Monday, December 19, 2011

A cousin conspiracy

After putting everyone's presents under Mom and Dad's tree this weekend, I found these two little girls sitting as close as they could get to the presents, having a deep conversation about each and every one that they thought might be theirs. I think they were conspiring which one to open first and what it might be. I love to see Christmas through children's eyes. More pics to come...
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Saturday, December 10, 2011


Z couldn't wait to talk to Santa this year.
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm a guilty heathen

Okay, so we typically go to church all the time and have for years.  Alan and I taught in the nursery and preschool ministries while both kids were in those departments (for two different churches).  I then went to work for our church as part of the ministry staff.  We were there all the time even when the church doors weren't open because I had a key.  I started teaching large group for the children's ministry on Sunday Mornings and pretty much whenever else I was needed.  So basically, we've been there constantly. 

Well, last year, I resigned from my position to prepare to go back to full-time teaching.  It was a incredible adjustment but I managed and we've stayed at our church (If you've ever been on staff at a church, you'll understand what I'm talking about...most people end up going to a different church...hard to explain why unless you've experienced it.).  I love it there and it's been a wonderful church for our family.  There's a true spirit of worship, our kids are well loved, and we've made lifelong friends. 

Well, this year has been hard.  I signed up to teach on Sunday mornings again when I thought I wasn't going to get a teaching job, but at the last minute I did.  The stress of returning to teaching full-time, running a family (where the husband travels all the time), and my church commitments became too much (especially since my health had been that of a first year teacher...I catch everything that walks in the door).  Anyway, something had to give and although I never would have done it on my own, it was my Sunday commitments that were dropped.  For the first time in years, I can go to big church.  I've missed it and I needed to be fed but as I sit there, I'm plagued with guilt for not being upstairs.  I'm not a quitter and I know how much they needed me.  Also, for the first time in years, we can go places on the weekend or just skip if we're not well....but I again am plagued with guilt if we miss too many Sundays in a row. 

Right now is one of those moments.  I missed a lot of October (I had a terrible bronchitis and sinus infections that wouldn't get better).  The family went but I missed, this was about the time it was determined that I needed to take a break (more than one person decided this for me).  Then one Sunday, I felt terrible with a stomach something and couldn't seem to function enough to get the kids ready and Alan didn't have enough time to get them ready and out the door on time.  On another Sunday, we went but just one hour (which I'm having a hard time counting as going) because J had a field trip to NASA that afternoon.  Last Sunday, three of us felt terrible with colds so we stayed home.  This Sunday, we woke up late (so we couldn't make it the first hour), Alan has our terrible cold from last week, and I just flat out lost track of time.  I was trying to get my lesson plans done before church and when I looked up I had 15 minutes to get 2 kids and myself ready and out the door.  The kids were so disappointed and as was I.  So, even though I plan to teach our little advent lesson later today, I still feel like a guilty heathen.  Guess I need to pray about it...