Monday, January 31, 2011

Texas Sky 365, Day 48

Facing west, 5:30pm.

Sawyer On: The Bachelor

S:  Mommy, I don't like this movie.

Public Service Worker Appreciation

In addition to the mailman giving out lollipops like candy (ha), our waste management guy (aka the trash truck driver) made Sawyer's morning today. We always run out to see the trash truck drive by and grab our can with his giant mechanical arm.  Today, when the truck drove by the other side of our street, he waved Rob and Saw over so Saw could watch from the cab how the driver operates the arm and watches the arm properly grab the can.

Which was great, except that the man was so distracted that he actually dropped the whole trash can into the truck.  Whoops.  So then we got to watch while he climbed into the truck to grab the can and throw it over the side.  Probably a lot more work than the guy was bargaining for today...but I think we all enjoyed the show.

Trashy Family Photos

Yesterday all of Rob's in-town fam gathered by our church for some family photos.  Lynn had requested a nice photo of herself for Buck, and we kind of took that and ran with it.  The funny thing about the location down by the Bayou is all the trash.  The bayous in Houston (which would be known as creeks or large drainage ditches in other places) get super full when it rains and trash gets dragged and left hanging in trees and along the banks.  Very sad, since it's otherwise such a fun place to play.  (Besides the whole alligator and poisonous snake thing...)  Good thing we all have nice cameras to blur out the backgrounds and photoshop to make it go away.  Here is a taste of the sweet and fun photos from my camera.

There were a lot of photographers...

I'm giving this one to Rob for his bday.
Paul and Denise's fam with Lynn.
Saw playing with Bryce.

Caleb playing with Linc. 

Tim doing his best karate kid swan kick jump.

I hope Rob and I are that happy later in life. 

The girls.  I was the only one aware of my camera, apparently.  Good thing we had three other ones to hopefully grab a great shot of us all looking in the same direction.
I love the sweet moments.
We threw in a little birthday celebration for Daniel...with some makeshift candles.

Little boys love cake.

Photo of the Day

By Daniel!  He caught this with my camera and I LOVE it.  One of my favorite pictures ever! Wow.

Texas Sky 365, Day 47

Facing west, 3:45pm.

Who Wants a Pacial?

One letter makes a lot of difference.  Is $25 good for a pacial?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Boys Have Fins

And gills.  Because they take baths all. The. Time.  You are probably thinking that I just happen to catch them in the bath a lot, but I catch them in the bath a lot because they are IN the bath a lot. Sawyer had three baths today.  Three.  Lincoln had two.  They are crazy about the water.  It's a good place to take pictures of them, since they're still and trapped.  There's just the whole bit about trying not to get the camera wet when Linc makes his tsunami.

Mailman! I Need a Lollipop!

Yesterday was lovely:  70 degrees and sunny.  Yay!  More, please!  So the little boys and I sat out in the front for a while in the afternoon.  The best part was that the mailman drove by and gave Sawyer a lollipop.    So, he ate it.  And then ran down by the street and shouted, "Mailman!  Come back!  I want another lollipop!"
Tex enjoyed rolling in the stiff, itchy grass. 

Chewing on the lollipop stick.

Linc was left out because it was, after all, food.  Well, kind of.

Cuteness and sadness.

Here's when Linc tried to steal what was left of the lollipop.

Texas Sky 365, Day 47

Today in the late afternoon the sky got a little crazy because we have weather coming in.  I love how the clouds spread just a little bit so underneath the wild gray, there were glimpses of blue sky.

Texas Sky 365, Day 46

This is from yesterday.  Totally cloudless day.  So much so that the camera wouldn't actually take a photo because it couldn't focus, so I had to put it on manual to get this shot.
Facing:  up.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Problem in My Marriage Is Me

Rob and I went to a marriage conference this weekend.  I know what you're thinking, which is what I got asked when I mentioned this:  "Why?  What's wrong with your marriage?  Is everything okay??"

Yes.  We're fine.  In fact, we're super!  I really do feel blessed to have a husband that I still really LIKE after almost eight years of marriage.  Rob and I laugh daily and have a good relationship that I feel is scarily well-adjusted.  Don't think that I'm bragging or making a statement about us being great people or something.  I'm fairly certain is the grace of Jesus.  We also benefit from the fact that neither of us loves conflict, so we strive to deal with any of it quickly and totally so it doesn't linger.

When Rob's Dad told us that Paul David Tripp, author of What Did You Expect? was coming to Houston for a conference, we decided to go. We were both excited, but still it was a little weird to feel like we were doing something designed for people in trouble.  I confess that we sat in the back row and cracked jokes and whispered a lot.  (I said we have a pretty good marriage--I did NOT claim we were mature.)  At one point, Paul Tripp said, "The problem in your marriage is YOU."  So I turned to Rob and said, "Hey, Rob--he just said that the problem in your marriage is YOU.  Let's go now."  Get my joke?

I thought I'd share a few main points that Trip had, and recommend the book or a conference if either is available, whether you are having problems or not, whether you are married or just thinking about marriage.  The underlying fact to both the book and this conference was that a marriage is made up of two sinful people.  Sinful people are selfish people, each wanting their own way.  The real problem when we have issues in our marriage is a problem with us and God.  It's not a behavior problem; it's a heart problem.  The things you say and the things you do come from the things that are already in your heart.

Often we want to "fix" the other person, or think that simply adding better communication or a date night or something like that will make things better.  Or assume that if only that other person stopped doing that thing, the relationship would be perfect.  When in reality, YOU are the problem.  You are selfish, so you want your way.  And when that other person isn't doing things YOUR way, there's conflict.  Since both of you have this problem of wanting your way, there is bound to be conflict in your marriage.

The only answer to this heart problem is Jesus.  From a Biblical perspective, we are called to seek first God's kingdom (Matthew 6) and to love God first and love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40).  What's love, you ask?  Love, as defined by Tripp (using 1 John 4:7-11) is "willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not demand reciprocation or that the person be deserving of it."  Pretty intense stuff.  If we are where we should be with God--loving him first and loving others as self--we will have a more quality marriage.

Sound hard?  It is.  That's why God doesn't call us to do things that He doesn't also equip us to be able to do.  Let me be clear:  I am NOT saying that God doesn't give us more than we can handle.  I hear that all the time, and I don't think that's the Biblical perspective.  God definitely gives us more than we can handle.  But then he equips and prepares and empowers us for those circumstances, and our relationship with Him deepens as we rely on Him to get through.

Obviously, this is not going to help you if you are not coming from a perspective of believing that there is a God who showed His love for us through Jesus living a perfect life (because we can't) and dying on the cross (the death we deserve).  That's the foundation for the foundations Paul Tripp put down this weekend.  Even if you aren't coming from that foundation, most people admit that they are not perfect--so what do you do when you are an imperfect person marrying another imperfect person?  What hope do you have?  If you feel hopeless, look to Jesus.

Overall, I felt that it was very different than what you usually hear at a marriage conference, and different also than what you hear as advice.  I came away with some really practical and real ways that I want to work on my marriage, starting with my time with God.

Did You Win?

I have a winner for my January CSN contest.  Is it you?  (Hint:  if your name isn't Liz, you probably didn't win.)  Click HERE to find out.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sawyer On: My Credit Card

S: Look! It's a coupon best Bible adventure ever!

Then I laughed. Really hard.

Texas Sky 365, Day 45

This is actually from yesterday, so hopefully I'll snag some great photos later of today.  We are nice and clear and sunny today, but I hear the rain is coming in tomorrow.  Boo!  Warm weather, come back!
What's going on with those crazy, wispy clouds?!

Fun Park Day!

I met up in the park with a few friends and tons of kiddos for a nice, cool, sunny morning.  We all had a good time, and the really good news was that Lincoln did not (to my knowledge) ingest any of the recycled tire pieces that the playground used as bedding.  Really--I get that things like mulch and tiny rocks and recycled tires are soft when kids land, but do the designers of such places really not understand that small kids EAT all those things?  Anyway.  It was a nice morning and we even branched out and met another mom and her boys.  Now I just have to figure out which photos of my kids to delete out of the 1,000 I took.  Sigh.
Noah and Sawyer.

Kelly and Hudson.

Lincoln Logs.

Kiddos eating a giant picnic spread.

Stinker Dinker doing what he does best: drooling.


Noah, Saw and Hudson playing in the web.

Saw swinging.

Mackenzie and Lincoln.

If you believe it, this is the best photo of the group I got.  You think one kid is hard, try catching seven all looking good  at the same time for a photo. 

When DSLRs Are Bad

Sometimes you may not want every millisecond captured.
Lincoln doing his best Big Baby impression.  (You know--from Toy Story 3.)



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