Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fetching the Boys from School

For all my American friends, that means "picking up the boys from school." :-) I thought I'd give you a glimpse into the process of getting the boys from school in the afternoon. When we lived in Texas, the process of getting Caleb from school was this: get in car, drive to school, pick up Caleb. It's a little different here since I don't have a car. :-) And his school in Texas was on a huge piece of property; that's pretty different here, too.

When I start out walking from our place, this is what I see. We see a lot of cranes in Singapore because they are always building something!

Walking down the street (it's 647m from our place to the bus stop that gets me to the bus going to the boys' school. ..almost 1/2 mile. Yes, I mapped it on Google. )Crossing the street.
Sitting at the bus stop waiting for one of the 3 bus #'s that will get me to school.

Inside the bus. That purple and orange thing is where we scan our bus card.

Off the bus and walking down another street to school.

Almost there! The red roof behind the trees is their school. (The big white building is a church.)

The gate.
Inside the gate is the courtyard that functions as their check-in place and playground. They check their temperature EVERY day they go to school. Caleb's was high last week and he had to come home early.
Sitting outside the school putting on their shoes ready to head home.
Walking to the street to flag down a taxi.
We found one! Headed home for naptime.
I'm tired. Are you? :-)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Verse Two!

I found this verse while browsing another blog and really liked it. I want to be wakened morning by morning with ears to listen! It's longer than my last one. (If you'd like to use this Scripture for your memorizing and think it's a little long, just choose the first or second half.)

The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
~Isaiah 50:4 NIV

If you haven't memorized verse one yet, that's okay! Jot down verse two in the comments and write it down in your spiral/notebook/paper/blog...whatever. Just keep working on them. If you haven't joined us and want to, it's definitely not too late! Be sure to keep your Scriptures handy so you can refer to them often. If you're not writing them down on something portable, post them on slips of paper around your house so you can see them often. REMEMBER...let's not get legalistic about how we're doing this because that only sets us up for failure! Consistency is what we're after; it will pay off.

I'm so glad you have joined me in this! I really need the accountability, so it helps to have to post about it every two weeks.

Let's hear your Scriptures!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Attention

The boys have been competing for attention pretty severely lately. If Levi does something that makes us laugh, Caleb says, "Now I'll make you laugh." This is just the beginning of the sibling rivalry we expect to encounter over the years. We so much want them to be friends and NOT compete with each other, so that is definitely something we'll be working on!

Levi is learning to potty train. I left the boys in the bathroom to grab the camera and came back to this; Caleb is literally climbing the walls now:
My big boy!
And the big brother who said, "Now take MY picture." Can't bear for little brother to be the focus of our attention.
"Now ME, Mommy!!"
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shout Out

I have to say "Happy Birthday" so my sweet niece, Ava, whose birthday party is today. She is so sad that her Aunt Jennifer cannot be there and doesn't understand why they are not picking me up from the airport for her party. :-( Got to talk to her on Skype, but it's not the same as hugging her sweet little neck. She told my sister that her shirt said, "Dear Aunt Jennifer, Please come to my party." Isn't that so sad?

I love you, Ava Grace, SO much!! You are such a big girl and I'm so sad I'm missing your party today. I'll see you in a few months and we'll play on your new swing set. Happy Birthday, my sweet Princess.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Some Thoughts about Some Things

Here's a peek into our lives lately (warning: random thoughts ahead):

-When I get into a taxi with the boys, 9 times out of 10 the taxi driver asks me if they are twins. They are always surprised when I say no. And then they ask if the boys are a year apart. Again they are surprised when I say they are two years apart and Levi is only two years old.

-About 5 minutes after our floors have been vacuumed and mopped, the boys will spill something that has 10.2 million crumbs on it and it will have to be re-vacuumed. (We vacuum our marble floors because it gets more of the crumbs/hair than sweeping. And it's a LOT faster!)

-Every time we get out of a taxi and it drives off, Levi asks, "Where taxi going?" Every time. And every time I say, "to pick up someone else." Sometimes I feel like my life is set on repeat.

-I went to a clothing website today to look at a blouse. I clicked on "Sizing Chart" and found this information: "Please be aware that our clothing is Contemporary sized which runs small. Please refer to the following size chart below." That is code for nothing here will fit you, move on. I wonder how many other stores are going to "contemporary" sizes. Hmpf.

-Levi is showing us that he's ready to start potty training. If we ask him if he needs to go, he'll say yes, but he's unable to recognize this before he needs to go. We're not stressing about it, but just letting him get used to the idea. This is about the same age that Caleb potty-trained.

-I've had really amazing conversations about faith with more than one person this week. God is doing some cool stuff.

-I'm reading Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz and several other books right now.

That is all. :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Zoo

The Singapore Zoo is the best zoo I've ever visited. It's beautiful, and the landscape is so lush. Here are a few pictures from our Friday (last Friday!) at the zoo with friends.

My children, who are more interested in the cool outdoor sink than the rhinos:

Looking at the giraffes:

Caleb with an elephant mask the zoo was giving out
Checking out the white tigers (and a serious case of bedhead)


Playing in the truck at the "Down Under" section of the zoo:





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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Verse One!

Updated to add: Anyone is free to join! Just jot down your verse here and remember to come back on the 30th for the next verse. You can go to this post to see the Introduction.

It's time to record our Scriptures for the Scripture Memory Team! I'll give you a little background as to why I chose my verse.

Two words that sum up my goals for 2010 are intention and contentment. I want to be intentional in all my relationships. My kids are not going to grow up knowing and loving God without intentional parents who teach them Truth. My marriage is not going to grow and remain strong without hard work and effort and planning and connecting. I cannot let my life just pass by and not work hard at maintaining and growing relationships.

The second word, contentment, speaks to a big part of my life. I want to be content where I am and not wish for anything more than God's given me (like to be at home in Texas with my family or a host of other things I tend to have "the grass is always greener" syndrome about!). While missing my family is fine, I want to be content and at peace always with where God has lead our family, whether it feels comfortable or not.

So, my first verse is from Proverbs 14: 30 NIV:

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."

I encourage those of you who are participating to choose a short, one-verse Scripture this first time (unless you are proficient at Scripture memory). I also want to tell you to come here and record a new Scripture every time, even if you've not memorized the one before. This will help you to stay consistent, and you can work on all the Scriptures you've chosen. Just keep doing the thing and God will bless your efforts to be in His Word.

Now let's hear your Scriptures! Let us know which translation you've chosen as well.

Here's a link to Beth Moore's blog post where you can find tutorial videos with helpful tips for Scripture memory.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Acting surprised when God doesn’t seem close

I encourage you to read this short post. So much truth!

Acting surprised when God doesn’t seem close.

"Let’s put aside our surprise. Let’s stop pretending. Faith is a day by day, decision by decision, breath by breath kind of thing. And when we spend those days indulging in poison, we get poisonous lives."

Hard to argue that one.

Craft Time

The boys were sick for a couple of days, and Caleb loves getting out the paper and kid scissors, so we had quite a lot of craft time. Which really just means we make a really big mess. :-)
Always a clown in front of the camera:

and this one, too:

look what I made:

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Levi's Bloody Lip

Levi fell off a chair and greeted the marble floor with his face.

Not a happy guy:

Right after it happened:

About 20 minutes later (notice the bruising):

Showing you his lip:


I'm so done with marble floors!
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Scripture Memory--Want to Join Me?

This past year I participated in Beth Moore's 1st and 15th Scripture Memory Team. On the 1st and 15th of the month, we would pick a new Scripture to memorize. She told us to get a index card spiral (which you can buy at Walgreens or Wal-Mart in the States) in which to record our Scriptures so they would be portable. Mine were sometimes in my purse, sometimes in my Bible cover, at times in my carry-on luggage on long plane trips, and sometimes sat beside my bed for weeks on end. I am not a person who follows through on a project easily (as a teacher, my students would sometimes have to remind me that we had started a project months back), but this Scripture memory project I stuck with the whole year. It's a much better track record than my "reading the Bible in a year" attempts. By the end of the year, I had 24 Scriptures committed to memory. This is what my spiral looks like today (the front cover is barely hanging on!):


I wish I could express to you what these Scripture meant to me this year. I could not have known how God would use these Scriptures to challenge me, comfort me, hold me up when I most needed Him and His Word. I've been very open about my life struggles here on the blog, so you'll be able to see how some of these were used in my life. But I don't share everything, so just know that God did some amazing things using His Word in my heart.

This one, in particular, helped me through several tough situations:


And this is what happens when your child gets ahold of your spiral (see the tape?):


And this Scripture has become so precious to me, my favorite of all time. This is what I want my life to be about:

So, I've searched Singapore for spiral-bound index cards and found none, but I'm not going to be legalistic about that, so this is what I've done for this year. It works just fine (and a little notebook would work just as well):


I was sad that Beth Moore wasn't going to officially do the Scripture Memory team on her blog this year, but I've learned the habit, so I'm just going to keep doing it myself. The benefits are endless! If you want to join me and memorize 24 Scriptures this year, I'd love to have the company! Just leave a comment on this post. It's not easy, but what thing of value ever is? It takes work and perseverance, but it can be done!

Since it's past the 1st of the month (and, again, not going to be legalistic!), we'll just do the 15th and 30th (or 28th in February!). The point is to hide God's Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11-one of my Scriptures from 2009). And in order to do that, you have to start memorizing His Word! Isaiah 55:11 (HCSB) says, "My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and will prosper in what I send it [to do]." Indeed!

I'll post my first verse this Friday, January 15. If you want to participate, come back then and post the verse you've chosen. You can choose the same one I'm memorizing, or you can choose your own. (Sometimes I choose a Scripture I've seen in a particular study, or one I heard from someone else and want to memorize.)

I can't wait to see how God uses these 24 verses in my life (and yours) this year!

"But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law--the law that sets you free--and if you do what it says and do not forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." -James 1:25NLT (also one of my Scriptures for 2009!)

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Bonsai Garden

Inside the Chinese Garden, they have the Bonsai Garden. It was really cool. Enjoy the pictures...









what else is a 4yo boy going to do but try to climb the walls?? :-)


cool stone flooring


they had so many interesting structures. Loved the windows on this building:

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