Friday, August 29, 2008

Our Surprise

Tonight while we were having dinner, we heard a thud and then laughter of children. We have a lot of kids on our street and after school they almost all play outside. We didn't think anything of it and went on with our meal. After dinner Mr. TD went outside to mow the lawn and discovered something dripping from our roof, and noticed the neighbors hose was drug toward our house. He looked up on the roof, and found an egg had been thrown at our house and that they had tried to use our neighbors hose to clean it up.

We have no idea who did this, although we have our suspicions. I just don't understand what would possess someone to do that to someone else, maybe it's because I am a female. Is this really funny??? I just don't get it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oops! I forgot one...

I forgot to add one more to yesterday's post. This is the one that started me on the thinking path I went on, but somehow in my congested head, I forgot it when I began typing. So, here it is:

Yesterday we had our library day for school. Two weeks ago we borrowed several books and one Leap Pad book. The Leap Pad book was a song book of Mother Goose Rhymes, I thought it would be a lot of fun and would help me remember all of the tunes that I have forgotten since I was in Kindergarten. Anyway, both Princess TD and Little TD use the Leap Pad and we have 2 of them so they each have their own. Little TD was playing with the Mother Goose book when he did something very trivial and made Princess TD angry. Not just cross...but extremely angry. She grabbed the book he had on the pad and tore a page from it, wadded it up and threw it across the room, just to make him mad! He brought me the torn out page, crying that sissy had torn his book. I took the page from him and called Princess TD. We discussed the whole situation, what she did, why she did it, a better way to react, the whole thing. However, at the end, I informed her that when we returned the book to the library, she had to take it to the librarian and tell her she tore a page out and use her birthday spending money to replace the book. I smoothed out the page and carefully put it back into the spirals to try to salvage as much as possible, but even with a gentle tug, the page came right back out. On our way to the library yesterday, I reminded her what she had to to when we got there and she was ready to go. (Proud Momma moment here) She patiently waited in line for the librarian and when it was her turn, she explained that she tore out a page and that she needed to pay for the book. She showed the librarian which page it was and apologized and said that she was going to pay for it with her spending money and her birthday money. I think she was proud that she was using her own money, but not about what she did. The librarian looked at it carefully and said, "I think it will be fine. We don't need to replace it." Then she looked directly at Princess TD and said, "Save your spending money for something special, and be sure to be more kind to your books." Grace.

You know I find it very encouraging to see that when we take responsibility for our actions others are more apt to forgive.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grace 'n Failure

This is the title of the last lesson in the Bible study I have been leading this summer. It has been an interesting couple of days here as I have been preparing for this last class. One of the days talked about letting your kids fall so that they can see their need for God's grace. It also talked about extending grace to each other. I don't think we extend each other enough grace. Here are a couple of examples of grace 'n failure I have seen since I completed that lesson.

Princess TD has learned to ride her bike sans training wheels. Last night we were out riding and she was getting dangerously close to parked cars. I stopped her and told her a story about when I was about 8 years old and I was riding my bike. We lived in a small neighborhood that had a block that was about 1/4 mi around, so all of us kids would just ride around and around and around all day long. I was on my 5th or 6th lap and I wasn't paying attention and as I came around a corner, I ran smack into the back of a parked car. I went over the handlebars and landed on the trunk! I told her about going to the door and telling the owner of the car that I had hit their car and how scary that was (in that day, we didn't need parents to go to our neighbors homes, so I did this alone). She was astounded that I had hit a car. I think she was trying to figure out how I could have made that mistake, but I explained that it was an accident. The owner of the truck that she came dangerously close to hitting was in his front yard and heard me tell this story. After I got her back on her way, he told me that he has had to buff out at least a dozen scratches from the boys in the neighborhood (who never told him, BTW) and that it was "ok" if she hit his truck. He said that he appreciated me trying to teach her not to hit it but if she did, he knew it was an accident! Grace.

Ok, here's what happened in the end of my story: The lady who owned the car actually saw me hit her car out the window. She was impressed that I came right away to tell her about it. She insisted that I sit in the shade and have some cookies and lemonade! Awesome Grace.

My dear friend, Erinlo, has a post regarding a similar situation to this on her blog. Go check it out and tell her what you think.

I have always been a perfectionist (I know, no surprise). I do not like failure and do not like to admit (or even acknowledge) when I have failed (or am wrong). When I was younger, I was very critical of others choices that didn't match my "correct" way of thinking. I was watching a DVR episode of Dr. Phil from yesterday and I saw myself in the overcritical, overachiever big sister. It made me think about the hurtful things I have said to several of my lifelong friends and family members. Even with all of the hurtful things I have said, they have forgiven me and still love me. Grace.

I also see some of these same critical, "always right" tendencies in Princess TD. I am praying for the right situation to come up and the right story to help her to see that it's not the way to go, that she needs to extend grace to others.

I pray that I can find a way to teach this to my children. We are all a failure. We all need Grace. Each of us in our own lives in our own way is rejoicing, hurting, serving, being served, playing, working, stressing, relaxing, holding on and letting go. Grace to us all.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pictures as Promised

Here's some video taken today of Princess TD riding her bike! She did awesome! She was even able to take off from the curb by herself! She has Daddy and Mommy beat as far as how quickly she learned!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

She did it!

Today Mr. TD worked from home so that I could be at the hospital for our friends. He took a break after nap time and took the kids outside to play for a little bit while waiting for me to arrive home. He had Princess TD trying again to ride her bike without the training wheels...and she did it!!! All by herself!! She rode from our house to the end of the cul-de-sac, Mr. TD helped her turn around, and then she rode back to our house! We don't have pictures this time, but I am sure now that she is confident she will be riding more, and I can get some pictures.

Way to go Princess TD!! You did awesome! I am so proud of you!

Update on Baby Justin

Baby Justin did not have his heart surgery today. He was bumped again for another child who was more critical. His surgery date has been rescheduled for September 8. Please continue to keep Justin and his family in your prayers over the next 2 weeks. What an awesome blessing that he is doing so well that he can be bumped! God is answering prayers in this family's life. I feel so blessed to be able to witness first hand God working in their lives.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Prayers for Baby Justin

Tomorrow our good friends, the DeCarlo's, will be taking their son, Justin, to the hospital in preparation for his heart surgery on Thursday. Please pray for this family and for baby Justin.

Monday, August 18, 2008

School Update

So, we are embarking on our 3rd week of official Kindergarten. I think we have found a good mix of reading, games, and activities. Today she told me that her favorite subjects were math and Reddy Fox (her read-a-loud).

Last week we did a mini-unit study on the Olympics. It was a lot of fun and a good friend of mine brought me her pictures of her trip to Greece. We are now extending the study to include a bit of world geography and Olympic history. Her favorite events have been women's gymnastics and springboard diving. Although she likes all of the diving, springboard is her favorite because they are "bouncy" when they jump. We are keeping track of the medal count for China and the USA and she is doing well with the complex math skill of figuring out how many to add to what we have to make the total!

For Little TD, I have organized my preschool stuff again and started working on the Prep curriculum for Letter of the Week. This is the program I used for Princess TD for preschool when she was 3.5 years old, except I started with Letter of the Week. He seems to be enjoying it. We are working on colors, shape recognition, letter recognition and sound, and numbers. He can count easily to 15 and knows the Alphabet Song. We are still not sure if he is playing with us on his colors or if he might be color blind. I think he's playing with us, but time will tell for sure.

Today I received a distinguished honor from my students. I got a sticker for being the best teacher and mommy ever! I feel so honored!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Being 5!

Princess TD loves being 5, just ask her, she'll tell you! It has only been about a month, but it seems like a world of difference between 4 and 5. Mr. TD has been saying for a long time that she needed to learn to ride her bike without the training wheels. Well, she finally tried it! She tried it last weekend and did pretty well, but hasn't wanted to try again. This weekend, she did! Here some video of her giving it a try.

A couple of times she got ahead of Mr. TD. With practice she'll be riding on her own in no time!

We are watching the Olympics and having a blast. We are doing a unit study on the Olympics. We are making it pretty simple this time around, but she's loving watching the sports! So far she wants to do it all, but the one she was the most interested in trying is diving! was hard enough watching my little sister almost crack her head on the board...I am not so sure I can watch my child! But, it is in the sister was 3rd in the state on her first trip to the state competition!

For now, we will just continue to let her explore her interests on her own before we "dive" head first into a lifetime of lessons!

Monday, August 4, 2008

First Day of School

Today was "officially" the first day of Kindergarten for Princess TD. We began in the afternoon because we had her 5 year old well child check-up this morning. For those keeping track, she is 47 3/8" tall and weighs 58 lbs 6 oz. She is 6" taller than the average 5 year old girl, which is completely obvious if you see her with her friends! Dr. F was completely amazed at both kiddos. He went on and on about how well behaved they were and how intellegent they were (at least we have someone fooled :) ). He spent a good 20 minutes talking with both kids - very amazed that we are a "well" family (i.e. we don't go in often for sick visits). He was even very supportive of our decision to homeschool. He asked Princess TD if she was nervous about starting school, she very confidently said no and then stated that her Mommy was going to teach her at home. All in all, it was a great visit. She is perfectly healthy and growing as she should.

Ok, back from my "rabbit trail" to the first day of school. I started thinking this week about the pictures my Mom took of me on my first days of school, so I decided to take some of Princess TD so that she would have a remembrance of this special day. (Ok, it's really not much different from any other day since she was 2, other than the new curriculum, but it's Kindergarten!) So here's my princess on her first day of official school:

Overall the first day's lesson went well. It took about 2 hours with several interruptions from Little TD. I discovered that I need to spread out the read aloud parts, both for her listening and my voice. The math was the fastest subject, and she's just like me...if she doesn't do it right the first time, she doesn't want to try again. I will need to work on finding a way to encourage her to try again.

Little TD played with his trains and cars while we did school. For the most part, he did great. He needed a little attention for his needs and sat in on a couple of our read-alouds. Later in the evening, he brought me a coloring sheet from church with Princess TD's Memory Verse on it, and said, "Help Mommy. I can't read the words." He then pulled about a dozen books off the shelf and we had our own little "preschool" there. We'll see how the rest of the week goes, but I may need to work on his preschool curriculum. Oh, and I couldn't do a picture of Sissy without one of him, so here's Little TD on Princess TD's first day of school:

What a ham he is! You gotta love that grin!

We're Staying Put

For all of you not on the Texas coast, you may not be aware that there is a tropical storm headed for our area. We have decided that we will stay put this time. We have plenty of food, bottled water, batteries. It isn't expected to be a very big storm, although that could change at a moments notice, but we'll keep everyone updated!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Busy, Busy Bees

I have been absent from the blog scene for the last couple of weeks. We have been very busy with our life! It all started with a prayer dinner for our friends, the DeCarlos, for their youngest son, Justin. He was supposed to have had open heart surgery yesterday, but it has been postponed until August 21. Please keep them in your prayers over the next few weeks. I can't imagine being ready to go, and then having it postponed. They need to stay well, both the parents and the kids.

The next day began our VBS! It was so much fun for the adults and kids alike. I was in charge of running registration. The first night was absolutely crazy. Everyone showed up about the same time as my helpers, and I didn't get a chance to explain the system of getting the kids signed in, so the parents had to wait a little longer than I really wanted them to wait. All those kinks were worked out by the next night and all went well! Our VBS theme was God's Big Backyard. It was all about serving others. It has made a big impact on Princess TD, she is always talking about serving family, friends, neighbors and Jesus! This year, we took pictures of each of the kids on the stage, mounted them on a keepsake, and handed them out on the last night. Here are the kids pictures:

They love singing the songs and doing the hand motions. I really had a great time and the registration process is right up my organizing alley!

The day after VBS, we were supposed to go to an outdoor theater to see Peter Rabbit, but we decided not to make the trip since the rains from Hurricane Dolly were coming down strong! That turned out to be quite a blessing, because it allowed me to get everything packed for our trip to Abilene for one of Mr. TD's cousins wedding.

We left Friday morning to make the trek to Abilene. Remembering the trip to St. Louis, Princess TD kept asking what state we were in. We kept answering Texas, but it was so confusing for her. We were in the car the same amount of time it took us to get to our stopping point in Oklahoma on our Missouri trip, but on this trip we only stayed in Texas! We kept reminding her that Texas is BIG!!!

The wedding was very nice. The bride was beautiful and the groom was handsome. It was an evening wedding, so we didn't get to visit too long at the reception. The little ones were getting cranky, and after 2 weeks of staying up late, the sleep deprivation was adding up! We had a special birthday party for Mr. TD's uncle the next day. We were able to visit with family that we haven't seen in a very long time! There were a lot of pictures taken, but almost all of them were not by the TD family! I guess we were too busy chasing around Princess TD and Little TD. Princess TD has come home talking about how much she misses her cousin Hannah. It's really pretty sweet, since they have only met a few times and Hannah is starting college at ACU this fall! There is quite an age gap there, but that didn't seem to bother either one of them!

This week has been filled with catching up at home and getting ready for next week. We are officially beginning Kindergarten on Monday! I have my lesson plans ready, my books together and will be preparing the remaining items this weekend. One of the remaining items is something to entertain Little TD while Princess TD is in school. Since he keeps talking about "kool" I think I will start a 3 year old program with him. I'll keep you posted on how that goes! I may need to ask for ideas to keep busy little boys busy!