Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sweet Jadyn's gift to Bryn

Jadyn went with me to the store today. I bought one of those frozen dinners that are warmed up in the skillet. I have only made dinner once since Jess passed (and it was spaghetti) so even though the skillet dinner was easy to make it felt good to make it. Jadyn was super excited because she got to pick out the giant teddy bear for Bryn-- Target didn't have any bears, so Jadyn picked out a big stuffed dog.

One of KK's friends has promised to get her a beta fish. When that happens, all three of my girls will have fish. KK has not decided on a name for it yet but topping her list is "Arwin the Cow." I'm pretty sure she gets her goofiness from me.

I went and picked out Jessica's headstone today. It was pretty cool because they were able to do it exactly how I wanted it. Tulips were Jessica's favorite flowers (they're also my Oma's) and even though there were no tulips on any of the designs, they're going to be able to put tulips on too. I want to wait until the stone is ready to visit her grave with my family-- so we'll go in about eight weeks.

Monday, December 29, 2008

An Early Post

Joanna and the Yikes. This picture actually goes with a story a few days ago, but it wouldn't upload before.

Katelyn let me know today although several of her guy friends were crying on the day Jess passed, Trevor wasn't one of them-- I incorrectly wrote that on an earlier post.

We had a great time at 6 Flags with the Weertmans-- friends of ours that have three boys. We're both not doing season passes next year so this one last hurrah before the end of the season.

I think the best thing about today was having coffee with my mother-in-law Judy. It was really nice to just talk about stuff like what we missed most about Jess. We we talked for over two hours! The only bad thing is that I forget to get the hot chocolate I had promised the Yikes and had to go back.

I appreciate your prayers for our family.

Asking for Prayers Again

Blogger has been so slow uploading pictures lately-- I finally got this one to get on here before the upload timed out.

Jadyn and Bryn Putting out Reindeer Food on Christmas Eve

I've been meeting with our pastor and a couple of other guys before church to look at a bible study that will be done church wide in the future. It wasn't the main focus of what he was talking about but our pastor said something today that I never knew. The history of Isreal the nation parallels Jesus's life. They happen in sequence so if you lined them up parallel to each Isreal's crossing the Red Sea would line up with Jesus's baptism which was followed by Isreal's 40 years in the wilderness and Jesus's 40 days. Pretty neat stuff.

You can pray for my sleep again. I was doing pretty well until I found out about some bad choices my dad is making. I'm not the only one who is not sleeping well-- please pray also for my stepmom, Donna Lucy and Hannah my sister who is 12. I feel uncomfortable giving details but a lot of you read the blog and we need a lot of prayer support. I sure do love my dad, so thank you.

The Yikes were supposed to spend the night at Jessa's grandparents but I forgot. I've already talked to them and the Yikes are going to spend the night later this week with them-- but it's an indication that my memory needs to be prayed for again.

Thanks for being my prayer warrior and good night

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bye Bye Mirage

Last night Bryn couldn't tell me what her nightmare was about, so I just laid down with her until she went back to sleep.

I sold my car today, a '98 Mitsubishi Mirage. I've been driving it for years now, but it was Jessa's originally. Jessica had a string of bad cars but this was her first good one, probably because it was new. I went with her to pick it out while we were dating. When our family got bigger we traded in my aging Eclipse for a Sedan and I've been driving it ever since. I think your wife should always drive the best car so she's always gotten the newest one. It felt really weird driving her Honda Accord at first, but it made sense to drive the better car. I haven't been driving the Mirage anymore and a friend of mine wanted something to keep the miles off his truck with good gas mileage so it made sense to sell it. Originally I was thinking about keeping it for KK but she refuses to drive a stick and she still has heart set on a Mustang.

The best thing that happened today was one of Jessica's friends, Joanna came by. They were best friends in elementary school until Jess moved to El Paso after a few weeks of going to Young Junior High (where I teach now). The Yikes are usually shy when they first meet someone but not with her. I had a late soccer game tonight so she graciously watched them while I was gone. I think they fit in a whole day's activities into two hours.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Katelyn and I had a pretty cool conversation tonight. We talked about how when Jessica was really sick, her boyfriend Trevor was a big support to her. On the day Jessica died, Trevor cried even though he never got a chance to know her-- only what Katelyn had told him. In the weeks that followed, he helped her get through the worst thing she has ever been through. I wasn't surprised that when Trevor asked her out after being a good friend first, Katelyn said "yes." Man-- Bryn just woke up with a nightmare-- I'll post tomorrow because it's already really late. G'night.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Another Midnight Post

We did indeed have a great Christmas. Bryn was unusually funny today which is saying a lot because she is the funniest person I know. When Bryn saw Santa had brought Jadyn a Nintendo DS, she remarked, "Maybe Santa will bring you a game to play on it next year." She'll be fine as she can borrow some of KK's DS games. The Yikes were super excited when they heard Santa on the answering machine today. Jadyn was so happy today I was surprised to find her crying when we got home tonight. She was a little sad that Santa didn't bring her a bell (something Jess never would have let happen-- I can remember dashing out on Christmas Eve because one of our kiddos had changed her mind about what she wanted for Christmas), but she was mostly sad because Bryn hadn't gotten the big bear that she had asked Santa to bring for Bryn. She and I worked it out though-- she's going to put one of her presents aside to be given at a future friend's birthday party and I'm going to spend the money I would have on that birthday gift on a big bear for Bryn. She felt much better after that and it's super sweet because she's giving up one of her presents so that Bryn can be happy. Santa put in my stocking a Nancy Drew Wii game which is amazing because he must have know that Katelyn and I have solved many a Nancy Drew game on our pc. Even though it's late we wanted to play it together-- so we playing it for a little bit (about 45 minutes) until midnight. I sure do love my three girls and I'm very thankful that they and I had a wonderful Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

The generosity of people toward our family during the Christmas season has left me speechless. All I can do is say thank you. A big thank you goes to Mosaic Church in Fort Worth for giving our family Christmas money, folks at Connect Church in Arlington for shopping for my girls, and the Sossamon family and the other folks at Best Buy for helping Santa out with electronics. I also am touched by the choir giving their Christmas gift this year to my girls' college fund. I also appreciate the rest of you the way you for loving and supporting us. You truly showing how 1 cor 12:12-14 is supposed to be lived out. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

We have laughed and cried today. All three of my girls had me laughing so hard today I got a cramp in my side (seriously). When a certain family member that normally leaves a message on answering machine from Santa forgot this year (ahem), Jadyn made me check my Yahoo to see if he sent me an email. I was trying to figure out which way to put the batteries in Bryn's camera when she asked me what I was doing. Since I was trying to figure which way the positive and negative sides were supposed to line up I told her that I was trying to figure out how to put her batteries in the camera. "Daddy," she said, "just put them in straight." As for KK, she had me gasping for breath about stories about her friends. My favorite one involved Bryn and happened while my brother-in-law Garett and I went to midnight mass (we're not Catholic but we were both up trying something new). KK's boyfriend Trevor called at midnight to wish her a Merry Christmas. Then the Yikes wanted to see a picture of him. KK showed them a picture of Trevor and two of his good friends and asked them who was the cutest. Bryn pointed to a pole that happened to be in the picture and said, "the pole."

The crying happened when we found ourselves missing Jess. Mostly because as Bryn says, "We used to be a family of five, but now we're a family of four." When we all lit a different candle for Jess, Bryn was sobbing. We all miss her. but we still have joy. Jesus was talking to his disciples when he said this but it applies to us, "You will grieve, but your grief will turn into joy."
I'm no longer dreading a special day without Jess; I'm ready for it and I'm going to enjoy it with my kids. Like Buddy the Elf says "I love smiling. Smiling is my favorite."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bus Pictures

Proof that the two happiest people I know are my Aunt Jacque and her boyfriend Jay

KK and her bff Chandler take hundreds of pictures of themselves each day, but they kind of freaked out when I was the one taking the picture.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Bus Full of Mcnutts

I actually had a good day yesterday, but wasn't up for writing. I'm having a better day today though and feeling up for writing again.

Yesterday, after church our big extended family went to look at Christmas lights (pictures to follow). This year we did it in style. Someone in our family won a Christmas light bus tour at a charity auction for breast cancer research. We had a 50 passenger bus in which we saw the lights at Interlochen and Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie. Jadyn got a light-up Christmas necklace at a midway stop, Bryn was a snuggle-bug and fell asleep, and Katelyn almost threw up because at the same mid-way stop she kept riding the same spinning ride.

I forgot to finish the Secret Santa story (thank you Aunt Jacque for reminding me). For Secret Santa we each got matched up with someone and bought them small gifts culminating in giving a toy to Mission Arlington in honor of your person. The toy is supposed to remind you of the person and people guess who your person is. For example the person who had me (one of our counselors) gave a soccer ball because I like soccer so much. My person was our principal and I was able to pick the perfect gift because of a fight that broke out before school. With the help of others I was able to push one of the boys off and then walk him until the building. At the same time our principal grabbed the other guy but people helping pull the boys apart actually cause both of them to fall. Our principal came up on top with the result looking something like a wrestling move. I heard the cheers of the students but didn't find out until later how it came down. Well at Walmart I found the perfect gift. It was a WWF wrestling set. It came with little wrestling figurines that you could catapult a wrestling cage.

We have had a lot people help out with things like laundry. Well, Bryn came up to me and wanted to know where the laundry basket that she and Jadyn share was. I didn't find out until later that day. Jadyn had seen that their laundry basket was full, so she put it outside so someone could take it and wash it. Now someone does still do our laundry on Mondays, but its not like the Tooth Fairy where you set out it out that night and get something different back in the morning. I know at least one of you at there is disappointed that it doesn't work like that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Post

No post tonight-- I'll post again tomorrow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Anniversary Letter to Jessica

Jessica Lynn Kaylor,

Tomorrow we would have been married ten years. I have to admit I am jealous that you have seen Jesus already, but I am very happy for you. Your last year was filled with pain and it brings me great joy to know you can run, skip, and do cartwheels. Do they have water in heaven? If they do I know you are swimming -- you have always loved water so much. We are doing fine just like I promised you we would be when I spoke to you on the day you died before the rest of our family arrived. There have been days when that promise has been stretched and we have been broken and feel helpless, yet, we have grown closer as a family and we are healing from losing you. Without you here, Katelyn talks to me more often about important stuff. She has a boyfriend now (don't worry I'm sticking to the group date rule) It makes me sad that we can't talk to each other about her growing up. I love her as if she were my own flesh and blood. God gave me a present when she came into my life when I met you. Jadyn still gets mad sometimes but she also lets herself be sad. We write notes back and forth about our feelings. She has become even closer to Bryn. Bryn talks about missing you a lot. She misses snuggling with you, you reading books to her, and your special goodnight kisses. God has kept the promises He made to me of love and support. I've said it to you before, but isn't it cool how He uses people to accomplish His purposes? I wanted to visit your grave tomorrow by myself, but I want to wait until your grave marker is done. Are you surprised that I thought I had already taken care of ordering it, but I didn't? Your friends and family miss you. I know some of them still call your cell phone to hear your voice when they get your voice mail. You may no longer be my wife, but you will always be my friend. I love you.

See you in 50 years,

Ice Sculpture Pictures Part 2

Bryn smiling through an opening in an ice sculpture

Bryn fell asleep at dinner

Ice Sculpture Pictures Part 1

All bundled up and ready to go through the ice exhibit at the Gaylord

Jadyn poking out through an ice gingerbread house

Ice Scupltures

Blogger is acting up again when I try to upload images, but when it decides to cooperate I've got some pictures I want to share.

I dressed up as Santa at the Young Christmas assembly today. Even though it was very hot underneath the suit, it was also a lot of fun. From the kids reactions today , I'm thinking you can never be too old for Santa. I got to sing in the faculty choir too--our choir teachers at Young (Mrs. Ice and Mrs. Jones) are amazing-- they ensured we sounded really good. I thought it very appropriate that Mrs. Ice was selected as Teacher of the Year today-- she deserves it. She is retiring this year which I thought made it doubly appropriate. She leaves the choir in good hands with Mrs. Jones.

I took the Yikes (along with friend of their's) to see Ice Sculptures at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine. It was pretty incredible-- but wore the kids out.

Before we went Bryn got to hang out with a friend and Jadyn got to help deliver toys to Mission Arlington. Katelyn is spending the night with a friend tonight.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Party Pictures Part 2

Jadyn playing "hot" Christmas stocking where whoever is left holding it gets some candy from it

Jadyn proudly showing off a cookie she decorated herself

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Party Pictures

It was really special surprising Bryn and Jadyn by showing up to their Christmas parties.

Bryn doing a dress-up relay

Bryan and I

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bike Rides Part 2

I am going to the girls' Christmas parties tomorrow (I forgot to mention when the parties were in my previous post). The girls were fine when I told them I couldn't go, but they are going to be super excited when I show up. They make me feel like a million bucks all the time-- I'm hoping I can do the same thing for them tomorrow.

Jadyn and Bryn both wanted me to write about them. Jadyn got to wear her pj's to school as they were having a Polar Express Day-- she was super excited especially when I teased her this morning about needing to get some regular clothes on so she could go to school. Bryn was sweet when she made me a birthday present today in after school care. She had wrapped a picture in construction paper. She asked me when my birthday was (July 21st) and had me tell her how to write it. When I asked her if I really had to wait to July to open it she said, "Yep." She later relented and let me open it in the car.

I didn't turn sixteen until I was a junior in high school, so mostly I got rides from friends but I also rode my bike quite a bit. One night I was riding my bike back from a friend's house when I noticed that my bike light was slowly dimming. I didn't have any back-up batteries so I started pedaling faster. If you have ever been in the country on a moonless night, than you have an idea of how pitch dark it was. My light slowly began disappearing until it finally went out. I could no longer see the road, so I had to rely on the sound and feel of the road to make sure I stayed on it. I was also worried about a car coming and hitting me as they would not be able to see me as I pedaled along on the country road. That night I definitely did not take my normal path as it took hours to make it home, but somehow I made it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bike Rides

I have been in the best mood today-- it hasn't been a perfect day but it has been one of those days where I feel like God is touching my life and saying I'm proud of you. This morning one of the counselors at my school came up and told me I could go to the kids' party. I had no idea what she was talking about. Then she told me it was my kids she was talking about and I could go to Yikes's Christmas parties. Brynny's is in the morning, so she is going to cover my morning duty and since I have planning and conference first thing I'll be able to make it back before I have to teach. Then she said they had me covered for Jadyn Rose's party at the end of the day too. I got goose bumps. I'm not going to tell either of them-- I'm just going to surprise them when I show up. The rest of the day was nice too, but I got the best feeling coming back from the store just now. We have been doing Secret Santa at my school and the last gift is supposed to be a toy. The toy gets donated to kids in need, but the idea is to get a toy that reminds you of your person. I found the perfect gift-- I won't spoil the secret, but I will be sure let you know Friday.

I was thinking about cool stuff that has happened in my life-- and I got to thinking about times when I have gotten lost and yet found my way home. One time when I was very little I went on a bike ride with my mom and my sister (my other sisters weren't born yet). I started daydreaming. Then I looked around and realized that I was alone. I pedaled as fast as I could to catch up but quickly found myself going down an unfamiliar streets. I panicked and pedaled faster but it didn't help. I began thinking I would never see my family again and I started crying. I kept trying to find the way and my face was now wet with tears. Then two women saw me and stopped. I weighed my options stay lost or risk going with them. I went with them. They drove to a pay phone and were able to call my house because I knew my phone number. They got directions from my mom and drove me to my house. I was very grateful and relieved to finally be back at my house with my family. Tomorrow I'll tell a very different story of another bike ride I took in high school.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Every Day

My sis posted a really nice post about Jess on Nov. 16th that I've neglected to mention until now: Here's the link to her blog http://www.maxtedfamily.com/

Today was a good day. It was pretty cold day today but I have a really warm coat for my morning duty before school. I was pretty amazed though as some students arrived in shorts and t-shirts. Some even wore flip-flops. Either they were transfer students from Alaska or they were in denial. All of my classes are now reading Anne Frank the play. One of my students summed it perfectly when she said this stuff is pretty cool-- I mean no it isn't, but it's cool anyway.

Every day Katelyn tells me how many days it is until Christmas. She has been doing that for over a month now. Bryn always tells me the same thing every day as I drop her off, she tells me that she will tell me if she gets to be the line leader or caboose. She used to tell Jess that even when she was too sick to respond back. Jadyn always asks me what we are doing. It just about drives her nuts when I say I don't know yet, but when I'm able to tell her an hour-by-hour schedule she is heaven. I think the only thing I tell me kids every day is that I love them.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The End to a Nice Weekend

Today while Bryn and Jadyn were putting up their clean clothes they were singing made up songs. It's pretty cool when they are getting along great and having fun. We've had a full house this weekend with my friend and his kids in from East Texas and my father-in-law in from Portland and we have all had a great time.

Next week I'm going to court to get Jessa's will probated. The great thing is that the court date will be when I am out of school so I won't get docked pay again. I feel a little bad that Because I don't want my pay to be docked, I won't be able to go to the Yikes' Christmas parties this week, but I've talked to them about it and they are looking forward to me to going to their in-school activities next year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Falling Asleep

Yesterday's excitement included helping to break up a fight at Young even before school started. I felt like God had put me in the right place and the right time to help break it up. It was pretty funny though hearing the story embellished by the kids: the rumor mill said I had gotten hit in the face five times and one of the boys running away afterward (neither of which happened). After school, Jadyn and Bryn had talent show run-throughs at 5:30 and 7:00 respectively. We ate dinner at about eight and made it home by nine. I lay down at about 9:30 to rest for a minute and fell asleep. That would be why I didn't post last night. The amazing thing is the kids put themselves to bed (even Katelyn).

Today we spent the day at Six Flags with my father-in-law and saw Katelyn perform a song there with her choir. Watching Katelyn hang out with her friends at 6 Flags tonight reminded me of a trip I took in 9th grade when we were living in Philly. At the end of the year we took a class trip to Dorney Park. The school had a rule that if you had gotten in trouble too much you couldn't go, and a lot of my friends couldn't go. The really neat thing is going on the trip made me hang out with people I didn't know as well. Girl-wise I even dated one of the girls I met that day. I really think the people you hang out with are going to influence the person you will become. I am so glad that Katelyn has chosen her friends wisely.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

16 Cents

I had a really good day today. It was a busy one, but I didn't feel overwhelmed. I think that's mostly because with a lot of stuff I just said "that can wait until tomorrow" but it also has to do with enjoying the moment instead of thinking ahead to what is coming next which is what I normally do. The best thing that happened today was when I made a stop for Jadyn and Bryn at the dollar store (where they got to spend you guessed a dollar) and they got super excited that I paid the tax. That is sixteen cents well spent.

The greatest thing about not having anything but the possibility of God in your life is that it can be easily grasped. That's what happened to me. I had nothing left in my life to hold onto. Some people suggest a simple prayer asking Jesus in your life. Mine was the simplest prayer ever-- with tears running down my face I just said "yes." With that one word I understood that to really love and forgive others you must be loved and forgiven first. I would not say that being a Christian has made life easy (I think my life has been harder than most) but I would say that it has meant living the life I was intended to live.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jadyn's Christmas List

Tail Spin

We read "Pecos Bill" today in class so I wore the cowboy hat I'll be wearing for my part in Bryn's talent show. It was a lot of fun-- it got me thinking about wearing overalls and a straw hat when we start reading Tom Sawyer.

The temperature dropped today and I realized that although the Yikes have coats they didn't have thick ones. One quick trip to the store fixed that-- I got them reversible ones which is pretty cool because when they forget one on the playground it will be like losing two. The most exciting thing today though is that Bryn has learned to snap and unsnap her pants-- she is super excited and proud. KK just came in after going out for dinner after her basketball game. She almost didn't make it in because I left the door open for her. She of course didn't try to open the door and instead tried to unlock it which of course really locked it. I heard her grunt and go say "What the heck?" Then she retried but turning it one way which unlocked it and then back again to try and unlock it again, but of course she locked it again. She finally got it open but not before she and her friend Kim who had walked her up were laughing hysterically.

On with the camp story. I remained bothered by being forgiven because of "what Jesus did" the rest of the summer. I still didn't believe what my fellow counselors did, but although I was intrigued I also didn't see the benefit of being a Christian. I still didn't believe in heaven or hell. That was when bad things started happening to me. I got ticked off at my best friend from high school and when I peeled out in my car I hit car head on. Although the force sent my car spinning off the road onto another road and then into a tree, my car was wrecked but I came away with only a concussion. I took a flight back to Texas where things got worse. I started losing all my other friends due to them moving, fights, whatever. My dad and step-mom began preparations to move to Maryland which would leave me with no family in Texas. I was in serious danger of losing my job and became estranged from my boss who had become like a dad to me. Not only was my life spinning out of control, I had lost my support system. Find out what happened next tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tied Up

This year has been a special year for me with my students at school, so I told them if they were planning on getting me something they should get me a tie with their name written on the back. That way when I wear their tie, I'll think of them and remember them. Since I have started teaching at Young, I have worn a suit every day with just one casual day. Today I wore my first tie from a student. It's a fun tie because she bought me a white tie one and then wrote all over it with lots of cool words.

Sometimes bad things turn into good things, but it can take awhile. At camp, we spent most nights in cabins, but one night a week we spent it under the stars. Well one week I was paired with my bestie (that's junior high slang for best friend) at camp, Jenny. We had a great week until we got in an argument, and she got pretty mad at me. Afterward we took our kids to watch two other counselors perform a two man play. It was pretty dumb; the gist was an astronaut visited another planet except they didn't kill the savior of the world like they did on planet Earth. After the play, Jenny came up to me and said, "I can't forgive you on my own, but because of what Jesus did for me I forgive you." I was stunned for two reasons: 1) I didn't understand why a play that dumb could trigger a response like that and 2) I didn't understand what she meant. What did Jesus dying have to do with her since he died before she was born? More importantly, what did that have to do with her forgiving me?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. I am going to be a Christmas card slacker this year. Every year Jess would make sure we had a really cool family picture-- pick out a great layout and mail out Christmas cards. The best things about Jess are definitely the most painful right now and I treasure the memory of her doing our cards. Therefore this year I am going to wish everyone a Merry Christmas without sending out cards.

There our a couple of other things I have been thinking about for Christmas-- one of them was taking a family vacation someplace fun. We may do that some year and I think it would be a blast, but this year we are going to stay home and keep it simple. It took Jess and I a long time to come up with our version of how Christmas would be done. We had to find the answers to: What does Santa bring? How many presents should each kid get? How many presents do you get to open on Christmas Eve? I have decided that those answers will stay the same this year, but I also would like to do something in remembrance of Jess. I am thinking of each us lighting a candle for her on Christmas.

In high school I had a friend named Mark that would pray over his lunch before he ate it. He even prayed over snacks-- it was the weirdest thing seeing him pray over a pretzel. Back then, I could see why people would pray at dinner with their families, but I couldn't understand why Mark would want to do it by himself. Just as puzzling as Mark, that summer I found out that the other counselors would say and do things to me that made no sense at all. One week I was paired up with a girl named Kerry. When I asked Kerry what she thought of some simple changes to a bible verse to make it better, she flipped out and said I couldn't do that. Despite their weirdness though, I couldn't help making friends with everyone there. Probably my best friend there was a girl counselor named Jenny who I got along great with until one week. You'll hear that story tomorrow.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Relaxing Sunday

Today was a good day. We went to church, relaxed at home, and watched the Cowboys play at Jessa's parents (I love close games and today's was a close one with the 'boys losing in the final minutes). I also got to play indoor soccer (we won 3-1).

I was thankful that I got a bible before camp started, but I was still nervous. I remember pulling up to meet the other counselors and being surprised that they knew who I was before I even introduced myself. Looking back it may have been because I skidded up in a gold hatchback with heavily tinted windows and the radio blaring. Or it may have been the longer hair and the goatee. Or the earring. Later one of the counselors would tell me that she didn't think I looked like the outdoor type which is funny because I love the outdoors. She wouldn't be the only who whose stereotypes would be broken. That summer my stereotype of what it meant to be Christian would be shattered.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Polar Express

I love hearing stories of Jessica's influence, here's another one:http://www.teamcontinuum.net/athlete_page.asp?eid=22&uid=83931

Today all three of my girls were healthy. Tonight KK went to sleep over at a friend's house and the Yikes and I went hot-tubbing at our friends' house. It felt great to be outside in water in December, but Bryn and Jadyn took it a step further. They double dog dared each other (I'm not making this up) to jump in the nearby ice-cold pool which they did. Actually they had so much taking the polar plunge and then racing back to the hot tub, that they kept doing it.

I got the phone call from the camp director weeks later. He had gotten unanimous approval from the camp board and wanted to offer me a job. I excitedly told him "yes" and that excitement lasted until I got off the phone. I had never been to a camp before let alone a Christian one, so I had lots of nervous questions. Would I be able to make friends with the other counselors? Was camp going to be boring? Was the food going to be edible? (I had seen Ernest Goes to Camp) Where do you get a bible anyway?

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Big Question

It was practically another restful night except for Jadyn throwing up. This is kind of gross so you may want to skip to the next paragraph. She sleeps in the top bunk and didn't want to throw up in her bed-- so threw up over the side of the bed that touches the wall. What this did was create a trail from the top of the bed until it pooled in the carpet down below. It actually wasn't that bad cleaning it up though. For her part, Jadyn got to enjoy a day of tv and rest at MeMaws and Popos.

Jadyn felt better tonight, but didn't want to pose for a picture. Behind Bryn, you can see our tree that Bryn and Jadyn decorated all by themselves.

When the camp director called me up he asked me some questions that were standard interview fair before he asked the big question on his mind: why was I applying to a Christian camp if I wasn't a Christian? To be honest I was just as mystified as he was. I tend to jump into things without thinking them through, but practice doesn't make the embarrassment any easier to handle. Despite that, he liked what I had to say about the most important thing working with kids is to love them. For me what I am teaching is never as important as who I am teaching. I think I also surprised him when I said I would have no problem teaching weekly bible lessons as long as I was taught the material ahead of time. To me it was no different than teaching any other subject that I didn't know yet. Before I got off the phone with him, he said that even to consider someone like me, he would need unanimous approval by the camp board of directors.

Bryn's New Hair Cut

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Application

I went to sleep early but got up about two hours early too. Not on purpose of course. I'm hoping tonight I will fall asleep early and sleep through the night but either of those will do just fine. Jadyn had her first practice for talent show after school today. I'm not sure what song, but I know it's from the 50s because Jadyn will be wearing a poodle skirt. Aunt Sandy picked Bryn up from after school care and Jadyn from talent show and took them to get haircuts. We got home late tonight, but tomorrow I'll take pictures and post them; they look adorable.

As I was going through that summer application I felt confident on all but one of the questions. Most of the questions were things like: Previous experience working with kids? Teaching soccer skills to elementary and preschool kids. References? I had good ones. However, my honesty got the better of me on this question: Are you willing to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ? No. Then I wrote this explanation: I'd put "yes" if I could but I'm not a Christian. Tomorrow I'll tell you about the phone call I got from the Christian director of the Christian camp.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Going to Sleep Early Again

I think I finally turned out the lights out at about 10:45 last night and fell asleep almost immediately and didn't wake up until about 6 which is pretty good for me lately. I'm tired tonight too-- so it would be pretty cool to fall asleep before 11 tonight as well. I got to see Bryn's talent show act for the first time tonight. She and her friends our doing a father-daughter dance to the song "Itty Bitty." I am super excited because I have a feeling this is going to be something Bryn will remember for the rest of her life. The steps seem pretty simple, but I'm going to make sure I know them so that her lasting memory will be a positive one.

To continue, with yesterday's story, my journey began with filling out applications for a summer job. I wasn't having any luck, so I started thinking about places that would want to hire me just for the summer and I came up with the idea of doing summer camp. On the plus side I knew it would be fun working with kids on the down side it was a Christian camp. I try to be honest even when it's uncomfortable, so wait to you hear what I put on the application.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Going to Bed Early Tonight

I've been praying for my mind to stop racing at night so I can sleep restfully. I think tonight might be the night because I am feeling really tired and it's only 9:30. I know many of you have been praying for me to sleep well and I really appreciate your prayers. I feel like God has sustained me this far because I shouldn't be able to function on the little, restless sleep I have had.

Before I go to bed though, here is my first installment of the story I promised you. In college I didn't see what God had to offer. I thought being a Christian meant two things: 1. not doing bad stuff and 2. giving away your money. I figured I'd keep my money and have the common sense not to do things that have consequences I didn't like. I didn't know it but my stereotype of a Christian was about to be challenged in a way I never expected.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ripped Packagd Part 2

When I told Jadyn that I wrote about her ripping the paper on her package, she was upset. At first she thought that no one would want to give her any presents now. That of course isn't true but I wasn't able to convince her until I told her that I also wrote about me doing the same thing when I was little. It was bedtime so I lay down with her until she fell asleep because I wanted her to feel the love and acceptance that comes not with doing the right thing but comes despite doing the wrong thing. I needed tape to fix her rip in the Christmas package but I needed love to fix the rip I made in her.

One thing Jess shared about herself but I haven't yet about myself is how I became a Christian. We both became Christians at almost the same time about a year before we met. Is it an amazing tale that I will let you decide if it was a string of coincidences or if it was planned by God. That story will begin tomorrow.