Sunday, June 29, 2008

The New Mr. and Mrs.

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Siefers!  And after a few days without "the youths" as Sean calls them, the new Mr. and Mrs. Us.  Thank You, Nattie, Popeye, and Aunt Emmy for the entertainment.  (Emmy made it and I have yet to ask if there are new words in the vocabulary...) Thank you for the time at home where we could finish conversations and the time out where we could sit down and eat a whole meal.  And get dressed up for Amy's wedding and watch without wondering if one of "the youths" would get kicked out of the nursery and we'd be leaving before it was official.  Thank You Mom and Dad for eating and breathing Baby Einstein for a whole weekend.

I did miss the kids.  Especially Saturday night when we sat with David, (Charlie's future mate,) and started wondering what Ty would be doing, saying, thinking, etc. We love David's parents and look forward to our long futures together as in-laws. We also got to catch up with old friends and finally meet the extended family of Amy's that we have heard so much about over the last few years.  Such fun. 

Friday, June 27, 2008

Off to a Faraway Land

In observance (not sure if that is the best word for it but while we're at it I'm pretty sure faraway is not a word anyway,) of our good friend Amy's wedding this weekend, the kids are going to a faraway land to stay with their Nattie and Popeye (my mom and dad,) while their momma and daddy enjoy the festivities.  I know what you're thinking..."You're gonna miss the little people when they are gone and want to go get them early." Will I miss them? Yes.  Will I go get them early? Not likely.  I love them but my parents LOVE them and will take good care of them.  An added bonus if Aunt Emmy joins the party--Ty will learn some new words!  So far my parents and sister have taught him almost everything he knows.  It takes a my case a big village. 

P.S. Nattie and Popeye do not live far away or at the beach but this picture captures the thrill of vacation!  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Thought YOU Got the Swimsuit

Monday afternoon we went to my sister-in-law Amy's house to swim and eat dinner.  I always forget something important when going somewhere far away from home.  Sean never forgets anything.  He was in charge of getting the kids in the car and I was in charge of getting the stuff. That day I forgot a swimsuit for Ty.  Oh, and I also forgot a swim diaper.  I had both for Charlie and she didn't even get in!  I squeezed Ty into one of her diapers.  It's a good two sizes too small for him but it worked...and I hear pink is in for boys. He really loved swimming with his Daddy. Max had more fun than any of the kids.  Poor Charlie in that swimsuit.  Bless her heart--it was like a wet suit on her and it's a big size :) Charlie was mesmerized by Caroline, my niece. Fun times ahead!  Thanks for the entertainment and dinner Amy!

Is anyone watching the show "Baby Borrowers?" Hilarious.  The couples are so worn out after the first day.  I know how they feel! 

Monday, June 23, 2008

You Give and Take Away

One of the pivotal times in my life was four years ago around the time when I first heard Tammy Trent's story.  Before the event that introduced me to her, I knew her name and knew that she was a beautiful person but that was the extent of it. I had no idea where her heart was or what motivated her to sing the way she does.  I was dating my husband and enjoying the process of falling in love.  Good process...Feeling pretty excited and certainly not thinking past myself.  It was a time of self reflection, Sean reflection, family reflection, and giddiness.  Life was good.  I was babysitting for a family whose travels exposed me to many interesting, inspiring people. Enter Tammy Trent.  She was the special guest at one of the events that I went to during the dating season for me and Sean.  She sang first, then shared her story of love and well...loss. Read her story here.

She concluded her message by asking everyone to sing the song, "Blessed Be Your Name." If you aren't familiar with the lyrics, read them here. I stood and watched this brokenhearted woman sing the words, "You Give and Take Away," over and over and thought, "Oh Lord, she really knows that to be true." I was humbled and felt refreshed by listening to her testimony.  I was reminded to look to Christ for meaning. I was also instantly scared to death of losing Sean. Every trip he went on (it IS his job,) I thought, "Yeah, this will be it.  This can't be this easy. It's my turn." 

Fear is a whole different animal, isn't it?  Fear of losing the people you love or fear of hurting forever after a loved one hurts you.  Fear of never feeling loved and loving in this life.  It is one of the great motivators of what we do, whether we identify it as that or not.  Counseling jargon aside, fear is huge.  Satan is a master at finding a weakness and digging into it.  I became obsessed with talking to Sean and finding out where he was and where he was headed.  A few months after hearing Tammy speak I was beyond fearful.  I was over the edge.  I concluded that I had never loved anyone like this and that this must be what love feels like. Helpless to control the inevitable fear that would drive me in my life from then on. One night God taught me otherwise.  It wasn't that I had to get used to feeling that sense of helplessness, which was likely Satan's lesson for me. That is wrong. I needed to work on looking at things through God's eyes. Flipping through Psalms looking for comfort, I came across a verse that I had marked in college.  Psalm 63:3. "Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You." It was the theme verse for Breakaway's worship CD that I listened to (still do) from my freshman year. Breakaway is a non-denominational Bible study on the campus of Texas A & M--and it is a gift. Another blog for sure...anyway, the verse that captured my weakness (brought it to light,) was also very encouraging and comforting.  Your lovingkindness is BETTER than life.  I knew that I had to relinquish my right to keep Sean alive, (and dare I say even keep him in love with me.) Better than Life. His lovingkindness IS better than life.  Better than our sorrow and pain. Better than even the best times of my life.  He IS better than life. He is never changing.  Never leaving me.  Even when I try to play His role and keep things afloat. How comforting.  It helped me keep things in better perspective.  As you can guess and likely relate, it didn't make Satan or my own fear totally go away.

Recently the fear is concerning my kids.  Trying to protect them and give them what they need and fearing that it won't be enough.  That God will want them here for less than my appointed time.  MY time.  MY life.  It, too, can overwhelm me. I need to read this verse and know these words.  They are powerful words if I really believe them.  It is Truth.  It is a reminder of that night before I became a mom and a wife and the sense of despair that led to a new reason to cling to God's design for my life.  I need reminding every day. 

Lord, You are better than life and I will praise You.  Thank You for my husband.  Thank You for my kids. Thank You for the promises of Your peace and love. Be with us--all of us--when we fear the unknown.  Remind us that You are right here.  You do give Lord, in huge and amazing ways. You do take away, and we don't know why.  Remind us that You have a plan that we could never understand this side of Glory.  p.s. Thank You, Lord for Brandi and terms like that from her life that still teach me.  Oh and another p.s. Ty said "Momma" for the first time on Sunday! Once. Hasn't said it again since.  I felt it appropriate to add this since the theme is giving and taking away...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Few Questions for You

A few questions for you

* How do cell phones work? What I mean is how do we actually talk to someone without a wire connecting us? For that matter how do phones with wires work?
* Why do flowers wilt when they need water AND when they have too much water?
* Why do we dream about magic carpets and birthing pompoms and donkeys? (when pregnant)
* Where is the original "Blue's Clues" guy now? (Steve)
* Why aren't babies BORN with teeth so the whole family doesn't have to experience teething? (I know what you're thinking...nursing...but there are many women who nurse long after teeth come in! Thought of that)
* Why do dogs get so excited to eat when they eat the same thing every day of their lives? And why do they sneeze when they get excited?  Is that just my dog?
* Why is sand white in Florida and brown in Texas? 
* Why did God create some of the animals He did? Like hippos. Or Koalas. Where do they fit into the whole scheme of things?

I have questions like these every day. I remember when my nephews (now 5) would ask why. About everything. I'd look at Amy, their mom, (Sean's sister,) for ideas for answers.  She was so patient.  She'd try to come up with a real answer...not just make something up.  The kids and I went to Denton to spend the day with Sean's mom and his sister Leslie's kids. Leslie just had their brand new baby sister on Wednesday so Mimi is keeping Sam, (3) and Will (18 months).  Many stories from this one day with cousins...What prompted this whole post is Sam asking questions.  I must have answered 400 questions yesterday.  I've been begging Ty to talk to tell me what he needs/wants.  Now I'm kinda enjoying the quiet.  Not that it's quiet in the house but I don't have to think a whole lot.  Example questions from Sam: What does this do? Where did we get this? Why are grapes round? Why can't I just eat Cakesters for dinner? 

Then there is her brother, Will.  He is three months younger than Ty. Talking non-stop.  He repeats everything, with inflection.  His questions are more like: Where Mommy? Where Daddy? Where Mimi? He says "Uh oh" and then dies laughing.  Every time.  It's really cute. Since we're on the subject of saying things, this is what we're dealing with from Ty.  This is a complete list of his words, not a short or abbreviated version.

Hep (help)
Attie (Nattie--my mom)

Notice "momma" or anything resembling it is not on the list.  Longing for that day...He has said "Daddy" for a long time.  He is crazy about his Daddy.  I love the picture of them at my parents' house on the dock.  It looks like they're having a meaningful conversation.  I think Sean is telling him he can't get into the lake.  Right after that picture was taken there was some protesting.  (Crissy's word for Ty's fits) 

Won't it be amazing to ask God questions and have answers.  Big, meaningful life questions will have immediate, beautiful answers.  He will show us the other side of the needlepoint He's worked on all this time. And we'll get it.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Don't you hate it when you find the coolest idea (crafty Christmas decorations in this case) on a blog and vow to remember how you stumbled upon it then spend the next four days trying to find it again?  Find yourself wondering why you didn't take the 2 seconds to add it to your favorites? Good thing I've got some time before Christmas decorating.  I'd describe it and enlist friends to help but my goal is to order it for about half of the people who read this blog (all 6 of you) so I have to just keep looking myself.  Maybe naps will be coordinated today and I'll have some time. Aren't those days just beautiful?  The ones where people in your house sleep at the same time (at least one shared hour,) and you can chop/prepare food for a new recipe or actually fold clean clothes before putting them in drawers...ahhh.  Last night I made crepes. My mom has been making them all along and we usually eat them with whipped cream and strawberries, bananas, caramel, chocolate, pretty much anything sweet. They are so easy to make and like pancakes but fancier :)  I made chorizo and leek crepes last night-great recipe from Robin Miller (Quick Fix Meals) and we all liked them.  Anything that Ty will eat goes into the staple category for the rest of us.  He turns up his nose to many a meal.  God love him, he does not get that from me. 
p.s. Thanks Casey for helping me with the blog.  Layout credit goes to you and soon picture credit will go to Sean who is, as we speak, sending pictures from his super smart picture computer to me.  Happy Day! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Charlotte Mae

My fabulous husband took some new pictures of Charlie last week.  She is 6 months old and loves her Daddy (and looks just like him...) I'm sure it wasn't hard for him to get her to smile.  He is a great photographer! 

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wouldn't It Be Nice?

Wouldn't it be nice if we could have snow every once in awhile during the summer?  It is so hot even ice cream isn't helping...and it's June.  Ready for winter!  

Friday, June 13, 2008

Is it morning yet?

Nearly bedtime for master Ty, but I thought I'd give him our staple dinner of fish sticks and green peas since he didn't eat much lunch.  Momma was so proud...someone asked me why spell momma the long way...I don't know I just didn't think about how to spell it and that's what came out!  The same reason I spell Charlie the way that I do.  When I'm not thinking about it that is how I spell Charlie so I figure that's gonna be her name.  I'm sure Charley or Charlee seem more feminine but then I'd find myself standing in line paying to have something monogrammed for her and have to stop and think of how to spell it.  Charlie it is.  And Momma it is too.  

Back to Ty.  I was so proud of him for cleaning his plate, the hungry little man had quite the appetite! I had been putting away dishes from a friends' shower last night while he was eating...paying attention (listening) to him but not really watching. When I cleaned his hands I noticed there was not a spot of grease or pea remnants anywhere except his thumb and pointer finger on his right hand.  Looks like Max had a great dinner.   

Why Grasshopper Momma

Well it's not that long of a story just a favorite verse in Isaiah:
"It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, 
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, 
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in." (Is. 40:22)

Truth be told I feel like a grasshopper most days.  There doesn't seem to be much planning or even thought behind where grasshoppers go or what they do.  That's me. They look a little like a mixture of two things-a mad scientist and a kangaroo.  Not me.  After watching two grasshoppers play this morning I decided I like the little guys.  One seemed to say, "Let's do this next..." and the other one listened, paused, then went the opposite direction. It looked like the momma (wild guess) grasshopper was still talking. Parenthood! 

I'm not a planner.  At all.  Married to one.  I think I'm raising another.  Ty has started cleaning the shower, copying his Daddy.  He doesn't talk much at all yet but he cleans the shower? What did I do to deserve this? (Asking that in a good way)  I'm loving that he takes after Sean more than me in that area. 

God must laugh at us often.  Sitting up there after setting up our tent, watching us bump into each other and run around like grasshoppers.  I like the little guys.  Identifying with them a lot these days.