Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's a Big Day

Today is an important day in our quest to move to Texas. We're here visiting McKinney and Clearview Church to help with a big outreach event as well as to be present for the first baptism at the church. But not only the outreach event, Brian is here to go visit McKinney elementary school principals and try to make some connection as he searches for a job in the McKinney school district. You might remember I mentioned several weeks ago that we had the discouraging news that McKinney receives over 12,000 applications a year so a little face-to-face meeting just might be helpful.

Two years in a row now we've been prepared to follow what we thought God was calling us to do and move to Texas. And two years in a row, cancer has reared its ugly head and stopped us. You might understand how that can be not only discouraging, but also confusing as we try to determine what God is trying to do in our lives. I read this scripture earlier and then on a blog post this morning so I'm guessing I kind of needed to read it. Here's what I know. I don't have to worry. God is in control. Whether we're in Texas, staying in Tennessee, or whatever direction our life takes, I don't have to worry. Not that I'm always so good at maintaining trust in my God, but I think I'm getting better.

Psalm 62
God, the one and only— I'll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I'm set for life. 

How long will you gang up on me? How long will you run with the bullies? There's nothing to you, any of you— rotten floorboards, worm-eaten rafters, Anthills plotting to bring down mountains, far gone in make-believe. You talk a good line, but every "blessing" breathes a curse.

God, the one and only— I'll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I'm set for life.
My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be. 

Update: the first school Brian visited has a 4th grade position open and they're interviewing today (we did not know that). The principal told him that the 11:00 slot had not confirmed and asked if he wanted that slot. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Cousin. Heaven.


I'm flying blind here as far as photos/editing without my desktop or LR, but I couldn't resist at least trying to post a peek of all the fun these kiddos are having together.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday's Tidbits - Rory edition

All from this week. Life is never boring. Or quiet.

"Don't you think I'm being real quiet except for the chatter right here?"

A few seconds later, "I hope I'm not getting you real tired with my talking, mama. I've debated it."

"What's the name and number from the 'for God so loved the world' words?"

Rory was asking us about what we were going to be when they (as in Camden and Rory) were grown-ups. We told her that we would be grown-ups just like Grandma and Grandpa are grown-ups. Rory paused then said, "well, I didn't want to say this, but Grandma and Grandpa have ruffles on their hands."

We arrived in Oklahoma Friday evening, and we've been "lucky" enough to have temperatures well above 100 degrees while we've been in Oklahoma. As in, it's 6:23 Monday evening and currently 102 outside.We passed the high school this afternoon, and the temperature read 123. Nope, not a typo.

Becky and I have been watching lots of Olympic Trials. It was our goal to be together for the actual Olympics, but I don't think that's going to happen so the Olympic Trials will have to do.

Anyway, having lots and lots of fun. The cousins are giggling non-stop and being completely silly. Last night was a water balloon fun followed by root beer floats. This morning is a tour of the Blue Bell Creamery (complete with ice cream, of course).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Before and After

Brian bought this old heavy walnut desk 9 years ago for $5 at a yard sale, and it's always been hidden back in a room. But in this house, we have a big living space but no extra room so my computer junk is out in the open.


An old chair seat that matches the old nasty wooden chair we bought at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago. Ignore the dirty floor.

And after new hardware and a couple of coats of Annie Sloan paint in Old White.

And do you see my BEAUTIFUL Angela Crutcher canvas? I cannot tell you how much I love it.

Brian re-upholstered the chair for me, and while it matches the carpet and our burgundy couch perfectly, I find myself completely regretting that I didn't buy the cheerful, bright fabric I had originally picked out. When I finally get to redo our living room (when we finally land in someplace permanent), I'll definitely redo it in something bright and colorful.

And in case anyone is wondering about the Annie Sloan paint, it *mostly* lived up to all the hype. It's a furniture chalk/matte paint, and while a quart is super expensive, you don't have to prime, sand, etc. and one coat dries in about 30 minutes. Just paint, follow it up with wax, and that's it. It has a great matte finish to it (and we did just a little distressing). I wish I would have been bold enough to go with a great color, but once again went a little safe so that it would match the furniture/carpet/house that we are currently living in. Because it's a desk and gets alot of use, I think that the paint is maybe not going to hold up quite as well as *real* paint, but for now it looks good, and I'm super happy with it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Okay, actually, we're not leaving on a jet plane, but we are leaving. For 11 days. With 2 children. Yes, we'll need lots of prayers. I read this on the Momastery blog this morning, and I thought it appropriate. ;)

DUDE. Vacation is hard. Everyone came WITH me. And they all need the same amount of food and grooming and such as they do at home. And although I did not think that this was possible, they seem to be fighting MORE here. Which makes me MORE MAD at them than I am when they fight at home.

 So while we're in both Oklahoma (to see Becky, Micah, and the boys) and Texas (to be present for Clearview's first baptism and a big outreach event), I'm not sure if I'll be blogging. Oh, who am I kidding. You can't shut me up that easily so I'm sure I'll still be blogging, just maybe not quite as often. And then you're going to be slammed with pictures when I get back.

And speaking of pictures, I have a few to share.

Happy Anniversary to me! Eight years ago Brian bought me my first Eco-Citizen watch for our 7th anniversary (and right after Camden arrived home from Korea), and it lasted all this time until it somehow fell off my wrist a couple of months ago during one of my marathon trips to Nashville. So for our 15th anniversary, I got a new Eco-Citizen watch. And I have to say it's much cooler in person than it is in this picture. I just love it. And it's all silver even though it looks like a little gold here in the picture.


Kathy brought me these owls last week. Seriously, have you ever seen anything so cute?

Rory has quite a reputation for eating slowly. So slowly, in fact, that we generally let her start early, eat breakfast/lunch/dinner with her, and then completely clean the kitchen while she continues to eat. If she's still not finished (which happens ALOT), then she's on her own.

A picture of Addison I found. Clearly, it was while we were in a packing phase. Poor baby.

I love this boy so much. We've had a rough couple of days together, but some it is our fault. We've had so much summer fun that we've neglected boring things like sleep and it finally caught up to him in his behavior. A 2 hour nap at 9:30 this morning, and he woke up in a much better mood.

Check out the layered necklaces. It's the first thing he puts on every morning and the last thing he takes off at night.

And this girl just cracks me up. I have heard, "I am SO E-CITED to go to Oklahoma" about 3 dozen times in the last hour alone. And it cracks me up how she says words like: e-cited and e-dorable.


And with that, I'm off. I have a few posts scheduled so you won't be too lonely. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oh, my

I wouldn't drink the pool water if I were you. While on a break from the pool yesterday afternoon (and sitting on my lap) Rory admitted to me that she and Camden had been peeing in the pool. No wonder they can manage to spend 4 hours in the pool without ever leaving.

And, yes, they are much too old for this behavior.








I realize we just lost all invitations to your family pool with this post. It's okay. I don't blame you for rescinding.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


A year ago, this was me. Thank goodness it's not me this year. Although I gotta say, my skin and make-up looks better than normal!

A year ago, this was Rory. And one of the funniest things to happen to our family.

I've spent the last 2 days going through my Lightroom catalog trying to get rid of the bad/duplicate pictures. (hence, the old pictures) I've managed to whittle down 7,000+ pictures to 2,800. Still too many, but it's progress. 

I managed to not go to sleep last night until almost 6:00 a.m. Yes, you read that correctly. The temporary summer truce my children have had seems to have come to a screeching halt this morning. You can imagine how cranky I might be.

My mood is about to get alot better, though, because I'm heading out the door soon for a much-needed pedicure. Maybe I can take a nap while they make my feet pretty.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday's Tidbits

I had some real whoppers for Tuesday's Tidbits this week. Unfortunately, I didn't keep track of them at the time and my poor mushy brain is failing me right now. While chemo brain never left me completely, it seems to be worse the last couple of weeks.

Exhibit A: I accidentally walked into the men's bathroom at P.F. Changs yesterday.

In other news, Brian and I got to spend the whole day and night kid-free thanks to my sister Liz and Gramps. They tag-teamed to keep Camden and Rory while we spent yesterday eating, roaming around, seeing The Avengers (didn't live up to the hype for me), furniture shopping (whoa, sticker shock!). We had grand plans of finally finding a food truck, but apparently food trucks take Monday and Tuesday off. Who knew!

And because I didn't actually take any pictures of our day yesterday, here's one of Rory from Sunday. You can certainly tell this girl has been soaking up the sun! I can only dream of being something other than pasty white.

And a scrapbook page from the weekend. I am thoroughly enjoying having some time to scrap these days.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Thousand Gifts (6/18/12)

Our weekend in a nutshell:

Saturday was devoted to a little furniture project I somehow talked Brian into - painting an old walnut desk we bought for $5 at a yard sale way back in 2002. It might have taken all day (and we're still missing some hardware), but it's back in the living room and looks SO much better. I'll post a before/after picture after Brian finishes re-upholstering the chair.

Saturday night Kari came over so I could take some pictures of Emmalyn, and I just adore them. Here's another one (or two) that I love.



Father's Day was spent at church in the morning. Brian's dad came over for lunch (sliders, roasted vegetables and homemade brownies with Pioneer Woman's mocha icing). The boys watched golf all afternoon, then we headed back to church for the kid's VBS program. Rory sang in a trio and then prayed at the end. Doesn't matter that the girl does not have a musical bone in her body; she likes to volunteer for things. There might be a video coming soon.

Look at these brown babies. They have been wearing out our little pool out on the deck. In fact, Saturday they got in at 10:30 and didn't get out until we made them at 3:30. They barely stopped for a quick sandwich, which they ate on their towel outside next to the pool. Seriously the best $24.99 we've spent in a long time!

And, yes, I kind of dressed them all to coordinate. But don't tell Brian.

And my Thousand Gifts for this week:

lunch and ice cream with Kari
a few hours alone
anticipating our trip to Oklahoma
exploring downtown Clarksville
first trip of the season to a farmer's market
the kid's sheer joy at the prospect of a whole week of VBS
having time to scrap
the opportunity to do the little things for Addison, even changing her diaper
hearing Addison coo and laugh
naptime photos
impromptu photo shoots with the kids
Annie Sloan paint
an afternoon spent with friends
taking pretty photos of Emmalyn
my new canvas print of our family
watching both Camden and Rory sing in front of a crowd at church
staying late at church to talk with friends
email chats with Christine about photography
Reading this scripture and feeling as if maybe someone is praying this for me. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever, and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21(ESV)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

For Kari

Seriously. Could she be any cuter?








Saturday, June 16, 2012


Okay, so I actually didn't even take pictures of any s'mores. I didn't even pull the camera out much, but here are a few from our little cookout.


Mountain Dew to drink. This does not happen often!


Ashton is a writer and carries her notebook with her everywhere. She let Rory sit on her lap and helped her practice writing her letters.


These pictures are precious to me because we haven't seen these cousins in TWO years. Their mama (and my sister-in-law) was a friend first as a teenager in Illinois church camp then in college, and she is still a dear friend. They live in Utah; we live in Tennessee. Both brothers (Brian and his brother Tim) work in church situations as well as working full-time jobs so there is very little time for a 30 hour trip. One way. Unfortunately, only the 2 oldest kids got to come for this visit, and I have no idea when we'll see everyone else. The last time I saw Ashton and Logan, I was taller than both of them. This trip, Ashton towers over me and Logan is as tall as I am. Here's hoping it won't be another 2 years before I see them again.

Friday, June 15, 2012

How Could I Forget This Little Guy?

I did today's post and then realized I forgot little big Matthew. ;) He deserves his own post anyway.







Seriously, couldn't you just eat him up?

Such Good Summer Days

Last Friday I looked at our calendar for this week, and with the exception of VBS at night, the schedule was clear. Somehow, we managed to completely fill up the week. I mean, serious summertime busyness. All good, all fun. But busy enough that I have been completely wiped out and have skipped VBS every night. It's been kind of a sweet couple of hours each night as I've been able to sit in the silence (which doesn't happen often) and feel rejuvenated. Today is 5 weeks post surgery and on busy days I am still in pain at the end and worn out, but this has definitely been the best week yet from a physical (and emotional) standpoint.

Yesterday my friends Kathy (and her 4 kids) and Tina came over to spend the afternoon. I'd like to say I took lots of pictures documenting the day, but I just sat back and chatted without worrying about the camera until the last few minutes. We might have broke out the Jeni's ice cream while sending the kids outside with generic ice cream sandwiches. :)

Keep an eye on Andrew throughout these pictures. He has the most angelic smile. Actually, all of Kathy's kids know how to turn on the charm in front of the camera!

Cute or what!

We tried to add the moms into the mix.

It didn't go so well.

I always take a picture of Camden and Emily, beginning with baby pics. She was there at the airport to greet us when Camden came home. Unfortunately, I kind of completely missed the focus and exposure on this one, and could barely recover it. You can see last year's picture here.

Andrew is kind of a fan of having his picture made.
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Seriously, could he be more angelic? And I kinda love him because you don't have to ask for pictures!

Rory and Meredith

And we finally didn't have to ask a restaurant server to take our picture. ;) I'm standing on my tiptoes, by the way.

Today's agenda includes stripping beds, a photoshoot, VBS tonight, and a whole lot of relaxing today. I'm letting the kiddos hang out in front of the TV while I scrap. They've had a good week, but the effects of little sleep is starting to creep in. I might have one more picture post with cousin pictures from last week, and then I just might be all caught up.