Friday, June 24, 2016

On Becoming One

Ten years ago, when we were still babies, we said “I do” and something changed.

I couldn’t look at you without laughing, and the words “husband” and “wife” were still foreign on my lips, but everything was different in a moment. We were one.

Three months later and we were dirt poor and living in the gospel ghetto, and you were pulling three jobs plus classes at seminary, and I was juggling a full load of school and a job and coming face to face with the absurdity of all my expectations about being a wife, and it didn’t feel so much like we were one anymore.

Ten years later, and I can look at you across the chaos at the table, with the six year old debating with anyone who will listen, the four year old snorting like a pig, and the one year old gleefully throwing his spoon off the high chair, and I know something I didn’t know then.

We are one, and we are becoming one.

Something monumental really did happen on June 24, 2006. Our two separate lives were irrevocably joined in a covenant, and immediately we were one.

But the working out of that oneness has been very different than I imagined. Iron sharpening iron is so uncomfortable, and as God uses you to smooth out my rough edges and vice versa, I can see that it will take a lifetime to complete the process.

We are one, and we are becoming one.

Those idealistic expectations I had when I was just a little bride? I don’t want them anymore. I want the real you, who has loved me when I least deserve it, and forgiven me seventy times seven, and pointed me to Jesus when all I could see was myself. I want the you who pushes me out of my comfort zone and kills roaches for me and takes our daughters out on “daddy dates.” You love me with all my faults, and I want you with all your faults, because you are the other part of me.

We are one, but I know that today we are more one than we were ten years ago. And so it will continue, until the day that Jesus come back or that I die, because you are not allowed to die first.

I love you, Coach. Happy ten years.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

According to the Munchkins

To the best daddy in the world...


My dad is funny because he throws us on the couch.

My dad thinks I am funny because I say silly jokes.

My dad is 32 years old.

His favorite thing to do is play tennis.

His favorite color is yellow.

My dad's job is: physical therapy.

He loves to eat pizza.

He is really good at being funny.

My dad loves when I: give him cards.

My dad always says Slam monster!!!

I’m thankful that daddy believes in Jesus.

My favorite thing about my dad is that he’s mine.

Averi Kate:

My dad is funny because he laughs a lot.

My dad thinks I am funny because I make him laugh.

My dad is 61 years old.

His favorite thing to do is ride the four-wheeler.

His favorite color is blue.

My dad's job is: clean out the car.

He loves to eat pepperoni.

He is really good at driving the four-wheeler.

My dad loves when I: laugh.

My dad always says we can go somewhere.

I’m thankful that daddy came to life.

My favorite thing about my dad is that he married Mommy.


Where’s Daddy? Papa

What does Daddy like to do? Daddy’s home

Who do you love? Daddy

Happy Father's Day 2016! We love you!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Favorite Little People

Claire, you are growing up in so many ways. You are strong and beautiful and determined. You have more self-control than any other six year old I know. For example, the other night you and AK were going to VBS. I normally send a snack with you but I thought they were serving fruit as a snack, and so I told you that you could just eat that. As it turns out, I was misinformed about what they were serving because instead of fruit, they gave you corn dogs, chips, and cookies. You didn't eat a bite of it. "Why didn't you eat anything?" we asked. "Because it wasn't fruit," you said.

You still ask over six thousand questions a day. One day I decided I was going to try to write down every question you asked me in a day, but after you were awake for 10 minutes I realized it was impossible. Some days I have a threshold and I have to say, I'm sorry, I can't answer any more questions today. But really, I don't want you to stop asking, even when I do. Because with all of your questions you have so much potential to learn and understand, and God gave you this observant and inquisitive spirit and I just know we will all be amazed at how He uses it for His glory.
You are a sweet big sister and you have a maternal instinct. You really enjoy helping, I think, and doing things without being asked. You put up a fight when I do ask you to do things sometimes, but if you think of it yourself I am amazed at what you can do. Like the time I put AK and Owen in the bathtub, walked into the kitchen to check on supper, and when I came back you were washing their hair. Or the other night when you couldn't sleep and I went to check on you before I went to bed and you had cleaned up your room, Averi Kate's room, and the bathroom.

One night I overheard you praying with AK at bedtime...

"God thank you for Averi Kate and help her not to have any dreams. Thank you for Averi Kate to be my sister. Amen."

You have a great vocabulary and I love hearing big words come out of your little self.

"Mom did you beat all the girls in the race? Even the older ones? And the younger ones? Wow, that’s impressive."

"$11.99? Is that a good price for a mom skirt? Well, for a kid’s skirt that would be certainly pretty expensive."

Claire, you are growing and growing and I am growing with you. You are so special.


Averi Kate, you are one of a kind. You remind me of a butterfly, except a lot more durable. You are driven by your emotions, which can be funny or tragic or dangerous or a lot of fun, depending on the circumstances. The other night when Claire didn't eat a bite of that snack at VBS, we turned to you and asked, "AK, did you eat the snack?" "Yep. I ate all of it."

You are my helper in the kitchen. If you see me cooking or mixing or baking, you will pull up a chair or stool and help. Today you were helping me make bread. We had the dry ingredients in the bowl and I went to the sink to get warm water. You held up the whisk and said, "Should I wiks it? With the wikser?"

You walk around with one hand on your hip, and it's ridiculously cute. It's like you just don't know what else to do with it so it lands on your hip. You look sassy which is funny because you're really not! You love to dress in layers. As in, you put on one outfit, and then you put on another complete outfit on top of it. And usually at least 50% of the clothes you are wearing are on backward.

You say funny and crazy things, like...

"YUCK! Mom, Owen needs a diaper. He smells like cheese. Like cheese with poop on it."

You: I'm bout to fall down and die.
Me: Why? Why would you do that?
You: Because my hands are wet.

You: Knock knock.
Me: Who's there?
You: House.
Me: House who?
You: Everything in the house died.

You love to take care of Owen, although sometimes your protection is quite a bit more dangerous than any danger he was actually in. Like, you'll full force tackle him to keep him from the stairs. You are also a great cheerleader for him. The other day you yelled, "MOM!!! Owen just went down the stair like a big girl!!!! Good job Owen!!!"
You have a compassionate heart. Many times the decisions you make are based on thinking about other people. Like this morning you were up first, and I asked what you wanted for breakfast. You said, "Muffins. Oatmeal chocolate chip muffins!!! No...pumpkin muffins. Cause Claire doesn't like oatmeal muffins and Owen can't have chocolate chips, right?" That kind of decision making is pretty typical for you, and I am humbled by it. God made you so special, AK. I don't know anyone else like you.


Owen, you are so fun and funny. For the first 16 months of your life you hated taking baths. DESPISED taking baths. As in, you screamed from the moment you even heard the bath water running till the moment you were wrapped up in a towel. I've never seen anything like it. Then, one day...switch. No more wailing and nearly dying every time I said, "Bathtime!" Now you love it and I can't get you out of the tub at the end of the bath. I have literally pulled you out of the bathtub with all your clothes on because you heard your sisters in tub without you and dove in. Is it because, when we moved, the "new" bathtub is avocado green? Was that it the whole time? You just wanted a green tub?

Ms. Yolanda at the library calls you "professor." She always says, "I wonder what you're thinking, Owen." It's true, I think you are always thinking and observing and critiquing and analyzing. One day you will be able to explain to me what you are thinking.

You are still most happy when you are playing with any kind of ball, and you are super coordinated with throwing, catching, kicking, and hitting balls. You can bounce a tennis ball on the ground and then hit it with a racket, and you can hit a ball with a bat when your Daddy tosses it to you. You are good at steering, too. Your feet can't reach the pedals of the tricycle but you scoot around the driveway like a pro, never running into anything. You also love for me to read to you. And you are so affectionate. You give me great hugs out of the blue and it melts my heart every time. You are still pretty easy going. You can play with your sisters or by yourself just as easily. You can eat an entire pint of blueberries without even blinking. When you go to sleep you like to lie on your tummy with your blanket crunched up under you and your giraffe in your hand.

You are a joy, Owen. I never knew how much I wanted or needed a son until I had you. I am so excited to see how God is going to use you in His kingdom.

Amelia Island 2016

Well, it was back to our favorite beach this year - Amelia Island!!!

Averi Kate would have spent all her time with Daddy riding the waves, if Daddy had the energy to stay out there 24/7 with her.

Owen tried the raft but got splashed by a big wave.

Averi Kate described the wave in great detail.

Owen decided he really didn't want to go back out there.

Claire made art with the shells she found.

I've decided that I should never expect to get a picture with all three of them actually looking at the camera.

This girl would have spent all her time in the pool if she could have! She is getting to be a pretty good little swimmer.

Owen enjoyed lounging by the pool with Dobby.

Daddy with his 3 little fish...

Owen was happy as long as he had a bucket on his head.

Dobby and the girls made a sand castle!

Dancing in the water...

Making discoveries...

Dobby's umbrella malfunctioned but that didn't stop her from using it!

Owen checking out the ladies.

I may have been slightly apprehensive about AK going out into the big waves in the float. But Coach promised that if he sat in the boat it wouldn't flip over. Here he is demonstrating.

Catching a big wave...

Claire was nervous about trying it, but Daddy convinced her.

Owen loved spotting the birds flying over head. He would always act surprised when he saw one - "Oh!" and then wave and say, "Bye bye birdie!"