Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Henry's Poem

"If I Knew", by Maud Wyman

If I knew a box where the smiles are kept,
No matter how large the key
Or strong the bolt, I would try so hard
'Twould open, I know, for me;
Then over the land and the sea broadcast,
I'd scatter the smiles to play,
That the children's faces might hold them fast
For many and many a day.

If I knew a box that was large enough
To hold all the frowns I meet,
I would like to gather them every one,
From nursery, school, and street;
Then folding and holding, I'd pack them in,
And turning the monster key,
I'd hire a giant to drop the box
To the depths of the deep, deep sea.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bridget Mary

There are so many things about Bridget as a three year old that I want to remember. :)Here are just a few:
  • the copet (copy) game

  • "How old are you?" "I'm six and half, right mom?"

  • adorably pudgy thighs and chubby fingers

  • "I love you. You're my best."

  • free flowing hair

  • skirts every day

  • Rufus

I know the Lord smiled when he created you, sweet girl! We love your passion for life, your joy in the people around you and your precious, sweet spirit. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sign Language

We've been learning about different Native American tribes in school this week. We've studied some of their different houses and locations. Today we talked about how different tribes could communicate since they didn't speak the same languages.

One of our history books has a primitive sign language guide in the back, so we went to that and decided to try and communicate with one another.

It was a fun way to learn a little bit more about another culture. Henry and I carried on a conversation about horses, 'talking' back and forth with the few signs we could get each other to understand.

Not to be outdone, Jonah jumped into the game. His message?

The teepees are on fire!

We laughed and then told him to have his horses take water back to the teepees. He responded by telling us the horses were on fire too.

What a goofball! :)

This is a pretend pout, by the way. Jonah had a bike accident a few weeks back and ended up with a pretty good case of road rash on his nose and cheeks.

Monday, September 20, 2010


This past weekend was ESOAL up at Teen Mania. It is an incredible event put on for the interns every year. Many alumni come back for this event every year, and this year was especially exciting because Sam's brother David (who created and runs this event) decided to participate for the first time ever. He asked Sam to be the major of EZ company, which was comprised of forty-some former staff and interns.
Sam enjoys facilitating this event. He is very gifted when it comes to leading people and he has a way of getting right to the heart of issues that people are dealing with. In the past years that Sam has been a major, those in his company have always been extremely grateful for his particular leading style and the way he pushes them to grow and stretch their faith. (Last year he was even chosen as ESOAL Major of the Year!) This year was no different but was a little more challenging for him as Sam had his brother in his company.

David did an excellent job and really became one with his company. We caught up with him yesterday out at the lake (after the end of ESOAL) and it was so fun to hear his stories and what he gained out of the event. We are so proud of him for going through this!
We went up to visit with Sam one night and spent some time watching everything that was happening. It's very entertaining to see what these people will do voluntarily! :) I can't talk though, because I went through it myself two years ago. While we were there we ran into David's kids, who had come up to see how their Dad was doing. It's always fun to have a little cousin time!
My kids missed their Daddy so much. He was gone from Wednesday night until Sunday morning. We had a wedding to attend on Saturday evening, so he showered and cleaned up, we picked him up and went to the wedding, then dropped him back off.

Sam, David, and all of the other facilitators and participants: I am so proud of you! I hope you learned and were stretched and challenged...and I pray the lessons you take away from ESOAL will remain fresh in your minds all of your days. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brian's visit

My brother Brian was just here to visit for a week. He lives in Montana, so we don't get to see him often. We were able to meet up with him this Spring at my mom's house in Arizona for a quick weekend, but it's been a while since we had a good chunk of time with him.

The kids LOVE their Uncle Brian. We had so much fun getting out and doing things and also just staying home and talking. I'm so grateful for my brother!

While he was here we: ate at a few fun places that he doesn't have in Bozeman, talked him into getting a pair of Crocs (yes!), played at Sky Ranch, went to the library, went to a high school football game, spent a day out at Dave and MaryBeth's, visited IKEA and played some cards with friends.

We spent his last full day here out at Sky Ranch. We played mini-golf, jumped on the jumping pillow and swam in the party pool. It was a refreshing, relaxing way to spend our last day together and we all had a great time! :)

Now I'm busy plotting a trip to Bozeman to visit Brian next Spring or Summer. The boys and I haven't been back to Montana since we moved away, and Bridget has never even been there! I'm thinking a road trip is in order. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Swimming at a Friend's house

A lovely couple from our church graciously offered us the use of their pool this past summer. We picked a day and made that our 'swimming day' consistently every week. Another friend and her kids met us out there, and our wonderful hostess joined us more often than not. Our hostess is an older Christian woman, and as much as I enjoyed the pool, I enjoyed my time visiting with her more. Such wisdom! I understand more and more why the Bible commands the older women to teach the younger women...they have so much more life experience to draw from and share.
Theirs is a beautiful salt-water pool, with a shallow area that has a fountain spraying up all the time. Deep enough to dive, but plenty of shallow areas for the little ones. Bridget's swimming improved dramatically this summer from our time at this pool, and half way through the summer she even gave up wearing her water wings. It was a little early for me, but she did wonderfully.
We usually tried to pack up a picnic lunch and spread out in their backyard. They live about ten minutes away from us, so it usually worked out well to swim-eat lunch-swim some more-head home for naps. It made for beautiful summer days! :)
Even though my new friends proved a little camera-shy, I still managed to snap a picture of each of them. Joce with her little granddaughter and Earl dipping his feet in the water to cool off.
Many thanks to precious Earl and Joce for opening your home to us and sharing what God has blessed you with. You are a blessing to us! :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bathroom Duty

We went to the local high school football game tonight. My brother is in town visiting, so he was along with us and we had our neighbor boy along too. Being that we live in Texas and all there were quite a few other people at the game too (if you know Texas football at all, you understand the vast understatement I'm making here!).
Sometime after the first quarter, Bridget announced that she needed to use the bathroom. I told her I would take her, and then asked if anyone else needed to go. Both my boys and Blake said yes, so I headed off with four kids. Sam grabbed the three boys before we all walked off and very seriously told them, "Now you boys stay together. Nobody wander off. And when you go into the bathroom, you go in together and come out together." They all gave him a "Yes sir!" and off we went.
The boys headed down the bleachers ahead of me, and then turned to go down the next set before Bridget and I could catch up with them. We were delayed in the crush of people and by the time we got down to the bottom, the older two boys were gone and I found Jonah standing all alone in the middle of a big crowd of people...looking completely lost.
I caught up with him and asked where the other boys were. He was pretty upset and didn't have any idea where they had gone. We headed over to the boys bathroom and waited, and sure enough, Henry and Blake came bouncing out of there momentarily.
Grabbing Henry by the arm, I told him he needed to walk Jonah into the bathroom, wait for him and then come out and talk with me.

Bridget reminded me at this point that she really needed to go to the bathroom, but I felt like the more pressing issue was to talk with the boys about what had happened. So we waited for the boys to come out.

When they finally all three came out, I lined them up beside a post to talk with them. I was pretty far into my lecturing about listening to instructions, sticking together, strangers, obeying and everything else (I was on a pretty good roll at that point!) when someone tapped me on the arm.
"Um, excuse me, but did you have a little girl with you?"
Frantically looking around, I noticed that Bridget was no longer in my sight.
He proceeded to tell me that he had seen her walk into the men's restroom and that he would go check on her. He popped his head in there, then leaned out and waved me into the restroom. Bridget had gone right in and sat down in one of the stalls, not even noticing all the boys running in and out of there!
I grabbed her by the hand and dragged her out of there and into the ladies restroom. "Mom, why are we going in here? I already went potty!" my three year old insisted. We washed her hands and rushed back out to reunite with the three giggling boys.
Next time I'm not volunteering for bathroom duty.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Last week I celebrated my 32nd birthday, surrounded by family and friends.

I just LOVE birthdays. I've never understood people who don't really enjoy celebrating. :)

My wonderful friend Beth decided that I need a girl's night for my birthday and invited this lovely group of ladies out to dinner and ice cream...we had a blast! It was so fun and refreshing to get out with the girls. There was much laughter!
And on my actual birthday, my incredible mother-in-law invited us to dinner at their house. When we showed up, I found that she had invited Jon and Kelly and family to join us, and she had decorated the table with balloons and all different colored napkins and was a party! :)

Mary Beth served us a wonderful dinner and followed it up with this beautiful chocolate cake:
I felt so honored and loved on my birthday. What fun to have friends and family around to share in our celebrations of life!