Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Come Again Another Day...

Revised with contact and service information on 5-30-07
Today was supposed to be the first real day of summer for me and the kids. With Kolby off at camp it's not really normal summer yet. But still, I was hoping for sunshine and the chance to get outside a bit. Rhett was able to go to his swim lessons, for which I am very grateful! But about an hour later the clouds got together and the sky opened up. It's raining...again.

However, today I think rain is more appropriate than the warm summer sun. Today is just a sad grey day. It started with the news of the tragic accident that involved the Brown/Bailey family in West Texas last night. (If you don't know what I am talking about go here or here or here.) My heart breaks for this family! I keep praying that Bailey will be recover fully from her injuries and that God will find some way to comfort this heartbroken family at the loss of their son! I can not imagine the depths of their grief. It hurts to even think about it.

Then just hours later, I learned that the father of a good friend passed away unexpectedly this morning. I am close to this family and have known this man and his wife since my time with their son (who married one of my roommates) at ACU. Over the last five or so years I have seen them several times a year at their grand children's birthday parties, recitals and various events. I even worked a non-profit event with this man and his wife every year for four years. He was too young to die. It was cancer. It came fast. Just four weeks ago this man was giving a speech in San Antonio and developed a pain in his back side, now he is gone. His wife had no idea at the beginning of May that she would be a widow before June. Again, my heart hurts for them and all I can think to do is pray that somehow God will steady and comfort them as only he can.

And I know that this man and the Brown's son are with the Father now. I know that should make me rejoice. I know that as a Christian that death is not the worst thing... it is our homecoming. But still. I can not get past the grief of those that are left behind long enough to celebrate. I wonder if that says something about my faith in God's perfect plan and timing? It helps me to know that even Jesus wept at his friends death. Surely he understands our grief.

Not too cheery a post today. I know. Sorry.

Grief is a part of life, and I guess even a part of faith. Faith in a loving God is all that gives me hope that as sad as this day has been, that someday the sun will rise and shine in the skies above and in each of the broken hearts I have mentioned here. On days like this I cling to the hope that through Christ the most broken of hearts can laugh again. Eventually. But not today. And that is OK.

Rain , Rain, Go away! Come again another day,
For today has seen all the "rain" it can stand.
Here's to the never ending hope that the sun will shine again!

Service information for Rob Gunn here.

Tob Brown Family Web Site here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Revised with Pictures on 5-29-07
Has it really been JUST a week since I last posted? I swear my family and I have fit two or three months into the last three weeks! Here is a partial list of what we have been up to since Mother's Day...

Mother's Day

~ Rhett's Preschool had the sweetest Mother Day Brunch and program for all the Mommies
~ I ended PTA by volunteering to chair a committee that would decide how to spend our remaining $10,000 by the time school was out. About 6 dozen e-mails, countless conversations and one big meeting later, we gave all the money to the library. Happy to have that behind me.
~ Rob's birthday

~ Girls Scouts
~ Kolby's Dance Recital ~ So fun and so involved!

~ Rob's Mom here for a short visit
~ Kolby's class had three field trips, a celebration day and a two game days in the last three weeks of school
~ Ella Kate took her first unassisted steps on the 21st and now is up to four steps before grabbing on to something or sitting down .

~ All three kids got haircuts at the same time. Ms Debbie is a saint!

~ Dentist appointments
~ Rhett threw a bat up in the air and caught it with his mouth and...
~ A week later Rhett lost his first tooth.

~ THE FORT (still not done because it won't stop raining!)
~ Rhett's end of the year school party.

Rhett on the first and the last day of school with Mrs. Henry.
~ 3rd Grade Awards Ceremony at Kolby's school (She got three!)

~ Teacher gifts and cards.
~ Our family end of school night out
~ Kolby's school got out Friday

Kolby with Mrs. Kup on the first and the last day of school.
~ Mama Sue's Luau birthday party Friday night
~ Kolby and I had a 14 hour "get ready for camp" shopping/packing marathon Saturday
~ Rob sick since Friday
~ Kolby left for church camp yesterday at 2PM, for 6 days, with out me! I never let her(or anyone) see me cry but I did take my time driving home from dropping her off! I pray she has fun, isn't homesick, and gets back with at least 75% of the stuff she took! (OK, I also hope she takes at least two showers while gone, brushes her teeth and combs her hair everyday and doesn't put wet clothes in her suit case but, I know chances of these are a little slim!)
Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it!

Today we are not doing anything. at. all.

Catching some ZZZZs
In the last week I have averaged only 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night. That is just not cutting it, even for a night owl like me! Today is a day of rest. So far I have read the paper, checked the Internet a few times for weather reports for Kolby's camp, called a mom who drove up and back from camp last night, fed everyone leftovers, and been really lazy. I can't remember the last time I have been in my PJs this long! It's a good thing.

And speaking of good things, RAIN has always been a good thing in my book. As a life long Texan, I understand the need for rain. Many years of my life, maybe even the majority of years, have been lived during drought conditions. So I never thought I would say this, but I really hope it stops raining!

In our little part of Texas, we have had over 20 inches of rain in MAY alone! Our total rain fall for the year at this time usually averages 13 inches! AND we have at least a 40% to 60% chance of rain every day this week! There have been flash floods and and so far 6 people have drowned. The ground is saturated, the rivers and lakes are overflowing, and there is no good place left for the water to go. So the rain needs to stop.

But I want it to stop for some selfish reasons too... I have heard that there are awesome swimming areas at Kolby's camp. In fact, for many the swimming is the highlight. For the sake of my little first year camper, I hope the rain stops! Rhett also has swim lessons this week with his friend Paul and he is so excited! Today's lesson was cancelled due to rain. I would hate for Rhett to miss any more days as he already thinks life is unfair and that Kolby gets all the fun! (field trips, sleep overs, camp etc) So hopefully the sun will shine and we will dry out and get on with SUMMER!

I love SUMMER!

That's about it! I will add pictures to this as soon as I download the 200 or so I have on my camera! Hope you are all having a great Memorial Day!

Monday, May 21, 2007

late night blog .. The fort

It's 11:39pm and here I sit typing in the dark. Everyone is asleep. The dishwasher and dryer are both running and the shower is calling my name, but I wanted to stop in and catch up with blog world.

May is the new December around here. This week is chalk full of end of the year parties, presents, programs, games, meetings and appointments. Last week was just as crazy. How did the two longest months of my childhood, December and May, become the two shortest months of my motherhood? As a child I pined away waiting for Christmas holidays and then Summer break to finally arrive. Now I feel that I no more get the pictures from Christmas printed and it's time to get the swim suits out! I hate to sound like a broken record, but life is going by so fast!

One thing that has forced me to slow down a tiny bit is a back yard project that I took on a few weeks ago. Our fort/swing-set came with the houseand was built by the previous owners. It's one of those that you build with real treated lumber and a kit of instructions and accessories from Lowe's. When it was first built it was probably pretty impressive. I would guess it is between 7 to 9 years old now. We have done little to keep it up (aside of throwing some Thompson's water seal on it) since we moved in five years ago. Our lack of attention showed. Badly.

With a brand new set of little hands and feet to crawl and climb all over it, we decided the fort had to either be completely replaced or repaired completely. Being the cheap wad that I can be, I decided repairing was the way to go. I just couldn't spend $1200+ on a swing set. Rob has been quite busy ending his firast semester of grad school, (with a 4.0 no less!) taking on a new position at work, and catching up on all that softball he missed while he was in class. So I knew if I wanted it to happen before summer, it was up to me.

By the time I am finished I will have replaced boards, added new support beams, bricked the ever muddy sand box bottom, hauled almost 1000 pounds of new sand in, sanded splinters and old paint away, redesigned and rebuilt the back wall to be a climbing wall, replaced the faded tarp roof with a sure'nuff boards and siding solid roof, built a closing sand box cover, replaced the swings and polished the old rusted sliding poleto look silver and new. I hope to be through priming and painting the fort interior and have the new trap door/ bucket toy elevator installed by this weekend. It's been a lot of work. It's been hot. It's been dirty. I have sweat more than I have in years. I have used power tools, dangled off of ladders and hauled lumber in the van. Six trips to Lowe's in two weeks! And truthfully, I really have enjoyed it. When I was little I was quite the tom boy, and I dreamed of having a fort or club house like this. Maybe that is part of my motivation.

But in general, I like projects. I like things with a beginning and an end. (though Rob might argue that I keep extending the ending point with all my "big fun fort" ideas!) I like the instant gratification of seeing how a coat of paint (or stain in this case) can make what was old and dingy look new and crisp. AND THE ANALOGIES! My mind has flirted with thousands of analogies and life lessons while sanding and painting. I think I could write a book. Maybe not a good book, but a book none the less. When I am working with my hands out in the quiet calm of the backyard, prayers just seem to flow so easily. Even though it is hard work, it is calming and I feel very steadied. And even though I come into the house very behind on things I could have been doing in here, I still feel very accomplished!

My kids are loving the new fort and sand box. They play in it every chance they get and moan when I say they have to stay out to let me finish up some work. A month ago I couldn't get them to play in it for ten minutes. Tonight Rhett asked if I could install lights in the sand box so that he can keep playing after dark.... Lights? ...hhhmmm... Maybe I could attach solar yard lights? Anyway, I have been playing in the fort and loving almost every minute of it! Hope my kids enjoy it half as much as I have!

Didn't intend to write so much on this. Guess I'll catch you up on the rest of life another day! Good night blog world!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Quick Blog

Trying to wind down the year.
One and half more weeks of school.
Repairing, sanding and staining the wood fort and playset in the back yard.
It's hot!REALLY HOT!
Somethng almost every night.
Dance recital this week end.
Hope to catch up with all of you very soon!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Not a day goes by that someone doesn't comment on how much my kids look alike. People either think EKG looks just like Kolby or Rhett or that they all look just alike. So I thought I would see just how much you think they look alike. Below are pictures of my kids when they are all between 8 and 10 months old. Can you tell who is who? I did play with the pictures a bit to age some but I know bows and outfits will give it away. But look at those little baby faces! Who can guess who is who?

Monday, May 07, 2007


Revised w/ dining room picture...so you guys won't think I am a real slob, just an occasional one!
Here is a dining room picture to prove that I did actually clean it up!

Yes I have been digging out. Actually I have been Spring Cleaning, something I think I didn't do to well last year when I was prego with EK. In fact there are lots of things I let slide in the last year and I am now trying to get caught up. The back yard has taken lots of hours lately. The front yard is gong to take many more when i make my way out there. In the mean time here are some things we have done since I last blogged, which will partially explain why I haven't blogged.

Here is Kolby last week accepting her prizes for selling 50 cases of girls scout cookies this year. At 12 boxes per case that is a whole lot of cookies. Her troop had an incredible cookie season and even gathered enough donations to send over 1000 boxes of cookies to troops in Iraq. Gotta love Girl Scouts!

Saturday was Rhett's last soccer game. He and Rob (and Justin and Robby) had a great time playing with "Blue Force"this Spring. Summer T-Ball will start soon!

Finally bought EK a baby swing and she loves it! Her first five minutes in it she just laughed and laughed! Now it has a calming affect on her. She loves to swing and watch her siblings play! Rob and I have been trying to update and re-vamp our swing set/ fort which we inherited five years ago from the previous owners of our house. We were trying to decide whether to tear it down and start over or just try to repair and update it. After looking at the prices for new play structures, we decided to update! So far we have bricked the sandbox floor , added supports to everything, and poured over 800 pounds of sand into the sand box. If it will stop raining for a day or two , I plan to re-stain the entire structure and add a solid roof to the "fort". Too many trips to Lowe's these days! And that is just for the play fort! The rest of the yard will take many more trips I'm sure.

In other news, Miss Ella Bella is growing like a weed! She was 10 months old yesterday! She is pulling up on everything and can stand on her own for almost a minute. She will be walking in no time. Her personality is really shining through! She is happy, laid back and has a gazillion expressions. Her favorite expression as of late is a very cheesy, toothy, crinkle-nose grin. (as pictured above) EK makes me laugh about 2 dozen times a day with this! She also has a few little half words. She says her version of bye bye, da da, and says "quack quack" (again her version) for all animals and anything associated with bath time. She also has a wide array of grunts that we have come to know as hungry, thirsty, sleepy, mad, frustrated, and bored grunts. Doesn't sound too lady like, but still, she is communicating. She has started using tone and volume to communicate also. She has the sweetest little soft lovey voice and the strongest loud firm "I don't like this" voice. EK loves to watch Rhett and Kolby and still breaks a sweat trying to speed crawl across the house to keep up with them. She loves to look out the window and pound on it while"talking" to things she sees outside. She is a such a delight. It is going so very, very fast.

And speaking of fast, Rob and I took Rhett to Kindergarten round-up last week! WOW! How did that happen? Rhett will be almost 6 when he starts kindergarten and still it seems to have gone too fast. I can't believe he and Kolby will go to school together next year. Rhett thinks he is ready to go now and was very disappointed that he couldn't go to school with Kolby the morning after round-up. After all, he is "registered to be a Kindergartner now!" I am so happy that Rhett is excited to go...but I still feel strong sentimental tugs on the heart strings when I think my baby boy is going to be in school, real school, in just a few months! Sometimes I wonder if global warming has caused the earth to rotate faster because time sure seems to be going by faster than I ever remember! Am I going to feel this way about time from now on? I wonder.

Lastly, it is hard to get a picture of EK these days unless she is strapped into a seat. She immediately tries to crawl and get the camera. But Sunday after church, sitting on her brothers skateboard was entertaining enough to distract her for one or two pics! I love church pictures!

Hope you are all having a great Spring! Summer is just around the corner!