Sunday, September 30, 2012

What I Love Most About My Munchkin-September


Special Days: Septmber was not our month. We did not do much together and we kinda butted heads this month. I had too much going on and sadly you since you are the oldest you got neglected this month with your mom/son time, for that I apologize.

Favorite Stories: Us arguing over who should have the I-phone and why.

Fabulous Photo:  

Greatest Quotes: " But, you dont use it and dont need it like I do: This is in regards to the IPhone I ot and how desperatly you wanted it. I pretty much use the phone for pics and videos and it drives you crazy because you have wanted one and I refuse to give it up. So we "share" it right now.

What has impressed me most about you this month:
You are always willing to listen and see things from another's perspective. You admit when you are wrong and stand up for yourself when you feel you are right. Although we have had our challenges this month, you are learning who you are, what you want and what you have to do to achieve it. You have a kind heart, and a playful spirit that I hope always shines through .
Where I hope to see you grow: 
This month we had an incident with appropriate internet usage. With that being said, my hope is that you will realize how what you look at, listen to and say influences the type of man you are becoming and they types of relationships you will have. Taking in the wrong things either on the computer, the TV, or in any other aspect in life,  can numb you and make you feel impartial toward really meaningful, personal experiences and actions. It also can warp your perspective on topics,  women, morals, etc. My prayer is that you realize your actions speaks volumes about your character and the type of an you are on the inside. I want you to realize that if you have to hide it, lie about it, downplay it, or manipulate it, you should not be doing it and should stop before you become OK with it.
My Absolute 3 Favorite Thing We Did Together This Month
1. You volunteer at the church! How can that not make my list? I love seeing you spend time with the little kids. I know you are mainly doing it to get out of attending service, but acts of service is service, no matter how you rationalize it and it makes me proud and hopefully you are proud of your self as well. 

2. Dallas Zoo: I DRAGGED you out of the house to get you to go to the Dallas Zoo. OK you didnt even know you were going. You went to get money for an I-Phone of your own and we ran out of time to get you back. So you really had no choice but to go. The zoo was hosting its annual math and science fair. It was raining all day and we had no umbrella and basically got soaked, but I enjoyed myself since I got to have you there and you seldom come and do things with us. It was a long, wet day, but a good day.

3. Family Pictures: You hated it, but you still went. I had not had a single family picture since you were little and I really wanted one. I wished you would have smiled, but hey if your ok wit it, I am OK with  it as well.. I was happy to have all 3 of my kids together for a photo finally! Moms love these types of things, its just how we are wired. I really wish we had taken a good one together though, but in each one, one of us looked psychotic.

What I Love Most About my Drizzle-September


Special Days: Art Days, AWANA, School, Baseball

Favorite Stories: You are just a crazy little boy, full of life and energy. You love to make me laugh and be hte little clown. You have a comedians heart for sure. Weather you are dancing out of the room all crazy, or truning cartwheels for me to look at, you love to have my undivded attention and to make me smile. Even on teh ropes, you were play falling and being crazy and sticking your head in like you were trapped, just being you.

Fabulous Photo:  

Greatest Quotes: "No" " You cant make me", " OK whop me" and so many have learned back talk! And WOW do I despise it. I'll just leave it at that.

What has impressed me most about you this month:  Whenever someone is feeling down, we can always count on you to cheer us up. You do not like to see people hurt, crying, unhappy or sick. You try to pamper them and love on them and you are so incrediably sweet baby.Its a part of your character I hope you never loose.

Where I hope to see you grow: Control. You are improving slowly, but we have a long way to go. You let your emotions run you and control you instead of you controlling them. We have you in play therapy right now to help with this and I see small improvements. We have also started praying more about this isue together and talking about better ways to improve. I know you can do this and I am so happy to get to be a part of the growth you are going through and cn

My Absolute 3 Favorite Thing We Did Together This Month

#1: Art Day-

Today we celebrated the wonderful world of art. We spent the whole day just you and me living in the moment. We started off early in the morning with a trip to the Winspear Opera House in Downtown to watch a live production of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! What a blast we had too. We sat three rows back and had the best view of the show imaginable. The show was great. You especially loved the audience participation parts and getting to act like a pig when we voted on if the Big Bad Wolf should be set free or locked up forever! We voted on freedom. 

After the play we went on over to the  Nasher Art Center and walked the tight rope!Its actually called "Cuddle on the Tightrope" by Ernesto Neto. The artist has added the complex new element of a freestanding, interwoven framework of metal structural supports to create his fun and beautiful art that we greatly enjoyed. It swayed, it bounced, and we laughed. Great joy! You really loved how the netting reminded you of spider webs.

From the Nasher we hooped on over to Crown Collection Asian Art Museum to look at there Lotus collection, Qualities of Jade and On the Silk Road and the High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture and Commerce. The art examines why Chinese ceramics were such prized commodities, both at home and abroad. We got to see proto-porcelain how it appeared in China about 3,000 years ago and hard-paste porcelain . This precious product was sometimes called "white gold," especially in the West.There was also a Tantric Art exhibit but I chose to pass that one up.

From the Asian Art Center we hopped on over to the Dallas Museum of Art and explored what they had to offer. They had alot of different eras of African Art and we could not stay long at all. You were wearing down by this point and your little hands were getting way to curious and needed to reach out and feel the art. You were no longer content to look so we had to call it a day. 

On our way back we did look at the Architecture downtown has to offer and you showed me all your favorite buildings and explained what you loved and hated about them. You seem to love sharp edges  the best. Here are some of the buildings we looked at just driving around through downtown:

One Arts Plaza - 1722 Routh St. - 2007 -unimpressed
Awalt Building - 208 N. Market St. - 1905
Bank of America Plaza - 901 Main St. - 1985- you loved all the sharp edges in this one
Belo Building - 400 S. Record St. - 1987- you loved this one
Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe - 2201 Ross Av. - 1902; 2005- even though we are not catholic the building was beautiful
 Center City Plaza (formerly the Adolphus Tower) - 1412 Main St. - 1954
JP Morgan Chase Tower - 2200 Ross Av. - 1987- This is Donkey Kongs pliers. We all love this bulding
Comerica Bank Tower (formerly Bank One Center) - 1717 Main St. - 1987- you loved all the circle edges on this one
Dallas Convention Center - 650 S. Griffin St. - 1957; 1973; 1984; 1994; 2002
Dallas Gas Company - 1915 Wood St. - 1924-unimpressed
Dallas Grand Hotel - 1914 Commerce St. - 1956-unimpressed
Dallas Museum of Art - 1717 N. Harwood St. - 1985
Founders Square - 900 Jackson St. - 1914; 1917; 1923 
 Fountain Place - 1445 Ross Av. - 1986-This was one of your favorites as well
Hyatt Regency Dallas Hotel - 300 Reunion Blvd. - 1978- you associate this one with Reunion Tower so its your favorite
Kennedy Memorial - 1970
Kirby Building - 1509 Main St. - 1913
 KMPG Centre (formerly Maxus Energy Centre) - 717 N. Harwood St. - 1980- you loved the reflection this one gives off and it made you look "taller"
Landmark Center - 1801 N. Lamar St. - 1914; 1922
Lincoln Plaza - 500 N. Akard St. - 1984
The Metropolis - 511 N. Akard St. - 1957- you loved the art work on this building- if that counts
Old Red Courthouse - 100 S. Houston St. - 1893 
SPG Building - 1530 Main St. - c.1920 - you adored the top "point" of the building the most
Thanksgiving Tower - 1601 Elm St. - 1982
Third Rail Lofts - 1407 Main St. - 2007
Warner Bros. Film Exchange - 508 Park Ave. - 1929
Wilson Building - 1623 Main - 1904 (NR)
Wilson Building Annex - 1910

#2: Warriors Baseball/Rangers Baseball: I actually got to be the head coach for your baseball team The Warriors! It only last 2 months and the team was dissolved because people had issues with a female head coach, but we had 5 players that stuck by us through it all and I had a blast teaching you baseball.  We ran drills, picked a team name, picked uniforms, played tons of practice games, hitting, pitching, catching, base running etc it was fabulous. Then we had to dismantle and you wound up on The Rangers. This started of sad and frustrating when we had to end our team, but your best buddy, Jace Carter, is on the Rangers and you were both so, so elated that you were going to play together that I couldn't be sad. Plus, a couple of the kids from our team wound up playing on The Rangers as well so it was perfect.

#3: AWANA: You finished the Cubbies last year and completed you very first full AWANA book and this year you are in the Sparks. I cannot wait to see you in your cute little outfit, learning scripture and having a blast making friends that have the same love for Christ that you do. I love being a leader for TNT so I get to see you daily being in the Word and witnessing your growth. This year your sister joins us to as the Puggles leader. YEAH

4. Centerpoint Choir: You got to sing in the church choir when we opened up the new sanctuary the first weeked of this month. You sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" and you did so great. you got all dressed up in your little blue dress shirt and vest and you tan slacks and looked so handsome!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Family photos

No post, just my babies and me in photos!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eye of the Sword

 Book 2 of the Angelaeon Circle

In this gripping and suspenseful book you follow Trevin, an orphan raised by monks. As  an orphan  we find out that Trevin also was a thief in his past and and served an evil  Dregmoorian Lord Rejius who tried to assassin the legitimate ruler. Yet he is trusted by  King Laetham  and is daughter, Melaia, to take on  the role of comain, or protector of the crown and country and to find the missing harps that will restore the stairway to heaven.

Trevins quest  as comain is to locate the missing comains, that have disappeared into thin air. The king orders Trevin to seek a sign first by the Oracle. He also wants Trevin to act as an ambassador to the country in the north, seeking to strengthen or renew their alliance in preparation for a new threat that has entered the kingdom, the Dregmoors whose leader has set his eyes on the princess to unite the kingdoms and bring peace to the land only through marriage.  In a surprise twist though the princess vows her love to Trevin and  has vowed to marry no one else but Trevin. Trevin determines to find the harps for her, acquire the alliance with the northern kingdom, and a sign from the Oracle, so his king won’t have need of a peace treaty with the rivals and the princess will be free to marry him. But even if he’s successful, he may be too late. The royal house is preparing for a wedding.

Once I picked this book up, I could not put it down. The story flowed easily and did not linger in one area to much. I developed a love for the characters and found myself routing for Trevins victory both to find himself and for his quests. Trevin struggles with his past, as we all do, but continues to push forward to achieve his end goal.  In addition, he has secrets. His past haunts him and even though the girl he loves has forgiven him, he hasn’t told her everything. His struggles with guilt and self-recrimination are believable. While reading this book I found myself thinking of Zechariah 11:17 " Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!" Trevin refuses to let go of his past and forgive himself and he thinks like this if he is the worthless shepherd. All I  kept thinking is wow, this guy really needs to know of Gods grace and forgiveness  for our sinful past. I would highly recommend to readers who love Christian fantasy and a book that includes action, romance, adventure, and redemption you won’t be disappointed reading this.
You can read my review also on Amazon here:

 "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this honest review. The thoughts and opinions are my own"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Be Still My Soul

I recently received an advance copy of Joanne Bischof’s debut novel – Be Still My Soul. Not available officially till October 2, 2012 this book is set in the Appalachian Mountains, as we follow alongside Lonnie Sawyer, a pretty, young girl whose life is forever changed by one moment in time.  Lonnie tale is one of  strength, survival, trust, friendship and love. Raised by a alcoholic father with anger and an abusive history, Lonnie longs to leave her home and learn the soap making business with her Aunt Sara. Sara is Lonnie's strong hold in times of danger, emotional turmoil and when guidance and prayers are needed most. She teaches Lonnie to lean on God and find her answers in the Word and not based on her feelings.

Just as Lonnie sees her 17th birthday approaching and she can grasp her freedom she meets Gideon O’Reilly. A boy who has a reputation with the ladies. Gideon walks Lonnie home and before she knows it her life is change forever. Forced to marry Gideon because her father believes shes impure Lonnie is thrown into a loveless marriage with a man who does not want to be tied down to one woman and has yet to learn to find himself or control his own emotions. Driven by resentment over his present and future dreams being crushed, Gideon soon turns violent and selfish. Saved by a farmer and his wife -O’ReillyLonnie and Gideon soon both learn what a marriage takes to survive, and how quickly it can fall apart.

I loved this Christian Historical Fiction book. It was eloquently written and the story just poured out so smoothly. This is a beautiful tale of following Gods will for your life and letting Him lead you daily. The whole way through this book I found myself rooting for this couple. For their strength, grace and encouragement for each other. Once you pick it up, you wont want to put it down!  Be Still My Soul is the first book in The Cadence of Grace series,  Book 2, Though My Heart is Torn, is slated for publication in April 2013 and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on it.
You can connect with Joanne at her website here or her Facebook author page.

Need more details? Here’s the “official” back cover copy for Be Still My Soul, the first story in Joanne’s Cadence of Grace Series:
Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith.  But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.
Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.
Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?
***I have received this copy for my honest opinion from WaterBrook Multonomah  Follow this link to pre-order a copy for yourself. *****

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What I Love Most About Drake-August

Month: August

Special Days:
Six Flags for Kristians 10th Birthday!The picture says it all. PURE JOY from everyone

Favorite Stories:  
You love roller coasters! Oh yea. No fear at all. Just hop on them, hands in the air and go. I was blown away by that. Your sister wont even get on them and you adore them. Love it!

Fabulous Photo:  

Greatest Quotes:
 " can we do that again!" That was all I heard at Six Flags. For every ride, it just tickled me. I loved seeing how excited you were and how much fun you were having.

What has impressed me most about you this month: 
How easily you were OK wit going to school, starting a new year at AWANA, and being so gracious in all the changes around the house at such a young age. You just kinda roll with it and it blows me away. You love learning Gods word and talking and praying. Your prayers have developed into more than poetry prayers, but prayers with some depth and meaning to them, involving more people that just us. You are becoming aware of the power of prayer.
Where I hope to see you grow: 
Your first day of school went great..after that not so much. I want you to learn temper control and keeping your hands to yourself. You are a very loveable little boy, but not everyone appreciates that or wants it. Plus, you are a stubborn mule. You want to do everything your way only on your time schedule and you fall apart emotionally when it cannot be done. You are very easily offended and frustrated. Its something we have been working on, but most months its more bad than god in this area. We will keep trying together and I know with prayer and leaning on God we can make a difference with how you handle your emotions in a positive way.
My Absolute 3 Favorite Thing We Did Together This Month
1. Spending time together reading. I miss the days when you were little (2-3) and wanted me to read EVERY night to you. I had to force it a few times last month and then you expected it and wanted it, so its something I am continuing this month that I really enjoy doing wiht you right before bed time. Right now you are loving the Bearstein Bear's books. Every night you want me to read the same 2: " The Trouble with Manners" and " A Big Question". I am really going to miss this when you are older and no longer want/need me to read to you.
2. Six Flags- Great rides, great kids, easy breezy awesome time. We went for Kristians 10th birthday and had a blast. Just you, Kristian, Delaney and me. We rode every ride you were tall enough to ride it felt like. Our favorites though were the water rides in every form. You also adored the parachute ride and I rode it with you, but I was FREAKED out the whole time and could not wait for it to end.
3. 1st day of Kindergarten: Need I really say more on this one? It was your first big day of public school and I was so gitty and sad at the same time. You were excited and had to have your big sister go in with you to eat breakfast and see your classroom. Of course, she went all smiles to be the big helper you needed. You too fight like cats and dogs lately, but with the bog things she always is there for you. Your teacher is Mrs. Todd and Delaney said "Good luck!" She has always heard shes really hard and scary mean. You seem to like her so far, even with getting in trouble. I took tons of pictures and almost cried when I had to leave you. You on the other hand were perfectly ok with me going. You were so stoked to be in school you were flying on cloud nine. Your big brother and I picked you up from school and you were elated to see us after a long day of learning.

What I Love Most about My Matthew-August

Month: August

Special Days: Blowing things up, throwing knives, shooting bebe ( dont think I spelled that right)guns, school and so much more. You know all the great boy/man things you let me do with you to humor me.

Favorite Stories: Not so much a story as what you found interest in. You learned about fireworks, pipe bombs and blasts. You have a new found love of explosives and its fun to watch you explore this avenue. Scary as heck, but as long as you are using safety I see no reason to stifle your new joy---yet. In the meantime, I sit back and watch and enjoy watching you learn science,math and chemistry all while having fun!

Fabulous Photo:  
Greatest Quotes: " We better run" followed right after you and James lit a little pipe bomb that blew apart my bird house right as a car drove past our house. Yeah, good times. :) Luckily, the police never came and we just lost the little birdy home and scared a lady half to death that we didnt even know. You know, small stuff. 

What has impressed me most about you this month:
 OK you have kinda been a recluse this month. I think its a combination of your girlfriend and you breaking it off, school starting for Senior year, and so many home changes this month all combined. You have stepped up though and helped so much around the house and with your brother and sister that I am truly impressed and proud of you. You made the decision to stay with us this year instead of your dad and you knew all the extra work that your decision would entail, yet you stayed. You go to church, you pick up your brother from school and you watch both your brother and sister every day till I get home from work! Alot of responsibility and you do it well. You very seldom complain or mumble about it knowing my choices are limited as well as a single mother. For that I am appreciative. You even volunteered, yes you read that right, volunteered to help out with the kids at children's church. IMPRESSED!
Where I hope to see you grow:
 I  want to see you moving in the same direction you are. You are coming very lightly around to church,God, prayer and taming down your music to things more honoring and pleasing to God. I know that is not your only reason and its more to do with what I will and not allow in the house, but you are making a conservative effort as well and it is noticed. I hope you continue down His path and not your own or mine or anyone else s, but His in your life. You have witnessed alot in your years, more than you ever should have, and I hope you have learned some life lessons from the paths not to take and how it will negatively effect you and the importance of picking wise friends and girlfriends to spend your time with. You are a smart man with a good heart and a good head on your shoulders and I am confident you will make me even prouder of you as the years go by.

My Absolute 3 Favorite Thing We Did Together This Month:
1. Fireworks-You get a BIG kick out of blowing things up and knowing you had a hand in it. I get a big kick out of watching you be filled with joy and and get all giddy.Yes, I am aware the 4th ended a LONG time ago, but you are not. You have blown up the bird house, jugs, boxes,..pretty much anything that you are allowed to blow up.
2.ASL Classes- OK we tried our hand at it and everyone complained so much about it, I dropped it. OK that's half the truth, the other was money, timing, life pretty much,but I did enjoy watching you learn something brand new and seeing it stick with you. I think it was a really great learning experience for us all.
3. First day of school!! Oh I know you wont count this as any big thing, but in my book it is. This is the first time in a LONG LONG time that I got to bring you to your first day of school and do all the cool stuff that goes along with it. So I counted it a joy and blessing from God that I got to experience this on your Senior year. Pretty soon mandated school will be over and you will be an adult and free to make your own decisions about college and work and I will have to slip into the background and let you stumble and learn on your own. Its going  to break my heart. The time we have had together like this has not been near long enough for me and I am going to break apart when you leave the nest again to go live life on your terms. I can only hope and pray that I have equipped you well enough to be a God honoring, loyal, responsible, humble, man of great character before you start on your own life path.