Oh, the possibilities!

It’s been a busy three months.  I cannot believe it’s been that long since I blogged.  I truly hope my friends and family who live far away aren’t too disappointed.  😉

I have some exciting news to share.  I thought I would blog about it and maybe this will be the catalyst I need to get back at this thing…

So, here goes…

In March, I left my job of 15 years.  I’m not gonna lie…it was a really tough decision.  I loved that job.  But, I really just felt like it was time to move on.  I had graduated in December from Indiana Wesleyan University with a business degree and needed to see what the Lord had next for me.  I knew what I wanted to do.  I prayed pretty specifically about it, but kept trying to find something to do while waiting on THAT job. 

Now, I cannot think of very many times in my life where I’d prayed so specifically about something.  I trust the Lord.  I know He’s got my best in mind.  He knows what I can do.  He knows what I’m capable of doing.  He knows the desires of my heart.  So, why not pray specifically?  He’s God.  He can do anything!

My prayer for a job was this…I wanted to work at the high school where my kids go & we only live about a mile away, I wanted to work a consistent job (no subbing), preferably part time but pays well, I wanted to be able to be on the same schedule as the kids, I wanted to work in the high school building, not intermediate or primary, because the Lovely daughter is a Junior so I would get to see her each day, and next year both the Lovely Daughter and the Little Man will be in that building. 

After being interviewed and turned down for two different jobs at the high school, and turning down another one because it involved Algebra (math = gag), AND being interviewed at another local middle school and not getting that job, I found a job that paid well but was at least 40 hours a week and it kept me from home too much.  I didn’t really enjoy it and if you know me at all, you know that my deepest heart’s desire is to be a mom, a good mom.  I enjoyed working with a wonderful woman I know from church, but I was missing my kids too much.  In the three and a half weeks there, I did not cook supper for my family one time.  boo.  I would get home in the evening and just want to crash because I had to get up early in the morning and do it all over again.   Or I would get home and things were just chaotic with practices, small groups, meetings, blah…blah…blah.

The day after I started that job, I found out that there was a job opening for church secretary at a local church.  It was almost exactly what I had done for those previous 15 years.  In fact, it would have been the perfect fit, except…it too was 40 hours and would only get me home about an hour earlier each evening.  Still not what I had prayed about, but a great job with some really great people!  I was excited about the possibilities of that job.

However…the day before the interview at that church, I got a call from the Principal of our high school.  He had a job for me that he thought I would be perfect for.  Was I interested?  Why, yes. Yes I am.  But shoot, now I have this interview at church and you’re offering me this?

But literally, the decision all came down to the hours I will be at home with my kids.  I took the job at the high school.  I start Tuesday morning after Labor day.  I’ll be learning all about it for a couple of days with the teacher who is there now, then it will be “my classroom”.  I’ll be a paraprofessional at THS in the credit recovery class.  It is a class time for those students who have failed a class they need in order to graduate.  It’s an online class for them, I will really just be the facilitator.  The principal told me that they really want someone in that classroom who will get to know the kids and let them know someone cares about whether or not they do well.   

In my whole life, all I have ever wanted to be was a mom…have I mentioned that?  But there have been a few times in my life when I thought I could have been a teacher, except for the actual “teaching” part! 

Am I nervous?  A little…but really, I’m just excited! Excited for the possiblilites.  Excited for what God has for me (I’m sure this will stretch me in ways I’ve not been stretched before).  Excited to be able to work in the school that my kids go to.  Excited to hang out with students every day.  Excited to, hopefully, be someone who can motivate them to do their best.  Excited to get to know them.  Excited to see if I can really do this!

Sweet 16

Can it really be that my sweet baby girl is 16?  It doesn’t hardly seem possible.  So much has gone on in these past sixteen years that time seems to have either slowed incredibly or sped up past the speed of light.

4 years old.

4 years old.

All those years ago, this day seemed to terribly far away.  But here we are.

...and THIS is a photo for another post!  lol

…and THIS is a photo for another post! lol

269775_609638054906_161503061_33186687_5484636_n

 

 

She is grown up.  She is kind.  She is beautiful.  She is smart.  She is fun.  She is loved.  She is all I could ever ask for in a daughter.  She is sixteen.

beautiful grace

Her sixteenth birthday came just like any other birthday.  It happens the very same day each single year.  Isn’t that a coincidence?

But this year, it arrived in the midst of one of the scariest, the craziest, the busiest, can’t hardly seem to catch our breath moments.  Literally just days after moving from the home we’ve lived in since she was five, we celebrated her sixteenth in a new home.  It was a crazy six days moving and unpacking and then trying to make the new house at least presentable to all the friends and family that would be partying with us the next weekend.

Friday night the girls arrived and we began what would turn out to be a four day weekend of celebrating the Lovely Daughter.  She had invited ten girls for a slumber party.  When they arrived, we served them supper.  The Lovely Daughter had requested the “Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup” that she had had at Le Cellier in Walt Disney World this past summer.  I purchased the recipe book and it was just as amazing from my kitchen as it was at EPCOT!

cheese soup recipe book

“Chef Mickey”
I bought this recipe book specifically for the cheese soup recipe.

Along with the cheese soup, she also wanted a chopped salad bar.  I had seen The Pioneer Woman do one and we loved that idea.  So we did it ourselves!

For ours we had spinach leaves, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, celery, mozzarella pearls, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, diced chicken, cucumbers, black olives, green olives, garbanzo beans, bacon, boiled eggs, broccoli, green onion, red onion, radishes, mushrooms, yellow, orange, red and green peppers.  Everything was cut into manageable sizes and then the girls, one at a time, chose their lettuce and toppings and dressing.  I put it all in a large bowl and mixed it up then turned in out onto a cutting board and chopped away until everything was well mixed.  Then I put it on a plate and they grabbed a bowl of soup and ate to their hearts content!  It was so yummy.  Such a fun thing to do for a girls party.

salad bar

chopped salad bar fixin’s

Then they hung out downstairs for a while and we got the snacks out.  Oh my.  The snacks.  The Lovely Daughter had requested her Grandma Maggie’s homemade caramel corn, mini cheesecakes topped with cherries, 7-layer Mexican dip (that I layered in individual cups), carrots with ranch, and beer bread with spinach dip.

snacks

beer bread, spinach dip, 7-layer Mexican dip with chips

snacks 2

carrots with ranch, Grandma Maggie’s homemade caramel corn, mini cheesecakes

7-layer dip

7-layer Mexican dip which was really 8 layers! layered from bottom to top…refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, shredded cheese, tomatoes, black olives, green onions

The birthday cupcakes came from J. Edwards here in town and they were AMAZING!  They were “Chocolate Mousse Heaven” and yes, they were heaven!  So light for a chocolate cake.

mmmmmmm...J. Edwards

mmmmmmm…  J. Edwards

For the decorations, I bought some hanging lanterns and tulle for above the kitchen counter.  I showed my sister a picture from Pinterest that was the inspiration for what I wanted and she just climbed up there on that counter and made it work!  I had bought some black and white damask wrapping paper and used it as a “tablecloth” type thing then bought some purple scatters.

I also bought purple gumballs and put them in a vase and since Lovely Daughter LOVES dark chocolate and since Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses come in PURPLE wrappers, I just couldn’t NOT buy some and put those in a jar for decoration also!   Happy Happy!  Yay for double duty decor.  It matches and it’s edible!

After the girls sang “happy birthday” we all grabbed some of those yummy snacks and headed downstairs for the gifts.

presents 2

*Please excuse the boxes and unadorned shelves in the background 😉

THEN, they did a couple of crafts.  Thanks to my Pinterest addiction, they each did a couple of glitter ornaments and then they made friendship bracelets and watched movies until the wee hours of the morning.

glitter ornaments 2

In the morning, I made another Pioneer Woman recipe, Cinnamon Baked French Toast.  I also served fresh fruit with yogurt, honey and granola.

After a yummy breakfast, we all got ready to head to the Crystal Tea Room for afternoon tea.  That was a fun experience for all the girls.  Learning some table manners, etiquette, and trying lots of different hot teas.

All in all, I would say that the party was a huge success.  It was so much fun.

All the girls!  Love them!

All the girls! Love them!

My sister helped with everything and even spent the night that night to help prepare everything and clean up and basically just  help me not totally freak out with stress!  I am sooooo thankful that not only is she my sister, but she’s also my best friend.

Sisters, sisters...

Sisters, sisters…

And yes, those are the girls in the living room leg wrestling.  🙂

Happy Sweet 16 Lovely Daughter!