Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sumtin' Sumtin'

Everyone needs to be reminded of where they come from now and then. Today was my day. Let me preface it to say that I didn't go into teaching for the money. Evidently I also didn't go into it to help build my self esteem.

When I opened the top drawer of my desk, several of my friends realized I had another badge stashed in there (in case I lose this years badge, I saved last years badge.) When they asked about it, I told them I keep the extra one in there just in case. My little buddy looked at me and said "Oh, nice Mrs. Townsend is in the drawer and mean Mrs. Townsend is out of the drawer." Nice. And, here I thought I was being especially kind and loving today. Guess not.

Nothing like a Kindergartner to put you in your place. To knock you down a few pegs. To keep you humble. To remind you that you really aren't "sumtin' sumtin'" after all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Dare You

I have a little buddy in my class who is a pumpkin, but, seriously has caused me to hone my "teaching" craft this year. In the areas of discipline, classroom management and lastly, but most importantly the fact that it is against the law for me to kill a child. Oh, there have been days. Many, many days.

I say that to say there are days when the light at the end of the tunnel is close. Oh so close. Today was partly one of those days. It wasn't perfect ... there was the fist fight in the middle of the of the Book Fair author's speech. It was even more perfect since my class was in the front row. (Can you say teacher of the year?!) And, then there was the hitting someone on the head with a lunchbox at lunchtime. And, then he got so mad at me for asking him to stay in line he threw his lunchbox (extremely hard) at the brick wall. But, ya'll, today was a good day. (And, I didn't write that so that you would immediately get down on your knees to pray for me. Nor did I write it as part of my defense in case of an unfortunate incident from paragraph one.) Seriously, the light was shining bright.

Someone got in his face at the end of the day. Ordinarily that would have caused me to become the referee in the middle of a boxing match. Not today. He came to me and demonstrated a not so lovely face his friend made. When I asked the face making friend what kind of face he made, I really should have known the answer I was going to receive. I just should have known better.

He said "My my my eyes are not not not near my mouth so I couldn't see what kind of face I made."

You try to keep on disciplining with a straight face. I dare you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekend Update

This weekend was glorious. Just glorious.

-First, Torrey is better. Praise you Jesus! She is now buried under a mountain of homework ... we hope to see her again sometime next week! (Kidding ... she seems to have it all under control. Some day she will get on her knees and thank the Lord she inherited those genes from Dean!)

-Don and Colette came to town and we were able to meet them for dinner. Funny how you don't see some people for years and you just pick up where you left off. They have raised two of the neatest kids ... write a book Don and Colette, write a book!

-Church was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Gregg just finished a series about the birds and the bees ... I encourage everyone to go to our church website ( and listen. It was good.

-Colette came to church with us and then we went to lunch and dessert. Yummiest sandwich and salad ever. Ever. But, I am still dreaming about the best cupcake I have had in a long time. Oh, Dessert Gallery, how I love you. I have talked about that cupcake all day. All day. And, so you can truly understand how good it was ... it was just a yellow cupcake with buttercream frosting. Nothing fancy ... just an ordinary, unbelievably delicious cupcake.

-And, then last night Dean and I watched the oldest Duggar boy get married. This family intrigues me ... I seriously can't look away. You know there was nothing on TV last night if Dean watched the entire thing with me!

-I forgot to mention that I went to bed at 4:30 on Friday night and woke up at 9:00 Saturday morning. I would love to tell you I had a rough week, but I only went to school 2 days ... here's hoping I don't fall asleep in my chair at noon this Friday!

And, now we are back to Monday ... and I am behind on the pictures (AGAIN!) I take them, I just don't post them. Good grief. Why did I ever start this project? I am determined to finish it. How many more days until December 31st?!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Melanie!

Happy Birthday Melanie! If my math is correct, you are turning 25. Oh how I loved 25! (If my math is wrong and you are really 24, Oh how I loved 24! Just kidding ... 25 was my favorite year.) Thirteen years ago you graciously gave up your status as the youngest grandchild to Torrey. You didn't complain ... but, then I don't think I have ever heard you complain about anything. That is just your way. Your smile is easy. Your willingness to love others is easy too. Grampy always commented on your beauty ... he was and continues to be right. We love hearing about the exciting things that are happening for you and Chad (um, can you please come and decorate my house?!) We are praying great things for the both of you this year! Hope your day was special and full of sweet surprises!
Just regular Uncle Dean & Aunt Tracy (although in our heads we are great!)
and Torrey

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Prayer for Jennifer


You know. You know that today marks three years. You know that three years ago we never thought we would be saying she has been gone for three years. Three days seemed hard enough to bear, nevermind the thought that three years later she would still be gone. You know where she is. You know how she got there. You know who. You know.

Today, God, we ask you ... no, we beg you to reveal Jennifer. We selfishly ask that she be safe. That she be well. That she be alive. But, if that isn't your plan, we ask that you bring comfort for those that love her. Today, God, continue to sustain her family. Breathe your hope onto them. Breathe your comfort onto them. Strengthen them. Remind them that Jennifer is not and will not be forgotten. Remind them that you love them and you love Jennifer.

God, someone knows. Someone knows. Give them the courage to tell. Even if in the telling they lose what they love. What they have held dear these past three years. Make the words come out. Make them tell the secret they have held too long. It is time. It is past time.

And, God, let your glory come from this. Make your presence known in this. Three years ago we foolishly asked the question, "How can anything good come from this?" You knew then. You know now.

Our prayer continues to be what it was three years ago ... bring her home. Please, bring her home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a Country!

All eyes were on Washington, DC as our 44th President was sworn into office. As I watched the proceedings, I couldn't help but be ever so proud of my country. We have much to be proud of in America tonight ... a peaceful transfer of power, our first African-American President, the kindness and grace that was shown on both sides of the aisle today ... may what we saw today continue. May we be a nation that looks out for each other and listens to each other. May Christians across our nation pray, pray, pray for our new President ... pray that he would seek God's will for our nation, pray for his safety and the safety of his family, and pray for those who surround him, that God would grant them all wisdom. (Proverbs tells us that God holds the heart of the King (or President) in His hands and turns it however He chooses ... take comfort in that!)

And, lastly, I have to give a shout out to Rick Warren. You were given a moment to share the gospel and you did not waste it. You did not squander it. You were bold. You were kind. You showed the love of Jesus. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Rats! I Missed One!

It didn't take me long to forget a Birthday ... rats! On January 16th, Matt and Erika's daughter, Alissa, turned 9. Alissa, hope your day was special! You brought great joy and hope to the family after a season of sorrow. We pray you always know how much you are loved! We won't forget your day next year!

Great Uncle Dean & Great Auntie Tracy

Day Twenty

Happy Birthday Dean! It has been a quiet day here in the Townsend house ... Torrey is still sick and we cancelled our plans to go out to dinner. I actually heard him say he wanted a do-over next week! This is his favorite cake ... want the recipe? It's just a Duncan Hines cake mix ... he isn't picky!

Day Nineteen

Guess who is still sick? Guess who is getting a cold? Torrey is still running a fever and is still feeling miserable. Dean and I have gotten drippy noses ... here's hoping we don't get what our girl has. Here is our arsenal to keep the flu away ... isn't it ridiculous?!

Happy Birthday Dean!

Today the love of my life turns 42. Happy Birthday Dean! You are an amazing husband and father. You have and will always be my best friend. No one makes me laugh like you can. No one looks out for me like you do. You are a great father to Torrey. Need proof? Two words ... Daisy Mae. You are funny and a hard worker. I hope your day is fun and full of laughter. This year promises to be a good one ... I just know it!

(I really wanted to put up the pictures of you finding your glasses in the laptop bag after losing them 9 months ago ... but, then I thought I would be setting you up for a lot of "look how old you are" jokes!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sick Day

I took a sick day today because Torrey is still sick and Dean couldn't stay home with her. So, I am taking advantage of a "free" day to update the blog. I feel so industrious ... wonder how long it will take before I get behind again?

Day Eighteen

Our girl is sick. Very sick. Which probably explains why she let me take the picture ... in the future I may get yelled at. The very near future. But, for now it looks like she may have a case of the flu. Her fever is at 102 ... she is miserable.

Day Seventeen

Posted simply because Jennifer is not the only one craftsy in the family ... although she is probably the most talented. I made these. Every bit of them. I just may frame them I am so proud.

Day Sixteen

Today a new Kroger opened in our neighborhood. The week before we got a flier in the mail announcing there would be a drawing for a year of free groceries. I am not a Kroger shopper, but I do love me some free groceries, so I went to check it out. First of all, let me be clear. It was not HEB ... not even close. I kept on shopping because of the free groceries. When I checked out I asked about the free groceries and was told "There are no free groceries, but $500 in free prescriptions." I told the manager he was wrong. I got the flier and got excited because I USE free groceries, I do not use free prescriptions. He told me if I brought the flier back he would set something up. What? It was your marketing plan. Suffice it to say these are the last Kroger bags that will ever come into my house because I will never shop there again. Oh Kroger, you are dead to me.

Day Fifteen

Tonight was President Bush's Farewell Address. Boo. Hiss. I cried. You will be missed, Mr. President. You will be missed.

Day Fourteen

Guess who doesn't like to be left alone during the day? Dean was in Baton Rouge and tonight was Youth Group, so we didn't get home until around 8:30 ... and this is what we found. Somehow Zoey got her pillow unzipped (she's smart and wily ... we are so proud!) and removed every bit of stuffing. Every bit. In the process she broke the zipper. Her new bed doesn't have a zipper. Or stuffing. Because she cannot be trusted!

Day Thirteen

Today I had the "privilege" to attend a rock workshop. Not sure how to say boring in another language, but English should suffice. Boring.

Day Twelve

Evidently this is all I ever say. No, seriously. I was told this today. By a Kindergartner. Little did he know that I took great joy in his telling me this. I am now the "Charlie Brown Teacher". SCORE!

Day Eleven

Sunday. Church. We really love to worship at our church. We fell in love with the place the first time we visited over 2 years ago. We had just about given up finding a place like First Baptist Orlando ... and then we came here. Up this same sidewalk. We got about halfway to the door and stopped and said "It feels like home." No truer statement has ever been uttered ... it is home.

Day Ten

We discovered Froberg's Farm Stand today. There are several really neat trees on the property and we had to get a picture ... only one. There was a HUGE ant pile near the tree. You can see it right behind Torrey ... I think she was in flip flops that day. Fire ants and flip flops do not mix ... on any day!

Day Nine

Guess this is what they mean by "a dog's life". She seriously sleeps like this all the time. Although, it is better than Zack ... he used to sleep in his litter box! And, don't let her size fool you. Zoey may be small, but she is feisty! Anything Zack has she instantly MUST HAVE! Such a little sister!

Day Eight

Guess where I am spending a lot of time these days? Houston traffic is the worst ... and such a part of our lives! Grrrr!

A Goodbye Letter to the President

Tomorrow President Bush leaves office. I am sure he is an avid reader of my blog, so please indulge me as I leave him a goodbye message. There are some things he just needs to know.

Dear Mr. President,

Tomorrow at noon you leave office. How could eight years have gone by so quickly? It seems like just yesterday I was standing in line to vote in the 2000 election thinking I would know that night if you won. Thirty-nine days is a long time to have to wait, but, let me say, well worth it!

There is something you need to know about the 2000 election. I stood in line at a water reclamation plant for an hour and fifteen minutes with a four year old to cast my ballot. Have you ever visited a water reclamation plant? Don't. Oh, the stink! And, I really think it shouldn't be called a water reclamation plant, but rather a mosquito breeding facility. I thought more than once that I should just forget it and not vote. But I stayed. Not because I was such a patriot ... I had the four year old with me, remember? She would have tattled. And, so I waited. And voted. In Orlando. As in Florida. And, so Mr. President, you must know, I cast the winning vote.

I have never once thought I voted wrong. I didn't. You were the right man for our country these past eight years. You were President during some of our country's most difficult days. No President has faced what you had to face ... you did this and kept our country in tact. There was no playbook. There was no "we always do it this way". There was no one else to push blame on. It was you. You stood between our country and terrorists for eight years. How can "Thank You" be enough?

Mr. President, when I think back on your Presidency there are things I will long remember...

*September 11th. You showed the world you were our LEADER. You brought hope to our country. You may have been quaking in your boots, but you never showed it. You stood for us when we were too scared to stand ourselves.
*Your ability to laugh and smile and not take yourself too seriously. You are humble, sir.
*Your willingness to tell the world that you seek the will of the Almighty. God clearly guides your path. Thank you for being willing to seek Him. (When Torrey was 4 she picked you to be her President. When we asked her why she said "Because him loves Jesus." When we asked her how she knew, she just said "Look at him's eyes." She knew because she could see Him in you. Kids are amazing ... and, rarely wrong.)
*You made decisions that might not have been popular, but you stood by them without wavering because they were what was right for our country. Those decisions cost you "popularity votes" ... but, being President can't always be about being popular.
*You had to make the difficult decision to send our country into war. You. Just you. And, you didn't make that decision willy-nilly. You made the best decision for our country based on the intelligence of THAT day. History will show that. It will.
*The kindness with which you treated those around you is rare. Your actions speak loudly about who you are!
*You are a man of integrity. That is hard to find these days.

The Media can be hard. Downright difficult at times. I have a feeling that their thoughts on you will change in the coming years. They will have to admit that they got you and your Presidency wrong. Terribly wrong. Time has a way of righting wrongs. I pray you live to see it.

Today, our country is full of hope for tomorrow and what they think a new President will bring. I am feeling a bit of that hope, mostly because of the peaceful transition of power our country enjoys. No other country can do what our country can do when we put our bickering behind us. You tried to teach us that. You tried to show us that. I am grieving for what our country is losing. You have served us well. You have loved us well. You will be missed.

Tomorrow your feet will once again hit Texas soil as a private citizen. As a Texan (albeit a "new" Texan), let me say, "Welcome Home, Mr. President. Welcome Home." May your days be full of family, surrounded by those you love and who love you in return. May you always know how your time in the White House changed not only your life, but the life of our Nation as well. We are a better people because of you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Sincerely and with a grateful heart,


Um, if anyone knows the President, could you please tell him he has mail?!

And, may tomorrow once again remind our country of who we are and may America never lose sight of the principles we were founded on. May God continue to guide us and keep us in the palm of His hands.

Words I NEVER Thought I Would Say to My Parents

Welcome to Facebook. Good grief. Who would have thought Al & Judy would get on Facebook?!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Week in Our Life ....

Jen wanted me to update yesterday ... she was working and needed something to do. Well, she actually said she needed something hilarious to read. Oh the pressure. I think I got writers block ... or, perhaps it was an episode of Grey's Anatomy calling me! Anyways, here is what happened to the Townsends this week ...

Torrey is going to go on a missions trip with our church youth group to San Antonio this summer. She spent Friday/Saturday at a missions conference. We were supposed to get her at 10 pm last night, but, she called as we were heading out the door to meet friends for dinner. She was sick. Little girl had a fever of 102 ... yikes! As I write this we are at 101. She is just miserable.

And, speaking of Torrey, she is going to try out to be an 8th grade cheerleader. I am now in search of someone to coach her until the tryouts ... because I am totally unable. I'm sure I won't have a problem finding someone ... we live in Texas afterall!

Dean went to Baton Rouge for 2 nights ... or, as he calls it "Red Stick." He is hilarious! We missed him while he was gone ... well not Nikita (the cat). I let him sleep on our bed ... Dean has banned his presence in our bed room at night. He is a roamer and enjoys waking Dean up. He might try to wake me up, but if you know me, you know that isn't going to happen!

I went to a riveting workshop on rocks. YAWN. I am really not a Science girl. I try. Not my thing. It was supposed to be a totally hands on thing, but they had some visiting dinosaur guy who came in and he dominated the workshop. DOUBLE YAWN. I have come to the conclusion that I may have ADHD and it was more than I could bear. That and I was really tired ... it made for a long day!

On Monday my little friend said "Blah. Blah. Blah. That's all you ever say." Is it wrong that I got a little happy in my head because I had finally achieved what every teacher dreams of achieving. I had become the "Charlie Brown Teacher." Oh joy. What do you call it when someone tries to give you a dis and it becomes a compliment instead? Perhaps a dis-compliment? Not sure, but I got one.

Not much else happened this week ... unless you count the funniest Office episode since December. If you watched it you now know what you can do with a hybrid car. Oh wait, I have a hybrid ... always look behind you when reading a note attached to bushes. (How are you? I am well.) I'm just saying.

Dean turns 42 this week. He so robbed the cradle. Colette and Don come to town. We have dinner plans with Linda and Paul. Next weeks update should be a little more riveting. And, perhaps I will finally get all the pictures uploaded. I am thinking I see a "sick" day in my near future (Dean can't stay home with Torrey tomorrow and when she is this sick I don't want her around Gram). Is it wrong I am jumping for joy?!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Praying for Harper

I have been reading a blog of a "stranger girl" in Arkansas for quite awhile. Blogland cheered in June when she announced she was pregnant after trying for over 2 years. She gave birth to her baby girl yesterday and sweet Harper was born with pneumonia. She was airlifted shortly after birth to Tulsa. Please pray for this family ... half of them are in Tulsa and the other half are preparing to leave for Tulsa (after giving birth last night). God is doing something amazing ... be a part of the miracle and pray for Harper. You can follow her story at ... (if I were more "blog savvy" I would know how to make it so you could just click it and go ... but, you can just type it in!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ever Eat an Igneous Rock?

We are learning about rocks in Kindergarten this month. I know ... exciting. Shockingly the kids LOVE it. Really, really love it. (Obviously I am not an outdoor girl!) Tomorrow we build a volcano ... I'm sure they went to bed with lava running through their head. They have only asked me a ZILLION times "WHEN are we going to make our volcanoes?!" I no longer have to answer them ... someone else usually says "She told us Wednesday. Wednesday." (You really have to say the Wednesday in a dreamy whispery voice. A voice full of hope and promise of the best day ever. I so hope it lives up to their expectatons!)

So, today I took chocolate chips and marshmallows and melted them to show how an igneous rock is formed. I really thought they wouldn't get the why for the chocolate creation ... I couldn't have been more wrong.

Bella told one of our assistants that we made the most delicous "igneous rock" (pump your fist in the air here ... because I did!) and that we had to use heat because that is how an igneous rock is formed (double pump your fist in the air) and that now we are going to eat our yummy igneous rock. YES! They remembered. They knew the why for it. They got it. Success for a teacher ... some days you just don't see it, but when you do, it makes every bad day worth it!

So, let that be a lesson to you who love and work with children. They will get it. Just pour it into them and they will get it. Oh, and if you can somehow work in chocolate, they will remember it even faster!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Mikie!

Today Mike turns something. (I still struggle with the fact that I have nieces and nephews in their 30's ... when one of them hits 40 I just may jump off a cliff!) Happy Birthday Mike! We are so proud of the man you have become. Mike was the first one to welcome me to the Townsend family back when Dean and I were dating ... truly welcome me. There was a banner and everything. I so wish I had been a scrapbooker back then. But, that sign is etched in my memory ... the part of it that makes me smile the most is that he didn't know me ... AT ALL ... and he still loved me. Just because. That is so Mikie. He has graciously given Dean and I a front row seat to every good day in his life ... from meeting Jessica to this past December and welcoming Suzie home. And, we have loved every minute of it. You may be a man, and a doctor, and a husband, and a dad, but, you will ALWAYS be Mikie to us! Hope your day was special ... we love you!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stephen's Saturday Update

You read the title correctly. My brother has been hounding me all week about this blog. He wanted to make sure their would be an update. Who knew I was so interesting?!

Let's see, what happened this week. Um, not much. Sorry Steve. There is your update. Just kidding.

-So, my little friend announced semi under his breath "I hate this school." (I couldn't have been prouder ... it was our first day back from Christmas break. How'd I do?!) I was so shocked I said "What did you say?" Crickets. And, more crickets. Finally, one friend said "I think he said ..." to which I interrupted and said "I know what he said." It has been a long 4-day week in my classroom. Very long.

-Torrey got all A's on her report card. Good thing she inherited Dean's brain.

-Dean has been running. A lot. He isn't training for a marathon or anything like that. Just running.

-Zoey had to go visit the vet this week ... she has (or had) giardia which is like Montezuma's Revenge. Poor puppy. Shoot. Poor puppy nothing. Poor us. Anyways, we are happy to report that things are returning to normal. TMI? Blame Steve ... he's the one who begged for the information!

-Torrey and I went to a farm stand about 20 minutes from our house. It rivals Paoletti's in Sturbridge, MA. Let me just say that for 11 years I have prayed for a farm stand like Paoletti's. It has been an exciting day. We are aware it doesn't take much!

-And, I would like to make a disclaimer about the Project 365 ... I take the picture every day, I just don't post everyday. I will play catch up before the end of the weekend.

-And, finally, we would like to give a shout out to the Florida Gators for the win on Thursday night. I woke up in time to see them win (best nap I have had in a long time!) It is exciting to see a young man unashamed to boldly share his faith. We hope to see big things from Tim Tebow in the future.

OK, there it is Steve. I hope it was everything you thought it would be. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

It Has Been One of Those Weeks

So, we are back in school. It has been one of THOSE weeks ... good grief. I have had a lot of them this year. Only 17 more to go (but, whose counting?!) Anyways, this came across my desk this week (how perfect!) and if you have any children in your life you will appreciate this ...

You spend the first two years of your children's life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.

Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.

Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

Children seldom misquote you.

In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.

The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.

We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.

But, here is some advice ... be nice to your children. They will choose your nursing home one day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day Seven

I love this hat. You won't find in on any fashion runway, but you will find it on my head at the BEACH! I am a bit excited right now because we just booked a spring break vacation at the beach in Destin, FL. The condo looks great, but I really think I am most looking forward to the drive to get there. In a car. With my two favorite people. And, no distractions. Can't wait!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day Six

I may be breaking a rule, because if you were in Texas today you would know this picture wasn't taken today. I just need this BAD. Oh my word it was cold today ... and dreary ... and wet ... and gray. I don't really need to go on. I am in desperate need of warm weather!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Day Five

Guess where I had to go today? Yup ... back to school. I am always a bit sad for any break to end, but I know this about myself. I am a girl who NEEDS routine. Bad. So, while I will miss sleeping in and going to Target in the middle of the day, I am glad to be back. And, counting down the days until my next day off ... which is March 14th. Seems like forever away!

Day Four

I know ... I'm a day late. Better late than never ... and, I was feeling puny yesterday. Anyways, I give you Dean's running shoes. He has started running again. He was running pretty consistently for awhile last year ... and then summer hit. Have I mentioned that it is ridiculously hot in Houston?! Truth. He is back at it ... and seeming to enjoy it. Run, Dean, Run!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day Three

Tomorrow is our day to bring snacks for Sunday School. Usually that would mean a quick stop at Shipley's donuts to pick something up. Not this time. I spent the morning making 4 different kinds of muffins ... although in one I forgot to put in something and while they still taste okay, I'm not sure I will bring those. We'll see.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day of Wrath

My parents arrived back in Jerusalem today. Which is also the "Day of Wrath." That's right ... not "day of anger" or "day of a really bad mood," but "day of wrath." Evidently, a terrorist group chose today to wreak havoc in Jerusalem as a way to retaliate against Israel for events in Gaza ... and, that is what they called the day ... "Day of Wrath." Welcome back Al and Judy. Welcome back.

My parents made it safely to the Garden Tomb and are ready to get back to work. Who knows what tomorrow holds ... glad we know WHO holds tomorrow (and my parents) in His hands!

New Years Resolutions

Um, didn't make them. Because I would have broken them by now. I know myself well. There are some things I would like to accomplish this year ... well, there is mainly ONE thing on my 2009 "To Do List" ... clean out the drawers. As in all of them. Every drawer in the house. Then I want to KEEP them clean. Bigger job than it sounds ... you should see the junk drawer!

There are three things I am praying for this year ... I guess you could call that my resolution. They are ...

1. For our friend's daughter who is missing. She has been missing since January 2006. As we enter the third year (how can that possibly be) I am praying for resolution ... that this sweet family would finally know where their girl is. God, you know. You know.

2. I am also praying that 2009 would be the year that we know where our family will be. Sounds silly, but, until we moved to Houston in 2006, we had thought Orlando was our "it" place. Not so. Not so. For the past two and a half years I have felt like a nomad ... which is crazy because we haven't kept moving around since coming to Houston. There is just a sense that Houston may not be "it" ... we moved here knowing there could be one more move. So, I want 2009 to be the year that God shows us, undeniably, where He wants our family to be ... we aren't looking to move from Houston, I just want to know. (Torrey will be in 8th grade next year ... it will be difficult to move her during her high school years.)

3. And, finally, my prayer is that I will live my life intentionally. I really need to get my priorities refocused. I am trying ... really. I have had a tendency to pour myself into 19 kiddos and then come home too exhausted to pour any of me into my family ... which is backwards. I want 2009 to be a year where my family knows that I love them ... undeniably. I also want others who come in contact with me to know that I am in love with Jesus ... undeniably. I want to be more intentional with my actions.

2008 brought changes to our family ... I went back to teaching, Linda and Paul moved to Houston, Gram turned 80, a hamster (ick!), a new puppy ... who knows what 2009 will bring? Good times I am sure. Good times.

Day Two

Just so you know, this picture is causing controversy in our house tonight. When Dean asked me what today's picture was going to be and I told him my Starbucks cup he was a bit put out to put it mildly ... although I think he was most put out with my "the thing I love most in the world" comment. Not exactly true ... but, I do enjoy a good cup of coffee!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

We finally made it up to Linda and Paul's this afternoon. We went today to celebrate Austin's 4th birthday. We had a lot of fun. (We usually do when we are all together.) Favorite part ... birthday cake and holding baby Suzie (and, yes, I realize that is two favorite parts!)

Sometimes pictures are just annoying when you are the birthday boy! We pulled in right behind them (Linda had braved the grocery store with the two older kids), and when Austin got out of the car he said, "Look! My friends are here!" Make that another favorite part of my day ... making it to Austin's "friends list"!
This little peanut is just scrumptious! Dean was her entertainment during lunch. We know she is smart because he did the "What's that on your shirt?" trick to her once and was never able to get her to fall for it again. Perhaps MIT is in her future?
Torrey and Ellie ... so cute together! Right after this Ellie was going to take a nap and she was told to give hugs to everyone ... she kept coming back to me over and over and over again. I was going to lie down with her, but I soon realized that wasn't going to work. I came to that conclusion as she was screaming in my face to "Wake up! Wake up!" She is so related to me!
And, while the kids were napping the other 3 kids were playing with Austin's toys. It took them awhile to set it up and even longer to figure out which car goes where to make each stunt work. Their hard work paid off because Austin's face when Torrey showed it to him was priceless!

And, introducing our newest niece ... Susan Lorilyn Tracy. Isn't she beautiful? It was my sweet pleasure to hold her all afternoon ... I would have snitched her if her brother and sister didn't love her so much. Well, actually, they are all pretty smitten with her! And, I am aware that I threw in the "Tracy" part to her name ... I am just hoping it sticks. And, if her parents don't go for it, I just may send out a petition!

Day One

And, so begins our Project 365 with our 1st picture. Today during our visit to Linda and Paul's, Gram got to hold her newest great grandchild. (I think she now has 29 greats to go along with her 13 grands.) Linda's littles call Gram "Great" ... so here is "Great" holding one of the sweetest babies ever! And, what a sweet start to our Project 365.