Monday, August 23, 2010

A new school year

My 8th grader, 2nd grader and Pre-schooler

The day started out early, I got up at 6:00 am.  I had been up late both nights prior to this so boy, this really seemed early.  I made pancakes for my kids and to my surprise I didn't even have to wake Chayce up this morning.  I went to get Chan up and she shot up like a rocket...just sat straight up in her bed, hair all over her face, her big grin was all I could see.

Sisters...I know they'll be best friends someday.  
Chan heading into class

We all walked Channing into her class then headed to take the big kids to their schools. Everything went incredibly smooth and no one was rushed or stressed which always makes for a great start to a school day. Next year, my last baby will be starting kindergarten. Let me tell you, the tears are going to FLOW.

With the brother and the backpack

Parker and Chayce...I picked him up before school this morning so he could come hang out with Chayce before they headed off for the first day.  It was bitter-sweet, Parker moved up to high school this year so after we dropped him off my big girl's eyes welled up with tears.  I had a lump in my throat for her.  They will still get to see each other just not passing one another in the halls this year. 
One last goodbye...

Words of the day:
Camden:  "I am so excited for school to start!"
Mom:  "Why, do you miss Anna?"
Camden: "Yes, I look at the clouds and think about her." 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Two fer Thursday...

(On a lighter note)

"Mom, I touched a lady's tee-tee."

This is what I am told by my four year old when we were leaving Chick-fil-a today.  

What would you do? 

I stopped dead in my tracks and asked him to please repeat himself.

"I just touched a lady's tee-tee."

Still in shock: "Ummmmmm, ok...did you tell her you were sorry?"

"No, she opened the door (to the play area) and I ran into her and hit her tee-tee."

Ok, well that calmed me down, sorta.  I'm thinking that my son deliberately walked up to some random woman and put his hand on her "tee-tee".  THANK YOU JESUS that this was purely an accident because if not, we were going to have to bust out the Bible and have a long heart to heart when we got home.  

Don't worry, I had a talk with him and let him know that next time he runs into someone, that polite thing to do is to say you're sorry, regardless of where you happen to 'hit' them.

And that was our outing for the day.  

Psalms 73:28; 139

Lord, there are times when I feel distant from you.  I fall away from you, it's never a run, it's just a gradual descent.  Many times it is when I have guilt or shame or I feel independent just because things are going 'right.'  I never mean to let distance come between us, it's not something that I purposely seek out to do. these tough times, although I feel distant from you, you feel near to me.  Your presence, I can feel it surrounding me, in scripture today, reading through verse after verse in Psalms.  You hear me, you know what I need and you put it right in front of me.  To encourage, to give hope, to cast out fear.  Your grasp is firm and comforting and I thank you for never letting go of me.  For whispering in my ear that you have gone before me and that you are walking with me constantly.

Thank you Lord, for taking me back after falling away from you.  For drawing me back in with your unconditional love and un-ending forgiveness.  For sending words that are meant just for me, for comforting me in times of need.  You know what my needs are, my concerns, my fears. 

Be near Lord.  For me.  Today.  I lift up my family to you Lord, let us be surrounded by you, let us feel your presence in our time of need.

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Be Near by Shane and Shane

You are all

big and small


and wonderful

to trust in grace through faith

but i'm asking to taste...

for dark is light to You

depths are height to You

far is near

but Lord, i need to hear from You

be near, oh God

be near, oh God of us

Your nearness is to us our good

be near, oh God

be near, oh God of us

Your nearness is to us our good, our good

Your fullness is mine

revelation divine

but, o, to taste

to know much more than a page

to feel Your embrace...

for dark is light to You

the depths are height to You

far is near, but Lord

i need to hear from You

be near, oh God

be near, oh God of us

Your nearness is to us our good

be near, oh God

be near, oh God of us

Your nearness is to us our good, our good

(psalms 73:28; 139)

Monday, August 16, 2010

I met an amazing kid today

His name was Blake, he was a walk-in at the salon, probably 18 years old.  He walked in and I shook his hand and introduced myself and he did the same.

He was young and super one of those Abercrombie models.  Piercing blue eyes, tall, dirty blonde hair with a slight curl on the ends (which he asked that I cut off).  He had the most amazing manners.  "Yes Ma'am" this "No Ma'am" that.  I mean after EVERY question I asked him. 

Naturally, I struck up a conversation with him, I was cutting his hair and it makes the time pass faster.

He's headed to college in three days, a music school out of state.  Guitar.  I was living vicariously through him because he is cool and I would LOVE to learn to play guitar!  After his undergrad studies, he is planning on going into music law.  Even cooler!!  His parents are paying for his college, but he worked all summer at a Christian youth camp to save up some money to take with him.  (Responsible, even!)

We talked about music and it came to be that we both had the same favorite band:  Needtobreathe and the same favorite song by them: Garden

If you haven't heard of them, I HIGHLY recommend you looking them up, amazingly talented song-writing, beautiful lyrics and music that makes your heart sing.  Seriously:

Anyway, Blake was telling me how he got a banjo for Christmas (Needtobreathe actually inspired that because he said they play the banjo in alot of their songs) and he just came back from vacation with his girlfriend's family.  His girlfriend is a year older than him, she went to Pepperdine last year but is transferring to his school this semester.

He also told me that he ended up in my chair because his usual guy is closed on Mondays but his whole family goes to this guy because he is a family friend, he has cancer and they try to help him out.

My mom was in the salon when Blake was getting his haircut and when he left we both had a discussion about what a great kid he was.  Not too many of those walking around but it was so refreshing and such a blessing to see someone like him heading off to start his new life.  I can guarantee that God has something special in store for that young man.

To Blake's parents, you should be so proud of your son and how well you raised him!!  He was such a joy to talk to and be around! 

To Blake, I hope you have an amazing life and that you have an amazing impact on the world!!  I know that God will keep you and bless you in all that you do!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Momma Love

So I was dropping Chayce off at her school Thursday night for strength and conditioning.  I was in a silly mood so I planted three big, fat, I mean HUGE smooches on her left cheek.  Not caring who was looking, I was just giving my big girl some love.

Chayce happened to notice a girl getting out of the car in front of us who was laughing.  Laughing because she had seen the giant smooch I planted on my girl.  Chayce got out of the car and headed into the school, along with the girl who was laughing at her.

The girl was making fun of Chayce (not in an ugly way) and said "Your mom still kisses you!?!?"

Chayce then tells her "Yeah, your mom doesn't kiss you?"


Friday, August 13, 2010

Inspiration Friday

I feel God's overwhelming presence when I listen to this song...the tears just flow.  I hope it blesses you!!

Oh, make sure to pause my playlist at the bottom and then TURN IT UP!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Out with the old Channing and in with the new...

Long hair

A little shorter

Losing teeth
Lost more teeth

This girl keeps growing up by the minute!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My house at 10:00 am today

And this was before the kids woke up!

Left over from last night, and maybe even the day before, but who's counting?

I'm sure you know what I spent my day doing.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


It's the hardest job a woman will ever have.  I walked into Chayce's room last night to get onto her for not cleaning up after herself.  She had a couple of messes in my bathroom that needed to be cleaned up.  I walked in and there she was, sitting on the floor...reading her bible.  Instant joy!  I told her that I was happy to see her doing that and I laid my body across her bed to hang out with her for a few minutes.

I noticed that her eyelashes were wet and asked her what was wrong.  She began to try to convince me that there wasn't anything wrong but, MOTHERS KNOW.  Our children's feelings are imprinted on our hearts, it's this supernatural 'thing' that we are just able to pick up on their feelings.

She started talking to me, my ears were all eager and open to listen.  When her words come out, they hit me in my gut, similar to a boxer's uppercut.  She was hurting, confused, stressed, overwhelmed.  Instantly I switch into mom mode, my mind going 50 miles an hour: What can I do? What can I say? How can I fix this?  Sorting through all the questions that are flying through my head, internally I feel angry because I feel helpless.  I can't fix everything and sometimes, I have to step back because some things aren't meant to be 'fixed'.  I am her mom, I am her protector, her shield, I just want to take her in my arms and tell her that everything was going to be ok, but I didn't. 

I laid there and listened.  I shared my worries, my fears and my mistakes with her.  I apologized to her for being so fearful and worried for her and I told her that I hope one day she will understand, when she becomes a mother.  I explained to her that I would run and jump off of a cliff for her if I knew that she would never have to feel pain or hurt or heartbreak.  But again, I am helpless...I cannot save her from the world.  I cannot keep her locked up in a bubble, free from harm or life's difficulties. 

We talked, we cried, and after a while we even shared a few laughs.  I hoped I had relieved some of her anxiety and let her know that I would always be there, to listen to her, to cry with her, to make her laugh even if she doesn't feel like it.  When it was all said and done I asked her if she felt better.  She answered with a beautiful smile and a confident "Yes".

It was one of those moments that I walked away from praising God and thanking Him for the opportunity to really be there for my big girl.  So many times I feel like I just go through the motions, not getting the opportunity to show my kids the more gentle side of me.  I didn't solve any problems, I didn't 'fix' anything.  In that moment, I was given an opportunity to just 'be'.  Be still, be quick to listen, be slow to speak.  In that moment, it was Chayce and I, it was two girlfriends, it was a mom and a daughter...talking about life, about the past, about the future.  Talking about figuring out who you are and asking the Lord to reveal things in order to understand life a little more clearly.

I walked away with a joyful heart because it created an opportunity for open communication between a mom and her teenage daughter...and it was beautiful.

A funny!!

I worked today at the salon.  Completely booked from 9 to 2.  Our big girl Chayce has babysat for us some over the summer.  She's responsible enough and the little ones are big enough, 9 times out of 10 she's a pretty darn good babysitter.

She told on herself today but it was so funny that I couldn't even get mad.

All the kids were asleep this morning when I left but I opened Chayce's door, woke her up and told her that I was leaving.

As told by Chayce:

Camden woke up and went into Chayce's room to wake her up because her was hungry.

Camden: "I want some cereal."
Chayce (probably half asleep) "Let me wake up and I'll get you some in a minute."

Camden leaves her room.
Chayce (probably) dozes off.

Chayce is awakened by this sound:  "HUNGRY, HUNGRY, HUNGRY, HUNGRY."

Chayce tells me that Camden did leave her room, then he VERY quietly crawled on his hands and knees back to her room and hid himself right next to her bed and started chanting.

She couldn't see anyone, all she could hear was "HUNGRY, HUNGRY, HUNGRY."  Camden wasn't loud or anything, it was just constant and in this 'Slingblade' type voice. 

I laughed so hard!!!  I could SO see him doing that!  I love my kids, it's never a dull moment with them!         

Friday, August 6, 2010

Random Friday

Curious getting his tan on at the pool



A Parker sandwich

Chocolate crinkle cookies

Mom's little helper...always

Lanie doing her 'water dance'

Grilled mexican corn, or as James put it "The best corn I've ever had!" 

Chan and a friend playing beauty salon 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

VIP and it didn't even cost us one cent!

The company James works for is able to get baseball tickets as a special treat for their employees.  We annually attend a Texas Rangers game, which we will do later this month.  James was able to get Rough Riders tickets as well.

Last night we went to the Frisco Rough Riders game, a minor league team here closest to us.  I didn't quite understand how the whole process worked with the minor league teams so James was more than happy to explain it all the me.  Something about A, AA, and AAA, etc.  Yes, I've seen the movie The Rookie but I didn't understand it all until last night.

Anyway, Camden has never been to anything other than a t-ball game and James thought this would be the perfect opportunity for Camden to experience his first REAL baseball game. 

To be perfectly honest, there isn't a bad seat at the field, it was open and airy and SO NICE!  Everyone there was so friendly, once we entered the gates a sweet young employee noticed that we had bracelets (this was called Founder's Membership).  She instantly started telling us all this stuff we had access to AND she gave us her card so we could call her if we needed anything!  Talk about VIP!!  There was a restaurant that had a buffet in it that we could make reservations for, and a separate place that had desserts readily available.  We had our own drink window and had two other places we could go in and out of to get food.  There is a pool near the outfield that can be reserved, there is a children's playground and so much fun to be had as far as entertainment between innings. It was an amazing experience and the kids had a great time! 

I highly recommend attending a Rough Riders game!!
Hot dogs, burgers, nachos, drinks...all FREE! 

Chan with Deuce, the mascot

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And away he goes!

I had tried talking to Camden about attempting to swim a few times, as summer is steadily coming to a close.  He wasn't quite confident enough to take his floaties off and give it a shot.  His favorite line in the pool seems to be that he "drowned."  "Mom, I just drowned!"  "Did you see me just drowned?"  I have explained to him in as sweet a way as possible that if he had 'drowned', he wouldn't be able to breathe.  I told him that he was doing so well with his floaties on that he could try to swim without them on because it would basically be the same.  "No Mom, I will drowned."  Anyway, this past Sunday I'm not sure what exactly came over him but he gained enough self confidence that he brought up swimming without his floaties.  Daddy and Chan were at the pool with us as well.  So, I took his floaties off each of his arms and let him fly. 

Instantly.  He.  Swam.         

Look, no floaties!
No money paid out for swimming lessons, no begging and pleading from pushy parents, no tears, no fear.  He took a deep breath, plopped down under the water and kicked and pushed his arms out from underneath himself.  It was one of those moments that makes you so proud to be a parent.  I teared up and laughed.  I couldn't stop laughing at this sweet little boy who, back in May, would not jump into the pool and wouldn't get in without his floaties.  I laughed and laughed as he continued to dip down into the water and swim to his daddy like a happy little fish.  He was proud, I was proud, and daddy was proud.  James and I just sat there in awe as he kept going under over and over again testing out his new found confidence.

Speaking of confidence, he even asked us to throw rings out to him so he could swim underwater to find them.  Did I mention that Camden is 4 1/2?? 

On Sunday, August 1, 2010 our precious baby boy learned how to swim.  On this day, I felt my heart smile as my baby boy hit another childhood milestone.  I was so thankful that both daddy and I were there to witness it firsthand.   

Finding rings in the water