Friday, October 31, 2008

Family Pictures!

We had so much fun in Austin last weekend. Here are some family pics that were taken while we were there. My Aunt Kathy and Uncle Bill live next door to "the castle" on Lake Travis. We had fun exploring the beautiful land around it and taking some great pictures. My wondermous friend Jade is an awesome photographer! Check out her work HERE

My wife gets Obsessed...

About two weeks ago she picked up a magazine that had "cute"cupcakes in it. Ever since then, that is pretty much all that she has talked about...wanting to make these cupcakes.

Well yesterday was the day, The Great Day of The Cupcake.

The "inspirational" work...
The Aftermath...
Just Plain-O-Cupcakes...

Monsters in the making....Monsters given a home...
Bats. Kerre used pictures we had from Austin and the bridge that all the bats live under for reference on this one.

Bats and Spiders. She used National Geographic for the referance for the spiders.
I would like everyone to know also that Indee is the only one to have tasted the cupcakes. I have not! And to those of you who know of my deep love of all things chocolate, this has been quite a challenge. Maybe I should have been bold like Indee and just taken what I wanted!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Hanger Project

Many of you might not know that Jack's surgery was led by a Cranio-Facial Suregon (a pediatric plastic surgeon.) When we sit in Dr. Genecov's office, we meet children who have all kinds of facial deformities.

Kerre and I have talked about how we used to steer clear of someone with a deformity when saw them in public. Not because we wanted to shun them, but because we didn't really know what to say. We sitting in that office, we have learned what to say. You say the same thing that you would say to a child without a facial deformity!

Because this is often considered "cosmetic" surgery, insurance at best is a sticky issue and Kerre and I have become involved with The World Craniofacial Foundation. (You might remember the Egyptian twins that were seperated a while back.)

So, if you are inclined here is an idea for Christmas for some of your loved ones.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We're home!!

I must say it's nice to come home and sleep in your own bed, but being in Austin on the lake with good friends is almost as good!

We had so much fun!! I miss Jade and Nathan and Wesley so much! If their families weren't in Corpus I would so coax them into moving to Dallas and being a part of Residing Hope!

(I've used an ! after every sentence so far... can you tell this weekend was great yet?!)

Here's a few pics -- I'm sure I'll post more later, but this'll get you started!!

Are we there yet??
Two babies at bath time are much more difficult... but FUN!
Wes: Hey who dressed this poser like me?? I thought I was one of a kind?
I think they are howling at the moon!
Jack: Hey, you want to play air hockey?
Wes: Sure I got the puck!!
Warming in the the morning sun and giving hugs to mommy!
Jack: What, they didn't think our cheeks were already fat enough?? They had to put us in these stupid jackets...
Lunch at the Pier w/ the Paynes!
Lounging on the boat with Aaron
Wesley has a fascination with nature just like his daddy! (he was really diggin' this leaf)
Our Little Monkeys!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Real Quick....

We are off early this afternoon to see our good friends Nathan, Jade and Wesley. We are meting them at Lake Travis and I can't wait. (We would go earlier, but I have to work for a few hours this morning.)

There is an anomaly in Corpus. There is an abundance of people who will do anything for you. They are those kinds of people. ( I have an urge to list them, but as I hastily type this, putting off getting ready for work, I am afraid I will miss someone. Maybe that is a task for later.) Anyways, The Paynes are those kind of people.

So here we go, off to a weekend of exploits, or at least as many exploits that two couples can have with pre-toddlers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

I love my daddy! He's a great man of God and today I want to honor him! Thank you Daddy for all the love you give. I'm so glad that in my adult years that we are friends!

Through the years you have taught me so much but below are a few of the lessons that have really stuck with me!

~ The boogie man isn't real... Only crazy daddy's at the end of your bed throwing stuffed animals at you and growling! But really, because of you, I learned how not to be afraid of things that are only in my head. I tend to be paranoid of things at times and you have always taught me to be tough and know that "if God is with me, who can be against me."

~ Eat your veggies...even if you have to choke them down... Just kidding, cause Mom is a great cook! But I know there were times in my life that you weren't always thrilled with dinner, but always cleaned your plate too, because David and I had to. I learned that sometimes in life you just have to do things you may not like for the betterment of others.

~ That sitting on the couch and hugging my brother wasn't so bad after all... David and I are closer now because of it, I'm sure!

~ If I have to ask if it looks ok, I probably should be wearing it... Dad, you taught me how to be a modest young lady and I appreciate that. You always told me that I was beautiful inside and out and I have self confidence that I probably wouldn't have because of you.

~ Love openly... It was never a secret that you and Mom loved each other and I'm so thankful that you hugged and held hands and flirted and were never ashamed of your love for each other in front of David and I. I know I found the man of my dreams in part because you were the man of Mom's dreams!

~ How to rhyme... Dad I love your silly songs. (those you made up and those that people just as odd as you wrote) I love that you still sing them to Jack. I can rhyme on a whim because you taught me how to make up crazy songs on a moments notice. I will forever remember:

* Don't smell my fart, my stinky stinky fart...
* Found a booger long and green. Found it under the coke machine...
* Egg suckin' dog I'm gonna stomp your head in the ground, if you don't stop killin' my chicken's, you dirty ol' egg suckin' hound...
* I'm looking over my dead dog rover that I over ran with the mower...
* And Many Many Many Many More!!!

~ Fun can be found in simple things... like getting in the floor board and trying to guess where we're going for dinner, playing "Beaver,"

~ Don't laugh when you float in the baptistery... I'll always remember my legs floating when you baptized me. I'm so blessed that my earthly father kinda got to give me to my heavenly Father. You loved me enough to teach me the love of our God and I'm His in part because of your strength and witness in so many ways.

~ If the race is ever getting long and hard, just listen real careful and I can always hear Dad encouraging and cheering me on... Even now when life is long and I'm weary from the race you always push me and encourage me and help me through the hard times.

I could go on and on and on, but Jack will be awake soon and I'm running out of time! I love you Daddy and I love seeing you as a Dadoo to Jack. ( you were a great Dadoo to the boys already, but now that I have my own little guy it means even more. He loves you so much!)

So happy birthday to you Dad! I pray this year is the best so far!! I love you Daddy!

Mom! Look what I can do...

I've been told that once they reach 6 months that they start doing new things really fast! This one floored me!! I was getting his clothes out of the dresser yesterday and Jack was sitting next to me on the floor. I opened up the bottom drawer and whooop! There he went! Standing up next to me!! He's very proud of himself... We are going to be lowering his mattress now!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Blue Parakeet Review

Scot McKinght, the author of The Jesus Creed, just released a book on Biblical interpretation called The Blue Parakeet. The book is an honest look at practical biblical interpretation vs. theoretical. No one in life (except this guy) tries to follow all of the Biblical commands. We have to make some choices, because there are some very difficult commands in the Bible. (i.e. sabbath, tithing, foot washing, charismatic gifts and surrendering possessions.)

So, the question The Blue Parakeet asks is "How, then, are we to live out the Bible today?" We must read the Bible with our tradition as a story that we are to listen to and discern what it is saying.

The Bible is made up of "wiki-stories." Each author is given room to tell his story and then these stories are framed by God.

We are urged to read the Bible "relationally." To listen to the Bible and through the listening, our relationship with the God of the Bible is deepened. As our relationship is deepened, then we began to discern what to do with some of the difficult passages of the Bible. This must be done however, "through God's Spirit and in the context of our community of faith." Through this we will find a pattern of how to live out the Gospel in our world. (p.129)

The last section of the book to a practical application of the Bible to the question of "Women and the Bible" which was a very stretching and eye opening.

If you want to think through some very practical biblical interpretation issues I would recommend picking up The Blue Parakeet. It is a quick and informative read that will challenge your assumptions in the arena of Biblical Interpertation.

Thanks to Scot McKnight and Zondervan for the advance copy of The Blue Parakeet.

Friday, October 17, 2008

For your viewing enjoyment...

I've been trying to get a good video of Jackson "scooting" since he started a few weeks ago and he toys with me! Every time I start recording he just lays there and stares at me and plays with the carpet... I recruited Aaron last night and together we finally got him! For your viewing enjoyment...

They Love Cookies (and each other!)

OK... I love my husband in Daddy mode!! he may shoot me for posting this, but I couldn't help it! I love to watch him (and listen to him) with our son. It's amazing to watch a completely new person in him that I never knew existed before Jackson!! Makes me love him that much more... who knew it was possible!

This one make me happy too! They love cookies!


This morning I read Seth Godin's post and it struck a cord with me...
...What works is leading. Leading a (relatively) small group of people. Taking them somewhere they'd like to go. Connecting them to one another...

...It's enough if the tribe you lead knows about you and cares about you and wants to follow you. It's enough if your leadership changes things, galvanizes the audience and puts the status quo under stress. And it's enough if the leadership you provide makes a difference...
As leader we must be challenging the status quo, but it must be done in a way you respect where your group is coming from (their tradition.) It also seems to me that so often we shun being "commited to each other" in our culture (i.e. divorce rates.) Do you find that true? In what ways would you be willing to say you are connected to your "tribe" and what does that look like?

Go down the list of online success stories. The big winners are organizations that give tribes of people a platform to connect.

Go down the list of fashion businesses or business to business organizations. Same thing. Charities, too. Churches, certainly.

It's so tempting to believe that we are merely broadcasters, putting together a play list and hurtling it out to the rest of the world. Louder is better. But we're not. Now we're leaders.

People want to connect. They want you to do the connecting.
So, who do you need to connect. Yesterday K mentioned that she was excited about fall and Halloween. Why, because there was going to be a great opportunity for connection. Chances to connect our tribe with the "unconnected." It will give us a platform to listen to others stories and to tell our story. And who (deep down) doesn't what to be connected? (The Cheers theme song just started playing in the back of my head.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tis the Season...

...For all the FUN HOLIDAYS!!

I love this time of year! The weather is so refreshing and crisp. I just found a box of hand-me-down clothes that my friends Julie and Sandi gave to Jack that I almost forgot about. I was so excited and so disappointed at the same time! He too big for half of them (since he's already wearing mostly size 12 mo. outfits) and the other half are pretty much his size RIGHT NOW! He may not have enough time to wear them if the keeps growing at his rapid pace (and some of this stuff is brand new... some gifts from other friends and family) I'm so happy that today is cool because he can wear one of his "new" outfits!

Sorry... that was a bit of a "Jack" rabbit chase... (haha I just came up with that, that's so gonna be my new phrase when i go off on a "Jack" story in middle of my other thoughts...)

ANYWAY!! Haloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all right together makes me happy too!

This is going to be such a fun blessed year! All of Jack's firsts!

This was his first trip to the Pumpkin Patch! I've been looking forward to taking him to a pumpkin patch since at least this time last year when I was getting all fat and he was starting to wiggle in my tummy! I think he's been excited since then too! He LOVED it. As you can probably tell from the pics he wouldn't look at the camera! He was so enamored by the big orange round things!

I'm so excited about Halloween this year! Our church is going to have a mini-carnival in Jonathan and Sandi's front yard! This excites me for many reasons:

1. Jack gets to spend his first Haloween with his cousins... (and his uncle David) who LOVE costumes! (and Mamoo and Dadoo, and JT and Sandi, and PJ and Jo, and Brian and Rebekah, and Holly and Juan, and Mika and Johnny and Baby Johnny and Destinee...)

2. His Costume!! Jack is going to be Captain Huggy Face!! For those of you that are saying to yourself, "Captian who huh?" Don't feel bad I didn't have a clue at first either!

Joelle told me that she was going to be Word Girl for Halloween and I was like ok, who the heck is Word Girl... so I Googled her and found this!

She is an Awesome PBS cartoon and her side kick is a little monkey named Capt. Huggy Face!! He has a helmet!! HAHA Sandi and I couldn't resist making sure Jo had her side kick!

3. Dressing up!! Aaron and I have done some costumes in the past... I've always enjoyed couples costumes and dressing up is just so darn fun! We are going to be Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter this year! (thank you Rebekah and Brian for helping us complete our costumes)

4. We get to spend Halloween with the church! I'm excited that we are going to get to know some of J & S's neighbors better and build some knew or strengthen some of those relationships. Halloween now has a much bigger purpose! I love that we are touching the Kingdom in our everyday lives and having fun in the process! Yeah!

ok... I was going to talk about why I'm so excited about turkey-day and Christmas too, but this got loner than I expected and Jack only takes naps for so long! Blogs for another day!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

As the Ruin Falls

So, I remembered a poem that CS Lewis wrote after his wife died...

As the Ruin Falls
All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love --a scholar's parrot may talk Greek--
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tag! I'm It!!!

My good friend Lisa tagged me this morning!

10 things that my husband loves so here goes nothing...

1. GOD! My man is a man of faith and I'm so proud that he is. He pushes me daily to go deeper in my walk in one way or another. When he tells me that he's praying for me I know how much he really loves me!

2. So I guess that leads me to ME! Aaron is so much more than I deserve! He thinks of me first and is always willing to out of his way to make sure I know how much he loves me through all the sweet little things he does for me...

3. JACK!! Boy does he love our Boy! I love seeing him in Daddy mode. Aaron always gets up with him in the morning and they hang for an hour while mommy catches up from the night. I think this is their favorite time together! I'm glad their morning people together!

4. MORNINGS... how crazy is that. This make so sense to me as I'm not much of a morning person, but it seems to be Aaron's most productive time of day. I think he actually enjoys getting up and making coffee and watching the news and just being quite and getting little things done around the house.

5. Which leads me to #5 --- COFFEE! He's a caffeine junkie! I had to buy him one of those big green camping thermoses to take to work because they don't have a coffee pot and he was having withdrawals!!

6. Wow, each of these seem to be leading me to the next, cause the list wouldn't be complete without CAMPING and the OUTDOORS. I'm glad he loves these things because he will teach Jack to love them too. He's a great teacher...

7. ...and an awesome LEARNer. When I met Aaron he really didn't have much use for school, but somewhere along the way God really opened his heart to learning. He can't get enough BOOKS and he loves to hang out at BOOK STORES.

8. Just HANGING OUT. With his family and with good friends. RELATIONSHIPS make his heart beat. He loves PEOPLE! He loves getting to know you and digging deep. He's not really a surface guy and has more good friends, real friends than I can really imagine.

9. And his favorite thing to do with friends I think is EATING good food and COOKING! I love to watch him create in the kitchen. He's always so proud of his master pieces! We enjoy food together (as seen in my last blog!).

10. And who loves food more than our pup, INDEE!! Aaron loves this girl so much and is so diligent in making sure she has what she needs. They play ball every night! I love to watch him with the dog and Jack together. They are all going to have so much fun and he grows!

Guess that's TEN!

But I wanted to do more!! (there's also baseball, tools, tractors, the lake, t-shirts, his nephews, his family ... i could go on and on)

So.... Tag to Stephanie T. and Sandi T. and Pam T. (hey all of your initials are Ts -- fun!)

Sandi reminded me!! And How could i forget! CHOCOLATE! Aaron LOVES Chocolate!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We ate our way through...

...a great weekend!

This weekend was really great! It was the first in a while that I really felt like "us." We were comfortable and enjoyed family and friends and best of all ATE WELL!!

Let's see!

Friday Aaron got off at noon thirty... I made a Spinach Quichey Thing... it was pretty yummy if I do say so myself!

Friday Night we had Crab Legs with our good friends Jonathan, Sandi, Joelle and PJ! -- (and Jello Salad, that was good too)

Also! Friday night Jack officially became a carnivor! (pureed meat, whew! pretty stinky, but he seemed to quite enjoy it)

Saturday we went to our little friend Destinee's B-day party! Johnny, her dad grilled some AMAZING barbecue chicken... wooooweeeee good stuff!!!

It was so tastey that we weren't hungry again until about 8:45 and for some reason Jack just wasn't sleepy, so we jumped in the car and headed down to Taco Delight!! And what a delight it was! 10 Tacos for $10... Tacos at 9:00 pm... haven't done that in a while - thanks Jack for our late night snack!

Then there was today!!

Got up early (Jack's schedule has been a little off with the whole sleep training) we decided to find some breakfast -- We had the most wonderful Cinimon Pumpkin Pancakes (I'm drooling) at Cafe Brazil!!!!! I want to go back tomorrow! (add hashbrown casserole, eggs, and bacon and you got yourself a tastey breakfast)

Got home and crashed (all of us) then Aaron hopped up and made some Alton Brown Chilli (Emm... Good Eats!) - he also made Jack some Acorn Squash -- tased like Fall! - cause he's a good daddy!( Thanks to Beth for the book---amazing resource)

Got out and about a little tonight and decided on Asain!! Topped the weekend off with some delicious Pho'. (mine was chicken curry and so good!!)

On our way home tonight we were talking about how good the weekend had turned out and realized how good it tasted too, so I thought I'd make you all salivate a little!!

It's funny how I can mark special times and good memories in my life by good food. Food is an amazing community builder and family time is so much more special when food is shared. I'm so glad that Jack is such a good eater learning to love a wide variety of food. There are so many great tastes that I can't wait to share with him as he grows.

Good Friends... Good Family... Good FOOD!!