Thursday, August 10, 2017

Happy 11th, Steven!


This boy turns eleven today! I asked him where he wanted to do his birthday pictures, and he said, “With my dog.” So that’s what we did!

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Cookie may not have quite gotten the memo about the plan!

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They do love each other!! And God knew right when Steven would be able to care for the dog he has wanted for so long.

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In addition to playing with Cookie, Steven still loves anything having to do with Legos or Star Wars or dogs or space or planes or….well, you get the picture. He’s a boy!

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One thing this boy truly loves to do is serve. This morning, his sisters were going to take care of his chores for him as a birthday present. But knowing others are working while he is not is not a gift to him. He’d rather be doing! And he truly loves doing for others.

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What he doesn’t love is attention for his service. He’d rather just be behind the scenes with no one noticing. It’s just hard not to notice because his service is so sweet and thoughtful. He truly observes others and their needs, just like his daddy.

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This past summer he showed me just how much he’s grown in confidence, independence, and overall maturity through our summer camp experience. He stepped out and did things I never expected him to do! He also discovered an interest in guitar at camp, so it will be fun to see if this is something he really dives into. That’s why I love making little notes each year about new discoveries!

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Over the past few days, Facebook memories have given me reminders of the little boy I used to have. Some days I miss the little snuggler who could easily curl up in my lap. Now we have to settle for sitting side by side on the couch while we read, play games, or work reasoning puzzles together.

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But, I really, really love having a big boy. A pre-teen. A kid who is growing by leaps and bounds and will very possibly be taller than his mommy by this time next year! My little boy is in that awkward but still fun stage between big boy and young man. I’m sure he will experience many changes in the coming year, and I’m excited to get to walk through those changes with him.

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Happy birthday, precious Steven! We love you!


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It’s still pleasant! Not cool enough to open the windows and stay comfortable (thanks, humidity!), but delightful for August in Arkansas!

Something about the Week

This picture popped up in Doug’s Facebook memories today. This week eight years ago, we were visiting the Train Museum in Pine Bluff for a certain train enthusiast’s third birthday. We thought he was so big then!

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Now we know better. He wasn’t big then. He was itty bitty. This week that not-so-itty-bitty boy turns eleven.

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Something I Have Observed

When we find a true interest, it doesn’t matter that it’s hard to learn or invest in it. It’s worth it. I love watching that in my children.

Something I Have Read or Heard

You get Mark Buchanan again this week because that’s where I am! It’s one of those books I want to read very slowly.

“Winter is when we walk by faith, not sight. God is good, all the time, but winter is when that truth is a conviction we nurture, not an experience we savor. In winter, the goodness of God is our creed, true always, seen or unseen, recited regardless of present feelings. In summer, it’s our testimony, true because it’s obvious, and deeply felt. Summer is when we walk in the light – we can see, at every step, the God is good, and near, and for me. And it’s not that you take any of that for granted; you just don’t turn your nose up at it.

You bask in it.”

- Spiritual Rhythm

Something on My Mind

Schedule. I need to get a solid grasp on what my work hours will be – what parts of the day will be specifically devoted to work. Like with everything, that will have to be flexible. But the more I know what blocks are for school and work, the more I will be able to determine what non-school and non-work things will fit where. But first, I have to finish school prep!

Something I’m Thankful for

Flexibility. Again. Because we sure do need it!

Something about My Kids

They like routine just like I do. They enjoy free time and flexibility, but they have all been craving routine. And, this week shows how much they crave solid routine. We’re kind of in an in-between stage – not wide open and free, but not firmly into our school year routine yet. They are ready for next week when it will be more solid.

Something I’m Working on

Still school prep. Then I hope to actually get to that fun “what we’re doing this year” post. Because I always want to record such things, even if I don’t usually get around to writing the post. I get inspired every time I see my friend Julie’s school year posts!

Something from Hibbard Academy

A “soft” start this week. We were supposed to fully start yesterday. But, preparation takes a certain amount of time. And I didn’t have that amount of time before yesterday to be prepared. So, we started with a few subjects – the things like math for all three and literature for the girls that really need the full extent of the school year – and I’m finishing preparation of the rest this week. Hopefully.

Something That Makes Me Smile

My kids in their happy places.

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Something Coming

Celebration of my sweet baby boy! Like the rest of his family, he’s not a big party animal, so we won’t be doing anything huge. But we’ll have fun!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Road to Phoenix, Day 1

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And I believe it’s true. But, so often, I forget what the pictures are about! So sometimes words are needed, too.

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention was held in Phoenix, Arizona. Lovely, distant, hot Phoenix. We were signed on to help with whatever was needed behind the scenes at the Pastor’s Conference, so on the Thursday before the convention started (June 8), we loaded up and started the long drive west. (For the record, I can’t tell you how many times I was thankful we weren’t doing that in a covered wagon!)

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I distinctly remember preparing to travel to our first SBC Annual Meeting. The year was 2009. The destination was Louisville, KY. The kids were MUCH smaller – ages 8, 5, and 2, to be exact! The mileage on this Phoenix trip was much greater, but the concept of traveling with the kids was phenomenally easier!

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There’s not a whole lot to see when you’re driving from Arkansas through Oklahoma and Texas, by the way. Fields upon fields – some of crops, and some of windmills. Miles upon miles upon miles of windmills.

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The temperatures were pretty pleasant for most of the first day. But, the further west we progressed, the warmer it became. We would have loved for one of these little rainshowers to have fallen on us!

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We found various ways to entertain ourselves throughout the day. The hedgehogs helped with that.

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And James helped with the driving because he felt like it gave him a better view of Oklahoma and Texas.

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We made good time and made it to New Mexico late that afternoon…

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Then pulled into Albuquerque around 7:00 that evening. The kids all cheered when a left turn was required to get to our hotel!

We got to introduce the kids to an old favorite restaurant of ours – Fuddrucker’s! It was right down the street from our hotel. A yummy way to end a long travel day.

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Day two of traveling was much shorter in mileage, but that was very intentional. We knew the sights between Albuquerque and Phoenix would be very different, as we were planning a detour through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest and would be entering terrain the kids had never seen before in person – and that Doug and I hadn’t seen in decades!

But, we got to start day two with a very unexpected fun sight – hot air balloons over Albuquerque! This was a quick, early morning flight. In fact, I think this was around 6:00 local time. By the time we left a little over an hour later, they had all landed again. But, as we got packed up, we had the curtains open and watched as over half a dozen different balloons lifted into the air from somewhere in the middle of the city.

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And that was our start to day two of the Phoenix trip adventure!