Friday, June 19, 2009

Three Works in Progress

I feel like this week began my summer for me because we've been traveling so much the last few weeks. And thanks to RE-reading the FlyLady book, Sink Reflections, on the road trip to Illinois, I'm now so motivated to get my house in order and totally DECLUTTERED! I have 3 HUGE goals for this summer:

1. To TOTALLY declutter our house and establish the cleaning routines that FlyLady teaches. I know they work--I was really doing well with some of the routines I established a few years ago...I think it was before Ethan was born...having a baby kinda throws you into CHAOS! Well, I'm finally to a point that I think I can start establishing some daily routines to keep our home "blessed." You can check her out at

2. To attempt to POTTY TRAIN ETHAN. This is HARD and not going so well so far! We (really, I should say "I") started trying to get serious about this on Tuesday. That day we went through 4 pairs of big boy underwear, a pull-up, and 2 diapers in 12 hours...and not ONCE did he potty in the potty! I think he might have gone twice since then in the potty. It's extremely difficult but he is actually ok with me putting him on the potty seat now. He used to cry and say NO every time I took him to sit on the potty. And he really likes wearing his big boy underwear...he just doesn't really care if they get wet. He just keeps on playing! We needs lots of prayer and patience in this area.

3. To lose the 20 pounds that I've managed to gain over the last year. I tell everyone that this move has been detrimental to my health and it has! I finally faced the hard facts and went back to Weight Watchers on Tuesday. I have gained 10 pounds since the end of January! I know one huge contributing factor is that I quit going to Curves...we could NOT get it to work in our schedules. I truly believe exercise is the key...that's how I managed to maintain for the last 3 years! Well, I've recommitted to exercising at home and have only missed one day this week so far. And I've recommitted to writing down what I eat because that is another HUGE key on helping with the weight loss. I know HOW to lose weight--I could teach all of the Weight Watchers lessons--I've heard every version of them off and on for the past 20 years! I know what works...I just have to "work the plan" as they say at the meetings. I'm committed again because I don't want to be HUGE and depressed when we go to Disney at the end of the summer! :)

OK, so I've posted my now I have to be accountable...

Now, I'm going to exercise and get that checked off my to-do list for the day. :)

Memory Verse #12

Wow! We're halfway to our goal now and halfway through the year! I'm still so thankful for Beth Moore giving us this challenge! I am working on memorizing scripture more than ever--except when I used to do Bible Drill in 4th-6th grade! I still remember sitting UNDER my desk in my bedroom, practicing my verses. I LOVED it! And I'm so glad I did! I still remember a lot of those verses and rely on them! ("Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.") I'm thankful that God allows my memory to still work too--they say as you get older it's harder to remember things and Evan reminds me daily that I'm getting old! :)

OK, I digressed a's memory verse #12...

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Busy Summer...Already!

OK, this is quite a long one...we've been on the road quite a bit since June began so I'm going to try to catch up a little now.

Aunt Sandy & Uncle Myron Celebrate 50 Years of Marriage!

The McCarty clan traveled to Paris, Illinois, on Thursday to visit with our relatives and celebrate my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. It was a pretty quick trip, but we all enjoyed seeing everyone! We drove a little over 1600 miles between Thursday and Monday! Evan and Ethan are such great travelers! We caravanned with Mom, Dad, Mauri, & Caleb in one vehicle, Kevin, Ami, Luis, and Lilliana in another, and the four of us and my sister, Shellye, in the van. We didn't make it there in the fastest time, but that was ok!

Saturday was the big reception at the First Assembly of God.

This is Aunt Sandy, Uncle Myron, and my cousins, David, Steve, and Dianne. They had a really nice reception at the church.

This is their wedding attire and their vows from their wedding! (Now I see where I get my "pack rat" tendencies.) :) This was a really neat display in the center of the room!

Mom and Aunt Sandy (They both hate having their pictures taken but I made them anyway.) :)

Aunt Sandy & Uncle Myron with me.
My cousin, Jeff, and his wife, Jan. (I had some really funny pictures of them and my cousin, Dianne, but I didn't post them...although I really wanted to. They would probably never forgive me.)

Our delicious cream cheese mints! I think we made about 500 of them! They were SO good right out of the freezer!
After the reception, we had a big picnic at the local park, Twin Lakes. The weather was so nice while we were there--around 75 every day! Wow! I wish we could have that weather here!
Dianne brought all sorts of toys for the kids to play with--balls, bubbles, jump ropes, balloons, frisbees (everything yellow because that was the color of their wedding). The kids loved it!
Ethan kept trying (and succeeding) to pop the balloons!
This is my crazy son! He loves to pose!
Can you tell we have a "tween" on our hands? He loves to swish his hair around!
Some of the family visiting after supper.

Every time we visit each other, Evan and Alyssa have to see who is tallest (they are only 3 months apart)...Alyssa won again and Evan wasn't too happy.

Ethan decided he liked sitting on Jeni's kitchen counter to eat...that kettle corn was so sinful! Ethan and Evan both enjoyed playing with their cousins, Morgan, Alyssa, Zach, and Jake. (OK, Jeni, why do I never get a picture with you in it?)

I guess I didn't get a lot of pictures of everyone, so those will have to do. Now, we're back in the 99.4 degree heat. (We got back just in time for Bible study last night. It was nice to sleep in our own bed, but I do miss my family!)
My Silly Son

Ethan has "found" a new toy to play with...Evan actually bought it over a year ago, and Ethan rediscovered it a few weeks ago. It's a little parrot that repeats everything you say with a much higher pitched voice. It's really funny but after awhile it gets a little old. He walks around the house with it ALL the time now. He also made Evan let him borrow his goggles and would NOT take them off. They were all steamed up and he couldn't even see out of them, but he just had to have them! He has such an imagination!

Evan is a Rebel!

(Flo told me I had to write this little story so here goes.) Last Wednesday, Evan decided to go outside and play for awhile. He told me he was going to ride up and down our dead-end street on his electric scooter. After a little while, he came in all flustered and said, "I just got pulled over by the police!" He said that he was about to pull in to park his bike and the Star Harbor police man pulled him over and said that his electric scooter was illegal to ride. The police man said you aren't supposed to ride things with motors in Star Harbor, but Evan thought in his head, "Well, what is a golf cart?" But he was very polite and said, "Ok, sir."
We had no idea...he's been riding it for a year now! It only goes up to 12 miles per hour and isn't any different than all of the golf carts that constantly roam the roads. He was so shook up about it! He told everyone that he saw at church that night! So...we've parked it in the garage for now.

Our Baby Deer

We think that two moms have had baby deer now--one with twins and one single one. Evan took these pictures from our back yard one evening last week. We are so mesmerized by them!

Another Quick Trip to Texarkana
On June 4, I got to see my college roommate, Deena, for about 24 hours! While it was a short visit, it was so relaxing! We spent the night with her friends, Elizabeth, Violet, and Katherine. We attended the Great American Scrapbook Convention on Friday. It was a scrapbookers dream! A huge convention center with classes, a place to crop all day, and a HUGE exhibit hall! We had a blast! I'm now motivated to get back to my favorite hobby that I haven't been able to do since we moved!
After dinner, I drove home from Arlington and got to Malakoff about 10. Then, Eric and I hopped in the car and drove to Texarkana for 4 reasons: to pick up our boys that had been visiting Grammy & PawPaw for the week, to celebrate Mauri's birthday, to celebrate Shellye's birthday, and to attend Kevin Barnhart's wedding! We didn't get there until 1:30 am! We had a full day and then headed back to Malakoff late that night!
Ethan and Lilliana wanted to help Shellye & Mauri blow out the candles!

Ami & Lilliana

Our First Boating Adventure
On Memorial Day, Andy and Helen Jackson invited us to come over for dinner and a ride on their boat with Doris & Harold Shields. It was so much fun! The weather was so nice and all 3 boys (Evan, Ethan, AND Eric) LOVED it! I enjoyed it too! There were a few times that we got wet but it was really pretty and neat to see all of the beautiful homes around Cedar Creek Lake.
Andy let Evan "drive" for awhile.
Ethan was really quiet, taking everything in...he had a good time though!
My happy husband! He really wants us to buy a boat someday! (That will come only after I get a back porch and he gets his shed. We have a lot of saving to do!)

Andy just ran over some big waves and got all of us wet...especially Helen and Evan! What a blessing to have great friends to spend time with when we don't have our family here every day!

So...that's about it for now...I did get really motivated as I read my FlyLady book on the trip to and from Illinois. It's a great book about organizing and cleaning and establishing routines that will bless our home. I'm hoping to get a lot accomplished this's all about BabySteps she says!

One last thought...does anyone really read this? I know this blog is more of a record of our family journey but I just wonder if anyone else reads it. Will you let me know if you do? Please leave me a comment! It will make my day! :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another Summer...Another Move!

Well, it's official! I finished teaching at Athens High School on Tuesday and now I'm off to start a new adventure at Malakoff High School. I'm going to be teaching part-time (5 periods of Algebra 2) each day. I'm excited that God is blessing us with a new opportunity. Here's how it all came about...

This year has been especially challenging for us as a family because we moved 3 hours away from everything that I have known for 30 years—my family, my church, my school “family,” my comfort zone. We truly believe that God works everything for GOOD and we feel that we made the right decision and are already being blessed in so many ways.

Several months ago when the stress was getting to me, we started praying about what to do with my job. I came across this verse that helped me make it through the rest of the year…it’s Isaiah 48:17. “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

At this time in my life, my most important responsibilities are to be a good wife and mom to my two boys. I feel that I have neglected them a LOT this year as I had to spend a TON of time doing homework to learn Calculus. After awhile, I began thinking that the answer would be to teach part-time so I could have more time for my family. I asked the administration at Athens if I could teach part-time and at first they were very encouraging to me about it. Then, a few months ago they told me that would not be a possibility. I felt crushed because I really felt that was the answer to my prayers. About a month ago, Malakoff had a math opening and I asked if part-time would be a possibility for me and they said yes.

When they offered me the job, it was still a difficult decision for me to make. My husband will tell you that I was still reluctant because I feel so badly for all of my juniors that I prepared to take Calculus with me next year. I am a loyal person and I get very attached to my students very easily and I did not want to upset them. I also think about all of the work that I did this year learning Calculus and I won’t be teaching it again next year. However, I truly believe that God does everything for a reason, and I know He is trying to teach me some important life lessons through all of this.

After much prayer and discussion, we decided that I needed to do what is best for our family right now. The high school is literally 2 minutes from our house instead of 20 minutes—so I’ll save 40 minutes in driving time every day! My math friend, Sandy, figured up that I’ll save around $700 a year just in gas money!!! Also, I have taught Algebra 2 for 11 years and absolutely love it! I love using manipulatives and doing a lot of hands-on experiments, and I’ll get to do that again!

Wherever I teach and whatever I do, my main goal is to be a good Christian influence to my students and those around me! I hope this new adventure will allow me to do that AND be a much better mom to Evan and Ethan and wife to Eric…they are, after all, my most prized possessions! :)

So...once again I have to completely set up a new classroom! But I really enjoy organizing everything...and it won't be as hard since it's just right down the road! :)