Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bump in the Road...

Amazing how good news and bad news come all at the same time this week! I still rejoice with you that my questions of teaching were answered. That was a big sigh of relief for me!

BUT, yesterday Jason told me that he got a email from the Headmaster saying that the homeschool group could NOT meet during his "free time". They had approved the use of his room and just overlooked that the time issue would be a problem. He had very good reasons and we completely understand (he hated to tell us in light of Jason just leaving the church but his hands were tied). So, last night they canceled the homeschool class because there was NO WAY to reschedule this late in the game. School starts next week (or that class would have started next week)! So, we were up to 10 students which would have provided about $400 a month for us - during the actual school year.

So now with GREAT anticipation we wait for the Lord to provide in some other way. The homeschool lady we've been working with has been very helpful and is VERY confident that next year we will have more students. We've had a great response from the parents and it seems they want this - so, we just have to wait until next year! We started late in getting in this group and we actually thought the class would be much smaller because of that. But the Lord is doing something - so again, Pray!!

The meeting with the SMI director of missions was somewhat encouraging! He said there have been a lot of missions applications put in and they will have to "Choose" who will be supported by SMI. He said the "good news" is that none of those missionaries are "Apologists" so that is a plus for us. He also said the process is long - which we expected.

Excited to see how the Lord provides....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Resolved...

YAY - The Lord has made clear our path!

Quick I know, but Jason talked to Mr. Crump yesterday about this position (K4). And he said "IF" they can get the 5th student they will need an immediate teacher - like a week from now! Well, that's it! I can't do it! I cannot leave my beloved ARC hanging with no replacement. FLATTERED - YES - That they even considered me!

I'm still so excited about doing the Kindergarten music. That is my desire and has been for a year now! I want to see that position go somewhere. I generally have a hard time saying no to things but since they considered me this time - I figure if I want it (later) - they can consider me again (at a better time for me, after sitting under and possibly subbing in K4 - after getting some experience, and MOST DEFINITELY AFTER HAVING THIS BABY!!). And if not, really I'm ecstatic about my music class! I did consider this opportunity for Jason - I think he wanted me to give it a try - and I think he was also flattered they considered me without either of us "asking" for the position. Can you image me teaching K4 Jazzercise - ha (that's for you Shalita - you know that's what I'll be doing in "music")! I also talked to my sister and she said - NO WAY - don't do that to yourself! She said with me being pregnant I would basically be putting a lot of stress on myself! I love having a sister that can be so honest - who knows me and my personality and knows that I would go into self destruct! She definitely wants me to give it a try one day though!

I love, love, love what Graced said!! If you didn't read it I'm posting it here because it just may apply to you! And I thought about you Ginger - when you were talking about making decisions - Graced is such a gentle spirit and a very thoughtful person - she's my "Cyberspace Mentor" - and I know she is that to a lot of you other girls too! Aren't you so glad we KNOW GRACED! I feel privilege at this point! Okay so here's her "comment" -

Friend, I know that God will tell you and Jason exactly what steps to take just as it is time for you to take them. Let your mind be at peace, there is no decision to be made today. I have to throw in a bit of personal experience. Whenever God has launched us into a new path, many opportunities have suddenly come bounding forward. Most of them look great and, more importantly, offer the security I crave. God is teaching me that not all good offers are good for me. Often He wants us to stay out on that limb of faith learning to enjoy swinging in the breeze. I believe that Satan uses security to tempt me out of God's will very often. He can tempt us with the good to ruin us for the great. Please understand that I am not saying that this opportunity is wrong, it just reminded me of my own journey. God never fails to answer the prayer that cries out for His will.I am proud of you.

My favorite is: He (Satan) can tempt us with the good to ruin us for the great! I want the GREAT! I want security for sure but the Lord is providing! Please continue to pray for our support raising efforts. Jason is meeting with SMI missions director tonight to seek support there. Hopefully we can get monthly support from them! Pray, Pray, Pray!! He has other meetings lined up and pray that they will bring about fruit! I covet your prayers my dear friends in Christ!






Monday, August 27, 2007

What's a Girl To Do?

I'm fading SO fast. I have a lump in my throat and I could gag if I gave into it! I haven't been "sick" yet! But I've been pretty miserable now for about a week! Some days I get over it good - like yesterday and I know that was all the Lord's doings - it was our last Sunday at Valley East. We had a great time with our "family" there. I'm in complete denial that we are actually gone.

Today, I'm at work and miserable - I'm just waiting on Jason to bring the kids to me so I can go home! But while waiting, he called me with some NEWS! SMCS is considering ME for the next K4 teacher position. They have 4 students on the waiting list and if they get 5 they open a new class! Before pregnancy I would give this thing a try for sure! I don't have an application in for this position - NOTHING - OUT OF THE BLUE! I have NO PEACE - I haven't prayed about it either - but I have to wonder -what is God doing?!?! I'M PREGNANT! I think the music position is perfect for me - but the pay is nothing compared to a teaching position. I have NO experience - other than CBS - but that is ONCE A WEEK - and Bible oriented! When I was growing up I always wanted to be a teacher but when college came I just wasn't up for the "work" of getting a teaching degree. I know that is so lame but it's true. I just told Kim in her blog I was not into college! I did however get my Associates Degree and I had SOME education courses - ALONG TIME AGO! My sister taught at SMCS and she has given our family a good name there! Hence, Jason getting the job (mostly Quinn's doing) and me getting the music position. The K4 position does not require a college education and my associates helps with me getting the job. BUT, again what is God doing? I know I won't be up to the challenge until October...Then in April I'm having a baby...BUT, summers off and this baby would be 5 months old when we went back to school - all that sounds so good! But, should I work as a teacher, who would keep the baby? I love the thought of all of us being together at SMCS but I feel so unprepared! I can't believe they want me for this position. It makes me feel so special that I'm on their list of prospects but a fear came over me and I asked Jason - "Do I even know my vowel sounds?" AAAHHH!! I'm amazed at all the possibilities that are beginning to open and I do not want to close any doors out of fear! So, pray - that our path would be made VERY clear and that I can say No if there is no peace and Yes if peace comes. As for right now I'm still happy and content with my music position - I want that position to go somewhere and work more full-time!

My mind continues to get bogged down in the possibilities of where the Lord is taking us! Continue to pray for us as Jason starts this new ministry! We found out yesterday that he has 3 homeschoolers for this year - maybe more but 3 for sure!

Okay, one last thing...It's funny too! Anna got in trouble today at school. When she went to the Bathroom she covered herself in soap! Mrs. Moore made her go tell Jason at lunch and she knew she was in trouble. So maybe that did it! Maybe we won't have too much trouble out of her! She has done really good up until this point so maybe this was what she needed to settle her down. Jason said she was visibly upset about what she did and he's pretty sure she learned her lesson! Oh Anna! What are we going to do with her? Mrs. Moore and Jason both had a good laugh after she went away...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Exhausted and Distracted

I'm so tired I can barely hold my eyes open. I don't remember being this tired with the other two but today I'm useless. I'm supposed to be working but it's so quite in here and I'm feeling pretty cozy! And I'm supposed to be typing our newsletter but I'm so tired I can barely read what to type. It's amazing! I haven't felt this tired in a VERY LONG TIME! It's like the tired when you get after a good meal, in the warm sun, lazy day tired. I'm starting to feel like that yogurt commercial..."This is massage good" or "This is bubble bath good" or "This is a new pair of shoes good" well, I'm like: "About to scream tired!"
I'm also very distracted...I wish I could just forget about being pregnant for about 3 months - just until I'm farther along. It's amazing how much my brain is filled with...What's it gonna look like, is it a boy or girl, wonder how much it will weigh, am I going to get sicker than this, wonder what it's doing right now, what bedding should I pick, carseat, stroller, highchair...I'VE GOT OTHER THINGS TO DO AND THINK ABOUT! I'm just so excited!
I made my first Dr. appointment yesterday for Sept 11 - I'll then be 8 weeks! YAY! I know it's all so new and that's why it is constantly on my mind. It's an unreal thought to me - ME PREGNANT AGAIN! I don't know why it seems so unreal - I've been pregnant twice before, I should be an old pro...BUT, it still amazes me that God has allowed me to have another baby, that another baby will grow inside me for 9 months, and that another baby will be apart of our family!! WHOO HOO! Our God is GREAT, he does AMAZING things, and he is WORTHY of all praise! Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father!
Thank you Jesus for my gift of LIFE!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pachelbel Bedtime

Here's another stolen blog from Brian Brannam. This is so funny and all our thoughts exactly...ENJOY!!



This is so funny to me b/c I posted this last night, cries at bedtime, Anna up in the middle of the night...AND this morning we had the "crying" and now that I'm at work and it is VERY peaceful - I laugh out loud and THANK YOU JESUS for my family and these times that I know will pass very quickly! I thank God for my family and their uniqueness and that I'm not alone in this "heir raising experience"! I know many of you are going through the same thing and can relate...It's fun! The good outweighs the bad!! And I keep telling myself - They will get it back - I KNOW I AM!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mixed Emotions - More than likely due to hormonal imbalance!!

School officially started today...I definitely had mixed emotions! Somewhere deep, deep down I know I am singing the Hallelujah Chorus! I've been looking forward to this day for, well, all summer! This morning I was feeling good - excited about school - not even thinking all the sad mom thoughts. But our ride to school is about 30 mins and while driving I all the sudden got sad, but I pushed those thoughts aside - thinking NO WAY AM I GOING THERE! This is GREAT.

Well, it wasn't rainy when I left the house so I didn't think it would be at school. But right when I drove up it started to rain. I was going to drop the kids off in car pool but Anna's mat was in the trunk so I decided to take them in. MISTAKE! Last year when I sent Noah I took him through car pool and cried on the way to work. I should have done the carpool thing. This year I took that step and walked them in.

They have a "holding room" where all the Kindergartners stay during carpool - then they all walk together to the kindergarten hall and into their classrooms. Noah walked right in looking for his class to get in line with. I have to admit I think the chaos got to me. The teachers were scattered helping various kids, the kids were forming lines, and Anna just stood in the door. I told her what line to go in but she just walked behind me and stood. My heart sank. But in Mrs. Moore got her and she went right with her with no fight and stood in her line. Then Mrs. Moore turns to me and starts talking about how fine she will be and I broke. Tears started flowing and I could not stop! I was a little embarrassed. Our family is a family of extremes! I hate crying especially in public because I very rarely can get it together and it is NOT a pretty sight. I'm sure I freaked Mrs. Moore out! I just had to walk away...I really felt a little ridiculous! A sweet little tear would have satisfied my soul but the flood - my goodness.

It's not sending them to school that gets me every time. It's the "WHAT THE" look that they get...The "I'm not sure what's going on here" look, the "Can I do this" look. There is NO OTHER PERSON in the WORLD I would rather leave my child with than Mrs. Moore. She is so gentle and sweet and she really truly loves the kids in her class.

Well, there's nothing like work to get your mind off being so sad! Today was one day I was glad I had a job. And that reminded me how GREAT it was that Anna was in school! She would have been miserable today if she had to go to work with me. Instead she met new friends and played on the playground. I told Noah to watch out for Anna and sit with her at lunch. Well today I asked him if he sat with her at lunch and he said "No, I sat with ___ because he had the same backpack as me" WHAT! So much for that - he said she sat with some girls who were in his class last year! I knew she was in good hands. Mrs. Moore described Anna as a "free spirit" - she said she came right in the class and took her shoes off and got comfortable. She also mentioned how different she is than Noah - Noah and Mrs. Moore had a special bond last year and I don't think he can be replaced by his "free spirited" sister!

Noah was more than excited to be in the same class with James and Mrs. Vigneulle is a GREAT teacher - I think she will be perfect for Noah and he will learn a lot under her care! She said Noah was great today and a good helper!

So, all in all, they had a GREAT day and the kids even cried when I picked them up 1 hour early so they wouldn't have to nap!! I was trying to be nice but...Actually I wanted to be the one they napped with!

The day has ended with us all home - EVEN JASON! We were all so glad to see him! And more than that I'm so glad I don't have to drop them off until NEXT YEAR! I love that Jason does that everyday - so now I can experience the true joy I feel now that they are in school!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Can't Keep a Secret


How many of these things do I have to take before I can believe ONE of them?!? Well, the results are in and I'M PREGNANT! So excited! VERY NERVOUS! We don't quite understand God's timing but we will take the "blessing"! The more I think about timing the more I realize - there is NO GOOD TIME! You just gotta go with it! If you know me - you know I can't keep something like this (or good Christmas presents) a secret! So, I'm VERY EARLY PREGNANT - 4 weeks! But pregnant non-the-least!


Funny how it all worked out! Yesterday I looked up when I should start my period - I do that occasionally when I feel like it's coming on...and it said I should have started yesterday. I held off buying a test because come on one day...well, in the mail yesterday we got a box of Emfamil - as an advertisement! I laughed to myself and thought - wouldn't that be funny! But then, I never started (and I can't stand not knowing) so that night I went to the store and bought a "Equate" test - the results didn't come up fast - I did see a negative though so I chunked it and I hate to say it was a tad relieved (only b/c of timing - June would have been GREAT). This morning still no period so I don't know what possessed me to get the thing out of the trash but I did and it was a BIG POSITIVE! So, I took another but again the results weren't fast so I stuck it in the toilet to get it more wet (disgusting I know) but I also thought - this will dilute it and it will say no and I can make it through the day without being so nervous! BUT, it said POSITIVE!! So tonight I bought a good ole EPT! Immediately positive and just to be sure I took the last "Equate" test and they all came back POSITIVE! So, I think it's pretty safe to say - We're HAVING A BABY!


(why this came in the mail I have NO IDEA - my kids are 5 and 3)

Noah is so excited and can't believe it because he said "Mom, you're not even fat!" Love that boy! But the questions are starting to come - like "how does it come out!" AAAAHHHH!! Didn't have to answer those questions when pregnant with Anna! Any clever answers? Jason is away at retreat but he is SO excited and was telling everyone he pasted - Baby #3 on the way! I could hear cheers in the background! It was funny, I did cry to him because of all the changes in our life - I felt irresponsible - but he quickly reassured me the Lord was in control, children are a blessing from the Lord, and that he (Jason) couldn't be more thrilled! I wish he could have been here (although he probably would have told me to quit taking so many tests)!


So, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that I'm not going to get sick! With Noah I was horrible sick, Anna, a little better, so pray this is not at all! I must work the next couple of months while we raise support! The Lord is faithful and I know He will work it out - He's done it twice before!


So YAY, YAY, YAY!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Something New...

Calling all cooks! I'm in desperate need of new recipes - quick and easy and OBVIOUSLY TASTY! Not desserts main meals. I had this idea if I got a group of women together to give their favorite recipe - the one you make when you don't know what to make - or the one you have at least once a week or every two weeks - then this busy life I'm embarking on will just be a little bit easier! I want THE EASY ONE! So for Amy, who I just took her whole cookbook and raided her recipe box you will have to post your favorite not for me but for the others reading the blog! I just got a new recipe from the NORTH! The lady we stayed with in PA made us the following when we stayed with her. I've made it now twice - it's different and good! Jason loves it! So here is my ONE recipe!

Zucchini and Sausage Casserole

Ingredients

2-3 medium zucchini

1lb. of sausage

1/2 cup of green pepper

1/2 cup of onion

1 cup of crackers

1 cup cubed cheese

2 slightly beaten eggs

Cut 2-3 medium zucchini and parboil.
Brown 1lb. of sausage with 1/2 cup of green pepper and 1/2 cup of diced onion. Drain off fat. Put into casserole dish with zucchini and add 1 cup of cracker crumbs, 1 cup of cubed cheese, and 2 slightly beaten eggs. Bake at 350 for 30-45 mins.

I hope you participate...we can all benefit!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Family and Ministry Updates...

So the BEST news I have to share is concerning Anna! I couldn't be more excited for her. Our plan this year was me work full time (at least 30 hours a week) and Anna was going to go with me! She does really good up at the office but I hate it for her and we both are miserable up there. She has to play by herself and I cannot give her the attention she needs. SO, anyway, yesterday Noah wanted to go up to Shades Mountain to see Mrs. Moore - so I took him and we were talking about my "new position" (details in the next paragraph) and Mrs. Moore said: "I'm going to ask Mr. Crump if Anna can go ahead and start K4 and be in my class." She left right then. I told her to let me know - I'd be in Jason's room! I personally did NOT want to have a meeting with Mr. Crump or push the issue, or break any rules. Mrs. Moore came back and said he was at a meeting but there is a possibility! WELL, Jason brought home her application yesterday and she is in Mrs. Moore's class this year! I SCREAMED in the car when Jason said, "Oh, by the way, Anna's in!!" So, so far, Anna (if she can keep up) will NOT have to go to ARC with me this year! I couldn't be more happy for her! She has been saying she wanted to go to school with Noah and Daddy, and we are up there all the time, she is very comfortable with the idea! I'm pretty sure she will get in trouble more than Noah did but I'm hoping she will surprise us! I think she will thrive in this structured environment! It's amazing how the Lord has worked this out at a time when I needed to work! Noah is so excited, he said, "Anna, you get to play Star Wars with me and James on the playground!" I'm sure she is thrilled about that. She already knows a little boy in her class too - Constantine (in the picture) - he was in Noah's class last year and really took up with Anna when we came to visit! I'm ecstatic - can't quit talking about it!!

So what's my new position? I've officially been asked to be the Kindergarten Music Teacher. I am confident the Lord has given me this opportunity and He has prepared me for this job by working with Beth at CBS and my years of directing VBS! How did this come about you may ask? Well, James here and Noah have become BEST FRIENDS! James mom was the music teacher last year and she noticed them becoming close. I finally met her at a thanksgiving lunch they had at the school and she knew my sister from years past. So we immediately clicked! We were talking one day and I told her that the Kindergarten Music position would be a "stay at home mom dream job!" She said well, I love it but I'm gonna have to give up something - if you are really interested let me know! I told her I was but assumed the position would not open for at least another year! She is very involved at the school and the church and had too much on her plate (her words). She recommended me to Mr. Crump for the job and WAALAA - Kindergarten - here I come! Ever since my sister worked there I wanted to somehow be involved in the school when my kids were old enough to go! I have NO teaching degree so I knew it wouldn't be teaching an actual class - not sure I was up to that even at a K4 level. But I really thought that my foot in the door was Jason teaching HS or somewhere down the line doing some sort of clerical work there. BUT GOD, who knows all our steps has led me to this place a place that suits me! I couldn't be more excited than to step right in and thank Him for the way HE worked out all the details! So now all four Dollars are at SMCS - maybe we'll take over! HA!!

This is so long I know but I haven't even told you about our church and what Jason has been up to! Hang in there - this will probably be short!

Jason has officially started school - I can't believe it's that time again! We are of course excited especially considering all I just explained. We did tell our church a couple of weeks ago that we would be pursuing this new ministry and they took it well. They are so sweet! Tears still fill my eyes when I think about what Pat Lacey said, "That's great Jason, you will be great at that - GO MAKE US PROUD!" With a lump in her throat she voiced what others agreed with. I'm so proud of Jason, he has done a GREAT job leading that church and those people have become FAMILY in every sense of the word! I just can't imagine not worshipping with them. It's bitter sweet for sure! Going where God is leading is ALWAYS exciting and adventurous but leaving behind the comfort and stability of today is hard!

We went to Liberty Baptist Church in Chelsea Wednesday night and we are possibly scheduled for next week too! The kids there were so responsive - it was a miniUCF. Some parents came up to me and told me Jason did a great job and I thought he did great myself. One parent who homeschools was interested in getting Jason to teach her son apologetics (upon his request). So that was exciting! Pray with us that the Lord continues to open doors to speak and provides support for this ministry. Thank you so much for all those who have provided financially to us already! May the Lord multiply your gifts. For more specific updates about Jason go to http://www.thisbread.blogspot.com/

Thanks for staying with the blog! Maybe I won't wait so long next time to blog...

Home Improvements

First of all, I've been wanting to show you my Bathroom, Bedroom, and Hallway - but haven't found the time! So, when we were in PA our friend Ronnie finished our bathroom (which has been in shambles for over 3 years now), painted my bedroom and did work on the hallway!
Before:


After:

This alone would have made me so happy! To finally have a "nice" bathroom again! YAY! I could sing the Hallelujah chorus! But the added bonus was my room was changed from Yellow (a color I thought I liked - but wore out) to a white with a very small tint of beige and my Hallway looks GREAT! It no longer has the traces of crayon! These are the beginning of our "home repairs" - we will probably put our house on the market soon! PRAY IT SELLS! I'm asking people to pray it sells before we even have it on the market! We have a crack in our foundation and NO MONEY to repair it! This selling of the house will be a miracle from God. Hopefully we will be able to testify of how HE worked out all the details! AMY, Jason and I are going to have a work day in the basement in the two weeks! All my plastic bags have to go - I threw one away yesterday! YAY ME! We aren't in a huge rush to move - I understand the process is long but we are moving in that direction. So here are the other pictures:

Bedroom Before


Bedroom After


Hallway Before


Hallway After


So there you have it! The only thing I have left is the Kitchen...that will probably get done in about 3 years if I had to guess....HA!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Calling all Prayer Warriors!!


I found this verse today to give to a friend but found it meeting my need just as well!

Eph. 3:19-21 (The Message)
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations!

So, tonight we will tell our small group at Church that we are on a "new journey." Mixed emotions fill my heart and mind. These people are all so precious to me! We've been through sadness and joy together. It's just "home" there! Comfy, peaceful, smooth sailing - home! I by no means was ready to go - if you've kept up with me you know the Lord has allowed me to find contentment there! Which seemed unlikely when we first joined the church!

If not for the church I would have never met Sally - who has been a GREAT friend, I actually hate calling her just a friend. She is so much more! And with Sally comes Ronnie and Wayne who give unconditional love. Without the church, I would have never had the privilege meeting Caroline Jolly who was me - about 40 years older. JC and Mary Kate who taught me there is joy in giving! All the members loved on our children and called us all "their own"! Without the church there is another group of women I'm sure I would have NEVER met! CBS girls - this is YOU! You girls have stood in the gap - prayed amazing prayers that got amazing answers! You loved with the love of Christ and I was able to experience for the first time a "true fellowship" among believers! Thank you God for your love that binds us all together! So, Beth, Shalita, Laine, Lori, Janice, Laurie, Paula, Robin, Ronda, Becky, Wendy, Melinda and all the other ladies I covet your prayers again!

So, I'm on the journey - A knot in my stomach. Praying I come through with as much grace as Amy (when following our bungee jumping husbands!)! By the way, Jason tends to take his lead from Keith!

Here are some specific requests:
1. The obvious - financial support (this scares me the most)
2. Teaching opportunities
3. Clarity in speaking
4. The teens hearts - that seeds will be planted and fruit produced!

So I ask that you get down on your knees before the Father and pray for us and with us that HIS strength will be manifested! That we will experience the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love - the breadth, length, depth, and height! May he work in us! And may we TRUST in the fact that God can do FAR MORE than we imagine!

Join with us in this journey!