Sunday, December 20, 2015

Practicing Gratitude 12.20.15

- Esther's 4th grade field day ~ in December! Beautiful weather, one of the kids' favorites.

- Getting to spend our year with Connor and Chase in the pool house. A total WIN for our family. They are incredible.

- Basden's 1st gymnastics competition in Plano - pretty exciting to watch all she's learned.

With good firends Molly and GiGi
They all love Coach Patrick
- Running into my dear Baylor friend Kendall Tapp, his wife Jennifer and their three precious girls at Chick Fil A in PLANO after we left Basden's gymnastics comp. Such a fun surprise!
Snagged a pic with Kendall and his girls ~ such a treat to see them!
- Our annual tradition of caroling at our neighborhood nursing home with our dear friends the Schaefers. Always eye opening and always a privilege.

All the guys. Sure are bigger now than when we began this annual outing
Schaefer / Wilson kiddos
Lovely and spirited Mrs. Davenport

One of my fav pics of C - ever. Reminds me of how he used to sit on the floor next to his grandad's recliner. Sweet. 
Connor makes everything just a little more fun
- Trey's birthday this week, celebrating my favorite big brother. Celebrating Dad this week, too ~ lots of Christmastime birthdays.

- Our "quiet" Advent reading last night morphing into a super lively half hour. Connor suggested reading each pages in different accents. Nothing beats belly-aching laughter, especially when it's a room full of my kids taken by it.

Danielle cracked us up with her "growling" accent
Kristin jumped in with both feet, and Bran had us rolling. Pics don't do it justice to how FUNNY the evening was
- Esther super sick the week before Christmas, poor thing. Sweet and brave attitude.

Playmates with all the other kids at school
- Pilar making a house call for Esther. Bless her.

- Getting to know Connor and Chase's family and friends as they visit from out of town ~ such amazing people.

- Corbin taking Basden to the JPS Pediatrics party in my place (again) ~ she loved it.

- Esther getting better in time for the last day of school Christmas party
Her 4th gr teacher, my long-time friend Jessica Patterson
Funny girls

Competitive girls
Cute kiddos!
 - Gingerbread making contest - again, Connor's idea making our Christmas season so fun and festive and outright hilarious. Awards included Most Creative, Most Willing to Lose Life and Limb During Construction, and Most Diligent. Bran and Hud with finals looming, Basden with hours of reading to finish, and Esther feverish and sick. But we pressed on regardless. And LAUGHED hard.

- Celebrating Chauncy's birthday. Danika is quite the hostess, and David Breedlove is quite the chef. A huge gift to have the Franks next door.

- Christmas treats from friends and neighbors. Makes our city seem a lot smaller to find these goodies on our porch.

- Shopping for Christmas meals to share with my brothers and their families ~ it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

- Thank you, Lord, for providing spunk and laughter during this very FULL month. I value that family time so much, yet feel helpless to make it happen with schedules and demands. Despite all of this, YOU are creating opportunities for family time in the most unexpected ways. Thank you, thank you. Despite my feelings of fatigue and helplessness, I feel your peace and your covering this Advent season. You are so generous.

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, December 13, 2015

Practicing Gratitude 12.13.15

- A quiet day at home. 

- Tanglewood trees in the fall. Breathtaking.

- Taking an hour or so for a walk on a gorgeous day.

Sad to think of her outgrowing this

- Hud’s basketball team's narrow WIN against YMLA - such a fun game to watch!

- Watching all the 6th grade girls scurry into school in their "free dress" ugly Christmas sweaters.

- Our US mail. Amazing they still go door to door. Not much tops receiving a personal package or hand-written letter.

- Watching Hud with our new camera ~ hours already of practicing and experimenting

- Hud forgetting his lunch today, and Connor being so willing to drop it at his school (made me so happy, esp after running three kids to school!)

- Trent picking up Bran this morning (and so many other mornings!)

- Watching my kids' struggling grades ~ an opportunity for You to teach me to parent well, an opportunity to trust You.

- An impromptu picnic with Hud (who was so thrilled to take this pic)

- Bran hosting the Gathering here ~ a privilege to host something for high school kids who are looking to spend a Saturday night at a worship service. That his best friends came, and Zach sharing his testimony.

- Cozy home, cozy fireplace, Advent candles, Christmas music. So many thousands of Christians displaced around the world, I am so grateful for a warm and comfortable home.

- The Moores taking all our 8th grade boys to see Toby Mac in concert - he didn't disappoint!

- Things going smoothly even with Corbin in Chicago for several days. Kids are getting older, more responsible, and are helpful taking care of themselves and of me.

- Finishing our Moms in Prayer Christmas video ~ special to me to hear so many of our teachers and administrators describe why they value prayer over our school. And God was so good to provide time and motivation for me to put it together. A treasure.

- Corbin making my birthday special, even on the heels of coming in from a business trip.
This birthday banner ~ someone hung it for me??!
Corbin armed kids with silly string, balloons and noise makers on the balcony, waiting for me at 11pm on a school night
Happily attacked by silly string - on carpeted stairs!
- This kid - and how he makes me laugh.

- My new love ~ Jason (as in Jason Bourne, who can do accomplish amazing feats) ~ my new Roomba vacuum!

- A playdate with Meggie ~ sweet friends

- My Friday night birthday dinner at Bourland ~ Mom’s beef stew and homemade cake. Relaxing to be out there.

- Southcliff's Singing Christmas Tree ~ watching Mom sing, getting to see Paulette, Alicia, and Dianna and Charles.
Over 20 years of enjoying this tradition
"Christmas in Cowtown" theme ~ Mom in her red hat

- Connor and how he continually jumps in and helps.

- How dearly we love Young Life. And Nickmo. Capping off the semester with "Mr. Christmas Tree"
Bran participated in a skit and made a video to promote his buddy Noah as the best candidate
Noah is indeed crowned "Mr. Christmas Tree"
Zach, Bran, Noah and TJ

- Basden and her friends enjoying Wyldlife. So grateful for Bryan, Jace and Brad especially.

- Chase and Hannah carving out time to come to Hud’s games.

- Essie constantly snuggling with our pups ~ Ruby napping here right on top of her

- Sunday family brunch on the porch with Reed, Connor, and Kristin. Corbin making a huge brunch, lots of mouths to feed, lots of story telling, super lively.

- Esther’s 1st twirling competition in Austin. Time with Daboo and Esther in the middle of crazy December. Her nerves totally surprised her ("Mom, something is really wrong with my tummy ~ it hurts, and my baton is slipping right out of my hands!") but she overcame them and got 2nd place in her solo, 4th place overall.

Older girls were super kind to Es, and Mrs. Vicky Ray rocks. We have the best and classiest teacher in the state.
Getting to watch and meet Baylor's feature twirler, competing in the collegiate division

- My son's friend generously and authentically encouraging him. The exact words I want him to hear, but through a perhaps more influential person at this point in time.

- Basden's diligence with her school work.

- Watching Hud play basketball. He's not the most skilled on the court, but he's scrappy.

- Basden's school choir Christmas concert ~ lovely evening
Harper and Basden - thankful for this friendship
Moms get in the pic! Adore this family

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