Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Sunday is a Funday

We enjoyed Easter from beginning to end. It was a wonderful day. We went to church at Fellowship Bible, which is our unofficial home right now. It seems to be our base church as we continue to visit other churches. I feel like it gives us a sense of stability as the location of our church home is still so uncertain. Bruce Ewing's message was great... I really feel like I missed out if I don't get to hear him on Sunday mornings!This was the only decent picture I snapped of the kids. Getting a good pic of Luke is just about impossible as you can see. Doesn't he look like a lovable stinker????Right when we got to our cousin's house, Nana had the photo opportunity organized. We got quick shots of our 10 kids (including baby Jace, my cousin Jami's big new boy).Ta-da, my best photo of the day. How could I not take a good picture of beautiful Magpie? It must be the model, not the photographer. The annual basket on the head picture. Granny always starts it, that mischief maker.
On your marks, get set....GO!!!!The Princess of Hearts with Kim R.'s dog, Tia. She was in Dog Heaven. A rare picture of our hubbies. Two basketball coaches... probably still talking ball.Best Buds and winners of the raw egg toss. They somehow got a super egg that was indestructible. This egg wasn't quite so lucky.The t-shirt says it all.The Princess of Hearts and cousin goofing around.A beautiful, blessed day!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dancin' in Denver....

.....but home too soon :(

Note: if you want to turn off the music, click the speaker button in the bottom left hand corner of the slideshow.

The trip was Wonderful; the Game was Woeful!!!!

The wonderful: We had a charter flight to Denver. Charter. No airport terminals, no x-ray machines (though there was a light security table. Everyone had to be waved over with a metal detector - even the kids! It was funny to see Luke standing there with his legs and arms spread). It was special. I haven't taken a whole lot of charter flights in my life, and I could really get used to it. The weather in Denver was nice. Really sunny and crisp and pretty. The mountains, of course, were gorgeous. I'm sure people who live there get used to the scenery. But for me, mountains are always an expression of God's power and awesomeness. The hotel (though under renovation) was nice enough. The kids LOVE going on vacation and staying in luxurious hotel rooms. They ate this up! My dad's sister, Aunt Anne, who I was named after, and her daughter, our cousin Ashley, live near Denver. The only condition we see them under is pretty much.... Oklahoma! So it was fun seeing them in their territory, and they were so amazing to come pick us up from the hotel and take us to Cherry Creek Mall, especially considering Ashley has 3 year old Andrew and 5 month old baby Ryan! AND they came to our game in downtown Denver. We all appreciated their enthusiasm and love and we are considering going back this summer for a visit! Another great thing was just making memories with family and friends. Going to the NCAA tournament is a really fun experience!!!

The woeful: This is our third NCAA first round game. And don't get me wrong, I was thankful to be there. I am glad we made it to the tournament!!! Let me say it again, I am glad we made it!!!! (Here comes the but), BUT oh my goodness, we got our tails kicked. After coming out sharp for oh, about 5 minutes, the rest of the game was like a nightmare. I kept asking Kim, "is this a bad dream?" Down by almost 30, (yes 30) in the first half. We weren't expected to WIN, but we were expected to play well, you know compete. And we DID NOT DO THAT. And it hurt. I was sad for our players, who I love. I was sad for our coaches. I was sad for our kids, whose disappointment wasn't quite as masked as everyone else's. Kami said after the game, "mom, I really thought we'd win this game, because in fairy tales, the 3rd time is usually the charm." Good point, Kam. Maybe that's why, deep in my gut, I thought we'd come out on the winning side of this one too. But this is not a fairy tale, and God's ways are higher than ours.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Easter Excitement at Ida's

Easter will not come this early again for another couple hundred years, thank the risen Lord. It's getting all convoluted being so close to St. Patrick's day, our anniversary and March Madness. I don't know if I've EVER celebrated Easter before St. Patrick's day, but that is what we did yesterday at Granny's house. We did our traditional dying of the eggs and then the kids played outside, hunted easter eggs, and we made some yummy bunny racecars that probably boasted no less than 1,000 calories apiece. A swiss roll for the car, a marshmallow bunny, bottlecaps, skittles and lifesaver made up the other details, all put together with icing. Of my kids, I would have to say that Luke got the biggest kick out of decorating eggs. He worked longer than the girls, and when he was done, he kept saying, "I can't believe I really did it! I decorated ALL my eggs!" It was cracking me up. He took his egg carton to every adult who would listen and showed them his eggs, discussing which one was his favorite, what color looked nicest and so on. What he was really looking forward to was the quilt drawing. He firmly thinks that this one is the one he's going to win. I hate to tell him that there are probably 20 other people's names in the bag. We didn't draw for the quilt after all, as we are going to wait until the real Easter Day to do it!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Blogger Smoothie

It's not like me not to post. In fact, I now go throughout my day thinking in terms of blog posts. Creating titles, opening lines, blog concepts. I can hear my non-writing sister laughing out loud at this. You DO WHAT? she laughs. Well, it's just the natural way my mind works. But due to March Madness (not just the basketball kind) I have not been able to get myself in front of a computer long enough to compose any of my thoughts! So, here they are, in a blended sort of way.

March 4th. March Fourth. March Forth. A day always overshadowed by basketball, but that's OK. My favorite birthday gift? A phone call from Granny. She's 97. Tears flowed silently down my cheeks as she sang to me.
Luke has a new level of words. He's past the -sp world and onto the -ch world. Yes, I said world there, not word. I think in terms of blog posts; he thinks in terms of worlds, a la Super Mario Brothers. He IS Mario. Great is thy faithfulness, O God My Father.Are my emotions an indicator of my faith? I am sitting in the stands to watch the first conference tournament game and I think my heart must be heard by everyone in section D!!! Does this mean I don't trust HIM? Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday God Bless YOU, Happy Birthday to You. After the song, we talked. About my day. About quilting. You really only need to use 2 different sized strips instead of 4, she offered. The quilts are just as pretty with 2, and less to think about. How many more birthdays will she sing to me? -chocolate -chill -chin -chacket (no chacket starts with a "j" baby). I believe. I do believe. That HE will watch over us. If that means winning ball games, then He will do it. Is it petty to pray to WIN? Do you pray that your husband has success at his job? That he will do well and find favor with his boss? That he will be blessed and be promoted? Ditto. Everyone wanted to know how it felt to "almost" be 40. Are you kidding me? Absolutely wonderful. I am alive. I am here to enjoy my precious husband and wonderful kids. My parents have showed me nothing but love my entire life, and God has surrounded me with friends on every side. Are things perfect? Of course not. But I am happy, even if I am going to have to check the 40 and over box sometime soon. She's making an Easter quilt. It has lots of pinks and purples and some green too. We WON the first game vs. Centenary! Our awesome and spirit-filled Moses, the same one who read to Ellie's first grade class, hit 8 three pointers! Way to go Mo! And my friend Nicole got me through it, all the way from Florida, she lifted me up with text messages like this: "u hv bn here b 4 he is faithful and just." God, I can't control my emotions, but I control my reaction to my emotions. I react to nerves by saying, "I trust YOU!" and I do. 2nd game: down by 7 at halftime with only 17 points. Incredibly, He gave me peace. You're going to pull it out, He said. We did. Emotions didn't rule. -challenge -choice -chip. I felt it that morning. Grossly, I think I felt the bug actually bore itself into my right nostril. It was downhill from there. I spent the evening of our 3rd victory in my bed. Didn't even watch the game on ESPN. While my entire family celebrates our awesome victory vs. IUPUI until midnight, I am in bed with the flu. Humorous, really, but you know, what, it's OK. Great is His Faithfulness! -CHAMP!!!!

Monday, March 03, 2008


The last couple weeks, Luke has been talking about his collection.

Not just any old collection. You might expect a boy his age to have a grubby old rock collection or a toy car collection. (Well, he does have 3 tubs full of cars, so technically, I guess that does qualify for a car collection.)

Nope. None of the above. What Luke has been talking about is his collection of words, specifically -sp words.

Here are some of the words in his collection:
Spiderman (the first -sp word in his collection)
Splash (oh, that's a good one, he said)
Speed (complete with the vrroom vroom noises that cars make)
Sprite (and it goes on and on......)
and his favorite -sp word in his collection:

I know, you think that I, his English-teaching mother have been coaxing him to love letters and words much like a Coach-father may encourage one to enjoy sports. But beyond reading books, I can't take credit for this one. It's just a SPecial Luke thing.

One -sp word I know he does not have in his collection: Spanking.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Am I the Only One Who Does This?

Most of the time, when I am out and about and doing my thing, I observe people, as I believe most other people do. Whether I am pushing the cart down the aisle at Wal-Mart or standing in line at the post office, it just seems a normal thing to look around at the people. I guess a part of me likes to guess at their stories. Who they are, where they've been, and where they're going. I admire their smiles and wonder at their sadness.

But the "this" I'm referring to in my post title is not just people watching; I know a lot of people do that. What happens to me sometimes, and I know this sounds strange, is that as I am looking at that person, I get a glimpse of what that person looked like as a child. I mean I don't literally get a vision, like the burning bush. But somehow, I see that person not as who they are, but as who they have been throughout their life. And I'm not just talking physical appearance, though that is part of it. It is a strange sensation, because I actually FEEL for that person. I mean, when I am in the check-out-line and the cashier is preoccupied and snippy, sometimes,
[SOMETIMES, NOT ALWAYS] something gives me the ability to see beyond the snippiness and into her past. For just a fraction of a second, I see the innocent eyes, the pain-filled heart, the confused paths, the great joy, the serious sadness, and it is enough to make my heart pause and say "wow."

What's more, is it works in reverse too. I can look at kids and again "see" them as adults. It reminds me that everything I do to that child or for that child will impact him for the rest of his life.

One more thing: not to worry. This does NOT work on people I know. Just doesn't. I'm not I repeat NOT sitting at lunch with you envisioning you as a child or in the assisted living care facility. It doesn't even enter my mind, to tell the truth. I know you may think I'm weird.... but what I believe is that this is a gift. Not like a weird, supernatural thing at all - No Cris Angel here!!!! But just a tiny way for me to put my own feelings aside for a moment and consider the soul of somebody else.