Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways
acknowledge him,and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Transformation - - from Fearful to Fearless

The beauty of a butterfly.  It's incredible really, to see how they go from a caterpillar, with many legs and sometimes fuzz, to an amazingly beautiful creature with wings.   What a splendid God we have that would create something so unique.  The transformation process is so remarkable.  I can't stop my mind from going over and over it.  You see, Caleb and I watched the process up close over the course of the last two weeks or so in school.  I wrote about it here if you want to pop on over and read about it.  Every day we check on the one chrysalid we have left and feed the four butterflies that appear to be quite happy.  So, as I said, I keep thinking about this transformation that's taken place right before our very eyes and it has made me more aware of other transformations and how special they can be.

The bible talks about transformation in Romans chapter 12, verse 2:  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  As with the caterpillar becoming a butterfly there are all sorts of transformations in our world.  Sometimes it's us that take part in a transformation process.  When we come to know Christ we are transformed and as in this scripture we should no longer conform to the world, but be transformed.  As the next verse tells us, when we do this, we will be able to test and approve what God's will is - - HIS GOOD, PLEASING & PERFECT WILL.

I watched Caleb last week as he attended his first ever swimming lesson.  Any contact Caleb had with water was either in the bathtub, a couple trips to the lake in the summer, or a few hotel swimming pools.  When appropriate a life-jacket was ALWAYS used.   This was his first time in a large body of water without his trusty floating device.  He was extremely intimidated and still had dry hair 1/2 way through his 30 minute lesson.  Froggy jumps had him only wet just above his waist, instead of to his chin as requested.  Time and time again Johnny and I watched him shake his head "no" to the requests of the instructor.

When the lessons were over he was so upset.  He didn't want to go back.  He said all the people freaked him out.  There were so many people there that night,  multiple classes in the water, parents watching from every angle.  A lot was going on in a rather small space.  My heart ached for him, because I knew the root of his anguish was fear.  I tried to be calm and just let him think about it all.  I figured after sleeping on it, we'd have a better day.  Only the morning wasn't better.  It brought with it an over abundance of anxiety in the life of our 6 yr old.  It was going to be a long day.....

Half way through school, as he was writing some words for the day, he said to me out of the blue, "I'm scared."  Ahhhh....Fear.   What a nasty thing it can be.   I very calmly and quietly told him that I knew he was scared and it was okay to be scared.  But it was in those times that we are scared that we need to trust God the most.  He is always with us and as long as we keep Him with us everything will be okay.  I saw him thinking about what I'd said to him, but he went back to his school work.

This reminds me of a popular bible story, Mark 6:45-52 where it tells about Jesus walking on water.   There was a bad storm and the sight of Jesus walking on water terrified the disciples.  But in that moment, Jesus calmed the storm and told them, "Don't be afraid, .......take courage!  I am here!"   Since Caleb doesn't know Christ yet in a real and personal way, it is up to John and I to teach him and show him who Christ is and how we all need Him in our lives.   This was an opportune moment for me, as a parent, to share with Caleb that Jesus can calm our fears.  We only have to remember Him when we are fearful and trust Him.

Recognizing his fear, I realized I needed to do something.  I called the pool and asked if they had a different time of day that we could move Caleb to for his lessons.  We were fortunate.  But, of course, we know that God was in this.  Caleb was moved to a 1 hour morning class for Thur/Fri.  Instead of 5:30 p.m. classes for 30 minutes Tu-Fri.  He only had a couple of kids in his class and over all there would be way less people hanging around.

His Thur/Friday lessons went much better.  Fear still had a strong hold on my little boy, but I could see him getting more comfortable in his surroundings.  His instructor was a young man named Jake and Caleb really seemed to connect well with him.  His biggest accomplishment was actually sticking his face in the water, however briefly, one time during the lesson.

Knowing that nearly a full week from Friday's lesson to the lesson this week on Thursday was going to be a long time I decided to take Caleb to the pool today to give him some practice time.  The more comfortable he gets in the water, the easier things will be for him.  I knew this in my heart and I SO wanted my little guy to feel courageous instead of fearful.

We settle our towels on the bench and make our way to the pool.  The water felt so good on this very hot day.  He is beside himself with excitement and begins to show me his froggy jumps, ice cream scoops, and this monkey-crawl along the wall.  I asked him if he wanted to stick his face in the water like he did for Jake.  A definitive NO was his response.   But, even with that, it took him all of five more minutes to dip one side of his face, then the other.  I congratulated him and before I could utter another word, my fearful little man was completely under the water in front of me!!  I mean completely!  His entire head was submerged!!  

Dunk after dunk after dunk!!  He was quite pleased with himself and even said he couldn't wait for swim lessons so he could show Jake how easy it was for him to go under the water.  Talk about feeling proud!!  He even decided to hold his breath and see how long he could stay under.  My little man, who only one week ago was nearly in tears about getting his face wet, was under the water for 4 seconds, then 5, then 7, then 10, then 14, and finally for 15 seconds!!

You have to check out these photo's!  I'm a proud mama sharing a moment of victory!!

No tears here, he wipes his face every time he comes up from under the water...

The transformation Caleb made in such a short amount of time is so amazing to me.  He went from being consumed with fear to fighting that fear and achieving success!!   I'm not sure who was more proud of Caleb - - me or himself!!

God bless,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Making a Difference

I was greatly privileged to recently meet three individuals, then later a fourth, who have no doubt changed my life in a way I'm not even sure I can explain.  Let me introduce the Engage Revival Team: Xavier, Josh, Daniel, and Ryan.  (Ryan is not pictured as we did not meet him until later.)  Four amazing individuals who I am proud to know.

I've been pondering on this post for almost two weeks now, trying to figure out what it was that I wanted to say.  Or maybe it would be more accurate to say it this way - - what God would want to say through me.

Our church held it's first revival June 12th through the 16th.  A Sunday through a Thursday.  Different parts of the day were for different ages and then evenings were for everyone.  This revival came to be only three weeks before the event was to take place.  I have to admit, I did not go into the notion of a revival with much of a smile on my face.  My lack of a smile had two sources.  Worries actually.  I tend to do that.  You can ask my hubby about it - - he knows I'm a worrier and he'll agree with me on this.  I sometimes borrow trouble.   Unnecessary trouble at that.

My first concern.  It was so last minute.  And those sorts of things sometimes put my mind in a tale-spin.  If we're going to do it, let's do it right!  Plan, advertise, organize, etc, etc.....But, that is not how this revival was to take place.  It WAS last minute, had minimal planning, and very little organizing.

What was worry number two you ask?   Isn't it obvious?  I worried about whether or not people would come?   How embarrassing would it be for this group of young men to give up time away from their families to come down to the little town of Sinton, Texas and only talk to us because no one else came?   I was worried about what they would think of us?  What's wrong with this church?  All those notions and more plagued my thoughts.   Would Josh, Daniel, Xavier, and Ryan be disappointed in the results?

As I sit here now and think back over that week and the days that followed, I realize that my heart is SO full!  It's so full, that I am struggling in writing this post.  I can't figure out where to start.  How can I share this so that you will feel even a morsel of what I'm feeling?  I'm not sure, but I'm going to give it my very best try.

Revival week was over flowing with blessings.  Did people come?  Yes, we had a few more in numbers than normal.  Was it as many as we'd prayed for?  With great humility I can now say it really doesn't even matter.  I learned first and foremost that a revival is for the church members themselves as much as it is for the community surrounding it.  If a revival reaches ONE person, it was a success.   I think we can claim many success from that week.  

Meeting the members of the Engage Revival Team was such a pleasure.  I had no idea just how much these four young men would change my life, and the lives of many of our faith family.  It began with watching them engage themselves with our children.  The love they showered on each and every one of them was real and true.  Anyone who is around kids for any amount of time knows that not ALL kids are lovable ALL the time, but you wouldn't know that from the positive attitudes of these guys.  As I lead Wednesday night's for the kids, I can only pray to have a smidgen of the positivity that these guys had as they interacted with our children.  If I can do that, I will find success.

I watched them engage themselves with our youth.  They explained the witnessing process and then took them out into the community to show them how to witness.  Hearing the testimonies of our youth as they stood in front of church and shared with us bits of their time out in the community was such a blessing!!  I promise you, not a dry eye was in the house.   Additional blessings came in the witness the Engage Team was to our youth as they were forced to deal with rejection.  That has to be the single-most fear all of us have when it comes to witnessing.  Having the door slammed in your face, the blatant rejection from those hiding inside their homes doing their best to avoid you.  Our youth learned that it's okay when those things happen and to keep doing God's work is the priority.

I watched them engage themselves with our families.  They each gave up their own free time to come to our home and attend Caleb's 6th birthday party.  They could have gone anywhere and done anything, but they chose to spend time with us.  Did I say we were blessed this week?  Oh, yes...I did say that.  It's definitely worth repeating though.

I listened to Josh's sermons and prayers every evening and couldn't get through a service without shedding tears.  Some of the highlights for me were when Josh preached from Isaiah 6:1-9 and talked to us about asking God to Search Me, Break Me, Stretch Me, Lead Me, and Use Me!  How powerful is that to ask God for the specifics!!  How about his sermon from Psalm 51 - and more specifically Josh's words; Sin creates memories of sin that stay with us.  Consequences.  God gives us this gift so we will not go down that road again.  Another sermon that asked us just how devoted to God we really were touched my heart so very much.  And the night of small groups gathering around, praying for each other for our families?  How can it get any better than that?  Praying for one another heart-felt prayers.

God was there each and every day/night and I felt it!  The Holy Spirit was present and accounted for!!  Every one of his messages touched my heart and made me think about ME.  I was convicted and knew God was working on me at those very moments!!  Isn't that what a revival is for?  To awaken us from the dead?  To remind us what being a Christian is really all about?  To help us shed our complacency?  A revival does all those things and so much more!

Thursday, the last night of the revival was a special night.  Our church rented the Lazy V so we would have more room for fun, fellowship, and worship.  After a meal of burgers, hotdogs and all the trimmings, Daniel blessed our hearts with many songs of praise for our Lord and Savior.   Xavier read scripture and Josh presented a short message and invitation.  As much as we'd hoped for professions of faith it did not happen on this night.  But, rest assured, seeds were planted.  Anyone who was listening heard the Good News and so much more than night.  Our church family saw lots of new faces among the youth and our prayer going forward will be that we will see those faces again at a later date.  This night was also a time for us to share with the Engage Team just how much they meant to us, the impacts they had on us, and whatever we had on our hearts.  Many who spoke couldn't get through their words without tears.  Including me.  None of us were looking forward to the good-bye....

Even though they were hard, the good-bye's were not going to be the end.  We all knew that.  Because after becoming friends on Facebook, sharing phone numbers and such, we knew we'd be keeping in touch.  Our faith family had grown.  Friendships were made and bonds were fiercely new and strong.  This feeling was not going to go away any time soon.

A phone call several days after our revival was over revealed that the next stop on their journey, the revival in Red Rock, was turning out to be an amazing event!  Blessings had continued into the week with a couple professions of faith and many confessing sin.  Even with all the goodness they experienced, our new buddies missed all of us at NBF.  They asked if they could come back to see us on their way to the next church revival.   They truly wanted to share the work that God had done at the Red Rock revival with someone and who better to share it with than new Christian friends?  Friends that you know will treasure the results and whose hearts would be filled with joy.

It wasn't an easy task for these young men to come back to Sinton, Texas.  They literally drove hours out of their way to come back to our faith family.  The connection we all had with this team was so strong.    What an affirmation that what we felt when they were here the first time was real and true.  They felt it, too, or they would not have wanted to come back.  Friendships like that are rare.  

In a nutshell?  God is an amazing God.  Work that is being done for Him does not have to be greatly planned and organized by us.  Let Him be in control, let Him do the planning and organizing and He will use you and work through you - - you only have to make yourself available to Him.  Get your sinful self out of the way and let it happen!   Servants of God are everywhere and watching the commitment of these four was so powerful.  They are changing lives everywhere they go.  They are making a difference.   They definitely made a difference for me, for  I am a better person for having met them.  I will never look at things the same way again.  These young men inspired me greatly.  Their servants-hearts overwhelm me and I believe that is the reason I have struggled to find the right words to share this experience.  I want to do it justice.  Not just offer some contrite happy thoughts for others to read.  Our revival WAS life-changing for myself and so many others.

The Team as they showed our little one's how to work as a team.

Left to Right:  Randy, John, Caleb, Daniel, Pam, Josh, Allie, & Xavier.....

The Engage Team hugging on our pastor who proclaims himself to be a non-hugger!!

Josh preaching a short message and invitation the last night of the Revival at the Lazy V.

So, I challenge you to do your research and make your way to the next revival opportunity.  Put ALL your reservations on the shelf.  Open your heart and mind to receive God's Word in a mighty and powerful way!  Allow someone to make a difference in your life!

Then, maybe, at one time or another an opportunity will present itself for  us to go out and make a difference for someone else!

In that day you will say:  "Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted.  Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.  Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you."

Psalm 12:4-6

In His Name,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Croquet Anyone?

One of Caleb's birthday presents, (from his best friend Ella, matter-of-fact,) was a croquet set.  He didn't look real excited after he opened the gift.  I knew why though.  He had no clue how to use all those pieces he saw all packed nice and neat within the zipper pouch. (Add to that at least 30 people sitting around him expecting a reaction.)  I knew once it was out of the package, and after a bit of explanation, he would be all about it....And I was right!  He begged and begged until Daddy finally had some time to set it up.  

The ground was incredibly hard, but Daddy managed to get the hoops to stand up long enough to play. 
I've not played a whole lot of croquet in my lifetime, but I will admit that I've never seen it played while RUNNING.  Checkout this photo!  Caleb is running and trying to whack his ball through the hoop!!!  I love it!   Happy Gilmore style of Croquet!   LOL
Here is Caleb attempting to right the pole and if you look around him you can see ALL the hoops laying on the ground.  What can I say?  He had his own rules and one of those was to knock over the hoops right after his ball emerged from them!  I'm sure his thinking was that would stop anyone from having a chance on beating him!!
Silly guy!  Fun to watch a first time croquet game.  The rules of the game weren't much into play this time around!!

Warm fuzzies,

And....It's a New Bike!

Nothing like getting a new bike for your birthday.  Sissy & Aaron and Mommy & Daddy went together on this gift.  For someone who wasn't very thrilled to see the bike in the box Caleb was VERY excited the next day and wanted to build it and ride it!!

Here are a few photo's of the big moment.  Okay - so we're still training wheel bound.  That's okay....exercise is exercise and that's what I hope he'll get plenty of with these new wheels.

I particularly like these last two photos.  The first because it's such a clear photo and the second because Caleb raised his arms and shook them as though he'd accomplished a personal victory.  Very heartwarming and made this momma smile.
Another shining star moment.  ;o)  I just love watching my children accomplish goals.  They are so excited for what they've done and I'm even more excited to see them feeling good about themselves.  

It's in those special moments that I revel in the notion of how amazing and wonderful our God is and how much He has blessed ME.  I've had an amazing journey as a mom.  Helping to raise step-children, a grandchild, and raising those children that were created by God and had their start in my very own womb.  What an honor it's been to be a part of such a wonderful gift!  I have cherished each and every moment!  I can't imagine my life having been any other way.  I told my mom when I was little I wanted lots of kids.  I've been so blessed to have just that!

In His Name,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Few New Things for the Bedroom Scene

Some long awaited decorations to the "Cars" bedroom decor.

A cute license plate found at Hobby Lobby for $2.99.
Some fatheads about 17 or 18" in size, found at Toys R Us for only $9.99 for the set of Mater and Lightening McQueen.  They were marked down for clearance!  Whee-hoo!  Much better than the $80 one's I saw on-line and just did not want to pay for!

A fun birthday present - Lightening McQueen that you trick (or decorate) all by yourself.  Someone was really thinking this through.  You have to buy ALL the pieces separate!  LOL

A friend L. gave me this truck wall-hanging out of a garage sale about a year or more ago.  I saved it thinking the perfect use WOULD present itself some day.  Well, it finally did.  Where does a little boy put his collection of "Cars" movie cars and keep them neat and tidy?  Well, on a wooden wall-hanging, of course!!  It's the perfect addition to Caleb's room!  I'm so glad I kept it!  
Now, the next part of the plan.  Getting said little 6 yr old boy to SLEEP in his OWN room.  I'm not certain that will be an easy task, but one we hope to take on soon and declare victory over!!

In His Name,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And Now We're Six!

Why is it that birthday parties are so much work, yet so much fun??  You would think after all the kids I've raised, and am still raising, that I would have this one annual task down to a "T."  But, alas, it is not so.  

Here is the inspiration for this years party.  Caleb saw a Buzz Lightyear birthday candle several months ago and said that was what he wanted his birthday party to be.  So, here we go, Buzz amongst the mass of cupcakes.
And Buzz soaring over the earth at light-speed!
And the table setting of yellow cupcakes with homemade chocolate buttercream icing, chocolate cupcakes with the homemade chocolate icing, chocolate cupcakes with homemade white icing, and last but not least, white cupcakes with white icing.  A little something for everyone!

Tons of balloons for the kids.  This year I bought one of those $20 helium tanks from Wal-Mart.  Seemed easier than paying the one little place in Sinton to do it for me.  Especially when we spent $13 or so for half as many balloons.
And here they are...the dynamic duo, with a shot of my sweet sister-in-law Stephanie in the background.  I think she thought she was staying out of the way.  But, no, I got her, too!  Hee hee...
This is Xavier (one of the members of the revival team who was at our church this week,) McKenzie and Meghan.  They were trying to jump all together and going in the same direction, all with me trying to get a picture.  This was the closest I could get.  ;o)
Here's Miss Lucy, Allie, and Natalie, just chilling out on the back porch with sweet little Aiden down in the corner making use of the car that never gets used anymore.  
All the little one's had the best time with a short game of soccer!  Doug (my nephew via marriage), was the goalie and two of the little one's in the picture are his.  The tiny spec of a little boy that is hiding behind the soccer goal is Derek, and the one in the blue shirt in the center of the picture is Noah.  To the left of Noah is Jacob, to the right is Caleb and Hudson my grandson.
I just had to post this picture.  Look at Ella in that cool action shot, giving that ball a swift kick towards the goal.
Time to sing happy birthday!!  He wasn't as embarrassed this year as he was other years and was actually excited to be sung to.  ;o)
Another attempt to get an annual shot of the dynamic duo.  This one isn't too bad.  What a pair they are....we are so glad it worked out that they could come to the party.  It wouldn't have been the same without our Ella there.
Some cool jumping action from some of the kiddo's:

Here's Hudson and Caleb.  Love that pose from Hudson!!
Here's the back of Noah, Ella, Hudson, and Caleb.  I believe that is Randy off to the right.
I just love the pose I caught Noah in!  Only the camera can do that...
And precious Emily Ava.  Is she not the cutest thing since sliced bread?  Oh she is precious.  And a smiler to boot!  I didn't catch a smile here, but she's always offering sweet smiles, one after the other.  What a blessing she is....
Out of all the pictures taken during the opening of the presents this was the only one that came out clear.  I'm not certain, but I might have had the wrong setting on the camera.  It was either that or the lighting was poor.  Either way, we did end up with one with a sweet smile!

And it's a wrap up...The end of a special day for a special guy.  What a blessing Caleb is to our family.  We thank God for him each and every day.  He is a miracle in more ways than one.  For those that don't know Caleb's birth story...I'll share that some day.  For now, take my word for it.  He is our precious miracle...

In His Name,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Catch'N Up

Hello and good Monday morning!

Today is the start of a new week and most assuredly new beginnings!   The Parker bunch has had a busy couple of weeks and I am seriously behind on my blog - - with lots of cute things to add when time allows. For now, here's a recap of recent events:

Randy is home from New York!  He had a super good time.  Brought neat gifts for some of the family as his budget would allow.  He saw the Empire State Builing, Ground Zero, one of the biggest toy Stores ever, the Broadway Play "Wicked," a New York Mets baseball game, China town, and SO much more!!  He has video and some pictures and as they make their way to me I will try to share.

Wednesday, 8th through Friday, June 17th:
His first week and a half back from New York, Randy spent with us here in Papalote.  I was so glad for that time with him.  It felt like it had been forever since he'd been here!

Sunday, June 12th:
That time quickly moved into a busy week at church.  The Engage Revival Team was here from June 12th - 18th.  The revival was the 12th through the 16th, but we had the distinct pleasure to enjoy their company again on the 17th in a more personal setting at our home.  They young men were such awesome individuals - Josh, Daniel, and Xavier will not soon be forgotten by our faith family.  Their love for the Lord and a sweet longing to share it with others was such a joy.  The entire experience was eye-opening for me (an my family I know) and was an all-together awakening that I want to keep tucked in my heart moving forward.  I can only pray that any seeds that were planted this week will prove fruitful in the coming weeks, months, or years.  What a blessing it would be if even ONE seed grew and someone came to know Christ as a result.

Monday, June 13th:  Wonderful first day of revival.  The kids loved the morning session so much they didn't want to leave and couldn't wait to come back the next day.  The youth had their session in the afternoon and learned about witnessing.  Everyone went home to dinner and came back at 7pm for the evening session.  It was a busy day for me, running kids to and from church, helping by carpooling some that needed rides...What a blessed day, serving the Lord in this way.

Tuesday, June 14th:  Tuesday held the same format as Monday.  A very busy day again.  Unfortunately, Caleb developed fever in the evening.  He was not a happy guy during the night at all.

Wednesday, June 15th:   We had to stay home Wednesday from the revival and Caleb was so feverish and sick he didn't even care.  I knew he was sick because he LOVED going and hanging out with the guys and he wouldn't have wanted to miss that for anything.

Thursday, June 16th:  Today was a better day....Caleb was feeling better and the evening brought the closing session to the revival.  We all gathered at the Lazy V and just hung out and visited.  The kids played at the park, tossed frisbees, kicked soccer balls, etc.  We had wonderful hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, BBQ'd by none other than Richard Hopkins, assisted by Lynn Echols.  The service and worship time were amazing.  It was really hard knowing this was the last night and the end.  But, I just had to tell my self it was the end of the revival, but not the end of the RESULTS of the revival.

Friday, June 17th:
John spent some of today showing the revival team around Corpus Christi. Then we wrapped up revival week with a birthday party for our dear and sweet little guy, Caleb Lynn.  How amazing it is that he has officially turned 6!!!  Where is the time going?  I dare say it is flying by too quickly.   We had so many here for his party, which we had two days early from his actual birthday.  Since his birthday was ON Father's Day this year (as it was the day he was born), it was a little hard to hold his party ON his special day.  We had folks that were going to be out of town and such, so it was bumped up to Friday to try to accommodate people we really wanted to be able to come.   We had my brother Rick, Steph and Sami,  my son Dusty, Morgan, Hudson, and Adi, Sissy, (Aaron was at work), nephew Justin and fiance Brandi with their little guy Jacob, niece Cari and her sweet family-Doug, Noah, Derek, & Emily,  church friends the Hopkins and the Israel's, and we can't forget our wonderful Revival team that made a little boys day and came to his birthday party!!   Unable to attend were Grandma and Grandpa because Grandpa worked too late and nephew Zach and his wife Melanie (Zach had drill and Melanie had to work).

Saturday, June 18th:
Johnny had an MRI scheduled today.  He's been having extreme pain in his neck/back/shoulder area for quite some time now.  After an x-ray revealed bone spurs in his neck, the next step seemed to be an MRI to make sure there wasn't anything else going on - - as if bone spurs weren't enough!!   This was scheduled for Saturday morning so Caleb and I tagged along.  We sat in the waiting room a bit, walked over to Sonic for a cold drink, and then because the waiting room was SO cold we sat outside on the bench at Radiology Associates (not to mention the program on the TV wasn't something worth watching).  With the breeze and shade from the carport cover we were quite comfortable.  It took a little while as this was way more detailed than an x-ray.  Our prayers now are that the doctors can figure out what is causing Johnny all this pain.  We would also like to pray for a non-surgical solution if possible.

Our day took us into Corpus to have lunch with my parents since they weren't able to attend Caleb's party.  It was a double-header as we celebrated Father's Day with my dad also.  What an enjoyable lunch time we had.  Sometimes it's nice to be in a smaller group.  A little easier to actually visit.  I like parties with my entire family, too.  But, there is something special about the one's that are smaller and a bit more intimate.

After lunch we romped on over to Toys R Us.  Yes, we hadn't truly bought anything for Caleb's birthday present and decided that this year we would let him pick something out.  It was actually fun and he took his job very seriously, walking through all the areas, trying to decide what he really wanted.  What a guy!!

We left there and were then able to spend some time with John's sister and her bunch:  Kathy & Larry, Cari, Doug and the kids, Justin, Brandi, Jacob, and Brandi's mom.  It was so nice to see everyone.  It fills my heart with joy to see all the little one's.  The extra special blessing????  To see Kathy in such good spirits.  She was tired but looked, oh-so-good!   Her chemotherapy treatments have been extraordinarily difficult and to see her smile, and laugh, and so upbeat - - ah, {tears}.  She is on a difficult journey and has one of the hardest parts now behind her!  God is so amazing and SO good!!!

Sunday, June 19th:
We wrapped up our weekend by attending our church services in the morning, having lunch out for Father's Day and Birthday, then took Caleb to see Kung Fu Panda.  Cute movie.  I loved to hear him giggle.  We came home after that and Johnny spent the rest of the evening putting together a bicycle, a nerf basketball hoop, playing croquet, and various other activities that came at Caleb's request.

Needless to say.....we are tired.  Caleb was beyond cranky all day Sunday.  Not his usual self at all.  Really.  I mean it.  He doesn't often get spankings.  I honestly can't remember the last one he did get because for him "words" are usually enough.  It would have broken my heart to have to give him one on his birthday.  So, daddy and I dug deep into our patience reserve and made it through the day.  Our prayer is that this attitude is not what came in with the 6th birthday, but a result of all that you've read about so much going on, too many things to do, and not enough down time; or restful nights.

God has been so good to me and our family.  We have much to feel blessed about!!!

Until I have time to work on the pictures I've been taking....this will have to do.

God bless,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

He Has Arrived!

Randy is officially in New York!!  

He had to be at the high school around midnight last night, ride the bus to Houston, then fly to New York.  At this time there is not much to report except their bus arrived safely in Houston at the wee-hours this morning and then their flight arrived safely in New York just before lunch time today!  

I sent Randy a text message asking him the following questions:

1) Are you tired?
2) Having fun?
3) How was the flight?

His response to me:

"Pretty good, fixing to go see Wicked..."

Hee be 15 yrs old and on a trip like that without parents.  I expect to only get minimal contact from him over these next 5 days...I'm so nervous, but excited for him all at the same time!

Please continue to pray for safety for him, his group, teachers, and chaperone's.  

God bless,