Saturday, February 26, 2011

happy birthday jason

Warning: this is a very long post but at least it has pictures. I am combining two weekends in a row...Jason's "surprise" party to celebrate completing his Master's degree and then Jason's birthday.

First, I planned a "surprise" dinner party with some friends. I invited people that have come along side Jason these past 4 years and have either encouraged, supported, proof-read papers, brought accountability to finish or to prioritize better or have just been praying for him and our family during these past years of study. I say "surprise" because we weren't as sneaky as I thought we were being and he was picking up on clues left and right. But at least he felt congratulated.I provided the bar-b-que and beer and everyone else brought the sides. It was quite the feast.Congratulations, Jason, for a job well done! We are so proud of you for finishing so well!And of course Ansley had to steal a bit of the spot-light.

And on to the second party weekend...the birthday. It started off with a great breakfast with the fam and then Jason opened our gift to him...Tim Hawkins on DVD. Little did I know the rest of our morning was being glued to the TV watching Tim Hawkins on DVD. Jason thinks this guy is hilarious and couldn't wait to watch it...even the kiddo's enjoyed watching it.

Then we had a big lunch together since Jason had to coach his basketball teams that night. Ethan made a great sign for the cake.

We met up with Jason at the gym to cheer on the boys and girls basketball teams and the students had a great time showering him with gifts...Mountain Dew being a popular present...and then ended the night by dousing him with a cooler full of water to wish him a happy birthday and wrap up the season.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


My grandma of 98 years passed away this past week. Because I couldn't make it back for the funeral I wanted to sit and think back on memories, what I knew about her and realize the blessing of having a grandmother like her. One word comes to mind when I think back to the visits we took to grandpa and grandma's There were always large family gatherings for holidays and special occasions. We were all spread out all over the US but when we came together it was if we all lived next door to one another. As an adult I see how rare that is to 1) have joyful family gatherings 2) a bond with family that is deep because of our connection as a family....a beautiful glimpse of God's people gathered together in eternity.

I remember my grandmother had this laugh that my sisters and mom all inherited. It usually starts with something that wasn't really funny but got her tickled. Then we all asked what was so funny which made her laugh harder so that she couldn't speak. That in turn made us all laugh to the point of crying tears, without even knowing what was so funny. I love that kind of laughing!

I remember my grandmother was always busy making sure everyones needs were met to the point where we would all finish our meal and grandma hadn't even sat down to eat yet. Grandma was a petite little woman but she knew the definition of hard work.

I remember grandma's garden. Beautiful flowers, delicious looking vegetables and a yard that was so fun to play in. Eating corn straight off the cob right after it was picked from the garden.

Christmas's were especially memorable. There are certain foods and desserts that remind me of Christmas time. Three-tired serving dishes. The piano. Folding tables and chairs always filled my grandma's house so that everyone had a seat. Playing card games and board games. Cold mid-west weather but warm and cozy inside. Lots of talking and laughter.

Grandma always had the best toys...pick-up sticks, tinker toys, harmonica.

Church was an integral part in grandmas life. Church attendance every Sunday was important.

I remember grandma's generosity. If you tried to pay her back or pay for something she refused to take it. And every time we got back home from visiting her we always found money she had snuck into our things so that we didn't have a chance to give it back to her.

Now looking back I wish I would have sat down with her more and asked her about her life. Being a mom to 5 children. Being married to a man that loved her dearly. What her childhood was like. What history she remembers from the past century and what it was like to live through it.

What a full life she had. What a legacy she left behind. What a family tree God blessed her with. And how glorious that now she sees Jesus face to face.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

are you my mummy?

Ethan has been studying the Egyptians in our history lessons and one of his projects was to learn about they mummified people, why they buried their dead that way, etc. and then make a paper cut-out version. He was very proud of it but asked me not to keep it in his room because it freaked him out at night.

Monday, February 14, 2011

valentine's day

Sorry this is a lame-o post with no pictures of the kiddo's or my hubby but we did manage to take pictures of all the heart cookies we made for friends and family. Then we got to go deliver them. Ethan told me this afternoon that this was the best day ever...I agree. It's fun to have a day where you can tell people that you love them and appreciate them. Something I don't do enough of.

I should have taken pictures of the cards that the boys made for me would melt anyones heart. Or the flowers my hubby got me and the necklace that the boys helped pick out for me.

I wish I had grabbed a camera this morning when I went to get the kids up and they ran out of the room with so much excitement you would have thought it was Christmas. They couldn't wait to open their Valentines.

Another great photo opportunity would have been when Ansley snuck outside with some of her Valentines candy and hid under the swing set trying to open it. Sneaky little booger. Or when we couldn't figure out where Jude's candy went and after a long search found it all in Ansley's bag. She may have a sweet innocent face but she knows exactly what she's doing.

Or I wish I had pictures of Jason and my first Valentine's day as a newly dating couple. It definitely wasn't a Valentine's day to remember. I had made a card with magazine words and pictures cut out to a tell a funny love story...all decorated and creative. And couldn't wait to see what Jason had planned...which ended up being nothing. He didn't even get me a card or have any plans for where we were to eat...not realizing that every place had at least a 2 hour wait. After driving around town for quite a while we ended up at a place called Mama's Italian Villa...which sounds charming but wasn't. It actually had the worst pizza I have ever tasted (probably why there wasn't a wait). But thankfully he realized he had to redeem himself and surprised me with a Valentine Hike a few days later where he placed notes all along the trail (with cheesy lines like "your dad must be a thief and stole the stars and put them in your eyes" and some not so cheesy quotes from C.S. Lewis) Then he read me some love poetry...and then I realized this guy is a keeper.

I should find the picture of the roses Jason had sent to the school I was teaching at the year we were engaged. I've never had flowers delivered like that...I felt so special. And my students were just as happy for me as I was.

Well I really need to start using my camera more. I do have some pictures downloaded and waiting to be put into posts. Now I just have to find the time to do that. Hope everyone else felt loved and appreciated today.