Sunday, April 29, 2012

Budding Photographer

For our time together this week, Little Mama wanted to work on her photography.  So, we dressed EG up in different outfits, and found different spots around the yard to take pictures.

I think they turned out pretty darn good . . . 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beautiful Weather

The beginning of the week had unseasonably cool weather.  Hubby was grilling BBQ chicken so one of the kids had the idea to eat outside.  Our makeshift table and chairs. . .

Friday, April 27, 2012

BFF Club

I am so very proud of my girls and their awesome friends.  Some weeks ago, they created the BFF Club.  The BFF Club makes baked goods and sells them.  Half of the proceeds go to Samaritan's Purse, an organization that provides supplies such as mosquito nets and baby chicks along with the Gospel to third world countries.  They have great plans for the other half.  Things like doing lunch and trips to NYC!

Anyway, their first BFF Bake Sale was last Saturday during our annual neighborhood garage sale.  The club includes my two older girls and four of their best friends.  Each girl was to bake one thing to sell.  My girls were responsible for their own bake goods.  And they wanted to make most of it from scratch.  I took them to Walmart so they could buy the supplies that we didn't already have.  And they made Key Lime cupcakes and Cookie Pops.  All by themselves.  (I did end up having to make the frosting because we had a house full of girls.)

At the last minute I decided to have all the girls sleep over so they could be ready to go first thing in the morning.  By 8 o'clock they had their table set up at the entrance to our cul-de-sac complete with a pink table cloth!  All I did, all morning, was kind of hang back and let them do their thing.  Occasionally they would ask me for help or to get them something and I was happy to oblige.  But, other than those few things they were completely on their own.  And they did fabulous.

One of the girls and the neighbor boy, went around the neighborhood with signs on their bikes (and backs) advertising the sale.  They made change, packaged goodies, answered questions and basically had a fabulous time.  It was a gorgeous morning.

By 11:30, they had just about sold out of everything.  So, the packaged some things together and sold them at a discount.  They took the last plate of three or four cupcakes to a neighbor (who gave them a buck) and they sold out of everything.  There had been three types of cupcakes, cookie pops, bird's nests, mini banana bread, rice krispy treats and shortbread cookies.

Of course the girls were anxious to count their earnings.  When all was said and done they had made $110!  They were ecstatic!  To say the least.

They have since assigned officer titles and will be having their next meeting this coming Monday to figure out how to spend the money and to plan their next event.

To say I am proud would be an understatement.  I really was hand off (which is so hard for me) and they did so awesome!!  I am interested to see what they have planned next . . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Teen Pact

One of the most incredible programs that we have been involved with, last year and then again this year, is something called Teen Pact.  In a nutshell, the kids learn about God and government.  And, that they are not separate entities.  Did you know in Isaiah 33:22 scripture states the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver and the Lord is our King?  Sound like any branches of government you have ever heard of?  Hint:  judicial, legislative and executive.

It is a one day program for ages 8-12, so both the older girls were able to attend this year.  They start out the morning with praise and worship and then go right in to a Prayer Walk around the Capitol.  This year we prayed for the Governor, the military hero wall and then went to the 22nd floor and prayer for our city and our state.  We hold hands right in the middle of the Capitol and each one of us prays out loud.  Kind a cool!

Then the kids (parents) go on a scavenger hunt trying to locate all the interesting stuff in the capitol such as a pamphlet of a self guided tour of the capitol and what floor the Attorney General's office is on.  We learned things like the state pie of Florida is the Key Lime (not really all that surprised!)

They leaders, who are all teens by the way, make eye contact, shake hands, remember you from the year before and call you Mrs./Mr. So and So, speak in full sentences, understand the role of government and authority in their lives and cheerfully serve others.  I was shocked to find out last year that one of our leaders was only 16!  Anyway, the leaders put on a skit that helped all the kids (and me) better understand how a bill becomes a law.  School House Rock has nothing on them!!

After lunch, they got to the part that Nature Girl was waiting for.  She has very vivid memories from last year of writing, reading and presenting a bill in front of the Senate.  This year Nature Girl's bill was to outlaw shipping popcorn.  She was able to do a first read in front of the "Senators" but never got to get up to present and answer questions about it.  But, Little Mama did!

Her bill, which I just loved, was outlawing Chicken Pot Pie!  She hates any kind of meal, except dessert, in a pie crust.  She did her First Read, then her bill got picked to present it and answer questions from her "fellow" Senators.  So, she went up to the "well," presented her bill and the other kids asked questions.  They are only 8-12 years old but boy could they ask some questions.  Little Mama took it all in stride.  And she did fabulous.  I was so proud of her!

It is by far one of the greatest civics lessons learned.  At the end of the day, the program director reminded the kids that they were there because they were leaders, Godly leaders in their churches, neighborhoods, schools, and most especially in their own homes.  And that the way to be a leader is to be obedient to their parents and God.  To be an example to younger siblings.  All very encouraging stuff!

I am very thankful that the girls were able to have this opportunity . . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Skate World

Part of my Joy Project, is to really step out of my comfort zone.  Which for me means doing a lot of the "fun things" the kids want to do.  The stuff that I spend a lot of time saying "no" to for various reasons.  One of those things was to take the big girls skating.  Now, this one that hadn't asked for recently but when the opportunity came up, I made arrangements for a few families to meet us at a local skating rink this past Monday night.

They were very excited.  And, honestly so was I.  I skated my way through Junior High School!  I have been skating once or twice in my adults years and was surprised how quickly it came back to me.  Anyway, the girls had a blast.  And, boy, were they good!  The had a great time hanging out with their friends and going around and around the rink.  Yesterday they were still singing the "Chicken Song."

Hubby was able to watch the little guys.  Although he brought them up to the rink for a little while to watch.  I promised them that when we went back, which we will, they would be able to skate too.  Hubby said he would even try.

They have Christian skate night every third Tuesday of the month and the admission is really cheap and free skate rental.  The majority of the music is Christian, which has come a long way since I skated at the Salvation Army many moons ago.  There were a ton of kids and moms and dads.  Just a really great, safe environment to have fun.

I have told the girls we will skate all summer long . . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Door

Since sometime in 2002, we have measured the growth of the kids on the back of the room that NG had, alone I might add.  We only had Nature Girl at the time and I think, but it is hard to read the date, I must have been newly pregnant with Little Mama.

We haven't measured the kids in almost a year and a half.  Shame on us.  But, today, hubby said "Let's do it."  And we did.  (Minus EG because she wasn't feeling well.  We will get her later.)  Anyway, the girls had each grown at least four inches.  And Boop grew about 6!!

We need to do it more regularly.  Just seeing the lines and the dates brings up so many different thoughts and emotions and memories. . .

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flat Stanley

About two weeks ago, the kids' cousin from Pennsylvania sent them an envelope containing Flat Stanley asking us to show him around town.  Now, I will have to admit, I saw him once before on Facebook and had no idea who or what he was.  Still don't.  But, we are going to get the book on Friday from the library.

Anyway, Flat Stanley was to hang out with us.  So, I set aside a couple of days and the kids and I went site seeing around town.  Taking pictures of a bunch of different, interesting places in our town.  We had a blast.  It was a couple of beautiful days so we just enjoyed them.  And learned a little bit more about our fair city.

Flat Stanley beginning his travels:

Flat Stanley at the Governor's mansion:

At the "new" capital:

At the historic capital:

At the university:

At the football stadium at the university:

In front of a live oak tree:

At the nature museum:

At the playground at the nature museum:

At a picnic lunch with friends at a local park:

Flat Stanley is on his way back to PA.  Hope Flat Stanley enjoyed his tour around our town . . . 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter 2012

Resurrection Day.  Just typing it brings me goosebumps.  Jesus died, was buried and rose again on the third day.  He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Jesus paid the ultimate price for my transgressions.  What a day to celebrate, life.  Eternal life.  The cares of this world are but a blink of an eye.  We are but specks of dust compared to life eternal.

Talk about joy!!!!!!

We celebrated with our church family and our family, family.  Can't think of a better way to spend the day. . .