As our summer comes to a close, I marvel at how time flies so much faster now than when I was young. The kids are older, which means more we can do and be involved in, and boy did we pack our summer! We made a list of about 30 things we wanted to do this summer. I know we didn't do all of them, maybe half. Still, I don't think there were any complaints of being bored.
The kids got a week at each set of grandparents. Lots of adventures and fun. We parents sure enjoyed the break, too.
The kids participated in all the summer reading programs we found. Jacob read nearly 20 hours, and Beth read 47 hours. I'm so proud of them. Better yet, the prizes are earned, and they're still reading like crazy. For our family summer reading, we enjoyed Old Yeller. They enjoyed the story, and Beth saw similarities to Where the Red Fern Grows, that she read for school last year. I'm hoping my VHS copy and VCR work to show the kids the movie version of Old Yeller.
We had pool time- both in the neighborhood and the little backyard pool.
I ran a 5k. I realized my app wasn't calibrated correctly, as it told me I had run 4+ miles. I am still proud that I tried something new and plan to do it again.
We took a little, quick trip to San Antonio. Took in some history and some fun. I am so proud that these kiddos love to do both with little complaint (heat and hunger).
On the way home, Jacob lost his first tooth. He's super proud!
I helped chaperone Pre-teen camp for church. We took 42 kids, and I did my best to embarrass my daughter (like any good parent should). Best of all, 6 of those kiddos chose to ask Jesus into their hearts.
Other simple things we managed to do: check out a little play museum in town, eat ice cream, snag a bonus visit to the grandparents, ride the golf cart around, Vacation Bible School and some other odds and ends. It was a good few months. I love sharing moments and adventures with the kids.
In November, Jacob was really soaking in all that he was learning in AWANA and church. In our family Bible time, he told us that he wanted to be saved. There is no greater joy for us as parents than knowing our child has secured a future in heaven for eternity! Over a few days, we talked and listened to him, making sure he understood how this works and why.
1) Admit to God that you're a sinner and repent.
Everyone sins. Our hearts are naturally wicked. All that keeps us from being worthy of God's presence. Repenting doesn't mean being perfect, because that's impossible. It means being sorry for the bad choices and trying to change them.
2) Believe that Jesus is God's own son.
God loves us so much that He was willing for His only son to die, just to save all of us from hell. Wow. Jesus bore our sins on the cross, so much that God couldn't even look at him in that moment. As a parent, I can't imagine asking my son to do that for other people, but that just goes to show that God's love is far more perfect and amazing than ours as humans.
3) Confess your faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior
Without Jesus dying on the cross and coming back to life 3 days later, our salvation isn't possible. He was special. No other deity people worship has died and come back to life. Jesus died for us because He loves us. Salvation is a gift, but we have to open the gift. Being saved, being a Christian, isn't a free ticket to do whatever we want and still expect to go to heaven one day. Jesus loves us and wants us to have a relationship with Him, to be a part of our life. That changes us, allows Him to show through our lives. That's how we are truly saved, from our human selves.
Jacob "got it", wanted to know Jesus in his heart. Kevin prayed with him, guiding Jacob through admitting he sins, acknowledging the Savior and accepting the gift. The joy in his face and heart were evidence that Jesus now lives in his heart.
Our church teaches that once you are saved, it's good to let others know about the change in you through baptism. You show your old self going under the water, washing off the old self, coming up a new person. Baptism doesn't save you but is a representation of what happens in your heart when you're saved.
Jacob wanted to be baptized soon, and I wanted my parents here to be part of it, like they were with Beth. The kids' Christmas play was scheduled for early December, so they'd come up to see all that, plus the baptism and do our Christmas together. Instead, our area was blanketed in ice. Lots of ice. Stuck in the house for 4 days kind of ice. Sunday morning church canceled for the first time in 15 years kind of ice.
Once people were out and about again, we got the baptism and play and Popi/Yaya visit rescheduled.
My sweet boy was so nervous and quiet, waiting for Bro. Jerry to call him into the water. At the same time, he was excited and proud. All the helpers during baptism are just as proud of him as the rest of us. I love that about our church family!
The water was warm and deep- a block had been put in the baptistery for the kids. He nearly had to swim to the steps after it was done, but Bro. Jerry helped him instead. Once he was out, he was so excited and back to his bouncy self. A quick change into dry clothes, then onto the play performance. But, if you ask me, this minute of the service, Jacob's decision weeks before were the best moments of the whole year!
If you want to know more about this loving Savior, about having a relationship with Him, just ask. I'll be so happy to share with you the joy of God's love!
Jacob turned 6. How did that happen? My sweet boy is more fun every year! He's quite a funny, smart, lovable boy. I'm thankful God gave him to us!
We enjoyed an amazing family vacation! Disney for us is the only place we can go where we feel totally disconnected from the "real world". The kids are getting bigger and braver, riding new rides. Thankfully, they know which ones to let Mommy just watch.
Beth played Upwards basketball with our church. She really enjoyed herself. I was proud of her learning something new. By the end of the season, she was really becoming competitive and leading/bossing her teammates. She's looking forward to playing next season.
Beth turned 10. Ten! She was so proud to be double-digits. She is becoming a beautiful young lady, inside and out.
We took her, along with her best friend to Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate. A lovely cold front, with freezing rain, also came that weekend. Made for an interesting thought- swimming (thankfully indoors) while it was literally freezing outside.
Beth started her first round of orthodontics. How are we old enough for this already?! Back when I did braces, orthodontists pulled teeth to make room. For Beth, they're just moving things to make room. She's enjoyed meals of mashed potatoes and oatmeal when her mouth hurts.
Jacob finished his fall soccer season and played spring soccer (season #4). He's really learning from his great coach how to control the ball. That boy is FAST! Sometimes he's faster than the ball!
The kids participated in children's choir at church, both in the fall and spring. They are naturals on stage! Beth gets totally into her part, full on drama. Jacob loves the music and has been known to randomly sing and dance in the middle of a store. I love that they love glorifying Jesus with their talents! Beth has started taking voice lessons, and she looks forward to it every week. Jacob continue to take piano lessons. I am amazed at how much he's learned, and he's only 6!
While these are the highlights, there was plenty to keep up busy all year. One super-special event will get it's own post soon.
While I had great intentions to start blogging again, reality is a different story. I realized that during the school year, I'm doing all I can to keep my head straight with school and all the extra activities.
So, our summer has officially started. I'll try to recap our year as some pretty awesome life moments and adventures were part of our year. Stay tuned!
I love books! I love Christmas! So, why not combine the two.
Every year, I look for a special new hardcover book to add to my Christmas collection. I have a red bucket in the living room as part of the "decorations" that I fill with the books for December. I love reading them with the kids, discovering the magic all over again (We haven't read these books for a year.). My criteria is different every year- great artwork, moving story, remembering the true meaning, and sometimes just fun. Sometimes, a books meets more than one objective. Here's the collection that's amassed over the years (thankfully, my Mom has enjoyed adding to my collection as well).
Yes, the weathermen are calling this ice storm "Icemageddon." While it is beautiful to look at outside, it's cold and slick. Kevin came in from a work trip and had to park on a more level part of the street, since our driveway is frozen and steep.
For about 10 minutes at a time, we got a little outside time. The kids were fascinated by the ice everywhere. The "ice skated" in the yard, tried to make "ice angels" and just happily ran around.
I love the juxtaposition of fall and winter.
The most fun they've had was "sledding" down the driveway on the recycling box lid. Giggles, squeals, and a little whining when they put their hands down in the small stream of melting ice on the street. But, SO much fun!
Thankfully, we've also enjoyed some warm inside time, snuggling by the fire. It was kinda nice to keep the television off yesterday. Instead, we read books, played games and just hung out. Today, more games, more reading, baking cookies, indoor picnic and watching Christmas movies.
We were planning a great visit with Yaya and Popi, but we've had to postpone it. Church even got canceled this weekend, postponing the kids' Christmas play. We are really looking forward to this ice melting!