Friday, December 26, 2008

"Boxing Day"

(by Relient K)

"Take it all down
Christmas is over
Do not despair
But rather be glad
We had a good year
Now lets have another
Remembering all the good times that we had

Chorus:
Oh, no more lights glistening
No more carols to sing
But Christmas it makes way for spring

The hearts of men
Are bitter and weathered
As cold as the snow
That falls from above
But just for one day
We all came together
We showed the whole world that we know how to love

Chorus...

Oh remember that Christmas
It makes way for spring"

Yes, I love the Relient K Christmas album! I thought I'd post one last song from it. Even though we don't celebrate Boxing Day in the States, the words of the song still apply. I hope y'all have had a wonderful Christmas season...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Carol of the Bells"

(by The Bird & The Bee)

"Hark how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say
Throw cares away

Christmas is here
Bringing good cheer
To young and old
Meek and the bold

Oh how they pound
Raising the sound
O’er hill and dale
Telling their tale

Gaily they ring
While people sing
Songs of good cheer
Christmas is here

Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
On on they send
On without end
Their joyful tone to every home..."

We've opened all of our presents! I think the kids (& the dog) are happy!! Here's a glimpse of what it was like at our house this morning...


A present for me from my baby girl:


Christopher's present from Cody:


TOMS shoes certificate for my mister:


Ooooh...


Pepper buried her "Bark Bar" in the aftermath!


I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Happy Christmas (War is Over)"

(by John Lennon)



"So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

Chorus:
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight

Chorus

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

Chorus

War is over
If you want it
War is over
Now..."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"I Celebrate the Day"

(by Relient K)

"And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know
How much You've touched my life because
Here is where You're finding me
In the exact same place as New Year's eve
And from a lack of my persistency
We're less than half as close as I want to be

Chorus:
And the first time
That You opened Your eyes
Did You realize that You would be my Savior?
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever?
(Repeat)

And so this Christmas I'll compare
The things I felt in prior years
To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
And the hope that what You give
That you were born so I might really live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

Chorus

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life..."

It's almost Christmas!! I'm excited to see the kids open their presents, and I look forward to seeing family. But it's so easy to get distracted by everything that the world has made Christmas out to be. I pray that we can help the kids to not lose sight of the real reason for Christmas. We think more about the gifts under the tree than the gift of eternal life. It's amazing to think that Jesus was born to die, in order to save my life.

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Let it Snow"

(by A Fine Frenzy)



"Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

It doesn't show signs of stopping
And I've brought some corn for popping
The lights are turned way down low
Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow

When we finally kiss goodnight
How I hate going out in the storm
But if you really hold me tight
All the way home I'll be warm

The fire is slowly dying
And my dear, we're still goodbye-ing
As long as you love me so
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow..."

Ya, I know...wishful thinking! It IS cold out there, but it's not gonna happen! We got our little bit of *snow* a couple of weeks ago. I didn't post pictures then, so here you go:

From 2008 Fall

From 2008 Fall

Sunday, December 21, 2008

"I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas"

(by Relient K)

I'm kicking off my Christmas posts with the video my kids put together last year. I didn't feel it necessary to post lyrics. Sorry to bore you, if you've already seen it. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, December 19, 2008

"Landslide"

(by Seven Places) Seven Places - Lonely for the Last Time - Landslide



"I feel crazy, hope is hazy right now
But I won't freak out
I won't freak out at the sound of the

Chorus:
Landslide inside
Fear wants to take my peace of mind
Won't run, won't hide
I will lift my hands up high

In my troubles, I have doubled my prayers
'Cause I need them
I need them like I need the air

Chorus

Here's to the Name above all names
I will trust you Jesus, I'll be brave

I will live my life
Day by day
'Cause You're the only Truth
The only Way out of this

Chorus

Here's to the Name above all names
Here's to the only One who saves
I will trust you Jesus, I'll be brave"

It is finally 2008 on my trip down memory lane! I hope you've enjoyed it a little bit, & I didn't bore you with too many details. It's been kinda fun for me! Of course, everybody knows about the "landslide" that has occurred over the past few months of this year, but the early part of 2008 was actually pretty good! Chris & Freddy sold their company & went to work for the company that bought them, so he started getting this thing called a PAYCHECK. I don't know if you've heard of those or not, but they're pretty neat! With the sale of the business, we were able to pay off about 1/3 of our debt!! We also have much better health coverage, which Chris has thoroughly tested out! Both of the kids played soccer this spring, so that made us a little busy. I don't think I like having activities every evening of the week.

In February, I got the opportunity to go to The Revolve Tour with the girls from our youth group. It was a wonderful two-day event where they hopefully got a better understanding of God's love for them; but beyond that, there were concerts. Most importantly, Hawk Nelson was there, & Daniel (the bass player) saw that I had my kazoo!

To save gas money, Chris got a moped...

& promptly wrecked it, broke his finger, & had to have surgery to affix this strange contraption to the bones on both sides of the knuckle:

My beautiful cousin Kendra came to visit again (I'm sorry, I forgot to say that she came last summer, too!)

And, there you have it! The rest of the year has already been chronicled on my blog, for the most part.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Miracle of the Moment"

(by Steven Curtis Chapman) Steven Curtis Chapman - This Moment - Miracle of the Moment

“It’s time for letting go
All of our if only’s
‘Cause we don’t have a time machine
And even if we did
Would we really want to use it?
Would we really want to go change everything?
‘Cause we are who and where and what we are for now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about

Chorus:
So breathe it in and breathe it out
Listen to your heartbeat
There’s a wonder in the here and now
It’s right there in front of you
And I don’t want you to miss
The miracle of the moment

There’s only One who knows
What’s really out there waiting
In all the moments yet to be
And all we need to know
Is He’s out there waiting
To Him the future’s history
And He has given us a treasure called right now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about
And if it brings you tears

Then taste them as they fall
And let them soften your heart
And if it brings you laughter
Then throw your head back
And let it go, let it go
You gotta let it go
Listen to your heartbeat ”

Our little evangelist began 2007 by having a “God party” for his 6th birthday. He had a speech planned, where he would tell his friends about what was important in life: God, parents, friends & family. He chickened out on the speech, but we did spread the Gospel a bit with the VBS-style crafts, games & snacks, and the cake had a cross & an empty tomb. Elizabeth played soccer in the spring, & she enjoyed it so much that she had a soccer party for her birthday in the Fall. We bought her a practice goal, & my friend Kristi (a former soccer coach) helped me with some great drills. I don't know why I feel the need to talk about their birthday party themes, but I'm a mom, & that's what we do!

For Mothers' Day, I got a puppy! I had been wanting one for several years & finally got the cutest little Shorkie Tzu (Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix). We named her Pretty Peggy Pepper, after the Dublin Dr Pepper advertising icon/beauty queen. {Chris tricked me into doing that!}


Though we had acquired some debt, we continued to see God providing for us in miraculous ways, & I think the truth finally sunk in one day. I had been acting like the Israelites in the wilderness, roaming around complaining to Him about His provision. He wasn't doing things the way I wanted Him to, & I was acting like a spoiled brat instead of taking each situation as an opportunity to choose to trust Him. I was so focused on our debt, and it had become such a huge burden, that I could think of little else. We weren't living an extravagant lifestyle by any means, but I would (sort of obsessively) try to figure out where we may have overspent & how we could have done things differently (like I could've undone the past, anyways?!). It was hard not to keep looking forward to the illusive “one day” when we would be out of debt. Well, I think it finally dawned on me that I'm not made to carry burdens, which is why I wasn't doing so great at it! When I handed it over to Him & focused more on spending time with Him & being in His Word, I really didn't have time to dwell on my circumstances.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Fly"

(by Sanctus Real) Sanctus Real - The Face of Love - Fly



“When last place is where I've been
It's hard to find the strength to start again
Sometimes it seems like I can never win

I'm held back by the weight of the crowd
Can't move to find my way out
You give me faith to get my feet of the ground
'Cause it's not easy

Trying to fly against the wind
When I keep on falling back to where I've been
Start over again

I'm overwhelmed when there's too much
Hiding the view to all that You've done
I step back to see how far we've come
And You're always with me (when I'm)

Trying to fly against the wind
But I keep on falling back to where I've been
Trying to fly against the wind
Start over again

When last place is where I've been
You give me what I need to start again

Trying to fly against the wind
But I keep on falling back to where I've been
Trying to fly against the wind
And You keep on coming back for me again... over & over again”

In 2006, our baby boy turned FIVE & had a Super Hero birthday party! He got a super cute hamster named Fire Chief Jake. That summer, it was Christopher's chance to turn 30! Our friends gave him a party in Midlothian, when we were up there for the 7th Annual Dr Pepper Marathon. {Sorry I never mentioned the “marathon” before; but to explain it briefly: Chris took the youth group down to the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, then over to the Dr Pepper bottling plant in Dublin. He started it on his birthday in 1999 & continued to do it every year, cuz he's a Dr Pepper freak fan! His best friend Erick continued to do it after we moved & he became the youth pastor there.} Chris & I celebrated our 10th anniversary in July! We also decided to start celebrating ½ birthdays. How fun is that?! Cody started Kindergarten that fall, & Elizabeth moved up to 2nd grade. How time flies! Elly turned eight in October, & Chris made her a fuzzy pink guitar case. It was awesome!

Financially, things were hard. Once the money from the sale of our house was gone, our faith really got tested! Clients don't always care to pay their invoices during the summer & throughout the Christmas season. So, I got very discouraged at times. We saw God provide in awesome ways, & I would trust Him for awhile. But, doubt would creep back in pretty often. It was a real struggle for me, and though I hated it, we ended up depending on credit cards more than we should have. We had been using a credit card for probably 8 years, (earning points to redeem for cool stuff—don't buy into it!) & had paid it off every month until this period of time. I say all this for you to understand a little bit of our situation, & so you can rejoice with us when our situation turns around (which starts to happen in 2008...wait for it!) Anyways, the struggle with my faith in God's faithfulness is why I posted today's song. It is so good to know that no matter how faithless I am, He is always faithful...

Freddy took some great photos of our family!

In case anybody cares, Dublin Dr Pepper is made with pure cane sugar from the Imperial Sugar Company, whose headquarters is here in Sugar Land

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Brave"

(by Nichole Nordeman) Nichole Nordeman - Brave - Brave



"The gate is wide
The road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
It's safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been
'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings

Chorus:
So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I am small
And I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say Your name
Just Your name and I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall...
Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I try to keep it all inside?

Chorus

I've never known a fire that didn't begin with a flame
Every storm will start with just a drop of rain
But if you believe in me
That changes everything
So long, I'm gone

Chorus”

We finished out the 2005 school year living with my dad & baby brother (I know, he's 20 now & twice my size, but he will always be my baby brother). I hadn't lived with Dad in 20 years, so I thoroughly enjoyed my time with him & really feel like God restored “the years the locusts had eaten” (Joel 2:25). I think we could have stayed there forever, with me making dinner for Dad & my family every night and walking with him after dinner on the evenings that Chris was home. But the situation was never intended to be permanent (nor was it ideal, for reasons that aren't really important right now). So, just before school started in the fall, we moved to Sugar Land. We found a house to rent with enough space for Christopher to have an office & an area for me to scrapbook! Sadly, Mama Dee, Christopher's 97-year-old great grandmother passed away the same weekend that we moved. We made a crazy 24-hour trip to the other side of Dallas, where Chris performed the funeral. Then we turned right around & made it to Elizabeth's new school in time to meet the teacher the night before school started.

That was the year I turned the big 3-0! I was OK with it until about June, when I realized that it really didn't matter how young I looked, I WAS turning 30. I got 4 birthday desserts out of the deal, though, so I really shouldn't complain! Dad took us out that Friday, my family took me out on Saturday & after church on my actual birthday, and the members of the home church we were attending threw me a surprise party complete with homemade chocolate cake! Plus, my mister scheduled an appointment for me to get LASIK, which I must say was the best present ever! After our move to Sugar Land, I started working part-time for an insurance adjuster who was in Louisiana looking at over 200 homes affected by Hurricane Katrina. I answered the phones & helped the husband & wife team keep their home office organized. It was a very flexible schedule, & I only worked while Elizabeth was at school, but it was SO hard to leave Cody. He got to stay home with his Dad, though, so it really wasn't so bad!


Elly got a hamster named Princess Ella for her 7th birthday! And she finally lost her first tooth! We didn’t think she would ever lose one. Cody worked real hard on becoming a Super Hero! He was constantly running around the house & lifting weights. My good friend Amy took this great picture of the kids in the Spring:


The web design company picked up some as Chris started working with Freddy. The income was not entirely steady, but we really learned a lot about trusting God to meet our needs. He was so faithful to us. We saw Him provide for us in ways that we had never imagined. Each time there was a need, & it looked like we didn’t have the money for it, we would get an unexpected check in the mail, cash from a friend, or a new work project for Chris. Letters of Warning, the band that Chris was in, released their CD, “Dreams of Darkening Spain” & played a couple of times a month.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Voice of Truth"

(by Casting Crowns) Casting Crowns - Casting Crowns - Voice of Truth

Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns on Grooveshark

“Oh,what I would do to have
the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win,
you'll never win."

Chorus:
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
and the voice of truth says "this is for my glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out
my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
"Boy you'll never win,
you'll never win."

Chorus

But the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don't seem so high
from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
singing over me

Chorus...”

Wow! 2004: What a year! Both of our kids gave their hearts and lives to Jesus & asked Him to forgive them of their sins. First, Elizabeth made the decision at VBS in June. Then, after a month & ½ of Cody seeing her choices & hearing her say, “Now that I have Jesus in my heart, I [fill in the blank with any good choice a 5-year-old may make] instead of [insert a bad choice here!]”, Cody said, “I want what Sister has!” & made the decision, too!

God also changed our plans a little bit. We were very content in our life there in Midlothian, but for some reason still unknown to me, God called us away from that. In January, Modern Day John played one of their last Dallas shows at the LightHouse, and when Freddy & Dan found out that Chris played bass, they [jokingly, I thought] asked if he wanted to move to Houston & join their new band. If we were going to move anywhere, Houston would be the first place to consider, but we weren’t planning on moving. I sorta disregarded their interest, but Chris didn't. Throughout the months that followed, he would think of them & pray. At one point, he called Freddy to see how things were going, & he said he was still waiting to hear Chris. That July, when we were at Mom & G's for vacation, Chris drove out to Sugar Land to play with them. That's when I realized he was serious, so I began to pray.

Though Chris had played the bass for about 15 years, it was really just on Sundays & some Wednesdays. Not to criticize him or anything, but it didn’t seem like he was good enough to play with the talents of Freddy & Dan. Even though, I had this “knowing” inside of me that I couldn’t just blow off. I had to pray. And strangely, there was a sadness inside me that he wasn’t good enough, but it was a neat thing to be able to say that he jammed with Freddy & Dan from Modern Day John! Anyways, we went home & prayed. Chris practiced for a few weeks to see how much he could improve. And when it was all said & done, we had our answer. I could go into all the ways it was confirmed to us, but it would take at least as much room as I've already taken up today. So, if you care to hear all about it, I can list it out another time. But for now, I'll just say that between the Word of God itself (the Bible), words from our friends & even strangers (those who knew what we were praying about & those who didn't have a clue) & other “coincidental” circumstances (if you believe in coincidence, which I don't!), we knew 100% for sure that Chris was supposed to join the band.

It was a fairly quick & easy transition. A friend of ours from church bought our house, and everything fell into place. Chris looked for a job, but then decided to start a web design company (which allowed for the flexibility he needed in order to travel with the band). We moved into my dad's house while Chris got the business going. Without a steady job, it was hard to buy a new house; so we decided to stay there until the summer in order to keep Elizabeth from having to move twice during her Kindergarten year. Chris was able to work right out of our home. It was quite the leap of faith, though, and it really didn't make sense! One day during the transition process, my brother told me about today's song & said it made him think of us. I think so, too...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"Hollywood"

(by the Jonas Brothers) Jonas Brothers - Jonas Brothers - Hollywood



“As time was ticking
We were winning
And it all was going as planned
Politicians stand between the lines
Of making headlines, street signs
Saying you're going the wrong way
Fading faster now

Chorus:
You can try to break us
And make us fall apart
But the fire's in our hearts
Reminisce on memories cuz we're gone
And don't forget to
Hold back your thoughts
And live like robots
Cuz we all know what goes on
Reminisce on memories cuz we're gone
We're gone, so gone

Fallen soldiers, all around us
But we're still standing strong
Embarrassing and contradicting
Cuz now we're making headlines, primetime
Saying what a story!
Billboards, packed tours
Don't forget

Chorus

And game over, you're done
Out of left field we won
Pack our bags
Yeah, we'll run
Hollywood here we come

Chorus...”

Ya, I know, the Jonas Brothers were just brothers & not yet a band in 2003. I mainly chose this song for the title & part of the chorus! I was able to go with Chris & the youth group on the mission trip to Hollywood this time. I fell in love with all of the people there: the hurting people on the streets, the teenagers in the other two youth groups, and the interns & staff at The Oasis.


God really showed me a piece of His heart there, and He gave me such a deep compassion that I've never had before for those who don't know Him. One morning during devotionals, I was on the balcony looking out at the Scientology headquarters & the street below me. I was thinking about all of the people out there who were lost without knowing the WAY, the truth & the life that God has provided through Jesus. I was reminded of a fictional book that I had read recently, where one of the characters had realized a theme to the Bible: God wants His children back. It really is true. From the garden until now, all of humanity has been like His children that have gone missing, and all He wants is for them to be home safe with Him. I can't imagine if one of my kids were missing; but if they were, I would do everything possible to find them & bring them back home safe with me. That is how God feels, but even more because He is a way better parent than I could ever be. He loves His children way more than I could ever love mine (& I love mine very much!), so I can't even imagine how His heart breaks for His children that are distant from Him. All of that is to say that I developed a very deep love for the people that I met on the streets of Hollywood, and I really did leave a piece of my heart with them.

Chris had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to England in the spring. Then, a group from England came to the States that fall for a conference at CFNI. We hosted a family in our house. They had two teenage boys & a little girl who was a year older than Elizabeth. We had a great time getting to know them and developed a wonderful friendship that continues to this day.


Here are pictures from what we called a "Dr Pepper Christmas":



Sadly, our babies were no longer considered babies. As with each stage of their lives, I missed where they had been, loved where they were & looked forward to what was to come. Such bittersweetness!

Here's a video of our cute kids:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"So Bright (Stand Up)"

(by Superchick) Superchick - Last One Picked - So Bright (Stand Up)



"You're bored, gotta wonder if there's more
Waiting for the dream life you thought you had in store
Trying to feel something you can chase a life that's thrilla
Living on the edge drinking smoking dream killas
Coulda been shoulda been woulda been
What might your life have been?
Today you're not a has-been, but at your life's end
Will you have regrets then, have regrets then?
Are you OK with today if tomorrow is the end?

Live today through the future's lens
Don't wanna wish you could rewind and play it again

Chorus:
Stand up, write the soundtrack for your life
It doesn't happen to you, you happen to life
Stand up, you know you're gonna have to fight
Don't wanna lose the will to find your light
Stand up, God gave you the gift of life
It doesn't happen to you, you happen to life
Stand up, do something with your light
You're a light on a hill, you're meant to shine so bright
So bright so bright so bright so bright so bright so bright
So bright so bright so bright so bright so bright so bright so bright

We're all scared, gotta wonder whats out there
Shooting down the ones who did what we wish we dared
Everybody's scared to Karaoke in the open
Afraid we're not as special as what we might be hoping
So we're frozen haven't chosen
Just going through the motions
Faith and belief, courage overrule emotions
Stand up and be counted for something when it's time
Decide where you stand, take your hands raise 'em high

Live today through the future's lens
Don't wanna wish you could reset and play it again

Chorus

I wanna shine so bright
I wanna shine so bright
I wanna shine so bright
[my absolute favorite part of the song is comin' up...]
I WANNA SHINE SO BRIGHT...”

I remember when this song was released. It was the 1st single from Superchick's sophomore album (which wasn't out yet, so I didn't have it). Chris came home saying that he had heard the song on 89.7 Power FM (oh, how I miss you, precious radio station), & I was so jealous! This song just really makes me think of 2002. It was full of youth ministry stuff! We had finally gotten more GIRLS in the youth group the year before, so I felt more connected & involved. There was a great group of volunteers, too, who were way cooler than me. We did fun things like sleepovers where we made t-shirts & toothbrush bracelets! Chris took a group to Hollywood on a mission trip, and they came back so excited that I started making plans to go the next summer. We had some great girls that enjoyed babysitting our kids for free. They considered it their ministry! Isn't that awesome?!


We got an new addition to our family in 2002! Our 1st pet, Gilbert Dorothy, was a reward (aka “bribe”) for Elizabeth's potty-training success! She named him after her favorite cartoon characters' pets: Caillou's cat & Elmo's goldfish. He was actually a Betta who lived in one of those [now controversial] Lily Vase ecosystems.


Aunt Sheryl made the kids' Easter outfits


We cut Cody's curls off this year, so Christopher grew his out!


I'd have to say that the highlight of my year was when I got to MEET JULIE MILLER (that's the title of her 1st album, btw)! I have loved her music since my friend Jason sent me a mix tape with “What Would Jesus Do?” on it in 1990. Two times over the previous two years, I had found out [too late] that she was performing in Dallas. One time, it was 30 minutes before the concert, & the other time was the day after! On October 10th, I finally got to see her & Buddy in concert, and not only did I get to meet her, but Natalie & I got to hang out in her RV! It was an awesome experience & something I will never forget!

Friday, December 12, 2008

"I Will Not Forget You"

(by Enter the Worship Circle) Enter the Worship Circle - First Circle - I Will Not Forget You



"Many men will drink the rain
And turn to thank the clouds
Many men will hear You speak
But they will never turn around

Chorus:
I will not forget You are my God, my King
And with a thankful heart I bring my offering
And my sacrifice is not what You can give
But what I alone can give to You
A grateful heart I give, A thankful prayer I pray
A wild dance I dance before You
A loud song I sing, A huge bell I ring,
A life of praise I live before You

Many men will pour their gold
And serve a thing that shines
Many men will read Your words
But they will never change their minds

Chorus...”

2001 was another good year! We were very aware of God's blessings, and we tried not to take things for granted, but to live grateful lives of praise to Him. On January 2nd, I went into labor, but Cody wasn't quite ready to come out. After 1 week & 2 trips to the hospital, my doctor suggested that I be induced. The labor wasn't so bad, but the itching was! {I forgot to mention the pruritus of pregnancy that I endured during the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy with Elizabeth. This condition is caused by the liver not eliminating toxins like it's supposed to, so they get into the bloodstream & end up causing severe itching. The doctor said it wasn't supposed to happen again~but it did, and it was worse with Cody, because I carried him longer.} So, on the morning of January 10, 2001, I was induced; and Cody Dean was born that evening, measuring 19 ½ inches & weighing 7 pounds 14 ounces. {What a fun birth date: 01/10/01! We didn't even plan it this way, but "Codeman" is our little binary code ~> with a super great birthday for the son of a web programmer!!}

Here's Cody with his big sister when we 1st brought him home from the hospital (sorry about the poor quality snapshot!)


Two days after Cody was born, Chris opened The LightHouse Coffee Bar at our church. We spent every Friday night up there for the next several years! The church was able to make Chris the full-time youth pastor, so that was pretty exciting! He still went in to CitiCorp on Mondays, which enabled us to buy a “sports” van (which apparently sounds more cool than a mini-van). In March, we were honored to be in Geary & Shelly's wedding, along with both sets of their parents (who had been married for almost 30 years each!) and Shelly's sister & brother-in-law. I was so happy to have my best friend across the street!

Cody & Elizabeth at Geary & Shelly's wedding:


The rest of the year was fairly uneventful for our family. We celebrated our 5th anniversary in July, our baby girl became a big girl, and we got to know our little man!

Cody with Mommy & Daddy in September

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"So Good To Me"


Darrell Evans - Trading My Sorrows - The Best of Darrell Evans - So Good to Me
(by Darrell Evans)

"O God, You've been so good to me
You came and found this orphan
And You brought me right into Your family
O God, You've been so good to me
You threw away my past
And You never count my sins against me
Oh, Thank You, Lord

Chorus:
You got me dancing
And now I'm shouting
You go me leaping
And now I'm spinning Hallelujah
You're so good to me (Nah nah nah nah)
You're so good to me (Nah nah nah nah)
You're so good to me

O God, You've been so good to me
And every day I wake up
I breathe another breath of Your mercy
O God, You've been so good to me
And my delight is in
You 'Cause I know that
Your hand is upon me

Chorus

Jesus, You're the One
Who saved myself from me
So I will be the one
To praise You in the streets

You're so good to me...”

Y2K! Nothing catastrophic happened when it turned midnight, did it?! Do you remember the doom & gloom that was predicted?! Overall, the year 2000 was pretty good for us. Christopher was licensed as a minister in February. “Reverend Butch” had several chances to perform his duties as a clergy member during his first year, but I'll get to that later...

Christopher & I were planning a trip for Memorial Day weekend~our first trip alone since our honeymoon! Dan & Sheryl were going to watch Elizabeth for us, because Dan was wanting me to have a baby on his birthday in February! Unfortunately for Dan, we conceived a little early (they still kept the girl, though)! We were so excited about having another baby, and once again, I absolutely loved being pregnant!

In July, Christopher's 6-month old nephew died of SIDS. It was so incredibly sad. Chris had only been licensed as a minister for a few months & was already conducting a funeral, and his baby nephew's at that. It was awful, and I can't even imagine what it has been like for his sister. He did get the opportunity to officiate a couple of weddings that year, too. His first wedding was his uncle's that August, and then our friend Aaron's in November. I must say that weddings are much better than funerals! I'm sure everyone agrees!

In September, we found out that we were expecting a BOY! Elizabeth enjoyed watching the sonogram video of her baby brother, even though she didn't really understand what she was seeing. One time, she was watching a Veggie Tales video; and when it got to the static at the end of the tape, she said, “Baby Tody!” Too cute!! Anyways, I ended the year weighing more than Chris, as we were getting very close to the birth of our baby boy...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"When She Sees Me"


The Choir - Wide-Eyed Wonder - When She Sees Me
(by The Choir)

"I'll wait outside a moment
You watch the clock on the wall
Listen closely I'll say when
Sing "London Bridge Is Falling"
No change at all
Now could the beats when I come in

Chorus:
Listen how fast my little girl's heart beats
When she sees me
Listen how fast my little girl's heart beats
When she sees me

She never minds the weather
She likes the flashes of light
I say "Love, beware black skies"
She's not afraid of winter
Or thunderous nights
She follows rainbows in my eyes

Chorus

The minute hand on the seven
Second hand on the three

Listen how fast my little girl's heart beats
Listen how fast my little girl's heart beats

We hold each other so close
We dance around and around
She likes the music that I play
She wants to bust out laughing
She's learnin' how
She wonders if I'm home to stay

Chorus

The minute hand on the eight now
A hundred and fifty-three

Listen how fast..."

OK, I'll try to finish this journey through the past before Christmas, because I have a few songs that I'm sure will be appropriate for many of the days this season...

1999 was a wonderful year of getting to know our beautiful baby girl! She was such an incredibly happy baby, and SO easy! Everyone we know said that she just wasn't a "real" baby, because she was so easy! She loved to sleep, and she loved to GO places! We used to say that her middle name was "Go". Our life really didn't slow down much when she came along, because we just brought her everywhere that we would've gone before. She was the youngest participant in our College & Career group! Our friends would take turns holding her, and there were times that we'd be sitting around & realize that we were all just watching her! She was the first baby in our group of friends, so they enjoyed being around her, and she became our entertainment at times. My parents came up and visited as often as they could get away. She was the first grandbaby on my side of the family. Chris gave my dad a hard time about how often Dad had driven up to see him (3 times in 3 years) compared to how many times he had already been up to see Elizabeth (3 times in the first 3 months)! We spent quite a bit of time at "Uncle" Dan & "Aunt" Sheryl's (good friends of Christopher's parents, and the parents of Geary~the guy we built our house across the street from), and they became like grandparents to her. It was so nice to have them just a mile down the road. She absolutely loved them, and I will always cherish our time with them.

Of course, Elizabeth LOVED her daddy! (She still does, actually!) She was very happy & content with me, but she adored her daddy. She was like the baby girl mentioned in today's song. As soon as Chris got home from work, he was with her. She would be sitting in her little bouncy seat watching Peter Jennings on World News Tonight (she had a little crush), and only Daddy could take her eyes off of him! She would giggle so cute & give him kisses. She loved to sit on her daddy's shoulders, but for some reason she would bite his head when she was up there! It didn't hurt, though, because she didn't get her 1st tooth until she was 13 months old! He loved to snuggle with her on the couch. It was so sweet to see her asleep on his chest. Wow...I sorta miss those days!