April 13, 2008

All Grown Up

Well folks, it happens to every child in the world. They grow up. Bradley moved out today. Yep, he is sharing an apartment with Lela. How did this happen? He was walking around singing "Mama, mama, mama, mama," only yesterday. I was trying to keep him from eating the butter with his fingers at meals the day before. Just last week Meredith and I were potty training him. I made his 3rd birthday cake on the grill last year..................Time flies when your raising kids! He will be 18 May 29, has one more English paper to write and he will be ready to graduate from high school. He has a full time job as a gunsmith at his dad's gunshop. He's looking to buy a motorcycle to drive to work because of the gas mileage. I have been telling him no for a year but now.........he can do what he wants.

Isn't that what all of us want? To just do what we want when we want without anyone telling us we shouldn't? It just don't work like that. You see, our life is not our own. It was bought with a price. The blood of Jesus at Calvary. To live for Jesus is to die unto ourself so that we can do His will, obey His commands, and work out our salvation unto His glory. LIVING is to make sure we wake up every morning, ask God to fill us with His Spirit, and not step out of that bed until we are sure we are right with Him and can accomplish only those tasks that the Almighty has planned for us today. Don't add anything or take anything away from His perfect will. Then, the glory of the Lord will shine in and on us and spreading the Gospel would be sooo easy because people would always ask us for the secret to our happiness.

Thankfulness is the key. Be thankful for the blood that was shed on the cross, be thankful that we can serve a Holy God, and tell Him daily how thankful we are and ask Him, "How can I please you, today, my Lord?"

I am thankful for my children. I am thankful that Justin, Lela, and Bradley have grown up to be indepentant thinkers. They don't believe you because you say it but because they have thought it out and made the decision for themselves. They are hard workers that can put in a day's work while laughing along side their fellow worker. They are encouragers and can really lift others up just when they need it. They are loyal to friends and family. You can always count on them. I am so thankful to God for my grown children.

I am thankful for my little children. They make messes and they make me laugh. They are cute and they are learning how to be good Christians and citizens. They keep me going when sometimes I want to throw my hands up and say, "UNCLE!"

I am going to miss Bradley. I am going to cry tonight after everyone is asleep. I am going to enjoy our new relationship that alway develops when a child is grown. I am going to pray for him always. I am going to enjoy watching him make his way in life just as I do with Justin and Lela. I am going to give thanks to God because as Bradley drove off today with his bed and his old recliner and TV, I could rest assured that he has been given the knowledge that he needs to become his own man and a man for God.

April 10, 2008

More Beach Pictures

Luke and Laura at the Beach

Yesterday we took Laura for her hearing test to UTMB in Galveston. Good news first......her cochlea can hear. That's the inner ear part that picks up sound and transmits it to the brain via the auditory nerve. Bad news......her ear canals are so tiny that sound can't get to her middle ear (ear drum) to be sent to the cochlea. We will have to wait until she is 5-8 to see if we can repair the ear canal, find out the function of the ear drum, and let sound transmit normally. Until then, she will have a bone conduction hearing aide. It will look like a head band with a sound transmitter that will send the sound to her cochlea via bone so she can hear "fairly normally". Her cleft palate surgery will be May 8, 2008 with her lip repair following in about 4 months. She will start speech therapy as soon as she has her palate repair and gets her hearing aide. Yeah!!! We were so happy to find out that she will be able to hear.

One of the hearing tests required her to be asleep. Well, let me tell ya. Laura sleeps at NIGHT! But, as God usually works out all things for His glory (and to the benefit is those He loves "us"), He let her stay awake the night before until almost midnight (something she never does) so, about 8:30 am she went into a deep sleep in my lap and the audiologists were able to do the entire test. All I had to do was sit in this comfortable recliner and hold my baby!!!! (my favorite thing to do) I am here to testify that God is good and He knows what he is doing!!!

While Laura and I were at the hospital, Nene and Luke were at the beach! We didn't tell Laura!

I put on this cute outfit with flamingos on it for Laura to wear and she was the hit at the hospital. After leaving the hospital, we went to Fishtales and had a wonderful seafood lunch WITH bread pudding for dessert. Then, we took Laura to the beach.

The girl is not only a country cowgirl, she is a bonafide beach bum!!! No kidding! The wind was blowing and she stood with her face to the wind and headed for the water! She seemed to forget that she can't walk very far yet and she made a trail of little footprints in the sand. She was going swimming! This is the same child that only 7 weeks ago was terrified when I sat her in a baby bathtub. Now she was going to swim in the ocean!! Let me tell you guys, she is a trip. Her smile was bigger than the sea itself. God sure put her with the right family because genetically, she lines up with the same things our bio kids love......the farm life and the beach life!! We are going back soon so all of us can have a little fun on the beach before her surgery.

I got just a few pictures of the children so I'll post them. In most of them, Laura's head looks really big because I was snapping pictures as she was running toward the water from an angle above her. But all the pictures are really cute and the kids are adorable.

Mimi, thank you so much for the little flamingo outfit and for the use of your beach house. You are a fabulous grandmother and sooooo generous with us. We love you sooooo much. Enjoy the pictures!!!!

April 04, 2008

Laura is Walking!

Yes, the title is correct. This morning John was playing with a measuring tape. Laura was playing with the other end of it. She stood up and holding on to the tape, she began walking. She then realized that she was walking ALONE! John was jumping up and down with excitement. Laura was grinning from ear to ear.

So, later in the day, she decided to try it without anything in her hand. She has insisted on holding at least one of our hands before today. If we let go, she would just sit down. But today was her day. She stood and took a few steps toward me, fell down and giggled. I clapped for her and she clapped too. Then, she tried it again. She kept practicing all afternoon.

I called Daddy in to see her new trick and she refused to walk! Until he got her favorite toy and teased her with it. Then she walked to him too.

We are so proud of her. She has accomplished so much in just 5 weeks. She is really a conquerer! As soon as I can get pictures of her walking I will post them for all to see!

God bless.

God's Beautiful World

This morning I was walking over to my parent's house early. It rained last night and everything is so green and serene. I came home and got my camera to capture the beauty. I believe that God created and owns everything in the Universe. He loves us so much that He lets us use it for a time. Then we die and go to be with Him and He gives it to some one else to enjoy!
The first picture is of a beautiful wisteria bush climbing on a archway that Meredith built. You walk through it coming into our yard. It is growing right beside the grape vines that define our yard from the hay field separating our house from my parent's house.
The second picture is very special to me. This bodark tree (horse apple tree) was full grown before I was born. This land has been in our family for almost 100 years. As long as I can remember, that tree has stood by the pond. I never really paid much attention to it until this morning. It was just so peaceful and serene. The new life is blooming on it and the pond water was gently moving in the cool breeze. Truly beautiful. The tree and pond picture reminds me of Psalm 1:2-3 that says,
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whater he does shall prosper."
Having not paid much attention to the tree all those years and then just today noticing it's beauty is somewhat like the fact the God has been standing in our midst for eternity and one day we finally notice he's there and then we are able to recognize His beauty in our life.
That tree has prospered for many, many years. It's roots are planted deep and it drinks of the water of the pond that it stay near for it's entire life. Oh, I pray that all of us will be like that tree. That we will continually stay close beside the Living Water and drink of it every day of our life. God will continue to feed us His Spirit and we shall not wither away but alway prosper in Him. This is my prayer for my family and friends.
I captured a picture of the swing that is in the old bodark tree. My children and my sister's children put it there and they play under that tree and swing from it's strong branches for hours of their life. What a peaceful place to play. Our children are so blessed.
The last picture is of one of our pine trees. Did you know that every year around Easter the pine trees have crosses on them? It is so cool the way that God commemorates the Passion of His Christ. I took these pictures later than I should have so the "crosses" are a little over grown. But just last week, the "new life" growing on the trees looked just like crosses. And the pine trees never fail, year after year, to give honor to their creator during the Easter season. Isn't it interesting that the "new life" on the trees should remind us of the "new life" we experience when we bow to the cross, repent of our sins, and ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior? You see, the Bible talks about how even the rocks cry out to their Creator. And yes, the trees do too.
Every where we look, God has put reminders of Himself so that we can enjoy a moment of praise and thanksgiving toward Him. He loves it when we praise Him. I can just imagine his big hearty laugh this morning when He stopped me in my tracks by that tree and reminded me that he loved us so much that he gave us this beautiful world to live in. How much more beautiful will heaven be? I can't wait to see it! Please give your life to Jesus, God's son, today. You will look at the world in a whole new way. I promise!
God bless you today and everyday. Enjoy the pictures and please give a moment of thanks to the Lord for the beauty that surrounds your home. And remember, it's just on loan to us from Him for our short lifetime in this world. Then we will be transformed into heavenly beings and live forever with Him in the most beautiful place ever created. The presence of God!

April 03, 2008

School at the Park

Today we needed a change of scenery so we loaded up the bicycles, tricycle, and stoller, AND reading books and headed for the park. It was wonderful. William played with Luke and Laura while John did his reading and then they traded books for babies so that William could read. Luke and Laura enjoyed school today more that usual. We all enjoyed our morning at the park.

Next to the park is the Fairfield High School track and football field. We drove over after leaving the park and watched the big boys pole vault and high jump. My boys were amazed and of course they are sure that they can do it higher and faster!

Here are some pictures of the kids at the park today. Enjoy!