Thursday, January 10, 2013

This Little Light of Mine

I sing.  As often as I can.  Whether in front of an audience, or in my car, or with my students at school, or in the shower.  I sing.

Each year, I sing the Special Music on the last Sunday.  This year was no exception.  Saralynn and I sang together on December 30th for the first time on a Sunday.  I sang a solo in church for the first time around age 3 or 4.  It has always been important to me to foster the love of singing in my children, if that is a desire of their heart. Saralynn has always loved to "practice" with me when I sing on the Worship Team, and has always held her unpowered microphone with gusto as we sing.  She has begged for a long time to sing with me, so we sang together earlier in the summer.  I sang a version of "This Little Light of Mine" by Addison Road that was so very cool- I stumbled on it on iTunes and still have never heard it on the radio, though I'm not sure why.  Saralynn joined me on stage and sang the traditional "This little light of mine... Let it shine till Jesus comes..." and it was awesome.  My baby was wonderful!

We sang it again that Sunday, and once again, she did an amazing job.  I am one proud Mama.

Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon in the car.  We were driving to get Carter when Saralynn asks, "Mommy, when we get to Heaven, will we still be sinners?"  I had to ask her to repeat her question more than once as I tried to process what she meant.  Once I gathered my thoughts, I explained that once we got to Heaven, we would sit at the feet of Jesus and sing songs of praise to Him and wouldn't have time to think about anything that would make us sin.  She asked my mom the same question, and got basically the same answer... Sin happens and exists because of things going on in this world.  Since Heaven isn't this world, there won't be room to sin...  (paraphrased for a 6 year old, of course.  I couldn't tell if our answers resonated with Saralynn or not, so I asked her how she felt.  She said, "it's ok if you don't know all the answer, Mommy.  I'm sure Mr. Frank (our high school and college minister) does.  I'll ask him."  She amazes me.

Tonight, Thursday, we were watching a rerun of this past Sunday's church service, and she and my mom were talking while I cooked dinner.  I looked into the den and saw my mom in a puddle of tears.  I don't know for sure, but I figure she said something that touched my mom...

As we were going to bed, she asked to lead the prayer tonight.  Usually, I say a phrase and she and Carter repeat, but tonight, she asked to lead.  My heart swelled and my heart caught a lump.  :)  The devotion in her church-provided book was about how she (it's written on her level) can share and show Jesus to those around her.  She said, "we can tell them that Jesus died for us, not because He had to, but because He wanted to."  We talked about her wearing her Children's Ministry shirt to school today and telling her teacher which church she attends.  We talked about how she performed 6 Random Acts of Kindness for her 6th birthday.  She said I showed Jesus when I took food to our friends who had their baby last week.

Jesus is becoming more and more real to my baby, people.  That alone should be what I live for every day!  I saw a Facebook post a month or so ago (actually, after the Connecticut shooting) where a Christian recording artist I follow noted that we as Christians should long for the day when Jesus returns.  She also mentioned, though, that she couldn't help but want to ask God to tarry on behalf of her unsaved brother.  I felt my heart crying for the same.  Jesus, You know I want to spend eternity with You, but I want my children to be there, too.  Please save their souls before You return.

I just can't help but think (and pray) that the day is coming soon when my daughter, my firstborn, my beloved daughter, becomes my sister in Christ, and that makes me want to SING again.

However, it is currently 9:53 PM and the only sound in the house is my typing, so I think I'll offer up a prayer instead.  :)

"Let it shine till Jesus comes, I'm gonna let it shine.  Let it shine, let it shine let it SHINE."

Jesus knows me, this I love

Wednesday.  Church day.  Yippee!

Our church had a great Family Night planned last week, but since we were down and out with the stomach virus, we didn't make it.  We were bummed.  But, we made it back tonight!

I teach 4 year old choir, and they are amazing.  They are a BUNCH of boys and just a few girls.  They are sweet.  They are energetic.  They are talkative.  They are trying.  They are festive.  They are His.  And He allows me the blessing of them for 45 minutes each week, and I don't take that blessing lightly.

There are some amazing people who care for my kids while I teach other children, and I'm grateful for them, too.  Mrs. Aundrea, Mr. John, Mrs. Laura, Mr. Gavin, and Mrs. Kitty teach Saralynn stories about Jesus.  Mrs. Lynne, Mrs. Mary, Mrs. Debbie, Miss Brooke, and Miss Catherine teach Saralynn songs about Jesus.  Mrs. Faye and Ms. Carol care for Carter and his friends in their room, which Carter affectionately calls his "choir" room.  They (and anyone else I may've mistakenly left out) are fabulous.

Tonight, we sang "Oh, how He loves you and me", and the voices that filled the room were angelic.  We made Valentines to send to the troops overseas.  God works in and through the hearts of 4 year olds.

Don't believe me?

Come check out the Turtle Room at FBCOTS on Wednesdays and leave unchanged.  I dare you.

Tuesday. Zesty Italian Chicken, Chili, and Baby Toes

I took dinner to some friends of ours who had their first baby last week.  AC is a beautiful girl.  I asked tonight who she looked like and got varying responses, but she is gorgeous, nonetheless.  It was so refreshing to hold her and think back to the time my babies were small.  I admit to a little bit of baby fever, but walking back into my house to the tantrum of a 3 year old and the attitude of a 6 year old that were both raging at that point, was just the medicine I needed to cure my ailment.  :)

Tuesday was just a run-of-the-mill kind of day.  And a day I was thankful did not include a late football game because Mama is tired and hitting the hay early!

Can I get a "Roll Tide?!"

Last night was the National Championship game.  My beloved Alabama Crimson Tide, ranked #2 after a loss earlier in the season to Texas A&M under the leadership of "Johnny Football" Manziel, played the #1 ranked and undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  I have loved the Tide for a long time now, mostly because of my Daddy.  He is my hero, my first love, the one Jesus chose to be my earthly daddy.  I had a great-uncle (actually by marriage on my mom's side, so not even "blood related" to my daddy) that instilled a love for the Tide in Daddy.  I've grown up watching sports, namely basketball, football, and baseball.  Daddy played basketball like it was his lifeblood when I was young, and I've always enjoyed watching him, whether on the court or the softball field.  I ate, slept, and breathed sports as a young girl, and truth be told, I still do...  If I had a do-over in life, I would follow my dream of being a sportscaster...

I digress.

I so looked forward to watching "the big game" with the family, but instead, after the first full day back in the routine, everyone was zapped and in bed by 8:00, and some before.  I watched in utter amazement as my Tide spanked the Irish 42-14.  The score easily could've been 70 or more.  It was a sight to behold.  It was pretty much fact that Alabama was the more superior team in every sense of the word, but I was genuinely surprised that the Irish didn't give them *this much more* of a fight than they did.  The Irish were seeking their first National Championship in 25 years, yet they played like it was the first day of spring practice.

I commend Coach Saban and his staff on a well coached, well thought out game.  And mad props to Barrett Jones, who lives out his faith both on and off the field.  "If I'm known as Barrett Jones- he's a great Alabama football player- then I'm not doing my job  I want to be known as Barrett Jones- he's a Christian who happens to play football- not a football player who happens to be a Christian."

Fight on, men.  Roll Tide.  You achieved your 15th National Championship in school history, and became the first club in Football Bowl Series history to win Back to Back championships.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First Day Back

(note- I thought I published this, but I saved it as a draft...  oops)

Monday.  FIrst day back at school.  The day we've all looked forward to.  No, really, we have.  We are ready for the routine!

My alarm went off at 5:00 AM for the first time in 21 days.  That part I didn't really like so much, but it was the sign that we were returning to normal.  I made lunches for Garrett, Saralynn, and me, and got Carter's stuff all ready for his new classroom.  The morning went off pretty much without a hitch.

I dropped Carter off in his new room and he wasn't really all that excited.  He didn't cry, but he didn't go very willingly either.  I could kick myself for not taking any morning pictures of either child...

It was nice to see my school babies again!  We didn't have any criers, and only 4 that forgot their computer login info, which I thought was great!  They transitioned right back into school life nicely.  Last year's first day back was much rustier than this one...

I picked Saralynn up from school and she talked the entire way home about her friends and her day.  It was fun to hear the excitement in her voice again.

I made dinner (Zesty Italian chicken), and it was yummy!

Then, it was time for the BIG GAME.  My Alabama Crimson Tide, ranked #2, against undefeated Notre Dame, ranked #1.  I just KNEW we would all enjoy the game together.  Wrong.  By 8:30 I was THE ONLY one still awake.  Yuck.  I watched all but the 4th quarter (which I recorded to watch later).  I was just too tired.  I fell asleep to a 42-7 lead, so I felt like they could handle it at that point without me.  :)

Smiling faces enjoyed their first day back!


And some tired babies...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Today is Sunday, Today is Sunday, All Day Long

My kids learned a song to the tune of "Are You Sleeping" that teaches them the days of the week.  Day care taught it to them...

Today is Sunday, today is Sunday, all day long, all day long
Yesterday was Saturday, tomorrow will be Monday
Sunday's fun, Sunday's fun

My ladies' group, One Accord, sang the Special Music at church today.  Rest Within His Sanctuary was one of the more difficult pieces we've sung so far, and we were very nervous about how it would come across, but the church LOVED it.  Whew.  Yes, we know we sing to an audience of One, but it's nice to know that those we help lead to the Throneroom of Worship enjoy it, too.

Saralynn's regular Sunday School teachers weren't there today, so Mrs. Beth, our Children's Director, and Miss Elise, Nursery Worker Extraordinaire, taught her class.  They made THE COOLEST prayer journals ever!  I will treasure this thing forever.

Carter loves Sunday School, too.  Mr. Phillip, Mrs. Kay, Mrs. Laurie, and Mr. Brent are absolute saints to teach the 2 year old class.  None of them have young children.  In fact, Mrs. Laurie is the only grandparent of the bunch.  These people just love Jesus and little ones, and I'm forever grateful for them!  Mr. Jay and Mrs. Kendra kept his room during "big church", and Carter's day was MADE.  He LOVES, loves, loves "Misser Jhay".  He even told us today that "his whole name is Mr. James, but his show name is Misser Jhay."  These two are a hoot together!  They talk all things Atlanta Braves and Dan Uggla, Cart'er favorite.  Jay has a daughter Carter's age, and you would think he would be "T's Daddy" like most other grown-ups are, but no- "Misser Jhay" is an entity all his own!  You can tell by the picture that they wore each other out- Carter passed out buried down inside his new sleeping bag in the middle of the den floor and slept for almost 3 hours!

That, friends, sums up our Sunday (and each one is pretty much the same).  We worship, and we rest.  That's the way it's supposed to be, right?!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Oh, and a new blog name...

Garrett was reading through my blog posts last night and suggested a new blog name...  I think I like it...  It's much more suited to us...

And so I submit to you...

Predictably Pelt.

Yep.  So "us".  Predictable, not so much.  Pelt, yes.  So, Predictably Pelt?  Totally. 

Bing Hopo. Dome Hepot. Something like that...

Today was the best family day we've had in a long time!  We woke up this morning and....

wait.  Let's back up.

Carter woke up this morning at 6:45 and talked yelled into the monitor, "MOMMY, I WANT TO GO DOWNSTAIRS!"  I retrieved him from his room and we went downstairs.  Pop was already up (sort of), and was flipping TV channels when Carter found The Doodlebops.  (He calls them Doodlebocks). We watched.  And watched.  And watched.  We caught the middle of one, and then two more episodes came on behind it.  I'll admit it- I dozed in and out through them.  This is clearly not one of my favorite shows...

Mimi and Pop asked us to join them for breakfast at IHOP.  Yummy!  The Cheerios and Lucky Charms we were eating were quickly abandoned.  We woke Daddy up and all 6 of us loaded into the Sorento.  All You Can Eat Pancakes didn't stand a chance with the Pelt/Carter crew this day!

After breakfast, we went to Home Depot for Craft Day.  Carter kept goofing up the name.  "We go to Bing Hopo."  "We go Dome Hepot."  He finally got it right.  HD sponsors a kids' craft day on the first Saturday of every month.  If you live anywhere near a Home Depot, and you have children, you should check it out.  Or, if you don't have children but love the incessant sound of hammers banging and banging and banging, you should check it out.  Either way, it's totally free, and the looks on the kids' faces when they show off their newly created (AND PAINTED) masterpieces are priceless!

The kids and I have gone before, but this was the first one Garrett has been able to experience (as a parent, he quickly adds).  Home Depot came to LaGrange when I was in college, I think, so I didn't know of this kids' craft day phenomenon when I was small.  Two birdhouses later, we headed back home for some rest time.

Pop took the kids to the LaGrange College Lady Panthers' basketball game.  I intended to go, too, but somehow rest time went from "Mommy lay down beside Carter to get him down for a nap" to "Carter and Saralynn and Pop go to the game and Mommy take a nap" pretty quickly.  Oops.

The day finished out with our weekly trip to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Jimador (also know as Sam's House to Carter).  Sam is our waiter and we love to go down and visit him each week.  Once we got home, we played a little Hungry Hungry Hippos and I finished up a craft project that Carter needs for his first day in his NEW CLASSROOM on Monday!  Pics will follow.

I said I'd mention more about Saralynn's and my purchase for Carter from yesterday, but we didn't get around to it today- maybe tomorrow.

Oh, how I love family days.  My heart is full!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Passion... for the PRESENT

Today was the last day of Christmas break.  Monday morning, it's back to the routine.  And I'm glad.  Oh, how I love down time with my family (Christmas is the BEST since Garrett is off for most of it with us), but when it's time, it's time, and it's time to get back in the swing...

Carter went to day care today, so Saralynn and I set out for a little time out of the house.  To say she's had cabin fever since she's felt better is an understatement.  We started out at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore looking for old windows to use for craftiness...  no such luck.  We did, however, stumble on a find for Carter (more on that tomorrow).  We ran a few other errands and ended our time out with lunch...

When we got home, we made shoelace jewelry and had a BLAST!  We also found Wipeout on her iPad mini...  Clearly, we had fun...  

We visit my grandparents every Friday afternoon, and it is such a joy.  They absolutely live for the hour or so we're there.  My grandmother's memory is failing her more and more by the day, and it breaks my heart to see how that is grieving my grandfather, but we cherish our time with them every week.  After we left, we dined on the goodness that is Chick-fil-A before retrieving a sleeping bag for Carter from a sweet friend at church.  Saralynn got a sleeping bag for Christmas from her cousins, so her nightly ritual has been to sleep in the floor in her bag.  We've made as much of a game out of sleeping on blankets as we could for Carter, but last night was IT- he was done with (or undone by) his lack of a sleeping bag.  Saralynn and I went on a hunt for one, but to no avail.  Enter Mrs. Pam, who saved the day with the coolest hand-me-down football sleeping bag the world has EVER seen.  We came home and promptly displayed in the middle of the den for all to behold.  

Bedtime proved difficult tonight, because Pop was watching the Cotton Bowl, which Carter wanted to see; Mimi was watching Duck Dynasty, which Saralynn wanted to see; we were playing Wipeout and Stack the States on the iPad, which I wanted to see; and Daddy was watching replays of the Passion feed, which both kids wanted to see.  Guesses on which prevailed?


Behold, bedtime...  

Sleeping bags in the middle of the living room/playroom/computer room, sleeping to the melodic sounds of Kari Jobe's "Revelation Song" and Louie Giglio's words to wrap up the Passion evening.

Have I mentioned that I LOVE my life?!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

ones and threes

I love quirky things about numbers.  Craziness, I know, as I was an English major in school and pretty much stunk it up at any other kind of math other than 2+2.

Today is January 3, 2013, or 1-3-13.  See the pattern?  It's an AB pattern.  :)  Kindergarten IS teaching me something!

Today was just your regular old run-of-the-mill day.  Nothing too spicy happened.  The kids stayed at each other's throats pretty much all day.  I've been home since lunchtime on December 17th with Carter, and Saralynn has been home with us since the 20th, so we're ready to get back into the swing of things around here!  Carter stayed home today, because quite frankly, I was too lazy to take him to school.  Shocker, I know.  I actually was kinda dizzy when I first woke up and was a little heebie jeebied out at the thought of driving, so we stayed home and in our PJs.

I straightened up the house a little and wrote out 4 thank you notes to mail.  I LOVE the concept of a handwritten note accompanied by a stamp that goes through snail mail.  I sent Garrett a picture of the notes I mailed and told him how blessed we are to know so many people who are deserving of congratulations, birthday wishes, thank yous, etc.  Wow.

I had the chance to play one on one with both kids today, which was so fun.  Carter and his baseball obsession crack me up.  His hiking of his leg when he pitches the ball for us to hit will make a blog appearance soon.  I should totally go back through my Facebook feed and photos and drag out some pictures of him sleeping with his baseball glove and bat...  A project for another day.

I went to ensemble practice tonight.  I sing with a beautifully talented group of ladies and we met to rehearse our song offering for this Sunday morning.  An hour out with grown ups was just what this mama needed!  I adore my babies to the ends of the earth, but God Himself made us for community, and I especially love the chance to live life with these ladies while sharing our talents for HIM!

Carter is loving his John Deere tractor he got for Christmas.  Notice his tongue- that's a Peltism.  Saralynn and I enjoyed some time playing Stack the States on her iPad.  She is a smart one, I tell ya- takes after her daddy!  She's all into geography and state info, so we put together a puzzle, too.  And, what day is complete without stomping on bubble wrap in the middle of the kitchen floor?!  Our family does loud pretty well...

As I head to bed tonight, I am amazed at the faithfulness of God.  Garrett watched more of the Passion 2013 live feed tonight, and I watched as he and my children listened in awe to Kari Jobe's "Revelation Song" and watched Carter's feet tap to Lecrae's music, and I thought about how loving He absolutely HAS to be in order to meet us all where we are.  He knows what my children need to hear, what I need to hear, what my husband needs to hear, and on and on and on...  He knew long ago that a little boy I don't even know would need His healing touch to come over his legs, and that the little boy's parents would need His peace to wash over them.  He knew long ago that a man I've known and respected all my life would give the gift of life in the form of a kidney to a sick little boy today.  He KNOWS.  Me.  You.  It.  Why.

How?  Because He's PRESENT, and that's His PRESENT to us.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Just another day in paradise?

Today started out EARLY.  Getting over my portion of the stomach bug, I took a late nap yesterday afternoon.  Big mistake, or so I thought.  I crawled into bed at 12:50 am this morning, only to be awoken by sounds coming from the monitor in the kids' room.  (They both sleep in Saralynn's room right now- they enjoy the company).  When I got upstairs, I quickly realized that she had fallen victim to the stomach bug.  My sweet, precious Daddy was in the floor taking care of "things" that needed attention while I tended to Saralynn.  30 minutes later, she was back asleep, and Daddy sent me back to bed to try and sleep.  No such luck.  I wound up in the floor in her room with her, and we were up and down most of the night.

I took Carter to day care today for the first time since December 17th.  Strep throat and bronchitis kept him out of school the week before Christmas, and with holiday plans and the center's usual closings, we just got back to it today.  He was so glad to see his friends, and I was glad to have the day to Lysol and change sheets, etc.  I didn't get much of that done.  I was just plain tired from the lack of a good night's sleep, and spent some time cuddling with Saralynn.  She isn't much of a cuddler when she is sick, but I take what I can get.

My daddy went to get Carter from school and to get a haircut while I kept going on some of the chores.  Saralynn finally perked up and was hungry!  Yay!  Garrett got home from a 10 hour day and we enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches and spaghetti-os for supper.  (No judgement, please).  Carter and I played a new Chuggington game he got for Christmas while Garrett played iPad Boggle and watched the Passion live stream, and Saralynn watched The Muppet Movie.  It was a nice, quiet, relaxing night at home.  I was ready to throw in the towel and say how ready we all are to go back to school (since Carter and I haven't been there since the 17th, and Saralynn the 19th), but I know that God knew we needed a few more days to recuperate and rest before the hustle and bustle of a new semester begins.

Our sweet friends the Olesons welcomed their first born, a baby girl, into the world tonight.  We are thrilled for them and can't wait to meet her (once we're all well, of course)!

I leave you with our picture (collage) of the day.  Saralynn found my stash of Sour Patch Kids (that helped with my nausea a couple of days ago) and tried one herself...  Gotta love that face.  Carter has learned to curl his tongue and is so proud...  Garrett beat me in Boggle for the first time ever...  And the kids fell asleep camped out in the floor.  Saralynn and I slept there last night in an attempt to keep the kids apart so Carter wouldn't get sick.  She got a new sleeping bag from Aunt Amy and Uncle Carl for Christmas and is in love!  Nana and Paw Paw gave her a UGA Dram Light that arrived today, so it's nestled in between them.  Not to be outdone, Carter protested sleeping in the bed and promptly took over my last night's spot.  They are so peaceful when they sleep.

Nothing new and exciting about today, but it was a PRESENT, and even though the stomach bug at 1:30 in the morning isn't exactly my idea of the best one, I'm blessed to be PRESENT in the every day gifts called life!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My One Word 2013

Garrett has a friend who is a pastor in Wilmington, NC.  Mike and his family head Point City Community Church, which is a beautiful example of the faithfulness of God.  Mike's brother-in-law, Chris, was Garrett's youth minister, and a big part of how Garrett and I met.  (Take a look back at a post I wrote a while ago that outlined "our story".  I'll figure out one day how to link back to it, but for now, look back the old fashioned way).  

Mike co-wrote a book titled My One Word, which encourages us to think, ponder, and pray over one word that we would like to focus on in the coming year.  I haven't read the book yet, but it's on order and I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival.  I've participated to an extent in years past, and am doing the same this year, just more publicly.

My One Word for 2013 is PRESENT.  I am striving to be more present, involved, saturated by, the every day things in life.  I don't want to just "be in the room" as things happen around me- I want to be fully immersed in them and by them.  At work, I want to fully engage with my students.  At home, I want to really hear what my children say and do.  I want to truly listen to my husband and understand his heart.  I want to interact with my parents.  To quote Aerosmith, "I don't want to miss a thing."  This, for me, will mean putting down the phone during "down time".  It'll mean engaging my children more during meals, rather than quietly enjoying the silence (while thinking it's good that they're enjoying the meal).  

I also want to use the word PRESENT as a reminder to give.  Give of myself.  To others.  Not just on their birthdays, but just because.  I want to live a life that shines the light of Jesus.  I want to feel fulfilled, and one key way for that to happen in my life is for me to be available, PRESENT, to others.  

I encourage you to check out and see what the discussions are all about.  I'm waiting on confirmation to join the group, but I can't wait to see what all God will do in the lives of those seeking Him this year! 

Project 365... sort of...

In an attempt to remember the "little things" more this year (in more ways than just loading them to Facebook and Twitter), I'm going to attempt to take a picture a day and describe it...  I'll surely miss some days here and there, but I'm going to try and see how it goes...

Day 1:  January 1, 2013
Saralynn and Carter got some new board games from Santa for Christmas!  Carter got Hungry, Hungry Hippos and we enjoyed playing it together.  I had a stomach bug early yesterday morning and very unwillingly shared it with Garrett, so we're still in our pajamas; please excuse us.  We did, however, have a ton of fun!  I encourage families with young children to consider a Family Game Night on as regular a basis as is possible!  Happy Gaming!


In an effort to revitalize my blog, this is my first post for 2013.  My prayer is that the blog this year becomes a place of refreshment, of openness, and remembrances.  Here's to 2013- a clean slate for us all!