Saturday, January 28, 2017

If I Ever Run Away:

We found this list Lana is making,
and it's a little alarming
and a whole lot hilarious.

It's incomplete, to stay tuned.....more tips to come.

If she starts being "extra good," 
we'll know to keep an extra close eye on her!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Her shoes.

She leaves them laying around everywhere.
by the front door, in the middle of the living room, in our bathroom.
and maybe they're just clutter.
and maybe they're evidence that she's messy or irresponsible.

but I tell you,
when I see those shoes,
or stumble over them walking through a room
my heart squeezes a bit inside my chest
and I don't dare move them an inch

because she's growing so fast, you see
-those shoes are nearly bigger than mine-
and it's flying by faster than I can stand.

I remember when her shoes were so tiny I could hold both of them in one hand.
I remember when her little ankles were so chubby we could barely get shoes on her feet.
I remember when she wanted all the shoes to be in a pile by the front door,
and would gather them from all over the house to put them there.
I remember the summer she would only wear Crocs, all the time.
She had a little pair of pearly pink ones she slept with at night.
I remember painting those little toes for sandals.
I remember good, long days of playing without shoes,
when the soles of her feet were black at bathtime.
I remember her putting on my shoes and clomping around the house,
smiling proudly in mommy's shoes.
I remember shoes of all kinds and colors and styles,
chosen especially for those feet of my little girl.

And I also remember when she became quite opinionated 
about the style and color.
I remember when the little girl sizes didn't fit her anymore,
and we had to move up to women's sizes.
I remember when her feet grew 2 sizes in as many months.
I remember the first pair of my shoes that she stole from my closet:
a pair of gray Converse.
I never liked those shoes, they didn't fit me right.
But they were perfect for her.

I'm seeing her personality in her shoes now.
comfortable, a little funky, tried and true. reliable.

And I can look ahead,
into the not too distant future,
and know that her shoes won't always be scattered around our home.
her feet will carry her off
on adventures and to activities
and our home might be slightly neater,
but it will much more quiet

and maybe she won't always want to shower in our bathroom
maybe she'll want privacy and she'll hide in her room
or take her time getting ready
instead of rushing out to be with us,
leaving her shoes where they fall.

But I hope that this house will always feel like home to her.
Whether she's 10 years old or 42,
I want this to be the place
where she can come in
and take off her shoes
and breathe a sigh of relief.

I want this to be her refuge,
the safety net at the end of the day
or the end of the semester
or the end of the plans
or the end of the rope....

this is home, my precious Lana.
a place where you can untie the laces
and drop the shoes
(and the worry and the burdens and the pressure)
and be loved.

I love these red shoes.
 I never know where I'll find them,
but they always make me smile

because these shoes aren't clutter to me anymore.....
they're a reminder that she's more than halfway to adulthood,
and we have the great privilege of watching her grow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Resource: Biblical Theology

Here's the bottom line about Biblical theology:
we should all be theologians because we can't believe what we do not know.

Here's a great introductory resource to Biblical theology:

The Bible Project: Free, Animated Biblical Theology

Because it's animated, you might think it's only for kids, but you would be wrong.
Super, very wrong.  Go check it out!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dinnertime hugs

Nearly every night during dinner,
at some point, Tucker will say 
Mommy, I need to hug you.

He'll throw those little arms around my neck and squeeze tight,
and after a minute or two,
he can go back to eating his dinner.
Or sometimes he'll slide his chair right over next to mine,
so he can touch me while he eats.

He's 7 already,
and I don't know how much longer 
he'll need hugs in the middle of dinner.
So for now, I'll soak them up,
treasure each one in my heart.

I'll gladly eat my dinner cold
in exchange for just one more dinnertime hug.


Some days are so simple that they're beautiful.

A big open field,
occasional gusts of wind,
big kites with long tails,
mama letting you run around barefoot,
a beagle splashing through the mud,
light shining through the clouds just so.

It was a good day today.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Tonight Dan and Tucker went downtown to watch wrestling with some friends!

At first, Tucker was super into it:

but the longer it went on, the more uncertain he was

until he totally crashed and burned.

When Dan asked him why he was upset,
he just kept saying that he didn't like to see them being mean to each other.

One of my favorite things about my son is his sense of justice.
He's a warrior at heart,
on the side of protecting others.
He was fine until they started stomping on each other while they were down.
I am the same way!

Dan was such a great dad.
Because they rode to the show with friends,
they were stuck.
And instead of getting frustrated,
Dan just took the opportunity to be with his son.

Head-sized cookies help.

Lana's basketball cheering section

Today Lana's team got to play in the championship.
They lost the game, 
but what a great season!

These are all the people who were there to support her this morning.
It was a rainy, gross day - 
they all could have stayed in the bed, slept in, done a million other things.

They didn't, though.
They came and cheered and loved on our girl,
and I'm not sure if she can even yet understand the kind of love this is.

I do, though.
and it fills this mama's heart to overflowing
for people to love my children like this. 


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Round here

Winter in Florida brings unusual sea creatures to the shore sometimes.
We did some research, 
and it turns out this one is a highly venomous Portuguese man-of-war.
A man-of-war is actually a floating colony, and gives a powerful, dangerous sting.
We stayed out of the water this day,
but isn't it beautiful?!

The kids got to dress in plain clothes a few weeks ago for good behavior.
They picked out their own outfits;
I love seeing how their styles are emerging.
Lana went for cute; Tucker for comfy.

We did get a bit of true winter in the panhandle this year!
Thankfully, these frigid temps only lasted a few days.

Friday date day isn't always a thing - 
sometimes our Fridays get filled up with things to do:
projects, life insurance meetings, errands, volunteering.
But sometimes we sneak away to a midday movie, and it is such a joy.
He is forever my favorite.

Dan bought me a little stand for my phone,
to make my video conferences and such easier for work.
He was getting it set up for me one night,
and accidentally snapped this silly shot.
It makes me smile.

This is our family focus for 2017: 
to outdo one another in honor and love.

That's Lana under the basket,
boxing out for the free throw rebound.
Look at those arms - they go on for days!
I am SO proud of how much she's improved in basketball this season.

This guy has no personality, clearly.
For posterity, this is called the "dab"
and is infinitely cool right now.

One of the ways we've gotten Tucker pain relief from his broken clavicle is lots of baths.  It takes the pressure off that shoulder, and lets him relax.  This particular night, he said "Oh mom, if I just had some cucumbers for my eyes, this would be a spa."  

I love people.  I really do.
But I'm an introvert at heart, and if I could find this sign,
I would hang it up permanently!! Ha!

Speaking of being an introvert,
I stole a few moments away one morning last week 
to have a delicious cup of coffee and study, all by myself.
This kind of thing fills my tank.

We were out of school on Monday for MLK Jr. Day,
and we were so happy to spend it at the beach with friends!
It was mid-70's and sunny,
and we all ended up with sunburns!  In January!

This guy was shoveling with a broken collarbone!
Kids are so resilient.
It was hard for me to just let him play,
but the ortho said to let him go at his comfort level.
Ironically, though, it still hurts to write at school.  Ha!

I love this beach better than any beach in the world.

This little cutie lost his front tooth!
Oh my WORD, I love the gap and the little lisp.
It's a bit said, though - once that tooth comes in,
the baby look will be gone.

He enjoyed the tooth treasure hunt that followed:

more relaxing in the tub....
we've done a lot of this over the past week since his break.

 Pepper has revolted against her kennel.
She hates it completely.
We bought her this big comfy bed thinking it would make it better
while's she's in there during the day.
You can see how she feels about that.

Is anything so heartwarming as coming in to my daughter's room at night to find her reading her Bible?  It's been the prayer of my heart since she was born that she would love God's Word deeply.

This is what happens when your parents tell you that you can't stay up late to watch the National Championship game.

He was truly distraught.