Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bible School Finale

Thomas was too proud that he FINALLY got to go on "stage" and show us what he learned this week at Bible School.

Gracie was less excited, but more than willing.

Watch my adorable children dance and sing along during this morning's 11am church service.

PS: There were 300 kids at Bible School this week. These are just the children present for the 11am service this morning. I think our service has the fewest kids that attend. I think the 8 & 9:30 are more full of families and young children.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bible School, Last Day

What a day!

The kids were excited about their final day at Bible School.  For different reasons of course.

Gracie was excited about earning the Sweet Frog coupon and proud that she had memorized verses all week. Thomas was excited about getting "on the stage" and singing.

We don't really have a stage in the sanctuary, and as I figured, there was no "up front" performance. You can't fit 300+ kids up there. So, Thomas was a bit disappointed when I picked him up from his classroom, but I reminded him he would probably get to "perform" on Sunday and daddy would be there to see him too!

Gracie of course was bouncing when I got her, since she had earned her Sweet Frog coupon. She didn't even seem to disappointed Thomas got one too. He of course can't read, and would unlikely be able to repeat back a memorized verse, but she is sure he earned it some how.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Rebecca from preschool also goes to our church, and she and Thomas were not put in the same Bible School class. They seemed okay with it, but we moms thought it might be fun to let them have lunch together.

Thomas and Rebecca's friend Bryce was feeling kind of lonely this week since his daddy and his cousins are all out of town, so we invited them to come along too!

WE took the kids to an over-crowded Chick-Fi-A, but like most kids do, they had a great time despite the business.  After eating most of their lunches they were off to play before we all headed home.

And, since we were on a roll....we found even more Bible School friends tonight at dinner.

Daddy mercifully saved me from dinner duty and even treated to my favorite restaurant: Red Robin!

While we were enjoying ourselves anyway, daddy was an especially proud papa tonight.  Of course Gracie memorized verses, but even more exciting (at the moment) was that Gracie was helping our family be treated as VIP's.

Gracie's Bible School helper was also a waitress at Red Robin, and when she saw our daughter we were seated in 5 minutes instead of the 20 we had been told, and then we were given VIP treatment at the table. 

Mommy of course had to take a picture of Gracie and her friend--because that is what mama's do.

The kids had a great day, and we will save the Sweet Frog coupons for another day.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thrift Store Win!!

I am an avid thrift store shopper--but you all knew that.

I love vintage toys and all things Fisher-Price--but you all knew that.

I love days when I find secret and coveted "treasure"--but you all knew that.

...but do you know what I got today?!!!

Look at that awesome vintage Fisher-Price fire truck toy!!! And double score with that too cute Hawaiian shirt for Thomas!!  The kids picked out books for the book drive tomorrow at Bible School, that was why we went, but you can't pass up treasure like this--I mean--we were there already.

Bible School, Day 4

Gracie seems a little apprehensive, as all she could talk about was how she had no idea what they were doing tomorrow for the "performance."

I am not sure it is even a "performance," but I think the idea of having to go in front of people like Thomas did for his Bible School finale last week has her wound up.

The parents have been invited for the Bible School closing in the sanctuary at 11:30 tomorrow. I am sure it will all go smoothly, and I am sure my darling kids will be wonderful and I will snap photos and take videos like no other.  Now, I just have to keep her mind off of it until tomorrow.

Today was "green" day and both seemed to have another awesome day at Bible School.

I am not sure I mentioned, but Gracie's "class" has had to memorize Bible Verses and recite them back each day. We are so thrilled that not only is she mastering them, but she is standing tall and reciting them back to whomever!  Gracie tells us that is they do all 5 they get some sort of Sweet Frog gift card/certificate.  So, she is doubly excited as she tells me

"all the toppings you want!!"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Thomas went returned to Wednesday night church with Bryce tonight.

Last week he was at Bible School all week until 8:30.

Guess what time Wednesday night church ends?

NOT 8:30!

I remember switching the laundry and looking at the TV and it said 8:09, and I got this funny feeling. The funny feeling lead to panic and I ran to the computer to check an old email from Grace that had the church info on it when Thomas started going.

Oh no!

Oh yea!


I put my shoes on and didn't even tie the laces. I tapped out a text to Grace and told her I was on the way.

I screeched to a halt in the church parking lot and ran though the rain to the door.

I lost count of my endless appoliogies to Bryce's grandma who heads up the class.  I picked Thomas up, who seemed completely unaware that I was late, and covered him in kisses.

I have never been late for my kids.

Not once in her 2 years at preschool, not once in his 1 year of preschool. Not once for Bible School or any other church or school

I am sure the fact that I rarely ever leave my kids anywhere without me probably helps my score.  But, the fact that I was late to get my baby still tears me up.

He is home. He is fine.

And, when we arrived at the house there was a large rainbow that shone over head like it was wrapping itself around our home.

A reminder I am daily and ultimately forgiven.

Now, to find a way to forgive myself.

Wet Wednesday

I'll get you mommy, with one hand tied...around my Popsicle!

Water games mommy found online with cheap Dollar Store sponges and water were a hit!

I guess water squirters were even more of a "hit." and, no that is not a water "gun," I personally don't want the kids to have toys that look like real weapons.  That is a piston wrench squirter, also scored at the Dollar Store.

Sponges and water were already out, why not play car wash.

Bible School, Day 3

Can you believe I forgot my camera?  Thankfully I have the phone. Of course forgetting my camera was the least of the drama as once again we over slept.

The kids were up and dressed and out the door in less than 10 minutes though, and we made it with 2 minutes to spare.

  I love that they are having a great time, but I think we are still so exhausted from our weekend and we are on summer time, so getting up and out by 9 seems like a great feat.

It was wear red day today.

Both kids chatted about the fun they had, and Thomas has been singing parts of the songs all week long, so he should know them well come Sunday.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bible School, Day 2

The kids were all asked to wear orange today.

Gracie said that a whole row of the kids in her class all had on their Pole Green school tee-shirts. She has said about Sunday School before, and now about Bible School that she is the only one of her age that goes to Mechanicsville. I am not sure why that bothers her, and I have no idea why that is. If you lived at the church, you would go to MES. 

I don't think that is discouraging her fun. She was chatty the whole ride home about all of the things they did today.

Thomas piped in to from time to time between chugs of his water bottle.

I learned to bring the kids cold water when I pick them up becuase they are hot, tired, and very thirsty!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Another Library Surprise

Last week we were surprised to find third grade friend Clara at a library summer event--today we were surprised to bump into third grade teacher Mrs. Joyner at a library event!!

Gracie was beyond surprised--and thrilled to see her teacher and sit next to her. And once again, it was Gracie who did the convincing to go to this program.

I was so exhausted and Thomas was cranky, but they both voted to go and hear the presentation on Australia and then get pizza.  The same presenter was doing 4 programs at 4 different libraries around the area.  We would ordinarily go to the Mechanicsville branch of our library, but he was there at 10, and we had Bible School. So, we went to the 1pm one at Atlee Branch. And, good thing too, since Gracie got to sit with her teacher (that she adores!) and her three year old daughter.

The presentation was very interesting and Thomas loved the music--but that was about it. He was indeed very tired and very cranky. I was thankful when the program was over, because he was getting embarrassingly fidgety and whiny.

Mrs. Joyner--who is always awesome-- let me snap a picture of Gracie and her and her daughter, Of course it would come out blurry! And, the picture Thomas got when he was playing with my camera would come out great.  That's the kind of day it was ;)

We crossed the street and had pizza buffet for lunch, and then headed home for a much needed nap. Which, of course, only I took, but oh well.

Bible School (At Our Church) Day 1

I can not begin to tell you how exhausted I am. We had a full, wonderful weekend, but we also had 5 hours in the car, 2 hours in the pool before said return drive, and I have some SERIOUS sunburn! (kids are fine, I always get them and forget me!)

So, while I have been kicking myself for not signing up to help with Bible School (working on that whole "getting involved" and "putting myself out there" thing), I was so grateful today I hadn't. I need that three hours to vegetate.

I dropped the kids off, and they were exhausted, but excited.  And, I should have cleaned or done more unpacking--but I as a walking zombie. So, I downloaded pictures and rested.

Back to Bible School.

I forgot to charge the camera when I got home last night, so it wouldn't work for me when I dropped them off. But, I charged it while they were gone and I got a few at pick up time.

I was hoping Thomas would be in the same class with Rebecca, his preschool friend. But, there are FIVE preschool classes at Bible School this week! And, thus, they didn't get in the same one.

But, he seems okay. Both kids said they loved it. Not that I am surprised by him. He walked in not knowing anybody in the room and sat down like he had been going in that room all of his life.  That's my Thomas.

Gracie clung to me a bit as I walked her to the sanctuary--where she didn't know any kids in her class either. But, she seemed okay when I left her, and she was the first to announce she had a good time when I picked them up.

Today all the kids were supposed to wear blue.  Each day is a different color, and they get to wear their VERY neon yellow VBS shirts on Friday for the last day, and on Sunday if they come to church, for a performance of a song(s).

So, success!  And, the realization we totally shouldn't have waited 3 years to do Bible School!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Full Weekend In Strasburg

It has been almost a year since I returned "home." Far, far too long to stay away. It always seems something keeps me from visiting.  Partly our busy schedules now that both kids are in school. Party the long travel time. Partly the fact that even 3 years later I still get a little sad thinking about the place I called home for so long.

But, this weekend, we weren't sad--not even a little. And for the first time since we moved out, we were able to stay for more than a day!

When we visit, usually I drive the kids and myself down for the day. We drive the 2.5 hours in the early morning, and head back in the evening. Usually on a Sunday so we can see the most people we love.

This time, our great and wonderful friends (who are more like family) the Mozingo's, insisted that we stay with them.

Since the wedding is at 5pm, I knew it would be a late night driving back, and while I wouldn't usually stay and burden anyone, I took them up on their offer.

And, I am glad I did.

I could type and type for hours about all we did, but I will just say it was a wonderful, wonderful weekend full of fun and surprises and so much love.  So much love that I needed to refill my "cup" with.

So many thanks to Tom and Colette and Mallory for sharing their home, their food, their watchful eyes, and their unending supply of love for me and my crazy children.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wedding Attire

For better or worse, my children looked very nice for the wedding this evening.  And, while they each had their moments--I was very proud of their manners and their behavior at a very grown up and very special occasion


Thomas' First Wedding

It had already been a long day of travel, and it was very hot outside when Thomas reluctantly allowed me to put him in his wedding clothes.

He reminded me again "I don't want to go to wedding."

He of course had no idea what a wedding was, or why he didn't want to go--he just knew he wanted to stay and play with Mr. Tom, Mrs. Colette and Mallory.

He perked up again when the girls made such a fuss over his attire.  He went from sad and frustrated to happy and grinning.

He even stood proudly for a family picture in his sherbert colored bow tie and green shirt.

When we arrived at the wedding location Thomas was ready to run. All that open space and everyone was acting so calm and walking so terribly slow.

We found a seat to watch the wedding. He bounced from my lap to his own seat which was shaded.

When the music started he behaved admirably. He watched as the men and the ladies went down the isle.

He didn't make a peep at all until the ceremony was almost over and he said something in a loudly quiet whisper.

A loving "shush" and he was back sitting in his seat and he watched again as the men and ladies went back down the isle.

The ceremony is over, and he is very hot, and very thirsty--but much more curious. Thomas wants to explore. Mommy wants to stay in the shade as her seat was not covered by the branches of a tree.

Thomas also "wins" a cup at the table, and is now proud of his cup and returns to the lemonade pitcher several times to refill his cup.  The popcorn is too "grownup" and does not have kid-pleasing flavors like salt and butter and his spirits are beginning to waiver.

He perks up again when he finds Uncle George, and when Zachary comes over to fuss over him and his bow tie.

But, he is sure there are too many adults at this adventure and he is ready to be done.

He patiently wanders with his sister over to the fancy tables where they will serve dinner, but once seated his ability to sit still is tested and fails.

He is in mommy's lap and out of mommy's lap.

He reminds me that he is hot and wants to go to "other house." He doesn't want to return to Mechanicsville, but rather to the Mozingo's house where we are staying.

His toys are there.  His cheese-its are there. And he can probably find his way to wearing mostly nothing at all as he plays in the air conditioned home.

"Mommy, weddings are boring!"

He announces this a little louder than is comfortable for mommy.  I know that he is done, and I look over at his sister, who is also very hot and very hungry, and now very sad knowing that she will miss the rest of the festivities.

I try to hold him off a while longer so I can find Ruth and George and let them know we are leaving. But, the bridal party is getting up to get food and they are very busy.

We sneak out the side of the yard.

A glad, but apologetic 4 year old boy, and his sad sister who wanted to stay and see the cake cutting, and the flower tossing and the dancing and use her manners she had been practicing on the fancy food, walk solemnly beside me to the car.

"I sorry mama." "I sorry I cranky at the wedding." "I sorry Gracie."

He is sorry. And I remind Gracie who is pitifully looking out the car window: we can only be so upset at him: "Gracie, it was so hot, and he is so young. He can't help saying a lot of what even the big people were thinking."

Click here for sisters version of the wedding.

Gracie's First Wedding

Gracie has been looking forward to this event for weeks.

She is such a girly-girl, and she could not wait to see all the princess-like activities at a real live wedding.

She didn't really have anything wedding appropriate to wear, so mommy made her a long, flowery, special dress to wear. She got new fancy shoes and I even made her a flowery headband to match her dress.

It was hot when we arrived at the outdoor wedding site, which was on property owned by Ruth's family.

We saw the "twinkle lights" hung, and the wildflowers and all of the beautiful boxes and packages, and the decorations that looked like fairies had set them up themselves.

We quickly made our way to seats under trees that were set up behind an old wooden door that sat in the middle of the lawn.

Gracie anxiously awaited the arrival of the bride, whom she was sure would look more like a princess than any she had seen in the movies.

We didn't have to wait too long, and even though the heat was very noticeable, Gracie fidgeted and fluffed her dress repeatedly waiting for the music to start.

Her eyes locked on the center isle when the pretty bridesmaids made their way down slowly.  And, I heard a gasp when she saw the bride pass by her row of chairs.

She didn't really know much about what the minister was saying to the bride and groom, but she was locked on, absorbing every moment of this very adult, and very girly, and very special time.

When the bride and groom kissed, she struck her girl-pose as she does when the princesses gets the prince in all of her favorite movies. And that moment that my child watch a real woman get her real love was worth all the sweat dripping from our styled hair.

Gracie leaned so far out of her chair to watch the couple prepare to come back down the isle, I was sure she would tip over.  She stood and watched in awe as the bride, now a wife, once again passed by her view.

Ready for all of the other wedding festivities, Gracie was very anxious to see and take in everything she could.

We found a shady spot and she waited her turn to "win" a cup by tossing a coin inside.  She won a tea cup with a chocolate image printed on the outside.

We stood in line and she filled her cup with lemonade.

There was a spot to fill a small paper bag with popcorn and there were tables set up to stand around and chat and sip your drink and eat your popcorn.

Aunt Ruth found Gracie, and then we found other people we knew and loved.

Anxious, and excited Gracie followed as we went to the tables set up to serve dinner.

Gracie reminded me that she had been practicing her best wedding manners all week so she could eat like a perfect lady.

What a special evening for such a special little girl. We are so thankful that we were invited to share in this day for Logan and Denise.

Click here for brother's version of the wedding.