Thursday, July 31, 2008

Life is Wonderful

I love this song. It's not a Christian song, exactly, but every time I hear it it reminds me of how amazing God is, and how marvelous Creation is.

It takes a crane to build a crane
It takes two floors to make a story
It takes an egg to make a hen
It takes a hen to make an egg
There is no end to what I'm saying

It takes a thought to make a word
And it takes some words to make an action
And it takes some work to make it work
It takes some good to make it hurt
It takes some bad for satisfaction

Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la

It takes a night to make it dawn
And it takes a day to make you yawn brother
And it takes some old to make you young
It takes some cold to know the sun
It takes the one to have the other

And it takes no time to fall in love
But it takes you years to know what love is
And it takes some fears to make you trust
It takes some tears to make it rust
It takes the dust to have it polished

Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la

It takes some silence to make sound
And it takes a loss before you found it
And it takes a road to go nowhere
It takes a toll to make you care
It takes a hole to make a mountain

Ah la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la life is meaningful
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la life is meaningful
Ah la la la la la la life is full of
Ah la la la la la life is so full of love
Ah la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life is meaningful
Ah la la la la la life is full of
Ah la la la la la life is so full of love

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Regarding Bo's job

A few months ago, Bo applied for a promotion with Enterprise. It would be a HUGE deal--gigantic raise, etc. We just found out yesterday that he made the first cut. They cut from 1500 applicants down to 50, and Bo is in that top 50. In 2 weeks, they will make another cut, this time down to the top 5. Please pray that Bo makes the cut. This job would just be amazing for us, and if it is God's will, we would love the opportunity to take on this challenge. It would be great for Bo's career!!!

In other news, I took Jack to story time at the library today--he LOVED it! He was entranced by the librarian, and he just thought it was so cool to sit in a room with other kids and read books together. Afterward we played a bit outside the library and he was in heaven. I love seeing him so happy; it is such a blessing to see such reckless abandon. That child does not have a care in the world. I forgot what that is like!! You don't see that with people my age, or even with people over the age of 3! Toddlerhood is a very special time, and sometimes, with all the fit-throwing and "NO!" screaming, I forget how very special and wonderful it is. I mean, there was a gravel path, some benches, and a bush with flowers on it, and Jack thought it was the coolest place in the universe. He scooped up the gravel, touched and smelled the flowers, climbed on the benches, and thought he was the king of the world.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

So big

Jack with Milo on Thursday

Jack with Milo 20 months ago


This morning as Jack came into the bedroom to say "Hi!" it suddenly hit me--he is growing up. He looked so tall and sure of himself as he walked into the room and announced his arrival. I watched him pull his mini-wagon around and I was just amazed. He is getting so big! And I am so, so, so proud of him. He is such a friendly, happy kid. Sure, he has his behavioral moments, but he is 20 months, give him a break. :)



I am overcome by how time flies. I absolutely cannot believe he will be 2 in a few months.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A few more photos







Thursday, July 24, 2008

Photos from our sojourn






At long last

We are home.
Vacation, for the most part, was exactly what we had hoped for. The weather was beautiful, and the family time was priceless! We had a blast--especially Jack. Bo even took me out to the Bluebird, where we had our rehearsal dinner, to celebrate our anniversary!

Last Thursday, though, we did get some news that changed the course of our vacation. As most of you know, we were scheduled to return on this past Sunday afternoon (the 20th). However, on Thursday the 17th, we received a phone call that Bo's aunt Linda had passed away. She was only 58; her daughter Krista found her on her kitchen floor on Thursday morning. Krista had gone to check on Linda after Linda has failed to show up for work. There has yet to be a determination of the cause of death; that could take up to 6-8 weeks.

Linda (and her daughter Krista) was a lover of Christ. She loved Jesus with everything she had--she was in this world, but not of it. She often wished aloud that the Lord would come and get her--and He did. Linda had been going through a lot of struggles over the last few years, and I think God finally decided she'd had enough and took her to be with Him. I have no doubt that Linda is having the absolute time of her life right now!!!

I think it is so awesome that even people who barely knew Linda knew that she loved Jesus. She was an awesome witness and she really allowed the Lord to love people through her. She made a huge mark on many peoples' lives, and she will be greatly missed.

Please pray for her whole family, especially her daughter Krista, son-in-law Wes, and granddaughter Morgan. This is all gut-wrenchingly difficult for them.

So after receiving that news, we made arrangements to attend the funeral in Louisiana. We had flown out of San Antonio on the 12th, so we took our return flight back there on the 20th. Then we checked back in with Southwest Airlines, and flew to Houston, and then to New Orleans. We were traveling for about 15 hours total on Sunday (after driving 4 hours on Saturday). We finally fell asleep on the pull-out couch in Bo's parents' suite at the Holiday Inn at about midnight that night.

On Monday, we went to the florist to pick out flowers for Linda's memorial service. Then we went shopping because Bo, Jack, and I literally had nothing to wear. We had packed for 8 days of beach vacationing, so we were out of clean clothes, period. Monday night was the wake from 5-9.

On Tuesday we had to move out of our hotel because they were booked, so we had to pack everything up Tuesday morning. Then we went to eat breakfast, and then we went to the funeral. We were at the funeral from 11 am-6 pm.

On Wednesday (our anniversary) we got up early, ate breakfast, and hit the road with Bo's parents. All 5 of us (Randy, Kathy, Bo, Me, and Jack) squeezed into Kathy's car with all of our luggage for the 5 hour trip to Deer Park. When we arrived in Deer Park, Randy and Kathy went to buy a mattress (their guest bed was given away) while we did laundry so that we would be able to NOT stink. Then we went out to dinner.

This morning we got up at 5:30 to catch a 7:35 am flight from Houston to San Antonio. Then we drove from San Antonio to Austin, and now we are finally home.

It has been a very exhausting and emotional week. But I am 100% certain that if Linda could speak to us right now, she would tell us to quit being sad and celebrate the fact that she is partying with Jesus!

On that note, which gives all of us believing friends and family members and incredible amount of hope and joy, I will be posting photos of our vacation soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Jack-Jack Health Update

Eating a few Cheerios and watching Curious George this morning:
Around 10:30 this morning, Jack began to scream and cry inconsolably, so we took him to the doctor. Turns out he has a fairly common summertime/warm weather virus, similar to the flu. The symptoms (of which Jackson has experienced all but vomiting) can include fever, sore throat, swollen glands, headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It will probably last about 5 days, getting better each day. The doc gave us the "okay" to travel on Saturday, so that is a HUGE relief! He also confirmed that Jack's splinter is far from being infected, which was also a relief. He told us the remainder of the splinter (Bo got most of it out yesterday) would probably work its way out on its own.

Anyway, your continued prayers for Jack's comfort and quick healing are much appreciated. He is a trooper! As of 4 pm, his fever was 101.0, which is lower that is has been (without meds), so that's a good sign.

Also, if you could pray for me not to get cabin fever too badly, that would be GREAT!!!! Hehe...actually Jack gets cabin fever too; he has been asking all afternoon if we can go "byebye." And going outside is not enough; he goes over to the car and tries to open the doors--the exclaims "HOT!" because, well, it is 95 degrees outside and the car has been baking in the sun all day! Haha...anyway, I am just deliriously rambling (keep in mind I was up all night worrying...) so I will stop now!

Important Prayer Request!

Jack is sick; he started running a fever around 5:30 yesterday evening. Please pray for quick healing!

Thanks!

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Y'all know what I'm talking about.



Jack has peanut butter and jelly for lunch roughly 4 times a week, and here is the typical result:

Such is life with a 1-year-old. I was just thinking about all of the unlikely messes I have cleaned up over the last 19 1/2 months. There was the time when Jack peed over his own head and onto the wall at about 2 weeks old; there have been countless sticky messes from lollipops my dad has given him, beginning at a ridiculously young age; there have been many, many up-the-back poops (and many ruined onesies)--the worst being in the Dallas airport, with no spare clothes on hand; there have been a couple of times Jack has tried to empty his own pee-pee into the big potty (unsuccessfully); countless pee-pee pop-ups; countless food messes; and let's not forget 2 weeks ago when he got up from the potty before he was done pooping and ended up pooping all over the house. But for some reason it doesn't matter. Pee on the wall or poop up the back does not make me love Jackson any less. It's not even like I have to try not to be mad at him. I'm just not!


Why is it then that the smallest thing a friend says in passing, or that a husband says carelessly, or that a family member says in anger can be so much harder to forgive. I mean, I think saying something mean (intentionally or otherwise) is usually not quite as serious an offense as, say, pooping all over someone's freshly mopped floor.


Starting today, I am praying for patience--the kind of patience I have for my son, but I want to have that patience for everyone. I know I'm not perfect, and I want to stop expecting other people to be.


On another note, today it FINALLY rained!!!! It was a glorious downpour, too. It reminded me of when I lived in Connecticut. We lived on a cul-de-sac that got little to no traffic, so during summer downpours, my sisters and I would go out in the street and play in the water. The street was on an incline, so there would be drainage down the side of the road that was like a river to us. We had so much fun dancing in the rain, and it was so cool to see Jackson get his first taste of that today. He ran outside cautiously at first, but then he decided that he loved the feel of the rain falling on him and he ran around like crazy! Eventually I heard thunder and told him to come inside, and he didn't want to go inside. He wanted to play in the rain. It really brought back memories! Oh nostalgia...


Which brings me back to the countdown--5 days until we leave for vacation! Woo hoo! We have been going to the Jolli Lodge since I was 6 years old; this will be our 19th year!!!!!! WOW. And it never gets old--just more and more nostalgic! And if anyone knows me and my family (especially Casey), you know how much we live for tradition and nostalgia!

The lodge, overlooking Lake Michigan

The Jolli-Lodge's beach at sunset.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Post from Bo

As I observed Eryn and Jack in the backyard from our kitchen window the other day I slowly remembered what a beautiful wife I have and how amazing she truly is, and what a silly little son Jack is becoming. I also came to remember how much I appreciate the smallest things in life, you see as Eryn turned in circles around our yard, Jackson was tailing her like he was wearing a leash with his hands in the air saying, "Up, Up, Up." I literally about lost it, in tears of joy, I stopped and thanked God for the most unbelievable blessing I have been given, my family, they are such a wonderful gift to me. I know that I'm a difficult person to be around most of the time, but bless Eryn for her patience with me, I know that God is having to dish out a little more of that in her each day, so praise Him for that.

Which brings me to this, life is way too short to be focused on the negatives, just the other day I had a chance to comfort one of my co-workers because he was fearing his job over a mistake, (he is a believer) and I just told him to remain focused on what's important; serving Christ and seeking the Kingdom first and let God bless you beyond measure. He is 44 years old with 2 teenage daughters, and I encouraged him to be fervent in prayer and to be patient to the things of the Lord. My only hope is that my job will continue to allow me to be a witness to the Glory of God and as my mission field, others will come to know Jesus as their Lord and saviour.

Final Point...
As everyone continues on with their daily lives, let's collectively be strong in our faith, and let's bring some of these lost souls to Christ. I'm not much of a public speaker, but I have the ability to spark random conversations with random people anytime, anywhere I am. I just ask that I am kept in prayer that I will be more bold and step in faith to use this tool to continue to witness to others. We are in the last days, and if you don't believe me, believe Paul's prophecy to Timothy, 2 Timothy 3 : 1-5 "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanders, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a from of Godliness but denying its power."
I feel that it is crucial times as Christans, and if you are not a Christan reading this blog, well, contact me ASAP, but as Christians, we need to really fulfill the Great commision wherever you are; whether you are at work, home, school, or just out and about, take a second to slow your life down and tell one person about Jesus and His mercy and grace. If we can do that collectively each day, then millions will be saved, but it starts with faith; just know that the Holy spirit resides in you, and let Him give you the words to speak.

Thank you for reading my rant, but I had to say this, and I hope it helps in anyway. Otherwise, praise God, and thanks be to Him for everything. Also, pray for our family vacation that begins next weekend, we will be doing the Michigan thing again. It should be an awesome time and I hope Jack loves it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fireworks






Although this was Jack's 2nd 4th of July, it was his first fireworks show. We had a blast hanging out with our friends the Caskeys yesterday, and then we watched the fireworks from the top of the Silicon Labs parking garage. It was the perfect place--great view! Jack and Zoe had a blast together, as always.


Some quotes from Zoe:


Me: "Zoe, I bet you were really brave when you had to get a shot!"

Zoe: "I was freaking out."


Zoe: "Jack! You hurt my blood cells!"


Jack did somehow get a big splinter in his right big toe, which we have not yet been able to get out. It's a little concerning, but hopefully it will work its way out.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

The countdown

We are so excited about going up to Michigan next weekend. The week we spend at the Jolli Lodge each year is probably the very best week of every year! It is a solid week of quality relaxation and family time, with no interruptions. We leave in 9 days (July 12), and we can't wait!!!!!! This is the first year in a while, also, that the whole family will be there for a whole week! Ususally someone has to leave early or come up late, but this year everyone will be there the whole time.

On another note, we are doing an awesome 4-week series at our church on Wednesday nights on the inductive Bible study method. If you want to get more out of your personal quiet time, I highly recommend listening to Bunjee's suggestions! You can find the messages (there have been 2 so far) at www.calvarysouthaustin.com.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

This Week and Beyond From Bo

I know that I hardly write to this post, but lately we've been and especially I've been feeling a tug in a direction (like Eryn said, no details yet) that would challenge my family in a lot of ways but I feel that God is in the driver seat here and we are the grateful passengers of our Lord. For months we've been in a situation that has caused a lot of stress, pain, and suffering and we've prayed individually and together that God would relieve us of this situation and when he would open that door, we would jump in and follow. Well, we are at the praying for confirmation stage and as soon as we both agree that God has completely called us to do this, we will go. I just ask that everyone keep us in your daily prayers, and to our closest friends and family, we ask for 100% full support. Praise God, and praise Him in everything, the good and the bad. Thank you all, and have a great Fourth of July celebrating this great country and our freedom.

Best job EVER

Being a mom is hard work, but for some reason, I don't really mind it...........

Everyday Miracles

When is the last time you remember witnessing a miracle?

Something happened.
Some of you know that when we were moving into our current residence, we had to break our lease at our apartment, incurring an almost $700 fee, on top of rent. Plus, we had to pay rent simultaneously for the house. Well, this was in May, at the time that the economic stimulus checks were first being distributed. We filed our taxes electronically very early, so we figured we would have our stimulus deposited in our bank account early on--sometime around when we were moving. Perfect timing, right?

Well, the day that the stimulus was supposed to be deposited came and went, and nothing appeared in our bank account. Through some research, Bo discovered that people with some student loans would not receive their stimulus checks; the checks would be garnished to pay for the loans. Bo has many student loans, so we sadly figured that this was the case with us.

Dire financial difficulty followed, but we made it work because we didn't have a choice. We knew God had a plan that would eventually work everything out, so we tried to focus on that. Now, I'm not saying that there weren't times of crying and asking Him "WHY?????" but we were asking "why?" in faith, knowing that there was a good reason. It was difficult, but we tried to keep our faith alive. I prayed many times, "Lord I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).

Flash forward to yesterday afternoon.
I was having a blah day. Not terrible, but certainly not great. As I walked to the mailbox yesterday afternoon, I prayed, "Lord, please let there be something good in the mail. Just something to brighten my day a bit and power me through until Bo gets home."

This was probably the most directly-answered prayer I have ever prayed. I opened the mailbox, and the first thing I pulled out was an envelope that had printed on it "A Message About Your Economic Stimulus Check." I was very curious, but I figured it was just a letter explaining why we didn't get the check, etc.

The next thing I pulled out of the mailbox was our economic stimulus check. I could tell what it was even before I opened it; I could see the printed check through the window of the envelope. My eyes were as big as saucers--no, as big as dinner plates--as I opened the envelope thinking, "Wow! This means $900 extra that we weren't counting on, right before vacation! I can't wait to put this in the bank so that we don't have to worry every time we fill our rental car with gas!"

I opened the check and flipped it around to read it.
It was for $1500.
For some reason, even when we had expected the check, we had only expected $900.
So there in my hand was not only a check we hadn't expected, but it was for $600 more than we ever even imagined it would be.

I literally broke down in tears. When I called Bo to tell him what had happened, he thought something terrible had happened because I was sobbing and crying tears of incredible joy and SHOCK!!!! When I finally did get to tell him, Bo was absolutely speechless.

God is so good. He knew exactly when this money would be needed, and He sent it to us--not late, but exactly on time. Exactly.

So yesterday I experienced my own personal miracle.
But as I sat pondering that fact, I began to think about how spoiled people are. I mean it takes something that obvious for us to turn our praise and focus to God, when every day, if we are really looking, we can see miracles all around us! I mean just the fact that the sun rises in the morning should be enough. Just the fact that the earth is positioned exactly correctly so that we are not fried or frozen should be enough. Just the incredible human body that we vainly walk around in every day without a second thought should be enough!!

And so I am overjoyed and yet humbled by my miraculous stimulus check. It is a reminder of God's miraculous goodness, and yet it is also a reminder of my failure to appreciate Him on a day-to-day basis. Of course I am going to try to change that, but in the meantime....

"Lord, I believe; help my unbelief."