Pieces of Me

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Ark

Ark

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

McIntyre Family Yearly Update

Christmas Blessings from our family to yours.  There have been lots of changes in the McIntyre Family this past year.  It is very hard for me to believe that twelve months have slipped by and 2008 is near its end. 

At the beginning of the year, Rose celebrated her 30th birthday with her family and close friends by her side.  It was a wonderful evening of lots of fun.  Rose hasn't been happier than she is now.  She's still working on the weight loss journey.  The weight from carrying Cayden is taking longer to come off then she would like, but she's doing it safely - with the help of Weight Watchers and Curves.  Here's to losing 50 lbs in 2009!

Stephen is still working with Kantar Operations.  This will be his 10th year with the company.  He still enjoys working on other people's computers and really enjoys spending other people's money.  He feels honored when someone asks him for computer advice and enjoys helping others either fix their current system or making sure they purchase the perfect computer for their needs.

Hannah graduated from PreK this Spring and entered the world of public school.  We are blessed to have had her transferred to Joslin Elementary School.  The student population is 300, and there are 12 students in her class.  It's been wonderful to get to know both her teacher and the staff on a more personal level.

And since Hannah is in Kindergarten, Rose went back to teaching part time.  She teaches at Noah's Ark Preschool two days a week.  She is currently the music teacher for all classes and an assistant teacher for the young three year old class.  It is so wonderful to be back where the LORD called her.  On the days that she is not working, Rose volunteers at Hannah's school and spends time with Cayden.  She is also planning on beginning a Moms in Touch International Prayer group for moms at Joslin.  For this project, she will be working close at hand with the two churches near the school.  Please pray for this as it is still in the beginning stages.

And because Rose is working, Cayden has entered the world of Preschool.  It was a rough start in the beginning, but he has now made some good friends and loves his teachers.

Aside from that, we still enjoy spending time with our close friends, the Lamberts, as well as our family.  It's been wonderful to have all the cousins together since we are all in a close radius at the moment.  And it's been good to just spend time with family.

The Lord has certainly blessed us beyond belief and it is wonderful to see our children grow in His love.  And we are blessed to be a part of a community of believers at our church home, The Well. 

Blessings, The McIntyres - Stephen, Rose, Hannah, & Cayden

A Little Obsessed with Santa Claus

This time of year is always so much for Stephen and me because we get to watch our children react to the world around them during the holidays.  Of course, our main focus of Christmas is on the Christ-child and how important his birth is to all people.  Hannah loves to sing Christmas carols with mom (and sometimes alone), especially Away in a Manger, Joy to the World, and Oh Come All Ye Faithful.

But she also likes to sing Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and Feliz Navidad.  It's fun to listen to her versions of the songs, but for the most part, she's right on target with both lyrics and tune (pitch as well).

The kids love all the lights - we haven't made our yearly journey to the Zilker Tree yet - that will be this evening after the Christmas Program. 

We ventured out to Bethlehem - Kyle, and to the Crazy House near Miss D's place.  And we have gone to Sea World twice, enjoying both times equally.

And of course, we visited the Jolly Old Man, himself - Santa Claus.  And since this is the first year since Hannah was a toddler and Cayden was a baby that my kids would have ANYTHING to do with Santa, we couldn't just visit him once.  We saw him SIX times.  Twice at Sea World, twice at the mall (thanks to Mammaw), once at the DPS Party, and once at Chick-Fil-A.  The Chick-Fil-A incident was an accident.  We went for dinner last night and happened to hit Family Night.  The kids ate free, and Santa was there.  SCORE!  And Hannah says we saw him EIGHT times because she and D took their photo with a Santa yard display last night, and we caught Santa scuba diving at Sea World. I guess "technically" she's correct.

scan0002 Hannah and Santa at Sea World the first time.   Cayden was not having anything to do with Santa at Sea World.  He enjoyed the Happy Old Man from afar.

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The kids with Santa at the mall.  Once with Mom and Dad and once with Mammaw.  Mammaw used to have a friend who worked as Santa so she was hoping to catch him, but it looks like Santa Ed has retired from both DPS and the North Pole.

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Here's the photo from the DPS Christmas Program we attended with Mammaw.  This would be a fantastic photo except that I'm in mid sentence so I look terrible.  :(  But life goes on.  The kids are cute.

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This photo is from Sea World the second time we went.  Both kids wanted to sit with Santa this time around.  Cayden really likes Santa now! Of course, if you're not purchasing the photos you have to stand really far away, but they were really nice to let them look at my camera!

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Here's the photo from Chick-Fil-A.  They were so excited that Santa was there.  Candy Canes, A Coloring Page, and Crayons, plus Chicken Nuggets.  Talk about heaven!

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And here's the photo from last night with Miss D. 

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Incredibly Blessed

Advent is one of my favorite times of year.  Preparing for Christmas celebrations, attending Christmas programs, watching my children revel in the true meaning of Christmas is just amazing to me.  Yes, I do get stressed, and frustrated, and angry, but I try my hardest to keep my temper.  There are times when I lose it with others and immediately feel remorse.  And I always ask for forgiveness, especially with my kiddos, but usually with everyone.  No one deserves the temper of a stressed out mother and wife (let's not forget teacher) who is also a redhead.  What helps me remember why I ask for forgiveness is when my children tell me they forgive me and that they love me. 

It is not always easy to possess the love language of gift giving.  Especially when preparing gifts for others that are not the children in your family.  Hannah just doesn't understand why not every present we buy is not for her.  I've started doing my shopping without her and my wrapping while she's at school or asleep.  It helps keep the tantrums to a minimum, but I am still trying to manage the problem itself.  She understands that there are people in the world who have less than her.  It's the people we love and spend time with that she gets upset over the presents.  She wants everything that everyone else is getting.  And it's wearing on my nerves.  But I digress.

We have had a lot of fun this month.  Between Cayden's Christmas Program, Hannah's Winter Sing-a-Long, Sea World with the Lamberts, the Live Nativity at Park Hills, and Christmas parties, I have been reminded why I am a parent.  And to hear your five year old tell you after Pastor Kenny from Park Hills gives a message and prayer that Jesus lives in her heart and she knows it reminds me of what the Lord has entrusted me to do as a parent.  I am so blessed that God have given me the opportunity to teach my children about His love and to show His love to them.  And use me to plant the seeds of their salvation.  And I am blessed to know that the Holy Spirit did use me and her Daddy (and many others) to teach her about Him.

Okay, now to the photo craziness.  Just a glimpse into our lives prior to Christmas Break.

Our Little Angel - who totally refused to participate in the program.  That's okay, it was still awesome, and I am blessed to have been the director.

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Our pretty little girl - with the missing tooth.

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Kisses for sister.

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Our Christmas Card photos.  Yes, I am going to get them sent out. 

Winter Sing - a - Long at Hannah's School

Hannah and her best friend from school.

Hannah and Mrs. D

 

We had a visit with Leah and Miss Greta.  Of course, it was Greta's nap time.  But I got this adorable photo of our boy.

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Sea World with the Lamberts.  So much fun to go with best friends.

Hannah and D feeding a dolphin.

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On the rides.

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Christmas Trees and Santa Claus

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Pretending to ride the big coaster.

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With the fake Shamu

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On Journey to Atlantis.

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The little girl I used to watch every day moved to Corpus.  Here's a photo of her momma and me before they moved away.

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Cayden's Christmas Party. 

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Hannah's Christmas Party

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And a little party with K and D

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baby Jesus and Santa Claus

This year we have really been focusing in our home on the true meaning of Christmas.  Hannah knows that Christmas is because "Baby Jesus was born."  She knows that Jesus came to earth as a baby, grew up into a man that loved, and then died on the cross to forgive our sins.  She knows that sins are bad things.  She also knows that Jesus came back to life and is in heaven and that one day we will join Him in heaven because of the gift He gave us.  Cayden knows that Christmas is about Baby Jesus as well.  Of course, he doesn't really understand it, but he knows we celebrate Christmas because of the baby.

Last night, we had the opportunity to attend the Living Nativity at Park Hills Baptist Church.  Park Hills tells the Christmas Story from Luke in a very special way.  And it was absolutely beautiful.  Here are some of the photos I was able to get during the Program.

 

Of course, afterwards we were able to get up close and personal with the animals.  You'll have to ask Stephen about being reprimanded by the camel handler.  Never try to pet a camel on the top of  its head if its head is below yours.  Bad! Bad! Bad!

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After the service, we were able to enjoy some hot cocoa and cookies.  And then we headed home.  I failed to mention that the River 102.3 was there and Hannah & Cayden both got to spin the prize wheel.  They both "won" CDs, but Cayden settled for a sticker.  Hannah, on the other hand, got to choose a CD, and we now have Mercy Me's latest CD. 

But the biggest blessing of our evening was afterwards in the car.   We were in the car talking about the prayer the pastor said at the end of the service. She told me, Her response was "I didn't have to say it mom, I said it in my heart." Of course, I just looked at her and asked, "You have what in your heart?" "Jesus. He lives in my heart." was her response. Daddy and I both had tears in our eyes.

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Even though our children know that Christmas is all about Baby Jesus, we are also allowing them to enjoy the "magic of Christmas" by having Santa as a part of our celebration.  We even have a Santa at the manger ornament on our tree.  And last night, before our trip to Bethlehem, we took the kiddos to see Santa at the mall.  And shock of all shockers. . . they both sat on his lap and smiled!!!

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This 1st week of Advent as been very eventful!  Continued blessings during this wonderful time of year!