Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sea world







We got to have breakfast with some of the sesame street characters. The main characters were Zoe and Elmo and for some reason we didn't take pictures with our own camera but we did get one for free with the breakfast. Technically we paid for it because surely that money didn't all go to pay for that so called breakfast we ate. It was something similar to the continental breakfast we got at our hotel. Either way the kids had a great time and I'm glad we did it. More pictures to come, I have to pace myself I don't want to update too much, y'all will think I've gotten back on track. He he...



Friday, October 1, 2010

So much to tell!!

Wow It's been a whirlwind since the last time I posted. We had such a busy summer and since school has started it's gotten busier. Who'd have thought that???? We were expecting things to slow down once school started. I think I'll just make a small or large list of all the things that have been happening in our crazy lives.

June: (Let's see if I can remember all that happened)
1. Eric went to camp with the teens
2. The following week I went home for three weeks to stay with family. Such a fun time!
3. Eric took the teens on his first youth trip with this youth group. It was awesome! No one was seriously injured and no major emergencies. Yes the occasional bus break down, cut open eyelid, possible dislocated shoulder, but nothing major.
4. WE'RE PREGNANT!

July: (don't remember much of July)
1. Came home to the busy life of ministry
2. I'm sure there were lots of exciting things that occurred during this month but remember last month we found out I was pregnant so I'm using pregnancy brain as my excuse. That and I spent most of this month and august being miserable with morning sickness all day long.

August: (again not sure that I remember much about this month)
1. Was offered a job at the school that is in our church
2. Signed up Erin for school
3. Decided I should sign up Aiden for school since I would be working in his class.
(I'm the teachers aide in the k-3 class and also do reading tutoring as well as a reading computer program with some of the older kids)
4. School starts and so does the crazy schedule.
5. Eric started friday lunches again for the high school students.This is where we offer a free lunch to the students who want it. We drive buses to the school to pick them up and bring them to the church. It's an amazing opportunity for Eric to get to know the kids and to bring some in who don't go to church. It has grown more and more each week.
6. We finally decide to squeeze in a vacation.

Sept. (Hopefully I remember more of this since this month just ended yesterday)
1. We set our vacation for this month!!!
2. I have found new love in football
3. I have prayed for patience every day with these three year olds that I work with
4. I love every single kid in my class even though they drive me crazy!!
5. Eric had his first 5th quarter (this may have occurred in august I don't remember) and had 250 teens.
6. Eric had a saw you at the pole rally and combined with the churches in our community...almost 200.
7. We took the kids on our first family vacation and it was amazing. We experienced the best and worst of vacations and loved every second of it. Got lost...got rained on.....couldn't find a place to eat, and sometimes got a little cranky. I can't wait to do it again! I'll post pictures in another post later.
8. I have finally started to feel this baby move a little bit. I have been so worried about this pregnancy and have absolutely no reason to but would still appreciate prayers.
9. Missing my family a lot it's been so long since we've seen any of them, but enjoying our Hereford family. They have taken good care of us!
10. Oh and the biggest news (besides the baby) we bought a suburban! Can you believe it we're true Texans now. God was in that, what a blessing we got such a good deal I'm not sure the guy who sold it to us made anything of the sale.

That in a nutshell is what we have been up to for the last four months. I'm sure I've missed a lot but I will hopefully start to get regular updates on here and will post first day of school pics and vacation pics soon. I'm sure I've got some fun pictures from our visit home too. I am out for now I have a sick little boy today.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Clarissa??

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Texas. I decided it was a day to be outside. So we got ready, I got my coffee, a nice book and lathered us all up in sunscreen. We are so grateful to Mimi and Papa for this wonderful swing set we have to play on and to Grandma and Grandpa the best turtle sandbox ever!! It makes our back yard a fun place to be.
Anyway, as I was sitting in my chair minding my own business, Erin comes up to me and informs me that she will be changing her name. This is how the conversation went.
Erin: Mom, i was thinking of changing my name.
Me: Oh really? What name were you thinking?
Erin: Clarissa
Me: Huh? Why do you want to change your name?
Erin: uh, well Erin is kind of boring.

WHAT!! Boring!! This child that I was in labor with for almost a full 24 hours is telling me that the name I picked especially for her is BORING! I don't think so!(this of course was in my head I refrained from speaking this aloud)

After this conversation I immediately called my mom and we tried to get out of Erin where she got the name Clarissa from and still have yet to figure that out. The good news is that I think she has since forgotten and still answers to the name Erin.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You forgot to do this!

I was woken up by my loud children this morning. I was expecting them to sleep in because we had no rest time yesterday and church last night. So it was definitely late when they were finally asleep. I went to bed expecting to have a restful morning, but to my suprise they were both slamming doors running through the house and it wasn't even 8:00 yet. I was only a little bitter about it.

As I was sitting in my chair stewing about the fact that I really wanted to be in my bed still sleeping Aiden came up to me and said "hey you forgot to do this." When I looked down to see what he was talking about, I was shocked to see he was holding my bible. He knows that mommy gets up, gets breakfast and read her bible. He saw that I had not done my nomral routine this morning. It was a nice reminder that I needed to change my attitude and that my kids watch what I do. Makes me a little bit more aware of my actions. So I guess I won't be bitter when my kids don't sleep in and focus more on the fact that they are a gift from God.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's not a dress!


Erin: Oh mom can I wear this today!
Me: Sure baby, it's warm enough today let's find the shorts that go with it.
Erin: I don't need shorts it's a dress.
Me: No, Erin it's not a dress it's just a long shirt you need to wear something underneath.
Erin: but mom, it looks like a dress
Me: Yes, it may look like a dress but it is not a dress you have to wear something underneath.
Erin: OK
After this short little conversation we go into the bathroom to brush teeth and do hair. As I'm trying to do her hair she is turning her head, standing on her tip toes, moving around as much as she can so that it is extremely difficult to get a pony tail in. I get it in and she looks cute as can be.(You can see for yourself from the picture) Now picture this...after the hair is done I'm trying to help her brush her teeth. I need her to actually look at me in order to see the teeth I'm brushing. As I'm doing this she is trying to gaze at herself in the mirror. I keep turning her head to look at me and her eyes are just about rolled back into her head trying to look in the mirror. It was funny after the fact but during I was getting frustrated. It is clear that she has no self image issues. She then proceeds to ask me if we can take her picture so I said "Of course" because I need proof of this day to tell her when she's a teenager.
A little later in the day:
Me: Erin you need to quit pulling your shirt down. It has to cover your chest. It's a shirt!
Erin: It looks like a dress
Me: It's not a dress it's a shirt.
Erin: but watch when I spin....
Me: I see that it flares out like dresses do but it's still a shirt
Erin: and mom it covers my bottom
Me: It may cover some of your bottom but let me tell you, you will never wear a dress that is that short!
Erin: alright
Later that night I am in the shower and she comes in to go potty:
Erin: Mom this really does look like a dress.
Me: IT'S NOT A DRESS!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Were real hone....

So I had this conversation with Aiden the other day :
Aiden: hey momma, where's my blue mater thing? (full of the cutest little lisps)
Me: Huh? I'm not sure what you're talking about.
Aiden: my blue mater sing (thing) that you roll on in da baftub on were bellys.
Me: Well Aiden I'm still not sure what you mean.
Aiden: Did we leave it at were real hone? (our real home)
To this I finally realized what he was talking about. It was some Avon stuff that the neighbor had gotten for the kids and it's colored soap that the kids could roll on themselves in the bath tub and yes we did leave it at Mimi and Papa's house which is what Aiden was referring to as "were real hone" While I don't want to offend any of our Hereford friends because we love Texas and love this town. It just melted my heart a little to hear Aiden call Mimi and Papas our real home. He's such a precious boy. I think Mimi's heart melted a little bit too.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Great Idea

This is what I heard today. I wish I had the ability to record their voices all day long. The things that come out of their mouths are amazing.

Erin and Aiden were playing together a few minutes ago. They are playing "fix it" which really means they are just playing with Aidens play tools to fix things around the house. Erin really likes to head up this game and let Aiden know what he is too fix. As a matter of fact Erin likes be in charge of most of the games they play together. Usually the scenario is this:
Erin: "OK Aiden how about I'll be the princess and you be _________ "(Aiden's character varies depending on what they are playing but Erin will forever be the princess in every circumstance)


Today was pretty much the same only I heard this small conversation. Aiden is getting braver.

Aiden: "ERIN ERIN ERIN I've got my great idea!!"

Erin: " Grrrr...... ok Aiden WHAT!"

I really didn't hear the rest of the conversation I was laughing too much at the growling sound that came out of Erin. She really does not like anyone else to have a "great idea". Oh I love these kids!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Do you see this girl?

This child is precious! She has a special gift. It's the gift of melting your heart in once second and then send flames and smoke from your eyes and ears the next.
For example, this girl can recall that I was in a small car accident, even though she wasn't even in the car. She brings this up anytime we are in the car just to remind me what I had done. She can recall the fact that one time while trying to turn a movie on I had not muted it and that static noise scared her and Aiden. This she brings up at the most random times just so I know that I had made a mistake. Then there is this, which sends me over the edge, the child puts her shoes on every day and still can't remember which one goes on the right foot. Now I realize that yes she is only 4, but come on, she can recall all of my mistakes that happened weeks, days, months ago but the one thing she does every day she can not memorize? She is conspiring against me.
Then there are moments when she comes in with her lips puckered to give me a kiss. She tells me "mom when ever you get sick again....I will always take care of you." or when she will randomly lean over and kiss my hand and tell me she loves me, or at church when she was so distraught because someone had given her a gift during children's church and she didn't have anything to give back. She has a sweet spirit and a smile that is contagious. LOVE HER!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Texas Snow

Everything is bigger in Texas even the snow flakes. This is our first snow and we got about 8inches this snow. There were lots of snow drifts as well.
This is out our back door.
This snow actually started with ice first, so there was a layer of ice under all this snow.

The tree covered in ice our our back door.

That's the gate to go to the front of the house.

This is what we saw when we opened our back door. The door also had a layer of ice on it.

Out our front door, it came all the way to the door. We have a tiny porch.

This is our drive way and down the street a little.


The tree out front, actually right next to our bedroom window and the night before this was banging on our window all night from the wind. Needless to say I did not sleep that night.

This is taken from my frong porch looking across the street. Can you find the street? Neither could we.


More snow on our front porch. There is actually a step down there.

Texas Part 2

I must first apologize to my very best friend Erica who asked me to update and I told her I would do it about two days ago. As you can see it is now Saturday and I am just now getting to my update. So I'm sorry friend, I will do better I promise. You must hold me accountable to this.

I do have a little side note about my best friend Erica, (and yes I must refer to her as my best friend because that is the ONLY way to refer to her) she and I have been on quite a journey in our separate lives and through it all we have always stayed friends. It is a wonderful friendship and I have to admit she is better at it than I am. I love her because she loves me through that. (hmm....I'm babbling) Anyway I just find it ironic how much we have similar in our lives. Our husbands both have jobs that have taken us to different places. Hers a little more adventurous but we were both away from home and that is far enough. We both have two kids. (she had hers two at a time, much braver than I)But what really is amazing to me is that even though we rarely talk about this, we have both made very similar choices in our devotions, bible studies even books that we are reading. I had chosen to follow the read the bible in a year plan, and through her blog found that she did too. We have both done Beth Moore bible studies and both just recently bought her newest book.(I'm sure she is ahead of me in reading though, I haven't actually started) God is so amazing because he has sent us on very similar paths knowing that we could use our experiences to help each other through. Even though we don't talk every day or every month I know that she prays for me and I for her. Who knew that at six years old we had found a life time friendship. I love her! So thanks God for my BEST friend Erica.

Alrighty! Part 2
We had gotten to the house and brought all the boxes in. The day we moved in I started to feel anxious about what we were doing. I didn't know if I could do this I was starting to realize that I only had a few more days left with my parents and then we would be on our own again.
On Saturday, we woke up and were relaxing and doing a little unpacking. The kids were exploring their toys that had been packed away for more than a year. It was like Christmas all over again. (which has now ended by the way, the newness has worn off) Suddenly my mom comes running out of the bathroom yelling "the toilets over flowing" so we run in the bathroom to find water all over the floor. My dad had to go to the store to get a plunger because who knew we'd need one after one day here. Now our little town (God Bless it) has limited stores, we have a walmart and an Ace hardware. So dad goes to walmart gets one and it pretty much falls apart after one plunge. (thanks walmart) So he goes to the hardware store only to find they don't have any. Now this is where God comes into the picture (I mean I realize he's been here the whole time but this is where we see him) the man running the store says wait a minute take mine. He gives us the one that was in their bathroom. (Now that i think this through it really is kind of gross to me but at that point we would have taken anything) DO YOU HEAR ME!! The man gave us his for FREE!!! Where are we?! After a few tries though we find that it is not actually a problem that can be fixed with a plunger. We needed a plumber. So we called our landlord (the best landlord ever!! I love her for many reasons to be told later) She got a plumber out here so fast and he was awesome. It took quite a long time because there were some pipe issues causing other things like sinks and the tub not draining as well.
In the mean time the funny part is that we have one bathroom and my poor mother and I are dying because we have to go to the bathroom and take showers. It really became an emergency when Erin said she had to go because this child waits until the very last second before she wets her pants to go to the bathroom. So I threw some clothes on and we drove to the church, it took us less than a minute to get there. It is very close! So by the time we get back my mom now has to go and the plumber is still here. So she drives to a gas station down the street and apparently made a friend. She came back and said some guy had talked her ear off and she didn't think she was going to get out of there. Everyone is so friendly here, it's like a different world. Definitely different than living in Michigan where people rarely look you in the eye when speaking to you, or staring you down because you're taking to long. ( Sorry Michigan friends, I love you guys just not the state itself. ) After about two hours he finally got it fixed and gave us the good news that "it will probably happen again" he gave us his card with his home and cell number and find that he only lives two streets away from us. Although even if he lived across town it would only be three minutes instead of one. Update: it's been almost two months and everything is still running smoothly.
We are loving Texas more and more every day. The people are wonderful! We have a full freezer and I think we only bought two things that are in it. The rest is meat that was given to us. We have received financial gifts that we fell undeserving of. God has blessed us over and over to let us know that this is where he would have us. We had a revival the second week we were here and it was amazing. God was there and he spoke to Eric and I both about becoming Godly leaders and parents. It is not without it's battles there are days when I can feel satan pulling at me making me feel unworthy in so many ways. There are days when I miss home terribly. What gets me through is that I can walk through every room in my house and be reminded of how much we are loved. Let me just give you the list:
Kitchen: We had a brand new refrigerator waiting for us, that is ours to keep even when we move. Our pastors wife stood in the kitchen with me and helped me unpack all of my dishes.
Living Room: Our furniture was given to us by my aunt. It looks brand new, almost as if it had never been sat on.
There are too many pieces to name that are from my parents.
Aidens room: His bed is from Mimi and Papa. Our pastors son helped my dad put it together the day we moved in.
Erins room: Again help putting the bed together (I'm sorry I don't remember who did that)
Our bedroom: Realizing we had forgotten the bed rails that hold our mattress up, a man in our church went home built us a new set that are stronger than the ones that came with the bed. Another guy at our church helping Eric set our room up with all that heavy furniture.
Bathroom: well you know that story.
It has been an amazing journey and we know that God is here with us. Eric is doing an awesome job with the teens. They love him, he has big crowds on wednesday nights and his Sunday school attendance has grown a little bigger every week. He loves his job and he has changed in so many ways. I know that we have had so many people praying for us. I am thankful for all that we have gone through so that we could be here now.

Monday, February 15, 2010

conversations with Aiden

I have had a couple of interesting conversations with Aiden this morning. So it thought before I continue my journey to Texas saga I would share this with you.
Eric was making us breakfast this morning and Aiden came in and wanted to know what he was making. This is how the conversation went:
Aiden: What's that smell momma?
Me: Daddy's making sausage, maple flavored sausage.
Aiden: I don't like sawjij (using j's was the closest way I could show you how he said it)
Me: There isn't much you do like these days. You are like your uncle matthew!
Aiden: Daddy's not uncle matthew.
Me: I know daddy's not uncle matthew I said you are LIKE uncle matthew.
Aiden: No I not uncle matthew
Me: No, Aiden I'm saying that you do things like Uncle matthew
Aiden: but I Aiden
Me: Never mind

A few minutes later I was sitting at the table waiting for breakfast to be served. When Aiden came to me and wanted me to hold him. So as he was talking to me his voice is going in and out. He has got another terrible cold and he's got this high pitch squeaky voice. So I said "Aiden I think you're losing your voice" and his response was "these pants aren't losing" He thought I was telling him he was losing his pants. I think he's so used to me telling him "hey you're losing your pants" he just assumed that's what I was talking about. I guess I should be grateful that he actually answered instead of saying "huh momma....wud you say?"

I'll post more on our Texas story later.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Stars at Night are Big and Bright....

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately it's been a crazy month. We are now moved to Texas! We've been here for about three weeks now. It has been an adventure and I'm sure it's just the beginning, but good things are happening in Hereford and in the Skelton family. God has blessed us more than we deserve. I don't have any pictures put on my computer yet but soon I'll show pictures of our home.
I'll start by telling you our journey from home. Eric had to be here in Texas for a youth event and we were not able to move before then. So he had to drive down by himself and then flew back home just in time to load the truck and head back to Texas.
I stayed behind with the kids to finish packing the rest of our things at the house.(Some how Eric manages to get out of packing) Most of our stuff was already packed and stored because we moved in with my parents after we left Michigan and didn't have room for most of it. That made moving a lot easier this time. Eric left on a Tuesday and I took that day and Wednesday to do some packing. My wonderful sister-in-law took the kids one day so that I could get things done a lot quicker. It was a very busy week and in the middle of all the packing we wanted the cousins to have time to spend together. We managed to get a little cousin time in every day and Erin and Aiden loved it. So did I, it gave me a chance to spend time with my sister-in-law as well. It made me sad to think that we've lived that close for over a year and it never dawned on me how we could have been doing that stuff all along. Life gets so busy sometimes we forget what's important. By Friday morning I was sick....not a little sick I was sick very sick. I couldn't finish packing and could barely take care of my kids. It was at that moment that Satan saw his in and began to work into my fears. There was so much I wanted to do still and I had to rest. My parents kind of took over and helped me care for Erin and Aiden. I started to get angry that Eric wasn't there and had to settle down and realize that this is all a part of the plan. That God was in control and no matter what we would still get to Texas. Going back and looking on this I think being sick may have been a blessing for me because I didn't have to pack the truck all I had to do was point to boxes and say "this one goes" it was great! My dad and brother with a little help loaded the truck for us. By the time Eric got home we were pretty much finished ahead of schedule and were able to get on the road a lot earlier than we thought. God is good!
We left on a Tuesday and drove all the way to Oklahoma and it was just in time. The kids were doing so well until about the last 20 minutes. I was afraid i was going to lose it but then we came to our hotel and all was good again. The kids went swimming and loved it! Our dog who is usually a nervous wreck traveled nicely. It was a good trip. The next morning we took our time had a nice breakfast and got back on the road.
Side Note: On this day my mother "accidentally" took an ambien. This made for pretty interesting conversation between her and my dad. When this happens we try to keep the kids away for fear she will scare them. Due to her mishap we had to stop just about every hour to use the bathroom, now while normally I welcome the chance to get out of the car I was still sick and wanted to rest. It was a little frustrating but we had some good laughs over this.
We pulled in to our new home to find the pastor waiting for us and shortly after people from the church came to help us unload the truck. When we got here our goal was to at least get the beds set up so we could sleep. By the end of the day the truck was completely empty we had unpacked most of my kitchen stuff, the beds were all set up, TV was set up, bookshelves, and kitchen table all put together. It was amazing and we are grateful to everyone who helped us unload.
I also forgot to mention that before we even got here Eric had received many gift cards and lots of food to fill our home. We were feeling humbled and blessed. God is good!
We are still getting settled in our home and have some things yet to unpack but it feels like home and we are loving the church and the people in it. They have welcomed us and loved us and we don't want to be anywhere else.
I'll have to post in parts because it's been a while and I have lots of stories to tell. For now just know we are here, safe and loving Texas more and more every day.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm going to lose my mind

Look at this boy! So proud holding his apple he found. Full of joy and laughter. You would never know by looking at this picture that this boy is about to drive his momma crazy!
There have been moments when I have wondered about Aiden's ears and if he might have some hearing issues. When we went to the doctor for his 2 and a half year check up the doctor confirmed that there is absolutely nothing wrong with his hearing.
That being said if I hear him say "huh... whud you say momma?" one more time I think I might scream.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Random Thoughts Chapter 2

We are in the midst of moving to Texas right now. Most of you know the story and once I get all settled in there I will post a little story of how we ended up in Texas. For now I will just tell you WE ARE MOVING TO TEXAS!! WHOO HOO!! I actually am pretty excited and looking forward to what 2010 will bring for my family. For now I thought I would share a little bit of what is going on in my mind today. So here it goes.

This morning I was reading my bible, and I've been following the little chart in the back of my bible for daily reading. Today was Genesis 24 and 25. I was struck by many funny thoughts as I was reading. For instance chapter 24 is about how Isaac got his wife Rebekah. I thought wouldn't it be nice if that's how we all found our spouses. Now I realize I am already married (happily in case you were wondering) but I'm thinking about my children. I would really like to send a messenger to a place of my choosing and fetch Aiden a wife or Erin a husband. God is there any chance you might let that happen in my case? Now I do realize that this was all in God's plan and that it doesn't matter how it happened Isaac and Rebekah were meant to be married. This also made me start to think that even though my children are young that I should start thinking about praying for their future spouses. I am a definite believer in the power of prayer. I think that God wants me to pray that for my children. So I have come to a new resolution for the new year, I will pray daily for my children's future spouses. Whoa! That is really hard to think about.

Now I am no philosophical person (as a matter of fact that was really hard for me to spell) so I'm not sure that's what most people get out of reading that scripture but for me it is. There are many times when I read scripture and feel a little inadequate as far as finding meaning in it. I'm a simple person and at times don't feel as smart or intelligent as those around me. (Don't get me wrong I'm not looking for a pity party or feel sorry for me because I don't feel smart I'm just expressing how I feel at times) I like to think that I am more common sense smart than book smart and I'm OK with that. (please don't tell me if you disagree just let me live in my fantasy)

My next thought as I continued to read chapter 24 was that what kind of lunatic parents did Rebekah have that they just let her walk out of the house with all her things to go and marry some complete stranger! I am amazed at the kind of faith and trust her people had in God. To know by simple signs that this was from God. I mean come on....I'm a little more like Gideon (that's the right person right?) I need him to make the ground wet and the wool dry, then I need him to do the opposite, then I need a slap in the face, a little writing on the wall, a few lightening strikes on a cloudless day....I could go on. Even if God did all those things for me I would probably still be a little leery.

After reading this though I was struck with the thought that this is sort of what I'm going through now. My family is being called away. We are being called to Texas, this will be the furthest we've ever been from home. I am scared and have moments of unwillingness. I am going to a place I don't know. I worry about Erin especially because she understands that we are leaving things she knows, her school, her friends at church, her cousin Maddie, her Mimi, Papa and Grammy. I worry about Aiden too, but he's such a mommas boy that as long as I'm there I think he'll be OK. We will miss our family and I'm sad that my kids and my niece and nephews will not get to grow up together but I do know that this was God's will and we will go where he calls us.

On a less serious note some other thoughts I've had today are:
"I wonder if I could get someone to come and pack for me without it costing me extra"
"I have a lot of people I would like to see and not enough time to do it in"
"I wonder if the kids would notice if I just packed one container of toys and left the rest of them....of course they would notice" followed by...
"I need more Rubbermaid containers."
After packing one container I was tired and took a break and have not gone back to it. I think I work better under pressure, I'll just wait to pack until it's almost time to pack the truck.
Although everyone knows I'm a huge worrier and the longer I wait the more worried I'll get so it really isn't a good idea. Of course I will find something else to worry about in the mean time so I'm not sure it matters. I've really got to work on this leaning on God thing. It's a huge struggle for me.

Pray for me friends as we begin this new adventure.