October 28, 2010

Far Away for Far Too Long

since it's been oh, what? close to a year since the last time i posted anything on this blog, i find myself not knowing where to start. imagine that! for awhile there, life was mostly about surviving and making sure my kids did too. then, there were so many changes happening at once that the last thing i had time to think about was writing them down.

now that we have started to settle- at least a little- into our new routine, i decided the least i could do is post some pics of my precious babies. just to give a quick update, as of august, i am back to teaching full time, lorelei is in kindergarten, and everett james spends his days hanging out at mrs. janice's. and i feel like we're all adjusting quite well!

i llllove my job and my students almost every day. and on the days i don't, i still feel abundantly blessed to be able to do something that i feel good about and make some small difference in the world. if i could hire some sort of education minion to do all my paperwork and grading for me, i'd have the perfect job.

lorelei is doing really well so far at school, and she just loves her teacher, student teacher, and her new friends at spring valley. she also just finished her first season of soccer where- though definitely not the most competitive little athlete- she had a blast and looked cute doing it.

i am such a sucker for the fall weather, and when we have pretty days like today, the kids and i spend as much time outside as possible. i tried to get shots of them looking "fall-ish" after church one day, but of course these were the best ones i got:

everett is approaching his 3rd birthday so quickly that i wish i could yank on the emergency brake. he talks all day, every day now, whether the rest of the world understands him or not. some favorite words to use right now are "at-shully" and "i need...somefing!" he's working on potty training and doing pretty well most days, and his "big boy" bedding arrived last night via u.p.s. he's super excited about having a big boy bed soon as well as a construction themed birthday party. i had been calling it a dump truck party, but yesterday he said, "i change my mind. i want back-hoe party instead." hmmm...not sure they make those, son, but i'll see what i can do.

that's all the catching up i have time for right now, but in case anyone still looks at this blog, i'll leave you with a little more cuteness from uncle cody's wedding.

January 31, 2010

30 reasons we can't help but love michele

1. If you ever need the materials to make a scrapbook page of, say, a hamster playing softball in the Olympics with the Jamaican bobsled team, Michele will have them on hand.

2. When you call and tell her you need her help, no matter where she is, she’ll drive fast enough to be on your doorstep within an hour.

3. Michele is the kind of friend who is loyal from the moment she meets you until the day she dies.

4. The girl will tell you if you don’t look good in yellow.

5. She is such an amazing interior decorator that if the blue in the throw pillows doesn’t exactly match the color on the opposing wall in every light, she and Robert will re-paint the wall in their spare time on a Tuesday evening.

6. Michele is the kind of mother who spends hours riding stick horses with her sweet son, and prays fiercely for him to become the man God intends for him to be.

7. She is such a disciplined dieter that she would eat nothing but Caesar salad and granola bars all week if it meant her weekend reward could include a chicken fried steak.

8. Michele is the best shopping buddy ever. She finds sales where no matter what you buy, it’s supposed to be half off at the register.

9. Her marriage to Robert is a true picture of how two best friends can stay madly in love by continuing to make each other a top priority in their busy lives.

10. Though she has her reservations about making a good “preacher’s wife,” all who meet her know that her heart for people and ability to listen without judgment make her a perfect fit for the job.

11. You can live with the girl for years and still genuinely enjoy every minute you get to spend laughing, chatting, and reminiscing with her.

12. Michele was tough enough to teach teenagers with rough backgrounds for many years, and she never stopped working tirelessly to find new ways to inspire and connect with them.

13. The girl really “brings the heat” when pitching a softball, and manages to look cute while doing it.

14. If you check her pre-set radio stations, you are likely to hear Rascal Flats on one, Sandi Patti on the next, and an up-and-coming rapper on another.

15. She says that she doesn’t cook, but she makes delicious dips and addictive chex mix.

16. She’d run a wiener dog rescue if she could, and her beautiful home would be over-run with little old dogs with wheels on their hind legs.

17. Sweet Michele hates asking for favors so badly that her voice rises an entire octave when she states her request.

18. She’s an amazing combination of protective big sister as well as understanding encourager to her brother and sister.

19. If I ever have another wedding, and decide it should be outdoors-- in January-- in Minnesota, I know that my Shelly will be thoughtful enough to make me a planning notebook, throw on warm socks and a bridesmaid’s dress, and stand by my side with tears of joy spilling out of her pretty brown eyes.

20. Michele lovingly named her first car “Poo-Poo Brown,” and then made up for her lost youth by getting a sweet mustang about a year before motherhood struck and the family car was needed.

21. If you ever have a hankering for a marathon of movies featuring either Tim McGraw or Martin Lawerence, Michele’s got the hook-up.

22. Michele has such a giving spirit that if you marry her 3rd cousin, you can expect a thoughtful birthday present in the mail each year.

23. Canton is no match for those shopping and decorating skills we mentioned earlier.

24. Her dedication to Cade was evident when she started pondering whether he should go to college first or take a job as a pro-athlete before the sweet boy was even born.

25. She may not know her own strength, but she is a true rock when it comes to following the plans God has for her life and her family, no matter what the cost.

26. The girl always rises to a challenge, whether it be managing a church softball team or playing a beautiful ballad on a flute for a packed house at UMHB.

27. She’ll cry with you when you’re sad and laugh when you tickle her.

28. Michele does a great leprechaun impression, in fact, that's the only impression she can do.

29. She keeps herself feeling young by using phrases like, “fo shizzle my nizzle,” with her students.

30. Michele will not only laugh at herself while reading this, but she’ll still be our friend tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Shelly bell! We love you!
(written by Mandy and Jill)