Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tricks of the Trade #4

This morning after I got Norah out of her crib we went into my room and I shared a very important trick of the trade (The Tricks) with her:

Trick of the Trade #4:
After you wake up in the morning and rub the sleep out of your eyes, make your bed.

Norah listened intently while I shared the fourth trick of the trade with her and it's importance.  After I was done, she said, "Me... Bed... Back....Kay."  To which I replied, "You're going to go make your bed now?"  "Yeah, kay.  Back." she said.  After one and half minutes she came back and told me to come into her room to observe the progress.  This is what it looked like:

By Golly, I think she's got it!  :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011


to see more of these girls this week:

The Eve of Summer

I woke up to a phone call from someone I love (*cough, cough.... Jane) and I'm very grateful for that because the Lord used it to place my heart here this morning:


I have been so blessed by the years I spent at camp and this morning it is amazing to me that for the first time I get to observe it from the outside world.  I want to write this to the people that are there this summer and who are living out the good news at Sky Ranch:

There is no other place that you'll pour yourself out for others the way you do at camp this summer.  You are on the eve of something incredible that you can't predict and that you can't force.  You can only trust the One who has placed you there and that's my prayer for you on the eve of your first day of campers... to trust.

Realize that you will walk in grace this summer, whether it's your first summer or your fourth.  There will be times when you feel like it's you who's doing everything, but in reality it's only by grace.  When you feel the tension in your body to stop or quit, push through and let go because that's when you know something incredible is about to happen in your own life and in one of the lives' of your precious campers.

Remember to laugh.  Remember to not take yourself too seriously.  Wear a gnome around your neck and for one summer let go of the plans you might have for the next school year or the start of your "real life" after school and just be there.  Trust and be there.  And know that you're not in this alone.  You have your brothers and sisters at camp and at home, camp leadership who loves you and somebody on the other side of the world who is thinking and praying for you every day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

When it Rains...

It Pours.

On Thursday of last week, I had an unexpected guest at 1:30 am in my bathroom.  A leak.

It started out as a drip................drip...........drip.....drip...drip.drip

And turned into about 11 different water faucets coming down from the ceiling.

Thankfully bathrooms here come complete with drains on the floor.  I placed two buckets underneath two of the faucets and emptied them for 3 hours, until I got tired and had to go to sleep, thanking God for drains and their usefulness.

It would have looked much worse than this if we didn't have those drains:

And alas, when the plumber came in the morning we found out this was the culprit:

You learn something from every thing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baba's Coming!

In less than two days....

Glamour iShots

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kingston & Me

A Photographic series done in black & white

Subtitle: Fuzzy pictures

Subtitle: Sharp picture

It's all about the lighting.
Or maybe Kingston is controlling the camera's fuzziness without us even knowing...
We'll have to ask him if he's one of the X-MEN when he gets bigger.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bathing Beauties!

This happened a few weeks ago right after the Easter Sunrise service, but I realized that I never shared these really cute photos!  It is a must!

Right after the service, the girls got their bathing suits on and spent some time in the water.  But then everything got really exciting and wonderful for them when Sarah and Bethany showed them how to swim in the water!

So sweet!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Silly Eater

I know a Silly Eater.  I may even know two.  But I know one for sure.  Let us examine.

Above shows Silly Eater's eating strategy.

If you have a bowl full of something, you need to transfer the food onto your table and spread it around.  If that something in the bowl happens to be cereal, it's a good idea to transfer it to your table and back into the bowl several times if possible.  Food just tastes better if it is transferred to other surfaces to pick up the tastes of those surfaces.

If there is something interesting on your knee during a meal, you need to check it out for at least twenty minutes.  Losing focus on eating is important and this is just one way to do it.

Yup, I love the Silly Eater.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Updated Post-it Plan

You know how when someone's gone and you just really miss them.  You been there?  And then you start this plan, but you forget to do it for a few days and you feel like a bad friend.... an inconsistent friend.  Well, I just can't be an inconsistent friend to Kate Wright.  I mean, she's such a consistent friend to me and to Aliza.  Kate Wright is the type of person who comes into the kitchen when we're eating lunch and helps Aliza stay focused.... stay on task..... eat instead of daydreaming.  She helps Aliza turn a frown upside down.  And to Norah- man, Kate Wright does the car wash.  (don't worry, she's crying everyday in your absence).  I mean- THAT'S CONSISTENCY.

So, I decided to start over, to get a new plan.  And I lost steam after a little while because it would have been really demanding.  But at least that little Texas girl knows that I care.

You have to read it from the bottom up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"My Baby"

Norah might be considered a bag lady to some people.  Last week I saw her carrying 7 different bags of all shapes and sizes at one time.  I wish I had a picture to show you.  But I do have photographic evidence of something else.  This morning she was mixing her two favorite things together: a bag and her baby.

I caught her in the act:

I'm so glad she keeps her backpack right next to her for handy access...  Can you find her baby in this picture?

Picture perfect family.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Another New Phone in the Family

Once upon a time I posted on here that my mum, Baba, got a new phone.  After pondering over it last night, I reasoned that it would be a good idea to announce the arrival of another new phone in the family, Gig's phone.

Now, you might notice that it's not an iphone like Baba's.  Don't feel bad for Gig, it's for everyone's best that he didn't get a "smartphone" as he told me.

But at least this one has a sporty cover that matches his mustard Carhart shirt.... (also what he told me)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Post-It Plan

I took this girl to the airport yesterday:

(Don't worry, that's not her baby.  That's Kingston.)

But after waking up this morning to the realization that my very good friend Kate Wright is gone for a month, I came up with a plan....  A Post-It Plan.

That's all I can announce for now because it's top secret and this is posted onto the world wide web, on which Kdub is a frequent attendant.  I'm saying too much already.  I need to stop.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

An Interactive J-Town!

J-Town and I spent some time together this morning.
And he had some tummy time on my tummy, which I couldn't help but capture:

Look!  He's awake!

He has eyes!

And he's so cute!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Just a Little Emily

Many things remind me of Emily Watkins.

Every time I have the giggles I'm reminded of my old roommate.  When I would come home from work and see her.... I would start to giggle and I wouldn't be able to stop.

When I see someone dancing or listen to country music I'm reminded of her.

And the other day when I made some things out of tissue paper, I was also reminded of her.  So this one's in your honor, Watkins.  Keep on livin' even after Taylor is gone.

I even dressed up the camel...

And we both miss you!
(Me and the Camel)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

"A Praying Life"

I'm currently reading this book called A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller.  And I can't help myself, I have to post something about it because it's been so wonderful to read.  Here is an excerpt from the book:
The difficulty of coming just as we are (in prayer to God) is that we are messy.  And prayer makes it worse.  When we slow down to pray, we are immediately confronted with how unspiritual we are, with how difficult it is to concentrate on God.  We don't know how bad we are until we try to be good.  Nothing exposes our selfishness and spiritual powerlessness like prayer.
In contrast, little children never get frozen by their selfishness.  Like the disciples, they come just as they are, totally self-absorbed.  They seldom get it right.  As parents or friends, we know all that.  In fact, we are delighted (most of the time!) to find out what is on their little hearts.  We don't scold them for being self-absorbed or fearful.  That is just who they are...
This isn't just a random observation about how parents respond to little children.  This is the gospel, the welcoming heart of God.  God also cheers when we come to him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers.  Jesus does not say, "Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest."  No, Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28 NASB).  The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness.  Come overwhelmed with life.  Come with your wandering mind.  Come messy.
What does it feel like to be weary?  You have trouble concentrating.  The problems of the day are like claws in your brain.  You feel pummeled by life.
What does heavy-laden feel like?  Same thing.  You have so many problems you don't even know where to start.  You can't do life on your own anymore.  Jesus wants you to come to him that way!  Your weariness drives you to him.
Don't try to get the prayer right; just tell God where you are and what's on your mind.  That's what little children do.  They come as they are, runny noses and all.  Like the disciples, they just say what is on their minds.
We know that to become a Christian we shouldn't try to fix ourselves up, but when it comes to praying we completely forget that.  We'll sing the old gospel hymn, "Just as I Am," but when it comes to praying, we don't come just as we are.  We try, like adults, to fix ourselves up.
Private, personal prayer is one of the last great bastions of legalism.  In order to pray like a child, you might need to unlearn the non-personal, nonreal praying that you've been taught. p. 31-32
Seriously-  Get this book and read it.

A New ART Time

Yaya has been making more and more by herself during our art times.

After talking to my friend Rachel, who is an art teacher, she helped me realize that one useful thing gained by drawing and creating is that Yaya is able to improve her fine motor skills.  So instead of trying to force her hand to draw something, we've just been letting her creativity flow.  Talking to Rachel also reminded me that during this developmental stage, things shouldn't look like they do in reality because she is figuring out her own way of expressing herself.

Alas, this is one of the first things she came up with:

A Christmas Tree in April