Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What a Great Day!

5 years ago today,October 31, 2001, I went in for my annual exam...(I know, that's not usually a good start to a blog entry.) I told my Dr. that we might want run blood work, check my spleen, etc...to see if my mono (I have had the chronic kind since high school) was acting up. I was exhausted and not being able to get enough sleep, I felt weak, nauseated, etc...they ran blood work and my Dr. walked back in the room about 45 minutes later with a smile on her face and said..."You're pregnant." I was beside myself. I do not think I heard another word the rest of the appointment. I remember her figuring out our due date was July 4th. I drove over to Tony's work and shared the news with him...we were both so excited, so stunned, so thrilled. Payton was born July 15, 2002. The thrill of a lifetime!

Fast forward 2 years...October 31, 2003. I wake up nauseated and sick...I think I have a virus. But by lunch I am not sick anymore. Surely not...We have a 15 month old and have not even started talking about the possibility of another baby. Yet the Lord in His goodness, see's a need and meets it before we even know to ask. On a whim I take a pregnancy test and see the famous 2 pink lines immediately. Tony and I are excited, thrilled, and stunned. Our due date is July 15, 2004. Benjamin is born July 10th...the thrill of a lifetime!

These tigers bring unending joy to their family! Here are a few of their latest hits...

1. Payton has started wearing boxers...for whatever reason he thinks this is the coolest. He does not understand that boxers are considered underwear. Hence him walkingup to a group of ladies at church and saying with a huge smile, "I'm not wearing any underwear!"

2. Benjamin's new favorite phrase is , "Pease don't say dat." He uses it with different tones, inflections and dramatic flair.

Have the happiest of days!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Road Trip!

This weekend I had the thrill of driving to Austin to watch Nika receive her Texas Teacher of the Year award and give her acceptance speech. Such an absolute thrill to listen to her every word and then watch people swarm her after it was over...all wanting to tell her congrats and how her words had touched them...There is so much joy in watching the Lord lift people up!

I also realized there is no gift to me like time alone in the car. I was giddy to get up at 5 AM and hit the road. As I drove down 35 I had thoughts I have not had in years...Usually I am focused on the boys, on Tony, on any number of things but on Saturday I was able to take in the sunrise, take in how much I really enjoyed Starbucks, take in how much I really love my husband, our boys, my friends...I was able to to not just pray...but feel like I was in a conversation with the Lord...and something about that made me feel young again. I came home refreshed and in someways changed...New thoughts in my mind and a new song in my heart. I am starting this week more alive in my life than I have been in awhile! It feels great!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Randy is here!

Everyone was so glad to see Randy! So great to welcome this mighty man of God home to recharge and refresh so He can go back to Benin and finish strong! The whole family will return to America in May of '07! The Lord has been so good through the years...Many of you will be greeted in heaven by your Aja brothers and sisters...a precious group of people who have claimed Jesus as their Savior because Kelly and Randy (and many others) said yes when the The Lord called! (...and many of you said yes when He asked can you contribute to getting them there and praying for them.)

The boys were a lot more excited to be there than this picture reflects.Payton had just figured out that we were not in fact getting on an airplane and was terribly disappointed.

Randy walked through the doors and all of his nephews ran to greet him. They were so excited. I love it that Payton is literally on the toes of his boots. The boy knows how to throw himself into a hug! Such a great delight to watch my brother-in-law walk through the doors. We had a wonderful time with my sister and now we get to have a wonderful time with Randy! (they are having to alternate due to the fact that Lael's adoption is still not official...Lael still cannot leave the country...) Please continue to pray for my sister as she goes through the next few weeks alone with her 2 youngest kids...and if you should so desire to email her to encourage her- her address is:


Go ahead and share the details of your life...She has time to read it! :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Current events

1. Last weekend was ACU homecoming and my 10 year reunion. It was a wonderful time of being with old friends. As we sang the "Lord Bless you and Keep You" I was overwhelmed with emotion...the Lord has been so much more than gracious in the past 10 years. Ten years ago I would of never thought I would have the marriage I have, the children I have, the friends I have, the life I have...all due to His mercy and grace...I talk to so many college students who wonder if life can get any better than college...Last weekend I thought a lot about how much I loved my time at ACU, it was an incredible season- but I love the season I am in and have no reason to believe I won't love the next one even more! Even the difficulties we have faced have been faced holding His hand...He is an awesome God and I for one am so glad He does not allow ones life to peak at age 21- it keeps going up!

2. We have been around cousins more than ever lately and we have loved it. As a result Payton and Benjamin have started refering to their dad as Uncle Tony. The other day Payton told a man at Walmart, "Hey do you know my Uncle Tony? Well he's my dad." The man looked at me and made a strange face. We have since started telling Payton he must refer to his dad by his normal name, to which Payton responded, "OK, I will call him Babe."

3. I took a personality test yesterday....my most dominant trait...is that of an Introvert.

4. Benjamin is still a terrible eater as in he rarely eats...It is amazing to us that he continues to thrive. He is 33 lbs. , so he is bitesized compared to his brother who was 45 pounds at 2...but 33 lbs. is still amazing considering that today for lunch he ate a whole cashew.

5. 2 weeks ago Tony and I went for late night drive at the ranch to see if we could find the herd of wild hogs that have been tearing up some of the land. On the way back I got out to open the gate and told Tony to go ahead and pull through to the barn, I would just walk...the moon was out, the stars were beautiful and it is not a long walk at all. As I was walking I heard the familiar sound of a rattler...right between my feet. Every book tells you to stand still, a rattlesnake will not strike you if you are perfectly still. That sounds good in theory...I chose to jump and scream. Tony "took care of the snake" using a shovel. My adrenaline rush was over the top, Tony was cool as a cucumber...I married a brave man.

6. From birth I have always told Payton, "I love that body." or "I love that heart." Last night I used the I love that body phrase and he responded with, "I love your big, huge body too." Uhhh...thanks Pate.

7. Benjamin is not potty trained but he is grass trained. No problems pulling off his diaper and going to the bathroom in any patch of grass...he is however, terrified of white porcelein. We will continue to wear diapers; using the tiny medians of grass in Target's parking lot is completely unacceptable in our society.

8. Did I ever mention Nika won Teacher of the Year for the entire state of Texas? It has been the thrill of a lifetime to watch her be honored everywhere we go. We head to Austin next week to watch her give her acceptance speech.

9. I currently see my chiropractor 3 times a week...If I did all of the rehab he suggested it would be a full time job...in case he should ever stumble upon this blog...I do about half of it and I feel good about that.

10. The Lord is moving in exciting ways in alot of different places. We love hearing about them all. So amazing to me that He is so very intimate with millions, even billions. I used to feel envious when I would hear about Him doing great things in other peoples lives, in other peoples churches...Embaressing to admit- but I was selfish, jealous, and prideful with the Creator of the Universe...then He reminded me in countless ways that I am not here on this earth for me, but for Him...that His kingdom may advance and His glory may be shown. So- may it be shown through everyone, may His kingdom continue to advance in places I have never heard about, may millions be raised up that proclaim Who He is in the midst of this life. I have been humbled to realize that He is the only essential...not talent, not money, not earthly things...May He be lifted up, that the world might know the heighth and depth of His great love.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Gift

My sister leaves today to begin her journey back to Benin, West Africa. I knew this when I went to bed last night and I was aware of it all night long, even in the deepest of sleep. Everytime I rolled over I was aware of the lump in my throat.

Yesterday the boys and I were leaving the church building after our Bible study. Benjamin's teacher had given him a cup of animal crackers for the road so I was carrying him as he ate, all of our stuff, all the while thinking about the emotional day that lay ahead. Payton had run pretty far ahead of us to open the door. When we finally got to the door we walked outside...as we passed Payton he said, "Hey mom, something is wrong with Benj." Benjamin had put his head down on my shoulder so when I dropped my stuff to hold him out and look at him I realized his color was turning and he was not breathing. There are moments when the world stops. I quickly gave him the heimlech maneuver and thankfully it worked...He was back to himself almost immediately.

I have been overwhelmed with thankfulness for Payton, the kind of brother that he is, that he notices even now when something is not right with his brother. I think back to when I was pregnant with Benjamin and feeling anxious about having 2 babies...my mom said then, "You are giving Payton a gift that will outlive you." I knew she was right for I have seen that gift in my sister and brothers.

For the past 3 weeks I have had my sister close by. I have soaked up every moment of it. She came here with her schedule packed and I made sure I was beside her for most of it. Today she boards a plane to begin her journey back to Benin. We have been putting her and her family on planes for 8 years...each time we cry, pray, embrace and cry and pray some more. Tears are the overflow of hearts full of love for these people who I am so blessed to call family.

Tony and I pray nightly that the Lord would bond our boys together with unbreakable bonds and seal them together in Christ. There is great joy in finding your best friend. To find them early, living with you in your own home, is gift only our Father can give. May the Lord be praised for the life of my sister...It is a gift to be able to spend 3 weeks solid with a person and at the end wish you had had a bit longer.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I am a crummy blogger

I have been soaking up every moment with my sister...I have learned many things about her- one of which is - she is a much better blogger than I am. For the latest in pictures of our family- click on her blog. I will update on our family in words shortly.


Thanks to everyone who is still checking...which I think includes my mom, Rob, and Vicki...:)