Saturday, March 21, 2009

Michael W. Smith

Yes, we met him last night, and we have proof! But let me start at the beginning. Rob's friend Jason came to visit (he's actually here on business, but stayed a couple of extra days to hang with us). We love Jason, our kids love Jason, and we'll be REAL sad to see him go.

So anyway, Trinity Christian Academy hired Smitty to do a concert for their fundraiser. We have no association with TCA, but we are fans of Smitty AND the concert took place at Watermark (our church).

Jason works with Smitty's record label so he got us tickets and All Access passes.

And so, we got to meet Smitty. . .

He is a really great guy, genuine & real. He sang "Friends are Friends Forever" which all the adults knew, but the kids seemed clueless. This made us feel a slightly old. We had a great time & some of Smitty's words stuck out to me.

He talked about how we are loved by our Father. He kept referring to Him as Papa. I love that intimacy. He talked about how we are not only loved by our Papa, but liked & cherished. He said that finally at one point he came to realize that he is the son of the Great King of the Universe. And once we realize who we really are, daughters & sons of the most High King, our life is no longer about us. We don't worry about us anymore because we are rooted in who we are. Those are not his exact words, but they are how I remember them. He said it much better, but I wanted to share because it was such a good reminder to me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Role Reversal

So this morning I woke up to Cobb crawling in bed with me(Rob had already left for the Summit). He leans over & says with authority, "don't forget to read your Bible. I'm going to sleep 10 more minutes."

Later when the kids all woke up, we talked about how today was going to be a cleaning day. The kids watched a show & I sat down to read the last 20 pages of my Harry Potter book. Cobb simply asks, "Mom, why are you not cleaning?" I replied, "I thought I'd wait so you could help me." I don't think he bought that.

Then I told the kids to go outside to play & I would clean downstairs. I told them I would call them when it was time to help me with the upstairs. They agreed. A little later, Cobb came in to see me replying to an email. He said, "Mom, you aren't cleaning!" Caught in another distraction from the task on hand. YIKES!

I turn on the Ellen DeGeneres show so I can clean dishes & fold while being entertained. Cobb sweetly says, "Mom, we've played outside & I think it's time to come in. I'm going to play the Wii now, ok?" He begins playing, and then I decide to interject a little too late with, "Actually Cobb, I think I want to watch my show while I do the laundry." He continues playing and says, "don't worry mom. I'm going to let you listen to it while I play."

I'm starting to wonder who's in charge today?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Flexibility is Key

Well, today didn't turn out exactly as planned. We left this a.m. all packed to meet my friends Trisha & Stacey at the Arboretum (about 35 minutes from my house). I haven't been in almost two years and my car was full of distracitons, so of course, I turn the wrong direction on Garland road. I realize pretty quickly that I'm going the wrong way and turn around in search of a bank. I had given Rob all my cash yesterday at the zoo so I had no money for parking at the arboretum. While at the bank, Trisha calls & tells me she is in the overflow lot trying to load a bus. I imagined myself hauling my big double jogger into the tour bus along with my three munchkins and all our stuff. I told Trisha I was turning around & going to do something else. Spring Break + Beautiful Day = overcrowded Arboretum.

So we ate our picnic lunch in the car on the way home, stopped at our house to pick up swimsuits, then headed to Lifetime Fitness to swim. We had a great time in the pool, and all three kids were loving it. Ridge laughed & splashed. I was feeling pretty good about our alternate plan. BUT THEN. . . Ridge tripped, went under water, and as I pulled him up he gagged. I stood up with him so I could see if he was okay & he threw up his lunch into the pool. I won't go into details except that the WHOLE pool shut down. Ridge thought it was hysterical, but the rest of the crowd weren't too pleased that their plans were changed. After profusely apologizing, I herded my kids off to the dressing room to clean Ridge and get changed.

TODAY's Playtime: 20 minutes;
Prep time: 2 1/2 hours;
Drive time: 1 1/2 hours

Oh well, there's always tomorrow :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Zoo Day

Sometimes I feel we live in a zoo with our three little ones & the sweet chaos that is our lives. But today, we went to the REAL zoo.

It was great. Rob took off work & we had great family time. The two animals the kids talked about in the car on the way there were the lion and the bear. Unfortunately, the Dallas Zoo didn't have either of those. But, the kids quickly forgot as we started seeing the exhibits. The first one was the African Penguins.

Cobb helped Ridge see

We got a great view of the gorilla. He stared at us while eating.

Then, to my boys' surprise, he stood up and "showed his booty."

One of the best parts of the zoo was climbing on the statues.

And then we road the monorail:

Ridge was crazy!

He would not sit still. His favorite part was playing peek a boo with the baby in the next car.

Lunch break!

Then we ran into the Howells on our way into the Children's zoo. Sweet Grace & Cobb hanging on top of the rock.


Playing in the water. . .

Crazy Ridge hanging with Daddy.

Karate Kid. . .

Climbing on the giant spider web. . .

And then we finished off with a carousel ride & a trip to McDonalds for ice cream. Full day! We all fell asleep on the way home.

Including Rob & me :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tag Team

I was in the kitchen again. Ridge was asleep. Charly & Cobb were playing some spy game together. I hear. . .

Charly: I'll be the looker

I hear a series of whispers between Cobb & Charly, and then the sound of the M&Ms rattling in the bowl on the bar. I turn towards the sound only to hear a thud of feet landing on the ground and two pairs feet hurrying into my bedroom from different directions.

Me: Cobb & Charly! You better be in front of me by the time I count to three. One, two. . .

Both kids stood in front of me with guilty faces and hands behind their backs. I hold my hand out in front of me. They both put handfuls of M&Ms into my hand. My sweet honest Cobb followed up with. . .

Cobb: We were sneaking you together. Sorry Mom. Can we have some M&Ms?

At least they're learning about team work. Maybe next time it will be more productive.

Two Year Old Reprimand

I am in the kitchen cooking. All seems peaceful. The three kids are playing in the office. I look over & Ridge seems to be doing something suspicious. So naturally I walk over and open the door to the office. The big kids are sitting at the table coloring (such angel children!), but the littlest monster runs & hides.

Me: Ridge, what are you doing squirt??
From behind the desk, he looks at me with sheepish eyes and a cock of his head.
Me: Ridge. (pause for effect ) What are you doing? (I tried my best to be stern despite his fervent effort to look innocent).
Ridge: What you doing cutie? (emphasis on "cutie")

I never found out what he was doing because I was laughing too hard. Is this the way it's going to be with him? Probably so.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spontaneous Pedicure

Here's Rob. . .

We Don't Have to Know Why

It has been a rough two weeks. We found out that we had a threatened miscarriage on Monday the 2nd, and then we found out this past Monday that we lost our baby(due October). It's comforting to know that our baby is with the Lord right now, but it's sad to know that we can't meet him or her on this earth. God is working in me, giving me a peace during this time that is pretty hard to comprehend. He is Good. He has given us so much and as Job says in Job 2:10, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” The Lord gives and takes away, and I will choose to praise Him for I know He is good. He is my Father, and He loves me. I believe He will continue to bless us as He has time and time again. This may not be in my way or the way I imagine. But it will be best.

There’s a sadness that is deep and hard to explain. A loss of a dream, a loss of an imagined face, of smiles, of future memories, and of laughter. I have spent many hours praying through this, processing it with the Lord, and so there is also a peace that is hard to explain. I have been angry, sad, confused, frustrated, and impatient, and most likely will have many moments of that again. But now there is a peace that somehow, in a way I don’t understand, God has better in mind. It could be a need for me to grow closer to him. It could be another blessing down the road that we have not yet imagined. It could be a wake up call to the amount He has given so far. It could even be His protection. There are lots of ways others try to provide comfort or explanation, but it just comes down to “we don’t know.”

We don’t truly know why God chooses to give or why He chooses to take away. We don’t have to know to believe He loves us and to believe that He is sovereign, all-knowing, all-powerful, and good. We have evidence of that in the works of his hands. We have evidence of that in the way he has moved in our lives.

We don’t have to know all the answers because in truth, how could we know? How can we put such a perfect God in a finite box of our finite minds? I am so grateful that I cannot fathom all the mystery of the Lord. If I could I would reduce him to something man-made and fallible. Would I want to trust completely in “my image” of God? If my plan prevailed, I would be stuck living in the “possible good” or the "relevant good," missing out on the ultimate best. How often do I want to take control when it is much more freeing to submit my life to the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect, loving, and gracious God who cared so much about me that He sent His only son to die for me?

Lord help me to fix my eyes on you, and run this race with perseverance & strength that comes from you & you alone. May I focus on you so that I do not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb. 12:1-3). “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; Then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Thank you Lord for fully knowing me, and may I rest in your knowledge, not mine.

Other verses I have meditated on in the last weeks:
Psalm 4:1, Psalm 16:2, Psalm 27:13-14, Matthew 6:33, Isaiah 43, Isaiah 40:28-31, James 1:2, Psalm 139:16, Psalm 121.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Weekend in Houston

I've been slacking on pictures, so this post has quite a few. Rob had a business trip to Nashville so last Thursday, the kids & I headed down to Houston to visit my parents. The drive wasn't too bad. We stopped at Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana for an early lunch.

Then shortly after the kids fell asleep.

Yeah for mommy!

Charly loved playing with my old horses. I loved those things!

and the kids loved reading with my mom and dad. . .

As an added bonus, my sister Marlo dropped her boys, Jameson & Abran, off with my parents for the weekend so all the cousins got to play together. Marlo & Alex went to Austin to celebrate their anniversary. I think my mom was in heaven having all her grandchildren under one roof.

We walked to several different parks with the babies riding in the stroller. . .

And the big kids holding hands. . .

Charly played a lot with Mimi

And the boys enjoyed each other. . .

Ridge found Mimi's camera.

We ate lots of meals together. . .

We went to the Wabash Feed Store (my mom's favorite store):

We had baths. . .

And movie night. . .

And LOTS of smiles:

On the return home, poor Cobb cried for at least an hour because he missed his cousin Abran. Even though I told him we could see Abran again soon, he kept sobbing because he had so much fun while in Houston. Sweet boy. He cheered up after we stopped at Woody's in Centerville for lunch. The BBQ is so good there!

The ride home wasn't as easy as the ride there, but it wasn't bad. We watched a movie and sang songs. We were glad to get home & see daddy.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Milk Run

So every once in a while we run out of milk totally, and we need to make an emergency run to Braum's. Of course, it's always an adventure when I go with all three of my little ones. So we climb out of the car & run in. Passing the ice cream is always a challenge, and this time, I confess, I gave in to Cobb's pleading for chocolate ice cream. What's a mom to do when a child is saying he will "JUST DIE" without it? So we drag the gallon of ice cream and three gallons of milk up to the counter as well as bananas (I was craving them for some reason). Ridge starts begging for chips, Charly starts asking questions, and Cobb wants to know when he can eat the ice cream. Meanwhile, the poor checkout lady is asking me to swipe my credit card. Too many voices can sometimes make a brain shut down. So on her third or 4th ask, I finally swiped my card. I grabbed the two paper bags, and we walked out. I asked Cobb & Charly to hold Ridge's hand so he can be safe. But Ridge immediately squats right in from of the sliding door refusing to hold hands. Here's our conversation:

Me: Ridge hold your brother & sister's hands
R: NO!
Me: I'm going to count to three!
R: NO, NO!!!
Me: One, Two, Two and half, two and three quarters, . . .
R: NO, NO, NO!!!
Charly & Cobb try to help the situation by reaching their hands out to him
Charly: Ridgie, here's my hand
Cobb: Mine too!
R: NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!
Me: Ridge, come on honey
I was about to drop both bags & haul the squatting no sayer to the car when. . .
Charly, Cobb, Me: Oh!
Me: Want us to wait?
R: Yep

When he was done, he happily stood up and took his siblings hands. All it took was a little time to do his business. Luckily there weren't any other Braum's customers that needed in or out of the store.

Monday, March 02, 2009

My kids

Tonight I had the privilege of watching my kids play together with Ridge's cars. He begrudgingly gave two to Charly & two to Cobb. The cars are characters out of the "Cars" movie, and they are Ridge's prize possessions. After he realized his siblings wanted to play with him, he lightened up a bit & had some fun. It was so cute seeing them play together, and Ridge copying Cobb's every move. They laughed out loud. I am blessed to have these three. Thank you Lord for their laughter and the joy they bring to both Rob & me.