Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tennessee Weekend of Prayer--August 1st and 2nd

As our students head back to school, Governor Haslam has declared the first weekend in August to be Weekend of Prayer Over Students. I have organized a Facebook page, Weekend of Prayer for our county schools. Please join us no matter where your school is and pray this weekend.

For those that will be prayer walking, I have used several sources to create a list of things to pray for as well as a prayer that you can use. I'm not very good with inserting documents so I think the easiest way will be to either read it from your mobile device or copy and paste it into a Word document and print. If you need, I can email it to you, just comment below with your email address. You can also find it on the Facebook page here Weekend of Prayer.

Thank you for putting our schools first this weekend. Of course these are great ideas to pray everyday for our schools.

Suggested Prayers:

For Students:
*Their Faith--That every student will come to know Christ, early and deeply and discover his/her value in Christ, his/her particular function in the body of Chris and most of all, develop a passionate love for the Lord and others.
*John 13:34
*Their Worth--That our students know they are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Ephesians 2:10
*Students will be respectful, kind and courteous to teachers, staff and peers.
*A desire to learn and disciplined in preparation (be on time, homework completed, etc.)
*Godly wisdom
*Spiritual guidance and direction of each student. 
*Friendships and connections
*Hedge of protection from:
*peer pressure
*bullying, fighting, unrest
*drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex, pornography
*gossip and misunderstandings
*emotional issues

For Teachers and Administration:
*Unity within the staff.
*Confidence in teaching, knowledge, leadership skills and wisdom.
*Godly wisdom and humility. 
*Passion to light the path of their class.  “Show me your ways, O Lord, Teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God, my Savior.” Psalm 25:4-5
*A heart of prayer for their students.
*A hedge of protection for health and faith, for their marriage and family.
*Relief from excessive stress and patience. 

For Families:
*Families in this neighborhood.
*Financial wisdom
*Peace and joy in parenting
*Parent involvement at school.
*Family time with God.
Prayer for Our School

Lord God, we thank you for the opportunity to begin the 2015-2016 school year, and we ask that you bless the faculty, the students and families of __________ (your school). We pray that you will guide us in all ways and that we will seek your will in everyting that we do.

As we walk around the grounds of __________school, Lord, may you bless the land and put a hedge of protection around it. Bless this school and all who pass through its halls of learning. May its teachers be filled with love and skilled in imparting true knowledge. May its students be open-minded and their learning full of joy and eagerness. May this school always be a safe, fun, loving place for these children. A school of wisdom, truth and good will toward all, helping to build up our community and your kindom of justice, love and peace. 

Lord, bless and protect the children of _____________school. Thank you for the gift of our children. They are precious in Your sight, for You were once a child. You know the many temptations and peer pressures that come to our young people everyday. Shield them O Lord and guide them. Help them find godly friends who will support, encourage and uphold them to Christian faith. 

Bless our teachers with true wisdom and may they teach not only academic instructions, but proper morals and love of God and higher authority. As they open their mouths to relay knowledge and wisdom, may their words be filled with inspiration and encouragement, that our students will be strenghtened to use their knowledge in developing their talents and abiliteis to make a difference for the betterment of this world. 

Show us parents, teachers and students a special measure of Your grace, lead us in the right paths. Help us not to lean in our own undestanding, but in all our ways, may we acknowledge You. Give us all true wisdom which finds it joy in You. Dear Lord, as our Teacher, help us to remember that you are the beginning of wisdom. May there be more prayerful parents, teachers and students who will stand up for You. May we cling to the truth and may our lights shine so brightly that the world of learning may be reminded that knowledge is fleeting, but Godly wisdom is eternal.

Thank you, O Lord of wisdom, our Sovereign and Mighty God, who shows us the Way, The Truth and the Life through Jesus Christ, Our Savior. Continue to teach us our ways, bless our growth in grace and give us deeper understanding of Your good and gracious will. To the Greatest Teacher who ever lived, Our Savior and Friend Jesus, may Your will be done according to your promises. Amen.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Photo Fun

I've not taken my Canon T2i camera with me this summer when we have traveled. I've just used my iPhone for pictures. Wendy and I still have several weddings to photograph this year and I want to give it and my back a break. These are some of my favorite everyday shots from my iPhone that the kids and I really like. What are you using for summer photography?

Looked for this baby for days to take to Washington D.C. found the day we got back.
I'll post the D.C. trip a little later.  

Me and my Daddy--Father's Day!

Julia's wedding and the only one here that I did use my Canon for.
 I've know Julia since she was little and she was one of my first piano students.
 You can check out Wendy Ivens Photography here for all your photography needs.

We bought a selfie stick in Nashvegas! We were there for the National Beta Convention.

Nashville Downtown

You got to practice.

Love how they work together to figure out the pattern of the subway tile I wanted for the parlor fireplace.
Find out more about our farmhouse remodel here.

This girl celebrated her 9th birthday with ramen noodles for breakfast in bed.
Yes, it's a number four, all the other candles have moved already. 

Sisters! They look so grown up.

A wedding I got to attend and not work. It was held at the beautiful Storybrook Farm.
Can't believe I got him to take a picture.

Our good friends and awesome teachers.  Becky has taught the three youngest.
 Josh had Mattie last year and will eventually have the other three. Many wishes for Happy EverAfter. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What We Are Reading This Week

This week as school ends, I'm finishing up Both Feet In: A Journey to Surrender, Sacrifice and Service by our Interim Pastor's Father-In-Law, Bud Fray. Mattie is currently working on the Channing O'Banning series by Angela Spady. Maggie is reading book five in the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. Michael is reading the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis. He has the first ten and is saving up to purchase the next ones. Mollie is finishing up a library book.

We read or listen to books to and from school since we have a 25 minute drive each way. This week we started The Essential 55 by Ron Clark. My afternoon school is planning to implement these rules this fall. So far the ones we've read are great for everyone not just school kids or teachers. Be on the lookout for reviews of these books and some giveaways before the end of the month.

So what are you reading?

Disclaimer: Just to let you know by clicking through the links that go to Amazon if you make a purchase I may receive a percentage of the sales.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Year in Review

At the beginning of the year, I decided that my "word" for 2014 was live. You can check that post out here at 2014--My Word of the Year. If you're wondering, I know most of you aren't, how my year of living turned out read on. Part of the following post was my game plan for 2014 the bold sentences that follow each goal tell how things turned out.

In January 2014, this is how I described my life... Um, boring. It's more like the antonyms, deactive, ineffective, asleep, stagnant, unproductive. But what can I do in 2014 to make live look like it's true meaning?

God, Family, Friends, FUN--No Internet, no phone except in case of emergency and I will decide whether your emergency is my emergency too. Most Sundays I did pretty well with no Internet. Although, I did edit and post pictures to Facebook instead of napping on many of those Sundays. 

Hubby and Kids and family first after God. They are my life. More time with them. I often put other people's needs or things I think need to be done before my family. I'm not apologizing for telling people no. Look people in the eye when I talk to them, especially my kids, in the same room, not from across the house. I even miss out on family time with parents, siblings and our niece and nephews because I'm busy doing something someone else thinks I should have or make time for.
I'm not saying I won't do things to help people. But I will pray and seek God's will and take into consideration my families thoughts and needs before I commit. I did much better with the kids. Mikie is still working on the remodel and I didn't do so great in the time with Mikie goal. the remodel is almost finished and this is still one of my goals for 2015, strengthing our marriage. 

Let Go--
I made my own planner/journal in December. I know God was preparing me to live as I worked on it. It has a calendar for each month, but no hourly schedule. It's more of a journal to record what we do each day after it's done. I want to remember these times, but I'm not going to be tied to a schedule, or to journaling everyday. Live in the moment. Even behind my camera I can live and the kids and I can record our year of memories in our Project Life Book. Well, no Project Life Book even started in 2014. I do have a cart full of photos ready to print, most from my phone. One for each day of the year to go in the journal.

Schedules, basketball ends next week. Other than Mattie running track and field sports are done until next basketball season. The kids are pretty athletic, but our lives aren't going to be run by sports. We hope to move this summer. A big yard sale will follow. Mikie spends every day off remodeling, the kids and I fill our off days with things that don't always help our family or fit into our family mission statement. Still working on this one and that's all I'll say about that. 

Social Media--
None on Sunday and limited time the rest of the week. I have some sponsored posts for the blog coming up. Time spent on social media needs to honor God and help my blog, not my nose problem. I do this one pretty well during the school year, not so well during breaks. 

I can't live if I'm not alive. Healthier eating, more exercise, less crap, less stress. In the words of Dave Ramsey, "Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else." I know he is talking about budgeting, which we already do, but it applies to my whole life. This is a goal every year. 

So in 2014, I will live, live for God, live for now, love for the future, live for my family, friends and fun. Live like there's no tomorrow. Live with no regrets. I did all of those things in 2014 plus so much more. 

What's your word?

Disclaimer: I didn't take time from my family to post this. I'm enjoying a second sick day this week, thanks to strep and a fever. So other than sleep, no one was neglected.

Look for my year in review in pictures and my 2015 goals coming soon.

Saying goodbye to the old and looking forward to the new!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days---Day 30

As the month comes to a close, I've not meet my goals, but I've written a little more than I normally do. I plan to keep posting at least once a week. I am in the process of reading some books that I received from Tommy Nelson Kids, so that I can post a giveaway. I also will be giving away some of Tricia Goyers books over the next few weeks.  We will be on fall break Monday and Tuesday, although they are calling for snow it's still fall break. I will be transferring my blog to an easier to find website. After the transfer is over I will be holding a contest to help increase my followers with a gift card giveaway. I will announce that as soon as the website is up and running.

This week is getting pretty exciting. The sheet rock guys are at the farmhouse. It's getting really close for us to start moving things. I hope to have most of it moved during Christmas break so we can put the other house up for sale. I finally braved up and went to the cellar. It's not as spooky as I thought it was.

Maggie was Mayor of Biztown Monday. Her class had studied all about the workings of a city over the last few weeks. The students filled out job applications and the teachers chose them by interest and personality. Maggie was little upset that she was Mayor at first, but afterwards was very excited to have been chosen for the role.

Michael went back to school this week and other than being tired he has done well.

Mollie played a B-team tournament. She was a nervous wreck at the first game. During the second game she got the ball, dribbled down and passed off to the point guard. She LOVES basketball now she said.

Mattie has been working hard on her part in Once On This Island, JR. My students perform next Thursday. If you're local you will not want to miss out on it and Into the Woods, JR. Mattie is also working on her speech and campaign for Vice-President of the state Beta Club.

We hope to rest some this long weekend between the cleaning and discarding of things we don't need. Here are a current pic of the farmhouse. You can read about the house here.

Have a great weekend!!

The outside still needs a few little things and a Caribbean Blue front door.

The cellar wasn't so bad.

Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days---Day 23

What a week. In my last post I talked about MagPie's birthday and how she serves Krispy Kreme for her birthday. Well, she decided she wanted a cake with Littlest Pet Shop figures on it. Guess who ate the entire sheet cake by herself, me! Maggie didn't eat a bite, she just wanted the toys.

Michael went on Friday morning to have his tonsils and adenoids out. He has battled lip licking, throat clearing and restless sleep for several years. It wasn't until this year's well child visit that the doctor and I picked up on it being more than just a bad habit. We visited the ENT and he decided we would start with surgery and if that doesn't remedy the issue we will do more testing. We hope to see a change over the next few weeks.

Mattie spent two nights at the National Beta Club leadership conference in Gatlinburg and had a great time. She is Vice-President for her school Beta Club and is running for Vice-President of the state club at convention in November. She along with the other officers and two sponsors enjoyed meeting new friends, enhancing their leadership skills and of course shopping and running around town.

Mollie played in her first elementary basketball game Monday evening. She isn't sure she likes it, yet. She loves soccer. I think she will love it once she gets used to it. Being the baby she is used to everyone picking up her slack. We got all the way to school, 30 minutes from the house, and she begins to cry, again. She was already upset because Michael wasn't going to be there to eat breakfast with her. Maggie works Safety Patrol every morning so she can't sit with her. On Friday, she needed basketball clothes for practice. As we pulled up at school she realized no one picked up her bag. After school I found out that a couple of the other basketball players, both boys,  sat with her because she was crying and they felt bad for her. Maggie's best friend Amanda sat with her all this week.

Saturday morning I received my four week keychain and five pounds lost star at Weight Watchers. I've done Weight Watchers before and didn't stick with it. I gained all that weight back plus some. I lie all the time that I don't care about the number on the scale just the one on the label in the back of my pants. We all know that if the scale goes down the label does too. Although, last time I weighed 157 pounds and wore size 16/18 pants. This time I was at 168 and in size 12's comfortably. I'm pretty sure that is in thanks to kickboxing at Red Dragon Martial Arts, even if it's just a couple times each week. This week I fully expect to pay for that entire sheet cake I ate with a gain.

I enjoyed a day off with Michael this week and then four stress filled days preparing for upcoming choral and drama performances at both middle schools. Someone said this week they wished they taught music so they could sit behind the piano all day. I told them I might think about swapping. I have five performances including a school board meeting between October 30th and November 11th. During that time we also have two days of fall break. Once those are over we start Winter Concert. My evaluations never truly reflect what my students learn, because our performances don't count as part of my evaluation. Yet, I don't worry about the evaluation. The true evaluation is indeed the performances and the great comments I and my students and principals receive in town and the bragging the principals get to do at their monthly administrators meeting.

To end the week I took Maggie and Amanda to a 4-H/livestock meeting last night. We are moving to the city, have three and one half acres zoned agriculture, can have livestock and they want sheep, goats, chickens and horses. I'm not convinced we can pull this off and they aren't sure they want to give up basketball to care for their animals everyday but we will see what happens.

I have a couple of book giveaways coming up in the next few days so be on the lookout for another post. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days---Day 16

Yesterday was a whirl wind of activity. We had a Student Council meeting afterschool, bought three pairs of basketball high tops and took MagPie for her birthday dinner at Olive Garden. It's a 45 minute drive with the crazy traffic even on a Wednesday evening. Luckily for us, the schools in the county where we attend church was out for fall break, so no activities, we could celebrate. We waited for 45 minutes and as busy as they were we ate for over an hour, mostly waiting on more bowls of endless chicken and gnocchi soup. I about died when we pulled into Krispy Kreme for her birthday doughnuts for her school party today. The hot sign was on. If I didn't have to weigh in at Weight Watchers Saturday morning and hadn't ate three bowls of soup already I would have consumed a dozen right there. I restrained and left them in the car overnight. Bad mistake, let me tell you. The car smelled like doughnuts this morning. Maggie has outgrown her food allergies of white potatoes, mushrooms, peanuts, navy beans and chocolate, but she still doesn't like to eat cupcakes so she always takes Krispy Kreme. The kids at school love it. Many of them never get doughnuts at least not that brand.

Maggie is 11 years old. She is one of the most thoughtful, loving kids you will ever meet. I often tell her it's not fair she's got it all brains, beauty, creativity, athleticism, the works. She can do anything she sets her mind on. She has wanted to be a missionary since she was in the 2 year old Sunday School class with Mrs. Mary. She plans to be a large animal veterinarian so that she can travel oversees and help animals and tell others about Christ. Maggie is the "Mother" to every kid she ever meets who needs one. Maggie is perfect in every way. Happy birthday, Maggie!