Verse of the Day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Outta here...

We are off for a family vacation. After a stop tomorrow in Austin to see the Capitol and the Texas State History Museum,
we're off to spend the night in San Antonio at the Wyndham St. Anthony (we got a good deal on priceline).

On Friday, we'll visit the Alamo and hang out in the Riverwalk area. From there, we're off to Port Aransas for some family fun in the sun.

If something really funny or interesting happens, I may blog, but don't count on anything for at least a week.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

oooh! ooooh!

A USB 2.0 PVR for only $40 at Circuit City.

Sadly it says it requires Windows, but surely some enterprising soul out there has gotten it to work on a Mac. This would be great with my new Mac Mini.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Tour de Lance, Tour de Forever

As I'm sure you all know by now, Lance Armstrong won his 7th straight Tour de France yesterday. (Is that 7 Tour de Frances or 7 Tours de France? I vote for 7 Tours de France.) Regina came to call it the Tour de Forever, as many nights over the past 3 weeks, it would be on our TV. I guess she got tired of it.

I am somewhat torn about my feelings for him.

I obviously greatly admire what he's accomplished, especially after surviving cancer. I'm actually one of the 8 people in the U.S. that paid attention to the Tour de France before he came along, so I understand the history of the event and the utter scorn that the French have had for Americans that have been successful in the TDF. Having ridden a "century" on the bike before, I can slightly comprehend the absolute torture that he has put his body through over the last 23 days (and seven years). I also believe that he has done it all steroid and dope free, though many would see me as overly optimistic, or even naive.

He has also given a great deal of hope to other cancer sufferers, who can relish in his success and make dreams of their own. You can't deny the power of this.

On the other hand, he has always given himself full credit for defeating cancer. He talks about the doctors and drugs, but he fails to mention the Great Physician, who undoubtedly was the one who truly defeated the cancer, despite the cross he wears around his neck. I guess I just see the sheer numbers that he could have impacted had he given credit for his healing where it should have been given.

I'll admit I don't know the intimate details, but his divorce certainly gives the impression that he became too big and popular for his wife and he felt the need to "upgrade." Now, of course, he's found himself a rock star girlfriend. He gets to give out awards and see Hollywood premieres and be on Oprah while his wife stays at home and watch it all it on TV and raise the kids.

He says he is retiring to watch his kids grow up. I guess he'll be able to do that every other weekend and a few weeks during the summer when he has visitation. But, I guess, that's more than he saw them previously.

Of course, I'm being somewhat cynical. I'm an Armstrong fan. He works harder than all the others and that's why (along with some natural ability) he has been able to win the world's hardest sporting event 7 times straight. I guess I just hold folks to a higher standard before I elevate them to "hero" status as many have...

(Or maybe I'm just bitter because he's "retiring" and he's exactly 32 days older than me!)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Precious Lindsay

One thing I never thought I would hear my sweet little 3 year old daughter say: Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope. She says it ALL of the time. Do you think she has heard that somewhere? Her favorite movies are Annie and Madeline. I think I like those better.

He finally did it!

After the successes of a few days ago, Evan didn't progress any further. We gave him one of the new pills and he'd stick it in his mouth for a while, but didn't get it down. He said he couldn't do it. I tried to convince him otherewise, but it didn't seem to do much good. He continued to take the old capsules, but he was swallowing those whole.

Then, last night, in the middle of a serious light saber fight (do those boys do anything else these days?), Drew came to tell us that Evan was acting funny, and he thought Evan was having a seizure. Sure enough, he had one that lasted about 10 minutes. Later, I told him (once again) how important it was that he learn to take the new medicine.

This morning, I gave him one of the pills and told him that he didn't have a choice. He had to take this pill. He had it in his mouth for probably 20 minutes, but when he sat down to eat his french toast, it went down with a bite of food! He had done it! We had a short celebration. He called Mommy to tell her (she is at work today). Everyone gave him a hug.

Then I told him he has to swallow TWO of those tonight.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

School plans

Many of you know that I worry way too much! Mark never has to worry because (1) it isn't his nature and (2) he knows I will worry enough for both of us. This week I have had the perfect "opportunity" to worry. The Director of Advanced Academics for WISD has taken a job out of town. This man was the first person who really understood Drew and had the power to make things happen. He met with Drew last year and worked closely with him at Math camp this summer. He was very impressed with Drew's abilities and was willing to think outside the box to keep Drew engaged in the school setting. I was so excited to have a man like him on our side--fighting for Drew along with us. But, it was not meant to be.

Once again I realize how much faith I put in man and not in God. I was so excited about this year because of what this man could do for Drew but what about what God wants to do with Drew? Doesn't he have a plan for my son this year? Will Drew grow in the knowledge of God? Will he understand more deeply how much God loves him? These are the important lessons. Just when I think it is safe to get off my knees, He wants me seeking His wisdom and comfort that only He can provide. I have to remind myself that God knows my children much better than I do and knows their every need.

Drew and I met with his teacher for several hours today. We nailed down a great plan for the year. This will be his 4th year with her and she is terrific with him. Our prayer is that we have cooperation to follow through with our plan. Specifically, pray that our Principal agrees to work with our plan, that we choose appropriate math curriculum, the math tutor enjoys and successfully teaches Drew new concepts, that Drew finds joy in learning again, that he likes violin, and that he have a positive mentorship experience. Building good friendships and memorizing enormous amounts of scripture would be total bonus!

My knees are getting so sore!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Prayer... and what dogs can teach us about God

First- a huge praise! Mark and Evan finally buckled down last night and did some serious swallowing training. Evan was very receptive and I happen to catch him at a good "teachable" moment. We started with gummy worms cut into various sizes. These seemed easy- he was even able to swallow 2 whole gummy worms at the same time (though I admit these were smaller than most I have gotten before).

Then we started with the M&M's. We tried in vain to find mini ones, so I cut them into 1/4's to start. He had a hard time with these, as these were not "squishy." It didn't take long to figure out what to do with them and start getting these down. From there we moved onto 1/2's. Again, he had a difficult time with this. This just proves to me that this difficulty is largely mental (yes, you, Regina) since, even though it wasn't squishy, 1/2 an M&M is clearly smaller than 2 gummy worms. He finally got them down and was able to swallow 3 or 4 (not at the same time) before he gave out. I think he had overdosed on water by this point.

Anyway, tonight, we tried again. We started with the 1/2's and, we were pleased to find out, he picked up right where he left off. We had a shortened training session, then an hour or so later, we had a big test- it was time to swallow two of the capsules we had previously been sprinkling on various foods. He had to work hard, but HE DID IT!!! The next big test will come in the morning- we will try to start him on the new medicine. The pills are about the same size as the capsules, but don't have any of the "squishiness" that the capsules might have. We'll let you know how it goes, but thanks to all of the prayers that helped us get this far!!

Now, onto something not completely different, but unrelated (yes- this is the dog part).....

I have really made an effort over the last week or so to improve my (very) inconsistent prayer/Bible study time. I do it in the morning and I try to sneak into the study very quietly, so Sadie (our dog) doesn't hear me and start whining to get out of her crate. I got up this morning at 6:30 or so. I was joined by Drew a short while later. He doesn't really understand the concept of quiet and so I ended up letting Sadie out. Drew actually read his Bible this morning! That, in itself, is almost a miracle.

Anyway, for those who don't know, Sadie tends to bite Drew & me. She's only playing and it's annoying more than anything, but every once in a while she nips Drew pretty well. For some reason, she doesn't bite Regina, Evan, or Lindsay. One of the things I prayed for, as Drew was sitting close by, and Sadie was wandering around, was that Sadie would stop biting Drew so much so that he can enjoy his dog more. Just a few minutes later, as I was still praying, Sadie came in and propped her legs up on my legs and just started licking my hands, for probably 30 seconds.

Non-believers would merely say this is coincidence, but to someone who believes in the power of prayer, I believe that God was calling out to me, telling me that he hears my prayers. That if I am vigilant in my prayers and seek His will, that He will hear me and respond to my needs. That if I only trust in the Lord and turn my life completely over to Him that He will take care of me. It's amazing how the lick of a dog on the hand can motivate someone to continue to seek the Lord. Don't overlook God in the small, simple moments of life!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Back in the Business of Parenting

Drew is in Tennis camp this week. Evan is attending Dinosaur Day Camp. Evan went on a field trip yesterday to Fort Worth which really wore him out. I almost didn't let him go because he had a seizure on Tuesday--the first one since our visit with the specialist. We have not been good about swallowing training. Tonight, he and Mark worked hard on trying to swallow Skittles. While Evan had his mouth open, Mark noticed that Evan had several molars coming in. Maybe that explains some of Evan's abnormal behavior lately.

The kids had a great time at cousins camp. We missed them and are glad they are back but it certainly doesn't take long to remember why we were grateful for the break. We went to a family reunion in New Braunfels after cousins camp. After a week away, I think they were ready to be back home. We got a lot done while the kids were gone. We also went out to eat a bunch. We went to Siete Mares one night. This is one of the Secret Services favorite places when they are in town with Bush. The food was good (I had garlic shrimp) but the service was lousy. We were the only ones with out an ice chest full of liquor. Mark thought that we ought to be able to provide our own soft drinks. They didn't agree. Mark pleaded discrimination! "Just because I don't drink liquor, you shouldn't be able to overcharge me for a beverage!" We must have eaten out way too much because by the end of the week, I was sick. I couldn't eat anything all day Thursday.

I am no longer a year behind on my scrapbooks! I still have about 100 pictures to "scrap" but I feel much better now that last year's vacation is done. I've had a great time remembering the fun we have had over the last year. It is so easy to overlook how blessed our lives are. I am determined to be grateful for all that God has given us. How else will my children learn to be content?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Happy 4th!

No children. Peace and quiet. Stay up late. Sleep late (maybe). Errands. Projects. The list is LONG!

This is our life for the next 84 hours but whose counting? My dilemma is whether I should relax and enjoy the solitude or run around like crazy trying to get everything done that I haven't been able to do with three kids in tow. With the first, I would feel guilty and with the second (which is what I will end up doing), I will be exhausted when we get the kids back. My list is a mile long. Mark makes fun of my obsessive list making but without it I would be lost!

I am a year behind in scrapbooking so that is a huge priority. I completed 12 pages today. Mark worked in the yard all day. We went to dinner and to the Suspension bridge for the fireworks display on the river. The music was great and we had wonderful seats. The photographer from the Trib who took Lindsay's picture for the paper sat next to us.

For those of you who missed it, Lindsay was on the front page of the Waco Tribune Herald on Sunday. When we were at the zoo on Saturday, a Trib photographer took some pictures of Lindsay playing with the otters. I didn't think they would use them because she wasn't smiling BUT they did. Now, I have heard some of you say that we must know someone at the paper or we must be paying someone there to put our kids in the paper but that is not true. If I had known that Lindsay might be in the paper, I would have insisted that she wear a bow in her hair and a nicer outfit. Instead she was sweaty and her hair was a mess! So now, all three kids have made it in the paper. Drew had an article written about him in the sports section when he was five, Evan was on the front page with Shawn Bell (BU football player) in May and now Lindsay. The only other item they appear on is the new brochure from Baylor's Discovery Center.

My prayers for the week: To be efficient and effective with my time, Strength for Meme and Papaw, Good behavior from my children at Cousins Camp, Keep everyone at camp healthy and safe.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

no longer incognito

The Dad and I have decided that we will no longer use code names for ourselves or kids. It is just too confusing. If you are wondering why we started the blog with code names, it was my fault. I told Mark that I was worried about having so much information on the web and who might be able to access it. He came up with this solution in order to calm my fears. I think as long as we refrain from using last names, I am okay. (FYI... Mike=Drew, Harry=Evan, Stephanie=Lindsay, The Mom=Regina, and The Dad=Mark)

So that said...we are in the middle of a beautiful weekend in Waco. Our family went to the Cameron Park Zoo this morning for the opening of the Brazos River Country exhibit. It was marvelous and the kids had a great time. The highlight of the exhibit is the slide that goes through the otters play area. The otters are so friendly and swim all around the slide!

I am labeling the kids clothes because they are leaving for cousins camp tomorrow! I have that funny, nervous, excited, feeling inside like you sometimes have before going on a big trip. Except this time I am not going, the kids are!!! They are all very excited. This will be the first time that Lindsay will be away from us for so long. She loves Meme and Papaw and playing with her cousins so I know she will have a wonderful time. Speaking of Meme and Papaw, they've got a big week ahead of them. They will have a packed house---11 grandchildren, two teenage helpers (two local teenagers), one adult helper (Meme's sister, Aunt Barbara) and themselves. They will be quite a sight on their fieldtrips wearing matching shirts and silly grins!

What are we going to do without kids? I guess we will find something to do. Catch up on scrapbooking, watch movies, go out to eat, do the crossword puzzle from the paper... to name just a few. We are also taking suggestions.

I must go and finish packing the kiddos. Please continue to pray for Evan. I think the medicine is really taking its toll. He is still not sleeping enough. I hope he gets enough rest at camp and doesn't feel awkward when he has to take so many pills every day!