Down the Halls

Come down the Hall with Tom, Michale, Thomas, Lizzie, And Emma Grace

Updates on our lives September 14, 2008

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life,school — michalelhall @ 11:07 pm

Long time no post, I know.  But as I have said before I am not very diligent about blogging.  I always think I will blog today and then today comes and goes and I haven’t blog about anything.  I think I make it too complicated thinking I have to get in all of this stuff when really I don’t.

School is going really well for the kids. We are at midterms this week.   I have a 4th grader, 8th grader, and last but not least, a 9th grader.  Thomas is sort of in high school.  He is in high school at church, but at school he is considered junior high still.  They keep the 6th graders at the elementary school, so the upper school starts at 7th grade.  Junior High is 7th – 9th and High School is 9th – 12th.  I am okay with that.  I sometimes think they are growing up so fast and they are.  I can’t believe my kids are as old as they are and I am still as young as I am. (HaHa)  But seriously just the other day someone asked how old my kids were and I told her and she could not believe I was old enough to have kids that old.  I was thrilled needless to say.

Guess what Thomas is doing?  He has taken his written driving test.  In Arkansas you can legally drive at 14 with an adult in the car.  Is that crazy or what?  He has to have this permit for 6 months and then he can take his driving test in a car.  So since the majority of you are not in Arkansas you can breathe a sigh of relief.  Just pray for us as we embark on yet another phase of our lives. He is doing really well at driving so far.  He has just been on neighborhood streets and a few main streets.  I am looking forward to when he can drive himself and the girls to school.  We spend at least $100 on gas each week so it will be a big break when he can drive.  Their school is in Little Rock so I drive about 60 miles a day taking and picking them up from school.

Thomas and Lizzie both have gotten braces.  Thomas has had his about a month and Lizzie got hers last Thursday.  Emma Grace will not be too far behind them.  She just has to lose a few more baby teeth.  Man braces are expensive!  You should start saving now if you do not have good dental insurance.  Since Tom is self employed we do not have the best insurance.  It was going to cost all most as much as getting the braces as to have insurance to include braces

Tom is working on his Real Estate license.  He should take the exam in a couple of weeks.  We are in the process of getting all the warehouses leased.  This is a huge praise!  We have had two empty since he took over last year.  One of the potential renters is waiting to hear on a contract so it is still up in the air.  But it looks promising.  I am helping with the company a little bit.  I am doing documentation and some office work.  I am also trying to volunteer more at the kids school.  Mostly at the elementary, they do not need too much help at the high school.

Emma Grace is playing soccer again.  Here there are numerous leagues to sign up with.  We signed up with Lakewood (which is the neighborhood we live in) again and they only have one team in Emma’s age group so she is playing with the same girls as she did last year.  They are all good friends and are awesome soccer players.  There team was a B team last year and this year they are an A team so they are playing harder teams.  So far they have won one game and tied another.  They won just about all their games last year.

We are finally getting involved in our church.  We are taking a class at church on Wed. nights called Discover Fellowship.  You have to take this class for 4 weeks before they put you into a small group.  I am taking a class on Monday nights for women new to Fellowship Bible Church and new to the Little Rock area.  We are reading the book “After the Boxes are Unpacked.”  It is a great book for anyone who has moved or will soon be moving.  I am getting to know some neat ladies that are going through all the same things I am going through.  Even though we have been here a year we really haven’t made many connections with people.  So this class is helping with that.  It’s kind of an emotional class but I think is good to get all that stuff out and share it with other people.  And when we get plugged in with a small group that will help as well.

Well that is about all that is going on with us right now.  I know you are all thrilled to know what we have been up to.  Hope you are all well.  I can’t wait until we can see you all soon.


Children July 31, 2007

Filed under: Family,House,Kids,Life — michalelhall @ 8:13 pm

III John 4 says “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Please join Tom and I on September 2nd at the 10:30 service for Emma Grace’s baptism. We will be coming to Smyrna for Labor Day Weekend for this joyous event. We wanted to give our nearest and dearest friends a heads up on when she will be baptized. Thanks for keeping up with us.

Lizzie and I will be heading to TN tomorrow to finish packing up the house. The truck comes Thursday and we close on Friday. It is hard to think that this chapter of our lives is coming to a close. We will always cherish our time in Smyrna. We will be making visits, so you have not seen the last of us.

Girls- When the annual trip is planned you better count me in because I will be there!!

If anyone is looking to have a little fun, come by and do some packing. We will be there Wednesday and Thursday.

Also, no one has claimed our lovely dryer. We would love to give it to a good home that needs it.


Coming Home June 12, 2007

Filed under: Kids,Life — michalelhall @ 3:56 am

The girls and I are back from Arkansas.  I left the boys behind.  Tom stayed to work and over see the house renovation and Thomas just wanted to stay there.  Tom thought it would be easier to keep the house clean if I did not have all the kids here.  We had a great week in Arkansas.  The more I am there,  the more God is telling me this is where He has placed us for this time.  Not to say I will not miss Tennessee big time.  We drove into Smyrna last night and I just had to question God one more time “Do we really have to leave this wonderful place?” and once again He tells me He is in control and taking me to an even more wonderful place.  I have to trust Him and fully rely on Him. 

One of my biggest concerns about moving was school for the kids and we finally found a wonderful school for them.  They will be attending Arkansas Baptist School System.  It is  a ministry of the First Baptist Church of Little Rock.  It is the one we found that is the most like Lancaster and the kids felt very comfortable there.  Emma Grace will be at the church and Thomas and Lizzie will be at their Junior and Senior High Campus about 5 miles down the road.  The only bad part is that the school is in Little Rock and a little bit of a drive.  Tom says he will help me with the drive since he will be working from home.  The school can accomodate Thomas and that is huge praise.  Thomas took Algebra I and some 8th grade classes this year so if he would have stayed at LCA, he would have been in 9th grade instead of 8th grade.  ABSS can put him in Geometry and some advanced 8th grade classes.  I feel much better about that. I wasn’t ready to have a high schooler.  We really did not want him to graduate early but to be in class with his peers.  I have to brag on all 3 of the kids.  They did very well in school this year.  They all 3 made straight A’s all year long and scored very well on their standerdized tests.  We looked at at least 6 other schools, talked about Home Schooling, and look at public schools before we found this school and felt a peace about sending them there.  We are excited to have that decision taken care of.

Please continue to pray for the house to sell.  It only showed once last week.  I don’t know what I thought would happen, but I thought it would show more than that.  It is all in His hands and it will sell when it is supposed to.

 I will end with a funny story from our neice and nephew that live in Alaska.  This is Tom’s brother’s kids.  Their names are Sarah and Nathan.  Sarah is 5 and Nathan is 3.  Jeff was giving the kids their vitamins one morning and and they were dinosaur vitamins. Jeff poured out some vitamins in his hand for them to pick from.  Sarah said “Daddy, I ‘m going to have the Tri”Sarah”tops (triceretops) vitty. ” It really was a triceretops dinosaur. Nathan, not to be out done by his big sister, picks one out and tells his dad “Well, I want the Tri”Nathan”tops vitty.”  I thought he was pretty ingenious to come up with that statement. 


Ready, Set, Sell!!! June 3, 2007

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life — michalelhall @ 3:45 am

Yes, we finally have a For Sale sign in our yard!  After all these weeks of getting our house ready, we have finally done it.  Although I have come to the conclusion that there is always more that can be done.  We have spent untold amounts of money and time to get it to this point.  We looked up when we bought this house and it was June 20, 1997.  So we have been here 10 years.  You can imagine some of the stuff we have cleaned out after being here all this time.   I was surprised that the men who take our garbage took everything we put out for them yesterday.  I am determined to be clutter free in our new house.  I want to be organized and not become overwhelmed at my house.  I know this will be easier since now I will be able to stay at home again.  Some advice to those of you out there who might be reading my blog.  Don’t wait until you move to get your house “perfect”.  We never did anything to our bedroom or bathroom until now.  Now it wasn’t bad by any means, it just wasn’t how we would have wanted it to be all these years.  Now it looks beautiful and we are moving out of it.  If you have the means and abilities, do it while you are still there.  In the new house,  we will have an all new master bedroom and bathroom so I am going to enjoy it very much!  It will be just how I want it.  Today Lizzie asked if our house had ever been this clean before.  I didn’t know if I should be insulted that she thought my house had never been this clean or if she was impressed with my housekeeping abilities.  Regardless everything is in tip top shape. 

Please pray for a quick sell (even those of you who are out there praying we won’t go through with this).  Rhonda Allen is our agent and has told us the market has slowed down some.   We really pray that the right family comes and loves our house.  We have had so many wonderful memories here that I would love for a family to move in and experience that as well. 

We are leaving tomorrow for Arkansas and will be there a week.  We have many things there to get done on our new house.  We will try to keep you up to date with everything that is going on.  Thank you for all your prayers for us during all this transition.


OSG April 14, 2007

Filed under: Friends,Kids — michalelhall @ 4:31 am

This past weekend we spent Easter afternoon with our very good friends.  Many years ago we termed ourselves “The Original Smallgroup” – hence OSG.  We were a small group before there were “small groups.”  These friends are like our familysince none of us have family here in town.  We moved here almost 10 years ago and I thought we would never have friends like we had where we came from.  But we do and we are so grateful for their friendships.  Our children are good friends as well.  These are the kind of friends that have seen you at your worst, seen your house as a disaster area, and yet still want to be a part of your life.  Recently, Tom lost both of his grandparents within 12 days of each other and immediately we were surrounded by prayers, food, gas cards, and in the end they gave us this awesome “Faith” print to help us always remember Neelie and Bobo.  Not that we needed any of these “things” to know what wonderful friends we have.  Thanks to all of you.  We love you!  Some have come and gone from the OSG, but we know no matter what we will always be friends.  We will be there for each other whether we are near or far.  If I could figure out how to post pictures I would post the pictures we took of the day, but I haven’t got quite that good yet.

On another note, please continue to pray for the Olerud family.  As most of you know Rachel died this morning.  Please pray for her friends as well.  Lizzie is the same age as Rachel.  When you are twelve nothing is supposed to happen to you.  Now they have lost a friend their own age.  I look at her and do not know what I would do without her, Thomas, or Emma Grace.  Hold your children a little longer tonight and thank the Lord they are safe and healthy.


Hold on Tight March 28, 2007

Filed under: Kids,Life — michalelhall @ 2:56 am

The other day I was in the car with my kids and we were on going shopping. I made the comment that the girls would have to stay with me, but Thomas could go to a store by himself (I was just going to be next door). Lizzie didn’t like my answer, she thinks I sometimes group her with Emma and treat her too young. I then explained to her that Thomas “looks” older than he is and I didn’t think I had to worry as much about someone trying to hurt or take off with him. I told her young girls were more likely targets of that sort of thing. I sometimes struggle with how much freedom to give my children. I don’t want to shelter them, but I don’t want them to be harmed in any way either. Thomas and Lizzie are always telling me that their friends get to do stuff that I won’t let them do. How often did I say that to my parents?

Well, a few days later Lizzie stayed the night at a friend’s house. She has been there many times before and I completely trust this family. They live in a very nice neighborhood that is sort of a gated community(there is a fence that goes all around the subdivision). The type of place where you think nothing could happen. The girls were playing outside in a creek that runs through this neighborhood a little ways form the house. They noticed these two guys going door to door (this neighborhood has no solicitation) and they started to go home. The guys were between them and the house so they ducked in the woods to try to get home. The two guys started to follow them into the woods. The girls got scared and finally found their way home by crawling under fences and going into neighboring subdivisions. Every time the two guys saw them they would hide behind bushes and trees. Needless to say by the time they got home they were pretty shaken up. The mom decided to call the police (the neighborhood watch had already called). The girls had to make a statement and the guys were picked up. No charges could be pressed because they didn’t really do anything wrong. They were however taken to the station. Hopefully that scared them enough. I know God was in control of the whole situation and I am so grateful that no harm came to Lizzie.

I am so thankful that my children are bathed in prayer daily. Not only do Tom and I pray for our children, but I know both my parents and Tom’s parents daily pray for my children. They couldn’t ask for better grandparents. I so believe in the power of prayer. Now I have a choice. Do I continue to let her have some freedom or do I worry about her all the time and not let her have any freedom. I know I have to find that balance. She is growing into a Godly young lady and I want her to be well equipped when she is on her own. So for now, I might hold on a little tighter and watch a little closer and be a little more careful, and know no matter what God is in control of all my kids lives. So, I trust Him to take care of all of us. Tonight I thank God for each of my children and for the blessings each of them bring to our family.