Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Practicing Gratitude 12.26.12

- Not long enough with the Keisters at their home in Amarillo!

- How much more we all enjoy road trips now that the kids are a bit older

- 3 full days of skiing. No accidents, a whole lotta fun, and super pretty (sunny!) weather on the 3rd day.
Family pic. With Mommy in my helmet. Safety trumps vanity.
Trying to keep up with Nettie, Esther, & Basden
- That as much as I don’t like being cold, I enjoyed the actual skiing with the kiddos. Pretty incredible to be right there in the middle of all that beauty.

- Corbin buying all of our lift tickets and rentals, and our AMAZING food and lodging.

- Driving home from a full day on the slopes to home cooked meals - that I didn’t cook (thank you Cam, Mama & Corrina!)

- That our three days on the slopes are over ~ now we get to relax!!

- Papa’s coffee ~ always ready for me

- Cousins playing, playing, playing

- Snowmobiles and snow scoots that don’t stop, even when the sun goes behind the mountains.

- The boys figuring out teamwork in helping each other “unstick” snowmobiles

- Encouraging words overheard from one skier to another (“Nettie, I think you’re the best skier on this mountain.” “Basden, I think you’re the best skier from Texas on this mountain.”

- This dress and how it makes its rounds

- Papa Santa ~ steady Christmas morning appearances now for 42+ years and counting


Tons of fun, but we are missing our Seattle cousins!
Cousins surrounding Papa Santa, circa 2003
- Plenty for Christmas, yet keeping it simple

- 4 days (and counting) of not writing a daily to-do list = relaxing week

- Corrina’s generous smile, generous gifts, and generous service

- Adorable pants from Mama under the tree

- Pate’s big grins. And the fact that she’s potty trained at 18 months!

- Listening to Bran’s excitement about his Christmas gift ~ an upcoming fishing trip with Papa

- Papa’s coffee (have I already mentioned that?!)

- Our own spot in the loft

- Bran putting Essie to bed

- Gingerbread houses and Christmas trains


- Comfy rocker in front of the stove upstairs

- 4 new inches of new snow (twice this week)

- Our little hidden bench to the right of this tree where Corbin asked me to marry him exactly 17 years ago. The ground was covered in snow like this, but the acreage sat empty except for the (abandoned, scary) Hunter's Cabin. What a beautiful spot this is for us, full of memories and legacy that we never imagined, thankful we get to be a part of Eagle Mountain Lodge even living so many miles away

Hunter's cabin. Re-built years ago by Clinton and friends. Dreamy and cozy, but even more so laden with snow
- A rest from my phone dinging with emails and texts

- Hud sporting his new t-shirt (and his ability to snowboard!)

Hud going off a jump with Foster watching, his blue plaid jacket keeps him hidden in the trees
Bran's turn
- John taking care of our dogs at home ~ a task!

- Chris Wolfe’s text. That we won’t understand this side of Heaven. But that we choose to trust you as Author of Life.

- Breathtaking beauty
Why they call it Angel Fire
- Taking time for what's important
Papa and Daddy Corbin resting a moment after a snowmobile rescue

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hemming us in ~ Behind and Before

Snowy white powder under our skis, none of us could keep up with Esther today on the slopes. Seriously.
Now, that's not counting the boys, as they were on their own snowboarding. But Basden, Nettie May and I could barely keep up with little Essie, who plowed straight down the mountain passes at full speed.
This was our first day skiing since Spring Break. So we started a little timid, but by lunchtime everyone preferred the more difficult blues. As this was only Esther's second or third time to ski, I was cautious with her, wanting her to show me that she could ski in control, could make her S turns, and could weave back and forth rather than simply plunging straight ahead ~ hopefully not into people or trees!
Corbin knew I needed his moral and physical support, so rather than tearing up the trails with Branson, Hudson, and Foster, he stayed with us girls and made sure Esther kept it under the speed limit.
I felt secure with Corbin skiing ahead of us, deciding which runs to take, because I wasn't sure of the girls' abilities (minus Nettie, who is super skilled and on the Angel Fire ski team - goodness).  I think we all felt confident with Corbin in the lead.
But I also liked him bringing up the rear, available to grab lost poles or scoop up fallen girls after a spill, dusting off the snow and getting them back up on their skis. He's good at that. Not only agile on his skis, but physically strong and sure. He's also good at coaching the girls and instructing them down the mountain.
And while I've never fully understood that passage in Psalm 139, that God hems us in behind and before, today was a clear picture of that. While Corbin was behind OR before - one or the other - God says He is both. He hems us in ~ protects us. He goes ahead and directs our course, clearing the path that lays ahead. But he covers us from behind as well, available to pick us up and care for us when we fall and get hurt.
The Message translates it this way:
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
On this Christmas Eve,  I'm grateful for this protection, this covering. Truly, such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too much for me to really understand. But what a relief.  

Thank you, Lord, for your covering, for your protection behind and before. For hemming us in.
Now - if You'll just keep hemming in Esther down those snowy runs!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Practicing Gratitude 12.22.12

- Basden as Narrator in A Christmas Carol ~ Mrs. Burlin’s precious influence, and a very special Christmas ornament. Basden looked to me like an angel at center stage. And she loved every minute of it.

- Southcliff’s Singing Christmas Tree ~ celebrating 25 years, highlighting that while much in the church has changed in regards to facility, staff, and congregation, the message and gift of Christmas has not.

- Watching Daboo as a singing bulb ~ and Hud trying his turn in the tree

- Atlanta cousins watching Daboo and the Singing Tree live from their livingroom

- Second year of getting to sing carols to precious folks at an assisted living home near our house ~ watching our kids and their friends engage with these dear people is a highlight


- Brewed ~ already holds special memories with family and sweet friends

- Mitzi and Hilary coming to share with our Moms in Prayer group ~ touching and encouraging

- Boot camp with amazing ladies ~ even on cold mornings

- Ramsay family’s very generous gift of including Bran in a weekend of fun and fishing, fishing and more fishing

- Loads of almond brittles (!!!) Aunt Francine would be proud.

Our little elves delivering to a sweet neighbor
- Basden and Esther playing in their piano recital. I felt proud of them while a bit horrified that I ended up there in my work out clothes and running shoes. Long story, but unavoidable.
Thankful for Mrs. Martin, her love for music, for children, for God!

- Celebrating a Wilson Christmas after the above-mentioned recital, after circling the metroplex through insane Christmas traffic and construction, Corbin and I were exhausted but thankful for a couple of hours with our little family (Josh - the Dr. Enuf in your honor!)

- Packing for our Christmas trip in about two hours ~ leaving the house more than a little crazy, but excited to be driving north to see family.

- A boy’s trick bike. An even longer story than the piano recital. It will be going back to Academy, but it provided some much-needed comic relief.

- A certain Christmas card with all four together

- Another with all five.

- These two. Any moment they get together is like Christmas.

- Our staff and teachers at Tanglewood and McLean. Reeling from the pain of Newtown, yet finishing the semester dedicated to our children. This community grieves with Connecticut. The pain is visible in every one of those elementary teachers’ faces, just surreal.

- More than a hundred homemade goodies piled on the library table for much-deserving McLean Teachers

- Mr. Williams and his strong presence at Tanglewood. How we love him.

- Max Lucado, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Ann Voskamp. All have ministered to my heart since the Newtown tragedy.

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