Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blessed and Challenged

Tonight on this Sunday night I am feeling blessed and challenged. This weekend has been wonderful with family and home time, church, and a wonderful gathering last night with friends at their beautiful property. Life is busy, but we are so blessed.

At church over the last few weeks Jonathan has been doing a sermon series entitled How to Hug a Vampire. It has been wonderful and has challenged me in my walk with Jesus. We all have those people and situations who attempt to suck the life out of us. Between his sermons and the daily scripture readings, I have been challenged and convicted. One day at church I told him to stop stepping on my toes or I was going to have to limp out of there!

Challenging people and situations are everywhere and God has used this sermon series to teach me to speak the truth in love. God has spoken to my heart about several things that I have been grappling with. My righteousness and judgmentalness often try to rear their ugly heads at times with me. I pray I am never a vampire to those around me and that I will practice speaking the truth in love.

Around our household here are the big topics of conversation:

1) David today snagged the part of Woodstock in the church Charlie Brown Christmas Play! How brillant because he will have a meaningful part without having to learn lines!

2) We are loving our new car even if the kids think it stinks! I told them the new car smell is something people pay big bucks for but they still think it stinks.

3) Kyle camped for the first time this weekend and loved it.

4) Mike and David both are struggling with ear infections. David's has not cleared up after a whole round of antibiotics and he is now on his second medicine:( Mike started medicine Friday afternoon and he is still in as much pain as he was Friday:( I feel sorry for them both. David has not complained of ear pain, but he has been whiny and a handfull. I do worry that all the high-powered antibiotics that he received during chemo when his port got infected have made him immune to normal antibiotics now. Thank goodness for doctors that will talk me down when I freak out!

5) I am so thankful for Jesus who is not finished with me yet. I am in a season of learning and growing and I am so thankful for that. It hurts to get your toes stepped on in scripture but I am so thankful that He is showing me places where I can still mature and grow in my faith.

This song is one of my favorites and it reminds me that to be the person that God wants me to be I need him-everyday and every hour. If I am left to my own devices, I often do not represent Jesus well. I hope you enjoy this song as much as Hope and I do:)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Birthdays, New Cars, and Pumpkin Patches

This week has been full of birthday fun for me and preschool field trips.  This week I turned 38.  Cancer has taught me that each birthday is a celebration and never to stress about getting older.  My actual birthday was a full day of preschool, teaching afterschool program at church, and Mike was out of town at a meeting.  It was kind of a stressful day (except for a fun lunch with some dear people) so I declared that the day after my birthday would be a do-over! 

On my do-over birthday Mike and I actually got to have a dinner date!!  It was nice.  We both have a lot going on right now, so I actually considered making a list of things we needed to talk about over dinner:)  I am such a dork! 

Today we had a fun field trip at preschool.  The Connors are church members that have a beautiful farm with fruit trees, christmas trees, bees, and a huge pumpkin patch.  They graciously allowed all of our preschoolers to visit this week and pick out a pumpkin. 

Before leaving for the pumpkin patch, we finished up our study of letter A with apple pie making.  Hope loved cooking the pie, but she did not eat much:)  We love to cook at preschool. 
Here are Hope and Olivia modeling their matching boots.  Hope chose her outfit for the pumpkin patch today-rain boots, a pumpkin shirt, and a black tutu skirt. 
Most of our sweet four year olds!  We made them pause for a quick group picture before picking out their pumpkin.  The Connors farm is so beautiful and they are so gracious about allowing church kiddos to come visit their pumpkin patch.  After we took this picture we counted down and yelled RUN!  They were so excited.
Hope picked out this small pumpkin and she wants to make it into a pie.  It will break her heart when I pull out the canned pumpkin to make our pie:)
Mr. Norman drove us on the church bus and all the kiddos were so excited to be on that bus and when we pulled up and saw all those beautiful pumpkins they could not contain their excitement! 
I must run and finish up this blog post.  We are trading in our sweet honda pilot and purchasing another car tonight.  Clearly it is time to trade our high mileage pilot in, but it has been a faithful and good car for us.  It has taken us on a lot of trips, gotten us faithfully to all those chemo appointments, and never has given us any trouble.  It is exciting to get something new, but I have a weird sentimental attachment to this car. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fabulous Fall Weekend

I love fall weekends and this one was a perfect balance of downtime at home and fun time with friends. Kyle was the crazy guy who went to VT to watch them play Marshall in the RAIN. I was thankful I was home on the couch under a blanket instead of being out in the rain! Kyle enjoyed some GG and Pops time this weekend and we enjoyed taking the two youngest to the drive-in last night to see Despicable Me2.

Today, Hope and I headed to Roanoke for a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to raise money for a cure. Our sweet friend, Jack was diagnosed last December with Type 1 Diabetes. His Momma, Misty and I are good friends who work together at the preschool. They do an amazing job as a family managing his diabetes and Jack is really a special kid.

Our Team name was Captain Jack's Crew and here are most of the kids that were apart of the crew!

It was a fun event but Hope was terrorized by the number of dogs that were there! She freaked out! It was crazy crowded-there were at least 1000 people at this event. I had no idea how huge it would be.

Here is sweet Sydney with her Aunt Julia.

You could do the one miile walk for the three mile walk and Hope's little legs decided that we better stick with one mile. I was proud of her for doing that in the hot sun. The weather forecast was a little off and it was about ten degrees warmer than predicted. My jeans were really too hot! The rest of the crew did the whole three miles, and as we were walking back Dr. RAchel and the group of boys passed over us!

Seeing this sign really put diabetes in perspective for me as a Mommy. I have watched Jack take his blood sugar, seen first hand how many times the school nurse has to call Misty while we are at preschool, and I know that Misty and Joel have had to have a lifestyle change as a family, but this sign shocked me. At a cookout type of event it would never phase me to question how many carbs my kids are eating, but Type 1 Diabetics always have to be aware of their carb count for their insulin. If I had to count Kyle's carbs and limit them it would be terrible for him. I am in awe of the graceful way that the family has handled Jack's diagnosis.

Hope finally stopped freaking out about the dogs and had fun with her BFF, Sydney. The walk was at the Transportation museum downtown Roanoke and it was such a cool venue to be surrounded by all these cool trains and planes.

Between the Drive-in with our youngest two, Friday night football game, downtime to cheer on my Hokies on the couch, and today's outing with friends to raise money for Type 1 Diabetes, it has been an fabulous Fall weekend!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Life Happens

Once again life is flying by way too fast!  This school year has started off beautifully for all of us and time is certainly flying by.  Mondays are Kyle's tennis clinic days at Virginia Tech (thanks to Pops for helping us get him there) and Hope has ballet and tap.  Tuesdays David has speech and Kyle has a local tennis lesson here.  Wednesdays the kids and I are at church for our afterschool program until dinnertime.  Thursdays are typically David swim days and usually both boys have a test or quiz to study for. 

I found myself today complaining about a full schedule and I stopped myself immediately.  I will take an afternoon at church teaching 35ish elementary-aged children about Jesus' forgiveness over a long and stressful day in the hospital.  I will always choose having three happyand healthy kids keeping us hopping because of their activities versus watching one suffer in the hospital.  Cancer is mean and fights dirty, but it has taught me all about perspective. 

David has had an ear infection this week and it has been nasty.  His eardrum actually erupted and he is on an antibiotic.  Poor fellow has not even complained about ear pain?!  Little germs have caught up with me and I too am on an antibiotic for a sinus infection. 

I found this little gem on my phone-Hope and David are playing "Jesus Dying on the Cross" game. Notice that Hope is driving the nails into David's hands.  These two are something else together!   
This past weekend we went to a sweet birthday party for Macy and I took this great picture of Caleb, Devin, and David.  David has a lot of big kid friends and these two are so sweet to him.

Today my children got a treat.  At church we run buses to the elementary schools to pick up kids for the afterschool program.  Jonathan typically picks up the kids at David's school, but today he had to preach a funeral.  I drove the bus today and surprised David by picking him up on the church bus!  It was a little out of my comfort zone to drive that bus, but I did okay:)  I had seven sweet kids on my bus-I cannot imagine a whole bus full of kids!  God bless our school bus drivers:)
Today I went to a funeral for a beautiful lady inside and out.  She fought a courageous battle against an aggressive form of cancer.  (I hate cancer).  Both Jonathan and another wonderful local pastor spoke of her faithfulness to God.  She touched so many peole by her love and sweetness.  The pastors talked about her leaving bibles out at her workplace and how she showed love to everyone.  It was such a beautiful service and such a great reminder to those of us left behind to stay the course in our walk with Jesus and to finish strong.  This beautiful lady did not want to be the focus at her own funeral-she wanted the pastors to speak of Jesus more at her funeral than herself.  What humility and grace!!!
Life is certainly flying by!  In five short weeks we will be heading to Disney for David's Make-A-Wish trip!!  Happy Fall!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ahhh Sweet Weekend

I am sad to see this weekend come to a close. The weather has been gorgeous, we have had lots of down time, the Hokies won, and we have had time together as a family. Mike's trip to Baton Rouge last week was great for him professionally, but it wore him out.

Friday afternoon David was complaining of his right side hurting, so of course we freak out because that is his "good" kidney side. At the pediatrician I was so afraid I was going to hear kidney infection, kidney stones, or a stomach virus. Nope, evidently when David's right side hurts that means he has a left ear infection! Ha! He is such a tough cookie that he never complained about his ear?! Today we have noticed dried goop coming out of that poor little ear:(

I cannot believe it is mid-September already. Fall is so beautiful and awesome here in Virginia and it makes me sad that it goes by so fast. Kyle and I are planning to participate in a mini mission trip to D.C. next month, I am a keynote speaker at a Women's Conference in Abingdon in mid-October, and we leave late October for Disney!! It is all fun stuff but our plate runneth over a little bit these days.

I am so thankful for weekends where the only traveling we do is to church and back. After last week's drama and stress, it was so nice to relax, rejuvenate, and be together as a family.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Am Not at 3 a.m. Kind of Gal

The fact that it is 3 a.m. and I am up writing a blog post is a clue that this week has been brutal. Tonight (or rather this morning) I am up thanking God for Matthew 11:28-30 which reminds us to come to Him when we are weary and he will give us rest. I also love the last line where God reminds us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light so He is able to take on our burdens when we are willing to give them up to him.

In my prayer time this morning I rattled off many burdens that I am willing to give to God. Mike has been in Baton Rouge this week on a work trip. The kids have done well with him being gone, but it is harder when he is gone. We are a team and when he is not here I feel like my right arm is missing. We may be dysfunctional at times but we are a pretty solid team:) Thankfully he will be home today!!

Despite the fact that this week has been emotional and stressful, today was a pretty awesome day at church. The afterschool program started up and to see groups of kids getting off the church bus to come learn about Jesus made my whole week! The church is going through a major construction right now so it was hot, dusty , and humid but it was such a joy to talk about Jesus with those sweet kids. Of course David loved riding that church bus to meet me! Between preschool and serving in this afterschool ministry at church I pray I never take it for granted that I get to share Jesus with children. My house may be out of control at times, and I may forget an appointment or two along the way, but sharing the hope of Jesus with kids is my element!

Speaking of my house being out of control, my Mom (aka the organization queen) came down today with Pops and helped me tackle my built-in shelves. One of the ways that I am simplifying life is to be okay getting rid of "stuff." I just sold a lot of things at the Wee-cycle sale, today I donated lots of books to the library, and tomorrow/today I am delivering stuff to Goodwill. I am finding that decluttering really makes me feel awesome! My Mom should really start an organization business-she is great at this! My new mantra is "things do not make us happy so it is okay to get rid of stuff that we are not using."

I am so thankful for Jesus who carries us when our burdens are so heavy. I am thankful for good friends that make me laugh during stressful times, a job that allows me to teach children their ABC's and about Jesus, My Mom who is helping me declutter my life, my Dad who entertained Hope while we worked, my hard-working husband who will be home today, and my little babes who are growing up way too fast on me. I saw Kyle sitting with the youth group today at church and I just about cried!

Any locals that are interested in their children being apart of an afterschool bible club please email me and I will get you specifics. Church buses pick up from Atkins Elementary, Marion Elementary, and Oak Point Elementary School and deliver the kids to church. There is a snack and playground time followed by four fun and learning bible stations-music/drama, cooking, craft, and music. Pickup is at 5:15 at First United Methodist:) I will be there each Wendesday.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Football, Family and Fun

This weekend has been full of sunshine, friends, family, and a little fall football. Friday after school David had a special playdate with Amber's brother, TJ. He is a sophomore at a local high school and he was kind enough to come play with Dave for the afternoon. We went to the high school game Friday night and then Saturday we hit the road for....

the first home Virginia Tech game of the year! David did not care that it was a blowout and Tech won big-he was THRILLED to be there! Kyle and Mike were at a baseball tournament so Dave and I hit the VT campus to cheer on the Hokies.

There is truly no one in the stadium who loves it more than David. He watches every play, never gets bored, and cheers every cheer. When the team comes out the whole stadium jumps to Enter Sandman. Watching David jump, cheer, and scream I got a little emotional. I am so thankful that our boy is healthy and happy and that it seems like a lifetime ago when we were watching Hokie games from the hospital TV. Cancer definitely makes you appreciate special moments and watching David cheer his heart out made me so happy.

We are so thankful for family time at the VT games-this weekend because of Clayton and Kyle's different baseball tournaments, it was just me, Pops, and David rooting for the Hokies. David had a ball and that is all that matters.

Today I heard a sermon at church that convicted me and I am still processing that sermon. I felt like God was specifically speaking to me today and I need to not let the sun go down on my anger, practice a little more forgiveness and grace, and a little less judgment. There are a few situations going on that I have no control over yet are very personal and affect me and our family. I have sadly judged, gotten bitter and angry, and I have definitely let the sun go down on my anger. I am thankful for God's word that convicts me when my heart is not where it should be.

I am going to bed tonight thankful for the sunshine and fun this past weekend, for our healthy and happy David, and for family time. My constant prayer is that God will mold me into who He wants me to be and today I heard loud and clear to show a little less anger and a little more grace. Goodness knows I could use a little grace myself.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day of Preschool!

Today was our first day of preschool!  Hope was beyond thrilled and excited that it was finally her turn to go to school.  She picked out one of her favorite dresses and she even insisted on pictures!  Ha!

 I did get a little lump in my throat that today was the last first day of preschool for her?!  Where has the time gone?  Next year on my first day of preschool I will not have a trusty sidekick with me.  Sigh.
Posing with her new Doc McStuffins backpack monogrammed with her name on it. It was a birthday gift from some dear friends. 
She was so happy to see her "old" friends and meet a few new ones.  This was one of the best first days that I have ever had.  We have the sweetest group of children with wonderfully supportive families.  I love my job. 
Here is cutie girl working on her journal with her new glasses.  She really articulates to me when she needs them and when she does not.  She truly only needs them when she is working at her seat or seeing things up close.  I love how eager she is to go to school and to learn.
We will both go to bed pretty early tonight-we had a great first day but it will be an early bedtime for both of the Robinson girls tonight!