Archive for August, 2009


Yes, that’s the book for me!

Asher melts my heart every time we sing this to him!

“Bible” is now one of his favorite words!


Full Circle

I know there will be many ‘full circles’ in my life, and today is definitely one of them.

I left my Kindergarten teaching position in Fort Bend ISD after 2 years to have my first baby and stay at home with her.

Today, my first baby entered Kindergarten.

It was a joyful morning for both of us!  No tears.  Really, I’m just so excited for her because I know how she thrives in classroom settings and how much she will love kindergarten!  (I mean I love kindergarten that’s why I taught it!)

Here are the classic first day of school pics:

so giddy about school
7 a.m. bright and early!
Rilyn and Ms. Kerley, her teacher.

dating my daughter

What a fun and meaningful night I had on a date with my oldest daughter Rilyn.  I say meaningful because it was a moment of grace where my heavenly Father gave me a chance to cherish my role as a father and realize what I can offer and what only He can offer.

Gotta have the silly pic!

We did have a blast tonight…I took Rilyn out on a date to ‘Austin Park & Pizza’.  We started out on the bumper boats, played some video games, ate some pizza, drank some root beer, played some miniature golf, and topped it off with Rilyn driving on her own in her first Go Kart race.

Proud moment for daddy:  Rilyn leading!

But amidst the chaos of buffet pizza, black lights, and the blurry Japanese anime projecting in the background, we sat there in our little purple booth…just the two of us, my little girl, my little baby, my first baby…Rilyn.  She heads to kindergarten in four days, man how time flies. It feels like yesterday that I was trying so hard to get her to crawl to me, now all I hear is, ‘I can do it by myself’.  So I feel like this is a major jump for Rilyn into the waters of this world and I wanted to convey to her how much I love her and how I will always be there for her, whenever she needs me.

Golf lesson

Two things hit me in that moment. First, no matter what I said, I felt as if there were no words I could convey powerful enough for her to know how much I love her and how much I want to be there for her whenever she needs me.  The emotion behind that was enough to start the swelling in my eyes. Then it really hit me, as much as I love her and yearn to be there for Rilyn, ultimately I can’t.  It is humanly impossible to be there for her every second of everyday…and eventually I won’t be around.

look alikes

Yet, with tears in my eyes, I looked at Rilyn and said, “Rilyn, look at me, look in my eyes.  I love you so much, and no matter what I will be there for you.  You can come to me for help whenever you need it.”  She looked in my eyes and said, “But how can you be at my school when you have to be at work?”  Wow, she is right….as much as I want to be there for her, there is a limit.  And at first I ached inside, but then grace came and my Heavenly Father reminded me of two awesome truths….

First, He loves Rilyn, (and you and me), more than words can convey…His love is infinite and powerfully revealed through the sending of His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die so that Rilyn, (and you and me), would be able to have abundant life, if we would only trust our life to Him:

John 15:13Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

John 3:16-18″For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Second, what I can’t offer, my heavenly Father can give…He is not limited by time or space and will be there for Rilyn, (and you and me), always and forever:


So it’s more than pizza, more than go karts, even more than quality time…I can offer her Him….that turns my tears of angst into tears of joy and peace.

From august 2009

cousin lovin’

My brother’s son, Caden, is too cute for words! We love him so much!

Ella and Caden

the weekend

Our family had a busy weekend!  On Friday, the kids and I headed to the neighborhood pool for 3 hours (mom record for me!)  At the splash pad, Rilyn shot Ella in the head.  Nice aim.

Where was James this weekend?  Oh he was golfing, playing paintball, and going to the movies with the guys for our friend, Carson’s, wedding!  Tough life always going to bachelor parties!   The kids and I headed to Temple to stay with my parents and we went to a local musical, Beauty and the Beast, which was excellent. Rilyn must of picked up Ella’s bad habits of posing and so poor Belle got a little more than a picture.

The next day, Sunday, Asher, (in my care), took a tumble (rather a twirl) into my parents banister spindles that have corner edges around the bottom. You can guess where he landed.

Fifteen minutes later, I was off to the wedding! (My dad is a doctor so I knew he was in good hands in case the goose egg became more…)
Carson’s wedding brought many dear Aggie friends together again. Fun times had by all!

me, Casey, Jen, and Kim

Dwight would be proud

Watch out Dwight Schrute, there’s a new bobble head in town!

James was in our good friend, Carson Higg’s, wedding yesterday and for groomsmen gifts he gave them each their own bobble heads!

Check out Noel, James, and Halim at the rehearsal dinner.

Noel, James, and Halim

And now their bobbleheads

We aren’t really sure why Halim’s bobble head is so short!?!

happy birthday james

Never mind that his birthday isn’t until October.
Or that he bought the ticket himself and declared, “It’s for my birthday, so you don’t need to get me anything.”
Or that he purchased these online with his friends when they were supposed to be sharing prayer requests during a Bible study.  (The girls and I were 10 feet away in another room having intimate spiritual discussion.)
Oh well. You can’t tame a Dallas Cowboys fan like this one, (especially when they have a new stadium!)


daddy’s girl

Look what I found as I was checking on the girls before I went to bed…

Daddy is SO proud and, he pointed out, just in time for the ’09 season! (That is actually Asher’s stuffed Cowboys football that Rilyn brought in her bed!)


swimming lessons

(Going Public part 3)

One of the biggest obstacles Julie and I face as we continue to wade through the issue of our children’s education is trying to determine how much influence we allow the world to have on each child and when.  Of course when it comes to the world ‘out there’ it is really a matter of trust and timing; eventually they will have to swim.  We want our kids to be able to swim and navigate through the waves…that is, not to drown in the waters of the world around them.

On the one hand, it is easy when our eyes are fixated on the world to become overwhelmed and perhaps over-protective of our little ones to the point that home schooling is the only option.   (Note: we definitely see a place for homeschooling, but the question for us is whether that is for our family…not whether it is right or wrong.)

On the other hand, we fully trust that God is Sovereignly in control of our children’s future and that it would take more faith for us to send them out, and thus, for our family (at least for Rilyn….this is a year by year issue), public school is the answer.

Through time in the Word, prayer, and discussion with each other we are convinced that the answer is not black and white.  We know that we are called and given the responsibility to train our children (Prov. 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.).  From this truth, we feel the weight of a responsibility to influence each child in a way that will draw them closer to their heavenly Father.

We also know that ultimately God is in control and has the Ultimate influence on everyone and everything (Romans 11:36, “From him, through him, and to him are all things, to Him be glory forever Amen!”)  From this, we are able to draw a peace and courage that God never calls us to do anything apart from him.

So what is our calling?  What is God telling Julie and I?  Something that helped us is the analogy below:

None of us who have children want them to drown.

But how can we prevent it?

One way is to keep them away from bodies of water deeper than two feet.  It works.  Kids won’t drown if they don’t get into deep water.

But we can also guard them from drowning by another method:  teaching them to swim.  Though it isn’t foolproof, it works rather well and provides more freedom.

In the same way, we should teach our kids to “swim” against the currents of the world.  Avoidance of the world is ineffective-children eventually go away to college or start their lives and encounter all the things we guarded them from.

They will be more ready to face worldly currents if we have taught them to swim. (Dennis McCallum, “The Postmodern Puzzle”, The Real Issue March 1998)

Public school is an excellent pool in which to train our young sons and daughters.  Yes, it’s deep and noisy and the water’s cold and sometimes the chlorine gets in your eyes.  Sometimes you get splashed by other swimmers.  But this is preparation for even bigger bodies of waters to come.  Someday they’ll have to swim in Lake Michigan.  (David & Kelly Pritchard, “Going Public”, pg. 27)

Obviously, none of us want our kids to drown… but even more so, we desire our kids to do more than stay afloat…we desire for them flourish, to live life to the fullest….to swim like Michael Phelps and win the race…(1 Cor 9:24).

We didn’t throw Rilyn into the pool as a baby…it wasn’t even until age 3 that she took her first lesson…Julie and I both know that one day she will dive head first into the the waters of this world…so we start today with the swimming lessons. For each parent, this will look different.  Have you ever been to a 3-5 year old class learning to swim?  It is often obvious which kids are ready to learn and which kids are still afraid of the water.  In the same way, each child will  learn to swim at a different age…but we mustn’t let their first lesson be the first time they go into the pool by themselves!

Rilyn’s swimming lessons              From May 2008

Going Public Part 1
Going Public Part 2


my prolific artist

Rilyn has a lot of time on her hands these summer days, and it seems like every hour she is handing me another ‘masterpiece’. She is a very detailed girl and it shows in her artwork!   Case in point:  When she gave this piece to me I thought they were holding an idol or something.  Then Rilyn explained to me that she was holding her tooth holder with her 2 teeth in it!  Wow!  Yep, it’s all about the details with this girl!

tooth holder inset
She wrote on top, “For Rilyn and Ella and Asher  To Mommy  Rainbow and God”

I love the above picture because it shows that God (apparently who has a goatee) is on her mind. She told me those were horses on the sides of the rainbow. Go figure?

After the first family worship experience (Fx) at our church, The Austin Stone, she drew this.  The theme is Kings and Kingdoms.
Our family as goblins in the rain

This one disturbed me a little because I’m like, why are we goblins?? She justified herself by saying, “Daddy likes to play green goblin.”  Okay, then why are we purple???  (No, I didn’t say that to her.)

Tinker Bell’s Pixie Hollow

I am amazed at all her detail on this one down to the bugs pulling wheelbarrows of ‘cheese’, to the brown fairy houses, to the red queen’s throne at the top of the flower. I can’t wait to see her artistic skills continue to grow!!!

My photography business!

August 2009