Monday, December 31, 2007

Wrapping up 2007

It is the last day of 2007, and I am doing what I do best: catching up! I must say that this year has been a growing year for our family. Some pretty big things happened in our family during 2007:

  • David's first day of Kindergarten

  • Nathan's first day of Pre-K

  • David lost his first tooth

  • I drank my first cup of coffee ever (and liked it!)

  • I graduated with my MBA in December

  • A fun trip to Disney World

  • We bought a used Ford Taurus (something we thought we would NEVER do, but now we fight over who gets to drive it)

  • Brian and David went to their first Bowl game together to root on Alabama to a win over Colorado

We have experienced a whole lot more than that, but those are a few of the fun things we experienced. I am now finishing up 2007 by getting organized and getting rid of a lot of stuff we really don't need. I must say that it feels really good to pass on old toys and "stuff" to others who will hopefully get more use out of it.

I am excited about the new things that 2008 will bring. I am sure there will be many firsts and big events, but I am even more excited about the little things that make life with my two boys so much fun. I am not the hugest fan of New Year's resolutions because mine usually only last until mid-February, but I am setting some goals for 2008. I won't bore you with all of them, but I will share one. I plan to be a whole lot better about blogging during this year. We will just have to see how that goes! :)

I wish all of you the best in the new year. May God shower blessings over each of you and may He provide wonderful opportunities in your lives in 2008!

Our Christmas Adventures

I must say that our boys are at such a fun age when we celebrate holidays, and Christmas was no exception to that. It was so fun to see their eyes light up when they open presents and how excited they were to give presents to others.

Christmas Eve was a laid back day at our house. Brian had to work so that a minister could be at the office, so I spent some of the day baking and getting stuff ready for our Christmas lunch. The boys helped decorate some reindeer cookies for Santa and played with all of Nathan’s birthday toys. I also ran a few last minute errands without the boys since Brian’s mom was there to watch them for me.

David decorating cookies in his pajamas.
(Yes, we were THAT lazy on Christmas Eve!)

Nathan showing that he used a lot of brawn to decorate his cookies.

One of the finished products.

Another finished product.

The night before Christmas the boys watched some Christmas shows in their pajamas after supper. Then we had some special carolers come by the house and sing for us. The Adams family came and sang for us, and Savannah and Lauren sang a special song for the boys. It was wonderful and made our Christmas Eve complete!

After the Adams left, the boys sprinkled their reindeer food on the front yard and then headed to bed. At one point, Brian dropped his keys on the floor and both boys exclaimed, “Santa is here! Santa is here!”

Christmas finally arrived (at 5:15 in the morning!). Presents were opened, and the playing began. Well, the art of removing toys from packages began. [A note to all of you toy packagers out there….It should not take me an hour to remove the toy from the package. If you have any mercy at all, please do not put so many twist ties in the packages!] Once the packages were opened, boys started playing and I started cooking. The rest of the day was spent being lazy and enjoying each other.

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and enjoyed time with family!

Nathan Turns FIVE!

Wow! My baby is now 5 years old. It is amazing how fast time flies. It seems like yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital for the first time. He was such a little guy and made such a dramatic entrance. Since then he has been a little ball of fire always on the go. He keeps us laughing without even trying and never ceases to amaze us with his ability to destroy things or cause close to a natural disaster.

Since his birthday was on Sunday the 23rd, our original plan was to let him have one present before church and then open the rest after lunch with cake. However, Nathan's dear sweet brother woke him up before 6:00am to tell Nathan that he was 5. So, plans changed and he opened his presents before church.

At church, Nathan walked around telling everyone it was his birthday. He received a lot of birthday wishes and even had some pretty girls sing for him! :) He said he wanted to eat lunch at Chili's, so his wish was our command. After lunch, we came home for a piece of Darth Vader cake and ice cream. Then he and David played with his new toys all afternoon.

After church Sunday night, we went to the park and rode in a carriage with Santa. I am not a big fan of malls, and Christmas time magnifies that dislike. So, for the past three years, we have gone to one of our local parks where Santa gives carriage rides. It does cost to ride, but the boys love it and get Santa's undivided attention during the ride, and Brian and I get to enjoy watching them and hearing all that they have to say to Santa.

So, Nathan's birthday was a good one. People always feel bad for him because his birthday is so close to Christmas, but right now he doesn't really mind. At some point, we may start celebrating a half birthday in June to let him have a little more attention on him. For this year, it was perfect just as it was though.

Nathan with his new workbench

David and Nathan with the Darth Vader cake.

Nathan blowing out five candles.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My Sweet Husband

On Tuesday, my husband walked in the door with 2 dozen roses for me. Before we got married, he used to send me flowers every month (if not more). I loved it, but I always felt kind of guilty that he spent his hard earned money on something that would die and was kind of frivolous. Although I am a pretty practical person, I must admit that I still love it every time he walks in the door carrying flowers for me.

I will be honest with you though. As great as the roses are, he gave me an even better gift eight years ago. On December 11, 1999, he gave me his name and made me a promise that he would hang out with me forever. The journey has been kind of crazy at times. We have had some ups and we have had some downs. However, we have done it all together, and that has made the road of life a whole lot easier to travel.

Brian is my best friend, and the one that makes me laugh in spite of whatever is going on around us. I love to watch him read to our boys, defend himself during a light saber attack from two little Jedi's in training, joke around with the teens, and just be a great dad, youth minister and husband. I couldn't ask for better and would say yes all over again if he asked.

Pictures from Disney World

Nathan was chosen to drive a boat during one of the rides.
He took the task very seriously! :)

Michael, Tyler and Kylie listening to David read a Bible story.

Such a tired little boy and such a sweet big brother!

Almost all of the Tucker family! (Steve, Rachel, Michael and Tyler)

Grandma Sandy with Nathan and David

Grandma Sandy with Nathan, Kylie, Tyler and David as we rode
the ferry on our first day at Disney World.
The four youngest grandkid on the first day at Magic Kingdom

Nathan and David with Mickey Mouse

Thanksgiving Wishes

I am slow posting this because I have been trying to add pictures, but blogger has not been cooperative. I am going to go ahead and post it and try to add pictures later.

For Thanksgiving, we were blessed to get to go to Disney World! My mom had promised my oldest nephew that she would take all the grandkids to Disney World when he turned 12. Well, he is only 11, but my sister in law is expecting a baby and thought it would be much easier to go to Disney World pregnant rather than with a baby. So, we got a wonderful early Christmas present.

Out of the group, Brian was the only one who had ever been to Disney World before. My mom had been to Disneyland, but it is quite a bit different. The trip was fun and very tiring! The best part was just getting to see family and watch the kids enjoy the different parts of the parks. I must confess that we traumatized all of the younger ones by taking them to a frightening Bug's Life 3-D movie and a few other "dark" rides (and I am not talking about lighting), but there was a lot of stuff they enjoyed too.

As soon as I can, I will add some pictures of some pretty cute kids!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Not a Princess!

This past week, the boys have been extremely tired and seem to whine at the least little thing. Since I teach on Thursday nights, I knew that yesterday evening was going to be a bit trying for Brian, especially since it was the end of the school week. So, on the way home from school, the boys and I stopped and rented a couple of movies for the afternoon and evening in hopes that everyone would kick back and relax a little bit.

On the way home, David asked me what my favorite movie is. I pondered for a little bit and said I liked Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. Then the favorite one hit me: Anastasia! David did not know about Anastasia, so I started to fill him in about Russia and my love for that country after my trip there. I also tried to explain how the name Stacey comes from Anastasia. Well, he didn't really get that. So, I said, "David, it is about a girl that doesn't know she is a princess, but she really is. Just think, maybe I am really a princess and just don't know it. Wouldn't that be great?! Do you think I could really be a princess?"

I looked at him in the rear-view mirror, and he had a very serious expression on his face. He started shaking his head and said, "Mom, you are definitely NOT a real princess!"

Gee thanks son! :)

I also told you I would fill you in on the fruit tray story. The day that Brian left for the conference, he called and told me that he forgot to pass on a message that someone had called about the shower. So, I called the person organizing the shower and explained that I could still bring something but that Nathan was sick and Brian was out of town which would keep my from being able to actually be at the shower. She said that was fine and asked me to bring a fruit tray with apples and kiwi. We usually have apples, because Nathan really likes them, but I generally do not have kiwi in my fridge. (Okay, I pretty much NEVER have kiwi at my house.) Ironically though, this time I actually had kiwi in my fridge, which definitely was going to make my life much easier.

Unfortunately, I soon realized that I only had 3 kiwi, so I knew I would have to get more. As the weekend progressed, Nathan started acting like he was feeling much better and quit running a fever. On Sunday, I actually thought we would be able to go to church....until he threw up that is. This left me trying to figure out exactly how I was going to make this fruit tray because I did not want to take a chance of him throwing up in multiple aisles of the grocery store but I knew I really needed more kiwi. So, I decided to improvise.

At this point in the story, my husband is just shaking his head because I have a tendency to improvise in the kitchen on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes it turns out great, and other times it turns out...well, we just won't go there.

So, I cut up my apples into slices, soaked them in lemon juice so they would not turn brown, and then put them on my tray. Then I cut up my three, little kiwi, and they just looked kind of sad on the tray. I still had a huge gap that I needed to fill. So, I found a jar of cut pineapple in my fridge, and added that to the tray. My fruit tray still looked kind of sad, so I decided that I needed to make a fruit dip. The only problem is that I didn't have all the ingredients for any of the recipes I could find online.

That only left me with one choice; I had to make up my own recipe. So I got out some cream cheese, added some powdered sugar, a tiny bit of brown sugar, some real butter, a tad of vanilla and a couple big globs of cool-whip. I didn't measure a single ingredient. It might sound a bit scary, but it was pretty good. I will admit that it was a take-off of a Chocolate Chip Cheesecake ball recipe that I have and really like, but I did add to it and take away from it (partly because I was stuck only using the ingredients I had on hand and partly because I needed it to be a bit different consistency for the fruit).

I know that it would have been much easier to just go to the store and take the chance that Nathan would not throw up. However, it is in those moments of improvising that I have come up with some of our favorite recipes. Granted, I can't always make them the same because I don't measure stuff like I should, but the concept of a great recipe is there.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Raising Leaders

So this past weekend, Brian was out of town at a Youth Minister's conference. We have a little joke that every time Brian leaves town, things fall apart at our house. In the past, I have had extremely sick kids, arms out of socket (David's...not mine), the washing machine has overflowed and flooded my kitchen, lizards, mice and other varmints have invaded the house, etc. You name it, and it has probably either happened or come close to it. So, when Nathan got sick the day before Brian left, I was thinking, "Oh great! Here we go again!"

Thankfully Nathan was not extremely sick, but he was sick enough to stay home from school on Friday and cause us to stay home from church on Sunday. I was supposed to be helping with a baby shower on Sunday, so I did have to load the boys up in the van and head to the church building to drop off my fruit tray (which is another funny story that I will save for tomorrow).

When we got to the building, I had someone watch the kids in the car and ran my fruit tray in real quick, and then we headed home. (And yes, for the worriers, I did not leave the keys in the car even with Nathan feeling bad. I did not want to tempt him even in his sickened state!)

On the way home, we were talking about how sad we all were that we didn't get to go to church and how much we missed being able to worship and go to Bible class. David then said, "You know, I heard that some people go to Home Church." I started to tell him that some people did do that, but he interrupted and said, "Wait, I am wrong. I think they may go to a Home School." I kind of chuckled to myself and then said, "David, we can have church at home since we missed it. That is a great idea."

So we got home, and the boys began setting things up for church. I overheard David tell Nathan, "Now Nathan, we are boys so that means we must be leaders during church." And let me tell you, they did a great job.

Our church service started out with Nathan leading a few songs. David failed to mention to sing church songs, so he started off singing the cowboy song from his grandparent's day program, but we convinced him to sing some more appropriate songs for our church service. So, here was our "Order of Worship".

Song - Jesus loves me without the me's led by Nathan. (This is a big thing here and I can't figure out what the deal is with it)

Song - Jesus loves me with the me's led by Nathan.

Song - Blue skies and rainbows led by Nathan.

Prayer - by Nathan (but preceded by the Read your Bible and Pray everyday song that Nathan must sing to start EVERY prayer)

Song - Jesus loves the little children by David

Song - Deep down in my heart by David

Prayer - by David

Passing of the collection plate. I was given a play $100,000 bill and asked to place it in Nathan's yellow construction hat. Then it was taken out and I was asked to do it all over again about 4 or 5 more times.

Song - March in the Infantry song led by Nathan

Prayer - by Nathan (once again preceded by the Read Your Bible and Pray Everyday song)

Sermon - Daniel and the Lion's den by David

Communion - led by both David and Nathan

Communion was by far one of the best moments I have ever had. David prayed for the bread and thanked God for it and that it stood for Jesus' body, that his body had been beaten and hurt by the people and that He did that for all of us. Nathan prayed for the grape juice and said, "Thank you that Jesus didn't really die for good God." I was absolutely moved beyond what I can even describe in words and so touched by the precious hearts of my 6 and 4 year old sons.

Then church was over. At one point, David did say that we needed two songs and a prayer to end church, but after communion, they were ready to be done.

I will be honest with you. There are days that I shake my head and wonder if I have totally messed up as a parent. However, on Sunday, I caught a glimpse into these two little boys that made me think that Brian and I haven't totally messed them up and that there is still hope for them to turn out pretty decent!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Superstar David

David was the superstar in his kindergarten class for F week. All week the attention was on him, which if you know David very well, you will know that he LOVED it! On Tuesday, our whole family got to be in his class while he shared his F circle that had all sorts of pictures and things that start with the letter F on it. (I have a video that I will try to add later.) He dressed up as his Favorite Football player, Luke Tribble. On his circle above their picture together he wrote Favorite Friends. (Luke Tribble, you are an awesome hero to our little guy!)

David got to introduce his family, and then I read his favorite book Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom. The boys and I have a special way that we read this, so we got to share that with the class and it was pretty neat.
All in all, David had a great week and was a very super superstar!

Happy Halloween from our Star Wars Guys!

For some reason Nathan felt the need to raise up his arm in almost every picture.

David thought up this pose and I think it is my very favorite!

Can you tell he loves being Darth Vader?

And we can't forget Jenga Fett!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's Been a Long Time

Wow, I knew it had been awhile since I had blogged, but I didn't realize exactly how long it was since the last post. Honestly, during the whole time, things would happen and I would think to myself that I needed to blog about it, but I think I was suffering from blog burnout...or maybe I just needed a break. I think that sometimes I think this blog is supposed to be about funny little stories and entertaining the friends and family, and while I have enjoyed a lot of sweet things the boys have done, there are a lot of things running so much deeper in my heart right now. For some reason, I haven't felt like I can write what is deep in my heart. After all, most people who read this are wanting to hear stories about the boys, right?

Well, I do want to share the neat things that the boys are up to and how much they are learning about life, but I also want to share my journey journey of becoming a better mom, wife, person and most of all, a better Christian. So, here goes....

Lately, life has been a mixture of really good things and some trials that have really made me grow a lot. I have had many realizations about myself, and I must admit, not all of them have been good ones. I have realized that few people truly know me, and that I tend to not let people get to see the real me. Instead, I show them what I think they need to see, and my husband's profession probably doesn't help with that. Don't get me wrong; I love that Brian is a Youth Minister, but that makes me want to be a good Youth Minister's wife who is everything to everyone. In the past six years, I have learned that is impossible, but for some crazy reason, I keep trying, and that can make life very stressful at times.

I have also realized that I do not have a real big circle of friends. Well, I do have "friends", but I don't have a lot of FRIENDS. Does that make sense? You know, those kind of people who you can totally be yourself with and who won't make fun of you when you are gone or tell someone else that they think you have lost your mind. For the good friends that I do have, I am so thankful because they have liked me in spite of myself. For the others that have tried, I am really sorry to have missed out because I was either so caught up in other things in my life or I was trying once again to be all things to all people that I never just showed them me.

However, what grieves me the most is that in an effort to be what I thought others wanted me to be and to be involved and (if I am honest to myself) way over-committed to "stuff", I sort of lost my way and became very little for God. Now please understand that through that, I truly loved God and wanted to be so much for Him, but I just couldn't seem to see how I was supposed to do that.

What is neat though is that in the past few months, I have started to really SEE God. I have seen Him work through prayer. I have seen Him work through others, and I have even seen Him work through me. And you know what, I love it! I love spending time in prayer with Him. I will admit that I was not always the best at praying in the past, but now, I have found it to be such a refuge for my worries and the things that burden my hearts. It makes me sad for what I missed out on before, but I am so thankful for the gift He gave us through prayer. It has helped me deal with some yucky health issues I have been having. It has helped me not stress so much as a mom. It has drawn me closer to the God that I really do adore, but most of all, it has sort of brought me back to life in a sense.

There have been so many things that I have been doing half-way for awhile now, and while it takes time to correct those, I have started the process of being anything and everything for God. I wish I could snap my fingers and make it all happen now, but it takes time. So, I am patiently (well...okay...not so patiently) plugging along and praying that I correctly prioritize the things and areas I need to improve.

So, that is what lies deep in my heart right now, but two special little boys and a very special man are not too far behind. So, let me share some neat things about them too and get you all caught up on us!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The month of August in Review

All I can say is that I am very behind....AGAIN! This seems to be a perpetual state of being for me. I know I promised a video, but I had some technical difficulties with it. Since I can't get that working, I will share pictures of the boys' first days of school.

David started Kindergarten on August 10th. He was quite worried he would not know how to do all of the homework, but so far he is doing really well. As you may remember, we had a really hard time deciding whether or not to wait a year on kindergarten last year, but we are so thankful that we did. He has so much more confidence and is just not so timid as he used to be. Socially, he has matured so much, and we are very thankful with that decision now.

David on his first day of school.

David and Nathan together on David's first day of Kindergarten

Nathan did not start school until August 13th. This is his first year of Pre-K. He went to Carpenter's Kids last year, which would be similar to a Mother's day out program. However, now he goes every day, and he has done so well. Many of you know that we were told that Nathan may have Asperger's Syndrome. Our big thing is that we don't want to label Nathan and fit him into this mold of how he should act or behave because of a diagnosis. We have spent a lot of time researching and talking to people who can give us information, and we have been praying for help. It has made all the difference in the world!

Nathan's teachers have been great with him. They are very proactive in dealing with his sensory needs. When he loses focus, they take him outside to run. At recess, they have him run before he comes back in and it helps him to focus so much. I am so thankful for them and for how he is doing. He did leave class one day and showed up in the office of another person one day. That is pretty typical of this escape artist! We are very pleased with how he is doing and know that during this year, he will make great strides and improve any many areas. Here are pictures of his first day.

Nathan on his first day of Pre-K

"You do know that I am going to cause trouble today, don't you?"

Best Buddies....most of the time!

We are so excited about all that the boys will experience and how much they will grow this year. I know there are a lot of people who get sad when their kiddos grow up, but I must say that I love the watching them learn new things and achieving so much. These two boys are such blessings, and God is so good for sharing them with Brian and me.

We have had a lot of other things going on too. In the next few days, I will pass all that on too. If I can ever get the video fixed, then I will try to add that at some point.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Taking Care of Daddy

The other day, Brian woke up sick. Having Brian home when he normally would be at work kind of throws our day into a loop. The boys were very concerned about why their daddy was home and what they needed to do to take care of him. At one point, I heard them in our bedroom, and I heard Brian asking them to leave him alone. So I went to the door and told them to come with me and to leave poor ol' dad alone.

A little bit later I went into our room to put something away. Brian was sleeping and he had a teddy bear in the crook of one arm and Nathan's alarm clock by his head. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of him. I guess the boys fixed him up pretty well.

On another note, school is about to begin, and David is eagerly anticipating finding out who is teacher is. We will be able to find out Friday at 4:00pm. Until then it is top secret. We have gotten all of his school supplies though. For the record, it is not cheap to buy school supplies!

Tomorrow, I will have a fun little movie clip of David to post, so keep watching for it!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More Pictures from our Trip

Here are some pictures from our trip.

Nathan wrapped up in the waterfall from his classroom.

David with a kool-aid mustache. I think he had one everyday.

David by the St. Joseph lighthouse.

St. Joseph lighthouse at sunset.

Guitar Hero

One of the things that our youth group kids learned to love on this mission trip is the Playstation game Guitar Hero. The house where the boys were staying had 5 boys, and they had the best set up with a swimming pool, fooseball table, pool table, 6o" TV and Guitar Hero. Two people would play at a time and everyone else would sit there and watch. It was hilarious.

Well, on the trip home, a bunch of the kids kept telling Brian we needed to get it so the youth group could play it. On Monday, Brian broke down and got it to have at our house for game nights. Well....I thought that was the reason. Monday night, Brian and I stayed up late competing against each other. That game is soooooo addictive. The funny thing is that I am not a video game kind of person. I am horrible at stuff like this, but it really is kind of fun.

Yesterday, David and Nathan kept begging me to play. So, I set it up and they started playing. They were horrible. I tried to teach them but it is not a game geared for little guys with little hands. I played it a little and they watched. Then we shut it off and I thought that would be the end of the fascination with it for them.

After church last night, David was showing us his stuff from Bible class. He had made a scroll that said, "I am thankful for the Bible." Normally on something like this, he would draw a cross or something like that. However, last night, he had written guitar hero and drawn pictures of an 80's band member holding a guitar. OH MY!

Then while Nathan was praying before bed last night, he said, "Thank you for guitar hero. ROCK-N-ROLL!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Good Samaritan

We are back from our mission trip to Michigan. Can I just say that our teens are the best?!! I know there are a lot of people who question whether teen mission trips are really worthwhile. If any of these people would have been on this trip with us, they would never ask that question again. Our kids made a big impact on the church in St. Joseph. The church is in the process of looking for a minister and dealing with all the struggles that come with that process. Our teens encouraged, uplifted and built up this little church, and they did a great job with the Vacation Bible School.

Our trip to Michigan was quite eventful too. One thing I learned on the trip is that when the person driving says, "Oh no! We just lost all our power," it is NOT a good thing. Our serpentine belt (which controls EVERYTHING) broke, and we were stuck in the middle of nowhere. A man happened to stop by and checked to see if everything was okay. He thought he might have a belt that would work, so he left and then brought back a belt. It was too short, but he started the search to find us one. Another man stopped by to help too. Unfortunately, we soon realized that there were no belts anywhere in the near vicinity and that best case scenario was three or four days to get one. So, the first man that stopped called his preacher and they opened up the Christian church to us. The main problem was getting us there. So a few people came in cars; the First Methodist church brought their van; and a Sheriff's deputy threw the book at some of our kids and hauled them away in his police car.

These people were amazing. Not only did they house us, but they fed us supper and breakfast (and by breakfast, I mean homemade pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, etc.). The church members opened their houses up to us so that we could take showers the next morning. They provided snacks, a TV to watch movies and continued to help us find the belt for our bus. We were able to wait there until James Anderson, Pat Bashaw and Brandon and Rachel Grady brought us some church vans so we could continue on to Michigan. If they would not have helped us, we would have been stuck on the side of the road in a very hot bus for a very long time. Instead, we got to enjoy meeting some very kind people and have a really good time in the process.

The real ironic part of the whole situation is that on the Wednesday before we left, Nathan Mellor spoke to the teen class about the parable of the good Samaritan. Many people approach the parable from the standpoint of the people who did or didn't do something to help the man by the side of the road, but Nathan talked about being the person on the side of the road who needs the help of others.

I don't know about you, but sometimes (okay...most of the time) I have a really hard time asking for help or letting people help me. I think being in the position where you are totally dependent on others is a good thing. I know I left with a new perspective of who I want to be. I want to be known as someone who serves, fully and completely. I want to be the kind of person who will drop everything and care for someone else....even if they don't have the same name on their church building as I do or look the same as me.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Breakfast David Style

For the past three mornings, David has been making me breakfast. The first morning I was served Triscuit crackers and a glass of water. He had Nathan climb up to get the dishes out of the cabinet for him...what else are little brothers for?

The second day, we moved up to a bowl of Cheerios with little pieces of Triscuits in it. Let me tell you....yummmm. He also stepped up the type of glass he used. He pulled out one of the glasses that Brian and I used at our wedding reception. I am not exactly sure how they got it out of the cabinet because I think it came from the cabinet above the refrigerator, but honestly, I am not so sure that I want to know either.

After I was done with the glass, I put it right by the backsplash of the counter top so that it would not get knocked off and broken. Then I headed upstairs to do some work. All the sudden I heard a loud crash. Guess what broke? glass. David was trying to get it to put more water in it to give to me while I worked and had accidentally dropped it. It was one of those moments that you just have to bite your tongue and not say those parental things that you are thinking. You know...things like "Why do you think I put it where it could not get broken?" and "You are too young to be messing with stuff like that!" I reminded myself that stuff doesn't make the memory, so I told him thank you for being thoughtful and that we all make mistakes. I would love to say that I had good thoughts after that and didn't mind cleaning up the mess, but it was so hard to get up all the little slivers glass and that was a bit frustrating!

Today for breakfast, David branched out a little bit. He served me barbecue potato chips with a glass (kind of) of water. Today, David found a little bowl that goes with my trifle bowl and that was my drinking glass. I guess he just wants me to feel fancy! As for the barbecue chips, let me just say that I am not a huge barbecue fan, and to eat them for breakfast was quite a task for me. BUT...I was a good mom and ate them. I was then offered Cheerios for dessert, but took a pass on those.

I appreciate that he is taking the initiative to make breakfast for me, but a good friend suggested that I might want to buy him his own set a dishes so that he will leave my breakable stuff alone. She also suggested that I need to stock my pantry with some better things for breakfast. I think that is pretty good advice that I am going to put to use....QUICKLY!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

For the past few years, my birthday hasn't been all that exciting. We have been on mission trips and other youth events for some of them, but even more than that, it isn't really fun to get old. I love how my kids get excited about getting older, but I just can't seem to do that any more.

However, this birthday has already been fun and it isn't even 10:30. My dear, sweet husband let me sleep in and then brought me breakfast in bed. He was going to make it, but the milk had gone bad. (We don't have any milk drinkers in our family, so that happens a lot!) So, he went to Bobby's to get me breakfast! You gotta love some Bobby's!

Then David gave me a present. It was wrapped in plain piece of paper. When I opened it, it was a football card of John Elway. (You gotta love John Elway!) He said, "I found that...upstairs." I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was already my football card. (And yes, I am a cool mom because in the olden days, I used to collect football cards. I have a bunch and my boys are quite impressed!)

Nathan also gave me a present wrapped up in a plain piece of paper. This package held a yo-yo, which was soon taken back by Nathan. I think he decided that I had it long enough and he needed it back. He then replaced it with a handful of pretend fish food. We don't have a fish, so I don't know exactly what to do with the pile of pretend fish food. However, if I "move" it, he will know and yell at me. (Yeah....welcome to my crazy world!)

I've already gotten a phone call from the sweetest nephews and niece in the world...and my brother and sister-in-law too! My mom called this morning too. I also got a call from about an extended warranty...but they didn't wish me a happy birthday.

So, I may just embrace getting old today along with all the pampering that goes with it. My boys take good care of me and make me feel like a princess more often than not...but today, they have promoted me to queen status. Not bad for an old lady, huh?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I know...I know...Long time no see

Wow! It has been almost two months since my last post. You know it has been awhile when you start getting emails and phone calls asking what the deal is!

We have just been plugging along. The end of school was a whirlwind with class parties for the boys and lots of grading and studying for me. Since school has been out, we have had VBS and David went to a basketball camp. We took a quick, impromptu trip to Oklahoma City to see friends and family. Grandma Barbara and Grandma Sandy have both been here to visit. The list can go on and on, but most of all, we have been hanging out and enjoying spending time with each other.

I have lots to share, but I will save that for another day. For now, I will just share some pictures to show how much the boys have grown during this past year.
This picture is from our church Hayride last October.

This picture was taken a few weeks ago. Haven't they grown?

There will be more tomorrow.

By the way, David helped pick out the new blog background. He thought this one looked like Alabama colors, which in his words made it "Awesome".

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

BIG Dreams

The boys were watching a movie about Moses yesterday and when it got to the part where Moses parted the Red Sea, both the boys were in awe. David looked at me and asked, "How did he do that?" I told him that God was with with him and gave him the power to do it so he could save the Israelites.

David then said, "God is so cool. I wish I could be God. I think I will be God for Halloween next year."

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's been a long time...

Wow...I had not realized how long it has been since I last posted. So much has happened since that post...David celebrated his sixth birthday, Brian made another trip to the gulf coast to help out with clean-up, my business plan competition is over, and just everyday life. It is funny how all of those things are just so big at the time and consume so much energy, and yet, in light of everything that has happened at Virginia Tech and other things going on in people's lives, they are really very small.

I really will write more about my family later, but right now, my heart is touched by so many things going on in the lives of those around us. Brian showed me a video the other night and shared how it touched him and made him very thankful for all the blessing in his life. Once I saw it, I understood exactly what he meant.

Some days, little things seem so hard. Some days, you take so much for granted. Some days, you struggle to have faith that God is in control even when you aren't. And then, the life of a little boy reminds you of God's perspective of your purpose in life. The little boy reminds you what truly matters. The little boy reminds you that God is every way...even when you don't always understand.

If you want to be touched deeply today, you can see the video here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Lizard, The Frog and The Mole

It sounds like a storybook, doesn't it? Trust me...this is no storybook.

I don't like reptiles. I mean...I REALLY DON'T LIKE REPTILES! So you can imagine the fun in our house when Nathan yells "Mommy, there is a lizard in the bathroom." I thought he was exaggerating but decided that I just might need to check. Low and behold, there was a scampering little lizard that set my heart a quivering and made me want to scream like the girl I am.

Unfortunately, my dear husband wasn't home and my boys weren't offering to dispose of the lizard. Sooooo, I got my handy dandy dust pan and attempted to scoop up the little guy. It didn't exactly work as planned. Needless to say, this lizard and I danced around the bathroom until I finally got him on the dust pan. I knew I could never make it to the front or back door with him, and I didn't want to take the chance of setting him free in my living room. So I did the unthinkable. I flushed him down the toilet...and then flushed about 10 more times to make sure that he wouldn't reappear.

I don't know where the lizard came from, but Brian did see a frog the other day. I hope our new flowerbeds and mulch aren't going to invite unwanted reptiles into our yard or house! After all, we already have moles in our front and back yard. We have nice little tunnels all through the yard. I would love to say "At least we haven't seen any yet..." but we no longer think that is the case. The other day Nathan came running inside to tell me that he had seen a mole. He said it was black with a face like his and it came out of hole. I am not so sure about the face thing, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Nathan probably saw one of our moles. While the mole encounter didn't phase Nathan, the thought of coming face to face with a mole causes me great trepidation.

David is helping me out though. After the lizard episode, he prayed that I would not be afraid of a little thing like a lizard that wouldn't hurt me. Since he feels that way, David is going to be in charge of lizard removal next time!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Life of a Youth Minister's Family

Brian took the week off since it is also my Spring Break, and we have spent the past week breaking our backs, knees and muscles we didn't even know existed relandscaping our flower beds in the front yard. (And yes, we were trying to fix the bushes I killed last fall!) In spite of the hard work, it was worth all the effort because they look much, much better. It was a very productive week...with one exception.

Last night we woke up hearing noises outside of our house and found this:

Ahhhhh yes....the life of a youth minister at its best! :-)

The boy next door was mortified that someone would do this to our house after we had spent so much time digging up shrubs and getting the beds ready to plant stuff. While he and his sister helped us clean up, we had to explain that they do this in fun and didn't do it to be mean (we think).

The funny thing is that these teens think they got us. Little do they know that revenge is such a sweet, sweet thing!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Soccer Time

Before I talk soccer, I was clicking on the link to the video in the last post and apparently the video was gone from the link I used. I have updated it with a new link, so if you clinked on that link and only saw some ads for some pretty risque links, I am so SORRY! I turned red when I saw them! Now you can go back and look at the other video and hopefully it won't go away!

Now...on to soccer. Nathan has started playing soccer (or something like that) and his team is hilarious. We have Nathan. I thought Nathan would be in the middle of things playing his heart out. Wrong! Nathan is the kid that likes to lay down on the field. I don't know if he is meditating, playing dead or trying to stop the other team from scoring, but in all honesty, he doesn't accomplish any of the above.

Next comes Canton. Canton is the boy that comes running onto the field and jumps in front of the coach and starts doing the growling-muscle showing move. Unfortunately, a couple of minutes later, he will run off the field in search of his mom and cannot be coaxed back onto the field.

Then there is Kelby. Kelby just keeps on running. He stays on the field and plays hard. He doesn't have the same natural ability as some of the others when it comes to soccer, but he definitely gets the 110% award, and I predict he will do well in sports.

Ben is the only boy that has scored. He is really good but isn't sure about getting on the field. The coach has to coax him on the field and keep him interested in the game.

Caleb is the most cuddly little four year old you have ever seen. He still has that baby look to him, and as long as you hold his hand, he will do anything you ask.

Rounding up our 6 man team is Trevor. Trevor is probably the best athlete of all of them. Unfortunately, he has yet to make it on the field. He is pretty shy and has showed no interest in playing. He reminds me of David when David played soccer.

And of course, I cannot forget the coach. Oh My! The coach is an out of shape, middle age woman who knows NOTHING about soccer. Oh wait....I AM THE COACH! And yes...all of that is true. The coaches we played last week were talking about corner kicks and were line Nazis. I am out there shouting hurray when our kids kick the ball in the wrong goal. I did tell them that it was the wrong goal, but they were so excited. I gave them high fives and told them they were great!

I have enlisted the help of Savannah, who was one of our youth group kids and played soccer in high school. She is great and helps with some of that soccer lingo. Together we do okay, but we have a big problem with keeping kids on the field. We have yet to score as much as the other teams. We don't keep score, but David does. (After the first game, he decided that girl coaches were no good because we were the losers!)

I think we have five more games, which may be all I can handle. Nathan thinks its great and enjoys getting dressed up to play and always seems well rested after the game.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Have you ever had a time in your life where you just seemed to be touched by the small things in life? Or have you had those days where you are truly inspired by the actions of others? I have really been feeling this a lot lately. We have had a lot of stuff going on, but in the midst of it, I have found great inspiration in simple acts (and not so simple acts) of true sacrafice.

I came across a video online today about a father and son. I had heard their story before and Brian had told me about the video, but I had never gotten to see the actual video. The father and son are named Dick and Rick Hoyt and here is an excerpt from their website:

Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who
together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they’re not
in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman,
combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of
swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles
across America.

It’s a remarkable record of exertion — all the more so when you
consider that Rick can't walk or talk.

For the past twenty five years or more Dick, who is 65, has
pushed and pulled his son across the country and over hundreds of finish lines.
When Dick runs, Rick is in a wheelchair that Dick is pushing. When Dick cycles,
Rick is in the seat-pod from his wheelchair, attached to the front of the bike.
When Dick swims, Rick is in a small but heavy, firmly stabilized boat being
pulled by Dick.

Their website goes on to tell a remarkable story of a young man whose father wanted him to be able to do more than just imagine. He wanted him to feel like a winner and went to great lengths to provide that opportunity to his son. Their website shares a touching story, but seeing it on this video is absolutely inspiring and just reaches to the very core of you.

It makes me want to be more to and for my kids. It reminds me to sacrifice so that they can be all that they can be. While I may not have to carry them physically, there may be times they need me to "carry" them emotionally or spiritually just like my father in Heaven does for me. They may need me to travel with them as they forge new roads or cheer them on as they take off on their own. They will need me to hang on to them and they will need me to let go of them. All these take sacrifice, commitment and most of all, they take a love like no other love. They take the love that Dick Hoyt has for his son. They take the love I have for my sons.

David and have my word...for as long as I live and am able, I will be with you, beside you, behind you...wherever you need me to that you can.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Another Change

I think that I am going through a mid-life crisis or something. I have the need for change, and the easiest thing to change is my blog template. The last one didn't feel right, so I am going to try this one. And yes...I know that I need to get out of the house more if I am concerned about how my blog feels! (As a side note, I was right about Brian's reaction to my first change. The first thing that he said about my last change was that he liked my old template!)

In other news, both boys are sick. They have that sinus junk going around and seem to feel pretty miserable, especially Nathan. So, we had pajama day at our house, which was kind of nice...almost like a relaxing vacation, except that I had to work on stuff all day!

The other night we were at our church's version of children's church and the kids were naming the fruits of the spirit. Every time they would name one, Nathan would say, "Oh No! They already said patience!" of "Oh No! They already said self-control." My favorite, though, was when he exclaimed "Oh No! They already said Faithful Mess!"

The sad thing is that, some days, faithful mess describes me better than faithfulness. I admit it; I am a mess these days. I am disorganized and am burning the candles at both ends of the wick and in the middle of the wick. However, I had an experience in the past few days that made me rethink a lot of things, and I am committing myself to clean up my faithful mess. I will try to get organized too, but honestly, that isn't as important as making sure my priorities are what they need to be and that God is always at the center of everything.

I love it when my kids make me laugh, but even more, I love it when they pass on a little gem that makes me think. I am thankful for my kids; they are truly blessings...even when (you can fill in the blank if you have read my blog before)!

So, if you want to join me in a clean sweep of your faithful mess, let me know. We can all encourage each other!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It's a Bad Toe Day

A lot of my stories have been about David lately, so I decided that I needed to share a few about Nathan.

Nathan had a rough night Sunday night. He had a splinter in his foot right by his big toe, and I made the unfortunate decision to remove it. You would have thought that I cut his big toe off. He wailed...and screamed...and cried for at least an hour. He told David he was having a bad toe day. He told me that the splinter would be stuck to my fingernail forever. When I told him that it wasn't stuck to my fingernail, he became even more upset.

So, I did what every good parent would do. I hugged him and put him to bed. Monday morning I asked him how his toe felt, and he said it was great now. Such drama from such a small boy!

Last Thursday, the 4 and 5 year olds from his school went to a pizza restaurant to make pizzas for "P" week. Imagine about 40 to 50 preschool kids taking a tour of a pizza joint and putting toppings on their own individual pizzas. I cannot even begin to tell you how many kids would put a topping on their pizza, lick their hands and then put their fingers back into the toppings. All I can say is thank goodness for really hot, germ-killing ovens!

The teachers have worked out this field trip down to a perfect science. They split up the kids into three groups and had art class, music class and the pizza making part. Brian and I got to see how Nathan interacted with the other kids, and basically we realized that Nathan kind of does his own thing. He stayed at the back of the pack and was busy looking at everything going on around him, which is pretty typical for him.

This week is Q week at his school, and on Tuesdays, they always take something that starts with that week’s letter for show and tell. Well, I forgot to send a Q thing with him this morning. I was taking David to school, so I called Brian and told him to tell Nathan that he could be Quiet for show and tell today. I told him he might have to practice it with him on the way to school.

Brian called me after he had dropped Nathan off at school and he was laughing. Apparently, when the teachers greeted him, Nathan whispered, “Shhhhhh! Quiet starts with a Q!”

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Time for a Change you notice something different? I needed to change the look of my blog. It was time for something new. I love change, but I have found that living with three boys who don't like change so much has stifled me a bit. So, rather than rebelling against them and rearranging all the furniture in the house, I just changed the look on my blog.

In other news, the boys have been really funny lately. We were at a restaurant a few days ago, and there was music playing in the background. Nathan started swaying back and forth. I asked him if he was dancing, and he nodded. David said, "It looks like he is dancing the Mumba." I thought he must be talking about the mambo, so I asked him where he learned about that dance. He replied, "Oh we did it at school." This surprised me and I couldn't imagine preschool teachers wanting to teach ballroom dancing to a bunch of 4 and 5 year old kids. So, I asked him when they learned it. He said, "You were there. It was at that big party in the gym." I couldn't remember what he was talking about, so he said, "You know...with the music and the stick." Ah yes...the Limbo...just a slight difference from the Mambo.

Then we have yesterday. David had not obeyed very well at school, so I decided that we needed to sit down and really talk about it. After we talked about what he did and how he was going to act differently, he said, "Yeah, I guess God forgot to come into my heart and it made me make some really bad choices. Why did he do that?" It's pretty bad when they start blaming God, isn't it? Oh my!

Monday, January 29, 2007

What Exactly Is a Surgery?

David spends most of his days asking questions. Yesterday, David and I somehow got into a conversation about surgeries. (I think it started when I told him not to run with his toothbrush in his mouth.) Needless to say, he wanted to know all about the point of a surgery. When I told him there were lots of different kinds of surgeries, his eyes lit up, and I knew that I had just opened the door for a discussion about all the different kinds of surgeries.

After a few explanations about several "tame" surgeries, he asked if I had ever had any surgeries. I replied that I had my appendix removed. He wanted to know what the appendix does and why it had to be removed. (What exactly does an appendix do?) He asked if that was the only surgery I had. I said no and we moved on to the gallbladder...and then the right knee...and then the left knee. I was hoping we could stop there, but I couldn't lie to him when he asked again.

So, I told him I had a c-section. He asked what that was all about, and I told him that the c-section was done by the doctor so he could be born. I am sure that EVERY little boy would love the thought of having to be cut out of his mom's stomach, but I must admit that the conversation was kind of creepy for me.

However, I must say that it lost some of its creepiness when David said, "So the doctor cut you open and I popped out. What color shirt was I wearing?" At that point, I just started laughing so hard that I cried.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Am Thinking of a Number...

We were on the way home from church on Sunday night after going out to supper with a good friend, and the boys were beginning to get a little "loud" in the backseat. In the past this has really frustrated me, but I have been trying a new approach that has seemed to be working pretty well. I will play a game like "I spy" or make up a silly song to get their minds off the fact that they really want to pester each other. It just makes the ride in the car or the wait in the line at the store go a little more bearable.

On Sunday night, I decided that they need to be distracted and I thought I would try something a little different. I said, "I am thinking of a number between 1 and 10. Can you guess what it is?" This is how the rest of the "game" went.

David shouted out, "43!"

To which I responded, "That isn't between 1 and 10."

Nathan then responded, "A...B....C"

Me: "Nathan, those are letters. You need to pick a number."

David: "27"

Me: "David, a number BETWEEN 1 and 10"

David: "16?"

Me: "No! Between 1 and 10. What numbers come between 1 and 10?"

David: "I don't know."

Me: "David, why don't you count from 1 to 10?"

After much prodding and many hints, David eventually guessed the number. So then it was his turn. He said, "I am thinking of a number between 23 and 2."

Me: "What?

Nathan: "1"

Me: "That is backwards David, but that is okay. How about 16?"

David: "No"

Nathan: "2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10"

Me: "20?"

David: "No, it is 24."

Me: "THAT is NOT between 2 and 23."

David: "I didn't say 2 and 23. I said 23 and 2."

Nathan: "It's my turn. It's my turn. I am thinking of a number between 2 and 3."

David: "Is it 100?"

Nathan: "Yes David! You got it!"

Soooo...math may not be our strong suit just yet. If this is any indicator, it may not ever be our strong suit!

Monday, January 15, 2007

So, Why Did You Choose Us Mom?

On the way home from church last night, David asked, "So, why did you choose us Mom?" I was a little confused, so I asked him what he meant. He said, "You know. Why did you choose us to be your babies?"

I grinned to myself and told him that God had given both of them to me as a special gift and that they were chosen by God to be in our family. I also said how blessed that we were that God gave them to us.

I thought that might end the discussion, but it didn't. He then asked, "Well, how did God get us to you?" Ummm...just a little bit harder of a question to explain. I couldn't just say that he left them on the doorstep because he has seen pregnant women. So, I said, "God let you guys grow in my tummy." He then asked, "How did he get us in your tummy?"

Now, you have to understand that Nathan is crying because he had to turn in his nametag at church before we left. I was trying to get home because we had kids from the youth group coming to our house, so I said, "You know what David. It is really hard to talk about this because Nathan is upset, and we might need a little more time. Can we talk about this later?" (What I was really asking was "If I put off this discussion for a little while will you forget about it and then ask your dad when you are a lot older?)

David sat there for a second and then said, "Is it a secret? Does God come to your house at night and climb into your tummy and put a baby in your tummy? Should we not talk about it because it is a secret and Jesus doesn't want us to know how it works?" (I would have loved to see my face at this point in the conversation.)

I replied, "Ummmm...noooo...that's not really it." David said, "Oh okay. Who is your favorite football team?"

All I can say is thank goodness for questions about football!

Friday, January 12, 2007

David's Week

This week has been a tough week for David. Getting back in the routine of school is never easy, but he has had some added events that have just made it a little rough.

Either Monday or Tuesday, Brian brought David home from school and said, "Something traumatic happened at school today." I looked at David, and he burst into tears and those tears soon became heart-wrenching sobs. I was rather bewildered and looked to Brian for an explanation. He told me that a boy had accidentally thrown David's football on the roof of the school. One of the teachers assured David that there was a man with a big ladder that would come get it down off the roof in a day or two, but that did nothing to appease his pain. Every mention of the football caused another onslaught of the point of being ridiculous. Later in the evening, I discovered that it was really Nathan's ball that was on the roof, and David was worried about telling him. He told Nathan all about it, and Nathan just said, "Oh well." That night, David prayed for the man who would get the ball down off the roof. We still don't have the ball back, but thankfully, he doesn't cry at every mention of it now.

On Wednesday, David came in the door showing me his hand. He had scraped it, and so I gave him the proper sympathy. Then I saw his face. My sweet little boy took a face dive on the cement and had a knot above his eye and some marks on his cheek. I gave him a big hug and asked him if he cried. He said yes, and my heart broke. I hate being away from my kids and not being there to comfort them when they are hurt. He was tough and said it was all okay.

It is Friday, and he is fine. Now he is just bugging me about why rest time isn't over and how long and unfair rest time is!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Finally...Back to Blog World

It has been awhile. I could give you many excuses. I had a cast on my arm. We were traveling. On and on they could go. The truth is that I took a break on writing about my family and just enjoyed spending some time with them.

Christmas was fun. We spent it with my family in Nebraska and the boys were able to have a white Christmas. It was fun...and cold! David and I went sledding with my nephew Michael on Christmas day. We went down a hill that I now refer to as the hill of death. The slope was pretty steep, and David was not real excited about going down it alone. So, being the great and fun mom that I am, I went with him. (Can you say BIG MISTAKE?!) We hit an embankment and our sled flipped. David went flying off and in the process of trying to keep me or the sled from landing on top of him, I injured my right arm. I went to the doctor the next day and ended up with a cast on my right wrist and thumb. That part wasn't fun, but I did get out of doing dishes!

Nathan caught a stomach virus the day after Christmas. I've decided that it is not easy taking care of a kid who is throwing up when you have a cast on your arm. Luckily, Dad pitched in a little and Grandma pitched in a lot to help me out. He recovered, and everyone had a really good time.

We ended up leaving Nebraska a day early because of the threat of more storms, and we had the longest trip home EVER. Our boys are really good travelers, but I don't think I have ever stopped so many times in my whole life. Needless to say, we were all glad to be home!

We rolled in New Year's with a group of kids from the youth group. We had an impromptu New Year's eve bash and it was a lot of fun. I learned how to play Risk and in my second game, stomped all the boys! Little do they know that I learned all my strategic moves from being a mom to two busy little boys. The highlight of the evening was David spilling Sprite down my cast to roll in the new year.

Thankfully, my wrist is not broken and the sticky cast is now gone. I have been working hard to get organized once and for all, and it seems to be working a little bit. Maybe by the end of February, I will be on top of everything!

Hope you all had a great holiday and 2007 is treating you well. May God bless you all through this new year!