Friday, June 29, 2007

The Best Thing I Did This Month

I have famous friends.

One famous friend is Shannon. She writes the popular Christian “Every Woman’s Battle” series. She has sold something like a bizillion books. Guess she hit a nerve in today’s society—not to mention the small fact she writes (and speaks) quite well.

In her most recent book, Completely His, yours truly is mentioned . . . maybe this will be my one small claim to fame—so I’ll just go ahead and “let my light shine.”

“Beth has four young children of her own and all of the responsibilities that come with marriage and motherhood. However, Beth also made time to volunteer with the local CASA chapter (Court Appointed Special Advocates), serving as a liaison between abused children and the court to determine the best interests of the children. Her passion for abused and orphaned children blossomed to the point that she and her husband, Dave, completed all the paperwork, jumped through all the necessary legal hoops, and became foster parents to displaced children. Not only does Beth have plenty of love for her own family, but she has enough to go around to other children who may have never experienced God’s love in their own dysfunctional homes.” (pg. 123)

Wow, I don’t sound too shabby when you put it that way!

In all seriousness, I started reading this book the moment it came in the mail (she sends me a copy of all of them) and I couldn’t put it down. She had me hooked from page one.

Shannon didn’t put me up to it (I doubt she even knows I have a blog), but I am highlighting her book because it is an incredible journey of how one woman’s response to tragedy led to a closer walk with the Lord. I believe it can be a true source of help and strength to so many people who live under a cloud of guilt and condemnation.

If you're yearning for a good read that will sweep you away and return you with an inner make-over—this one's for you. But please be forwarned . . . you'll need a big box of tissues at your side!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Nicholas is all boy! At ten months he loves to play with his toys, slide across the floor (army style), laugh at his siblings, attempt to talk, and grin at everyone who makes eye contact.

We've (me) been working on saying "Mommy" since he was born. This is generally how is goes:

Nicholas say, "Daddy"—"Da da"
Say, "Ashley"—"Aa lee"
Say, "Jay Jay"—"Ay ay"
Say, "Colie"—"Ol lie"
Say, "Mommy"—"Da da"

Isn't that just the way things go?!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Daddy’s Home!

Yesterday after David got home from his fishing trip, we celebrated his belated birthday by opening presents, going out to lunch and a game of putt-putt.

Ashley (age 11) did incredibly well and actually made FIVE hole in ones. As we were leaving she asked her dad,

“Is there a prize for the one who made the most hole-in-ones?”

That prompted a quick response from Jonathan (age 8):

“Is there a prize for the one with the most humility?”

Thursday, June 21, 2007

There’s No Place Like Home

Having lived on the east coast, west coast, Colorado and Washington State (the most un-churched state in the Union), and lots of other states somewhere in the middle, I am still, after 11 years of being a Texan, occasionally shocked by the culture. Like for instance the other day. I called a local hardware store to inquire about renting a stump grinder. They put me on hold and the on-hold music began, “Celebrate Jesus, celebrate . . .”

It reminded me of when we first moved here. I was in Victoria’s Secret buying perfume. (Really, I was buying perfume.) A saleslady approached me and smothered my hand in one of their fragrant lotions and then informed me I should try their new line of hosiery . . . perfect for wearing to church. (I’m not kidding—that is what she said.)

Though I avoid our local grocery store because the prices are way higher than Walmart, I do occasionally enjoy stopping in just hear the music as I grab a loaf of bread or gallon of milk, “Jesus is the answer for the world today . . .”

And then the best one of all. A few days ago I decided to open a new bank account. The banker made a little small talk while his fingers flew on his keyboard detailing my personal information. In between my home address and phone number, he asked what church I attend.

Knowing he didn’t need such information to ensure the success of my financial future, I’m assuming he was simply concerned about my soul. I love that about East Texas! Had I fumbled for an answer, he would have invited me to his.

No, we don’t have the Rocky Mountains or the Seattle skyline . . . but I must say, sometimes it’s kind of nice living in the buckle of the Bible belt.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Gift

Well I suppose gifts are always nice . . . like the one my father-in-law is hopefully enjoying right now. For his 70th birthday this year David and his brothers gave him what is called a “fly in” fishing trip way up in northern Canada. “Fly in” simply means it is too remote to get there any other way. Though personally I would consider it worse than prison for ten days, I’m sure my father-in-law, husband, and brother-in-laws are having the time of their lives.

I went on one of these little trips to Canada once . . . I was new to the fam, and simply didn’t know any better. (The picture is eleven years old).

I kid you not, their only sustenance for ten days will be twinkies and the fish they catch. Their living quarters will be worse than squalor and their only form of entertainment will be fishing and cards. (If you can call fishing entertainment).

I wouldn’t mention this small fact except that we are missing both Father’s Day and David’s birthday (fell on the same day this year). So what do you write when your husband is in the middle of nowhere and he leaves you at home alone for ten days with your four kids?

Though David tends to travel far more than I am able to fully appreciate, there are more ways than I can count as to why I’m so glad he’s the one I’m married to. And since it’s such a special day, I’ll try to list a few:

• David can make me laugh even when I’m so mad I could scream. (I usually laugh after I scream)

 • David is a very devoted father and his kids know they are the center of his world. Everytime he comes home all three kids (Nicholas isn’t big enough yet) jump on him and smother him in kisses. He makes everything in their world happy.

• David takes time to help others along the way. He holds an open door to everyone that needs an ear. I have found over the years many of the young people he ministers to think of him as a father. Now that this number is well into the thousands, one might think he wouldn’t have time for every single person who calls with marriage problems, ministry troubles, life decisions and the like . . . but David makes the time. He returns EVERY call. I love that about him.

• David works really hard to be a better person each day than he was the day before. He is slow to anger (in fact he is rarely angry), quick to say I’m sorry (and truly mean it), an eternal optimist and sees the good in everyone. He is not afraid to speak the truth, but has a way of doing it with just the right amount of empathy that takes away the sting.

• He is lifelong learner. He makes lists of books recommended by those he hopes his life will emulate (both from the past and present) and reads with an undying thirst to learn and understand. It is quite commonplace at our house to see books lying around that are rare and hard to come by. To find and read such books are simply part of who David is. He is incredibly bright but refuses to be satisfied with where he is at. He pushes the learning envelope as far as it will stretch.

• Probably the trait that attracted me to David the most was his childlike faith and complete devotion to God. After all these years (14 to be exact) it is still my favorite.

• He loves me . . . even when I’m not very lovable. He lives his life in a way that makes me want to be like him. There are so many things about him I admire. His love language is “Gifts of Service”—which is kind of nice (translates into washing dishes, running to the store when we’re out of milk, feeding the baby at 4:00am . . . I suppose the list is endless.

So here’s to you, Babe. Happy Birthday. I’m so blessed to have you in my life—you truly are a gift.

And Happy Father’s Day. You’re the best dad I could have ever asked for to Ashley, Jonathan, Cole and Nicholas!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Prime Time

When we found out we were pregnant with Nicholas, Jon and Kelly bought us one of their favorite baby things—a baby monitor where you can watch your little one on a tiny TV screen even when it is pitch black in the baby’s room.

We love it! When not asleep, Nicholas is entertaining to watch playing with his fingers, lifting his toes high over his head or swinging at his duck mobile.

One of Cole’s favorite things to do before going to bed is to climb up on my bed and watch what he calls, “Nicholas TV”. He laughs at his baby brother and even tries to talk to him through the monitor.

The other night after watching “Nicholas TV” for awhile he asked, “Mom, doesn’t this TV ever get any other channels!?”

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Little Time Off

We’re just finishing up a week of vacation. Most moms know, family vacations aren’t really a vacation for mom.

I won the discussion and we ended up staying here. With a baby it’s just easier to stay near home. We have been visiting local fun spots like the lake, the zoo, and Splash Kingdom.

Next month we’ll take another week of vacation and visit my parents, friends and extended relatives in Indiana.

We’re hoping to visit the fun places I grew up with: King’s Island, Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo, and Conner's Prairie.

It’s always great visiting my parents because our days go something like this:
My Mom: Sleep in—let me get the baby.
My Mom: Let me make you all breakfast—what would you like?
My Mom: I’ll clean up here—you all go out and have fun!
My Mom: Let me watch the kids tonight. Why don’t you go to the movies.

You get the picture—not just a family vacation, but also a vacation for me!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I Know I Do

Don’t you just hate it when . . .

You finally arrive at your destination only to discover your four year old is wearing swimming flippers instead of shoes?!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Pay Off

They say imitation is the best form of flattery . . .

A few nights back we were all out at David’s parents’ house with the extended family. I fell in love with the little jammies our cousins Henry and Jonah were wearing.

I had to go to four different Walmarts in order to find them in the right sizes for both Cole and Nicholas.

Can I just say it’s really, really hard to take a presentable picture of a four year old with a nine month old!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Can You Say Obsession?

I remember when I was a kid my dad saying, “There’s a new show on television I think we should watch.” My sisters and I responded with groans because we wanted to watch something else (I don’t remember what). My dad threw out what he knew would seal the deal, “It’s a show with a bunch of kids in it—just like the Brady Bunch!!

Instantly he won us over. I grew up loving Thursday nights with John-boy, Mary Ellen, Jason, Ben, Erin, Jim-bob and Elizabeth. Thanks to great channels like Hallmark, nerds like me can relive their childhood memories of the great depression, the warmth of the Walton farmhouse, the charm of Ike Godsey’s store, and the simple ways of life in the Blueridge mountains of Virginia. We can also catch all the later episodes we were too cool to watch during our teenage years.

Yesterday, on my birthday of all days, the Waltons were replaced on the Hallmark channel with “Murder She Wrote.” What’s up with that!!?? Knowing dvds have been made of everything that will sell, I googled “The Waltons” to see what was out there. Jiminy Cricket!! My passion is shared by multitudes of like-minded fanatics like me. There are Walton websites, museums, books, memorabilia and a whole Walton fan community!

So now thanks to amazon, not only do I have the first five seasons, the TV premiere, and the famous Homecoming heading my way, (a little birthday present to myself) I have joined the blogasphere world of everything Walton. Don’t you just love living in the 21st century!

Monday, June 04, 2007


After the four year old girls reminded us that “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”, the boys sang their hearts out to “Singing in the Rain”—complete with top hats, sparkling ties and umbrellas. Their “Hurray for Hollywood” theme was incredibly cute.

Cole graduated from pre-school with flying colors . . . which really just means he knows them all.

Congratulations little graduate. It’s on to K-4. We are so proud of you!

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Rain Just Doesn’t End

Since Friday was our last day of school, we made our now annual trip to Dallas to watch the Rangers play. My sister and her family made the trip as well.

Unfortunately, we never made it out of the stadium parking lot. It starting raining so hard we decided the wetness was more than we could endure. So while other diehard fans waited out the lengthy rain delay and watched the drizzly game quite late, we opted for “Steak and Shake”, played cards in our hotel room, and purchased Charlotte’s Web on pay per view for the kids. In spite of the weather we had a great time.

Though the rain continues on . . . and on, and on . . . we never complain. Rain in East Texas is something we ALWAYS need. Since we usually experience drought, (followed by many dead trees—we currently have 7 from last year that need to come down) we are thankful indeed!