Saturday, May 30, 2009

Eleven Years

May 30, 1998...I said "I do."

May 30, 2009...I'm still glad I did.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Quotable Quotes

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
--Frederick Buechner
"We are shocked by pain again and again; yet it characterizes our existence. None of us can avoid it. We can anesthetize pain, but we will neither fully experience this life nor celebrate the next without it."--Beth Moore
"God whispers to us in our joys, speaks to us in our conscience, and shouts to us in our pain."
--C.S. Lewis
"A man's spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God." --C.S. Lewis
”This is our predicament. Over and over again, we lose sight of what is important and what isn’t." --Epictetus
"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."--Corrie ten Boom
"Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life, you will have been all of these."
"If God were small enough to be understood, he would not be big enough to be worshipped."
--Evelyn Underhill
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one!'" --C.S. Lewis
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy. "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver is telling you? Who said anything about safe?' Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."--C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
"Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He is your Keeper. He has kept you hitherto. Hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all things; and, when you cannot stand, he will bear you in his arms." -- Saint Frances of Sales
"Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Grab life by the mane. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the lion." -- Mark Batterson

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Growing Up and Moving On

Last week my sweet Little Middle graduated from preschool. Hubby and I were in the first row at the "ceremony," proud as we could be! Little Middle marched in with all his friends, looking solemn and a little nervous. Remember, he's the one who doesn't care much for people to watch him or to have extra attention drawn to him. As soon as he made eye contact with us, though, he gave us his little half-smile, half-smirk look and joined his pals in singing!

Then it was time for the graduation. When Ms. Becky called his name, he went up on the stage and accepted his certificate and his very own Bible. He sure didn't wait around for me to get a good picture with his teachers, though...

Watching my boy arrive at this milestone both brought me to tears and enlarged my heart! How can it be that my sweet-smelling, fuzzy-headed baby has grown into this bundle-of-energy-boy? How can he be closing out this chapter of his little life and be ready for a new adventure? How could I possibly be this blessed?!?

Come September, things will be different. I will drop Little Middle off at the elementary school with his big brother before just Baby and I head to our beloved preschool. This mama, who struggles with change, will miss him so much! But this mama, who could not be prouder or more thankful, can't wait to see what God has in store for her boys.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

He Might Be Obsessed

"Mommy, now I am wondering how animals get up to heaven when they die if they have lids on their cages."--Little Middle

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"My Mommy"

Baby's preschool teachers had the kids do a "questionaire" for Mother's Day last week. 3-year-olds can be pretty's what he had to say about me:

My mom's name is Allyson.
She is 23 years old,
and weighs 12 pounds.
Her eyes are pink
and her hair is black.
Her favorite color is pink and purple.
She loves to play the 3 Little Monkeys.
While I'm at school, she helps make food.
She just loves to eat cereal.

Little Middle had the same teachers last year, and you can read his answers here just for good measure. Have I mentioned how much I love being their mama?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Heavenly Conversation

Little Middle: Mommy, soon you will go up to heaven and I will grow up and be the master of the house.

Me: Are you going to get married and live in your own house with your wife?

Little Middle: No, I will just live at your house with my gerbil.

Me: Will you miss me when I go up to heaven?

Little Middle: Yes. But I will call you on your cell phone, or you can write me a note to tell me what it looks like.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

33 Reasons I Love My Mom:
(one for each year we've been together)

1. She is really funny, and we laugh a lot together.
2. She loves my dad.
3. She has a great sense of style.
4. She drove 100+ mph when I was in labor with Little Middle so she could get to the hospital to be with me.
5. She calls me if she hasn't heard from me in a few days.
6. She put her life on hold to take care of my family while I was sick.
7. She lets my kids call her "Abuela."
8. Christmas is her favorite time of the year.
9. She taught me to love reading, and she shares her books.
10. She has a Spiderman basketball net in her bathtub for the boys.
11. She always smells good.
12. She tells me that I'm a good mom.
13. She likes pretty things.
14. She went to Baby's sonogram with me, and understood my disappointment.
15. She is a good leader and seems at ease in front of people, even if she really is nervous.
16. She is very smart.
17. She encourages my Hubby.
18. She makes special trips to see the boys and participates in their lives.
19. She started the birthday muffin tradition.
20. She got me a "Beauty and the Beast" birthday cake the year I was drum major.
21. Her Bible is well-read and worn.
22. She is super at her job.
23. She has more friends than me on Facebook.
24. Everywhere we go, people recognize her and she knows all the children's names.
25. She honors her parents.
26. Her family is more important than her ministry.
27. Without her, there would be no me.
28. She starts her day with a bowl of cereal or toast and the Houston Chronicle, and has for as long as I can remember.
29. She needs a plan.
30. She gave me Phil and Jenny, and taught us to love each other.
31. She likes to shop (just not at Wal-Mart), and is quite good at it!
32. She reads my blog.
33. She walks with God.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Swine Break

Last week, modern society went berserk with the threat of swine flu. Warnings for diligent hand-washing quickly became panic. We are lucky enough to be part of one of those crazy school districts who shut down. When Goliath brought home the note informing me that he was on a second spring break of sorts, I decided we would skip town. The idea of a week at home, avoiding public places for fear of germs, sent me into a panic of my own! So the boys and I packed up and headed for Houston to visit my family. Here are a few things we did on our swine break:
We visited my grandparents...

The boys cleaned out Gran's shed, enjoyed a hot dog roast, and cleaned up in her enormous bathtub...

We spent a very special afternoon in The Woodlands! Caroline and I became the best of friends in kindergarten...and we still are. She has a very special place in my heart and in my life...I adore her, and so do my boys!

While we were waiting to ride the carousel at the mall, we ran into an old school friend of mine, Bobbi Jo. She is mom to Reagan, Kennedy, Taylor, Madison, and McKinley--a queen and the quads! I haven't seen Bobbi Jo in years, but we've kept up with each other. I've prayed many prayers for her and her babies, and it was a real treat to finally meet the girls in person.

We visited the Briscoe Manor, where Aunt Jenny's wedding will be held next year...

We went to the Children's Museum.....

We enjoyed a visit from Uncle Phil...
And, we chose to finish out the week in Houston instead of rushing back home when the schools were unexpectedly re-opened early. The memories we made are definitely worth it!