Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Whaddya think Gran? Posted by Hello

GrandMommy/UncleT - look familiar? Posted by Hello

By the way...

comments have been fixed. Let me know - does anybody read this mumbling?

Headline: National Tragedy Origins Traced to Small Texas Home

There is a national tragedy going on, but no one seems to be reporting it. I'm sure you've heard by now about the states of South Dakota and New York vanishing into nothing. That's right; they have simply disappeared from the map. Also, the letter "s" is gone; no word yet from authoritie on whether or not it i related to the tate incident .

Now of course, if you live anywhere but our refrigerator, this is no big deal. After all, it's only Azx3's magnetic USA map and Azx4's LeapPad frig phonics that have suffered such tragic losses. However, to judge by the massive searches occuring as of late, you would think a national treasure or major population was lost.

We had a wonderful Easter. I'll put up pics in a couple of days - as soon as the postman has delivered his first. We all were dressed so nicely, which I think was the best part for me. It is such a treat to me to be able to dress everyone in coordinating clothes - something about that just screams "This is MY family!!!" and I love it!! We enjoyed church, and Azx3's SS teacher made sure to tell us that he knew all the answers to her questions that morning. As he is still in the 4-yr-old class, she was very impressed, and hoped we were able and willing to discuss Easter and any decisions he might want to talk about regarding it. Those of you that are praying, keep it up! Then we went to GrandMommy's house for a monster yummy lunch, naps for everyone in the house but Mama (ugh!), and an Easter egg hunt. Then we ran home, started making phone calls, gave the kids their Easter baskets, and Auntie K came over for supper and "Home Edition". All in all - a busy day! But one of the best: full of family, fun, and constant reminders of God's love for us. What more could you ask for?

Azx4 is turning more and more into a toddler - where has my baby gone? Tonight at supper, she demanded a napkin like the rest of us. As soon as we gave it to her, she promptly unfolded it, and placed it in her lap, looking at me like "See? I know what to do too!!" She also picked out the letter "A" from the frig when I asked yesterday! How super smart! Of course it was the only letter she picked out correctly, but hey, you gotta start somewhere right?

Azx3's soccer games start this weekend. It's a 5 and under league, so he should have a great time, I think. We have our first practice tomorrow night, so we'll find out all kinds of great things then, like what uniform color our team is, where games are, when practices will be, etc. I'll let you all know as soon as I do. (And if you did get a wierd email with a schedule, he's on the Rattlers. Sorry!)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

What Easter is ALL About

Yes, I have pictures, and yes they'll be up later. But I wanted to post this first, to give you all a chance to digest. VERY rarely, I mean like once in a few months, does a forwarded email ever get to me. Probably because I don't read many forwards - most I get I've already read about 10 times each. Also, I just don't have the time - I'd rather save what precious helper-less minutes I have on the computer for personal notes and "conversations". Kudos to Diane for passing this one along - and here's my disclaimer: I have no idea if it is true or not. I have no idea who the author is. I simply received it as a forwarded email, and will be happy to pass along credit where credit is due if I can find out. It had me in tears after only a few paragraphs, and not just sniffing and a lone tear down the cheek - I'm talking weeping, sniffling, snot-running-down-the-nose crying, as it is such a beautiful and poignant picture of what Jesus did for me. And for all of us. Out of pure, unadulterated love, that knows no bounds, no conditions, no limits. If I had been the only person on the planet, He would have done this for me. If I had been the only person on the planet to goof up/sin/make stupid decisions - the ONLY one - He still would have died for me. Doesn't that just blow your mind? okay - here I am weeping here' s the email.

17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class. The subject was what Heaven was like. "I wowed 'em," he later told his father, Bruce. "It's a killer. It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever wrote."
It also was the last. Brian's parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it while cleaning out the teenager's locker at Teays Valley High School. Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every piece of his life near them-notes from classmates and teachers, his homework. Only two months before, he had handwritten the essay about encountering Jesus in a file room full of cards detailing every moment of the teen's life. But it was only after Brian's death that Beth and Bruce Moore realized that their son had described his view of heaven. "It makes such an impact that people want to share it. You feel like you are there." Mr. Moore said.
Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted. The Moores framed a copy of Brian's essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room. "I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it, " Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son's vision of life after death. "I'm happy for Brian. I know he's in heaven. I know I'll see him.

Brian's Essay: The Room...

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall> covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in> libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order.> But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly> endless in either direction, had very different headings.

As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my> attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began> flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I> recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I> knew exactly where I was.

This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog> system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment,> big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder> and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began> randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and> sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I> would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.

A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have> betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird.> "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have Given," "Jokes> I Have Laughed at." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness:> "Things I've yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things> I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My> Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.

Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes> fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I> had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill> each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card> confirmed this truth.

Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my>> signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "TV Shows I have watched", I> realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed> tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the> file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of shows but more by> the vast time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill> run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to> test its size and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content.

I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An> almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: No one> must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to> destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't> matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at> one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a> single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it> as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot.> Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying> sigh. And then I saw it..

The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The> handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled> on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into> my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand. And then the> tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt.

They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my> knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it> all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one> must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.> But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him.

No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched> helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't> bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to> look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to> intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He> looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't> anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to> cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said> so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at> one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign> His name over mine on each card.

"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No,> no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these> cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive.

The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.> He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign> the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly,> but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and> walk back to my side.

He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished." I> stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door.> There were still cards to be written.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever> believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


Hope you enjoy the pictures. We sure had fun. The first should be all four of us, as we arrived at GrandMommy's house for lunch. The second should be just the two kids, same time.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Posted by Hello

Busy Day Yesterday

Phew! It was Az#1's day off, so I had a few things for us to do all together. Since it was St. Patrick's Day, we all had green to wear, and I made the kids "green eggs and ham" for breakfast. (aka scrambled eggs with food coloring and bacon...) We all got on the computer that morning to work on our vacation in Wyoming this summer - literally. I brought in a chair for me to sit next to Az#1, and then Az#'s 3 & 4 needed to bring in chairs as well, so by the time it was all said and done, we had four chairs lined up at the computer, we were all clamoring for our turn to do this or that, and I'm not sure we actually accomplished much.

Then we went out to lunch at Chuck E Cheese's. Hurray! We'd never been before, so the kids had a blast. We also had a million tokens, so it was all I could do to get everyone to choke down some pizza (with green peppers on it Az#3 noticed) before we ran off to play. That place is exhausting - even for us parents! Very nice though, as 98% of the games were working, plenty of attendants to answer questions and help, and everything was very clean. We all came home and slept for a couple of hours, then it was off running some errands. We came home and rounded the day off with green jello for a snack. Yum! Az#4 proclaimed.

By the way, she has started potty training. She's been telling us for a couple of weeks now if she's wet, but I didn't realize how serious she was until yesterday. I caught her mid-squat, asked if she was doing what I thought, and she stared at me. Then, without any prompting, she walked the bathroom, said "potty", and started pulling down her pants. She's gone twice in there, so I guess she's ready, huh?!

A snow angel...or an angel in the snow... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I Love You/Playing in the Snow

The kids and I got all excited on Tuesday, as it started snowing that morning. The weatherman kept changing the forecast: first it was just a dusting, then about 1 inch, then maybe 1-3, and by that afternoon we were watching from 3-5 inches. Hurray! Except, as you can see from the photo, all we got was the dusting. GGGggggrrrrrr! Oh well, Wednesday morning, it was enough to go slush around in. The kids had fun; I sat on the porch with my coffee.

Az#4 said I love you last night for the first time! It was so precious. She was reading a book titled "How Do I Love You?" that we've read often for her bedtime story. She was sitting in the rocking chair, and just started saying "I lah yooooo" over and over as she turned the pages. I even got it on tape!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Copycats! Posted by Hello

Spring Break! (right?)

Hurray! It's Spring Break here - not that it matters an awful lot to us pre-school families, but it does make a difference. Az#1 works in a very recognizable retail store, and they have seen their business more than double overnight, plus I'm off of work for a week. Yippee...right? Apparently the weather didn't get the memo - they're talking about snow early Wednesday morning. So much for seeing if we could get the plastic backyard pool out this week...

Although Az#1 has worked so darn hard in the backyard!!! I wish I could describe it to you. When we moved in, we had around 4-5 patches of grass, 14 trees, and 2 stumps. (not even a partridge for our pear tree....) We are now able to see the fence all the way around, and we are down to 2 stumps and 3 trees. It is such a dramatic difference! The dogs seem to love it, and so do the kids - so much more sunshine, less shade, more room to run, etc. I'm hoping it translates into more grass in the bare spots as well.

Az#3's favorite tv show is "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". He just loves it - he knows all the names of the people, catches on to the families' situations so quickly, and loves the reveal parts. He even has a favorite "design team member": Paul. So this has become our Sunday night tradition - we must plan supper around this show. It doesn't bother me since he watches so little tv anyways. But it cracks me up about how serious he is about the show: Where's Tracy in this episode? Where's Ty's megaphone? We watched tonight's episode about the little girl making over her hospital cancer ward, and it just brought me to tears - like the episodes usually do anyways - but in the "special effort to hug my kids cause they're not that sick" way. I can't begin to imagine what those familes go through, but I can understand how completely it hogs your life in some small way - the way Az#3's therapy used to - we would schedule life, sometimes even when we went to church functions, around whether or not we would have what type of therapy that day. Again, only scratching the surface of what these families deal with on a daily basis, and they are in my prayers.

And then Lil Miss Az#4 helped me cook tonight - we've had a couple of really sweet Mommy/Daughter moments this weekend. (And the boys have had their own which I'll get to in a minute.) Friday night was date night. Like we haven't had in a looooooooooooooong time, and I have to brag: Mr. Az outdid himself! A dozen peach roses, supper I didn't have to cook - and that was all before we even left!!! Anyways, I was getting ready, and decided that since it was warm, I would wear some open-toed shoes, which as any woman worth her salt knows, meant dragging out the nail polish. Az#4 wandered in while I was working on this endeavor, and ten minutes later, we both had "pretty purple toes"!!! So cute, so precious! (You girls know what I'm talking about...) She'll even sit down now anytime any where to pull off any and all socks/shoes to show them off to you. Then tonight I was making a pepperoni roll, and she drug her lil step-stool in the kitchen without any prompting to help. And help she did - throwing away trash, beating the eggs, and getting flour in every single crevice in her little body. Such a sweetheart - I think Mama had more fun than she did!!

Friday, Az#1 was weeding and mowing in the front yard. He had moved to the serious, do-nothing-til-the-grass-is-cut part of things, and pulled the lawnmower out into the grass. He started it up, and started the back-and-forth of things. Then, with no prompting, Az#3 grabbed his bubble mower and puttered exactly behind him - matching him push for push and stripe for stripe. I stood at the front window and watched - just amazed at how proudly a little boy copied his daddy, wondering what lesson he was learning even then, and continued love for a man who can see something as insignificant as grass-cutting for the importance it has to his son, and alter his own activities to accomodate little legs and questions. Filed under the "children absolutely make you love your spouse infinitely more"!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Okay, I've updated some of the links from their "update me" mode. I've just put in some of the ones that are in my favorites list, that I am sure to check whenever I'm on. I hope this is okay - I didn't exactly ask permission from those people before I posted them here. I haven't quite caught onto the "rules" yet of blogging - about all I know is how to post, who the biggies are, and what an "Instalanche" is. Other than that, I am greeeeeeeen. So if I do something to upset you, consider this a small apology in advance - just let me know and I'll fix it!


Spring is Busting Out All Over!

It has been such a nice week here - temps up in the high 60's to almost 70's. We've spent lots of time outside and are really enjoying everything - from worms to butterflies to the robin family and sidewalk chalk.

It's been really good for azx3 - Mr. "Boundless Energy" has been able to run and yell to his heart's content. Although he was a real stinker today - wouldn't mind for nothing and even gave my sister trouble when she came over to play. Never thought I'd say this, but I am (in some ways) really looking forward to Kindergarten for him next fall. But in others, the idea brings me to tears!!

Azx4 is having fun too - and continuing her language explosion. She now says "biss u" when anyone in earshot sneezes, knows most of her body parts, and a few animals and sounds as well - the "ooser" says "dock-a-doole-doo". She loves blowing bubbles outside, and even picked out her outfit to wear today.

The pictures were taken today. We were outside, fixing to run some errands, and the kids were just running around in the grass. Just started snapping away, and look what I got! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

An Experiment

Okay, so we're trying this. A blog. An A/Z blog more specifically. Purpose? To keep family and friends updated like we have in the past, but without the normal dial-up headaches for us on this end. Let me know what you think.

Let's see if I can do this right...I'm working on getting pictures in here in a day or so.

We played outside this afternoon. The kids took a great nap, so we went out front. The dogs went nuts - literally, at one point I had to go 'round the corner to see if one of them was stuck in the fence, there was so much noise. Az#3 loved throwing the football and a small red ball up on the roof, watching it roll down, and fall into the big bush in the flower bed. (where of course Mama had to get it!) Az#4 loved the bubbles - I blew lots for her, and she just giggled, stared, and then decided to chase them across the grass. Interesting looks from cars driving down the street through the cloud of bubbles.

Az#3 and I played tic-tac-toe with sidewalk chalk on the driveway. He refused to block me, yet continued to get mad when I didn't just cave and let him draw four x's in a row. Lil stinker!

Okay, must go to bed...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz