As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2: 4-5

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Two Days of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a two day event in the Stone household. We had turkey at our house after we were unable to volunteer because the children weren't old enough (we'll have to start earlier next year!). So Wednesday, I cooked all day and we had Thanksgiving Day at our house. We spent the day.....

getting our clothes stuck in our braces

wearing our new, super cool boots...

wearing Charlotte's mobile as a hat....

and after dinner, posing for the Christmas card picture.

On Thursday, the day we had planned to volunteer, we invited ourselves to Nanny's for Thanksgiving. But before we went, I had some fun creative time with Hannah making "craps." Now before you think I'm cursing on the blog, that's Hannah's word for crafts. Our creation this morning was her name out of Fruit Loops. We really did spell it correctly, but one of the dogs ate the other "n!"
Once we got to Nanny's, there was lots of good food, and fun on the slide

fun running around the yard chasing a ball

fun on the swings
a fun game of Catch Phrase with the King cousins

some post-turkey relaxation/football watching

some snuggle time with PawPaw Somehow all the grandchildren just know to climb up in the chair with PawPaw--she got tired, as she had missed her nap. She asked for her "ba" and then climbed up into the chair for a snuggle.

We came home just in time for Charlotte to have a nap, and for me to finish my latest book and have a quick snooze as well. When I got up, I found that Maddy and Hannah had been working hard!
Our night ended with some fun that the big kids used to always have--a chair fort!

So much to be thankful for this year!
Hope your Thanksgiving was blessed with family, fun, and love!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness Days 19-24

Saturday, November 20 Today I am thankful for my wonderful parents who watched the little girls so we could go to the memorial service today, who took us out for dinner, and who took us shopping, allowing Sarah to bring home an awesome pair of boots--that happen to fit me too! Thanks, Mom and Dad! We love you!
Saturday afternoon, we had planned to meet my parents in Conyers for a Thanksgiving celebration/shopping trip. As it happened, our dear friend, Jim Shannon, went home to be with the Lord earlier in the week and his memorial service was on Saturday. My parents drove all the way to our house and watched the little girls so that we could actually stay in the service. It was a sweet service, but different than most I've been to. He was cremated, so there was no viewing, no procession. It gave us all a lot to think about. We learned a lot about our friend, Jim. We will miss him.

Then we went to O'Charley's for dinner--and I was the only one who ordered turkey (turkey burger) thank you very much--and then to Kohl's for some shopping. The girls had already decided that they wanted boots, and I got to pick out dresses for the little girls....matching of course!
Sunday, November 21 I am thankful for Sunday mornings. Everyone is home and no one is in a hurry to get anywhere except church, where we all go together. It's my favorite time of the week!
I love Saturday nights, when Josh comes home and stays in his own bedroom. All my little ducks are in a row, my birds in their nests, my babies exactly where they belong. Then Sunday morning, I get to wake up ALL my children. Then at church, we all sit together and all is right with my world.

Monday, November 22 My sweet Hannah is sick, and I am thankful that I can be at home with her today and don't have to worry about my classroom.

Tuesday, November 23 I am thankful for my husband, who got up at 4:30 am with Hannah so I could go to bed, even though he had to work all day.

Wednesday, November 24 I am thankful that the steroids make Hannah so much better, even if it did mean that she was up until 10:30 and awake at 3:30!

It's been a long three days. Hannah was sick, lethargic, pitiful, but oh so sweet. She mainly just laid around. Not the way I envisioned my Thanksgiving break. Then she started on antibiotic and steroids. And she was full of energy, sassy, grouchy, demanding, emotional, and unfortunately for us,...and insomniac. Gotta love those steroids.

Wednesday, November 24 (again!) I am so thankful for answered prayers, the generosity of friends, and being able to do laundry again! (Did you ever think you would hear me say that?)
I was so thankful I had to post twice today! After heading to the laundromat and spending $35 to wash our clothes, a friend from work offered to give us her dryer. She just happened to be replacing her washer and was getting a dryer that matched, and as long as we picked it up, we could have it for free!!! What an amazing answer to prayer. A new dryer wasn't exactly on our to do list for this Christmas season. There is something very freeing about not being able to do laundry. It wasn't hanging over my head, in the back of my just wasn't there. I loved it and hated it all at the same time. Now, with a brand new to us dryer in the laundry room, I can do laundry again, and I am looking forward to it. What's up with that????

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness, Day 19

Today I am so thankful for ELCA Early Learning Program. ELCA has had a preschool for years, but I never thought Hannah could go because it was only half day. Two years ago, they opened the Early Learning Program, and this year, Hannah became the fourth Stone to go to ELCA. Today, her PreK-4 class had their Thanksgiving feast, and Daryl and I both got to come.

My little Indian. Isn't she cute? Love the hair, and she did too until I pulled one tiny little hair and she had a meltdown...all the way to school.
Ms. Colleen's K4 Class.
See...she does know how to be quiet!

Doing her part in "Ten Thankful Indians."

Praying hands.

So glad that I got to take a break from my own classroom to see my sweet little Indian.

And Daddy made it too...she was thrilled.

Just like the Indians from long ago, they had Chick Fil A chicken nuggets for their feast.(HA!) This is Hannah when she tasted her chicken dipped in ketchup...which was actually BBQ sauce!

Hannah and her buddy Emily. They are best buds. Hannah is dying to have a "play-over."

A Week of Thankfulness 11/16-11/18

It's been a week. What a week. The week before Thanksgiving break after a weekend of being away from home. I was unprepared for work. Crazy hectic at home. But yet, I was thankful. On Facebook.

Tuesday, 11/16 Today I am thankful for the broken road...
While laying on the couch dead tired with a bad back one night, I was perusing Facebook and saw where my sister in law was wishing my ex-husband a happy birthday. And while thoughts of my ex-husband usually stir up a jumble of feelings, today it made me thankful. For had I not met him, been through what I did, been down that broken road, I wouldn't be where I am now. The broken road with Michael led me back to the Lord, back into church, and to Daryl. And while I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone, I am so very very thankful that God led me down that broken Daryl, to Hannah and Charlotte, to Zion Hill, to ELCA.

Wednesday, 11/17 Today I am thankful to have had Jim Shannon in my life. A born again believer, a man of God, a true servant. RIP Mr. Jim. I'll miss you!
Jim Shannon lost his battle with cancer and went to be with the Lord early Wednesday morning. I was sad, to be certain, but along with sadness was a profound sense of relief. Relief that it was finally over, that he was pain free, that the waiting and wondering were over for his family. I've grieved the loss of this dear friend for the last month, overcome by such a profound sadness at times that it had overwhelmed me. When it finally happened, I feel like my grieving ended. I'm sure that tomorrow at his memorial service that the sadness will return, but for now, I smile when I think of him finally meeting his Lord and Savior.

Thursday, 11/18 I am thankful for sweet shopping trips with my Hannah for "new Barbies to take for show and tell." Hannah was finally Student of the Week this week, and part of that is that she got to bring a special show and tell to share with the class. Every time we asked her what she wanted to take, she said, "A new Barbie from Walmart!" Well, she must have been particularly cute while she said it to her Daddy, because he gave his blessing and off to Walmart we went. Such a sweet time together. It's not often we get time just us without a little sister or a big sister or two. Love love love me some Hannah (especially in those times when she is not crying all the way to school because there is a "hole in her toast!"- a story for another time!)

and today's? It gets a post all it's own!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14 of Thankfulness

Today is an easy one. I'm actually thankful for so many things:

I am thankful for a great youth pastor. He teaches my teenagers the Word, disciples their hearts, and travels all the way to Columbus to see them compete.

I am thankful that my dishwasher is fixed! For a month, we've had to fill up the bottom of the dishwasher with water so it would actually wash the dishes. While Daryl was under the house hooking up the gas for the heater for the addition, he noticed a valve problem, fixed it, and voila! a dishwasher that works!

I am thankful for that glimmer of Thanksgiving Break in the near future, because without it, I don't think this mommy/wife/teacher/laundress/housekeeper/cheerleader mom could make it through this coming week without that promise of a rest.


I am so thankful for the health of my family. I think of our friend Jim, who has been told that he has less than a week to live. I think of his family, sitting there watching him die. Waiting and watching, never knowing. Having only their memories and the promise of Heaven to comfort them. I've never had to watch someone I love die. Never really had someone I love die except grandparents, and either I didn't know them that well, my parents sheltered me from it, or they were really old. I don't even want to think about losing my parents, my inlaws, my siblings or children. So I am thankful for the fact that my little ones are so full of life and good health that they wake me up early in the morning. That my sweet Charlotte is healthy enough to run around for 5 hours. That Hannah is so full of questions and curiosity that she talks constantly. And yes, even for that 2:30 wake up call when she climbs in bed with us. That my husband has the energy and strength to remodel our home countless times. That Josh made it through the turbulent teenage years (that really were not so turbulent) to go away to college. That Sarah is healthy enough to compete in sports. That Maddy has enough sass in her to fight with her sister. Because really, what else matters? The alternative is unimaginable. Thank you, Jesus, for my healthy family!

A Week of Thankfulness

So much to be thankful little time. Am I blessed or what? I really thought this Thirty Days of Thankfulness thing would get me posting again on a regular basis, but alas, no. Facebook, yes, where a snippet here or there will suffice. Where I can sit with my laptop on my lap and talk to Hannah, hold Charlotte, watch TV, and surf at the same time. Where big words and deep thoughts are a rarity. I guess I feel that if I blog, it has to have substance, and to be honest, I have been so busy trying to survive each day that my thoughts have run very shallow ( long until bedtime? You need that poster when? How do those Survivor contestant's teeth stay so white when they can't brush their teeth?) Maybe the upcoming Thanksgiving break will give my mind, body, and soul a much needed break and I will be able to write once again. Or maybe I need a muse???? blessings this week, in a nutshell.

Monday, November 8: Today I am thankful for a wonderful group of first graders and their great parents. What a terrific field trip! The first graders at ELCA headed to Rock Ranch in Barnesville, GA. My parapro had a migraine and wasn't able to make it with us, so I imagined the worst. I tend to get very stressed out by field trips in the first place because I much prefer my safe little world of structure and routine with all of my little "ducks" in a row. This one, though, was very nice, much due to the helpful parents. Relaxing, informative, and oh so much fun. Hannah would have loved it, especially Tiny Town, which is exactly what the name suggests, a kid sized town. Heck, I loved it. Must pencil that in as a family outing next year!

Tuesday, November 9: I am sad Charlotte fell asleep on the way home from the babysitter's house, but am thankful for an awesome babysitter. Sometimes it stinks being a working mom! Cheer practice ran late and we didn't get to Kay Kay's house until after 6:00. On the way home, Char fell asleep and stayed that way til the next morning. I hated it and was grouchy that I had gotten to spend only about 30 minutes with my baby girl. I envied those stay at home moms that night...until I realized how much I would stink at it...but I was in my "poor pitiful me" state, and thinking if only I could stay home, my house would be cleaner, my laundry done, and Char and I could have all the fun cuddle time together I wanted. Yeah....and I'd weigh about 600 pounds having sat on the couch and watched TLC all day. Reality check!

Wednesday, November 10: Today I am thankful for a wonderful church family. We may not be the biggest, or the hippest, or the youngest, but you won't find a group of people who love you more or love you like Jesus! Another busy day, another end of the day grouchy mood (my poor children...they get a lot of those these days), but I was lifted up and cheered by my wonderful church family after a night at AWANA's. They didn't mean to, they probably weren't even aware I was grumpy (I can fake it with the best of them), but just being with them makes me happy, makes me want to be a better friend, person, wife, daughter, sister.

Thursday, November 11: Today I am thankful for the world's best parapro, Sandra Elder, who I can leave my precious first graders with tomorrow so I can go and see my sweet Sarah compete in Columbus! I was totally comfortable leaving my kiddos with Sandra for the day, knowing that they would be in good hands, and that when I came back, everyone and everything would be in one piece and where it should be. We've worked together for eight years, and I truly think she could teach the class without me--though she'd hate it. She likes being in the background of the classroom...I like the control of what goes on. and she knows just the way I like things, so taking a day off is so much easier. What a blessing!

Friday, November 12: Thankful that we made it to and from Columbus safely, that the ELCA cheerleaders placed 4th, and that Sarah has remained injury free this season! A good trip with my girls (minus Charlotte) and a good competition. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Saturday, November 13: Thankful for being able to sleep in until 7:15 and early morning snuggles with my baby girls! What is sweeter than baby breath in the morning...on a morning when you wake up NOT to an alarm clock and your husband is still in bed with you and not dashing off to save the electrical world. Just precious time. And then we got up and headed to Columbus for the State Cheerleading Championships. The cheerleaders did great and represented us well, for the 2.5 minutes I spent in the auditorium. The other 5 hours, I sat in the walkway outside with Charlotte, chasing her up the stairs, down the stairs, in bathrooms, out of bathrooms. we had brought toys, which entertained her for all of 13 mintues. She hadn't slept all day. She was just on the brink of her nap in the car (good timing on my part) when Hannah exclaimed, "I have to go to the bathroom real bad!!!! It's coming out Mommy, stop and let me go to the bathroom! It's an emergency!" End of nap. All 37 seconds of it. It was, a miserable experience, from start to finish. But, it was time with my girls, a good memory (I'll laugh about it later, I know I will....really), and some awesome Christmas music(YAY!).

Now you may have noticed that this post is void of pictures. I got some good ones. Some cute ones. Some precious ones. and they will remaind trapped in the camera until I can find the camera cord. Yes....again. Sigh. I am just thankful that sometime in the near, or not so near future, I'll stumble upon it looking for the ubiquitous thermometer or tweezers or toenail clippers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness--Day 7

Today I am thankful, because for the first time in a loooooong time, I am going back to work tomorrow and my house is cleanish, the laundry is done-ish, and all my school work has been caught up. It was a busy weekend in our house, but also one of the most productive I've had in a long time. I think it's because I got an early start when we had a clean-a-thon on Thursday night. And then with the new vacuum cleaner, I decided it might be time to vacuum our bedroom--it had been a while--and to do that, I had to get the clothes off of the floor first. And once they were off the floor, I had to put them somewhere, so I actually put them all away. AND folded socks. It was a history making weekend, I tell you. Now my sweet little minions, the smallest ones especially, are trying their darndest to un-do all I have done, but my goal is when they go to sleep, I'll clean it up one last time for the weekend. We'll see!

30 Days of Thankfulness Day 6

Day 6: Yesterday, I was thankful for my wonderful inlaws, Nanny and PawPaw, for watching the little girls yesterday so I could go and enjoy Sarah's cheer competition. What a blessing and relief it was not to have to drag Hannah and Charlotte and all of their assorted stuff with me to Peachtree City, and an even bigger blessing to be able to sit in the stands and watch the competition like the other parents (most of whom do NOT have teenagers and toddlers....hmmmmm).

We took Tori with us, as she had spent the night the night before. Maddy and Tori are competition cheerleader wannabes. They'll be trying out for the team next year when they are in high school. Did I just say high school?????

They were the first to compete that afternoon. Here they are just ready to begin. Sarah is the one wisely wearing the knee brace.

Mid-routine. Here they are doing their "one mans." (Don't I sound like I know what I am talking about here?)
And at the end.

It was not their best routine, they had a few falls, but they came in 2nd place in their division. They were hoping for first place so they could go straight to State Championships this weekend. Instead, they'll compete in sectionals on Friday, and when (not if! they place in the top eight in sectionals, they'll go to the state championship on Saturday.
Either way, they're/we're Columbus bound on Friday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness

This is something that I got in on a day or two...on Facebook, and so I thought I would continue it here...and maybe, just maybe get back to posting more often. So, for now...a recap:

Day 2 (a day late. Surpised?): Today I am thankful for my big fuzzy man slippers. Heaven on my tootsies. The plantars fascitis has been playing havoc with my feet at night and early morning. I've been hobbling around like an 80 year old when I get up with the baby (argh...still) and when I get up in the morning. So I got a $9 pair of fuzzy soft old man slippers from Walgreens, and at night, at least, they feel better. Still about 78 in the mornings, no matter what I'm wearing on my feet.

Day 3: I am thankful for my big, loud, messy family that makes all this laundry that drives me crazy! I think that there really is nothing else to be said about this. If you've ever read my blog before, you know my issues in this area.

Day 4: I am thankful...for my sweet daughters. Sarah, who touches me with her generosity, kindness, and compassion. Maddy, and her enthusiasm for life and the Lord. Hannah, for making me smile with her sweetness and her spunk. And Charlotte, hands down, the best surprise I've ever received! Maddy is having a friend over tonight, and so last night we (meaning the big girls and I) cleaned like mad women. And despite the fact that we were cleaning, it was such a nice night together.

and for today....
Day 5: Today I am thankful for my wonderful husband, who loves me and puts up with my moods and my snarkiness, and who after he gets a text from me telling him how stressed out I am over having to clean a filthy house with a broken vacuum cleaner, goes out and buys me a new vacuum and steam cleaner. Now as much as I hate cleaning, you would think this would garner the same reaction as receiving a can opener for our anniversary. Not so, not so. Because as much as I loather cleaning, I do so so so love a clean house, and the carpet was driving me crazy. He's a keeper, that man, even if he has now completed 37 remodeling projects in the 9 years we have been together (all of which involve a fine layer of sheet rock dust on every exposed surface and lots of paintbrushes in baggies in my refrigerator).