Saturday, August 18, 2007

Back by popular demand

And when I say popular demand I mean it...I mean one person has asked me when I am going to start blogging again...(but it was an important person:))

1. I told Payton (expecting him to be beside himself) , "Hey Pate , I think tonight after we eat we are all going to the park..." He smiled and said, "just us?" Me with my huge smile and knodding rapidly head (expecting him to want to run and jump in my arms) His response, "hmmm...would you mind if I called some of my friends..." Wasn't this supposed to start closer to jr. high?

2. The other night I was in Tony and I's closet and Benjamin walked in and said, "Hey mom- get out of dad's stuff..."

3. The other day we had some friends over, when we were getting in the car Payton said, "Mom would you turn on my favorite cd please?" Sure...He then said, "I am sure my friends would really enjoy listening to me sing along..." He then proceeded to hit every high note while his friends looked on in utter amazement...I was laughing so hard...on the inside.
4. We have been having a hard time getting Benjamin to go to in a really hard time (a couple hours of hard time)...the other night as we contemplated what to do, Payton walked in and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it is to sleep when your mind is full and your stomach is empty?" We later figured out this was a line from Charlettes Web...And we also explained to Payton that Benjamin is 3, eats meals and is not under a great deal of stress.

5. Payton has loved meeting one of his best friends new little brother Owen... The other day he walked in and said, I know how to spell Owen..." I said ok...He said proudly, "O-N" He is still not understanding why they felt the need to spell that differently.

6.Benjamin has been talking a lot about monsters...(Ok maybe he does have some stress)...the other day he was walking around the house playing while saying, "God did not create monsters, I am ok...God did not create monsters, I am ok..." I love it when I get a window to his mind through his self talk...

7. Last weekend we took our dog Maggie to the ranch (2 hours a way) Maggie got sick at her a loud disgusting way (repeatedly)...while in the back of the was the worst smell and sound effects in many different ways...the boys were strapped in the back seat 6 inches a way from her.It was terrible ( 2 hours worth of terrible)...these days everytime Maggie moves Payton and Benjamin flinch and make these comments, "not today Maggie..." "this would not be in your best interest Maggie" "You best watch your self Maggie"

8. The other day I heard Payton talking to someone in the restroom...I peeked in to see him standing on the stool looking at himself in the mirror, these were his exact words, "Tonight Tori beat you in a race, that's ok, she is 8. Yesterday you won tag...everyone was smaller than you. You are fast and getting faster, everyones says so. Don't worry about Tori."
9. Today Benjamin asked if he could pray the middle of the prayer he said, "oh Lord, help me stop whining..." It brought a smile to everyones face, along with a glimmer of hope that the Lord will answer his prayer.

10. Benjamin' s potty training is once again going great...we have figured out that the promise of a m and m was huge... we also told Payton that he would also receive a m and m if he was encouraging to Benj in this process...Patyton is very creative in his praise..."Oh Benjamin, no one has ever used the potty like that before." "Benjamin you are amazing." "Benjamin. Oh my word, you have talent." ---That last one is my favorite...Needless to say they bring smiles to everyone when we are using the restroom in public places.

11. Lately the boys are crazy over baseball. They want to play all of the time....They are having so much fun playing catch in the house at nights...for awhile Tony was also letting them bat...All good things must come to an end when a family picture is broken :). Here are the latest pictures...

Pate catches a fly ball.

Payton throws them out at home...

Impressive catch!

Benj makes the play in the outfield.

Everyone was laying on the floor after the game...this was too cute to pass up!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Getting back in the game...

1. My dad returned home from Sudan yesterday...thank you so much for all of your prayers...They have great stories of doors opening and doors closing. Most of all they have stories of people receiving help, receiving care, receiving prayer... Today he and my mom celebrate their 38th anniversary. We love them so much and celebrate daily the joy of their continues to bless their children and grand-children. ( I love Andy in the background of this picture trying to make Benj laugh.)

2. People continue to ask what it is like to have my sister and her family home. It is all kinds of wonderful. Last weekend I was able to pick up my nephew Jonathan and take him to a birthday party, it was such a great feeling to be able to do that. I love talking to Kelly and knowing we are not going to get cut off. My sister left for Benin before I had even met Tony. So much has changed since we last lived our lives in the same area...So many great times ahead...I am loving every minute of it! She can leave a comment to say how she is too. (just a little test to see if the Vaughns are still reading.)

3. I mentioned in a previous post that Benjamin talks himself to sleep. Payton goes to sleep immediately...sometimes Benjamin needs to feel like someone is listening even if they are sound asleep...he just needs to know someone is there. In other words sometime we look in Payton's bed and see this. Oh how we love these boys.

4. I talked to Benjamin the other day about how now that he is three we should start working on not sucking his thumb, He looked back at me and said with the sweetest grin, "I gonna suck my thumb till I an old man." OK...I will save that argument for another day.

5. Payton has moved up to 200 piece puzzles...He loves them...If I ever mention someone is coming over he runs to complete 3 or 4 of them so "they will have something to look at when they come in." I love it...It gives him something to do for about 5 minutes.:)

6. Parenting is the most wonderful, yet exhausting thing Tony and I have ever been apart of. We have never wanted anything like we want to have kids that grow to reflect the Lord and His heart for His people. (even as I type that I realize that sometimes it feels like we would do good to just keep them from screaming and falling prostrate in public places.)Some days (most days) I wonder what we are doing...and I recognize on a deeper level my absolute desperation for the Lord. May His grace continue to abound. Today I called my mom and said, "thanks again for raising us...and I am sorry" (and proceeded to list of many times I know I made their job more difficult.) Yep, it was that kind of day.

7.We eat at the Cracker Barrel every week...Sometimes we take pictures...We are nerds...Nerds that love hot biscuits.

8. A couple of weeks ago my sister and I got to spend sometime with our cousin Julie and her husband Steve. It is a great gift to be related to J and S an even greater gift to know their hearts for each other and the Lord. We love you guys so much. (just a little test to see if Julie is still reading.:)) Plus I had to show a picture of Julie (who is beautiful and by the way does not age) and of Kelly (who looks so beautiful in this picture) and of me (because what is that lump on my head?)
9. My two tigers...

10. I am speaking next month on the need for transparency in the Body of Christ. I was deeply convicted last year when 2 friends had their marriages fall apart and did not feel like they could tell anyone before it was too late (one has reconciled the other has not)...One said, "It just felt like everyone else's life was so perfect, we did not want people to know we were struggling." In the same week another friend confessed some issues she had been struggling with for years...and had not talked about...She too said, "it felt like no one else wanted to hear my problems." Over and over again in the same week I was faced with different people, different problems, same issue.... they did not feel like church was a place they could share their "not perfectness".
The Lord brought a deep conviction to my heart of wanting this to be different...and it has not left...but I have to confess my conviction these days looks more like a wrestling match as I have realized the difference begins with me being different. I am struggling at the core of me with the nakedness of vulnerability. I am steeped in sin. There is a deep ache in me that I try to fill with a multitude of things besides the Lord. I want to crawl in a hole. I want to put on a great act...and be good at pretending. Its easier (thats a lie) It feels better (another lie) People like me better (another lie) The fact is the human race started hiding from God and others in the Garden of Eden and many have not stopped. I don't have an answer to this. Jesus did at the cross. I am wrestling with it daily...wanting it to take root, while at the same time wanting to wallow deep in complacency. Like I said, its a wrestling match.