Friday, August 29, 2008

the man of my dreams...

growing up, i tried to picture the man i'd marry. would he be tall? would he have blond hair or brown? would he be rugged or clean cut? would he be from texas? would he be my age? older? younger? would he be outgoing...matching my sanguine personality? or would he be shy and quite? would he be cute? would he have to grow on me or would i like him right away? would he be someone i knew or would i meet him in college or even after college? would it be love at first site? would i notice him first or would he notice me first? would he make me laugh? would he be gentle, sweet and kind or more of a smart ass...(excuse my language but there is really no better way to call it.) would he be someone i've dated? would he be an athlete? after all...i did love athletic guys. you know the kind. not the jock, per say...but the one who is agile and coordinated. one that was strong. one that could take care of me. one that looks good doing whatever it is he is doing. all kinds of questions that would go un-answered. that is...until chad.

tonight, i was thinking about the answers to all of those questions. one jumped out immediately. friday night is family movie and pizza night. the kids have a "sibling sleepover" and watch a movie after we build our own pizzas. aiden and i went to the video store to rent the movie and then to the grocery store to get the stuff for dinner. i decided that i would make the kids their standard pepperoni pizza, but that mine and chad's would be somewhat special. i don't know what sparked this, but i ended up buying all kinds of veggies and different cheeses to make it more than just a generic pizza. i even opened a bottle of wine for us to enjoy with it. i got the kids fed and then chad and i sat down for our "special" dinner. when i sat down, i noticed that chad came to the table with his laptop. it was propped open to the side of him as he began to eat. what???? excuse me???? he then started audibly counting down. 5...4...3...2...1!! then he looked like a kid in a very over-priced toy store. he was beginning a fantasy football draft. it wasn't even for him. it was a draft for his brother because his brother could not do it himself for some reason. my first reaction was, "huuuuuuuuuuuuuh." "are you kidding me? i'm getting the shaft for something that isn't even real?" but as i thought about it, i was kinda proud. he loves sports. he is an athlete. he is agile and coordinated. he is strong. he looks good doing whatever it is he is doing. and best of all...over pizza...he talks to me about his brother's fantasy football draft like i'm one of the guys. and i wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kindergarten Chronicled

the beginning of "the boys"

time flying

the kermit backpack

his cute face


she misses "her boys" so when they are not with her


commence waterworks

he's ready to go in. i'm still hanging on.

"i'm ok mom."


I can't begin to describe the sadness that I felt as I walked my 2nd born son to his classroom this morning. Put aside all the speech and occupational therapy we have gone through for the last 4 years for the sole purpose of him being ready for today. The thought of how quickly the last, almost 6 years has gone by is close to unbearable. And the thought of how quickly the next 12 will go is too much for me to take. It's like time evaporates. The only positive I can think of to date is that it makes me cherish each minute with them. I remember every step with Chase this weekend and this morning. I don't think I would if I had not had the realization of how futile time is. Again. I had this same experience when Colton started Kindergarten...but managed to forget over time. There it is again. Time. Seemingly the root of all evil right now. Anyhow, Chase chose to go to the beach and to the rainforest cafe for his "starting Kindergarten celebration". We let him pick...and a great pick he made. We headed down to Galveston around 2:30 on Saturday afternoon. He wanted to play in the sand and body surf, and that is exactly what we did. We had a blast. Uncle Kevin came along to help us celebrate Chase and all his hard work preparing for the monumental start of public school. I didn't want to take my eyes off of any of the kids. They were so full of They never stopped smiling. (Well, Aiden did briefly when she learned that she was gonna have to pee in the ocean because there were no bathrooms around...but I prefer to think of that as a momentary lapse in time that we won't really remember down the line.) Anyways, we had to pull Chase in out of the water. He only spent a small amount of time building a sandcastle, which was really more of a sand mound once we looked at the creation. Uncle Kevin did build a sand turtle, to which Chase asked, "Is that a frog?" And then it was back into the water they went. I, of course was constantly telling them to stay by me and to not go out so far and to hold on to our hands and to be careful and always respect the water, etc. etc. etc. We did have a blast. Then, once they realized how hungry they were, we went to dinner at the rainforest cafe...which may rank up there with disney world for Chase. He picked out a frog...not unlike the other 184 frogs that he has and was thrilled with the purchase. We ate and got to experience 3 "rainstorms" in the cafe while we were dining and ordered the volcano for dessert which Chase called a "chocolate, chocolate truffle cake." It has a sparkler on it and must be had for all celebrations. We drove home as the sun was going down and I sat back and thought about the near perfect day. Fast forward to today...

He woke up...groggily meandered to the couch where it took a little coaxing to get him to get dressed. He wore chocolate brown cargo shorts and a surf t-shirt, green, of course. He was pleased with pancakes for breakfast and his usual ice water. I made his and Colton's lunches, trying to figure out how to pack them with things that would make a second grader and kindergartener know, magically how much their mother loved them. They each got their favorite sandwich. They each got their favorite drink. They each got an oreo for dessert. They each got a pencil. A frog one for Chase and a football one for Colt. Then...last, but not least...what they call a "love note" from mom. Complete with stickers of batman and a few words letting them know that there was someone at home waiting for them and missing them and thinking that they were the two most special boys in the whole wide world. Would it be enough? I wondered. Then it was time. All of a sudden, it snuck up on me. I had to take the pictures...and then the worst part.......let them go. We took a few at home and hurried out the door. My favorite part of the morning came and it actually didn't involve me at all. I let them walk ahead of me. And there they were. Brothers. Friends. An older one who had gone before...leading the little one who was heading into the unknown. And they were fine. Because they were together. That is when I cried. We dropped Colton at his classroom first. A simple hug would do. He didn't need me. And that was ok. We had been down this road before. Then, little Chase...with his big kermit the frog backpack, grabbed my hand. I fought out an "I love you, Chase." He said, "I love you too, Mom." I honestly don't remember what we talked about on that walk to Kindergarten. Probably about how much fun he was going to excited he was...and on several occasions I remember him saying, "It's ok mom." The thing I remember most was gripping his little hand and never wanting to let go. That and the welling of tears in my eyes that I was trying to will away. We got to the door and I bent down to hug him. He said, "come here mom." He wanted help getting his lunchbox in the appropriate place and hanging his backpack up. We did that together and then he lead me to his seat. His classmates were already seated and I said, "Look Chase. Some other Kindergarten friends." He sat down and looked at me and said, "This is where I live." (A phrase he uses frequently.) Then I hugged him again. But this time, I held on a little longer. We said I love you's and then I had to walk out...starting one of the longest walks I have experienced yet as a mom. The walk home. Alone. I turned around at the door and smiled. He gave me a big dimpled grin and then waved. He was fine. I was thankful. I walked my little boy into Kindergarten. Actually, I think he walked me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

UKRAINE at a glance

some of the ukrainian translators (we love them)

leading worship...night 1

some of the citizens of the ocean area of lviv, ukraine
who came to the crusades

orthodox church (in ocean)

alter call after the last crusade night

keri, me and our friend lena...who we met in ukraine last summer and kept in touch with

men in black
taras, lubchic, and andrei (some of our ukrainian partners)

my brother, kevin and one of the ukrainian boys that loved playing baseball with him

leading worship...night 3 (schultzy...the hat is so cool!!)

my little girls that i fell in love with on the first night (they came back every night)

brother and sister...making, yet another memory together!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

projectOCEAN 2008

i am leaving the country today for a mission trip in ukraine. we are going to take things to orphans, and children in hospitals as well as teaching children, youth and adults about Jesus using varioius curriculum from our church (i am in charge of kids ages 4-17). we are also spreading the word about the new church that is launching in the ocean area in l'viv in september. we are putting on a street carnival for kids and doing some various concerts (we are taking a band) to help spread the word. we are also leading worship for a crusade the last 3 days of our trip where Jesus' message will be shared. please pray for this trip.