Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Top Chef

Today marked a milestone in my young son's life. Today he entered into a new arena where the steaks are high, or at least his eggs are.

My son, lover of eggs, and all other good food, fixed scrambled eggs for the first time. With only two 'oops' moments, he did quite well. What were those moments you ask?
Moment 1: "Mommy I cracked the egg into the sink and now it's gone."
Moment 2: "How much milk, Mommy. Is this too much (the milk still pouring)."

But all in all he was quite happy his eggs were still appropriately yellow (in spite of the high milk to egg ratio) and we had plenty of eggs to replace the one lost down the disposal. For the first time (in hot lunch history) I didn't have to tell Tyler lunch was ready. Seeing how my last post was all pictures you would think I could have taken a few today. But, sadly, I didn't.

Becca, not to be outdone, made her own PB&J. I was so proud. She even went a got a spoon to get out the jelly. No peanut butter in her jelly thankyouverymuch!

Now, if someone would just teach them to turn their clothes right side out before the put them in the laundry basket....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I've been rather absent from my blog. I know I'm being slack when even my mom (who I think slightly disapproves of my blog but still reads it) notices! The problem is once I've gotten out of the rhythm, I don't know where to start. My kids have said way to many cute/funny things for me to remember. The days have been very, VERY full. So, rather than try to put it into words, I'm going to try to sum it up with pictures and captions.

Birthdays come fast and furious for my family in the month of April. The dates are 4/4, 4/10, 4/11, 4/20. After Tyler's comes my Dad's. It was his 60th and my younger brother came up with the fun idea of grilling out and having all the siblings who were close get together. It turned out to be a very fun night as you can see below.

Thank goodness for my sister and sister-in-laws helping pull the last minute things together. Here's my sister helping Doug pull it all together.

"Suprise Dad!"

The tables my sisters helped decorate

It was nice that even though we couldn't all be there in body, everyone was there to sing. My brother who knows way more about computers, phones...I guess you could say everything tech related than I do, three wayed (yes I see the red squiggles) my out of state brother and sister so we could all sing 'Happy Birthday' together. It was kinda cool!

Dad chatting with the out of towners.

Hope was begging cake off anyone who would listen. The only ones who were too enamored or distracted were her 3 year old cousin and Papaw.

Relaxing after dinner and cake

The rest of the time has been odds and ends. Here are some of those...

I've been writing a lot of lesson plans

And checking a lot of math.

And correcting a lot of copy work. This one is Becca's.
I got a new school desk for Ty which required rearranging this.

Playing a lot of Sorry.

And putting together lots of puzzles
We have enjoyed reading this.
The weather has been gorgeous over the weekend so I indulged in one of my favorite pastimes. Working here...

Tyler was excited to lose one of these and find a dollar under his pillow. (He still is unsure about who puts it there.)

With two of these in our home

I've been doing a lot of this.

I'm also praying that the mutt not pictured will stop digging these under the fence.

Okay, now that I'm all caught up, I hope to get back on my blogging schedule. And just for the record, that was only about 1/3 of the pictures I could have posted. What I'm sayin' is as long as this post could have been worse! Good night, all!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Woman of Faith

I woke this morning to beautiful sunny skies holding the promise of a gorgeous day. I was so thankful. Not only am I thankful that I can shove the dogs out the door and not feel bad about their being outside in rain or yucky weather. Not only can I go out and play with the kids in the sand box or on the swingset. I am thankful today is a beautiful spring day because it is my grandmother's birthday. Although she has been singing with the angels for many years now, her birthday never sneaks up on me. I anticipate it and savor the day to remember a woman of faith.

Mamaw, as we called her, was a beautiful woman. She caught my papaw's eye the first time he saw her. And is wasn't just that he saw her, he set his sights on her. He told us when he saw her he thought to himself, "I'm going to get that girl." And he did. And I am blessed because of it.

Mamaw was gifted in many ways. She was a fabulous cook, had the greenest thumb around, and played the piano really well. My dad remembers sitting with her listening to her play song after song. Classical and hymns, she could play them all. When I spent the night with them, Mamaw would loosen her arthritic fingers and play for me. In my mind, no one played better than she.

I learned to love making bread standing at her elbow (probably very much in the way). I spent many hours in her flower beds, planting, weeding, watering, learning. She was so patient with me. She taught me to play the piano. She tried to teach me to paint, but my artistic abilities resemble a five year olds. She loved to listen to us read, watch us dance, listen to our 'concerts'. She was an awesome mamaw.

One of my favorite memories of Mamaw involves both she and my papaw. They had all of my siblings and I to their house to spend the night on a rotating basis. Mamaw would come tuck me in and listen to me pray and then I would stay awake so I could listen to Mamaw and Papaw pray aloud together. This continued through my elementary years.

Mamaw had several strokes that took away her ability to talk and eventually to walk. They moved into my parents house and along with home health aids, we helped Papaw care for her until her death. I remember one night going in to say goodnight, but stopped at their doorway. Papaw was kneeling by Mamaw's hospital bed, holding her hand and praying for them both. Mamaw was watching him with such love in her eyes it made me turn away in tears.

One piece of her legacy I did not find until after her death. Mamaw kept a prayer diary. In it she prayed each day for each of her grandchildren. When I read the prayer Mamaw prayed for me for years, it amazed me. She wrote a prayer for me when I was a small child, yet as a young adult, it was the prayer I knew I needed to begin praying for myself.

Mamaw's decision to pray for each of us as God led her blesses me to this day. I know some of her prayers are still being answered. Some have been fulfilled. Either way, I know I have been held to the Father long before I knew I needed to be. That is my inheritance and I cherish it.

So today, on this beautiful spring day that reminds me of her love of life, flowers, and all things beautiful I remember. I am so thankful for this woman who I get to call Mamaw.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A New Bishop Boy

Tyler has been wanting a brother for forever. Well, at least since Hope came along and the girls started 'winning' in our house. Apparently if there are more girls than boys, girls win. He was very upset when we brought home a female dog because that meant even if we counted up the dogs the genders were unequal. I'm learning that with boys everything is competition. EVERYTHING.

For instance, Tyler had his cousin over to spend the night for his birthday. Normally, I wake up to my name being called, Hope crying or some other relatively peaceful sound. The morning of the sleepover I wake up to 'whap'. Followed by other fighting type noises. My morning mind (not my best time of day) tried to figure out why in the world Ty and Becca were having a slap war without my hearing a single verbal argument. When my mind sufficiently came to, I poked Doug and mumbled 'the boys are hitting each other.' and went back to sleep. I didn't know it was even possible to wake up competing.

I know God has graced me with two beautiful daughters and a handsome son, but to Tyler, that means we need another baby. And it NEEDS to be a boy. And it NEEDS to happen fast. Of course just about everything is urgent with our son. When he decides to do something now is the best time. Never later. Never let's plan for it.

So Doug and I listened to his request. We laughed about making sure if we ever have another child it would be a boy or else Tyler will really be outnumbered. We were totally caught off guard when one day we saw this.

Yes, that is my daughter dressed as a boy. Tyler was so proud that he had figured out a way to bring a brother into his home. Never mind there was a dress underneath the Superman outfit. He carried Hope into the kitchen and announced, "I have a brother now." The squirming 'brother' wiggled free from his grasp and ran for the toys. I ran for the camera.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of take two the following week when he dressed her as a knight.

I realized as I talked to him, maybe it's a good thing there are no more babies on the horizon. He told me, "I'm looking for a brother about my age, Mommy. But, I'm not sure that can really happen."

Such a wise little man I have.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Please Pray

I have a couple prayer requests I would like to past on.

First, would you pray for my sister Megan and her husband Jim? They are struggling with illness after illness. Jim has very widespread cancer, and has been through several rounds of chemo and radiation. The cancer is in check for now, but we are still praying for a miracle healing. As a result of the treatment, his immune system is not working well. Coupling that with their baby girl fighting several rounds fo the flu and colds, they are just worn out. Please pray for healing and for their bodies to gain strength.

Second, There is a couple that my husband has been friends with for years. Andy and Cari grew up in the same church as Doug. While I wish I could call them my friends, truth is our paths cross very rarely. They have always been a fun, loving couple to be around.

This past fall their daughter Caden died very suddenly. The grace and faith they have shown since then amazes me. Just a few short weeks after Caden's passing, they learned they were pregnant again. I cannot imagine having to balance that kind of joy and grief. Through it all, they continue to praise the Lord.

Last week, Andy had a seizure. At the hospital tests were run and he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. While it is most likely not malignant, they needed to remove it. Andy's surgery was last Friday. The surgery was a success, but the recovery is taking longer than expected.

Would you please pray for a speedy healing for Andy and peace and rest for Cari. They are resting in God's grace through this all, but I know they appreciate all the prayers they can get. If you want to check out their story -and Cari's absolutely hilarious and heart wrenching writing- go here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tyler

My firstborn is now seven. Seven! It really doesn't seem possible that it has been seven years since they laid that beautiful,screaming boy in my arms.

Do you mind if I brag for a minute? Thanks.

Tyler is such a blessing to our family. He has a heart for the Lord and loves to help serve people. He loves Sunday school, loves to read Bible stories. From the time he was three, he would memorize complete stories from the children's Bible. My favorite was when I was disciplining him on day. I told him the Bible says that children should obey their parents. He leaned against the kitchen table looked me straight in the eye and said, "Yes, Mommy, I know. The Bible also says, 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.'"
Tyler listening to the Christmas story two years ago.

Yes, that is MY son. (Maybe I should tell you a story about when he was his father's son.... Maybe not.)

Tyler has so much energy, so much curiosity and such a desire to succeed that it sometimes makes me wonder why God picked me to be his mom. Being his mom has pushed me to new places. He makes me work hard, think hard, and best of all love hard.

He has so much compassion for people who are hurting. And he is not afraid to act on it. He wants to help and often finds creative ways to do it.

He is also ALL BOY. He loves hunting with Daddy (which at this point consists of sitting in a tree stand for one hour asking if it's a deer he hears. Which is followed by breakfast and hot chocolate.) He loves to shoot his air soft guns in the back yard or when we head out to my parents, shoot 'real' guns. His favorite things are knives, guns, tomahawks, knives and guns. Maybe not in that order.

He loves to play good guy/ bad guy. We pray God's protection over Becca when she has to be the bad guy.

I don't understand this boy in my house. I don't pretend to. But, oh my word, do I love him. I cannot imagine my life without this precious boy. He's growing up so fast and my heart isn't ready. I watch him head off to the woods with Daddy and my heart is both proud and hurting all at the same time. It wasn't long ago he didn't want to be without me by his side and now he wants 'boy time.' I'm so thankful to watch him follow the path God has for him.

Happy Birthday, sweet boy. I'm so proud of you!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Serious.Life MagazineIt's that time again. Serious. Life Magazine just put out there new issue today. I love going and browsing throught this magazine. There is something for most everyone in it.

I really love that they include a lot of great content from bloggers. Reading those and checking out the blog listing is a great way to find new blogs I'm truly interested in reading. They also have great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia ( The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is free, and I think you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues.


In other blogging news....

If you feel led, please stop by Angie's blog and lift their family to the Lord today. I cannot imagine the pain of 'celebrating' a child's birthday without them there to hold.

Hope you all are having a wonderful day.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

You've got to check this out.

I don't normally post on a Sunday, but Angie Smith just put up a beautiful post on her blog that I think the world should read. You can link to it by clicking on the Bring the Rain button on my sidebar. In the post she put up an amazing song about the redeeming work of God in all things. It's only up until Tuesday. What are you still here for? Go check it out!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Is There Always a Ram in the Bush?

I've been mulling over a single sentence spoken by our church's senior pastor a few weeks ago.

'There's always a ram in the bushes.'

He was speaking in the context of Isaiah 52. He was giving a wonderful sermon about Zion. Full of hope. Full of deep wonderful thoughts. I really appreciated what I got from the sermon, but that one sentence stuck out to me.

I thought.

I prayed.

And no matter which angle I came at it from I felt the same way.

That quote is wrong. WRONG

Now, please understand, I get that there has been the ultimate Ram in the bush. That we never need to look for someone to die in our place. That Someone already has paid the ultimate price and I am eternally grateful. I do not want to diminish that in the least.

When I read the story of Abraham and Isaac, I see a father and a son. I see an earthly father being asked to give up his earthly son. I see an earthly father in unbearable pain. I see a father who suffers. I see a son not understanding why he has to die. The story ends so beautifully. God providing an earthly solution for an earthly family. It's the kind of feel good story that makes it seem like I can understand God.

But in my life there's not always a ram. At least not an earthly one.

I just came from the bedside of a woman I love. She is dying a slow, terrible death. She is doing it with grace, dignity and even joy. She knows the eternal Ram. But, there is no earthly ram waiting to take her place.

I came from spending several hours with another woman I love. Her husband's future is in the air. There is no earthly ram for him. Praise God, he does know his eternal Ram.

I could go on but I don't need to. You see the terrible suffering. You see the world falling apart. I don't pretend otherwise, I don't understand these things about God. I don't have to 'get' it all. I know He knows. I know the suffering as well as the joy is in His hands and in His plan. One thing I know, the ultimate Ram has come and now I am waiting for His return.

There are many, many stories of hope. Many stories of 'rams' that still come. There are hearts that come just as a transplant is needed. There are cancers that disappear. There are amazing acts of kindness that take place everyday. There are people of the church who act as His hands and feet. I see them. I know they exist.

Yet, I wait. These earthly rams are but a small taste of the divine hope that is to come. My heart is hurting. My eyes blink back tears as I prepare my heart to say goodbye to ones I love. I'm tired of the bandages that these earthly rams are. As much as I would love for them to be the end all, I'm so glad they aren't. I'm so glad that my hope does not lie in things of this world.

The more I think and ponder and meditate on Isaiah, the more I am glad that there isn't always a ram in the bush. Cancer comes back. Bodies that have been fixed will break again. Hearts will need to be mended...again. Tears will need to be dried more than once. Thank God for that! If there was always a ram in the bush, I wouldn't long so much for my real home. The one I'm still waiting to see.

Waiting with hope.

Waiting with Faith.

Waiting for my true Love.