Saturday, August 30, 2008

Things I've learned this week!

We learn alot over a week's time. Even at the age of 36, I learn new things all the time. Here are some of the things I've learned this week. Or, you may just call them random thoughts:

1- Little kids love fundraisers. Parents hate them.

2- Some rumors are ridiculous. Just to clear one up - Chad is not ever, never has and never would consider being the new discipleship pastor at HBC.

3- It is possible for me to love a dog.

4- People in Waco will wear anything to the pool. SCARY

5- Dillards has a great 75% off sale, but even at 75% off, things add up.

6- I am not a bad mother because my children ride the bus for 5 minutes to school.

7- Kindergarten parents are clueless in the carpool line. In case you ever need to know: DO NOT exit your vehicle while loading your child, AND furthermore, by Kindergarten Bobby really should know how to buckle his own carseat.

8- Hitting a pothole really will ruin a tire. Which leads me to #9...

9- When purchasing tires, always buy the warranty.

10- Evidently no one in my family knows how to load or unload the dishwasher, but they are very clear on leaving dishes in the sink.

11- I really don't like my cell phone. Especially between 3pm and 8pm.

12- My kids ROCK on the soccer field.

13- The drive in movie in Gatesville is worth the drive and lots of cheap fun.

14- There is an old white haired lady with a handicapped hangtag driving a Buick in
Woodway that is ruthless and will race on the freeway and eventually cut you off. You can't beat her.

15- Some attorneys are rude, not all, some.

16- Asian tourists are hilarious! That's for my bunko friends.

17- My kids like nothing I cook.

18- Shipleys runs out of sausage and cheese kolaches around 10:30 on Saturdays.

19- More people live above their means then should.

20- My husband is the kindest man in the whole world. He's a servant and has a gorgeous heart.

These are just few things that I've either learned or figured out in the last 7 days.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It Happened!

The First Day of School, that is.. My oldest went off to the Intermediate School, Caroline entered 3rd grade, and CORT STARTED KINDERGARTEN. Woodway Elementary rolled out the red carpet and stood outside cheering and claping as all of the kindergarten students were escorted in with their parents.

All in all it was a good day. Cort had fun, but asked to go home at lunch. He only wanted to stay for half day. Unfortunately for Cort, half day is not an option in Midway.

Caroline said her teacher is super nice and is excited about the friends in her class. So, she's happy.

Kate is a little indifferent about the Intermediate School. It's a huge change and takes some adjusting. She has fantastic teachers and lots of friends, so once she gets the hang of things, she'll be fine.

We have decided to put Caroline and Cort on the bus in the mornings. It just makes sense with 2 different campuses to drive to now. The bus came this morning at 7:45. We are the very last pick up. My kids will have to ride the bus for a total of 5 minutes. It just makes sense. Cort was THRILLED to be getting on the big yellow school bus. We made Caroline commit to stay focused and walk Cort to class. She was not as thrilled to be riding the bus.

Yesterday when I dropped Cort off, I held it together surprisingly well. Today, when I saw him get on the bus, I just cried and cried. I'm so thankful for Clayton. He's still home and keeping me company.

But, we decided as a family that we need another baby. It's just not the same without a baby, so we've decided to adopt. It's a big decision for us, as our plates are full, but what a blessing to have one more. Please meet:

T Bone Yoda Castle
13 weeks old

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Can Supermom really be in four places at once?

It's here.. Oh dear Lord prepare me. I can just feel it now. It's a weekday. Three o'clock approaches, and I realize it's a little more difficult for me to breathe. I'm a little jumpy and just downright nervous! No, school doesn't bother me. It's AFTER school that bothers me.

The rush of carpool traffic and lines...will I catch this redlight and have to wait another 8 minutes? I mean, the clock ticks. I MUST get Caroline home ASAP or she'll have NO time to change and get a snack before gymnastics at 4:00 EVERY day except Wednesday. Then, I try to keep up with who has soccer on what day and where are their shoes? Is it a karate day? Who's driving? Hopefully I'm not the only one with this stress.

Being that I'm married to "Coach Chad" all of my kids participate in some sort of sports. Extracurricular activites are a good thing around here.. I mean, after all we don't want our daughter to be unable to be on the dance team in High school because she didn't start taking classes at age 2. And, by golly, Cort can't sit out of soccer for a year. If so, he may not make the select team in fifth grade!!! Okay, so I'm exaggerating a little, but truthfully, I feel like my kids are going to miss out somewhere down the road if I don't provide them the opportunity to participate.

It's really not any ONE child's schedule... well, maybe Caroline's, but all of them together adds up to a really stressful after school schedule. "Coach Chad" and I both agree that each of our children should be able to pursue what they love even though we have multiple children. I mean, they didn't decide to give birth four times. Should it be another child's schedule that prevents one from doing what they love?

So, we persevere, just "Coach Chad" and me.... no family in town to help drive, just the two of us. And somehow, we get it done. All in all, I think our kids are well rounded, happy and excited to participate. So, I write the checks, buy the gas, get the uniforms, do the fundraisers and just stinkin do it!

Just for your entertainment, I'm posting our weekly schedule below. It all begins next week. God bless us!

Monday- Caroline gymnastics 4:00- 8:00, Kate Soccer 6:30 - 7:30, Cort Karate 5:30-6:15

Tuesday- Caroline gymnastics 4:00 - 7:00, Caroline Soccer 6:00 - 7:00 (guess we're picking her up early)

Wednesday- 5:45-8:00 Children's Choir and Awanas

Thursday- Caroline gym 4:00 - 7:00, Caroline Soccer 6:00 - 7:00, Kate dance 5:00-6:00, Kate soccer 6:30- 8:00 and Cort karate 5:30 - 6:15.

Friday- Caroline gymnastics 4:00-6:00, Kate dance 4:00 - 7:00, Cort soccer 6:30-7:30

And little Clayton is just along for the ride! Thank you Lord for providing us a home within 5 minutes from all of these events.. except church, a crock pot to cook dinner in, and for chocolate and Diet Pepsi for me to have while I'm trying to do it all!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I LOVE San Antonio!

This weekend Caroline had her first meet of the season. We have seven more to follow. She did outstanding and placed in every event.. Way to go Caroline. The meet was in San Antonio. Of course, I used this as an excuse to take a family get away on the Riverwalk. It was GREAT! In fact, this short trip was the highlight of my summer.

I used Priceline and with much difficulty and frustration, finally got them to accept my price for a hotel actually on the Riverwalk. FYI.. when using Name Your Own Price on Priceline to stay on the Riverwalk on the weekend.. cheap rates are non existent.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk and loved it.. well, everything except that the parking garage doesn't allow Excursions or other large SUVs in because they can't get out. BOO! But, besides that, I would highly recommend it. We creatively fit our family of six into a room meant for four,but for one night on the gorgeous San Antonio Riverwalk in a nice hotel, who can complain??
Clayton had his own little "bed" made up of two arm chairs and lots of blankets. He loved it and slept all night!

We were able to get some good Mexican food, do a little shopping, ride the Riverboats, see the Alamo, go to the IMAX and eat at the Rainforest Cafe. The kids behaved well and we all thoroughly enjoyed our time there. I'm already excited to go back! It's just so relaxing and beautiful and very romantic!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

August 15th is always a special day for me. It's my Daddy's birthday.

This is my dad, Herschel B. Dean. Around his community, as long as I can remember, he's been known as the favorite, most talked about doctor, Dr. Dean.. EVERYWHERE he goes. EVERYONE knows Dr. Dean. I've always believed that it is because he is one of the most devoted men I've ever known.

My dad is devoted to his family, his church and his patients. I've never seen him treat anyone with less dignity and respect than another, and he's always been welcoming to anyone who wants his company. Especially my boys! Cort loves his Pop and requires him to play ball with him everytime they're together. It's become a thing with the two of them to make sure that whereever we are meeting up, they each have a glove. Cort always looks forward to playing with Pop.

Because of my dad's schedule growing up and the demands on physicians years back, we didn't get as much time together on a weekly basis as I would have liked. I know it's because my dad was working hard to meet the needs of four kids, a wife and a huge load of patients. I've always respected that work ethic in him and never more than I do now having a family of my own. I will always appreciate my dad's desire to make sure that we had everything we needed growing up, his willingness to load us into a Ford Conversion Van and drive us all over America to see all the wonderful things America has to offer on his only weeks off, and his gracious heart in working hard so I could attend Baylor debt free.

Most of all, the love he has for the Lord shines through his life. In EVERY aspect of his life. It's obvious to all who know him, and especially those who know him best and see his heart. He is a a fantastic example of the Lord. More than anything I can ever say about my childhood, I thank my Daddy for being a true, honest, follower of Christ and setting the mark for me in what that looks like. For that, I am very grateful! I love you, Daddy! Happy Birthday!

The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.
Proverbs 20:7

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Praying Week

I will always remember the first day of school as a 3rd grader. This was the first year I went to the first day of school without my mom. Being the youngest of 4, I felt silly having my mom walk me in. I went to a small private school and KNEW that I was NOT to have Mrs. Lapeze, the "mean" teacher. I was to have Mrs. Thornton. Well, sure enough, I walked so confidently to Mrs. Thornton's door to see that my name was NOT on her list. This must have been a mistake because I was NOT stepping foot in the mean teacher room. What if she made me stay? So, as an eight year old, I started crying and just looking around like...well, a scared little 8 year old. Eventually I found my way to the school office. Just as I was walking in I heard the office attendant saying.. "Well, Mrs. Dean, strange that you called. Your daughter is standing right here next to me in tears". About 10 minutes later my mom appeared in the school office and worked it out for me to be with the teacher she had requested. My mom has always said that the Lord actually stopped her in the middle of her morning chores and told her that I was not okay. That brings tears to my eyes now as a mom. We just kind of know, don't we?

Every year I refer to this week, and technically next week, as my praying weeks. I catch myself praying harder than I do MOST weeks of the year. This is the week or weeks that someone somewhere is sitting at a desk with mounds of registration forms on his/her desk deciding which child will be placed in which classroom, with which teachers and with which other children. They're deciding where my little Kindergarten boy will fit and who his friends will be his first year from home. Where my little 3rd grader who sometimes can't remember that we walk on our feet and not our hands will end up. Will it be a teacher who will love her for who she is? What about my 5th grader? Will the school know that she is a very anxious little girl and needs someone that understands her? This idea naturally brings me a great deal of stress.

We have trusted God for the last 6 years and put our children in Woodway Elementary knowing that we could move them to a smaller private school if we chose. This was strange for me at first because I never spent a day in a public school. We have loved it and been blessed 10 times over every year. We have not had a bad experience ever. I know and never question that it's because our children are where God wants them and His hand is ever present over them while they are away from home. That is not to say that I don't do some request writing (that doesnt usually work), politicing,and a lot of worrying and talking to the Lord about what I see as best for them, but we all know that in a large school district sometimes it's just the luck of the draw. I'm just thankful that my luck is really the Lord's hand.

This year I have an extra concern as Kate enters the Intermediate School with kids from all over the district. I am feeling so confident for Kate as she is a likeable precious little Christian girl who treats others the way she wishes to be treated. My prayer for her is that the other little girls in her new classes and at her new school have also been taught to be inclusive and encourage quality friendships. I can't stand the idea of my sweet girl not knowing anyone in her block on the first day of school and feeling lonely. But, I know that no matter how much I write about it, lay awake worrying or talking to others about it, ultimately the Lord knows right now who my child will sit with the first day of school and what her experience will be. I'm so thankful to be able to place my kiddos in His care where these big decisions are concerned. Now, if I could just take a deep breath and trust Him to do His work in their lives this year!

Thank you, Lord for being ever present.. Even for my 5 year old.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Spray Tan Gone Wrong

Our family just returned from a funfilled four day trip to a gorgeous lake house at Lake LBJ for some boating with friends. This trip has turned into an annual trip, and it just loads of fun for the 12 kids and 8 adults involved.

I noticed this week that I counted to four in my head more times than I ever have in my entire life. Chad and I have code names for our children. They're quite simple... 1,2,3,and 4. This comes in really handy when I'm taking a head count. With all of the lake swimming, a beach surrounded by lake and a black bottom pool, I found myself constantly counting heads.. 1,2....4.. "Chad do you have 3? That kind of thing. It was a lot of work and a little stressful making sure all of the kids had their heads above water and were accounted for, but all the fun they had was well worth it.

This year I came up with the novel idea that I should give Chad a spray tan before the trip. If you know Chad, he's quite fair and does NOT tan EVER... So, this was a perfect idea, right? Well, it didn't turn out quite like I planned. He was streaked really bad and I think he was kinda embarrassed. Sorry, honey... Here are some pictures of the trip. Maybe you can see his spray tan gone wrong.. or maybe not.