Monday, November 24, 2008

Husband Tag

Actually, it is a husband tag with a twist-- so would that make it a twisted husband?!

Back from Disney-- zero lines, cold weather, fun fun fun! While I collect my thoughts on it all, I swiped this fun tag from Emily for y'all to check out. She makes everything seem exciting, even checking the mail!

1. He's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? Xbox 360's Call of Duty 4.

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Ranch dressing. But he won't actually eat it-- silly you for thinking such a thing! He might take one measly bite and then he'll push it around the plate/bowl until you are done with yours. He's polite but doesn't partake.

3. What's one food he doesn't like? Anything green. Unless it's grass to mow or money to be had, his life has no green... zip, zilch, zero.

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? I wouldn't be at a bar in the first place but if for some reason he were, he would get a Dr. Pepper. But only if they gave free refills. We're frugal like that.

5. Where did he go to high school? MacArthur High School in Irving, TX.

6. What size shoe does he wear? 10.5-11 Wide

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Tools, video games, and he has this fabulous collection of model airplanes!

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Grilled Ham and Cheese (with mayo)

9. What would he eat every day if he could? Nasty Hamburger Helper Double Cheeseburger Macaroni. He's also a big fan of pizza.

10. What is his favorite cereal? He's not much for cereal but when he does eat it, he eats either plain Cheerios or Peanut Butter Crunch cereal.

11. What would he never wear? Pink! No way!

12. What is his favorite sports team? Texas Longhorns.

13. Who did he vote for? Definitely McCain!

14. Who is his best friend? ME. But since that's a boring answer and sort of a given, I would say his buddy Tim. They are like brothers!

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Put my cold feet on him.

16. How many states has he lived in? Four: Texas, Ohio, Georgia and then back to Texas (home sweet home!)

17. What is his heritage? German.

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what would it be? Yellow cake with homemade cream cheese frosting.

19. Did he play sports in high school? He played soccer from the time he was 4 years old all the way through college. His dad was his coach for most of those years. :-)

20. What could he spend hours doing? Playing Xbox or working around the house. He is quite the handyman and always has some kind of project going. He recently put in recessed lights in our schoolroom and will soon be making some shelves for the boys' closet.

21. What's something cool about him? Cool is such a relative term! I suppose what is the coolest about him is that he absolutely loves his family. The guys he flies with at work always remember him for being the guy that looks at pictures of his wife and kids on his laptop all the time. He doesn't do that as much at the present since he's still having a difficult time being without Christian, but there is NO DOUBT where his heart is. He doesn't have the problem of being propositioned by ahem... flight attendants like many of the other guys. Wedding rings are rarely a deterrent but a joy and genuine love for family? That always works!

Let me know if you end up doing this tag as well. I'd love to hear more about your hubs!

Monday, November 17, 2008

This week's happenings

+++ We're going to DisneyWorld!!! It is a complete and total surprise for the boys. :-) We're not telling them anything until we get there... although I imagine they might figure it out when we get on the plane to Orlando. David and I had talked about going for a while but thought it best to wait until Christian was older. Y'know, so he'd actually have a shot at remembering it. *sigh* But there's no better time than the present (and the uncrowded week before Thanksgiving) to just do it.

Is there anything that you've been meaning to do (big or small) with your kidlets (big or small) that you might just go ahead and do NOW?

+++ Voting is going on now at the Homeschool Blog Awards! I am truly humbled and honored that some of y'all would nominate me for a few of the categories (Best "Live-What-You-Believe" Homeschool Blog, Best Cyber Buddy Blogger and Best Encourager)-- thank you! Voting ends at midnight on November 21. You do not have to have to homeschool or have a blog to vote! SO GO!

+++ Save the date of Tuesday, November 25th for the Houston Homeschool Bloggy Joe-down!!! Get it? Like hoe-down and cup of Joe? Okay then... so it's really just an uber-good time at Panera with the likes of moi, Sprittibee, Rachel, Semicolon (Picture Book Preschool), Kelly (sorry, I don't know your blog addy), and anyone else in the area that wants to come. We're thinking about meeting down in the Westheimer or Galleria area around 10am. If you're in the neighborhood, let me know and PLEASE come join us!

+++ And last but not leastly, my friend Angela will the speaker at Heartbeat Live tomorrow at 3pm CST. She will be speaking about hands-on learning in a LIVE, online, interactive style.

Fine Motor Manipulatives Around the House: Hands On Learning

Do you have a child struggling with fine motor skills? Has handwriting become a chore that you both dread daily? Join Angela DeRossett as she shares ideas on how to strengthen your child’s fine motor skills with items you already have while introducing you to ways to make this type of learning more fun.

It's FREE, it's fun and I hope you'll join in-- just hop on over there to register and get your login.

Allrightythen... it's 1:41am and I need to go to bed for our flight in a few hours. Have a wonderful week, y'all!



PS Thank you so much, dear friends, for all the e-mails and cards and prayers regarding Christian's birthday this past Wednesday. It was a very good family kind of day! We only cried a little that morning when we reminded the boys about it being Christian's b-day. Then we prayed, ate at Denny's and watched Madagascar Escape 2 Africa at the theater (a rare treat for our Netflix kind of family). God has given us so much grace at the perfect time... without fail! But He's like that y'know... loving, trustworthy, consistent, all-knowing, faithful...

PPS Have any of you read that book by Randy Alcorn called "Heaven"? I've listened to the shorter abridged audio version and found it to be encouraging and very interesting. I'm thinking about getting the hardcopy or perhaps the unabridged audio version. Anyone have any thoughts on that book?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, dear Christian!

This past Christmas, we had a birthday cake for Jesus with a candle for each child to blow out (my niece and nephew were not in a candle blowing mood apparently). *sigh* I just love this picture!

Today would have been Christian's 4th birthday. I know they won't be having a birthday cake in Heaven, but if they were to have one, I imagine that Jesus would be the one to help him blow out the candles this year.

While we miss Christian in a mighty way (oh my, do we ever miss him!), we do not grieve as those who have no hope!

And where does my hope lie?

It lies in Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation that is offered through the giving of his life on the cross for our sins and His victory over death when He arose on the 3rd day. That is how I KNOW that I will see Christian in Heaven when I die!

When I was 13 there was a specific time and place that I realized I was a lost sinner, asked God to forgive me of my sins, and gave my life to Him. My eternal destination is not determined by scales that balance my good and bad when I die-- surely I could never live up to that no matter how "good" I am! Salvation is a GIFT. All we have to do is believe, repent and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. That is how I KNOW where my eternal destination lies. Heaven is a REAL place, y'all!!!

God doesn't just say it in a book to make us feel better.

Where will you spend eternity? We are not guaranteed tomorrow. And we certainly don't know how many days we have on this earth-- it might be 44 years or maybe just shy of 4! I sincerely pray that each of you would make a personal decision to give your lives to Jesus Christ. Christian and I would love to meet you there-- walking the streets of gold, worshipping God, rejoicing in a (REAL!) place where ...God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Rev. 21:4).

I'm not sure what else to say about Christian's birthday. I do ask for your prayers for my family. I know that God will carry us through it and that His grace will even bring us joy in the midst of our tears today.

If joy isn't easy to come by for you today, FIND IT. Choose to be joyful, choose to be thankful! I am. I am very thankful for this day 4 years ago that Christian was born. And I am very thankful for this day-- TODAY-- 4 years since Christian was born. I would do it all over again for the joy of having been his mommy. Even when it hurts.

And if you really can't find joy, maybe you're trying to fill up an emptiness all by yourself or with other things? I encourage you to look up, look to Jesus... He is the only one that can give you the peace that you seek. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)

Okay, quit reading this and go enjoy some time with your kids!!! Not just next to them, but with them. Savor the moment, savor the day. Be thankful for the little messes, constant interruptions, and even dramas that may play out from time to time. The things that you will miss the most one day are always the little things, rarely any single big thing.

And because I just love pictures of my littlest man, here are a few of my very favorites.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Seeing things in black and white

I was doing okay this past weekend, really I was. It was a strange mix of feeling sorry for myself, missing Christian terribly and also some fun with friends. Y'know, I think about Christian every single day. Sometimes it's little things like how one of the first words besides "mama" and "dada" that he ever said was "Icee". (It's the honest truth that when he saw that Exxon sign when he was 1yo, he looked at it and said Icee!-- we'll just say that the consumption of Icee's is a male bonding thing in our family!)

But this time my thinking of him was different, it was more. I ventured into the Family Christian store to pick up a card for the sweet 16 b-day party we were to attend this past Friday night. They had already brought out all the Christmas items-- books, CDs, advent wreaths, and ornaments. It was the ornaments that got me thinking....

One of the traditions we have around here is that each child gets their own ornament every year. Sometimes we make them and other times we buy them-- last year, they got to pick out their very own Hallmark ornament (talk about a splurge!). The plan was that when they got older and had a place of their own, they would take "their" box of ornaments with them. It's always a lovely time when we put the tree up, unpack the ornaments and talk about the "remember when's" behind each one.

That's when it hit me.

While I have packed up most of Christian's special things, there are still those ornaments and his stocking tucked away in the Christmas bins. I kind of mulled those thoughts all day, culminating into a good cry later that evening. It was like every fiber of my being was missing my littlest man!!! His hugs, his mischievous grin, the way he'd make shooting sounds with anything that could resemble a gun, how he'd come to me and say I'm humry, mommy!, how he'd sneak out of his room after bedtime and say I can't sweep- boys make too much noise!, how he always insisted on sitting next to me, his excitement at finding a race car shopping cart at Kroger that actually had a steering wheel still attached... so many things... so many things that I won't ever get to see, hear, feel or touch again...

As we were driving home from the birthday party, the boys and I got into a conversation about Christian. For some reason I can't remember how it even came up in the first place; but it ended with a discussion on heaven and how we'll see him again if we give our lives to Jesus Christ and ask him to save us from our sins. We have the promise of everlasting life-- eternity! We will be together f-o-r-e-v-e-r!!!

Tank said, Well, I know that I'll see him again in heaven! I bet he's having a good time on the streets of gold and hanging out at the crystal river. When I get to heaven I can't wait to see him. Oh and Jesus too! That would be cool to see Jesus. I bet they're having all kinds of fun up there!

I just love how children can see things so clearly. My boys not only bring me JOY, but remind me of where my JOY truly lies-- and it is not here, my friends!

And just today when I was beginning to feel sad about Christian's birthday coming up next Wednesday, I received a lovely and extremely encouraging card from JenIg in the mail. She reminded me that Christian will be having his best birthday EVER! And it's true. What better place could you possibly be on your birthday than in the presence of the Lord? And as far as Christmas, what better place can you be to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ than at His feet?! In the presence of the King of Kings?!

Yup, that's what I thought. There is no better place for Christian to be... no matter how much we miss him here on earth.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

~John 14:1-4

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

When girls come over

I thought about posting about the election, but I'm going to try to practice the old addage If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, we had 4 friends spend the night last night. GIRLS. Ages 4-10. Anyhow, Dash, Tank, the girls and I all had a great time together. We painted our nails (well, the boys opted to skip that part- which I am very happy about!), did some crafts and made some sweets. Friends are such a blessing, even if they are girls!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Abstract Noun

Yesterday 9yo Dash and I were discussing the differences between an abstract noun and a concrete noun.

Me: Give me an example of a concrete noun.

Dash: A pencil!

Me: Give me an example of an abstract noun.

Dash thinks for a couple of seconds.

Dash (in a calm and matter-of-fact voice): Christian.

Me (after regaining my composure): Why do you say that?

Dash: Because I can't see him or touch him.

Me: Ummm... okay. That's a very sweet answer although I don't think that is what the people that made this workbook quite had in mind. But I guess you're right... How about we just skip this and move to the next one?

Dash: Okay, mommy.

It's always interesting to see when Christian will come up in our conversations. Usually it's out of the blue and an unexpected surprise! I am so glad that the boys are comfortable talking about Christian. Sometimes we cry but other times it's very matter-of-fact with hardly a tear (okay, maybe just a little choking up)... remembering and laughing and talking as a family. I am so thankful that God has kept us close-- close to Him and close to each other!