Thursday, May 31, 2012

Practicing Gratitude 6.01.12

- Artapalooza - inspired fun... bringing it home
More duct tape wallets
Home-made bubble wands of straws and yarn

Even Branson wants in on the fun!

- Essie's Peacemaker play. Sweet of Lori to make the time to come and watch, and there's some humorous irony with Cappy watching his granddaughter play the part of an environmentalist
Next to the end on the right, Essie smirks along with her environmentalist cohorts
- Getting to enjoy our backyard - the humongous gift of a pool

- My helper

- These coaches. Among our very very favorites. Seriously, amazing.
Coach Davis and Coach Belcher fostered the love of the game, the loyalty of team, and the hope that even if we didn't get the win, you keep your head up and try for next time.
- Oh my gosh. Doc Hotch and his spontaneous bow fishing outings!
The size of this fish is nuthin' compared to Steve's adventurous spirit
That's my man
Corbin and Bran with their bounty. I think this photo was taken around midnight. On a school night. An hour and a half from home.

- Memorial day weekend at the lake with all four grandparents

- Big breakfasts thanks to Papa and Daddy (and Mama!)

- Basden's prophetic warning to Mama, "Watch out for tarantulas!" (they jump, you know)

- The boys and their fishing poles

- Cool AC and hot water (sorry, Daboo!)

- Basden taking me on a jet ski ride down the winding river

- Low country boil, though still a little spicy for the girls.

- How the kids climb, over and over again, onto the largest boulder at the bottom of the stairs and yell out, "I'm king of the world!"

- Inflating several large floats, securing them the dock, and Esther looking at me and asking, "Wait, was all that work for this?" (naturally, it took about two minutes before she starting thinking "all that work" was worthwhile...)

- Chalupas!
A long-standing tradition... that's good lettuce, Daboo!
- William Bennett's patriotic stories, including the ten-year-old boy who gave his life for his country, read aloud by Corbin

- Daboo's homemade vanilla ice cream - and learning that Grandma Esther's actual recipe card taped inside the kitchen cabinet is the exact recipe Corbin's grandmommy used to make

- Waking to see Basden's toes stretched between the bunk slats above me

- Fun, er, arduous study groups

- Paul and Allison taking the boys for an overnight - what precious, generous friends
Wearing them out at Urban Air
Returning home with new shirts, hats, TCU baseball bags...
- Crazy (windy) picture, but a sweet evening at Grady's Line Camp - YUM.

- Chicken fajitas with Petersons and Schaefers
These three bring loads of joy
- Continuing to discover them like this

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12

Monday, May 21, 2012

Practicing Gratitude 5.21.12

 - Good (in season) strawberries

- Weekly visits in the surgeon's waiting room - always someone with much worse injuries than me. Perspective.

- Hot tomato basil soup

- Running into Laura periodically at Einstein's - what a gem

- Branson as Eric Liddell. AND- the last project for the year!

- Basden as a robber. And director.
Her costume may look simple, but it took a lot of consulting with smart people to make it come together (this was the morning after we'd put together Mr. Liddell).
These two co-directed the entire "opera"
Basden and Mrs. Burlin, our incredible music teacher
- Again, the gift of a big cheering section!

- Family conferences on the front steps of the school - agreeing to team up in prayer for these kiddos

- Ranger games with my husband and boys

- A few quiet moments

- Finishing loads of paperwork and forms!!

- That I could check "no" all the way down the line. Thankful!

- Coffee with Melissa, her story of God's drawing her heart

- So Created

- Music camp auditions with SMILES instead of tears!

- Good friends, good food

- Sunday afternoon visitors

- Jaguar racing

- Chicken enchiladas, roasted salsa and cream cheese pound cake

- Cute buns! (she doesn't read my blog yet)

- A husband who fixes my flat tires

- Pot roast and corn dropped off - thank you, Mama!

- Artapalooza and all that it inspires. Seriously, one of the coolest things our school offers.
How fun is THAT? Even more festive with the Paschal marching band filling those steps with a morning welcome.
Basden's self-portrait

Foil paintings
Duct tape wallets
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy 40th, Coach Wolfe!

My birthday letter to Chris, who just celebrated his 40th birthday last Sunday. He is a gem, his friendship foundational to us, and just someone we love being with. Proud to be family, Chris.
"Ok, Essie, just take out the 2nd baseman if he gets in your way."
Dear Chris,

I think my first memory of you is standing in front of Memorial, clusters of Fijis and Tri Delts - and me - talking and shooting the breeze on a sunny day, headed in and out of the cafeteria. I remember you in your little red sports car, though I still can’t tell you what make it was, zipping around Baylor campus. And how I never understood what the big deal was until, several years later, you graciously loaned it to me for a month and all the young male engineers where I worked freaked out over it when I pulled it into the parking lot.
In those early college years, two decades ago, I associated you with that little car. And starched white shirts with tie bars, which I had never before seen. And always, always that charming grin.

Once Corbin and I started dating, it wasn’t long before I saw a lot of depth behind your car and clothes. A tremendous amount of depth behind that grin. In those hours upon hours discussing history classes and relationships and gossip and who-knows-what in your and Corbin’s apartment(s), you became a trusted friend, with the added bonus of an uncanny ability to make me and anyone else around laugh hard and often. WHO can tell stories like Chris Wolfe?

So when my mind fast-forwards twenty years, the sports car and tie bars are long gone. Watching you as a father of five and husband to (funny, godly, incredible) Sarah is almost too much. My joy seriously cannot be contained looking at God’s work in your life, and in turn your obedience to Him. I am reminded that even before I ever met you, before those Baylor days, the Lord had a calling on your life. Actually, the calling on your life is older than you are - it certainly predates your meager forty years. You were chosen by Him in eternity past.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart.”

I am one of many who have the privilege of seeing your life unfold to fulfill his purposes - affecting generations through your own marriage and children, not to mention all those other marriages you’re giving of your time and wisdom and energy to repair, rebuild.

Set apart. That grin even in our college years was a reflection of your calling, the magnetic draw He gave you, your natural love and appreciation for people. But to see the working out of that calling is just magnificent. It touches myself, my husband, my family deeply.

We love, love, love you Chris Wolfe. Happy 40th, dear friend!

Even with 5 boys of his own, Chris manages to makes time for our boys as well
Affection for Bran!
No doubt entertaining with a hilarious (surely un-exaggerated) story
The Wolfe boys. Can't decide if they're more accomplished at piano recitals or on the baseball field.
Corbin with Chris and the Wolfe boys. Most of them. Graham, their first-born (in brown), is named "Wilson." All these years we've let Mama and Papa think it's after them, but Corbin and I know the truth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Practicing Gratitude 5.15.12

- A few hours with the Brogdons - always too short, but managed to fit in a walk with Jess, Wii tournaments, ping pong, swimming, a big Mother's day breakfast, and even a baseball game!

- Hud's field day - even with crazy allergies. I admire his competitive spirit, because he offers so much in addition to his athletic ability 

- A big cheering section. Seriously, what a GIFT

- Working through

- Josh's 4 homeruns, 9 for the week, and his continued commitment to glorify Christ in those post-game interviews

- These two and how they make me smile. Such a special friendship even at this tender age

- The hard stuff - the Lord knows - and choosing gratitude

- Washer, dryer and dishwasher that work great... and all the little people in my home who keep them full

- Time

- CHOOSING gratitude for this (!!!)

- Haircuts from Daddy

- Choosing rest, choosing quiet

- We LOVE Mrs. Warner, and will miss her as she moves out of state. She's put a love for learning piano in my sweet girl's heart

- Mother's Day baseball tourneys, pink jerseys and all
Good ball with good friends
Notice how dark it is? Like, 10:30 pm dark??

Man, I love this kid
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12