Archive for May, 2008

Going to Garrett’s School

I am so excited!

Ava, Grady & I get to spend the entire day with Garrett at his school. Even though his last day of school is Tuesday, his class is having a “Fun Day” today, to celebrate the end of the year.

I cannot believe how much this little boy has grown this year. It’s incredible! He is engaging conversation with other people now, plays with friends & has made strides in speech. He is almost completely potty trained & he also “pretend plays” with his toys a lot now. He loves Spiderman, Martian, Jack, Nemo, Inky & Marlin. And he has voices that correspond with the different characters! He likes to sing & even color. Granted, he likes coloring the table, but I’m just delighted that he’s using the markers instead of eating them. I am simply blown away!!

He is also beginning to show his wit. Just the other day, I told him I was sad because he pooped his pants. He replied, “Wait a minute Mommy…no poo-poo in pants. I go poo-poo in my diaper.” (He had on a pull-up). Ha – got me on that one!

I still remember dreading that first day of school & putting him on the bus. I was so worried! But, we made it through the tears. He loves watching for the bus in the morning & does this little skip down the driveway & hums as he heads toward it.

I am so thankful for how everything turned out. He has amazing teachers & I can’t say enough positive things about them. It’s been a wonderful school year for him!


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The Benefit of the Doubt

I desire to honor God in all I do – my writing included.

I feel led to share some of my struggles & what I’ve learned through them. I feel it’s important to say this – I write about my own journey, not those of others. Proverbs 27:9 tell us, ” The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” I share my weaknesses because there might be someone reading this who struggles in a similar area that I do. Perhaps some of the things I’ve learned will help someone else along the way.

So, here goes…

The Benefit of the Doubt:

1. to believe something good about someone, rather than something bad, when you have the possibility of doing either.

2. to decide you will believe someone or something.

I am by nature a trusting person. I am a positive person who can find the good in a situation. I give people the benefit of the doubt & I think this is a good thing. In fact, I have been told that one of the things people appreciate most about me is that I do this. We need to give each other room & not be quick to believe the worst in each other. I believe that people have good intentions. It’s hard for me to accept that someone would consciously choose to hurt another person.

The Benefit of the Doubt:

3. A favorable judgment given in the absence of full evidence

This is the definition that really struck a chord in me. There are times when I’m so focused on finding that kernel of “good” in a situation, that I miss the red flags. I’m so busy making allowances for questionable behavior or motives, that I don’t pay attention to the “evidence” that is right before my eyes. That’s not called giving someone the benefit of the doubt. It’s called making excuses. And the bottom line is – that’s just plain foolishness.

I have a hard time finding the line between giving someone the benefit of the doubt & making excuses for their behavior. I have a tendency to excuse a person’s cruel behavior because, as I said earlier, I keep coming back to, “How can they want to hurt someone?” But, there are people in this world who allow themselves to hurt other people & that’s not okay.

And if we continue to excuse away their behavior then we are enabling them further. I’ve seen myself time after time, excuse away their decisions, all the while convincing myself that I was giving them the benefit of the doubt. I would think, “They thought they were doing good” or “They didn’t realize how destructive their behavior was” and “We all make mistakes.” However, if we find ourselves continually having to do this, then it’s time to reevaluate. As hard as it is to admit, sometimes people do rotten things because that’s what they chose to do. They knew what they were doing was wrong from the outset & they chose to act anyway.

Does that make them rotten people? No. Does this mean we stop believing in the good in people? Absolutely not. I believe in assuming the best about a person until they show us otherwise. But, if they show us “otherwise,” we need to see it for what it really is & then determine the best of course of action. No excuses.

This is something I’m still working on. It’s something I continually pray about. I am asking God for wisdom & discernment in this area of weakness.

“I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.” Psalm 119:66

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Baby Ava


After reading my mom’s comment, I had to show you all this photo. It’s one of my favorite baby pictures of Ava. Here she is – only 5 days old!!

She doesn’t quite fit in my arms like that anymore.

btw – I fixed the link to view her Preschool Graduation Photos in the post below – it works now.

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Kindergarten, Here I Come!

We had a wonderful day on Friday!

Here’s a glimpse of Ava’s graduation – click here!!

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Big Day Tomorrow!

Tomorrow Ava Grace graduates from preschool!

She is so excited & has been talking about her “program” all week long.

I can’t believe she will begin kindergarten in the fall. I have friends who have kids graduating from high school, middle school & grade school. At one time or another this month, they’ve all commented on how fast time goes by.

I’ve been in a reminiscent state of mind lately and I have been going through lots of old photos. It’s cool to see how we change. Not only physically (though that does provide some good laughs!), but how we change as people too. It’s easy to see the physical growth. You can’t see the change on the inside necessarily, but it’s there.

Looking at photos, I see so many stories captured in series of moments. That’s one of the things I love about looking through them. When I look at photos individually, I see a moment captured in time & time stands still. When I look through a series of them, however, I get caught up in the motion of these moments & suddenly, time flies by!

In his book “Seizing Your Divine Moment,” Erwin McManus says, “Moments are to be treasured – not just the moments that you’ve already lived but the moments brimming with life…Moments carry the momentum of the past and fuel the momentum for the future.” I love this! For me, this is a reminder that when I look at myself, I need to see “me” as a series of photographs. Not stuck in a moment, but moving through them. That’s when I’m able to see the change that matters most to me.

Having said that, tomorrow I am taking my time to cherish each moment of Ava’s graduation.

I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for this little lady!

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This picture here is a smeared, pudding-covered handprint, courtesy of Graders.

There are fingerprints & handprints all over our house.

It’s funny…the second I wipe one away, another one appears!

They’re on the wall going up the stairs, the storm doors, the end tables, the curio cabinets, etc..

Some people would look at these & see a mess.

I see a declaration that Ava, Garrett & Grady live here!

All this has me thinking…

What are the fingerprints that I’m leaving on this world?

In what ways am I declaring that Kelly Newton lives here?

I want to leave fingerprints behind in the way I LIVE:

“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ —for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Phillippians 1:11

I want to leave fingerprints behind in the way I LOVE:

“And this is His commandment: We must believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.” 1 John 3:23

I want to leave fingerprints behind in the way I LEAD. I choose to lead, by serving:

“As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 9:13

My prayer is that the fingerprints I leave behind will be a testimony of God’s unending love & faithfulness.

None of us are promised tomorrow.

But, we do have today & the time to live, love & lead is now.

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Just Like Mom

My Grandma June liked telling Adam a particular story about when I was younger.

There was a fly in our house & she was going to kill it. I stopped her & said, “You can’t kill it! It has a family!”

She always laughed because I was so concerned about a fly!

I’m still the same way.

If there’s a spider in the house, I’ll catch it & let it outside. I’m afraid of spiders, but I still can’t kill ’em!

The other day, Ava & I were repotting some plants on the kitchen table. All of a sudden, a big spider jumped out & we both screamed! We’re so girlie!! I caught it & then told her to go get Adam. There was no way I was moving the container – that spider was too fast!!

Adam came up & I just assumed he’d put it the spider outside. However, he lifted the container & smacked it on the table. Not quite what I had in mind…

The next morning Ava asked me why Adam killed the spider.

I started to reply, but she continued on:

“You can’t kill them because they are God’s creatures & that isn’t very nice.”

That’s my girl!


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