Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cappy, Cake & Costumes

Ok, so it's Wednesday, and I have about 2 minutes to write this blog in the midst of our Halloween festivities! My Wednesday Wonder will have to wait... meanwhile I'll post some highlights from our last few days. Enjoy!

Cappy with his (other) brown-eyed girl

Corbin turned 37 on Saturday... we celebrated as a family over breakfast before soccer games. Ha!

Corbin's b-day dinner hosted by our great friend Gregg Foster - amazing dinner with amazing friends! (and amazing lemon cake - thanks, Joyce & Krista!)

Trinity Chapel's trunk-or-treat... Hud and Bran were UT quarterbacks. That's darling Atlee Anderson with Hud - I was surprised she made it through the evening without Basden sneaking her ruby red slippers.

The Princess & Paulette trick-or-treating

Didn't take little Essie long to figure out where the candy was!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday Wonders - A Time of War

Our friends Darla & Kyle wrote this on their CaringBridge site a couple of weeks ago. We were at Baylor with Darla & Kyle, and they are incredibly attractive - they draw others to want to be near them. I didn't know Kyle well at Baylor, he was a senior my freshman year, but even then I observed the deep admiration many people held for him, my husband included. Ditto for me regarding Darla. So 11 years ago Kyle was diagnosed with cancer. He has sacrificed much in the various stages of this battle, but their family emulates real faith and genuine wisdom. Kyle recently underwent a risky treatment in Boston and is awaiting further (very major) surgery in the coming weeks.

Darla's words...
"So tomorrow is D-day for this trial. Kind of sums up how we feel - got drafted young (no one asked if we wanted to fight!) have our parachutes on, flying over the ocean, waiting for the green 'jump' light. We don't know the specifics of what is ahead, just an unseen enemy that is tough as nails and rocky terrain full of traps and obstacles. Our cause? Our family! The enemy’s record? At this stage in the war - undefeated. We jump with hope, not necessarily in the outcome, but in the cause. Our family is, and will always be, worth the jump. The outcome is, and has always been, out of our hands.

Our hope has to be broader than the outcome of any single battle or we are all lost. We believe the War that matters was won when Jesus chose to die on a cross so that we could be forgiven. Doesn't mean that our 'D-day' doesn't scare us. Only fools run into battle without fear.

Going behind enemy lines,
Darla and Kyle

My friend Courtney is recovering from last week's major surgery at MD Anderson for melanoma. She is 34 with three darling kids who happen to be some of my kids' very best friends. This is a new diagnosis - about 2 months - and she's on her 2nd surgery. Significant life changes since she found out about the cancer. And a long road ahead. One of the things I've been most touched by in the past couple of months is the tremendous support rallied around Todd and Courtney and their family. The network of friends and acquaintances who are covering them is beautiful.

And our dear friends, Blake & Rebecca Holmes, are in the throes of fighting four-year-old Gage's Leukemia. Blake happens to be a pastor, and the Lord had such a strong calling on his life I often wondered in college if he would forgo seminary and just start preaching! (it's been known to happen...)

Here's part of a post from Blake:
After a 6 hour visit at the clinic today, Rebecca, Gage and I all returned home exhausted. Gage wanted to go ahead and take an early bath so he could just rest the remainder of the day. As I was getting him dressed, our conversation went a little something like this:

Dad: “Gage, I sure am proud of you. I know today was tough, but you did a great job. You are a warrior.”

Gage: “Thanks, Dad.”

Dad: “Because you have done such a good job taking all of your medicine and going to clinic, your blood is becoming strong again.”

Gage: “So, my leukemia isn’t going to come back again. Right?”

Dad: “Gage, you don’t need to worry about that. You are kicking leukemia’s butt.”

Gage: “But . . . uh . . . Dad, leukemia doesn’t have a butt. Only people have a butt.”

Dad: “Yes. I suppose you are right, Gage. Probably shouldn’t have said that word either.”

Gage (laughing): “You said ‘butt’ . . . kicking leukemia’s butt (giggle) . . . kicking leukemia’s butt (giggle) . . . kicking leu—”

Dad (interrupting): “Gage! Let’s not share that word with your sisters. Or, your mother for that matter . . . “

Gage (still laughing): “I’m kicking leukemia’s butt . . . “

On the road to a cure...

Unfortunately, these aren't the only people in my life who are immersed in a time of war, specifically regarding cancer. But I encourage you to read their stories, log onto their websites, you'll be changed.

Father, thank you for these dear families. Thank you that you created them exactly to your specifications. I pray that you as Commander in Chief guide and direct them medically, physically, emotionally and spiritually. As the Ogles say, we pray for healing this side of Heaven.

** Look for my Wednesday Wonder posts week - please forgive the cheesy name - as I highlight friends and people in my life making counter-cultural decisions in light of God's leading... enjoy! **

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bran the Author

Branson walked into the kitchen the other day and found me bent over my laptop.
"What are you doing, Mom?"
"Writing a story, B."
"Is it for your blog thing?"
"If I write a story will you put it on your blog?"
10 minutes later the rough (& final) draft landed on my desk. ya go, Bran. Keep up that writing thing...

Me and My Friend Hudson Key.

Once upon a time, my friend invited me over. His name was Hudson Key. First,we had an airsoft war. He hit me on the shoulder. I sed, “you are dead!” So I got his machine gun and hit him on the leg. And he sed “I give up!”
So then we got on our skeateboards and I got on his bike and went off the ramp and did half a front flip and had no helmet on. My shoulder was gushing blood out. So I never went off a ramp on a bike again!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday Wonder - My college roomie Kirst

As I write this, my dear friend and college roommate, Kirsten, is packing her bags for India. She's leaving her pastor/film director/writer husband with their two young kiddos for two weeks as she leads a group of 10 people on this Justice 4 India trip. Their focus includes (1) working alongside a human rights agency that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery and oppression, (2) helping a ministry located in the heart of a slum community who run a school, health clinic and training programs for women, and (3) spending time in the Himalayan Mountains with Indian friends who encourage and train pastors of small house churches in various villages throughout the region.
As challenging as this trip will be, Kirsten is absolutely in her element. Missions of any sort are what makes this girl tick. I have seen her cry deeply over the injustices people have endured. Seen her angry over the suffering of others whether in her own backyard or across the world. And I've had the privilege of watching the Lord's transforming power in her life, refining her into the woman she is today.

I remember the first time I ever met Kirsten. Actually, I observed her from afar before we ever met. On stage, in front of thousands of incoming freshmen and returning Baylor students, Kirsten spontaneously acted out a part in a skit that was, well, rather attention-getting. We'll leave it at that.
I had no idea this tall, beautiful, outgoing girl whom everyone on campus seemed to know would become one of my roommates through the remainder of college.

Kirsten came to Baylor from Katy, TX on top of the world. Everyone knew her and everyone loved her. Her contagious laugh and wide grin allowed for flowing friendships. Grades came easily, and sororities fought to gain her loyalty. By our sophomore year, Kirsten's stable, financially secure family began to crumble. Long-distance phone calls increased and tension mounted as Kirsten dealt with emerging family difficulties from a hundred miles away.
By our junior year, Kirst had become the central point of any real communication between her mom, dad, and younger sister. Having lost everything back home in Katy,
both her mom and dad relocated to other parts of the country. Any valuables Kirsten hoped to hang on to - high school yearbooks, treasures from her girlhood - filled one large cardboard box which she stored under the staircase in our apartment.
Over and over again we watched as the Lord stripped our dear friend of material goods and relationships. Not easy. Looking back, it was both a privilege and a burden to go through those years with Kirst.
To give you an idea of her character, Kirsten worked multiple part-time jobs and paid off all the school loans accrued after her parents’ divorce before she even graduated from college. Even with the gravity of those years, she laughed a lot and kept us laughing in the process. The Lord truly provided her great joy in the midst of deep pain.

Kirsten took a year to work alongside a ministry in Tallin, Estonia, and spent some time in Africa before graduating with a degree in education at Baylor. Thus, a life-long love for overseas missions was solidified, and in the past decade Kirsten has made many, many trips across the globe with her best traveling buddy (& husband), Brandon. Their son, Mason, just turned seven, and Mei Li, adopted from China, is nearly four.

I’d love to tell you that the road since college and marriage has been easy for them, but the Lord continues wield his chisel, sculpting them into the people he intended. Brandon (also a BU grad, a fellow English major) is hands-down one of the most creative people you’ll ever meet. He has worked in the film industry since attending film school in New York after college, and now refers to himself as the “reluctant pastor” of a growing church in the heart of Hollywood, Ecclesia Hollywood. In their early years of marriage, my roommates and I would tease Kirsten and Brandon that one day they’d live in LA and work with the homeless by day and walk the red carpet by night.
Somehow they’ve actually made this happen.
Many of their international trips have a combined purpose of working alongside a ministry while filming (amazing!) documentaries. This Justice 4 India trip will be interesting as several of the people going from Ecclesia are involved in the film industry and have been invited to spend some time with believers in the Mumbai film industry.

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes that “the missionary message is the limitless significance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation of our sins, and a missionary is one who is soaked in that revelation.” Kirst drips with the reality and knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice and gift for us, and it influences me deeply. Thank you, Kirst, for your obedience and love for the One who so lovingly created and refines you. You are beautiful!

** Look for my Wednesday Wonder posts week - please forgive the cheesy name - as I highlight friends and people in my life making counter-cultural decisions in light of God's leading... enjoy! **

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A good man is hard to find

"How in the world do you do four?" is the typical response when people ask how many kids we have.
My answer? Simple. "Marry up."
Take today - a fairly typical day in the Wilson home...

This morning Corbin let me sleep, happily (yes happily, that's not an exaggeration) getting the kids fed & ready for church. I got myself dressed, while he got, well, the other five in our family ready. (This was after our late night at the Jump5 concert last night...and you can imagine his enthusiasm for that - yikes)
Returning home, he fixed lunch for everyone so I could get our crazy house back in order after a couple of full days. Sabbath would be restful for no one - especially not me! - if we had to spend it in our tornado-strewn downstairs.
We then spent the afternoon (3 hours) at an 8-year-old's birthday party - as a family. Getting home and helping kids get ready for bed, Corbin went from bath time to taxes. Due tomorrow. Ugh.
Realizing he left some important financial papers at work, he left at about 9:00pm to go get them. Once there, he call to ask if I'd seen the papers, because they were nowhere on his desk. Uh oh. Hmmmnn... did I put them in the big pile on the counter while cleaning up this afternoon? So sorry, sweetie. Looks like you brought them home afterall.
A stop by Braum's for milk, back home to finish taxes, and time for bed. Afterall, it's only midnight.
Oh, and somewhere in there - after taxes - he made four lunches for tomorrow.
What did I do all day??

Corbin could write an interesting "Father's version" of the William Tell Overture. I think I might be afraid to hear it.
The crazy, wonderful thing about Corbin is that he's not pouting about his weekend. True, clamoring with every adolescent in the metroplex after 4 (very talented) kid-artists isn't his favorite way to spend a Saturday night. And sifting through the dailies of life with 4 small children requires putting aside his own agenda. But Corbin is the real-life servant husband and daddy, and it shows day in and day out. Makes my job a lot more enjoyable than it could be.
What benefits there are to marrying up!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday Wonder - New Baby in the Family!

It's official, Corbin's sister, Cameron is pregnant! The Benjamin-4 will transition next Spring to the Benjamin-5 when they welcome the 3rd little one, an adopted baby she has the privilege of carrying and giving birth to. Always one to live a little outside the box, Cam (& Alan!) again embraced adoption, but this time in the form of implanted embryos... Several pregnancy tests and sonograms later, this little one is steadily growing in her mommy's womb. Amazing!
Cameron spends her days with 6-year old Foster and (nearly) 4-year old Nettie May as she teaches them to get milk from a neighbor's cow, participates in an organic food co-op, deepens and grows their home church, and stays tan all fall and winter with their hot tub swimming. She also continues to teach childbirth classes in Taos and serves as a Doula to women in the area. Cam bends over backwards to friends and strangers alike in the Valley who might need a confidant, a clean house, a babysitter, or life coach. She carries much influence, and is a great friend to me. Keeps me out of my "Texas box," whether I like it or not.
Cam - we love you and are praying for this precious little one, we are so excited for a new cousin. Hang in there with all this journey entails... we're with you.

** Look for my posts each Wednesday - please forgive the cheesy name - as I highlight friends and people in my life making counter-cultural decisions in light of God's leading... enjoy! **

Monday, October 8, 2007

Lake Highlights

A few highlights from our weekend at the lake...
- Getting out of town! Relaxed time with kids and no deadlines.
- A tiny black kitten crawling into Branson's lap early one morning... the kids fell in love with "Abagail" and played with her all morning until Corbin returned her to the neighbor. Before taking her home, Corbin introduced Abagail to Yukon. Under the watchful eyes of all 4 kids, Yukon sniffed the tiny kitty and reared back before engulfing her entire head in his mouth. THANK YOU, Lord, that he didn't bite down! Basden screamed, and it took a little time for Hudson to decide if he still loved Yukon after all that. I've never seen such a tiny kitten hiss with that much passion.
- Mommy using an entire box of kleenexes... when will the ragweed end?! The kids get a kick out of calling me Rudolph.
- Watching Branson "ollie" on his skateboard about 100 times.
- Bran and Hud flying down the driveway on a dilapidated bigwheel - hilarious and scary at the same time. Daboo cackled watching them. As long as they wore their helmet, veered to the left at the end of the drive, then dodged the big rock in the yard, they were fine. This almost fit into the category of extreme sports.
- Watching boys play "King of the Float" for an hour, battling with pool noodles on a trampoline float in the middle of the lake. Basden fell asleep all cuddled up to me in a raft with Corbin.
- Big breakfasts (thank you, Chef Daddy!)
- Playing checkers and Monopoly - our boys are growing up.
- Attempting a family devotional Sun night... both boys were horrified upon hearing of Jim Elliot's death at the hands of Auca Indians and wanted to know if Aucas live anywhere near the lake house. It was interesting to discuss with the boys why Jim & his friends didn't retaliate with their guns while being speared in the jungle, very counter-cultural. Nothing in our world encourages that kind of sacrifice.