...Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 This is the journey of our lives...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Love Letter


Dear Noah, Graham, Braxtyn and Cozette,

I want you to know that I love you. Beyond anything else, I love you. You are each special gifts to me. I love to watch you grow and play and learn each day. Your smiles make me smile and your tears make me sad. I want you to always be full of joy, but I know there will be days, I cannot make that happen. There will be days when you choose your own path and I will have to stand back and watch you fall, on those days I will be waiting to hold you and comfort you. And I know that there will be some days that although you have done all that you could right and good, and that someone or something will stand in your way and hurt you. That day, I will share in your sorrow. When this world is unfair to you, I will be fair to you. And I will always be here to hold you and comfort you. I pray that all of your days will be filled with joy and love, but that you understand why you are joyful and why you are loving. In this life, you will sometimes wonder where you will live; but you will always have shelter. You will sometimes wonder what your having for dinner; but you will never go hungry. You will even wonder how you might make it to another day; but you will have the strength. You will wonder how you got into the place you are in, whether it be beyond your wildest dreams or a shattered one; but know that in this place you are loved and I will always welcome you. I will always be the one who brings you comfort and hope. Living daily in my love will always bring you peace. My love for you is greater than anything I have ever created and I take great care of all of my creations. You are my blessed children.
Love,
Dad


Can God love me, even more than I love my children...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I have stolen the old man and the horse....

For me, for my blog...right from under my sister's nose. She went to all the trouble of typing it and posting and it and it is about stealing and here I go, stealing.
But I had to, I needed this on MY blog too. Please forgive me...only God knows...how much I need this right now!

I know…what is a post without a picture? This is for my brother. He’ll “get” it. :)

“You never know when your on a cattle drive if you are going to run out of water.” – Quote: My very wise five year old nephew Graham. :)

And for my brother (because I refer to this Old Chinese Parable all the time…)

The Old Man and his Horse (a.k.a. Sai Weng Shi Ma)

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before — such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.

People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend.” The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.

One morning he found that the horse was not in his stable. All the village came to see him. “You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”

The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”

The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”

The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?”

The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, and old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.

After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again, the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. “Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.”

The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of one phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?”

“Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is one fragment! Don’t say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don’t.”

“Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned. With a little work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.

The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.

“You were right,” they said. “You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken both his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever.”

The old man spoke again. “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments.”

It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again.

“You were right, old man,” They wept. “God knows you were right. This proves it. Your son’s accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever.”

The old man spoke again. “It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this. Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Braxtyn!










She is 4 today! The celebration has begun...we spent the evening after she went to bed blowing up balloons and the boys decided to hide her gifts from them. She will have fun finding them.

menu: Chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast
PB &J for lunch
Spaghetti for dinner
Chocolate birthday cake and sherbet ice cream

So glad we only have one day where the four year old chooses the menu:)

She picked out her present today, it was her year to choose anything she wanted...so off to Walmart we went. I knew what she wanted, she has been talking about it for months. The Fisher Price Loving Family Doll House (very thankful for riding lessons right now LOL!) She is loving it, yes, we gave it to her a day early due to Daniel's work schedule. She was so excited. The boys put it together for her and she came out of her room telling them that they were the best brother's ever and they were invited to her birthday party!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The joys of mothering Braxtyn...



Oh my. Where to begin, my deepest desire to have a sweet little girl. To dress her up and do her hair and wash the marker of the wall, and wash the candle wax out of her hair and the bag balm and the gum, and ok, so I wasn't counting on all that went along with my little girl. She is precious and she is full of IT. IT can only be that Daniel and I wonder how such a big personality resides in such a compact little body. She just screams of confidence and determination, her walk, her talk and her stance all spell out who is in control. I admire her, I adore her, I can't wait to see her as a woman with a purpose. A little girl with a purpose, well it makes some days pretty challenging but the day always ends in laughter. I just spent some precious one on one time with her on the couch giggling about her birthday coming up this week. She will be 4 on the 21st, she is quite aware that this is a big deal and the entire family must prepare. We have now planned her birthday day activities with our immediate family. The meal, the colors, the outfits, the cake flavor... we take birthdays very seriously at our house. And then we planned the Under The Sea swim party at uncle Josh and Aunt Brittany's house the following weekend. It has a mermaid theme with lots of family and swimming. I ask her what she really wanted for her birthday and she got this silly laughter and told me long pink hair, a long nose, big teeth and big feet. She couldn't stop laughing and well, neither could I. When we got serious about it, I realized she has no idea, just a bunch of girl stuff.
Last week my favorite conversation went like this:

Braxtyn: Mom, I changed my name.
Me: What is your name today Braxtyn?
Braxtyn: Chamber, she is a very smart girl who loves peanut butter and jelly and doesn't like mustard.
Me: Where did you come up with the name Chamber?
Braxtyn: I don't know, I just like it.

This week my favorite mistaken conversation went like this.
Doni: Tori is making me crazy, getting into stuff.
Brooke: Well I can finally say that at 4 years old, Braxtyn is finally past it. I don't panic every time I can't find her.
Doni: Oh great, only two more years of this!
Later that very night, at family night, we are all watching the kids dance in the living room and I don't see Braxtyn...Aunt Becky spies her dripping wet covered in sticky makeup. Oh no...the girls had been doing approved makeovers with Karsyn's makeup...well Braxtyn had decided to wash up.
Famous last words...eaten.. as I enter Aunt Becky's powder room to find the floor covered in water, the sink blocked up with toilet paper, her good towel covered in red lipstick and the toilet seat stained with glitter. And as Doni walks into see the mess, we look at each other and crack up in resignation.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The joys of motherhood....

As you might guess, I love being Noah, Graham, Braxtyn and Cozette's mother... there are some days that make me question my sanity and well, other days that make me question their sanity!


Sweet Face

We will start with Cozette: Sweet little face, loves walks around the house, goldfish, takes long naps, and enjoys the water. All sounds like the perfect little baby....yes, well its her love for water that has found me in a panic. All mother's worry their children will find the toilet and put their hands in it and be gross, well we have gone beyond that...

Trouble Face
Funny Face!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My garden's growing green $$$

Yes, you may call me a farmer. ... I am happy to report the garden is still going strong and in fact the following pics are of the food we picked out just two days ago!

And now, the reason I crowned myself with the "farmer" status....well I was able to make a profit in vegetables...yes, that's right my squash and cucumbers brought us $35 bucks on Friday. OK, I realize this is not a salary or anything, but I only spent about $10 planting this year so it actually paid for itself. So now let me show the pretty pictures of our "green" greens!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My little buckaroo's

Graham and Braxtyn spend a lot of time playing together while Noah is doing his school work. On this particular day, they decided to dress up like cowboys and do some roping. Braxtyn is wearing one of Graham's old shirts. In the following video Graham was roping the can but I encouraged him to rope Braxtyn. She was no too happy with us!

video

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer

Summer, it is too hot to do very much but even peering through the heat waves we have found some fun!
The kids are swimming everyday is our little backyard pool, its pretty big with a small filter, just enough water to keep them cool. The library reading program has helped us stay on track with Noah's reading and our last month of first grade! Yeah we are almost done and will have August off! I'm gearing up for schooling all three of them next year....Ahh!
Thursdays we have been frequenting the $2 movies, Cozy is not so good at it but we manage:), our neighbor, Daniel has been hanging out with us and being a big help, as he is 12 and loves to entertain my boys. They all love baseball so this is a great past time at night in the arena.
This week we have our sweet Jacqueline with us. She is also 12yr this year and has been so fun to have over. My kids are fighting over which room she sleeps in. So they are taking turns having her camp out in their rooms. Cozy thinks she is a babysitter that I might leave her with so she has yet to let me leave the room and just play with her. LOL!
Today, we went bowling. Noah has be dying to bowl and we had free bowling coupons for the kids, so we headed out. I ended up taking our neighbor Daniel, Jackie and all of my kiddos. We had a great time, 12 year olds are awesome! I can't believe how quickly we got loaded and unloaded from the car and how easily we managed to bowl for almost two hours and everyone was entertained! I barely beat them at bowling but had to hold my own or the boys would have never let me live it down. I can't say I'm a pro, maybe you could even say I'm terrible... 78points with the bumpers up....ok ya, I'm painfully bad, BUT I won and that's what mattered today!
Tomorrow its back to the movies and Friday we will go the library. Lots of laundry, major groceries to feed everyone, but all in all we are staying cool.

Last weekend we escaped to the woods for a camping trip. I can't say it was relaxing, but the kids had such a great time. The memories were worth every exhausted part of me. We got to spend part of the time with the Main's and the other part with the Simpsons. I know we will do it again even if it means we don't sleep and we work all day:) The cold nights are so worth it. ..
I finished Cozette's baby book and I'm very proud to say that my fourth child will have a memory book to call her own! That has a lot to do with a certain SIL of mine:)

Our garden is still thriving, we have squash and zucchinis coming out of our ears, speaking of ears the corn did not do so well this year. The cucumbers, melons and tomatoes are looking beautiful and my okra is coming back from the bunny attack. I'm going to try to plant some pumpkins this week, we'll see the Bermuda grass is trying to take over. I should just give in next year and make that the backyard it will at least have grass in it.

The summer days have been long and full this year, we are not through it all yet and I expect there to be much more to come in the next couple of months. But as I'm learning to take each day and just let it happen, God is working things out in me... so I don't have to try so hard. Enjoying life is so much easier when I release my semblance of what I though I controlled. Ha! We'll see if I remember these sentiments tomorrow:)