29 May 2014

27 May 2014

Report card - May 2014

We were so pleased when we saw improvement in Avery's second semester report card. While she didn't know all of the letter sounds in December, she showed that she knows all of them now. She counted to 39 in December, but now she can count to 100. And no, the poor girl still can't tie her shoes!

Attending preschool really helped Avery grow up and learn all of the essentials. We couldn't be happier with her preschool and its staff. They have helped us prepare her well for school. Kindergarten, here she comes!

(Click on the pictures to see the larger images.)

25 May 2014

Graduations galore

May is a time for graduations. And our family has been looking forward to two very special graduations this year.

First up was Chris. For the past three and a half years, Chris has been going to school part time to finish his undergraduate degree. He found a wonderful distance program through Cincinnati Christian University. After applying his previous undergrad experience, Chris took several classes at a nearby local church and several more classes online.

I was so impressed with how dedicated Chris was to this endeavor. For the past 15-plus years, he never gave up on his desire to finish his degree. When he decided to return to school, he was working a busy full-time job while being a full-time husband and daddy and what I consider a full-time referee. But he still found time to do all of his schoolwork. And he did it so well that he graduated summa cum laude. As his official classwork reviewer, I can attest to the high level of his work.

Last weekend, Chris, Avery, our parents, my sister and I traveled to Cincinnati to witness Chris' graduation.

Those beautiful gold cords represent Chris' summa cum laude honors. As we read the ceremony program, we discovered that Chris also received a special award from the business department, the only graduate to receive such an honor.

Here is Chris' moment of glory.

That big smile shows just how ecstatic Chris was to be an official graduate.

Avery did great sitting thought the two-hour ceremony plus the 45 minutes we were in our seats before the ceremony started. But by the end, she just wanted to see Daddy...and be in every picture with him.

I couldn't be prouder of this incredible man!

But Chris wasn't the only spring graduate in our family. This past Thursday, Avery graduated from preschool.

Take a look at the pictures we took on her first day of preschool. She has really grown up this year...in more ways than one.

My friend Nancy, the preschool director, had warned me about the emotions surrounding seeing Avery in her cap and gown. That didn't prepare me for the tears I ended up shedding! She was so proud of herself, and she looked like such a big girl. I don't know if I cried more at Chris' graduation or Avery's!

Each class sang two songs, complete with motions, and recited two Bible verses, also with motions.

It was wonderful to see so many precious children praising God and reciting His Word.

When it came time to distribute the diplomas, each student's name was read along with where they will attend kindergarten. Then the lead teacher handed a diploma to the student. Avery confidently walked across the stage, picked up her diploma and gave a big hug to Mrs. Grider. Unfortunately, Avery did this so quickly that this is the only picture I got!

What a beautiful graduate!

Then it was time for pictures with everyone.

Grandma and Grandpa Hromada.

Mommaw and Poppaw Clark.

Aunt Karen.

Avery saved her biggest smiles for pictures with Mrs. Grider...

...and Mrs. Millhoff.

Chris and I are so glad we put Avery in preschool this year. She really blossomed academically and socially after being in school. And we believe she is more than ready for kindergarten this fall. We also couldn't be more pleased with Avery's preschool. We hope to return in a few years when Pez is ready for preschool!

23 May 2014

34-week doctor's appointment

We celebrated 34 weeks today at the doctor's office. Pez's heartbeat was in the 140s, and I'm measuring 35 weeks. The doctor couldn't decide if Pez is head-down or not. But there is still plenty of time for him to get into the right position. I'll have another appointment in two weeks. After that, I'll start going weekly. Nothing else to report...it was a pretty uneventful appointment!

22 May 2014

15 May 2014

09 May 2014

32-week doctor's appointment

Today was my 32-week appointment. We're getting closer and closer to Pez's arrival!

Pez's heartbeat was between 125 and 130, which is just right. The only thing I discussed with the nurse was the swelling in my feet and hands...again. The swelling was so bad last night that I had to buy a new pair of slip-on sandals during a girls' night out with my sister! The nurse suggested drinking more water and putting up my feet as much as possible. So apparently, I'm not drinking enough water.

Otherwise, Pez and I are just fine!

08 May 2014

06 May 2014

BSF 2013-2014: What I learned this year

I hope you enjoyed studying Matthew this year and seeing Jesus walk the earth as both God and man. Here’s what I learned in Matthew this year:

What I learned in my personal study:
  • God despises hypocrisy. Throughout Matthew, Jesus denounces hypocrisy and instructs His followers not to be hypocrites. Instead Christ’s followers should live out their faith and show what they believe. This can be difficult. I’ve noticed that I sometimes act differently depending on my companions -- family, believers, unbelievers. I must act the same way around all people, and the way that I should act should be like Christ.
  • God desires us to show humility. Look at Jesus as our example! He was humble in all circumstances in the book of Matthew. I especially see this in his arrest, trials and crucifixion. Jesus never complained or exerted His power. Instead He was humble toward God and His will for Jesus’ life. This is most challenging for me at work. I want to prove to people that I’m good at my job, that I know what I’m doing and that I can be trusted. Instead, I must be humble toward people in authority over me and toward God and His purpose for me.

What I learned by serving in the School Program:
  • God can use frail, inadequate people to further His kingdom. I was nervous about taking on some new responsibilities at the beginning of this year. But God showed me that as long as I am patient, willing to learn and willing to sacrifice myself and my desires, He will train me and use me to support a team of women who work tirelessly to teach children in the Lord. As long as I am willing to let Him use me, God will do mighty things through me!
  • God is in charge of our BSF class. Sadly, the children’s supervisor in our class (my “boss”) is leaving at the end of this year. I am sad to see her go because she has been such a great mentor and example for me in countless ways. But I’m excited to work with a new supervisor and see how God will use her in this new capacity. God reminded me again that He is in control of all things. Our BSF class is His class, and His Word will go out, no matter who is in our leaders’ circle.

The book of Matthew begins with an angel telling Joseph that Mary will give birth to a son, and He will be called Emmanuel, “God with us.” The book of Matthew ends with Jesus telling His disciples that He will be with us always. When you’re struggling through a trial, when you’re rejoicing over a success or when you’re simply living everyday life, never forget that God is with you!

I hope you’ve learned something about God and yourself by reading my posts this year. Do you want to know more about God and the hope He provides through the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ? Please contact me. I want to talk to you!

Has my experience this year piqued your interest about studying God’s Word? Are you looking for answers to your questions about Christianity? Check out BSF! Find a class near you and commit to learning about God through the our study of the life of Moses next year. Or find a Bible study at your local church, ask a friend to study with you and hold you accountable or start studying on your own. God will reveal amazing things to you and will change you from the inside out when you commit to studying His Word.

See you in September when we begin our study of the life of Moses!

01 May 2014