Saturday, March 29, 2008

happy birthday deron-bug!

These are pictures from our little man's birthday party! Since the weather decided to be cold, we had to make quick adjustments and cram everyone into the house... it was a whirlwind of a party, but oh so fun! My parents and sister came in town and lots of our great friends and family came to celebrate with us.

it was a Cars themed party!

his new Cars chair

Aunt Di helping open presents.

After the party, my parents and sister stayed overnight (our first house guests!), and we all stayed up late and slept in. Then Saturday I let them experience 2 highlights in Abilene: Harold's BBQ for lunch and the Grace Museum. It was a fun weekend!

Happy Birthday Bug!

ahh... when you have musicians (especially music teachers) as family...

this happens...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

spring break

I know all of you are dying to know how my spring break went! Well, it was good. I got tons done around the house, and that made me feel so great! Got the office painted. It's gray. It's pretty.

Got the redbud trimmed, laundry done, new outside light fixture in, new house numbers bought, started to paint the mailbox (needs another coat), and yesterday started painting the blue bathroom. I'm doing a linen faux finish on it... it should turn out well I think. I'll post pictures when it's finished.

I'm just going to blurb now:

In the last week and a half there have been 3 WASPS in our house! Not those little ones either, and they're not mud-dobbers... full-fledged, I'm-gonna-sting-you wasps! (Can you tell I don't like them?! One stung me once at the lake when I was little.. haven't liked them since. Well, probably didn't like them before that either.) Anyway, I have no idea where they are coming in the house. I have tried to make absolutely sure the back door is closed... who knows.

Philip and I ended up going to Wichita Falls for a couple of days and a night for our "marital fulfillment excursion. Yes, that's right. It was pretty fun. The highlights of the trip: test driving the car that I have been lusting over (not really) since last fall, the GMC Acadia. It's a GREAT car!, laughing that the "falls" in Wichita Falls weren't even turned on (Are you supposed to be able to turn them on and off?), watching LOST, and being with only Philip, the greatest and most wonderful man on this planet. Oh yeah, and we saw CAMELS on the way to and from! How awesome is that?!!? I took pictures on my phone, but don't have them here. I think I was more excited about that than anything. Camels! In Texas! How cool...

Philip's tour went well... I was very glad to have him home. One eventful night, about 9:30pm, I was sitting on the couch watching TV when I heard what sounded like banging on the back glass door. I called Philip. He said to call the police, that's what they're there for. So I called my brother in law. hehe He said to call the police, that's what they're there for. So I called the police. They came, didn't see anything and left me with a slight peace of mind. I woke the next day to find my folding chair, that I had propped up against the window had unfolded in the wind, banging it's legs on the window. ha

P.S. Does anyone know how to effectively clean a camera lens?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"I Don't Know"

A great and incredibly gifted (in countless ways) friend of mine, D'Nae Reber wrote this and I wanted to share it with you...


I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase, "I don't know."“ (Why these moments of inspiration or revelation always seem to hit in the middle of math or chemistry, I’m not sure, but so it is. For some reason looking at letters and numbers together stimulates my mind and spirit to go abstract. Thus we end up with what shall be on this screen. ;-))
So many written pages are surface level. I don’t desire to go merely surface level, spreading broadly across yet going nowhere. In my short 18 years of life I’ve seen enough surface-level to last a lifetime; some written by others, some by me. My desire in what I write, and even especially in what I think, is to go beyond the surface, the normal, the expected, and the spiritually cliché. If I write well, great, but that’s not my point. My point is to take a bit of depth and spur the readers on to greater depths. After all, the greatest honor of a leader is for those led to surpass him or her. So if what I write ever seems surface level or cliché, please look deeper, harder, if you will, and find the deeper meaning, or search one out yourself. Words on a page do little good if they do not inspire action.
Now back to the topic at hand.

I heard a speaker say the other day, in general paraphrase, “..a move of God is coming that is so different from what the church has seen and expected that we’re going to have to learn to say, ‘I don’t know!’”
Think about that. I mean really think about it. God doing things we haven’t seen and don’t expect. So much of what we see God do now we expect of Him, and because we’ve seen it before, we try to understand and explain it.
But what do we see if we look at God’s history, starting at the time of Jesus?

-When the Son of God manifested Himself, it wasn’t how the people expected. They expected a physical king, and Jesus was a demon-removing, controversy-causing, parable-speaking man who was raised as a carpenter in the middle of ghetto Israel.
-When the Holy Spirit manifested Himself at Pentecost, it wasn’t how people had ever seen before. There was no previous Biblical account to match His current coming with past physical manifestations. Yet He was obvious, as tongues of fire leapt above the disciples’ heads, and one of His signature sounds, the sound of a might rushing wind, swept through the closed room. That’s probably not what they were expecting.
-When Peter’s ministry began, I’m sure it’s not what had been seen before. And there was no previous account to back it up against when he laid hands on a handkerchiefs and those who touched them were healed.(that may have been Paul, but the point remains)
-What about when rooms of people were suddenly prophesying to each other? That had only happened(or at least been recorded) in the days of the prophets Elijah, Elisha, and Samuel. That probably wasn’t expected as a result of the Holy Spirit’s ministry through people and on people.
-Or what about the time when all the witches and sorcerers of the city got together and burned everything they owned relating to witchcraft? Was that expected? Had it been done before? And yet it was definitely a move of God.

“I don’t know.” Such a simple phrase, and yet such a hard one to say about spiritual things. Especially as a church-grown homeschooler. Why? This is my explanation of the answer to that question, based off my own experience.

When one grows up in a majority of the church, one is trained to know the answers--to everything. To be the one who answers all the Bible trivia questions correctly is the most envied and admired position in the Sunday School class. It goes beyond just the prizes handed out. It’s some sort of deep-rooted mix of intimidation and respect for that “good Christian” kid. Somehow being a “good Christian” is equated with knowing all the answers. Which is relatively fine until questions start arising that don’t have simple Sunday School answers. Then fear enters in, because somewhere along the line, knowledge of God replaced communing with Him. In a sad perversity, our relationship with our God is called into question as soon as our knowledge runs out.

That difficult mental position is compounded when one is a homeschooler, because, as we all know, homeschoolers know everything, and even if we don’t, we happily convince ourselves that we do. After all, how else can we convince ourselves and everyone else that we’re better than those “public-schoolers” if we’re not smarter than they are?! It’s our duty to be smarter, and that intelligence is evidenced by our knowing everything. (for those of you who are not home schooled, this is not meant offensively--I’m just transcribing the thought process I’ve been through)
So when a question comes up about something spiritual, and we don’t have an answer for it, that dreaded statement “I don’t know” surfaces, only to be squelched as quickly as possible as we try to fill the void with new “knowledge”. We reason ourselves into answers, perhaps missing the whole point.

To a certain level, whatever we understand, we can control. We have control of conversation we’re knowledgeable and experienced in. We do well in school because we have “mastered” the material. And, to a certain point, our understanding of God controls our Christianity, because we aren’t out of control in situations we can explain. When everything fits into a box of explanation, nothing’s uncomfortable. But when something arises outside of one’s ability to explain, one is no longer in control, and being out of control is terrifying.

But I don’t ever recall an instance where the Holy Spirit required us to be able to explain what He does. I don’t ever recall Him expecting us to explain Him. If He really is the God we get merely a written glimpse of in the Word, how can we ever expect Him to fit into our boxes of reason and understanding?

"I don't know." Such a simple phrase, yet such a foreboding one, too. It indicates a lack of control, a subtle or subconscious surrender to something or someone.
When we have a God who is so big that it’ll take us all eternity to even begin to unpack all He is, maybe, just maybe, we need to learn to say, “I don’t know,” as explanation of what He’s doing and who He is.
And maybe, just maybe, in that now-conscious surrender, He’ll begin to teach us to understand on levels we never would have reached had we tried to fill our lack of knowing by running away from our question into our self-made reason.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

welcome spring!

pictures from the last days of winter.

mowing in the snow

the first flower picked and given to mommy!

deron and his bud aaron

i let him take some pictures with the camera. this is what he shot.
his bike,


and his slide.

what a sweet little man!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


So I know everyone is wondering what is happening on the big boy bed escapades... well, several days ago, I decided to really work hard on this subject, figure the best plan for my son out and follow through with it. It began at nap time. I laid down with him on mommy and daddy's bed (which he loves), read him a story and cuddled with him, but, to no avail. I think I dozed off, but then felt little fingers poking my closed eyes. So after about 45 minutes of no progress, he was transferred into his bed. I know that the crib side really helps him feel secure, thus sleeping better, so I decided to make a "mock" side. I put a chair backwards next to his bed, thinking, maybe, that it would serve its purpose, but still, Deron got down with vigor. So, I decided on plan C. This was to prop the crib side up next to the bed, meaning if his messed with it (even barely touching it), I would hear and know he was getting down, and could reinforce the "rules". Success! He never touched it, but went fast to sleep in record time. My plan is to slowly "wean" him off of the help, thus giving him more and more freedom as the side gets moved out of the way, but hopefully he'll remember that he's not supposed to get out of the bed. We'll see how it goes.

Philip is gone, since yesterday at 5am. He'll be back in time to climb into bed with me late tomorrow night (2 or 3am I'm thinking). It will be good to have him home. He's been so busy the last few weeks, it's like we've hardly seen each other anyway, but something is missing in me when he's not around. He really is something wonderful and beautiful in my life.

Also, yesterday at 10am began the blessed invention called Spring Break. Those in the adult world (minus teachers and professors), may have forgotten what a wonderful thing Spring Break is. Being at the place in our life where we are and all the things going on, it is so much more of a wonderful thing... I just hope Philip won't be tied up at work too much, giving that next Sunday is Resurrection Sunday... lots of preparation goes into such an awesome service. We are planning on taking a little mini-"marital fulfillment excursion" sometime this week. Just the 2 of us! I am WAY excited about that.... have no idea where we want to go, since there aren't too many places within short driving distance of Abilene, but we'll figure something out. I hear there's great things to do in Stamford.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


60 Things You Likely Never Wanted To Know About Me

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
A car seat. Philip's Music History Textbooks. The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Another of Deron's books. A Toddler LeapPad. If you count under Deron's carseat, lots and lots of crumbs. ick. I need to vacuum it out.

2. When was the last time you threw up?
About a year ago I think. I hate throwing up.

3. What's your favorite curse word?
Hate em.

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
Deron, Philip, my mom-in-law.

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Drinking coffee and talking to Vonnie on the phone.

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Just finished my special ed. test, picking up Deron from Amanda's house, and heading home.

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Thinking about making dinner, and perhaps ironing?

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
No. Don't want to!

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
I love you. (To Deron as I left him for a nap.... so far so good!)

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
Triple Chocolate (white chocolate, hot fudge, and milk chocolate swirles....mmmmm....) or Fudge Brownie Nut- both Bluebell.

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Tea at lunch. About to make my afternoon iced coffee... Did you know Hershey's has a new Dark Chocolate Syrup?? It's amazing.

12. What are you wearing right now?
Black sandals, jeans, yellow and gray striped shirt, a wonderfully soft black cardigan from Banana Republic.

13. What was the last thing you ate?
a croissant sandwich. Oh, and cheetos.

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
Only for Deron from Dittos for Kiddos!

15. When was the last time you ran?
I guess it would have to be while playing tennis a week+ ago.

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
My Dad's Better Than Your Dad. Last night. Does that count?

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
Amy Quinonez.

19. Ever go camping?
Yes. And I am desperately wanting to go again. Especially with my hubby... we've never been together!

20. Do you have a tan?
Nope. Not yet. Although my hair is getting more blonde like it does in the summer.... so, maybe my hair has gotten sun, but not these legs!

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
Yeah. It sure makes you drink a lot more of it though.

25. What did your last IM say?
who knows! I think it's been at least 4 years since I've IMed.

26. Are you someone's best friend?
Definitely. To the most awesome guy in the whole world.

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
Take Philip to school, drop off Deron, go to Gov't, pick up Deron, finish laundry, start packing Philip's stuff for tour, nap Deron, pick Philip up from HSU, take him to work, go to church, work the cafe during MONK AND NEAGLE!, be overjoyed, worship, pray, love, laugh, smile.

28. Where is your mom right now?
Irving. Not sure if she had to work today.

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
A closet. nice.

30. What color is your watch?
It's silver with a light pink face. I love it! Got it for Christmas!

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia?
Dirt. And cool accents. And LOST.

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?
no. don't think so.

33. What is your birthstone?
ruby. that means my birthday's coming up. You have 4 months to shop.

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
we don't really eat much fast food. the one we most "hit" would be sonic... and that's typically for happy hour. I guess it just depends.

35. How many kids do you want?
i want 4. even after one, i think i still want 4.

36. Do you have a dog?
no, but that's what i'm getting when i graduate! yea! only a year more!

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
my sweetheart.

38. Have you met anyone famous?
oh, i don't know. trent monk and michael neagle. are they famous? they will be. uh... i think i met aunt jemima's great great great grand daughter or something once.

39. Any plans today?
pick philip up from work, come home, laundry, ironing, dishes, general house cleaning, dinner (not sure what it will be yet), maybe watching Biggest Loser, bathing Deron, playing with Deron, cuddling with philip, going to SLEEEEEEEEEEEP. (i always have a very clear map of my day... or try to have one.:)

40. How many states have you lived in?
just one.

41. Ever go to college?
oh yes. for many years now.

42. Where are you right now?
the office in our beautiful little home.

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
not enough time for everything.

44. Last song listened to?
"oh, oh we need each other..." Sanctus Real. it was on the radio in the car.

46. Are you allergic to anything?
penicillin. cool, huh. oh and stuff that causes allergies. hate that stuff. :)

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
my black slippers. i need a good, quality pair of flipflops for the summer.

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
those people who's kids are easy.

50. Is anyone jealous of you?
oh, probably.

51. What time is it?

52. Do any of your friends have children?
definitely yes. we are in the season of little children everywhere, and more keep coming along!

53. Do you eat healthy?
i try to. i really hate to be haunted by it though. it's a lifestyle, and we live it.

54. What do you usually do during the day?
mommy. and school. and clean. and play. and wife. and try to relax. and try to smile a lot.

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
no. that's silly.

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?

57.What are your feelings on chocolate?
it is good for you.

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
like jen, i lived 15 minutes away. yeah, i've been. a few hundred times.

60. How did you get one of your scars?
which one? the chicken pox ones? or the ones from being a rambunctious kid? i always thought scars were so cool. one time i put band aids all over me and wrapped various parts in ace bandages and laid on the couch, waiting for my sister's friend to come over. maybe i just needed attention. yeah, i think that's it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

the big boy bed.

I think I have solved the sleep-deprivation epidemic in America. If people would only never have to transition into a big bed, people would get a full amount of rest every night. We'd all have comfy, "just right", confined spaces to snuggle up in and never be tempted with that evil idea that we could actually get down out of our cribs on our own. That's it. That's the solution. We'd all be completely well rested and happy citizens.

Every transition in your child's life comes with it's difficulties and joys. This one, so far, has been tough. The only experience I've had with this has been with my nephew, his transition was a gigantic piece of chocolate cake with whipped icing all over it. My sister-in-law just put him in a full-sized bed one night and he stayed, slept, and has never been different. His usual reaction to bed-time is, "ok". And off he goes, not to be seen until morning. My other sister-in-law has a friend who's 2 kids sleep in the same room, and they don't know that they can get down off of their regular beds! When they drop something on the floor, they yell for the parents to come retrieve it. And believe me, they come running. Because as soon as they figure out they can, life will change.

The thing is, Deron gets so excited that he is sleeping in a big boy bed, that he just cannot stay in it. After only a few minutes we hear him creep around the corner and jump in the room as if we were going to be overjoyed that we see him! He has always been such an awesome sleeper from early on... maybe that's why this has been so difficult. 3 hour naps have been the staple afternoon tradition for almost 3 years. Now the only way to get him sleeping for sure is in the car. And, as most of us are, if he doesn't get adequate sleep... we're ALL unhappy. *sigh*

I think that's enough venting. For my friends who are reading who haven't made it this far in the joy of parenting, don't let my post discourage you or fear the future. For those who have mastered this stage, please make a donation to protect my sanity! I will try anything.... maybe.