Aug 30, 2006

Happy Birthday my Darling Care Bear!!

Dear Care Bear,

Four years ago 5:06 p.m. to be exact you graced your daddy and I with your presence. I can hardly believe you are a big four year old girl now!!

I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. The whole week prior to your birth, I had been fortunate enough to get a wretched case of the stomach flu. There wasn't a thing I could hold down, including Sprite, that entire week. I even had to miss our office's "Employee Appreciation" luncheon that week where I was being honored for five years of service to the University. Your Grandma Dawn had to bring me my roses that evening.

You were born on a Saturday. The Friday evening before your birth, your Daddy and I had gone to Wal-Mart to get a few things. It was three weeks before your due date. As I got out of the car I felt a very sharp pain in the lower region of my stomach. It was like a pain I had never felt before. I had been experiencing Braxon Hix contractions for several weeks, but that is not what this particular pain felt like. I had a strange feeling. I told your Daddy, "Wow. I hope she doesn't decide to come now. Not after having had the flu all week." I was just starting to feel better from the flu.

As the evening wore on, the pains began to come more frequently, and became more painful. I called your Grandma Dawn to ask her about when I was born and what the pains felt like. I told her I suspected I was in labor. She was skeptical; particularly since it was still three weeks from your due date. Eventually, I started asking your Daddy to time the contractions and the length of time between them. I took your new baby monitor up to my room so I could lay down and I would holler into the monitor every time I had a contraction so that Daddy could time them. Finally at about 11:00 p.m., I had Daddy call our doctor. She told him to go ahead and bring me into the hospital. After about four hours at the hospital, they sent me back home saying that I was progressing, however it was not yet time to be at the hospital.

The next morning at promptly 7:30 a.m. (and after only a few short hours of sleep), you woke me up with the worst contractions up to that time. I didn't wake your daddy, but instead went downstairs and devoured two bowls of cereal....the first real food I had eaten in a week. Luckily, I was scheduled for a regular check up for that morning. When we got to the doctor at 10 a.m., they brought me right in and checked me and I found out that I was 5 cm dilated and that it was time to get to the hospital. I was in shock, having just been sent home from the hospital a few short hours earlier. Being the somewhat unorganized person that I am, I hadn't even packed a bag yet for the hospital. After all, I still had 3 weeks to go! I was in no rush.

Your daddy and I decided that we would quickly go get something to eat and get me settled at the hospital and then he would go home and pack my bag for me. We went to Subway and got some of their breakfast sandwiches. To this day, when I drive by that Subway, I always remember that it was the last place I ate bfore you arrived and I remember feeling the joy, anticipation and fear I felt knowing that you would be with us in just a few short hours. (HOPEFULLY).

From the time I arrived at the hospital until the time you were born was a complete whirlwind. There was a constant flow of nurses and doctors; aunts and uncles, grandparents and great grandparents, and people eagerly awaiting your arrival. It was a very exciting time. I received my epidural at around 3:00 and at 5:06 you were finally here after only 12 minutes and 4 pushes (from the time I started to push). You came quickly. I think you were ready to get out into the real world after spending a week inside of me with that awful flu.

After you were born and they laid you on my chest, I looked down at you in complete awe and amazement. I couldn't beleive you were actually here and that I was a mother! It was almost too much to fathom.

You were a beautiful, tiny and perfect little girl. Five pounds eight ounces and only 17 3/4 inches, but healthy as can be. You looked like a little angel.

As I've watched you grow over the last four years, I am in constant amazement and awe of you. You are a brilliant, beautiful, sweet and caring little girl and I love you more every moment I get to spend with you. Watching you learn and grow and become an independent little person has given me so much joy and sense of pride. You are my little girl! Sometimes it still gives me chills when I hear the word "Mommy".

You are my first born child. You will always hold a very special place in Mommy's heart. I hope you know how very much I love you and how very proud I am to be your mom. I will always try to be the best mommy I can for you. I may make mistakes now and then (I probably already have), but I will always do my best....and I will always, always love matter what!! I love you, sweetheart!

Your Mommy!
Care Bear's 1st Sunday wearing Mommy's First Sunday Dress

Hayley Sunday Best

Aug 29, 2006


The freakin' drama that encompasses my life. I'm not kidding. I think I'm going to move my family to a prairie with not a soul within 100 miles of me and we'll live like the Ingalls. For crying out loud. I'm tired of people. That's it.

Aug 25, 2006

A Milestone-A Pseudo Award-And What's That?! RAIN?!

Care Bear's birthday is next week. She'll be the big 4. Last night, Blondie 1 and Blondie 2 were riding around the neighborhood on their super bright neon pink and purple "big kid bikes" racing eachother, while poor Care Bear lagged behind on her much too small for her pastel pink and purple tricycle. She came in defeated and said she no longer wanted to play because "Blondie 1 and Blondie 2 are racing eachother and I don't have a bike to race with them." That was it. I decided at that moment that Care Bear was getting an early birthday present.

dora bike

Ah yes.....her first big girl bike. My mom had actually gotten this for her for her birthday....beat me to the punch, so I offered to buy it from her so we could give it to Care Bear. The look on Care Bear's face when this was brought out made me feel good about my decision to give this to her early. I just could not stand the thought of waiting another week and seeing that look on her face everytime her best friends got on their bikes and she would have to resort to climbing on her little trike and bumping her knees on the handle bars every time she rode. However, Feisty had the complete opposite reaction. Feisty is the biggest Dora fan you will ever find. This girl has Dora-mania. When she saw that bike coming out of the box and found out it wasn't hers....well lets just say that she was a tiny bit heartbroken. Not even inheiriting the little tiny Elmo bike with training wheels or Care Bears tricycle could calm her. She wanted the Dora bike.

Once the bike was put together, Care Bear climbed on that thing and rode it like she'd been doing it her whole life. Quite the pro. I'll give her a few months until she's doing it without training wheels. *sigh* Another milestone. What's a mother to do when her kids just grow up too fast?!

And's been quite awhile since I have awarded an "I HELPED KRISTEN COOK" award. I'm dry guys. I have no new recipes to try. You can't get the award of you don't submit the recipe, folks! Come on now! I mean, I know it's a meaningless award and in the big blog scheme of things, who cares about a stupid award telling people that you helped some fledgling kitchen challenged mom cook a good meal for her kids, but I still need help! SUBMIT, SUBMIT, SUBMIT! I'm getting bossy now, aren't I? Anyway, I do have an award this week, though. It was very popular with the kids, they ate it all up, and it was quick, easy and cheap. So, this weeks award goes to:

banquet chicken nuggets


Do you suppose the people at Banquet have a blog where I can send them the code for the award? Hmmm.

And my last little "nugget" for today (you see how I did that? did you catch that pun?!), it's COLD outside this morning. Yes, COLD. Not just chilly. I'm wearing a sweatshirt. I have a blankie over my legs. I'm so happy! Leaves are starting to fall off the tree. I'm having visions of fires in the fireplace....socks and shoes with laces.....the smell of jumping in leaves.....I'm getting ahead of myself because I know by tomorrow we'll be in sweltering heat again. I'm thoroughly enjoying it today, though.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Aug 23, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday!


I do most of the housework in our household. Dishes, vacuuming, name it. People who have been reading my blog since the beginning know my distaste for one household chore in particular......laundry. It never ends. Once you think you have it done, you turn around and there's an entire basket or three full of laundry again.

I've always done all the laundry for all five people in my family. Recently, I accidentally stained one of my husband's shirts. The reaction I received from him after staining his shirt prompted what I now refer to as "The Laws of Laundry". It's a simple law really. Hubby now does his own laundry. I refuse to touch it. I will no longer be blamed or berated for an inadvertent stain on a shirt. This law accomplishes two things:

1.) I no longer can accidentally stain or ruin any of his clothes. If they are ruined, it is his fault and his fault only. He also can not get on my case if he doesn't have any clean clothes.

2.) It lessens my laundry responsibility exponentially. This man changes his clothes more times a day than my kids AND usually doubles up on shirts. And his socks?! Don't even get me started on his socks.

The Laws of WORKS FOR ME!!

Aug 22, 2006

I'm Not Gossipping!

I'm really not. But I am concerned for my little neighbor girls, Blondie 1 and Blondie 2. If you're rather new to my blog and don't know about this neighbor family of mine, read up a little on The Blondies and their parents, "Barbie and Ken" right here.

This has been a strange summer for the Barbie family. As I mentioned in that previous post, their children spend copious amounts of time at our house; which sometimes I have issues with, and sometimes I don't. It entirely depends on what kind of mood I'm in and how good or bad my kids have been that day. But I was really looking forward to a great summer of lots of outdoor play with these girls for my kids. After all, during the school year they are over until the sun goes down; why wouldn't it be any different? I guess Barbie had different plans for the summer for her girls.

A few months ago, I'd say right at the beginning of the summer, Barbie was outside with her girls and I was outside with mine. She and I were making idle chit-chat when Barbie decided to spill her guts to me. (I was once telling hubby that every time I have a conversation with Barbie, I end up feeling absolutely stunned by something that she had to tell me....never fails.) However, even for Barbie and her "diarrhea of the mouth" problem, this may have been one thing that if I were her, I would have kept to myself. There we are, standing at the end of my driveway, and she spills it:

Barbie: "I'm kind of having an affair."

Kristen: (not exactly knowing how to respond to this sudden news...) "Oh, um...really?"

Barbie: "Yeah. I'm not sleeping with him or anything. I've known him for a long time and he just gives me the emotional support that Ken doesn't give me. I've only held his hand and talked to him on the phone. But Ken found out about it and now I feel like I'm in prison. He says he wants to work things out and he doesn't want to lose me, but that I have to quit seeing this guy."

Kristen: "Oh, wow." (I'm not often speechless, but what does she expect me to say?!?!)

She then went on to outline all of the reasons that this affair is justifiable in her mind and why she doesn't believe she can quit seeing him.

The summer progressed, and while I didn't ask Barbie anymore about it, I began to notice the change in the household. When Ken was home, Barbie wasn't, and vice versa. Sometimes the Blondies were with Barbie, sometimes with Ken, but they were never together.

Sometimes (a lot of the time) Ken would be at home most of the evening by himself accompanied by extremely loud music coming from his truck. Barbie would cruise into the driveway at some point in the night because her car would be there the next day, and Ken's truck would not.

There would be days at a time where my kids wouldn't see the Blondies. In my mind, of course, having heard news of the affair straight from the horse's mouth, I was pretty sure this had something to do with the disappearance of the female 3/4 of the household.

As the weeks of the summer have passed on, this trend has continued. When the girls do come over and play with mine, most times they are wearing the same clothes they've worn for the past two or three days. Their hair is un-combed and they look disheveled and almost sad. Particularly Blondie 1. When they are home, they are home at my house....not theirs. Knowing what they could potentially be going through right now, I do not make issue of this any longer. My home, my family and my kids may be the only sense of normalcy they have right now. I don't know. What I do know is that the Blondies have been spending a lot of time at "mommy's friend Jack's house" lately, and that Jack is a 54 year old twice married man with seven children (and is currently married).

I feel so unbelievably sad for these girls, sad for Ken (although I don't know what the full story is...only what Blondie told me herself and my observances from living next door to them), and angry at Blondie for doing this to her kids. Granted, I don't know everything that is happening with them, and I don't need to, but I don't think it's right to be taking your children to your "sugar daddy's" house and confusing them that way. I've considered offering them to adopt their kids. I might as well. They are such sweet girls and I feel sad for them.

Aug 18, 2006

Fun For The Weekend

Here's a little slide show I created for fun towards the end of the work day. It was fun to make; I hope it's fun to watch! Have a great weekend!!


I have an issue with this: Forgiveness. I have quite a few people in my life who seem to make it their mission in their life to make mine (or others close to me) miserable. I mentioned one such person in my post Wednesday. I've also mentioned a certain BM who likes to make everyone she comes in contact with miserable. And then there is a former sister-in-law....and I'm sure there are others, but those are the most pre-dominant.

The thing is, these people aren't just minor annoyances in my life who have done a thing or two to bug me. They have done, and continue to do things that can alter lives. And that to me is hard to forgive.

I thought a lot about my post the other day, and about the comments I received from people; the need to forgive and pray for those that wrong me. And I know I need to do this. It is just something that is very, very hard for me to do.

My plan this morning was to do a post about forgiveness. I was going to come in, go to the Bible on-line and search for verses about forgiveness. Then I was going to post my thoughts on it and what I may need to do in my quest to forgive those who do me and my loved ones harm. But it turns out, I didn't even need to do a search.

When I open my email first thing in the morning, I always go through new, unread emails to see what I need to read, and what can be tossed. Today, I received an email from my aunt Cheryl. Cheryl rarely emails me, and this one happened to be sent to several people in our family. I went ahead and opened it to see what it said. It turns out, she was emailing us todays entry from an online devotional that she does called "The 21 Day Habit". Today was Day 3, and the topic? FORGIVENESS. I didn't need to go online to search for verses on forgiveness, because they were right there for me when I opened my e-mail. Here are a couple of them:

You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think it was any small coincidence that I found this in my Inbox this morning.

I'm still feeling the sting from the events of the past, and the present, and probably the future. But it is my job to be the bigger person and forgive. It won't be easy, but I will try.

Aug 15, 2006

Care Bear "Potty Talk" and more

I realize that it may seem that I talk about Care Bear an awful lot lately, but I can't help it. She just provides such good "blog fodder" that I can't get away from it. So, for your Tuesday reading, I give you "Care Bear Potty Talk and More...".

Care Bear's birthday is coming up in a little over two weeks. Hubby and I had been discussing what to do for her birthday and decided that our little family would take her to Chuck E. Cheese's and the following Saturday, we would have the family over for cake and ice cream and presents. Anakin was very satisfied with this plan, what with Chuck being one of his favorite places to go. However, Care Bear threw a wrench in his plan when she announced that she had decided against Chuck and just wanted to have the party at our house. Anakin was not happy with this plan and was very vocal with his distaste. I tried to remind Anakin whose birthday this actually is when Care Bear piped in with, "Anakin is so dramatic!" One of her other favorite vocabulary words right now: Separately. Yeah.
Monday afternoon while playing with Blondie 1, Care Bear came bursting through the front doors announcing to anyone within shouting distance that she had to go potty really bad! In a few minutes, I heard her shout to me, "MOMMY! YOU HAVE TO COME SEE THIS!" Now, usually when Care Bear tells me this, it is because she is overly proud of whatever it is that she has produced into the toilet. Yeah, I know....gross. But being the doting mother that I am, I went and looked cringing the whole time. Care Bear had a little case of the runs; and having never had this since being potty trained, this was a new and surreal experience for her. She was in awe. I quickly flushed the toilet, feigned amazement with her over what she had done and asked her to please get her underwear back on. "But Mommy," came her response, "I'm not done yet".

I went back to my business of folding laundry when I saw a streak of naked Care Bear flash right by me towards the stairs.

Me: "Care Bear! Where are you going?"

Care Bear: "I have to go potty upstairs now!"

Me: "Why?!?!" (fearing the absolute worst: that the toilet and overflowed with her runs and everything all over the bathroom floor.)

Care Bear: "Because everytime I go potty downstairs today, my butt goes 'pphhhhhtttttttt' when I sit down!"

Ahem....that's my Care Bear!!

hayley as mickey mouse 014

Aug 11, 2006

Decision Made

Thank you all so much for your thoughts, opinions, and pieces of advice regarding my decision as to whether or not I should continue to take class this fall. After much thinking, and after discussing it with the hubster (yes, I came to my bloggy friends before my that bad or what?!), and after speaking with some "real life" friends at home, I decided that I'm going to go ahead and "drop" (I hate that sounds like such a failure) my course that I had enrolled for this fall. I may or may not re-enroll in the spring depending on what time the class is offered and if it works any better with my schedule right now. But for now, I'm not going to stress about it. Actually, this decision takes at least one load off of my shoulders: I don't have to worry about finding someone to watch them on Thursdays, I don't have to pay for babysitting, I don't have to miss out on my kids' life and I don't have to spend my evenings (the only time I would ever be with them) studying. Oh, and tuition.....who could forget tuition.

I feel at peace with the decision and the fact that no one is looking at me like, "You're dropping out again?!" Not that I should be concerned what other people think about me and what I decide to do with my life, but, you know.....

I was able to take a class this summer that showed me that yes, this is what I want to do, that I can still study after being out of school for at least a decade and that I can still manage to get decent grades. I enjoyed the class, and I'm sure when I do get around to going back again, I'll enjoy the rest of them, too. But for now, I just need to be with my kids and focusing on them.

Last night, I told Care Bear the news that I would be staying home with her this semester instead of going to school thinking that she would be thrilled. Instead, she got a concerned look on her face and said, "But Mommy! You have to go to school! I don't want you to get in trouble!" I had to make sure my heart was still in tact because I could have sworn that it melted right out of my chest.

Aug 9, 2006

ADVICE NEEDED: Life Dilemna!

(NOTE: My Wordless Wednesday is below this post. Check it out, too!)

I'm not doing a "Works for Me Wednesday" this week because, well, I couldn't think of anything for this week, and I really need some advice about something. Good, honest, no holds barred advice about the future of my schooling.

As most of you know, I recently decided to go back to school and took my first class (an online one) this summer. I really, thoroughly enjoyed it and have no doubt that this is the path I want to take. This fall (which starts in a mere two weeks) I am also planning on taking a class. This one is in an actual classroom, and I arranged it to where I could take the class to not interfere with my work schedule so I wouldn't have to go through the unbelievable pain of trying to figure out when to make up work time. But this is where the problem lies: While the class does not interfere with my paying job, it seriously interferes with my time with my children. The class is on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. Almost 3 hours. My current work schedule is Tuesday afternoons, all day Wednesday and all day Friday. Care Bear goes to pre-school this year on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. So, here is what my schedule would look like this coming semester.

MONDAY: My day off. No class. Care Bear has preschool from 12:30-3:00. I would see her in the morning and see Feisty all day. (Anakin is in school all day every day).

TUESDAY: Class in the a.m. for me (3 hours). I would reach home approximately 11:15 and have to turn around and go back to work at noon. Care Bear has pre-school in the p.m. Tuesday evening I have praise band practice. Essentially on Tuesdays, I would see my children for a mere half hour the entire day until 9:00 p.m. (at which time they would be going to bed).

WEDNESDAY: My full day at work. Don't see kids all day until 5:00 p.m.

THURSDAY: My day off, however have class in the morning for 3 hours. Arrive home at approximately 11:15 and have to take Care Bear to preschool at 12:30. Would not see Care Bear most of the day (until 3:00 when she gets off pre-school) but would see Feisty in the afternoon.

FRIDAY: Work all day. Don't see kids until 5:00 p.m.

Essentially, I would see Care Bear on Monday mornings all week and that is it. I'd see Feisty a little more, but not the amount of time I see her now.

It has been years and years since I graduated from high school. Life circumstances have distracted me from attending school for years. I finally decide to go back, get started, get excited, but now I am realizing that (at least this semester) I will be sacrificing major amounts of time with my children to take ONE CLASS. Considering Care Bear will be going to Kindergarten next year and time with them is absolutely flying by, I don't know if I'm willing to give up that much time with them when before I know it they will all be in school and I'll wish I had this time back.

In addition to that, I don't even yet know who would watch them on Thursdays. I have someone for Tuesday, but the person I was hoping could watch them on Thursday can't do it. So if I'm going to do this, I have a very short amount of time in which to find a Thursday sitter.

So, what do you all think? Honestly. For real. Will I ever actually go back if I once again "drop out"? Will I ever get my "real career" going before I'm 40 if I keep delaying? But do I really want to miss these precious years with my kids? Your opinions please. I appreciate it mucho!!

Wordless Wednesday--"Twin" Girls

Hayley+2002 Care Bear--2 monthsOlivia pink-2004 Feisty--1 month

Aug 8, 2006

Moments With Daddy

Last night, Feisty woke up in the middle of the night and didn't seem to be able to go back to sleep. That rarely happens. While she does occasionally wake up now and then still, she typically falls back asleep within moments. Last night was different. She seemed scared when she woke up. I think she may have had a bad dream. I tried to comfort her, hold her, lay next to her; none of my usual routines helped her get back to sleep last night. After what seemed like forever (close to an hour; which in the middle of the night is forever), Hubby asked what he could do to help. In the pitch dark, he could not see my eyeballs big as saucers and my jaw hitting the floor at the mere idea that he was offering to help me with a sleepless child in the middle of the night. It just.doesn't.happen. Never.

As it happens, Feisty was asking for Daddy. She wanted Daddy. Mama wasn't cuttin' it this time. (which is also a rarity.)

Hubby picked her up, cuddled her in the soft fuzzy blanket he got for her when she was born and sat in the dark in our rocking chair with her. Still somewhat shell-shocked at this turn of events, and rather comatose over the fact that my daughter dare want her daddy over her mama, I turned and laid back down in bed.

Every now and then I would hear Feisty say something to Daddy; her foot was stuck, the blankie wasn't covering her sufficiently. She was still having difficulty falling asleep. After a few more minutes passed, I heard my hubby start softly singing "You Are My Sunshine" to Feisty. Over and over and over again until a few more minutes passed and Feisty turned silent.

I couldn't help but smile and feel good inside my heart listening to this whole thing occur with Feisty and her Daddy. Apparently, she just needed Daddy this time. And Mama got to lay down in bed and go to sleep.

Aug 3, 2006

Counting Lesson by Care Bear

This is the scene: Care Bear and Blondie 1 are playing outside together last night on the sidewalk in front of our house. Care Bear is in her ultra cool Little Tikes red car and Blondie 1 is carrying around a huge basket full of stuffed animals. Here is how the conversation went:

Blondie 1: "Hey Care Bear! This is a rocket! It's gonna take off! 1...2...3...4...5! Blast Off!"

Care Bear: "No! It's 5...4...3...2...1...blast off!"

Blondie 1: "Oh. Ok. 1...2...3...oh, I don't know how to do that!!"

Care Bear: "I'll teach you. 7...6...5...4...3...2...1!"

Care Bear is 3 (almost 4), Blondie 1 is 5 and a half.

Hey Care Bear...mama wants to know if you know how to spell H-A-R-V-A-R-D!

Aug 2, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday!


A week or so ago, I desperately needed to mop my kitchen and bathroom floors. I went to get my mop and my bucket and lo and behold....the mop was broken. "What ever shall I do?!", I thought to myself. What a conundrum. I was in no mood to go to the store and buy a new one, but my floors really needed some attention.

After waking up my grumpy husband to see if he could help me fix the mop, and after Feisty gave her little sweet, albeit useless attempt, I realized the mop was shot.

Minutes passed and I came to the realization that I could mop my floors the old fashioned way. I mean, there was a time in life where there was no such thing as a mop, and floors managed to get clean. So I grabbed my bucket, filled it with Pine-Sol, grabbed an old towel, and got on my hands and knees and mopped those floors clean. And I have to say, despite the fact that my linoleum is hideously ugly and in desperate need of being ripped out and replaced, it has never looked cleaner.

So, I may just decide to save my money on one of those new uber-fancy Swiffer mops, and use the hands and knees and old towel to get my floors clean. It Works For Me!
Head on over to Shannon's for more Wednesday fun. (Also, go right below this post where I also posted my "Wordless Wednesday!)

Wordless Wednesday--Care Bear and her Pooh

hayley and pooh square

Aug 1, 2006

The Winds of Change

Whenever I hear that term, "The Winds of Change", I will forever think of that icky monster Randall on "Monsters, Inc." when he's talking to Mike Wizowski saying, "Ya hear that Mikey? That's the winds of change." Anyway......onto the subject at hand.

I go to a Nazarene church. I was born and raised in a Nazarene church and come from a very long line of Nazarenes. A lot has changed over the years in the Nazarene church. When I was growing up as a child in this demonination, I struggled with some of the rules. I did not understand why we did some of the things we did. For instance, we weren't allowed to go to movies in the theater. Don't attempt to get an explanation from me as to the logic of this, because I still don't know why. We were allowed to rent movies. So to me, the question was always, "why is it OK to rent a movie and watch it in a VCR, but it's not OK to go to the actual theater and watch it?" Is the building itself evil? I don't know. As the years have gone by, that particular rule seems to have gone by the wayside because to date, there is not a single Nazarene I know that doesn't visit the theater on occasion.

When I was a child, and well into my teens and even younger adulthood, the music portion of the service was composed of a couple of hymns, the choir special and another special by a soloist, or quartet, etc...Several years ago, a "contemporary" chorus or two were thrown in there for good measure. Eventually, our church decided to split into two services. The growth was substantial enough to warrant doing this, and they decided it might not be a bad idea to appeal to the younger crowd and make the 2nd service a "contemporary" service. After visiting the second service a couple of times, I determined that our church's idea of a contemporary service, and my idea of a contemporary service were two different things. Really the only difference was that there was no choir and rather than singing hymns, chorus after chorus after chorus were sang. They were not sung in an "upbeat" fashion with a band behind them that made me want to stand up and sing, tap my feet and dance in the aisles (no, we don't dance in the aisles....just teasing). The choruses they sang were contemporary enough, but accompanied by the piano and the drums and were at least 2 or 3 beats slower than they should be. Suffice it to say, I was not overly impressed with our church's idea of a "contemporary service". And apparently, not too many other people were either because the 1st service, the traditional service, still got twice the amount of people to it at 8:30 a.m. than the later 11:00 service. And the younger crowd that the contemporary service was supposed to appeal to? They were also still attending the 1st service.

A few months ago, our Sunday School teachers (we go to the young married's class which at that time was taught by a couple in their 40s who have attended our church for years) came to us as a class with concerns about the ministry to young families and young couples in our church. They asked for our opinions and what we thought in terms of how our church ministered to people such as ourselves. That opened a whole huge whoppin' can of worms and the next two Sundays during Sunday School was spent discussing what changes could be made to bring in more young families and couples from our community and to keep those young families and couples currently attending to stay put. Many ideas were discussed, brought to the church board, and our Pastor even came in and sat with us in Sunday School one week to hear our ideas. Some ideas were passed over, some were met with a, "Hmmm....we'll have to think about that" and one idea was accepted and put into motion. And that idea was to re-vamp the "contemporary service" and make it live up to its name. Our Sunday School teachers (who I'll just refer to as P & S) took it upon themselves to head up and create a new praise band. This, unfortunately meant that they could no longer be our Sunday School teachers; but I suppose you have to give and take to get what you want, right? The new praise band was to consist of drums, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and bass guitar, as well as 2 or 3 singers to lead the songs. They asked me to be one of the singers, and my husband to play the drums. Hubby avoided an answer for as long as he could, avoiding calls from P, not returning calls to P, I guess in hopes that they would forget he existed and wouldn't have to do it. My husband has a real issue with commiting to things. He'll say he'll do something, then won't end up doing it, but I think he knew that if he said yes to this, that he would be stuck because other than P & S's son (who is going away to college in three weeks), there are no other drummers that we know of in our church. And if he said yes and ended up flaking out, he would single-handedly be responsible for the demise of the praise band.

Shockingly, he came to me one evening and told me that he had decided to go ahead and agree to do the drums for the praise band. I was thrilled and P&S were thrilled and extremely relieved.

We began practice last week and had our BIG DEBUT this past Sunday. We got in on it the 3rd week; the prior weeks P&S's son had been playing drums and they had been rotating singers. So far, it has been very successful. The numbers for the second service have about doubled, and we have seen several new couples in the audience. The music is very much so contemporary and "toe-tapping" worthy. What's the best, though, is seeing my husband enjoy himself doing this kind of thing. He's not much of a people person; rather shy and likes to keep to himself. He hasn't been involved much in church at all, and to have him agree to do this and actually enjoy it is amazing!

The winds of change....they are a comin'!