Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow day.

We are on day two of canceled school on account of snow.

Yesterday, I think someone spilled a glass of sweet tea on the street causing the whole city to shut down.

Regardless, we've had no school and lots of fun. Some of my favorite days are ones like these; when we have to cancel all we had planned just to hang out and stay in. There's a lot of freedom in being unable to go and do.

Yesterday, we invited some new friends from the neighborhood over and the kids played all day. Their big brother is a friend of Darius' and they all live with their Auntie around the corner. We called her several times throughout the day to see if the girls could stay a couple of hours longer and before we knew it, it was after dinner.

It was a great break for all of us and we spent the day making, decorating, and eating dozens of cupcakes. Sprinkles were everywhere.

Darius decorated a chicken nugget.

I can only do so much.

This morning, we had real-live, legitimate ice. It's now thawing and my kids are wanting to put their bathing suits on to go play in the puddles. And thus is the way of the weather in Dallas. I'm still in my pajamas, the kids are happily playing, and we've got no place to go.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

E.R., but not on T.V.

Last Thursday night, Darius jammed the fire out of his thumb. It wasn't cause for alarm since he jams a finger playing basketball about once a week.

Since it bothered him all weekend, was very swollen, (and three shades of purple) by Sunday night, we thought we might need a second opinion and spent the morning in the ER having it X-Ray'd and treated.

I kept waiting for Dr. Doug Ross to come in the room so we could share some comedic banter.

I also wanted to ask if they needed a CBC and Chem. 7 stat but, apparently, they just needed about four nurses and P.A.s to ask the same questions, an actual physician to look at his finger for 52 seconds, and a mobile X-Ray machine.

It turns out he has a 'deep contusion with a possible hairline fracture'. The whole visit took a lot longer than 59 minutes with commercial breaks, but not nearly as long as I thought it would.

Darius was tough as nails, even with his very tender thumb, at least until one of the nurses was splinting it. He got really quiet, bit his lip and turned bright red. It was killing him to have them straighten it and put all that pressure on it. He was in enough pain that he needed a milkshake afterward. Oddly, he wasn't in enough pain to skip basketball practice this afternoon.

So weird how that works. Weird.














Friday, January 23, 2009

A Current Event.

Admittedly, I don't write often about current events or items in the news. My biggest reason probably has more to do with my lack of time than my lack of interest and I tend to have enough current events going on at my house to keep me busy.

Today, I'm mixing it up a little.

Yesterday morning, Trey walked downstairs and read to me an article from the front page of the Dallas Morning News. It was titled, "Dallas Academy coach sees a win in girls' 100-0 loss."

The story has been picked up by the AP, ESPN, and Fox News to name a few but, if you haven't heard about it, I'll give you the gist. Last week, The Covenant School girls' basketball team played Dallas Academy. Covenant, a Classical Christian school here in Dallas, proceeded to score 100 points against Dallas Academy. Dallas Academy scored not one point.

As I listened to Trey read, I began to weep. I wept for the lack of judgment , humility, and good sportsmanship on the part of the Covenant School. And then I wanted justice. Absolute and swift justice for every participant who allowed something that so tarnished the name of Christ to take place.

And then I had to repent. I repented for wanting justice more than grace for everyone else but me. I repented for wanting to paint the entire school with the wide brush of falling into the sin of worshiping pride and success instead of seeking to glorify the Lord in all things when I know that not to be true. This was a horrible mistake, it was sin with humiliating consequences for both schools but, His grace abounds, and so should mine. It certainly has from the statements made by Dallas Academy, "Covenant has a great team," Civello said. "We wish them all the best for the rest of the season. We don't think what happened is a reflection on those girls in any way."

Grace continues to astound my sin-sick heart. It is not merit without favor, it is merit against favor and we are steeped in it. Holy justice was poured out upon a beloved Son on a bloody cross so that grace could be poured out upon me, upon you, and upon the the body of believers at the Covenant School. Covenant's Head of School and school officials met with Dallas Academy officials to apologize and praised "each member of the Dallas Academy Varsity Girls Basketball team for their strength, composure and fortitude in a game in which they clearly emerged the winner."

The Covenant School's motto is Psalm 115:1, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory."

The children of the school are also taught it in Latin, "Non nobis, domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam."


Tee, Olivia, and Graham have sung that Psalm for five years at Covenant. We love our school and we are deeply sorry. We now have the privilege of reminding our kids as they learn this hard, hard lesson, that the Lord hears our pleas of repentance in English, in Latin, and even in sighs, and groanings too deep for words. And He sets our sins as far as the East is from the West.

*

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When fiction crosses dangerously over into reality.

Over the Christmas break, I indulged myself in some reading that was, how should I put this, a little on the fluffy side. In about ten days, I read the the entire Twilight saga. Twilight, have any of ya'll heard of it?

Maybe?

Ok, in order to get to the place I'm going in this post, I need to give you a little background on the story. If you already know what it's all about, go to your happy place for just a minute and I'll meet you in a paragraph or two below.

Twilight is a story about this vampire, Edward, who has sworn himself off of all human blood and instead is somewhat of a 'vegetarian' as vampires go. Trouble comes a callin' when he meets Bella, a human girl and finds that, "her scent, to him, is a drug". His words, not mine.

Anyway, he falls impossibly in love with her because he literally can't stay away from her and the story goes on from there for about 45,000 pages. All of which I mentally digested just a few short weeks ago. All the while eating Marshmallo Creme and Nutella on bread. There you have it.

So here's my dilemma. If you went to your happy place, please come back. I need you.

Trey has begun a fast. We're praying about lots of things having to do with Mercy Street and possibly starting a church and he felt called to fast at the same time. I was a wuss and abstained. Not from the praying part, but from the whole giving up food thing. He and some of his friends are basically eating only a vegan diet for twenty-one days. No meat, no dairy, and did I mention, no meat?

Um, does anyone besides me remember this post? You know, the one where he listed his top five favorite things and MEAT made list but neither me or Jesus did? Yeah, that one.

Ok, so you're probably wondering what any of this has to do with Twilight, right? I'm getting there, I promise.

I'm really generally pretty secure in our marriage but there's something with this whole fasting thing that makes me worry a little. Could Trey possibly meet someone who's scent is a drug to him? Insert dramatic gasp.

Maybe someone wearing...dum, dum, dum...this?
This, my friends is FLAME. My arch nemisis. It's developed by Burger King, home of "The WHOPPER®, America’s favorite burger. FLAME captures the essence of that love and gives it to you. Behold the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat."

Are they kidding me???? If he comes within ten feet of someone wearing this stuff, will he crumble like a house of cards under the temptation? I mean, I'm pretty sure all the Lime Basil and Mandarin in the world couldn't hold a candle to one spritz of this stuff.
No offense, Jo.

I'm thinking my only hope is to fight FLAME with fire. And if you're gonna be a bear, be a grizzly.

I've fried a whole skillet of bacon and bottled up the drippings. Along with a little lipstick, I'm planning on dabbing a little behind each ear just before he gets home from work every day. I'm pretty sure no one else will want to stand next to me but that's just a small sacrifice I'm willing to make for my meat-lovin'-turned-vegan-for-three-weeks-man.

What else? What am I missing? If you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears. Bacon ears.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Birthday Party Recap.

Ok. So after Trey and I figured out that we were not destined to be the couple with one child who could lavish them year after year with extravagant birthday parties, we decided to limit our children to a "friend" party every other year. After our third was born, we decided we actually didn't even need any parties at all until they were at least five and could correctly articulate the words, "You are the best mommy and daddy ever and I would be lost without you." It also gave us enough time to set expectations remarkably low since neither Trey or I are very creative.

Ok, wait. I aplogize. Scratch that. Trey is very creative and I am not. Sometimes I just like lumping him into my weaknesses to make me feel better. I think it's the whole 'one flesh' thing. Or, maybe, I'm trying to get him to do a kind of quid pro quo thing and lump me in with him as a genius.

It could totally happen.

Anyway, when we made this little birthday party rule, we failed to stagger it properly and the oldest two had already had parties so, long story short, every two years, we have three birthday parties to throw during the months of January, February, and March.

Last Saturday, we started down what tends to be the long and winding road of birthday party mayhem.

Olivia had herself a little soiree with the second grade. The entire grade.
Just remembering it reminds me of that old Patsy Cline song, 'Crazy'.

Because it's the middle of winter, we decided to have a "Can't wait till Spring" theme and decorate birdhouses, play games, and eat pizza and birthday cake. It was just like the old fashioned parties I used to have before Pump It Up, Laser Tagopolis, and Great Wolf Lodge.


Here's a picture of Sadie and Kim who was a big help with the younger kids. I'm not sure why she's covering up her beautiful face. Maybe she's wanted in seven states. Hmmmm.

We had a great time and Olivia was running around so happily, I only got one picture of her. She was helping her daddy run the games.

Curiously enough, I did manage to get several shots of my cupcakes.

Oh, look at that! Even more.

I was a little proud.

That could be the understatement of the year.

I'm really not creative and was pretty shocked I pulled these off.

So shocked that I cried like a baby when one of Olivia's friends dropped hers on the floor.

That was a joke. I promise.

Sniff.

With Olivia's party behind us, we're moving right on to Graham's. It should be interesting since he wants to go to Disney World with the whole first grade and then some.

We told him that would be cost prohibitive. He told us that sounded like a bad word.

I knew I liked that kid.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Things that make me look smart.

It may be an inferiority complex on my part and I'm not too proud to admit it, but I sure do like things that make me look smarter than, um, I did before I started using them.

About a month ago, Thomas Nelson Publishing sent me a copy of their new Chronological Study Bible to read, use, and review.

Seriously? I mean, I've never been really shy about giving my opinions but this seemed a little beyond my skill set. Fortunately, I love me some Bible and this one will certainly sit at my bedside for a long time.

My children attend a private school that is both classic and Christian and their history lessons don't distinguish between world history and biblical history but instead tie them all together so that a greater comprehension of the two can be had.

For someone like me, who was not taught the two in tandem, this bible has been a gift.

The different books of the bible are interwoven so that they represent as closely as possibly, the chronology of the bible from Creation to Revelation. Alongside the Scripture are notes about the daily life at the time of writing such as 'Culture and Society', 'Politics and Government, 'Religion and Worship', and 'Health and Medicine'. These notes help clarify references throughout, hence, making me look smarter. I know it's not really about me but listen to this... 'the salt used in ancient times was not refined, and there was always some proportion of chemicals present in addition to sodium chloride. If the fraction useful for flavoring food was leached away by dampness, what remained was without value. It was sometimes strewn on paths like gravel since it was "then good for nothing."' Ok, totally helps clarify the passage in Matt. 5:13 which says, 'You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses it's flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.'

See what I mean? Totally smarter.

The Chronological Study Bible also includes beautifully illustrated maps, articles on world leaders and significant characters, and helpful time panels and charts.

On the website, there is a daily reading plan that is designed to lead you through the entire bible in either one or two years' time.

It's a great resource for bible studies, writing sermons, or daily devotionals but not necessarily the best for taking to church and trying to keep up with your pastor's sermon. The scriptures are put in chronological order and not the traditional order we're used to seeing them in so finding a specific passage would be better done with a traditional bible.

Love this bible and the way it makes me look a little more like I know what I'm talking about. The next book I'm reading is on humility. Coincidence? Hmmm. I don't think so.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pat Answer.

I love the way kids, when asked a question, any question, up until the age of about six, will answer Jesus, God, or any variation of the two.

Last night, over dinner, we were going around the table asking each other questions from a game we got over Christmas.

"What has been the greatest invention ever created?"

Sadie answered, "God's creation."

"Well, Sadie, what about in God's creation? You know, something invented."

"Ok, ok. I know. I know. Died on the cross."

"Um, ok, good one, Sadie. Tee, what do you think?"

"Guitar Hero."

Next question...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oh, Praise Him.

Trey showed me this video a while back and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

There's something so incredible and honest about it. Take a minute and watch it and let me know what you think.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Haircut Day.

In Graham's stocking for Christmas this year, he got this book.


It was very appropriate of Santa to bring it because there's really no three words that send Graham into hysterics quite like, "Buddy, it's time for a haircut."

You just counted the words, didn't you? Six, not three. I know. Remember, no habla mathpanol. Si, burrito.

Yesterday, on the way home from school, I uttered those words. I warned the other children first to cover their ears. Graham literally threw himself on the ground and wailed. Almost as if his arm was being sawed off. With a butter knife.

He cried so hard, I thought he was going to pop a vessel. All because scissors were going to come in contact with his hair.

Is he Samson? Pretty sure he's not. Is he afraid his strength will leave his body if his hair is cut? Possibly.

It didn't help that, after we'd actually gotten the haircut, he was helping me carry a gallon of milk but accidentally dropped it. A gallon of milk makes a big, big mess. It also doesn't help support my claim that he will still be strong and handsome, even with a haircut.

We don't know where he got this absurd notion that haircuts could make or break his whole look. Perhaps, he's spent a little too much time looking at my high school yearbooks. They could be a case study in bad hair and may have scarred him a little.

Anyway, after some bribing, mostly consisting of an all access pass on the Wii last night, he conceded and submitted to the shears.

He looks great and I'd love to show you a picture but he's still unwilling to document his nightmare. His one-half-inch nightmare.

This morning, as I was packing his lunch in anticipation of his long day worrying about his haircut, I gave him the last pack of Nacho Cheese Doritos as somewhat of a consolation prize. The other two got Cheetos.

Now, this brings me to another puzzling issue in our house.

When did Cheetos become the low man on the chip totem pole? My kids would rather have basically anything other than Cheetos. Really? Pretzels? Yes, pretzels and plain Ruffles have moved up the ladder, passing Cheetos in my childrens' chip hierarchy.

Because I refuse to waste perfectly good processed cheese, I've found myself selflessly eating the kids' castaways. I've found them to be an excellent source of energy; especially the energy needed to handle haircut day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Home.

Friday morning, Dea and Darius came home. As many of you know, they had spent the week at their momma's house, while we, both us and them, took some time to pray about what this crazy situation will look like moving forward.

When Trey read the post I had written about why they left, he was again astounded at my uncanny ability to minimize a situation. It's a skill. We both had been deeply hurt and disrespected by the actions, and inactions, of these boys, but, I think we all knew they would be coming back. My temptation, in writing this blog, is to be painfully honest but, there are times when full-disclosure, simply for full-disclosure's sake, doesn't do anyone any good.

We've talked to them and explained to them that they're in a situation most kids their age will never be in and that requires decisions and commitments on their parts and ours. By living with their mom, they could have all kinds of freedom from accountability, curfews, and responsibilities. Lots of autonomy. We can't offer those same freedoms because we believe there's protection and love that comes from the humble, restraining hand of a parent.

We have a ton to learn in this process. And, we're all going to make mistakes along the way. Saying bad words is only the tip of my iceberg. Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragements. These boys, like our other four stinky children, are loved by us beyond words.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy Birthday O!

Today was Olivia's 8th birthday!


And this is what she wanted for breakfast...


A waffle and Nutella sandwich, with syrup, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, berries, and a candle of course.

We may have watched a little too much Elf over the Christmas break.


Friday, January 2, 2009

And the winner is!!!

I haven't forgotten about the giveaway even though I've waited all day to post a winner. It's actually part of my super-sneaky way of keeping you checking in all day instead of enjoying the last official day of Christmas vacation. I'm experimenting with other, similar ways to take over the world via my blog.

Or, maybe not.

Thanks to all of you who entered and checked out Adeline's Etsy shop, Intrigued . Don't you just love her stuff? I know!

And next, I'm going to announce the winner of these beautiful earrings...

...right after this commercial break.

I'm sorry, I'm also practicing my Ryan Seacrest imitation. How'my doin' so far?

Ok, seriously, the winner is Lisa over at Living My Best Life!!! WHOOHOO!!!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

19

Timestamp: 2009-01-02 15:41:58 UTC

Congrats Lisa! And HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!!