Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday Was Wonderful!

Finally! Wednesday was a relatively calm(?) day! Here's how Wednesday went. The day started out sunny, but oh, so cold! It's the last day of April and the temps are in the 30's! Brrrr! Sam has had the Measurement Tool Kit at home for almost a week and we have not had time to complete the measurement box challenge yet! Fortunately, Mrs. Wells is a kind and understanding woman who has been there, done that and understands the drama that surrounds my life with two teenagers, two elementary aged kids, one very high-maintenance hubby, a full-time paid job, a full-time passion, and a dog! Bless that woman! I'm already missing her and the year's not quite over yet. Anyway, I scribbled out a quick note of apology for my delay in measuring with my son, and vowed to get 'er done this afternoon. Tom took the kids to school because the Saab is not out of recovery yet. He hauled me and my stuff to school and I began my day as "teacher."

The kids at school are being really good. They've been reading novels and working in small groups. I've been proud of the way they've risen to the occasion and function independently. National Junior Honor Society has been hanging over my head because this is the first year I've sponsored the club without Alicia Davis-Clark telling me what to do. It'll all get done though, and like my friend Sherry tells me, and if it doesn't, life will go on anyway. After school, Chelcie, Sam, and Addie paid me a visit and Chelcie led a few of my girls in a "Dateable" book study. They look up to her and think she's so cool! I am proud of her for investing her life in other people and helping them grow!

Chelcie gave me a ride home and she and I enjoyed a tour through the BHS yearbook before getting a spaghetti dinner together for the family! Everyone ate a the table except Drew who had Koko's delivered via Andrew, but at least he was home, and we were together. Taylor joined us for dinner, but she's like one of the family to us anyway.

Mission accomplished! Sam and I finally tackled the Measurement Box! We measured a doll, a foot, a guitar, a banana, and a pencil. Sam is an excellent estimator! Bring on the gumball machines! My boy is good!

Sam said something funny tonight when he was getting ready for bed. He said that his friend Jacob told him that girls were called, "Dudettes." "No they're not!" Sam told him, "a dudette is a musical note." It took me a minute, but I think Sam was thinking of "Duet!" I found his comment quite amusing!

Chelcie is working on her high school graduation invitations, Drew is diligently working on a Science project, Addie and Sam are sleeping peacefully in their respective beds, and Tom has gone to recycle the plastics! What a tree-hugger, huh? Tom worked hard today and we now have a bright and shiny new mailbox to replace the old one that was taken out by our neighborhood drunk last weekend.

Tomorrow's the first day of May. Gotta remember to yell, "Rabbit! Rabbit!" before getting out of bed, so I'll have good luck for the entire month. If you're reading this, you should try it too. A very old lady told me to do that and crawl out the foot of my bed, rather than roll out the side and I would be amazed. It only works on the first day of a new month though, so I must not forget! She said you can't get out of bed, remember, then jump back in to do it again. You have to get it right the first time. Oh, the pressure! Time to edit Drew's paper. Yay! He needs me! Until next time...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Life After Prom

Yes, after the tux has been returned, the 51 bobby pins have been removed, the flowers have wilted, the pictures have been uploaded to Facebook, life does go on.
Drew and Chelcie had a great time at the Bearden Prom, and both came back home safe and sound.

I'm not feeling particularly witty or insightful tonight, so we'll have to make do with "just the facts, Sir!"
Sunday morning dawned far too early after my late night (3 AM, mind you) waiting for Drew to arrive home, but Tom and I along with Addie and Sam made it to the 9:00 service at North Star. Scott's message was especially powerful to me and I found myself on my face at the altar, asking God to forgive me for being anxious and not trusting Him enough. I laid it all out there and by the time I got up, I knew that He will take care of my every need, and I just have to let Him have control. My heart knows that to be true, but my head just can't seem to step out of it and let Him. How arrogant of me to think I know better than my Creator how to live my life. If I truly gave my life to Him, why do I keep taking it back?

After church, we went straight home to find the two high schoolers moving slowly, but vertical and conscious, at home. Tom, Andrew, Drew, Abby, and Chelcie went to Chattanooga for a Nicaraqua mission trip meeting, while Addie, Sam and I went up to spend some time with Grandmom and Papaw. We enjoyed sharing the prom pictures and just hanging out. Addie had colored a picture for a coloring contest at Linda's Hallmark, so we took her entry by for the judging on Sunday afternoon.

Tom and the kids made it home and we began the rush to ready ourselves for the Monday morning back-to-school rush. Drew's friend, Andrew brought Sam a "dream come true" gift of a notebook FULL of "antique" Pokemon cards! Sam could hardly contain his excitement with the treasure that had become his own! Andrew is officially a hero in Sam's eyes...and mine.

Monday began wet and rainy, but I lingered a bed a little later than usual because I had taken a half day off from school. Once I found the energy to pry myself from under the covers, and away from listening to two of my favorite sounds-rain on the rooftop and Hallerin Hilton Hill on the radio, I dressed and prepared for the busy day ahead of me. First stop-American Book Company to drop off a Press Package for Dean to share with Jeff Gordon's Foundation. Then to the Tennessee Theatre to meet Kevin Clark, Hope Biber, Ed Knowling, and Dan Myers to finalize our rental agreement. Dan was able to save us close to $1,000 over last year's contract, just by reading all the fine print! Our partnership with KLF is already proving to be "worth it!" Then it was back to school for me as I finished out the school day at West Valley only the head across town again for a Mentoring Institute Team meeting! We dotted i's and crossed t's in preparation for the Pre-event to be presented on Tuesday. While in this meeting, I received a phone call from my very excited, and talented 7 year old declaring with much passion and enthusiasm that she had won ANOTHER coloring contest! Yay, Addie! We are now the proud owners of a Webkinz mouse pad! Yee-haw! This is the 3rd coloring contest she has won! It was Chick-fil-A drive-thru for dinner. Another late night for me as I prepared materials for Tuesday's event and a quick trip to Merchant's Road to pick up Tom because the Saab had "issues" and had to be towed to Wayne Strickland's house for surgery!

So much for short and sweet, huh? School this morning, only to leave at 12 for the Mentoring Institute meeting. All went better than expected. The skit I wrote went over very well, and I was greatly relieved! I knew it would either be a hit or fail miserably depending on the audience's reception. They were a great audience and had fun with it too. Rodney Russell seemed pleased with the event and even asked me if I would mind if he taught one of my classes for a week or two. Great idea! We'll see what happens with that idea. Once the meeting concluded, my partner, Erin dropped me off at Bearden High School to meet Tom and watch Drew run the 3200 in 10:55. Tom and I had to rush out quickly to get Addie to soccer practice at Anchor Park. She had a great practice and loves her team. She's a superstar and relishes her position as one of the best! That's my girl!
I talked to Dean and he's managed to secure Nascar's Jeff Gordon for our Reach Them DVD this year! Praise God! We didn't even need the press kit! Also talked to Jesse about what he would charge for the DVD. Jesse and I agreed to leave it up to God to show us clearly which direction He would have us take. Courageous decision for Jesse, and tough call for me and our team. We meet next Monday. Until then, I will pray for discernment. Not being a family to EVER eat at home, we went to Moe's to meet Olivia, Delaney and Ed and reclaim Sam who had been at soccer practice with Ed. Lori and Chuck showed up with the young 'uns sans Courtney, and it was good to see them. I modeled my Mentoring Shirt for Chuck, so he could see that his investment was put to good use. FINALLY, to the home fort for quick showers, bedtime prayers, and American Idol. Another wild day in the life of the Crawfords.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Family Matters

You know, it really could be just me, but I believe these kids are quite cute.

It's nice to have kids who resemble their father, their heavenly Father, that is! Look in the mirror, you'll see Him there too.

If you're reading this right now, just know that I'm probably delirious because it's after 2:00am and Drew's not home yet, and I'm trying my BEST to stay awake. He's only two miles down the road, but a mother bird can't rest until the babies are back safely in the nest. Tweet dreams!

Pre-Prom Photos - Where was Drew?

Unfortunately Drew scooted out the door before I had the opportunity to record his first pre-prom moments for posterity.
Chelcie, you're a senior, so here ya' go, Girl! You're looking fine, and your date's kinda cute too!

PROMinently PROM

My, my, my! What a PROMising day this was. This may be a two postings kinda day. We'll see how compact I can make it. Picking up with Friday...Sam and Addie were out on the town last night with Evan and Taylor respectively, so I was really hoping for a date night. No such luck for me. Chelcie and I met Tom at the Toyota dealership after an oil change and brake job on the Camry. Since none of us made a decision regarding dinner plans (We're a stubborn bunch!), Chelcie headed to Becca's and Tom and I headed home. He busied himself in the garage, attempting to organize my "collection" of school stuff and various items that never made it into the house. I chose to watch a Ken Davis DVD in the hopes that Ken would be able to make me laugh. No such luck tonight (remember the stubborn part?). Our neighbor, Matthew, came knocking on the door about 10 o'clock informing us that someone had "taken out" our mailbox. Well, there's nothing like a little neighborhood drama to assist in making new friends, so down the driveway Tom and I headed. Me, shoeless, ouch! ouch! ouching! most of the way down. Shore 'nuff - the mailbox was blown out of the ground and the wooden stake that had held it was a splintered stump! Poor drunk that hit it must have done a number on his car, but he just kept on going. Not being one to keep all the fun to myself, I limped over the Harry and Betty's house with the hopes of adding a little more energy our late night distraction. They both came out and surveyed the damage. Come to find out, the guy drove right through their yard and up and over their manicured landscaping! Harry jumped in his truck to patrol the street in search of a drunk guy with Pansies protruding from the grill of his car, but he didn't have much luck and came back with no news to report. We all headed back to our respective houses with a tale to share the next day. Tom, Drew, and I watched "Juno." I cried through a lot of it just 'cause I felt like it, then headed to bed about 11:30.

Saturday morning was a sleep in kinda day, but so very quiet without the pitter patter of little clod-hoppers racing down the hall just prior to the pounce onto the bed. I enjoyed cat napping until about 9, then headed to shower to start on the "PROMising Day" ahead.

Dad and I met with Dave Gorden at Panera Bread. We enjoyed sharing dreams, stories, and plans for the future. We all know that God has big and special plans for our little Reach Them to Teach Them team. We're all excited about seeing what lies around the next corner. Dave is an incredibly talented, well-connected man who brings a lot of expertise and experience to our table. We are all blessed and grateful to have him plugged in on the front lines! He and Dad already have a "Band of Brothers" type bond. Warning-don't get stuck in an elevator with the two of 'em, or you'll come out with more stories of adventure than you knew existed!

From Panera, I headed home to pick up my prom princess and shuttle her over to "Miss Jill's" for a new "do" for the evening's festivities. Got a text message from Drew informing me that he was leaving without giving me the opportunity to snap a couple of pictures of him decked out in a tux! I put Papaw on picture duty for Drew and silently urged Miss Jill to wrap it up so we could at least catch a glimpse of Drew before he headed out of town (to Kingston) to pick up his date, Darian Todd. Miss Jill did a phenomenal job and Chelcie was thrilled with her "Prom-y hairstyle." From Jill's to Zuma to pick up Sam and Addie from Olivia Knowling's 5th birthday party. They had a lot of fun and left the party with blue stained teeth and lips from the Fun Dip and icing. Straight from Zuma to Cassie's house for the application of make-up courtesy of Taylor Scott, Chelcie's dedicated Young Life leader. Cece Campbell dropped off some goodies while we were there to be devoured by the sure-to-be-famished post-PROM crowd.

From Cassie's house, home to find Jamie, Allison, and Delaney "parked" on the couch patiently awaiting Chelcie's arrival. Chelcie ran in, then ran out to Kelli's for some special tape to hold those babies in! After a few moments of "there's absolutely NO way I can be ready in time!" panic, Trevor arrives and Chelcie is radiant. Ah, if only it were so easy for me.

We documented the momentous occasion in the driveway with the Farragut Support Network watching from the deck. Sam, Addie, and Buffet were right in the middle of the action however. Trevor was a trooper and endured the posing and pictures with good humor and a smile. There was a moment of panic however when Addie blurted out, "What's that stuff on your dress?" and Chelcie looked down only to find a very obvious white smudge across her black dress. Mom to the rescue with a damp dish towel and all was well in the world again.

Once Chelcie and Trevor had retreated to the sanctuary of his car and headed down the driveway, Tom, Addie, Sam, Grandmom, Papaw, and I followed them down to the University Gardens for yet another photo op with the foaming-at-the-mouth paparazzi of parents! Multitudes of pictures may be found of Chelcie's Facebook page, but I have no idea how to send you there. The pictures included here will have to suffice. Just know there are lots more where those came from! Lots more. A whole lot more. Trust me.

With much prodding and reminding, and last minute clicks of cameras, all the photogs made way to their cars and headed for home. The Crawfords, however, had other plans. We raced down to the other side of town to sabotage Drew while he enjoyed his pre-prom meal at Seasons Cafe (best restaurant in town, by the way). Thankfully, he indulged me, albeit reluctantly, and with a multiple sacastic remarks made under his breath which I blissfully pretended not to hear, by posing for a few pictures before heading off the prom. That's my boy!

After a necessary reminder phone call from Subway, we loaded up in the car AGAIN, and headed out to pick up our 6' long party sub for the Lewis' shindig. This thing was HUGE! We had to wedge it into the car diagonally, just to make it fit! Sam and I got the raw end of the deal 'cause we had the giant sub resting on our head and shoulders! Thankfully, we made the delivery without incident and the young bellies should be full post-prom later tonight.

At last, we had completed all of our P3 (pre-prom-parent) duties, and had a moment to indulge our appetites. Addie, Sam, Tom, and I enjoyed dinner for four at none other than Jason's Deli. Are we creatures of habit or what?

Home at last to deposit sleepy children in their beds and wait up for Drew as I catch my first "Prom Posting" up to date. Whew! What a day!

Friday, April 25, 2008

We Could Pway About It, Mom

Spring has most definitely sprung this week in K-town! It's actually nice to be outside and SWEAT for a change! (I know I'll regret that statement in August, but for now, it's great!) I actually set a record at school on Thursday. I was part of a meeting that lasted almost a whopping 5 and a half HOURS!! From 9:30-2:45! Since I missed lunch, Ms. Finley said I could take the rest of the day off, so I called Chelcie and met her and Addie at Jason's for a taco salad and ice cream. A very special treat to spend a few unexpected moments with my girls.

The past two days have been beautiful and busy. Drew and Tom were at UT for another track meet yesterday and, I am SO PROUD to say that Drew set his personal record for the mile with an incredible time of 4 minutes and 55 seconds! He's amazing! While Drew was racing around the track, I had Addie and Sam at the soccer field for Addie's practice. We experienced high drama when Sam discovered that some "thief" had stolen his notebook full of Pokemon cards! Well, I spotted the little culprit right off (teacher radar), but didn't catch him red-handed. I took the ol' kill 'em with kindness approach and asked him if he'd "seen" a notebook around anywhere. Would you believe the shifty-eyed little delinquent mumbled a "no" without making eye contact with my bright smiling face. That did it for me. It was all I could do not to turn him upside down and shake the sillies right outta him...but I resisted. As Sam cried in my lap, I desperately tried to console him by telling him that maybe when whoever took his notebook showed it to his mom, she would make him bring it back because it didn't belong to him. My attempt didn't work. Sam just looked up with his tear-filled blue eyes and asked, "What if his mom steals too?" Stifling a belly laugh, I thought "Then that would explain why her son is a thief as well!" Out of options, I asked Sam to be a good problem solver. "What can we do to fix this problem, Sam?" To my delight and surprise, Sam said, "We could pway about it, Mom." So that's what we did right there on our blanket at the soccer field. And would you believe that the God who placed the stars in the sky and formed the world with his own hands, smiled down on a six year old boy and his mom sweating on a blanket in the sun? Miraculously, the notebook full of Pokemon cards appeared in the parking lot as we were packing up to leave the field. What a lesson for my son. What a lesson for me. What an awesome God we serve! His words ring in my ears right now, "We could pway about it, Mom."

Friday morning was wonderful, as usual. Starting the day with my West Valley brother and sisters truly makes my day. My good friend, Suzanne, brought tears to my eyes when she shared her thoughts about Mary Magdelene at Jesus' tomb. I can't wait to hear Jesus Christ speak my name out loud. Can you even imagine?!

Got a quick break for a meeting with Dan Myers of Knoxville Leadership Foundation, Anderson, and Ed at Panera to finalize our fiscal agent agreement, so Reach Them to Teach Them is officially "adopted" by KLF.

The day at school passed quickly as it was "Free Choice Friday," and everyone read books of their choosing. My friend loaned me a great book entitled, "Unhindered" to read in class today and I must say I found it enlightening. I guess my friends know me better than I think they do. Sam got a haircut today! He and Chelcie stopped by school today to share Chelcie's 2008 Bearden High School yearbook!
After school it was rush, rush, rush to buy birthday gifts for the two birthday parties Addie has this weekend. Sam was invited to spend the night with his BFF from his class, Evan (see earlier blogs for cute pictures of Evan). Addie headed to Taylor's for a slumber party. Drew is off skateboarding with Andrew and Chelcie's here with me. We're off to meet Tom at the Toyota dealership to keep the economy going...if we have anything left over, we may grab a bite to eat 'cause Chelcie is "starving!" Prom is'll require a page or two all to itself. We'll see if I get Drew to pose in his tux. Could be scary! Must be documented!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Say It Isn't So!

It's catch-up time again! Funny how quickly the days pass, and how the 24 hours I am given every day gets spent doing things that I will look back on and desperately miss. Just tonight, I was reading a bedtime story to Addie and Sam. As we talked about the illustrations in the book, I was fascinated by the vitality of their innocent imaginations. Sam talked about his "Go Dog Go" dog and said he planned to give him to his little boy when he becomes a daddy. Addie mentioned how much she enjoys playing with Webkinz now, but guessed that someday she wouldn't like them anymore. It makes me kinda sad, but serves to remind me to cherish the moments. Writing this blog has really helped me notice the people who are special to me, places we like to go, and things we enjoy doing together. In spite of the difficulties life brings, I know that I will never, ever be matter what! Even when I am physically alone, my God is always with me. He promises He will never leave me or forsake me. Whom shall I fear?

Monday was a typical Monday at school with the exception of morning bus duty in the cafeteria. Yes, I know you're jealous just reading about it, right? It's actually not too bad and I've enjoyed a scrumpcious sausage biscuit every morning this week, so far! Tom and Crawford Part 2 picked me up at school and we headed off to a Mexican restaurant to cash in our gift certificate from the Ulster dinner. The meal was yummy, but I confess to a slight craving for a frosty margarita. Rest assured, I did not indulge my craving, but the temptation was there nonetheless. From dinner to watch our "Dawgs" get sent to the dawghouse but those pesky Admirals. One thing that really bothered me about the game was that the Farragut fans booed Dawson Halliday. It was an embarrassing display of poor sportsmanship, and as an Admiral alum, I was disappointed.

Tuesday's highlight was a double header soccer game with Sam playing on the field right next to Addie. The weather was perfect for taking in the miracle of healthy kids running the field and jumping around celebrating the moment. After the game, Chelcie and Delaney met me and the kids plus Ed and Olivia at Moe's. I asked one of the owners if he thought Moe's might be interested in sponsoring teachers to attend Reach Them '08, and he said they would! Another BIG highlight was celebrating the 97% my brilliant daughter, Chelcie made on her statistics test! While I'm thinking about Chelcie, I should mention that Trevor's mom, Anne, paid my an impromtu visit today to share the details of the "Senior Prom Corsage." We enjoyed talking about our "babies" heading off to UT this fall, Greek life, and the "old" days back when WE were in I REALLY at this stage?! Since I'm showing my age in this blog, I just HAVE to mention spending $40 on gas today and my Jetta STILL wasn't filled up! In MY DAY...Wait! This IS my day, and I'm not finished with it yet.

Wednesday was yet another gorgeous day, but sadly, I had to spend most of it inside in my affectionately nicknamed "Cave" at West Valley Middle School. Just looking out the window makes me itch to breathe fresh air. I planned a lap or two around the track during my plan time, but it just didn't happen. Papers to grade, meetings to attend, emails to answer and the like! This day job is getting in the way of my life! I heard someone say we have 22.5 more days of school, so again, I remind myself to cherish the moments and not wish away my life.

My good friend Emily Fendley's bridal shower was held at school today. Lisa and I represented our team and enjoyed strawberry cake and punch, as we basked in the glow of a young woman in love with so much ahead of her! I wanted to whisper into Emily's ear to savor every minute and don't waste a second of it, because life will pass quickly. I sound like an old woman, don't I? Well, maybe I am - I mean, what's next for me? Ummm, becoming a grandmother? On that note, I think it's time for me to wrap it up before I get tears on my keyboard! Of course they'd all be tears of joy! Wait! One more moment to record- after school, Addie, Sam, and I met Anderson and Ed at Chick-fil-A to plan our Friday meeting with KLF. If you're reading this blog, please pray that all goes according to God's plan and that we do not get in His way.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words...right?

Told ya' I'm a Slacker!

Yes, I know it's been three days since my last post. I KNEW this would happen! To my credit though, I think about what's going on in my life now and before my "blog phase" I just kinda let life roll right on by me. I'm hoping to inspire my students to try their hand at blogging too. Maybe they'll read about my life and be encouraged that their lives are pretty exciting afterall! :)

Here's a brief recap: Friday started off wonderful! After my much-needed day off last Thursday, I was ready to get back on the saddle and ride into my classroom with renewed energy, passion, and perspective! I had breakfast at Panera with a handful of my bestest friends at West Valley; Suzanne, Lisa, Phil, Sherry, and Nancy. Scotty was a no-show, but we'll stay on his case until he breaks down and joins us. Hopefully, April will be able to pull up a chair too. I'd love for my whole team to bond together as I think this will probably be our last year together.

The day at school was fantastic too. I took all five of my classes outside to read and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. It bothers me that kids don't get outside as much anymore. God's creation is a wonderful teacher, and all we have to do is immerse ourselves in it. We did have a slight problem when some 7th grade boys rolled an old tire down the hill at some of my kids who were reading. Thankfully, Mrs. Humphress dealt with them! :)

Sam had a soccer game after school. He is a superstar on his team. He had many, many sensational blocks, and even managed to score a goal or two. "Jacob" is the enforcer on his team, though, and Sam's a wee bit intimidated by the great and powerful Jacob-a-nator! We headed to Moe's after the game with the kids and our "adopted" family - Ed and Olivia. Afterwards, the big boys headed out to Farragut with the kids for a little soccer. Sadly, Bearden fell to Farragut this time.

Saturday morning dawned cold and wet, but Addie's game was on schedule anyway for 8:00. All the kids had a great time stomping in the wet mud and getting drenched! Addie scored one of her team's two goals and has been asked to play on a competitive team with her fellow "weapon" Vanessa! Coach Blake will led the charge!

Sam had his first "official" job today as a marketing research company paid him in toys for his opinions about commercials, movies and toys. He did great and walked away with a new Batman Hotwheels track!

Lots of family bonding happened at Grandmom's garage sale this weekend. Tom and Papaw went to UT to watch Drew run (5:02) but conditions were atrocious! Ed and Olivia, Scotty, Joy, and the kids, and many neighbors stopped by to chat, laugh, and haul away our junk. We made a whopping $92! Enough to pay for Chelcie's new prom shoes, dinner at the Pizza Kitchen (with Becca Jones), and...well, I guess that's all it paid for! The memories were priceless however!

We intruded on the Farragut Prom Beauties before they headed out on the town for their senior prom! Delaney looked gorgeous, as usual. And Jamie, despite her momentary melt-down, was a knock-out as well! Chelcie has next weekend to look forward to as the much anticipated "Senior Prom" finally arrives!

Sunday was a rather lazy day. Early church. Lunch at Jason's Deli, and car wash duty. Taylor joined us for all as Addie spent the night with her last night. Tom is working today and the kids are Ed and Olivia's. Guess I'd better go rescue him, or maybe them!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Forgive me, but I had to add another post, just to include more pictures. Like I said, it's been a great day!

An A-B Day! "Absolutely Beautiful!"

WOW! What a wonderful day! "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Today was a day for realigning priorities, bonding with my children, breathing in the fresh springtime air, and noticing the little things!

After a very rough and stressful day yesterday, I was thrilled to take today off from school to chaperone Sam's class trip to the zoo. Prior to meeting Sam at the zoo, I enjoyed a leisuring breakfast with Martha Riordan at Panera Bread. We talked a lot of Reach Them to Teach Them, our kids, and how interesting life can be. After that, I had the privilege of escorting three of the most handsome and smart boys on the planet! Mason, Jacob W., and Sam were absolutely delightful to hang out with today. We even got to spend some time with Katie, Lauren, and Ben! I can't imagine an investment that could possibly have greater returns than the way I spent my day today. God is constantly reminding me that He is enough. He is in control. He guides my steps. He orders my days. I am the one who forgets-not Him! He certainly poured out His blessing on me today.

After the zoo, Sam, Lauren, and I headed by Grandmom's house to "help" get ready for the big garage sale tomorrow. Then we scooted out to meet Chelcie at Jason's Deli for an update on how "the talk" with the Statistics teacher went today. It went great, thankfully! It looks like Chelcie is going to get to skip the final, and cruise out of the "Dawg House" and onto the campus of the University of Tennessee!

After our little mother-daughter chat, I headed to Lotts to pick up Addie and her buddy, Olivia. Everyone got along famously today! We played outside and delivered more "stuff" to THE garage sale. It's Papaw's 67th birthday today and he didn't look a day over 65!

Once Olivia's mom picked her up, Sam, Addie, and I loaded up in the car again to head to Addie's soccer practice. On the way, I listened to a CD of Dr. Don Bartlette that arrived in the mail today and was reassured that he is God's man for our October event. What a message this man has about the power of one person to make an eternal difference in the life of another.

My hero and role model, Sherry Storms and I took a few laps around the park and shared our ideas about what it means to really TEACH kids. I knew God had sent her to encourage me and remind me that what He has called me to do cannot be changed by educational trends and politics. What a blessing!

Home for showers, quick dinner, and bedtime prayers. This day was one of the BEST!