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!" 


So...

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 her...you 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! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Lamp Unto My Feet

I love, love, love Bible journaling! It is so much fun & it really helps me to spend time in the Word! It has been very therapeutic and has helped me during this transition in our life. Someday I hope to have every single page in my Bible filled! What a neat way to look back and remember all the ways God spoke to me over the years! Here are a few of the recent things I have done.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May Misc

I have come to the conclusion that May rivals December as the busiest month of the year. It really does seem to be nonstop! End of the year activities, field trips, graduations, birthday parties, Mother's Day, Spring choir programs, getting ready for summer, keeping the house perfectly clean for Open Houses and showings...and then the every day things. May is fun but it makes me tired just thinking about it! Add to all of that the fact that Brian was working and driving back and forth to OKC 4 days a week, and the emotional toll of every "last" thing we did, and it was a heavy load. But...we made it! Yea! Here are some things that helped me through...Bible journaling, prayer, music, friends, and then the maybe not so great things like shopping, binge watching Parenthood, shopping, drinking Diet Coke & eating too many chocolate chip cookies to count, and more shopping. Just keeping it real! Sometimes, you've just gotta do what you've got to do, to make it through! Here are some pic's from our day to day moments during May.

See that 16" crooked gap between the girls? That was my spot! Somehow I managed to sleep a little at least! The day they stop wanting to sleep in bed with me when Daddy is gone will be a sad one.

Playing a little Minnie Mouse Bingo before school one morning. This is one of our favorite games! 
Another favorite game...Twister is timeless! 
And then there are moments like this when I just want to hide! LOL! 
This was at the Preschool Play Day at STBC one Saturday. It was also the weekend that the new Pastor came in view of a call. I'm glad we were able to be there for it, but it also felt a little strange. Just in the sense that STBC isn't going to be our "place" anymore, but we are still there for a little while longer. Jonah was afraid of this obstacle course at first, but after he did it once and figured it out, he loved it and did it over and over. 
Madison & Gwen
Little Boy Blue!
Jonah & his buddy, Nolan! 
Love me some Tazikis! 
G-Ma's lap was just too comfy and he couldn't stay awake during the choir program.
Definitely a Momma's boy!
I don't have a clue what the story is with this chip, but she begged me to take a picture of it!
Man, this makes me laugh! 
And another picture of a chip...where do they get this obsession with taking pictures of things?! 
They were playing the Just Dance Disney on the Wii one day and were so excited that Jonah actually got some stars!
Check out this puppet stage they made! Their "What Does the Fox Say" performance was pretty awesome! 
We figured she's old enough, we might as well put her to work! 
The girls snuck into Jonah's room and slept on pallets one night and we didn't even know it until we checked on them a few hours later! 
Our trampoline has just about bit the dust. I love it when they play well together! 
Jonah is a big fan of the Lucky Ducks game!
And the "matching game" is his very favorite! 
Jonah got to hang out with Jennifer one morning when I went on a field trip with one of the girls. She took him to ELP and everything. I am so thankful for friends who help us on days like this! 
We went to the lake one Saturday, to celebrate Josiah's birthday and to have kind of a "Going Away" get-together for Danny and Amy before they move to Colorado at the beginning of June. Hard to believe that is actually happening. We are going to miss them so much! 
Aaand, this almost gave me a heart attack...Jonah nearly kicked Eli right in the head, but thankfully missed him by barely an inch. 
We just kept adding more Baldwin Grandkids, until we had them all in there! We were missing Jareck though! 
Yep, you guessed it...Momma was gone and Daddy was in charge when this was happening! 
So Brian found this (little) snake in our flower bed and the girls insisted on keeping it in a little plastic container for a while. So, Brian poked a few holes in the lid and set it in the garage, right by the door going into the house. When we came home from church the next morning, guess what wasn't inside the plastic container anymore? Yep...we now have a new "pet" somewhere in our garage, or God forbid in our house...I'm really, really trying not to think about that possibility. 
Dog Pile!
Daddy took the kids exploring in our neighborhood one day.  
Jonah Baldwin: Grill Master
Showing off his strong muscles!
aaaandd...he does this all of the time...eek!! I hope this is normal?!
Trying on fancy grown up shoes one day. They were both very excited that they actually could fit into Women's size shoes. 
Having a little cartwheeling fun! (Teaching Mackenzie how to do a cartwheel is high on my priority list for the summer!) 
We were so glad to be there on the Sunday that Pastor Eric came in view of a call and was voted to be the new Pastor of STBC. I don't think I have ever seen the worship center so full!
I am so excited for this family! They are gaining a wonderful church home. (I'm admittedly a little jealous too, because they are coming and we are leaving, but I know that God has a plan bigger than my eyes can see!)
Brian said we looked like pretty peach peacocks so that called for a picture!
And I couldn't leave this one out...this was our pew, early in the morning before the service started...Kari took good care of us and made sure we had enough seats saved! I'm going to miss sitting on this pew and worshiping with my friends once our move to OKC is final. 
We popped into the Youth room, where they were having a fellowship breakfast in place of Sunday School, and Brian got roped into playing this game where Allie had to feed him a bowl of cereal blindfolded. They were a great team & won the game! 
We went swimming at the Pierce's on Sunday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, while Daddy stayed home and did an Open house that no one came to. Grr!! Praying for a buyer soon! 
The Mannings came over to swim too, and Jonah had a lot of fun playing with his buddy, Tatton.
This is what you would call a book tower!