Monday, April 28, 2008

Lunch in Heaven

Today we were driving down the road eating Burger King to go. Selah was talking about how she thinks it would be cool if people could "fly, run up walls, transform into things..." Charis piped in on the conversation and said "how 'bout if we tie balloons to our wristesess (wrists) and fly up up up, and we can take napkins and our food and eat in heaven!" (yes, those exact words from my creative little 2 year old). Selah then said, "and we could have lunch with Grandma Vicki!"

This story reminds me of a couple months ago, we were shopping at Sam's and the kids saw a big box of cashew nuts. They remembered that cashews were Grandma Vicki's favorite, and that she would pick them out of the bowl of mixed nuts. As we passed by in the isle at Sam's, Bryson said "How about if we take cashews with us when we go to heaven, so we can share them with Grandma Vicki!"

For now they still have vivid memories of her. I hope they can hang on to some of them.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Visitors from the North

Saturday we spent the day with Alan's parents and his Aunt Diane and Uncle Tom. They have been on a month-long vacation to "anywhere down south." They spent time in Florida, the Carolina's, Alabama, Springfield Missouri, and at least a day here in Oklahoma. We spent most of the day sitting outside on the back patio. Diane is so sweet, and Tom is one of those people who you could be around all the time, and never get bored. He's a really fun guy.
Glad we got to spend the afternoon together.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

And the House on the Rock Stood Firm

Remember this song from when we were kids, singing and doing the hand motions in Sunday School?

"The wise man built his house upon the rock...the wise man built his house upon the rock...the wise man built his house upon the rock..."

Today would be my Mom and Dad's 34th wedding anniversary. I'm sure it's no surprise, I've spent a lot of time thinking about them and their marriage this week. To state the obvious, I'm eternally grateful that they kept their commitment to each other, and to us as their children, that they would build a life together. God and their faith in Him was the solid foundation on which they built their love and marriage... the rock on which they built their house. I'm glad they weren't afraid to hug and kiss in front of us. I'm glad they weren't afraid to fight in front of us. I'm glad they weren't the kind of parents who merely told us how to live, but neglected to teach us how to live. They were not perfect. I can just hear my mom saying "Your Dad makes me so mad!!" But one of the things I admire most is that they didn't just send us to Sunday School and expect us to learn it all there. But they created for us an environment in which we learned and we knew, we KNEW, the difference between a house built upon the rock, and a house that was built on the sand.

"And the rains came tumbling down...the rains came down and the floods came up..."

For many years I have realized that part of the strength and wisdom that I have has come from some of the trials and tribulations my parents have been through. Losing a successful business, Christmas's in which there wasn't enough money to buy gifts, having to sell off "stuff" just to make the land payments, taking care of Grandparents in the nursing home, sadness during family relationship hardships. There were many years of good times too. Financial wealth, successful business ventures, freedom to enjoy traveling and pleasures of the world. My parents' marriage survived and thrived through it all. Had it been a house built on sand, it probably would have washed away.
Now the worst storm of all. Last November, with the death of my Mom. They made it. Not "Until Death" did they part. I suppose the marriage has ended, but the house is still standing. Every Sunday in Church I sit next to my Dad. I am proud, amazed, and sad, all at the same time. How easy would it be to blame God for not healing her. Or to be angry that it had to happen this early in life. Maybe Dad doesn't really feel like being there. I don't know. But once again, we KNOW what is right, and we do it. People have asked us how we are making it through this trial with a sense of peace and composure about us. It's because of the peace that comes from God. It really is. It's not easy, but it's "all right." We know the end of the story, and we know that it won't be long. Alan and I were having a conversation a few weeks ago with his Dad, and his Dad brought up the question that he has been asking himself lately, "Is God enough?" When bad things happen. If the worst happened to him, would God "be enough?" For those of us who have that solid foundation, even when you don't feel like it, even when life feels shaky, at the core, it's not going anywhere. For my family...and because of my family...for my Dad...and because of my Dad...God is that rock that the house is built on, and the house is still standing.

"...and the house on the rock stood firm."

For the first time, I think, I celebrated my parents' anniversary. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

His "other" BMW

Check out my Dad's new toy. My brother James called me a month or so ago and said "Did you know Dad bought another "B-mer?" "What?" I said, "Why?" James then said "This one only has 2 wheels."
It's actually pretty cool. It's a huge bike. He use to talk about how someday he and Mom were going to get a motorcycle with a side-car attached to it, and that they were going to cruise around, he on the bike and Mom sittin' in the side-car. Everyone would laugh as they talked about it, and I'm sure most people could just picture them crusin' around, her sittin' there, barely able to see over the top, with a cute little helmet on. I would laugh too, and think to myself "oh geez... my parents...!!!"
Well, now I almost think he needs that side car to hold that big bike up! And of course Alan thinks this gives him the green light to finally get the motorcycle he's always wanted. And he's probably right. I guess at least they'll each have a riding buddy.
Like I said, I actually think it's pretty cool.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Aruba....ooooh, I wanna Take Ya!

I can't believe it! We finally booked our 10 year anniversary trip!!! Above is a picture of it. We will be staying at a resort in Aruba! I can't wait. Alan and I are really looking forward to relaxing on the beach! Two things we really want to do while we're there... have a romantic dinner right on the beach to celebrate our anniversary, and the other thing...take an all day jeep expedition around Aruba. So, 4 weeks and counting to look good in that bikini! As the song says "...we'll get there fast, and then we'll take it slow! That's where we want to go-ohoh"

Look-a-Like Contest

Bubble fun contest at bath time... who looks the most like Papa Tom?

Dirt...Trees... Rocks...

I've said this before, but I have to say it again... I just love having a boy! I loved my brothers growing up (still do), and I love my son! He's great. Anything boucing, racing, or dirty, he loves it. This summer he's all about digging. I've never really wanted a sandbox in the back yard, but I think we're gonna build one. I can't keep him out of my flowerbeds. He's always digging in the ground, the pots, the bird bath! If it gets close to dry, he likes to scrape the soot, add water and make little concoctions. I really think he'd enjoy a sand box.
He's also all about climbing. Every day since it's been warm he's been climbing the trees in our yard. I'm so glad it's spring. We sure do love the outdoors.

Girly-Girl gone Wild!

Today I was painting while Bryson and Selah were playing and riding bikes in the front yard. Selah came in and said "Mommy look!!! This looks like a real frog!" I did one of the infamous nods and "uh huh!"s that Mommy's do. Then I looked over at her. She was holding a green bucket and a flat frog! It was a frog that had been run over by a car, dried out, and was now in the hands of my daughter. I kind-of over reacted, something like "Selah! That is gross! Go wash your hands with soap and water. That is a real frog! It got ran over! Get it out of the house!"
Then I did something terrible. I ran out the door with the camera, and asked her to pick it up one more time for a picture so I could post it on my blog.
About 30 minutes later Bryson comes walking in the house with the same dang frog! I hope it's gone for good now.

ps. did you notice Bryson in the tree?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

O Happy Day!

Today my best friend Jodie came to spend the day with me. We had a wonderful time together! We started the day off right, eating lunch and drinking sweet tea at McAlister's Deli. Then we made Lilly's 1st Birthday invitations, printed her foot and hand so I can make her a plate for her birthday, watched all the kids play in the back yard, and had dinner. I snapped a few pics of her kids in my front yard. I was so happy we had this spur-of-the-moment idea for her to come from Joplin to spend the day with us. Alan was playing golf, and Travis was working, so we got to enjoy the warm day with each other. I can't wait to see Lilly's finished invitations.
We were just talking about how Alan and I moved to Owasso 8 years ago. And our friendship has lasted despite the miles between us.
Alan and I became good friends with Travis and Jodie after we got married. Jodie even came the morning of our wedding and fixed my hair. She did not stay for the wedding. At that point, we were only casual friends because she was my hair-stylist. Who knew that over the next year we would become such great friends!?!?! We've been together through many ups and downs. She's the best. Now here we are, ten years and 5 kids later.
I sure wish we lived close to each other. If we could just get Travis to move here, we would all be happy! ~ha. The daily conversing on the phone is great. I truly do thank God for her.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Soccer Blondie

Selah had a great day today playing soccer. Our family motto for soccer day is one of our favorite verses, "Be strong and brave, because God is with you" Joshua 1:9. Like with most things, Selah is very timid at first, but once she goes for it, she has a blast. By the 2nd quarter she played, she was even kicking off and throwing the ball in. The blonde on the other team is our next door neighbor and her good friend, Jenna.
We were so proud of her. She had so much fun. And she was great on defense!

It's the sound of the men... workin' on the room... yeah-ee-yeah!

Crazy as it may seem, I have always said that the sound of construction is one of my favorite sounds! Growing up, my Dad was a building contractor. I was always up for the chance to ride along with him as he would make his rounds to the various building sites. Even on the farm, we were always building something, from houses to fencing to digging new ponds. I loved the sound of hammering, the nail guns, the air compressors, all of it! And I still do. In addition, I love seeing a project start from scratch. I enjoy watching and participating in the cooperation of the people to get it built, and then of course, the completion. I have very fond memories of my Dad's parents coming over day after day to help out with whatever project was going on. When I think back to some of the memories that really tug at my heart, many of them involve family working together to accomplish a common goal. A big part of who I am today is because of the life lessons and the work accomplished growing up on a farm.

We have decided to add a new room upstairs. We are expanding the existing attic space, and making a new space. We haven't decided what we will use the room for yet. Here are a few of the ideas:
~theater room
~school room
~guest bedroom
~craft room
~play room (with a stage, dress up stuff, etc.) (we would leave the current game room as is)

Right now Bryson is using the office (off the entry downstairs) as his bedroom. If he was ready to move upstairs, we would use the new room as a school room, make the current school room his bedroom, and use the office downstairs as an office. Until he's ready (which could be when the new room is done, or it might not be for years, who knows?), I'm not sure which it will be. Are you confused yet???

IN ANY CASE... it will be nice to have another room upstairs. Alan and his Dad are doing all the work. We are so thankful and so blessed to have his Dad. He's always up for helping us out with whatever projects we have going. I don't think we could do it without him. One of my favorite things about Alan's parents is their willingness to serve and help others. Not only does his Dad do this stuff for his kids, but he is often times helping friends at church, neighbors, and even those he doesn't even know, but who are in need. My in-laws have been a huge example to me when it comes to their willingness to serve others. They are gifted in the area of helping. Even my kids have noticed it and I'm so glad Gene and Lou Anne are leaving that impression on them as well.

I guess I can see it has a big cycle. I remember my Grandparents helping my parents. Now, our parents are helping us. Some day we will be blessed with the chance to help our kids.

Until the next long weekend to work on it again, here are a few pictures of the flooring and

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

they make me laugh

I love it when the kids say the cutest things...

Today, we were passing by Home Depot. Charis pointed to the building and said "Remember??? What is that place called, Mommy?" I said "Home Depot" Then she laughed and said "It's kind-of like an orange Lowes!"

Yesterday the kids found a frog. Bryson named it "Toad the frog"

And the night before, Bryson told us that he finally figured out what Buzz Light Year says in the movie. Since he was 2 or so, Bryson would quote Buzz and say "to infinity, hep beyonnnn" He told Alan and I that he now knows what Buzz really says... (and I quote) "to infinity, fifty-one!!" and the he toots! (Bryson told us that Buzz toots after he says that)

Funny stuff.