Thursday, March 5, 2015

February Highlights

Apparently, I went on a little hiatus for blogging during the month of February.  As I think back to why exactly, I am not quite sure. It wasn't that February was especially full, although when I look back at the calendar, it is fairly consistent full with small things that add up to full evenings and then it is the weekend and those are always mad dashes to get laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping done, and attempt to not think about school work for at least one day.  We also added Sunday night small groups back in after having much of December and January off. And when you throw in the fact that February is shorter than other months, it really went by quickly.  I can't believe that we are almost finished with the first week of March!  I am taking advantage of two middle of the week snow days to catch up on blogging and Project Life.

So, here are some highlights from February:

1.  Micah was off of nights--
--that schedule is so hard for us--he would leave for work each night by 5:45/6 and then we wouldn't see him until almost 4 the next day when he was waking up.  That is just not a lot of time for the boys with their dad (or me with my husband).  We were thrilled to have him back in the evenings during February and even a few days of vacation for him.

2. Speech Meet!!  
Remember how not so excited I was about William choosing Chicken Little?  To be honest, for much of the weeks leading up to the competition, I was kinda nervous.  He was just not really putting in the time, but somehow that child flipped a switch and worked his little tail off and did amazing:

The actual performance was not quite as enthusiastic. I think the combination of nerves and having to wait almost 45 minutes in complete silence probably helped tone it down and we were so proud of him receiving a Superior rating.  I kept seeing him take really deep breaths and blow them out.  He would look at me and try to mouth something, which I totally could not understand.  When he got in the car that afternoon, he told me that he was trying to tell me how scared he was!

Xavier also did an excellent job in the Bible Memorization category receiving a Superior Rating as well.
And both boys are headed to the district speech meet in April--so we still have a few more weeks of Chicken Little at our house!

3.  Basketball--
It has been a wild ride this first year of playing basketball.  Their little team has struggled--mostly because of lack of practice time and many boys who have never played basketball before.  But....the Derby boys are having a good time.  After one particularly difficult game where our team did not score a single point, I was tucking Xavier into bed and thought I would check in to see how he was doing after the tough loss.  "So, what did you think about the game tonight?"  Xavier: "It was totally awesome."  They had a blast at every practice and every game.  While I would love to see them improve, I figure that having fun is part of the point of 3rd grade basketball.
This is a pretty good sample of their games.  William is number 5.

4.  Some snowy days--
Winter weather has been fairly non-existant in Oklahoma this year and while I can sympathize with those who have had snow days ad nauseum, as a teacher, I was kind of hoping for at least a few days. We did have a bit of snow on Presidents' Day that felt not quite as exciting since we were already off of school that day.  But, as luck would have it, we had a snow day on Tuesday.  Then, this past weekend, some snow rolled in on a Friday afternoon canceling a basketball game and that along with William having a stomach bug, Micah working all weekend, gave us a solid weekend of rest.  

Project Life for February:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Project Life 2015

I am woefully not caught up on my Project Life pages 2014--which is unfortunate since my boys spent about an hour or more the other night poring through Project Life 2013 and what I have accomplished from 2014 and they kept asking me: 'when are you going to finish Project Life 2014?'  I can't answer that question, but it most definitely encourages me to stick with this hobby of mine, recording our life, and hopefully sharing some of my hopes and dreams for them in the process.

First few weeks are done, shockingly enough!!

I am taking inspiration from my sister and trying to go much more simple and photo focused.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday things

I don't know about where you live, but we are experiencing some seriously beautiful weather for the middle of January.  Over the weekend, we enjoyed 70 degree days.  The boys were off from school yesterday while I had inservice meetings to attend at school.  They spent the day hanging out with their grandma and cousins, having an all out Nerf war in their grandparents backyard.  Micah and I picked them up after I got home and we all went over to the elementary school where we practiced some basketball with them.  They are loving playing basketball and it has been a fun change of pace for us.
This is a picture from tonight--I loved the sunset behind them and the action shot of my sweet boys

Micah and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary on Sunday.  We have laughed all month because we couldn't seem to remember how long we had been married, it felt like surely it was more than 'just' 12.  We went to the early service at church and let his parents take our boys to lunch and we tried a new place in Tulsa for Sunday brunch. It was a perfect kind of meal to talk and laugh and think about where we have been and where we want to go.  He came home and took a nap while I attended the wedding of a friend from the cancer support group that I attend.  It was such a sweet wedding and also pretty neat to see the whole row of survivors from our group who came to celebrate their friend.
celebrating 12 years with Sunday brunch

Photo Booth fun while we wait for the bridal party to take photos

Last week, I got on Facebook one day to see that a friend had this amazing idea to bless my sister and her family with a family trip.  It has been amazing to see the people who have given and shared and joined this huge effort.  In a text conversation with my younger sister, she said this to me, "if I have to pick a good thing about watching my sisters fight cancer, it would be seeing how many people love on them and try to help them".  It is a pretty special thing to see someone you love so dearly be loved so well by others.  If you are interested in this venture, you can click here to read about the plans of a big-hearted friend.

And for the family that I posted about last week, there is also a fund that has been set up to help them with so many unexpected needs that their family is facing.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

9 years old

I really don't know where the years are going. My babies are growing up so quickly.

This is the fourth year that I have done a video interview with them on their birthday or close to it anyway.  I went back to look for last year's video and realized that I had never posted them.
So here are videos done on their 8th birthday last year--


I am pretty sure that I should have pulled out the list of questions from last year, because this year's video is a bit all over the place.



And links to their 7th birthday and their 6th birthday (they were so itty-bitty).

Back when they were two, we decorated their room with John Deere tractors which was a carry-over from their original nursery.  And basically, we haven't done much to touch their room since then.  We knew that it was high time for a makeover and decided to surprise them for their birthday.

Micah made this cool display for their ever growing Nerf gun collection and I used my photoshop skills to make a poster with ideas gleaned from Pinterest.  Actually, the Nerf gun wall was also inspired by Pinterest--what did we ever do before it existed?

We let them come in after school and it was so funny because when they first opened the door, all they saw was the Nerf guns and they just ran over there and finally William turned around and the second picture is him finally seeing the rest of it.

I always put a lot of pressure on myself to make them fun cakes and this year, I finally felt pretty good about my effort.  Chocolate cake with a cookies and cream filling, white icing and Transformer symbols on the top.

I always love the birthday candle pictures:
Check out William's face in the corner

He was getting a big breath so that he could blow out his candles!
You are sweet, funny, loving boys and I am so happy that I get to be your mommy.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

This week

My boys turned nine years old yesterday. I have some sweet stories and some cute pictures and the yearly interview to post tomorrow.  But this past week did not turn out like any other week.

Just 11 short days ago, a friend from college, who is also a mother of multiples (and an almost 9 year old boy) and a missionary in Spain, sent me a Facebook message with the sad news of her 32 year old sister being diagnosed with cancer in the last week and would I maybe have time to send her a message.  I took a deep breath and felt the tears immediately come to my eyes, knowing just a small portion of the story--because her sister Bethany and husband David were missionaries living in Lima, Peru and I felt the pain of what that diagnosis would mean for them, for their life--and it made my heart sad.  Of course, I would email her and share any encouragement I could, willing to listen, to answer questions if she needed.  I didn't hear back right away, but didn't think much knowing how overwhelming the days after diagnosis always are. I prayed, we prayed for their family. I prayed for Brooke who was in Spain and so much farther than I was when Melissa was diagnosed and yet I could understand how hard it was to be so far when you just need to set your eyes on your loved one.

Wednesday night, I could not sleep. I read stories of Bethany on Facebook, watched her smile as friends posted photos, and I prayed and prayed and prayed for a miracle for her life since we had learned that a miracle was indeed what she needed, the cancer was extremely aggressive. I prayed for the ICU team that was taking care of her. I read Scriptures that others were praying for her family, and I prayed Psalm 125:2 that has been such a comfort to me "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people from this time forth and forever."  And it was with the greatest sadness,  grief, and unbelief that I read a text from my sister Thursday morning that Bethany had passed away in the early hours of morning, mere days after her diagnosis, leaving her husband and three small children.

To be honest, I don't know how to process this week.  I have cried buckets of tears for this family.  I have been in awe of the legacy that she is leaving.  I have grieved for her sister who did not get to make it back to the States to see her before she left this life. I have asked God 'why?' I have felt guilt that my life is continuing when hers is not. I have held my boys tightly and thanked God for the privilege of seeing them grow. I have watched my sleep deprived husband (who is working ICU nights this month) grieve for them and process some fears he has for me. My heart has been so heavy for her family and I just have been asking God to hold them closely.  I know that He is good and that He is faithful and yet, their pain is great. I have heard Crowder's song Come As You Are several times this week and the line that "Earth has no sorrow that heaven can't heal" has echoed in my mind over and over.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I haven't done well recently recording the funny things the boys say, but there were a couple of recent things that have made me smile.

Courtesy of Xavier:

  • For Christmas, I bought Micah some new cologne and the boys had been asking me what I bought him.  After telling them multiple times one day, Xavier asked me again and this was our conversation: 
    • me: "what did I tell you earlier?"  
    • X-"Oh yeah, right, deodorant"
    • me: "no, cologne."
    • X- "yeah, cologne/deodorant--pretty much the same thing"
  • We had the joy/fun job of car shopping last week and while we were waiting at the Chevy dealership, Xavier looks at me and says, "I am totally going to need one of those Corvettes when I get old enough to drive."  
From William:
  • Their birthday is coming up this Saturday and every time William talks about it, he calls it their 'bird-day'.  Mostly because he has heard his dad be silly and call birthdays 'bird-days', but the other day, we realized that he has just kind of fallen into calling it that.  This caused Micah a small amount of alarm and we have been doing a bit of re-training!

Remember the speech meet from around this time last year? The one where Xavier chose to memorize Chicken Little and how that is not a short fable to memorize?  

The boys came home today telling me they chose their pieces for this year's speech meet. 

William chose Chicken Little. 

I don't even have words.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Still catching up

I have been making myself finally go back through photos from this summer to put into my Project Life album. I am embarrassed to admit that I had uploaded, but never even looked at first day of school photos from August.  I will say that when I look back on the end of summer, we did manage to keep it pretty busy.  As part of my continued certification, I had to read several books and write a paper and so I was spending a large majority of my time on that.  Then, right before inservice began, we made a quick trip to Missouri to see my grandparents and got to meet up with my sisters and their kiddos, we also drove up to another town in Missouri to meet our great-niece and see Micah's grandmother.  We came home and decided to paint our kitchen and living room and managed to get that back together in time for me to head out the door for a week of inservice meetings before school began.  Add to school and my increased class load, getting back into soccer practices, taking William to speech therapy in Tulsa, small groups at church starting back up--looking back now, I can get a bit of perspective of why August and September seemed so incredibly hard this year.  October hit and I immediately felt like I could breathe--we somehow managed to find a rhythm and it was okay again.

This was meet the teacher night.  They 'dread' school every summer until this night two nights before school starts and then they are instantly excited about it--they see their teacher, see their name tags, this year, they saw the big bin where they would storing all of their books.

 Wednesday before school started on Thursday, I finished up my last few things in my classroom and in the afternoon, the boys and I headed out to finish up the summer with a bit of fun.  They made it one of their summer goals to visit 10 different Tulsa County libraries and we finished up the summer by going to the 10th one in a town about 20 minutes away.

 We followed that with a visit to the splash pad.....

and the local ice cream place...

And we finally made it to the first day of school--third did that happen? I feel like they were just little kindergarteners.  Clearly, my focus was a bit of an issue....

but not nearly as bad as in this next photo ..... (and this is how much I don't remember about this day--did I set a timer or did Micah take this? I can't imagine that he was still home, but I don't remember setting up the camera and using the timer either!)

I didn't have a first hour during first semester, so I was able to take them and walk them up to their classroom for their first day.

Halfway through third grade, they would probably say that they are loving it as much as they have loved any other year of school.  They continue to be in class together and from all reports, they still seem to be doing well being together--I know that it certainly simplifies things for me.  One big change for me was that I started teaching 4th grade this year in addition to my 5th and 6th grade classes.  This has been an adjustment for two reasons--obviously, this is my youngest class, but it also meant that I could potentially be teaching my own boys next year.  They have always begged me to still be teaching when they were to the age of the students that I was teaching because they really wanted me to be their teacher.  That always seemed in the distant future, but now it doesn't feel quite so far away.  The surprise for me this year has been the joy that my little fourth graders have brought to me. They just seem to love having French and are so eager to learn each week and I love being greeted by them on Wednesday nights at church with hugs and sweet little "Bonjour, Madame Derby".

And here is layout I did recently from pictures from 2012 when we discovered a roly poly on a walk and he became our 'pet' for a few days hours.
credits here

Sunday, January 4, 2015

"What Would Jesus Undo?"

A few times a year, our church has the privilege of having Michael Boggs come and lead worship. He is from our area and has known our pastor for a long time.  I bought his most recent album More Like a Lion last fall and I can't really recommend it enough. I appreciate his heart for worship and his songwriting a lot.  Today, he actually led worship and spoke (in three services, no less).  After leading worship, he sang the song "What Would Jesus Undo?" and then spoke on that topic.  

To be honest, I had listened to that song on the album quite a bit, but until he sang it and had the words up on the screen to see, I don't know that I had really understood the words:

Would God unpreach every sermon spoke in hatred?
The kind with hell fire burning on their lips. 
Would He unsing every sacred song of worship?
We sing it, but don’t mean a word of it.
Would he unsay every scripture said in anger?
The kind that's used to hurt more than to help.
Would he unpoint all the pointing words and fingers,
Hold up a mirror so we can point 'em at ourselves.
Oh, the things we do in His name.

I wonder if He shakes his head
and thinks "that's not what I meant".
What does hurting the hurting prove?
If we're supposed to love,
I wonder why we judge
when grace has graced us too.
When it comes down to me and you,
what would Jesus undo? What would Jesus undo?

It was a good reminder for me specifically regarding some reflections that I have had lately.  Our goal as the body of Christ isn't to put up walls, but to build bridges where we can share the truth of Christ and the truth of Who has changed our lives. 

My boys have been in a bit of denial that today is the end of Christmas break.  Tonight at dinner, I told them I realized that they weren't looking forward to going back to school, but since it was inevitable, what were they looking forward to?  "art class and computers....oh and seeing my friends" They are so funny because they both do well at school and always seem to enjoy it, but I think that it is pretty tough for school to compete with staying home and playing with your best buddy all day every day.

I have been attempting to get some scrapping done in the past few days.  My family and local friends know that before Micah started residency a year and a half ago, he painted our kitchen cabinets.  I can't even begin to tell you what a chore that was.  He really thought that he would start on Monday and maybe finish it up by the weekend.  Three weeks later, he finally completed that beast of a job.  It turned out amazing and we love the results, but in the midst of it, it was pretty painful.  I finally got a page scrapped about it.
credits here

And two layouts from the boys' birthday last year...hard to believe that they have another one coming up this Saturday.
credits here

credits here

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Last summer

I know that parents everywhere are ready for Monday to arrive, that Christmas break was great while it lasted, but it is high time for those precious children to head back to school and come down off the extended sugar high and excitement of Christmas.....honestly, I am kinda ready to send my own boys back too.  But....on the flip side, I am not quite ready to head back as a teacher.  

I feel like we have finally reclaimed our house a little bit (i.e. all the uneaten Christmas cookies that were hanging around have finally been purged, the tree and all decorations have been safely tucked away for another year, the extra boxes from all those Amazon orders have been broken down and disposed of) and I would kind of like to have another few days at home.  But, barring a winter storm that has yet to be detected, Monday morning will dawn bright and early with us headed out the door for a new semester of classes.

We have had a great break, Micah even had a week's vacation that we spent in Illinois at my parents' house.  I have been spending time these last few days going through photos, trying desperately to catch up on this past year's sadly neglected Project Life.  Specifically, I have been revisiting the week this summer when the boys and I headed to Fort Worth and went to our denomination's national convention for the day. We spent the evenings with our friends who we went to language school with in Albertville (who now live in the Dallas area) and the boys and I braved a day at the convention in between.  It was a quick two day trip and we came home exhausted, but I look at these photos and remember the sweet moments with dear friends and I am just so thankful that we had the chance to make the trip.

I am not sure why I am blogging now or if I will be able to keep up with posting.  I just know that in the busyness of life, there is something that I am missing in recording our family's story since I managed to eliminate blogging.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Some thoughts, a video (or three), and maybe a photo or two

So the blogging on a regular basis from the last post hasn't really happened.  I feel confident in saying that this first month of summer that is drawing to a close has gone by much too quickly.  The upside to things is that while I have been extra busy with an online class this month and doing some intensive reading for a another paper I have to write for my certification, my class wraps up next Monday and my goal is to have the books read and my paper written by the end of the month, so that I can bask in the awesomeness of July and its lack of school related activities.

It is currently 10:42 at night and I probably ought to go to bed, but I have had lots of thoughts churning through my head for a few days, and so I decided to go ahead and try to get them out.

  • ICU Nights: this month's rotation is not my favorite.  We have been seeing Micah for approximately 2-3 ish hours a day.  Sometime between 7:45-9 when he rolls in and is so exhausted, but starving and has eaten a breakfast burrito every single day (1 egg, 1 egg white, ham, spinach, salsa, all wrapped up in a tortilla), I don't know how he doesn't get tired of it. He falls into bed approximately 15 minutes after arriving home and we leave or try to stay extra quiet and not wake him--although I have discovered he is pretty much out of it and not really bothered by us.  He wakes up around 4 and drinks massive amounts of coffee and by 4:30 is kind of awake. We eat dinner between 5-5:30 and he is out the door by 6.  We are down to 6 shifts left, but who's counting, right?
  • World Cup soccer--I have totally been sucked in.  Because of a fluke promotion/change in cell service, the cable and DVR that we got rid of last year and have lived pretty happily without has made a reappearance.  Basically, adding cable was going to cost the same amount that we were currently paying for everything and so we added cable.  I have never been such a fan of ESPN.  First, the NBA Finals kept me entertained (Go, Spurs!) and now there is pretty much soccer (or football for my friends who live anywhere except the USA) on the majority of the day.  

    • And we are becoming invested. My vocabulary has increased, while I still am pretty confused on offsides, I know what a 'cap' is, I know what an 'equalizer' is, I understand the fouls, yellow cards, red cards, I can recognize beautiful goals. I find it interesting that the commentators always use the plural tense of the verb when referring to countries. For example, Costa Rica are having a very good tournament. England are not.
    • The boys (and Micah until he had to leave) watched the USA match on Sunday against Portugal and there was much screaming and shouting  in our house. and this was the view of the boys the entire last five minutes, they could not sit still. They paced and jumped and ran in place, and told me how 'it was kind of stressful for them.'
    • The other thing I love about the World Cup is that it makes me think of all my friends who live around the world. My friends the Turnboughs in Spain, the Johnsons in Belgium, friends from seminary in Costa Rica, a paper I did in college on Bosnia-Herzogovenia, the people our team work with from Algeria, dear friends who worked many long years in Ivory Coast, and of course Les Bleus (the French).  Micah who watches when he can told me he loves it and hates it at the same time. It reminds him of France and Europe--where football is huge.  I keep waiting for the day that memories and thoughts of life lived overseas won't bring sadness and a yearning, but I am not sure that day will ever truly come.
  • For the past three years, the boys have participated in a patriotic play that their grandma painstakingly writes and the church drama team puts on.  This coming weekend is the performance and so we had some dress rehearsal tonight.  Tell me this isn't cute:
  •  While on my YouTube account, I re-watched some of these older gems and was reminded how far we have come and yet some things (like the constant motion remain the same):

You are welcome.

I managed to scrap a few pages in the last couple of weeks and even a Project Life spread.  

full credits found here