Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I knew several weeks ago and I feel the Lord affirming it each day- my new years resolution is to say no to half the opportunities that come my way and half of the ideas that I have, (there are many!) And to prioritize- my kids are growing up- I don't have a second chance to teach them certain things...I need to focus on what's lasting, what's best. God's always been good to lead and I feel this is very important. So here's a pic from my old!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

travel bags are put away (for now anyway)

Well this is my old worn out luggage loading up for our Christmas travels...

trip #1 We started on Monday of this week going to Tulsa for time with my family. It ended up me, my family and my brother's kids with my parents. not a bad combination, we enjoyed the time and always love going " home" for Christmas. Tulsa is not my home, my parents are...I love them dearly.

trip #2 after a get together with Cody's mom's side of the family on Wed. night we set out ahead of a blizzard to get to destination #2 Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine, TX. Cody's parents Christmas present to us. I discovered a new way to cart stuff around in a blizzard- tubs. We took the 4 wheel drive truck south. We beat the storm, they met it head on. It took them and the other set of grand kids 8 hours to make the 3 hour trip. Cody's sister and her husband got snowed in and couldn't come until mid afternoon Christmas day. We carried on and Golden Corral for lunch wasn't so bad. The Gaylord Texan was amazing that afternoon and of course Great Wolf delivered plenty of entertainment. We came home today on mostly dry roads.

We opened our gifts with the kids tonight and as I write I am listening to a new Lego set being put together (Cody and Silas), Cady on her new DS and the quiet hum of last year's present- the washer/dryer set. My heart is content with the love of our family but I somehow feel we haven't given our Lord primary focus this week and with the cancellation of church tomorrow I hope we can change that. We celebrate that more of Cody's mom's side of the family have accepted Christ's salvation and are growing in Christ, that his cousin is expecting a "Moore" son in April and that those we love are close. We grieve with my sister in law who lost her daddy Christmas Eve and many who've had problems due to the weather. But as I set my kids by that huge snow drift just north of our home I am reminded that we don't have to pay big bucks for "an experience" like we saw at the resorts in TX- there are amazing things all around us, God is the author of creativity-

So I am putting the travel tote's up. There are plans on calendar for reuse but not soon. I will rest in my nest awhile. "A man may plot his course but God determines his steps" , I'll be looking for you,God, every step.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Christmas Letter- a year in review

Dear friends and family

We started off with a huge house remodel project. Demolition started a couple of weeks into the New Year. We designed a new kitchen and replaced flooring throughout the entire house. Our church graciously provided this for us. Our home is always a revolving door anyway with my music students but it was even more so with constant workers in and out. The dust and constant disarray were rough, especially with a new walker on the loose. We managed and by the end of March we had our home in order again. It’s beautiful and I can now talk at length about hard wood floors, countertops, wood stain and appliances.

We left the mess behind for a week in Feb. and took the kids out of school to do a little ministry. We traveled to Vegas, San Diego and Phoenix meeting with church planters in 3 different new churches. The kids had a lot of homework to do but we saw most great sites from here to there (Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, LegoLand, La Jolla beach and the seals)

In March Cody, Silas and I headed west again on a church ski trip. Silas is getting much more comfortable on the snowboard. My mom stayed with Cady and Charis.

In April Cody and a fellow pastor friend headed north to Chicago for a conference. I finished a 10 week session on a new project- a secondary homeschool choir. We ended the time with a concert featuring “spirituals”. I quite enjoyed the time and hope to do it again. The students I worked with were a lot of fun.

On April 9th just after Easter our town was evacuated due to a large uncontrolled grass fire. We’ve been through this before but never had it hit the town. Cody has served as a vol. Fireman. These were much worse than the 2006 fires, we had 20 families displaced and set up aid immediately. The closest home burned was about 3 blocks from us. We did relief work all summer long on Sunday afternoons. Three families from our own congregation lost homes. One couple in their 80s lost a lifetime of irreplaceable treasures. They moved in next door to us, we hope to be a blessing to them in the aftermath.

We did not travel for a full year after Charis was born but made up for it this year. We all went to Louisville, KY for the SBConvention in June. We also did Falls Creek youth camps. I had a popular blog this summer entitled “the 90 days of summer”. We found picture worthy things each day and posted for our facebook friends. It was a great project. Practice for the book I hope to write one day!

July was Bible School (I just helped) and a preteen leadership camp I put on (another new project). I continued to teach one day a week in the summer, gaining a few new students. At the end of July the kids and I joined a friend and her kids for a week in Branson at a lovely resort. We had a blast enjoying all Branson has to offer, (my third trip there and yet to see a show!) We started letterboxing again. Where you get clues off the Internet and find boxes with stamps in them hidden all over the world.

August Cody and I celebrated 13 years of marriage in Eureka Springs, Arkansas in a tree house. A wonderful 3 days while the kids hung out in Tulsa with my parents. I applied for an elementary teaching job in Duncan but God had other plans for this school year. I now have over 20 piano, voice and guitar students and teach 2 days a week in Duncan (20 min. away). I also started yet another new project- children’s theatre in the fall. Used our church as a starting place. We just finished the program this past weekend and it was a huge success. 9 scenes, 7 main actors, 10 or more minor speaking, 10 songs, 51 kids total ages 5 mo to 13! It was a privilege working with that group of kids, there is a lot of talent here that is undeveloped.

The traveling reached it’s zenith for myself when I went exactly half way around the world to Nepal with a team of 5 others and my dad. It was an experience beyond my wildest imagination. From the gorgeous backdrop of the Himalayan mts (including mt. Everest) to meeting the sweetest believers and traveling 50 hours by plane- it was something I will do again. The time with my father was priceless, brings me to tears even now. I reported my experiences in yet another “blog” on facebook. The response was overwhelming.

We’ve also endured chicken pox (Charis), a tanning bed burn (Lori) and a severe case of poison ivy (Cody). & traveled multiple times to Ft. Worth to my brother’ s new home, we’ll end the year traveling (seems appropriate) first to Tulsa then to a surprise destination with Cody’s family for 2 nights. I was also in a wedding in Oct. and led 2 Bible Studies this year- one on Esther, one on the book of Daniel.

The kids are growing fast, Silas and Cady both have been involved in Karate, 4H and mission clubs (GA’s/RA’s) this year and will start basketball in Jan. They are now both reading well and we enjoy learning about all kinds of things. They are in 2nd and 3rd grade. Charis keeps us entertained and has a special relationship to us all, esp. daddy since they spend a lot of time together when I teach. She is very smart and we are trying to potty train.

Our biggest and best news of all is that Silas has decided to receive salvation and is awaiting baptism. He did this on Aug 16th, the same night my life long friend Becky Graves had her precious baby Levi. They share a birthday! One spiritual, one physical. We know God is working in Cady’s life and hope she’ll join Silas one day soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Recital Season

Tis the Season for music- Christmas music that is. I have been carrying this gift tote bag around for 2 months, finally after this week I can put it away. Cady went with me to our recital on Saturday. She and Silas have been doing this for a few years now (going to my recitals) . I keep hoping they'll get inspired and want to put more into thier own playing. I have yet to push music on them. We'll see... anyway I put her in charge of the camera- the video she got of her cousin is hilarious- we'll enjoy it emensely in 10 years!

So the tote bag- I am giving them the gift of music I have told them. I need a change every now and then. In fact this is the first year I have thought, " I am sick of this version of Jingle BElls!" It's true I've taught nearly every student I've had the same version for 15 years. Enough is enough.

I am looking forward to a week of games and playing for fun having finished their Christmas recital saturday.

Inside the tote is a new book for the intermediate student that I've loved, a Jingle Bell Boogie and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Also I feel in love this year with Chris Tomlin's Winter Snow from his new Christmas CD. We ended the recital with that one.

I love teaching and music gives me lots of creative outlets- I am holding my new guitar here too. It's sweet- I am glad I have performed more this year on it!