Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blogs I Follow

David set up this blog long ago and I slowly but surely I began posting to it; now, I post 80% or more of the items but interestingly, I have never really known anything about design or settings. Today, I finally spent some time exploring and while I am not yet brave enough to change the background, I finally put a "blog roll" in place. There is now a list of many of the blogs I follow on the left side of the homepage. Check it out!

2010 Army 10-Miler

It was another year of fun at the Army 10-Miler (Oct 24, 2010).
Last year I ran by myself. This year- David, my brother Joel, and my sister-in-law Stephanie, all ran too.
It was beautiful weather, which is always a bonus on race day. I also ran much faster than I did last year-- a hard earned accomplishment!
This year I also got the chance to catch up with several folks that I hadn't seen it a while: Todd Little (LTC and TCU grad), Misty Cornett Lever (another fellow Horned Frog), and Jennifer Brown (an Ob-Gyn that I worked with at Madigan).

Here is a shot of the of us after the race:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Frying Pan Park

In late October, we had the chance enjoy a play-date with the St.Clair cousins (all the kids that weren't in school). We visited Frying Pan Park in Herdon, VA.
We saw lots of animals, ate lunch, and played. The kids loved the sheep, pigs, cows, horses, turkeys, ducks, and peacocks. A beautiful sunny day and fun with the family. We couldn't ask for anything more!

Thanksgiving Feast

Every year the elementary school does a 'Thanksgiving Feast.' This year was no different. Sybella, Cooper, and I had the opportunity to go Connor's school and enjoy lunch with him and his friends. Connor loves showing off his younger siblings to the kids in the class and the younger kids love both eating with Connor and all the attention.
We had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green beans....along with Pumpkin Ice Cream. Not too bad a fare for cafeteria food!

**Unfortunately, the Middle School does not offer a Thanksgiving Feast so, we didn't get to eat with Colin this year. :0(

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Conflict or Harmony

It's interesting, I suspect that people would say of me, "She doesn't mind conflict. In fact, she likes it." That's true but it's also totally not true... What?!
Let me explain. I have an analytical mind, I enjoy a debate (I get that from my dad). I have no problem with conflict in which there can be resolution. And that resolution, does not have to be me being right. I am happy to be wrong (just show me), I am happy to apologize, I am happy to compromise, I am happy to form a different opinion based on sound reasoning or fact.
Conflict in which I feel powerless, meaning: conflict in which there is not transparency, conflict in which there are malicious motives, conflict in which communication isn't present, conflict in which my motives have been assumed, conflict that is riddled with gossip, or conflict in which people assume that I don't get me feelings hurt--- these are the conflicts in which I do not do well with! They grieve me. I use the word 'grieve' in the most serious of connotations, GRIEVE me, they cause me physical ailment. I wrestle with them.
I am desirous of peace, desirous of reconciliation (I get this from my mom).

Where is all this coming from?
I didn't have some crisis in my life, I didn't have some major conflict or falling out yesterday. (Promise.)
I was reading this morning and came across this:

Ps 133:1 (NLT) How wonderful and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in harmony!
Ps 133:1 (NIV) How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

This just struck me... I have lots of people in my life: family, friends, neighbors, associates, organization peers. There is conflict in these situations. Anytime you are in relationship with people for more than a year, there will be conflict (for many, it could take a day). All it takes is enough interactions to get past the superficial.

However, I am in a season of my life where there is peace. (in same cases, it's absence of conflict, in some it's mature relationship where conflict is easily resolved, and in some cases, it's just grace-filled situations paired with forgiveness.) It makes life so smooth. Harmony is wonderful and pleasant. It provides for so much freedom. Freedom to spend my energies elsewhere. Freedom to be creative and explore (which takes focus for me). Freedom to grow, engage, and flourish. Harmony is a gift. A gift that I am Thankful for...

I love the holidays and what I love most about the holidays is having family and friends around. I don't get to have all of my family around like I wish (many of them live FAR away or cost is just too much, or they have other family to visit). But I am so thankful for both our family and friends. And in this season of celebrating Thanksgiving, this passage spoke volumes to me about the blessings of harmony.

(And for all you natural debaters out there, no I don't think absence of conflict is all good or should last forever...I am just grateful for peace in this season of my life.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Referee Squared

This should, but may not be, an incredibly long post about what a great son I have and how he is following in the footsteps of his dad- we now have Referee Squared at our house.

Here's the story:
My awesome son, Colin, is a Entrepreneur, skilled at soccer, and has a hero in his dad. That all adds up to becoming a soccer referee (and collecting his first paycheck) at age 12!
After years of playing soccer, this year, Colin went thru a 10-hour class, a mentoring session, and a test to become a Grade 9, United States Soccer Federation Soccer Referee.
He serves as a Center Referee for recreational or house games for kids that are at least 2 years younger than he is. He can serve as an Assistant Referee (Linesman) for a more senior referee to kids in the older age groups.
He did a total of 13 games this season and had lots of encouragement and recognition from his dad (who was a National Referee). Colin did a great job! He has a good understanding of the game, of his role, and of the need serve as a teacher to the young kids who are still learning the game. He is planning to ref again in the spring and take the class to upgrade to a Grade 8 referee. (All this, and he made the honor roll in his first quarter at Middle School- 7th grade- while taking 3 Honors classes.)
Can I just say that this kid makes it easy to be a proud mama!
Future FIFA Referee?!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween festivities at our house this year included the preschool parade in which the kids dress up and parade around for the parents and sing songs for us. It was entertaining as usual and Sybella loved the fact that she and Kylee chose to be the same thing for Halloween. (Thanks Shauna for remembering your camera!)

Then we dressed up again on Halloween to trick-or-treat in the neighborhood. I usually stay home and pass out candy and dad takes the kids around to get candy. This year our older boys dressed up (for what was likely Colin's LAST year) and went to their friends' house to trick-or-treat. So, unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of them.

Sybella was Tinkerbell this year for Halloween. She loved the costume but particularly enjoyed the 'glitter' hairspray that made the outfit! What a girl! (the lighting is great in this pic, sorry)

Cooper was quite a handsome 'UPS' man...however, nothing was getting delivered; he was eating it all, including this Chocolate Kiss, before it could get anywhere. He has decided he LIKES candy. (I have to change my hiding place several times a week- he sees the older kids get a piece and he waits 'till he thinks no one is looking and tries to get some for himself.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Ni Hao Y'all

The Christmas Spirit of giving is already underway- check out this awesome giveaway and get more information or inspiration about adoption.
Adoption is something that is often on my heart. Many of our friends are parents thru adoption and we even had the blessed opportunity about one year ago to share a trip to Korea as our friends brought home their precious boy. It is as touching to me today as any birth I have attended as a Labor and Delivery nurse!
This past Sunday was Orphan Sunday and I am so proud that churches and organizations all over the country are bringing awareness to the needs of orphans and foster children. In DC alone, there are 4000 orphans.
If you have never thought about adoption or foster care, I would encourage you to think about it in this upcoming holiday season....even if you are not prepared to adopt or foster at this time (or ever), there are things you can do for those in the journey, the kids affected, and the workers who tirelessly serve them. Look for an opportunity to serve or give this year-- the blessing returned to you will be great!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Milkshake Dates

Yes it's 40 degrees outside but Sybella requested a "Milkshake Date" and I'm a sucker for younger women and freckles! Love my little girl...