Monday, April 27, 2015

Random Photos

This is the twins' birth dad. I wish the sticks weren't blocking his face. I'm going to copy the information I received with it.
It was fun to hear him talk about his musical career.  When I asked if he would play drums for me to make a video, he said yes, but he explained that it is difficult to do when you are the one who always plays accompaniment to other band members.  We couldn't find drumsticks, so Riche (the yard keeper) quickly stripped some sticks and made them as usable as possible, which is what Fredo used to play in the video.  You could tell he was nervous, and sort of out of his element.  He said that he usually plays the drums for jazz music, and he typically uses his hands to drum.  We didn't have that kind of drum for him to use though.

People are seeing the princess book in their local Christian bookstores. I have a give away on my blog for girls where you can receive free books if take a picture of your daughter in a bookstore with one of my books. All the info is here.
She just started a new job yesterday. I saw her in uniform today and didn't think to take her photo. She now works at a restaurant right on the beach.

Lunch at Chick fil A with Adam
It's always interesting to see what Jasmine is going to wear to church. I care more about the attitude of the heart than the clothes as long as they are neat and clean.

There is a T shirt she'll be wearing under this. We just got Saturday, and she wanted to wear it Sunday. Very unusual for her to want to wear a dress. Sunday afternoon we got two pink T shirts to go under it. It's actually for 8th grade graduation.
 Hip hop costume for recital this year.

I asked Adam for a picture of him from prom, and this is what he sent!! Got to love selfies. I told him I'm going to use this one until I get a real one.
Every fourth Sunday, and sometimes other Sundays when they are short workers, Jasmine and I work in one of the two-year-old classes at church. 

We had ten children, but two needed held or they'd cry, so I called Rick to come over and help.
So it became a family thing.
And they all love Jasmine. She's not all that much bigger than they are!

So those are my random photos.

Coming up:
Baseball games
Battle of the Books 4th grade--2 participants, 2 different schools
Battle of the Bands Middle School
Try Scuba class (this is just a two hour get to wear a tank thing mostly for tourists, not a real class)
Band competition at Universal
Twins' birthday
Field Days
Spring concert and awards
a multitude of appointments
8th grade graduation
Probably a lot of other stuff I am forgetting

Friday, April 24, 2015

Award Day

Jasmine's school does something cool. Every quarter when they have the honor roll award ceremony, they also have the Bobcat Pride awards. Each letter of Bobcat Pride stands for a character trait. So 11 students a quarter per grade level receive an award. That means 44 students a year. So there's a better chance of getting one of those than if there is only a student of the month.

Jasmine got I for integrity in 5th grade. Then nothing in 6th and 7th. 
January 2012

They don't know ahead of time that they are getting an award. She knew once she saw me. Because she knew she wasn't on the honor roll so I had to be there for Bobcat Pride awards.

Mrs. Ginger came too. She is our children's minister. She and Jasmine have a special bond. Jasmine is holding up the wrong certificate. That one is for a special lunch for the award winners.

I took her chocolate covered strawberries, pretzels, haystacks etc. The problem is that awards are before the place to get these is open. I got this the day before, and Jasmine was with me. I told her it was for Jessica because she had class and couldn't get them herself. Yeah, I lied. Problem is, Jessica walked into the mall where we were about ten minutes later to borrow something from me. Of course she asked what the goodies were for!!! Busted. So, I lied again. They have been warned I will lie about presents (but not other things) and it's forgivable. So please don't leave me any nasty comments. Jasmine and I kidded about how I'd lied to her and then she got the integrity award!!

This past Monday she got the second B in bobcat for break through. It's for a student who makes significant progress in one area. I think it was probably her language art teacher who put her in for it. She's new to the school this year but not new to teaching. And she and Jasmine hit it off.

I just realized she was wearing a pink shirt both days. Funny because she's not a pink person. But Monday was color wars and pink was the 8th grade color. 

Again, as soon as she saw me--and Mrs. Ginger who was there for her too--she knew she was getting an award. When she first saw me, Ginger and Adam, who was able to come, she was a little startled. Then she appeared somewhat nervous about it. But it must have sunk in although she was still anxious clear up until they called her name. Of course they did honor roll first. Maybe she thought we were there by mistake for honor roll.

With Mrs. Ginger

With Adam. He and I went to lunch at Chick Fil a after this.

I bought her a Dr. Seuss travel journal while Jessica and I were on our weekend out. 
It's called Oh the Places I've Been. She has a band trip to Universal May 8 and 9 (so if you're in the area, check out their performance), then we have NYC. That's followed by New Orleans (just for a couple of days after we pick the twins up from camp in Pensacola. It's only 3 hours farther.), Orlando (book convention which means a book signing for me, chances to promote my books and get together with other authors) and Indiana (family). Can you say "hotel points"? Cutting corners is the only way we can make it all work. Get and use points, go to Walmart for food and pack lunches etc.

Jasmine has a lot coming up. The Universal band competition, spring concert with a reception for advanced band afterwards for them to get their awards. They usually have a separate banquet but that was just too much on top of the Universal trip and concert. Then she has 8th grade graduation. We have to find a dress that meets the dress code. Some of you remember what happened at the final dance of 8th grade!!!!

Right now I have a book give away going on here. Be sure to go and find out how to get free books.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Afraid of the Ball

This is Kaleb's first year of baseball, and he's on the 9-10's team which is kid pitch.

He stands far back from the plate and runs backwards out of the box when the ball is thrown. It is an automatic strike. So the first time up to bat, he struck out.
If you look close, you can see the anxiety even though he's trying to hide it for the photo.

The second time up to bat the pitcher either threw it a foot over his head or it hit the ground three feet in front of him. So he stayed in the box and walked to first.

Running to second 

He is quite fast. In fact he ran from second to home on a hit with an overthrow. I didn't have the camera ready because I thought he was only going to get one base, but he went all the way in.

All smiles now that the game is over. He has about six more games. I'm hoping he'll try again next year. He is a runner, he's not just sure he's cut out for baseball.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Destin and Pensacola

A friend of mine from high school drove down to the panhandle with her family for spring break. We met in Destin for an early lunch.

One of her daughters is to next to her and the daughter's friend behind.

On Friday Jessica and I drove to Pensacola for the Extraordinary Women's Convention in Pensacola. They have them in several city through the U.S. They take place on Friday 7-10 and Saturday 8:30-4:00. If you sign up for the next year at the conference, it's only $49. A bit more online, and it goes up a lot nearer to the conference and is $109 at the door!

They have a face book pageHere. Some of the pictures below are from that page. Others were taken by Jessica, myself or someone in line with us.
Kasy Van Norman, Karen Kingsbury, Liz Curtis Higgs, Angie Smith. 

With Anne Kingsbury, Karen's mom

Karen Kingsbury
Jessica with Karen Kingsbury's daughter Kelsey and Kelsey's husband Kyle who sang at the convention.
Margaret Feinberg. I really enjoyed hearing her. She was funny, yet had a sound message about happiness and joy despite her struggles with cancer.

Michael O' Brien lead the worship music. Everyone loves him. 

Kyle Kupecky sang, and Mercy Me had the late concert Friday night. We left because it was really loud, and Jessica already had a headache.

This is the first time I'd heard Liz and she is funny and amazing and very genuine. I read all of her Bad Women of the Bible series when I was writing my devo about Bible women (The One Year Devotions for Girls Starring Women of the Bible), so it was nice to meet her in person. 

I have interacted with her briefly a couple of times at ICRS in the past, but she was signing her books set in Scotland (I think), and I got them for someone else since I don't read those.

We have her kid's books The Pumpkin Patch Parable, The Parable of the Lily, The Sunflower Parable, The Pine Tree Parable.
Tim Hawkins was there, too, but no pictures of him. He was funny, but honestly you could tell he was trying to be funny--sometimes too hard. But Margaret and Liz were just genuinely funny because they are women, and they knew what we could all relate to. 

If you ever have a chance to go to EWC, go. And take someone you are close to so you can share the experience.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lessons from Disney Princesses Part 2

 If your family is like ours, you've lived through the princess craze from Aurora to Cinderella to Belle to the newest sisterly dynamic duo—Elsa and Anna. You've watched the movies, heard the songs and dressed your daughters in miniature gowns and tiaras.

What kind of role models are these princesses to girls today? Or do girls even give any thought to them. After all, Snow White and Aurora are far removed from our lifestyles today.

A while back I posted about the Disney princesses. Basically I gave my version of their stories. I've included that in this post too. That part is in italics. I'm going to attempt to add to it but giving my thoughts on what girls learn from these princesses—and really, a lot of that depends on the parents.

Hopefully you watch the movies with your children and they serve as a springboard for important discussions on values, goals, motives, relationships and so on. If children watch movies, who knows how they may interpret the values, if at all.

Remember, the italicized part is what I wrote in my original post here 

Part One is here 

Jasmine is a strong, confident princess who doesn't want anyone to tell her what to do, including her father. She longs for her independence. She meets Aladdin, who is disguised as a prince, and goes on a ride on a magic carpet--and of course falls in love with Aladdin. After a lot of plotting, and battles between good and evil, Aladdin realizes he can't keep pretending to be who he's not. With the help of a Genie, he gets things worked out and is allowed to marry Princess Jasmine even though he's not royalty. There's a lot of deceit and lying going on in this movie, but of course it all works out in the end.

Jasmine was determined to live life the way she wanted rather than letting others make decisions for her. Her values and freedom were worth more to her than money or position. That's not to say it's okay to disobey parents or those in authority, but neither should parents be making decisions about a child's adult life for them. God reveals his plan for a person to that person, not the parents, teacher, pastor or other person. God leads each person in different and unique ways.

Living the lesson: Never be afraid to run head first into your future. Don't let the desire for money, prestige or position be your guide. Embrace life and live intentionally. Having money or fame doesn't guarantee success or we wouldn't have movie stars and sports heroes committing suicide. Live with no regrets.

Key verse:  For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Resources for today's girls
A Girl's Guide to Making Really Good Choices by Elizabeth George
The Christian Girl's Guide to Being Your Best by Katrina Cassel

Pocahontas is an adventurer and nature lover who talks to the spirits. She is noble and wise beyond her years. The daughter of a Native American Chief, she meets John Smith in the wilderness and they fall in love. But it's not meant to be. John takes the blame for killing someone he didn't kill in order to protect young Thomas. He's going to be executed, but is saved at the last minute. Just as it looks like everything will turn out okay, he is shot while protecting the chief and John returns to England for medical treatment. And of course the movie wouldn't be the same without the raccoon.

No, the movie is not historically accurate. But that's not what little girls care about. They care about the princesses, and Pocahontas was one brave princess. She saved her tribe and made peace between her tribe and the settlers. It's not easy to go against tradition, superstition and prejudice, especially when there's a powerful father involved. But she stood up for herself and for others.

Living the lesson: Just because something has been done a certain way for a long time doesn't mean it's right.  Just because the majority of people believe something doesn't mean it's right. Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and others even when it's hard. Different groups of people may have to work hard to understand each other. But learning respect for others is an important lesson, and sometimes it takes courage to follow through. Be open to new things, ideas and people.

Key verses for Pocahontas:  When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them. Proverbs 16:7
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

Resources for today's girls
Just for Me! My Family by Katrina Cassel
The One Year Devos for Animal Lovers by Dandi Mackall (remember all the wildlife friends Pocahontas had!)

Mulan is different from the other Chinese girls of her time. Although beautiful, she's clumsy and outspoken. She's also brave and loyal. Disguising herself as a boy, she takes her father's place in the army, with an (very small, humorous) ancestral dragon to help her. When Mulan is injured, her true gender is discovered, and she's kicked out of the army. Still, she ends up being the hero in the end, saving China and winning the love of her former commander.

Mulan changed herself for guy, but in her case, the guy was her father. She took on a male identity in order to take her father's place. She didn't change herself for Shang, but he was attracted to her anyway. Always honorable, Mulan saved the day and won the guy.

Living the lesson: Be yourself so people will like you for who you are, not who you pretend to be. You were created to fulfill a certain purpose, so if you try to be someone else, you'll miss the perfect plan God has for you.

Key verse: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

Resources for today's girls:
Everyone Tells Me to Be Myself, But I Don't Know Who I Am by Nancy Rue

The Christian Girl's Guide to Me: The Quiz Book by Katrina Cassel

And for all the princesses in your life: