Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010

Looking back, I wanted to make sure I blogged about Rachael's year of school. We are very proud of her freshman year at Union Grove Christian School and look forward to prayerfully an even better sophomore year.

In May, we were contacted by a member of the American Christian Honor Society and told that Rachael was eligible for the distinguished honor of being inducted into the American Christian Honor Society. There are certain requirements that are part of the eligibility process including your GPA, testimony, character, service, and leadership abilities.

Rachael was responsible for obtaining a letter of recommendation from her pastor, writing a letter of testimony, and submitting an application form that included any service to her church, school and community.

After weeks of anticipation, we received a phone call stating that Rachael had been accepted and would be tapped during a secret ceremony at the school. Jimmy and I were sworn to secrecy, given a date and time to be at the school, and told where to park so she would not see our car.

The whole ceremony process was so exciting. Jimmy and I have never been part of anything so special and it was a wonderful afternoon. My stepson, Nick came and enjoyed the special event with us.

Mrs. Hernandez opening up the ceremony
All the high school kids are sitting in the auditorium, unaware that all of us parents are behind them. The existing members of the Honor Society come out and tap the shoulder of the ones that are being inducted for the following year. Here, Rachael is being tapped and taken up front by Rachel Holt. Rachael receiving her membership certificate from Mr.Steinhaus
The lights go out and the existing Honor students perform a song and light candles that form crosses. Beautiful site to see!
Proud Dad, Mom, and Nick with Rachael holding her certificate!
Mr.Steinhaus, Rachael, Jimmy and Me!
After the ceremony, the kids were taken to Olive Garden Restaurant and enjoyed lunch as part of their reward. We were so proud to be part of this special event but more proud that Rachael worked hard for this reward. She even said to me after the lunch, "mom, now I know why you always push me to do my best at everything even when I don't want to!" She then said, "I love you mom and I am thankful you stayed on my behind!"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Small gifts that last a lifetime!

June 24, 2010

This flower was picked and given to me by a beautiful little girl. Her name is Claire Harris and our family loves her very much. She is a joy to be around and has a "wit" about her that make us laugh every time she is with us. She is so smart and talks well for her age. I would dare say, her English is better than mine!

One day when Claire's family was visiting our home, Claire picked this flower and brought it to me. She could not have known at the time how much her simple gift of a flower could impact another life. I had been going though some very difficult trials and was feeling quite discouraged when this flower was given to me.

I placed it in a water bottle and sat it on the kitchen counter.

Each morning when I was dressed and ready for work, heading out the door, I would see my flower. It would bring a smile to my face and a prayer to mind. "Dear Lord, thank you for the small blessings that remind me of your love for me." God used Claire and a flower to remind me how much he loves and cares for me!

The flower has since wilted and is now gone but the act of kindness from this child will forever serve as a lesson in my heart. Sometimes others are going through trials and carrying burdens that we may never know about but our one act of kindness can remind them of God's love!

Thank you Claire and Mrs.Angie loves you very much!

Teens Involved

June 24, 2010

Our teen youth group recently competed in the Area Teens Involved and Regional Teens Involved. This is something that our church participates in each year and I enjoy watching the teens use the talents they have been blessed with.

This year, Rachael was involved in a vocal solo, vocal trio, puppet ministry, choir, and drama. She loves to be involved with the many different areas of teens involved and always looks forward to traveling to Word of Life camp to compete in the Teens Involved located in Florida.

The vocal trio consisted of Rachael, Leann Berrier, and Jessica Hege. I have to admit, the first time I heard them sing for the Area Teens Involved, I was somewhat concerned. They all realized they would need lots of practice before competing in the Regional Teens Involved to be held at the end of May at Piedmont Bible College.

Kathy Middleton was a tremendous help to the girls and committed her time to assist the girls in their vocals, harmonizing and timing. She was awesome and soon the girls were singing as though they had been singing together for years.

Rachael receiving her award from our Assistant Pastor Bailey
Jessica, Rachael, Leann, and Pastor Bailey. The vocal trio advanced to Regional too!
Rachael performing her solo! The vocal trio: Jessica, Rachael, and Leann
I thing all of our teens performed exceptionally well and I will be praying for them as they travel to Florida in July to compete at Word of Life Camp.


On February 20,2010 we held our annual Reformers Unanimous celebration dinner for our many volunteers who assist Jimmy in this ministry.

This year the menu consisted of barbecue, baked beans, potato salad, rolls, chips, chicken tenders, and lots of desserts. I believe the barbecue is a standing request now and Jimmy always does a wonderful job with cooking it.

We now have close to 30 volunteers that work in RU and we are so grateful for the dedication and time they each give to this ministry. I personally schedule and work in the daycare along with many other couples. This is just a small way of saying how much we appreciate all of the volunteers for their many hours of service.

We love you all very much and appreciate all you do!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Learning to Drive

March 11, 2010

I have been trying to get a moment now for sometime to blog about the latest and greatest event going on in the lives of the Tullocks. I know I should have posted about this event immediately after our daughter received her learners permit but I'm sure it was better to wait because I now have more to share.

Rachael started drivers education back in December of 2009 at North Davidson High School. She completed her class time and then started her in car driving time. Here, she is driving away from the school, and yes, that is snow on the ground. Guess I need to be glad she got some lessons on driving in bad weather conditions!
Rachael in her "temporary" car. You might recognize the person in the back. That's Christopher Kiser. He attends UGCS with Rachael and was in the driving school with her. She was glad it was someone she knew from school so she could feel more comfortable about learning to drive.

On January 4, 2010, Rachael received her North Carolina learner's permit to drive. After leaving the DMV office, she immediately asked for the keys and thus began a new phase in our mother/daughter relationship!

Both hands on the steering wheel, please!!

Initially, Rachael did not like driving my Kia. She was a little nervous as we left DMV because the Ford Fusion she had learned to drive in was smaller and had a better view for her to see everything around her.

Our first scary moment came literally within 5 minutes after leaving the DMV office. Rachael was driving south on Peters Creek Pkwy in the middle lane. I tried to give her as much notice as possible that she would need to switch lanes to make an upcoming right turn. Traffic was heavy and Rachael was accelerating. She abruptly heads over into the right lane and I hear the sound of a horn beside me. I look and there is a white truck at the back side of our vehicle. Rachael swerved back over into our lane and I was shouting, "Rachael, you have to look before you get over in the other lane!" She calmly responds, "this vehicle is bigger and I can't see out of it like I can my little car."

Note to self: First lesson in driving with your child. Be prepare for the unexpected! Do not assume you can ever take your eyes off them as they are driving and always monitor what they are doing. And if you tell them to get over, you may want to add, "look first!"

Rachael has continued to learn and I don't think anyone can prepare parents for the close calls, shouting, crying, and laughing that come along with a child learning to drive. It's trial and error, and takes lots of prayer. It has brought up a whole new realm of being a parent. I call it the "worry yourselves sick phase!" I know God's word tells us not to worry, but I struggle greatly with this one. I worry, more than I should, and about things I shouldn't.

There has been other close calls and I'll share just a few because of the responses we received from Rachael. There is laughter among the tears and shouting.

We took a trip to the beach in February (I'll try and blog about this too) and Rachael wanted to drive. We were traveling down a 2 lane divided highway. We fell in behind a funeral procession and slowed down to a crawling speed of 25 mph. Jimmy asked me if there was any law that stated we could not move over into the left hand lane and travel past the procession as we had been behind them for a good 15 minutes. I told him I did not know of any law that stated we could not go past, but out of respect, I thought we should stay behind the procession, until other vehicles moved over into the left hand lane and started to pass. Jimmy instructed Rachael to move over into the left hand lane and follow the other vehicles. She was doing great until she came up beside the Sheriff deputy's car with the blue lights beaming! Rachael was so enticed by the lights and the sheriff deputy, that our car began to veer towards his car. Jimmy took his 2 fingers and thumped Rachael on her right arm and shouted, "Rachael!" She jerked the car back over into our lane and with the calmest of voice responded to her dad, "if there's a bruise on my arm tomorrow, I'm going to be really upset!" Never mind the fact that we just about wiped out an entire funeral procession. My daughter was concerned about a possible bruise on her arm from her father, who was trying to gain her attention!

And then there was the latest episode when Rachael and I pulled into the Walgreens and I got out to go inside. Rachael advised me she was going to stay in the car and wait while I went in and grabbed a few items. Upon returning to the car 10 minutes later, Rachael begins to back out of the parking space. I looked back and shouted, "stop!" Rachael was within inches of the bumper of another vehicle parked in a space behind us. I asked Rachael, "honey, did you look before you backed?" "You have to look before you back up Rachael, did you look?" Once again with calmness in her voice and a confused expression upon her face, Rachael responded, "Where in the world did he come from?" "He wasn't here when I first pulled in!" I responded with, "Rachael, that was 15 minutes ago honey." "The parking lot doesn't stand still in time because you've arrived!"

It has been 2 months now and she is getting better each day. Her dad and I are proud of the progress she has made and continue to ask God to keep us safe each day. I have to admit as a mother, my biggest fear is that phone call that no one wants to receive and I pray every morning and night for God to protect my children. I know I have to place her in his hands because there is coming that day when her dad and I will hand her the keys and she will drive away on her own. It absolutely scares me to death and it is something I ask God to help me with each day. I also struggle with the process of losing the baby in her to the adult she is becoming! I just continue to tell myself, "I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds our future!"

Isaiah 55: 8-9