Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Big Week!

1. Payton lost his first tooth in the playscape at church. This brought on a huge wave of emotions to me...I mean, I have the actual day marked on a calendar when we got that tooth. How can he be growing so quickly?

2. He was so proud of that lost tooth while at church...Later after we got home I realized he still had not seen himself. I told him to come in the bathroom and smile at himself. He smiled huge and then said so matter of factly..."You have got to be kidding me. I look ridiculous."

3. Payton got a dollar under his pillow for his tooth. The next morning Benjamin was yelling "what is it? read it to me!" Payton said, "Just a second Benjamin, it is...OK, This dollar says, I am a dollar, take me to the store and buy whatever it is you want. I will pay for it, because I am a dollar and that is my job."

4. After 3 years of going to the rodeo and watching Payton scream because it was way too loud, we started this year thinking of other options. My dad came up with the headphones you use when you go to a shooting range. They worked like a charm. Most enjoyable rodeo experience we have ever had! Here is Payton through the years at the rodeo...followed with a shot of this year!

5. Benjamin is a night owl. There is no way around it. He loves to stay up while the rest of us love to have the lights off by 9:30. This would not be a huge issue if he was not so loud...He will stay on his bed...He just stays on his bed while singing at the top of his lungs or having random conversations. Often this means I have to go back to his room and say yet again, "Benjamin, you have to sleep or at least whisper." Last night I got my all time favorite response. I walked into his room and took a deep breath to give my order and he whispered..."Just a minute mom...I am really praying hard for you and dad."

6.Last week as we were out running errands Payton said from the back seat..."Mom, did you know you are a lot bigger than your mom." Thinking this was an important time to teach Payton a life lesson. I began to explain him that what he meant was taller and that girls do not like being referred to as big...He needed to find a better word. His response, "Mom, its ok, your dad is still a lot bigger than you." realizing my point was lost, I chimed in, "So are my brothers." Payton said, "You have brothers?" I said, "Yes, you know that, Sam and Andy." To which he responded, "ANDY? ANDY is your brother. All these years I just thought he was a great friend!"

7. This week we celebrated Nika's Birthday. I have mentioned this before but Nika is one of my closest friends and has been since we were in the 5th grade. Our sophomore year in college Nika's lupus attacked her brain and the doctors told us she would not make it through the night. I mentioned the other day as I was introducing her to speak at Ladies class that it is a unique experience in life to tell someone your last goodbye and then get them back. The Lord gve me that opportunity with Nika. We celebrate her life every year. This year her incredible sister in law came up with a scavenger hunt for "A day of Nika's favorites". Throughout the day Nika was lead around by a tape player to different places where her favorite people were able to meet with her for 45 minute intervals. We also were each assigned to bring one of her favorite things. the boys and I were thrilled to be a stop in her day. We met her with her favorite Route 44 Vanilla Coke.As you can see, the boys enjoyed it as much as she did. The boys each told her their favorite thing about her...It was a sweet time of me celebrating her and watching my boys do the same.

8. Benjamin insisits on wearing this red hat everywhere. I laugh because he reminds me of grandmother. Tony is ready for him to move on to a new color. I told Tony yesterday, if he saw how many people smile ear to ear when Benjamin walks by wearing this hat, he would want him to wear it for forever.

9. This weekend our niece B turns 4. I tell my mom all of the time she does not have one grandchild I could not gush over. We are crazy about every single one of them. This one steals our hearts everytime we are around her. Her love for life, her articulate way of expressing herself...She and Payton give each other a run for their money...We love her wholeheatedly and celebrate her life daily...but especially this weekend! So thankful the Lord placed this precious individual in our family!

10. Mark those calendars for August 19th...We have been told Baby Brooks #3 should arrive sometime around then. We are thrilled. The boys are excited and confident that the Lord has given them a brother. We have explained that there are other options...and that we would love a little girl...both of them just kind of smile and then say , "Oh sure, but we know its a boy". We would of course appreciate your prayers for this new little life. We stared at that sonogram for along time the other day watching that little heart beat and wondering who exactly the Lord has in there. We cannot wait to see.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Long lost blog...

1. I am afraid we have fallen into the post-Christmas "can't accomplish anything" rut over here. We had a wonderful Christmas, a great new year and we are tired. We are forging ahead hoping at some point we will be hit with a burst of energy and motivation. We will let you know when it happens.

2. Both the boys are very in to acting out different scenes from their imagination with their nerf swords. Yesterday Payton had Benjamin backed in to the corner and said, "Blackbeard, this is the end." Benjamin said, "No, I am a good guy and I like Jesus."

3. Payton was wondering the other day how he came to live in our family, I explained to him God chose him for our family, we were so thrilled, now out of all the boys in the world we would choose him, etc...Benjamin piped in and said "I remember being with God and he let me choose you mom." Payton yelled from the back seat, "Benjamin, you have never been to heaven." Which then caused Benjamin to throw his rescue hero at a high rate of speed at his brother while yelling, "I AM TALKING TO MOM." These boys bring such excitement and volume to our lives.

4. The other day I left the boys with a baby sitter. After I had come home and our sitter had left I asked the boys how things went. Payton said, "We really need to talk." He then proceeded to tell me that Benjamin had jumped off the arm of the couch which caused the babysitter to say "omg Benjamin do not do that again." Payton said, "At that point I told Benjamin, we will have to talk about this later."He then explained to me how he had to explain to the babysitter that "she could not use the Lord's name like that...unless you are praying...every time you call his name, his head turns, that's something we take seriously, etc...." I will say this about Payton...every talk he has ever received he has stored away and now awaits the opportunity to use it on someone else. We are currently working on the concept of it is not ok to lecture an adult.

5. Our children's ministry once again allowed the children of our church to shop for Christmas presents using their Bible bucks. On Christmas morning Payton ran right past all of his gifts and went straight to what he had bought for Tony, he yelled, "Dad, its Christmas morning you can finally see what I got for you." He was beside himself to give me an ornament he had picked out, when I opened it he said, "I knew when I saw it it was exactly what you had always wanted." He was right. I love how our Children's ministry is, in unique ways, encouraging our children to have a heart for giving. This is just one of their many ways...I am so thankful for each person that works so hard in that ministry

6. Our new church coffee shop and indoor playground has us hanging out at the church more than ever. One cold week we were there every day. So great that that is where we invite people to meet us now.

7. Benjamin is relentless in life...His zest to try everything at full speed makes all of us feel more alive. Yesterday as he tried to ride our Lab, with pockets filled to overflowing with milk bones all the while yelling, "Everybody join the parade." My heart smiled....certain moments I try to freeze forever in the pockets of my mind.

8. This semester our theme in Ladies Class is "Pursuing Holiness" based on 1 Peter 1:15,16 in the Message it reads: "So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that's coming when Jesus arrives. Don't lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn't know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, "I am holy; you be holy." As I have reflected on this verse its caused me to think daily on the things I would actually say I am pursuing...It's brought to light a lot of things I need to be intentional about in the coming year, and a lot of things I need to let go off.

9. We have been talking to Benjamin about how it is time to stop sucking his thumb. This has not gone well as everytime we start he begins to explain how he has somewhere to be and "this is not a good time for me." Stay tuned...I have to say in his every sonogram we had of the child he was sucking his thumb...He was doing it from the very beginning. It is going to be hard habit to break.

10. One of my dear friends reminded me the other day of a sign I used to have hanging up in my office that said, "Be kind, everyone you know is fighting a hard battle." (Plato) The older I get the more I realize how true it is. As we walk through earthly struggles, Tony and I are calling ourselves back to "Counting it all joy." I should not say calling ourselves back to it...I am not sure we have ever really been there, I should say we are trying to learn what that means, what that looks like for us. We know that whatever path the Lord has placed us on, we want to reflect Him while on it. I read this (by Max Lucado) the other day and cried...

"Here is what we want to know. We want to know how long God's love will endure...Does God really love us forever? Not just on Sunday when our shoes are shined and our hair is fixed. We want to does God feel about me when I am a jerk? Not when I am peppy and positive and ready to tackle world hunger. Not then. I know how he feels about me then. Even I like me then.

I want to know how he feels about me when I snap at anything that moves, when my thoughts are gutter level, when my tongue sharp enough to slice a rock. How does He feel about me then?...

Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us?

God answered our question before we asked it. So we'd see His answer, he lit the sky with a star. So we'd hear it, he filled the night with a choir; and so we would believe it, he did what no man had ever dreamed. He became flesh and dwelt amoung us.

He placed his hand on the should of humanity and said "You're something special.""

"In the Grip of Grace"

I have been looking for His reassurance a lot lately...I am seeing the beauty around me, my wonderful husband, the friends He has blessed me with, my kids who make me laugh...I am once again training my eyes to recognize Him in my world, to hear His "you're something special" and share it with others.