Butterfly Sparks Designs

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

...sara's first day...

monday was sara's first day of 4 year old preschool.   she did great, and had a fabulous first day. evidence? the singing and dancing in the car the entire way home.
these pictures were taken before we left for school, and the one on the bottom is with her teacher ms. brooke.

...the dreaded yellow apple...

this can't be a good sign. first day of the second week of school anna katherine gets in trouble. 

each day the teacher sends home a behavior chart which a parent has to initial.  if all goes well during the day, the apple on her chart is colored green.  if not, there will be a yellow or red apple. 

yesterday afternoon anna katherine walked up to the front door with her head hung low after getting off of the school bus.  i knew something was wrong.  as soon as i asked her, she burst out in tears and apologized for "moving an apple" color.  she was distraught and hysterically crying, and promised me she would get a green apple from now on.  what was the infraction? NFD, according to the chart. not following directions.  as best i could tell she was hopscotching in class after being told not to.  i was super nice, but made sure she realized that she has disobeyed her teacher and should not disobey again (serious face here).  i affirmed all of the fabulous things about her character and personality, and made sure she realized that everything was alright.  she asked if i would forgive her. geez. 

i can tell you this- she will be on her best behavior here on out.  she's a typical headstrong first child, and she's a rule follower.  now that she's been called out it will be over. so as silly as the infraction was, i'm grateful for the apple behavior chart.  she's learning she must follow rules and respect authority. maybe it will transfer to obeying her parents quickly?  steve and i can only hope. :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

...7 short years...

today marks seven years of marriage for us.  seven years sounds like no time at all! it seems to both of us like we've been married much longer. we've accomplished A LOT together over the past seven years.

in seven years, we've:
1.  gotten married (obviously)
2.  had two children
3.  lived in 5 different homes
4.  lived in 3 different states (nebraska, florida, georgia)
5.  traveled together to india twice and mozambique once
6.  played well.   we've been to fabulous concerts (john mayer, dave matthews, sheryl crow, willie nelson, foo fighters), gone skydiving, traveled many places, enjoyed date nights, and found life long friends together.

i'm incredibly grateful for the gift of my marriage.  cheers to all the things the lord has in store for us.  in the words of frank sinatra, the best is yet to come! 

Monday, August 18, 2008

... fabulous first day of kindergarten? NOT...

i've thought about this day for so long!  we've been talking about it for weeks, and i've been encouraging her about how wonderful it would be. a special day. amazing memories we'll have forever.

i envisioned a particular scenario-  i would go wake her up for school, and she would rise with a smile.  we would walk/skip hand in hand down the hall and steps, and hang out in the kitchen smiling and laughing about the day ahead.  we would pose for photos on the front porch, and she would look so charming with her pigtails (my favorite) and monogrammed backpack and lunchbox in her new first-day-of-school clothes.  we would drive to school and i would walk her in to her class, where she would be warmly greeted by her new teacher.  she would smile kindly at all her new classmates (her potential new BFFs), and she would hold it together to give me a kiss goodbye- tentative but excited about all that lies ahead.  i would leave and break down in the car because my baby is growing up! she would arrive home on the bus, and pose nicely on the bus step in front of our house so that i could take a photo she would cherish her entire life.  (i rehearsed the importance of this part with her over and over.) after she gave me a huge hug and declared how much she missed me, she would proceed to tell me how fabulous kindergarten was today and how much she loved her teacher and classmates.

the reality of what happened wasn't quite what i envisioned.

she woke up in tears 30 minutes before she needed to. (yes, that would be about 6am). she climbed into bed with us, already in a bad mood and wanting to get up.  attitude from minute one. we battled about the hairstyle, and the only reason she ended up in pigtails was because i bribed her with a quarter. (shoot me, i wanted pigtails for the photos).  she cried because she wasn't riding the bus to school, and pouted until we left the house.  what about posing for cherished family photos? nope. she wouldn't have any of that. downright REFUSED.  so we're off to school.  here's the photo i took when we arrived. CLASSIC.

ain't she a doll? we arrived at the classroom  and took this picture with her teacher.

better, huh? that was the closest thing i got to a smile from her all day long.  i introduce her to other kids in the class and she hides behind me and says she's shy. then i screw up and miss my window to leave well.  you know, when you just linger a bit too long? when i did decide to leave, she started to cry. oh geez. i end up leaving the room with tears in my eyes, hoping my baby would do alright. 

this afternoon i anxiously waited for the bus to arrive. i had the video camera ready and the digital camera as well. we waited at the end of our driveway (where the bus is supposed to drop her) staring down the street so we wouldn't miss her arrival.  what happened? she got off DOWN THE STREET internets so we wouldn't take her picture. can you EVEN believe it? i snapped this one much to her dismay, but it's blurry. when the bus rounded our culdesac, i begged her to pose on a bus step. NOPE. not happening.

how was your day, anna katherine? "bad. it was no fun. i'm not going to kindergarten anymore. my teacher won't let us talk."

so the first day was a bit rough. we're hanging on and hoping tomorrow is different. any advice from you seasoned veterans?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

...southern funerals...

i just returned home from a trip to alabama.  unfortunately, one of my very good friend's dad died this week, so i drove over for support.  my dad died almost twelve years ago, so i know the importance of  friends and family at this time.

southern funerals are unique, and there are a few unspoken rules.  we always follow the rules, my friends. especially in the south.

1.  you must wear black.  god forbid you show up in something, ahem, floral. or pastel. my friends and i had the "what are you gonna wear" discussion before we made the trip over, and they reminded me of this rule. good thing, because i really was going to wear something a little more "lively."  i'm thinking it's a celebration of a life well lived, but i was reminded we'll be celebrating in solemn black. my word, how could i have forgotten?

2.  you must bring a dish.  if you're coming across state lines, this is an exception. (although picking up some fried chicken would be nice).  people eat together after the graveside visit, and it's almost always at the home of the deceased. kind of strange, huh? this leads me to point 3...

3.  there will be the most enormous, amazing buffet afterwards.  my girlfriends and i were wondering if do they do this in other areas of the country?  i think it should be held at a close friends home or at the church, but in the south it's almost ALWAYS at the home of the deceased.  (as if the family has had the time to clean and scour their home in the last few days to prepare for 100's of guests).  you will find the most fabulous southern home cooking at this buffet.  yesterday i was asking my friends for a camera because i wanted you internets to appreciate the spread of deliciousness i saw yesterday afternoon. unfortunately, no one had one. (not to mention it would have been completely unacceptable to be photographing the buffet table). i will say that i had TWO plates of food, and one plate of dessert. i'm pretty sure i gained 10 pounds at that luncheon, but i won't partake in a spread like that one until the family thanksgiving dinner. TOTALLY worth it. plus i count it as a show of support for the family. (huh? whatever) 

i am absolutely certain i've forgotten a few rules. what have i left off? also, do you do these things in other areas of the country? let's just go ahead and discuss funerals. (i love exciting topics like this)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

... melt in your mouth vanilla goodness...

so today is the day to share your new favorite find, internets! 
what has pleasantly surprised you recently?

i uncovered these ready-to-bake cookies because i'm CHEAP and they were on clearance at supertarget a while back. when i got around to baking them (i was desperately searching for a last minute picnic addition), boy was i surprised!  an explosion of fabulousness! (is that even a word?)

i can't vouch for all of the flavors, but the vanilla sugar cookies were amazing.  in fact, i bought another pack of them today at publix for full price. i'll just call them my vanilla delights~

a few things i like about them:
1.  they are organic
2.  there are 24 per pack--- more delightfulness for the bake!
3.  they melt in your mouth
4.  they aren't ridiculously high in fat or calories
5.  the company is socially minded and gives back to the community

so the next time you are at the grocery, look for the better bakes by the immaculate baking company. and prepare for vanilla goodness to change your life.. (ok, so i'm a bit dramatic)

tell me, internets, what have you discovered that i must go out and purchase? 
share your faves...

Friday, August 8, 2008

... a day of NEW BEGINNINGS...

eight eight o eight. 08-08-08. a symbolic day. a day of NEW BEGINNINGS. 

scripturally, the number eight has important meaning. here's a little background, which i actually find very interesting. (check out biblewheel.com for more info)

The historic Christian Church has traditionally associated the Number 8 with the entrance into the Covenant of God. This understanding comes from God Himself who commanded Circumcision - the Sign of the Covenant - to be performed on the Eighth Day. God used the same language when He gave the Rainbow (Genesis 9.13).
Circumcision on the Eighth Day is a supernatural typological prophecy of the renewal that comes through entrance into God's Covenant, which manifests as Baptism in the New Testament, and ultimately as a symbol of the everlasting life given though the resurrection of Christ.
The transcendence associated with the Number Eight - recognized by both Jews and Christians - ultimately manifests in the everlasting New Beginning found in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Eighth Day is the first day of the new week, precisely as the Octave is the Eighth Note that begins the musical cycle anew on a higher level.

so here's my thought: it's a great day to begin anew. 
i'm asking the Lord for a fresh move. for something new and BIG to begin today. i'm hungry and ready for more.
declare today a day of new beginnings!

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22,23

Thursday, August 7, 2008

...dramatic greatness...

3 girls, a vacation bible school hat, and a camera...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

...outrigger island...

my girls were at vacation bible school this week. as usual, i was curious how the performance would go yesterday for the parents.  anna katherine is notorious for being nervous and shy about getting up in front of people.  sara, on the other hand, is pretty comfortable with it unless she sees anna katherine have a melt down first. 
thankfully yesterday sara's class went first. check out my angel declaring that jesus loves her. :)

the next picture is of anna katherine's performance. 
yep, right on my lap with eyes full of tears while her classmates sang their little hearts out. argh.