Saturday, June 29, 2013


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our Dream Home

When Andrew and I began talking about moving, we also began talking about our forever home.  The home that we see ourselves living in for the rest of our life.

The plan was to find a small rent house while it was just him living there and then once we figured out where I would be teaching we would buy land and build.

We found land pretty early on.  It was perfect.  Half way between our two jobs and close to the marina where we keep our boat.

Wooded area.  Feels remote but is still very close to town.

Earlier this month we met with a builder.  Nice guy!  He quoted us a price and I thought we were ready to start the process.

There is nothing wrong with our little rent house, but it is little.  I dream about a house with a few extra bedrooms so that family can come stay with us.  We talk often about either his parents or my parents living with us someday.  We would be thrilled to have them here with us.

Somewhere in there Andrew decided he wanted to see what was on the market for that amount of money.

So we began the process of him emailing me links to houses that were for sale and me turning them down one by one.  There was nothing out there that I liked just as it was.  There was something about every house that I would want to change.  We wouldn't have that if we built a home.  Besides - I had fallen in love with the piece of land we had been looking at.

After turning down a craftsman style house that was built in 1926, Andrew insisted that I go by and look at it.  He just knew I would feel differently once I saw it in person.

We drove by and I had to admit he was right.  We made an appointment to check out the inside.

I liked it but hardened myself so I wouldn't fall in love with it.

The more we talked about it and looked at it the more I liked it.

We've gone through it a second time.  It's one of those houses where you walk in and you can immediately see yourself living there, raising a family, and hosting lots of get togethers for family and friends.

Now is the hard part.  Looking at numbers and figuring out if we can make our dream a reality.

It's hard.  I want this house so bad.  But it is a huge decision and I don't want to do anything that we don't have complete peace about.

Only time will tell.

Monday, June 24, 2013


I was recently given this book by Noel Piper, the wife of John Piper.

As I began reading it, I wasn't really sure what to expect.  I definitely did not expect to be challenged in the ways that it has challenged me.  I didn't expect it to open my heart and mind to everything that it has.

In this book, Noel talks about the purpose of traditions.  She talks about purposefully including God in our traditions.  She often refers to examples from her own family - ways they purposefully include God in every day traditions as well as those special traditions.

I remember the first year Andrew and I were married.  It was a challenge meshing my family traditions with his family traditions.

His family did things that were not tradition to me and I didn't understand his need to not miss out on that tradition.

My family did things he didn't understand.  

We were both young and selfish.  Neither one of us wanting to forfeit our own family traditions.

9.5 years later we have learned to mesh our traditions.  We've even added a few of our own.  

We are still creating our own traditions - something I pray we will always do.

I'm sure that as we some day add children to our family, our traditions will both change and grow.

I think somewhere inside I believed having children would magically change who Andrew and I are.  We would become the kind of parents who only speak in soft loving voices.  The Word would constantly flow from our tongue.

Go ahead!  You can laugh.  I did. 

Even though I had this unrealistic belief, I think I've always known that this has to be purposeful.  In this book, Noel has given practical ways to do this.

I have been reading this book for several weeks, but I'm only 1/2 way finished.  I read a chapter and then just stop and soak it all in. 

Waiting until I have children to become the kind of godly wife and mother I want to be is not the best idea.

I can start now.  I can pray daily to be a godly wife and mother.  I can hide the Word in my heart today.  That's the only way it will ever naturally flow from my lips.

I am so thankful for the women God has put in my life as examples.  

My prayer is that my life will bring glory to God.  My life will be one worth living.

My prayer is that at the end of my life I will hear "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's Tuesday

I sent Andrew a text today asking if we could have burgers on the boat for dinner.  There is something about grilling on the boat that makes the burgers taste so much better.

I love it!

He got home a little before five and we loaded up.  

We decided it was time for Lincoln Baxter to go on his first boat ride.  We haven't taken the dogs out yet because we've been waiting for a trip when there wouldn't be a lot of people and we wouldn't be out there all day.  We weren't sure how they would react.  

Well we're pretty sure we know how Lib will react.  I don't think she is going to like it at all.

Lincoln wasn't real sure at first.  The dock can be very scary.  There are lots of cracks to jump over. 

One he got on the boat, there was lots of exploring to do.  

Then it was time for a swim.  He has never been swimming before so we were excited to see how he did.

He is an excellent swimmer!  However, he did not LOVE it like I had hoped.  

We bought a dog life jacket a few months ago.  We thought we would give that a try.  

Yes we are those people.  We are okay with that!

Little Dude was smart.  He knew how to get out of that water.  He went straight to the ladder and hung on until Andrew lifted him out of the water.

He didn't seem to mind the water.  I sat on a air mattress and he was very content to hang on to that with his hind legs in the water.  He just didn't like having to swim.  

He's like his owners.  He just wanted to be lazy and float around. 

After a quick swim, Andrew started grilling us some burgers and dogs.

This was my view while I soaked up that sun.

Lincoln begged for a bite of hot dog.  

Can you say spoiled puppy?

We went for another swim after dinner.  Andrew just kept saying.  It's Tuesday. Then he would smile so big.

We are so very blessed.  

Change is hard for me.  There have been days where I have missed our old home town.

But a Tuesday night on the lake where the weather is perfect and the water feels amazing with my two boys and good food...

Well it quickly reminds me how blessed I am and how great my God is.  

God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called seas.  And God saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:10

Monday, June 10, 2013

Miscellaneous Monday

1.  Andrew's parents were in town this weekend.  We were able to show them around our little town and have dinner with them.  They even did a little house shopping with us. I always enjoy the time we get to spend with them.  I only wish they lived closer so that we could do it more often.

2.  We have been discussing our options for housing.  We are currently in a tiny little rent house.  It's fine for the two of us, but not where we want to be long term.  We thought we wanted to build.  We have found land that we both LOVE.  But lately we've been looking at homes.  We found a craftsman house that we really like.  That is the house Andrew's parents toured with us on Saturday morning.  If only the price were right...

3. My mind has been completely consumed with classroom decorations.  It is killing me that we don't have a Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Target in our little town.  I want to go shopping so bad I can't stand it.  I was supposed to go to Little Rock today and planned to visit these stores and more, but my plans changed.  Now I'm going crazy.  I don't even have a shopping list yet or know what I want to do. 

4.  I'm also dying to go work in my room.  That will probably have to wait a week or two since floors are being cleaned.  I might try to stop by there in the next couple of days on my way home from workshops.  I just like to sit in my room and take it all in.  I've looked the pictures I snapped on my phone a thousand times.

5.  One of the things I want in my classroom is chevron curtains.  I haven't been able to find any that I could afford so I've been toying around with making my own.  Now I just have to decide if I want to buy fabric or buy white curtains and paint my own chevron stripes.  Anyone have any experience with this?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts

These two have become quite the expensive little furbabies lately.

Sometime over the weekend Lincoln Baxter hurt his leg.  We noticed Sunday evening that when he was standing still he would hold his back leg off the ground.  

Andrew called the vet Monday morning.  It was time for yearly shots and we wanted to have someone check out Lincoln's leg.  He got an appointment scheduled for them for Thursday.  At this point, Lincoln's leg wasn't too big of a concern.

By Tuesday Lincoln's leg was worse.  He wouldn't put any wait on it at all.  He was hobbling around on three legs and laying down for most of the day.  That is very unlike him.  

Andrew called a different vet and was able to get him in that afternoon.  It seems that our sweet boy sprained his ACL.  Several dollars later we walked out with three medications and a prayer that Lincoln would get better and wouldn't need x-rays or surgery.

The pain meds really help.  He is starting to walk on it again.

Liberty went in today for her yearly shots.  She is a healthy girl.

Dogs are expensive.

I spent the first three days of this week at QES writing lesson plans. I was able to see my classroom.  

It is a blank canvas.  I cannot wait to get in there and color it up with all my owls and chevron.  

Elementary is a whole new world.  I never realized how middle school minded I was until this week.  It is going to take some getting used to.  Holiday parties and cute bulletin boards int he hall way.  

I have found a few cute ideas on Pinterest that I'm pretty excited about.

I have met a few of my new co-workers.  Everyone has been so nice & helpful.  It makes all this change just a little bit easier.

Monday, June 3, 2013


This saying has never been more true to me until five months ago.  Even though I was in the house we owned and Andrew was in a tiny rent house, that tiny rent house felt more like home to me that our house.  The feeling only grew when my furbabies moved in with Andrew and I moved to an apartment.

After five months of living in separate houses in separate towns, I finally moved back in with my husband a little over a week ago.  It was a bittersweet moment.

Up until my last day at HG actually arrived, I was more than ready to get out of there.  I knew I would miss my coworkers, but I was R-E-A-D-Y to live with my husband again.  In fact, I felt a little guilty for wanting to be out of there so badly.

Then my last day came.  Quicker than I really wanted.  I woke up feeling sick that morning.  Everything I did, I couldn't help but think how it was the last time... the last time I would pull into the school parking lot, the last time I would lock up my classroom, the last time..

I pretty much started crying as soon as I woke up.  In fact for most of the day there was a song playing in my head - How Can I Help You to Say Goodbye by Patty Loveless.

It's okay to hurt and it's okay to cry.  How can I help you to say goodbye?

Ha!  It's a little comical I know.

At one point I laid my phone down to go to the bathroom only to come back and discover this picture...

That would be my principal and my best friend.  Ya'll I have a very special relationship with my principal.  Though she was very much my boss, she is also a friend.

And as for Traci?  It's been a long time since I had a real best friend.  A friend that I can to with anything.  A friend to go get mani/pedis with.  A friend who allows me to crash at her house for the last week of school when I had to be out of the apartment.

Saying goodbye to her was hard.  We've been in denial ever since Andrew accepted the job.

So how did it go?  We acted like two mature adults.  We hugged and then jumped in our cars to keep from crying.

Of course as soon as I put the car in reverse, the ugly cry began.  I know that our friendship has not ended just because I moved.  I know that I will make new friends at my new school.  But man am I going to miss teaching next to her every day.

Speaking of my new school.  I started work today.  I spent the day touring the school and planning units.  It was very overwhelming to say the least.  I came home and curled up in bed with my chocolate.  It was that kind of day.

Everyone was so incredibly nice and helpful.  It wasn't a bad day.  It was just different.

It is all different and taking some getting used to.

Being here - knowing this home and I don't have to go back  - it's a great feeling, but it's also an odd feeling.

Like it has sunken in yet that I am home.

Home sweet home.