Clean Water For Kids

Clean Water For Kids Asher is raising money to help provide clean drinking water for kids [and adults]. Our church is teaching the kids about “The Great Love:” loving God and loving our neighbors (Matthew 22:37-40). As part of the lesson, the church gave each child a small bottle and a challenge: raise $20 that goes directly to providing clean drinking water for people.

After church, Ashe approached Chele and me and asked us about wanting to raise the money. We sat down with him and talked about some ways he could raise the $20. During our discussion, Ashe came up with three ways to raise money. He is going to sell hearts that say “I like you” ($1); sweep people’s front walkways, porches, or steps ($2); and sell animal-stamped note cards ($5).

You can check out Asher’s blog at A Few More Minutes for all of the details. If you are interested in helping him raise money put a comment in his blog post and we will make sure he gets the comment.

He has to return the water bottle and all donations by March 18 and that is going to be our deadline for collecting money also.

You can also hit me up with any questions or thoughts.

Warm Day Fun

Today’s high is 74 degrees and we are still in February! A beautiful, sunny, warm day demands some outdoor activities.

Ashe, Becs, and I took off for a walk around the neighborhood. I hope I got some sun to knock the ghost white off my legs.

If you live in Charlotte, I hope you were also able to get outside and enjoy the winter reprieve. If you don’t, I hope you are having some fun weather also.

Keeping Up With My Big Brother
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Picking Clovers
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Watching Out For Sis’
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Taking A Break
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Kindergarten Week One’s Lessons

Here are a few things I have learned since Asher started his kindergarten year in school.

Random Allergies
According to one of Asher’s classmates, it is possible to be allergic to raccoons… because Ashe’s classmate is. Who knew?

Storytelling
Five-year olds’ stories make a lot more sense when you actually know them. Until kindergarten, Chele or I have been with Asher during the majority of his waking hours. That meant we saw what was happening daily and could help “translate” the stories he was trying to tell. When Ashe started kindergarten, he obviously began spending the majority of his waking hours away from us. And he had just as many stories to tell.

Chele and I now work to put the storytelling puzzle pieces together when Asher tells us what went on during school. That is a much larger task than I had originally thought.

Losing Control
Another result of Asher spending the majority of his time in kindergarten is that we lose a lot of control we used to have over him. This was not totally unexpected, but it can still be difficult at times. We still work on guiding, instructing, and disciplining Asher, but many of the day-to-day decisions are now his.

Asher now chooses his own friends. In fact, I cannot tell you how many times Michele and I have used David Chadwick’s “friends are like elevators” line since last August. He also now chooses how he is going to behave. Ashe is learning there are consequences as a result of his actions, but he definitely has more freedom to make those daily decisions on how he interacts with others.

These are just a few of the lessons I have learned over the past six months since Asher started kindergarten.

I look forward to the lessons Michele and I still have to learn as both kids continue to grow and get older.

Learning To Be A Gentleman

Asher and Michele Two of my fav’s are going on a date tonight and I am very excited for them. Michele is taking Asher out on a date and I think some Star Wars in 3-D might be in order. It sounds like a lot of fun and I hope they enjoy their time together.

This morning, during our walk to his school, Asher and I discussed a few ways to be a gentleman for his date. Here are a few thoughts I shared with Ashe to begin preparing him for the future.

It is polite to:

  • open and close the car door for your date.
  • open the door for your date when entering and exiting a building.
  • allow the woman to sit down first and to also stand when she gets up from the table, etc.
  • walk on the outside of the sidewalk and allow his date to walk on the inside.

I know this is not an all-encompassing list. What are some ways that you think men (and boys) can be better gentlemen? Throw some thoughts in the comments. I may just throw some extra knowledge Asher’s way.

Season of Transition

Wow, it has been a month since I have last written a blog post. It has been a crazy end of the summer. For the past two months our company has been slammed (yay!!) and I have been working diligently to meet some important deadlines; Michele and I have been trying to play, entertain, and parent the rugrats; and I have been using every other available moment to cut down and cut up trees in our backyard. Now things are beginning to settle back into a comfortable routine and our family is about to get into a completely different routine over the next couple of weeks.

Asher officially starts kindergarten in four days. I am still trying to decide who is going to cry more: Michele or me. While Michele is the hands-on favorite, I could easily go all emotional as we drop Asher off at the front of his new school. Our house will be a little bit quieter beginning Tuesday morning, but not completely silent.

Our home will not be completely silent because we get to keep Becs at home for a few more years! Becs keeps telling me that she is also ready for kindergarten, but I told her that she needs to master walking and climbing stairs first. To help her with those and other toddler-essential skills Bechan starts pre-school this year. For her first year, Bechan is attending pre-school two days a week.

And so it begins. Over the next couple of weeks Michele, Bechan, Asher, and I are about to transition into new seasons of our lives. I hope our transitions will provide seasons for our whole family to both plant and harvest. I know it will definitely be a new season of our having to let go each weekday morning, but will be followed-up with big embracing hugs in the afternoons. I also know that in the first few days of Asher and Bechan’s school it will be both a season of crying and laughing for Michele and me.

Maybe it will be a season of dancing… I will have to get back with you on that one.

Names

Michele and I love the meanings of names. In fact, the meanings of our children’s names were at the top of the priorities list when choosing them. Asher means “happy; blessed.” Bechan means “solemn vow to God.”

So it does not come as a surprise to me when I check out names in the Bible and want to know their meanings. Some have awesome meanings, such as Asher. Some do not. That’s right, Leah, I am calling you out “weary eyes.” Then things really gets interesting when God instructs a prophet to name his child with a specific name to illustrate a point He is making. That is what I recently came across in Hosea 1.

Jezreel: God plants. son. (this one is a pretty good name)
Lo-ruhamah: Not loved. daughter. (that name is not exactly a morale booster)
Lo-ammi: Not my people. son. (this one falls somewhere between the older siblings’ names)

Although, it was one of the highest callings possible, being a prophet must have been a very difficult job. I think being a prophet’s child was not easy either.

Regardless of the meaning of the individual person’s name, though, the most important thing to remember is being told “you are children of the living God,” Hosea 1:10b. That is where the Lord was moving with such strong illustrations and I am glad to be reminded of his reconciliatory love in these verses. Without Him loving me first, I would still be lost.

Three Point Turn

Asher loves his little F150 and drives it all around our backyard. Watching him learn to drive is quite humorous, though. Ashe has this huge area to make a three point turn and about 15 “turns” later finally gets pointed in the right direction. It reminds me of one of the scenes from Austin Powers, which is show below:

Asher Driving

Christmas Snow

It snowed Christmas night and we woke up the next morning to a nice white blanketing of snow.

We took advantage of it and spent part of the morning playing in the snow. The snow in our area was not right for sledding, but we did enjoy some good snowball fights. We also built a snowman that stood guard over our street for the day.

The Bedtime Con

Asher has gotten very good at the bedtime con. What is the bedtime con? Well, it is using any reason he can think of to delay going to bed. I estimate that, at times, he has pushed his bedtime back by as much as thirty or forty minutes. Most of the time, though, he only gets a couple of extra minutes.

Since “bedtime con” sounds so cool, I thought it might be fun to make up some slick Oceans’s Eleven-sounding con names.

Here are a few:

1. The Long Trip
2. The Valentine’s Day
3. The Plumber’s Dream
4. The Hold-the-Ice
5. The Family Reunion
6. The Matrix
7. The Let’s-Make-A-Deal

Those are some of the ones we came up with. What are some of the ones you have?

Can you guess what each con is based on the name?

Family Day

Sunday was all about the family. My mom lives in Jackson, Mississippi; my brother lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and my sister lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. So it is always nice when we can get together. (Side note: My sister, Alicia, was not able to come down for Nick’s graduation, but we Skyped her early Sunday evening.)

Nick, mom, Heather (Nick’s girlfriend), Asher, and me we were able to spend some quality family time together. Our last day of the visit consisted of

  • checking out some of the water fountains throughout Palms Resort (where we were staying)
  • Nick and Heather taking Asher to a sprinkler park near one of Phoenix’s lakes
  • hanging out and talking a lot
  • eating some sushi

Here are some photos: