Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Payton is a risk calculator. When he was younger Tony and I used to wonder if he would work for State Farm. He calculates statistics quickly in his head. He will explain in detail what the odds are of something going right or wrong, of being caught in a hurricane or tornado, and due to statistics/studying he was the one who,when sweet baby Shelby was sleeping soundly on her stomach, would roll her to her back, walk out of her room and say, "Back to sleep... there's a reason its a national campaign."
Benjamin on the other hand loves risk. He loves to live life on edge. He at one point brought the Forest Park train to a stop when he decided to jump off and see if he could live. He did, his mother however nearly did not. Because of Benjamin we have said, "Please don't climb on top of the house." "Don't let people launch you off the see-saw like that again" Over Christmas break, Tony, my mom and I spent about 2 hours one day pulling cactus quills out of his body. The boy knows how to add excitement to any event.
Because of these differences we ask The Lord to bond these brothers hearts, to allow them to see how badly they need each other. They can certainly argue. They are both fiercely competitive which means when they are not on the same team, things get dicey. We have taught and retaught that regardless of sports..."you're both Team Brooks, you're on the same team and realizing that is more important than winning". Every once in awhile it actually seems like they might be listening.
Benjamin's second grade class has studied the Alamo this year at school. The other day at breakfast Benjamin said,"I keep thinking that if I had been at the Alamo maybe we might of won." Payton immediately said, "Benjamin, when there are 1000s of men advancing against you and 150 of your friends, I sincerely hope if you're given the chance you will leave." Benjamin, while chewing his bacon like a cigar said, "but what if I think I can help win?" Payton said, "there are 1000s of them, and 150 of you, I'm begging you, LEAVE." Benjamin then said with even greater conviction, "I'm staying." Payton looked at me, sighed then looked at his brother and said "Great, then we are both dead. You're my brother. I will stay and fight with you. We will die together."
Today as they argued in the backyard over whether or not Benjamin could score a goal when he had called time and was acting like he was tying his shoe, I comforted myself with the thought, if the line in the sand were drawn, my boys would both be on the same side. It was enough to make me smile and yell, "Boys, Remember the Alamo!"
Posted by Brooks Inc. at 8:44 PM
Friday, September 28, 2012
There's more...but I'm out of time. I hope I do a better job of documenting our lives. I want to always remember in the midst of the craziness how much laughter there was...and is. I am forever thankful to the Lord for this life I lead.
Posted by Brooks Inc. at 4:07 PM
Friday, February 11, 2011
1. Our Payton called Tony and I into the bathroom the other day to ask us to look around and see if there was anything dangerous that caught our eye. We both shrugged and told him no. He then looked at us and said, "You see that reaction right there is what has me worried. Have either of you ever read the back of the toothpaste?" We both shook our heads no. He picked it up and said, "It says clearly to not leave unattended with children 6 years and younger. I happen to know that you guys unattend Eden quite often. How am I supposed to concentrate at school when this kind of poison is just sitting on the bathroom counter?" I told Tony the other day I can never let Payton catch on to the fact that he is way more detail oriented than I am...too late. I also must add we do not "Unattend Eden" with the toothpaste.
2. Our Benjamin brings home a folder every day that reports on his school life. We all love marveling over his work and on occasion there is a short note from the teacher detailing something we need to work with Benjamin on...One day it said, "Please remind Benjamin to treat others the way he wants to be treated." I sat down to remind him of this rule that we have worked on since birth and he looked at me with the most precious smile, sparkling blues eyes and said, "You know I do not mind being treated a little ugly every once in awhile."
3. Our Eden is growing so fast. I love it that she is so conversational. I no longer wonder what she is thinking...she is a steady stream of conversation from the time she gets up until she goes to bed. I love her spunk. I love that she still wants to be held. I love it that sometimes she asks for me to pick her up and she will lean in and whisper in my ear, "Does anyone want Sonic hap her (Happy hour)?" This girl has my heart wrapped up.
4. We have been having some attitude issues with Payton. The deep sighs, rolling of eyes, groaning when we ask him to do something attitude issues. He has been stripped of every privilege he has. The other day Payton and I went on a date "to talk." We got our Starbucks sat down and I asked him to tell me what was going on. He told me he was not sure if I wanted to know. I told him I did. He said, "The truth is I am frustrated at you. Every time I am in a deep sleep you wake me up. Every time I am having fun outside, you call me in. When I am enjoying the wii you tell me I have played enough. When I am watching my show you tell me when my time is up.When I want a sweet snack you say, "You've already had one." When I want to go outside you remind me to do my homework. Mom as much as I love you, you are what keeps my life from being perfect...." His list was actually even longer than this, these are some of the highlights. I had to smile at his ability to articulate his thoughts. I love every insight that he gives me into his heart even when it is shocking. He's a mom away from the perfect life. Lord, have mercy.We ended up having a great talk about discipline and why his dad and I parent the way we do. We left having a better understanding of each other and the Lord. I love Payton with my whole heart.
5. We loved every minute of our winter snow and ice break. However if I had a dollar for every time I said, "Let's stop before someone gets hurt." Tony could quit his job. If I had a dollar for every time someone actually listened and stopped before someone got hurt...I would have the same empty wallet I have now.
6. I love the boys deep conversations. The other day I was called in to discuss if there was any sin so huge Jesus would not ask you to forgive. The boys were making a case for the fact that getting kicked in the private parts should qualify. I told them Jesus gives us the ability to forgive anything...They were not sure. They said this is something that when they get to heaven they want to discuss with the Lord Himself. Here's hoping they never make it to the front of the line with that one.
7. Benjamin got in the car one day after school and told me he had to sign the book and therefore did not receive a "Smiley". I of course asked why, he responded with this gem, "Turns out you should not make inappropriate noises when people bend over." Benjamin is surrounded by phenomenal male role models...who still have one foot in Jr. high.
8. I adore having a little girl. The other day Eden and I were walking to the car and she turned around smoothed her skirt and said, "Mom, we look great. Let's go." So fun to have her at my side.
9. The other day as we were driving down the road Benjamin sighed deeply as we drove by McDonald's and said, "I know it just kills you to hear this, but there is nothing I love more than imitation chicken. I love artificial flavoring. It's delicious."
WARNING...its about to get long and serious here...
10. It is very easy to sit down and type out fun stories I want to remember about my kids. They bring Tony and I such laughter and purpose. We remain convinced, that outside of Christ and each other, these three kids are the best thing that ever happened to us. But I cannot end this blog without stating the obvious. Parenting is difficult. I have never in my life had a job I wanted to do so right, that sometimes I feel I am doing so wrong. Wanting to do the right thing for our children even when sometimes the right thing is the hard thing...or when we're not even sure the hard thing is the right thing we're doing, but we press on trusting The One who gave us these treasures is in fact leading us. I have to trust that there is something greater taking place than what I am seeing... I read this the other day in Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas...
"God creates each child, and he has such deep, passionate love for every boy and girl that he never misses a single event in their life: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brother of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40) Understanding God's joy in his own creation is one of the more profound spiritual experiences we will ever know.
Mothers and fathers, when you give your tiny infant a bath, you are washing God's baby. Pause a moment in your busy day and look up to heaven. When you minister to that youngster, can you imagine God smiling down at you? When you fix that hungry six-year old a pbj, you are feeding one of God's children. Listen carefully- you may hear God laughing in pleasure. When you hug an adolescent whom others have teased mercilessly at school, you are comforting God's teenager. Are those God's tears dampening your shoulder?
In the process of caring and loving, you bring God great pleasure. At that very moment you become His provision, His comfort, His passion. Learn to swim in that joy, and you will never look at parenting the same way again."
Slowly, but surely Tony and I are learning to swim.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Posted by Brooks Inc. at 10:33 AM
Friday, August 27, 2010
The day before our whole family had gone up to the school, walked around the school (the outside), and had our family prayer time over the school year, teachers, friends, all the things the year would hold. Listening to the boys hearts in prayers is always a gift. Their prayers so simple and yet profound. Eden walked around in circles with her hands raised talking in a language only the Lord could understand. She brought quite a bit of laughter and distraction to our time but we loved it...because we entered the school year as a family united before the Lord.
Later that night, our ever observant Payton said, "Mom I could tell you were about to cry during your prayer. Are you going to cry on the first day of school? That might make me sad." I told Payton that I would try not to cry and then thought better and told him I wanted to tell him about a secret code the Lord and I speak that he should know about....I let him know that a lot of times tears come from hearts that are breaking but there are days as well, that tears come from hearts that are overflowing. A long time ago I realized that my tears spoke to the Lord in a way my mouth could not.
We talked about how sweet his 8 years of life had been. How precious each moment was to me. We relived favorite parts of our summer, moments that made us laugh, made us frustrated, and moments where we were so hot we thought we might explode. Each a precious memory I cherish in my heart. I then told him, Payton, the Lord knows how thankful I am for each one of those moments...but my tears are telling Him again. So each time you see one fall, I don't want you to be sad. I want you to know mom is thinking about time I had with you and I am thanking the Lord that He gave you to me. So this tear, it's saying, "thank you Lord for this precious boy." and this one is me saying, "I am so glad he is mine." and this one is me saying, "I could not be more proud." and this one is, "if we both live to be 200 I will never have enough time with him." He was nodding the entire time taking in every word. (love that boy). Then I said, "the Lord hears every thankful tear as a praise but if you would like I could always just walk into your classroom, raise my hands and yell "Hallelujah! Payton Brooks is mine! He is my son and I am so thankful." Maybe that would help me not cry...He smiled, said "thanks for telling me about you and God's code...you just go ahead and cry all you want. I like your silent thank yous."
My brother and I were remembering the other day all the times in our lives that our parents said, "Your life has gone so fast." with tears running down their face. We always looked at them like they were crazy. I understand now. They were speaking in code to the Lord. I speak it now as well. My heart is so thankful to the giver of these three precious gifts of Payton, Benjamin and Eden. My heart and my eyes overflow with gratitude.
Posted by Brooks Inc. at 9:45 AM
Friday, July 02, 2010
Next week we enter the Brooks season of birthdays: Benjamin turns 6, Payton turns 8 and Eden turns 2. In our family this is cause for great celebration...because of their birthdays of course, but the boys will tell you even more so, it is the week of sugar cereal. As many of you know Tony (who abstains from almost every food that brings pure joy:)), believes you start your day with protein. So we do, nearly 365....There are certain sugar landmarks in our year. The one day our family gets donuts is the last official day of school. The boys count it down every year. And many moons ago we decided that on the Sunday of their birthday week they get to go and pick out the biggest box of their favorite sugar cereal and eat it every morning for breakfast until their box runs out. (One of our friends told us recently, when everyone elses kids go off to college and go wild...ours will too, just on the sugar cereal aisle.) They talk about their box of sugar cereal for months...and every time we walk down the aisle they have the most animated conversations about what a dream their birthday week will be. Benjamin has already decided that this Sunday we will go pick up his box of Lucky Charms. Payton has asked for a private viewing of the cereal aisle...his selection is something he takes serious. Payton makes our hearts feel like they are going to burst we love him and his mind so much.
So about that catching up, here's the Brooks top ten for May and June...
1. The other night at dinner the boys were talking marriage. No idea what brought this up, Tony, Eden and I were bystanders in this conversation. Benjamin is currently of the opinion that he never wants to marry anyone. Payton says he definitely will. Benjamin wanted to know why. Payton's classic response was, "Benjamin the facts are, every man needs someone to love on."
2. Our boys are big baseball dreamers. The other night Benjamin was telling me that someday he is going to play for the Rangers and before we drive home after the games (he is, I think, assuming I will still be there helping him get buckled, which I am totally OK with :)) we will stop at Applebees where they have half price appetizers after ten. He told me we can get as many as I want and he will pay. Here's hoping all his dreams come true.
3. Eden is growing into the sweetest, toughest little cookie. We are crazy over her. She is a tiger in a dress. Her favorite things to say right now is "sorry" and "stop it". She will also throw in a "God bless me" every once in awhile in a way that sounds alot like she is ordering the Lord around. Her favorite movie is "Meow and Jerry" (Tom and Jerry) She loves to play hide and seek with her brothers. She blows kisses to Tony as he drives away. We could eat her up.
4. Tattling has reached a fever pitch over at the Brooks house...But the other day I came up with a solution that has brought it to a screeching halt. I told the boys that from now on I wanted them to make sure that when they tattle they really feel like their brother should get a spanking, because when they tattle they will both 100% for sure receive one. Payton immediately began to cry and asked me "So you really want to live in a world where Benjamin gets away with everything?" Because he knows for a fact he cannot. I explained that Tony and I do a decent job of keeping up with both of them on our own. He still remains unsure.
And just for the record, Tony and I both agree a world where Benjamin gets away with everything is not a world we want to live in either. :) The boy is a complete delight with a bit of a wild streak.
5. Benjamin has the sweetest heart. Even on the days he does not want to obey he will still be the one at the end of the day to say, "mom, I love you even more than you love me." His bright blue eyes dance 24 hours a day with mischief but he has his entire family in his corner. We love him so.
6. On the way to Benjamin's baseball game the other night Benjamin asked where his lucky arm band was. Payton responded, "Benjamin, there is no such thing as luck. There is talent and the power of God at work in you. It appears you have both, you don't need an armband." Benjamin hasn't worn it since.
7. The other day Eden was banging her sippy cup on the table and juice was going everywhere. I reached over, took her cup and explained to her why she could not do that. Payton was sitting there eating breakfast and said, "It's like she has no concept that orange juice costs money and that is wasteful." Sometimes Payton forgets Eden is 1.
8. Payton and Benjamin talk alot about baseball. Somehow they have come up with the idea that Payton is Benjamin's manager. Baseball is the one area where Benjamin will allow Payton to correct him, tell him ways he could be better, etc...It is hilarious to watch. The other day Tony was talking to Benjamin about something with his swing...Payton interrupted and told Tony he needed to talk to him privately...Tony said "I don't think so." Payton stepped between Tony and Benjamin and said, "Dad, we appreciate you but you could be impacting Benjamin's mental toughness and we are in the middle of the season, now is not a good time." What in the world does the future hold for this kid?
9. The other day I walked in on one of the boys sitting on the toilet eating a bag of chips. In shock I said, "you are filthy." To which said boy replied, "what? I washed my hands." FYI- let it be known said boy was not Tony.
10. We had the best Father's day. Among other things we gave Tony; I took 10 of the VHS tapes Tony's dad had recorded of our family and had them put on dvd. We sat and watched those videos for hours the other day. We laughed at how many times we asked Tony's dad to "please turn off that camera." We are so glad he did not listen to us. Hearing him enjoy our kids, listening to his commentary on our life, hearing him laugh is a treasure we can't begin to describe with words. We miss him so. We were both challenged with the reminder that life is too short and that even when you are loving with your whole heart, when its over it does not seem like it was long or that you loved enough. Oh, our hearts long for more than this world has to offer. We are so thankful for the promise that we will be with PawPaw again...and in the meantime we soak up this life the Lord has given to us...and we are deeply thankful to Him for each new day. He has been so good to us.
Posted by Brooks Inc. at 4:04 PM
Monday, April 12, 2010
2. Today I explained to Payton about a date on the calendar when Tony and I will be leaving for the weekend...He said, "Wow, it must feel awesome to be a parent, weekend trips, Starbucks whenever you want, heated seats while your kids sit in the back freezing cold, TV whenever you want, no bedtime, no school. You and dad are really living it up."
3. Payton's school has a fundraiser every once in awhile at Panda Express. The other day when we were driving by he said, "alot of my friends go to those fundraisers there, but every time they start to pass those papers out I tell them I don't need one, that place really tears my dad up inside."
4. We have been working on the concept of money around here. Hoping that by instilling values at this age they can avoid some pitfalls of life...Give, Save, Live....The other day Benjamin said, "It is not fair that I have money named after me and Payton has nothing named after him. (His dad had explained that some people call 100$ bills Benjamins.) From now on, I will call 1 Dollar bills Paytons." To date Benjamin has saved 18 Paytons. :)
5. For as long as I can remember the boys have been united in the idea that if anyone gets reprimanded before bedtime when you go in to pray with them they both have their blankets pulled over their heads. It is annoying, sometimes I make them stop, other times out of exhaustion we pray, kiss their blanket covered heads and leave. Last night they had their heads covered (attitude problems related to not being able to watch the Rangers) I prayed for them, kissed them and was walking out when from under the blanket one yelled, "PS Lord, help my mom, she obviously does not love the Rangers." Quickly followed by the other blanketed head yelling, "PS Lord, tell her to quit telling us no."
6. Next year Benjamin will start Kindergarten. I will cry...a lot. Someone told me after you send your first one to school it gets a lot easier. I am not believing it. Everyday Benjamin, Eden and I load up in the car for our day. Every day Benjamin gets buckled and asks if I will turn on a movie. Every day I say, "no." Benj asks, Why? And I say "because we are best friends and best friends talk." He groans, says, "you are not my best friend..."then smiles and then we talk...it has been our routine for the 2 years since Payton went to school. Oh how I will miss that boy!
7. Because he is starting to school I am starting to realize all the words he mispronounces that I have never corrected because I thought they were cute...I have started correcting but here are a few of my favorites... "Someday I will go Spongee jumping, I can't wait"
"Can you give me some soap, I forgot to wash my underarmors." Meaning underarms
My all time favorite that I will miss so much (and might I add the people at Chick-fil-a will miss it as well.) When ever Benjamin orders his red Hi-C at chick-fil-a he always steps up and confidently orders a small red hi heel.
8. After church the other day we were all talking about what we had learned. Payton said, " I learned about a guy from Mexico who heals people, he was my teachers best friend or something.." Tony and I both thought that odd, so we pressed him abit.
T- "You sure he was from Mexico Payton?"
P- " No, I just thought his name sounded Spanish..."
B- "Do you remember his name?"
P "Yeah, something like Jehovah Rapha."
9. Payton has memorized Psalm 141:3, "Take control of what I say O Lord, and guard my lips." We are constantly working on this these days...While he is the model student at school, he seems to take off his filter at home (Tony and I relate and we are working on it ourselves, as well). The other day we were talking about this and he said, "I guess I have a hard time understanding. We pray every morning that I would know right from wrong...I see you doing wrong, I correct you, I get in trouble. It feels like it doesn't add up." We are having a lot of talks these days where the end result is us putting our three children to bed and falling to our knees. We need the Lord's wisdom, we need His mercy, we are desperate for His help. It is a hard thing to realize something that you want to be good at, does not feel like it comes natural. We are clueless, but trying to tap into a deeper source than ourselves, thus far He has brought us...I remind myself of the words to the Christmas song very often, "Over the horizon, surely you and I will find...Emmanuel, God with us." We are praying earnestly our kids find Him too.
10. We love to ask and answer Bible questions around here. The other day the boys provided the ultimate stumper when they asked if satan has nuts....Ummm...ask your father.
Posted by Brooks Inc. at 9:09 PM