11.24.2009

the boot


Today at 5:30 p.m. Davis pushed Ronin off the ottoman at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

At 7:30 p.m. Ronin and I took a trip to the ER.

By 9:00 p.m., we arrived home with "the boot" (the name given to the splint by Ronin).

For the worried family members, Ronin has a fractured bone in his foot, which his dad helped fix while at work in the ER.

11.16.2009

Halloween




I nearly forgot to post some pictures of the boys in their get-up! Happy Late Halloween!

11.07.2009

constant pretending

from: 3Nov09

This morning was gorgeous: sun shining, enough chill in the air for a sweater, and the most beautiful boys playing in the backyard.

I played with them, pretending to be a customer to D&R’s Bakery where I waited for my number to be called, picked up my cupcakes, and paid the “cashier.”

As kids, our imaginations take us to distant lands and outer space, but sometimes it just takes us into the future…of our own lives. Two of my best friends and I in elementary school would play “street,” riding our bicycles on the sidewalks pretending to go from work to home, occasionally pulled over by the police for speeding.

What is it I now do that is merely pretense for the “age to come?” A little reflection forces me to believe it is not my 8-5, rather it is the moments I laugh so hard I cry, love so deep I ache, and feel immense life that is even in each breath I take.

10.16.2009

music makes us linger

Our previous pastor said this last month when we were in Colorado in reference to letting our minds dwell on what God has said in the Bible.

Last night we went to a Waterdeep concert (ahem...my favorite band of all time), a guy named Justin McRoberts opened for them. His music and voice seemed so familiar to me, so we looked him up on Grooveshark today. After a few songs, I had complete recognition; I bought his CD years ago, but all my CDs have been stolen since then.

The more I listened to his music, the longer I lingered, an entire season of my life came back to me that I seemed to have forgotten. It was one of those times in life where not much is happening, an in-between-time. The music brought with it the feeling of being in my old '89 Nissan pick-up, when prayer was something constant to me, talking to Jesus like He was always with me.

As we get older, different relationships, situations, and seasons seem to bring a hindrance to the way we talk to Jesus. He is always there. May we be mindful enough to hold in tension the wonder of a God who created the universe, yet also desires sweet conversations with us.

10.12.2009

the unhealthy working world

I have decided one of two things happen when you become a part of the working world:
1) You rarely eat, therefore you lose weight or...
2) You never have time to eat, so you eat one or two large meals a day and gain weight.

This has led to another discovery: so much of life is about finding balance and doing everything in moderation. It is a sincere challenge to be a healthy eight to five working woman (who is also a mom and wife), but I'm taking the challenge!

working boy

We are now regulars at Waffle House on Sunday mornings. Most of the workers know our children by name, and our boys know several of the employees' names. Last Sunday, we let Davis pay; coincidentally, they keep the applications at the register.

Davis went straight from the register to me to tell me he really wants to work at Waffle House. The boys' favorite worker showed Davis how to greet people when they walk in, and it was only affirmation for Davis.

He walked over to inform me, "Mommy, I'm going to work Thursdays and Tuesdays, 'kay."

We had to discuss his schedule conflicts later in the car.

After a week of excitement about working at the Waffle House, he's decided what he really wants to be is a firefighter.

9.02.2009

a new definition of growth

Chalk it up to “Kids say the darnedest things” if you want, but a few weeks ago Davis let us in on something huge.

He said it like this, “Every time Jesus talks to you, you grow!”

He came up with this on his own, so we had to explain to him that this is incredibly true, but you grow on the inside; you grow emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Davis thinks this is one of the coolest things ever, and we do too.

I hope the next time your child makes a joyful noise for the glory of Jesus you will get just as excited as you did when he (or she) finally brushed his teeth by himself.

niceness goes a long way

Now that I’m in the world of retail again, I constantly see the true nature of people. Most times it is a little disappointing: people getting outright angry about a book not being in stock three weeks before class starts, customers without an ounce of patience for a new cashier, employees who think they should be paid without working.

The disappointment comes from both sides of the retail arena, but what I’ve found is when someone is nice to me, I feel much more at liberty to assist them in any way I can. The reverse is almost always true too: when I am nice, a customer tries to help me as I help them.

Pretty wonderful what a little bit of kindness can do.

this house

We are moved in, minus a few random boxes and whatever is left in the garage. Kevin did a wonderful job directing traffic for the movers while I was at work.

It is strange how accustomed we become to having our own space. Our time with the in-laws was great, but it is quite glorious to have our own place again. We are little farther south than we had hoped, but I’m sure there is purpose, which we have not yet seen.

At our first dinner in the new place, Davis looked up and said, “Ya’ know, I think this house is perfect.”

“Me too, Davis, me too.”

8.19.2009

C.S. Lewis Song

For those of you out there who love Jack like I do, Brooke Fraser wrote a song with some lyrics which are quotes from the great man himself. Listen, and love it.

8.12.2009

rock climbing



In the past couple months we have started rock climbing.  We first discovered how much we liked it at Trail West in early June.  There is a rock climbing gym here in Oklahoma that we've been going to ever since. 

We decided to take Davis, and he loves it too!  However, his favorite is the bouldering room, where he prefers to take his shoes off and climb the wall barefoot (look closely in the bottom picture).

7.26.2009

when I grow up...

We were driving the other day, and Davis excitedly declared to us that he wants to be a doctor astronaut when he grows up.  I applauded his choice, asked him some questions, and encouraged him that he can do anything he wants when he grows up.

Next, he looked at Kevin, and asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  I love that he doesn't think we're grown up yet, because he asked me the same question.  I hope I continue to keep some sense of child-likeness, hopefully not in maturity but in my sense of wonder and dreams.  

When I was very little my mom picked me up from Sunday School one morning only to find me very upset.  I explained how I wanted to be a star when I grew up, but my teacher told me I couldn't.  Angry with the teacher, my mom began to assure me I could be a star; if I worked hard enough I could be anything I wanted to be.  When I elaborated on how I love that stars get to shine so brightly in the sky, mom realized her error.  

My mom's explanation brought me to terms with reality, and I found new dreams and new aspirations, but the desire to bring glory to God simply by being what I was created to be has never left me.  Seems as though Jesus keeps teaching me that there are other ways to shine.

7.15.2009

a beautiful bride




One of my best friends, Jina got married on July 4th.  Ironically a day to celebrate independence is when she joined with Mr. Brian Cates in a union of two to become one.  She was absolutely beautiful, anyone there would agree.

7.08.2009

songs hold memories

It's good to remember.

David chooses to remember in Psalm 77:11 "I will remember the deeds of the Lord, yes, I will remember Your wonders of old."  When he does, he realizes, "Your way O God is holy, what god is great like our God?  You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your might among the peoples" (vv.13-14).

It's amazing what things trigger memories.  Today, while the boys and I were running errands, the song Letters From Home by John Michael Montgomery played.  I cried.  I fought the tears through the first verse and chorus, but as he kept singing, I kept remembering:  

milestones in our boys lives passing in his absence, sleeping alone for months and months, being nurturer and disciplinarian, writing letters and emails as often as I could, explaining our decision to everyone who asked, answering the constant question of how he was doing, keeping his parents updated the moment I was, and truly the list could go on and on.

As the song faded into another, I found myself in a very similar place that David did: in awe and wonder at the grace, power, and provision of Jesus.  During every moment of every day, Jesus sustained me.  There's no better place to be than in wonder at who God is and what He does, and that's why it's good to remember.

what's a sno-cone?



"What?!"  was my response when Davis asked me this question.  He's had one but it was probably two or more years ago.  Colorado does not have many sno-cone stands, but Oklahoma has one on every corner.  We decided it was time for the boys to have their "first" sno-cone.  

6.30.2009

working girl

I have always been in awe of the women who work and come home to be a mother (another full time job).  It seemed to me something I could not even fathom.  I have felt the challenges of being a full-time mother are just as difficult, only different.

Now I know.  I am experiencing the working world.  I have only been working for about two and a half weeks, and already my level of wonder at those working mothers has increased.  The place I work is great, the people I work with are great, my hours are great, but I am still adjusting and appreciating more and more mothers of all varieties.

6.21.2009

it works for me (a Father's Day post)

"For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses--as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.  (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son.  And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope." Hebrews 3:3-6

For many, perhaps most, God as Father is not a pleasant parallel, and because of this much of the Bible is difficult to grasp.  Through the work of Jesus on the cross, we are made God's children, and God is a Father unlike any other.

Many of us think that Christian service is motivated by obligation, and this might have been true for Moses, but for Jesus it was love, because God is a good and perfect Father.  

When I read these verses, they were illuminated with the truth and beauty of God's love and how it motivates us to service and faithfulness.  The analogy, the parallel, of God as Father works for me because my dad loves Jesus and has for as long as I can remember. 

Thank you, Father of all fathers, God who loves His children deeply, for Your graciousness in giving me a dad who loves You. 
 

6.15.2009

down at the riverside

The rushing river was the music in the background, creation the stage, rocks were our chairs, and while the Crew watched, God was the true audience.  Kristi was baptized on Saturday:
We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father
 we too might walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4


6.04.2009

photo gift idea

I made prints from my new camera for the first time ever, and when I went to Walgreens to pick them up, I saw a poster for  The Photo Trivet.

For those of you not familiar with a trivet, let me inform you: it is like a hot pad only made out of metal.  Maybe it's just me, but I think this might be a bad gift idea.  Perhaps people should consider putting someone's face on it they don't like: "Oh you, here, let me put this burning pan on your face!" 

Who knows, maybe photo trivets are the next big thing?

6.02.2009

glorious Glorieta

Ronin and his pine cone, he loved it
Davis really didn't want us to play volleyball
Davis and Brantley at the BBQ stand
Ronin and my mom dancing
the clock in front of the registration center at Glorieta

home inside a home

We are now living with Kevin's parents in Oklahoma.  Living with "the in-laws" for most is a scary thing, but our week here in mid-May really assured me that this would be a good thing.

For those of you who are familiar with the Bible, you might remember that Israel (beginning with Abraham) was blessed to be a blessing.  This is true for us too, we are blessed so that we will be a blessing to those around us.  

So as we make our home inside of a home that already exists, that is alive and is actively being a blessing to people already; I hope our family will be a blessing to Kevin's parents and to those that come in and out of this place.  Not because we are amazing, but because of God's grace. 

5.27.2009

hard to say goodbye

This week will be our last in Colorado.

Tomorrow the movers will come and pack our things and Friday everything gets loaded onto a truck and heads to Oklahoma.

I have never known a parting to be so bittersweet.  The friends we have made here are like family to us and like aunts and uncles to our children (you should have heard the boys' excitement when they saw them on Monday).  Saying goodbye to them will be one of the hardest things we have had to do.

It is an absolute blessing knowing the majority of the 365 days of the year will be spent with my husband and seeing him grow in his relationship with his sons (and me) because we are no longer in the Army.  Being near family again will also be a huge blessing.

I'm left feeling thankful: the closeness of our Colorado family gives me confidence that distance will not destroy the friendships and for what the future holds for us in Oklahoma, though we're moving back, it seems like a brand new place.

5.18.2009

let the picture-taking begin

this is my favorite one
watching Daddy play Wii 
at McDonald's

Italian Cream Cake

I mentioned briefly that I received a Nikon D40 for my birthday.  I have teased Kevin that it is my new necklace.  Here are a few of the pictures that I have taken that I actually like.

the best birthday ever

I turned 27 last Friday.  Celebrating took place on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday!  First, the Colorado crew went to Mr. Biggs to celebrate with go-carts, laser tag, bumper cars, and some TGI Friday's where Emily showcased her amazing voice at the unexpected karaoke night.  We didn't take the boys and instead we were the ones running everywhere playing games and having fun.

Friday night my mom made my birthday dinner wish list: grilled chicken (a.k.a. chicken cooked outside), tortellini alfredo with homemade sauce, asparagus, Italian Cream Cake, and coffee punch.  Excellent food + my wonderful family (minus a few members) + a fun game of Taboo + a Nikon D40, the present I've always wanted = wonderful birthday celebration #2.

Sunday night, Kevin and I met up with some long-time Oklahoma friends at a pizza place called Sauced where we waited an hour for our pizza.  During that time, we had good conversation and my friend's toenail got ripped off (crazy times).  Again, another memorable birthday time.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you to all of you who made the day and the weekend so incredible!!

5.12.2009

doctor Daddy

One of the boys' favorite activity lately is taking a bucket, putting it at the end of the couch, and doing a roll-over onto the couch.  

Ronin has realized that with the help of the bucket he can actually stand up on the arm rest.  This is, as you can imagine, a little dangerous.  He continued to experiment with ways he could mount the couch.

One of his experiments led to a fall from the arm rest to the floor.  He must have landed on his hand funny because his middle finger swelled up and he cried with tears (which is unusual for him).  After a few minutes of playing he would cry again from the pain.  Eventually, Kevin's medical training proved to be very beneficial.  He taped up Ronin's fingers and Ronin felt much better.  Thank you, Daddy.

5.08.2009

a Mother's Day post

I have now been a mother for almost five years.  In those five years I have learned a lot simply by practice.  However, I probably learned most how to be a mother from my own, during the eighteen years I was home.  Here are a few:

1.  It's better to be a parent than a friend.
2.  Rules create responsibility and responsibility produces maturity.
3.  Each child is different and necessitates different discipline.
4.  It is important that a mother love father more than her children.
5.  And that she love Jesus more than him.
6.  Let your children take risks, but be close by.
7.  One of the goals of parenting is to inspire independence.
8.  Truly, there is no greater joy than to see your children walk in Truth.
9.  Teach your children the Bible more than you teach them numbers or the alphabet.
10. It is good to laugh and not take yourself too seriously.
11.  Always respect and honor your husband, it has an effect on children-lifelong.
12. Love your children and value them for their uniqueness.
13. Share in your children's excitement, and sympathize in their sadness.
14. Listen.  And they will return the favor.
15. It is an absolute joy to be a mother.

I could probably go on and on.  Thank you, Momma, for teaching me how to be a mother without even knowing.  You have made me a better mom.

disappointing diapers

I am a fan of Target diapers.  They come in a pack of 80 for just $13.99.  They work better than Pampers (in my opinion) and are a much better deal.

That is until yesterday.  I went to Target for the usual pick-up of the jumbo box only to find they were no longer there.  Instead I found this box:
I'm going to assume the "up & up" on the box is indicating the price, because there are now only 70 diapers in the box, but the price is still at $13.99.  If that wasn't enough, the design of the diaper is now a polka dot decoration that is the same front and back.  The old design was another perk of Target diapers (see Abraham's post) because you could easily tell the difference between front and back.  You may think this isn't a big deal, but on more than one occasion I picked up my boys with their diaper on backwards (courtesy of Grandpa).

5.07.2009

weeds are wonderful

Davis was playing outside today and he rushed in with a dandelion in his hand.  He quickly assured me that he was not done playing, but wanted to give me this flower for Mother's Day.  I received a kiss and a hug, then he was out the door.


5.06.2009

creativity from the cradle

From very early on Davis has demonstrated his creativity.  This morning was no different, he stood at his easel, red dry erase marker in hand, looking at what he had created so far.  

"Mommy, do you like it?"  I told him I did, and I was being sincere.  

We were made to be creative, but too many of us abandon it when we start "real life" or we abandon it because we think we have no talent.  It is good for the soul to make, to paint, to create, to exercise our imaginations.  

Start small, go color with your kids, niece, nephew, neighbor, or friend, but keep exercising your creativity (in different ways) and maybe you'll find yourself at an easel, standing back to see what you've made.

5.05.2009

mothers are multi-taskers

Someone told me the other day that I'm not quite as good of a multi-tasker as I once was.  This came as quite a surprise to me, and for a moment I believed them.  Until I gave it some more thought.

In reality I am doing so many things during every moment of every day that I cannot add some of the things I once could.  All day every day, I am listening to two boys being attentive to each word: to possibly correct, to laugh, to encourage, to teach.  I am watching two boys: to make sure they don't hurt themselves, hurt each other, or break anything.  I am cleaning: their toys, their messes, their scrapes and cuts, our plates, our clothes.  

I am doing my best to love my husband in a way that my children can see it (even when he is not there) and to love my children in such a way that they see the love of Jesus.  There's no weekend to being a mother; the job just keeps right on going.

So Mothers, be encouraged, you are multi-taskers and you're probably pretty darn good at it.  

5.04.2009

shout out to the Crew

Last night our Bible study group met.  We are more than a Bible study group though, we are more like family.  Our days here in Colorado are getting shorter and shorter, so time with them is precious.  Unintentionally, they each encouraged and affirmed us more than we could have ever asked.  Emily, Gary, Hailey, Joanna, Kristi, Levi, and Tony, we love you and appreciate you more than you will ever know. 

4.28.2009

like father, like son

Kevin was listening to a sermon online, amidst everything else that was going on in the living room, when the speaker said something that really got his attention.  He rushed to grab his Bible and opened it up to the account of Noah in Genesis.  

Davis was only moments behind him, picking up his Bible and sitting on the couch right next to Daddy with as much anticipation as Kevin had.  Davis sat there just as enthralled, as if he were soaking in the teaching too right along with his Daddy.

an end (of the Army) is coming


Some days we are thrilled to be in the process of separating from the Army, but days like today make me think they do everything they can to keep you in.  While today was primarily frustrating, we had two huge trunks full of blessings.

Kevin picked up two trunks (and I do mean trunks, they are about 5x2x3 ft.) today full of the things people had sent him during his fifteen months in Iraq.  Cards from people that are close to us who had encouraged him, pictures from his parents and from me, and some unused gift cards because the internet connection was so sparse in his last months.  

If it wasn't enough for the trunks to be full of great memories, books, and pictures, the boys loved playing on them.  

4.22.2009

meeting Dave Cullen

Flushed cheeks gave away my nervousness.  You might say he's just a writer, but a published, best-selling author is not just a writer.  The written word seems to be decreasing in value, and the internet is taking the place of all publications.

Cullen is a success.  He wrote Columbine, and the success is not that he managed to get it published, but that the book is connecting with people, engaging people in a traumatic event years later, and answering questions so many have wondered.

I had the wonderful opportunity of sitting face to face with him, while he signed copies of his book, and listen intently as he answered my questions about the writing process.  I left encouraged, educated, and inspired to press on in writing my book. 

Thank you, Dave.

4.20.2009

handsome boys



Since it was snowing on Easter, the boys didn't get to wear their new Easter clothes until yesterday.  Here they are looking incredibly handsome. 

4.18.2009

more cookies, please

Tonight after the boys had finished their dinner, I gave them some cookies.  Davis finished first, so he was motivation for Ronin to eat quickly.

I gave Ronin his cookies, but had to hide some of them because he was eating them so fast.  He ate them with such delight and speed, he promptly asked for more when they were gone, "Mommy, more cookies?"

I looked at him and said, "The cookies are all gone."  Kevin was sitting at least twenty feet away when Ronin asked (with no regard for my response to him), "Daddy, more cookies?"
 

4.17.2009

our mid-April snow day

Yes, it's the middle of April and yes, winter is technically over.  But in Colorado, I'm not sure winter is ever officially over.  Today is proof:

Three hours later I took a picture of our snowman, and the snow was already melting.


napping in strange places

Did you ever want to do something silly as a kid, but it seemed amazing to you at the time?  When I was in fourth grade, I had this notion that it would be so cool to sleep in my closet.  I convinced my mom to let me make my bed in there for one night.  And it was everything I had dreamed.

A couple days ago, Davis needed to take a nap (if you remember, he's a non-napper now), and he asked if he could take a nap behind the chair, a cozy little place where he and Ronin play often.  At first, I thought it was pretty ridiculous, but then I remembered my own silly ideas and said yes.  

4.16.2009

ACAP-ing

For those of you who haven't heard, here's a news flash:  we are getting out of the Army.  I can say with sincerity it has been an adventure, I am different now than I was before, and the Army has taught us valuable lessons.  

That said, I am looking forward to non-Army life.  It officially began today with Kevin's appointment with the ACAP (Army Career and Alumni Program, I know 90% of you were wondering).  

It should be pretty crazy around our house for the next month, so we would love your thoughts and prayers as we make this transition.  

4.13.2009

we eat hot dogs too

A dear friend called me today during her drive-time because her other time is pretty well occupied.  She asked what I was doing, I told her I was fixing dinner, she asked what, I told her: teriyaki chicken, zucchini, red peppers, and onions.  

To which she responded, "We're having hot dogs, you just put me to shame."  

Sometimes, it's a hot dog kind of day.  

Ronin's squats

Since potty training time is coming soon, I thought I would see if Ronin could take off his own pants when we were changing into pj's.  The result ended in him doing some pretty decent squats. We might have been a little too encouraging; now, you can just ask him to do squats and he starts right away.  Sorry you have to tilt your head to watch it. 

video

4.09.2009

food just tastes better

When someone else makes it.  Why is that?  Think about for a minute, even if you make yourself the same thing that someone else makes for you, it just tastes better when someone else does it.  

You can take it a step further: it tastes even better when it's free.  Possibly the best combination is free food that someone made for you.  This is always true when I visit my parents' house: when my mom makes me breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it tastes so good.  

On Monday morning Kevin made me breakfast, and it was de-lic-ous.

4.08.2009

yessir!

In the past week, if you ask Ronin to do something he responds with an excited, "Yessir!"  Sometimes it comes out a bit more serious than that, but always, the slurred together, yes and sir, as if they were one word.  It makes us smile every time.   

4.02.2009

the little cowboy


Grandma and Grandpa blessed us last weekend by taking care of the boys while we went to Lubbock and visited some friends.  We met up with them in Amarillo at the Big Texan.  They gave cowboy hats to the boys, and Davis was thrilled!  He's giving his best serious cowboy face here, pretty convincing if you ask me.

in the garden...er, mom and dad's room

Ronin is officially a big boy, the crib has been taken down.  He has been successfully sleeping in the bottom bunk for three nights now.  However, last night, was a little challenging.  

Davis was playing watchdog and came down to tell us that Ronin was no longer under his covers.  The problem is obvious: to know this, he had to be out of bed himself.  Moments later, I went upstairs to check on the boys.  As I reached the landing upstairs, I saw Davis run into our room and hide.  

Thousands of years later and essentially nothing has changed.  The moment Adam and Eve knew they had done wrong, they hid themselves.  Our son did the same thing.  He even hid in our room!  How silly, and how silly were Adam and Eve to hide in "God's room" as if He would not find them.

When we hide the discipline or the sacrifice is going to be worse.  Because the truth is, you can't hide.

3.13.2009

Ronin's new found love of reading

Ronin has in the past three weeks developed a love of reading books that was non-existent before.  He would barely sit still for one book, definitely not three or four.

He must be growing up.  That and he loves spending time with his Daddy.  He could sit with Kevin all day and let Daddy read to him.  I watch in awe because even when I read to him, he gets tired, goes away, and plays.  

He has found the key to his Daddy's heart though.  Just when Kevin is exhausted with the book reading, and puts Ronin down,  Ronin goes and finds the "Jesus Loves the Little Children" book.  He brings it to Kevin, holds it up in front of his face and says, "Read Jesus."

Kevin can't resist.

3.12.2009

because

"because" is always
an unfinished
answer

because you have to 
fill in the blank 
yourself

"because" in love
is always the wanted
answer

because it implies
everything and anything
at the same time

"because" in childhood
is required to be
sufficient

because your parents
won't give you the
full answer

"because" in a fight
stirs confusion or
anger

because the emptiness
after brings no
resolution

"because" is one 
pretty amazing 
word

because it can
accomplish so
much

why would you write
all this about
"because"

the answer you must
know is, of course:
because.

3.10.2009

peeing like i'm pregnant

But I am most definitely not pregnant.  

Davis got sick a couple weeks ago, then Ronin, then me.  My head felt like it was the size of a hot air ballon and the pressure was so immense that I finally went and saw the doctor.  

She gave me amoxicillin for the apparent sinus infection that I have and also gave me benzonate pearls for the nasty cough that's been keeping Kevin awake for a week now.  The only requirement for the pearls is that I have to drink lots of water.  

So much that I feel like I am constantly going to the bathroom.  I haven't frequented the bathroom like this since I was pregnant with Ronin.  

Maybe I should be drinking more water.

3.05.2009

another round (back patio pics)






Upon Alissa's recommendation I thought I would post a few more pictures.  Enjoy.

3.04.2009

photo shoot on the back patio





These are just some of my favorites, there are quite a bit more.

a good ol' back scratch

Ronin got sick around Friday or Saturday and during one of his sick nights, he awoke unable to get himself back to sleep.

Lately, he enjoys expressing his independence...a lot.  Apparently even in his sickness, he must maintain this.  I went in and picked him up to console him, but he wouldn't have it.  But he also did not want me to just leave him there.  

We eventually settled with him standing up in the bed, holding onto me with one hand and to the crib with the other and me scratching his back in a half hug.  After a minute or two of this, I asked him if he would lay down and I would scratch his back.  This was also okay with him, he laid down asked for his blankie, I scratched his back a little more and he drifted right back to sleep.

2.27.2009

between grass and sky

Our friends at In the Hedges recently posted an entry about Andy's involvement in a cowboy poetry project.  It is incredibly well done and was displayed at the Nevada Museum of Art.  If you appreciate art, literature, or poetry you will appreciate this (Watch the video).

i wanna be a ranger

Last night I came home to find Kevin and Davis watching a show on the military channel about Army Rangers.  Perhaps the coolest thing for Davis was that he saw the chinook in action.  He received a toy one for Christmas from Grandpa.  

Kevin had told him about riding in one himself while in Iraq and then Davis saw the Rangers riding around in them.  

This morning Davis was talking to Kevin about the helicopter and Kevin asked if he remembered what that particular one was called.

"A chipmunk," he said confidently.  We both laughed and then corrected him, "a chinook."
"A chinook, right," Davis said.

By this afternoon, Davis decided that he wanted to be an Army Ranger.

2.23.2009

a monster moved in

The first morning Kevin was home, he woke up early and whispered to me, "Do we have stuff that I could make myself breakfast?"

"Yeah, we've only got two eggs, but you could make yourself an omelette with those."
"I usually have either four fried eggs or a four-egg omelette."
Now wide awake, "Oh my gosh!"

It was a pretty serious shock to my system to realize (again) just how much a man eats. He had refrained from telling me at that point that he also usually has 4-6 strips of bacon with those four eggs.

home again, home again

On Tuesday, February 17, something amazing happened. Kevin's flight arrived on time and the welcome home ceremony was only delayed 30 minutes. What is even more amazing is that the date I received a week out was indeed the day he came home. If you know anything about the military, you know that this is a miracle.

The ceremony was wonderful because it lasted perhaps a total of two minutes. The Colonel thanked the families for what they had done during the tour and then released the soldiers.

It was chaos. Imagine 200 Soldiers scattering in a gym full of hundreds of family members. Kevin found us. Davis hugged him, I hugged him and kissed him and kissed him again and again. Ronin went right to him and the first thing he did was touch his head and say, "Hair?"

For the rest of the day and several days that followed, Ronin kept saying one thing over and over again:

Daddy, home.

2.16.2009

jar jar binks, anyone?

Last night after two successful hours of Ronin being in the big boy bed, I decided to be brave and take a bath. I left the door cracked so I could hear him, just in case. As I was just about ready to get out, I heard him crying. So with cat-like speed I was out of the bath and dressed, I opened the door and saw him: Ronin was standing in the middle of the hall with squinty eyes, holding the Jar Jar Binks (Star Wars) book, and looking at me very confused.

I took the book and told him it was still night time and put him back in bed. However, around eleven o'clock he woke up again convinced it was time to get up. For now, it's back to the crib for night time sleeping!

2.14.2009

on valentine's day

in honor of my valentine:

i still sleep on one side
as if his presence is there
when i'm finally asleep

for fourteen months

i still look over,
imagining him there
hearing our conversations

for two Christmases

i still find in myself
the desire to tell him first:
tiny but exciting details

for four birthdays

i still think he's an
amazing, honorable,
courageous, godly man

for five years

i still love him like
i did that warm august,
but deeper still

for six summers

i still laugh when
he makes silly jokes and
says okie doke artichoke

from 16 to 26

i still ache for his
nearness no matter
how many times he leaves

for four years

i still am amazed at the
goodness and graciousness
of a sovereign God

for life

2.13.2009

big boy in a big bed

I felt like today was the day. The day for Ronin to sleep in the bottom bunk of those famous bunk beds. So I laid him down with his regular blankie and stuffed animal, and he went right to sleep. Amazing!

2.11.2009

Jesus in the tube

Today we spent quite a bit of our day at the hospital, so I could get a shot. We were all over the place: in our clinic, at the lab, and then to the Carson Care Clinic where they actually administer the shot. But before the shot, it's the waiting room.

There was a 19 month old with a feeding tube, and the nurse was explaining the tube to Davis. He asks her, "Have you heard about Jesus and the tube?" My mind went into overdrive...tube...tube...what could he be talking about? And it hit me, tomb. I say to him and the nurse, "tomb, I think you mean tomb."

With that, Davis continued, and the nurse asked questions. He told her how he died on the cross and the people put nails in his hands and his feet. She asked why he died, and he told her it was to save everyone. She asked specifically for who, for Jacob (the boy with the feeding tube), for her, for Ronin, for me, for Jacob's mommy? Yes, for all of them.

In the fifth floor waiting room, my son told this nurse the gospel. She responded with enthusiasm and even encouraged him as she was leaving, "Keep telling people about Jesus!"

2.06.2009

davis the scholar


Davis wanted to write to Kevin, so I put him in my lap and let him pound away at the keyboard. He loves it when I make words out of the craziness that he types. After he was finished typing, I asked if there was anything he wanted me to type for Daddy. This is what erupted from our four year old:

cow makes a noise
man makes a pan into a word
he puts the blinds up to fix 'em
he bakes the blinds in the oven

he puts a pillow in the telescope
and the chair is on his doorbell
the cow eats grass under mud
he makes the cow into a bad guy

Sounds like poetry to me!

2.05.2009

good job, mom

In the past two weeks or so, Ronin has started asserting his independence. While this is a great sign of growth and maturity, it also makes my days a little more challenging.

I try to really encourage him when he listens and obeys, telling him, "Good job, Ronin!"

A few days ago, I tied Ronin's shoes and when I was done, he said to me, "Good job, Mom!" He now does this for several things: when I buckle his seatbelt, when I change his diaper, or when I fix something. I feel incredibly blessed since it's usually years before your kids tell you you've done a good job!

2.04.2009

a preacher in our midst

This morning, we were heading out the door to go to Borders. I had to run back in to grab something and that's when I heard him: speaking (and quite loudly) to every townhome in our block. He was talking about how God is good, Jesus is our Saviour, Jesus is God's son, we need to praise Him, and thank Him.

Once I was outside, he assured me that he wasn't praying, he was preaching.

It was Davis at the top of our steps, passionately declaring these things about God. He told me he was preaching to everyone, not just me, which is reassuring since I was inside for half of it. It is pretty hard for me to imagine life without an internal filter, but Davis helps me see what it would be like to put my heart where everyone could see and helps me not be so afraid to share what I'm so passionate about either.

2.01.2009

tagged.

I'm not usually a fan of these games, but this one was actually kind of fun. Here are the rules:

1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer.
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder.
3) Explain the picture.
4) Tag 4 people to do the same. No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.) Have fun!!

This is Ronin and his friend, Wesley. Playing in his front yard. They had just finished drawing all over the sidewalks with chalk. I think Ronin's legs were a wonderful array of colors from all the dust.

I'll tag:

Emily, Kristi, Sunny, and Courtni

1.29.2009

SEC

The Army is full of acronyms, this one stands for Special Events Center. It is the location of every Welcome Home Ceremony that will take place in the coming days and weeks. This morning I drove by and the place was packed; cars filled the lots and more were parked as close as possible.

This means only one thing at this particular time: Soldiers are home.

Not mine, not yet, but just the thought of that place full of embraces, smiles, and reunion brought tears to my eyes knowing that it's coming soon.

1.27.2009

three words

At church a couple days ago, our pastor described his dad in three words: godly, wise, and fun. His dad passed away several years ago, so this man is remembered in these words.

Wouldn't you love for those to be the three words that sum you up? Or maybe there other ways you would like to be described, but what would they be, what three words would you want to be said of you?

1.16.2009

new job and gmail

Kevin has been assigned a new job in the past couple weeks; it's a little boring, but he's learning to be content with boring. The incredibly positive aspect to this new job is that we have been able to talk more.

In fact, in the last week and a half he has been able to see the boys twice via Gmail's video chat, and I've talked with him on two other occasions. One time Kevin didn't have his headphones, so everyone in the room heard the incessant yells from Davis and Ronin exclaiming, "Hiiiiii! Daddy! Daddy! Hi! Daddy!" I think everyone was laughing, but most importantly, Kevin was smiling from ear to ear.

real-deal mom

Yesterday as I looked out my back patio window seeing the jogger stroller, play house, spiderman scooter, and tricycle, I realized something: I'm a mom. I mean, a real-deal mom.

This sounds pretty ridiculous since most of you know that I have two children, which means I've been a mom now for almost five years. The realization this time around is different than it was when I was pregnant with Davis. There was a sudden breakthrough: almost like my reality shifted; that this is really who I am.

Now, let's not be confused, it's not all I am. I am still me, still a daughter, still a friend, still a wife, but being a mother is what I do most and hopefully what I do best.

1.09.2009

the stair slide

At around 9 months, Ronin figured out the best way to get down the stairs was to make his body as flat as possible so he would just slide down all the stairs. This maneuver has progressed and now both the boys slide down the stairs, but now it's not just out of necessity, it's more of a game. Take a look:

video

1.08.2009

non-nap-dom

I know what you're thinking. Is there such a place? I can attest that there is and it's at the Fitz House. Sometime during our stay in Oklahoma Davis became a non-napper. While it has made bed-time a breeze: no more getting up five times a night stalling to go to sleep; my days are now really long. Nap-time was like half-time in a game. It allowed me to re-focus, rest for a minute or two, maybe even get a quick snack, and of course, check my e-mail.

Here's to a new chapter in Davis' life: no more napping! I'm sure we'll come out on top, but for now we're still working through what to do with two extra hours in the day.

a weasel in our house

Yes, it's true! Ever since we got back from Oklahoma we've had a weasel in our house. At least that's what Davis calls it. The real name: art eisel. I have even corrected him (only once, because c'mon we need the laughs), but he still calls it his weasel.

Everyone asks Davis what he got for Christmas, and the two things at the top his list are: the light saber and the weasel. People always give me a strange look until I clarify quietly that he means art eisel. He has yet to leave anyone with a frown.

1.01.2009

from Peru with love

A dear friend of ours had the wonderful opportunity to go to Peru with her brother and a couple friends. She brought us back some excellent hats and I couldn't help but share them!
Yes, that is snot in Ronin's nose in case you were wondering. No, Davis isn't always naked, he just wanted to wear the hat right when he woke up. And yes, that is our dear friend!