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10%  Would you take those odds?  If you knew whatever you were thinking about trying only had a 10% chance of succeeding, would you go for it?  Sometimes God is asking you to take that leap…. and sometimes there isn’t an option.

I’ve been praying for this boy for a year now.  One year ago, his parents found out that their used-to-be-healthy baby boy had cancer.  Infant t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia to be exact.  He was diagnosed before he was a year old and the odds weren’t good.  His mom said recently that she had point blank asked during the first days of diagnosis but no one would say what the odds were.  Their response was simply “we treat children, not numbers.”  Praise God for hospitals and doctors that believe in miracles.

There have been long hospital stays, lots of vomiting, tears shed by family, friends, and strangers, ANC dancing, and even a broken arm along the way.  Their family has touched so many lives and Grayson has inspired so many people in his short life so far.  They went up against horrific odds and kept on trucking one day at a time.  One hospital stay at a time.  One procedure at a time.  One prayer at a time.

They have been a part of what has inspired me to reach for my dreams.  Despite the horrible odds.  How many people get to be successful at something that they truly love?  How many people spend their days doing super fun stuff with their awesome friend?  I’d say those odds aren’t good.  But if God can help Grayson beat the 10% odds that he faced, then He can help me live out my dream.  If I let Him.  If I give Him the opportunity.  You see if I don’t follow God into this scary, unknown territory.  If I don’t take that leap, I’ll never know everything that He had waiting for me.  I’ve already gotten to experience some amazing only-God-could-have-worked-that-out moments.  Like Grayson’s miraculous survival and the many lives he’s touched, God may have a gift He’s waiting to give you.  You just need to trust Him enough to take that leap.

I was challenged the other day in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  I gladly accepted and donated money.  I love the way this fun social media game has brought awareness about this disease to so many.  Funding like this makes it possible for organizations to continue research and search for a cure.  Even when there isn’t a cure, these funds continue to make progress in the treatment of patients like Grayson.  You can support Grayson directly at http://prayforgrayson.com/give/.  I challenge you to find a cause and give.  Whether it’s ALS or infant t-cell leukemia, you can make a difference.

My husband had WAY too much fun with this.  He made sure there was plenty of ice(meaning all the ice we had at the house) in the bucket because “it’s not an ice bucket challenge if there’s no ice in the bucket.”  And I love hearing Porsha’s laugh on the video.  I think she enjoyed it too.

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Here I am with Grayson’s aunt and a friend after we ran a 5K to raise support for Grayson.

Teacher and Classmate Gifts

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Well, we survived the first few days of Kindergarten. The first day was really tough (especially on mama).  I was so proud of Ellasyn as she courageously walked in and faced her fears of the unknown. She voiced her sadness and hesitancy, but held it together. Edyn and I were sad to leave her but didn’t let her see that. So I guess we held it together and were strong too. Until I got to the car, but that was to be expected. We kept busy all day and were super excited when it was time to pick her up. Although it still feels weird to not have her around throughout the day, it is getting easier day by day as we settle into our new norm. And I am really enjoying the time with the other two girls. Edyn and I have even had some one on one time while Ensley naps. This year will be great for that.

As the school year grew near, I knew I wanted to do something for my daughter’s teacher and her new classmates for the beginning of the year. I love giving gifts so I enjoy doing these things. I also wanted her teacher to know just how much she is appreciated. As Sami posted, teachers truly are amazing! So I went to Pinterest to find some ideas. Oh my there are a lot of ideas out there! So many cute ones which is good because then I can do more things throughout the year and/or use other ideas for future teachers in the coming years. I decided on this one from Crafting Mom. I loved the idea of giving her a lot of things she would actually use. I changed up a few, but still used the same printables and cute sayings. Instead of using the candy bar wrapper for a candy bar I chose to cut it out and tape it to the top of caramel dip and then tied the to/from tag to an apple. I did this for a few of reasons. The basket already included chocolate with the bag of Hershey’s hugs so I thought this would be something different. Also, an apple just seemed fitting for a teacher. And lastly, I forgot to buy a Hershey bar at the store, but had apples and unopened caramel dip at my house. Just keeping it real. The other thing I changed was using stickers for the “stick” tag instead of a glue stick. I thought stickers would be fun since the basket already included regular glue. I used ribbon to tie each tag to the item then put it in a cute multicolored tub I bought at Wal Mart filled with some tissue paper just for prettiness. The tub came with a lid so my hope was that she would be able to use it for something around the classroom. Ellasyn ended up giving it to her teacher on “Meet the Teacher” night. It just seemed easier rather than having to mess with it on the first day when things are already hectic enough. teacherbasketI also gave Ellasyn’s teacher this from Sami’s post. I loved the idea of personally giving her my contact information and letting her know that I wanted to be involved and helpful in the classroom. I also liked it being another useful gift. Every classroom needs hand sanitizer!

teachergiftFor Ellasyn’s classmates, I downloaded this free printable from iheartnaptime.net. It was super cute and super easy. We cut off the zipper part of ziploc baggies, put in the printable (signed by Ellasyn), and added some goldfish crackers. Then we tied it with some orange bakers twine.

goldfishWe are off to a great start to the gradeschool years and learning as we go!

 Kindergarten 1stdayAnd a few selfies on the cell phone :) A piece of my heart is now out in the world!

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Bird Poop and Beans{and a piece of pallet wood}

Choices

We try not to take ourselves too seriously at our house.  Which means, there are plenty of jokes and laughs every day.  But every now and then, something so horribly funny happens that the only choice you have is to laugh or cry.  I happened to have two of those things happen really close together, so here.  Have a good laugh at my expense.  (Side note:  I’m really good at telling stories and I always remember everything, right down to the smallest detail…wink, wink.)

First, we were invited over to our friends’, Abby and Jimi’s, house for a relaxing evening by the pool with our kids.  After supper the adults were sitting around the table visiting while the kids were swimming.  Jimi got up and went inside for some reason.  Probably to help one of his kids.  There’s like a hundred of them.  Just kidding there’s only four.  We always tease them about having lots of kids because they have one more than us.  Anyway, I was conversing with Abby and Jeremiah.  I’m sure about something profound like world peace or the national debt because whenever we’re together we solve all the world’s problems, when I felt something plop into my eye.  I knew right away what had happened.  “Did a bird just poop in my eye?”  was all that would come out.  Jeremiah and Abby immediately started laughing.  And what does a good friend do when their friend has bird poop in their eye?  Look for a camera of course.  Abby starts frantically looking for her camera to take a picture because Jimi (who had gone inside) was missing the hilarity of the situation.  Looking back, it would have been awesome to have a picture, but at the time all I could think was, “Get me a napkin!”  Probably because bird poop is disgusting and it was in my eye.  Not on my arm or my pants.  In. My. Eye!  And it burned people!  That bird must have had the best (or worst) aim ever.  It was only in my eye.  It didn’t drip down my entire face or get on my shirt or pants.  Nope.  Just right in my eye.  After I found a napkin and cleanup had begun, Jimi made his way out and got to hear the story from Jeremiah and Abby’s perspectives which was almost as funny as the actual event.  Laugh or cry?  Those were the only options.  I chose laugh.  Well mostly.  My eye watered from the burning bird poop, but mostly laugh.

The next story is so funny I cried.  I wish so badly that I had a picture of this one because it was disgusting!

My sister and brother-in-law, Jessi and Zach, rented a cabin at the lake near us, so we were out with them for the day.  Jessi and I were trying to open two large cans of baked beans with a janky can opener that was in the cabin.  We managed to get most of the way around, but there was those two places that somehow didn’t get cut all the way.  We brought in Jeremiah for reinforcements because he’s usually good at those kinds of things.  Well, he pushed one side of the top of the can in and beans shot out the other side and landed on the floor.  Being the awesome wife that I am, I got down on my hands and knees to clean up the mess that he had just made.  In the mean time, he got it open and moved on to the next can.  Just to set the scene for you.  This cabin was small and it had a tiny alley kitchen, so all three of us are crammed into this narrow kitchen trying to open a can of beans.  Jeremiah proceeds to do the EXACT SAME THING he had just done with the first can of beans and, just like the first time, beans came shooting out the top.  Only this time, my head was there to catch them before they hit the floor.  Now, I’m not talking a spoonful of beans.  I am talking a CUP full of beans.  Dripping from my head!  I just sat there on my hands and knees with absolutely no clue what to do now.  My sister could only gasp and Jeremiah said, “I’m sorry.” like ten times.  I was laughing so hard that I was crying.  Not baby tears crying.  Full out tears streaming down my face crying from laughter.  Jeremiah and Jessi had no idea I was laughing though, so neither one of them knew how to react.  Then Jeremiah just slowly backed away as he said, “I don’t know what to do, but I’m so sorry” and slinked out the cabin door.  I sat there for what seemed like forever with beans dripping out of my hair trying to figure out what to do.  Finally, Jessi and I decided that we should wipe my head off with napkins and see where that got us.  When we got enough wiped up that the dripping had stopped, I went into the bathroom and rinsed my head off in the sink.  I spent the rest of the evening tempting the wildlife with my delicious smelling hair.  Laugh or cry?  I guess I did both this time too.

{ADDITION. This just happened.}
Janae, Jeremiah and I were getting the supplies ready for the pallet picture frames we are making for craft night. They are so cute. Here is mine almost finished.
 

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Cute, right?! Anyway, I was helping Jeremiah tear apart the pallets while Janae was cutting wood with her new table saw (Thanks Keith!) on the other side of the garage. All of a sudden a flying piece of wood nails me in the head. That wood could have flown anywhere in that whole garage, but it went directly for me. That is just my luck. The funniest part was Janae turning around and saying, “I thought it hit Jeremiah, but now I feel bad that it hit you.”

Life throws all kinds of things at you sometimes.  In my case, it literally threw things at me.  But we always have a choice.  Laugh or cry?  Anger or joy?  Jealousy or contentment?  Hatred or love?  No matter what the situation, you get to choose.  What will you choose today?

Reduce Speed

reducespeedI had this plan to write a post about something else. Something besides what is on my heart, but I just can’t do it. I was on a run Wednesday night after “Meet the Teacher” night when I saw this sign. It is on a path that I run all.the.time. yet I had never noticed it. I felt like the Lord had drawn my attention to it for the first time as a sweet reminder. A reminder that he knows what’s on my heart. That “reduce speed” is what I would like to do with life right now as my oldest starts Kindergarten. I want things to slow down and for my children to stop growing up so fast. I want to enjoy every second of this stage of my life. It was also a reminder for me to do just that. Reduce speed and enjoy. Stop trying to be perfect and do too much. Just enjoy what the Lord has for me each day. When I look back over the last 5 years I feel like my life has been a whirlwind of pregnancies, babies, nursing, and surviving. It kills me to know that my years at home with Ellasyn are coming to an end. It all just went too fast! So, I was comforted to remember that God knows my heart and reminded that although I can’t literally reduce the speed of life, I can at least slow myself down and savor it. With that said, I do not promise this to be my last post about Kindergarten as the year is just starting, but I will try to not post my sappy struggles with it all anymore…after this one.

My heart has been so heavy this week knowing that my first baby starts school on Friday (today by the time this posts). I have felt extreme pressure to make the most of every moment with her this week. (If you follow me on instagram @jmett23 you can see all the fun we had this week). At the beginning of the week I asked her what she wanted to do for her last week of summer. She quickly went down the list of a lot of the things we have done throughout the last 5 years of her being at home with me. After each one she asked if those were things she would get to do anymore once she was in school. It broke my heart to tell her no and watch her sweet face turn sad. It dawned on me how hard this transition is for her too. Everything she has known her entire life is about to change. She has been saying that she isn’t excited for Kindergarten and I have been blowing it off as her just being silly, but the other night at bedtime she really broke down and opened up to me with her feelings. I did the best I could to comfort her by justifying her feelings, but also encourage her by explaining that change is not always a bad thing. In fact, it can be really good, as in this case. It will be so good for her and I know she will love it. I also reassured her that I would never make her do something that I didn’t wholeheartedly believe was best for her. She seemed to feel better after our talk, but it became obvious that this is going to be rough on her for a few days too. As with all change in life, I know we will adjust and eventually it will be our new norm, but that doesn’t mean the initial shock doesn’t hurt. To some of you it may seem that I am over dramatizing this (and maybe I am), but this is where my heart is at and I want to be real. As I drop off my baby on Friday morning I am going to try to choose to remember the truths that I know and focus on my two other babies at home and what our new norm will be. And thanks to some of my SUPER AWESOME friends, I will have plenty to keep my mind off of being sad Friday. We have a bakery date and shopping planned. They are the greatest!

E5This is her “I don’t know how I feel about Kindergarten” look

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Then we had some fun playing in momma’s glasses

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A couple of weeks ago I did a “starting school” photo shoot with Ellasyn. I have had a photography business for the past 5 years and knew this was something I wanted to do. She is at such a fun age to photograph and really enjoyed it. When I first planned this session it seemed forever away (Ellasyn was probably only 1 at the time), but now here we are. Happy 1st Day of Kindergarten sweet girl! You are going to love it!E3

My thoughts and prayers are with all you mommas as your littles head back to school. Remember….this is our job…to raise them up and send them out into the world.

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4 Must Do Back to School Ideas

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Here are four must do ideas to help as your kids head back to school.  I plan to do these this week with my kids.

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Amy from Positively Splendid created a printable worksheet for each grade.  You have your kids fill out the first day of school sheet at the beginning of school and then compare it to the final day of school sheet at the end of the year.  She even suggests taking a picture to go with it to make it more fun.

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Get a head start on what to get your children’s teachers for Christmas and teacher appreciation day with this questionnaire from Malia at Yesterday on Tuesday.  It includes some very helpful information that will come in very handy.

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Get this fun printable from OliviaKateDesigns on Etsy.  Just print and tape onto the individual bags of goldfish.  Your child can hand them out on the first day of school.

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I always want the teachers to know I am happy to help when they need something.  Cindy from Skip to my Lou gives us the perfect way to do just that.  I plan to write my contact information on the back and I will be attaching it to hand sanitizer instead of hand soap.

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