Monday, July 21, 2008

What Makes a Day Good?

What makes a day good?
1. Waking up at Granny's house in Gladewater knowing that our clothes have lovingly been washed and neatly folded.
2. Knowing my boys had a great couple of days spending time with Granny.
3. Getting to go to my favorite restaurant for lunch in Longview, TX - Posados.
4. Driving to Arlington with children sleeping or watching a movie the entire 2 and 1/2 hours.
5. Getting to talk to Jessica on the phone as I drove.
6. Seeing my parents newly remodeled kitchen.
7. Taking Josiah shopping to see what he wants for his birthday.
8. Finding a picture frame for Josiah's picture from last year.
9. Eating a home cooked meal by my mom (food always tastes better when she cooks it).
10. Seeing cousins playing together and taking turns with toys.
11. Seeing Levi's face light up when he sees Granddad.
12. Hearing Josiah's exclamation of joy over being home with Nana.
13. Watching Caleb's excitement over finding a frog in my parents' yard.
14. Getting to take a bath instead of a shower.
15. Not crying all day which is rare these days.
16. Knowing in a few minutes I will spend some quiet time with God in the stillness and coolness of the night/house.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Granddad's Visit to Florida in June


Josiah and Granddad at the zoo


Levi and Granddad at the beach


Caleb and Granddad at the pool

We had a fun visit with Granddaddy back at the beginning of June. The boys were eager to show him around. We went to the Palm Beach Zoo. It doesn't compare to the Fort Worth Zoo but it was fun none the less. The boys thought Granddaddy would enjoy swimming in the pool and going to the beach as well. Fortunately for them, Granddad was up for all of their ideas. We also spent his last morning showing him the three current church locations. We were so thankful he was able to come for a visit even though it was short one.

Back in Texas: Vacation in San Antonio

This past Monday, we loaded up the boys in the van and headed to Texas. We have been blessed with great travelers! We were able to make it to San Antonio in two days of hard driving. We met my parents, RyAnn, Nate, Brock and Braxton in San Antonio. The hotel we stayed at had a lazy river with a beach and a large swimming pool complete with a big slide. We took one day to go to Sea World. This was Josiah and Levi's first time to visit Sea World. All the boys had a great time! Kerry is already back in Florida while the boys and I will stay in Texas for a few more days.

On Tuesday, we arrived around dinner time to the hotel. My family already had dinner ready when we finally arrived. Nana met us at the door and Levi just stared at her. When Granddad came around the corner, Levi reached out his arms. After dinner, we all went to the lazy river and pool. I had already told the boys we probably wouldn't swim that evening so they were very excited when they were told by loving grandparents that we were all going swimming.
Caleb in the pool

Wednesday, my Dad and I celebrated our birthdays together. My Dad turned 60 years old this year and I'm feeling more over the hill each day at the ripe old age of 32. We spent a leisurely day by the pool, eating, sleeping, and swimming again. The boys loved the fact that they got to swim three times in one day.

Josiah playing in the sand


Levi enjoys smiling for the camera these days

Thursday was the day set aside for Sea World. Caleb and Daddy rode the Steel Eel roller coaster two times. When they met us back after the first time, Caleb said it was so scary and went on and on about how he would never ride it again. When we returned that evening after naps, he asked Dad to take him on it again. He said he had to try a different seat the second time and that it was just as scary. But if you ask him if he would ride it again, he'd say yes and tell you all about his previous experiences. Josiah rode the log ride with Brock, Uncle Nate, and Aunt RyAnn for the first time and liked it. We were all ready for a good night's rest that evening.


The entire family at Sea World


Caleb after feeding the dolphins


Levi, Granddad, and Nana


Josiah and Levi


Levi and Daddy


Mommy with her boys


Daddy with his boys after watching Shamu

On Friday, we could once again be found at the pool before lunch. After lunch, Uncle Nate, Aunt RyAnn, Brock and Braxton left to return to Arlington. That evening, we went to the Riverwalk for dinner. We were enjoying a nice dinner until we heard a scream from the lady at the table next to us along with a lot of movement. The next thing we know, a mouse is crawling under our table! I was ready to lose my dinner. We concluded our evening by going to the IMAX to see the 3D Dinosaur movie. I was concerned that Josiah might be a little overwhelmed, but he did great! Levi fell asleep part way through the movie.

Josiah, Nana, and Caleb at the "Mouse Restaurant"

Yesterday, we took Kerry to the airport and then the boys and I drove the 6 plus hours to Gladewater to see Granny. Levi had a fever on Friday and Josiah caught it yesterday. We decided to take it easy today and relax around the house so as not to spread their germs. We will head to Arlington tomorrow to spend a few more days with my family before we drive back to Florida. We're enjoying our time seeing family.

Friday, July 11, 2008

10 Years Already?

Today Kerry and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary. What do you think we have done today to celebrate being together for so long? Well, this morning, I woke up early and went to a doctor's appointment. I won't go into the details today, just that once again I left in tears feeling so discouraged. Kerry had stayed home with the boys and that is what he sees when his wife gets home, tears. He asked if I had seen the card he left for me in my purse but somehow I did not. I then found it and at the bottom it said to read my blog. I don't know how I could top those sweet words he said. I love you too, honey!

Lunch found us going to McDonalds with the boys (the closest thing to our house) and stopping at Publix for ice cream since the ice cream shop doesn't open until 1:00. We must really live in the country! Kerry spent about an hour swimming with Josiah and Caleb while Levi napped and I cleaned. Kerry is now off hunting while I am on the internet searching for birth centers or midwives that do home births.

I tried to find a current picture of us together to add to the blog with no luck. I guess that means I need to make more of an effort to take pictures of just the two of us.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy 10th Anniversary Stephanie

This is what happens when your husband has access to your blog. By now you know this is not Stephanie. This is Kerry (her husband) sneaking into her blog while she is putting our boys down for bed. It is Thursday night 10:00 p.m. Florida time and I wanted to be the first to say Happy 1oth Anniversary.

Happy 10th Anniversary Babe!

We will celebrate our 10th anniversary tomorrow July 11th. WOW... has it already been 10 years? I remember when Stephanie and I met. It was March 12, 1997. Her dad introduced us while she was visiting her dad at SWBTS for chapel services. It followed by us meeting again several weeks later. Followed by me asking her dad (my professor) for her number. Then on June 17, 1997 we had our first date.

The rest is history as they say.

I recall the first time I said, "I love you" without really saying those words. Kevin & Regina, Wayne & Jana, and Stephanie and I were at a Rangers Game at The Ball Park at Arlington when I said, "I love that about you." They all remember me saying, "I love you". Maybe I did, maybe I didn't... I can't remember. BUT this I do know. I fell in love with you then and am just as in love with you now as I was then.

We have traveled literally thousands of miles since then haven't we babe. We dated through the summer of 1997, got engaged on my birthday October 1, 1997 (turning 38 this year...I am becoming elderly) with me surprising you at Baylor in Waco with the help of your roommates. Thanks ladies... couldn't have done it without you. We were engaged in Miller's Chapel on the campus of Baylor university. I secretly filmed the entire engagement inside Miller's chapel. It was so cool.

We then worked through the fall and then spring of 1998 right up until our wedding on July 11, 1998 at FBC Grapevine. Cool on so many levels. Stephanie's dad had helped design and build the church. We had Kevin and Regina sing at our wedding and Wayne was one of my groomsmen.

We then began our journey as husband and wife serving as the ministers of education at Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Bedford. With some additional great friends in Wayne and Amy. We built our first home during that time... and boy was that a process. We met some GREAT friends in Mike and Gloria and began families pretty much together. Our first son, Caleb came along during that time. WoW... he just turned 8, is riding is dirt bike like a champ, shooting his bow with ease, just started the 3rd grade, and is an artist in his own right.

Stephanie, you then followed me to Fielder Road Baptist Church in Arlington where we spent 5 great years serving with the team there as we watched Caleb grow. And then we added little Josiah in July of 2005 just 6 weeks before we headed to California to serve with Rick & Kay Warren at Saddleback Church.

That's right folks. Stephanie then followed me all the way to California where she flew out the day of Josiah's 6 week old check up. I know..., she is beyond a trooper. I can't imagine what you must have been thinking as I moved our family to California.

Steph, our time is California (2 1/2 years) was some of our greatest growing time in our marriage. We grew closer and stronger together in that time than in the entire 7 years prior. Not sure what that says about our time in California, but it was a great time for growing our marriage. AND we added Levi to our family March 2007. That's right Levi is a Californian, not a Texan... oh what time will hold for him. What a great add he is, blond hair and all. He is so cute. And can you believe he is 16 months WOW...

Oh did I mention we then left California in December 2007 and went on a family road trip in a 32 ft motor coach through May 2008. That's right... I have drug Stephanie around Texas, out to California and now all the way to the far east coast to Jupiter Florida. The family road trip was awesome, but landing in Florida has been GREAT for our family. We are already making Florida our home as part of the team at Christ Fellowship with Pastor Tom & Donna and Pastor Todd & Julie Mullins.

Oh did I also mention that Stephanie is pregnant with our 4th boy (Silas)... well if you track Stephanie's blog you already knew that, but that just tells you how much we love each other.

We traveled literally across North America, made thousands of friends, had 3 beautiful boys with a 4th on the way, served at some great churches in Mayfield Road, Woodland Heights, Fielder Road, Saddleback Church, and Christ Fellowship and been married 10 years.

Now that is life my friend and we have been so blessed to do it together as best friends.

Stephanie, I just want you to know that I've loved you since I met you; however, my love has grown even greater with each day we've spent together. I love you more now than I ever have and I know I'll continue to grow more in love with you over the next 10, 20, 30, and 40 years.

I love you as my friend.
I love you as my lover.
I love you as my wife.
I love you as the mother of our children.
I love you as the woman God has created you to be.
I love you for your love of the Lord.
I love you for your care for those who Jesus misses most.
I love you for your care of our home.
I love you for teaching our children at home.
I love you for loving me when I'm unlovable.
I love you for loving children who don't have a home.
I love you for taking care of me and the boys.
I love you for keeping our home beautiful.
I love you for cleaning our home.
I love you for cleaning our clothes.
I love you for the meals you nourish our family with.
I love you for loving to just spend time with the family.
I love you for loving my mom (Granny) just because you can.
I love the way you love the elderly.
I love the way you allow me to be me... tattoos and all.

I love you BABE!

Can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for the next 10 years.