Friday, July 31, 2009

My (not always funny) father

I was in the third grade when I finally "got" what my dad meant whenever we had this conversation:

Kids: Daddy, we're hungry!
Dad: Nice to meet you Hungry, I'm dad.

Yup, hilarious.


He said this quite often so it truly was a lightbulb moment for me when it clicked in my head! When I explained the revelation to my younger siblings, only one of them "got" it too. Oh well. They all figured it out eventually (I'm assuming).

(I must have no shame in posting this picture. For the record, I was younger than this in the aforementioned trip down memory lane. Also, those are my pj's... not real clothes. It's embarrassing either way though.)

To carry on the sad tradition (and because it's a fact that you always end up saying things your parents said), I'll do that to my boys sometimes.

Mommy, I'm hungry.

Glad to meet you hungry, I'm mommy.

They haven't gotten it... yet. They just kind of tilt their heads and laugh at me. Because I am apparently so very silly. But one day, they will laugh (or groan) because they'll realize that I am so very clever.

Or not.

Edited to Add: See my brother Stephen up there? That is the exact thing he'd do (along with a sister or two) in the very back seat when my parents would yell "Straighten up back there!!!" Except his whole body would be completely straight. What a dork! Good times y'all, good times...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Quaker said it, you can DO it

I read this old Quaker saying today. Something to not just meditate on, but to take action!

What am I to do? I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good work, therefore, any kindness, or any service I can render to any soul of man or animal, let me do it now. Let me not neglect or defer it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Sometimes we get too busy in the course of the day (or week or month) to stop and think of others. It is easy to get caught up in our own needs and wants, and we forget how easy it is to encourage others, to just be a friend. And often it takes up far less of our time than we think it will. It is more a matter of resolve than schedule!

Is there someone around you that might need a friend or a listening ear? Perhaps someone crossed your mind and you thought to yourself "I should send her a note" or "I should have them over for coffee." Many times it only takes a minute to let them know that someone cares about them. That life does not have to be lonely. That they do matter. That God does love them. That not everyone who claims to be a Christian is a hypocrite.


It isn't the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bitter heartache
At the setting of the sun;
The tender word unspoken,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of your brother's way,
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were too hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle winsome tone,
That you had no time or thought for,
With troubles enough of your own.

These little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind,
These chances to be angels,
Which even mortals find--
They come in night and silence,
Each chill reproachful wraith,
When hope is faint and flagging,
And a blight has dropped on faith.

For life is all too short, dear.
And sorrow is all too great,
To suffer our slow compassion
That tarries until too late.
And it's not the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bitter heartache,
At the setting of the sun.

~Adelaide Proctor

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When tweezers don't work

When a boy has a splinter in his foot and tweezers don't work, daddy must then bust out the old needle.

And when a needle is produced, you get gigantic crocodile tears and one very sad boy...

Noah was yelling "Daddy, don't hurt me!" in the middle of the aforementioned operation.

David calmly replied, "Noah, the last thing I want to do is hurt you!"

Ahem. Insert BIG misunderstanding by Noah and even larger tears being produced.


Well, after I did this for him...

... we had this conversation:

N: Daddy really wanted to hurt me!

Me: No he didn't. Why do you think that?

N: Because he said he did! He said "The last thing I want to do is hurt you." See? It was the last thing he wanted to do! He wanted to do it!

Me: Noah, when daddy says that, it means that hurting you is the very last thing in the world he would ever want to do. Y'know, like he would rather poke his own eye out before he would ever want you to be hurt.

N: Oooohhhhh.

I speak boy talk, as evidenced by my poke-his-eye-out analogy that Noah obviously related very well to. Be impressed. At least momentarily.


I <3 Faces Photo Challenge: At the beach...

This is my little brother Stephen (pronounced Ste-fun) and his son Caden during our visit to Oregon this past May. I just can't get enough of Caden's kissable cheeks and those bright blue eyes! I think it's funny how Caden looks so serious while Stephen.... well, my boys call him Crazy Uncle Stephen for a reason. It just fits him.

I hate that my sisters, brother and I are spread all over the country. I have hopes that everyone will come back to Texas for good one day, but I won't hold my breath.

You can find more "At the Beach" entries here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What boys dream about

It's a happy day when I get a rare glimpse into the mind of my mysterious Noah. Much of his life, he has been the quiet one of my boys, often keeping his thoughts and emotions inside. Every once in a while he would ask a profound question, but only after he had sufficiently pondered it.

Nowadays he can be quite the chatty-McChatster with his words and thoughts spilling out of his mouth, barely able to catch his breath for the excitement of having to tell you what's on his mind!

This morning, the silliness and funny that is Noah came out in the magical moments just after he woke up.

I had a weird long dream.

You and daddy were FAMOUS! Y'all had your own restaurant! And it had your own picture on it and the picture was made out of lightbulbs. I saw all of this when I flew over in a little airplane.

Daddy, you, Austin and I were on a boat in the sea.

There were a bunch of tires on the boat. We'd repair the tires but daddy kept getting seasick. Everytime he got seasick, the tires would break again.

Me: Why did you have tires on a boat? What did you need them for?

I don't know mommy-- I told you it was a weird dream!

Let's see... We even took baths. We'd jump into the sea but it would be just like bathtub water... nice, warm bathtub water! Then this storm suddenly came up and lightning struck right next to us. We had to take the boat and go hide in a cave.

And you know what? There were scorpions and bats and spiders on the ceiling of that cave!

It never did rain.

If your kids ever wake up remembering their dreams, write it down! There's something fun about saving odd and ends of a childhood like this... remembering the little moments, the little dreams (even especially if they're weird!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

'shrooms aren't just for eating

We finally got some rain these past couple of days. It's amazing how a yard can transform from brown, scratchy grass to green and overgrown and full of these guys:

One day last summer, Christian and I were under the big swinging tree in the backyard where we spied a giant of a mushroom. It was seriously h-u-g-e, unlike that piddly thing you see up there. Christian was quite excited about the strange, squishy growth that was most definitely not there the day before.

Being the 3 year old that he was, examination and scientific study was not going to be on his agenda. Instead, Christian quickly ran to the garage and came back with...

... his favorite golf club.


Does it get anymore redneck than yard golf? Oh wait. Around here it does. :)

I wish I had a picture of him from that day. It was his last afternoon here in our earthly home. But God knew then and He knows now that maybe I didn't really need pics from that day. Perhaps I'd look back on them with sorrow instead of remembering the joys of that day?

As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
~Psalm 18:30

Anyhow, I can't help but think of Christian whenever I see a mushroom-- be it in the yard or at the grocery store. :-) He's the only one of the boys (including David) that would even take a taste of my homemade cream of mushroom soup. And I make good soup, y'all!

Oh, before I forget, I know David would appreciate me mentioning the fact that Christian hit that mushroom steady, straight and blew it to smithereens. He had some mad golfing skillz!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I <3 Faces Week 28: Feet Week

Is summer really summer without some splashing?

This week's I Heart Faces photo challenge does NOT involve faces! *gasp*

It involves FEET!

This picture of Christian kickin' back was taken last summer when my sister Coco came to visit. We had a grand time with her, BenBen and Emily!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Laundry, old folks and baby talk

I laid (lay?) awake in bed last night until 3am just thinking about stuff like...

  • + I really hope our washing machine is fixed for real this time. Repair attempts (under warranty) have been made three times in the past month. I've been too chicken to run a load to see if it works. While laundromats are an option, they are not my favorite for several reasons-- the chiefest being that I used to work at one while I was in college. Laundry by the pound for college kids is gross.

  • + There are a couple of elderly widows at church that I would like to become better friends with. Not only because friendships are a blessing that runs both ways, but because old people are just fun, y'all. They have the most interesting stories and will often surprise you with a sharp and quirky sense of humor!

  • + My sister Lele is prego and due in January. Her and her husband have taken to calling the baby different names according to its growth-- names such as sesame seed, blueberry, garbanzo, and lemon. The only problem with that is that I keep picturing her having a lemon in her belly!

    I know that is an absolute impossibility because I've seen her ultrasound pictures.

    When *I* was prego, we simply called the baby "baby" until we came up with their name.

    (Try to not be in too much awe of my creativity-- I know it is simply astounding.)

    1.) Did you have any special names for the little peanut-chicklet-baby in your belly?

    2.) Do you ever speak in baby talk?
    Y'know, that annoyingly high pitched ridiculous voice that no baby could possibly understand? Once in a blue moon I catch myself speaking like that and must teach myself a lesson by washing my mouth out with soap.

It's a wonder I ever get any sleep around here, what with all the profound and intellectual contemplations that bombard me in the dark hours of the night.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Noah-boah is 8!

Yesterday, my Noah celebrated his 8th birthday. Although we spent half the day driving to visit my parents, it was still a very special day that we celebrated together as a family. Balloons were hung in his doorway while he was sleeping, notes hung on the mirror, gifts wrapped... and ice cream cake from Coldstone at halmonee and grandpa's house!

The BIG day for the boys, however, was today when we took them to Six Flags! It was a scorching 102+ degrees but there were NO LINES!!! As in zero. We got there when they opened at 10:30am, rode all the rides (except the Tony Hawk ride which was broken), and left around 3pm. The boys even admit to be roller-coastered out!

Strange Confession:
I can ride the Superman, Batman and almost every roller coaster. But what really scares me? The swings.

You can stop laughing now.

Really. I mean it.

Back to the purpose of this post...

Happy Birthday to my sleep-loving, goofy grinning, army man loving, Scooby-Doo PJ wearing, says he's a daddy's boy (but I know better), 8 year old Noah!!! You make me so happy and I love you very much!

(Don't worry, I won't make you wear a hat like that ever again. Unless you're in BIG trouble or something.)

(This was definitely the year of lost front teeth. I'm going to miss that wonky-pirate grin... it's already changed into something more.. ummm... normal?)

I also want to wish my very awesome (older! bwahaha!) sister Coco a very happy birthday today!!! I love you Coco! (We need another pic of the two of us together-- this is the only one I could find!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

My toothpick

David and the boys went to the dentist yesterday. According to the dentist (because doesn't everyone go to the dentist to get weighed and measured?) Austin has grown 4 inches this past year. And with the 4 inches, he's only gained 4 pounds!

Isn't there a line in a movie (was it So I married an axe murderer?) that says "his head is so big it looks like an orange on a toothpick!"? Anyhow, although cuter than an orange, he is quite a spindly toothpick of a boy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The old ball and chain

Two weeks ago, David and I spent a few days in San Antonio with our good friends Tim and Laura. The Riverwalk area is a romantic place to stroll hand in hand-- interesting people, delicious dining options (well, except for this one Italian place that was super yucky. note to self: stick with Mexican food when visiting SA!), and picturesque areas to sit and relax.

Look! David is smiling in this picture! :) He's not as mean as his bald head makes him look sometimes.

When strolling about hand-in-hand in the aforementioned romantic Riverwalk, people smiled at us and were just super friendly. At first I didn't see the glances and smiles by complete strangers for what they really were.

This one couple laughed and asked David to stop so they could look closer at his shirt-- that's when I KNEW.

Hey, people think we're NEWLYWEDS!!!

It would've been a-okay if this were due to how young or in love we look.

But nope, I knew better than to think that. Wanna see the real reason?!

Yup, the old "Game Over" shirt given to him not by his old buddies back in the day, but from some certain boys at our church who know that David loves him some Xbox 360! How sad is that?

It is kinda funny though. Especially how the groom is frowning and the bride is smiling.

I'm not mad. I'll keep wearing this shirt anyway:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Little days can be big deals

You'd think that a day like today wouldn't be a big deal. After all, it's just Independence Day... it's not like it's Christmas, a birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day or anything like that.

We were blessed to be able to hang out and have dinner at a dear friend's house today. We had a marvelous time! After dinner, swimming for the kids, and a movie, it was a quiet ride home-- David trying to get comfortable in his seat (he had his appendix taken out this past Tuesday) and the boys just sitting and looking out the window at all the fireworks stands.

Their favorite was always one close to our house. While we never actually bought from them, the boys would comment year-round on the perfect name of this stand: Po-man's Fireworks. Only, they never said "poh" or "poor"... they'd always laugh hysterically and call it POO man's fireworks!

It's almost as if David and I could read each other's minds. We couldn't help but think of this time last year. When we still had Christian with us. When he'd look at his big brothers and laugh at the word "poo" with them! :)

I still remember the giant bag of fireworks we got from our friend Loren. Man, my little pyro's LOVE fireworks! This set of pictures makes me smile fondly every time I think of fireworks.

David had been outside with the boys shooting a few off when Christian walked in the door. All I could see behind his black smudged face were these bright blue eyes! Talk about dirty! They would light a black snake, watch it "grow" and then he'd insist on picking it up. The snake's powdery black body would disintegrate in Christian's hand, and yet he would never give up on the impossible taks of trying to hold the thing!

It is just one of many memories that are etched in my mind. And I am glad for it.

I really, really, really miss him. Like Austin said the other night, it just isn't the same around here without him.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The very long week

To keep the very long week from turning into a very long (and dull) post, here is a quick rundown of the past week:

- This past Friday, Austin and Noah attended a very special bereavement camp for children called Camp Agape. Not only did they have fun with all the activities (swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, archery), but they saw that they are not alone in their grief. I might have to make a whole separate post about this camp-- it was that good.

The boys really enjoyed their time at Camp Agape and were able to work through many of their emotions concerning Christian's death. They are also still talking about how much they enjoyed their buddies for the weekend. So Dennis and Phil, if you happen to be reading this, THANK YOU for taking the time to care for my boys. You have impacted them positively during a very difficult time in their lives. I don't think they will ever forget you!

- We can take comfort that Death is Not Dying.

- This past week also marked the passing from this life into eternal life for a good friend of ours-- Zared Zajicek. He was seriously injured when he fell through a roof. He is survived by his sweet bride April (they were married in May), amazing parents, four sisters, one brother and many friends. I could say so much about Zared and his family-- how they have been such a blessing to David and I over the years, how much we will miss Zared and how our hearts are heavy with sorrow for his family. And yet I have no words. It's like they are all somehow crammed into my heart and I can't get them to come out. *sigh*

You can read more about him at If you feel led, please make a contribution to help April with her living expenses until she can sort out the next step in her life.

- The morning of Zared's funeral, my husband David woke up with a tremendous pain in his upper abdomen and chest. He was really hurting, y'all! I rushed home, saw that he had been vomiting since 8am, and took him to the ER.

After an insufferable wait, ECG, ultrasound and CAT scan, they determined that it was his appendix. It is hard to believe that they could take that out laporoscopically! Three little incisions and that poisonous thing was removed. The good thing about that kind of surgery is that it is not only fairly routine nowadays, but you get immediate relief from the pain. We are so glad to be home now and very thankful for modern medicine and health insurance!

- I am so happy that my mom and dad came to visit! I really am blessed with wonderful parents and in-law's.

I was hoping to make this witty and interesting. Oh well. I think just getting it all written out without falling asleep was an accomplishment in and of itself!