Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Have a very Merry Christmas with loved ones near!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

It has been a while since I posted, so I wanted to wish you all a great day tomorrow. I hope you spend it with family and/or friends and get lots of relaxing done! I plan to!

Nothing much new to report...we are finished with football for this fall. The Titans made it all the way to one game before the superbowl before ever losing a game. Division champs with a record of 8 and 0.

Cody's baseball is over for the fall. (which means more specifically that they have a week off before "voluntary" practices start for the month of December once a week, but no tournaments until next year.) They took first place in our last tournament to end their fall season 18 and 0. Not one loss...makes for a promising spring season!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God Bless America

Crossed Flag, originally uploaded by kitskub.

Well, there are so many things that one could say at time such as this.

The thing I mostly want to say is that I hope that the wonderful man who has served our country for an entire lifetime with wholehearted devotion can feel just a fraction of the respect and admiration I have in my heart towards him this morning. After his speech last night, I thought to myself what a missed opportunity we as Americans had to be led by such a class act. I pray that somehow, some way ,John McCain feels some encouragement today from those who love him most and are closest to him.

And I hope and pray that the man who has not done anything to speak of as far as serving and sacrificing for our country can step up and serve our country well for the next four years.

I do so love America and it's people and I know God does too. I know who holds the future and who is the KING of KINGS. I pray His mercy falls fresh on America.

Proverbs 21:1 The King's heart is in the hand of the LORD. He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

happy halloween

michael phelps, napoleon dynamite and buzz lightyear hope your halloween was as happy as theirs!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Weekend

This past weekend was a pretty typical weekend for us, but we did have some highlights for sure! One highlight was that the Titans scored more points in a single game than they ever have before. Casey was able to catch a long pass for a 1st down. (there is not too much passing that goes on in 10 year old football, mostly just running the ball) They played against one of Casey's good friends from his baseball team. They were good sports and posed for a picture at the end!

Another highlight was that Cody's baseball team won their very first FIRST place trophy in a championship game at their tournament this weekend! Last year, they won many second place trophies, and a first place in consolation. This time they were the champions of the Mr. October Tournament in the 8 year old division. Go Kings!

One of the best parts of the weekend was the grand finale...The Light the Night walk at Market Street to raise $ for blood cancer research. The participants held lit balloons of one of three colors. The gold balloons were for loved ones who lost their battle, the white ones were for the survivors and the red ones for the supporters. It was a powerful experience to see the lives touched by this horrible disease, and to be a small part of raising money to help find the cure. The event was also designed to be fun for the kids and I know James had a wonderful time running and playing with cousins and friends who were there in his honor. At the end of the 2 mile walk, James released some of his team members' balloons. What a special way to end the weekend.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Impact of Ike

look at all that debris....about every other driveway looks like this!
yard of the month... a neighbor with a sense of humor
coleman and his buddy...
casey doing what he loves...
and not the best, but the only campfire shot of cody enjoying a s'more and listening to one of the grownups stories...

If I were the type to think ahead, you would have seen a few posts on my blog leading up to Hurricane Ike informing you that the storm was projected to hit our area. Perhaps you'd have seen some before pics of some towering trees around our home. But alas, I am who I am and I was doing good to get a little stash of water and batteries for the fam. So what you guys get will be an update on our lives after the storm, uh, three weeks after the storm. Cut me some slack when I say that we were very busy leading up to the storm getting back into the swing of fall. We were adjusting to going to bed early for school, making it to practice every night of the week for baseball or football, playing in games Saturday and Sunday, and beginning ladies Bible study leadership for me. Not to mention, Chris and Fellowship of the Woodlands were planning and making preparations to open a Northwest campus of the church. And as for after the storm, we were among those without power from September 13 until September 26. Yes, 13 days with no power! So there is my excuse for being absent from the blogging world. On to my report of the Impact of Ike....

We had the Friday before the storm off of school not knowing exactly when the dangerous winds would pick up. The day was gorgeous as they always say, the calm before the storm. The kids had a wonderful day outside riding bikes, scooters, and playing various games, just being kids. The parents hauled in lawn furniture, fountains, grills, yard art and the like, stuffing our garages full and enjoyed hours of watching our kids have fun while visiting with one another and lending each other hand as we prepared our area for the coming storm. We went to bed "as usual", but kept and eye on news reports and out the windows. We lost power a little after 1 am, and I was awakened by that strange silence that falls on the house when everything shuts off. The wind was what we heard at that point. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my lifetime, hearing that storm pass through and watching the trees behind our house bend with the winds. WOW. The heavy rain continued well into the next day, but when we went out to access the damage, we were so thankful. No trees on our house. Only two of our immediate neighbors had huge trees on their homes. A secondary storm blew through the next night bringing lots more rain, but by Monday morning the neighbors all got up and came out with work gloves on. The men had a few chainsaws and wheelbarrows and went house to house taking care of the larger trees and hauling them to the curbs where like a machine, they stacked the debris neatly to await it's eventual pick up. It was an amazing effort and really a cool thing to see guys who usually just get a chance to wave to one another on the way to and from work from their cars join together and really get to know one another.

Once the work was finished, which did take quite a while, no one went back into our homes. The weather was simply beautiful. We counted that a huge blessing knowing that it could have been so much hotter. The kids continued to play. The adults dragged their patio furniture out in the street to sit and visit. The grills were on the front lawns, all the meat from our freezers being prepared and shared. A few streets over there was even a RV parked on the side of someones home. Not sights one usually sees here in these prestigious parts. We literally learned a new way of life. No technology, no busy schedules, just pulling together and enjoying our families and each other. At night we stayed out way past dark, lighting a fire in a fire pit and roasting marshmallows for s'mores. We put glow bracelets on the kids ankles so we could see them in the darkness and they continued to run around and play. What a wonderful world. There's nothing like knowing you dodged a major bullet to make you thankful too. Realizing how bad things could have been was part of what fueled our thankful hearts. After power was returned to many of the other parts of our area, some folks began to sour a bit. But not our little street. The party continued and we all admitted we would be kind of sad to see power restored signaling and end to our fun.

We all did laundry in our bathtubs and hung things all over the patios and dining rooms to dry. We did dishes in our sinks and played board games in the early morning before going outside for the day. I think I was born in the wrong generation. The simple life is for me!

Honestly, the next week got a little more complicated with school starting back up and sports practices. And the heat and humidity rising with the arrival of an insane amount of mosquitoes. But again, who could complain when we knew there were still people whose homes had been demolished and who had lost loved ones. And we had water. Even hot water. Some had generators. (we did...and once the heat came back, we ran it at night and installed a window unit into our bedroom where the whole family slept in the cool) A whole new definition for the phrase, "count your blessings".

Now, the Friday when the power came back on, the kids were admittedly chanting in the streets! However, we had already planned a hot-dog cookout for that night and one mom actually made her son a birthday cake in a dutch oven with coals. Very pioneer-ish. It was awesome! So on the night power was restored we all spent it outside where we had been all along with our fire pit and our friends. We will never forget the lessons learned. We have new, closer relationships with neighbors. Our family plays more games together. Our TV is not on nearly as much. I have not revisited the blogosphere until a week later. And the neighbors still sit outside together, minus the patio furniture and grills. Life has gone on now, with school and work and practice and Bible study and meetings and church and whatever. But we will never forget the Impact of Ike on our lives. Big sigh!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Light the Night

Every once in a while, there is an opportunity to be a part of something that can really make a difference in someone else's life. Here it comes....

Since last July, the life of our family has been forever changed by leukemia. Chris's younger brother Greg and his wife Joy have been immersed in a world that no one would ever hope to be a part of. When their 13 month old was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic or lymphoblastic leukemia, they entered the world of pediatric cancer. At the risk of being redundant for those who have followed my blog a while, I will bring the newer readers up to speed just a bit. You can get the full story on their blog by clicking the link in my sidebar for my nephew James under "please pray for". For my purposes in this post I will say that God has brought so many rays of hope into their situation over the last year through the love and support of family and friends. One of the sources of our hope on this journey has certainly been the miracle that God has provided through modern medicine. The treatment plan that is in place for James is used in cases like his all over the world. He has been blessed enough to be a patient at MD Anderson whose reputation precedes them. His little body has been through more than most of ours will ever go through in a lifetime, however, all of it will be worth it in the end when he will be able to say that his blood and his body are free of leukemia. In part, this is owed to the research and developments made possible for the treatment of this terrible disease funded by donations to organizations like "Light the Night" through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The walk here in The Woodlands is in October and our family along with a team Joy has organized will be walking and raising funds in honor of James. Joy is also working with Team in Training to do a larger scale walk/run later in the year. I believe that she is required to have a larger fundraising goal for the Team in Training event, but the light the night walk is happening this October and I do have an opportunity to raise a smaller amount here. As I budget for charitable donations, I am keeping in mind that the larger donation will go to her larger goal, though both events fund helping cancer patients in variety of ways. If you would like to consider making a donation to this effort, please follow this link.

There is also a homepage for Team Ryan where you can see his picture and see who is walking in his honor, etc... I think you can navigate the Light the Night website from my donation page to find that. We are doing the Market Street walk. I am not technologically savvy enough to load that photo onto this post or I would do it!

Thank you so much for your prayers for James, Joy, Greg, and Adrianne. It is your prayers that we covet more than anything, but we also thank you for any financial contribution you may feel led to make.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Boy and His Bike

The older two got money to get new bikes for their birthdays so we went out and picked them out this past weekend. (thanks grammy and pops...great idea!) Coleman has been practicing and has become quite proficient on his little bike right out in the court. We also got one for mom with a handy seat on back for Coleman to use when we go the distance. If you know me, you realize this is because I am not about to send my boys out on their bikes to cover much territory without me being along for the ride. I figure they are too old to ride in circles on the culdesac now. The only thing Cody wanted to do for his birthday was to go on a ride to the dirt hills as a family. As a bonus, our next door neighbors were available and rode along with us making it all the more fun for everyone!

8 Years Old!

There's one theme that rings true for me in the last few weeks and it is how time flies! I really cannot believe Cody is 8 years old. Something about having a couple of boys close together lends itself to feeling like you haven't had much chance to just sit and savor the moments. Oh, I try. And much of them time I do stop, slow down and just soak up whatever little thing happens to be going on in a given moment. It seems that doesn't happen enough, however, and so I woke up yesterday with an 8 year old.

What fun it has been to have Cody in our lives. Right from the start, he was determined. Of course back then we thought maybe it was colic. He just made sure we did not forget about him for long! Cody loves the simple things in life. Having a day to take it easy in his boxers all day long, playing cards or board games, being outside exploring or getting a chance to go fishing. On the flip side of that, things are rarely simple when it comes to competing. Cody can get pretty intense, and there is no need to test him, he does mean business and he does have a line that shouldn't be crossed. Never fear though, you won't have to wonder if you've crossed it. He is also quite the observer of both people and happenings around him. As a result, no one finds more stuff than he does. If you've lost it, he will find it...especially if it happens to be money! Of the many sides of Cody, one of the dearest to me is his tender and sweet heart where his intensity spills over. His sensitivity and capacity for caring knows no bounds. It is such a privilege and a joy to have been chosen to parent Cody. Chris and I look so forward to seeing the man that he becomes and being a part of the process along the way!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My day on the Plaza

The bigger boys are spending some time with Granny and Grandad, so Coleman was able to attend the preschool function at church today. We had a great day singing and playing in the pop fountains. Cousins Hallie and Hayden were there as well as Coleman's good baseball buddy Maddox. It was Maddox's 4th birthday and I think he had a great time, as did everyone else who attended! Aunt Stacie was singing and dancing on stage and my hat goes off to her and the whole children's ministry for pulling together such a fun event!

Family Party

the three lone girlies in the crowd...
the ryan cousins minus our james...
little miss walker!!
hudson and hayden waiting to attack wesley (such a good sport)
chocolate hallie...

We got a chance to celebrate Casey's 10th and Cody's upcoming 8th birthdays this past weekend. Most of the family was able to come and we had a great time together...what a blessing to live near family. We were missing James and Joy and Greg since James was battling a fever that day and had to go down to MDA instead. Remember to pray for him faithfully...he is one of my links on the sidebar if you need updating. July marks the one year anniversary of his diagnosis with leukemia. He is doing remarkably well and is such a champ, as are his mom and dad!

Ringling Bros

We went to the circus for the first time since the bigger boys were like 2 and 4 years old. Grammy took Stacie and I and all the kids. Everyone had a great time. It is really pretty amazing what those circus performers can do. That old Christian song by DC Talk stuck in my head with the phrase shoveling elephant dung, since we actually saw a guy doing that. Nice. Guess there can be an ugly side to most things, even the brightest and most amazing things! Could be a life lesson. Oh, but this is really not meant to be a deep thoughts post, but rather an update on summer fun post. Just watching the little ones sit on the edge of their seats and clap their hands was enough for me!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Double Digits

It is hard to imagine that it has been a whole decade since we were first blessed with your entrance into the world and into our family. Looking back, we were so inexperienced and young when we became your mom and dad. It is a good thing you are forgiving. There is nothing in this world that is more important to us than fulfilling God's call on our lives to be your parents. We look forward to the years to come with great anticipation. We love who you are and who you are becoming. If I was ten, I would want to be your best friend.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

9AA World Series!



Coach Chris

The family

picked off...and ticked off!

the Ryan boys

after scoring during a rally...

a comeback celebration...

rally cap!

the go ahead run comes across the plate!

And it's Casey celebrating the victory!

the team prays before a game...

in the dugout staying cool...



he tells me this one was a ball, oh well, it looked cool to me!

Ironically, the last out of our final game was Casey...the agony of defeat (and one tired boy after nine games in the hot sun!)

Casey's baseball team is made up of some boys who played together as long ago as last spring in little league and all stars, as well as a few who started in with us at the beginning of the fall kid pitch season, and one or two who came aboard just early this spring season when we began as the Kings. They were fortunate enough to not get moved into the AAA class before world series, and were able to compete in the AA bracket that was well suited for this team this year! They did an amazing job during pool play and secured the #1 seed for the bracket/double elimination tourney. Our first game ended up being against a team that hit the ball well and was not an easy victory. We lost our second game to team that should not have beat us, but came from behind to beat us in the last inning. Something happened in the hearts of those boys after that loss. They became determined to never give up. At this point, it was win or go home. Our very next game was immediately afterwards and they had to fight from behind with time expired and score 5 runs to win the game. The next day they played three games to continue to the final day of the tournament and play in the semi-final. Two of those games were time expired, last at bat, come from behind battles. We called them the Cardiac Kings because we were all just dying that they could not just get a comfortable lead. In one of the games, the other team scored 9 runs in a 30 minute first inning and they still fought back to win it in the end! So needless to say, even when it our journey ended up at third place, we couldn't have been prouder of all that team accomplished. They had trophies for third place too, and third out of eighteen is not too shabby!