Friday, August 13, 2010

First Day of School

Well, like it or not, our summer came to a screeching halt on Tuesday. The doors to the school officially opened and the boys were actually excited to go back. In fact, this is the first year Isaac has been excited about school. No tears!! Yay!! It makes me feel better knowing I'm not sending him off a nervous wreck.

Here they are! Brotherly love!     

Here's my big 6th grader. Oh my, doesn't even sound right to say that yet! Seriously, this boy was just a baby not long ago, and now he's entering his last year of elementary school. He's growing like a weed. He is as tall as me (ok, which isn't tall when you are my age, but it is kinda tall when you are 11...ha!) He's in a size 10 shoe after starting school in a size 7 last year! In fact, he's about to catch up with his daddy! If anyone knows how we can stop this growth and growing older process, please let me know! In all honesty, I have enjoyed every age and stage so far. Just can't believe how fast it has gone!

And then there's this lil guy. Isn't he cute?? He's a big 2nd grader this year and so excited that he gets to bring a water bottle to class with him this year. If that's all it takes to excite him, so be it. This was the first year it wasn't like trying to put a cat into the bath to get him to school. I was at such peace this year, knowing he was also. Isaac seems to be finally growing some and is really maturing before our eyes. Of course, being the baby we always tease him about putting a brick on his head to keep him from getting any bigger. :-)

And it has been so HOT, HOT, HOT this week! I think you can even "see" the humidity in the pics!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Let Me Hold You Longer

I came across this poem in the book I'm currently reading (book 4 of Karen Kingsbury's Redemption series). There is also a children's book by the same name that this poem is in. As a mom, it really touched my heart. We tend to remember the firsts of everything, but often don't even know when it's a "last" for our children. My boys are growing up way too fast. She wrote this for her son (in the story) who was getting married. Even though my boys aren't anywhere near that stage, it really got to me.  Hope it's meaningful to you as well!

"Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts.
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst. 
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.

The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips...
Last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip...
Last time when you had a binky stuck inside your mouth...
The last time that you crawled across the floor of this old house. 

Last time when you ran to me, still small enough to hold,
Last time when you said you'd marry me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from the past,
Would I have held you longer if I'd known they were the last? 

Your last few hours of kindergarten, last days of first grade...
Last at bat in Little League, last colored paper made.. 
Last time that I tucked you in for one last midday nap...
Last time when you wore your beat-up Green Bay Packers cap. 

Last time you caught a frog in that old backyard pond...
Last time when you ran barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn,
Silly scattered images to represent your past. 
Would I have taken pictures...if I'd known they were the last? 

The last dark night you slipped in bed and slept between us two,
When last I read to you of God or Horton Hears a Who!
Last time that I smelled your hair and prayed after your shower...
Last time that we held devotions in the evening hours. 

The last time you were M.J. in our games of give-and-go...
Last time that you made an angel in the melting snow.
I never even said good-bye to yesterdays long passed. 
Would I have marked the moments...if I'd known they were the last? 

Last piano lesson, and last soccer goal you kicked...
The last few weeks of middle school, last flowers that you picked.
Last time that you needed me for rides from here to there...
The last time that you spent the night with that old tattered bear.

Last time that I helped you with a math or spelling test,
Last time when I shouted your room was a mess. 
Time and life moved quicker, taking pieces of your past.
Would I have stretched the moments...if I'd known they were the last? 

The last time that you needed help with details of a dance...
Last time that you asked me for advice about romance. 
Last time that you talked to me about your hopes and dreams.
Last time that you wore a jersey for your high school team. 

I watched you grow and never noticed seasons as they passed.
I wish I could've frozen time, to hold on to your lasts.
For come tomorrow morning life will never be the same. 
You'll pledge forever to your girl, and she will take your name.

And I will watch you, knowing God has blessed you with this day.
I never would have wanted, Luke, to somehow make you stay. 
They say a son's a son until he takes for him a wife.
You're grown-up now;  it's time to go and start your brand new life. 

One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss...
One last time to understand just how much you'll be missed. 
I'll watch you leave and think how quickly childhood sped past.
Would I have held on longer....if I'd known it was your last?" 

Poem was quoted from the book, "Rejoice", by Karen Kingsbury.  Pages 209-210. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yellow Belts

They did it!! Court and Andrew got their yellow belts last week at class. They had to go to Robinson, IL for the test the Saturday before. And then wait until the next class to find out. They say the test for the orange belt, which is what they were testing on, is one of the harder ones because it combines movements from all the belts up to that point. And it had also been a rough week for Andrew health-wise. They weren't feeling confident about their test. So, they were excited to get to class and see the 3 yellow belts laying on the table, since they knew only 3 took that test. :)

Here is Court, going through the line shaking hands and getting his certificate.

Group shot of those who tested and passed this time around.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer days and Sundays are my favorites


A few weeks ago, our church held it's first annual youth Sunday and Andrew was asked to preach. Mom and Donald came down to hear him, along with several of our friends. The whole service was just amazing! There was so much energy from our mini-praise team! Isaac was an usher and a greeter and that was plenty in the spotlight for him - he's only an entertainer in small, comfortable crowds. :)

Andrew preached from Matthew 16:26, "What good does it do for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"  That's right, he got up on youth Sunday and talked about money! HA! He talked about how money wouldn't get you into Heaven and how only a relationship with Jesus Christ would. He talked a little about his illness and all the doctor visits he goes on. He also talked about what it has done to his faith. He made some really good points, too. At the end of the service, he even prayed with people who came up for prayer. It was so sweet. And I am so thankful that my mom could be there to see him. After inviting her all of my life, it's the first time in my 35 years to sit by my mom in church!!

Here are all the kiddos (with a few adults mixed in) praying before the service.

Mom wasn't feeling well due to having chemo that week, so they left right after church. We had a nice lunch and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. Andrew had been telling us he wanted to shave his head once youth Sunday was over, just like Nana's. True to his word, he did.

Bye bye Justin Bieber hair...

Hello hair that's much cooler for the summer! 

And then there's this boy, who doesn't want his hair cut!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Singin' In The Rain

All of the storms we've had has been tough on the baseball schedule. However, Isaac had a great time last week playing in the rain!

Not sure why he ditched the umbrella to show off his muscles, but hey, he was having fun!

Monday, June 7, 2010


We are so thankful for summer break around here! Last week, Andrew discovered the joys of golf at golf camp. That kept us busy running him back and forth. This week is VBS and next week...nothing! :)

Andrew fell asleep on the porch swing this afternoon...that's what summer afternoons are all about!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

School's Out!

There are mom's who cheer when the kids go back to school in August, and there are mom's who can't wait to have them home for the summer. I'm in the latter group most of the year, except a few trying days in the summer. :)

The boys could leave right after the awards program on Thursday. Isaac got an award for AR (Accelerated Reader) and Andrew got an Academic Achievement Award. I'm always amazed that Andrew does so well in school despite missing so much. I was one proud Mom for their achievements! And I think Isaac is pretty proud of himself, since it's Sunday and he's worn his medal everyday since he got it! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Angel Mounds

Andrew had an appt and we always like to do something fun when we go to a far-away visit. So, after lunch we wound up at Angel Mounds State Recreation Area. This is a historical site where Mississippian Indians lived and were buried. We walked around the museum and gift shop and then went outside for the grassy trail that led us to all of the mounds. Here are some pics from our adventure (although had to use my cell phone camera)
Hard to see, but this is Andrew sitting inside of a hollowed-out Indian canoe. Love that they encouraged you to get in!

Looking at some of the exhibits...he is really in his element when he is on an educational, yet fun, trip!

Standing outside near one of the mounds. There are steps on the back side of this one that we walked up and could overlook the whole grounds.

Playing the flute we bought as a souvineer of our trip. It was perfect since he's been asking about the recorder I had to learn to play for an education class many years ago. :)

It was a fun place to visit...I love exploring and learning with my boys!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Relay For Life

Our county's annual Relay for Life was yesterday. This is something our family likes to participate in together. We always do it to remember my brother, who lost a short, hard battle with melanoma in 2005. This year, cancer has reared it's ugly face again in our family as my mom is battling stage 4 colon cancer.

The theme for this year was "Birthdays". When you are fighting for your life, every additional birthday is a blessing and a gift. The survivors lap always puts things in perspective for me! I can remember when Andrew was 8 and his health was spinning out of control. We were searching for answers and things continued to change with him. At that point, we weren't sure there would be a 9th birthday for him. So I truly understand why Birthdays was the perfect theme for this year's Relay.

We were on the Taekwondo Relay team this year, so we did an Asian Birthdays theme. There's an Asian tradition that if you eat cake with 100 friends on your birthday, you'll have good luck for the year. So, we sold cake and threw in a Chinese mint and a fortune cookie with it. We had all sorts of cute decorations, too! Except the cute little hats bled on the white shirts when it rained off and on throughout the day.

Setting up tents

You can see some of our decorations...and the black and red lanterns survived the rain and still glowed at night!

This was another fundraiser we did...for $2 people could duke it out. It always drew a crowd. 

Someone was trying to take a pic of Andrew and I, but the young cute one is missing. I'm usually the one taking pics so what the heck, for once, here's me.

Our team raised over $3000 this year through our soy candles and candy bar sales in the spring, and our coffee, hot chocolate, cake, and boxing at the Relay. Way to go Stangle's Taekwondo! Already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jedi Training

Here are some pics from Isaac's party, otherwise known as Jedi Training. It was a BYOLS (Bring Your Own Light Saber) event, and he got a kick out of telling everyone that. We had a lot of fun and all the kiddos seemed to enjoy it, too.

Looks like everyone was having fun, except my niece Alexis on the right. The older kids (nephew Kaine, Andrew, and Jesse) all were my Droid helpers. However, Alexis just wasn't too into hanging out with a bunch of first graders playing Star Wars. Third graders are much cooler than that, don't ya know??

The first part of Jedi Training - the lightsaber relay. These little padawans were better than I expected! does that Dugger lady do this 3 times a day? So thankful for being able to have the party at the church!

Getting ready to blow the candles out as soon as the song's over. Can you believe it...a real smile from Isaac?!

We went to the basement for an asteroid hunt. I found Court protecting the stairway from runaway padawans. Unfortunately, my other pics down here didn't turn out too well. 15 kids running around grabbing asteroids made for blurry pics.

Opening gifts...and loving the musical Star Wars card!

The night-shift padawans...playing lightsabers in the dark. Pretty cool!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Seven. Wow! Where has the time gone? Isaac is now 7 years old. The baby we thought we may never have is now suddenly so grown up. We offered to take him to dinner for his birthday, knowing full well that we might be eating McDonald's, but he surprised us. He wanted to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant so he could wear the big sombrero. Keep in mind this is the picky child who really never has been happy to go here with us. However, Andrew once chose this for his b'day dinner and Isaac remembered the sombrero. And the big birthday bowl of fried ice cream. So off we went!

My Three Amigos!

"For this child I prayed." 1 Samual 1:27

Monday, May 3, 2010

Greater Things Are Still To Be Done

I cannot get this song out of my head today. This is a video that was made by a couple of my friends who go to our church. There are pics from each of the small towns in this part of the county. This song has kind of become our "theme song" at church and I just love it. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May already?

It's been a hectic couple of weeks around here. Andrew had surgery and has been recovering from that. We have had many appointments, and some new progression found, which will ultimately lead to even more appts. We also had a simple ortho appt that will be leading to another oral surgery. He had a tumor in his mouth (last year) that prevented a tooth from growing upwards. Biopsy showed it to be a cyst and they put a button/chain device and put braces on his teeth to attempt to pull it up. The button has come loose, and there are 2 options, but both involve surgery. Poor kid! And this happened on Thursday, which was the first day he felt good in almost 2 weeks.

In other news, May snuck up on us! Isaac has been planning his 7th b'day party since shortly after he turned 6. He has mentioned taking a group of kids to French Lick's indoor waterpark, going to Holiday World, an Indians ballgame, Gatlinburg, and the list goes on and on. He has no concept of money. :) And all he keeps asking for is a real dirtbike or an indoor puppy. NO! So, it's been a challenge to find a suitable (lower key) party and find a present for the boy. He finally decided on a Star Wars party, so I went from there and am hoping he'll love it!

We are counting down the days until school is out!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Theory of Spoons

I came across a story called "The Theory of Spoons" this morning that really hit home. It just so happens to be the morning after we've been gone for FBC Retreat (church family camp) all weekend. The boys had a blast and I know Andrew overdid it. And then last night, he started saying he didn't feel good. His throat hurt, his stomach felt funny, his body ached more than usual. " we go," I thought. Is he really coming down with something, or did he overdo it, or some combination of the two? Fun often comes at a price, so this sentence really stuck out to me:

"I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted." (Christine Miserandino, author of The Theory of Spoons)

Check the article out, it's really good. And it might open your eyes to the statement, "But you don't look sick." And say a little prayer that we know what's best for Andrew in regards to his surgery scheduled for tomorrow. We see the pediatrician at 2.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Resurrection Cookies

Instead of our usual Resurrection Rolls, this year we tried something different at made Resurrection Cookies to celebrate Easter. This is a time-consuming, make ahead cookie, but such a good lesson in it. Everything that goes in has meaning in the death of Jesus and it even gives scripture to read as you do each step. The boys enjoyed themselves and it was fun to especially see Isaac able to read scripture to us now.
Beating the pecans, like the Roman soldiers beat Jesus.

Reading a scripture between steps.

They had to be mixed for a long, long time!

And as you can see, Isaac was greatly amused with the mixer. :)

"Sealing the Tomb" overnight. It said to tape it, so instead of a small vertical piece, tape-nut Isaac went across the front of the stove. 

The cookies were quite's the recipe:

Resurrection Cookies

Read the whole recipe before beginning...
try to do together Saturday night before Easter Sunday.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Ingredients: You need:
1 cup whole pecans Mixing bowl
3 egg whites Wooden spoon
1 cup sugar Bible
1 tsp. vinegar Zipper baggy
1 pinch of salt Wax paper
  Cookie sheet

Place pecans in the baggy and let the children beat them
with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.
Explain that after Jesus was arrested,
He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read - John 19:1-3 to them

Let child smell the vinegar.
Put 1 tsp. into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross,
He was given vinegar to drink.
Read - John 19:28-30

Add egg whites to the vinegar.
Eggs represent life.
Explain that Jesus gave His life for our life.
Read - John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand
let them taste it then brush the rest into the bowl.
Explain that represents the salty tears shed by Jesus followers,
and the bitterness of our own sin...
Read - Luke 23:27

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.
Add 1 cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of this story is
that Jesus died because He loves us.
He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read - Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with mixer on high speed for 11-15 minutes
until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes
of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read - Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts.
Drop by tsp.onto waxed paper-covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus body was laid. Read - Matt. 27:65-66

Put cookies sheet in the oven.
Close door and turn oven OFF.
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the door.
Explain that Jesus tomb was sealed.
Read - Matt. 27:65-66

Go to bed !

Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.
Jesus followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read - John 16:20 and 22

On Resurrection Morning open the oven and give everyone a cookie !
Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.
The cookies are hollow !
On the first Resurrection Day Jesus followers were amazed
to find the tomb open and empty.
Read - Matt. 28:1-9

He Has Risen ! Hallelujah ! ! ! ! !

Author: Unknown