Friday, November 09, 2007

Not a Princess!

This past week, the boys have been extremely tired and seem to whine at the least little thing. Since I teach on Thursday nights, I knew that yesterday evening was going to be a bit trying for Brian, especially since it was the end of the school week. So, on the way home from school, the boys and I stopped and rented a couple of movies for the afternoon and evening in hopes that everyone would kick back and relax a little bit.

On the way home, David asked me what my favorite movie is. I pondered for a little bit and said I liked Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. Then the favorite one hit me: Anastasia! David did not know about Anastasia, so I started to fill him in about Russia and my love for that country after my trip there. I also tried to explain how the name Stacey comes from Anastasia. Well, he didn't really get that. So, I said, "David, it is about a girl that doesn't know she is a princess, but she really is. Just think, maybe I am really a princess and just don't know it. Wouldn't that be great?! Do you think I could really be a princess?"

I looked at him in the rear-view mirror, and he had a very serious expression on his face. He started shaking his head and said, "Mom, you are definitely NOT a real princess!"

Gee thanks son! :)

I also told you I would fill you in on the fruit tray story. The day that Brian left for the conference, he called and told me that he forgot to pass on a message that someone had called about the shower. So, I called the person organizing the shower and explained that I could still bring something but that Nathan was sick and Brian was out of town which would keep my from being able to actually be at the shower. She said that was fine and asked me to bring a fruit tray with apples and kiwi. We usually have apples, because Nathan really likes them, but I generally do not have kiwi in my fridge. (Okay, I pretty much NEVER have kiwi at my house.) Ironically though, this time I actually had kiwi in my fridge, which definitely was going to make my life much easier.

Unfortunately, I soon realized that I only had 3 kiwi, so I knew I would have to get more. As the weekend progressed, Nathan started acting like he was feeling much better and quit running a fever. On Sunday, I actually thought we would be able to go to church....until he threw up that is. This left me trying to figure out exactly how I was going to make this fruit tray because I did not want to take a chance of him throwing up in multiple aisles of the grocery store but I knew I really needed more kiwi. So, I decided to improvise.

At this point in the story, my husband is just shaking his head because I have a tendency to improvise in the kitchen on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes it turns out great, and other times it turns out...well, we just won't go there.

So, I cut up my apples into slices, soaked them in lemon juice so they would not turn brown, and then put them on my tray. Then I cut up my three, little kiwi, and they just looked kind of sad on the tray. I still had a huge gap that I needed to fill. So, I found a jar of cut pineapple in my fridge, and added that to the tray. My fruit tray still looked kind of sad, so I decided that I needed to make a fruit dip. The only problem is that I didn't have all the ingredients for any of the recipes I could find online.

That only left me with one choice; I had to make up my own recipe. So I got out some cream cheese, added some powdered sugar, a tiny bit of brown sugar, some real butter, a tad of vanilla and a couple big globs of cool-whip. I didn't measure a single ingredient. It might sound a bit scary, but it was pretty good. I will admit that it was a take-off of a Chocolate Chip Cheesecake ball recipe that I have and really like, but I did add to it and take away from it (partly because I was stuck only using the ingredients I had on hand and partly because I needed it to be a bit different consistency for the fruit).

I know that it would have been much easier to just go to the store and take the chance that Nathan would not throw up. However, it is in those moments of improvising that I have come up with some of our favorite recipes. Granted, I can't always make them the same because I don't measure stuff like I should, but the concept of a great recipe is there.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Raising Leaders

So this past weekend, Brian was out of town at a Youth Minister's conference. We have a little joke that every time Brian leaves town, things fall apart at our house. In the past, I have had extremely sick kids, arms out of socket (David's...not mine), the washing machine has overflowed and flooded my kitchen, lizards, mice and other varmints have invaded the house, etc. You name it, and it has probably either happened or come close to it. So, when Nathan got sick the day before Brian left, I was thinking, "Oh great! Here we go again!"

Thankfully Nathan was not extremely sick, but he was sick enough to stay home from school on Friday and cause us to stay home from church on Sunday. I was supposed to be helping with a baby shower on Sunday, so I did have to load the boys up in the van and head to the church building to drop off my fruit tray (which is another funny story that I will save for tomorrow).

When we got to the building, I had someone watch the kids in the car and ran my fruit tray in real quick, and then we headed home. (And yes, for the worriers, I did not leave the keys in the car even with Nathan feeling bad. I did not want to tempt him even in his sickened state!)

On the way home, we were talking about how sad we all were that we didn't get to go to church and how much we missed being able to worship and go to Bible class. David then said, "You know, I heard that some people go to Home Church." I started to tell him that some people did do that, but he interrupted and said, "Wait, I am wrong. I think they may go to a Home School." I kind of chuckled to myself and then said, "David, we can have church at home since we missed it. That is a great idea."

So we got home, and the boys began setting things up for church. I overheard David tell Nathan, "Now Nathan, we are boys so that means we must be leaders during church." And let me tell you, they did a great job.

Our church service started out with Nathan leading a few songs. David failed to mention to sing church songs, so he started off singing the cowboy song from his grandparent's day program, but we convinced him to sing some more appropriate songs for our church service. So, here was our "Order of Worship".

Song - Jesus loves me without the me's led by Nathan. (This is a big thing here and I can't figure out what the deal is with it)

Song - Jesus loves me with the me's led by Nathan.

Song - Blue skies and rainbows led by Nathan.

Prayer - by Nathan (but preceded by the Read your Bible and Pray everyday song that Nathan must sing to start EVERY prayer)

Song - Jesus loves the little children by David

Song - Deep down in my heart by David

Prayer - by David

Passing of the collection plate. I was given a play $100,000 bill and asked to place it in Nathan's yellow construction hat. Then it was taken out and I was asked to do it all over again about 4 or 5 more times.

Song - March in the Infantry song led by Nathan

Prayer - by Nathan (once again preceded by the Read Your Bible and Pray Everyday song)

Sermon - Daniel and the Lion's den by David

Communion - led by both David and Nathan

Communion was by far one of the best moments I have ever had. David prayed for the bread and thanked God for it and that it stood for Jesus' body, that his body had been beaten and hurt by the people and that He did that for all of us. Nathan prayed for the grape juice and said, "Thank you that Jesus didn't really die for good God." I was absolutely moved beyond what I can even describe in words and so touched by the precious hearts of my 6 and 4 year old sons.

Then church was over. At one point, David did say that we needed two songs and a prayer to end church, but after communion, they were ready to be done.

I will be honest with you. There are days that I shake my head and wonder if I have totally messed up as a parent. However, on Sunday, I caught a glimpse into these two little boys that made me think that Brian and I haven't totally messed them up and that there is still hope for them to turn out pretty decent!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Superstar David

David was the superstar in his kindergarten class for F week. All week the attention was on him, which if you know David very well, you will know that he LOVED it! On Tuesday, our whole family got to be in his class while he shared his F circle that had all sorts of pictures and things that start with the letter F on it. (I have a video that I will try to add later.) He dressed up as his Favorite Football player, Luke Tribble. On his circle above their picture together he wrote Favorite Friends. (Luke Tribble, you are an awesome hero to our little guy!)

David got to introduce his family, and then I read his favorite book Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom. The boys and I have a special way that we read this, so we got to share that with the class and it was pretty neat.
All in all, David had a great week and was a very super superstar!

Happy Halloween from our Star Wars Guys!

For some reason Nathan felt the need to raise up his arm in almost every picture.

David thought up this pose and I think it is my very favorite!

Can you tell he loves being Darth Vader?

And we can't forget Jenga Fett!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's Been a Long Time

Wow, I knew it had been awhile since I had blogged, but I didn't realize exactly how long it was since the last post. Honestly, during the whole time, things would happen and I would think to myself that I needed to blog about it, but I think I was suffering from blog burnout...or maybe I just needed a break. I think that sometimes I think this blog is supposed to be about funny little stories and entertaining the friends and family, and while I have enjoyed a lot of sweet things the boys have done, there are a lot of things running so much deeper in my heart right now. For some reason, I haven't felt like I can write what is deep in my heart. After all, most people who read this are wanting to hear stories about the boys, right?

Well, I do want to share the neat things that the boys are up to and how much they are learning about life, but I also want to share my journey journey of becoming a better mom, wife, person and most of all, a better Christian. So, here goes....

Lately, life has been a mixture of really good things and some trials that have really made me grow a lot. I have had many realizations about myself, and I must admit, not all of them have been good ones. I have realized that few people truly know me, and that I tend to not let people get to see the real me. Instead, I show them what I think they need to see, and my husband's profession probably doesn't help with that. Don't get me wrong; I love that Brian is a Youth Minister, but that makes me want to be a good Youth Minister's wife who is everything to everyone. In the past six years, I have learned that is impossible, but for some crazy reason, I keep trying, and that can make life very stressful at times.

I have also realized that I do not have a real big circle of friends. Well, I do have "friends", but I don't have a lot of FRIENDS. Does that make sense? You know, those kind of people who you can totally be yourself with and who won't make fun of you when you are gone or tell someone else that they think you have lost your mind. For the good friends that I do have, I am so thankful because they have liked me in spite of myself. For the others that have tried, I am really sorry to have missed out because I was either so caught up in other things in my life or I was trying once again to be all things to all people that I never just showed them me.

However, what grieves me the most is that in an effort to be what I thought others wanted me to be and to be involved and (if I am honest to myself) way over-committed to "stuff", I sort of lost my way and became very little for God. Now please understand that through that, I truly loved God and wanted to be so much for Him, but I just couldn't seem to see how I was supposed to do that.

What is neat though is that in the past few months, I have started to really SEE God. I have seen Him work through prayer. I have seen Him work through others, and I have even seen Him work through me. And you know what, I love it! I love spending time in prayer with Him. I will admit that I was not always the best at praying in the past, but now, I have found it to be such a refuge for my worries and the things that burden my hearts. It makes me sad for what I missed out on before, but I am so thankful for the gift He gave us through prayer. It has helped me deal with some yucky health issues I have been having. It has helped me not stress so much as a mom. It has drawn me closer to the God that I really do adore, but most of all, it has sort of brought me back to life in a sense.

There have been so many things that I have been doing half-way for awhile now, and while it takes time to correct those, I have started the process of being anything and everything for God. I wish I could snap my fingers and make it all happen now, but it takes time. So, I am patiently (well...okay...not so patiently) plugging along and praying that I correctly prioritize the things and areas I need to improve.

So, that is what lies deep in my heart right now, but two special little boys and a very special man are not too far behind. So, let me share some neat things about them too and get you all caught up on us!