For Kicks
Fully Themselves

The Highlights of Fall

Seeing as how I’m in a never-ending state of being behind 6-7 months on this blog, for my own mental sake, I’m going to try to speed this process along. ‘Cause it seems like I’m forever stuck in 2014. It was a great year, but I’m ready to move on. Aren’t you?!

For September and October, these are the moments I want to remember:

My precious girl’s first day of pre-school.

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Dressed in a first-day-of-school outfit given by Popsie and Meesie, she walked in confidently with her head held high, ready for this new adventure. And her momma? Her momma left a trail of tears. For the first time in five and a half years, I had a moment to myself in a this-is-the-new-normal kind of way, and I had no idea what to do with myself. More tears were shed as I drove past the prayer garden that was our special place to hang out while Brennan was in school. I think I went to Starbucks and journaled. And cried some more. I couldn’t wait to pick her up! For a girl who hasn’t had a nap in her bed for nearly a year, she crashed on the way home.

Brennan’s first science experiment.

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He had to make a container that could hold an egg, that when dropped from the top of a playground, would keep the egg intact. He was proud of what he came up with and made.

It was no Humpty Dumpty tale.

A weekend of quiet.

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Both kids had their “Popsie and Meesie” time during the summer, and I thought I needed my own time also <grin>. I mean, I am their daughter after all. Thanks to my parents and to Matt, I snuck away for a quiet weekend in September to go to my parent’s in San Antonio. It was like a luxurious retreat! I had a new set of PJs and a cozy room awaiting me; my Momma’s delicious food and Daddy’s grilling that we enjoyed outside in their beautiful garden; laughter and heart sharing throughout. My heart was so full and refreshed afterward!

“I make light."

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I succumbed to shoes that light up. It was hard to resist after Kensie Jane’s claim saying, “Mommy, they were made just for me.” 

But there’s more. A couple of months later, we were loading up in the car when Kensie was singing, “I am God. I am God.” How could that not catch my attention? I am so, so thankful I didn’t immediately shut her down, which comes so much more naturally…and easily to me. Instead I asked, “Why are you singing that?” With her innocent face, she looked up at me, stomped her shoes to light up, and said, “Because I make light."

We have a reader!!

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This has been one of the most exciting things over the past few months: Brennan’s reading soared! The whole process of learning to read is astounding to me. We recently saw the Zach Theatre play, The Three Little Pigs. He told us which was his favorite pig: the one who read a lot of books. He loves to read!

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Our family loved the first movie and couldn’t wait to see the sequel, which I thought was all the more delightful. Popsie and Meesie treated us!

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Feel free to create your own caption for Kensie’s behalf.

One of our children graduated.

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This dog is now twice this size and 80 pounds. I’m not sure he’d pass his class anymore. His pulling while on a walk leaves my nerves frayed. He pokes his head in the doggy door before he steps inside with a shameful face knowing he’s been a bad boy by getting all muddy. Thankfully he will pause at the door before I put a towel down (most of the time). And when he darts into the street to say ‘hi’ to a neighbor, it has led to not only more grey hairs on my head but also to his banning of being loose out front. 

But he’s very loved.

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Ordinary moments…in Fall-ish weather.

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One-on-one moments.

With my girl In our special garden on Fiesta Day at school.

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Our family loves football season. We cheer wholeheartedly for the Aggies, and make it a weekend tradition to pile in front of the TV for a game while we eat some pizza. It’s also the season that our front yard gets pounded until the root system is shocked so much that it takes an extra measure of TLC in the spring to renew it back to life. Because the boy of ours? He goes out front and runs. And runs. And runs while throwing the football high up into the air to catch. He has developed quite the arm.

It’s also the time for our annual tradition with friends to see a high school football game!

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Explosions of Creativity

Y’all…all I did was help a little with the glitter, give some direction and of course, I was the "awesome Momma" who braved the hot glue gun. Otherwise, it was all him.

May I present…the Amazon Rainforest.

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Pumpkin Patch with Besties

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We got to meet our adored Rutlands in Waco for lunch at CFA and the pumpkin patch for a spontaneous get together on a random no-school Friday! We were sweltering in October, but that’s just Texas for ya. 

Want to go for a bike ride?

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He’s off his training wheels and flying!


There was Donuts with Dad...

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And a KJ/Daddy pancake date while Brennan and I were at Main Event for some glow in the dark golfing for a Mom & Sons Night Out with school.

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Christ Church Retreat

Our family looks forward to our church retreat every year. So much so we were actually the first ones to sign up <grin>. Last October’s retreat will be one we remember for a very long time. Well, for one thing, Brennan got sick with a high fever thanks to some side effects of the flu shots. But the poor guy didn’t get to play hard with his buddies like he so desired. Also, we got to let a big cat out of the bag to our church, and my heart was pounding all weekend long with excitement and nervousness. 

Since the summer of 2013, our church had been looking for a property to have as a permanent home. While Cliff was on sabbatical, the property team found one that was an incredible fit for us. After a lot of prayer, discernment and negotiations, we were able to go under contract with a church property just a week before the retreat. And we were able to make the incredible announcement at the retreat!

So I was holed up in our room taking care of Brennan and working on a small speech. Speaking became more a part of the role than I ever anticipated or desired. But some of those speaking moments have marked my memories of the last three years signficantly. I so wish I had the words to convey how special that afternoon was on Saturday. Gathered together in worship and prayer, standing side by side with two men that I highly respect and admire, we took our turns speaking and making this monumental announcement. The Holy Spirit was beautifully present. The excitement was palpable as was the unity. I had a number of people afterward say they’ve never experienced a property search/decision for a church with that much peace and unity. I will say it over and over: it’s been all Him. We had amazing teams working together incredibly well, and our Lord has been faithful, faithful, faithful. 

So to top it off at the talent show that night, our infamous Patrick wrote a song to the tune of the Eagles’ “Hotel California” with lyrics about the potential new property that had everyone cheering and celebrating. And me: I cried of course. All the hard work. All the prayer. All the decisions and meetings and emails. All the waiting to see how it would unfold. All the anticipation of the announcement and wondering how it would be received. I was caught up in it all. We still had a lot of work to do to finalize things in the feasibility period and a congregational vote, but that retreat weekend lit a flame and set the tone for the months to follow.

There Once was a Cheetah and a Princess

After Kensie’s dance class one Monday we drove to Dripping Springs and met my momma for a picnic! She had lovely table linens and set up for our chili cheese dogs she made. And guess what else?! She made my boy’s beloved cheetah costume for Halloween and my girl’s princess bag. Incredible, she is incredible.

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It was a hard decision to not be with my family on Halloween night. It’s not that we make it a huge ordeal, but with the children still little, they enjoy dressing up. And missing out on helping them get ready and watch their excitement trick or treating, well, there was some heartache there. But it meant that I was able to go on a women’s silent retreat with some ladies from church. Quiet. Solitude. Time with Jesus. Less distractions. It was worth it!

Between a school costume day and a special dress-up day for Kensie’s speech therapy, I got my fair share of the cheetah and the princess.

Matt held down the fort wonderfully, taking care of these two.

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They went trick or treating with Rob, Leah, Evan and Ella Kate, like we’ve done most of the past 6 years, and Leah said that Kensie kept sneaking candy from their giveaway bowl <grin>...

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An ideal way to head into the holiday season.


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