Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pollen and Dirt

Springtime in Texas means a lovely, golden-yellow powder dusts everything in sight. It's the dreaded return of the tree pollen.

Henry and Jonah watched me scrubbing the bright yellow junk off our patio table this afternoon.

Jonah said, "Yeah, that stuff is messy! I touched it earlier and it would not come off of my hands."

Henry chimed in, "Oh, well you know that dirt gets it off! You just have to rub your hands in the dirt and it comes right off."

I said, "What about soap and water? Think that might work too?"

Henry said, "I guess. But I still prefer dirt!"


Wordless Wednesday

(Bridget with her friend Claire)

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

t-ball practice

Jonah surprised us a while back by announcing that he didn't want to play soccer in the spring but would LOVE to play t-ball. I didn't even know he knew what t-ball was! Baseball happens to be my very favorite sport (to play, to watch, whatever!) so I was happy with his decision.

Jonah's coach called to introduce himself a few weeks ago but our first two practices were rained out or otherwise cancelled. So last night was Jonah's first official t-ball practice.

All day long Jonah told me stories of how he imagined practice would go. They were filled with smashing home-runs, explosive fireworks and lots of people cheering for our little Bear.

There was a part of me that wanted to warn him. I knew it wouldn't go quite the way he imagined and I wanted to protect his tender little heart. However, he was so filled with enthusiasm that I just couldn't damper it by introducing reality. :)

When it came time to get ready Jonah ran through the house gathering everything he thought he might need to bring to practice. It included everything that you might think of and also fruit snacks and granola bars.

We hadn't met the coach yet, but I told Jonah all about him and had him practice saying his name so that it would seem familiar. On the way to practice, I asked Jonah to tell his Daddy the coach's name. "Mrs. Squirts!" says Jonah's sweet little voice, from the back seat of the van.

It took me a full minute to regain my composure after that one. Sam had trouble too.

Finally I was able to say, "No, Jonah. That isn't his name. Remember, it's Coach Cox?"

And Jonah of course responded, "Right! Oh, yeah. Mrs. Cox!"

Well, he finally did get it figured out. He actually LOVED the coach. At bedtime last night Jonah said, "I just love my coach. He's my friend. He's your friend too, right? Maybe he can come over to the house sometime." Jonah is such a tender-hearted boy! All evening he kept thanking us for letting him play t-ball and he thanked God for every part of t-ball.

At practice, Jonah got to meet new friends, hit a ball off a tee, play catch with the coaches, run the bases and learned what 'ready positions' means. It was a full night, and though there weren't any fireworks, Jonah loved every minute of it.

So did I. :)

Thank you Lord for my sweet little five year old who knows how blessed he is and knows where his blessings come from!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Sam built the kids a playhouse in the back yard last week.
It is SO cute!
He gave them a door and a window and a loft to crawl around in up at the top.
(I thought I had a picture of it all completed, but I can't find it this morning.)

It's the first place the kids go when they head outside, and it's the jail and their house and the base for all their outdoor activities. SO FUN!

I love being married to a handy-man who can build anything he dreams up!

Playhouse Pictures

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sweet Boys

This morning I sent the boys out to pick up the empty garbage cans from the end of the road.

They were gone quite a while so I stepped out to make sure they didn't need any help.

This is the first thing I saw...

Jonah rigged his can up to his bicycle to make it easier to haul back to the house. Clever, huh? He was pretty proud of himself. :)

Further down the driveway I saw this...

Here is Henry coming with his can and Bridget patiently waiting in the the push car that she is currently borrowing from our neighbors.

He stops, pushes Bridget up the driveway about twenty feet...
...then runs back down the driveway to move his can up to where Bridget is so he can push her again! What a sweet brother! :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Weird Weather Weekend

On Friday it was in the low 70s here in East Texas. Beautiful, sunshiny, spring weather.

Saturday morning it rained. And I don't mean just a little sprinkle. The clouds rolled in and the sky got dark and the temperature dropped to around 45 degrees. When the rain came, it came in waves.

Soccer was NOT cancelled. :) Well, to be honest, they DID cancel it. But not before they played two quarters and HENRY SCORED A GOAL!!! (He was running the ball down the field and tripped in the muddy, slippery field. He took a face-plant right into a puddle. Henry popped up, searched out the ball and kicked it right into the goal! He got up and ran back down the field, pouting about his muddy uniform. It was hilarious! He was really excited about the goal later on, after he had dried off and warmed up. :) )

Then on Saturday night/Sunday morning it SNOWED. Something like three inches. It continued to snow all day on Sunday. Crazy. (Kinda wish I hadn't already planted my garden! Who would have thought it would snow after being 70 degrees??? Sam and I ran outside with buckets and red plastic drinking cups and covered up all of our tomato, broccoli and cauliflower brother-in-law Jon had started a bunch of plants for us!)

Monday morning? Back to 68 degrees and sunny.

Welcome to springtime in schizophrenic Texas! It's a little difficult to decide what to wear these days!
Our poor garden, covered up with buckets. We had to put rocks on top of each bucket because it was so windy they kept blowing over!

The boys and Nugget enjoying a little time in the spring snow. They didn't last outside long because of that wicked-cold wind.

My little soccer star!

Bridget and Jonah pretending to enjoy the soccer game. They loved holding up their umbrellas but couldn't figure out why they were still getting wet. Jonah told me at one point that he was "covered in wetness!" Cracked me up! :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A little game

Just for fun....

What do you think these four items have in common?
I know the picture is a bit fuzzy, so I'll help you out. Included are:

1 piece of a shingle (from a roof)
1 smashed piece of an A&W rootbeer can
1 stick
1 label from a pair of gloves

Take a guess before you click on the comments. I'll put the answer in there. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Well, almost wordless. :)
Aren't they cute? Eight big chicks (to raise and eat), eight little hens (who will lay eggs), two guineas (because they're noisy and cute) and one turkey (named 'Dinner' by the boys).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mrs. Lee's Daffodil Garden

We LOVE this place. It has quickly become one of our favorite spring traditions.

As I've mentioned on here before, daffodils are my very favorite flower. So you can imagine how I feel about going to visit a garden full of acres and acres of these buttery yellow, glowing gems!

Here's a preview:

We may or may not have gotten a little bit lost on the way to the garden. It's quite possible that we took a little tour of many of the small towns in East Texas before we got there since I was SURE that I could find it without using a GPS. For the sake of my dignity, I'll just pretend that we drove straight there, as that was the plan. :)

I got to spend the afternoon with these two...who are more beautiful inside than out, if you can believe it. What wonderful friends God has blessed me with!

I took more than a few picture of the kids. Before we left I tried to get a picture of me with the kids similar to one I had taken last year. I just love seeing how much they've grown and changed over the past year! Here's this year's...

And you can click over to see last year's here.

And the year before here. Bridget was SO LITTLE here! Oh, my.

Here's just one picture of the glorious goodness that is a field of daffodils! (There are more pictures on facebook if you want to see them there.)

God blessed us with a beautiful day and the sunshine just made those flowers GLOW. Love it. So thankful. He rocks. :)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Henry lost his first tooth!!!

My adorable oldest child is six years old. Actually, he'll be seven in May.

Since he was FOUR and in preschool, his friends have been losing teeth. Every child he knows has lost at least one tooth, and many of those kids have lost a handful. Even his friend's younger siblings have lost teeth already!

As the mom, you can imagine this doesn't bother me. I have no doubt those teeth will eventually fall out. After all, they didn't come in until he was a year old, which is kind of late anyway! So I've been in no hurry.

Henry, however, has been SURE that a tooth would fall out for over a year now. He has tried to convince us that one tooth or another is loose and just about to fall out.

Recently we discovered he actually did have a loose one. It just wasn't the one he was expecting! He has been focusing on the upper front teeth, and this was a lower one.

Two weeks ago we were still living at Sam's parent's house. We all had dinner and then Sam and I were leaving the kids with his parents so we could head into town to get some house-shopping done. Henry's tooth was so loose that he could turn it completely sideways. We decided it had to come out so he didn't accidentally swallow it when he was sleeping that night.

Sam gave it a tug and it wouldn't come out, although Henry wasn't exactly helping either. He was quite nervous now that the time had actually come to lose a tooth! Henry came over to me for comfort. I told him I needed to see the tooth and see what we would have to do. As I was telling him we probably wouldn't be able to do anything about it, I gently pulled it out.

He didn't even notice! He looked up at me and with sad, puppy dog eyes said, "What are we going to do? I don't want to swallow it!" and I held the tooth out in front of him to see. He didn't even notice it. Sam had to point it out that his tooth was now gone!

The tooth fairy, (ever faithful!) brought Henry a one dollar coin in the morning. He was so excited! He wanted to call his daddy (who leaves early in the morning for work) right away to tell him about his cool prize.
Henry showing off his special coin.

Henry's adorable new smile with a little hole in it! :)

I thought once he finally lost a tooth that his 'tooth fever' would go away, but that was silly of me. Turns out now he's sure he has THREE loose teeth, and I spend my days admiring just how loose they seem. My baby's getting big! :)

Friday, March 05, 2010

We're back home!

After our house fire on December 5th, we moved in with Sam's parents. They graciously opened their home and their lives to us and allowed us to stay with them during the wait and the
rebuild of our home. It was WAY more fun than I expected it to be. We enjoyed watching the relationship between our kids and parents grow and we appreciated having someone to talk to about all that was going on.

During the time we were out of our house:

Sam left his job and began a new one.

We had actual snow here on Christmas eve! (Okay, okay. It didn't accumulate, but it came down in huge, white flakes and it was gorgeous!)

Mary Beth (Sam's mom) was diagnosed with cancer.

The investigation into the cause of our fire was delayed until January 11th. (So the house sat empty and smoky and wet until then.)

Our ten year old dog died.

We had three days of actual snow ON THE GROUND after three years of seeing none.

My sweet Jonah turned FIVE years old and we celebrated with a surprise party at Chuck E Cheese.

The fire investigation was (finally) completed and the house rebuild began.

Sam's mom began chemotherapy.

We watched our house come back together and finally back to life.

I'm not one to dwell on negatives, but to be perfectly hasn't been easy. We have struggled with roller-coaster emotions (each one of the five of us at different times) and fought depression among other struggles. Through it all, God (the creator of the universe!) showed up just when we needed Him time after time. There is really nothing that can make a person feel valued or important like the LORD himself showing us that he loves us and cares about our daily battles.
He presented himself as a friend calling to say they were thinking about us at the very moment we needed to hear that someone cared. He whispered sweet words of comfort right into our ears during times of discouragement. He spoke right through the simple, sweet and earnest prayers of our three children. He sent people to give us hugs when we were feeling down but not able to admit it. He sent words of encouragement through those that are able to clearly hear His voice. He provided us with sweet times of worship and spoke wonderful messages of
grace and LOVE to us. He sent people with comfort food. He provided abundant gifts for our children and many people to reach out to them when they struggled with understanding what was happening. He reminded us that the JOY of the LORD is our STRENGTH! He showed us that when we are weak he truly is strong.

I could go on and on....God is SO good. My life verse is Romans 8:28 (It's posted at the top of my blog!). What the enemy meant for evil, God has turned to good. Our house did not burn completely down. Many of our possessions were saved and we realized through this that even if all of our 'things' had been destroyed we would not have been anything but grateful. We have a precious relationship with Jesus and we have each other. And that is more than enough.

Working with our insurance company has been a fun experience. We have always had many hand-me-down items in our home and lots of garage sale finds. (I'm a bargain shopper, remember?) However, when they give us money to replace things they give us full replacement value--to buy NEW things. So we've upgraded many things in our home at no cost to us whatsoever. We had a few things in our house that we would have wanted to change, but we never would have spent money on those things (different carpet, for example). Now we had them done for us for free. We thought we had the house of our dreams before but now we really do!

Time is another gift we received through the fire. We were living with Mary Beth when she was first diagnosed with cancer. We got to spend much precious time with her and Dave as they prayed, talked through it all, made decisions and dealt with the diagnosis. We never would have had a chance to spend that much time with them if not for the fire. God's timing was amazing in having us there and available for that situation.
While staying out at Sam's parent's house, we were about forty minutes outside of our home community. It was a challenge at first to stay connected, but God really revealed some things through that as well. There were things that he wanted us to let go of and things he wanted us to spend more time on as a family. Our kids had only each other (for the most part) to play with for the last two and a half months. They were used to having lots of play dates and having many friends around all the time, but this helped them see how much fun they can really have together. I've seen their relationships grow so much stronger and their appreciation for one another develop into a beautiful thing. That has been one of the best things to watch!
We love you, Jesus!
We are so glad to be back home.
We are so glad for all we've learned through this trial.