Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Animal adventures...

There are some days I wonder if I am good wife...Yesterday as I was driving around Southlake, looking for the taxidermist, with a large, reeking, dead elk head in the back of the car was not one of them. As I dry heaved I thought to myself...There are some wives who would of said no to this...and as of yesterday I will now join that group of wives.

Tony (who is always very appreciative and more than makes up for days like this) later realized Maggie (our dog) was scratching her ears a lot...She needed to go to the Dr. I got my full cardio workout yesterday when I took our 65 pound dog, our 55 pound son and our 46 pound other son to the vet. Where for some reason they put us in what felt like a small closet to wait for the vet for over an hour. The nurse was kind enough to give the boys both huge blow pops...Which meant their faces and hands were coated in stickiness and dog hair. Between my claustrophobia and my kid's faces coated in dog fur I felt a bit nauseated. I think there have been very few times in Tony's and I's marriage where I have called him and said "never again"...Yesterday it happened twice. We laughed a lot about it last night.

To answer the questions of whether or not that elk will hang in our home...Nope. He is getting a European mount and I think I have thought of a great place for it...stay tuned for whether T agrees or not.

***My mom returns tomorrow after 5 1/2 weeks of working in Russia encouraging and teaching many about the Lord. We have missed her so much.

***Our churches annual hot dog banquet was this past Sunday night. This is a missions dinner put on by the kids where the kids lead prayers over our missionairies, interview them, etc...It is a great experience. Both our boys carried flags in the parade of nations and then sang in the hot dog choir...They did great. Benjamin, who was in the front row, hopped down off the stage during the middle of the song to bring me something he had just pulled out of his nose. He then went right back, climbed up on the stage and rejoined the song. It was certainly a moment to remember. Here are some pictures.

BOTH BOYS WITH THEIR HANDS BEHIND THEIR BACKS? THIS NEVER HAPPENS! I tried to remind them that they knew how to do this yesterday at the vet...they both looked at me like they had no idea what I was talking about...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cue the music for the Hallelujah Chorus!

Tony got his elk...and I am told by those who know, that its a nice one (five by five...if that means something to you:)). We have missed him so much! We are beside ourselves to welcome him home.

Payton has a few jigsaw puzzles that we have lost a piece to...we rarely work them anymore because as Payton says, "Its no fun to get to the end and see it can't be complete." That pretty much sums up our last week. We do good during the day and then the sun goes down and we all 3 realize its no fun to get to the end and realize it can't be complete.

We love this man...we are so thankful he is the leader of our family, the highlight of our day, and the piece that completes our puzzle. I am a better mom when he is here...a better person when I know he is 10 minutes away (at work)...so thankful he is mine(and the boys.)I am even more thankful that these are words I can share face to face with him tonight.

***I realize that so many of my friends have husbands who travel all the time...I have even more respect and appreciation for them now. For those whose whose husbands serve overseas... My thoughts and prayers have turned to you often in the past week. I realize a week without my husband is miniscule in comparison.

****Many of you have told me that you have been keeping up with all things Amy Grant over at my sisters blog this week. I think Kelly's post for today is the best one yet. I stayed up and read Amy Grant's entire book last night. It was wonderful. Her thoughts on children, love, depression, the pain of divorce, loss and life gave me a lot to think about. I cried quite a bit reading it...Her honesty and ability to be vulnerable in places of her life that were hard blessed me. I read my sisters latest post and cried again...I remember the pain of watching their team unravel...and wondering what the Lord was doing. As Only He can do...He brought beauty from those ashes...

Monday, October 15, 2007


My sister is Amy Grant's biggest fan...She has not actually been given a plaque or anything ...but I beleive in a head to head contest with any fan in the world...she would win hands down.

This week she is reviewing Amy Grant's new book. (Amy Grant's publisher sent them to her...which might in someways confirm to the world that she really is the #1 fan.) She is asking people to share their favorite AG memory or song for a chance to win 3 other copies of the books she was given...Get over there and share your story!
click on The Vaughns blog in the link section...

And in other sibling news...just got this pic from Colorado...

Sure love that guy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


1. My mom is in Russia right now...She has been there 3 weeks, she will be home in another 2. We are missing her so much. The boys are talking about her all the time these days. These trips always increase our appreciation for her and all she does. We are so thankful she is ours.

2. The other night Benjamin could not stop coughing, I gave him a breathing treatment and he was still coughing (he does this instead of wheezing). I started to panic (a combination of sleep deprivation and great concern) and I guess I started to pray...because all of the sudden Benjamin sat up and said, "can you talk to God quieter please...I am really tired."

3. Because I was concerned I just sat by the wall by his bed and watched him sleep. I thought he was sound asleep when he opened his eyes and said, "Is it going to bother you if I suck my thumb?"

4. My boys are both very detail oriented (just like their dad, nothing like their mom) they can always tell me where my keys are, where my brown shoes are, while I am scrambling they walk right to where something is and get it for me. I love this. I love it that Payton asks daily, "Mom are you sure you have your wallet?" I guess we have gone to walmart one too many times and then returned home for my wallet for his liking. I am used to their checklists for me and even appreciate them...I did laugh out loud on Friday when we were piling out of the car at the Dr.s office and Benjamin said, "Mom, did you remember your skirt?" the scary thing is I actually looked down to make sure...I want to assure everyone that though I have left my wallet many places along with numerous other things...I have never gone anywhere without my skirt (or pants)on.

5.The other day as we were walking into the gym Payton was dragging behind. I turned around and said, "Please hurry." He looked at me and said, "you have no idea how good it would feel for me to just lay on the couch with my eyes closed...20 minutes thats all I ask."

6. The other day we stopped for donuts and while we were there Benjamin started to throw a fit. I picked him up to say something when Payton said, "Benjamin, do you have any idea how disappointing it is when I try to do something special for you and you act like this...it makes me so sad." It is has become obvious to me that Payton is direct quoter.

7. Our boys favorite new show is America's Funniest Home Videos...I have discovered (the hard way) that both boys must empty their bladders before they watch this show...because a person falling out of a tree really is THAT funny.

8. Today I was explaining a situation to Payton that I was hoping, in the future, he could handle differently than he had in the past. He was listening so well and saying yes maam at the appropriate times so I thought we were tracking together...until the end when I stopped and he said, "mom, I am five years old, I know my primary colors, everything you just said I already know." Needless to say, at that point, we took a new turn with a different type of discipline....even though I was impressed he knew his primary colors...I chose to acknowledge that at a later point.

9. The boys and I have been talking a lot about how everything was created to reflect God's glory...This has lead to some great conversations and lots of laughter for all of us...As we discuss: Can a rock praise God? Can babies praise God? Can trees praise God? All of these they used to answer no to. Now we talk about how God's Word actually tells us that they can. That everything He created shouts praise to Him. That even when we sit still and quiet we declare His glory.We have had fun talking about these things as they say, "Look at that Taco Bueno just sitting there declaring God's glory." Obviously its a thought process we are working on, but as I hear myself talking about it with them I find myself thinking a lot about how thankful I am for the Lord...and for His creation that shouts...We have been praying as a family that those who don't know Him and those who do would hear those cries of glory...of the leaves changing, of the breeze blowing, of the sun shining...Its made a difference lately the in the way I look at things.

10. A while back my brother and I were driving around on the ranch when He pointed to a speck across the canyon and said, "See that group of deer running?" I did not until I looked through binoculars. I was impressed and asked how he can spot things like that. He explained how he has trained his eye to look for movement against a still landscape so that now from a great distance he can see an animal breathing, the flick of an ear, the turn of a head. It's a talent he has because he spent years training his eyes.

I have thought about this a lot in the spiritual sense...about how I have to train my eyes to look for the movement of God. Its a discipline I am trying to practice. We have several prayers that we are praying daily these days that require this discipline. We are not seeing any movement. Some of these prayers would require a miracle, others seem like they should be so easy for the Lord. (I recognize they are all easy for the Lord.)I feel like my eyes are in an actual squint as I trace the horizon of my life and the lives of others I am praying for, begging the Lord for a flicker of movement...and so we wait and know He hears...and that He is moving even if its invisible to my eyes. We wait in hope.

11. Here are the latest in the boys indoor baseball playing. Tony, undaunted by broken picture frames, has resumed their indoor batting practice. The other night as we watched the Yankee/Indian game while on commercial break from the Cowboys...Benjamin said "I can bat like those guys...everyone of them looks at the picture (how he says pitcher) and make this face....
href="">Payton prefers the happier look of baseball.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Vacation to Remember...

Its always hard to tell a story when people are anticipating it...I always have the distinct feeling I might let someone down and I don't do well with that...However, let down or not, I said I would tell the story (and I do want to preserve at least some of the details for our family record.) I will not be telling the location of where we went...on the off chance that someone googles it and my blog comes up. We have no ill will towards this place on the coast...you just won't find us entering the city limits again in this lifetime...

I must preface this by saying...when we started planning this vacation, we planned on going to Gulf Shores...Then we started thinking about the drive, the fact that BJ still has a nursing baby, and BJ had heard this place was great from one of her friends...who she no longer speaks too.:)

We started off our week staying at Moody Gardens...we loved it, loved schlitterbahn, loved the pool, etc...We had a great stay. Then on Monday we got a late checkout and headed out to our beach house...we were so excited. I must say I got the first sinking feeling when the lady we were renting from called on my cell and said, "Did I mention you needed to bring bottled water...our water is drinkable, but I don't think you would want to..." I hung up and told Tony who laughed and said, "We aren't leaving the country are we?"

When we got to the house...I could tell driving up it looked a bit rougher than what I had anticipated. Too bad my fears were immediately confirmed when I opened the door to get out of our car and was punched in the face with a smell that made me look around to see if perhaps our home was next to a dairy farm.

The house was on stilts, you parked your car underneath it...as we walked up the stairs, Tony said, "if this thing collapses its going to total our car." I did not acknowledge him because I was already doing my best Pollyanna impersonation trying to point out the positves... Like, look at all these windows...and look at this TV...its so cute and tiny, kind of like a postage stamp.

From there...it got funny...
* While I was at Walmart blowing our entire vacation budget on Febreeze candles Tony called and said, "there's a 4-runner doing 90 down the beach...and it keeps stopping to do donuts in front of our house...I think I will wait until you get back to take the boys down to the beach...so one of us can be watching for cars."

* Every other house had a boardwalk leading down from their house to the beach...ours had no boardwalk, instead it had a grass path where the grass was up to our waist that we had to walk through...not necessarily a big deal, except that it was infested with mosquitoes...Benjamin had 22 on his back the first night and he had been sprayed. I called the landlady and she said I will have someone out to cut it down in the morning...A guy showed up and did not appear to be doing much except revving his weed eater continuously in the same place...I thought I would go out and show him where we would like the grass to be cut...I walked out said "good morning" saw his large tattoo (across his neck) that said "Kill them" and said "Thanks for all you are doing " and went back inside.

* The beach was a little rough, what with the speeding cars, dead fish, rusty nails and all, but we did love playing in the waves. One evening the guys were a ways out with the kids laughing and having a blast and BJ and I were sitting there talking about this part being so great...when one of the locals walked by and said you better tell those guys out there to be careful, they have those kids awful close to where all the jelly fish are...

* Our house rocked back and forth every time someone walked down the hall...literally...lean...whump to one side...lean ...whump to the other side.

* The first day I was totally sicked out that no one was flushing the toilet...seriously...that kind of stuff grosses me out. I must of flushed it 15 times the first day we were there...until I stayed in there one time and watched it fill up...with dark yellow water...

* Tony had to work on the fridge to get it cooling...he then went to work on the AC to get it cooling. He asked if I wanted him to go into town and get a weed eater so he could cut down our path...I said, "babe, we are on vacation." He replied, "Oh yeah, I forgot..."

* Instead of bedside tables we had a washer and dryer...literally bedside. Tony had been concerned that it would be too quiet for him to sleep. Not a problem...we fired up the dryer and it sounded like we were sleeping on a runway at DFW.

Honestly...as I type this list, countless other memories are coming to mind....some better acted out than written out. It goes without saying, but if this vacation had been perfect, it would of most likely been forgotten....As is,it will most likely go down as one of our favorites. If we had it to redo we would do it all again. We laughed so hard, had many deep conversations where all 8 of us were sitting on the same couch (only one place to sit in the entire living room), enjoyed
many a homecooked meal of cereal and hotdogs (things that could be made without water), cracked up at each other sprinting through the tall grass slapping ourselves in order to avoid mosquitoes, and all breathed a collective sigh of relief when our husbands said, "let's get out of here."

All in all it was terribly wonderful...certainly a vacation we will always remember.