Friday, April 29, 2011

I have cool friends {Dancing On My Ashes}

Holly Wall was one of my first friends at college.
Here we are in all of our 1995 glory.

Our fathers had a mutual friend and my dad told me to keep an eye out for this Holly girl.  She had just gotten word that there was room for her at Moody a few days before class started, but she was told she might have to sleep in the lounge for a week or so (as inevitably, some other poor freshman girl would get scared of the big city and go home).  We instantly connected.  This "Holly from the Lounge" became one of my dearest friends.  She also met Scott Nesbitt that year.  They quickly fell in love, dated the next couple years, and I stood in their wedding in the spring of 1996.  Holly is amazing in many ways.  Every time I watch American Idol, I say to Chris, "Holly is so much better than her."  Holly has an unforgettable voice.  She has the kind of voice that can sing any note effortlessly.  It simply comes out beautiful.  She was to sing at our wedding in 2000.  She was to come all the way from Vermont where she and Scott, along with their two-year old daughter, Emma, had just started a Christian adventure camp.  This was Scott's childhood dream, and I was so thrilled for them.

There are some moments in life you won't ever forget.  One night, a couple of months before my wedding,  Holly called me and said, "I don't know how to tell you this, but Scott is dead.  He died in a canoeing accident."  I immediately escaped into Chris' closet and closed the door.  I sat and cried, listening to her grieve.  She explained that her sister's husband had died in the same accident, leaving them both widows in their early 20's.

Well, I'll leave you with that.  The before and after of that story is written in their book, Dancing On My Ashes.

 They tell their story, but mostly they tell of God's faithfulness and healing in their lives.  They continue to use their story to minister to others who have suffered deep loss.  When we met for coffee the other day, she told me that she and her sister, Heather, were about to go speak to military wives.  They also minister at various women's retreats.  You can also check them out on their facebook page here.

Thanks, Holly, for your friendship over ALL these years!  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Embrace the Camera {Jopie as photographer}

The kids have become interested in trying out my big camera.  Even Jopie.  Jopie is 4.  As a side note, the other day he said, "Mommy, will you please stop calling me Joseph?  That is not my real name!"
"What is your name?" I asked.
Looking at me like I was stupid, "Jopie!"

He took this one.  It's not the best picture of me, but I like it because it's how my kids see me a lot, bending down to see what they need.

Link up with Embrace the Camera here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

He is Risen!

He is risen indeed!
This was the first Easter my boys have ever had Easter baskets.  I know, isn't that awful?  I don't why I've never done it before.  It seemed overwhelming.  They all got a book from Half-Price Books and some random candy.  It was fun to pick out books that fit their personalities.

A handsome crew.

Love Cry Cry's face of JOY here.

He held on to his basket most of the day.

After church, we headed over to continue our celebration with friends.  This is a tradition.  Our first Easter together, Graham was 4 months old.  Daboo (Mrs. James) went to great lengths organizing the kiddos in an Easter play.  She's incredible.  She even made them costumes.  My kids were anticipating it all week.

These tomb guards look pretty fierce.

Aren't the costumes great?  They look like they could be Jesus' disciples.

We had to have more than 2 Mary's.  But aren't they precious?

This "Mary" decided to be shy.

The narrators.

Saved the best for last.  Gabriel.  Doesn't Asher look pretty in white fluffy feathers?
[I'm seeing this photo in his wedding video]

All the kids did such a nice job.

Take a bow.

All the kids.

The girls.

Thanks Cappy and Daboo for adopting all of us into your family every Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

When Uncle Bryan came into town last weekend, the boys (one boy in particular) were so excited to launch the rockets they had built during Spring Break.

We found the perfect field.
It was the USA 502436's first voyage.
The 36 is tacked on at the end because of my age, but don't tell anyone.

Uncle Bryan's excited helper.

So proud to have it all set up.
It launched beautifully.  We found it every time.  The boys were amazed.

In the meantime, since we were in our church clothes and the sun was setting on such pretty green grass, I had to snap a few pictures.  Shocking.  I know.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Embrace the Camera {Jopie and me}

I so loved Emily's recent post, that I have decided to try her Embrace the Camera.
What does this mean?  Read on.

In the olden days, when I had a camera with film (remember film?), I turned my film into Sam's Club and would go to pick it up 5 days later.  This is what I did until I got my first digital camera in 2005.  Anyway, I would get my pictures back and maybe 1 in about 100, there would be a glimpse of me.  Almost always, that 1/100 shot was not taken at my best moment.  Like this one Chris took.

[Cry Cry and me, Thanksgiving 2008]
Thanks Chris!

Or random.  Like this one.
I'm pretty sure that this particular set of PJ's did not come together.
(But how cute and sweet is Samuel right there?)

Or right after I gave birth when I'm all puffy.

These aren't really the kind of pictures you would want your grandkids to pull out and say, "THIS was my grandmother!"  We laugh about it, but the good photos of me and the kids are few and far between.  I have lots of Chris and the boys.  I'm the photographer in the family, so my natural instinct is to grab the camera and capture the moment.
But of course, I feel a little funny asking to be in the picture.  Don't you?
But I AM their mother.
I DID birth them.
I do spend ALL day long with them.
I deserve to get on the other side of the camera every so often, right?

So I'm going to Embrace the Camera.  This means I'll try to get myself in a pic every week or so and share it with you, and Lord willing, share with my grandkids, and my great grandkids.
Let's see how it goes.
Chris took this one the other night as we were shooting off rockets.
We were on soccer fields.  The lighting was just right.
Didn't he do a good job?
I love that he caught sweet Jopie with a natural face.  He so often does his "camera smile."

So come on, Embrace the Camera with me.
Even if you don't blog, get a good pic of yourself with your kids every so often!
Click on over to Emily's blog to find out how.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Saturday morning

What does your Saturday morning look like?
In the spring, ours look like this.
It takes a village to get these four baseball stars dressed and ready to go.

And a bag full of treats & cars to keep this rock star happy at the games.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Break

We've never officially taken a Spring Break until this year.  My entire family (Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Bryan, Aunt Tess, Mary, and Elsa) came to visit us.  The weather did NOT cooperate.  Our one week of cold spring weather came that week.  We wore jeans, long sleeves and coats most of the week.  Bummer seeing that they came all the way from Minnesota to bask in the "warmth" of Texas.

Despite the weather, we all had a great time.
 The school table looked like this all week.
Lots of art projects.

Cry Cry loved playing "baby" with Aunt Tess.

I think Aunt Tess liked it too.

I got to take these cute girls out for breakfast.

Mary's more a pancake girl.

We made a trek to the mall to get Mary & Elsas' ears pierced.
The boys enjoyed the whole experience.  Watching their cousins voluntarily inflict pain on themselves was very entertaining.  Asher said he's glad that he's not a girl because he doesn't want to get his ears pierced or birth a baby.  Smart boy.

These two learned how to rollerblade.

This was our menu for intermission for a play they had planned.

Pick up sticks anyone?

Mary & Elsa were great spectators at Graham & Asher's game.
There were rumors that some boy on the team thought they were cute.  
Oh no.  Is THAT starting already?

These two were quite the rollerblading pair.

The last day it warmed up.  Finally.

All of us were outside right away in the morning, in our PJ's.

I meant to take some cute cousin pictures.  But that would've required us to take showers and get dressed in regular clothes.  And we didn't quite get to that.  Maybe next time.

We did get around to building rockets.
Thanks to Uncle Bryan wanting to relive his childhood.

More on this later, b/c the launching was pretty fabulous. 

Thanks, Bademans, for driving ALL the way down 35 to see us.
We love you!