Monday, November 30, 2009

Mary's Day

Tomorrow is Mary's birthday! If I had an angelic voice I would figure out how to add audio of myself singing, "Happy Birthday To You", as you read this post on Chatterbox. Oh well, as it is, just know that you put a song in my heart and I will be singing your praises on your birthday.

I love you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving, Kate's way...

I got these picture off facebook from one of the many that were lucky enough to grace Kate and Jeremy's Thanksgiving table. Her dishes sounded so amazing that I can't even attempt to describe them. How she managed to cook so well and serve so many in a small New York apartment, I'll never know. But I do know (because I know her) she makes everyone feel welcomed in her home.

Kate, you are welcome to post some of those delicious recipes on Chatterbox. Good job, sweet girl, I'm proud of you!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 2009

Emily made the placemats for Mimi and Grandad and the children's table.

We prayed together a humble prayer of thanksgiving.

We served ourselves amazing food; cooked by all!

We ate!

We laughed

We enjoyed our time together.

It's been a wonderful day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

For all that God has given me, I am truly grateful, but for you, who love me and those that I love, my cup runneth over.

Wishing you a Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for. You will be in my prayers of thankfull praise. Merry

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Survival Game

The following slide show should be viewed with caution. It contains survival games that only 13 year olds would endure for a buddy on his birthday. It includes not only sleeping outside in the cold and cooking their own dinner, but also: making your own death defying cookies, an obstacle course blindfolded with only the help of team guidance to get through, face freezing, undiluted lemon juice drinking, eating vomit and booger flavored jellybeans, searching for handcuff keys in a vat of slimy spaghetti to free a handcuffed teammate, sucking vegetables (baby food) from a straw and transferring the yuck to a cup, oatmeal face planting, dads giggling at you and oh, so much more! It was horrible…but they all survived with the encouragement of their teammates.

It was a night to remember for teams: The Dead Crickets and The Jackalopes (The Jackalopes being the winners!).

The Survival Game Camp-Out 11/09 from Croft on Vimeo.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Open Letter from Tom

I know Tom sent this letter to many of his family members but I felt he spoke his heart and it needed to be part of the Chatterbox files. Thank you, Tom, for sharing your pride and joy. I, for one, could feel the warmth of the fire.

My son became a teenager today. I'm so proud of the boy he is and the man he's becoming.

Two weeks ago, he and I celebrated the end of an 18 month journey together. A Father/Son program through our church designed to offer boys a Christian perspective on manhood. It involved a novel and separate father and son study guides, then culminated in a camp out ceremony. Andrew now has his own real sword to mark the occasion. A part of that ceremony was a letter written from each dad to his son. Following is an excerpt from mine.

I am so proud of you. I am proud of your talents and accomplishments; your servant heart; how you give of yourself to your little brother, how you love and support your little sister. I am proud of the respect and honor you show your mother, both alone and in front of others. It’s a great indication of how you will treat women as you grow, and it warms my heart. I am proud of everything you are and are becoming. I can see you allowing God to work in you ... And it humbles me. It fills me with joy and sorrow; anticipation and apprehension. It’s difficult to look ahead and see the point of letting go on the not-so-distant horizon. I can’t wait for the emerging man, but I mourn the loss of the fleeting child...

...Pray for direction over what you can control and for obedience and acceptance in the areas that are in God’s control. If you do that, you can guard against fear. For if you abide in Christ, you can rest in the knowledge that that His perfect plan is in place. You need only listen and follow. Remember the words of Paul. “ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

There was much more, but the rest is top secret. It was fun, touching, memorable. Hopefully an important and defining moment in Andrew's transition into teenhood.

That same weekend, Andrew finished his run of the middle school play, "How to Eat Like a Child." Since entering middle school in 5th grade, he has been a part of all 5 shows. He's shown his talents in everything from support to lead roles to musical solos. In an interesting side note, he has spoken the first word or sung the first note in three of the five shows (including this one). This show was an ensemble cast in which Andrew displayed impressive comic timing in a show that was fun, silly and very enjoyable. Andrew, through his own talent and an awesome middle school theatre program has had the opportunity to become quite a fine actor at a relatively young age.

As soon as the show was over, Andrew went directly into swim practices and participated in his first Wesleyan swim meet on Saturday. Dare I say, he performed swimmingly. He really looked great, especially considering he has only been a summer swimmer, up against a whole lot of obviously year-round swimmers. He swam in two solo events and two relay events and kept his team in the mix.

Throughout all this, he has kept up impressive grades as well. Recent test scores even had him selected to participate in the Duke Early Talent Search. This is a program which allows him to take the SATs this year with a select group of 7th graders. It gives him a "practice round" and puts him in a group Duke will be keeping their eyes on over the coming years.

It's a lot for a thirteen-year-old and his parents to be proud of. And we are. We can't believe he is becoming a teenager, but here he is. And we couldn't be more pleased with what we see.

We love you, Andrew. May God bless your life. Happy 13th Birthday!
*I get to hear success stories like this one from the parents of all our nine. It never ceases to amaze me. Then when I have the opportunity to experience it first hand, like the past four days alone with Joe (Andrew too!), it just blows me away.
For me, for ALL of you, I will "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." (Colossians 4:2).

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A word of Invitation and Thanksgiving from Kim and Tom

Join Tom and me as we celebrate our oldest child turning 13 today!
It is a joy watching him grow into the man. His gentle spirit, wit and passion for life and others fills us up! Thank you to all those who have come along side Andrew and have in some way helped shape him. I look forward to the years ahead and thank God for the 13 awesome years that have past.

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 3:14

Tom and Kim

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A Big Week!

Kim and Tom celebrate their 19Th Wedding Anniversary! Thanks for your faithful example. It is a joy seeing you two together!

Morgan and Ford (Ford's first!) go to Chattanooga to race in a Soapbox Derby Race!

Joe's team (The Colts) win their first play off game!

Andrew swam in his first meet for the Wesleyan Swim Team!

Grandad goes to NYC and gets to visit with Kate!

Mike and Mary go to Amelia Island for pleasure and an annual seminar. AND They celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary, honoring their marriage commitment and life together. Beautiful!

Issy gets to stay with her other grandparents while Joe stays with me!

Mimi and Joe went to see This is it!

Mimi and Joe have dinner with the S-Cs!

Joe and Andrew spend the night with Mimi!

AND...Andrew turns 13 years old on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! Life keeps happening every day.
and we're saying, YES!

To God be the glory.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Joe's Days with Mimi in November

Joe is staying with me (4-8) while his parents are on a yearly trip to a legal program in Florida. We have done this for many years and other than having to get up before daylight, in order to get him across town to school, he is a delight to have around. This year Grandad is also out of town and I am finding Joe really good company. I am praying for safe travels for everyone and for us to enjoy our time together. I am aware that they are precious.
Note: Joe does his homework without complaint. :) Smart boy!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009

These are pictures sent to me from last nights spooky trick-or-treating. Can you guess who they are? (Andrew and William carved their first pumkin by themselves!)

Fall on Main Street USA

A visit to Murfreesboro this past week end was highlighted by good conversations with family and family friends, long autum walks with my brother's dog and the colors of my childhood. I feel so lucky that at 62 years of age, I can still go home, my mother has the coffee pot perking on the stove and my siblings will come by to welcome me.