Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I Like About You

Rachel & Grant

Two months ago, Mike's grandpa got very sick with cancer and passed away. They live in San Diego. Stan lives in L. A. Mike flew out. Stan drove down for the evening to be with Mike and the family. Then he did the same thing the next night. Stan made the drive a third time on a Saturday in order to attend the funeral. He knew there would be traffic and planned accordingly, but he almost didn't make the service.

Last Tuesday I was sitting in my good friend Rachel's living room when she got a call from a longtime friend whose husband had been involved in a very bad accident at work a few days earlier. He had suddenly gotten worse. Rachel packed a bag and was on her way to San Antonio within a couple of hours. She thought she'd stay two nights, then return home. Five days later she came home. While she was down there, her friend's husband passed away.

One of Grant's good friends moved to Florida a couple years ago. Her family decided to return to Greenville for a visit. While traveling, a car pulled out in front of them. The daddy was killed instantly. The younger of the two daughters was immediately sent to a Shreveport hospital in critical condition. Grant and a friend hopped in a car and drove the three hours to sit at the hospital with their friend. Her sister, Hannah, passed away on Sunday.

I hate grieving. I don't like to be around grief. I don't think anyone does.

But what do we need when we must go through times of intense sadness?


People who will take you out for a drive, hold you while you sob or sit in the waiting room next to you, people to bring you Subway, crack a joke or lend a shoulder.

People to walk beside you during the hardest, most unbearable moments of life.

Friends aren't the ones that don't have to be there.

But they are.

Friends are the ones that love you too much to let you walk through the pain alone. They give up their gas money, their time, their sleep, their energy, their plans. They bear one another's burdens.

Stan and Grant, thank you. I'm so grateful for your example of love. For pointing a lost world to our savior who really is "a friend who sticks closer than a brother." I'm so glad you are my brothers.

Rachel, my friend, I have no doubt that you would willingly go through it again even if you knew beforehand the intensity that trip would entail. You refuse to let anyone mourn alone. Thank you for spending your life searching for ways in which to help carry one another's burdens.

Thank you for your Christlike compassion.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.

Jesus wept.

So the Jews said,
"See how he loved him!"

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

Read John 11 for the whole story.

A really fun magazine

for people with two kids.

Two? Yep, cause once you get three you won't ever have time to write on your blog again, let alone read a magazine.

Family Fun

If you click on the link (located on the words: "Family Fun") you will be directed to a site where you will get info on how to get a year's subscription for only:


Donna you should order this for Ashleigh. She'd like it.

Whether for yourself or your favorite family of four, this magazine is lots of fun!

And if you have any of the cool theme parties that it talks about, be sure to invite me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Here I am to Worship

Got some news today.

So I ran two miles.

I run when I'm stressed.

Running refocuses me.

Running resets my mind similar to the way a spanking rests a child's heart and mind. I guess it would be fitting to say those two miles kicked my rear.

I haven't run in almost a year. Mostly due to being pregnant.

Tonight was good. I needed it. I needed refocusing.

I turned on my ipod and let it play whatever came up. It was on a playlist I created titled: "Worship." I was glad. I needed to worship. That is what I needed to focus on.

God used song after song to speak to me.

"Here I am to Worship," the one you are listening to right now if your volume is turned up, was one God used.

I'd never thought about it the way I did tonight.

"Here I am to worship." Usually when I sing this song I am in a worship service. So I am literally standing there, in a church, TO worship.

So what I'm doing is telling everyone, "Here I am, to worship."

Tonight I heard the song differently. Tonight I heard it:

"HERE. I am to worship."

Right here.

On this track.

In Abilene.

As a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a cook, as a cleaner, as a whatever, I AM TO WORSHIP.

God doesn't tell us to go to church or go to special events, or to be with certain people to worship. He tells us: here.

Wherever you are, here, you are to worship.

And by his grace, I did.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Will you marry her?

My friend from childhood, Lauren, drove over to see me and meet Austin. We go way back. We used to eat dog food together. She was in my wedding, I was in hers, I have a picture of us from my 5th birthday party. The only time I have ever turned a watermelon into a basket, it was with her. We've both been spanked by Aunt Nancy. She was and always will be a true kindred spirit. Even as adults living in different towns, visiting about 3 times a year, we are very very alike.

We had a wonderful visit, even with all my crazies, I mean babies. Her daughter is 2 1/2 months older than Austin. We think they hit it off great.

I told baby girl that she didn't have to marry Austin, that she could chose from any of my sons.

Ok, so maybe there was a little prodding from the mamas...

I've thought how fun it would be if this picture ended up in the slideshow at their wedding reception. I mean, hey... it could happen.

But look, they got cuddly on their own.

Wow. She's friendly.... This may be a bit much. I think her dad was going to have a talk with her when they got home. And this one definitely would make the slide show.

Alright Justin and Lauren, don't want you to feel too much pressure but we are really counting on your parenting skills... "Train up a child in the way [she] should go and when [she] is old [she] will not depart from it."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Toy Story 3

****Spoiler Alert!***** Don't read this post if you havn't seen the movie and plan on seeing it.

Toy Story --The ultimate survival tale.

It began with Toy Story (1) or the original, the plot revolved around Woody, the cowboy doll, fighting to maintain his status as the favorite toy, the head honcho and basically the boss. Toy Story 2 was a rescue mission to retrieve the kidnapped Woody. Then as most of you know, Toy Story 3 brought the challenge of surviving "Sunnyside," the daycare governed by a ruthless teddy bear with a style not unlike Adolph Hitler.
The whole family plus two more adult friends went last night and saw the movie. Mike and I hadn't been to the movies since Oceans Eleven, ok, not that long ago, but close. This was Jack's first ever trip to a movie theater. A place where Mom and Dad had no control over the volume or the fast forward button. Not only that, but this was also Ty's first trip to the movie theater, and of course, Austin's too.

Our outing, like the movie, was a story of survival.

As soon as the lights dimmed, the volume came up and Jack's hands flew up to cover his ears. They remained there most of the movie.

Ty made it through the sound check and even through the first preview. The second, not so much. It was a new cartoon which included the Disney version of the story of Rapunzel's --the girl with the long hair who was locked in a tower. The hair freaked Ty out and I mean FREAKED. HIM. OUT. He was in Mike's lap at the time and started screaming and crawling all over Mike like a monkey trying to get away. He'd look back at the screen and scream, he'd try to cover his ears, but couldn't do that while holding on for dear life. It took about 5 seconds for us to realized we weren't going to calm him down. Mike headed for the exit with Ty perched on his head. They were gone for about 10 minutes before I handed Austin to my friend Ashten and headed out to check on the guys. They were in the hall. Ty refused to come back in the theater. It took Mike and I both another 10 minutes before he finally agreed to take a peek at the screen. We'd open the door, turn the corner to where we could see about 1/16 of the screen. Something startling would happen and we'd have to run back out, wait 3 minutes and try it again. Just like Toy Story 2 they begin the movie with Andy (I guess, I missed most of this) playing with the toys. We watch the action through Andy's imagination as things blow up, trains fall over cliffs and monkeys attack. Way to scare the kids before it even starts...

We got settled back in our seats and had a good 30 minutes of uneventful movie watching.

Then... the toys arrived at the scary daycare. That's when it got good again (the Ellises go to the movie plot). Ashten, Mike and I are playing pass the crying baby as Austin and Ty switch places. We try not to disturb Jack whose arms were probably getting pretty tired at this point. As the movie continues they toys find themselves in a pretty sticky mess. Upon escaping the daycare the villain finds them and they end up in the dumpster --right as the garbage truck comes. I am whispering to Ty that the toys are going to be fine. I know this, not because I've seen the movie already but because it's a Disney movie, and the hero never dies in a Disney movie. That and I heard they were going to come out with a Toy Story 4. Things go from bad to worse to worser to worsest. With each new impossible to escape scenario I am assuring Ty that everyone is going to be fine. I start to doubt myself. I'm going to be really mad at Disney if these toys get taken out and I've lied to my kid the whole movie. Then. Yeah, it's great. They end up in an incinerator with no way out. No way at all. There is no "emergency switch off button," no "just kidding it was all a dream" possibility. Nothing. The toys stare at their fate --impending doom. They begin to hold hands and decide to ride it out together. Heck, I've given up all hope at this point too. I start to think about what I'm going to tell Ty. Do I explain death or should I tell him it's just a movie and not real anyway. I don't know. All I know is that it's over. Over. The toys' lives, my child's trust in my word. It's over. I'm guessing the 4th instalment of Toy Story will be titled: "Toy Story 4: The New Class"

Then out of nowhere. "The Claw" comes down operated by three of your favorite squeak toys, and saves the day.


I'm so relieved I start to cry. Not really. I didn't almost cry till the scene when Andy's mom had to say goodbye to Andy as he drove away for college.

Are you kidding me? We make it through the incinerator and now they've sprung a "little boy we've all grown up with is moving away from his Mommy" scene on us. Don't they know that mothers of little boys will be sitting there in the theater with... THEIR LITTLE BOYS?

Why do they hate us?

As I fight the sniffles I gently caress Jack's hair. I lean down and kiss Ty. Great. Thanks Toy Story. All this drama in the theater and then they go and make me get all emotional as they wind up the show. Wow.

Thank goodness for the 3-D glasses that can hide any tears.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th! (ok well... 3rd)

First family photo with Austin in it!


Gigi to the rescue

Ty's the kind that if you jumped in to save him from drowning, he'd take you down too.

Ok, now all is well and here is the final shot.



Austin and Dad

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pirates, planes and army men

To be a boy apparently all you need is:
a robot
pirate ships
army men
Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff woody.
I didn't know these toys could come together to make up the "Allied Forces," but what do I know?