Thursday, September 30, 2010

Space: The Final Frontier

Last weekend was Family Day at Kennedy Space Center.  As a Booster Brat, I have grown up going to these, but this one was somehow different.  It was different because this was the last time we'd be out there while the Space Shuttle is in flight.  I don't really remember life before the Space Shuttle.  When it first flew, I was quite small and growing up around it, I have always taken it for granted. 

Prince and Princess met Astronaut Chris Ferguson.  He was so great to talk to.
 Prince wants to be an astronaut when he grows up.  He enjoyed interviewing Mr. Ferguson about what it is like to go into space. 
 Here we are in front of the VAB. (Vehicle Assembly Building)  My Grandaddy worked in this building many years ago.  Whenever I walk through those doors, I am in awe of how huge this building is!  I also get sentimental thinking of the generations that have worked side by side through the years on the different launch vehicles. 
 This is me, my Mema, Prince, my Mom, and Princess in NASA's Headquarters Building. 

 Princess pretends to be the Public Affairs Officer in the Firing Room.  What she really wanted to be was the Launch Director and push the button to launch the shuttle! 
 Princess and Prince explore parts from the wheels of the Space Shuttle. 
Thousands of families have spent their lives involved in the space program.  Generations of engineers, technicians, support personnel have worked together as a giant family and taken great pride in being on the cutting edge of new scientific discoveries.  My family has been a part of this important work.  Grandfathers on both sides, parents, aunts and uncles, brother-in-law...and it's coming to an end soon.  We are all grieving the end of manned space flight with no other plan on the horizon.  Tomorrow about a thousand people will be laid off from their jobs.  Thankfully, my family members are able to keep their jobs, but there are many families who won't be so lucky.  Please pray as our community goes through a huge and traumatic transition.  We don't know what the future holds for our area, but we are hopeful that our government will realize the value of manned space flight and perhaps Prince really will be able to become an astronaut when he grows up.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Sauer Kraut

Last night I had to make a quick trip to the store for milk.  I am such a bad mommy.  Somehow I let us run out of milk and juice!  Sure, we had juice boxes for lunch, and we had grapefruit juice, but my kids aren't big fans of grapefruit juice.  These days I only go one place to buy milk, and that is Aldi.  It's at least a dollar cheaper a gallon and there aren't any artificial growth hormones in it so that's a plus!  Anyway, as I walked into the store, I was surrounded by packages of German food (I'm guessing Oktoberfest?) when a jar of sauer kraut caught my eye.  To tell you the truth, I'm not overly fond of the stuff but I found myself picking up a jar of it and putting it in my cart.  That jar of sauer kraut took me down memory lane.  It wasn't just a jar of pickeled cabbage, it reminded me of times spent with my Pop-pop and how much I miss him.  Pop-pop was my dad's step-dad and he was the only grandfather I ever knew on that side of the family.  He never had children of his own, but he always treated us as if we were his and it wasn't until I was older that I ever knew the difference.  My Pop-pop loved to go to Oktoberfest and at least once I can remember him taking us with them.  He loved polka music, which I wasn't really exposed to except for his influence.  He also had a sign in his home office that I loved.  It said, "A grouchy German is a Sauer Kraut."  I thought of him as I bought that jar of sauer kraut.  Some night soon I will eat it for dinner and remember.  For now, it is sitting on my counter so I can look at it and think of him.  Before he died, I went to the nursing home to visit and he said something I never expected.  He said, "you have been a good grandaughter to me, but you have also been a great friend."  Pop-pop was never really a touchy feely kind of person so those words were precious and they will stay with me forever.  Isn't it funny how such a mundane task as buying milk can turn into something so special?

This is Pop-pop and Nanny holding my sister.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We've Got Spirit

This week is Spirit Week at Princess and Prince's school. This means they don't have to wear uniforms this week. Prince is pretty go with the flow as far as what he wears, although he doesn't particularly like to go all wild and crazy. Princess, on the other hand, is very particular about what she wears. Monday was Tacky Day. As I woke Princess up I said, "Let's find something tacky for you to wear," to which Princess responded, "Mommy, I don't own anything tacky!" How did I end up with such a little diva?!
Tuesday was "Camo Day." We didn't have any camo so last week I went to Wal-Mart and found camo shirts so they could participate. Tuesday morning, Prince got up and put on his clothes with no problem. Princess, however, saw the shirts and began to cry. This was followed by 20 minutes of: these clothes are ugly, I don't want to wear them. I could identify with how Princess feels, as I don't really like to dress silly either. The conversation that ensued was about how she didn't have to wear it, but if she didn't participate every day this week she wouldn't get a "NUT" coupon (no uniform today) for Friday.  I explained that this is just the beginning of having to jump through hoops to get what you want in life.  She finally decided to wear the camo shirt but was quite explicit that as soon as she got home she would take it right off. 

Yesterday was red, white, and blue day and it was also "See you at the pole" day.  The entire school met in the gym yesterday morning and it was such an uplifting time.  I was quite impressed that the middle school students led the assembly.  The children were divided into grade levels and older students were assigned to help facilitate prayer with the younger students.  It was amazing to see all of these children in guided corporate prayer.  These children are our future and I am so glad to see the Christian leadership at such a young age.  They were praying for each other, praying for their school, their principal and his leadership, praying for our country and president.  I was blessed to be able to stay and be a part of this special time.  (I had a homeroom mom meeting afterwards).

Well, we made it through Green and Gold day today and both children were awarded NUT coupons for tomorrow.  They are excited that they can choose what they want to wear to school tomorrow.  All in all, I'd say it's been a pretty good week!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Big God, Big Blessings

We serve a  big God.  There are so many reminders each day of how amazing He is, if only we will take them in.  I want to share a few of the reminders I have noticed in the last few days.
God made this beautiful beach.  The waves are so powerful and big yet...

He also made these delicate shells and He knows how many grains of sand are on this beach.

God made Prince's feet that are growing bigger by the day.  They started out as tiny little baby feet and look at them now!  These feet carry Jesus with him wherever he goes. 

God gave me not one, but TWO miracle children to love and to teach them about God's love for all of us.  I still can't fully understand God's love for us, but having children has brought me closer to that idea of unconditional love.

Speaking of unconditional love, God has given me a soul mate to share this life with me.  He's my partner in crime and my partner in life.  I know how much he loves me because every year on Black Friday he braves the stores and the maddening crowds "just for the fun of it" with me.  This relationship is truly a gift from God, He ordained it years ago and He knew even before I did, who my sweet Hubby would be.

My sweet sister.  God gave me this sister to grow up and old with.  We are forever connected with a bond that has so connected our hearts and lives, we often know when one is hurting, even though we aren't together.  We've always been that way.  The truth of the matter is that at times we drive each other totally insane, mostly because we have such different personalities.  But there is no relationship like that of a sister.  You can be at odds one minute, but then if you need her, she's right there cheering you on.  My sister is one of the most loyal and giving people I know.  I'm so glad God gave me a sister.  Look at Sweet Cheeks, sitting on her lap.  How can you not know that God made those precious, kissable cheeks?!

Last night we went to the final roll out of Space Shuttle Discovery.  It was awesome.  Yes, I am quite aware that this machine was made by man, but I can't help but be awestruck when I think that it takes man into space to see the amazingly intricate universe God created. 

It is so tempting to get caught up in the hectic, busy day and not pay attention to my surroundings.  To really look, and appreciate those people and things that God has placed in my life because He loves me.  But when I look around and see it, really notice the people and things He has done for me, I am amazed.  I am amazed that He can love me so much.  Amazed at all He created.  Amazed and so in love with Him! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Super Saturday

Yesterday we spent a beautiful day at the beach.  We are such spontaneous people, we didn't even plan this ahead of time.  That's about as spontaneous as we get, as Hubby and I usually plan our weekends out to the nth degree, making the most of each minute.  We're working toward being more spontaneous mostly because we are just tired.  Tired of running here and there and it takes a lot of work to plan it all out.  OK so looking at our calendar maybe we can try for one unplanned weekend a month because we've pretty much got the next several weekends planned out.  Baby steps people, baby steps!

On the way out to the beach, I ran in Publix to get some food to take with us.  When I returned to the car I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Hubby had selected some nice Michael W. Smith praise music from my i-pod.  I said, "Hubby, Michael W. Smith?  Wow!"  He says, "Well, I WAS playing a song from the Pretty Woman soundtrack until your son said, 'Dad, would this song glorify Jesus?  I don't think it's a Jesus song.  I think we need to listen to music that would praise Jesus.'"  So Hubby had to pick something that would glorify Jesus.  I love my kids!  They're going to have their daddy listening to praise and worship music yet. 

The beach was gorgeous and relaxing.  After coming home to shower, we went on a scavenger hunt for fried oysters.  Hubby was craving them and we drove about 20 minutes to a restaurant in another town only to find a big sign on the door that said they were out of oysters.  So we drove back to town to try a new restaurant by the pier that was really good.  I guess we should have started there to begin with.  We had a great dinner out and came home for Family Game Night.  All in all, we had a fantastic day and really enjoyed each other's company.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Does this cat disturb anyone else?  My kids keep commenting on how cute it is, but I'm finding it a little bizarre.  So I'm posting it anyway.
Thank you, God for Fridays ~ especially that today is Friday because I just couldn't do one more day this week.  I am exhausted!  I think this is due in large part to the fact that I have had a cold this week and I am finally starting to feel better, but I am sooooo tired.  It's been a long week, but a good week.  These are some of the events that took place in my exciting life this week:
1. IMAX 3-D movie about the Hubble Telescope ~ Amazing!
2.  Volunteering at the twins' school
3.  Girlfriend time with my bestie. We had a great night out including dinner and shopping at Marshalls and Target, my two favorite stores!
4.  Hubby and I started attending a new Bible study at our church.
5.  Lots of laundry ~ have I mentioned that I loathe laundry?
6.  Hubby and I have begun watching Boston Legal on DVD.  The verdict is still out on that one.
7.  This morning I took the kids to Dunkin' Donuts, you know, because I really value nutrition and want to be mom of the year.  I promise I've never done this on a school day before ~ it was a special treat.  I was not going to get a donut, since I'm trying to watch my waistline and all.  I really was not going to get a donut. Then, there it was: calling to me on the sign...a pumpkin donut.  I've never seen this before and it was really calling my name.  Those darn advertising people.  They know how to get to you.  Let's just say that I have a new favorite donut and I really am glad the donut store in not really on my way to anywhere in particular.  Otherwise I'd be watching my waistline grow this fall. 
8.  Both kids were on green light all week!  This is easier for one than it is for the other.  I'll let you guess which is which.  Anyway, we went to the Dollar Tree as promised and bought dinosaurs that grow when you put them in water.  Fun times.
9.  Hubby is bringing home pizza.  I'm so glad I don't have to cook tonight.  Also glad we are eating on paper plates.  I'll even do the dishes tonight ~ ha!
10.  Family Fun Night ~ this means dinner and watching a family movie together.  Thank goodness it's low impact for I am fading fast. 
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

He is the Potter, We are the Clay

Princess came home from school the other day with a necklace she made in art class.  They made clay beads a week or so ago and the beads finally dried so they made necklaces out of the beads.  Princess then begins to tell me, "Mom, did you know that God is the potter and we are the clay?  You see Mom, God made us so He's the potter, and we are the clay.  'Cause He made us and He shapes us into the people we are."  All I could think was, "Wow!  I love that my children are in a Christian school." 
I tried to see how far the comparison would go with her and I asked her if she thought being shaped by God could be painful sometimes, but her response was, "No, He doesn't beat us down like I beat this clay on the table."  OK, so she's not quite ready to see the comparison of life's hardships shaping us, (thank goodness!)but it got ME to thinking.  It does hurt when God is shaping us, molding our character in His image.  Sometimes we do feel as if we are taking a beating, not in a literal sense, but wrestling our will against His will for us.  After this conversation with the Princess, I have been singing, "Have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way, Thou art the Potter, I am the clay. Make me and mold me after thy will. While I am waiting, yielded and still." The thing is, if I sing it and say it, I have to truly mean it and be open to His will.

I don't know about you, but I can be quite strong-willed.  I want things my way because I think I know how it will all turn out so much better.  Sometimes I really blow it and try to force my own way.  Those are the times when it is most painful for God to bring me back into His will, His hands-on approach can really hurt.  If only I could swallow my pride and give in, I think I'd be a lot better off.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


As the mother of twins, I laughed out loud when I received this email from a friend this week.  I needed another laugh today as I begin my day, so I thought I'd share this with you.  I think the Queen of Brussels Sprouts will especially appreciate this one!

So, this is how they do of life's great mysteries solved.

I wish I'd have thought of that.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Birthdays and Getting Perspective

Last week I had a birthday.  I turned 35.  Yes, that is 3-5, thirty-five.  35 seems old and it has hit me hard.  I've been pretty weepy the last several weeks building up to this birthday.  It just feels like...Wow...35 and I haven't done a whole lot with my life.  Hubby started naming off the laundry list of what I've done and how I should be so thankful for all of those things.  You know, the've got two beautiful children you are raising, you are the director of a prechool and keep it going, you've lived through a lot of illness and we're blessed you're with us.  What a good Hubby he is, being so supportive while his wife gets all emotional and irrational.  He's right and all of the things he says are true, but in my mind, I guess I thought I would have done something more by now.  I started to think about how in all actuality, my life is probably about half over and I haven't done enough.  There are so many things I want to do with my life.  Grand and wonderful things.  I haven't really even started on my book and I thought I'd be almost done by now.  I haven't gotten my Master's degree yet and I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.  I would have thought I'd at least have figured that out by now.  So I've been moping around thinking that I'd better start crossing things off my bucket list because it's getting longer and longer and I'm not getting any younger. 
Well, God has given me a bit of perspective.  You know, the kind that slaps you right in the face and you realize that maybe your priorities are a bit screwed up.  Since this big birthday, I have begun to think of the many things I do have to be thankful for.  For starters, I have faced death not once, but twice and God has said that it wasn't my time.  He has given me this day, the only day I'm promised, the here and now.  It's what I do with it that counts.  I also have some amazing people in my life that have given words of encouragement.  As I have talked to friends about my struggle with getting older, God has given me some words.  The message has been delivered in many different ways but I leave the conversations with the same thought: Bloom Where You're Planted.  I have come to realize that God doesn't expect every day to be some dramatic experience.  It's the little things I do each day that make up my life's story.  Raising Godly children, taking care of my family, nurturing other children through the preschool, being a good listener when people need to talk and offering encouragement.  These are all things I can do to further God's kingdom and they are what's important.
So with a renewed perspective and a thankful heart, I choose to live in the now, to be thankful for my family and for where God has placed me in this moment.  I will be working toward crossing things off of my bucket list and being thankful for life's interruptions which are opportunities for ministry.  I'm going to start on my book and see where God leads.  The first 35 years have gone by pretty quickly, so I'd better make the most of the next 35 +.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sweet Moments with the Prince

This morning I received a call from Prince's school saying that he was in the office throwing up and I needed to come and get him.  So I left work to pick him up and entered the office expecting to see a pitiful little boy that needed to go home.  He wasn't exactly pitiful, but I could tell he didn't have a lot of bounce in his step.  I brought him home for a little TLC and attention from Mommy.  After we were home for about 20 minutes he began running up and down the hall and making laps around the house with his toys.  Since he was better, I took him to work with me and let him hang out in my office.  I didn't want his sick day to be too fun at home, because I don't want him getting any ideas about faking sick in kindergarten.  He has plenty of time for that.   Plus, I had some work I needed to do.  After he had entertained himself for a bit, he crawled up in my lap and gave me some lovin's.  The following precious conversation took place:
Prince: Mommy, I want a baby.
Me: You're too young to have a baby.  Where will this baby come from?
Prince: I know, but when I grow up I'm gonna find me a sweet, pretty thang to marry and she'll have a baby.
Me: Oh.
Prince: But do you know who my sweetest, prettiest thang is?
Me: No, who?
Prince: It's you, Mommy.
And with that, he could have whatever he wanted for the rest of the day, or for the rest of his life for that matter.  Moments like that melt my heart.

Poor Princess had to stick it out at school today.  I hope she had a good day.  Perhaps some Mommy time for her will be in order when she gets home.  Heck, maybe even a Sonic slushee run during happy hour.  Holla!