Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year End Update

At long last, Eric and I have completed the year in review movie and letter. Also, be sure to check out this link to see our 2008 Year In Review Family Video. I hope you each had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a year full of blessing and promise.


Dear Loved Ones,

I know, I know. I’m late. This is the first year EVER that I have failed to get the update letter completed by Christmas. I’m sure your holiday seemed hollow and empty without it:) I suppose I should call this a New Year’s update instead.

As you can imagine, it’s been a busy year. I’ll try to fill you in on all our goings-on as best I can.

Probably the most significant thing that has added a new dimension of busyness to our lives is that Eric has gone back to school. He is working on his masters degree in Theology at Lipscomb University in Nashville. This requires him to study and write a lot and also to make trips to Nashville for the classes. (This is either 1-3 weekends a semester or 1 full week a semester, depending on the class.) Since he already works a lot at church, this is an added load. So far, so good. I’m very proud of his A’s and if he would tolerate gold stars, I’d stick them on his papers:) Besides school, Eric continues to love his job of service at our church. We are honored to be blessed with such a loving church family to serve.

Isaac is now in 2nd grade and turned 8 last week. He had his first ever spend-the-night party. He invited 3 friends and we took them bowling. We all had a great time. I was glad he had so much fun, but wow – those boys were noisy! Isaac has had many firsts this year. He played his first season of baseball this spring and loved it. He did great. Isaac lost his first tooth in March. (this was followed by 2 more in the same week—very exciting) He learned how to mow the grass, much to my delight! Isaac has also started his first season in basketball this fall. He thrives at school and really enjoys his PATHWAYS class the most. He hates to miss those days. He now knows about 35 or so Greek roots that he has started using in regular sentences. It’s a little unnerving that he will be smarter than I am in a very short time. He is already almost as tall as I am. He passed my shoulders earlier this year.

Ethan is 4½ and started preschool this fall. He goes 3 days a week with Eric to our church’s preschool. It is just in the mornings for about 3 hours and he has a blast. He has never been a bit sad or unsure about going to school like Isaac sometimes was. Ethan loves his teacher and his friends. He is very matter-of-fact about the things he’s doing in his class. He gets all serious when he talks about the activities he has done. Ethan is such a fun little boy to be around. He is almost always happy and if he isn’t it’s usually because he’s ‘worn out’, which is what he says all the time. He continues to bother Jaylie on a regular basis but a lot of times, it’s just payback for something she has done earlier. Ethan loves to spend time with my folks and it is great to have them so near. Ethan learned to swim without floats this year. It is so fun to watch him in the water.

Jaylie is now a 3 year old. That’s right! There are no longer any 2 year olds living here!!!!! This is quite a happy thing for me, however, Jaylie seems to be a rather sassy 3 year old:) She is terribly sweet and really cute. Her hair is still wildly curly. As a matter of fact, she got 3 Shirley Temple movies for Christmas! Whenever she sees other people with curls she says, ”Look, he/she has curlies like me!”. Jaylie is very clever and swipes things very frequently. Not to be mischievous, but just because she sees a little something that interests her and she pockets it. This is sort of cute until it is car keys or shoes or the top to a brand new lipstick…you get the idea. Jaylie learned how to swim without floats as well this summer and now swims like a fish. She loves the pool. Jaylie still enjoys dressing up in her princess clothes. Her favorite color is pink or purple. She loves babies. She also loves to shop…go figure:)

I have had my hands full as usual. I am now on the PTO board at school which takes up a bit more time and requires me to deal with several more people, but I enjoy it. I am also helping with the Hospital House ministry at Meadowbrook. Every year since we have been here, I, and another friend of mine, have taught the same group of kids in Sunday school. We just keep moving up with them. This year they are in 4th grade and it is so exciting to see them grow and mature in their faith in God. They are a wonderful blessing to me.

This past March, my mother and I took the kids to TX for the week of Spring Break. We spent 2 nights with my Pawpaw and then 5 days with my grandparents in Beeville. Many of you know that my Granddaddy past away the day before Thanksgiving so that week we spent with them is really a precious memory to me. There are some pictures in the slide show that are at their place in Beeville. I love that place. I miss him a lot. My Grandmother is here in MS right now, staying with my mom and dad for a few weeks. It is good to get to see her all the time. She is doing well but still needs prayer cover.

We went to Gulf Shores to the beach for a week in July with Eric’s sister and her family. We had a great time playing in the water and sand there.

Eric and I had a STAYCATION this past September when my parents took the kids to Galveston for a week. They had to come home a day early because of hurricane Ike (a name Isaac did not appreciate) but they had a blast.

In September we rescued a Bassett Hound from the Humane Society. Her name is Gretchen and we (that means me and the kids---Eric is tolerant) love her. She’s about a year old and very good natured. She’s small for a basset, which is good. The kids have a lot of fun with her.

In October we went to Nashville for a week, tagging along with Eric since he had school. We hung out at Dawn’s house and enjoyed a relaxing time…poor Eric was busy the whole time. We had a great time trick-or-treating with cousins.

This Christmas has been very special as Eric’s parents came to be with us for several days. So we had them over here and my Grandmother at my parents’ house along with my brother, Jason, who was here for a week from Florida. It has been a rich time of blessing being with so many of my wonderful family.

I think this is pretty much the gist of our 2008. I hope it has been a year of peace and blessing to you. I am looking forward to the upcoming year and praying that the world settles down a bit. If you’re like me, you may have felt an uneasiness with the global economy falling apart and all. I hope that as the calendar turns, things even out. But if 2009 is a year of turmoil, my prayer is that God’s people handle themselves well. I hope that you allow yourself to be attentive to the voice of the One who made you. You are precious to Him and a gift to me.


Much love to you all
Eric, Dixie, Isaac, Ethan and Jaylie

Eric’s blog: www.ericnlivingston.com
Dixie’s blog: www.lookaway-dixieland.blogspot.com
Email: ericdixie@yahoo.com

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Isaac



Isaac turned 8 today. It is so hard to believe that I am the mother of an 8 year old.
When Isaac was a toddler, I remember looking at him and, every once in a while, I thought I could see a glimpse of what he would look like as a grown man. But I never saw glimpses of the school-age time. I couldn't imagine what it would be like keeping up with homework and science projects and helping him navigate his ever-widening world of relationships. Now, here we are, right in the thick of it.

To celebrate his birthday, Isaac invited 3 friends over to spend the night (our first sleep over party). So he and I picked everyone up by 4 and headed to the bowling alley where my folks were waiting with Jaylie and Ethan. Eric got off early and met us there. We had a blast. Isaac had the high score with a whopping 102 and I lost. My score was pretty bad. I got a lot of gutter balls. None of the kids made gutters, however, because they put the gutter guard things up when kids under 12 have their turn. I guess they figure adults ought to be able to keep in between the gutters more often than not...they figured wrong in my case.

After the bowling we headed back to the house to grill burgers while the kids played. Everything was moving along real well until I went into the dining room and saw Gretchen (you know, the dog that I wanted for a long time and pleaded for and have tried to be so good with...that dog) sitting in a chair with her paws on the table, eating Isaac's birthday cake. It was half gone. Her belly was gigantic. I tossed (literally) her outside and threw the rest away then hustled off to the store to see what I could do. Well, it was 6:28 and the bakery counter had closed at 6 so I had no choice but to get one of the ready made things. I wound up purchasing a cookie cake (which Isaac loves) but it was decorated with red and green icing and said, "Merry Christmas" on it. I also bought another cake mix and frosting to redo his birthday cake that I had made. I got home and told him what happened. Isaac handled it fine, after all, what he mostly cares about is that he gets to blow out candles and eat something sweet. Eric smeared the red Merry Christmas words around to make a red background and then I wrote Happy Birthday with green icing on it. All was not lost. Gretchen laid around the rest of the night looking miserable. Serves her right, if you ask me.

The boys were all asleep by midnight and were up by 6:30 or so. Isaac had a great time and I think all of his friends did too. He has been blessed to have so many boys to be friends with and it is one of things I am really grateful for as well.

Eric and I couldn't be more proud of Isaac. We are thankful that God chose us to be his parents. We know the Lord has great plans for him.

Happy Birthday, Son.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

God bless us, everyone

Children's Christmas programs are almost as classic as the quote in my title. Ethan's preschool at our church had their program on Monday. It's a small group, but they sure had a lot of volume.

You may hear me laughing. In my defense, I was really unprepared for how funny it was. The song I'm posting (Frosty the snowman) was the first number they did and the kids were excited. It seemed like they were all singing different lyrics until the last word in each phrase. Anyway, it was hilarious and I was glad he enjoyed himself.

Here's Ethan's contribution to the Christmas spirit.


video

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy the last week!

D

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beeville

There are always flowers to pick in the spring

One of the hibiscus plants Granddaddy and I planted
Bluebonnet in their yard (This is TX's state flower for those of you who don't know)
Ethan in the front drive
The kids helping Granddaddy fill in some holes
More helping
Isaac playing in the wonderful Live Oak trees
All of the above pictures are from our week in Beeville this past March.



I mentioned last week that I wasn't sure I would post about my trip to Beeville for my Granddaddy's funeral. Well, I'm going to take a stab at it. This isn't so much about the funeral as it is the place where they live. Beeville is nothing to get excited about--really. It is a small, rather rural community that is about an hour west of Corpus Christi.

Last year my mom passed me the movie 'The Lake House' they had from Netflix. I watched it not really thinking I'd like it. Well, I watched it the next day too. Then I sent it back and that night, in the pouring rain, I drove to Best Buy and bought my own copy. I think that what I love about that movie (and what I love about my favorite series of books {ask me about those some other time}) is that it is a story of love that is not bound by time. I also don't mind that Keanu Reeves is in it:) Anyway, there's a part when the boss of Sandra Bullock's character tells her to get away from the hospital (she's a new doctor) on her day off and go to the place where she feel the most like herself. For some reason, I think Beeville is that place for me.

I mentioned early on in my blogging career that depending on my mood, my response to the question,"So, where are you from?" is either "Everywhere" or "Nowhere". Because my dad was in the military I moved every 3 (or so) years of my life. Continuing on into married life, this address here in Mississippi is the one we have had the longest. We'll have been here 3 years at the end of Feb. But throughout all of my moves, one place has remained the same: my grandparents house in Beeville. Down to the smell, it is the same. It is the place that when I have gone back to visit, things are in the same places. I know where the silverware is without having to look through lots of drawers. The toys that are in the closet out in the 'big room' today are the ones that belonged to my Uncle Miller and that I played with when I was little. It was very surreal when I took my 3 kids to Grandmother and Granddaddy's house before we moved here. It was my first time there as a mother. To have my children playing and discovering the same things that had had meaning to me at their age was just downright bazaar to me.

Before my dad got stationed in Germany (I was 6) we would each get to spend a week at Grandmother's house in the summer. After we got back to the states (when I was 9 and Jason was 11) we would still make the trek from North Dakota and then from Nebraska down to South TX to visit family. Grandmother's house remained unchanged. When I got into middle school, and old enough to fly alone, we got our week alone back. This is when I started going to Camp Bandina with the youth group from Grandmother and Granddaddy's church. I counted the days until it was time to go. I loved and treasured that time.

So I come back to that line from the Lake House. I think that Beeville as a whole and Grandmother's house in particular is so important to me because it is the one place that I can go to that connects my past to my present. When I was there at Thanksgiving, the feelings that washed over me were so immense. I was in the house that was (literally) full of people that I loved. Granddaddy's absence wasn't so tangible to me in the crowd as it was outside in the yard. He loved to be outside, puttering in the carport with all his stuff. He loved to be taking care of the yard and making things grow. I saw the 2 hibiscus plants that he and I planted during this past spring and I was just so sad because...because my Grandmother will move pretty soon to be closer to family and then my one place that has remained the same will be gone. Is that terribly selfish? She needs to be near to Mother or one of my Uncles and she needs to be closer to good medical facilities. I am anxious for her to get this new start. I can't imagine what it will mean to her to leave a place she has lived for 35 years. I know what it will mean to me though.

For some of you, you have deep roots. There are roots that are grounded in people; family and such. I am so blessed to have those kinds of roots. I have a wonderful family that I am grounded in. But some of you also have deep roots that are grounded to a place. I kind of feel like I have one of those, and it's in Beeville, and it will soon be dug up.

So, I hope this hasn't been too depressing to all of you. It is cathartic to be able to write my thoughts down and if you have a word or 2 of wisdom or encouragement, I'd be happy to hear them.

Thanks everyone.
God bless.
D

Thursday, December 4, 2008

More funnies

I realize that you're probably wondering why I'm so chatty all of a sudden. I have no idea but there keep being things I think are cute or funny that I want to remember so I figure I'll record them here. These may be random, sorry about that.

Isaac had his first basketball practice tonight. He's the tallest on his team. He is playing in UPWARD so he was so excited to come home and tell me that he got to talk about Jesus tonight at basketball.

I overheard him telling a friend that it is bad to write 'X-mas' because it takes 'Christ' out of Christmas. I asked him if his teacher told him that and he said yes. I love that a pastor's wife is my son's teacher at school and I love that it is ok for kids to talk about Jesus in school here (public school no less) Last year, they regularly prayed before their snack. It was all student led and initiated, but she did participate and love that.

When Jaylie wants to take a nap in just her undies she says she wants to 'sleep in her tummy'.
She also calls our dog Gretchen, Skretchen, for some reason.

I love that Ethan enjoys school so much and would like to go everyday but is consistently 'worn out' when he comes home. He always is grumpy and says "I'm just worn out. I need to go to bed."

I also love that Ethan has started to say, "You're pulling my leg!"

I love that Advent has begun and that my kids know what that means. They look forward to the lighting of the candles and the special time together. When we got the nativity set out today, Jaylie carried around baby Jesus and said sweet things to him in her high little voice. She thinks Mary is pretty.

I may have more tomorrow and I may not. Everyone have a wonderful weekend.
D

Funny Things

This was the conversation Isaac and I had on the way to school this morning:

I: Let's play 'Are you Smarter than a 2nd grader' How many degrees does the earth spin in one hour?
M: I don't know.
I: 15. You lose.
M: I didn't know that. I know how many days it takes for the Earth to go around the sun.
I: That's easy. 365
M: I know how many hours it takes for the Earth to spin on its axis one time
I: 24
M: Wow. I've already learned something today. Good job


I told Eric about this when I got home. He said you just divide 360 by 24. (Like, DUH why didn't you just do that?!?!?) Like I would have thought of it. I keep wondering when Isaac will realize he's smarter than I am. That age keeps getting smaller and smaller. I just hope I am able to teach him about humility before it actually happens...that and honoring your parents:)

I'm off to pick him up from school. Thank you God for my sweet son!
D

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Being Thankful

For those of you that don't know, my Granddaddy passed away this past Wednesday morning, the day before Thanksgiving. We left Thursday morning to make the long trek to South Texas for the funeral that was on Friday. Thank you so much to those of you who were vigilant in prayer on behalf of my family. He is going to be sorely missed but we also know that he is perfect and whole now in the presence of God. I wish I could see with different eyes to know how it is for him now.

I'd sort of like to tell you all about our trip and I may later on. Each time I've tried to finish this post, I just get bogged down in the details of everything and the emotions that were wrapped up in everything we did. Since I'm a talker, I will (and have been) talking to some of you about it but I may not spill it all out on this blog simply because I have no way of organizing my thoughts right now. Please just know that I am so very thankful for the family I have, both immediate and extended. It was such a blessings to be with my cousins and their families and my Aunt and Uncle and my sweet special Grandmother. God has put me in the center of so much love and I am so SO humbled by that.

Christmas is just right around the corner and I'm feeling the rush come on. As soon as our tree is up, I'll feel more ready for it I think:) Hopefully this weekend.

Much love to you all.
Have a blessed day
D

Monday, November 24, 2008

Prayers please

I'd just like to send a mass request for prayer out there. My Granddaddy is doing very poorly. Please remember the Morrow families in your prayers over these next few weeks. These things are always much harder around the holiday season. It's hard to get real excited about some things when you have a sadness hanging over you.

Thanks for listening.
D

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Finally

I can see that it is definitely time for an updated post. Sorry about the long absence. I'm sure the dozens of readers I have have been disappointed all this time seeing the same old post up there.

The truth is, I have had little to inform you of. I am beginning to feel that drowning feeling one starts to notice when the calendar gets fuller and fuller and you realize there are more and more gifts to get and the Christmas fund is getting smaller and smaller...On the other hand, I did fill up the van for $28 today. $1.66/gal!!! How 'bout that?

Next week the boys are out of school all week for Thanksgiving and I am so ready for that. I'm not a mom who gets a little tired of having kids home during holidays, mainly because Isaac almost never complains of being bored. Because he's kind of a home body anyway, being in doing game-y sorts of things doesn't get old. And they (all 3 of them) have gotten pretty good about getting up and doing their own thing and letting me sleep in the morning. Of course, this will be the first time we've had Gretchen during one of these holidays and she, unfortunately, seems to be a morning dog. We'll see how we fare. For those of you who have wondered, Eric is tolerating Gretchen very gracefully, and for that I am thankful. She has sort of broken out of her super-calm shell that she had when she first came home with us and that has taken us by surprise. She is very playful and uses her bark more often than we would like. She still does not bark at Eric when he comes home which is wonderful. She is trainable and we are working on things like jumping and stuff like that. I know that having a nice-mannered dog is essential so I am being persistent in the training. The kids enjoy her a lot and she is learning how to play with them in an acceptable manner.

I think that I'll stop now. I know this wasn't terribly informative, but I felt the need to touch base here. I hope you are all well.

Enjoy the season
D

Monday, November 3, 2008

Up to speed


Hello everybody!
I am back from our wonderful trip to Nashville. It is so beautiful up there in the fall. As I was loading pictures a minute ago, I was wondering why on earth I didn't take pictures of the trees and hills and things like that. The answer is because I never think of such things as they happen. I always am wishing I had, though.
This is really meant to be a short, picture-filled post since I haven't posted any in a good long while.
Eric had a long, I mean really LONG, week of school. While he was hard at work in the classroom, me and the kids hung out with my sister-in-law, her hubby Brad (when he was around and not writing with soon-to-be famous artists), my nieces: Audra and Carmen, and my in-laws. We had a great time. When we left here, Ethan was getting over a cold that Jaylie caught and got over while we were there and then Isaac caught a couple of days before we came home. He had a 103 fever when we got here last night. Needless to say, he's missing MORE school.
We had a great time trick-or-treating with everyone (except Eric, he was in class til 9:30 that night) The kids got lots of candy and the weather was great. One of the houses we stopped at had a snake lady (as in, she had a live snake on her head for the kids to pet. She had to hurry up and get back inside because one of her other snakes had apparently gotten loose!) Another house had 2 rather large (and very friendly) dogs answer with their owners. They were in costume. The giant Samoyed was the Big Bad Wolf, complete with top hat. We were followed for the first half of the hike by a friendly cat named Peter. It was quite the animal kingdom out there in Brentwood. What a WILD place!

Princess Jaylie

Ninja Ike















Spiderman Ethan
















I hope everyone had a great halloween. I also hope everyone goes out to vote tomorrow. I'll write more soon.

Blessings
D

PS: These pictures just crack me up. I find the outfit and the yellow dump truck a funny combination. I think you may have to click on them to get the full effect.




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This and That (and stuff like that)

I was just going to call this post "This and That" as a way of updating you but then when I was typing it, I was reminded of Tina Fey's interview on the Letterman show last week and it cracked me up to hear her say,"This and that and stuff like that."



So there you have it, the reason behind the title.

So I have been busy these past few days. Surprised? I sort of am. I was so hoping to not be busy so often. If I haven't returned any of your phone calls lately, it's not because I'm mad or sick or terribly scatterbrained, it's just because I can hardly fit in a decent phone conversation! AGH! I know my Dad never thought the day would come when I would be too busy to chat on the phone. Alas, it is here. Or at least it was, hopefully it is gone.

So, you may be wondering what I've been so busy doing. I am too. A lot of it is stuff at Isaac's school. I have been hard at work trying to get caught up on stuff PTO-wise. I think I'm about there. I also have had snack to make for Ethan's class and yesterday there were cupcakes to make and send to a fundraiser for his preschool. I don't think I left the kitchen until 1pm yesterday. I got there at 7:30 made breakfasts for everyone, cleaned up and started dishes and laundry, made cupcakes, made lunches, cleaned up, switched out laundry, iced cupcakes, laid kids down (including Isaac who was home yesterday on account of having to have 2 molars pulled...he was doped up on pain meds and didn't complain about the nap) and finally ate breakfast at about 1pm! CRAZY.

I also have been helping some sweet friends from my small group with a little redecorating at a house that our church owns and operates as a free place to stay for folks who are in town with a loved on in the hospital. That's taken quite a bit of organization...and shopping. I've decided I don't really like shopping! I really like knowing what I need, going in and getting it and going home. Scouring all over for better prices is great, but it wears me out.

Some of you may think that this doesn't sound all that out of the ordinary. I think what it is that drains me is all of the organization that has gone into several of these things. I am not a details person, consequently that means I'm not the most organized person in the world. (My mother, on the other hand, is the most organized person in the world...GO MOM) So when I find myself in situations that require me to plan and organize, it zaps all of my energy because my mind doesn't quit thinking about what I may be forgetting!

Anyway, we are all healthy (well that's not true I suppose. Ethan has a fever and a cough. Poor little guy.) The rest of us are healthy. We are headed to Nashville on Sunday for a week. Eric has a class that is M-F so we are tagging along to visit family. I am looking forward to getting away. It seems to have been awhile. Gretchen is settling in to our family. The kids seem to be better and better about playing with her. It takes them awhile (the little ones anyway) to learn how to best play with her. I will post pictures soon, I know I have been bad about that lately.

As the election gets closer and closer, people seem to be prone to freaking out. Let's try to remember that our security ought to lie in the loving Father who created us and not the guy in the White House. I know it's an important decision and all, but it is not going to be the end of the world either way. And if it was, well, that would be OK too, wouldn't it? Heaven is always a better alternative than living; even living in the USA.

Blessings to you.
D

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Madame Vice President...kind of

I am not talking about Sarah Palin. I'm talking about me! I have been real active at Isaac's school. When he was in kinder I was up there a lot in an unofficial capacity, helping in his classroom and in the cafeteria. Last year I was his room mom and the room mom coordinator of the whole 1st grade. This year, I was just asked to be room mom, which was fine with me; I was ready to let someone else coordinate. A lot of the PTO board members are friends of mine and wanted me to be on the board at the end of the year last year. I told them no since I still have 2 kids at home. I was hoping to put it off til Ethan is in kinder. BUT, my friend who was serving as the VP of Parental Relations had to step out of it because of having a lot of unexpected things happen in her life. So, I was asked to step in and, after checking with Eric and my mom (since she may be needed to keep children), I said yes. So now, instead of being just a room mom, or the coordinator for one grade level, I'm coordinating all the room moms in the whole school! I have been getting caught up with getting info packets to those moms and as of about 9:30 this morning, I thought I was caught up. But about 20 minutes ago I received a call from one of our 2nd grade teachers that her room mom has moved. Nice. Back to work I guess:) Next stop...the White House! This is how Sarah Palin got started, right? Since I will have kids at this school for so long (Jaylie will be done at Ann Smith in 2014) I may very well have a stint as PTO pres. before then end of that time frame...how 'bout that!

Also,

Some of you know that my grandad is fading quickly. Back in mid-June he had another stroke (his first was July 2007) or seizure that resulted in a fairly significant bleed in his brain. He spent 3 weeks in the hospital and was then (and is now) moved into a nursing home. My parents spent about 5 weeks down there (they live in Beeville TX, about an hour from Corpus) to help my grandmother. Mother is going back on the 18th for 2 weeks. Grandaddy is no longer able to do any therapy. His mind isn't in the here and now; he talks a lot about the past. All this is very hard to take anyway but Grandmother is having some health problems as well making it even more difficult for her to handle. I would like to ask that you remember them in your prayers. Their names are Gordon and Wanda Morrow. We just would like them to feel peace and comfort; for my grandmother to feel renewed strength as she cares for Grandaddy; for loose ends to be able to be easily--and quickly--tied up so Grandmother can move them to a location that is closer to family so she can have much needed help. Thanks.

Fall is on it's way to really being here. I am seeing leaves fall and it is definitely cooler. I LOVE IT. This also means I need to get on the ball about Christmas shopping! Very exciting.

I hope all of you have a great rest of the week. Treasure your relationships. Guard them well

D

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You're gonna miss this

I usually listen to KLOVE on the radio, when I'm not listening to Veggie Tales or other kid things. But last night I caught the last verse or two of this song. It choked me up. I watched the video on youtube so that I could see/hear the whole thing. It is so like me; looking forward to this or that stage in life and forgetting that where I am right now is precious and that I really will miss it. Those of you who regularly listen to country music probably have heard this already. But I thought I'd post it anyway.
Hope you are all having a great week. I'll write more soon.
D

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gretchen


After 2 1/2 years of not having a dog we got a new one yesterday. Eric has been pleased with not having a dog, and I haven't minded it terribly, until the last 8-9 months or so. Ever since Jaylie has been potty trained and talking and behaving like a little girl and not a baby any more, I have been ready to have another dog. Because I have a husband who loves me very much, even if he doesn't love dogs, he said that it was OK to get one a couple of months ago. So, I've been hunting. I decided on a Basset for the temperament and so far, it hasn't been wrong. Gretchen is so laid back. She's barked about 3 times since we've had her and that was at her own reflection in the mirror and at a stuffed horse in Jaylie's room. The kids love her. They are all at good ages to enjoy her without me having to worry too terribly much about someone getting hurt. We got her at the Humane Society and we're estimating she's just a little over 1 year old. She's not done anything at all that is unpleasant or negative. I hope she is a quick learner of the rules in our house. She is quite the lover and snuggler so we really don't think she has been mistreated by people which is great.

Here's a picture of the first time we met.

I have wanted a basset hound since I was about 13 years old. I had a poster in my room of about 8 or9 basset puppies having their ears blown around by a fan that I thought was so cute. We always had dachshunds growing up and that's what Jasper was--he was our first dog (only dog) as a couple. We got him as a puppy after we had been married about a year. When moved here, we found another home for him where he would be paid more attention to. We also didn't have a fence here and with a 6 month old I didn't want to think of taking him out on a leash with Jaylie on my hip all the time. Our house is on a fairly busy corner lot and so just letting him out alone would have been out of the question. We built a fence last March and so now I have that and a 3 year old instead of a baby. We're all set.

Gretchen is fully grown and weighs about 25#. She is pretty skinny and will hopefully be putting on some weight so that I can't see all her ribs. When she walks with her nose to the ground she trips over her ears which I think is adorable. She has massive feet that sit kind of in a V shape when she's sitting down. So far, she is just a joy. I'm sure I'll post more about her as time goes by but for now, the score has been evened out at our house: 3 boys and 3 girls!

Have a great week
D

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Picking Up

Now that we've been back in school for several weeks now, I can definitely tell that my life is taking on a different shape than it had during the summer. This is all very expected but I am trying my best to keep track of it all so it doesn't spin out of control and leave me frazzled. This is how my weeks look, in case you're interested Also in case you plan on calling at some point, you might have some idea if I'll be available to visit or not.
Mondays: Eric's off, Ike to school at 7:30, I spin at 9:30, pick Isaac up at 2ish...this is a nice down day
Tuesdays: Get Ike to school, take Ethan to school at 8:45, stay for ladies' bible study till 10:30, clean out/inventory hospital house closet til 11:45, pick Ethan up, go home, lunch, nap, pick Ike up
Wednesdays: Ike to school, Eric takes Ethan, tutor another 2nd grader from 8:30-9:00, spin at 9:30, playdate for J at 10:30, lunch, nap get Ike
Thursdays: Ike to school, NOTHING else planned, Ethan stays home
Fridays: Ike to school, Eric takes Ethan, spin at 9:30
I must say that I think I mostly needed to write it all out to see that it will indeed work. I know that I'm not nearly as busy as lots of moms I know. But I know this will be plenty for me. I like keeping one day free of scheduling so that we can relax or run errands or whatever. I also need to send a very public shout out to my WONDERFUL Mother who comes to my house every day (except Mondays) at 2 so that I can pick up Isaac without waking up my little ones. She also keeps Jaylie on Wed. and Fri. while I spin. I wouldn't be able to do these 'me' things as easily without her.

Our small group is doing a study on prayer. This last week was so great to get to visit and find out where everyone is in their prayer life. I'd like to pose the question to all of you reading. Given schedules like mine, and many more who are busier, how do you find the time to pray effectively and regularly? I feel like lots of days, most days, I have a running conversation with the Lord that starts, literally, when I wake up. I visit with Him during the day, in my quiet moments. Generally, shamefully, I don't set aside a certain time to be alone with my Father on a daily basis. Why don't I do that? How do those of you do that out there who keep regular appointments with the Lord? I really would like to know, if you care to share.

Everyone, have a super week. I'll post more later.
Blessings
D

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Leaving Church

At some point I run out of things to say about myself. I know, I know, we all thought this day would come much further on down the line. I'm a little surprised myself! But at least today, I have no news, no new pictures, nothing at all earth shattering or press-stopping to share. Your next question may be,"Then what am I reading this for?" It's a good question. I'm asking myself one like it,"Why am I blogging if I have nothing to blog about?" The answer is,"Because it's been a while!"


So I'll tell you about the book I've just finished. I just finished reading Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor. It is one of the required texts for one of Eric's classes at Lipscomb. It had flowers on it so I picked it up and read it. She is a beautiful writer. She has a great style and does NOT used short, choppy sentences, which I hate. (It is a book of non-fiction which I tolerate from time to time, but mostly I enjoy works (good works, that is) of fiction. I live a very 'real' real life after all, why would I want to spend my precious free time reading about other real life things...I prefer the escape of novels)

Anyway, Barbara Brown Taylor describes her longing to be set apart for God and that leads to her ordination as a priest in the Episcopal church. But after a long time of parish ministry she discovers that being set apart in such a visible way to serve others, keeps her from sharing the human experiences of those she proposes to serve. She winds up leaving church (not THE Church, she just starts teaching at a college instead of preaching (and doing everything else) at church) and finds that she still is able to serve God amongst the people, as one of them, instead of standing in for Him as His spokeswoman. In it she describes how her leaving church precipitates a real struggle in her faith as she finds out what truths are true and what truths have been passed down as a means of self-preservation of the church. She frequently references Matthew 16:25 that says:
"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."
Her point is that our walk is all about losing our life over and over so we can find it over and over. It can be dangerous when we get to a point of saying,"Now I have found my life. It is good, I'm all set." Losing your life implies a surrender that is so hard. But it is all bound up in the trust we should have in a God that is good. In the knowledge of knowing He will catch us when we surrender, when we fall, and set us back up with a life that is richer and fuller. Only to ask us to surrender that after a time, so He can show us more. Do we trust that much? Do I?

I recommend the book for those who are in a searching place in their lives. On the surface it may have the effect of coming off as advocating a 'non-institutional' church kind of slant. I don't think that is her intention at all. Her whole point is that church ought to be a starting point for folks to learn how to encounter human beings by being human, and to come to share what God is doing in the world with other human beings. It isn't supposed to be a place where people come to leave their humanity aside for a while and leave unchanged, at least not in her opinion.

I'll see if anyone feels like mulling this over and commenting about it. I will also get my camera out so I have a, perhaps, more light and easy post next time.

Have a terrific Wednesday!
D

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A few pictures

My kids arrived at around 4:15 and the little ones were wiped out. Even though they got home in plenty of time for a regular bedtime and everything, I am still going to keep the boys home from school tomorrow to let them catch up on everything routine-wise. The pictures will show you what a wonderful time that was had by all:

This is on the ferry ride to the island



I think they must have been looking into the sun

They went to Schlitterbahn Galveston and mother insisted that the little ones rest in the shade after lunch. Ethan actually did go to sleep.

This is Isaac prowling around with his face mask on. He's always busy when he's near the water
And this is a video of something that never happened while we were at Gulf Shores in July. Jaylie was too afraid of the waves there. It was much choppier than this and I'm glad she got over that fear for the Galveston trip.

video

So that's that. Stacycation for us is over, vacation for them is over now it's back to life as usual. Do y'all remember that song from 1989 ( I know it was that year because it came out the summer we moved to NE from ND) by Soul II Soul? That's my theme song for the weekend. (Yep...that's the kind of music I listened to in middle school...I know it's not pretty, but I was 13)

Have a great weekend
D

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ahead of the Storm

So yes, Eric and I have had a wonderful staycation. He's treated me like a princess! It's gone a little something like this:
Number of movies seen: 5 (2 at the theater, 3 netflix)
Number of days slept until after 10am: 2
Number of days woken up before 7am: 0
Number of restaurants eaten at: 7
Number of times the dishwasher has run: 1
All in all this week has been priceless. Thank you so much mom and dad!

In other news, my parents are driving away from the coast of TX as I write this (it's about 10:15) Wed. night. The resort people notified them of mandatory evacuations and they would have to be out by 7am. Since there is a ferry ride involved and EVERYONE on the island will be using it before 7, they thought it best to get a move on and go to Pawpaw's house about 3 hours north of Galveston. They'll stay the night there and then head home tomorrow. Yes, this puts a rather abrupt end to their vacation, but you know, that is just the way it goes sometimes. Besides, we can't have them being blown away in a hurricane or anything.

Also, my grandfather's nursing home is being evacuated (they live in Beeville, about an hour north of Corpus) and this has my grandmother on edge. She will be going on the bus with some other residents but my grandad will be transported in isolation because he hasn't had a clear swab following MRSA that he caught while in the hospital. Please remember them in your prayers.

I'll post pictures of the kids at the beach in a few days. My parents were great to send them all week long. They all had such a wonderful time.

Have a safe and happy weekend. Talk more later.
D

Friday, September 5, 2008

Staycation

My parents drove away with my children about 30 minutes ago. They are taking the kids to Galveston for 1 whole week! Eric and I are going to hang out here hopefully eating out every night and seeing late movies and catching a glimpse back on what our lives were like lo, these many years ago. We are looking forward to this week. I will admit, however, that I will be missing my kids in a couple of days. This is going to be the longest they have been away from me ever. I don't know that they'll miss ME at all, what with all the spoiling which is the norm for my parents, but I will be so happy to have them home next Friday.

In other news, Eric is starting back to school again this semester. For those of you who may not know, he's getting his Masters in Theology at Lipscomb in Nashville. This semester he's taking 9 hours which we're a little wary of since that's a full graduate load and he's got lots of non-school related responsibilities as well. But the timing was right for them and he though he'd be able to keep up on everything and knock out a big chunk of hours all at once. Here's hoping it goes smoothly.

In other, other news...I had a very long conversation on the phone yesterday with a sweet friend I have that I met in GA. She was a brand new Christian when we met at Steven's Creek and we hit it off with her and her hubby. Now, several years later, she is such a testimony to God's never-ending love and His unfailing promises. Sometimes (to my everlasting shame) as an 'old Christian' the newness and miraculous saving power of the gospel is lost to me. I am so thankful to God that he provided my friend to me at the right time to remind me how He is never done working; that He is never satisfied to leave us where we are; that He has good plans for us and will bring them into fruition, we just have to hang in there.

Y'all have a great weekend. I have a date with my boyfriend tonight!


PS: I just did the spell check and it said,"No misspellings found." This is a first for me!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Time Flies

Jaylie opened her presents today, Sept. 1. She isn't officially 3 until tomorrow at 12:45 or so but since Eric and my Dad were off work and Isaac was out of school we decided to open gifts today instead of making her wait until after supper tomorrow night. She got quite a bit of playtime this way.

So now she is 3. A baby no longer. And we have achieved an important milestone in the Livingston house: there are no 2 year olds living here anymore! Ethan turned 2 in May of 2006 and since about 4-3 months prior to that time (he started early), we've had someone in the midst of 2-ness. Those of you who have folks who are 2 know what I am talking about. I do enjoy my children, no matter what phase they are in, but the 2's aren't my favorite. I do think I'm getting better at enjoying the 2s but I am happy to be ushering in a new phase of life.
It always surprises me how quickly time flies. We have been in MS now for 2 1/2 years; Jaylie was 6 months when we got here--still nursing and napping, barely sitting up, bald. Now, she's still napping...and that's where the sameness ends. She's not only not bald, she has masses of curls. She's the least picky eater of the 3. She's funny and sweet and observant and smart and just plain wonderful.

I think every gift she opened today was either pink or somehow princess related or dress-up related. She is very pleased with her haul! I had to go re-arrange some things in her room to get it all in there!
Here's some pictures to catch you up. Happy Birthday Darlin.


Here she is telling us she's 3 years old
Here she is overlooking her bounty

Here's her cake that I made, nothing fancy, but she wanted princesses.

This is Jaylie on her birthday last year. ( I love this picture!)
This is Jayie (and me) on her 1 year old birthday
Here she is when she was brand new...I'm a little choked up now

Friday, August 29, 2008

3 Days Down

This is just a quick post to fill everyone in on how Ethan's first few days have gone. In a word: perfect. He hasn't been upset to go at all (much different than Isaac---it was 2 weeks before Isaac would let me leave the room without a panic attack, poor guy) Ethan is wiped out when he gets home. So far Eric has taken him in the mornings and brought him home at lunch (so he can get on his scooter and ride that back to work!) Eric says that he is super quiet in the car and just sort of stares out the window. It is only 3 hours but it is a much more structured 3 hours than he has had at home. He is usually hot and sweaty since they play outside at the end of the day. This makes for one tired kid by the time lunch is over and it's time for nap. Ethan is having a great time though. He sounds very important when he talks about school. He likes to inform Jaylie that she doesn't go because she' s not big like he is. When I was getting him ready this morning I asked him if he sees Bella Rose on the play ground and he said yes. "Do you play with her?", I asked. "I play with all my friends.", he said which made me smile. 'all his friends.' That is so sweet.

In other news, my parents returned from their month long trip to TX in the night on Wed. (1:15 to be exact; about 45 min earlier than the GPS estimated which is always the goal) They went to sleep but set their alarm to get up and bring Krispy Kreme donuts to the house at 6:30 to surprise the kids---they missed them a lot. They are going to be taking the 3 of them to Galveston for a week next Friday (Eric and I were not invited, which is fine, how often do we get a WEEK at home alone. We'll be having a STAYcation.) Anyway, my mother bought each kid their very own suitcase. Jaylie's is pink (of course) with green stripes. The boys saw theirs after school and were nominally interested and appropriately appreciative, but didn't turn flips or anything; it is just a suitcase. However, Jaylie's suitcase is now her favorite toy. She pulls out the handle and rolls it around behind her talking to it,"Come on. You can follow me." When she came into my room this morning, I could hear the wheels clicking over the lines in the tile in the kitchen, She then proceeded to take it upstairs (bump, bump, bump) and play with it there. It is really funny to me. I'll try to snap a picture of her with it later. Her birthday is right around the corner. She is pretty excited.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And He's Off


Today, Ethan had his first day at preschool. This is actually a first for Eric, too. He has never taken anyone on the first day. Yesterday, we went to the Meet the Teacher tea party so he could meet his teacher (obviously) and play in his room a little bit and see some of the other kids in his class. Before we left he was saying that he didn't want to go to school; that he was afraid. I talked to him about how EVERYONE is nervous on the first day of school and that he would have a great time and that Daddy would be right there the whole time. (In case I haven't clarified, he is going to the preschool at our church and his classroom is maybe 20 steps from Eric's office) So when we got there he was a little shy but did greet his teacher (Ms. Sara) and immediately went to play with the dinosaurs. There are 5 boys and 4 girls in his class. He didn't know any of them but his favorite friend, Isabella Rose, is next door (in a class with 8 girls!). After he had played for several minutes he looked at me and said, "I'm going to be good in here." which means he'll do just fine. It was time for Eric and I to go to the parent meeting in the gym and he didn't bat an eye. We were gone maybe 20 minutes and he was happy when we came back. We got him a Meadowbrook Preschool t-shirt that he is very proud of. On the way home I was telling him that he'd have music on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and he was excited about that. I told him he'd go to school 3 days a week but that after Christmas, he'd get to go 5 days and he said,"Yea, I want to go 5 days!" I was thinking that he'd no doubt do fine with 5 days a week, but we're easing him (and me) into the rhythm of a school day. I don't think I'm ready for him to be out every day. He was ready for school about an hour early this morning, he was so excited. I can't wait til he comes home to hear all about it. There's no stopping him, now!

So now, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:45-11:45 Jaylie and I will be hanging out doing girl stuff.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Blue Day

It's been a few days since I posted...sorry about that. Yesterday was a blue day for me. Do you ever get those? Nothing at all is wrong, I just felt slow and quiet and worn out. Ethan has an ear infection that I had taken him to the dr. for the day before. Yesterday Jaylie started a runny nose and fever. Isaac just got over a cold Wed. and Eric is now sick. I think I get to feeling overwhelmed at times and a blue day is my way of re-focusing somehow. Today I feel normal, which is a great blessing.
Despite feeling 'blue' I found a few very special moments that made me smile yesterday. Luckily, I got one on video and another in a picture. I don't know if they'll make you happy but it was sweet to me. Let me set the video up for you. The boys were playing marvelously (wonder of wonders) and I was making supper in the kitchen. I had Casting Crowns on (my favorite) and I heard Jaylie humming in the living room, so I decided to sneak in there with the camera and see what she was doing. It was really sweet to me...especially with the music in the background.
(pay no attention to the clutter on the foor)

video


This next picture is of Eric and Isaac on Eric's new scooter. Yes, he has decided that for the good of our planet (you know, carbon dioxide emissions and all that) he needed to get a scooter and start getting 75mpg! It arrived last Tuesday so he has been in the process of getting insurance/title/helmet/licence and all the things he needs to be able to legally drive it to work.
He's been driving it around in the neighborhood for the past few days. With all the speed bumps, it's not all that great but he is still having lots of fun. He is so cool!



Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Little Bit of Personal Trivia

I am a person who has led a fairly sheltered life. I don't have fantastic, amazing things that I have done or accomplished (unless you count my children, which I do). I'm totally pleased with that; I don't mind it at all.

There is, however, one fact about me that I think is fairly unique: I have never lived in the same geographic location for more than about 3 1/2 years. ( I take that back, I guess I lived in North Dakota for right at 4 years. But we lived in 2 different houses while there) The house that I have lived in the longest is the first one we had in ND (it was a 4-plex) and that was for about 3 years, then my Dad made rank and we moved into a duplex (luxury of luxuries!). The first real house that I remember living in was our house in Nebraska (I was 13), my parents bought that one because we were supposed to be there for 4-5 years. Later, when Eric and I got married, we lived in Searcy, AR for a while, then 2 apartments in San Antonio before renting our first house there. Then he went into the AF and we moved into military housing in Monterey CA for 14 months, followed by a 6 month stint (and another apartment) in San Angelo, TX. Then we went to GA. We rented our first house there and stayed about a month (there were tons of problems with that house and the landlord wasn't interested in fixing them...and I was in the early stages of pregnancy and wasn't inclined to be in limbo for a long time). The second house we rented we really liked. We had been told that the waiting list for on-post housing was over a year so we felt comfortable signing a 12 month lease. After getting all settled, 3 months later the housing office calls and says a unit is available so we move again (I was 6 months pregnant at this time...not much help in the moving) We lived on post for a little over a year and a half (Isaac came home to this house, ( another 4 -plex and really run down) When we had about 2 years left in GA we decided to try to buy our own house. It was beautiful and we loved it. Our very own home (Ethan was brought home to this house). We sold it in May of 2004 when we moved back to SA. We rented a house in SA before Eric got a permanent job there and lived in it for about 7 months. We bought our 2nd house (I was again 6 months pregnant and it was the middle of the summer and I was REALLY not a help in the move) that we loved even more than the first and intended to stay in it until we were old and gray. We lived there for 9 months (Jaylie was brought home to this house) ! Then came here to Jackson MS where we have bought our 3rd house and love it more than any other house that we have ever lived in. This past May marked our longest time at any one address in our 13 years of marriage:26 months. Here's hoping that we stay at this address for many moons.
I don't have digital images of all those homes, but I do of the ones we've owned. Here ya go.

336 Avery Landing, Martinez, GA
April 2002-June 2004
2606 Circle Tree, San Antonio, TX
May, 2005-Feb. ,2006
Ridgeland, Ms
2/2006-present

In case you're keeping count, this is our 13th address. I had 11 before we got married. We're really good movers!



Hey, I hope y'all are enjoying the Olympics. What has been your favorite parts so far? Mine has been when the US men won the 4x100 Freestyle relay. I couldn't believe it! So cool!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Politics

Politics

I have completed several posts now and they have been relatively easy to do. I mean, telling you about my family is easy. But up til now I haven't posted about anything tough. I don't want you to get the wrong opinion about me, thinking that since I only post about sweet, easy things, I don't struggle with larger issues...perish the thought!
We're coming up to a rather significant election in November. I had been thinking for several months that I would simply not vote. I haven't been blown away by either candidate. I think there are pros and cons to both. But the main reason I had decided this is because I don't think that the person in the White House has much to do with how I live my life as a Christian.
I got to talk to a sweet friend of mine who is fortunate enough to be living in France for the next few years. Heatharlyne always gives me things to think about and I guess that's one of the things I like best about her. She explained to me that Europeans are horrified at the apathetic view most Americans have regarding politics. She said that they consider it very irresponsible for us to take so little concern over what our country does when it effects the whole world. She noted a friend from the UK who was talking about our housing market slump. Very soon after ours tanked, Britian's did too. Our globe has gotten smaller and America is such a powerful country that for good or bad, America has enormous influence.
Which all leads me to seeing my previous view as rather self-centered. "The President doesn't really effect ME;I don't care who it is." Maybe this is part of my American-ism. It is hard to see past my own self. But here's my new quandry: Should I vote for the person who I think will keep America strong (because a strong America is good for the world) or should I vote for someone who will promote equality and justice even if that weakens America. Hmmm...
Of course, there's no way to boil down McCain and Obama to those two things but you see what I mean. If I can't figure it out I still may not vote...but I'm thinking about it more now.
Thanks a lot, Heatharlyne!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Relieved of Duty

Some of you may know that I began mowing the grass last year. Eric and I had just built our fence (that's right, with our own hands!) and I really enjoyed working with him. So I decided that I could help him out some more by mowing. He has pretty bad allergies and so lots of times, after he does the mowing, he sneezes for several days afterwards. He has never asked me to do it, I just started doing it. Anyway, I didn't realize that it is a pretty good workout. We have a corner lot and have quite a bit of grass to cut. So, I began to lose some weight from all the sweating (who knew that those things went together?!!) Another benefit of mowing if you have 3 kids is that the sound of the mower drowns out all but the most important noises. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Eric mentioned to Isaac that when he got big enough, he'd be able to mow the grass and earn some money. Isaac decided he was big enough right then. He mowed the side yard and most of the front before calling it quits. Sunday afternoon, Eric and Isaac went out to cut the grass before some rain came. After I got the little ones down I went out and this is what I saw:
I asked Eric if there was anything I could do...did they need any help? He said no. It looks like my days of mowing are mostly over. Isaac made $12. $10 for the grass he cut (front and side) and $2 for the pinecones he picked up. He has already calculated how many weeks it will take him to save $130 for a Nintendo DS if he mows once a week. I'm pretty sure we can't afford his yard service, but we'll see how diligent he is! Nothing like starting at a young age to learn about hard work and money management, right!

One other picture I wanted to show you. Last Monday, Isaac had 3 teeth pulled to make room for others to come in straight. We are so grateful to Steve Gandy (a friend at church) who made it super easy on Isaac. Here's a picture of his gappy grin.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

First Day Of School

I know most of you may be gasping that we start school so early. We got out on May 21, though, so the summer was still plenty long.
Isaac has been really UNexcited about school all summer. That changed on Sunday as he and I were heading up the stairs at church. He said,"Mom, I think I'm getting a little excited about school." "Great!," I said. Tuesday was Meet the Teacher night. Isaac was running ahead of Eric and I to the front door of the school, looking back, telling us to hurry up! He really was excited. Then it was so neat to walk in the door and see Mrs. Rigsby there (she's the principal) and she said,"Hello, Isaac. You have gotten tall!" She knows us by name and that is really special to me. This is our 3rd year there and it is a good feeling to walk down the halls and see so many that we know. We found his class. His new teacher is named Mrs. Pierce and when I saw her, the breath I had been holding was released. She's going to be perfect for him. She reminds me of Tina Wharton, children's minister at Northside, who is one of my role models. Isaac will also be going to another class this year called PATHWAYS and so we went and met that teacher. The first thing you notice in her room is a giant chess set. Isaac's face lit up and he went right over to it and started playing against himself while Eric and I talked to the teacher. It's going to be a great year.

Good luck to everyone as the school year gears up. Pray, pray, pray over these sweet kids as the venture off away from you. Pray for protection and opportunity for them to show the love of Christ to others.

Have a super day.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wordle


A friend had this on her blog and I wanted to try it out.
It takes all the words in your blog and puts them in this little design.
You can tell by the size of the letters how often you've used that particular
word. No surprise here, for me. I talk a lot about kids, I guess.

Try it at wordle.net

Eric

Well the timing worked out perfectly! Now that I've finished introducing the kids to y'all, I will introduce my loving husband, on our 13th wedding anniversary! Yep, that's right, on this day 13 years ago, I, at the age of 19, stood up in front of God and everyone and pledged my life to Eric, at the age of 18. This is how the story goes...(get comfortable)

My dad was in the Air Force and the summer before my junior year in high school, we moved to San Antonio. We had lived there before, back when I was ages 3-6. We initially started going to the same church we had attended back then but the fit just wasn't right. So finally, we visited Northside which is where Eric and his family went and had attended his whole life (practically).
Eric was a year behind me in school and we were friends. He went to a rival high school and sang in choir (like I did) and our choir teachers were friends so we frequently sang the same stuff at concerts (which we hated) Anyway, my parents and Eric's parents quickly became good friends as well and they started attending our LIFE group (which had several other teens in it). We remained good friends all through that year. That next summer (this is 1993, before my Sr. year) we began spending a lot of time with each other. We each had significant others at the time but mine had moved away. Towards the end of the summer Eric's folks were going out of town for several days for their anniversary (which is Aug 2. they just celebrated their 40th on Sat. Congratulations Jerry and Joyce!) and asked my parents if Eric could stay with us while they were away. They came back right before our church's annual Family Retreat that both of our families attended. So, we spent a LOT of time together---like every minute, it seemed---over those 10 days or so. While we were at the family retreat we kinda came to the conclusion that we were going to need to part ways with the people we were dating since we were very much focused on each other. All these years later, just writing these words seems a bit silly and juvenile. And maybe it sounds that way, we were after all, only 16 and 17. But as soon as we had broken up with the others and started officially dating, there has been no other thought of anyone else for either of us. I don't know if you are all rolling your eyes or not but it's true. I don't know how this kind of special love came to us at such a young age, but I am thankful it did.

Back to the story...I had always planned to go to Harding for college. Eric had, too, that's where is older sister already was, but since I was graduating a year ahead of him, I began to have some serious doubts about leaving. I had been accepted early in the fall and by spring, we were very serious about each other. So serious, that I couldn't even think about not seeing him everyday. I remember vividly, the conversation I had in the kitchen with my mother. I was helping her with supper and we were talking it all out. I told her I knew that everyone said that if it was true love it would be fine to wait a year and all that. But she said (it might help to mention at this point that my own parents were married at 18; they'll celebrate 35 years in Nov. and Eric's folks were 19 and 20) that she heard the same arguments when she and dad were graduating. He was planning to go to one school and she was 'supposed' to go to another. She wanted to go with dad. What she told me, what stuck, was,"When you really love someone, why would you want to be parted from them if you could help it?" So, I stayed home and went to school in town while Eric finished high school. That Feb. of his Sr. year, he proposed to me, I said yes, he graduated in May, we married in August and we were off to Arkansas (where Harding is) a couple of weeks later. Now, some of you may be asking yourselves,"how did they live?" Well, the answer is student loans! Eric worked part time at a bookstore, I didn't work at all that first 6 months which was a great way to start off. We had a little apartment that cost $315 a month but we thought it was wonderful. After that first semester, we decided to go back to SA to go to school there (where it didn't cost so much to go school) I started working part time at a day care center, I think Eric worked full time then, and that was that. We had been married 3 years, working part time and going to school part time when we decided to get into the air force. We knew then that we wanted me to be able to stay at home when we had kids, but at the rate we were going, we'd be 50 before we had finished school and Eric had a job that paid enough for me to stay home, so we saw the military as a good means to an end: free college and free babies. Eric went to basic training august of 1998; the only word I can use to describe how I felt is bereft. I had never been without him and I was so desolate. I was staying with my folks for those 6 weeks but I was pretty mopey. After basic we moved to Monterey CA for him to learn Hebrew (he was a Hebrew linguist) we were there for a year and then we moved to San Angelo, TX for 6 months while he learned the top secret stuff for his job. We left there in May of 2000 and I was newly pregnant with Isaac. We moved to Augusta, GA and were there for almost 4 years. While there, we had our 2 sons, bought our first house, and began to feel like grown-ups! After Ethan was born and Eric's 6 years were up we moved back to San Antonio---home---as we had always planned. It was very difficult for Eric to find a job. I talked about that some in Jaylie's post. The job he did get, finally, that allowed us to buy our 2nd house and feel settled, was a government contract job. We knew it would be going up for rebid at the end of the following Jan. but weren't bothered by that since most of the time, the same people get rehired with a different company if the bid is changed. Well, here I was, newly settled in a house that I really liked with my new baby and Eric comes home and says he thinks he may need to start looking for a new job...And I guess I'll stop there and tell you how we came to MS another time.
Eric is God's gift to me. He is my match in every way. Having 'grown up' with him it is neat to see the man he has become. It is true that marrying so young, I had no idea who or what he would turn out to be. I guess that's not entirely right, I've known who he is since I met him. But it didn't matter to me that i didn't know what he'd be, I just wanted to be with him and I knew that whatever he picked would be good and that he'd be great at it. Eric is good at everything he does. He is an amazing dad, he's the best husband. He thinks of me, and treasures me and I am secure knowing that he never, never would do anything to cause me harm or pain. He has a great love for me and it is so reassuring to know that he has loved me, fiercely, when he didn't know who or what I'd turn into. He actually thinks I'm better now than I was then, despite the weight difference or gray hair or stretch marks (tons of them). We've had a great 13 years and are eagerly awaiting the next 13 and the next and the next.
I'll gush more about him in the future. I just can't help it.
I just glanced over at his blog about me...it's not nearly as long! Go figure.
I love you Eric. You're the best.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jaylie

Toady I'll tell you about my baby girl, Jaylie. If Ethan was a surprise to my heart, Jaylie was a surprise to my schedule. Ethan was just 7 months old when we found out I was pregnant again. Eric didn't have a job. I had to go to the health department to get on Medicaid...talk about a humbling experience. By the time I was 4 months along, or so, Eric had gone permanent with a real company and we had real insurance. You know, you do what you have to do.
I remember telling Eric I had had a positive pregnancy test. He sat down and said,"I think I should get back in the military." This all happened in the months following his separation from the Air force, our moving back home to San Antonio and living off of our savings. You know how it's recommended to have 6 months of reserves set aside...well we needed almost 8. It was a rough patch and right towards the end of it, we found out I was pregnant. I was thrilled when we found out that at last, Jaylie would be joining us. She is wonderful.
After having 2 boys, the differences in Jaylie are staggering. Since she could sit up by herself, she has been loving on babies. She would hold them so carefully and talk in a high (higher than her real voice) voice to them. Now that she's bigger she is still a girly girl. She likes to dress up. She likes all things that are pink and purple. Jaylie is my shadow. She follows me around everywhere, mimicking me. She loves to help me with the dishes, laundry and when I'm fixing meals, she is sitting on the counter watching me. The boys never wanted earrings (hopefully they won't) or wanted to have some of my lipstick or wear my shoes around. It is just amazing. Jaylie's pictures look like me when I was a little girl except for the mass of super curly hair. Just as I never considered that I might have a red headed child, I also never thought I'd have a curly top. Whenever she sees other people (or pictures or dolls) with curls she says,"Look, she has curlies like me!" Jaylie started swimming without floats about a week after Ethan did. She is fearless in the water which makes me nervous. She has a cute little voice. Some of the cute things she says are cute because of the way she mispronounces them. Like instead of saying panties, she says peenies. The other things she does that makes me laugh is never to use the pronoun 'him'. So if she wants to sit by Eric in church she'll say,"I want to sit by he because I love he." Or if she's mad with Ethan she'll yell,"He won't let me play with he!" Jaylie and Ethan are very close. (I often get asked in the stores when we're out if they are twins) I think she will miss Ethan when he's at school 3 days a week t his year. I think she and I will have fun though, just us girls.