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Friday, April 20, 2012

Mission Completion!

I remember hearing those words when the kids were in their "Little Einsteins" phase...  at the end of the episode, once the job had been finished, Leo would always shout "Mission completion!"   That was how I felt when I finished the quilt I have been working on for my son's teacher.   

Much more than a teacher, she is an encourager, a true educator, a lover of books and words, a photographer, a ruby red birthday kisser, a very passionate woman who pours countless hours of love and hard work into my child and 19 others for 8 hours a day every day.   I have spent many hours in her classroom this school year, and I have seen the hand of God in her room.  I have watched the transformation of those kids as they mature through the year.  I have seen the light of joy in their eyes as they finally "get it" after struggling with a difficult concept.  I have seen her tediously, meticulously, and lovingly go over and over and over something until they grasp that concept. I have seen the explosion of excitement as kids achieve the next level of rocket math.  (Literally, it is an explosion I tell you.  Jumping, screaming, the whole bit!)  I have witnessed her patiently listen and mediate those difficult moments between kids that often come in second grade.  I have seen her comfort a hurting child, and I have seen her be Jesus with skin on.  I have seen her call a kid's bluff, and make them own up to it.  I have watched as she draws the budding scientist  out of 20 seven and eight year olds.  I have watched her dance around the room singing silly songs at the top of her lungs, and teach spelling words like a high school cheerleader (complete with megaphone and pom-poms). When it is time to have fun, she is loud, she is crazy, and she knows how to have big time fun.  When it is time to work, she is an incredibly hard worker, and expects her kids to do the same.  But even more than all of that, she is a friend. She is my friend.  And I am blessed.


I wanted to do something extra special for her.  Something as special as she is.  A "teacher appreciation week" gift, "end of the year" gift, "thank you for being you" kind of gift. 

I know she loves photography and quilts, and I know she loves her students, and I know she loves her color scheme in her classroom. So I combined the things I know she loves, and made her a quilt.  This quilt:

She loved it, the kids loved it, I loved it.
I loved seeing her enjoy it, watching all
 the kids as they pointed out photos of
themselves, and yelled
"OH, I remember when we...."  

over 850 individual quilt pieces
    175 days of school
    42 photos
    20 kids
+ 1 awesome teacher
Lawsonland 2011-2012...  priceless.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh the places we'll go....

Moving Day is almost here!  8 days. (That's how long our house was on the market too... 8 days!) That's all the time we have left to pack, clean, pack some more, use up the food in the freezer, and keep packing!  :)  We are so excited about the new home we feel God has blessed us with.  I am really looking forward to life in the new house, to hosting Bible Studies with friends and youth, hosting Disciple Now weekends, providing a safe haven where our kids and their friends can hang out and know that there will always be a warm hug, a listening ear, and a good snack.  A crafty place where we can create and make memories, and a comfortable place where we can relax and catch up.  A playful place where can be loud and crazy and dance around to our favorite music.

We had the boys make up lists of what they wanted in a new house when we were house hunting.  It was very helpful because it gave us a window into what they valued as important, and what kind of spaces they would need.   It also gave us a pretty good laugh on a couple of things, especially on Hunter's list.

AJ's List:                                                          Hunter's List:            
Separate Bedrooms                                           Playroom
Shed or Workshop for Dad & AJ                     Craft Room (this was on Momma's list too!)
Flat Driveway                                                   New Refrigerator
Basketball Goal                                                New TV
Place to Ride Bikes                                          Swingset
Place for Archery Practice
Climbing Tree

We did not get the new TV on Hunter's List, and we are pretty sure we won't be able to do the swing set either.  The Archery Range on AJ's list is pretty much a big fat NO, and there is not a tree big enough to climb... yet.   But other than that, we did pretty good!   The Lord has really blessed us, and we are so very grateful.  

If you'd like to see the "Before" photos of the new house, they are pinned on my Pinterest Board. I will try to post "After" photos after we actually get moved in.  :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quotes to live by...

I have been thinking about quotes a lot lately.   I have pinned several on my pinterest boards recently, and I love finding the quotes on photos, or quotes with interesting fonts.  Albert Einstein is one of my favorites.  He has SO many good quotes on a variety of topics.  While searching for something totally unrelated, I ran across a quote attributed to him that I had not heard before, and really liked it. 

So I made this...

AJ and his Daddy have always shared story time at bedtime.  It is their very special time of the day.  This photo was taken back in 2007, when AJ was 4. Now, both boys enjoy story time with Daddy right before bed.  Anyway, when I found this quote earlier today, I immediately thought of this photo.  

The true wisdom here is not in the reading of fairy tales, which I do think is important, but it is in the time spent together.   Did you know that the average working father spends less than one hour a day with his children?  One hour.  That makes my heart break.  But it also reminds me of another great quote I read this week...  "Don't marry a man unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him."  I am blessed beyond measure to have a husband who considers his family, his marriage, his sons a priority.  He takes the time to read bedtime stories, have tickle fights, and wrestling matches.  He recognizes the teachable moments and takes advantage of them.  He makes learning fun.  He does so much for our boys, and I am grateful.