"Happiness is like a butterfly;the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."-Thoreau

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It is finished!!

Today has been an exciting yet suprisingly emotional day, for several reasons. First, the excitement comes from the completion of my national board teaching portfolio. Fifty-five typed pages of technical writing about the what, how, and why I do things when I teach. Student work samples, documentation of my accomplishments over the past five years, and the greatest professional development I've ever embarked upon. It truly has been a journey. Although not quite finished, still an assessment to take, I had a sense of accomplishment when I mailed it off today. Of course I think I checked that box five times and had two other people make sure that everything was there. A years worth of hard work. I remember looking at the 200+ page manual when I decided to begin this crazy journey and thinking to myself... what have you gotten yourself into now. The devil was at work hard in my life trying to tell me that i would fail, there is no use trying to finish this, that it was just going to be too much work for me to handle on top of a full time job and having a two year old. The fall began at church with every verse, and sermon surrounding how if we trust in God there is not fear in His love, and no fear in our life. I will admit there were times during this year when I was close to God and many times when I let the busyness of life get in between my relationship with Him. As I was thinking today, I got emotional and began to realize how there have been so many times in my life when my relationship and proximity to God has not been as close as it needed to be, but He was still working in my life without me realizing it at the time. One thing that came to mind today was the first Sunday School lesson my husband ever taught to our singles class before we were married. The title of the lesson was "God is in the Details." Although he was nervous and this was a very short lesson I still remember some of the things he taught that day. This lesson related to my life over the past year. God truly was in the details of every single aspect of my life, from the colleagues I went through this process with, to the pieces of documentation I needed that magically appeared as I was searching for something, to the students that God placed into my classroom this year. I went into school a little frustrated having to three preps this year, Biology, Earth science, and Anatomy to prepare for. I asked God one day, "How am I going to handle this and complete this national board process?" That's when I realized I can't do this, only God could. The greatest lesson I've learned throughout this is that God is constantly at work in my life, even when I can't feel Him or don't understand, or realize what HE is doing. He really is working through all of those day to day details, as mundane as they may be for my good and to accomplish His purpose. You just do your part, pray, and let God take care of the rest. Regardless of the outcome, I know that God was working in my life and for that I am grateful. Praise be to Him for giving me the strength to persevere through this year. I CAN do ALL things through CHRIST whom GIVES ME STRENGTH!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Greatest Act of Love

My heart is jumping with excitement about the new addition to our extended family. Sean Joseph Fleming was adopted recently by my brother and his wife. For two days things were in limbo as they awaited the birth mothers final decision. As I prayed, I couldn't help but to think how hard this decision was for the birth mother. As a mother now, I know that the memory of seeing that sweet baby for the first time is forever etched in your memory and will always be in your heart. I can't imagine having to make that decision. The young mother first made the right decision, and chose life. Second, she sacrificed her feelings for the well-being and future of someone so precious to her. Then, I think about my brother and Helen. To go through everything they did, the waiting, the financial burden adoption is today, the life change, to love someone like they are your own, and this is why I believe adoption is one of the greatest acts of love.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Giver of Life..

Over 2000 years ago the Giver of Life.. God gave us the most amazing gift ever given. He came to Earth and was born in a manger to live a flawless human life and then die to give us eternal life. I remember vividly standing in Bethlehem at the site where Jesus was believed to have been born. A 96 year old woman from our tour group began weeping and praising God. It was not until then that I truly understood the importance of the birth of Christ. We have heard the story so many times but that day it was felt in the depths of my heart and soul. I got it. It's funny how we can hear the same story all of our life and think that the words have been carefully thought through until we have an experience... a meeting with Jesus that we really start to begin to understand who He really is. All too often we allow our fallible human thoughts to frame our idea of Jesus into the narrow conceptions of our minds. Throughout the years I hope that as my relationship with the Almighty grows I will begin to really comprehend who He is... but the ultimate promise and gift is the salvation He brought, and gave to ALL who are willing to believe in Him. I pray this Christmas season you have found the Christ I am talking about. I pray that we can grow to know Him more through our lives. I pray that I can honor him and serve Him more as I grow older. Thank you God for giving us the true gift of Christmas..... The gift of eternal life!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A season of life...

As I have returned to work this year has begun to bring many challenges and professional endeavors. I am pursuing my national board teaching certification this year. This certification in the state of North Carolina translates into a 12% pay raise and the certificate to hang on your classroom wall stating that you have officially jumped through their hoops in hopes to prove yourself sufficient according to the National Board teaching standards. Needless to say it is an intense year long process to produce a portfolio including videos, written commentaries, student work samples, accomplishments, and a final 6 essay written assessment to prove your breadth of science knowledge. That last part really scares me but I don't even have time to start thinking about studying for that part yet. But it seems in midst of this process God had begun to do a wonderful work in my life. I prayed really hard this summer about starting this process because I was worried about the time commitment and with a 20 month old I knew this would be even harder. I began to feel a peace and God speaking to me telling me that now is the time to do this. To be quite honest, I really haven't pursued this certification in the past because of my fear of failing. There is a large percentage of people that do not pass on the first go round and I didn't like the sound of that. I really don't deal well with failure. In fact, I guess you could say I used to have a fear of failing, and in the back of my mind never quite feeling like I was good enough at many things in my life. In the midst of beginning my work I joined a women's Bible study at church, mainly because a friend of mine wanted to start the study. This study has been a catalyst for change in my life and my relationship with God. In the midst of all of the work and pursuit of a professional goal God has spoken to me very loud. Not only has the Bible study provided a means for this change but the 11 AM sermons that Will has delivered have ironically contained many of the same passages that our women's Bible study has been focusing on. It is amazing to see God weaving together the details of life to speak in such a way that is so loud and clear. Our Sunday School lessons that Heth has prepared have only further been a piece of the woven fabric that God has been speaking to my soul. God has spoken so loud to me to get rid of my fears and be complete in His love. When we are complete in Him there is no room for fear. I have read this verse before but never before has it spoken to me like it has in the past few weeks. As I have been praying that God will relinquish my fears and set me free I have felt the greatest sense of peace and calm in the midst of this busy season of my life. If nothing else but to draw me closer to Him, this process has been more than worthwhile. I have watched God weave people, circumstances, and situations together like never before. I am just thankful that I have been able to sense His presence and praise Him with for all that HE is doing. I know that my words are inadequate to articulate my feelings, but I have been praising and thanking Him for speaking to me. Oh how this could have the potential to change my life. To serve Him with passion and no fear of failure. To live everyday dancing in His arms, to live each moment knowing that His love completes me and is without fear. I pray that this continues to transform my life and I can live this everyday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Typical Saturday with Abby

Abby is learning so quickly and is such a fun little girl. This video shows how much she loves to talk on the phone to her mama, da-dee, mi-mi and paw-paw. She is definitely our little buddy and a joy to have in our house.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Potty Training?? Already??

Abby is now 18 months old and I never imagined she would be doing and saying all that she is. She continues to amaze me everyday! She has been telling me lately when she peepee's and poopoo's so that I can change her diaper. So, i thought I would buy a potty and maybe introduce the idea to her and see what happens. I bought the potty about a week ago and she has loved playing with it, sitting on it, looking at her books while she sits, opening and closing the lid. Well, on Wednesday she looked at me and said, "pee pee mommy", so we dashed off to the potty, I removed her diaper and helped her get seated on the toilet. She sat for a minute looking at her book and then I heard the music start playing ( her potty plays a celebration song as soon as she goes). I couldn't believe it! At 18 months she used her potty, and believe me we had a celebration party! She was also proud of herself and starting clapping and then wanted to see the pee pee in the potty herself and put her hand in it (we'll have to work on that). That was two days ago and she has not gone again but continues to let me know when she has used the bathroom so I can change my diaper. I know this is just a start, and my fear is she will get bored with the potty and forget about it. We shall see.... in the meantime I am not going to push this too hard, i mean she is still my baby girl right? Although, no more trips to Costco for huge boxes of diapers would not hurt my feelings or budget!
Besides potty training these days she is loving to read books, saying lots of words- especially thank you and bless you, loves to say amen at the end of a prayer, and tries to repeat most words you say to her. Each day it seems her language continues to blossom and it is so much fun to watch her learn and grow. Her 18 month check up was this week as well and everything was great. She did not cry until she had to get her last immunization.. but i would too seeing the size of that needle go into her tiny leg. She was average for weight, head size, and above average in height. I was a little worried about her weight being too low but he said everything was great. She loves to eat peas, peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, veggie sticks, green beans, tomatoes from the garden, blueberries, strawberries, garlic hummus ( i know right?), loves pancakes, eggs, any bread or cracker product, cereal bars, and waffles. I could go on but those seem to be her favorites. And of course just like mom and dad she loves ice cream. Well, i guess thats about it these days. I am just trying to soak up all the time I can before I go back to work in August. Be praying for me on the 18th because it will be a tough day for me. Leaving behind another special summer with my little girl. Trying to be in the moment each day and soak it all in. It is so hard being a working mom and shifting gears from teaching all day to mommy mode and taking care of everything at home. I know many of us do it but it still isn't easy. When Abby goes to school and our schedules are similar I think it will be a little easier for me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

First Pig Tails

Abby's first pig tails! They look a little messy because holding down a 17 month old and trying to fix their hair is near impossible. I remember when I was growing up this was my favorite way to wear my hair. In fact, I'm surprised I don't have a permanent part from wearing pig tails every single day until I was too old and it didn't look cute anymore! She was so funny looking in the mirror and checking out her new do. You can see by the smirk on her face in the Blog title photo that she was loving this new hair style!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Memorial Day visit to Alabama

Abby walking up and down the stairs with Paw Paw.

Our Buddy.

Waliking in the driveway at Paw Paw and Grammy's house.

Cookie face

Abby and Paw Paw take a look at the garden.

Miss Bryleigh, Abby's cousin.

(L to R) Brody, Tommy, Erica, Bryleigh, Jeffrey, Teresa, Cindy, Abby and Heth

Nana and Pop got to spend some good times with the grandkids.

Abby had a great time playing with her cousins Bryleigh and Brody.

For some reason, Abby really like to roll around on the doormat just inside the door on mom's deck. She would just walk over to it, lay down, and then commence to rolling around.

Nana and her grandkids would site on the deck and look at the neighbors cats, the gold fish, watch it rain, or anything else that passed by. We had a great time with our family.

Abby and Bryleigh shared a wagon ride at the local elementary schools Spring Day.

Brody and his friend were acting goofy. I think they had a little too much Kool-aid.

Nana holds her two granddaughters.

Brody's team had just won the tug-of-war challenge. They were a little excited (as you can tell from the kid on the right).

Brody has been eating a green sucker. Needless to say his teeth were just a slight shade of green.

Abby makes "the face"

Bryleigh loves her Nana and rests on her shoulder at the Spring Day event.

The second most beautiful girl in the world. Her momma is the first.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Blogging shall soon return....

So I have one more official day with my students taking exams and one more full week of work and I will be off for the summer. I love being a teacher!! Don't ask me the week before spring break how much I love it!
I have become such a lazy blogger, not really lazy, just busy with a soon to be 17 month old and working full time can be pretty consuming at times. I cant wait to be at home with Abby all summer so I can soak up all of my mommy time with her. I also hope to be blogging more frequentlytand posting some new videos. Blogging will also be a great distraction from my summer cleaning/organizing to-do list.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Here is my favorite picture from Easter Sunday. I have many more but love this one!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Many milestones...

These past few weeks have been filled with milestones in our little Abby's life. She started walking, or should I say taking her first steps completely by herself on March 29th. This just happened to be the weekend that PawPaw and Grammy Kendrick were in town visiting and were also able to witness these first steps. How special! You'll also notice her singing a little in the video, saying her favorite word "bead-a-bye" (we have no idea what this means but are convinced this is the universal Abby word), making a scrunchy face at me (which i taught her one day being funny and it amazingly has stuck with us) and taking those first steps. Enjoy one of my favorite videos of Abby!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

First Birthday Party Pictures

Here are some pictures from Abby's First Birthday party. She had a blast celebrating with family and friends. She was so funny with her "cupcake" smash cake. She didn't want to stick her in the cake and eat it, but loved picking all of the polka dots of icing off the cake and eating them. Too funny!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy First Birthday Abby!!

Our sweet little baby girl is one year old today! My how times flies by! One year ago today at 3:24 PM we saw our Abby for the first time. I'll never forget that day and first time I saw her. I waited for her for so long and I was finally able to see that precious little girl, a memory forever with me. Now she's trying to walk, loves to laugh, sing "la,la, la", squeal and trying to say new words everyday. She is such a sweet and happy little girl. We are so blessed and thank God for this wonderful gift he has given us. Happy Birthday Abby, we love you so much!! Tomorrow we're having her birthday party and we'll post lots of pictures.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Christmas!

I can't believe that Christmas has come and gone again. Wow, does a year go by fast when you're having so much fun! This was Abby's first Christmas which made it pretty fun for us and her. She definitely loved the Christmas tree and all the lights and knew what Santa looked like but I think that was about it. When it came time to open presents she was more interested in the paper and bows rather than her presents. After she opened her presents she loved climbing on top of the boxes. I never knew that girls could be such climbers and explorers. In fact, Abby would rather climb, walk with mom or dad, and maneuver around the coffee table more than anything else. She did love her new car we can ride her around in the neighborhood. We had to pry her out of it one day after going about two miles and she still wanted to keep going. She also loved her Zebra and dancing to the music. She is going to be quite an active energetic girl. When she starts walking by herself you'll know because Heth and I will start shedding some pounds! Most of all it has been amazing to have the past two weeks to spend at home with her playing, shopping, eating out, and just having a good time. Since Heth has been home he keeps her going nonstop playing, laughing, and walking her around the house, up and down the stairs and doing whatever she wants to do. She is a daddy's girl! One day she wouldn't let me hold her, she would just hug me (she leans her head in and opens her mouth to try to kiss you) but would want to stay with her daddy. Heth is probably the most amazing, and fun dad there is. No seriously, I will never be able to entertain and make Abby laugh the way her daddy does. We spent Christmas day at my parents and Heth's dad and Jane came to visit on New Year's Eve. We had fun playing the Wii, and games of Roulette (my favorite!). We also did lots of shopping and just had a great time visiting and Abby spent most of her time showing them all of her new tricks. All in all we had a wonderful Holiday Season soaking up every minute with family and just enjoying spending time with our sweet Abby. In just two weeks we'll be celebrating her first birthday and wondering where the last year went but remembering how much our sweet girl has grown and brought us so much joy. I never knew my heart could possibly love the way it does now. Her life has taught me so many things over this year and made me more thankful for each day. I pray that we can be the kind of parents God would have us be and teach her to love Him and follow Him. As parents I think you can never pray enough for your little ones! I can't wait to see what 2009 has in store for us!