Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Day of School Letters

Good Wednesday morning!

CONTEST! CONTEST! CONTEST! - This is my 983rd post for A Simple Life. The countdown continues!

The Contest will be simple. The rules are as follows:

Beginning today, leave your NAME followed by the word "CONTEST" in the Comment Section of A Simple Life, e-mail me ( or go to my Facebook page.

You can enter the Contest ONCE A DAY (each and every day including Saturdays AND Sundays) until Thursday, August 30 at midnight. (Your name could be put into the drawing bowl a total of 23 times between now and Thursday, August 30!)

I will write my 1,000th post Friday morning, August 31.

I will draw from a HUGE BOWL of names, and a winner will be announced the morning of Friday, August 31.

The winner will receive a $15 Gift Certificate to one of the following restaurants:

1. Another Broken Egg
2. Original Pancake House
3. Olexa's
4. Lucia's Italian Restaurant in Helena

It will be Winner's Choice!

If you win and you live somewhere other than Alabama, you will win a $15 VISA Gift Card!

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"

(I'm going to be saying that for the next 16 POSTS!)

RANDOMNESS #1 - I know you want pictures. I NEED pictures because too many words start swimming all over the page. Pictures ground me.

Here are some oldies, but goodies, from Summer of 2011...

We went tubing at the lake.

We sat on the deck late at night talking, petting beagles and listening to guitar strumming.

We played basketball.

Mike turned 50!

We went to the drive-in.

We celebrated the 4th of July at Faulkner Farms (circa 1842) with good food, family and BUNCO!

Josh went to a week long Music and Arts Camp... and enjoyed himself!

We spent our vacation on a houseboat in the middle of Georgia... and it was fantastic!

We played volleyball.

We ate at Original Pancake House for our back-to-school "friend" outing... and made Freshman wishes at the giant fountain.

We had a Faulkner Five back-to-school dinner at P. F. Chang's.

Austin returned to Jacksonville...

Roxie became a Freshman and Josh became a Senior...

And I turned 50... and lived to tell the tale!


RANDOMNESS #2 - I saw a list on The Nesting Place this morning, and it made me think!

“One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter." Henry David Thoreau

"We’ve only got a few weeks left of the official summer break, for moms and kids, summer ends when school starts.

"As I think back over the summer about my favorite summer memories, I’m reminded of:

"Traveling to Tanzania
Chatting with neighbors watching our children play outside
Going for a swim at night
And so on...
And so on...
And so on."

Since I've admittedly had a different kind of summer this year, I think I must make a list of my own favorite summer memories... and share them tomorrow.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Topic of the Day - Busy, Busy, Busy - This was taken from a post written three years ago, and it still applies to me TODAY! (Originally written August 31, 2009.)

Our family is busy during the fall, but even more so this particular fall. I have never liked being too busy. It makes me feel rushed, overwhelmed and need I say... panicky. It's definitely a time for me to put my newly acquired "one day at a time" skills to work. If I think of the week as a whole, I can easily end up in the bathroom floor breathing into a paper bag (or worse yet, in the ER hooked up to heart monitors and oxygen).

I've checked my "busy basket" a few months early (I usually do inventory in January and June), and I'm not the problem. It's definitely the kids' schedules. However, since I am the mother-unit of the Faulkner Five, it is up to me to help them with their "busy baskets." (For those of you who are just joining us, that's my phrase for the extras in life... football, band, volleyball, dance, choir, extra credit projects, Sunday School socials, etc., etc., etc.) NONE of the things listed are bad things. In fact, all of them are very good things which can have very positive impact in your child's life. But too much of one good thing tends to lead to an unbalanced (very, very bad word) life.

Roxie's "busy basket" has already been tweaked. Although we have to finish commitments (and finish them well), we can both see things we can do differently for next fall.

Josh's "basket" is a little trickier, but his load can be lightened, also.

For the record, Austin is the King of not having a full "busy basket." He will not commit to anything he feels might overload him. It was a skill with which he was born. He never ran from toy to toy to toy. He played with his animals for days before he moved on to his Power Ranger action figures. He also would protest LOUDLY if and when things were too busy for his taste. (It's good to be King.)

I was reading a sidebar in my Bible during the message yesterday morning about Martha, and I want to share it with you today.

"Will all the Marthas in the room please raise your hands? Yes, God sees all those hands! After all, women are taught to be 'do-ers,' not 'be-ers.' When house guests show up, women shift into fifth gear. When someone stays overnight, women do more laps around the house than a car at the Indy 500.

"Unfortunately, this scenario can apply to women spiritually as well as literally. Once women slip into their 'doing' gear, many have trouble downshifting -- ever. Being quiet and contemplative makes them feel guilty -- shouldn't they be doing something for someone somewhere? In Mary-fashion, we need to learn to hear God calling us away from our tasks for a pit stop. At Jesus' feet we'll be refueled. Then we can dash off to 'Martha' the world that awaits us." Luke 10:38-42.

Wow! And by being "Marthas," we are teaching our kids by example to fill up those "busy baskets."

I have a challenge for the blog readers (AND ME) this week. Let's make an ENORMOUS effort (together) to let our kids see us take a pit stop. I mean (very literally) let them see us stop in our busy day to spend some time at Jesus' feet. I know many women read their Bibles and have their quiet time before the kids get up in the morning or after they go to school. We don't need to stop doing that, but we do NEED to let them see us stop, be still and listen to God. That's definitely a lesson worth teaching the kiddos.

Wednesday Wisdom

"Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for." Anonymous

First Day of School Letters

I'm going to share an old Seasonal Tradition from three years ago.

Some might call it nostalgic. Some might call it lazy.

I think we all know what I plan on calling it!

I know the first day of school has come and gone, but you can write a letter now, AND FROM NOW ON, write it the first day of school. Be a little flexible (like me)... Okay?

This is more than just a note on a napkin in their lunchbox (although I LOVE those, too).

This is a full-blown letter of love, encouragement and scripture. This letter should include everything you want and pray for your child this coming school year. It should begin and end with declarations of love, and everything in the middle should be uplifting and confidence building. This letter should be the most wonderful thing they read all year long! And it should come from Mom and/or Dad.

Leave it on their pillow, taped to the mirror in the bathroom, or under their placemat at breakfast. Keep things simple. Do not put it in an elaborate scrapbook to save. You can use a plain manila envelope or a pocket folder. They can keep it in their room to read any time they want (or need), and you can add another letter each year.

It's a great way for your child to start the school year... knowing they are precious and special and loved.

Have a tremendous Wednesday. We're having special Awesome August Wednesday night services at First Baptist Gardendale this month. Tonight's awesomeness is "Raise the Praise." Translated that is a lot of great music. If you're in the area, we would love to have you!

I'll be back tomorrow with a date and Blog Linkage.

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the morning.


The Enchanting Belinda

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