Friday, August 26, 2016

And she's off ...

Just like that our third born is off to school.  Ashlyn was excited about taking her first bus ride to school this morning but still happy that Hadassah would be riding with her.  Normally, Matthew would be along yet too but he is still at Black Rock with the middle school.

Here she is all ready for her bus ride and for a day of kindergarten.

Austin will miss Ashlyn so much while she is in school!

Look at our little princess all ready to move unto the next stage of her life!!!

I will miss her too.  She helps me so much with Austin!!!  I am so proud of you Ashlyn and I love seeing you grow up just a bit more today.
My pretty girls are off to high school and kindergarten!!!

As we wait for the bus ...

... baby plays with stones,
... while teenager is on her phone.  :)

Her first steps on the bus and many more to follow!!!

 And she's off.  In her seat waving goodbye.  Now I wipe my tears.  :))))

Again, we are so blessed to have such a wonderful school to send our children!!! 

"God, please protect them as they learn, grow and move forward in life!!!  Amen."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Parenting ...

Being a parent these days is not an easy task.  I mean you hear all over the radio and see in the news about kids wanting to chose their gender.  About homes falling apart.  About shootings in schools.  The world seems like a dangerous place to live and somehow us parents are to raise the next generation.  The next group of people that will be our nations leaders.  Minister in our churches.  Teach in our schools.  And lead in their own homes and yet try to survive their day in age.
Yesterday, as I was walking out of Costco, I was right in front of an older man.  He saw my overloaded cart and two small children who were both hungry for lunch.  He made a comment that caught my attention.  "Well, here comes our next generation."  He was right.  Right before my eyes I was leading my dear little ones through the groceries stores, through check out lines, through isles, through life really. 
His comment made me think about how I was doing in all of this.  If I am really raising up our next generation, how well am I doing it?  Am I instilling in their minds, hearts and souls things about God?  Teaching them to trust in the Lord.  Leading them with patience and love and letting them make some mistakes so they can learn life through experiences?  Am I fulfilling my role as a Godly, Christian mother?  Where is my focus?  On my daily tasks or on their hearts?
Parenting is something we only get to do once.  It's something that nobody can write a book about that spells out each play by play that will work for every kid.  God made us all different.  With various personalities.  Different gifts.  Some fearless and some much more timid.  Some like adventure and others would much rather eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday and totally be OK with that!  For some, change is really tough.  Some not so much.  God has blessed Mike and I with four healthy children and with just four, we sure can see a lot of differences.  Each needs their own love language filled from us and God.  Each child has their own strengths and weaknesses.  For a parent, it's hard raising Godly children!!!
Praying for our children has been something that we did the day they were born.  It plays a major part in their lives and helps fight in the spiritual world!!!  We need to trust in God and rely on his promises.  God will help us care and nourish our children.  He will be our rock and fortress in time of need.
So even though parenting is really tough these days, we give God the honor and glory for our blessings!!!
We just got our family pictures updated.  These four children are gifts from the Lord!
Hadassah:  She is a freshman in high school.  She advanced her skills in volleyball this summer and can't wait to play in some competition!  She is beautiful inside and out.  Mike and I could have a packed full schedule by just running her all around to every activity that she would wish to do.  :)  She is always on the go and loves people.

Matthew:  Our steady eddy.  He likes routine.  He is ready for middle school and loves to play baseball.  Him and Austin already have a neat brother to brother connection.  Matthew doesn't complain much but knows that Wawa cannot make a breakfast like his mom can.  He loves his eggs!

Ashlyn:  Our little sweet pea is now ready for kindergarten.  She has grown up so much in the past year.  She is now not afraid to speak what's on her mind.  She is confident and yet a little bashful with new things.  Going to school is big step for her but she is excited!  She has heard lots of good advice from her older siblings.  Austin will miss his playmate when she's in school.  She loves life.

Austin:  1 year old.  Blonde hair, blue eyes.  He is walking all around the house and loving it!  He tries to make animal noises.  I was sure the other day he said "kitty".  Mama and Dada is something he could say for awhile now!  He can't hold still for barely a second, making church services a bit stressful at times.  He is full of hugs and kisses and he all love on him so much!!!  Even though he may rule most of our family events right now, he is so cute and lovable!!!

He wasn't really into eating cake until the others helped to eat it!!!

Then he dug in and made a total mess!!!  :)

Thank you Lindsey at Sweetfacephotography for capturing these beautiful pictures for us!!!  I will forever treasure these photo's!!!!!!

May God give us parents grace for today and wisdom for tomorrow in rearing up Godly children!!!

It's time for school.

Ready or not ... here it comes.  It is school time and even though the summer went by way too fast, the kids were ready.  Ashlyn and Matthew are making sure they have all their things for the first day of school.

Yesterday was the first day of school and the kids were excited!!!

Ashlyn went to her Kindergarten Orientation Day.  I took her to school and together we walked to her classroom.  We learned where she should hang up her back pack.  Where to put her pencil box.  Where the restroom is located.  And, we got to meet many new friends and hear a story read by her teacher, Miss. Peterson!  She was so excited and had a great time!

Ashlyn picked out her new back pack.  Peppa Pig style.

Matthew is excited about middle school!!!  Sixth grade will be another year of goals made and met.  He got to go straight to Black Rock with the whole middle school right after their first day of school!  We are really missing him here at home but I'm sure he is having the time of his life!!!  I can't wait to hear his stories!  :)

Hadassah is now in high school!!!  (I know ... how can it be?)  Our oldest is growing up so much too!  She is super excited to attend Linville's High School this year.  It's the first year, so many new things are being put into place!!!  Even though the kids are all from one school, Hadassah actually is in another building.  I was a bit sad to not get to witness her on her first day of walking through the high school doors.  I was with Ashlyn and she is of course now old enough to go alone.  :)))

We are so happy to see you back in school and ready to learn, Hadassah!  Give it your best and you will succeed!!!  We are so proud of you!

I took the kids to school their first day because Matthew had lots of luggage for Black Rock and because I needed to stay with Ashlyn for her orientation.  Matthew was focused and ready to get to school.  He was trying to open the Yukon door before I had it in park.  Calm down kiddo!!!  :)

It's so fun to see Ashlyn grow and prepare herself for this next exciting stage in her life.  She will love school and do well!!!  She followed instructions well and we had all her things in place in no time!

She got to do some play time!  Ashlyn and Shakia are both in kindergarten and will be going together on Wednesdays.  This is just the beginning of many school days together. 

Story time with Miss. Peterson.

It was then time to take a bus ride.  Parents got to ride along too and so the whole experience was fun for everyone.

Before I left school, I peeked into the gym.  The middle school is ready for a few days of fun, spiritual growth and team work!  Praying for you guys!

This was the perfect way to introduce Kindergarten!!!