Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mollie Says the Darndest Things

At the beach:

Mollie- (to a fellow shopper) How are you?

Shopper- I'm fine.

Mollie-Do you want to see my packpack (backpack)?

Shopper- You have a backpack?

Mollie- You wanna see it?

Shopper- Yes

Mollie turns around- See my pretty packpack? (she is not wearing one :)

Shopper- Yes, that is a pretty backpack.

Mollie- See you later.

On the way home from the bus stop:

Mollie- Mom, am I old enough now?

Me- For what Moll?

Mollie- Go on the Bus?

Me- No, not yet Mollie.

Mollie- After nap time?

Last Chance Vacation

Last week we took Jones out of school and Joey off of work and went to the beach with Joey's parents. It was so much fun and a great way to end the summer/start the fall. We arrived Wednesday morning and just enjoyed the view of the beach and Kim & Vern said they would watch the kids while they napped so Joey and I could look around, shop, or whatever we wanted to do. That was great! Joey and I ran to Safeway to grab some groceries and then window shopped the home decorating stores.

When we returned we all took the kids to the Seaside Aquarium and fed the sea lions and explored the other sea life. Jones & Mollie colored and Jones held a hermit crab which was a big deal for my cautious little boy. Mollie on the other hand almost dove in with the Octopus!

Jones' teacher said that he could draw pictures throughout our trip to share with the class as his homework. We turned it in yesterday. His teacher said he did a wonderful job presenting! He worked on that and his first picture was of him and Grandpa playing Connect Four. He LOVES that game! He played all the time with any one who would play. We also played a couple mean rounds of Crazy 8's.

We went to Doogers for dinner which was YUMMY besides one little fit from Mollie and then we put the little ones to bed. I had to split them up because they were NOT going to sleep. The adults played a new game called Yahtzee Free For All which ended up being SOOOO fun! Then we went down for a rough first night's sleep.

The next morning Joey and his Dad made a huge breakfast of potatoes, eggs, bacon, sausage, and fruit. It was delicious as was the chicken sandwiches Dad Waller made for dinner!!! Always lot of good cooking with those Waller men!!! After breakfast the guys headed out for golf and the kids and I went with Grandma to the beach! Jones flew his very first kite which was excited. It was almost too windy to even be on the beach but it worked well for the kite until it broke! (Oh well, I bought it for a buck!) We wrote in the sand and tried to build a castle and then the other three (NOT ME) fed the sea gulls! For those of you who don't know, I get a little scared being that close to so many birds.

During naptime, Mom Waller and I worked on the set designs for the Christmas play (she is an AMAZING artist!) and just enjoyed the quiet hours. When the guys came back Joey and I took our kids on a walk to the arcade (which they LOVE) and the carousel and the BESt new little candy store in Seaside called The Buzz (they even sell chocolate covered twinkies which weren't so bad!) The kids had a blast picking out special candy. Mollie wanted chocolate and Jones chose gum band aids. This store had some old favorites like Zots (remember those? They fizz in the middle?) We walked back and had dinner and put the kids to bed. They slept much better and did not have to be separated. The adults played games and headed to a more restful nights sleep.

Overall it was a wonderful relaxing trip. They are a part of World Mark Timeshares so we were able to stay there. It is the BEST place! Lots of bedrooms, clean, right on the beach, right on the main street. It was GREAT! Thanks Mom & Dad Waller! Joey, the kids and I stopped and had some pizza at Fultano's on the way back and played at the arcade there one last time and then we were homeward bound for a busy weekend. Joey took off to Men's retreat as soon as we got back and Britt and the kids came over and stayed the weekend with us. It was a lot of fun. We are just now getting back on schedule. :)

Here are a (okay so more than a few) of my fave pics from the trip:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To the Beach!

Alright I was going to try to post a few blogs before we leave but I am outta time! I have been a busy girl with lots going on so I am sorry for the long break. I will be back on Friday and should have plenty of time to blog. My hubby will turn around and head right back out to Men's retreat! Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Day Without Dad

Joey is out of town with his job and so I thought I would take this opportunity to have a fun day with the kids at home (no errands!) since they always miss him when he is gone and we needed a day like this anyway. We sang, and read, measured things, Jones cooked dinner, and enjoyed the Rescuers Down Under. It is quiet and night now so I miss Joey lots. He is such a wonderful Dad to my kids and my BEST friend. <3

Note: Oh, I should mention, Britt sold our table for me. Thank You so much Britt!!! And I have not finished the finish on my new table so we are using our kid table and card table. I also just mopped the floors so I had my kids eat over our picnic blanket. :)

Oh, and I forgot to mention. Jones had our red chenille throw over his head and ran into the tile counter. He did not cry or say anything. I turned around and looked at him and was shocked by the mark on his head (it looks WAY worse in person.) He said it hurt but he was fine. I couldn't believe the mark it left on him! I am almost nervous to send him to school with a mark like that! He was playing in the utensil drawer later and pulled out the garlic press and I thought to myself "Oh my goodness that is the same print as your forehead!!!" Who knew a blanket could leave such an impression!

On the Job

While my brother Brandon is away until October backpacking his way through Europe, I am covering his job. It is such a blessing as it definitely is helping in our financial needs. One day, I had to pop in the office for just about an hour and I had to bring Mollie with me. I was a little worried about her being entertained but as you will see, she did just fine. She was very excited to visit Grandpa and his office staff as well as sit at Uncle Bean's (the way she pronounces Brandon) desk and play dolls with his Blazer bobble heads. I thought these pics and videos were too cute to not post.

P.S. Sorry Brandon! Mollie adjusted one of the bobble's off his base (She broke it.) Oops!!! And we miss you!!!


Do You Choose to Obey or Be in Trouble?

That is the question I have been asking my children CONSTANTLY! I like bringing this to their attention so they can see that the choice is theirs; to show them that I will discipline them when THEY choose to disobey. It was not Mommy or Daddy's choice but theirs alone. I think this is very important that they understand this concept.

It has been a couple really tough weeks. Mollie has reverted back to tantrums and they are bigger and badder (is that a word?) than ever before. For example, last week my sister was watching her and she was sent to her room for disobeying and told to sit on her bed. She told her Auntie "NO!" but did go to her room. Her Auntie told her to leave the door open and go sit on her bed (otherwise Mollie will just escape by trying to go to sleep.) Mollie tried to shut the door. Auntie repeated the command again to which Mollie slammed the door open, yes open and gave her Auntie a look like "So there!" Britt said she can't believe how much attitude comes out of such a little body. I agree and this has been a trying time. Neither Jones or Mollie seem to care to obey whatsoever. FRUSTRATING!

I find that when we go through a stage like this I tend to want to withdraw because I can feel overwhelmed, disrespected, unloved, etc. but I am finding more and more that I need to do the opposite. So today, my new plan of action has begun! Joey is out of town for three days and I am just going to take this time to pour into my kids. I do have a busy day tomorrow and the next day but all today and every second I am with them in the next couple days will be about showing them how much I love them and teaching them as calmly as I can to walk in the way of righteousness.

I am all about training the heart. So I do what I feel in my spirit is the right thing to do and I seek out books and information that go along with that idea. My Jones is a "Why Guy" and he just has to know why about anything. I normally do explain things to him but right now we are working on obeying first and talking later. I know this is hard for him if he feels he doesn't understand why he is told to do something. I tell him that he is welcome to ask me questions any time of the day but when it comes to a time when he is told or asked to do something, I need to see immediate action and the only words I want to hear if any are "Yes Mom." I have yet to hear & see it come naturally from him but we are working on it. We are working on Mollie too.

Last week I had a call from Jones teacher and that was pretty hard. He was just goofing around blowing on people, pulling hair, and not responding to his teachers warnings and instructions. She said Jones ended up being separated from the group for the entire day. This made me very sad but also very upset as Jones CHOSE to not obey his teacher and to not use self control. We had a LONG talk reminding him of lessons he has already learned about not giving in to temptation and using self control. We talked about his awesome qualities like how incredibly smart and friendly he is. We explained he can either be the boy that his teacher says "Oh, here comes trouble" or that she says "Oh, here comes my awesome student Jones!" We also discussed that his actions are a distraction to the other students and he does not want to be responsible for other people not learning! Overall I think it was very good that it all happened. It showed Jones that we have communication with his teacher and it is all tied together and also to remind him that we can not go with him everywhere and he will have to decide for himself what kind of person he wants to be and in turn what kinds of things will take place in his life, opportunity & blessing? Or trouble? He reminded himself that God is always with him. He is never alone which is a great thing especially when you are lonely or scared but also He is watching and our goal is to please him and not disappoint him even though His love does not change.

What is great is that when I seek advice from my Bible or Christian authors regarding parenting, I always become more clear on my relationship with God as well since I am the child in that circumstance. I read and then talked to Jones yesterday about God's rules and our rules. They aren't there to limit you and be mean, they are there as a protection and to help lead a life of more blessing vs. hardships. I asked him what would happen if I put my hand on the hot stove? Jones said "You would get burned." I explained that in the way he knows that consequence, that Daddy and I know the consequences to his disobedience especially if it continues into adulthood which is why we are trying to nip it in the bud. In turn I of course understand even more so God's rules and how they are there out of love and protection (which I knew but sometimes you just understand in an even deeper way you know?)

So that is a much longer story than I was planning to tell but I am hoping we are coming to a peak (as my friend Molly said yesterday) and hopefully it will get a little easier soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Only Hope"

Have you ever been stretched so thin and you need a moment alone with God so bad that you just feel like you are going to burst? I sure do. I often do it to myself. I volunteer for way too much and then try to get by. Each time I get to this place it is a little easier to bear so I do feel like I am learning and growing. The thing is that I can MORE than get by, but not in my own strength.

I often allow myself to get so overwhelmed and half the time it is simply the anticipation. How will I get through this week? I am going to be so tired. How am I going to have time to relax? Time with my family? The fact is usually there is time and I just need to take advantage of it and stop worrying! And I can get through it, I may get tired but oh well. Like I said, I get through it!

Today He met with me. Today he spoke to me and it amazes me how it all came about. For a couple weeks I have been wanting to watch a sad movie because I haven't had a good cry in a long time and honestly sometimes a girl just needs that. I decided I wanted to watch "A Walk to Remember." I only watched it one time before and I had not known the story or what was to come and ended up bawling for 3 straight hours! Looking back I know that probably tied into REALLY needing a good cry? Who knows? It was crazy. Anyway, so I am watching it today by myself and when it got to the part where she sings "Only Hope," I start praising the Lord singing it to him. And then the tears come. Then I am reminded in my spirit of a book about the Lord's love that I have so I grab it and read and it speaks directly into my life about being used as a vessel and how I (we) are vital to His purpose. "You are not unworthy, You are not unprepared. The only thing that could possible hinder you is if your love for me is too small and if so, draw near and I will pour my love out on you." Those are JUST the words I needed to hear which then led to more worship from myself to my "Only Hope", my God & my King. His love is amazing. There is nothing I desire more.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Me? A writer?

Another thing keeping me on my toes is something that happened by complete chance... or was it? For the last few years I have sort of set aside my love of music and drama to serve in other areas. I have to say I miss it very much but could not find a place to fit it back in. I have been praying for months for the Lord to show me direction in the area of ministry that he wants me in, if any at all. So... how do I do this as a short story. Let's see...

Kim & Vern are my Mother-in-law & Father-in-law. They have just started to attend Grace and have a TON of drama experience so they were asked to step in and help put together the Christmas production. Josh Son (our music minister) is in charge. So anyway they invited me to a brainstorming meeting where they had the skeleton of a script they were working with. We were told to all go home and write a synopsis and outline of a full script. After we presented, they ended up asking me to write the entire script to which I of course agreed! This is something I have never really done before (besides an old screen play that I do not even have on paper yet.) I was soooooooooooo nervous sharing the script when it was finished. It was such a vulnerable moment to share but... they like it! So with a few tweaks we are ready to go and I actually now have the opportunity to get my feet wet in directing as well! This is amazing how this has all happened and awakened this dormant passion of mine. I feel truly honored to serve God, our church, and hopefully community in this way!

The next few months will be consumed with putting this whole play/musical together with the many talented people that will be taking care of all the other portions. I am very excited but also know that this will be a huge challenge fitting such a time consuming project into our Waller household life. If you think of it, please pray for my family and that they would know that they are my priority and for my husband who has so willingly said yes to being a single Dad many nights as mine will for sure be filled with meetings and rehearsals. Please also pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit that we will steer the story and the cast in the direction that He has for us and also for those that will attend, pray that their hearts will be touched and stirred. My prayer is that we will create an atmosphere in the room and in hearts that the Holy Spirit can work.

So, yeah, in a nut shell, that's it. Crazy huh?

So much to blog, so little time.

Wow, I am behind again. Big surprise I know. That is what a busy lifestyle will do to you. I just thought I would update what has been going on with our family. I think I will do it with bullets to make it easier for me to write and you to read! :)

*Jones started Kindergarten and is really enjoying it. It is great to see him excited to go and riding the bus like a big boy. He LOVES his homework and song book they send home. I am so glad and relieved. I have met his teacher on three separate occasions and she seems very nice. Prune Hill's technology is really awesome. They had some things I have never even heard of, a far step from school of "my day" which really doesn't feel like THAT long ago. His teacher actually wears a high tech microphone around her neck which distributes the sound evenly throughout the room. They also have the really neat overhead projectors (not old school) that can display a book or anything you place under them.

*Jones and Mollie have both begun memorizing verses. Each of our morning devotions include a verse and repeat it for about four days which helps lock it in. Jones has memorized four & Mollie has memorized one. It touches my heart so deeply when they recite them. I will post a video soon cause it is sooo adorable.

*I am working at my Dad's office covering a portion of my brother Brandon's job while he is off traveling Europe for five weeks. He is the Human Resources Manager. This is a huge blessing as it will give us some additional income for a time but it is also stressful trying to fit into our life and find someone to watch the kids. Mom & Britt are really helping.

*Joey is very excited that Football Season along with Fantasy Football has started and this is now the common background noise for me in the evenings.

* Mollie's tantrums are back with a vengeance. She had quite a few "terrible twos" tantrums around 24 months but they nicely faded away. Now we are back with a tougher rougher version. Whew! We are working on that! Time Out Cool Down city for her!!!

*Some of you may know that I am in charge of the Womens Events at Grace and that is about to start up here again. Last year it was only retreat and one summer event. This year there will be several events but the plan is to delegate, delegate, delegate! There is just no way I can head all of it up so I am hoping to have some leaders step up and take on the individual events. Our first meeting is on Thursday. And for any of you that attend Grace, PLEASE feel free to come!!!

* We have a Waller family vacation coming up and we are very excited! We do have to take Jones out of school for three days so hopefully that will work out okay. :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten!

Yesterday was Jones' first day of Kindergarten. After much thought and discussion, we decided to let him ride the bus both ways. He was delighted! He had a great time in "Mr. Amundson's class." It is actually "Mrs." Amundson which I am trying soooo hard to get him to correct before she catches on!

Yesterday he was pretty nervous even though he said he wasn't. He wasn't really smiling or talking in the morning which is NOTHING like "normal" Jones but as soon as he got off the bus after school he was back to himself. Mollie and I both had a pretty hard time with him going. Mollie was bawling the moment he got on the bus. She said she missed him and then that she wanted to go on the bus too. If I can figure out how to post the video of her I will. I was pretty strong until I got home to my quiet house. Then I lost it. It was weird to put my child who I have tried so hard to watch over and protect on to a bus with someone I don't know and send him somewhere. I am okay now. Just so odd to not have any children and then within one year be sending one off to kindergarten. Talk about fast forward!!!

Anyway, check out the pics! Don't miss the GIGANTIC backpack! I think he looks soooooooooooo undeniably handsome!