Friday, August 31, 2007

Thinking of E

Thoughts are racing in my head
While I should be lying in my bed.
Life is such an unusual thing.
One day melancholy. One day spring.
That's not fair and this is not fair...
A lesson to grasp as a child,
But when life rears its ugly side
My head spins - oh so wild!
I talked to her. She talked to me.
We wondered why this is so.
I think that there are some things
That are not for us to know.
So I put my thoughts back on the shelf -
No point in digging through them.
I try to rest and sleep in peace
That only can come through Him.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Labor of Love

Something that I found on one of my favorite blogs today ~

Sustaining love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It will NEVER just happen to you. You can't "find" LASTING love. You have to make it - day in and day out. That's why we have the expression "the labor of love".

May The Force Be With You

Yesterday we took our kids to the Star Wars exhibit at the Ft. Worth Science Museum. We loved it! We got to see lots and lots of things that were used in the films - costumes, puppets, props, models of spaceships, etc. There were scientific experiments that we were able to do that coresponded to the science used in the movies - we made a spaceship that we magnitized then watched as it levitated over the track, Corey & Jack made a robot like R2D2, Allie programmed a robot's face, Cooper built towers out of robot parts, and lots more. Corey and the big kids rode a little hovercraft machine, and we all saw a short film about how robots are made and what they are used for in our culture. The kids even got to meet Obi Wan - although he had a employee nametag on that said "Walter". :) We learned a lot and were very entertained. It was a great family outing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

2 Funny Boys

This weekend Cooper was watching Barney in the car for the one-thousandth time when Jack sat up and astoundedly said, "BARNEY IS A DINOSAUR?!?" I wonder what he had thought that he was seeing all of these years when the big purple guy was on TV.

This morning after Coop and I dropped the kids off at school, we were driving home. When I turned the corner, his Thomas the Tank Engine toy rolled across the floor and made a "choo choo" noise. Cooper surprisedly said, "What the heck?!?" I didn't even know he knew that phrase.

These kids!.... Hours of entertainment!

Mommy Time

My little guy is the most snuggly at this age of all of my kids. Several times a day he loves to climb into my lap and just be for a moment. Needless to say, I love it. His most necessary Mommy Time moment is in the mornings. He likes to snuggle before his day gets underway, and if for some reason we miss it, he hunts me down later to get it. Now that school has started for the older 2 kids, we are getting out in the mornings much earlier than he is used to. Today he was sleeping so soundly when I had to pick him up in his little Buzz & Woody pjs and put him in the car. No time for a morning snuggle. Without fail, when we got home, he walked up to me with his 2 little fingers in his mouth and reached up to me - his wordless way of asking for Mommy Time. Of course I dropped everything to cuddle my baby, and in that moment I was reminded why I am a stay-at-home mom.

Cooper & me - March 2006

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Brother!

Today is my big brother's birthday. I don't have many memories of my childhood, but I do remember Coby & I dressing up in our frontier gear and exploring in the field beside our house. I remember that we made big plans to grow up someday to be a pilot (him) and a flight attendant (me). I remember when he joined the Navy. I was so proud of him. I remember the night that we got a call that he was going to the Gulf War. I was so scared. I remember when he came home after I was married and lived close by... the afternoon movies that we would go see together, the fun times that Corey, Coby, and I would share. I remember going to 6 Flags with him and my sisters just before he got married. We all knew that life was about to change, and we savored the time together - just us four. I remember his wedding day... how nervous and excited and in love that he was. But my most fond memories with him are those that we have shared in the last 3 years. On the night that I went to tell my family that I was expecting my baby, Cooper, his wife and he were also announcing that they were expecting... we were all so surprised. We were even more surprised when we discovered that the babies were due on the same day. There was no way that I was going to miss seeing my brother become a father, so the night that we got the call that Adrielle was in labor I got my big ol' 9 month pregnant self to Waco... from Dallas... in the middle of the night... with a full moon... having contractions every 5 minutes the whole way there. It was amazing seeing that little boy that I grew up with emerge into a father, and it has been even more amazing to see him develop into a wonderful daddy. My baby was born 9 days after his, and his new little family came to join us as we welcomed our bundle of joy. We have shared so many things since then because of our babies. Raising kids together has brought something into our relationship that I love. Life has become more and more special with my big brother as time passes, and I realize what a neat guy he has become. Happy Birthday, Brother! I love you.

Baby Curls

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Beautifully Sweet ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Muddy Cousins

This weekend we went to Glen Rose to visit some of Corey's family. His sister, Roxann, (from Colorado) and some of her family were visiting her son, Danny, and his family, and we went down to join in the fun. Danny and his wife, Landra, have 2 super-cute kids, Emma & Noah. They are pretty close in age to my kids, and they always have a blast together. Yesterday they spent most of the day in their swimsuits...jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath, swimming at the river, and making a mud city in the backyard. Good, clean fun... well, kind of.

Texas Rangers Game

Friday night we took the kids to a Rangers game. We got there early, so we ate dinner at the restraunt that overlooks the ballpark while we watched both teams warm up. After that, we found our seats and enjoyed the first few innings of the "BIG baseball game". Cooper was very impressed with all of the new sights and sounds and with how big the baseball field was. Allie wondered, from the time we sat down, when she could get a Lemon Chill. Jack was very interested in how much money the players might make. He asked if he would make more money as a professional baseball player or an actor. Such dreams!!! I am all for that though... maybe he'll give me a mountain cabin for Christmas someday. :) After a while, we took the the kids to an area at the ballpark with baseball-themed games for them to play. One of them was a mini baseball diamond where the boys tried to hit baseballs. Cooper was so excited to see "MY baseball game" but did not understand why he had to stand in line for nearly an hour to get a chance to hit the baseball. I have not seen too many things that are cuter than my baby boy - as proud and confident as could be - up to bat. He had this chunky little bat, and when he hit the ball he took off running around the pitcher... two times. He was so proud of his "home run"! The first words out of his mouth the next morning were, "I made a home run!" Jack was second up to bat, and he smashed the ball as well. When we got back to our seats, Allie got her long awaited Lemon Chill, and we watched the end of the game. The Rangers lost, but the night was a win for the Powells.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Are You Ready For Some Football?

We crossed a new threshold last night. Jack started his first season of football. Flag-football. It is going to be so cute watching him play.

Football has been part of my life since I was born. My dad is a high school football coach, so I have spent many, many Friday nights at the football field. I love that atmosphere! Now that I have a family of my own, our Fridays don't always include football, but our Monday nights do. I actually love that too... more and more as my little guy gets more and more excited about it. Oh, I know that our Saturday mornings at the flag-football field will be different from any Friday or Monday that I have experienced, but I have to think that they will be even better. I love watching my kids play sports, watching my husband coach them, and watching my baby play along... fully certain that he is one of the team.

The First Day of School

Yesterday Allie & Jack started 2nd and 5th grade. Our day started out very early! The kids were a bit groggy but were excited to eat our traditional breakfast of smiley face pancakes - something that we do on special occasions and every 1st Day of School. I had a little daydream the other day about Allie eating a smiley face pancake on the morning of her wedding day... After breakfast we rushed outside to take our traditional 1st Day of School pictures. Boy, my kids have grown a lot since we started doing this 8 years ago when Allie first went to preschool - with her little backpack on her back and her naptime blanket that I had made for her. Once we got to school I had a heartbreaking mommy-moment as I watched my girl stand at the doorway of the classroom that her best friends are in realizing that this was not her classroom. For the first time since kindergarten she was not in the same class as her 2 best buddies. I said, "You can go say hi.", and she jumped at the chance. After a quick hi and bye, she went to her classroom. After the orientaion that I went to on Tuesday, I realized how much I love her teacher and how perfect a fit she will be for Allie. When I picked Allie up from school today, she told me how much she loved her teacher too - a first, for her to show enthusiasm about that. I am thankful that she was placed right where she needs to be... although relationship-wise, she will have some growing and changing to do this year. We moved on to Jack's class where the rowdy 2nd grade boys set the fun tone for the room. He was excited about going to school. He loves it. He loves learning. He loves his friends. He loves playing. So after a few hugs, and a headbutt - not a kiss - Corey, Cooper, and I were off. We stopped at Starbucks to have a little First Day of School Moment together then we all jumped into our school year places. Corey off to work and Coop and I playing Legos, watching The Wiggles, cleaning house, and shopping. When I picked the kids up they had both had good days. Great days, infact.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Last Day of Summer

I just got my little ones tucked in on this First Day of School Eve. We have backpacks loaded down with supplies, names on everything from books to glue sticks, notebooks in order, and uniforms laid out. I think that we are almost prepared. We celebrated this evening by going to the neighborhood pool and ordering pizza for dinner. It was really fun.

I cannot believe that summer has come to an end! It flew. Just yesterday, it seems, the kids were starting 1st and 4th grade, and now a year has come and gone. I feel like digging my heels in and yelling, "Wait! Stop! They were just my babies!" Now they are not. Every year on the night before the first day of school I get all nostalgic. I remember tucking them in in their little diapers and footed pjs. Sticking a paci in their mouths and giving one of them their beloved "silky". Tonight they gave themselves baths and dressed themselves for bed. Neither wanted or needed a security item. Tomorrow they take another step into the big, big world. Out of my care. Away from my eyes. I pray that we have prepared them. That they remember their manners, that they are kind to their classmates, that they are respectful to their teachers. I hope that they have tough enough skin to handle the unkind things that kids say and the insensitivity of some adults. I hope that their hearts don't get broken and their feelings don't get hurt. I hope that they are as anxious for 3:00 to get here tomorrow afternoon as I will be, and that they will spill their thoughts out to me about their days at school. Most of all, I hope that they are happy. Secure in the fact that we love them.

Well, I am off to pack lunches and finish getting ready for the big day ahead. The alarm clock - a sound that I have not heard much of in 3 months - will go off before I know it.

The First Day of School Last Year - Jack, 1st Grade & Allie, 4th Grade.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's Almost Here

Well, today I went to the second of my parent orientations at the kids' school. I guess it is official... school is starting and summer is coming to an end. I cannot say that I am ready. I never really am. I hear other parents that moan in mid-July that they are ready for school to start, for the kids to have someplace to go, for more routine. I guess that I am different. I love for my kids to be home! I really do. Though there are days that I am ready for the evening to come (i.e. yesterday!) and everyone to be tucked away in their beds, I like it when we are all at home. I will miss my big kids when they go to school (luckily it is only 2 days a week), and I will miss the care-free, stress-free days of summer.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"I'm gonna kick your booty."

Yesterday Allie, Cooper, and I were sitting in the car at Sonic waiting for our drinks when out of nowhere (and to no one, in particular) Cooper said, "I'm gonna kick your booty." Allie and I just got wide-eyed and looked at each other like, "Did you hear that?!?" I tried not to... I really did... but I BURST into laughter. So did Allie. Of course, Cooper saw how entertained we were, so he continued to say it - over and over, and we continued to laugh - for several minutes. I have no idea where he heard that. I guess he is hearing more at a younger age since he is kid number 3. Who knows! He has pulled that little phrase out of his hat again today, and we have tried not to laugh too much, but I'm sorry... that is about the funniest thing I have ever heard a 2 year old say!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I used to be a person that went to sleep, slept all night, then woke up in the morning. Until a few years ago. I didn’t realize what a blessing that was. These days… or nights, rather, I am up in the middle of the night probably 3-4 times a week. Usually it is not until 4am or so, so I can handle that. That is kind of like a full night of sleep. Kind of. Well, tonight I woke up as I often do. I laid there trying to be really, really still for probably an hour. Trying to trick myself into thinking that I was still asleep – that there was nothing worth thinking about or getting up to do. Finally I looked at my watch in my foggy state and thought that it said 5:05am. Yea! I had made it to morning! Then, I looked at it again and realized that it was 1:25am! Much too early to “call it a night”. So I laid there and gave myself a good “talkin’ to”. “You MUST go back to sleep!” Well, here I am – an hour later. Awake as can be. Trying to wear myself, or at least my active little mind, out on this computer. My middle-of-the-night-friend.

There is nothing that I can pinpoint that wakes me up or keeps me up. Usually I am not worried about anything. I am not thinking about anything in particular – only the fact that morning – along with 3 kids and all of my responsibilities - is coming, so I must go to sleep. I have tried everything, but I cannot make this insanity end. So, if you think about it, pray for me… I’m not kidding. I am a tired mommy.

Sweet Dreams.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Defining Moments

Defining moments. A friend of mine and I were talking today about defining moments. Points in a person’s life that they are changed forever. A time when someone is forced to find a “new normal”. The mere words “defining moment” allude to the thought that one day one specific thing happens and a person is suddenly changed. That their new “definition” is clean cut and easy to discern. That has not been the case for me though. My defining moments have been a process. A long drawn out process that seems like a whirlwind with no definition whatsoever. Only in the last few months, as I am years beyond my “moment”, am I able to see the definition that was supposed to come of it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Boy Is Growing Up.

This afternoon Corey and Jack left to go to "The Place" (land that Corey's family owns) to get it ready for hunting season. Corey has taken Jack hunting the last 2 years which I think mostly involved climbing up into stands and looking for deer - not many were found and none were shot. However, they both have big plans that Jack will kill his first deer this year - Corey was 7 (like Jack) when he killed his first deer. I am not sure how that will actually go over once it happens to my tender hearted little guy, but I love that they are developing this bond... Corey has such fond memories of times spent doing these kinds of things with his dad. Since his dad died when he was 13, those memories are all that he has. He cherishes everything about them - from the way he remembers sleeping by his dad to the stops that they would make for ice cream after a weekend at The Place. Things that most of us take for granted or don't even remember from our childhood. So, I know that Corey is thrilled to have a little boy to relive all of those special times with, and I am happy for him. Thankful that Corey loves investing his time with is son. Thankful that he knows that a hunting trip is much more than a hunting trip - it is a time of developing a deep relationship, teaching his son how to be the man that we want him to be... a man like himself. But as I see them pack up the car to go be "manly men", I am reminded that my Jack is growing up... too quickly. I can't wait to see the person that he is growing into while I am pulled by my heart to long for him to always be my little boy - safe at home under my protective watch.

photos are from the night of their Modern Day Knight ceremony - 10/06

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Kid In My Bed

Something must be in the air... We usually don't have visitors in our bed, but it seems that lately the munchkins have snuck in more than usual. Last night Allie was spending the night at a friend's house, and Jack asked to sleep with us since it was a "special night". We let him, and it was so sweet to snuggle with the little guy all night. I am feeling a little extra sentimenal lately as the frailty of life and the true blessing of my children has been at the forefront of my mind, yet again. Though I will be forever sad about the horrible things that happen in this life, I am thankful that they keep me in a place of appriciation. I try not to take things - my kids in particular - for granted, and I realize that I am blessed in the midst of things that don't always seem like a blessing.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Wonder Why.

Today I am asking "Why?". My dear friend is enduring the loss of a baby. Again. For the fourth time. I don't understand why such terrible things happen to such wonderful people. I don't understand why the Creator of life ever allows life to begin if it is only to last a matter of weeks... It leaves such a lifetime of pain in its wake when it is gone. Why? I don't understand how some people seem to fly through life "under the radar" and others - just as Godly, just as good - seem to never catch a break. Why? It is a question that I have learned to try not to ask as there is not usually an answer at all... and never is there an answer that is "good enough".

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Choir Camp Performance

The kids at our church had a camp Monday - Friday this week where they learned a musical, and they performed it on Friday night. It was so great!!! Allie & Jack were both in it... Jack had a solo - the first song of the night. He did so well. He did not seem nervous at all, and he sang really well! I was super proud of him! Allie was on the art team during the week. They made all of the props for the musical and small paintings on canvases as well. She seems to be pretty artistic, and I loved the painting that she created! Cooper was, as always, the little spectator. He loved the singing and would yell, "Yea Allie. Yea Jackie." ever so often. He was joined by almost all of my side of the family. They are always so good to try to come and support my kids. I love that about the family that I have!

Our church has grown and changed so much since we started going there 7 years ago. It was a little bitty thing then - a place where everyone knew everone -, but it has grown so much that we don't always get to see our close friends on Sunday mornings anymore. Growth in churches is a good thing, but it comes with growing pains, and that is one of them. I loved being at my church last night. It seemed like the "good old days" where everyone knew everyone and were so happy to see each other. It was like a big family reunion. I am so thankful for a church that we can team up that will help to instill our values in our kids. They are learning such valuable lessons... and so are we.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Little Boy Sandwich"

I just woke up from a night in a "little boy sandwich". These days, the kids don't usually get in bed with us in the night, (That has not always been the case!) but last night both boys had bad dreams and ended up in our bed... and I ended up between them. Was there a full moon or something?!? I didn't sleep that well with them there, but I kept having this thought that I should enjoy their snuggles... they will not last forever. I should appriciate that they run to and call for me and that I can make it better... I know that that will not always be the case. So, this morning I am a little sore and not quite rested up, but I am thankful. Thankful that I get to be the mommy that I always dreamed about being.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Things I Appriciate Because of 6 Flags...

Who would think that a near-100-degree day with 5 kids at 6 Flags would make me think about how thankful I am for my life? I was inspired to think about this yesterday at 6 Flags after watching a beautiful, happy lady cross the walkway with her beautiful kids as I sat and watched my kids happily scream with joy as they rode Crazy Legs for the third time. I thought about a dear friend of mine that has been really, really sick for years. Because of her health, she has missed out on many things with her kids. I got to thinking that, short of a miracle, she may never get to experience a simple thing like taking her little ones to an amusement park and watching their faces light up with excitement as they discover that they can, in fact, survive a roller coaster... among many other things. I became so thankful for my life as I watched this stranger-lady and thought of my friend. We all have our challenges, but having your family and your health to enjoy them can supercede many of those challenges. So, because of my 6 Flags Day... here are some of the things that I thought of that I am thankful that I get to enjoy in this little life of mine...

*My health and the health of my family

*A husband that values his family more than anything on earth and works to make special things happen in their lives - Corey has such an entrepreneurial heart. That is a good thing, but it also means that his monetary success is totally dependant on his time and effort right now. No career ladder or fast-track going on for him. That would take some men away from their family indefinitely. But, he does such a great balancing act with his family, his clients, his need to take care of his company, his need to take care of us. He finds many ½ days, evenings, and weekends to squeeze valuable time with us into his life. We know that we are a priority to him, and that he’d drop everything for us if we needed him. I love that about him!

*Friends that raise their kids in a very similar way that we raise ours - The kids took 3 friends with us to the park and they were great! What could have been a day full of chaos and sibling spats was a fun, peaceful day. No, the 5 kids weren’t perfect, but you can tell when kids have been raised to be respectful, polite, thankful, and kind.

*A great friend that I can trust completely - The friend that has the 3 kids that we took to 6 Flags also has a little one. When I asked if her 3 older ones could join us at the park, she offered to watch my baby. It was so great to spend special time with the big kids and get to move at a non-stroller speed through the park while knowing that Cooper was happily playing with his little friend and was well taken care of.

*My Cooper - After a day without the little guy, I missed him like crazy. I appreciate so much that I got to have him - another chance at parenthood. I love to be with him, and any time I am away from him I miss him.

*Air conditioning and cool breezes - It was nearly 100 degrees. Need I say more?

*Last but not least... I appreciate the engineers and safety codes that keep those physics-defying, super-fun roller coasters up and running. I love them. This trip to 6 Flags, both of my big kids tried their first big coaster and loved it. I am hopeful that in the next few years, we will all be doing loopty-loops together.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday and although I can't be with her today, I am with her in thought. Happy Birthday Mom. I love you!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Our Visit to Glen Rose

This week the kids and I visited my sister, Sara, and her family in Glen Rose. It was great. We didn't do anthing too exciting - lots of swimming, paddle boats, thrift store shopping, and a trip to "Dirty Queen" (as Allie called it) for Blizzards. I had so much fun with my sweet nephew, Asher. He is the happiest little guy. So laid back. However he does have a voice... early in the morning. :) My sweet sister always makes me feel so comfortable. There is no need to be anything except myself when I am with her, and I love her for that!

PS - One day while we were there, Allie was getting Cooper dressed to go swimming, and he came out of the bedroom in this pink, ruffled swim suit. It was so funny!

Claire Bear

Well, it has been a while since I posted - the kids and I have been out of town visiting my sister, Sara, and her family. Before we left town, we celebrated with my other sister, Emily, and her husband the first birthday of their little one. Claire Alyse was born last July 31, and I had the honor of being in the birthing room seconds after she arrived, as I was the photographer of the big event. It was wonderful seeing the joy on Emily & Allan's faces as they saw their baby for the first time and getting to see my little niece as she adjusted to her first few minutes in this big world. After only a few minutes of that joy and celebrating, I realized that something was terribly wrong with my baby sister. I heard words like hemorrhage and hysterectomy being thrown around, and I could see that she was in intense pain and was becoming very lethargic. I went from being the photographer to being the big sister. It was almost an out of body experience as I was not emotional at the time – I just wanted information. I wanted to understand what was happening and to make sure that Allan and Emily understood too. I have never prayed so hard in my life as I watched the doctor work to save Emily's life. Thankfully, she was fine and after a procedure and blood transfusion she was able to move on to the normalcy of being a new mommy - if there is such a thing. I have loved watching that continue as I have had the privilege of watching her mommy Claire over the last year. She is great at it! And Claire Bear is a joy to watch too. She is hilarious, and it was fun to have the whole Selke family together to celebrate her last weekend.

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