Monday, June 30, 2014

Practicing Gratitude 6.29.14

- Hud's big grin (the braces are new ~ his round 2 began a couple of weeks ago). Snapped by Kevin, our middle school pastor after lunch at Chipotle.

- Coffee on the back porch looking out over a rainy summer Sunday morning

- That Essie still gets in Basden's bed to "snugglebug" with her. Incidentally, I don't think this would be on Basden's gratitude list - unless she is truly "thankful in all things"

- Nettie May's visit here - almost a week in New York together, then back here for Camp Calico.

- Girls surprising us with a "show"
Spidey, Hula Girl and the "Pie" clown
Handing out popcorn

Nettie May does quite an impression of Spidey
Sulky Spidey

"I like pie!" (funny - she really doesn't)
- Essie and I blinking back tears when Corbin drove Basden to Love Field, along with Nettie and Mama, heading to the mountains. But we're excited for her two weeks in Angel Fire with family. She is most looking forward to riding in Eagle Nest's annual 4th of July parade and playing with cousins ~ both Benjamins and Wilsons ~ River and Nera from Seattle. Missing her already. 

- Finding Essie's note on the laundry room door

- Twins!

- Under a (light) blanket on the back porch... in June??!

- Dropping Bran off at Paschal for conditioning workouts - reality that he is now a high school Freshman.

- Two victories last night for both boys' District teams in Weatherford- thankful!!
Pretty night for baseball (Hud at RF - barely visible here - but a pretty sunset!)
LOVE this Coach and son duo ~ Robin Thomas has greatly poured into Hud over the years
Hudda at bat
- Basden in the mountains with her cousins and Mama and Papa... so grateful she has this time away with family in such a pretty spot

Wildflowers for the dining table
Barefoot cuties
They don't have to go far from home to get pretty scenery
- Essie's spend-the-nights with Avie.

- And this pic Nik sent. We dubbed it, "Little House on the Prairie ~ J. Lo Style"

- A restful week. So so grateful.

- Misty insisting on Elvia taking a vacation

- Art camp with Avie. Donuts and artist shirts.

- Corbin's work. How it provides, and what he's learning, good and hard. That he's incredibly good with and truly cares for his physicians. Frustrating for me that he's not shown appreciation by administrators, but that seems harder on me than on him. That Corbin pushes on, diligent and optimistic, regardless. Practicing gratitude for ALL things, all that he's learning and enduring through work.

- A fresh reminder that we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Esp 2:10

- A couple of hours with Dad at Cracker Barrel over breakfast ~ just the two of us ~ completing sentences.
One of my fav pics of the two of us
- Hanging up the phone with Basden's "toodles!" in my ear, a smile on my face.

- Basden's "small world" encounter in Eagle Nest. When meeting Foster's new friend - a family that recently moved from Texas - she recognized him as Hud's friend from Laity Lodge Family Camp.

- Took a couple of weeks into summer, but finally a chance to relax poolside!

- Getting to host our church's high school swim party ~ even though all of us were at Bran's baseball game (!)

- Coming home to a spotless house and yard after the high school party. I was overwhelmed. Thank you, Mitchell Travis (and all the leaders - I'm not even sure who all was here!), for taking such great care of things. Amazing.

- Pizza, swimming and gator riding with the Petersons in their new home; DeeDee jumping in last-minute to help with Hud at ULL.

- A Saturday where everyone got to sleep late.

- So if I'm really grateful in all things, Hud's team's stinging loss to SW Arl this week. The Lord knows. I just wish I didn't care so much, I'd just love his team to win District. On the bright side ~ Hud made a several great catches in RF, including a catch over the fence to stop a HR.

- Getting to spend the day with Bran and Brock - Hud's game, Torchy's Tacos, swimming and basketball. Love this kid, and his family!

- Mitchell (church high school intern) taking Bran and Cole fishing all day Sunday afternoon - on his few hours off crunched between Sun morn and Sun evening church. This is after he rode out to Weatherford with Corbin and me last week to watch one of Bran's games. What a gem.

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, June 22, 2014

Practicing Gratitude 6.22.14

- Summer baseball... especially fun when the games end in our favor. Gearing up for District play next week for both teams.
Bran getting to play 3rd base ~ a treat
- Coach's effort towards clear communication, and what a difference that makes.

- Cute boys. Especially thankful for these friends.
Coulter and Marc ~ steady friends, great boys
- Mama here for a week to see more games before heading back up to the mountains.

- Hud's D7 team ~ a tighter, more unified, more optimistic team than ever. Team is noticeably maturing not just in ability but in camaraderie.

- Cutie little sisters!

- Jim Sundberg tournament champions
Hud very excited when he realized this win will produce a team "banner" at ULL

- I don't have a picture of it, but what Corbin and I (and grandparents) were most proud of here was Hud's encouragement throughout the game. We played a tough team, and Hud lost his voice by the game's end, cheering and yelling for his teammates. Tied 0-0 until the 5th inning, Hud started the 6th inning by leading every single batter out of the dugout, patting him on the back or shoulders, telling him he was a hitter, cheering him on, then following up with whoops and hollars from the dugout. At one point when his buddy Gage walked out, Hud grabbed both his shoulders, put his face up close to Gage's and said something with intensity. Corbin and I found ourselves watching Hud instead of the batters, as that's where the entertainment was.
Proud as Peacocks
And again ~ proud as peacocks. What darling grandmas!!
Hud's personal cheering section.
- Camp Calico ~ the last year ~ boo hoo. But so grateful for a long run at the Davis' home ~ such a sweet camp with precious counselors. Indebted to Katie Davis' vision, and Misty's "green light" in helping her make it happen every summer.

Passing out character awards
Special treat that Nettie May got to attend with Basden this year, and was even awarded "Camper of the Week" - who hoo!
- Corbin's CFO hosting a family swim party, then sending us home with a SIX-foot subway sandwich

- These two at it. Bran has officially beat Corbin now - twice. I'm sticking with playing Essie.

- Christ Chapel's kids camp. 1200 kids signed up, nearly 700 adult and teen volunteers. It's evolved into its own little city. Kathy Burr and her amazing, amazing organization and vision.

- Every year I'm blown away at the generosity of our church to fully utilize the facilities. A few years ago our pristine, brand-new sanctuary (above) was barely completed when a thousand children tromped in with dusty tennis shoes, jumping on pews and clamoring towards the freshly-polished stage. It brought tears to my eyes to see our leadership place such high value on children ~ that a sparkling new sanctuary was rocking to life, filled with a zany worship band and hundreds of kiddos with sweaty bodies and painted faces. And of course it's continued to be tromped through every summer since.
It's not just the sanctuary that's surrendered for kids camp: elementary classrooms dedicated for art; both fellowship halls as the teen "town hall"; the prayer room occupied by Evangelism team members and their supplies; the Great Room overflowing with snacks and donated mission supplies; the bustling, ever-important kitchen(s);  the nursery wing brimming with a full pre-school camp program for volunteer's children; the Chapel chairs completely rearranged for human-hamster ball races (which Hudson won) and game shows; and the high school area swarming with hundreds of kindergarteners with their own program and worship band.

- That our whole family woke up and left the house by 8:00 every morning - no small task. We were on time each day and made it to the devos beforehand. The kids were fantastic about getting up and getting in the car.

- Working alongside Chrissie, I think our 3rd year together. She is such a bright friend, easy and encouraging and just plain fun. Makes kids camp meaningful to work with her, and we were overwhelmed by our art volunteers ~ the kindest, most amazing group of ladies we may not have even met outside of kids camp.
Teamwork! Chrissie was our Art leader, I merely assisted. This pic taken Friday afternoon ~ WHEW ~ we did it!
Our art room ~ Essie front and center with her friends
Our little artists braiding bracelets
- Hud was so proud to be a group leader this year, and was so excited about his group. He came home the first day and said, "Mom - I have the BEST kids and the BEST adult leader in the entire church." He asked me to take him to the party store, where he bought bright yellow necklaces and toys for his kids, and a crazy hat / mustache for himself.
The second morning of camp, the teen leader pulled him aside and asked him to switch groups where he would be needed more with an emotionally challenged kiddo. Hud agreed, but it was a demanding task and abruptly changed the dynamics of his week. I saw him interact with this little boy several times, and Hudson was basically keeping the little 1st grader from running away. Incidentally, this little guy prayed to receive Christ, and Hudson was excited, except to later say, "I gotta say, I haven't seen a change of the Spirit yet."  ;)  Thankful for Hudson's acceptance of a challenging task, and that his leadership was utilized. He didn't utter a word of complaint all week, and yet it was a tough one.
I had prayed early on for both Bran and Hud that they would have fun groups and really enjoy serving. I realized early on that I'd been asking the wrong prayer ~ that the Lord was far less concerned with "fun," and far more concerned with heart change - including my own.
Adoring kiddos ~ Hud was easy to spot with his crazy hat
Hudson the human jungle gym
Basden and her sweet group with their leader, Harmony
Bran got to be a jungle gym too
A very full week, full of God's provision
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12