Archive for April, 2014

Day 8 sans Daddy

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Day 8 started out well.  We managed to wake up early and then I got them to school early.  It was a miracle.  It may not ever happen again!  We had Wednesday at the Tree tonight.  It was a beautiful evening!  The weather was gorgeous.  We all took the kids outside and played.  The kids had a good time together.

After the entire group tried to get on one piece of equipment together, we went inside to do a Bible study.  The topic was on martyrs so it was a little hard for the kids to grasp what a martyr was, but we still tried. Ainsley and Ben made crosses to give to all of their friends today. It was sweet.  They are making something huge for Dad, but I’m not entirely sure what it is. A surprise!

Ainsley told Ryan that she wanted to be a pastor when she grew up.  He asked if she would be a good pastor and she replied, “No. I’m going to be a great one.”  I love stories like that!

When we got home we got to talk to Dad for a while.  The communication was difficult because it kept cutting out, but they still got to talk for awhile.   We all miss Daddy, but he is having a great time.


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Day 7 sans Daddy



It was just another day.  The kids really miss Daddy. They are starting to count down to when he will return.  After school, Madie had her swim youth workout tonight, Ainsley had gymnastics, and Ben was just along for the ride.  The two of them are sitting outside the city pool playing Pokemon while Madie swims.

Ben’s toes are poking out of his shoes, and we have NOT had time to buy new shoes yet.  After I took this picture, I asked A & B if they thought we could find new shoes in the next half hour.  They said, “Yes!”  So we headed to the nearest shoe store.  We managed to find a new pair for A & B.  Both of them are so hard to shop for shoes (A is picky and B needs a wide shoe).  It was fabulous that we managed two new pairs in 30 minutes!

Then Ainsley was dropped off at her activity.  We drove quickly to pick up Madie.  Headed home to drop off Ben and Madie to get ready for bed and then back to the gym to get Ainsley.  Then back home again. Mom’s taxi service closed down for the night after that.  Then we got everyone to bed and I did chores and finally crashed myself.

This is very boring news, but it is our way to share with Chris our daily adventures.  So hello, Dad/Chris!  We love and miss you!

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My neighbor stopped me when we got home this evening and asked how Chris was doing.  I told him that he was in Greece today.  Then he says to me, “I know that you have a huge support group helping you, but if you need anything please know you can come across the street and ask.”

It was sweet of him to tell me this, and it made me realize that I do have an awesome and huge group of friends and family here.  I know that nothing will happen that I can’t handle while Chris is gone, but it is a nice feeling knowing that I have a huge group of people that I can call upon if I need anything.   I truly am a blessed woman.

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Day 6 sans Daddy

Monday was . . . well . . . Monday.  Nothing too remarkable.  The day started with school.  Getting back into our weekday routine is always a little rough.  But we got everyone off to school.  Then on the way home, the government had decided to close the back entrance to the neighborhood for road repairs which caused me to have to go completely around to the front of the neighborhood in order to get home.  That took an additional 20 minutes. Then I sat down at my desk and didn’t get up until the elementary bus arrived to drop the youngest two kids off.  Daddy called from Greece right at that time so he greeted the kids off of the bus via FaceTime.   That was fun.  The kids loved talking with Daddy!

We loved talking to Daddy, but we still had to drive Ben’s heart monitor up to the hospital and drop it off.  Of course, we are running late because we have to pick up Madie from school at 5:00.  So I call Aunt Debra to see if she can help because she has an appointment for Gordon at the same place we had to drop off the equipment.  She says she will take up the monitor to the third floor and we agree to give Gordon a snack of goldfish to help out.  Then we arrive well before Aunt Debra (she is caught in traffic) and are able to get the monitor dropped off and are still waiting in the lobby for five minutes before Aunt Debra even arrives.  But we promised goldfish to Gordon so we stuck around.

We made good time getting to Madie’s school and we were only five minutes late picking her up.  After one stop at the drugstore, we make it home.  I am determined to have an earlier bedtime for everyone, so we get dinner made and everyone bathed and in bed by 7:30.  I am tired right now thinking about it.  Ainsley and I had our bedtime devotions over a cup of tea again, and I even was able to read with Ben and check his bp all before bedtime. It was a busy evening.  Hopefully having the kids get plenty of sleep will help Tuesday go more smoothly.  The best part of my day was going to bed that night to find two friends already asleep in my bed.  They had decided to yet again move to mom’s bed after they were tucked into their own beds.  At the rate we are going, Chris had better hurry home or there won’t be any room left for him! 20140429-102923.jpg20140429-102933.jpg20140429-102945.jpg

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Day 5 sans Daddy

20140428-131608.jpgThis picture pretty much epitomizes our Sunday.  Laid back. Ready to relax. We haven’t had a Sunday to ourselves in awhile.  So after attending a great day at church, we headed home.  On the way home, we realized that we really needed to stop at the grocery store.  So we all headed to Kroger to grab groceries.  Dragging my beloved children to the store when they had no desire to be there was like pulling teeth.  Ben just begged to go home.  We finally made it home, ate lunch, and then snuggled up on the couch to relax for a little bit.  Well . . . one episode of “Green Acres” and one episode of” Flipper” later and we realized that we probably relaxed enough.  There was house begging to be cleaned.

Our cleaning schedule was fabulously interrupted by a FaceTime chat with Dad (no sarcasm intended).  It was awesome!  It was perfect.  All of the kids got to talk with Dad (even the pets).   By the time, we finally got around to cleaning Ben had started to feel ill.  Not a virus kind of ill, but a my-blood-pressure-is-too-low kind of illness.  Turns out his 118/46 was enough to send him to my room to relax.  I am hoping that the low of 46 was causing his dizziness and nausea.  I pray we are not getting sick in this house!  Madie even started to feel bad last night.  No one has a fever, so I hope that all of these symptoms are due to exhaustion.

Madie worked hard yesterday afternoon to send the Minecraft world that she has created (with the help of friends) of our church Tree of Life to a person in the church who is going to upload it to a server so that other people can share in the game as well.  It was fun watching her.  She knows that I am pretty useless when it comes to computers, so she worked hard to figure it out herself.  She watched several Youtube videos and read online on the best way to do it.  Then she had to upgrade iTunes and download some new apps in order to make it all work.  It was like a female version of Chris sitting at the computer.  It was a proud moment!

We ended the day with an earlier bedtime.  Ainsley invited me to a bedtime tea party while we read our devotion books together.  Last night our devotion was about earthly treasures.  She said, “God is saying that I should love him more than I love gymnastics.”  That’s right, Ainsley!

Everyone was tucked into bed early and I can only pray that  our Monday will be great!



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Day 4 sans Daddy

Today was a long and complicated day.  It was full of excitement and activities.  The day started with Papa Lake picking up Ben for a day at camp with the Webelos.  Ben couldn’t spend the night, but they spent the ENTIRE day with the scouts.  Thank goodness Papa was able to step in.  Out of the four overnights this year, Chris has only been able to do one.  Thank God that the Lord moved us closer to family.  Both Papas have been called into duty this year when it involved scouts.  Ben really wanted to build a fire.  He was upset last night thinking that he would not be able to learn to build one.  So Papa helped him build TWO fires today.  One was called a Dakota fire pit (that was a new one for me). There is one picture posted of Ben showing me how he built his fire and how you blow into one end to get the fire going.  He was very excited and animated.  Ben even drew a diagram for me in case I wanted to build one.  Sweet boy!  They didn’t just build fires.  They also went fishing, played basketball, played mini golf, and much more.  It was a very full day for Ben.20140426-234642.jpg20140426-234655.jpg

Next we dropped the friends off at her house and then headed out for Ainsley’s activity.  Not to be outdone, Ainsley had a gymnastic meet today.  She did an excellent job.  I was again very impressed with his skills.   She came home with a page full of ribbons and a trophy.  I was very proud of her today!  20140426-234537.jpg20140426-234602.jpg

Then there was Madie.  Madie didn’t have a scheduled event, but instead had a series of adventures.  We took her 3/4 violin into the shop and upgraded it to a full size violin.  She has bought more resin and strings for her other full size violin.  Now she will have one to keep at school and one to keep at home. 20140426-234614.jpg After the  violin switch, we started driving towards home.  Madie also needed a costume for her Murder Mystery Dinner Party/Lockin next Friday.  She is a Hollywood  actress on her way to a teen award show. We first stopped at one set of stores.  We couldn’t find a costume, but we were able to find some clothes for Ainsley at Old Navy.  The girls then made a craft at Lakeshore while Mom looked around (but didn’t buy anything.  It was a miracle!).  Next stop was Lifeway where we had fun looking at books and devotionals.  Madie bought some music that she heard at the Winter Jam Concert and really liked (they even burned a cd for her with just the songs she wanted to purchase.) Ainsley and I found two books by the same author about being a “Woman After God’s Own Heart” and a “Girl after God’s Own Heart”.  Then we still needed an outfit for Madie, so we went to Plato’s Closet.  She was given a limit of $20.  She managed a dress, glasses, and a purse for around $20.  She had so much fun trying on outfits.  For anyone that knows me, I am not fond of this store.  It is a little overwhelming to me.  But we stuck it out and Madie really had a good time putting together an outfit.  Then we walked down the sidewalk to Once Upon a Child and found some shirts for Ben and lots of nice Carter pajamas for Ainsley. It was a very successful trip.  After all of that we headed home.

We went home to dinner and getting ready for bed.  Papa soon came home with Ben.  Ainsley and I read our devotional book together and talked about what hers said.  She has never done a devotional on her own before, so this will be interesting.  The devotional was about distractions in life pulling us away from God’s purpose for each of us.  And about waking up in the morning and trying to think about how God wants us to be that day.  My devotional’s Bible verse was from Deuteronomy 6, “5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”   Ainsley and I talked about if we love the Lord with our entire being how should we behave.  She said, “This is hard, Mommy.  I don’t know if I like this.  It makes be feel uncomfortable because I don’t know if I can love God enough.”  It was certainly a good discussion for the the first night.  She is a deep thinker at the age of 8.

Now everyone is settled down for the night.  Ben and Ainsley made a video for Daddy to tell him that he is missed.  It was sent already.   With all of the comings and goings today, I think that I got everyone taken care of.  This single mom thing stinks.  But thank goodness we have a great support system and was able to tap into it today!

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20140426-232919.jpgSo Day 3 was pretty much a blow off day for learning at school.  Each of the kids was still celebrating the end of STAARS testing by having Game days and Read-a-thons and Movies.  Madie has one teacher who insisted on absolutely no break and threatened a test the day after the STAARS. Hopefully she was just being sarcastic, but Madie wasn’t completely sure.   Madie had a friend come over and spend the night.  The evening included pizza, junk food, swimming, and watching movies.  Ainsley and Ben had to settle for a slumber party with just mom, while the older girls hung out.  I think even the youngest were satisfied with the evening.

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Ainsley sent me this video from school begging me to come and get her.

I finally called the school and asked the secretary to let me talk to her teacher.  I spoke to her teacher and told her what was going on. She was shocked that Ainsley was texting me all of that because she was laughing and playing all morning.  So I spoke to Ainsley and told her that I was NOT coming to get her and that she needed to stick it out.  Hopefully that is the end of the non-stop texting.  Giving an 8 year old the ability to text during school may not have been the wisest move this morning.



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The following is the text conversation that Ainsley and I had this morning.  Madie decided to put a text free ap on Ainsley’s iPod this morning.  Ainsley is having a game day at school in honor of their post STAAR status.  Yesterday was a Read-a-thon at school.  So think about that as you read . . .



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