing done with them gone this week.
It really is a blessing that these friends offered to keep the girls this week all the way around.

After I dropped the girls off, I went to meet with my VW's group one last time. VW's is a bible study group that I've been a part of for the past 4 years. None of the ladies are from the same town I live in now. In fact, they are all from the town I lived in previously to this one but we have been blessed by the Lord to be able to meet monthly at a place half way between us. It was only about 45 minutes away for all of us.

What a blessing for us to be able to continue to learn about our Lord together and to be able to continue our friendships together for the past two years that I've not been a part of that community. Our friendships have grown closer and I cannot tell you how much these women mean to me.

I know I've talked before about how lonely being a pastor's wife can be. It is hard, for me, to find true friends who will stick by me for the "long haul" -- even when I've moved to a new place of ministry. These girls have done exactly that. It was so hard a while back when I had to tell them that we were once again being asked to move. And that it will put an end to our monthly meetings because I am moving two hours farther away.
I am so sad that I won't be able to meet with these girls monthly anymore. There have been some really tough months in the last two years and some months it was all I could do to hold out to meet with these girls on the third Thursday.

I know that they will continue on meeting as a group and discussing another book or doing another bible study together and I really do HATE that I can't do it with them anymore. However, we plan to still get together and do things together every couple of months or so in order to continue growing our friendships. This shows what wonderful friends they really are. I thought before telling them of the move that this would be the end of it. That they would become like many others who I don't talk to often and whose friendship just fades away because let's be honest, distance makes things harder. It was their idea to continue to get together. I love them so much that they want to continue and put effort into our friendships. They are truly God's blessings to me. And I am ever so grateful for each of them!

Last night we met and they surprised me with an impromptu baby shower. I was surprised and blessed as will be our new baby boy by the sweet gifts from these girls.
We also discussed the last two chapters of the book we've worked on for the past year. We've been reading Shepherding A Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. It was a great parenting resource in a lot of ways. This book has made me very aware of my reactions in anger to things my children do as well as making me aware that changing behavior starts with the heart and not just the behavior.
I did find it to be a rather difficult read though. And I would have liked it better if it would've given me a few more practical ways to deal with behavior. The concepts are great but I need to be told exactly what to do when reading scripture with my 6 year old isn't working as it should.
So, I am wondering -- anyone out there know any other good christian books on parenting?

I feel like Shepherding A Child's Heart was definitely worth the past year of study but that I need more. Any suggestions out there?

I can't wait to see what ya'll have for me.
I gotta go now and get some packing done. I will check back in with ya'll as soon as I can.
Have a great Monday everybody.

Friday, June 6, 2008

We have Winners!

The winner's of the giveaways are:

1. For Sweet Caroline -- Ginger at The Hunts. (Yes, she is my family but my daughter picked her # )

2. For Skizzer -- Pam at USAFCOLE.


CONNGRATS ladies! I will get those out to you both as soon as possible. Pam, please send me your address -- you can email me at mindymc5@charter.net.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Water Fun/ To DO list!

Last Wednesday night at church, I had this conversation with my oldest daughter's best friend - A.
It went like this:

A: Can we all go to Martha's Park on Friday night?

Me: I think we can do that- it will be fun.

A: I didn't want A. (my daughter) to be bored.


And our weekend was definitely NOT boring! We were busy all weekend long. On Friday evening we did go with A., her mom and her sister to the park and play in the water.


This is the best park around. I know that I say that every time I mention it -- but it really is awesome. It is one of the things I will miss most about this little town.





Our weekend was FULL of water fun. On Saturday we attended two birthday parties -- both were pool parties. In between parties, we went to a small festival a town near by was having where my hubby was doing a civil war living history event. This is the first time I've taken my girls to see one of these but I knew that hubby would like it if we came. When we arrived the Living History event had already started so we sat down to watch. They were all three sitting beside me to start with but all three ended up behind me when the shooting started. Every time a shot was fired, all three of my girls ducked behind me. But the thing that really scared my middle daughter was when they demonstrated to rebel yell. Her comment was " I am leaving! Let's get! in! the car! NOW!"

Quite frankly, it was pretty scary sounding and if I had been in the federal army during the civil war, the rebel yell might have sent me running back home myself.


After the birthday parties, we went to a friend's house for a little more water fun.

Needless to say, by the time we got ready for bed Saturday night - we were ALL ready for bed!
Then yesterday, was church of course. Followed by a pot luck dinner for our Christian Educator. Yesterday was his last day. He is leaving to continue his education and to do what he feels God is calling him to do.
After the dinner was our third birthday party of the weekend. It was at our church on the playground with yet more water fun!
We had a great weekend but quite frankly, I am ready for a few down days. I don't think those days are coming any time soon because here is my to- do list for this week.
1. Laundry
2. Have house clean enough this afternoon for Parsonage chairperson to come and have the carpet cleaning people give her an estimate. As clean as it can possibly be with boxes sitting everywhere anyway.
3. Order pictures online.....do any of ya'll have months worth of pictures that need to be ordered? Digital has made it way to easy for me never to get copies made of my pictures.
4. Get prescription refilled.
5. Clean House
6. Girls haircuts tomorrow afternoon.
7. Prepare for bible study on Sunday
8. Pre - K Graduation and Awards day - Wednesday
9. Kindergarten Graduation - Thursday
10. Pack my clothes plus children's clothing for conference trip this weekend. 2 nights for everyone.
11. Pack girls clothes for trip to friends home next week since I will be gone most of the weekend.
12. Dr. Appointment in new town on Friday morning since it is near where the conference is.
13. Come home from Conference on Sat. Girls go to Parent's Night Out. I am getting a date Saturday night if it kills me!!!!
14. Church on Sunday
15. Drive girls to friends house on Sunday -- 1 1/2 hour away.
16. Meet with bible study group - Sunday.
Not to mention suppers, general house keeping, and oh yeah - since we move in about 3 weeks --
packing, packing, packing. OH - and the 50 + thank you notes I really need to get finished and mailed THIS WEEK!!!! And having a 3 year old and a one year old to entertain through it all.
SO, if I am not around much this week, you will understand why. However, there will be many photo op's this week with two graduations and going here for a conference. So, maybe I can get some posted.
And I will be back on Friday to let you know who wins the two books I have to giveaway. Don't forget to go leave comments on those posts - here and here -- so you can be entered into the drawing.
Have a great week everyone!