Saturday, May 31, 2008
Isn't She Lovely? Eighth Grade Dance Pics
Can you say spoiled? My sister drove over from St. Pete to help with her hair and brought her boyfriend's sister, K, who just happens to be a makeup artist. Nothing like having your own personal glam squad.

Too bad you can't see the cute shoes. They only took three shopping excursions to procure...but well worth the effort.
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  posted at 9:19 AM  

Thursday, May 29, 2008
I've been known to throw some last minute parties, but this was pretty unlike dh and I. After two unsuccessful attempts to have a party for our Memorial Day Weekend "baby" (no one could come to a Friday night movie party, and soccer consumed the rest of the weekend) , we decided to surprise EJ with dinner at the pizza party up the road. Dh whipped up a set of bilingual invites ("It's a Surprise/Esta Una Sorpresa") and we snuck around at the semis handing them out. TQ did her part to deliver them Tuesday to school friends, and mom made some stealth phone calls while "reviewing" his planner.

He may have been a little disappointed to hear that I was running late and that Dad and I had decided to take his cake and grab a pizza instead of me whipping up his favorite Caesar salad, but he got over it when his entire soccer team and most of his school buds arrived for giant pizzas, cupcakes (his favorite Malted Milk, of course), and a gorgeous giant cookie that his big sister made and decorated for him (complete with homemade frosting).

We were a bit surprised by the awesome turnout on a school night, and while we probably didn't have enough for them to do, they found a way to amuse themselves...a giant balloon fight ensued with the decorations. Thank goodness the owners of this small pizza operation are pretty laid back!

I did find it funny that as my kids get older,the gift of choice (giving and receiving) is cash and/or gift cards. He is one happy boy and will be most diligent about his thank you notes. As soon as they are done, he's got the funds for his long-coveted Wii (TQ and the Princess will be kicking in their share as well). Looks like Camp Video Game for my kids this summer.
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  posted at 6:42 AM  

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Gratuitous Birthday Boy Photo Fest

Cheesing with the Disney Trophy...we got creamed over President's Day and were thrilled to make the Semis.

Warming up in goal.

First Place Trophy at Playoffs...that's not dirt on is knee, it's a nasty bruise injury that knocked him out of the last quarter of the game.

Posted by PicasaWith a proud Coach.

  posted at 8:11 AM  

Happy Birthday!

Wow! My "Eeyore, Jr." is ELEVEN today! Here he is enjoying a birthday breakfast...his favorite, Laurie's Blueberry French Toast Casserole. We had a family dinner out this weekend at Red Lobster (nods to Auntie Sally!)...he did have the consideration to say, "I know it's not Mom's favorite, but...".

Congrats to him as well for helping his team win their area playoffs, take first in the DC Cup and place in the final four at the Disney Memorial Day Soccer Shootout! He played the game of his career (so far!) on Saturday, stopping a PK cold and punching out a high goal attempt. (He may have been showing off for Aunt Susan).

A peek into his (not so) little melancholy self--our conversation after we congratulated him on a fabulous game:

Mom: EJ, you looked really calm out there.

EJ: No, not on the inside.

Mom: Really, what were you thinking?

EJ: Ironically, that I had asked Nico to warm me up on PKs and got one five minutes later.
Mom's note--He was really proud at working this word into the conversation and went on to use it five more times.

But first, I thought, "Why me? Why now?".

(of course, you have to imagine this in his best Eeyore voice!).

We love you, EJ!

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  posted at 7:55 AM  

Thursday, May 22, 2008
Happy Birthday

Hop on over to Sally's place and wish my god-daughter a very happy birthday. We love and miss you, A...hope your day is as bright and shining as you are!
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  posted at 1:49 PM  

For My TQ, as she preparest to graduate Eighth Grade

Dear TQ,

In the past few months, you’ve begun the long process of stretching your wings. Some of your decisions have resulted in some tension in our relationship, but I’m proud of the way that you’re choosing to work to regain our trust right now.

Last night, I watched you sing a beautiful solo with the advanced chorus—a chorus you technically shouldn’t have been placed in because of a lack of prior experience. You are never more beautiful to me than when you are singing. Your spirit shines in those moments, and I find myself breathless with awe that I get to be your mom.

I also saw you passed over for awards that you sacrificed for your commitment to your soccer team (All State and County Choir, Ensemble Festival). Despite the fact that you were ultimately not chosen for the State Cup team in soccer, I want you to know how proud we are of your dedication, hard work, and team loyalty. If effort and attitude alone could make an elite soccer player, you would have been playing for the national team this year. You have improved tremendously as a player, and no matter where the game takes you, I hope your love for it follows your throughout your lifetime as a player, a referee, a coach, and maybe even someday a soccer mom!

Today, your school recognized your straight “A” record for your eighth grade year. They chose not to recognize your three year “A” record, but only those of students who attended MWMS for their full middle school tenure. Despite this, know your record doesn’t go unrecognized—it won your entry into the IB program . Daddy, I, and everyone who loves you, choose to fully recognize your achievement today. You maintained a full load of advanced work while saddled with the disadvantages of being two years younger than your academic peers, moving cross-country, assuming the majority of daily direct care for your youngest brother during my cancer treatment, and dealing with the family stress surrounding your father’s job loss. If there was a special award for three year academic achievement despite tremendous obstacles, you’d be a shoo-in.

If you take nothing else away from this season of your life, know you begin your high school career with the knowledge that sometimes life is a raw deal. The only thing any of us “deserve” in life is death for our sins…praise God for his glorious plan of salvation! Good things aren’t always gifts, and bad things aren’t always punishments. They simply are what life hands us. This knowledge gives you the gift of resiliency. You know that life goes on, and the joys and sorrows of our everyday lives are trivial compared to the God’s glorious plan for you. Because you have experienced and overcome hardships and prejudice early in life, you will not be stymied by them later in life, but know not just how to soldier on when you encounter them in the future, but to encourage others who may be experiencing them for the first time.

Words fail to express how much we love you and how proud we are of you.
Love always,


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  posted at 1:29 PM  

Thursday, May 15, 2008
It's nice to know the mortgage will be paid next month.
My husband is employed! He'll start a new job on Monday with a company about 75 miles from us.

And, because I'm sure that your inquiring minds want to know:

--Yes, I have some really cool stories about God taking care of us in this last month, despite my crappy attitude. I'll type them up when I get a chance to process them a bit more.

--Yes we will be putting this house on the market and trying to move. Prayers for a real estate miracle in yet another hideous market would be greatly appreciated. Real estate is very much proving NOT to be our thing!

--We actually had two job offers at the same time (a blessing and boost to my dh's confidence after the incident at the Company That Must Not Be Named).

--The other job was more lucrative by far, but would have moved us to the frozen north. Which we probably would have done if they had offered a house buyout. In the long run, the Florida job is a better choice for our family (right Grandpa?).

Thanks again for all of your kind and encouraging words.

  posted at 7:53 AM  

Thursday, May 08, 2008
In Which My Own Words Come Back, Not so much to haunt me as to kick me in the rear
My experience has been that the Lord rarely truly blindsides me. There's always a gift...something that prepares me.

When I lost my dad, I had the gift of a weekend with him just days before. During that weekend we took the time to heal some past hurts. The gift was that the last words I said to him alive were "I love you".

When we wanted a fourth child and every door seemed to close, our gift was our longing for "just one more". It sustained us through loss, through a horrible pregnancy, a long first year of reflux and colic, and all of the fights to figure out what was making my Little Guy tick out of sync.

In the months before my diagnosis, my husband and I had time to build our relationship during our Weekend to Remember and a glorious family vacation in Tahoe. Pictures of those days of calm before the storm are hung on our dining room wall, along with the word "Believe" and a favorite Bible verse. They hung daily before our eyes during the long days of treatment and healing.

When I went back to Phoenix in February, I had the opportunity to meet with friends from CBS. One of my favorite ladies ever, Trudy, blessed me with the most amazing compliment. "You know," said this woman who lived through infertility and the loss of her beloved Paul to Alzheimer's with tremendous grace, "I still think of a devotional you once gave at a leader's council meeting".

She reminded me of the time I shared about my apprenticeship in a floral department during high school. How sometimes to force flowers to bloom, we had to put them in hot water. Probably not too much fun if you're the flower, but the end results are beautiful.

God does the same thing, but he speaks in Psalms about refining us as silver in the furnace of affliction. (See Psalm 66)

I've tried to tell myself for weeks that I have writer's block...but that's not the truth.

The truth is that despite a clear check up last month (Hallelujah!), our storm isn't quite over...seems we were just resting in its eye.

Or, to hopelessly scramble my metaphors, we're being refined. By fire. To be specific, two days after my clear check up, my husband was dismissed from the job we moved here for, gave up dear friends and community for, sacrificed our savings for. Without a severance package or even a lovely parting gift (oops, did that sound bitter?).

It's not a pretty thing. When silver is heated, all the dross floats to the top and is skimmed off. Apparently, I still had a lot of dross...because I was not "blooming beautifully" during this latest trial. And when all is said and done, this is a public blog. One that my beautiful daughter reads. Some "dross" needs to stay a bit less public. It's bad enough that God, my husband, and occasionally my best friend have to deal with it.

So, back to my, gift. First Trudy reminded me of what trials really are. Then there was a season of pretty incredible sermons at church.

And then this.



Thanks, Sally. I needed that.

  posted at 8:32 PM  

About Me


I'm a work in progress, a stay at home mom of four, a beloved daughter of the King.

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