Monday, June 29, 2009

13 Years

Fourteen years and 2 days ago, I walked into the Federal Building in Dallas, TX to take the Air Force Officer Qualification Test. I sat next to this handsome, confident and funny young man. We had lunch that day. A week later, he finally asked me out by saying "So when are you going to let me take you out?"

We were engaged 3 months later. Here's a pic of us at our first Christmas together a la Sears:

Brrrr... doesn't that realistic background give you the chills and make you want to drink some hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols?

Ummm, yah... That's what I thought.

I graduated college in May and we were married in June.

Anyone want to tell me to say Cheese and smile? I was a tulle princess marrying my prince (that looked like he had a mullet in many a wedding photo courtesy of bad lighting and poor photography skillz). Look how young we all look!

David was already working for Continental Express and made Captain that Christmas (way to go, baby!). We honeymooned in Cancun and began our life as Mr. and Mrs. in Cleveland, Ohio.

When we first got married, I would wake up every day and be amazed that this was my life-- how blessed I was! I couldn't believe that I got to spend the rest of my life with this wonderful man. That we could be together all the time.

And you know what? I still feel that way today.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ready, Set, Go!

Next to the Father-Son campout in the fall, Austin and Noah's favorite Master Club (like Awanas) activity is the Pinewood Derby.

POP QUIZ: Can you guess which car up there belongs to Noah?

The Derby is a fun time of food and fellowship with friends from church. Since this is a race, the goal for many is to build the fastest car. We are not quite there with the car building skillz to win first place (or any place!) when it comes to speed. Our enjoyment comes from building a car from the boys' imagination and shooting for a win in the Most Creative category.

Oh and it is always a good idea for the car to make to all the way to the end of the track! I am ashamed to admit that this year, we had a vehicle stop cold right in the middle of the track. Not once, but TWICE! Sorry Austin! But look, him and his yummy car forgive us!

Doesn't his car look delicioso?

Austin worked with David to make the dish part of the car. He made the ice cream, banana and toppings with Crayola Model Magic. Neat-o, don't you think? Slow car but still fun!

**Did you figure out which car up there was Noah's?**

It seems whenever Noah is concerned, an army man must always be involved. In fact, I had to get on to him tonight for hiding army men and Lego's in his bed so he can play with them at night! Silly boy. At least this guy has his arms-- they purposefully maim their guys in battle sometime. To make it more real. Ummm... okay.

Noah was double blessed this Derby because his car not only made it to the end of the track every single time, but he also won the trophy for Most Creative. Congrats Noah-boah!

He is very proud of his trophy. What is it with kids and trophies anyway? Maybe I should make myself a trophy. Y'know, like "Queen Mother of the Year" or something.

Austin was happy for Noah to win. Austin actually won Most Creative for his police tank car back in his first Derby. And Christian even won a trophy last year for 2nd place in speed. :) Courtesy of Luke-- thanks, Luke!

So big smiles all around-- with or without trophies!

Christian - Pinewood Derby 2008

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My "debonaire" dad

My dad sent this picture to me tonight.

And if that thin young man with shades and a motor scooter wasn't enough, he wrote this on the back of the photo:

"In case you don't recognize this handsome, debonaire, playboy. It's me. Show this to Dan & all pretty girls."

I admit it... I totally busted a gut when I read the back of this picture-- especially the part about showing it to all pretty girls! Oh my oh my oh my! How funny is that?!

This is completely opposite of what I know my dad to be like. Not that he isn't handsome or anything... he's just a rather quiet, devoted man that has been married to my mom for over 3 decades. So it's hard to see him as a "debonaire playboy". It does make me think that I need to ask my dad a few more questions about his childhood and young adult life. Maybe even bring out the old voice recorder.

Are y'all surprised by old pictures of your parents or how they used to be back in the day?

This also makes me wonder what my boys are going to think about David and I when we were younger. Or even if they were to look back to how we are right now... would anything be surprising to them? Would we seem like normal parents or like old fogey's? Maybe I should ask them when they wake up in the morning. Or maybe I just don't want to know.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I <3 Faces Photo Challenge: Sepia Toned

This week's photo challenge is "Sepia Toned".

For the Children's Category, here is my cutiepatootie nephew making a funny face (and he isn't even eating prunes-- at the moment, anyway!):

And for the Adult Category, my new brother-in-law The Major:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Good husband, bad idea

David just walked into the room with a stack of mail in his hands. He says "Uh-oh. IRS for..." and then proceeded to name our business name.

I'm pretty much thinking this cannot be good and had that pukey feeling in my stomach.

Thoughts of a previous letter from the IRS saying we owed $13,000 ran through my head-- fortunately, that incident was simply a clerical error and easily fixed (whew!). But this time?!

He continues to read "Blah blah blah... please notify us of where to send... the overpayment..."

Overpayment?! He is just lucky I didn't have something in my hand to throw at him-- a fistful of coupons just wouldn't have caused the appropriate amount of damage!!! Okay, I'm going to calm down now. Maybe.

Seriously though, IS IT EVER A GOOD IDEA TO KID ABOUT THE IRS?! I think not. And this is definitely not something that is easily forgotten just because you say "I love you, baby!" with a smile on your face. In fact, perhaps the smile is not a good idea. And that he laughed? Yah, not a wise move either buddy.

Ack! I still feel my heart racing and all weird in my stomach. And someone needs to give David some marriage tips here. Y'know, like a top 10 list of things NOT to do!

David definitely balances me. I am not a prankster by nature, but he is. He usually holds back on playing tricks on me because the benefits don't always ever outweigh the consequences. :) I guess this time he just didn't have enough self control!

I need to go walk 10 miles or do the super hula hoop on the Wii fit... anything to get unfrazzled.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Civil War Comic Books

When I was little, we used to check out all the Garfield and Peanuts comic books we could find at our rinky dink base library. But that was back in the old days. Nowadays, however, look what the latest comics have turned up!

Graphic Novel History: Civil War Set 1 and Set 2.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer School Isn't So Bad

Yup, we are schooling through the summer.

Actually, we hope to finish up the current year in, ahem, well... let's just say summer should be officially over by then!

You can read more about it on my latest post (and leave some comment luv) over at Heart of the Matter:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I definitely don't cry for Christian

I have the very best friends and family-- thank you all for your prayers, love and encouragement.

You. bless. me.

I had heard Andrew's Song by Mandisa before and forgotten about it. My sister Coco sent it to me the other day and I had the pleasure of listening to it again. The words are wonderful and Mandisa's voice is amazing.

Y'know, I definitely don't cry for Christian, I just get a little sad for myself sometimes. And that's okay. This world is temporary and when I get to the real world, I cannot wait for Christian to show me around! He couldn't be in more loving arms-- the arms of Jesus. And those same arms are around me and my family as well. I am eternally grateful for those arms and the nail scars on his hands that he bore for me. He suffered for ME! The very least I can do is praise Him for all that He has done and for all that He is!

But thy lovingkindess is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

[Psalm 63:3-5]

You Wouldnt Cry (Andrew’s Song) - Mandisa

Friday, June 5, 2009

Waking up crying and a little monster video

I was riding a bike with my oldest son Austin. It was a tandem bike that went surprisingly fast for having two riders on it. As we approached a small playground adjacent to a building, something made me slam on the brakes. HARD. We skidded across the sidewalk and the rear part of the bike flew up in the air, hurling Austin across the pavement and head first into the sand. I immediately knew that he must be desperately injured. Disentangling myself from the bike was no easy task, but the panic rising in my chest urged me forward.

I ran to the sandy playground to see if Austin was moving, breathing, alive! But for some reason I couldn't focus. A child, a little boy was yelling or making some sort of sound effects in play. I could see him out of the corner of my eye. Man, he was being really loud, forcing me to move my eyes away from the sand and over to him.

Hey, do you mind being quiet over there?! Someone is really hurt over here!

As I heard myself screaming out these words, the boy looked at me. He was wearing a purple shirt and these little red knit shorts with a navy stripe down the side. I looked a little closer and noticed that he must be close to 4 years old, yellow hair, blue eyes dancing, and a mischievous little grin on his face.

It finally hit me. I began yelling at the top of my lungs "Look!!! That boy has yellow hair and blue eyes! It's my boy! That's him over there!"

It was already too late. Christian was gone.

Despair swept over me and I began to cry. The kind of crying that reaches deep within as if it were pulling out the last breath, the last ounce of hope from me.

I woke up with this crying. Weeping out loud. David asked me what was wrong, but all I could think to say was That boy had yellow hair! It was him! But then he was gone!

I honestly have not had many dreams about Christian this past year. The first dream I had of him after he died, I was walking through an airport terminal. He came from behind me on a little scooter-- he just kept on going way ahead of me. It was like he was on his way to a particular place. I think we were heading to the same place, but at his speed he was definitely going to get there before me. :-)

There was one particular week that I was having a rather difficult time with things-- being sad and just missing him terribly. God blessed me with this amazingly clear dream where I was holding Christian-- holding him close with his legs wrapped around me. He'd kiss me and then kind of sit back a little and look at me and LAUGH. I woke up that morning feeling like I really did get to hold him and kiss him-- I could still feel the weight of him on me and the softness of his cheeks and how his lips were kinda boney feeling because when he'd kiss you, he'd always smile and you could be sure to feel his teeth right behind his stretched out lips.

This dream, however, was very strange, don't you think? I still haven't figured it out yet. I know we don't always have to figure out things-- like why I have dreams about a gorilla hanging underneath my car as I'm driving down the road. But honestly, whenever I have a dream about Christian, it usually ministers directly to my hurting heart (like the hugs and kisses) or tells me something (like the airport- he reached Heaven first, a real place!).

You know what else is weird? I can remember exactly what he was wearing in my dream. This purple-ish shirt:

And these red shorts:

Not the best pictures of my littlest man, but they still make me smile-- ugly painting clothes and all!

I really don't know why I'm even posting this. Maybe I just want to cry because it reminds me that Christian was really here. Because some days, it feels like those precious years with him were just a dream... a figment of my imagination. Others days it feels like he is just in the other room and I think that maybe this is the dream and that is reality (oh if it were true!). *sigh*

Thanks for reading down this far, y'all. I'm sure I have made zero sense here, but it's been good to get it all out instead of saving it as a draft only to delete it a couple days later.

And since I still have ya here, I might as well force a family video on you. Y'know, like crazy Uncle Charlie that corners you and forces you to listen to that same old story he's told a dozen times? :-) Here is one of monster-spiderman-Christian whooping up on his villainous big brothers (July 2007).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Revisionist history at its best- a la Drews boys!

If my boys were to rewrite history, there would be less yawning and much more drama.

Maybe the heavy artillery is required because there's gold in there? Who knows what kind of treasure is being safeguarded? If I ask the boys, it seems that the answer changes each time or they suddenly don't remember (which is code for: "Hey mom, will you stop asking us these questions and just let us play?").

For the record: I'd hate to be the soldier that has the dinosaur doodoo duty.