Wednesday, July 30, 2008


First Miss

(Picture is not from the weekend.)

Sunday afternoon, Kenny and I left for our coaches' retreat at Children's Harbor Lodge. Thanks to our friends, Dawn and Chris, we were able to stay until Tuesday without worrying about the kids. Not only was it a nice break away from diapers, making sure munchkins eat, enforcing bedtimes, and putting myself last, it was nice to get to know our co-workers better.

The days were filled with leadership training, games, laughs and lots of fun. On Monday, we participated in a Ropes Course, which was fantastic. It has been a long time since I have been put to the test physically and mentally. I could write for days about this, but I'll try to make it short.

We passed each other through a 'spider web' above people's heads.

We climbed up a 30 foot telephone pole, stood on top of that tiny circle, and jumped off to a trapeze. Unfortunately, I missed the trapeze and felt like I was free falling for a bit.

We made it around a tightrope made of wire.

We pulled and pushed to get us all over a 25 foot wall.

We rock climbed on a 50 foot wall, then repelled down the other side. This is what pushed my mind the most. Half way up the wall, I thought it would be really easy to give up. Then I realized that I knew I would be furious with myself if I did not complete my task so I pushed on.

Once I reached the top, I realized that I have not felt that sense of accomplishment in a long time. It was nice, but I thought my arms were going to fall off.
Overall, the Ropes Course was a wonderful way for us to become more of a team. It was neat seeing how everyone could communicate with each other. It was also fun to watch the exchange of leadership from one task to the next. We could not have done anything we did without everyone's involvement.

After more meetings, laughs and food, we headed home. Avery was happy to see me. Braden smiled at Kenny.

And the biggest accomplishment of all:

Somewhere between Sunday afternoon at 1:15 and Tuesday afternoon at 1:15, Braden started crawling!

YEAH for Braden!

BOO that I missed that big step in his life.

Here's how I'm looking at it. Even though I missed the first pats of hands and knees, Braden and I shared in some growth; his was physical, and mine was mental.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Excerpts From Avery's World

I love both of my kids dearly, but it seems that there is an extra special place in my heart for Avery. I don't know if it's because she was my first born; the one whom I was able to spend countless hours playing, shopping, drawing, singing, and teaching one on one. Maybe it's because of her age and her fun personality that spouts out funny quips time after time. Whatever the reason, she is my joy and I store up the things she shares with me in my heart.

One of my favorite parts of our day now is bedtime. Since she was a baby, I was always the one to put her to bed. Shortly before Braden was born, Kenny took over the job because I knew I would probably be preoccupied with nursing or calming him during that time of night. Recently, Avery has reclaimed her nighttime routine with Momma. Daddy just won't do. At first I slightly resented the fact that I was not able to relax a little, but I soon came to realize that was one of our precious alone times that I came to treasure so dearly.

I recount all of this to share two 'Avery' stories that take place during our evening wind-down. Our routine consists of two books, a prayer and a song. I don't know why I've been extra sentimental with her lately, but I enjoy watching her every move. While watching her the other night I realized she has her own ritual within our nighttime routine.

She sits in front of her bookcase, perusing the selection in anticipation of finding just the right fit for the evening. You see, with hundreds of stories to choose from, it's nearly impossible to only pick two. (This predicament normally turns into her trying to barter her way into three or even four books!) So there she sits, poised with her pointer finger sliding across the top of the bindings. She thinks she finds one to her liking, tilts it out, only to mutter, "no" under her breath. More sliding ensues; more tilting, followed by more "No's." Finally we find a "yes!" she exclaims, pulling it out and setting her treasure beside her before looking for more gold.

This happens every night. I wait for her in her bed; sometimes more patiently than others. Then we are ready to settle in for some snuggles and adventures.

The other night, her selections included her Bible for mothers and daughters. I decided to take the opportunity to add that book to our routine each night. Our first night of reading, she was mesmerized (even though she had already heard the story of Adam and Eve several times). Since she was so in tune to God's word and the things He was teaching us that night, we looked at each other, and I expounded on some of the study questions. I was excited to see her eyes seemed to be eagerly anticipating my every word. She nodded happily to my questions and thoughts. As this was happening, I was thinking about how glad I was that my sweet Avery was listening so intently to God's word.

Then she spoke. "Momma," she said.

"Your lips are talking, and they look really funny."

Then she turned back to the Bible and started asking more questions.


This morning Avery was watching Mr. Rogers. As he came to the point in his song 'won't you please, won't you please? Please won't you be my neighbor?' I asked Avery if she would be my neighbor.

She replied, "no, I'm your Avery."

Friday, July 04, 2008