Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Christmas 2008

Christmas Eve that everyone will look good in the Christmas morning pics...some excited children eagerly awaiting the gifts of the next day. A treat this Christmas arrived from our Aunt Lori in Saudi. The kids love getting gifts from there because they are extra special treats from overseas. Kenzie and Aunt Lori have a special connection.

Bangles and bracelets...
head coverings...

the boys had fun dressing up (and mom is thinking great props for Allstars!)

The staff party...we have the best staff ever...Curt, Greg, Brad, Val, Torie, Nolan and their spouses...what an incredible team we are blessed with. PC wouldn't be without them. They strive for excellence each week in all that we do...not to entertain but to capture someone's attention so that God can speak to their heart. Amazing instruments in the hands of our Redeemer. PC staff rocks!
Greg and Curt try to battle it out wrapping gifts with one arm as they race the girls...they were good sports though, and no one went home empty handed!
Val and Holly clearly won the best gift wrapped with one hand tied behind their backs!

Our home was filled with much love this holiday season as we had several gatherings for friends. As we wrap up 2008, we are filled to the brim with God's blessings and goodness to us that we so do not deserve!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dingmore Christmas

Since we've been so far away from family for the last several years, some things change from year to year about how we do Christmas, but a few things remain the same. I suppose you would call them our traditions...things that are important to us and we make a point to do them.

1. Gingerbread Day - we use a recipe from my great grandmother that is an all day affair. This really gets us all in the mood for Christmas. We do all kinds of shapes and never the traditional colors of frosting. We prefer blue, purple, yellow, green because the red never tastes good by the time you get it red enough.One of the funnest parts is remembering all of the folks through the years that have been a part of our Gingerbread day (Wests, Keelan, Bill and Shane, the Nortons, the Khouris, Frank and Aaron, Lucy and Brit, the Potkulskis, and this year Hilton and LillieClaire) This was something my sister Steph and I would do every year, so it is so cool to see my kiddos doing it with their siblings. Not to mention, they are the best gingerbread cookies ever!

Colton says the best part is the messy part! 2. Advent - Granny Lu gave us our Advent calendar when Kenzie was just a baby, and the kids take turns each day putting up that part of the Christmas story. We do different things to focus on Jesus throughout the season, and this keeps us focused each day as we add a new piece to the story. Most years we do an Advent wreath as well, but this year, Mama went back to work and didn't get that done...we'll have to bring it back next year.The 3 kids rotate days to put up each piece, and they alternate who gets to put up the most important "Jesus" piece...this year was Asher's turn.
3. Heart gifts - each of the kids has a stocking on his/her bedroom door, and they fill out pieces of paper with their gifts of the heart to eachother. Some from this year were, "I'll take Addie on a walk for you." from Asher to Kenzie. "I'll play house with you and be whatever you want me to be." from Colton to Kenzie. "I'll work a puzzle with you." from Kenzie to Asher. "You rock. You're the best sister ever." from Asher to Kenzie. "I'll read 2 books to you and 1 Where's Waldo? book" from Kenzie to Asher

I was especially proud of Kenzie this year. She never had to be reminded and she really came up with some sweet thoughts and truly heart gifts. God is really doing a work in her little heart.

4. Christmas story - we've always read the Christmas story on Christmas Eve, but since we've been at Covenant, the kids memorize the Christmas story. So for the last few years, one of the children have recited the story from memory then we talk about a particular aspect of the story.
5. Christmas lights - sometime during the Christmas season, we all load up in the car in our jammies, roll down the windows so that it's really cold, snuggle up with blankies
and hot chocolate and drive around looking at Christmas lights and singing songs (some traditional carols, lots of George Strait Christmas songs)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Linus reminds us of the real reason for today.

May you be in awe and worship Jesus today, on His day. May you honestly consider what your gift will be to Him this day, this year...I'm contemplating that today as well.

Happy Birthday, Jesus, with my whole heart!

Recent Developments

A few days before Christmas, we had an exciting development...our first "harvest" from our winter garden! We've never done a winter garden, but my good buddy Elizabeth inspired me this year, so we planted brussel sprouts, carrots, lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli.
I couldn't have done it without the help of Stone the Gardener. He's amazing!

Colton was the most proud because he has helped the most in the garden...watering, weeding, etc. So fun!

Then, on to our next big news...Kenzie got a puppy for Christmas! After 3 Christmases and birthdays of begging for a dog, Daddy finally gave in and gave Kenzie a puppy. Addie Mae is a sweet 4 month old yorkie that has a little girl that adores her.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Christmas Musical

The Christmas musical at Covenant Academy was another big event in the life of the Dingmores! We had a shepherd and toddler Jesus in the family.

Of course, Jerry claimed that now he finally knew which child took after him the most - Asher, because he was chosen to play toddler Jesus, so it was definitely because he took after his daddy! (Puh-lease, give me a break!)Colton as a shepherd
Accepting the gifts from the wisemenMary (Millie Durden) and toddler Jesus (Asher)

Thanksgiving 2008

I know, I know, you're thinking...Thanksgiving? It's a few days until Christmas! But, I'm trying to catch up for me and for all of our Texas family that reads this.
Our Thanksgiving is usually a little different because all of our family is away. The one thing that is steady is that the five of us have a good time together, have some good food and fun.
Two years ago, we had T-giving at the beach...last year in the mountains...
this year, thanks to our sweet friend the Murpheys and the Mathis,
we had a fabulous Thanksgiving out at the River! We even got to have Mamaw with us which made it special, of course.

Here are a few pics from our day:

Lynn and Clay Murphey, and David Mathis, enjoying T-giving dinnerA little monster volleyball...the kids loved it (and Allison and David)
Asher enjoying a s'more by the campfireColton and little Clay tearin' up the woodsGood food, great friends, beautiful place, long walk, four-wheelin, volleyball, campfire...what more could you have to be thankful for?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Asher's Thanksgiving Play

Grandparents have been asking, so here are the pics from Asher's class Thanksgiving performance. They were precious. I'm going to try and figure out how to upload video so they can see more...
Asher was so proud playing his drum...And he was very enthusiastic about singing...So sweet and precious...I know one day he'll be way too cool for all of this, so I treasure each and every moment.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Five years ago today, he left us.
He was one of the first people I met upon arriving in Macon.
I'll never forget that first meeting, in Kitty's kitchen, him perched on the stool while we visited.
The honk of his horn every time he rode by Kitty's house.
The conversations and laughter at the lake cabin...
I knew him such a short time,
but even in that short time, he made an impact on our family.
No one quite like the Z-man.
Carla, Johnny, Kitty and Big, and all the Kemper clan...
I know the ache is always there,
and you wonder sometime if others have forgotten,
so this is just to let you know...
that you are loved...
and thought about...
and prayed for...
more often than you know,
and those who love him,
and you,
will never forget...

" Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:21-23

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. it is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart..." Philippians 1:3-7

We will never forget, nor tire of your grief.
We love you, Carla, Johnny, Kemper, Cole, Big, Kitty, King Katie, Alan and Kathy...
And we love and miss you, Zach.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kenzie's 10!

Ten years ago today, Kenzie Grace came into our lives 6 weeks earlier than expected.
Random memories...
Jerry had taken a Tylenol PM because he had such a bad headache that night, so I could barely get him awake to take me to the hospital, then after we settled in for a night of labor, he fell asleep!
Renita ran to my house in the middle of the night to pack a bag for me, and stayed up with me all night at the hospital while Jerry slept...
Stephen and Peggy drove all night after being at Bonfire to get there for the birth the next morning...
Grammie and Grandad came up early the next day to make it just in time...
Grammie and Stephanie unpacking shower gifts and setting up a nursery so we would have a place for our sweet angel when we finally got to come home a week later.
Danna coming to the hospital to fix my hair and do my makeup, just to take care of me because I was so worried about my girl...
Dr. Sultemeier praying with us as each test came back negative...
God healing our little angel, and finally getting to bring her home.
Thank you, Jesus, for my 10 year old angel!

Can someone please tell me when this little girl...

became this little girl?

And where does the time go?
I can't believe that my sweet angel that didn't even weigh 5 pounds when we brought her home from the hospital 10 years ago is now 10 years old, and...
will be driving in 6 years...
going to college in 8 and who knows after that?
Happy Birthday, Kenzie Grace!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Papaw's Birthday

Yesterday was Papaw Dingmore's birthday. We have a tradition in our family for Papaw's birthday. Because our children never got to meet him, we wanted to make sure they knew him and remembered him. So, each year on his birthday, we reminisce about funny stories about Papaw, let the kids each write him a note, tie it to a balloon, then send Papaw balloons in Heaven. It has become a very special and fun time for our family. Especially when Mamaw's here to enjoy it with us.
Happy 87th birthday Papaw Dingmore!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ten on Tuesday - Covenant

Ten Reasons Why I love Covenant Academy:

1. the Covenant Declaration "We go to Covenant Academy, a Kingdom school. We exalt the name of Jesus and recognize His presence here. We believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit...God calls me to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ to listen and obey, to listen and obey the first time. Not the second time or the third time, but the first time. To use words of kindness, to respect God's creation and all authority...I will display a crown of beauty instead of ashes, an oil of gladness instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. We will be called oaks of righteousness a planting of the Lord for the display of His Splendor." There is more to it, and Covenant students memorize it and recite it several mornings a week beginning in the first grade all the way throught middle school as the way to start their day. What a declaration for them to hide in their hearts! Amazing.

2. When a teacher or other adult enters a classroom, my 11th graders stop what they're doing and stand up in respect of their elders. I've never asked them to or told them to; they just do.

3. When I ask my 11th graders to stand in honor of the Word of God and read some Scripture together, they thank me for it. They ask me to pray for them, and let me know they pray for me.
4. The teachers. Mrs. Callahan, Mrs. Howd, Mrs. Gottlieb, Mrs. Foxworth and Mrs. Bush, specifically, not to mention a slew of others we have yet to experience. They start every morning with a devotion from the Grammar school principal and prayer.

5. Their commitment to the Word of God. My 4K child has already memorized 10 verses this year, and quotes them when he is facing a situation that calls for a word from God. Example- the other day Asher was struggling with putting together a puzzle. He looked at me and said, "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13." Wow. My 2nd grader and 4th grader come home with questions about Scripture that I never would have thought of at their age.

6. The innocence. My children are so sheltered and protected there. My 11th graders have a great time and enjoy life, but I love their innocence compared to the 11th graders I have taught in the past.

7. My 11th graders are thinkers, processors. Covenant has taught them to be deep thinkers. For example, today, when we were studying Dante's Inferno and the particular circle of Hell we were discussing had to do with those who were corrupt within the church. Dante was very critical of the church of his day (1200-1300 AD). One of my students asked if I thought Dante would get along with Martin Luther, or would he think Luther was a heretic and blasphemer? How many 11th graders do you know that would ask that question?

8. There are no locks on the lockers. Anywhere. No need. Amazing.

9. The curriculum. They have Bible class every day, and pray with their teachers every day. History is taught from the Biblical perspective. The students begin learning Latin in the 4th grade. The classical approach makes so much sense to me as an educator and as a mom.

10. Reformation Day Celebration. Kids look forward to it every year. We have always struggled with the whole "Halloween thing" and have avoided it as a family; Covenant has given us a celebration of Reformation Day, to be for something rather than against something else.

Is Covenant Academy perfect? No.
Am I blind to the struggles we're having? No.
But, I do think sometimes when we're caught up in the midst of difficult times, we need to remind ourselves of the blessings we do have.
At least I do.
When our family goes through difficult times, we sit down together and remind ourselves of all the ways God has blessed us, then things don't seem so insurmountable anymore.
I forget how blessed I am to be a Covenant mom and teacher, sometimes, so I reminded myself.
Thought maybe some others might need to be reminded too.
Let's be on our knees in gratitude and intercession for our school.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

She Did It!

Well...she's been waiting for this day, and it's finally here!

Kenzie got her ears pierced for her 10th birthday. Mamaw took her for the big event; it was Mamaw's gift to her.

Here are some of the highlights...the actual piercing. She never flinched, and she said it didn't hurt.

She was so proud! She couldn't stop smiling...And looking at herself in the mirror...She is one happy girl!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Colton's baptism Sunday night...

Will try to find words for it soon...but for now a pic is worth a 1000 of 'em

Sunday, October 26, 2008