Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lily's first carousel ride today at Stonebriar - she loved it!

applying lipstick to her eyes

and nose

wearing her "armor" (better known as koozies)

playing with Granny

Monday, July 23, 2007

How does this thing work?

I can't for the life of me figure out how my mind works. Sometimes it has a mind of its own (if that's possible) and decides things based on no fact or reason. Let me elaborate. Once in college I received a bridal shower invitation in the mail for a friend who lived in Rockwall. The shower was going to be held at this date, this time, at this house. I made a mental note of the date and thought, OK, that's two weeks away. But it wasn't. My mind had just decided that on its own. The shower was really three weeks away. And I could have told you the date that was on the invitation - it didn't matter- in my head it was in two weeks. So the day of the shower came, and I drove all the way across the metroplex to Rockwall. As I pulled up to the house, I noticed that no cars were parked nearby. So I checked the time. Maybe I was early. (Yeah, I was a week early.) Again, I looked at the date on the invitation but was still clueless. I checked the address of the house. It too was correct. One more time I looked at the date and finally the light went off- OH, that's next week. I tried to see the positive side of this error: at least I would know exactly where to come next week when I would make the trip again.

I had a similar experience tonight. Josh and I had just left The Dinner Station and wanted a quick bite to eat. We decided on Smoothie King cause Josh had a free smoothie from his punch card. He was on the phone so I hopped out and tried to make it in before the "OPEN" sign turned off. I made it in time, purchased our smoothies, got a new punch card, and walked out of the store. As I left, I saw three middle school girls sitting on the patio and a black SUV sitting in front of them with the lights on. One of the girls was saying good bye to the other two. I remember thinking to myself, "That must be her dad in that car coming to pick her up." I kept walking past the car out into the parking lot. Josh was no longer parked in the space where he dropped me off. I looked back and forth for the Gold Mini (that's our '98 Town and Country minivan) but it wasn't anywhere in sight. At this point, I heard a honk nearby. Was that Josh? Still no sign of the Gold Mini though. Again, more honking. I realized it's coming from that guy in the SUV. As I'm pacing the parking lot, the SUV backs out of its parking space...the window rolls down...I'm thinking - what does this guy want? And then the light goes off- OH, It's Josh! And then I realize my mind has done it again. Just decided that we had driven the minivan even though minutes before I was sitting in the SUV. No wonder I couldn't find Josh. No wonder he was so perplexed when I walked right past him. No wonder he was honking. No wonder the Gold Mini was nowhere to be found. It was safely parked in the garage at home. And I was in the passenger seat of the SUV laughing with my husband about the complexities of my mind.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, I'm back. It's been a while since I've posted. I'm sorry if I've let you down. Don't you just hate when you get so excited to check all your usual blog stops only to find no new posts? Maybe that's just me and my compulsive checking habits. Anyways, last week Josh and I housesat for my parents (i.e. took care of the dog). For some reason, their computer was acting up and neither of us could get internet access on our laptops. So, I wasn't able to update. It was probably a good break though. I'm coming back refreshed and ready to blog.

Monday is my dad's birthday. 54, I think. His Sunday school class was putting together a video of his life and asked me to gather some pictures. I love projects like this! Of course, I agreed and began the search. My mom's "craft closet" is upstairs in a spare bedroom and holds all of our family picture albums. What fun it was to look at the life of my Dad as he was growing up. I wondered what he would have been like as a little kid. How he would have talked or walked or laughed. It's so hard trying to envision someone I've always known as an adult as a child. But I had fun trying. Then there were the pictures of he and my mom while they were in college, at their wedding, on their honeymoon. How fun would it be to go back in time and double date with them? Weird, but fun.

As I went through countless albums, of course I came across plenty of awkward pictures of myself growing up. So many times I wonder: Mom, what were you thinking letting me go out in public looking like that? Oh well, I guess everybody's past is filled with bad haircuts, big glasses, and horrendous outfits. This picture caught my eye because in it I'm holding my beloved Cabbage Patch Kid (CPK), Yolanda. Man, we had some good times together. A few of my blogging friends Sunni and Simri have recently posted about their CPKs so I thought they'd enjoy this pic. Here's to Yolanda...and mushroom haircuts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blanket and a Bible

Recently I was listening to a Piper sermon and heard him reference something called The Voice of the Martyrs. Curious, I checked it out and found that they are an international, nondenominatinal organization that helps persecuted Christians and is committed to educating the world about their sufferings as well as fulfill the Great Commission. So I signed up for their weekly email updates to know how I could pray for the persecuted Christians. Sometimes I do pray for them when I get the email...sometimes, sadly, I say I'll come back to it and then don't. I forgot that by signing up I would also receive the free newsletter in the mail. After pulling it out with a bunch of smaller fliers, I was kind of shocked at the picture I saw on the cover. There's one man sitting in rubble who looks as if he's been beaten, blood dripping from his face, being held by another guy who is catching the blood on a towel. It was obvious that for this edition they weren't going for the cheesy, feel-good Christian cover.

As I browsed through the newsletter and fliers, one in particular caught my eye. There was a Sudanese boy on the front, wrapped in a white blanket. The caption beside him read: "If this were Jesus, would you give Him your blanket?"
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketOn the inside were three stories of Christian Sudanese young people who had been persecuted by Islamic soldiers because of their faith. It was hard seeing their pictures- one was burned from head to toe. One had huge scars across her chest. One had been nailed to a board and left to die. My first instinct was to look away. That uneasy feeling was creeping up. But then I felt compelled by the Spirit to look again. To see their faces. To know their names. I felt like the Spirit was reminding me that this is reality. Things like this are happening everyday around the world whether I wanted to know it or not. And I really felt like I needed to take action. I know I can't change the world, but I want to do something. And that's where the catchy phrase "blanket and a bible" comes in.

VOM has been in Sudan for the last ten years, delivering medical care, Sudan Life Packs, Scripture and pastoral training. Their current outreach is asking American Christians to send good quality, new or used blankets along with $2.00 (per blanket) -that covers the cost of shipping and an illustrated Bible storybook that will be delivered with each blanket. For the Sudanese, a simple blanket means a good night's rest. A means of shade during the day. A way to carry an infant or their few possessions. At first, I was just going to ask my friends and family if they'd donate, but Josh encouraged me to include our blogging family too. If you'd like to contribute, you can do one of two things:
1) send me an email at blanketsforsudan@gmail.com and I'll let you know how you can get it to me.
2) send it directly to VOM at:
VOM- Blankets of Love
510 West Adeline
Bartlesville, OK 74003 (don't forget to include $2 per blanket)

This is a great opportunity to make a difference, but please don't feel guilted into it. And please remember to be praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing persecution because of their faith.

Here's a couple of links where you can find out more on:
the genocide in Darfur (a region of Sudan)
Blanket and a Bible Outreach
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Getting in Touch with His Feminine Side

Some men are afraid. Afraid that doing certain things will make them less of a man. I assume you've got to be pretty secure in your manhood to do certain things- like get a pedicure. Right? At least that's what I'm telling myself since my husband got one yesterday. He was given a gift certificate (from Bex and Kristen) to Luxury Nails for his birthday.

Sidenote: In case you don't know, my husband has a foot fetish. He doesn't like to call it a fetish. He prefers to say, "He observes feet." Weird. If he knows you, he knows your feet. The shape of your foot, the length of your toenails, the color of your polish...it's a little disturbing. In fact, one summer at CrossCamp, we tested Josh's skills with a guessing game. We rigged it to where Josh could only see the feet of each staff member, and he had to guess who they belonged to. He got every one right. If you're starting to feel a little uncomfortable right now about your feet, take Josh's advice. "You can't help the form of your feet. But you can help the funk." Just keep them maintained. That's all he asks. So before you step outside the house again in your flip flops, better take another look at your feet.

Back to the pedicure...Josh tried to keep the whole thing under wraps. He had no intention of telling me that he was going. I only found out because I asked him if he could watch Lily at 10 on Friday. He told me he had "something." After further questioning I found out that he had secretly scheduled his pedicure. Josh didn't want ANYONE to know he was going for fear of who else might show up. He even put it on his calendar under "gym appointment" so that his admin Andrea wouldn't tell me. Here's how the day unfolded:

5:45am...the alarm clock goes off but the volume is down so Natalie doesn't get up to go to her class at the gym.
7:00am...Josh leaves for the gym.
8:30am...Nat and Lily head to the gym.
8:40am...Nat encounters Kristen on the stepmill and tells her about the pedicure.
9:40am...Josh arrives at Luxury Nails (he says that a group of construction workers in the parking lot stared him down as he walked in).
10:10am...Nat and Lily surprise Josh at Luxury Nails with a camera, take the above picture, and leave.
10:20am...Kristen and Bex arrive, take pictures, and leave.
10:25am...Josh is left trying to explain the situation to the others in the salon.
10:40am...Josh confesses...darkness will always be brought into the light!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Yard of the Month

Yes, you are looking at the Yard of the Month winners for the month of July. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Since day one of home ownership, my husband has had his mind set on winning this coveted prize. At the beginning of each month, we would drive through the streets of our neighborhood seeking out "the" sign. Usually, we would critique the winner's grass or flower beds and reluctantly agree that their yard is worthy of the honor.

It's been a long road, and we've had our share of obstacles. Our first challenge was the grass. We didn't have a sprinkler system when we moved into the house. So Josh would have to manually water by hooking up the sprinkler to several spouts around the sides of the house. To water the entire yard took half a day. So, of course, we quit watering, and our grass did what any living thing would without water: it died. We hoped we wouldn't get fined or evicted by the homeowner's association because of our brown yard. A year later, sights still set on the goal, we had a sprinkler system put in.

Obstacle number two: our flower beds were full of those yucky prickly bushes. You know the kind that can grow up and engulf the entire house if left unkept. And that's pretty much how they looked. Something had to be done. We got some guys in the neighborhood to landscape and add some stone trim around the walkway. It was definitely an improvement. But the tree they put in the front flowerbed, I HATED. No offense to any of you who love the wax myrtle, but I couldn't stand it. It looked like an overgrown bush rather than a tree. They were supposed to put in a Japanese maple, but the guys insisted it would get too much sun. When they asked me if I liked the wax myrtle, I held back my true feelings and said, "Yeah, it's fine." I guess it was that fear of man again keeping me from being honest. So I felt like the Lord was going to let me live with that wax myrtle as a reminder.

Then just a couple months ago, our friend Brad who knows landscaping and Josh (and some buddies) totally revamped the flowerbeds. Now we actually had beautiful colorful flowers rather than just bushes. And Brad even said we could try out the Japanese maple. So long wax myrtle. Good riddance.

The YOM judge came by and knocked on our door last week right after Josh left to get a haircut. She told me that she'd been considering our yard for several months, but it hadn't seemed ready until now. She asked if we would accept the honor and keep the sign in our yard for the month of July. I said, "Heck, yeah. My husband is going to FREAK OUT. She stuck the sign in the yard and took some pictures and left. I considered how to tell Josh. Finally, I decided I'd just wait for him to drive up and see it. And because I document everything on video camera, I called him to find out where he was on his way home. I even called on my drama background to fake that I was still upset from our earlier argument to see how far out he was. He bit the bait. Just before we ended the call, he said "I'm turning onto Morriss." Perfect. I knew right where he was. Lily and I both waited out front for him to turn the corner. A few mintues later, as he came into sight, I saw his arms flailing out the window and then heard him yelling in excitement. And I caught it all on videotape. At least the first few seconds before the battery died.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A New Decade

Well, as of July 2nd, Joshua Rice Patterson is 30 years old. He's entered a new decade. Now he can begin using the phrase, "When I was in my twenties..." And we can't wait to hear those stories. In his honor, I've put together a few pictures of Josh's life. I tried to cover as many of the thirty years as I could. Enjoy this tribute to my sweet husband.

The Toddler Years

The Elementary Years

The Awkward Middle School Years

The High School Years

The College Years

The Wedded Years

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Cheeri-Uh-O and other tales of our Thursday

Thursday morning Lily woke up before I was finished getting ready. This is a huge dilemma when you've got a toddler who's quite mobile. Makes me appreciate those days when I could just pop her in the bouncy seat or exersaucer. Now that she's up I must find a way to keep her occupied while I can finish applying my make up. Cheerios was the answer. After a diaper change and a a stop in the kitchen for milk and O's (as we call them), we entered my bathroom. I let Lily down and set her O's on the rim of the bathtub. This allows her to play, eat, and then refill at her own discretion. Things were going fine - I had my face done and was working on my eyeshadow when Lily started squealing and pointing to the box of O's. The only thing left now was my mascara so I figured it wouldn't hurt if she played with the box for a minute or two. (You'd think I'd have learned by now that it only takes a toddler a split second to get into trouble.) So I hand her the box and literally five seconds later she's figured out how to open the box and dumps every last cheerio (and dust) on the floor. Wow. It's amazing how quickly a cereal box can empty. I looked at her. She looked at me. And she summed it up better than I could with a big "Uh-Oh." All I could do was smile. I ran to go grab the camera figuring this was probably blog worthy. Lily and I both worked together picking up O after O. It wasn't so bad cause I got on a cleaning kick and ended up vacuuming and mopping the entire house. I'm a little suspicous that she and her Daddy conspired against me knowing I would have to vaccuum. Oh well, I guess it worked.

My cleaning kick made us a little late for our playdate at Willow Bend Mall with some other blogging moms: : Amanda, : Sunni, Lauren, and Simri. What a blessing it is to have other women in the same stage of life to walk with. All of our hubbies are in the ministry, and our kids are all four and under. We talked, watched the kids play, and ate some lunch at the food court. Moms are definitely troopers. Between the four of us, we survived one tipped over stroller, one blow-out diaper, two thrown sippy cups, a near stroller collision, and no available high chairs. A day in the life of a mom is anything but boring.

Later that evening we went over to Josh's dad's house to visit with Granny who's here from California. We always love when she comes into town. Uncle Jared also came over and got some lovin from Lily.

All in all, it was a great day. And what better to end it with than Janie's strawberry shortcake. Divine. It was picture worthy, too, but I downed it before that thought crossed my mind.