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Sorting Through

8 Oct

Clearing out, cleaning up, I come across a set of camera-phone pictures from July 4. She’d asked, or maybe he’d asked – I don’t remember which – “Can I take pictures with your phone?”

I handed it over. That night, I wanted to watch the sky, not a screen.

Now, on an October morning, I scan through the photos. Hundreds, all a second too late or too early. Showing either the beginning of an explosion, or the black sky with barely-there wisps of smoke.

Then, 153 pictures in, I find this:

Something worth remembering, worth saving, from a steamy South Texas night when we sat in our lawn chairs and watched the summer sky explode.

Something worth 153 clicks with a cell-phone camera.


Top 5 Reasons I Haven’t Posted in a Month

2 Oct

1. Working full-time now. With high-schoolers, which is RICH with posting possibilities, but you know, FERPA blah blah blah.

2. This marks my last year of school, and on my schedule this term is a creativity and the arts class which has more requirements than there are colors in the Pantone book, I am pretty sure. In addition to writing puppet shows, making collages, teaching dances, etc, we’re also supposed to be keeping a notebook and decorating it creatively. I’m thinking about just tearing out my hair and gluing it on the front as a statement piece.

3. We recently changed churches after 11 years (more on that later), and the new congregation has been very focused on getting everyone involved right away. I went to choir practice, and before I was allowed to leave the robe mistress was whipping out her measuring tape and assigning me robe #84

My daughter’s new slogan?  “The Methodists are NOT messing around.”

4. Drama rehearsals, green belts, slumber parties, violin lessons.

5. It’s finally fall in South Texas. And too gorgeous to be inside typing.

Not too busy…

7 Sep

…to notice this tonight.

Not too busy to call the kids to yard, to grab the camera.

And then? Because they wanted to see where it touched the ground, not too busy to get in the car and chase after a rainbow until the sunset beat us to it.

Never mind that because of it, I’m working on lesson plans and assignments at 1:30 in the morning.

Worth it.

Rocket Recovery Mission

10 May

Late Mother’s Day afternoon, we headed back out on a top-priority recovery mission at the park — operation “find the rocket.”

The kid had sticks for pushing briars out of the way, my husband had scientifically watched the rocket video to pinpoint the most likely location, and I had my camera. Because although I did have serious doubts about finding the wayward rocket, I will go along with anything that gives me an excuse to tromp around the woods and look for pictures.

So, we headed off, into terrain that mostly looked like this.

Wildflowers and Cactus and Mesquite, Oh my!

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For Your Baby Book

8 May

I never saw your first steps, heard your first words, watched you smash your first birthday cake, or saw you off to school that first day of kindergarten, fresh and full of promise.

You came to us with those firsts behind you, and other firsts I wish I could obliterate. First police report, caseworker, first foster home, first heartbreak.

But because I can’t erase them, I tell you the other firsts.

How I called our caseworker crying after meeting 3 other children at the shelter, siblings beautiful and tiny, and told her “we know in our hearts they are not our children.”

And she said, “It’s ok. I met your boy today.”

A week later, we met you, and let you roast marshmallows over candles for s’mores, and use my camera at the zoo, and tucked you into bed in the room we hoped would be yours.

Then, as I tucked your sister in — the one who didn’t want a brother, who was insistent that she needed a little sister for the bottom bunk in her room — she whispered to me, tears in her eyes, “Mom, I think we found our boy.”

So we had, son.

As you well know, it’s not easy every day. Your dad and I are reading Nehemiah together this week, and I think of you as we read about the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall, the exiles sifting through the rubble to find stones strong enough to work with. Sometimes, like them, I wonder if my hands are strong enough for the work.

Then, I remember it is not up to me.

“They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.” (Neh. 1:10)

So we celebrate the firsts we can. I have missed much, precious boy.

But I was there the first time you dipped your toes in the ocean, the first time you hit a baseball, the first time you got so engrossed in a book you didn’t want to sleep.

And I was there the sunny Saturday afternoon you told your grandpa that yes, you believed with all your heart that Jesus was the Son of God.

And then, with your dad and grandma, waded into the waters of the Guadalupe River and was baptised  into Christ.

And though your baby book is missing plenty, your mother who just does not scrapbook is still saving this day — the one that frames all others in your life. I will cling to it when finding stones in the rubble seems beyond my strength and remember your life is guarded, as it always has been, by the nail-pierced hands of the Son of God.

Snapshots in Salvation

12 Apr


On a shuttered stretch of road, even the Pik-N-Pay has dimmed its lights for the night. School buses wait coralled like cattle, sleeping standing up.

But Lighthouse Baptist Church keeps sentry. Blinking red and bright, its marquee  testifies in all caps.


I’m tempted to lift a hand off the steering wheel to give a witness, say Amen. Preach on.

But the sign has more to say.

“April 16, 6:30 p.m.”

Good book says no man knows the hour. Lighthouse Baptist Church apparently begs to differ.

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Leprechaun Breakfast

17 Mar

Green Waffles. Green Milk.

Leprechaun pails packed with green shirts, new summer flip-flops and new green toothbrushes.

Leprechaun fingerprint on the dog so she won't get pinched.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

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