Boys

I’m not gonna try to get this blog caught up. No one reads it anyway. I am, though, going to try to keep tabs on my two boys and the interesting interactions and random events surrounding their existence.

I have something I need to gripe about first off.

Tob is my eldest, he is 10. He, in that short 10 years of life on earth, has acquired all knowledge necessary to argue any and all subjects. He is a genius like that. I am told it gets worse . . . I need to take debate classes, cuz I suck at arguing and I get all grouchy and my sarcasm switch gets flipped.

Sam is the opposite. Actual age: 8. Age when he’s not getting his way: 2.5 . . . the squeaky whine and tantrums. This is a relatively new phenomenon and he has lost every privilege allotted to an 8 year old boy at one point or another, including but not limited to: Xbox, PSP, DS, friends, computer, iPad, and tv. Wow, anything with a screen is leverage-able. This only makes a small dent in his squawking.

These are the munchkins that keep my life so entertaining. I wouldn’t trade it for the world . . . but possibly for a 2 lb block of Tollhouse cookie dough.

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The Old Lady Goes Back to School

I wasn’t going to announce this, but I am . . . cuz I’m sure it will come up in future posts. 

I, the old lady of the house, Image

am heading back to school.

Here’s a testimony to how God is truly seeing us through . . . providing a way, where there is none to be seen. My job provides tuition reimbursement . . . ‘reimbursement’ being the key word. I pay, get good grades, my job pays it back. All well and good, but I don’t have that kind of extra cash.

I filled out FAFSA a month ago, turned in paper work 3 weeks ago, to my new school, and was told it would take a minimum of 8 weeks, up to 12 weeks, for the financial aid award letter to be finalized. In the meantime, I need to pay 25% down and make a payment plan to encompass waiting for financial aid to take over. This would have to done in two weeks, at the latest. To put it short and sweet . . . ain’t no way that was happening this month. I communicated that with my HR department at work and explained. She got back to me 2 days later, said they would pay up front . . . within a day of that email, my school tuition was paid in full and I have vouchers in hand for books. No out of pocket expense! 

Uh, that doesn’t just happen folks . . . my narrow mind claims that its the hand of God in my life. I say narrow, because I entertain no other reason for such things falling into place.  I’m not narrow minded on all things in life, but when it comes to God getting credit where credit is due, it is. 

I prayed that things, pertaining to school, would fall into place if its His plan for my life. Every detail has fallen into place. I see a vague picture of why I’m headed in the direction I feel led, and I’m excited. 

So . . . as I said, I, the old lady, am heading back. 15 years late, but better than never. 🙂

Last Week

I am ready and apprehensive about heading back. Training, for my place of work, starts in one short week. My boys will be hanging out with my friend’s well qualified teenage son, jumping on a trampoline, soaking themselves in the heat of August, playing video games and probably watching movies that are on the questionable list for two weeks before school starts. This summer has proven two things: being a mom to two awesome boys is rad! And, I love having a work schedule . . . so long as it doesn’t interfere with my kid’s too much. I’m grateful for the summer, the relaxed (sometimes non-existent) schedule, lots of movie nights, swim time, hiking, adventures in the largely unknown new area in which reside, and hanging with good friends!

This last week, I vow to lay out in sun excessive amounts, swim with my kids until our ears are plugged, take lots of photos and videos and just simply absorb the presence of my home and boys.

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Playing scientist. Samuel is videoing and narrating about the wildflowers we found early in the summer.

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A good game of Sorry is always a great evening waster. 🙂  Ignore the cords in the background, we are in the process of “hiding” them currently. No drilling into walls in an apartment.

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4th of July bash with good friends. Her parents have a beautiful piece of property overlooking the lake. Image

Tob, he’s off to go swim . . . tube ready.

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Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes . . . good times on the 4th of July

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Lots of this done. Painting and just enjoying worship time with God.

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Lots of road trips and discovery. Here we were heading down to San Antonio, just south of Austin sits a giant Cabela’s. A must stop with three boys in the car.

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Just north of San Marcos . . . watching a storm making it’s way south. Road trips are the best! Just to drive and see the sights.

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Lego store. Holy crap, boys of could’ve pitched a tent and lived there. We helped clean the build your own area, and we were awarded free lego figurines for our hard work. The boys were thrilled!

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I think Byron enjoyed our hang-outs at Lisa’s house more than anyone else. Though we all enjoyed the BBQ and friendship to it’s fullest!

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Byron and his small, adopted posse.

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Sunsets . . . 🙂

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Tree climbing

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Lots and lots of swim time.

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Hydrate, it’s hot out!

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This is a scene after a good, active day. 🙂

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Night out on the small town of Austin, with the hubs. 🙂

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Good food and drinks at Frank, downtown Austin.

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And, of course, plenty of this. 🙂 It is summer, mind you.

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My phone takes crappy gym pics, apparently.

Tob is loving basketball this season. Last time he had some not-so-nice teammates that made it hard for him. This time is good! Yay! Glad I forced him into a second season, even though he didn’t want to.

It’s been a good summer. Grateful for good friends and family that fill our lives so richly! I’m also looking forward to getting back to work and a scheduled existence. 🙂

A Year, and Some

I look back over the past year, since our big move, and stand in awe of God. I can see His hand put things in order and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is no way these things could occur without His intervention and favor. 

Now, that  doesn’t mean life isn’t difficult. Money gets tight, as we try to pay off debts and get on top of things again (moving is expensive!). Schedules get busy and attitudes get grumpy now and again. But in all, I see and feel a grace of God for following the call, following what He laid in our hearts.

I don’t know the ultimate plan for what He has for our lives . . . maybe trusting and worshipping Him are all the plan He has. I’m good with that. 🙂 

But He’s put in my heart a desire to paint, to earn a degree and pursue art. I see kids in the mix and teaching. Where and when He uses that, I don’t know. BUT, I am heading back to school, pursuing the art He has laid in my heart. I’m excited and overwhelmed at the task; I do still work full time. My job pays for it, which is another of God’s handy little alignments. I applied to a hundred places as we moved down and ended up at the job that has tuition reimbursement. Huh. I’m teaching, which I’m not academically qualified for, but they were willing to work with me on my education. 

Justin. He landed a “dream” job shortly after, finally, getting transferred down. He loves it, was promised full time in January of this year, but wasn’t made full time. We prayed and talked about it and decided he needed to stay there. They were giving him full time hours, just not making it official with benefits and all the other perks. Just two short weeks ago, they made him full time. Granted, new career equals bottom pay for the job . . . but it only goes up from here. And it’s enough to live on and God continues to provide! … And, it’s full time! Praise God!

We fret and worry about our lives, our futures and even what we will make for lunch. It is good to plan, but what does worry get us? Besides a headache and grouchy attitude?

I read this yesterday and it keeps repeating in my head:

Matthew 6

25-26 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

27-29 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

I’m reminding myself of this this morning, after having a huffy discussion with my better half and as bills loom, being the first of the month. It’s just money. It’s just life. There is more to this life than these things. 

 

Grateful Momma

Today marks Father’s Day. I have two great dad’s in my life . . . one that raised me and one that I’m married to and is raising our children with me. I could burst with pride when I think of either one.

Dad and Papa . . . top notch guy! :)

Dad and Papa . . . top notch guy! 🙂

I love my dad! My only regret, I don’t spend enough time with him . . . 2600 miles will do that. 🙂 But I love him all the same. He is always there when I need him, or just want to jabber about nothing.

The amazing man I married. <3

The amazing man I married. ❤

A prime example of love, loyalty, devotion, and honor. This man, he rocks!!

Happiest of Father’s Day to the two men that love me the most . . . and that I love the most!

 

 

Early Morning Walk

One of my favorite things to do here is walk. There is an abundance of walking trails within my neighborhood and lots of “hiking” (mostly flat trails) in and around Austin. This morning my alarm went off at 6am. I had nothing pressing to do today, but I got up and groggily put my walking clothes on. I leashed the dog and off we went.

On a Walk

On a Walk

Byron did not stay on leash long, since there was no one else out and about this fine Saturday morning.

What are YOU looking at?

What are YOU looking at?

My usual early risers were out . . . these guys don’t even run from us. Like semi-domesticated deer, or something like that. I still keep my distance. 🙂

Shadows

Shadows

The wildflowers are still blooming . . .

I think this is Bitterroot, Bitterweed . . . something that's bitter. :)

I think this is Bitterroot, Bitterweed . . . something that’s bitter. 🙂

I went walking on Thursday with Grandma Lu, Aunt Marilyn and Evelyn . . . at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, in Austin.

Ticket window

Ticket window

Love it! Flowers on the roof!

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Simply one of my favorite places now! Wildflowers . . . Central TX wildflowers . . . Can’t beat that!!

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It wasn’t nice and cool on Thursday like it was this morning. We strolled through the beautiful gardens in 97 degree temps. Not exactly comfortable. But so worth it! The one above is a Honeysuckle, the ones below are Purple Coneflower and the flower on a Mexican Olive tree.

 

 

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Summer is Here

I haven’t had much time or energy to keep up on my blog as of the last 10+ months. Getting used to my new job as a full day pre-teacher and other demands of life has just left me with a strict schedule and little free time.

My school year ended yesterday. I’m off, entirely, for the next 2.5 months, and I have good intentions of updating and sharing more on this here blog of mine. I want to look back, like I already do, and read of past adventures, struggles, joys and sorrows . . . seeing clearly the hand of God leading our lives.

So, first off . . . my first year as a headstart pre-K teacher. I have found where I am to suppose to be for now. I enjoy the kids and my coworkers. Speaking of coworkers, I had the best there is and I’m so grateful for that! They got my stupid humor and they showed nothing but patience and grace while I learned some pretty tough ropes. Who knew the amount of paperwork involved in this venture! 🙂 I was emotional on the kid’s last day, which also landed on my birthday, this past Friday. I’m already looking forward to next year and what is in store!

Next, the kids . . . my kids. Two beautiful boys. Tobias is 8 and Sam is 6. 3rd grade and 1st grade, here we come! 🙂

Samuel 3/15/2013

Samuel 3/15/2013

 

Tobias 3/15/2013

Tobias 3/15/2013

 

Let’s see, what else? Oh, Justin is doing great at his new job. We are holding our breath, waiting for them to make it officially full time, but we know God is in control. We’ve had lots of fun outings. One of our favorite places to go and hike is Bull Creek, in NW Austin.

bullcreek walk on water

The trail winds in and out of woods and in and out of the creek. We sometimes just hike down the middle of the creek . . . there are wider shallow spots, like this one and deeper spots, that go to my shoulders. We hike under overpasses and trail blaze through underbrush, not seeing another person for an hour. We keep our eyes peeled for snakes, which we’ve seen, and come home with a few scrapes and bruises, but not without having a blast!

Tobias, enjoying nature's water slide.

Tobias, enjoying nature’s water slide.

There’s a part of the creek that has a small water fall. The rocks are shaped just right for little booties to sit in and slide down. The boys absolutely love it!

Samuel going over. :)

Samuel going over. 🙂

You’ve might of noticed, they got summer cuts . . . sheered like sheep for the summer. 🙂 We also love swimming in the pool here at the apartment. We’ve been to Barton Springs and down to Wimberley . . . which is our other favorite place to swim!

Tobias at Cyprus Creek in Wimberley, TX

Tobias at Cyprus Creek in Wimberley, TX

A dreamy place that fire flies come out and greet you in the evening, under the looming Cyprus trees. Byron runs free and the boys swim to their heart’s content. Hopefully we’ll be heading back soon . . . 🙂

I love my boys!

I love my boys!

 

I’ve also, this past year, have been able to get acquainted and fallen in love with Justin’s side of the family . . . the Tucker side. 🙂 We temporarily stayed with his Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Michael . . . they (and their three fantastic boys) hold a very special place in my heart! Just this past weekend I had the pleasure to finally (after 11 years of marriage) meet his uncle Peter and Aunt Rita . . . funny and a joy to talk with and be around! I also spent more time with his Aunt Kim, thoughtful and gracious . . . also a joy to talk with a hang with. And, of course, grandma Lu . . .  the matriarch of the clan. She is soft spoken and observant. I love her so much already! I pick her up soon to go swimming with me and the boys. She has given me a tentative schedule of things she would like to do with us over this next week that she’s down visiting, and I’m glad to be a part. 🙂 It’s good gaining another amazing family . . . even if it did take 11 years to make their acquaintance. 🙂

Justin and Uncle Michael.

Justin and Uncle Michael.

Tobias, Aunt Rita and Grandma Lu . . . Game of Checkers

Tobias, Aunt Rita and Grandma Lu . . . Game of Checkers

 

Samuel and Aunt Kim.

Samuel and Aunt Kim.

Family trumps all . . . but I have been mesmerized this spring by the abundance of wildflowers! I have fallen in love with this area and I’m glad we made the decision to move here. I know it’s a wildly popular place right now, for people to move, and now I know why.

wildflowers . . . looks like a wild type of Hibiscus, but I actually  don't have any clue. :)

wildflowers . . . looks like a wild type of Hibiscus, but I actually don’t have any clue. 🙂

 

wildflowers along one of my walking paths

wildflowers along one of my walking paths

I think I’m going to end my post abruptly. I have lots I want to share but I have all summer to share it. This is just a little of what stands out as my favorite things this past year. I look forward to scorching hot summer and lots lots of swimming! Speaking of, I’m headed that direction in about an hour. 🙂

 

Good Tuesday Morning!

The title sounds much more enthusiastic than I feel.

I had the flu the week of Christmas. It lasted the entire week of Christmas and into the following week. Now a very obnoxious, very deep cough is left over. Antibiotics did nothing. So I’m thinking its either going to heal itself, eventually, or it’s what the locals call Cedar Fever. Which is the allergic reaction to the pollinating Cedar trees around these here parts. When I get paid, Friday, I’ll invest in some more meds . . . this time antihistamines. We’ll see…

Christmas was fantastic this year. After the sticker-shock of the live Christmas tree, that looks like an actual Christmas tree, we decorated with homemade ornaments. The boys and I had a blast making ornaments; all of our Christmas decorations are still in Oregon.

Oh, did I mention we haven’t moved our things down yet? 😦 The plan is Justin is going down the third weekend, or so, of January to retrieve our belongings, including his car that is sitting idle at our friend’s house. We’ll see if we can swing that financially and time-wise.

Work is going good. I have never been in a teacher position before and I’m enjoying it, and the kids. This week is the first week I planned and implemented all by my lonesome. Ok, not totally by myself . . . my co-teacher answers all my retarded questions and still has to tell me where to find certain items. But, mostly by myself . . . more by myself than ever before, in this position. 🙂  I’m going to start school, but I missed this term . . . apparently, here in the great state of Texas, they have two terms. I’m used to a tri-mester situation, where if I don’t have all my ducks in a row for winter term, I can attend spring term. I don’t have all my ducks in a row. Nope. Including not being a Texas citizen for over 6 months, so tuition is ridiculous. Fall term is probably when I’ll start.

Justin’s off in Florida for training for his new job. Hyperbaric Chamber Tech. Very exciting stuff.

Boys are enjoying school. I signed them up for winter basketball league. That  starts today. Tobias is apprehensive. In the last few months I’ve noticed him being a tad shy of new things and situations. He loves basketball though and I’m trusting he’ll be just fine.

And, its now 2013. Crazy town! I look forward to going back to school and, God willing, buying a house come fall/winter, and just making our home here in the Austin area.

Off to make new adventures today!

 

 

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Oops

It is a snare to imagine that God wants to make us perfect specimens of what He can do; God’s purpose is to make us one with Himself. The emphasis of holiness movements is apt to be that God is producing specimens of holiness to put in His museum. If you go off on this idea of personal holiness, the dead-set of your life will not be for God, but for what you call the manifestation of God in your life.

~Oswald Chambers

I like to spend a great deal of time absorbed by me, myself, and I lately. I fail … everyone falls short of the glory of God! Getting over myself right now and getting my eyes focused back on the one that matters!

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Choice

We only realize the power of the moral law when it comes with an “if.” God never coerces us. In one mood we wish He would make us do the thing, and in another mood we wish He would leave us alone. Whenever God’s will is in the ascendant, all compulsion is gone. When we choose deliberately to obey Him, then He will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist us with all His almighty power.

~Oswald Chambers

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