28 April 2011


Bedtime reading comes and goes around here...we'll fall out of the habit, realize it, get gung ho, fall out of the habit...you get the picture.

We just finished reading "The Magician's Nephew." It's the prelude to "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Kayci really enjoyed it and, surprisingly, Noble sat quietly through each chapter, as well.

Tonight we were driving, and Kayci asked a question about Digory. Noble gave a long explanation of how the gween and yewwow wings (rings) work: the yewwow wing takes you weft, and the gween one takes you back to your Dad.

That's not exactly correct--but that three year old remembered sone pretty crazy details about the story.

While I could pat myself on the back for raising such a smart kid, I think I'd better spend that energy rethinking the shows Daddy and I watch "with" Noble some evenings. The kid's obviously listening...we just need to make sure it's stuff we want him to hear.

Whose Child?

This morning was our last Bible study. As always, the conversation was exactly what I needed, and I wanted to share an image that has stuck with me.  

Leslie talked about how she pictures walking along a long road, holding her child's hand...and Jesus is at the other end of the road.  At some point, she knows they will reach Jesus, her child will let go of Mom's hand, and reach for His for the rest of the journey.  

Think about that for a minute.

Whose child is he?

Whose child is she?

They are ours for just a short while in the grand scheme of things.  In these few years, we are charged with equipping them for LIFE.  Loving them, guiding them, teaching them, nurturing them...nowhere in the Bible does it say we should make sure they are never unhappy and never want for anything.

Our generation has got that wrong, but that's another post.

As much as we want them to be little forever, they cannot.  And they won't.  Time marches on and all.

Lord, help me to guide these children to You.  And when the time comes, give me the strength to let go. I realized this morning that just as damaging as not holding their hands and guiding them along the path is holding on too tightly...and not letting go when it's time for them to go with You.

Whose children are they?  They are Yours.  Thank you for the blessing of these days when I can love them as mine.

26 April 2011

Bright Eyes

Today one of Bitty's fondest wishes came true:  she got glasses!  She has been hoping and praying for that for YEARS.  As a Mommy and someone who's blind as a bat, I got all choked up when she put on her glasses for the first time.  Almost 30 years later, I remember (at her age) the first time I got glasses.  I put them on and the world seemed so much brighter, colors were so much more colorful...I remember.

What a blessing it is to see the world through her eyes.  

23 April 2011

Matthew 6:25-34

My reading this morning was about success and kids...about focusing on good grades and worldly success when we should be equipping them to be the person God designed them to be.  Um, guilty!  It really hit home with me.  I don't foresee this being an issue with Noble, but man, have I missed the mark so much with Kayci!  So, working on that.  :)  One of the readings was one of my all-time favorite lessons from Jesus himself, about worry.  I bet you know at least some of it:

"25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?   28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:25-34

I cherish our time at St. Timothy's and our church family there.  The music still lives in my heart, and I hear Smitty, Dave, Sandra and the gang as I read various Psalms and verses that remind me of praise songs.  This morning's readings took me right back to St. Timothy's, with Smitty singing "Consider the Lilies."  We always sang a different version, and I can't find the lyrics anywhere.  Bummer.  Just sing the one you know in your head.  :)  That's what I'm doing right now...

Bitty considering the lilies...Easter 2005

22 April 2011

Good Friday

 Good Friday 2004

So many thoughts on loss (and eternal gain) this morning, but my blog has gotten to be such a bummer lately, I am just going to say one happy thing before I get back to my day:

we have no plans until Sunday.  None.

Do you have any idea how exciting that is??

I hope YOU have a wonderful long weekend, as well.

20 April 2011


This plaque hangs in Noble's corner of our living room. Jolie bought it for us, and we thought it was fun that it said "noble." It's been hanging there for over two years, and while I run across that verse often in my reading, this week it finally hit home (thanks, Lysa TerKeurst!).

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. 
 And the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:8-9

Lysa TerKeurst drove it home with this:  "Wherever you put your focus, that will become bigger and more magnified."  Wow--that one hit me right between the eyes!  Isn't this so true?  The more I focus on work, the more and more of my time and energy and thoughts it requires...the more space it takes up in my life, even if the hours don't change.  The more I focus on negative thoughts, the bigger they become until it's hard to remember what's good and true.  The more I focus on what's wrong with something, the less I can see what's right with it...you get the idea.

**Best of intentions:  this is how I started out this morning...detoured with a whiny kiddo at breakfast and got off track for a while...and now I'm back to sitting on the floor with my Bubby (taking a break!) and not worrying so much about where the day will take us.  I know there will be time later to get that work done...but there won't be time that he's willing to sit and play and talk with me.  :)

19 April 2011

Before and After

We go to the circus every year, so we have lots of these pictures.  But this one stands out, because it's the year the kids and I went with Lynn and Hannah (James was unable to go with us).  It's also the picture that defines a turning point in my life.  This was taken on July 22, 2008. It was the day I got the call that Dad's doctor had trouble doing a normally simple procedure and Dad needed to go in the next day for another test.  It was the day before Dad was diagnosed with cancer, but I already knew in this picture.  We all knew, I think, including Dad.  The test would just confirm it.

This was "before."  And "after?"  Well, "after" has been two years today.  Is this April 19th easier than last April 19th?  Yes.  They say time heals all wounds, and it really does.  But last week, catching an unexpected glimpse of my Dad in my cousin's wedding picture almost brought me to my knees.  You just never know, in this "after" life, what's gonna do it.

But it's not all bad--this has been a wonderful two years.  There have been so many more good days than bad.  Today I took some time and reread some old blog posts, and it feels good to know that I'm in a much better place today than I was a year ago.  Do I miss him?  Yes.  Does it hurt?  Yes.  Am I going to make it...are we all going to make it?  Yes.  Do I have more to say?  Yes.  Can I say it all right now?  No.  Will I say it all, eventually?  Who knows.  It comes out as it comes out...days go by when I don't talk about it at all, and some of it isn't mine to talk about.  It is, as we say around here, what it is.


We had a great weekend, and had a bonus day together yesterday.

Of course we got home a few hours behind schedule, and the closer we got to Brenham, the more stressed I could feel myself (and my Boy, who still had to go to the office) becoming. We got home and hit the ground running, hustling from taking staff appreciation invites to the school, to paying our utility bill, to helping a sweet friend paint polka dots in her daughter's bedroom. We went from there to Maifest practice to a late dinner...and came home just in time to put the kiddos to bed an hour late. Sound like your Monday?

And then Noble got sick in the middle of the night (cross your fingers it's just allergies, not a virus). We finished the night on the couch, and everyone got a good night's sleep despite the interruption.

I woke up stressed out, though, because I'd gone back to sleep last night running through my to-do list for today and tomorrow. You know the Mommy drill: trying to decide what's mandatory, what can be pushed back, what errands I can run (and when) if he really IS sick, predicting if I'll be able to go to work tomorrow...it's exhausting.

So that's how I woke up this morning--stressed. I tried to slow down my overactive brain and spend some quiet time with my prayer journal and Bible study, but I wasn't successful. By the time James got back from the gym, I was dressed and heading to Wal-Mart to get the rest of the stuff we needed for Staff Appreciation today. Then I buzzed back home, grabbed Kayci, and headed up to school to get set up. My thought is that I'll be able to take Noble and let him watch my phone in a corner...but if he IS sick, I wanted everything to be ready for the other volunteer today.

Add ice cream, and our ice cream float staff appreciation event is ready to go.

But that's not really the point, either. While I was rushing around and stressing, James was holding down the fort here, making pancakes and ushering kids through a belated Monday morning. He went from that to changing a nasty diaper to to rushing out the door, hoping to make it to the Chamber on time.

This isn't how our day is supposed to be, and whenever it gets like this I get so frustrated with myself for slipping back into my old habits and replaying my old scripts.

So, I quit. This is the text I just sent to my Boy:

I'm calling a do-over on my attitude & busy-ness & stress today...going to sit back down with my Bible and start over. Today's focus is the verse in our living room, Phill. 4:8-9. Seems like a good place to start.
Loving you big-enjoy your day, and rest easy knowing all's well here. The Bubby will be loved, the laundry will get done...it will be a great day, no matter what comes our way.

I meant every word. I'm sitting in the red chair with Noble hanging on my leg, watching Diego. I'm going to put my phone down and dive back into my Bible Study (Phillippians 4:8-9--how perfect for this morning!). When I'm done, I'll get back to laundry and unpack from yesterday...or play with my Bubby. But no matter what happens, I'm refocused and calm again.

Here's the point, if you're still reading: we CAN rewrite the scripts we play in our heads. At any point, we can hit the brakes on our stressed-out selves and turn our attitudes around. I am always going to be busy, because that's my choice.

Because that's my choice, I can't complain about it. I'm making myself accountable to you--if you hear me complain about being stressed or busy, call me on it.

18 April 2011


Saw this yesterday at Bass Pro and thought of my Dad...it's that time of year again.

15 April 2011

Packing Light

I'm a notorious over-packer.  I like to be prepared for anything and everything a trip throws my way.  Seriously...a 2 day trip for me usually requires at least 2 bags.  BIG bags.  So, when it came to packing for FOUR days for a trip to a state I'd never visited before (who knew what the weather would be like?  Forget that we have technology that can tell us!), with a small child who tends to make messes...I had a little freak out.  My tendency to overpack was at war with my rational mind, and I was picturing myself in an airport trying to lug 14 bags and a tired/sleeping 3 year old around (I knew by the time we got there, he'd be exhausted).  So...I bit the bullet.  I packed LIGHT.  One bag.  Really, I did.  (Well, two, technically since we put his car seat in a 2nd bag...but that's all that was in the car seat bag.)

The morning we left, James caught me walking in anxious circles around the house, and I had to fess up:  I was trying to picture four days without my Bible study or quiet time, and I was already miserable.  So, Captain Obvious came to the rescue and said, take your Bible, then.  Hmm.  I honestly hadn't thought of that.  The bag was full and heavy already...after all, I have a Bible app on my phone, I could have just looked up the verses I need.  Right?  Right?

Nope.  I have to be honest about this--there were YEARS when my Bible was put away.  YEARS when I didn't read it or study it or use it, period.  But once I got it out and, yes, literally dusted it off, it was like reuniting with my oldest, best friend.  There is comfort in holding it and flipping through the pages.  There are answers to my questions in there, words that encourage me and comfort me and exhort me to do better, try harder...live right.  It's so much more than just a book.  It's His book.  And even though it made my bag that much heavier, it was so worth it to have it on my trip.  I didn't even notice the extra weight, because it made my burdens so much lighter.

So the point of the story?  I finally learned to pack light.  But, I learned that I've had it wrong for a lot of years, and have been carrying around the wrong baggage.

11 April 2011

Suitcase Surprises

It's become tradition to stock Daddy's suitcases with notes and "happys" when he travels. I rarely travel overnight, but it turns out Daddy and Kayci continued our tradition. This trip has been great (time with family in a beautiful location), but a bit of a challenge, as well...the happys from home have kept me smiling and focused on what's important.

I discovered a surprise in Noble's backpack while we were on the plane, smiled and didn't think anymore about it. When I went to hang up my clothes at Pat's, I found this:

And later this:

And then a set of notes from my Bitty:

Late that first night, when I dug out pajamas, I discovered another piece of home:

And the next morning:

I'm looking forward to another day of memories and family time, but I'm also looking forward to hugging my Boy and my Bitty tomorrow. :)

10 April 2011

The Hunt is On

Pat was so sweet and bought filled Easter eggs for Bubby. Jacob was kind enough to hide them yesterday afternoon, which thrilled Noble. It took him a while to find them all, and led to hours of fun with eggs and candy.

I was a little worried about having a rowdy, whiny 3 year-old in an *ahem* older church. So I bribed him with another egg hunt if he would behave. Church went well, so we came back to Pat's and headed outside. This time, Noble wanted to hide the eggs for Jacob. Now THAT was fun!

If you look closely, you'll see that the Easter Bubby hid all the eggs together. In plain sight. On the ground. You'll be happy to know Jacob found them quickly.

09 April 2011

Flight 3096

8:00 we make our (okay, my) last potty stop...2 minutes from the airport

8:15 check-in goes smoothly, kids have fun weighing themselves :)

8:30 Noble cries when only two if us get in line for security; Mommy distracts him with a job

8:55 after days of insisting that we will fly on a blue plane, Mommy is relieved to see that our plane is, in fact, blue

9:15 we board the plane, and discover that 3 year-old Noble doesn't elicit the looks of horror infant and toddler ahead of us are getting; a gentleman compliments us on Noble's tattoo (Mommy's cell #, just in case)

9:25 plane takes off, Noble enjoys a blue ring pop and the view...wheeeeee, he says as we blast off!

9:35 Noble remembers Daddy & Kayci aren't on the plane and cries

9:36 Mommy digs out a happy Daddy stashed in Noble's backpack, a coloring book

9:40 Noble colors

9:48 Noble remembers Daddy & Kayci aren't on the plane and cries

9:49 Mommy breaks out Noble's phone, which Daddy has stocked with new shows

9:50 Mommy realizes Daddy will enjoy reading this and starts writing it

9:53 Noble orders a Dr. Pepper

10:14 snack time--Noble proclaims it "not icky!"...and continues watching "Mario"

10:22 Noble discovers something even better than space nuts: honey-roasted, sugar-coated space nuts

11:03 the natives are restless; Noble demands that the 2nd set of identical snacks be opened, Mommy wonders...again...what color baby clothes she'll be buying for Baby Turpin (Lynn's ultrasound was at 10:30!)

11:17 and, he's out...

11:25 the pilot announces that we're landing early in Phoenix; of course we are, thinks the Mommy of the preschooler who us notoriously grumpy when woken up from short naps...wheeeeee....

11:55 he sticks the landing!

12:05 surprise #1: it's raining in Phoenix! Surprise #2: it's cold--reeeeeeeallllly cold! Surprise #3:
We're neither dressed NOR packed for the weather.

12:30 with Noble properly--minus the shoes--attired, we are relieved to find the baggage claim AND both bags!

12:37 we're signing off to wait for my cousin (and our ride!). And oh, yes, Noble's crying for Daddy and Kayci again...thank You, God, for safe travel and answered prayers!

07 April 2011

The Empty Town That Saved the World

Noble and I had the BEST conversation after MOPS today. I asked him what kind of art he made, and he said, "oh, I just colored Jesus and some empty town."

I said, "oh, you mean his tomb?" "Yes! Dat thing."

So I explained about the empty tomb and where Jesus is and what it means to us...and my little knucklehead, after thinking for a minute, said, "Jesus wuvs ME! And GOD wuvs me!"

A few seconds later, he kind of chuckled and said, "God is my favorite!!"

He's my favorite, too, Bubby. And Jesus is pretty cool, too. So if you're having a rough day today, remember: Jesus loves you, and so does his Daddy. And you know what? You're HIS favorite!

05 April 2011

Good Day for Grace

+ his desk
+ a new bottle of glue
= Opportunity for grace
(and a good laugh)


A Little Grace

Grace is something I struggle with...a lot.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE grace.  It's by God's grace I'm saved, and I revel in His grace each and every day, all day.  I'm forever telling friends and co-workers, "give yourself a little grace," and I mean it.  But, as always seems to be the case, where I run out of grace to give is where I need it most:  at home.

It's easy to give grace when they're cute...and out of my way when I'm busy at meetings and such.

It's easy to give grace when they wait patiently while I drag them around with me at Warrenton.

It's easy to give grace when I look up and see how beautiful she is...breathtaking.

It's easy to give grace when we're playing around.  Most of the time--I can only take so much before I run out of patience.  Sad, but true.

Here's the kicker:  it's EASY to give grace even when she gives me "that look" or gets a little sassy, as little girls do...but often, I choose not to.  Instead I get grumpy when she's less than practically perfect in every way.

Let's not even start on the little knucklehead.  Luckily, I can laugh...most of the time.  The rest of the time?  I need to work on the grace.

I think about this all the time and I feel like I'm constantly working on it...and then promptly forget what I've learned and committed to as soon as something goes wrong.  But not today (she said, which shifted something in her universe and turned her children into hellions even before they awoke).  Today, I will shower my family in the same grace God offers me abundantly.  I will have kind words and keep the snarky comments inside.  I won't harp on how fast Kayci moves this morning, or if her shoes are tied to my satisfaction.  I won't fret when I take Noble out with a dirty face because he won't let me wipe it.  I won't nag James for tracking oak pollen all over the floor (like he could help it, but yep, my floors stress me out so I'm constantly griping about it).

My thought for today:

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1

Wish me luck!

04 April 2011

Walk the Talk

Yesterday morning I came across this quote in the Lysa TerKeurst book we're reading for Bible study:

"The only measure of what you believe is what you do.  If you want to know what people believe, don't read what they write, don't ask what they believe, just observe what they do."
-Ashley Montagu

This explains so well how I choose my friends and the people I respect...people who walk their talk.  And I strive to be one, as well, I'd like to think that goes without saying.  :)  

01 April 2011


I don't have anything of worth to share today, so quit reading now if you're looking for meaning.

Still reading? So yesterday we went to Warrenton...we usually go out there for a meal each spring & fall. I came across a pair of pants I've wanted for forever--and for only $12 since they're, you know, not the latest greatest anymore.

But still, I'm way excited about these pants, never mind that I have no clue what I'll wear with them. :)

And then last night I dreamed of shoes...the cutest pewter sandals I've ever seen. I can still "feel" them on my feet--they were crazy comfortable! Do you think I'll run across them out at Warrenton today? Hmm...

Happy Friday, friends!