Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time ~Oswald Chambers

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I took this picture of Lily on May 24.
May 24.

It was her first trip to the pool.

Floaties on each arm.
Blow-up ring secured tightly around her waist.
That's how it was on May 24.
Four weeks ago.

But last night, at our local swim meet, she showed us all just what can be accomplished in four short weeks...

...when you have the drive to pursue a goal.
...when you have the determination to work hard.
..and when you have the opportunity to make it happen.

I love that girl's drive.
I love her determination.
And I love the fact that because of His great love, she now has every opportunity to be all that He created her to be.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A First

He'd waited for this moment for a long, long time.
The day that he graduated from the "Happy Hippos" to become an official swim team member.
Swimming in the big leagues now.
Otherwise known as the "6 and unders."
And this week he had his first real swim meet.

He'd practiced all week for his event...the 25 freestyle.
And his coaches worked him ragged...
"Alex get off the wall."
"Alex, off the lane line."
"Alex, kick."
"Alex, swim."
And when the time came, he was ready.
Starting off with a healthy dose of carbs.
Followed by just a few more carbs.
And rounding it out with, you guessed it, more carbs.
Washing it all down with plenty of fluids.
Tough-guy tattoo was properly positioned ...
A little friendly conversation with the competition....
And then he was in the zone.
He received a  few final words from the coaches...
And then it was game on.
He positioned himself on the block...
And a historical moment was poorly recorded for all posterity.
(I've since learned that it is ridiculously hard to simultaneously enjoy the moment while taping the moment...)

After his highlight-reel worthy performance, he was greeted by throngs of fans..

And of course...

...more carbs.

Pure and Undefiled Religion In The Sight of Our God...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An Orphan's Wish This Summer...

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40

Saturday, June 11, 2011

14 Years

Fourteen years and things have changed a bit...

Your picture books have been replaced by the classics.

Your "play" phones now have text packages.

"Dress up" now translates to "coat and tie."
And {sigh} there's no more talk of dump trucks.
  Just the driver's license that awaits in the not-so-distant future.

But one thing will never change no matter how many years go by.

You will always, always be my baby boy.
Happy 14th Michael!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm trying to remember what I used to do in my spare time when I was 12.

I'm sure I read some books.
Procrastinated on chores.
Probably watched way too much TV.

But one thing I'm sure I never did when I was 12 was try to learn a new language.
By myself.

But that's what I've found a certain 12 year old (who happens to live in this house) doing lately.
At night, after her compadres have gone off to bed...
Or in the afternoon when she has some down time...
I'll come around the corner to find her hunkered down with her Chinese textbook, her whiteboard, and her insatiable desire to learn Mandarin.

A desire given by Him.
To learn a language not her own.
Because a love has been formed for a culture and a people very different from hers.

It started with her love for her sisters.
And the many children still waiting for a home.
But it has since grown into something much, much more.

And she wants to go back.
In some capacity.
And I have every reason to believe that she will.

But for now she studies on her own.
With a little help from a textbook.
And our resident expert.

 And I watch and I wait...

for this beautiful seed that has been planted to come to full bloom.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Swim

After a long week of waiting, Lily had her first official swim lesson yesterday.

Pretty standard.
30 minutes.
Learning to kick.
And stroke.
And breathe.

So if you are beginning to know my Lily like I am beginning to know my Lily...
Well then you know that of course she was going to attempt to swim the length of the pool.

'Cause she's got one whole swim lesson under her belt.
And she's been acquainted with this thing called a pool for oh, I don't know, a couple of weeks now.
For the first time in her life.
Naturally it's time to swim the length of it.
If you're Lily, that is.

She tried over and over and over.
And she ended up being able to make it a little more than half way across with her "coaches" cheering her on.
And I was duly impressed.

I am constantly amazed at her determination.
And what she has already accomplished in the short time she has been home.

And I have a feeling that if we make it back down to the pool tomorrow...
She's going to find her way from one end to the other before it's time to head home.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sunday Snapshot {My Little Man}

Gracious I love this kid.
(Despite the fact that he is single-handedly responsible for every one of my pre-mature gray hairs.)
Please tell me that they are pre-mature.  I'm not that old yet, am I? 
Never mind. 
Don't answer that.

Sometimes I can't believe he's only 5 years old.

And I don't think he believes he is only 5 years old either.

Maybe it's the sense of confidence that comes from wearing super hero underwear every day.

Looking ahead, I see motorcycles, bungee jumping, and sky diving in his future.
(Pictured above enjoying a little time in the convertible that he constructed with Caroline).

If he were a comic strip character, he would be Calvin.
Hands down.

If he were a dog, he'd be a golden.
Social, loyal, and just a wee bit distractable.
If he were a musician, he'd be Toby Mac.
And he's got the moves to prove it.
But thankfully, for right now, he's just my Alex.

And I'm the blessed momma that gets to call him "my little man..."
...super hero underwear and all.

To view more Sunday Snapshots visit Stefanie's blog at...

Sunday Snapshot

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Carly Cool"

Not sure exactly when it was that her daddy gave her that nickname.
Carly Cool.
But it stuck.
And it fits.

When she was 2 she told us that when she grew up she was going to drive across the country to live in  California.
Not sure where that came from exactly since we come from a long line of East Coasters.
But I believed her then.
And still do today.
She's our adventurous one.
Or, more appropriately, one of our adventurous ones.

I looked out the window early the other morning to see her and a certain 5 year old riding the waves together.
Not sure if they'd even eaten breakfast yet.
Practically had the whole beach all to themselves.

And suddenly I envisioned the two of them ziplining in a Costa Rican jungle or safari-ing together on the African plains.
When they grow up.
Which is happening much too soon if you ask me.
Beach living suits her though.
Not being one for dresses or frills.
She's happiest in a pair of gym shorts and a tee.
And if shoes are necessary...flip flops.

She wears 1001 pony tail holders on her wrist.
All the time.
Just in case a soccer game breaks out, I guess.
Always the prepared one she is.
Seems like just yesterday she was sitting in her little toddler chair in the sand watching the water from safe up on the shore.
Not today though.

Today it's boogie boards and pony tails.
Flip flops and catching waves.

And I'm going to enjoy every minute of "today.'
Because "tomorrow" will surely be here before I know it.

Queen of the Hot Tub

It starts early with this one.
Usually by breakfast.
"Mommy, I go hot tub?"

Then usually once again while we are on the beach.
"Mommy, I go hot tub, pleeeeease?"

And then at lunch.
"Hot tub time, Mommy?"

Because while she enjoys the sand and surf just fine...

this girl seriously loves her some hot tub time.

And she's not only about the fun either.
She'll work to make sure it's in top form for her enjoyment later that day.

And when you are a tiny thing like she is, you can get in some swim practice too.

They are calling for temps in the low 90's here today.
But I suspect this one will still be asking for her hot tub time.