Monday, September 29

Thank God it's... MONDAY!!!

Well, that's a phrase you don't hear too often isn't it? However, I am most happy that our weekend is over. We had an eventful, yet teary, weekend for sure. This post has the potential to be extremely long. So, I am just going to write in list form so that you can see how our weekend went. If you can get your hands on a recording of some screaming children to play in the background, that would really be helpful in getting the FULL effect.

1. Friday night, we made caramel apples together (Me, Caleb & Collin). I enjoy having caramel apples during the Fall and thought they would enjoy making them with me. It began with both boys crying because the caramel was sticky!! We were using the caramel that comes in sheets. You literally just LAY the caramel over the apple. But, somehow, Collin's ended up in one giant ball on the very top of his apple. So, he cried --screamed -- until I fixed it. The event progressed in similar fashion until the grand finale. As Caleb was putting the tray of apples into the oven, Collin decided to grab the oven rack. (This would be a good time to turn your recording of screaming children UP a few notches.) I began asking myself "why" I do these things to myself. Then, I remembered I wanted some good, Fall pictures. So, here they are.

Great Fall pics, huh!!

2. On Saturday, we played soccer in South Jackson. I was very excited about it, because Caleb is very fun to watch. Well, the SJ teams were a little tougher than our Clinton teams. Approximately 8 minutes into the game, Caleb came out crying. He stated that he wasn't going back in. He was just going to watch. "That team is too hard," he says. "I'm only playing the easy teams from now on." Now, I'm sure most of you can guess how Scotty and I handled this episode. Not well I can assure you. He was beyond frustrated and his logic was making me crazy. At this point I truly wanted to join in the crying/screaming myself. Finally, I told Caleb that he should just stop talking, because I was just getting more angry. (I know -- not very compassionate and motherly. The screaming just drowned it out.)

3. The weekend ended with a not so great confrontation with Scotty. Marriage struggles are always great right in the middle of child struggles. Lately, I have been thanking God for Jesus in the middle of HUGE life struggles like my friend, Stephanie, is facing. This weekend, I was reminded that I am so thankful for Jesus in the middle of just normal, family "stuff". "In this world, you will face troubles, but take heart, I (Jesus) have overcome the world."

There have to be so many other ways that God could have saved us all, rescued us and brought us back to Himslef. But, He chose to send Jesus right into this world -- the same world, with the same frustrations. I'm so thankful that He can relate. I'm also thankful that He reminded me right in the middle of a "not so great" weekend that these children are precious. And, I am grateful for every moment that I get to have with them (even the screaming ones).

And, surely I am due a great week after such a trying weekend. Oh, but maybe not. I just went to move clothes from the washer to the dryer and it looks like a pull-up got washed AGAIN!!!! If this has never happened to you, it is the biggest mess you've ever seen. I guess I better brace myself for more of the same. "I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength." Thank you, Jesus.

Oh, and I just have to throw in a picture of little Claire. She gets left out in my posts, because she is just so easy. She hasn't given us any really great stories, yet. So, this is what she looked like through most of the weekend's events. What an angel.

Thursday, September 25

Life Lessons from Kindergarten

Well, it happened today. I pulled up at Clinton Park, Caleb got into his seat and before I could ask about the day, he says, "I have a yellow light, for real." I looked at him to see if he was pulling another prank; and, clearly, he was not. His eyes were already filling with tears.

I guess I should back up. If you are not familiar with the happenings of a kindergarten classroom, you would not know that everyone starts on a green light each morning. The light can change as warnings are given for misbehavior. Before dismissal, the teacher places a colored dot on a calendar in each folder informing parents of how the day went. Up until today, Caleb's dot has been green. Not only that, he has been really proud of his green dot and eager to tell me of those whose lights have not been green -- those less fortunate children whose lights have been yellow, orange or even RED! which means they got 15 minutes of time out during playground time. If you've seen the playground at Clinton Park, you know this is surely major punishment.

But, today, Caleb's dot was yellow. He immediately began his story about how he and a friend were kicking under the table and the teacher saw them. They both had to change their light. I believe the word "mean" was used. And, he also said, "That's why I don't want to go to school anymore."

I assured him that we were going back to Kindergarten. But, as I asked more questions, Caleb says, "Well, Mom, I didn't think she could see me."

O.K. now we're getting somewhere. I wanted to pull off to the side of the road for this lesson. But, I adjusted the rear view mirror so he could see me and I could see him, and we had a little lesson on doing right even when no one is looking. (I hear you laughing at me, Alyson.) However, I secretly loved his answer. The honesty of a five year old is precious. Certainly if no one sees me doing wrong I'm not actually doing anything wrong.

We had a quick recovery, because today was also report card day. Our first report card; and, sadly, this former teacher was anxious all day to see it. He is just as brilliant as I suspected. And, his teacher had a few comments about how wonderful he is. I guess the comment section was completed prior to the kicking incident. So, I had my proud moment and we celebrated with ice cream.

Then, we came home to write an apology letter to Caleb's teacher. (Would any of you have expected anything less.) And, tomorrow, he will go back to his classroom where his light will miraculously be on green again, because every day holds the hope of doing things a little bit better than the day before. Another great lesson learned in Kindergarten.

Wednesday, September 24

A New Adventure

Life in the Rogers' home has been changing throughout the summer. Scotty has been experiencing some changes with a few of his jobs. I am smiling as I write this, because, if you know us you know that Scotty has more than a few jobs. Anyway, there have been some changes and one of his jobs ended in June. Due to the fact that I stay home, changes in his job situation affect our finances greatly. He has been very faithful to trust that God will provide, and I am happy to report that He has. Scotty began as the interim Preschool Minister at FBC Clinton this week. We are very excited about this job. I think that Scotty's gifts in working with families and his specific training in family counseling make this job perfect for him. And, it is truly an answer to prayer.

Earlier this year, FBC Clinton was an answer to our prayer for a new church home. We have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly we have felt "at home" there. The staff was so quick to welcome us and our Sunday School class has been great. We were most impressed with how much they did for and with our children. So, I am very happy that this place was also God's answer to our prayer for a job for Scotty.

On Sunday nights, we fellowship with our Sunday School class (and all of our families). This past Sunday, we took supper into the gym. We let the kids play while the adults visited. Anyway, as I was eating my supper, Collin appeared doing his "pee pee dance". All of you parents, know exactly what I am talking about. I jumped into action, because I could tell by the amount of dancing going on that he had waited too late, and we needed to find a bathroom QUICKLY. Unfortunately, we made it into the bathroom, but we did not get pants down before the pee pee was coming out. EVERYWHERE. Collin was screaming, because this never happens. But, mainly, he just didn't want to go home.

My great friend, Heather, offered some shorts that belong to Logan, her 2 year old. I asked Collin if he wanted to wear the shorts and stay. Of course, the crying ended immediately and we put the shorts on and out he went -- completely oblivious to all of the snickers going on as he exited the bathroom. He is 3 years old and pretty big for his age. So, Logan's shorts were clearly too small. Not to mention the fact that there was no shirt.

Now, let me just say, if this had been Caleb, I would have had to hide in the bathroom with him until everyone had left. Then, smuggle him out of the bathroom so NO ONE could see. Collin is all about the fun. He doesn't mind being laughed at. Actually, he really enjoys it. And, believe it or not. He woke up Monday morning and the first thing he said was, "I want to wear Logan's clothes today." Maybe I shouldn't have made it a big deal, but we had quite the argument over why he was not wearing the too small shorts again.

Collin brings such life and laughter to our home. With the fun, he brings some embarrassing moments. I'm sure this is only the beginning. But, he's so much fun. I continue to be amazed at how different each of our children are. Being a Mom is so great. (Most of the time. :)

Wednesday, September 17

Baby Noah in a Basket & Moses in the Big Boat!!!

On the way to school earlier this week, an interesting conversation was going on behind my head. We spend way too much time in the close quarters of our van early in the morning. Therefore, a wide variety of activities go on behind my head during that time. This morning, the discussion was spiritual in nature (my children are VERY advanced).

We have an awesome storyBible. Each night, the boys take turns picking a story, and this author does a remarkable job of re-telling the stories -- not just for kids, because I get a whole lot out of them too. But, this particular morning, I heard Caleb and Collin discussing one of the Bible stories we had read recently. Caleb was saying something about it being Baby Jesus in the basket, and I'm not sure the origin of this conversation. Collin was arguing that, "It was NOT!" By the way, that is generally how Collin responds to anything that Caleb says that early in the morning. He loves the response he gets from Caleb.

Rather than argue any more, Caleb says, "Mom, Collin said it wasn't Baby Jesus in the basket." I thought for a minute. Again, I'm not sure exactly what we are discussing. But, I said, "Well, Caleb, I don't remember Jesus being in a basket. We have read a story about Moses' sister putting him in a basket when he was a baby."

Caleb answers me, "Oh yeah." And, I think we are straight on our Bible trivia. Not quite. He then says, "Oh, and then, he grew up and got on the big boat?" Uh-oh. Where did I go wrong?

"No, Caleb." NOAH built the boat to prepare for the flood. I was a little concerned that we were headed for the cross since we did begin the conversation with Jesus. We did not go full circle, though. We ended with Noah.

It's difficult to know how much or how little of the Bible to discuss with our young children. This conversation is evidence to the fact that they can't really grasp all of it. If we're honest, we don't really grasp all of it, either. But, as I thought about that conversation later, I realized that there are many, many characters of study throughout the Bible. Each one of them has his/her own background, particular circumstance and encounter with God. I can see how it would be difficult to keep all of the details organized correctly. BUT, God, in each story is exactly the same.

And, it hit me. That is my job as their mother right now. To introduce them to the God that is to them exactly who He was to each person in the Bible. In every story, I want them to see God as their Father, the One who created them for a relationship with Himself. The God that knew we were going to mess it all up and devised our rescue mission before the first of His creation ever breathed a breath. For me, it doesn't matter so much that they get every detail of every story exactly right. It doesn't matter that they be able to recite hundreds of verses with reference following. I want them to KNOW the character of our God. I believe, in the long run, this knowledge will be far more effective in leading them to a relationship of dependence on their Heavenly Father. And, that is my prayer for each of them.

***Our wonderful Bible is called, The Jesus Storybook Bible. Caleb's best buddy John David was given one by his Aunt Casey. We have read through it several times and have given it to a couple of friends as a gift. If you are looking for a Children's Bible, it is a great one.

Monday, September 15

You Gotta Have Friends...

I'm just going to come out and say it. If it sounds as if I am bragging, well... I am a little. I had a FABULOUS weekend. My weekend was spent with three of my closest friends. These friends have been friends for over half of my life. We've known each other since elementary school but have been great friends since junior high. Their names are Stephanie, Laney and Macy, and we called ourselves SLAM, each letter for the first initial of each of our names (before you cast judgement on the fact that we named ourselves, remember that we were in Jr. High).

We grew up in McComb, MS; however, three of us (Me, Macy and Stephanie) moved away by 11th grade. So, I realize that it is pretty amazing that they are still my very close friends. No doubt, we stayed so close, because Christ has always been the center of our relationship. We know that He brought us together at a perfect time in our lives and has sustained our relationship over the years so that we could encourage each other and lift each other up. We have been through a lot together. Our trials began immediately, I guess, with the normal peer pressure issues. It is much easier to make good choices in a group rather than all alone. I never stop thanking God for the strength I gained from these girls during that time. However, that was just the beginning. We've faced good times and bad since then and shared them all together. This summer, Stephanie's husband, Jason, died after a 7 month fight against leukemia. Stephanie has three beautiful children (ages 6, 3 and 7 months) that she is now parenting alone, and I would be lying if I said that I didn't regularly ask God, "Why?????" We haven't seen Stephanie since the funeral, so we were all looking forward to a weekend together.

I didn't really know what to expect. I got so emotional just waiting for them to arrive. But, let me just tell you we did a whole lot more laughing than crying. There were tears, sure. Sometimes I think about what Stephanie has to deal with on a day to day basis and my chest feels so heavy it is hard to breathe. But, God gave us the gift of laughter this weekend. We laughed at old stories (very old stories), we laughed at stories about our children, we laughed at humor on T.V.( Did anyone see the Sarah Palin/Hillary Clinton skit on SNL?), and we even laughed at some things that are just really not funny. Oh, and if you happen to read this and you are someone that knows us from Jr. High, we are still obnoxious! Laughter is good medicine. And, I love these friends.

There is really only one way that we are able to laugh in the middle of this very sad story. Jason was a believer, so we know where he is right now. By the way, Jason and Stephanie began dating in 11th grade, so he knew all of our stories and was such a good sport about laughing with us. I don't know what of Earth can be seen from Heaven, but if he could see us, I'm sure Jason laughed along with us. But, mainly we can laugh, because Christ has become Steph's very life through this ordeal. She is depending on Him more now than ever. So, it is through our TRUST in Him and His plans, that we move forward in the midst of great tragedy. Jesus said, "I have come that you may have LIFE and have it to the fullest." We experienced the fullness of life this weekend. And, I didn't want it to end.

Stephanie, Laney, Macy, I love you so much. I wish we could be assured that this is the end of our trials. Probably not. I will never stop thanking God for the gift that He has given me in you girls. To everyone else, if you have stuck with me -- I really tried not to be long-winded, experience the irony of life in the midst of death. Our world is FULL of struggles, darkness and death. And right in the center is Christ calling us to Himself where there is only LIFE. You don't have to wait for Heaven where these tragedies will be over. He gave us abundant life HERE. Receive the gift and live.

P.S. Many of my dear friends from Clinton were excited with me about the SLAM reunion. They thought about us and prayed for us during the weekend, and that made me feel very loved. And, thanks, Dee Dee, for Newk's chocolate cake. It was delicious!!

Wednesday, September 10

Initiation in the World of Blogging

Well, I'm online. For months now, I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting many sites. I love reading about the lives of my friends and seeing pictures of those I don't get to see often. I even regularly visit sites of people I don't even know, but I have been encouraged by their journey. So, I'm joining you. I will try to use this site to update regularly about the happenings of the Rogers household. Should be interesting!

I titled my blog with one of my favorite verses. It has been a favorite verse for a while now. I honestly think the verse means so much to me, because food is so important to me. Seriously! I enjoy good food. I've know people who eat simply to sustain life. Taste is not important to them, they just eat to live. I wish that were the case with me. No, I enjoy the TASTE of food.

So, I can appreciate the word choice of the psalmist. For me, tasting is appreciating, enjoying, EXPERIENCING. The LORD is good whether we appreciate or not. He is good regardless of my enjoyment of Him. Sadly, He is good although some never experience it. I want to taste His goodness. In good times and bad, His love and goodness are evident. I don't want to miss it.

To the right, I have shared with you some of His goodness expressed towards me. I look forward to sharing more with you in the future. Until then, spend some time thinking about God's goodness. Let's enjoy Him, appreciate Him, experience ALL that He has to offer. It's what we were made for.