Monday, October 29, 2007

To New Moms and One Day Moms


Time goes by so quickly.

like bubbles

here

shiny

precious

gone

How many times can we hear that said? How many ways can that truth be told?

And yet Anson is 8. My baby is 4. Time has floated by...and disappeared.

A new little one

is on it's way to stay

one day

soon.

I will do some things different

because now I know

that wind gently lures bubbles far

away

babies stretch out

they turn 8

and learn proper sentence structure.

So I will

hold this new baby more.

An 8 year old has taught me

that there are less things

than I once thought

more important

than holding my bubbles close.

I will

clear my schedule when the new baby is three

just so

I can sit down,

ask him questions

and

listen

to all the funny things

floating around inside his head.

If I was growing another life

instead of adopting

I would

not run from cameras

because I felt fat

and ready

for that bubble to burst

oh no

I would want plenty of proof that life grew

inside this stomach that now is

flat

empty

vacant

it's hard to believe it once held

life

limbs

lungs

There would be more pictures

of me and my belly

and my boobs

yes, it's true

shy away if you must

but it won't keep me from wishing

that I had more pictures

of me

nursing

rocking

my babies so snug

so close

fleshy fingers

squeezing

my skin

I wish I had a picture

of those sweet times

just for me

on the days

when I need to sit

gather

sift through all the bubbles

and remember

gently touching them

marveling

at how fast bubbles blow away

at how quickly you go from

growing life

from nursing babies

to listening to them read

Charlotte's web.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Costume Kid




This costume loving kid is all sorts of fabulous.

Ryan's Happy Day

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR FAVORITE AFRICAN

We love you.
We're proud of you.
Our dining room table misses you.



Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why do smokers get to have all the fun?

Everyone in the whole wide world should go to the Ross King concert!


I used to fantasize about being a smoker.

I know why.

Grease 2

Michele Phfiefer

Smoking

Singing cool rider...

How could anyone NOT want to smoke after watching that INCREDIBLE movie 98,000 times?

She is also why, to this day, I still HAVE to dip my hamburger in ketchup while I eat it.

I remember the first time I smoked.

I was in first grade.

No joke.

My neighbor's parents were FIENDS.

My neighbor friend, Angela, and I snuck in the bathroom and smoked our first grade hearts out.

Then we forgot to flush the butts down the toilet.

We got caught.

Another time...

I was with Aaron and this Russian exchange student who was living at Aaron's house.

The Russian begged me to smoke.

I had withstood American peer pressure...but the Russian kind was harder to resist.

His peer pressure was in Russian...and I'm not bilingual.

He was one tricky Russian boy.

I stood outside on the carport and tried to be cool.

Smoking.

Then I decided I'd had enough.

But when I started talking...smoke was still coming out of my mouth.

I started exhaling heavy...trying to shove all the air out of my lungs.

Then, I got so nervous.

The smoke was stuck inside me!

I began to freak out, thinking Aaron's parents were going to walk out any minute and catch me with smoke coming out of my throat.

They would never believe I was half dragon.

"It won't stop coming out! I have smoke stuck in my mouth!!!" I screamed.

That's when Aaron looked at me and calmly said, "It's cold outside. That's what your breath always does in the cold. That's what everyone's breath does in the cold."

"Oh....yeah." I said.

He kind of just stared at me, shook his head, and then a few years later, he still married me...so who's the dumb one?

Lynsey and I were talking about smoking last night.

Do people still get smoke breaks?

We think they do.

If so...

Is it because they are addicted to smoking?

They get smoke breaks so they can smoke, because if they don't smoke, they go nuts?

If that's why people get smoke breaks...

Then if I ever got a real-life, leave my house, get dressed job...

Do you think they would let me take an email break?

Because my need to check my email hourly is probably just as intense as needing a cigarette fix.

Really.

If it's been more than an hour since I've pushed send&receive...I get a little shaky...and a tad bit irritable.

So I don't see how smoking/email checking could be different.

If my boss wouldn't let me have an email break, I'll just be real honest here...I would probably start smoking.

And I would take my laptop outside with me.

Then I could check my email.

And smoke at the same time.

Surely there are no company rules against multitasking on a smoke break.

That would be silly.

As long as you're smoking, would it matter what else you were doing during that 15 minutes?

Smoking and knitting?

Smoking and checking blogs?

Smoking and napping?

Smoking and straight ironing your hair?

Which means...if you work, and your boss gives smoking breaks...you are silly not to smoke.

If I had an "outside" job, I would smoke for sure...except, I would smoke gum. Remember those gum cigarettes? Surely, if your boss gives smoke breaks, they can't regulate the kind of cigarettes you smoke. So what if you like to smoke gum? Some people like the ones with the camel. Some people like the ones that are in the green box. I would like the gum ones. What's wrong with that?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Come one, Come all!

For all the people who only read the first paragraph of blogs...

Here are the cliff notes for this post:

We are hosting a Ross King concert at the Palace Theater in downtown Bryan on Friday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Prepare to be highly entertained, challenged and even taught some really great stuff about the church, how we need each other, how transparency is always a good thing, how Jesus is our only hope, and lots of other neat things to celebrate and think through as the body of Christ. This concert will be a little different since Ross isn't just up on stage, wearing leather pants, singing some songs. (Hopefully he will wear pants...but of the blue jean variety.) Thankfully he will stop and teach/talk about the thoughts behind the music. They are good thoughts. We think everyone should hear them.

After that, you're invited to walk down to the Hendrick House (walk in groups, you could get mugged...not really...well, maybe...) Ross and Staci King will be here hanging out....so will we...since we live here...and hopefully so will lots of other people you know or want to know better. Come see us! If you stalk our blog (and many of you confess to not only stalking ours, but stalking the King's as well, and lots of other people's linked on the right)...then stop that creepiness, come to the concert, come to our house...and MEET us. Warning: We're not nearly as cool in person as you may think we are. Prepare to be disappointed.

The concert is free...just like car washes are free...as in, you could pay nothing, or you could pay something. There will be a bucket...maybe we could get a KFC bucket. I would like that.

And EVERYONE is invited. We are hoping people from churches around town will come together for this great event! As you may or may not know, Ross has been doing home shows lately. We are hosting this shin-dig because we didn't think we could fit all the people we know and love (who also know and love Ross) into our living room...so we opted for the Palace instead. Invite everyone you know! Drive in from out of town! Fly across the ocean! Get the word out!



Okay...cliff notes over.

Now we have some other stuff to say about Ross, and why we would love for you to join us at the concert and support his ministry.

When Aaron and I were newly married, we commuted to A&M from Madisonville. We lived in Madisonville because that's where Aaron grew up, where we graduated...and hey...we really liked our little small town. Aaron was a part time youth minister at a little church. We loved our job, loved those kids, but honestly felt a God-sized void in our hearts in the area of worship. We knew there was something more. There had to be.

We heard about Breakaway from people at school, decided to stay late one Tuesday night and check it out. I remember walking into Central Baptist, (the old Central Baptist, centrally located in the center of Bryan)...seeing the largest group of people at "church" I had ever seen before...all college students...and I could literally feel the presence of God the moment I walked into the room.

I saw a man named, Ross, walk out on stage. He did not look like he was famous. He really didn't even look like he had brushed his hair. Why were all these people here to see him? I saw a girl named Staci, standing next to him, wearing overalls. I heard them say something like, "Our drummer, Craig Weaver, is a new dad! His wife, just had their first baby." Everyone clapped. I clapped too...because I liked babies...even in the 90's. Then they gave Craig some balloons.

And then...

Worship began.

The music started playing.

Everyone stood up.

And I started bawling.

Bawling.

I could not sing.

I could not stand.

All I could do was listen...and look around at all the people...standing...hands raised in the air...worshiping the Lord.

Immediately...

And I mean, immediately...

I knew that what I was seeing...was a picture of what my soul had been longing to do for years...for the first time, everything I had thought and felt about the Lord on the INSIDE...about His worth, about how amazing He was...these people were allowing to surface...to come OUT...it was beautiful.

Aaron and I tried never to miss Breakaway.

We learned a lot from Greg Matte, but little did we know that God was teaching us so much more.

God was using Ross to teach Aaron a great deal about worship...about leading worship.

We loved that Ross seemed like a normal guy...he wasn't a rock star. He looked like someone you would run into at the store, not someone who was on CMT.

We had no idea that years later, Aaron would begin a crazy life of leading worship. No idea. And even when God started that process...affirming Aaron through the body...Ross was the only thing we could really look at and feel okay about what the Lord was doing in us.

How can we lead worship? We're not cool enough. We aren't hip enough. We aren't suave enough. We don't have "stage presence." We don't know how to pick out worship leader clothes. Are there special stores where you buy rock star clothes? We didn't know. Maybe it was like Diagon Alley. We aren't super star singers. We've never been in a band. Aaron didn't go to "school of rock." He wasn't comfortable being a celebrity. I just laughed. How on earth was he supposed to be a worship leader?

So here we are...not any cooler...not any more CMT worthy... just doing what God has said to do.

We love Ross King because he's the real deal.

He loves God...and He loves God's people...and He loves the church.

He writes songs out of the overflow of what God is teaching Him...which means God is teaching Him...he doesn't just write songs that he knows will sound good on his next CD. They do sound REALLY good, but the motivation is so different.

We love that Ross writes songs that are meant to make us think...to make us examine ourselves before the Lord...not just make us feel happy...telling us what our itchy ears want to hear.

A lot has changed since we walked into Breakaway a million years ago and "met" Ross King for the first time.

Ross married that girl, Staci who was standing next to him singing on the stage.

Staci stopped wearing overalls and is now the mother of two beautiful boys.

Craig and his wife Staci now go to our church and their daughter, Avery is old enough to have her own blog, is almost as tall as I am, and recently got her first zit. HOW does this happen? HOW??

But one thing has not changed...

Ross is still our favorite worship leader.


We always have and always will have every CD he ever makes sitting in our house somewhere.

We will forever be grateful for how God has used him, personally, to teach us about authentic, not-out-to-make-ourselves-famous, kind of worship...for teaching us how to lead worship by keeping the Lord and His church as the motivation behind all we do.

Ross is still doing what He's always done...keeping worship real, honest, heart-felt, non-phony, and the church a priority in his life. That stuff matters more than becoming famous. It's why he's playing all his new songs off his CD at house shows. It's why he's giving a "free" (remember, think car wash) concert in downtown Bryan.

NOTE: The songs on his new CD aren't really worship songs. That is, they're not songs that we'd put on a screen and all sing along. They're regular songs. Songs to challenge you or encourage you. Songs to make you think. They're songs about the church...songs about what living as a believer looks like in real life.

Those are the kind of songs he'll be doing at the concert.

So...

Who's coming?

Please...feel FREE to advertise this on your blogs, face book it up, slap up posters, get the word out there! We could not be more excited about this!

Can't wait to see you at the concert!

Can't wait to see you at the Hendrick house!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Our First Robbing!


We just found out we were robbed!

I know it's strange...

But I am so excited about this!

Aaron took my car this evening...he calls me and says, "Did you come out here today and dig all through the car for something?"

"No," was my answer.

Then he said, "I think we were robbed."

I ran out the door to see for myself!

Yep!

Robbed!

What is hysterical about this...is you all know...my car is a disaster.

I wish the thief would have stolen everything out of it.

I was really embarrassed that anyone saw my car in that condition...even a criminal.

I wish I had tidied up first.

The only thing we think he got was an ash tray filled with...

PENNIES!

Seriously.

It never has anything but pennies in it...which constantly annoys me!

But it's empty now!

He dug all through the console...dug right past the Bibles, the phone book, the Christian CD's, totally ignored Nora Jones, Cindi Lauper and Tina Turner. I'm SURE if Ross King's or Robbie Seay's CDs were in there...he would have stolen them. I'm just sure of it.

He left all the millions of art projects my kids have made at church.

He left the sippy cups and grocery lists.

Do you think he wore a ski mask?

I sure hope he did.

I'm going to imagine he did.

That will make my first robbing complete.

I'm also assuming a male was the thief...because I want to, and let's not forget...this was MY robbing.

The weather was nice last night.

I bet it was a pleasant night for robbing.

Nothing but PENNIES were worth taking.

That poor robber.

I think tonight I'll leave him a sandwich...and a capri sun.

Confessions


Here's a secret oddity about me.

When I'm around men...I always look at their adam's apple.

I do.

I don't know why.

We can be in our small group having in-depth conversations about really deep things...but at some point, being the easily distracted lame-o I am, I will inevitably scan the room...looking at adam's apples.

If you are non-female...and you've ever been around me...I've looked at your adam's apple.

I've noticed it.

It's true...and I can't stop.

They are so weird and sort of gross...which then makes them crazy fascinating to me.

Just thinking about touching one...

Yep...I just convulsed.

Is having an adam's apple sort of like having a knee cap on your neck?

That's what I've imagined them to be like.

When I touch my knee cap and it moves...I have to blink back the barf.

If Aaron ever put his adam's apple on me, I would hyperventilate and heave.

I'm sorry...but if you're male...I have probably also imagined smacking your adam's apple with a wooden spoon or a spatula...or a baseball bat...

because I want your adam's apple to go in...not stick out.

I have imagined playing "whack a mole" with your adam's apple.

It feels good to come clean.

Real good.

I know most people have parts of the body that make them cringe...

So no one break out the meds or straight jackets.

I'm fine.  Maybe.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Melt Your Heart

This is their newest song.

They love it.

I find them playing Legos, softly singing it...

It makes me smile every time.

They watched The Little Rascals the other night...and I guess it just stuck.

Notice Hayden's hand in the song...that's my favorite part.

If you have boys, you're feeling my pain...why are they obsessed with that thing?

Why do they never grow out of being obsessed with it...they simply learn how to leave it alone...at least in public?

I asked Hayden who he was singing this song for...and of course he said "KK." I love how much he loves his beautiful cousin!

And I promise...Hayden has more shirts than just this one!



My baby poo wanted to join in the fun, but didn't want to sing by himself...so of course, Hayden was thrilled to be on the camera again.



Gosh...

They are so cute, I could just squeeze them.

As a matter of fact, I am going to go squeeze them.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Devil Apples Part Two

Wow.

I've received several emails...confessions from people who have bought these apples...are now addicted...and will shamelessly be spending their hard earned cash on this pricey fruit until they thankfully disappear out of the stores.

I went to HEB yesterday. When I arrived at the full service check out line the boy behind the cash register said he and the sacker were playing a little game.

So...the game went like this...

The lady with the groceries, the checker, and the sacker all place bets on how much the groceries will cost. The one closest to the correct wager once the groceries are rung up...wins!

Sign me up!

I love a challenge, people.

They got to each ask a couple questions before proceeding with check out...questions that would help them predict the cost of my groceries.

Of course...those amateurs...asked if I had meat.

My answer...

Yes...yes indeed.

Beef.

They wanted to know how much beef.

I told them how many packages...

They seemed impressed with my lack of concern for my health...

I felt guilty...so then I told them that I'm anemic...so I've been eating beef...a lot of it.

I had to tell them I was anemic, because telling people I'm anemic is my favorite thing to do these days.

I use my anemia for all sorts of excuses...

I can't clean out my car.

I'm anemic.

I can't match the socks.

It flares my anemia right up.

I can't go to Wal-Mart.

I'm anemic...what if I get weak in there...and have to live in the fabric department?

No one wants that.

So after I told the checker and bagger I was anemic...and that I had beef...

They locked in their guesses on this showcase showdown.

But they didn't know I had a secret weapon.

Honeycrisps

They count as meat.

They are as expensive as buying steaks.

When I set my bag of honey up on the flat, black escalator, that checker and bagger didn't see what hit them...

In yo face, checkah.

I left HEB a winner.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

On Honeycrisps and Self Check Out

Last night I ran to Kroger to grab a couple things.

I'm a die hard HEB fan, so just walking into the place, I felt like a traitor.

One of the things on my very short list was...

more apples

This time of year, my kids and I are absolutely addicted to Honeycrisp apples.

It's such an expensive dependency.

These apples are around $2.99 a pound!

And, I bet they weigh about a pound a piece.

That makes them right about the price of a "hit" of crack.

This is a fact I did not know when I lived in the suburbs.

I can't believe I'm spending this much money on apples.

And there are lots of people in my house. If we only eat one a day...that's four apples gone...I say four because Aaron's system would go into compete freak out mode if something this healthy made it inside his body. His digestive system would have to call in Jack Bauer to assess and eliminate the terrorist apple's attack.

If my kids were asking me for anything else...any other snack or food item that cost this much money I would say "go sell lemonade"...but these are apples. All logic breaks down inside of me when my kids ask me ALL DAY if I will please go to the store and get them some more apples to eat.

"We love apples mom. These are so good. I could eat these all day. And apples are so healthy mom, aren't they."

Junk!

Who can say no to that?

Not me, obviously.

These apples only come out at certain times of the year...they are available a few weeks...and then they are gone, leaving only ugly, mushy, not-as-sweet apples to take their place. Can you imagine how those "other" apples must feel? They don't even come close to comparing to Honeycrisps. The Honeycrisps get their own display in the front of the store.  I'm sure the other apples hate their sweet, juicy, crunchy guts. Honeycrisps are the Paris Hiltons of the produce department...and I'm sure all the other apples know it. When I finally walk past the other apples that get hidden in the back when the Honeycrisps arrive...I push my grocery basket right past them, glance over in their direction, shake my head and think...."sad."

What I normally do is go to HEB, get about six of them...and then, not weigh them. Since I can't do math at all, I just make sure that when I get to the check out counter, I purposely divert my eyes from the cash register screen when the apples are getting rung up.

Until yesterday, after several years of buying these apples, I have had NO IDEA how much I was paying for them.

My system has worked flawlessly...and it had to if these apples would continue to find a place in my basket week after week...because what's the point of buying this pricey snack if I'm going to feel nauseous eating them, sick about how much I spent ON AN APPLE? It's kind of like the old, "If a tree falls in the forest" deal...you know, "If you paid a lot for apples, but you didn't know it, does it really matter?" I think the only thing worse than buying these expensive apples would be buying them and then throwing them up because I felt so sick about paying so much for them. So...I choose to bag them and then stay thoroughly distracted while I'm checking out.

Yesterday I got caught.

At Kroger, I was forced to do the self-check out.

ALL the lines were so long...and moving slowly.

NO ONE was at the self check out.

I wasn't about to go over there though.

Those things terrify me.

Just seeing them makes me perspire and become instantly nervous.

But a young boy...who works for Kroger...who was annoyingly oh so perceptive, saw I only had a few things in my hands, and yet I was standing in a long line...he looked up and said, "The self-checkout is open."

He thought he was being helpful. But he wasn't. I wanted to kick him in the shins.

For a brief moment I thought possibly, I could get out of this if I acted like I was deaf, or didn't speak English.

But quickly, I realized, even I could not keep up the deafness or language barrier all the way through my check out experience.

If I didn't speak English, what did I speak?

I don't know enough of any other language to even say, I don't speak English in it.

If I played it deaf, what if they brought someone over to interpret for the cash register person?

My sign language only consists of a few signs - No, stop, orange juice? Jump on the trampoline? Bandaid? These are hardly the signs I'd need to help me check out at Kroger.

I looked over at the empty, ghoulish self-check out stands and my plastic apple bag almost slipped out of my hands that had immediately become SWEATY.

Everything in me wanted to just stand there and casually say, "I'll wait. Those things scare me to death."

But really....sometimes, I have to think to myself..."Be normal, Heather...for the love...be normal."

I moved over to the self check out, to spare myself from announcing to many people in line that I'd rather wait here behind their full baskets, with four things in my hands because the self check out makes me have nightmares.

I really have had two bad dreams about the self check out.

This is a deep rooted fear.

Why can't they at least have online tutorials?

I could practice!

I would!

Diligently.

It stresses me out that once I've checked out an item that awful computer lady starts YELLING at me, over and over..."Put the item in the bag. Put the item in the bag. Put the item in the bag." How do you put a huge family sized package of toilet paper in the bag? You just don't, lady, you can't...but you don't know that...because you can't see me...and you can't hear me...and yet...I'm talking to you. I'm talking to you! What is wrong with me? A computer lady is making me shaky. I'm scared of a fake lady...a souped up, female equivalent of the speak and spell.

So every single time, the "special real-life, human helpers" have to come down off their throne, intervene and help me figure out why I'm such a self-check out loser. There they stand, behind the grocery store, self-check out pulpit ready to pass judgment on me whenever I can't figure out how to ring up cilantro. The computer lady is repeating herself over and over and over again...and finally, it's like the self-check out pastor slams down her gavel declaring me..."LOSER. You lose. Go back to full service, lady. Your soul has been eternally dammed to the full service lines. This is for A-team grocery store shoppers...go back, you B-teamer. You can't hang in the self-checkout. Do not pass Go. Do not collect your bags filled with expensive apples...just leave...and come back when you quit being a moron."

It's so humiliating.

And that's when I'm standing there alone, no one waiting behind me.

If someone comes up behind me, waiting to check out groceries...I don't know what happens to me...I turn into panicked, sweaty, wants to cry lady. I have actually thought about leaving everything there and running out of the store. I'm not kidding. If the slightest thing goes wrong while I'm in self-check out lines AND someone is waiting behind me...I just want to walk right out of the door, get in my car and bawl. And that seems perfectly logical and understandable to me in the moment. It takes everything in me to fight the urge to bolt.

What is wrong with me?

So the point of this post is...

self-check outs scare me

computer ladies intimidate me

so do the Big Brother grocery store employees who watch over all the self-check out stations

It would be a dream of mine...like if there was a show where you could submit a wish, and you weren't dying, and that show would still want to make your dreams come true...mine would be to go to a grocery store, AFTER HOURS...all alone and figure out the self check out...become a pro...a master self-checkouter.

and...since I actually made it through the self check out test of fire last night...I now know that I spent almost $7 on these apples.

$7 for apples.

I've been doing this for several years.

And I've been PEELING them for Ashton and Hayden...I feel sick...I bet I was throwing away about 75 cents worth of apple every time, just because they say they don't want the "crust" on their apples.

They may have to start eating the "crust"...

and the core

Good thing these apples are only out for a minuscule window of time every year.

Or we would go broke.

But since an apple a day keeps the doctor away, maybe we could cancel our health insurance to be able to afford to eat these apples year round.

That's what we'd have to do in order to support this habit.

You should try these.

At least once.

I won't tell anyone.

They are so good.