Monday, October 6, 2008

grammar lessons

you know you are teaching grammar to a texan when you have this exchange during your lesson:

me- "so let's look at the word standing" (i write s-t-a-n-d-i-n-g on the white board)- "what is the suffix of this word?"

atlee- "g"

me- "okay, let's think about that answer, if you take away the "g" (i proceed to draw a nice clear box around the g) you are left with root: standin- now, is that a word?"

atlee- "yes"

me- "it is? standin is a word? think about that"

atlee- stands from the chair, slaps both hands on her hips and says (emphatically) in her little southern drawl "standin- like a cowboy standin by the side of the road!!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

a birthday letter.

sweet b,
are you really four? are you the same little boy that daddy and i welcomed into our arms a few years ago. i have a few vivid memories of the day you were born- but the one that comes back clear to me today was the way the sun streaked into our room as dr. irwin held you up for me to see after you took your first breath. you were born late in the afternoon and our room had big windows overlooking the courtyard of the hospital- the drapes were pulled as wide as they would go- i suppose it is fitting that sunshine seemed to announce you, because that is what you have become to us.

you thrive on making us smile- you are most content when you feel delighted in- when you are given a choice you'll often choose what you know others would like, just to make them happy---like when you counted all of your birthday money and realized (i'm sure atlee hinted) that you had enough to buy her favorite toy-you came running to me so excited yelling "i want to buy something for at-wee- i have enough!!"

a few days ago i served you fruit salad with your lunch, i disappeared for a few minutes and walked back into the kitchen to find that you had dumped your entire bowl onto the rug under our table- you told me that you were looking for more mangos-my annoyance spread like the blueberry juice that was seeping into my new sand colored rug. i am quite sure that you realized this because after we had cleaned it all up you asked me my favorite color and then a few minutes later you brought me a piece of notebook paper with blue and pink scribbles all over it- it wasn't your best work, but it is currently my favorite piece of art. i hung it by my desk to remind myself how much you want to please me- and how sensitive you are to my disapproval. although at times you need correction, i want you to feel confident of all the good i see in you- and of the big love i feel for you.

nearly every night i find myself staring at you as you sleep- your peaceful rest and your precious little don't even budge as i stroke your cheek and kiss your forehead. happy, happy birthday little love.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

dad's 1st blog entry

31st Birthday Reflections

Driving back home from Austin this morning, I started flipping through stations and spent some time in the 80's. The lyrics of an old Warrant ballad still ring in my head, "I don't need to be the king of the world, as long as I'm the hero of this little girl," I love my moments in marriage and parenting when that is the sentiment of my heart...

I turned 31 just over a week ago, and my wonderful family celebrated me. Dinner, streamers, words. I got art. I got the red "special" plate to eat on. I got to watch Stewart Little with my kids snuggled on the couch. We danced to Beck's favorite song-the opener on the Juno soundtrack. Atlee and Avalon got spun. Nik and i did the pretzel.

This is such a special season of life. Our kids want to draw in and experience family. To glean identity. To learn. To be entertained. I recognize these years are precious and fleeting and before long so many outside "heroes" will take their focus, but today we have it. How can we capture every moment to understand them? To listen? To accept. To impart knowledge. To foster a foundation rooted in Christ that will withstand all the turbulent and trying years ahead?

I don't have all the answers, but I have Nikki which is a huge asset:) Lord help us dads and husbands to lead our families well. I await more of You in me as I progress thru my 30's and may your grace overflow into how I regard those closest to me.

Proverbs 24:3-4
"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

the end of the beginning.

this week marked the last week of kindergarten for atlee. one of my favorite moments of the week was pulling out the above pieces of paper from her backpack and comparing them side by side. the top one was written on her first day of school- and the bottom one, on the last. i'm visual so it was a great reminder of her progress! when we were in the throws of making school decisions last year i remember thinking "it's only kindergarten- it's not even required in texas- surely she can't learn that much". i guess had quite underestimated ms. hobbs, her teacher, who lovingly and wisely set the bar higher than i would have- with the expectation that she would jump to it.

standing by her cubbie in her room

we went to chuck e cheese's last night to celebrate- since we were honoring atlee, she got to choose any restaurant in fort worth- she deliberated between: mcdonalds, chickfila (sp?) and uncle julio's- but in the end, germ central won. in keeping with my goal to be efficient- we also honored beckett, as he is showing much progress in not sucking his two fingers! this picture is both of them holding their certificates that they redeemed for tokens.

Monday, April 28, 2008

before and after

our tiny new niece, augustella ryan, arrived into bobby and jenna's arms last thursday...she weighed a perfect 7 pounds and was 19 inches long. we are all thrilled for various reasons--jeff and i are so excited that bobby and jenna join us in parenthood-we are confident they will inspire and humble us in this role, atlee is excited because she will have a new baby to hold and care for (okay, that's mine too), beckett is excited because he is sure that she was named after him (since his birthday is in august!?!) and avalon, well- she just gave a big grin. the "before" photo was taken on the beach a few weeks ago.

welcome augustella- we love you!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

matthew 24:14-30

about a year ago some friends, with two beautiful children, called to ask if jeff and i would be willing to be part of a team that would oversee the execution of their wishes should they die- wow...what an honor. this is the closest "real life" situation that i can think of to illustrate the parable of the talents in matthew 25:14-30. in this parable the master entrusted his property (vs14) to his servants while he went away. after a long time (vs19) the master returns and the servants are held accountable for their management of the goods. just as we were asked to be responsible for carrying out our friends will, God- in his goodness- has entrusted me to carry out His will within the situation he has placed me in. in the parable, the master gave different "situations" to each of his servants- one got five talents, another two and the last was given one. just like in life, each of us have different situations- nearly each week at bible study i sit next to a single mom, of two young children, who is fighting breast cancer- and do you know what she prays for each week? not for a cure, not for a better support system, not even just to feel better- but that God would be glorified in her health situation. her current season is what i would call a "one talent season", a season of life when carrying out "The Will" requires that one steps outside of her comfort to walk a path ordained by a God that at times looks harsh and scary (vs 24, 25), but the great thing about my friend (which is quite different than the response of the one talent servant in parable) is she is living her life like it is a two or a five talent season---she is looking for opportunities to be good and faithful (vs 23)--because she knows, He is good and faithful.

Friday, April 4, 2008

extreme dog makeover.

we've really let riley's hair go...i can't remember a time when he's gone so long between groomings. no reason really- other than the fact that he really seemed to enjoy his long hair- and i began to look at it as a way to save money. it was matted with chaos- each time he came in from the yard he would have various twigs and leaves suck in his fur- but he seemed happy enough. when we finally took him for his appointment i felt embarrassed- wondering if long matted hair could be defined as neglect--especially when i read the sign on the cash register that said "ungroomed is unloved"- i wanted to explain that i really do love riley, sometimes more than others- but love is a commitment, right? not a feeling? now, of course, i didn't say any of this- i sheepishly avoided eye contact and gave a tip when it was over.

Monday, March 31, 2008

sew cute.

atlee has been learning to sew and embroider each wednesday at the home of mrs. cox...she has made an assortment of lovely items- a few dresses, a few pillows- and a few other sweet things. last monday night she had the opportunity to walk the stage at the annual fashion review and model her newest creation. beckett (notice that i did not write- avalon) sat patiently throught the entire show and was greatly rewarded with cookies and punch when it was over.

my friend krista wrote a post on her blog about mrs. cox- you can read it here

Thursday, March 27, 2008

warren waters.

a few years ago a precious person moved into our little backhouse on calmont avenue-her name was lauren waters. at the time, beckett was a baby and atlee was 2- lauren took such a special interest in our family. atlee would spend hours each week looking out the back windows to see miss lauren walk into our backyard- she would then beg to go for a visit, at first i was a bit hesitant, not wanting lauren to feel obligated to entertain our child- but seeing how excited atlee got, i just couldn't say no. one evening lauren's friend was babysitting atlee and beckett-and the event we were attending went much longer than we expected and "we'll be home @ 10:30" turned into "we won't be home until after midnight". lauren's friend had to leave so laurn offered to fill in- i still remember walking into atlee's room that night when we got home...there was our 2 year old, wide awake (at 12:30am!) and laurn patiently curled up next to her in her bed with a big stack of books- they were reading, talking about God, and having a grand time...lauren wasn't annoyed, weary or bored.

atlee turned three, beckett learned to talk and lauren continued to leave foot prints in our lives and hearts. atlee would disappear for an hour or more at miss lauren's invitation to her place. she would usually come home wearing makeup and taking about a new place on miss lauren's big map that the two of them had been discussing...lauren took time to teach atlee about the world- especially places that need to hear the message of Jesus.

soon miss "warren" (as beckett would call her) fell in love with andy gage. he is wise, genuine, loyal and gentle- a very well suited match for lovely lauren. it was a joy to watch lauren and andy marry and build a life together...and now, the journey they are walking together is leading them to denver. they are part of a team of people planting a church ( in the city...and we will miss them deeply!! just a few weeks ago lauren picked up atlee and took her to a butterfly exhibit at the botanical gardens- i watched them walk the path from our front door to miss laurens car- peace, trust and joy filled me- and then a tinge of sadness, knowing that our days of living in the same place are drawing to a close---and keenly aware of the empty space that will be left.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

i'm lost.

to my faithful readers (all two of you..hi mom and dad!!),
i wanted you to know that life has gone on since the mav's game- we've had company, spring break, holidays---many events have been captured on my camera, and little blogs have even been written in my head--but somehow, nothing has made it to the computer screen. i think it must have something to do with the fact that jeff and i have begun to watch the show lost. like with most things in life, we are late-so we are just finishing season one...we have begun to calm down a bit- now even going days with out watching (this is progress!!)- hopefully with this new found balance i will be posting a bit more.

got to go, we have an episode to finish before jeff goes running tonight.


Monday, January 28, 2008

mavericks game

we took atlee and beckett to the mavericks game on sunday night...all of the action kept their attention pretty well- especially anytime that the "mav's dancers" took the court. as we walked to the car after the game this was my conversation with beckett:

"did you like the game?"
"what part did you like the most?"
no response
"did you like the basketball players or the cheerleaders better?
"did you like the gummy savers (our game snack) better- or the cheerleaders?"

Monday, January 14, 2008

parenting advice

here is a little tip for all of you.

find a sweet friend and then send your child to her home for some monumental event (like a sleepover), then- and here's the important part: put her blog on your blog so that you have the memories saved with no work whatsoever on your part.

and, that is exactly what i am doing right now.

Life in the Inn full of Andersons