Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Time to Fly, Little Birds

I'm laying here the night before the first day in a new school starts for our sweet chickadees & I can't sleep. Tomorrow is a day that I have both dreaded and eagerly anticipated for months now. So many thoughts and emotions running through my head. I'm Sad. Anxious. Excited. Hopeful. Thankful. Humble. Frustrated. Mad. Joyful. Worried. Grateful. Did I say Sad? How can I be all of these things at once??? I don't know, but I am!! 

Have we done everything we can to prepare them for a new school? Did we forget anything? What if they get lost? Feel lonely? Have their feelings hurt? Don't know what to do? Miss me? (Of course they will miss me!) Will the teachers take care of them? Will their classmates reach out to them? Will they make friends easily? Madison told me tonight that she would probably just play by herself at recess... To which I responded "well that's okay, if that's what you want to do. But it would be good if you could find some friends to play with." And then I immediately teared up and prayed "Jesus, please send her a friend quickly! Like at 8:06 tomorrow morning would be good!!"

The reality is this.. I can't always be with them. I won't be there to tie their shoes, fill their water bottles, make sure their work is done right, help them make friends, or find the bathroom. But I am so thankful for the precious reassurance we have that God is always with us...He will be with them every step of the way. After all, they are His, before they are mine. 

Here's the truth: If I had it my way, we would still be in Tulsa, starting another year at Regent. Our home that we loved so much. In my flesh, I think "that would make me happy & all would be right with the world if that were happening." But I know in my heart that's not true, because that is not what God had in store for us. His will is not always what we think is best, but it is Always BEST. So I am resting in that truth & in his promise that He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. The day I filled out the applications for OCS, God filled my heart with Joshua 1:9..."Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go!" 


Mackenzie & Madison,

Tomorrow begins a new adventure for you! 4th & 2nd grade at Oklahoma Christian School! Daddy and I are so proud of you both & how well you have handled our move and this transition from Tulsa to OKC. We know that you are a little bit nervous and unsure about things, but you are going to do great! Do not be afraid or discouraged because God will be with you!! It doesn't get any better than that! You are beautiful, smart, funny...all you need to do is BE YOU! Be the sweet girls God created you to be & you will thrive! My prayer through this whole process is just that God would go before us & prepare the way. I have prayed for the friends I know He has for you both. I have prayed that you would be happy, healthy, & loved at your new school. I have prayed that God would give you the teachers who will be just right for each of you. I have prayed that He would protect your innocence & preserve all that we took away from our years at Regent. I have prayed that you would both learn to love Jesus more and more every day. We talked yesterday about how we all have our own "bubbles" where we are most comfortable, but sometimes we have to be brave and pop our bubbles so we can experience new things & make new friends. So, pop your bubbles, little birds! God has great things in store for you. Spread your wings and fly!! And always know...your Momma is cheering you on and will always be here to catch you if you fall. 
I love you so very much!!

And Jonah--

It's off to Preschool at Joyful Noise for you!! Go get 'em, buddy!! Be nice, obey your teacher, don't throw things, hit people, or poop in your pants! 😂 It's hard to believe you are almost 4 years old! I have prayed for you too, that God would put you in the right place, surround you with friends, and help you to grow and learn this year. We love you & look forward to all you are going to experience this year!! 
Love always,

- Momma

Meet the Teacher

We went to the school today to meet the girls' teachers & check out their new classrooms! Madison's teacher is Mrs. Parsons and Mackenzie has Mrs. Frankfurt. The girls got to organize their school supplies and meet a few new friends. They were both very shy, so we had a little talk about being brave & getting outside of our comfort zones on the drive back to G-Ma's house. I know that is to be expected, but I am trying to help prepare them as best I can! Some things that are different for us this year that the girls are excited about: not wearing uniforms, getting to wear nail polish to school, having a snack during the day, and learning to type and use a computer! 
Mackenzie's teacher asked if she wanted to go by "Mack" or "Mackenzie," and her response was "Kenzie." LOL! We don't really ever call her that, but she was adamant about it, and it wasn't a battle I was going to face in that moment. When I asked her why "Kenzie," she said in a very matter of fact way, "Because that's what Kinley always calls me!" I almost burst into tears right then and there. She's really going to miss her BFF, and if having her new friends call her "Kenzie" makes her feel better, then so be it! 
We went to lunch at McAlister's with the Matthiesen's and then went to their house to play and visit. It was a fun way to spend our last day of the summer! 
After meeting their teachers & becoming a little more familiar with the school, I am excited about OCS! Honestly though, I left the school in tears, because my heart is just missing what I know and love. My emotions are all over the place! But, thankfully, the girls just seem to be excited! (and a little nervous!)  There is still a tiny little part of me that wonders and hopes we made the right decision. But, shortly after we decided to move forward with OCS, Brian sent me this quote (not sure where he got it) "We are tempted to obsess over whether we chose the right door or not. But, it is better to go through the wrong door with your best self, than to go through the right door with your wrong self. It's not always about the decision we've made, but about throwing yourself into executing it after it's made. If we stew over what might have been, we rob ourselves of the spiritual and emotional energy we need to live well, right here and now." 
Now, that's not to say I think we've made the wrong decision...I really don't...but, it's a good reminder to me that THIS is where we are. Not at Regent. Not at any other school in OKC. We are at Oklahoma Christian School. We are Saints now! And it's going to be great!! I know that the Lord guided us here, and I can't wait to see what He has in store for us this year! So, I'm going to try to take a deep breathe, sit back, and enjoy the ride...because I know He has gone before us. 
They each got a school t-shirt...I love this verse!
Minus Mackenzie's distorted face, this is a neat pano of Madison's classroom. It is a very bright & cheerful room!
We are all very excited about the Library! 
Jonah was a little pickle...trying to fill out paperwork, meet new people, help the girls feel comfortable, and chase him around was exhausting! But we made it! 
Mackenzie was very excited that they have A to Z Mystery books in the library. Those are her favorite!
What a fun Librarian! Reminds me of another Librarian we know! 
Jonah was a big fan of the tent in Mackenzie's classroom! 
Kenzie's classroom has an outdoorsy theme to it...along with the tent, there is also a picnic table! 
Today it says "Mack," tomorrow it will say "Kenzie!" I really tried to talk her into just going with the name we gave know, the one she's been called for the last almost 10 years...but she said "It's just too long!" 
This bulletin board made my heart happy! 

Monday, July 25, 2016

FC WEEK 8: The End

I am completely amazed at how fast the summer flew by. I literally feel like I slept a few times and it was gone. That is such a bittersweet feeling right now. I am ready for things to settle down, but at the same time, we are still very much uprooted and in transition. The end of the summer means the end of our life in Tulsa. But, I know God must have great things ahead for us. Here are *A LOT of pictures from our last week of camp. What an amazing thing to be a part of! Our first full summer of Falls Creek is in the books! *Just have to add...we had a LOT of stuff to load up and take home!
This was my FB post on the last day of camp...
Woke up this morning to the last day of camp, and I really can't believe how fast it has come to an end. This summer has been an original for sure! It has been great but not without its challenges. It has been an incredible joy to be a part of Falls Creek. I find myself already looking forward to next summer, when I hope it is more settled and easier for us. When we wont be transitioning, selling a house, trying to find a new one, hopefully not dealing with an ongoing sickness... But the reality is, we don't know what the future holds or what trials we will face tomorrow. I have been humbled this summer, realizing how desperately I need the Lord every single day. On the good days and on the bad days. We sang these lyrics this morning...Lord I need you, oh I need You, Every hour I need You. My one defense, my righteousness, oh God how I need you! I love it that our kids get to grow up spending their summers here. Yes, the ICEES, swimming in Baptist Lake, zip lining, hanging out in the Green Room, pin trading, and making new friends will all be fun memories...but what I love the most is that they are getting Jesus poured into their little hearts and minds week after week, and it's shaping them into little Christ-followers! There is no greater hope or prayer we could have for them, than that they grow up and walk in Truth! 
We spent a LOT of time driving back and forth this summer. 
We have the most amazing kids! They have been so resilient and easy-going for the most part...they have risen to the occasion and gone with the flow. They are little missionaries too, because they are a part of what Daddy is doing at FC all summer! They kind of like their Daddy too, can you tell?!

Having fun in the Green Room!
Some of God's most beautiful creations...(even Pony!)

"Helping" Daddy get ready for invitation team training.
It will be fun to watch them grow and take pic's of them by this sign through the years!
Jonah's 1st FC Staff summer: 3 years old
Madison's 1st FC Staff summer: 7 years old
Mackenzie's 1st FC Staff summer: 9 years old
My comment on this Instagram pic was:
Cause this is what the dizzy guy with vertigo needs to be doing...trying to ride a unicycle! 
Everywhere Madi goes, Pony goes too.
Playing limbo under the new little amphitheater area.
Sunset rides in the golf cart while everyone was in the Tabernacle and camp was still were some of our favorite times!
Mackenzie decided one night that she wanted to do the ropes course in the amphitheater. In a moment of complete insanity, I told her I would do it with her since Brian really wasn't feeling up to it. Now, let me preface this story with this...I have NEVER gone on a ropes course, because I am terrified of heights. I guess I thought this one wasn't all that high and would be okay. Well, I thought WRONG! I was trying to be brave for Mackenzie, but I can't even explain to you how scared I was. She was very brave and started walking out onto the ropes, but about 10 feet out, she froze and couldn't move. I was behind her, trying not to flip out myself, and one of the workers had to go rescue her. I was absolutely no help to her whatsoever, because I was so terrified. I was more than a little embarrassed that there were like 100 teenagers standing down below watching this play out! This is definitely something we will never forget & I have never been so glad to have my feet back on the ground! Brian kept saying I had to try again the next night, to show her that you can conquer your fears, but he was wrong about that one. 
My FB Post:
Well, we made an attempt at the ropes course in the amphitheater tonight! But...We had to be rescued...there were many tears from Mackenzie (I was crying on the inside too!) but I'm so proud of us for trying! Poor Mackenzie...I was too scared to be much help to her. It may take me all week to recover from the trauma of this.
When they got her back across to me, she clung to me for dear life and cried. 
Let's look at the bright side...I think this is definitely a moment we will always remember together. And hopefully someday laugh about! #mysweetbravegirl#shewashangingonfordearlife #ohyeahiwastoo
Here's a zoomed out pic of the ropes course...its not very little!

Matt Roberson was the worship leader this week, and Jonah had fun playing cars with him in the holding tank one morning!
Here is Brian doing what he loves...telling people about Jesus and teaching them how to tell others! This was on Tuesday afternoon in the Mission Center, during a rainstorm. 
The kids had fun making bracelets in the Mission Center too!
G-Ma came down on Tuesday to visit and spend the night with us. Madison and Daddy did the zip line, which she loved! This was the day after our ropes course experience, so Madison felt very brave that she was able to do this.
Madi fixed my hair...isn't it lovely?!
Mackenzie really got into all of the games they played in the Tabernacle. Especially the Star Wars one!
Amazing to see so many come to Jesus during the invitation night after night!
On Wednesday morning, we did the Fun Run. We decided we weren't up for the 5K this time! G-Ma even got to do it with us!
Madi was determined to stay ahead of her sister! So funny!
Looking at puppies with G-Ma...I'm trying to forget about that promise we made them back in February, but rest assured, they haven't forgotten!
I think I got just as nervous as he did every time he got up there to speak!
Love this beautiful girl!
Brian showed this video, explaining multiplication in terms of germs...let's just say it makes me want to wash my hands all the time!
We went swimming in Baptist Lake on Wednesday afternoon. Believe it or not, as many years as I have been at FC, this was my very first time to do this. 
I went down the slide with Jonah first and he screamed and had a fit, but I made him do it anyway. Then, when Daddy took him he was all smiles! 
(and poor Madi...I didn't mean to cut her out of the picture...just look at that face!)
Pin trading one last time!
Daddy was in charge one night and couldn't find a band-aid, so he improvised! 
Brian spoke in the Mathena Event Center for the Middle School morning teaching time on Thursdays. 
Can't say that I'm going to miss our actual living quarters all that much! 
We finally found the Easterwood's dedicated chairs! On the last day of camp, which is funny considering we started looking the first day we got there!
One. Last. ICEE.
This is how we roll: 3 Cherry, 1 Dr Pepper, 1 Coke
We took some pic's in our matching shirts before the service Friday night.
This was the program staff team...a great group of people!
Brian's hiding in the back because he didn't have on his shirt like he was supposed to! We had to go back and change real quick after this.
Jonah's shirt was just a tad too big!
Going for one last evening golf cart ride!
Falls Creek 2016: In the books!