Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Letter 2016




I keep telling myself that one of these Christmases I am going to use the "outtakes" of the Christmas pictures for the card.  All of our yuletide greetings would be a lot more entertaining. I have pictures of us at the beach where in one take we are all serious with the discipline face, complete with finger cocked in scolding position and in the next frame, all smiles and joy-ever- after-Hallmark happy.  This year as I was setting up the tripod I broke one of the legs off and it became a very short tripod so this year we are all sitting DOWN— and because now our kids are older, they sit still just fine- no vice grip on the toddler arm-  and we are finished in like 15 minutes. {Hang in there, young mommas.  Your 15 minute session is on the horizon.  Quicker than you can imagine.}  Still, one year I am going to send you a really funny card.

We officially have two teenagers in the house this Christmas.  So far, so good and so very different than even just one year ago.  Inches have been gained, tweener pounds have disappeared, toys have all but disappeared, bathroom drawers have lots of new things filling them, conversations have changed, and sleep has become a hot commodity for them both- and if they sleep late enough, you're down to 2 meals— brunch and dinner!  It's astounding the rate at which all of this happens— and NO ONE prepares you!  It's all very normal - heels, razors, make up, zit cream, phones, cologne, homecoming…. but it hits you before you, as a mom, are ready for it.  {These are the things people don't tell you—- and it makes me wonder, what else are THEY not telling us?!}

Julia and Brighton made the switch to our public school district this year which was definitely bittersweet.  Bitter— losing the time we've had at home together for the last 9 years, the flexibility of our schedule and leaving a university model school full of incredible families, friends and staff.  The sweet part— MY KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL FIVE DAYS A WEEK!!!!!!!  EVERY morning they go.  The consistency astonishes me.   Seriously though, it has been an easy transition as the Lord provided them with friends WAY before we made the switch.  Both are in classes with people they have known since they were toddlers and have made brand spanking new friends who I've never met and maybe won't ever— which is strange for moms like me coming from a homeschool/small school history.  But as I said, so far, so good. The decision has felt right since the summer and we have had a great and interesting time learning the ways of public school.  Dinner conversations are quite fascinating some nights.  I am impressed by the availability of the kids' teachers and their willingness to help.  God has His people everywhere-strategically— and I pray we are fulfilling our role.

Julia continues with ballet spending about six or seven hours at the studio per week.  Her movements are lovely and graceful and I really love to watch her dance. Brighton plays the sport in season.  His football practice started at 6:45 am every school morning so that was new to him but he stuck it out and we saw him improve and contribute the second half of the season.  And I've always said- and it's a favorite thing to me about him—  he's worth his weight in gold on the sidelines.  They are still taking piano…..  and I know there will be a year I won't be able to type that but so far, we are hanging on. : )

Jeff and I are doing great.  I married a good one, for sure.  All of my overreactions in parenting are tempered by his steady voice telling me everything is going to be okay.  We find ourselves scratching our heads in confusion at times but then we find ourselves praying to the One who knows and loves our kids better than we do.  Only God can shape their hearts and grow their desire to love and serve Him.
"The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn."
Jesus brings hope- the THRILL of hope— to our weary selves.  Bask in the glorious celebration and morning of Christmas.  He makes all things NEW.  We love you.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pericope No. 17: Fall to Winter 2016

I am going to do better than this-- one day-- Not all of these things needs its own separate posts but maybe I should do a couple of months at a time and maybe something DOES need it own post.  But these are the posts my kids like the most.  More pictures.  Less words. ; ) 



This HHH bike ride in Wichita Falls has become a tradition.


I love lake days and this one was late summer-- maybe our last hurrah!  Grateful for our friend, the Jordans who seem to be up for anything most anytime!


7th grade McLean football



We've loved this girl long.  Basden, you are so special to our family.




First Baylor football game EVER!


Ben Rector.  Yes.  Ben.  Texas A&M for the first time.  All 4 of us went!


Public School can wear you out!



Wouldn't miss our Fair tradition for anything!  Played hooky and headed to Dallas!


Prayed for our girl right here before she was born.  We chose her.



First homecoming!  Great story.  


Sweet date.



13 birthday dinner


13th birthday party



13 and 14 for 3 months!



This happened.  


We met the man who seemed to write the soundtrack of my teenage, college, early married to now years!!  What a fun night. 



A little praise on her spiritual birthday!





Mother Daughter 2016!!!  What a BLESSING to do this with THESE GIRLS year after year.  God's grace is overwhelming.



My "identity" that Julia wrote for me.  She thinks she's funny.





My heart is FULL to OVERFLOWING after weekends like this. 








Always so happy to have my parents here.  


My daddy-- the best and most intentional shopper EVER.  EVER.


First quinceanera-- with Atlee!



The turkey....


First selfie with the SELFIE STICK!


You are ALWAYS UP FOR THIS!  Thank you!


Thanksgiving 2016-- maybe my favorite so far??






Just so THANKFUL







I loved all of these kids long.  So near and dear to my heart because I LOVE their parents so.


Annual Christmas shopping trip!!  








Getting ready for a wedding in a bathroom while Jeff gets a quick hair cut!



Our angel playing an angel in the Ballet Concerto's Holiday Spectacular!









Hosted the Shoreline {youth} ministry team for their party.  Grateful for this group of people!





Star Wars.... I forget which one... but a BIG DEAL to the one on the right.



Took these girls ice skating the last day of school . 



A lot happens between fall and winter and I am grateful for the time and resources to do it-- but most of all THE PEOPLE WE GET TO DO THESE THINGS WITH.  Nothing can replace relationships and I am beyond thankful for the friends and family in my life!!