Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Sunday, February 24, 2008

We interupt this blogging break...

... to let many of you know we are doing just fine. With a few changes being made I'm taking a break from blogging until Easter. Call it a fast from all things internet.

And... since I've interupted this break I thought I'd let you all know:
Vaughan finished 1st in his age group in his first EVER 5K!!
(More to come on that one you can be assured of that.)

Monday, February 11, 2008


Pretty cool thing Compassion International has going on. They've taken a group of bloggers to Uganda to blog about it there.

I'm mainly following it via my friends Shannon and Sophie's blogs. Check them out.

If you want to sponsor a child it's a neat experience. We sponsor James in Kenya and he's going to grow up and be quite an amazing young man, I can tell by the pictures and letters he sends us. Plus I'm pretty sure he'll be able to run circles around all our running friends, cause well he's from Kenya!!

Speaking of Kenya, here are some of my favorite pics from Steve's trip there a little over a year ago. What a wonderful group of friends we have in Kenya, they are in our prayers.
My man and his little buddy in the back seat!
Right out of a scence from The Lion King, that's a Masai tribesman standing on the left between the trees.
The poverty yet...
everyone needs a coke and a smile.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

They Bring Out the Best in Me

Something I never expected to hear my premie say:

"I'm gonna go brush my teeth and shave." (deep sigh on my part)

Now our my weekend happenings:

The boys did security at Images art festival this weekend. It's the big fundraiser for their Boy Scout Troop. They get to campout, stay up all night on patrol and in the day it's trash duty. This is our 3rd year doing this and the first year Steve couldn't be there, so naturally my self-doubt in parenting set in.

Night #1 wasn't bad but night #2 I dropped in to drop off a sweatshirt, yes it gets cold by the river in 50 degree weather, and left feeling absolutely horrible. Both boys tired and hungry asked to come home, Justin with tears in his eyes. I so badly wanted to say yes, SO BADLY! I mean what kind of mom leaves her half crying babies with a bunch of strangers 2 miles from home.

OK, so typing that even makes me shake my head at myself. Half crying? Babies? Strangers? 2 miles?- heck they were so close they could yell my name and I'm sure I'd wake right up.

So anyway I did leave with those horrible parent feelings, and ya know what? I came right home and di what any good mother would do, I picked a fight with Steve. When all else fails and you feel bad as a mom go right to your husband and tell him all he is and has done wrong. After all he's the dad, shouldn't he be down there camping out? I know you're sick and sneezing and coughing and living behind a computer screen typing 14 page papers with a pile of tissues by your side living on 4 hours of sleep; but YOU ARE THE DAD OF BOYS!

I am so thankful to have a man who does not care to fight and is well educated in living with a crazy female and knows just the right things to say so I come around.

Darn the counselor in him!

So after waking up this morning with a strong feeling that I should march right down to pick my babies up and bring them home, I don't. Instead I make one last half-hearted attempt to fight (what's up with me?) before sippin' on my coffee and showing up at the festival to see 2 happy, somewhat well rested children who have full bellies and happy faces.

I'm now feeling better about my parenting ability (and not as itching to fight, hmmm...). They're home and showered, clean sheets await them and in 1 hour from now there precious little heads will rest soundly in the other room.

This mountainous road called parenting is tiring I tell you, tire. ing.


Artist Michelle Mardis gave my boys this and this as a thank you for all they did over the weekend.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Good and Bad Tend to Go Hand in Hand

Last night was perhaps one of my worst experiences working with middle schoolers I've had. OK, maybe second to the night during my first year of working with youth, when I broke up fight between 2.5 girls in the library where we were meeting at. Legs, arms, make-up and books were flying everywhere!

Although as with most things in life the bitter is mixed with the sweet.

Last night was also the most rewarding night I've had working with middle schoolers in 3 years. To sum it up my regular 6 girls exploded to 11 - and we had planned an ice cream and pictionary party. If it could have gone wrong it did and I found myself sitting in a room with 11 crazed 6th graders who have no clue how to look beyond themselves. All it takes is one: and I have 3 of that "one". I'd love to list their names but I won't, I will tell you these girls are headed, if no one helps them, to the streets.

That's the toughest part of this volunteer job I have. Seeing these girls for who they can be instead of who they currently are and where they are headed via the choices they are already making. I once read that students will make choices in middle school that they will act on in high school. So after waving my white flag I traveled down the hall to where my BFF (we must use these terms when working with middle schoolers, it's an unwritten code) was hanging out with her 8th graders. It was there that my worst night became my best.

After sharing some pretty raw emotions a dear, dear girl spoke words to me that made me cry. There I found myself bawling as this 8th grade girl, who had been with me for her 6th and 7th grade years, began to speak words of encouragement and then offered to pray for me.This girl was not any girl. She was one of my first girls who sat in a library with me every Wednesday for 2 years. She came along to football games, baked cakes and cookies for me. She drove me nuts with her behavior and disrespect; she was the .5 that I pulled off of the above fight. I sat there tears literally dripping like a faucet as she spoke with grace and maturity. She reminded me that the hard ones need it most. She reminded me that perseverance pays off. She reminded me that love is all we can do, that love is what most of these girls need, that love is all we need. She reminded me that there is hope for the lost.

So, while I'd like to take credit for this young lady's transformation I realized it was God, to be more precise it was Jesus who changed her. See over these past 2 years this 14 year old has gone through more than anyone should go through in a lifetime. Each event along the way we sat down and found comfort in God's Word, in prayer and in laughter and love. It was Christ who set her free from the yuck in her life and she will tell you it is Christ who allows her to get up every day, smile and say, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Sure, she's still 14 and has more maturing to do, but looking back I tear up thinking about where she's come from.
God is good.

So when I headed back in to the 6th grade room of horror I had a different bounce in my step, a different perspective. Still a feeling of "why am I here" but a new sense of encouragement and strength.

If you can be a mentor be one, there are so many students out there who just need an adult to love them for who they are and where they are at.
Easy, no, worth it, yes.

Monday, February 04, 2008

(I'm still doing my victory dance)


Was last night a very happy night fo me?

Yes, yes it was. I left my friends house at the begining of the 4th quarter with the Giants down by 3, I came home to a Giants lead, then we were down again and then- well- WE WON!!!
I did a victory dance for as long as Justin would allow me. The violence that comes out in my youngest when the Patriots lose is a strange thing. Since he's bigger than me now it wasn't easy for me to get away from the clutch of death he had me in. We laughed and "fought" for about 15 minutes as I tried to do my victory dance and he tried to restrain me from doing so. Then Steve finally said "enough!" (he was in the middle of some 600 page paper or something?? it's as if he's responsible)

Vaughan? Well apparently 14-year old boys don't like their football team to lose the Superbowl so he went directly to bed.

To my dad, the biggest Giants fan I know and to all my Giant fan friends from the 90's- I love you all! I love our Giants!

Life is good.

here's our regular season story


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