Sunday, June 28, 2009

Swimming & Swooning

The kids finished up swim lessons on Friday. I'll have to admit that I am a little sad they are over. Yes, it will be nice to not have to slather sunscreen on them every morning and say, "Why is your wet swimsuit on the floor?" everyday. But I loved seeing them thrive in the environment created by the teachers there!!

Let's just get this out of the way right now: I had a bit of a crush on Ashton's teacher. Oh, and also this: My husband knows and is completely okay with this!! :)

I didn't even see his eyes until this last Thursday, so I would have to say it had more to do with his leadership ability and how he connected with the kids. He was caring and loving as needed (on a one on one basis), but also had the ability to put kids into situations they wouldn't put themselves into.

For example:
  • If the kids didn't get in when they were supposed to, he would jump right in front of them and splash them.
  • More than once he would take a screaming child from their mother and hold them in the water, reassuring them the whole time, but pouring handfuls of water on their head.
  • When the kids jumped to him in the big pool, they went all the way under as he held them. (As opposed to the other teacher, who barely got their chests wet.)
  • If a usually cooperative child got out of the pool, he would firmly say "Get in the pool!!" until they would comply. We saw him have this conversation with one girl in particular many times. Her response was usually, "I can't do it!!" But she always got back in the pool and usually did what she just said she couldn't.
While Ashton liked him, she was just enough scared of him to respect him, and excel at what she was learning in class. She got all her bubbles filled in!! While his tactics might have bothered some parents these days, I appreciated his tough love (with 3 and 4 year olds, no less!) approach to teaching. I wonder what his future holds, or even how old he is!

Reed's teacher was also good, but not nearly as dynamic. However, he was very patient and persistent in his teaching, and Reed filled in all but one bubble. If it didn't tie us down so much, I would definitely sign them up for another session. If only for myself...!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day to Two of the Greatest Dads

I love my Dad.

He taught me about loving God. His life is an example of faith, but he also took time in the moment to share God's truths. One of my earliest distinct memories is of him singing "God is so Good" with me. He baptized me 25 years ago.

He taught me my amazing family heritage and to hold family in high regard. He has always made an effort to be with family near and far. "Your family will always be there!" he says.

He has given me some amazing opportunities: church camps, CIYs, plane trips on my own (to see family!), camping, 5-star hotel stays, fancy restaurants, roadside picnics, road trips to almost every state in the US, school trips (abroad, even!), college, dream wedding, etc., etc., etc.

He taught me how to work hard (much to my dismay, usually)! His girls were not above mowing the lawn!! However, he taught by example that hard work does not always require a change of clothes! :)

He set the bar high for how a husband should treat a wife. And he always made sure I knew that he and Mom would be together for life.

He didn't disown me when I wasn't the daughter he envisioned (aka--the teenage years)!!!

I have such a good Dad, he checks my blog almost every day. That's commitment!!

I love my husband.

He is such a great spiritual leader for our family. He spurs me on toward love and good deeds. And he teaches the kids simple truths with deep implications and childlike clarity.

He loves his family and mine. He has committed to being at nearly every family gathering, no matter how many hours we have had to log in the van.

He is taking me on an adventure. From the early days of ministry in SmallTown, Arkansas, to the lean and exciting days of Plumbline; from the stability and opportunities of ministry in the desert, to the unknown adventures of piecing together a church, I am honored to be at his side.

He has been able to climb over the bar set by my dad about how a husband should treat a wife! He takes every opportunity to tell me he loves me and how he appreciates my beauty (even when I KNOW he must be lying)!

He doesn't make me work hard! He really will not ever let me mow the lawn. Not because he thinks I can't, but because he wants to honor me! And I hardly ever need to put gas in my car. He's like my own full service gas station attendant.

And he still loves me even though I am not the woman he married. Ew. Some days... ew!

Happy Father's Day to two of the greatest dads I know!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Happy Anniversary

God has blessed me with such an amazing husband! I am proud to be the wife of such a well-respected man! One thing that blesses me is how he strives to be himself no matter who he's with--me or you. I am excited to spend many more years with him, trusting God with our lives.

So I have decided that I needed to write down all the things we have done to celebrate our anniversaries over the years. There are FAR too many that I do not remember, so if you remember something I have left out, please help me out!

  • 1995--Wedded Bliss!! We married on Friday night, drove to the Mansion at Elfindale in Springfield, then flew out the next day to the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina (via Nashville) for the week. We were too young to rent a car from most companies! Luckily, Enterprise accommodated us!
  • 1996--High School Church Camp, at Camp Joshua, Siloam Spring, AR. No, we didn't wait long to dive into ministry. :)
  • 1997-1999--Drawing a blank here..... Surely we did something!!
  • 2000--This was our first year doing Plumbline Ministres, so surely we were in a camp somewhere!!
  • 2001--This is the year that we began sharing our anniversary with Jeff and Stephanie Rickert! (Right, Steph? Do I have the right year?) We attended their wedding in TX, and then ate THE BEST FAJITAS ever!! Really, we talk about them still from time to time.
  • 2002--Blank
  • 2003--I was 8 months pregnant with Reed. I think we went a steak house in Fayetteville, and I ate a lot and probably got heartburn later (or maybe even right away)!
  • 2004--We had just moved to Albuquerque at the beginning of the year, at the same time as Jeff and Stephanie (see above), so it was obvious that we would celebrate together!! We went to Japanese Kitchen, where they cook right at your table, and that night they shared their exciting news of a baby on the way!!
  • 2005--10 years! Wow! We had plans to go to a Bed & Breakfast that night, but when we woke up, we had 1000's of ants swarming our bedroom. Really. Walking and flying. Really. It was not how I had envisioned my 10th anniversary! But after we dealt with that, we were able to enjoy an evening at the Lazy K (or some other letter?) Ranch in the mountains east of Albuquerque. This was also Reed's first night away from us. Oh, and I was pregnant with Ashton.
  • 2006--Ashton was 6 months old, so I know there was no overnight stay. But I don't remember the celebration at all.
  • 2007--Spent the entire weekend performing in the Patriotic Musical at church. I sang in the choir, Ryan played guitar. I don't know that we even had dinner together!
  • 2008--We splurged and spent TWO nights at the Route 66 Casino west of Albuquerque. We ate at all of the restaurants on site and enjoyed the great accommodations. We felt as thought we should gamble a bit, so I played a dollar in the nickel slots and won $10! Then I played some more... and finally cashed out a $4.90, I think! Oh, well! Still ahead of the game!
  • 2009--We celebrated a day early, took the kids to Miss Jacqui's (Landis too!) and got a room at the Hyatt Regency Downtown. Then we ate at a WONDERFUL restaurant in Old Town called Antiquity. The Green Chile Chicken Stew was incredible and the veal I had was amazing!! And then, today, we found out the GREAT NEWS that we will be planting a church in Olathe, KS!! We could not have asked for a better anniversary gift than the affirmation of our future!!
Thank you, Ryan, for 14 great years! I am blessed beyond measure to be married to you! Thank you for treating me like a queen and showing me what it means to live by faith! I love you!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Kids' Musical

A couple weeks ago Reed and Ashton were in the children's choir musical at church. It was called Simon Says, the trial of Simon Peter. His lawyers have to prove that Jesus was who he said he was, or Simon Peter would have to stop teaching about him. It was one of the cutest kids musicals I have seen!

The kids LOVED going to children's choir. This was Ashton's first semester to be in the preschool group, and Reed's second semester to be in the big kids choir. They will really miss it! This is one of my biggest regrets of leaving the church here.

Here is Reed's solo part. It's kind of hard to hear, but before the first one, the choir sings, "And what to my wondering eyes should appear?" You can also see how well he keeps up with the choreography--much better than in the fall!

Here is Reed as Lazarus. This was his favorite song because he didn't have to learn any of the choreography or sing! The preschoolers take the grave clothes off. They are not supposed to throw them, which is why he is trying to get them to stop! And I guess once during rehearsal they knocked him over they were being so "enthusiastic!"

Here is one of Ashton. She really got into this song, until the time I took this video. This was the last song during the second service, so I guess she was tired.