Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Boy Who Lived

"You have shown bravery beyond anything I could have expected of you."

Is the line I read as I fight back tears. I don't want the two kids I'm reading to, to catch a glimpse of my watery eyes, so I press on, wishing I could take a moment to collect my emotions.
If you haven't heard, we are Harry Potter fanatics around here. After much un-researched protest, we were won over by a dear friend who said, "you've got to check these books out." Oh, my was he ever right. Harry Potter is not real, magic is not real, real witchcraft is evil, but reading words that cause you to fall more in love with the God who made you and the people he gave you, is beautiful.

Having a two year old, a very hard working husband, a hectic schedule, and being born a slow reader, it has taken me a bit to get through the fourth book, but yesterday I did in fact complete it. I am a much better person for having done so too.
As many who care to know the story have long since read it, or at least seen the movie, and have a general idea of the story, I don't need to bother with the entire storyline. I was just compelled by some of the ending scenarios and how they spoke to me.

As Dumbledore loves Harry so perfectly, almost as a Father, something Harry's never known, my heart was breaking for this fictional character. Albus Dumbledore fits Harry's needs so perfectly, and continues to let him know just how proud he is of him.
As Harry's horrible night continues, he is met once again by another form of what appears to be perfect love. Harry's best friend's mother is there to provide Harry with something he'd never had a memory of before, a mother's hug.
"Mrs. Weasley set the potion down on the bedside cabinet, bent down, and put her arms around Harry. He had no memory of ever being hugged like this, as though by a mother. The full weight of everything he had seen that night seemed to fall in upon him as Mrs. Weasley held him to her. His mother's face, his father's voice, the sight of Cedric, dead on the ground all started spinning in his head until he could hardly bear it, until he was screwing up his face against the howl of misery fighting to get out of him."

And when I thought the worst (or best, depending on your perspective) was over, Harry's dear friend and professor, Hagrid, swells with pride when he reflects on the hardships his young friend has overcome.

"You all righ'?" he said gruffly.
"Yeah," said Harry.
"No, yeh're not," said Hagrid. "'Course yeh're not. But yeh will be."
Harry said nothing.
Hagrid's chest swelled as he looked at Harry.
"Yeh did as much as yer father would've done, an' I can' give yeh no higher praise than that."

"Just breathe through it Lace, you're almost done!" I tell myself this as I make sure to keep my head down and securely hide my eyes.

The amazing saga goes on for one more chapter, and as it rounds to a close, my heart is stirred once more. This time not because my heart's being broken for this poor boy, but because it all started to appear as a personal message to me, one that set a fire in my heart.

"It is my belief - and never have I so hoped that I am mistaken - that we are facing dark and difficult times. ..... if the time should come when you have to chose what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave..."

Without reading the book, you could be a little lost, but I think the message still rings clear.

Ah...... to be loved. Not butterflies, goosebump, and daydreaming love, but real, perfect love. The thing we all long for, the thing we all seek after, the thing that drives the human race. The passion that was installed in to our fabric at birth. The thing that can only truly be completed with Christ. He is the perfect fit, with continuous words of praise. He is the long desired embrace from which we have had no prior memory. He is the beaming friend who has the perfect words in a painful time. He is the memory to recall when the choice to do what is right or what is easy is upon us.
My unending gratitude will forever be to the one who sacrificed him self for my sake when his dark and difficult time was upon him.
Thank you Harry Potter for allowing me to remember just how amazing real love is.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

God Loves a Cheerful Giver!

Well, as you all know we have been pretty busy and I haven't been able to blog much lately. Among many other things, Judah's potty training, specifically, has been keeping us busy. He's working real hard to get this pooping in the toilet thing down. In the process, he's grown a need for more sophisticated reading materials.

Lord Bless Him, he's going to be so savvy before this whole thing's over!

Never the less, I guess all this hectic stress was starting to wear on us and some kind souls took notice. We have the greatest students at our church. They recognized that we obviously had some serious needs due to all this potty training. They were so kind and tried to give us an anonymous gift last night.

With nothing more than a ring at the door, we were greeted to find quite a surprise. These good Samaritan's must have known we had a need for more toilet paper with Judah doing all his extra business. Wow, to be loved in such a practical way, what an experience!

We figured we couldn't let the blessings stop there, so we went ahead and pulled the paper down and decided to return it with a little something extra to the get away driver. We wanted to really bless him. Nothing says blessings like some extra ripe meat in the bed of your truck right?



I'll be glad to let them know Kenton and I never forget!

Nighty Nite!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"What's The Deal?"

"Why haven't you blogged lately?"

"Have you stopped blogging?"

"You're the blog addict, what happened?"

Okay, okay!!! I've heard you all........ I'm sorry, please forgive me. We've been a little busy and I've fallen behind. Come on, when there's giant cows landing on your Grandmother's lawn, you gotta take some time and really smell..... the udders??

Never the less, I'm back with all sorts of treats for you. Consider this as a small teaser to a much over due update. But brace yourself folks..... it's going to be intense. The monster cow is just the tip of the iceberg!

I'll leave you with this and a promise to fulfill all your blogging needs later today!

Even Judah knows we all need a good read to give us a good "push" through the day!

Friday, June 09, 2006

He Ain't Heavy... He's My...??Brother??

When I was in the fourth grade we were given an assignment to create a want ad for a sibling. Whether we wanted an older or younger sibling was up to us. We were to choose a brother or sister with all the qualities we desired them to have. I created an ad that depicted exactly what I always had wanted, A baby brother. I am the youngest child and I have an older sister. I already knew what having a sister was like, so I really wanted to experience life with a younger brother. My ad included the features I hoped for too. I wanted him to have curly blonde hair and I wanted him to be silly.
Little did I know that there was no way my parents would be having any more children, so I brought my ad home and hoped that it would be a mind changer and they would surely see things my way. So needless to say, I'm still a youngest child with no little brother.
I hung that ad on my corkboard and it stayed there for many years.
As I look back at the last few weeks, I've realized that God answered my ad, just in His own way.

Not only do I have one little brother, I have three.

The third time I hung out with Kenton I overheard him say, "my baby brother..." I jumped and turned to him, "Baby?" Being 18, babies were better than puppies and I thought I found a way to be around one. "Yeah, my baby brother Jedidiah, he's three now."
He proceeded to show me a picture of this adorable bald baby with an infectious smile from his wallet. Kenton's no dummy, he knew he had a bartering point with me, a new face he wanted to get to know more. So he worked his brothers for all they had and won my heart.
Yes, I can admit that because Kenton had three younger brothers, I was easily sucked in.
So there you have it, the beginning to a very long story that leaves me here today. Here with three amazing brothers.

One is my co-hort in teasing Kenton and never letting him forget even one little embarrassing moment. He's also one of my greatest friends. Reid is the sorta guy everyone wants to be around, and I'm lucky enough that he chooses me. He's an amazing Uncle and the epitome of the word, brother.

One is my silent partner. Jonathan is a man of few words. He chooses the exact moment to chime in and bust all our chops. He's wiser than he gets credit for and I know one day this nearly 12 year old will blow us all away. He was always the one who hung back and took in the scenery. He manages to find the deeper meaning in things. I wish I could learn to be more still at times. He's my helper with Judah, I know I can trust him to never let Judah get in harms way, he's a very loyal brother.

And finally, one is a mystery. There aren't words invented to describe the presence that is, Jedidiah. He's a ball of creative, humorous, mind-blowing energy. He is all heart at whatever he's doing. Whether he's playing ball, reading a story, or throwing a fit, he's all heart. He's almost ten. (One week, two days, and counting) He's got so much passion it can be contagious. He's not too old to get down and really play with Judah, and I know Judah loves the company. He's the ultimate little brother.
So, as I've sat and had heart to heart talks, played with baby skunks, explored snake skins, watched a late night little league game, visited a dairy farm, fed heffers, read Harry Potter, sang the theme song to H.R. Pufnstuf, memorized what 7 x 3 is, discussed the complexities of marriage, explained why we need to wear socks in our tennis shoes, rocked out to The Jesus Cobras, tried not to laugh at farts at the lunch table, listened to Frog and Toad be read aloud, drank Dr. Pepper together, ran errands, sang the Vanilla Ice song from Ninja Turtle's II, loved on Judah together, and said "Peace out Napoleon," I've begun to realize what a blessing it is to have my desire for a little brother fulfilled.

I Love you guys.
Your sister, Lacy

(We visited "Auntie Maude and a baby skunk on Thursday at the Great Plains Nature Center. Today we went to a Dairy farm in Clearwater. The boys fed calfs, watched the farmer milk a cow, and fed a heffer. Lots of fun that ended with an ice cream bar!)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Grandma's Broken Tummy

Because Kenton and I have come to know Jesus as a Father, Lord, and Friend, we have been doing our part to introduce him to Judah. He has been helped along mightily by his amazing teachers at church. We end each night by asking Judah, "What do you want to tell Jesus about tonight?" His typical response is, "Thank you Jesus for my friends." Then he proceeds to list all of his pals one by one. Some nights it's a very long list, other's, it's brief and he's off to bed. Some nights he's really excited and he starts listing everything he can think of that he's thankful for. When he runs out of things he starts listing the things in his room. So it goes a little like this, "...for Uncle Reido, Uncle Jon, Uncle Jed...ah..Curious George, my blocks, my chair, my king house, my shoes...." It can go on very long some times.
Last night he started talking about the "grandma who touched Jesus." Kenton and I both looked at one another and thought, "What?" But he continued to talk about the "grandma who touched Jesus' clothes... his shirk." And then it hit me, he's talking about the woman who wanted to just touch Jesus' garmet, believing it would heal her. I asked was she sick? "Yeah her tummy was broken." Still I inquired, "Did Jesus fix it?" "Yeah, he fixed her broke tummy," he answered. So I asked again, "Do you want to tell Jesus anything else?" "Thank you Jesus for fixing the grandma's tummy."
With an amazing hug and kiss we sent him to bed. I was far from tired though. "How does he know that?" I couldn't get the smile off my face. It became very apparent to me that Judah is doing his part to introduce his Father, Lord, and Friend to us.
Thank you Judah for sharing an amazing story with me. Thank you for your faith, faith so strong that you knew all that "grandma" had to do is just touch the robes on Jesus' back to gain the healing he promised.

I never believed as much as I do today.

Mark Chapter 5
21-24After Jesus crossed over by boat, a large crowd met him at the seaside. One of the meeting-place leaders named Jairus came. When he saw Jesus, he fell to his knees, beside himself as he begged, "My dear daughter is at death's door. Come and lay hands on her so she will get well and live." Jesus went with him, the whole crowd tagging along, pushing and jostling him.
25-29A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, "If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well." The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.
30At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, "Who touched my robe?"
31His disciples said, "What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you're asking, 'Who touched me?' Dozens have touched you!"
32-33But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.
34Jesus said to her, "Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague."

Monday, June 05, 2006

Busy Beavers

Per usual, it's busy around here. The funny thing is that when we're not busy, we are lost. We complain about not wanting to be so busy, but when we get what we want, we are so quick to blurt out: "What is there to do?" Oh, silly us. When will we ever learn to just be still?
Maybe it's just not our personality?
Either way, check out what we've been up to.
Friday night was an accidental "cheap-date night." When we found ourselves with nothing to do and feeling like we needed to fill the time we ended up at Bradley Fair with intentions of just walking around the lake and seeing the ducks.

A major bonus was that these ducks are so used to being fed by humans that they come for grass in your hand! Cheap fun!

We discovered that if you spin it just right, you can roll an entire entertaining evening into a walk around the entire shopping center.

For "dinner" you can go to Green Acres Market for all of their amazing (and organic, mind you.) samples. We enjoyed a nice assortment of natural candies and a cracker party mix.

For entertainment, you can stand outside the patio of Ya Ya's and see the backs of the musicians performing, but get the same sound. Plus, from this angle, you can see the high class ladies dancing after a little too much wine! Double the entertainment!!

Next, you can stop in at Bath and Body Works for your "Aromatherapy." Or sample the free lip gloss, you see it your way, I'll see it mine. Finally you can end the stroll with a nice romantic pause at the fountain. My date was quite cute don't you think?

And when your date's had enough, the car is close and you can get him straight to bed.

After the much needed rest, Saturday morning greeted us with our first opportunity to go swimming this season. Judah's Meme has a neighborhood pool and we were ready to give it a whirl.

Unfortunately, the water was freezing. We did our best to make it last but when Judah was purple and his teeth were chattering, I thought maybe "fun" time was over.

Besides, we could all really stand to work on our tans before blinding others with our glowing skin!

We ended our cold swimming time and headed out to see my parents take their fourth victory in a Mustang car show.

When I was a child, I loved my new boxes of crayons. While I loved to make great pictures, I hated ruining my perfect, unblemished box of twenty-four fresh Crayola crayons. Why? I don't know, it was just my thing. As I walked through the rows of Ford powered cars on Saturday, I realized that keeping his cars as perfect and unblemished as possible was my Dad's "thing." Sure, the car has a function just as my crayons did, but man you hate to ruin the perfect condition. So, while keeping my car pristine isn't my bag, I get it now. And it's no surprise that I really didn't get it before. My parents deservingly took home another first place prize for the "Daily Driver" category. Congratulations!

Nothing like your great 'ol Uncle Reido, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Movie, and staying up late to make a Saturday night complete! Reid was very awesome to come and play with Judah so Kenton and I could go out on Saturday.

Funny bit of info. I haven't dried my hair since Easter Sunday. Why? Because of blogging. I've been so excited to share with you all or see what you've been up to, that I've sacrificed my morning ritual of drying my hair, to check in with you all. Am I a dork or what? But either way, I decided that Saturday night I was going to dry my hair and much to my surprise, my hair has gotten SO long. Check it out. I don't think I've ever had hair this long!

And yes, that's a Napoleon Dynamite poster on our bedroom door. Sounds par for the course, right? Just another two dorks in love.

Judah's Aunt Tara and Uncle Scott came and played with us on Sunday afternoon. Judah has got the hook ups with these two! They both will be official doctors before you know it. Scott will earn his PhD in mathematics this summer and Tara is completing here third year in medical school this summer. We are so proud of them!

Finally, comes today! If you live near this city, you've gotta check out The Great Plains Nature Center! They have the greatest FREE programs for kids! Today was Creature Feature and the kids helped create a wetlands habitat. Isn't Judah the cutest duck you've ever seen? Uncle Jed was a slider turtle (notice the red on his ears) and Uncle Jon was a snake. We thought he might have been a sith lord at first, but the naturalist cleared that up for us.

We got to end the event by going out in to the real wetland habitat and seeing all the creatures we just learned about. The boys fed ducks, turtles, and fish. We didn't see any snakes or sith lords. Maybe next time.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Living The life About 700 Feet Above Sea Level

We got the great pleasure of witnessing some ear popping these last few days! Travis climbed down from their peak in Colorado Springs. He descended from exactly 38 degrees and 49' north to our coordinates of 104 degrees and 52' west. Or 6008 feet above sea level to 700 feet or so. It was so fun to be cracking whispered jokes during church, (I mean No we never do that), laughing at the always funny, "tapped you on the wrong shoulder and made you look" humor, and best of all sharing our lives with each other over a lunch today. I know I can speak for my whole family when I say , we really miss you guys. It's incredible to know that no time zone can change what amazing friends we have found. Thanks for the encouragement and the constant friendship. Hold on Jennette! We're planning our trip out soon!

In the meantime, these hugs were meant to be distributed to all of you! Love you so much!

Another great thing that happened today was that Daddy got to join us for storytime! Today is the monthly meeting of "Babes and Books." This has been Kenton's first week of being self-employed. He's done quite well this week alone and we're so proud of him. One of the reasons he took this job was so he could be more a part of Judah's early years. A choice that will bless Judah for years to come. So Daddy got to get down and dirty with us and have some real fun. It was such a joy to just sit back and take it all in! Judah really liked building the octopus or "okapuses."

After our lunch with Travis, I was searching for something to do with all three of the boys. If you didn't figure it out, we have inherited Kenton's little brother's Jonathan (11) and Jedidiah(9). They have come to spend their summer days with us once again. Summer afternoons can drag on forever when you have bored kids. So when I heard "Fun for the whole family." On a TV commercial, I got the wild hair to take the boys out to Beck's Farm and enjoy this "Fun" they spoke of.
Well, I don't know what they do out in Newton for fun but Beck's farm was a bust! I thought we could pick our own peaches out in the orchid and enjoy fruit fresh from the vines.

No. You can't.
But never fear, they will let you drive all the way out to Newton, select from their three choices, and pay ten dollars for a small bag of peaches!
Needless to say, I had a significant learning experience today.
Well, Judah loved the playground and the peaches were really tasty!

Awe.... and there's nothing to end a trip that's a bust better than nearly getting busted!

Who doesn't love the woozy feeling they get when they see these flashing behind them?

As my son's laughing at the "funny cowboy man" and my brothers-in-law are maturely chiming in with their "ooooooooo Lacy," I'm just glad that I'm getting just a warning for not having a left mirror. Maybe now Kenton will see that it's important to get that thing ordered after he knocked it off three years ago.

So, I guess you can say we all had some significant learning experiences today.