Monday, September 27, 2010

The BIG surprise

As the final surprise for Zach's 7th birthday, we took our family's first trip to an amusement park!  The boys surprised us with their bravery and eagerness to ride every ride we offered up.  We had an amazing day and came home completely exhausted.  Next time...we hit the big coasters!

There is something extra special hiding in those first two pictures...  Behind Luke and me are two young boys.  They are the sons of a boy I went to elementary school with.  Their parents are seated in the car in front of Zach and Bryan in the next picture.  Mike Sexton and I met in kindergarten.  I wonder if Zachary will run into one of his kindergarten friends at an amusement park 30+ years from now.  What a fun blessing it was to see Mike again and briefly meet his wife and boys.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Birthday weekend

The lap-a-thon was "the best birthday present ever".  At the Homecoming parade, he "screamed his head off and got a lot of candy".  He had a great time sitting with his friend Derek at the Homecoming game.  Scored his first soccer goal of the season on his birthday - and followed it up with the declaration that "THIS IS THE BEST BIRTHDAY OF MY WHOLE LIFE!"  He had a family party, complete with trick candles and gifts that he'd "been wanting forever".

And he doesn't know this yet....but we have an awesome surprise for today!  This might even trump the soccer goal (but I hope not - that goal was supremely perfect).

Next weekend he will have some school friends over for a Minute to Win It party.  Can't wait.

Happy SEVENTH birthday, Zachary.  We love you so very much.  As your brother would say, "We love you as big as Paul Bunyan.  Or as big as God's feet.  Or all the way to Heaven and back."  You have taught us and grown us in ways that we never anticipated.  We are so proud of who you are - an honest, loving, generous, thoughtful, fun, happy, outgoing, friendly, hardworking, tender yet deliriously enthusiastic young man.  You are a treasure.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I {heart} birthday books...and sweet little friends

Instead of birthday presents, I'd like to suggest that my husband and kids rope all of my friends into making me a "birthday book" for all future birthdays.  They do this in grade school.  Zach's 7th birthday was celebrated with his class today.  His friends made him a GREAT birthday book.  A lot of what they wrote makes me oooh, aww, and laugh out loud.  Who doesn't want that  for their birthday?

Some of the great things in Zach's birthday book:

Today is my birthday!  If I could have anything in the world, I would choose "sume frends and a vary good brthday" - Zach

Dear Zach, If I could give you anything in the world, I would choose:

"I wud giv you a cat, because I like you." - Mason
"I would give you hot wels, because you ar amazing." - Caleb
"I will git him a Dee S Iy and biyenicle, because I like you." - Derek
"I would get you a DS, because you are my friend." - Lauren
"I would get you a bat made out of silver and gold and the color of orange, red, and yellow, because you are my friend." - Katie S.
"I will give you a Minit To Win It theeng, because you invited me to your bierthday." - Evan

Mason, I hope you check with your parents before giving live animals as gifts....but how SWEET that you would want everyone you like to have a cat.  Caleb, I agree - he is amazing.  But what 1st grader refers to their friends as amazing?  Caleb is amazing.  Derek, you are insanely generous.  I'm guessing he doesn't understand the value of a dollar just yet.  Lauren, you are a treasured friend.  Katie S., I love you - the detailed description is AWESOME!  Evan, you know exactly what my boy likes.  All he wants is that Minute to Win It birthday with his buddies.  A Minute to Win It "theeng" would be perfect.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I wish I'd had a tape recorder or video camera today.  I briefly shared my story of an abusive childhood and precious recovery with my Public Speaking class.  I wasn't at all nervous or worried about what to say...but the time passed so quickly that it's all a blur to me.  I could see that nearly the entire class was on the edge of their seats listening, all of the feedback was positive, my professor forgot that he was supposed to be watching my delivery (in order to give me a grade), and there were several people who thanked me for sharing.  No one got up and left.  No rotten tomatoes were thrown.  But I just don't remember what I said, how I said it, or even what the audience perceived as the point.

I hope they heard the message that there is always hope.  God is faithful to redeem.  Peace and restoration are within reach for everyone.  There is no time like the present to begin dealing with a painful past.  The "better than my parents" bar can be set tragically low for too many people, and therefore shouldn't be a goal for any of us.  Healing, wholeness and completion should be the heart's desire for each of us.  A full, happy life is not limited to "some" of us and not "others".

It was not possible for me to deliver 36+ years of life experience and lessons into a 15 minute speech, so I'm trusting that God delivered the right message for the right people this morning.  Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."  Luke 18:27

Monday, September 20, 2010

Soccer's in full swing

Zach's soccer team is playing U7 this year - on a much larger field, 4 on 4 with an 8 man team, no coaches allowed on the field, and an official referee.  We're big time.  We still don't keep an official score, and we don't use a goalie.  We've had a fun time learning the new rules for U7, and each of the boys shows enthusiasm and growth with every practice and game.  Half of our team is brand new, so we've had a wonderful time making new friends!

The Rockets first goal.  Not pictured - the kid who actually made the goal, Derek!

Cousins.  Both number 5.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dance party

A favorite activity right now is the basement dance party...  With Halloween on the horizon, we've been dancing to last year's Halloween music that played on our front porch - Monster Mash, Werewolfves of London, Purple People Eater, Thriller, and Ghost Busters.

Busting ghosts


Rockin' out