Friday, December 19, 2008

Payton is out of school!

Today I took Payton for his last day of school before the Christmas break. I told him on the way, "Payton I am so proud of you and our family...we made it!" He looked at me and smiled and then asked the question he must ask at least 15 times on the way to school, "I am not going to be tardy am I?"

We had Eden one week before school started...I walked through September, October and some of November in a sleepless haze...So the fact that today we finish this semester with no tardies and a kindergartener who loves his life makes me want to turn the praise music up loud and dance! Here are just a few of Payton's latest quotes that have brought smiles to our faces...

1. Tony and I thought it would be a blast if one of the gifts we gave to the boys was a trip to Holiday in Park at 6-flags. We got them dressed...told them they were getting one of their presents that we had to drive to see...They were beside themselves. The excitement was building the whole drive over. As we exited in Arlington Payton asked "what are those?" while pointing at the roller coasters. He of course, had no idea this is where we were headed. I told him they were roller coasters with a huge smile on my face. Being our little saftey pup he exhaled and said, "Those look terrifying, I hope we never go there."

2. The other night on the way home from church we were asking the boys what they had learned about. They were repeating all the details of Jesus birth and Tony was asking question after question.."Who was Mary again?" What did they ride on?" who was Joseph? Benjamin was answering every one when Payton interupted and said, "Good greif dad, you really need to read your Bible."

3. One of the ways Payton is different in our family is that he always has a plan...clothes laid out, schedule made, watching the clock...He does not want to get somwhere on time he wants to be early. He stresses this to us each day when if we appear to be moving to slow he says things like, "You two are acting like I don't have a tardy on the line. Let's move."

4. We also cracked up the other night while we were looking at Christmas lights and Payton said, "I like the ones with a simple AB AB pattern rather than those with the ABCD ABCD pattern. What do you guys think?" Benjamin spoke for us all when he said, "I have no idea what you are talking about Pate."

5. Each six weeks at Payton's school each class picks one student who is the Proud Panther of the 6 weeks. The qualities they are selcted for are
a. E in conduct for the 6 weeks
b. responsible behavior
c. respects the rights of others
d. considerate and kind
e. thoughtful
f. follows all class and school rules.

This last 6 weeks Payton was chosen as the Proud Panther...and he felt it...I thought he was going to bust out of his shirt as his teacher read this about him at the breakfast.

"Payton is our Proud Panther because:
He cleans up when he is done.
He helps people when they are hurt.
He stands quietly in line.
He stacks chairs.
He sits quietly when we are reading a story.
He listens to the teacher.
He helps people.
He cleans up other things that other people do not clean up.
He does his work.
He puts paper scraps in the recycling.
He follows directions."

Congrats Pate...long before you were a proud were a leader on Team Brooks. We are so thankful you are ours...even more thankful you are the Lords!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

9 years today!

9 years ago today I walked down the aisle to Tony Brooks. It was the proudest moment of my life. I could not believe the Lord had, in His goodness, given him to me. I was beside myself. One of my mentors in college had told me..."When a country picks its ambassadors, it picks someone who hopefully represents the very best of the country...its very heart. When you begin to look for a spouse choose someone who you will be proud to know represents you...because that is exactly what they will do. For the rest of your life people will look at your spouse and they will see your heart." My word...I walked down the aisle quite sure I could not love a person more than I loved Tony. When you look at our wedding album the pictures of us walking back down the aisle are blurry. The Photographer apologized but said , "You all were moving too fast." We actually were running...running to start our new life together. We could not wait.

Our honey moon is a hilarious story...many great moments but more hilariously stressful ones...we missed our flight...I lost my purse...the airline lost my luggage (and regardless of what my brother Sam says I actually did want to have clothes on my honeymoon.)Way too many stories to tell over the internet...It was an introduction to life. Being in love did not mean our humaness disappeared, we remained two people who desperately needed Jesus....and we needed Him in a real way if our marriage was going to be more than just two people who liked each other living together.

A lot has happened in 9 years...There has been a lot of laughter...a lot of tears...we have watched each other walk through life...we have done more than watch, we have come alongside...On days when we have felt overwhelmed the other has stepped up and said, Let me carry it for awhile. We have cried together and asked the Lord to come quickly. We have held our children together and proclaimed them perfect...We have fallen to our knees together countless times because of those sweet children and their imperfections. I have been madder at him than I have ever been at anyone else...(and he could say likewise) and yet we have always been able to laugh at it later. We have seen that the Lord matched us up perfectly...not because we are exactly alike and have the same interests...but because we do not. We make each other better. He likes clean baseboards...I still do not know what those are. I like long conversations in the middle of the day, even while he is at work. He reminds me that is why I have my mother.

My goodness I love this man! When my grandfather was dying my dad asked him what part of his life he would like to do over if he could and he said, "I loved falling in love with your mother." I loved falling in love with Tony. I woke up with a smile before I could even remember why I was smiling. These days, I wake up and walk into walls before I remember why I am up...Oh yes, feed the baby...or someone is coughing...or I need to get someone to school...and yet I love Tony more now than I ever dreamed I could then. On our wedding day I felt so in at peace that he was it for me.

These days I see him holding our baby...wrestling with our boys...folding baseboards...reading his Bible...leading our family in prayer...loving people in our life who are difficult to love...shaking his head when I get two "you ran a stop light tickets" in the mail in one day (Please do not bring that up to him, he's not ready to laugh yet, but I have a feeling its coming :))working for our family, for us.... I see him loving us with everything he is and I think if we had it to do all over again I would not walk down that aisle to him...I would run to him.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Conversations with the boys...

Watching these two's friendship unfold is one of the sweetest gifts of my life. It is filled with bumps, bruises, hugs that are way too hard and all sorts of others things that bring brothers closer to each other. They love each other wholeheartedly. That does not mean that we do not have entire drives home from school with someone yelling "QUIT LOOKING AT ME!" In fact it is in instances like that I sometime enjoy them the most...because I remember not too far back (or actually really far back) that I too yelled "QUIT LOOKING AT ME!" at my younger brothers or my older sister yelled it at me...and today I count those 3 siblings as my closest of friends.

Last night as we drove home Payton was singing the months of the year song. At the end,
Benjamin said, "My teacher says its December which means we are at the end of the year.
Payton said, "That's right Benj"
Benjamin then asked, "What happens once we get to the end?"
Payton replied, "I have not figured that out yet...either we die or we start over with January."
I looked in my rearview mirror and saw sweet Benjamin with his eyes as big as saucers as he exhaled he said, "Wow, I sure hope we start over with January."

Monday, December 01, 2008

Today I Wrestled a Bear

This morning started out like most...One cub successfully dropped off at kindergarten clothed and fed, tiniest cub successfully fed, changed and back to sleep...when all of the sudden out of nowhere I was in the middle of wrestling match.

It started when I picked out a shirt that I thought perfect for the day of preschool. The shirt was not to cubs liking. The cub expressed this by throwing it across the room. Then I picked out a breakfast for the was not to his liking either. Then I brushed the cubs appears the cub prefers NO ONE, especially me, touch his hair. Each of these events was punctuated by the cub's loud screams while he rolled around on his back on the floor. I literally sweated through my clothes trying to get him ready. I raised my voice to a yell so that the cub could hear me over his roars. By the time we got to the church (Where little cub attends pre-school) we had pulled the car over three I could make sure the cub was getting enough air between screams...He was. (The cub was also issued some ultimatums during said time on the side of the road.) Once also to call the cub's father and ask him for wisdom....unfortunately the cub's father was unavailable. After dropping the cub off at school a full 30 minutes late, I walked slowly back to my car, tears falling, begging the Lord for wisdom...confessing to Him yet again I have no clue what I am doing when it comes to parenting. I thought about my bear all day long...praying he was having a better day...asking the Lord to give us a breakthrough.

This afternoon we talked about this morning...about acceptable behavior and unacceptable....My precious bear told me he understood everything. He told me he loves me and he is sorry...then with his sweet smiling face he said, "I don't like acting like that so tomorrow let's make sure you don't touch my hair."

Sometimes life is full of wrestling...Thank goodness today it was with a really cute Bear.