Sunday, August 30, 2009

Glorious Day!!

We sang this song for the first time in church today...moved, I thought I would share it. It was originally written around 1910 by J. Wilbur Chapman as a hymn but has been reworked into a contemporary-ish song by Jeff Johnson.

I guess with all the thoughts of uncertainty, illness, loss, and death lately it brought me comfort. Well, He brings me comfort but the words of this song just rang so loud in my heart this morning. I hope you enjoy it. If you've heard it before...why didn't you tell me about it?? :)

It is helpful for me to remember that in Christ death has lost its sting. In heaven there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. We will be made perfect in His image. And it will be glorious.

Just click the arrow button and follow through with the lyrics. If you don't get the lyrics, well, you will miss it. I tried to get the godtube or youtube one with the lyrics already in the video but the lyrics were wrong in too many important places.

One day when heaven
Is filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to
Be born of a virgin
He dwelt among men,
my example is He

Living He loved me
Dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified
Freely forever
One day He's coming

Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day

One day they led Him
Up calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him
To die on a tree
Suffering anguish
Despised and rejected
Bearing our sins,
my Redeemer is He

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose o'er
Death He had conquered
Now is ascended
My lord evermore

Living He loved me
Dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified
Freely forever
One day He's coming

Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day

One day the trumpet will
Sound for His coming
One day the skies with His
Glories will shine
Wonderful day
My beloved was bringing
Glorious Savior this Jesus is mine

Living He loved me
Dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified
Freely forever
One Day He's Coming

Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day

One day the trumpet will
Sound for His coming
One day the skies with His
Glories will shine

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Could you pray?

Hello all.

I am coming to you on behalf of my cousin and her family. Her husband specifically. He has been in the hospital for about a week. He has been battling leukemia for around 2 years. He has endured a lot to say the least...his entire family has. He was moved to the ICU this morning and placed on a ventilator. He is the same age as Big Daddy. He has a sweet little family of my cousin and their two precious kiddos. They could sure use your requests this morning. I know not one prayer would be wasted on them.

Love you guys.

Yep, They Are Super...

SUPERHEROS that is!!!
Sure, they look sweet....
But they have huge muscles. Not to mention serious faces :)

But they are mean when you cross the line from good to evil. She has it down, huh?
And they run really fast too
Sometimes they are overcome with power to get the bad guys
They even use their capes to disappear...where did Love go???
There she is! Poor thing couldn't look mean if she tried...which she did. Try. It was just too much fun and she couldn't hold a serious face, umm, to....catch a bad guy :) But she sure steals this Momma's heart :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Little Help Here....Sort Of

Ever since school began, 3 long days ago, our schedule has had to be adjusted. Namely our dinner time. Big Daddy is used to coming in from work and pretty much sitting down to dinner. He is famished when he gets home. After all, it has been 4.5 hours since his last meal by the time he gets home at 4:30. Well, with picking up Hunter at 4:00 and still traveling to get Faith from my Mom's it just isn't hitting at 4:30. It is closer to 5:00. Anyway...last night I was getting all the chicken off a couple of rotisserie chickens for dinner. At the same time I had several pots boiling water for our sides. I asked Big Daddy to put the green beans in and also to put the tea bags in. Which he did - photographic evidence to follow:
Green Beans (for 6 mind you) were placed in the boiling water in the 1 quart pan, notice the overflow?
And here are our tea bags in the 2.5 quart pan, wading safely at the bottom in minimal water

Just so you completely understand why I was perplexed by his choice of placing 1lb. of green beans in such a small pan and the 2 tea bags in such a large pan - well, here:
You see?
I am beginning to think there is something to that theory of men who "pretend" not to get it even when they do. Because they know they will not be asked to do it again. And because the couch is more comfortable than standing over a hot stove. He even asked me why the pan was so small for the green beans. Which puzzled me even more, because I was not looking over his shoulder. I mean, I was deboning a cooked chicken for goodness sake.
Do you know what I've learned?
1. If you ask for help, you have to be willing to accept all kinds of results.
2. It takes a long time to scrape boiled over green beans off the stove top.
3. Oh, and tea is a tad bit weak when you only put tea bags in a cup of boiling water.
I wouldn't even post this if I thought he had honestly tried. But, he snickered when I suggested he pulled the 'ole "I don't get it" routine. He thinks he is so good. And, I guess he is...because he will now be lounging on the couch until dinner is ready. Stinker. :)
On a sidenote - yes, I know my pans are in pitiful condition - poor little fellas, they work hard around here ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

They're Baaaacckk....

Yesterday was the first day back to school for the kiddos. Some looked forward to it, others...not so much. It was also the first day that all 4 of my children would be gone to school. Big Daddy took the day is tradition. He has been doing it for the first day since the big kids started PreK. The kids love it. He was able to take Faith and her friend and Hope to school. I had Hunter and his friend and Love. It is going to be much harder solo on Tues. and Thurs. It will be four different schools for four different kiddos. They start from 7:50 to 8:20. Sounds easy enough until you factor in morning traffic, walking Love into her class, and then there is the fact it takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes to get through each child's individual school traffic. It can't be done well. I will have to drop Hope off at 7:45 (15 minutes early), hurry like mad to get to Love's class by 8:00 drive back across town to get Faith to school by 8:05 and then turn back around and get Hunter to school by 8:20. It could all be alleviated by taking the big kids early but with big kids...there is no hurry to get there early. In fact, there is no hurry to get there - in their eyes.

Hunter is a FRESHMAN!! I can not believe it...yesterday it was preK and now - HIGH SCHOOL...ugh! He was a little excited a little apprehensive. The school is huge and there are 770 Freshman alone in his high school this year. Crazy huh? He is back at the bottom of the totem pole. He really is not a school loving kid. He does it because he has to but like most kids, boys especially, he'd rather be outdoors hunting or fishing or both :) He is in Spanish, Algebra 1, and branching off into the world of Agriculture, they have some cool classes on evaluating soil and wildlife, an Aggie in our future?? Perhaps. I still can't believe my baby boy is a freshman. He said his day was long, he stayed lost and their was one teacher he really liked. But he couldn't remember who she was or what class...just that it was a lady. Isn't he one for details?

Faith is beginning her 8th grade year. She has been looking forward to the first day of school for a while. She isn't super excited about classes but to wear all her new clothes and is all about fashion and catching up with friends. She is also in Spanish, Pre-Algebra, and looking into volunteering at the Elementary schools in a course to help young 'uns read. Reading is her thing. She is hoping there will be no trouble in switching a course. She had enrolled in a course to give her high school credit in technology. Well, our fine state up and decided in late July that they would change the course requirements for graduation and it is no longer necessary. So, as she said, "Why waste the time?" Sounded perfectly reasonable to me. She said her day was good, the new lunchroom was awesome and they put all the 8th graders together in one lunch...finally. She dislikes not having more friends in her classes...I think it is to her advantage, she doesn't see it that way.

Hope....Hope is now an official Kindergartner. I am still in shock. I missed having that little one around all day. I never knew how much of my daily conversational skills were honed in on her. She is that fireball that you definitely know when she's not around. She was a little nervous but had Daddy walk her to the gym (all the kids meet in there first for announcements and stuff) and then onto her actual class. She was doing good and playing with play doh when Big Daddy left her...sounds just awful doesn't it? I was busy carting the other kids to their schools and Big Daddy had specifically asked to be the Kindergarten drop off...yes, I was a bit jealous. It did save me from crying though. We took her lunch...something totally unhealthy but her favorite. Chicken E tenders and fried okra with sweet tea. She seemed to be adjusting but still a little nervous. Hope said her favorite things were that she had two snacks, played on the playground twice...they have vines you can swing from and they have bongos. Today she gets to play with foam blocks and they are having cheese nachos for lunch. Today she wants to buy her lunch...and you have to have real money. Oh they grow up so fast.

And lastly, little Love began her speech articulation class. She wasn't herself all morning. She was in a bit of a funk. I think she knew this "school" thing was coming and she was supposed to be excited but she wasn't really sure what all the fuss was about. I walked her into her classroom and they wanted to do the distract and leave quietly procedure. I complied but only after kissing her on the forehead and telling her I hope she had a good time. 11 o'clock did not come soon enough. We saw the 5 little kiddos heading to the office with both teachers and there were already two ladies blocking Love's view of us. She had that look. The one that makes this Momma's stomach ache. Seriously. The look of confusion, uncertainty and distress. Bless her heart. I made sure to worm my way into her view and she was such a happy camper after that point.

I am sad to see the summer go. It went far too fast and the kids are just getting big. I don't particularly like that the school has my children more awake hours in the day than I do. I do however feel very confident in dealing with my lack of teaching ability. So, they are in the best place for the current time. I see wings spreading and grown ups in progress. I am proud of my children. They are good kids. I hope to be the encouragement they need and less of the nagging mom. Who really likes to be the one asking day in and day out:

Have any homework? Really? When did you do it? Is it done correctly? Neatly? What about projects or group work? You need any help? Have you asked your teacher about it? Should you go to tutoring or after school help? Any tests coming up? Really? Have you studied? How are your grades?

And the only answers that usually come back are: Yep...I don't know...probably not, OK....and, what's for dinner?
The four Harris kiddos...embarking on another school year. Can you tell the two more experienced school kids lack the zeal the little ones have?
The backpacks - Ni Hao Kai-Lan and Hello Kitty - both picked out completely by their owners.
The look of Hope in the gym with the entire school, a tad bit of overload.
The look when Big Daddy left, more stable environment
Leaving her first day of speech class and the glimpse of her looking for us and not seeing us...killed me.
The look...close up and a little early, it got worse. Does it break your heart or what?
Hope at lunch with Love stealing a two finger dip in the ketchup.
Big Daddy and Love on our way to pick up Hope. Her school is literally right behind our house. In the heat the walk feels longer than it is. I am ready for some fall temperatures :)
School bus cookies from MiMi...she had to bring them by to her kiddos and check in on them for their first day back tales.
All in all a very productive day. And guess what? Tomorrow it starts all over again :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Time Traveler's Wife...

Ok, went to the movies tonight with my mother and her neighbor to see The Time Traveler's Wife. I had been wanting to see it for a while now. I love her and I totally bought their on screen chemistry.

Let me just say for the record...not what I was expecting. Still bawled like a baby in several parts but a little far out there.

It of course got me to thinking...scary, I know. Bear with me. After seeing the movie I am incredibly thankful that we don't know our entire life story or even bits of it before we walk through it. I for one could not have handled near what I have had I known it prior to experiencing you follow? I mean the Lord has it perfectly designed and there just is no coincidence - it is because it is supposed to be. For instance, we endure hardships, loss, trials for a reason. Sometimes it is because the Lord will use you to help another walk through the same circumstance. Other times it is to prepare you for something bigger. In order to stretch you and not to tear you in two while enduring it. I love that. I mean to truly contemplate that my life...your life, has been planned before we were ever even born. He has a beautiful plan for each of us. Chew on that for a little while. Intense, huh? I can only imagine had the Lord told me what, when, how and why that I would go running for the hills.

For instance at 16 if He said....
When you are 20 you will be married to a boy whom you have never dated, rarely spoken to and never even pictured as a possible boyfriend...and you will be madly in love. After a year of marriage your husband will be in a horrible car wreck and escape...unharmed, 3 hours from where you live after a big fight. You will have a couple of rocky years and both of you will be so consumed by the world that you will lose sight of who I am. At almost 23 you will give birth to your handsome son, who will come early and be very ill and stay in the hospital for 9 long weeks after several surgeries. Six months later you conceive your 2nd child, a beautiful daughter. (I am going to speed this up for the sake of not boring you all to death). You will move 9 more times either temporary or for years at a time. 9 times!!! This alone would send me for some type of sedation considering my least favorite thing to do is to pack and move and unpack. You will find THE church. You will encounter real people, really living to love and serve Me. Oh, and your husband, he falls madly in love with Me, consumed with Me and becomes a pastor. Me...uh, a pastor's wife...I don't think so! Not that there is anything wrong with being a pastor's wife :) You will adopt a gorgeous baby girl born in China. You move back to the hometown you both thought you'd never return to. And 2 years later you will return to China to adopt the most adorable and precious little toddler ever! At 16 I was thinking purely of myself. Four children...this could have flipped my lid. I was planning on being married, have the 2 kids, boy then girl, work full time, keep up with the Jone's...oh, you so know the drill. Which brings me to today...had I known even a smidgen of what might have come...I would have worried about the rocky relationship, premature baby, moving, living up to the pastor's wife persona (in my head alone), well, all of it. It could have literally driven me crazy. Or I could have tried hard to change somethings which would in fact, change EVERYTHING.

You know what gets me? The Lord knew of it all along...all of it. And he knew what I could and could not handle. He has used our rocky relationship to help counsel other young married couples. He has used our premature baby to allow us to minister to other families experiencing the same. He has given us trials to produce perseverance which builds our character...well it is better said here:

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5: 3-5

Which makes me intensely excited...not knowing what is coming...what He is preparing us for...what He is leading us through...what He has in store for us. What trials or suffering the Lord has for us to endure that we may persevere and build our character to make more of Him and less of us. He has our lives mapped out, to glorify Him. We just have to be open to the fact that He loves that much. He loves us so much that He will do what is necessary to make us in the likeness of Himself. Which again, I totally dig. There is just no greater love. But, I am thankful I have no heads up on what is coming down the road...good, bad, happy, sad, high or low. Which brings me back to this:

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

He is the only One who needs to know.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meet the Teacher

She found her name on the list.
Hope and Ms. "E"
Hope's new school shirt :)
Tonight was Meet the Teacher.
We went to Hope's school first. We had to jump through all the hoops before we got to actually meet the teacher. But, she was worth the wait. She is young, recently married and this is her 2nd year at Hope's school. She has a very gentle disposition. I like her already. She was able to manage the room of lots of parents and students yet make everyone feel comfortable. Of course we bought the mascot t-shirt - Hope was thrilled! She can not wait for school to begin.

We then made our way to Love's school. Which is about a 5 minute drive from Hope's school. We had zero hoops to go through and immediately I thought of Hope's school and how much better prepared they were for the night. We went and purchased Love's school mascot t-shirt...she was asking about a t-shirt the moment we bought Hope's. She was on cloud nine - a bucket full of candy would not have brought an ounce of joy more. We then went on to meet her teacher, who has quite an incredible reputation. Her teacher is very gentle, caring and seems to truly enjoy what she does. She is probably a tad older than us with an established family and has been doing this for a long time. On top of all that, she produces incredible results with her teaching...gotta love that. Love is going to school 2 days a week for 3 hours each day. It is a teacher and speech pathologist who lead the class. It is technically called a language articulation class. But they teach just like pre-k/kindergarten with circle time, board time, centers, computers and such. It is just completely centered on articulation and how to promote proper speech. Love has trouble with beginnings, endings, double consonants, g's, c and k's, f's, l's, well, a lot of the letters and such. I am thankful for such a class and it is a huge bonus that it is offered free of charge. She is getting a head start because she won't technically start school for at least 2 more years. I am a bit sad to send her off to school so soon though. I like having my babies home with me. I know I am only being selfish... it is only 6 hours and I know it will benefit her tremendously. Besides, I could do a lot in a 3 hour chunk of time with zero kids, or I could do very little in complete silence ;)

Mrs. "G" and Love

Love and her new school this kid was one proud yellow jacket. She squealed when we gave her the t-shirt and walked the halls with a bounce in her step and a huge grin covered her entire sweet little face :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Two Wheelin'

Look who shed her training wheels tonight.
She was so excited that Big Daddy brought her, her bike and Love up to soccer practice where I was with Faith. And she got to show her new no training wheels riding self to everyone. Woo Hoo!
She is so tickled with herself and we are so proud of her. She has been telling us she thought she could do it. Big Daddy took her trainers off and he said 2 seconds later - poof! A two wheeler rider :)
She kept looking up to smile for the camera, she knew it was a blogging moment :) Way to Go Hope!!! Growing up so fast!
My apologies for the photo quality...I had no camera at practice and by the time we finally got home - it was pitch black outside. Still the day had come and this Momma was ready to brag a bit on Hope :)
When we came in from soccer Hope said, "Well, I am 5 now. I can ride my bike without training wheels. Aaaannd I am fixing to start Kindergarten."
It is all happening too fast. sniff. sniff.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Proof the Parents Were There Too...

One last recommendation...if you are ever in Panama City Beach and you like the smoky flavor of good barbecue, you must try the Smokin' Tuna Dip at Bootleg BBQ. Our entire family loved it. It was unusual but soo good! Smoked yellow fin tuna and bit of bite in the sauce they mix it up with...I'm telling you, I am not a huge tuna fan but I was sold on this.
My big kids :)
My little kids :)
Daddy and Faith
Hunter despises having his photo taken. I think it runs in his family :) I don't push it too often but I did get some on the beach. I am happy with that. I just wanted it on record we were present here on case you wondered.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Last Day in Panama City

Started off the day around 5 am. The boys left for a bay fishing trip for half a day. When they got home and cleaned up we went to lunch. We decided on the resort's own little restaurant. It was really good. I had the Blackened Mahi Mahi salad...

You could sit at your table and people watch and of course watch the waves roll in. We had the best service of the entire trip right within our own resort.
Their lemonade was fact we went through two pitchers of it. But it made your face do this, they got a kick out of it so of course I agreed to a photo.
Then we headed off to mini golf. Faith did really well.
Hope ended up with 2 hole in ones! Here is after the second one :)
This is where little Love would "tee off" every hole. She'd walk her ball and her club right up to the hole knock in on the first swing. She was so proud of her sweet little self. I couldn't help but laugh.
We came home and did a lot of this...there were a lot of weddings on the beach tonight. We also wanted one last night of watching the water for creatures.
And we did a lot of this too. Just hanging out and listening to the waves crash. Here is faith on our balcony...excuse the patio door fingerprints. I will miss this most of all.
Then we headed to Capt. Jack's for all you can eat crab legs...before (several plates to follow)
And after. We eat our weight in these tasty good!
So we begin our journey bright and early around 5 am to get out of here by 6. We will be on the road for the 16 hours following that....oh how I hope we can get some sleep on the way home. We are tired from vacation. Beach vacations are so much fun but they are a lot of work too. Especially with young children. The big kids are pretty self sufficient but carrying two young 'uns down and all that they like to play with to the beach and back...well it can wear a woman out. See you next time Panama City - thanks again for the memories :)

Photo Shoot...Shoot