Friday, August 23, 2013

back to school. 2013

Last week was the Ruckus's first official "Back to School" week! And I must say, this school-time transition has been much smoother than I anticipated! Both of the Rollins children did AMAZING! 
Monday was LilliAnn's first day of the Kids for Christ Program (A.K.A. Mother's Day Out) at Immanuel Baptist Church. She carried her lunchbox and backpack like a pro, and skipped down the hallway and into her classroom like she had done it a million times before!
She picked this backpack and lunchbox herself out of the Pottery Barn Kids magazine! I just can't get over how big she looks in these pictures! 
When we got out of the car at "school," she wanted to carry everything in herself.
She was a little shy once she sat down in her classroom, but by the time I left she was playing with the other little girls and gave me a kiss goodbye. 
Reid went with me to drop her off, and I think it was good for him to see his sissy being such a big girl and not crying when she went to school. I told Reid that since he didn't start school until the next day, that we would have a mommy and Reid day on Monday. After we dropped off LilliAnn, we got some breakfast and then planned a date to the movies to see Turbo. He wanted to take a couple of friends so we decided to take Grayson, Paisley, and Aspyn too! It was a fun-filled afternoon and a great little get together before heading to Back to School night at Grove!
On Tuesday, it was time for Reid to rock Pre-K! He begged me to wear Under Armour and said, "Mommy, please don't make me wear a collar shirt. I just want to feel comfy." I wanted him to feel good on the first day, so I caved and let him wear what he feels best in...athletic gear! We woke up really early and went to Taryn's house to have donuts with Aspyn and Paisley for a "Back to School Breakfast." Reid had a great time and seemed really excited about going to school. When we pulled up to the school, he started to get a little nervous. He got out of the car like a big boy and I walked him in. 
He even smiled for a picture in front of the school!
We just had to have this royal blue (Grove Wildcat color) Under Armour backpack! 
He was still happy and excited when we got to Mrs. Schooler's classroom door.
About a minute after I took this picture is when he fell apart. He put his backpack in his cubby and then looked at me and said, "Mommy, I'm scared." He had a look of sheer terror and his face and I didn't want to leave him. I have anxiety and I knew exactly what he was feeling inside. I told him he was going to have a fun, fun day and that there was nothing to be scared of. I told him that if he needed anything at all that the teacher could help him or could call me. As I walked him over to a table to start playing, he started crying even harder. The teacher gave me the "it's time to go" look. I nodded, gave him a hug and told him that I loved him. And walked out. 
About 30 minutes later I got a call from Mrs. Payne, the Principal, telling me that she had checked on Reid and that he was doing awesome! She said he was smiling and playing with the other children. A few hours later I received a picture via text message from Mrs. Schooler that said, "All smiles!" Since the first day, we've had a few teary mornings, but after he gets in the classroom he's just fine! He told me last night that he "really really likes school," and this morning he was ready to go and was pushing me out the door!
Praising Jesus for answered prayers. All summer long, I fretted and fretted about Reid starting Pre-K. I have prayed numerous nights for a good school experience and for my baby boy to have courage and confidence. I truly expected for the first couple of weeks to be really hard and prayed for strength to get through it. Much to my surprise, this transition has been WAY better than I ever expected. From a kid that would make himself sick every morning before Mother's Day Out, run up the stairs screaming and chasing me, and refusing to ever go to anywhere without me, to a big boy that thinks he wants to try walking in by himself next week...I am one HAPPY, BLESSED mommy! So thankful for a wonderful teacher that has made him feel so loved, comfortable, and safe!
Reid's First Day at Mother's Day Out (2 Years Old) & Reid's First Day of Pre-K (5 Years Old)

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I've known Jesus as long as I can remember. I was raised in a Christian home by Christian dad was a Deacon, both of my parents were Sunday school teachers, and my mom was even interim youth director one summer. I was a counselor's kid at youth Falls Creek every summer, and some of my most vivid childhood memories include learning to sing the books of the bible in an upstairs Sunday school room at FBC Wewoka and dipping strawberry cookies in red Kool-Aid at Vacation Bible School. We were always at the church, and most of our social life revolved around church friends or church functions. I can't count how many youth gatherings or Sunday school parties I attended. I was always in the Christmas play, and I spent Wednesday nights learning "The B-I-B-L-E" and "I'm in the Lord's Army" in children's choir. Important figures from my childhood that I will always remember are people from the church. It's kind of crazy, but when I think about my early childhood, almost all of my memories involve First Baptist Church Wewoka or people who went there.

When I was about 7, Sunday school lessons and sermons were really starting to make sense and the Holy Spirit started to work on my heart. I remember having a longing for Jesus to be in my heart and I wanted to become a Christian. I knew that I needed Jesus. One Saturday night, I remember my parents being in their master bathroom at our first house in Quail Run. I walked in and sat down on the floor. I asked my daddy to help me pray and ask Jesus into my heart. We prayed together and then he read me some scripture. There wasn't any great transformation...I didn't immediately feel was a simple, child's prayer. But at that point, I knew that Jesus was Lord over my life and that I was a follower of Christ. The next morning, I walked down front...I still remember that red carpet...and I announced my salvation. A few weeks later, right about the time that I turned 8, I was baptized at Wewoka First Baptist Church.

I started school in Seminole, and as I got older I started becoming involved in lots of activities and making friends at school. We gradually started drifting away from FBC Wewoka and started attending FBC Seminole. This was my mother's childhood church, and also where my great-grandmother had attended for years...every time the doors were open. My great-grandmother, Lillian McKenzie, played an important role in guiding my Christian faith. Her Bible was worn, wrote in, and always open. She would always talk about Jesus and would have random scriptures written in random places throughout her house. She was the best example of a Christian that I knew. She was kind, strong, confident...she could quote the Bible and she LOVED Jesus. She had this aura surrounding everyone knew that Jesus's light was shining through her. Looking back, there's so much I wish I would have asked her or learned from her about the Word and about her own personal walk with Christ. But unfortunately, when you're an adolescent those types of things aren't usually your top priority.

Going to church at FBC Seminole just wasn't the same. We were new, so mom and dad no longer taught Sunday school or lead the youth group. The church was bigger and I didn't know everyone that I was sitting next to on Sunday mornings. Dad got busier with work and mom started working on finishing her degree, so we weren't as involved in the church. I floated back and forth between Wewoka and Seminole youth groups. I even went to Falls Creek with both churches, but I never really felt like I belonged. Seminole youth group was big, and I was new at trying to be in a youth group instead of just being a youth leader's kid. I was really intimidated and felt like I needed to know so much more to be involved. These kids knew all of the latest Christian songs...they knew bible verses by memory...they could give their testimonies on demand. I had always gone to church, but now I just felt like a little kid that only knew the popular Bible stories you learned in Sunday school. I'm a perfectionist and an over-achiever, so naturally I didn't feel "good enough" for this youth group. I felt so behind in my Christian knowledge, and at this point, my teenage ego didn't realize that that didn't matter....that my relationship with Jesus was "good enough" and surpassed any bible knowledge or praise and worship song that I may not know. I went to Falls Creek a couple of times as a teen, came to every "See You at the Pole," and tried to feel like part of the group, but after more or less being told that I wan't a "good enough" Christian to go to Super Summer, I was done.

I was a little rebellious in high school. Nothing too crazy...I mean, I made straight A's and was Valedictorian, and was homecoming attendant every year, but I wasn't an angel. I found my "first love" and went through a terrible high school relationship. He pulled me away from Jesus and completely jumbled my mind. After five crazy years, I met Jeb. Okay...well, I had always known Jeb for as long as I can remember. He was even my boyfriend in the seventh grade. But the summer after my junior year, I really met Jeb. And I fell in love. Real love...a different kind of love than before. I knew he was a Christian, but at first we never talked about religion or Christ. As we started college and our relationship grew, we started attending church with my parents when we could. We both began to really have a longing for a deeper relationship with Christ. We began reading our Bible more and talking about Jesus. Tommy Clark was the Pastor at FBC Seminole and Jeb loved his sermons. We both felt like we could really relate and for the first time in a long time, I started feeling "good enough" for Jesus. I had matured in my faith and I realized that all that "churchy" stuff didn't matter. My personal relationship with Jesus was ALL that mattered.

Jeb was saved at Falls Creek during high school, but never followed through with baptism. The month before our wedding, Jeb was finally baptized. Marriage counseling with Pastor Tommy was absolutely wonderful. I saw a spark ignite within Jeb, and I began to see his desire to learn more about Christ and become the spiritual leader of our home. We began praying aloud together as a couple and even took a "Starting Point" class at the church a few months after our wedding. But it wasn't until I became a mother (just 10 months after we were married!) that I really began to realize that I wasn't making Christ the MAIN priority in my life. I wanted my children to know Christ and I wanted to be able to teach them about the Bible and share with them all of the wonderful things about Jesus. But how could I do this if I wasn't where I needed to be as a Christian? And then it hit me. This was going to take work. How would I get to know Christ more if I didn't spend time with Him? Just like any other relationship, learning about Christ was going to require some work on my part. I needed to spend time with Him daily, spend time in His Word, and pray for Him to lead me in the right direction. So for the last few years, this is where I have been...trying daily to learn more about Jesus Christ and how he can use me as a wife, mother, and health care provider.

But even through all of this, I STILL struggled with the "once saved, always saved" issue. As I mentioned before, I am an over-achiever and I can never just "kind of" do something. This type of personality has it's strengths, but Satan had found my weakness in it. I have never felt like my testimony was "good enough" for Jesus. I always questioned, "Was my little prayer good enough to really make me a Christian?" At 7 years old, I didn't have this amazing, life-changing experience when I asked Christ to come into my heart, and I've always struggled with that. I feel like I'm constantly asking Jesus to come into my heart and lead my life, because I never felt like my salvation experience was "good enough" or "memorable enough."  However, this past Sunday, Pastor Marvin spoke the words, "No one that deserves to go to heaven, is going to go to hell." Now he was not saying this in relation to your works, but meaning that anyone who has a personal relationship with Christ and has asked Him to be Lord of their life will be going to heaven. This hit me. Hard. And at that moment I knew...I mean really knew... that yes, of course I'm going to heaven! I felt Jesus saying to me (loudly... almost as if he was yelling at me) "STOP IT. STOP IT right now, Kelli Ann! This has GOT to STOP!" You know, the way your parents would scold you...that tone where you knew that they loved you, but were scolding you because you knew better.

And then my heart was at peace as I heard Jesus saying to me, "You are enough. That tiny little prayer when you were 7 years old was enough. When you are a broken mess, you are enough. Your works will never be enough, but all I want is you...weaknesses and all. You, Kelli Ann Rollins, are enough. You don't have to have the most amazing salvation story and you don't have to have this mountain-moving testimony, because it is not you, but me who makes things amazing. Your life and your story is amazing because of Jesus Christ. Quit trying to be good enough for me. You will never be good enough for me, and I love you anyway. You are already mine...and you have been mine since you were 7 years old." I felt as if a HUGE weight had been lifted off of me. I could quit trying. I could quit auditioning for Christ. He doesn't love me in spite of my weaknesses, He loves me BECAUSE of my weaknesses. That's what's so AWESOME about Jesus! You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to have a "Pinterest-type" testimony. YOU ARE ENOUGH...just the way you are.

I have been a Christian since I was 7. I am not perfect. I don't have many Bible verses memorized. I don't make it to church every single Sunday. I don't even think I could name all twelve disciples. But I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and he is Lord of my life. I love Him with all of my heart, and I strive every day to know Him better and share His love with those around me. And enough.

Monday, August 12, 2013


He begins his educational journey tomorrow. Praying for a "good day" for him AND his mommy. And feeling extra thankful that he will have an exceptional teacher at an amazing school!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

lil's words.

Jeb leans over in bed and starts giving LilliAnn goodnight kisses...

"Don't give me kisses. Those are for mommy. That's why she married you."

Lol...yep, she is right. I married him for his kisses! 

new beginnings.

It's 5 a.m. and I can't sleep. Possibly due to the fact that there are two little munchkins in my bed, leaving me with about two inches of space and a major back ache. They won't be little long, and I must say, most nights I enjoy LilliAnn's little hand wrapped around my arm or Reid's feet on top of my legs. There are lots of new and exciting things going on with the Ruckus, so I thought I'd use this opportunity to write a bit.

First of all, we finally bit the bullet and have dove head first into building our new house. We've had our lot in the country club for about two years, and after looking for land - you know, the PERFECT land...not too far out, no dirt roads, not too much land, but not too little...we decided that the country club was the best location for us. We LOVE our lot. It's only about an acre, but it's in the very back cul-de-sac of a gated neighborhood and we'll a beautiful view of one of the golf course ponds from our front door. There are trees and a creek behind us and we'll only have a neighbor on our right, as the left side of our house is an area of trees and then part of the golf course. We decided that since our kids will be involved in so many activities, and since we like to "go and do"/travel frequently, it would be best to have a place in town with a smaller yard that is easy maintenance. We go to our lake house frequently, so it's not like our kids don't ever get that "country" or "outdoorsy" experience. I told Jeb that he could always buy hunting and fishing land that we wouldn't have to maintain. So...we sealed the deal. We visited the architect last week for the second time and made a huge amount of progress. I wanted a custom plan drawn, but ended up finding a plan that I really liked. After all of my changes, we only ended up using about 35% of the plan (the rest being custom), but I think I finally have what  I want. The exterior/elevation is a french style that is very traditional and symmetrical. We have a port de cochere, a three car garage, a swimming pool, plus a couple of future rooms upstairs in case we ever want to "add on." I'm nervous about all of the decisions, but I have came to the realization that there is no perfect house. I simply cannot anticipate every little thing, and there are always going to be things that I want to change or wish I would've done differently. I'm praying for patience during this process and for help in making easy decisions without fretting or regretting! We pick up our preliminary plans on Thursday and then we'll submit our final changes. We're hoping to break ground next month! Wish us luck!!

Reid and LilliAnn start school in a couple of days and they are BOTH extremely excited! I wish I could say the same for myself. Reid will begin Pre-K at Grove and he found out this weekend that his teacher will be Mrs. Schooler. Several of his buddies had Mrs. Schooler last year, and he was really hoping to have her for his teacher. I was so relieved when I got the call that he would be in her class. Also, the only two boys that Reid knows that will be starting Pre-K with him are also in Mrs. Schooler's class. He has really matured this summer and I finally feel good about sending him to school. I know that waiting until this year to start him was the absolute best decision. He wants to eat in the cafeteria and told me this morning that I didn't need to walk in and pick him up, he would just walk out all by himself to the car. He has his blue Under Armour backpack and orange and blue shark nap mat are ready to go!

LilliAnn will begin Mother's Day Out this year at Immanuel Baptist Church. She'll only be going two days a week, as we have dance and gymnastics on the other days. Lil will be in the 3 year-old class with several other kids that we know. She's little miss independent and keeps telling everyone that she's going to ride her bike to school. She picked out a purple backpack and lunchbox from Potterbarn that has a horse and her name monogrammed on them. I'm not worried as much about her first day because she seems so confident about school. She said that she is going to be kind to all of the other children and that she is going to have "lots and lots and lots of friends" in her class. LilliAnn starts school the day before Reid, so I'm going to use that day for a special "Reid and Mommy" day.

This will be the first time ever that our family will have to have a routine or schedule. It's definitely going to be a big change for us! I found out today that Reid has to be at school by 7:55 a.m. every morning. That's sooooooo early! We typically sleep until 10 a.m.! I am going to be honest. I think this is going to be hard for us...but, I think it is going to be good for us. We need a little more structure to our family. The will make us stay home more and stick to a normal bedtime routine. I'm hoping that I can go to the YMCA and work-out on the mornings that I drop the kids off at school. I'm not going to know what to do with all of this free time! Oh wait...I'll be building a house!

In other news: BOTH of our beta fish died this week, as I forgot to put the bowl buddy tablets in the fresh water when I cleaned the bowls. I felt terrible and LilliAnn started crying, but Reid was super sweet and said, "It's ok, mom. Sometimes things like that just happen." He told LilliAnn that they were going to be ok because they were in fishy heaven now. I was so thankful for his kind words and compassion. He was adamant, however, that we didn't flush them down the toilet. He was worried that they would get lost because he wasn't sure if our toilet went to the ocean, and would rather us throw them in the "big trash can outside." So...that's where they went. We went to Walmart that afternoon and now our fish bowls are occupied by two new betas.
The lizard tank is sitting on the back porch because I was getting the feeling that my house was starting to smell like a pet store. The thought (and smell) was seriously making me sick. Jeb said that is wasn't bad at all and that I was overreacting, but I really just wanted an excuse to get rid of the lizards. The kids don't play with the much anymore (thanks to the little incident where one jumped up and bit Reid on the nose and then was posted up on our couch with his beard puffed out looking really mean). I have to give them water, lettuce, sprinkle vitamin powder on their lettuce, clean their cage, AND feed them crickets. I'm tired of the lizards. Soooooo, if anyone is interested in two bearded dragons. PLEASE let me know! :)

As you can see, we have a lot of big changes coming our way. Stay tuned for updates!