Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thank Goodness for Pools

We swim often, everywhere, and I am signing the kids up for swimming lessons today (to start Monday).  Wendy took one-on-one lessons last summer but did not learn to swim because she was afraid.  Now, she's enjoyed pools like a water baby since she was a baby---I took her to Firstenburg and other pools all the time.  She loves the water but is now terrified of the deep end!  We'll see if group lessons help as she watches other children, perhaps some of them younger and smaller, have the faith!

 Last night... I had gone to the library Saturday and returned with a new stack of good books.  James was reading one about a paper doll girl, Origami actually, who comes to life!  Made me think of a story my mother wrote about a Japanese girl.
 When Lincoln is feeling all lovey, he snuggles us or his Puppy.  The night before last night, I read to them, in his bed, and he pet my arms and legs with his soft boy hands.  Soooooo heart-melting.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Church Youth Group at Our House!

We entertained a bunch of middle and high school kids, and their teachers, from our church, at our hizz-ouse last night!  We made fajitas, and it was a BLAST!  Linc-man hung out with the boys, and Wendy, with the girls!  Linc was MESMERIZED with a remote-controlled car, and some of these tall girls spent time INSIDE of Wendy's tiny play house!  They must've been enjoying private girl-talk in there!
 Linc's hair sometimes winds up a bit scuffled, and his personality really came alive last night with all of the "big boys," and he was just in his element, y'all.
 They guys were throwing a football, and Linc was in full fan-mode!
 Later that night, after all the kids' folks picked them up, Linc wore the hat he'd made during my Moms' Bible Study Wed. morning, and little else.  He was still in such a fabulous mood!

 Today was Wendy's last day of testing, and as she worked sooooo hard and had such a great spirit of wanting to do her best on the test, we celebrated at Toys R Us!  Linc got his own remote-controlled car, and Wendy got little Calico Critters.  Summer's finally enjoyable now.  No one's been sick, so we've gone swimming, we go to Aerofit often so I can work out and they can play and swim with me, and I have enjoyed get-togethers with wonderful friends with kids our kids' ages, and these sisters in Christ have been, perhaps, the biggest blessing in my life within College Station/Bryan limits.  The Scriptures they call to mind during our regular conversations inspire me.  The strong, positive and faithful walk they walk in Him is truly representative of what I aspire to.  They are sinners, too, of course, but some of these women are so much further along, so much more mature in their walk, and I see it, and I desire that maturity, too.  Praying and working towards valuing above all material or secular aspects of this life, relationships with others (those which are healthy, true, trusting and loving--yet still flawed, of course!) and my relationship with Christ, through study and meditation upon His Word, and prayer.  It would be so fulfilling for my children, at some point in time, to truly see Christ in me, and trust its authenticity and want that relationship with their Creator as well.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hattie Turns Six!

Mimi and Granddaddy's 10 Grandchildren from Oldest to Youngest!  I count it all joy that my two brothers and sisters-in-law have enriched our childrens' lives with an abundance of first cousins!  It's absolutely amazing to me.  Children are an inheritance from the Lord, as He says in His word, and to enjoy these children is indescribable.  I taught Eva Rose how to do a handstand in the water, Shepherd loves Lincoln-man and plays with him non-stop, and Hattie is only 2 short months older than Wendy, and Linc has boys to play with, and I could go on and on.  God is so good.  Our cup runneth over!

As Hattie Ruth was born on the 4th of July, Baby, we had to, HAD to ;), top her present with red, white and blue!  She had lost her purse and wallet, so the kids and I had fun shopping for a new purse and wallet for her--and we love Model Magic, too, so we through that in as well.
Newest Love in Our Lives---Henry.

Hattie chose Build-A-Bear and Rainforest Cafe for her actual birthday.  Of course Wendy was all about that!!!  Mimi kept the boyzzzz....

 Bonding with Henry.  
 Bath-time in Granddaddy's tub is the bomb!!!
 The next day, I got together with Julie and her precious daughters, and we squeezed in tons of recreation and chatting!  Well, as much as we could with these lil' ones!  Below, check out Stella's amazing smile!
 Above, hot summer day fun--functional fun!  Free fun!
Cool story now.  Ready?  Okay.  Below is the original art piece I did in high school, which I took to state competition, and more importantly, reflected my spiritual growth as the Lord wooed me to Himself.  James, whose kind spirit never ceases to suprise me, had it framed for me for my birthday a few years ago.  Unfortunately, our moving company (moving us from Washington state back to Texas), butchered our move and lost it.  I was so sad!  I felt violated only because it's personal, it's my art, you know, and it was the one thing he asked them to crate and to care for, as "it's special to my wife."  More of the story---scroll down...
 Doing all we could to try to track it down, and finally giving up, James and my mom suggested I recreate it in order to feel restored.  I knew it wasn't the original, but eh, why not?  So, from a photo of it, I did just that.  The process was therapeutic, and I began to feel a sort of amusement, not knowing who had "Cross Man," (not the real title), and hoping it would be a blessing to someone else, as it was to me.  I realized that this amateur art work had become an idol to me, because it capped a very critical period in my walk with Christ.  Well, below is the impostor, which I think might be better, actually...MORE of the story below!  Scroll down...
 The weekend that James left for a wedding, which we'd all hoped to attend, the kids and I were so miserable with the flu and fevers in the 104's.  Well, my folks came to help me with my kids after I fainted from dehydration (oh, joy, right?!), and as I lay there, helpless and pathetic in bed, my phone rings.  It's "Vicki from Los Angeles, and I have something you may want!"  Well, I was clueless.  Is this a prank, a solicitor?  Anyway, I had created a blib on a website, "Missing Art Alert!" with my name and contact info, and this woman discovered my "Cross Man" in her storage after years, looked up the signature, and FOUND ME!  Anyway, I wound up giving it to her because I already re-did the thang, and felt that God wanted the original to take a journey.  She was stunned, I hoped I didn't burst her bubble of making my day, but she did make my day.  She reminded me that there are good people out there who want to brighten the lives of others with good news.  And rather than put her through the trouble of shipping it or whatever, why not let it go, right?  Just a neat "Message in a Bottle" type of event that actually happened to me!  Full-circle!  Cool!
 James loving on his daughter.

 The other night, Wendy styled Linc's hair!  He was okay with it, so this went on for quite a while~ ;)
 Wendy wanted to hike with an originally-styled back pack of sorts, which would carry Pooh Bear, so I obliged with shoe strings and a "snap-snap" of my camera!
 This week Wendy is testing (hopefully successfully) out of public kinder and directly into first grade.  We decided we need to cut expenses in order to get out from a house we own in Washington, so private school has to go for now.  I'm sad about it, but I realize it is the wise, necessary, decision.  I had called the elementary school to see if she could be tested or evaluated, and they had told me no!  That because she is five days too young for first grade (state law), she'd have to begin as a kindergartner (again) and then maybe be moved up at some point when the teacher decides it's in her best interest.  A good friend told me about this test THE DAY BEFORE the ONE WEEK, THIS WEEK, of testing out!!!  It's through Texas Tech, and man, it was a work of God that this is happening now for her.  She missed yesterday's testing since it was the first opportunity I had to call and see about it, and I was told that only if a child drops out, would she get a test, and that then, she'd have to make up Monday's testing Friday, along with Friday's scheduled testing.  I prayed so hard, and a child in her grade DID drop out!  And then I worried she might have learned differently at her private school, so eee, but she says it was "easy-peasy!" and the proctor told me she finished early enough to catch up some for yesterday already!  WHOOP!  Now, she has to score in the 90% or higher to automatically become a first-grader, public.  Please pray.  We are putting no pressure on Wendy, of course, but rather, are making this fun for her and have told her God's will is perfect so either way will be great.  I just don't want her to languish in kinder again.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Summer Today

This summer so far has been unusual.  The first big ole chunk of it has been robbed with sickness!  James painted Linc's room, so his toddler bed was moved to our room, and he coughed that croup cough again, so back to the pediatrician.  Doctor said the viruses that usually come in the Fall are hitting College Station hard as of Spring.  Ready for wellness!!!
Before he became sick again, we visited Wendy's teacher from last year, along with two of her girlfriends from class!  It was a fantastic time.  Her school is so excellent and I am so glad that she will get to enjoy next year with the same classmates and continue with her Christian education. 
 The other day, I surprised Wendy with a fort in our living room!  Just the kind my brother, Sean, and I used to make! 
 And SHE made a fort for her Zhu Zhu pets---get this, she taped Littlest Pet Shop water bottles to the side as hampster cage water bottles!!!
 Yesterday.  I love her eyes!
 Linc, trying to figure out the chain fence and the little fountain pond below it.  He is such a sharp student of life!
 In San Antonio, we ate at Momak's, and it rained and as there was no thunder, we allowed Wendy to dance in the rain!  She was delighted!  Aw, this is the stuff of life!
 Wendy loving my dearest friend on this planet, and Nero! 
 Speaking of Nicole, funny exchange happened once when we were with her.  She, along with us, is surprised Wendy won't eat eggs!  (Linc won't either--a texture thing, I'm guessing!)  She asked Wendy, "Wendy, now what would you do if all this world had to offer in terms of sustenance was eggs?"  Wendy shrugged, and James chimed in, "I'd be looking for that chicken!"  Ha ha...He is quite quick.
Below, a comparison of a page from Wendy's coloring book, and a pic of her with her girly cousins!
 The Father Daughter Dance I directed was a success, and was fun, and I just thank God for His blessing because I had no idea who would come, how old the average daughter would be, and man, I'm just so glad it was enjoyable!
James built the frame for the photo backdrop, below, and I covered it with the fabric I found and butterflies I made.  The theme was Butterfly, and the scripture was "He who is in Christ is a new creation!" 
 Wendy's Butterfly 'Do!
 I had three craft tables with clipped examples as centerpieces!  The one I feature below is the butterfly snack bag!  The other crafts were buttefly bracelets and foam name plates.  I did face-painting for all of the little girls, too, and they LOVED that!
 I hired a member to play piano and sing Butterfly Kisses and the Cinderella Song, and then we rocked it out with the ipod and did the limbo, etc!

 Loved how her hair looked when it fell out!