Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the big Texas sky... :)

Even in the hills and trees of north Texas, sunsets are prettier here.

(We made it to Nocona)

Friday, June 25, 2010

going off grid some time today...

Today we finish packing. Tomorrow we load the trailer. Sunday we clean. Monday we drive. Tuesday we drive more. Wednesday we move in. Thursday Ryan starts his new job and I start unpacking. Friday is Athan's first appointment with our new Endocrinologist. Saturday we either rest or panic or cry or unpack. Sunday Ryan preaches his first sermon. Monday... I don't know.

I'd be really thankful if you chose to use that little paragraph as your prayer guide for the next 10 days or so... :) I'm sure I'll be sneaking away with Ryan's lap top in search of wifi at some point, so I'll try for a short update when I can.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

made it. :)

Home again, resting and rotating laundry. Packing begins again in earnest today, as do the goodbyes. Gulp...

Monday, June 14, 2010


After a new lock installed, some brake repair, lights fixed, and something to do with ball bearings... we left Lubbock 4 hours after our planned time of departure. We're in OKC at 2 a.m. waiting on Ryan to get back from Wal-Mart with diapers (apparently, the stash I'm sure I packed in the diaper bag earlier today has evaporated). If you think about it, you might pray us home tomorrow. Could be a long day... :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

in case you're wondering...

we haven't left yet. I'm not exactly sure why, but last time I walked out there, Sid and Ryan were rifling through Layne's garage in search of tools, and I heard Ryan ask "Where is your circular saw?" I guess we're not leaving RIGHT now...


we've been in West Texas for sure!

The wind blows here. :) My hair looks like this pretty much daily. In Kentucky, this only happens about twice a year or so. Oh, it's good to be back... kinda. :)

So it's been an eventful week spent visiting lots of wonderful friends and family, having some great "chill time" before the big move. MANY thanks to Selena, Layne, Jon, Landon, Conner, and Rob (who surrendered his room) for hosting us with much generosity and grace.

Ryan's been buzzing around at annual conference, so he was a bit more busy than the rest of us. And last night, he was commissioned for ministry (ordination to follow in 2 years). More on that later...

For now, we're loading the truck, hooking up the trailer, and preparing to leave the Windy State and make the drive from the panhandle to Wilmore ONE more time. I'm starting to get teary, but I'm guessing the sentimentality wears off by OKC...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

in ONE day...

17 hours, from our driveway in Wilmore to Mee-maw's house in Nocona, all in ONE day. My kids were AMAZING. We were in Ryan's pick-up, so they spent 14+ of those hours in the back seat of a super cab Chevy truck. Yipes.
Truly I am in awe of how well they did. I kept a few Mommy-tricks up my sleeve, saving them for the inevitable melt-downs and misery of the last few hours. Never needed them. We did finally have to stop for a late dinner because I got cranky, but the kids were chipper right up to 11pm when we stopped for the night at my grandmother's house. WAY TO GO MUNCHKINS! :)

Athan mostly kept himself distracted with books, and making up conversations between his stuffed animals that we brought along for company. We listened to some great free podcasts Ryan got for them - readings of classic kid stories, like Beatrix Potter tales and such.

Morgan the Methodical, however, showed off her skills. She made up a game. The rules probably only make sense if you're five (or if you were there to watch the various evolutions of this game, perhaps). Mostly it involved Morgan assigning to one person a number and a color. Their "turn" consisted in finding exactly the assigned number of objects that were the assigned color. Then she would somehow record our results on a grid she had drawn out. She would color in squares for "right" answers, and draw the "no" sign (as in the circle-n-slash you'd see for "no smoking") through squares for the "wrong" answers. I'm still not clear on what exactly what "right" or "wrong" (though I do remember Ryan got one "no" sign for doing something that "in this game only girls can do"), nor do I know whether or not the game had any way to be won or lost or even finished. But it was great. Systematic, organized, layered, and consistent over the course of several hours, off and on.

So now we turn around and head home in a few days. Who knows what they'll entertain us with on the way home? :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

told you so!

This morning, in front of Daybreak on 82nd street in Lubbock...

I just had my phone with me to catch a glimpse, and it's not a great video phone. It only lets me catch 30 seconds or so at a time. So you'll just have to trust me when I say that this video only shows about a third of the distance he walked with no falls.

Friday, June 4, 2010

a Kindergartner now!

Waiting on the bus on the last day of preschool!

Morgan finished up preschool with a flurry of fun stuff! Tuesday they got to wear swimsuits to school and play in the water all day. Wednesday she celebrated all the summer birthdays with her class. And Thursday (last day) was an ice cream party and award presentation (as you can see in the video below, Morgan got the award for "Most Enthusiastic"). Can't believe my girl will start Kindergarten in the fall! :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Athan's turns 3 ("No Mama, I just only 2!")

Ok, so Athan did, in fact, have a birthday, and he is now 3 years old. But don't try to convince him of that! So far, he has insisted on either remaining 2, or skipping over 3 and being 4 right now. Either way, according to His Stubborness, he is NOT 3.... (I'd say that's a perfectly reasonable way to begin being a 3-year-old). :)

And whereas my Morgan can't get enough of the spotlight, Athan is showing some hesitance to be the center of attention. But he recovered quickly, and had a great time at the party...

Athan's birthday is always such a swirling mix of emotions for me, and it gets stronger every year. We've tried to keep birthday parties kinda low-key. I will NOT enter the "I Had the Coolest Little Kid Party" contest. Not for the birthdays they won't even remember, anyway. :0) With Athan, I feel like either having a celebration that rivals the pomp and circumstance of Ryan's recent seminary graduation, or a visiting dignitary. Nothing less seems like celebration enough for the gift of Athan's life. At the same time, I just want to skip parties altogether and just be quiet and cuddle with my Athan Bear, in hushed awe of him and the God that gives him back to us over and over again...

So, fighting both my extreme urges, we had some cupcakes and some good friends, and it was perfect...

(still working to catch a good video of Walking Bear... soon...)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the PARTY and a giant THANK YOU

We had a party for Ryan the night before graduation (so as not to conflict with the other 15 parties happening after graduation), and it was so much fun! We had stellar smoke BBQ (THANKS JAKE) and lots of other yummy extras to go with it. HUGE THANKS to our moms and Ryan's Grandma Hale for spending an entire day chopping and cooking and arranging and cleaning and being very, very patient with me. We couldn't have asked for a better evening to just eat good food and be with the people who have loved us so well in Wilmore.

We missed those of you who couldn't make it, and we're so thankful to those who did.

Of some things Ryan-related

Ok, I'm just going to brag on my wonderful husband for a bit. If you're not in the mood for gushing accolade, scan the pictures and skip the words. There - you've been warned...

This accounting is chronologically backwards, but I think in order of import, from least to greatest:

Ok, first, to the predictable part of graduations: academics. I have to say that I respect Asbury Seminary very much for the way they handled graduation events. Seminary is not just another academic endeavor. At its best, it is about spiritual formation in an academic setting. With that as the primary aim, academic awards could be dangerous incentives for students to have bad priorities - and to skip some necessary forming experiences trying to shortcut to a good grade. There is NO mention of a "valedictorian" or any other kind of class rank during graduation. It's wonderful. I like Asbury very much for such deep respect of credible academics, without worshiping academic achievement.

That said, my husband did REALLY well, academically, in seminary. I won't be too specific, because Ryan wouldn't want it. But let's just say I know people who work at Asbury... He did VERY well. This is probably no surprise to anyone but him. Ryan is a thoughtful person, and has gotten as good with words as he is with other tools, like radial arm saws and tile cutters. He took a full load every semester, and did the work each prof asked of him. I know, I know - it's not about good grades. He had every excuse, from sickly pregnant wife at first to toddler that sickly pregnant wife couldn't care for very well. Then Athan's birth and sleeplessness and hospital stays... He could have excused himself from learning. I'm really proud of him for doing the work, and for learning, especially, to be a life-long learner.
The rest of our seminary experience, as anyone reading this probably knows, has been events surrounding Athan's birth and health complications. Ryan was asked to share that story during Graduates Chapel, the morning of graduation. He spoke beautifully of the way this community has kept us afloat during such trauma and grief, and has celebrated with us things like successful heart surgery and first steps at age 2.5. He did an amazing job of showing how God's grace to us through Asbury community has been thick and constant from then to now. I know Papa Sid got it on video. When I get hold of that footage (and if Ryan'll let me) I'll try to post it for you.Before graduation, during the last week of classes, Ryan did win an award, though not for academic accomplishment. This award is called the Towel and Basin Award, and the prompt for nominations read like this:

"If you know a graduating student who has: 1.Demonstrated promise in leadership and
2. Demonstrated a servant attitude in their lifestyle and activities, then nominate them for the Towel and Basin Award. The Towel and Basin Award is an award presented by the Alumni Department to a graduating student (one from both Kentucky and Florida campuses) who has a heart to serve the people around them."

The nominations came from several of our friends, independently of one another, and they said the most wonderful things about my Ryan. They spoke of his generosity in time and service - helping fix things or lending the truck or whatever, of his pastoral heart toward friends and their families, of his strength, of his dedication to his family, his willingness to serve even in the midst of crises with Athan and taking full course load. And my favorite quote: "He could whoop a man, most any man, but he would rather do the hard work of forgiving him instead." :)

This is the point, isn't it? Not getting A's in theology class, but being formed into a Servant. If I haven't said it clearly yet, let me add my voice to the others who say that you deserved this award, Ryan. It points to the life you want to live, and didn't wait until after graduation to start living it...

Still, I know my husband. He'll be embarrassed by this post, and maybe a little annoyed that I posted a picture of his award. But even HE would agree that his greatest moments during seminary looked like this:
More times than not, his "study time" became "story time." He wrote papers while listening to thought provoking songs like "It's a No-No to Kiss A Rhino." He figured out a way to think theologically about the world while he was being a loving husband and father, not instead of being a loving husband and father. For this, I am most humbly thankful and so very, very proud.

Love you, Ryan.