28 February 2011

Wilson's 2011 Goal

Well, here it is... the day we finally kick-off Wilson's goal for 2011. Click here to go to his blog and read about it.

Parenting can be a tricky thing sometimes. At Christmas when we did our 'Joy Jars', Wilson picked out an item in the World Vision gift catalog that far-surpassed the amount of money that we had saved. When we told him the difference between what we had and what he chose, he got quiet. We could see he was obviously disappointed. We talked about it some then. And after our trip to MI we talked some more about the possibility of him using this year to raise that money. He liked that idea and has been brainstorming ideas for quite sometime now.

He, of course, needs some help from us and we have been praying about how to help without doing everything for him. We wholeheartedly believe that God is going to be teaching Wilson some amazing lessons through this endeavor. We do not want to get in the way of that.

Truth be told, as parents, sometimes we'd rather NOT let our kids step out in faith. What if it doesn't happen the way we anticipate? What if there is criticism? What if...

Brad and I both recently finished reading The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns (great read) and this quote from the chapter "How Many Loaves Do You Have?" stuck in my brain right away... God never asks us to give what we do not have... But He cannot use what we will not give.

So with pride we step out with Wilson, encouraging him to watch for God to move mightily. Walker is thrilled to get to participate with Wilson too... Our hearts are blessed and challenged by the faith and hope of these two little guys.

Here are some pictures that didn't make the cut for Wilson's blog ;)
He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:17

23 February 2011

updates! updates! updates!

(I'm hearing the title in a monster-truck-rally-announcer's voice. You?)

(Also, do not get your hopes up too high. These are run of the mill updates, not earth-shattering-make-sure-you-are-sitting-down updates. I would have a much fancier title for that kind of update.)

1). I'll start with the least-interesting.

Sometimes when I have had a headache on a previous day, I put my hair in low pig-tails instead of a regular ponytail. And I feel fifteen. Except when I was fifteen my hair wasn't long enough for pig-tails. Maybe that's why I opt for them when I am thirty-four. Other times, when I haven't had a headache in awhile, I whip my hair back and forth. Just sayin.

2). Brad is going to the promotion board tomorrow. He knew he would be going, but didn't know it would be so soon. God's timing is sometimes surprising. He has been studying and also polishing his boots. I have been praying for him a lot. I have also been praying for the men that will be questioning him tomorrow. (For those of you that don't know, going to the promotion board is just one step in the process of getting promoted. If he does well tomorrow, he won't come home promoted. We'll keep you posted on that.)

3.) Adoption news. We are waiting. God is faithful. We are at a point in the process where we can look at photolistings of children and "inquire" about the potential matches. I have asked God to guard my heart in this process so that I don't obsess about the little faces that I see. I trust that He is moving even now. I don't have a lot of evidence of that to share with you, but I do have a lot of peace. He has also been faithfully encouraging me with stories of other adoptive families as well as Bible stories of people that have waited. And a lot of those folks waited a good, long time.

4.) Wilson has a big goal for this year. We are working on getting some details together to help him start working toward reaching that goal. More details soon. Like by early next week at the latest. (I had to post this here to motivate us to finish up the loose ends.)

5.) The weather is still ridiculously awesome. Visitors are welcome.

Finally. I'll share a song with you. Its from Steven Curtis Chapman's album, "Beauty Will Rise." He recorded it after the death of their little girl, Maria. Brad downloaded the album for me after I read "Choosing to See," by MaryBeth Chapman. This album has grown on me over the months. This is one of my favorites right now...

"I've dropped anchor in your promises
and I am holding on
'cause you are faithful.
God, You are faithful.
I will proclaim it to the world,
I will declare it to my heart.
I'll sing it when the sun is shining,
I will scream it in the dark.
You are faithful"

22 February 2011

a few more pictures...

...from down by the Hooch.

The guys and the girl.

{Wilson kindly snapped this one of us}

21 February 2011

the weatherman was SO right

it has been a lovely weekend... and we still have one more day to go!

Friday night, Wilson helped get dinner ready. (Its one of the things he has to do in his cub scout book.) Daddy suggested hot dogs on the fire pit, so Wilson gathered all the necessities and brought them outside...Daddy giving Walker some pointers on getting a perfectly-flame-kissed hot dog...
Family of four...
They each have their own preferred method of cooking dogs...
Walker polished off his s'more before I could even get a picture of it... Where is your s'more, Walker?
Wilson enjoying his s'more and all its gooey-goodness
This is what I would call the post-s'more-lull by the fire.
Saturday, Mussy girl got a haircut bright and early. We did a little shopping, and found the boys some new tennis shoes before we picked Muskoka up from the groomer. We headed downtown to the River afterwards.
Walker is convinced that his new shoes make him jump higher. (He might be right!)
And after a sweaty walk along the river, ice cream cones just seemed like the right thing to do.
Following church yesterday, we had a rather lazy-day. Some of us napped while watching the Daytona 500. Wilson is the only family member that didn't miss a lap. He might be becoming a really big Nascar fan.

This morning I got to run outside for the first time in a l-o-n-g time. Brad is out running now. Then we'll be off to get some Golden Donuts. Yum. I love President's Day!

18 February 2011

spring-ish weather post

Muskoka got a new frisbee last week... and something about it just makes me think she looks ridiculous when she retrieves it.Walker has been thoroughly enjoying the extra outside-time this week. I'm still glad we decided to keep that old swingset around for awhile, he LOVES swinging.
Last night after dinner we went for a walk around the block. I told the boys do go stand on the hill so I could take a picture while the sun was setting. My instructions were, "Look at the camera!"
Almost got them both to do it at the same time in this one.

The weatherman is forecasting a lovely weekend. I've gotta feeling he might be right.

16 February 2011


Fantastic! The weather this week is just stunningly beautiful.

Here's a picture of the boys at cub scouts Monday night. A total drama-free zone - at least for now. They were working on collections, so they were gathering leaves.Tiptastic!
This is just a bonus tip for anyone that is interested. If you have a never-fail cookbook, but try a recipe that is "nasty." Its helpful to mark it. Otherwise you might make it twice thinking that its from the never-fail cookbook and therefore a good option. Never be afraid to write what you think in your cookbook. Your family will thank you for it. (and also, it will make you giggle when you flip past the page while finding other recipes that are actually good...)
Did I mention that Barbie cleaned out her fabric stash before she and Logan came last week? And that she brought all of this to me?????
It sat piled there right under the living room window for a week. But I tackled it, and this is what I came up with... Did I mention that she brought the storage too? Pretty stinking rad, huh?
I have 8 crayon rolls cut up & pressed waiting to be sewn together. I haven't made any since November, but I keep getting little checks from Bit of Benning, so I thought I should make some more.

I'll try to take some more pictures of the boys enjoying the beautiful weather. I think my freckles started peeking out! ;) My favorite time of year!

14 February 2011

blog catch-up

Happy Valentine's Day!

so, this is the first day of blogging in February... so I am just going to jumble this altogether in one big, messy post. Be sure to check out the Pinewood Derby post too, below this one...

First of all, you all know that Brad completed WLC (Warrior Leader Course), right? And that he was on the Commandant's List, right? He graduated last Tuesday. I wasn't invited to the graduation because "its no big deal." I'm still quite proud of him for working hard, even if it didn't matter.

Also, Barbie and Logan came for the weekend a week ago. Guess how many pictures I took while they were here? Zero. Wow, that's even worse than my crappy average at Christmas. We did have a very fun time though, and will have to do it again soon.

Ok, on to the picture portion of this post.

The Army has changed a lot of things about WLC, it used to be 30 days in the barracks with a 2-hour break on Sundays. Now its only 21 days and only 4 nights in the barracks.

One of those four nights that Brad was in the barracks found me crafting. A friend of mine from Oklahoma has been waiting to adopt from foster care for quite some time. She found out that she was "paper pregnant" and announced it on FB. The boys were already in bed and Brad was gone. I was so giddy that I had to do something or I would never be able to sleep. So I made this purse... pictures are in the opposite order, here's the inside... lined with a fabric that Rene gave me for Christmas...and the body is made from a skirt I got at the thrift store, with the ruffle made from the same fabric as the liner... I finally bought the strapping this week so I could finish it. {I did fall asleep after getting my craft-on but I am still quite giddy about my friend's new-family-dynamic and enjoy reading her updates each day on FB! Its very encouraging to my heart!}
And we got a note on Thursday that Wilson was going to be honored on Friday for being an "Outstanding Panther Cub" again... he got all M's and 1's on his report card for the 2nd quarter.

Because of the late notice, Brad wasn't able to join Walker and I at the little assembly. Wilson was one of two from his class... Shaking the principal's hand... while the older student-leaders look on {they gave little speeches to the kids about working hard, it was quite entertaining}
You might be able to guess by this picture that Wilson wasn't thrilled with the idea of posing with his brother and his certificate for his picture...
Right after I snapped the above picture the "Family Life Consultant" walked up and commented on how fortunate I was to have such good boys... This 2nd picture is a tad better... and something about the way their mouths are in this picture just makes me smile.
We are proud of Wilson's continued hard work at school and thankful that the administration recognizes the importance of encouraging the kids & parents to keep it up.

Pinewood Derby 2011

Did I mention there was some cub scout drama? The den leader resigned, and the Wolf Den is now split in two and somehow we are in the leader-less half of the den.

So we weren't even sure if the Pinewood Derby was going to happen. Thankfully we got an email Tuesday with the details about the event and Wilson & Daddy were able to finish up #71. Wilson picked that number (only he knows why) and orange paint...All the competing scouts sat on this side of the track until their car was up to race... Wilson opted out of wearing his uniform for race day, so you can spot him - the one with the green hoodie on...
This is where the boys sat while their cars were on the track. Each den had at least 3 heats to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Wilson and another boy tied for 3rd place...
These two watched their cars race FIVE times to see which one would win 3rd place. They would race, then alternate lanes and race again. The first four times, the boys' alternated winning, so they decided to delay the final tie-breaker until the very end. The final race was "Winner Take Third" with no lane-switching. I didn't even watch the race, I just focused on Wilson and captured this picture as his car crossed the line. It was a close race, and thankfully these two were r-e-a-l-l-y good sports about the whole thing. They shook hands right afterwards.
And here he is with #71, his certificate, and see his little 3rd place ribbon on his sweatshirt? He was pleased and the day was a success. We were already discussing plans for next year's car - to include possibly enlisting some help from Mr. Curry's power tools.

{As for the cub scout drama, I think we'll stick with the leader-less half of the den and just share the responsibility of leading den meetings until the end of this year. Who knew there would be drama even with the little cub scouts?}