Sunday, April 22, 2012

we ran Vern's No Frills 5K again this month. everyone improved on their times since last month. Samuel ran a 22:00, Margaret a 22:48, William 30:37, and John 31:something. Margaret once again got second place female overall. after that, Margaret and Samuel went straight over to the Y for their soccer game, and immediately after that we had a big birthday party for Margaret. i'm not sure how those kids kept going through the rest of the day, but they did. we're off to church now, but i'll post more pics as soon as i have a chance.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

we've had an extra full day. then again, most saturdays are extra full. Karen's funeral was this morning. we were the only Evans kids that attended, since Thomas and Meredith are in Puerto Rico right now and Leah was otherwise occupied (i guess). my cousins Allison and Andrea both flew in for a few hours. they are Aunt Sarah's girls and are smarty pants like their parents who are both doctors. Allison is a graduate of Drexell and has a job in biochemistry or something like that, and Andrea is about to graduate with honors from Tulane. my family used to babysit them a lot when their mom and dad had to travel when they were little. it's so hard to think of them as adults now.

the burial was in Giddings and Brian took us up highway 71 through Bastrop. this was the first we'd seen of the charred land from last September's fires. slab after slab sat covered in ashes, even now, seven months later. acres and acres of burned loblolly pines. it was very sobering and really amazing to remember that only two lives were lost.

after the burial, most of the Sparks clan went to eat at an old family favorite, Cafe 290 in Manor. my grandfather seems to be doing ok, though he did cry a good bit. i don't think he ever expected her to go before he did. he's 20 years older than she was.

Uncle Bob pressed me about registering for the marathon in New Braunfels in October. my enthusiasm has waned a bit, but i think that if i get out and do a good long run i'll be inspired once again. Brian and i ran three miles together this morning. we rarely get out and run just the two of us, so it was sort of like a date.

i guess that's really all i have to report tonight. i really want to stay on top of this blog, even if my entries are rather dull. i think i'll be glad i did one of these days.

Don't use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice.
it's saturday morning, 6:15, but i'm up drinking coffee and eating a blueberry bagel. a bagel that i got at Central Market last night and had to hide so that it would be all mine this morning. you just have to do things like that in this house.  

yesterday was our fun friday. Margaret worked for the Koplins most of the day, watching their three little boys. i took my three plus the girlbaby down to Town Lake to meet a newly formed walking/running group of ladies from church. we somehow managed to miss them altogether, but walked the three mile loop ourselves. the weather was nearly perfect yesterday, so we spent most of it outdoors. we played basketball, gardened, made roads on the sidewalk with chalk for the Hot Wheels, and played soccer.

Margaret invited her friend Marissa over, and we all piled in the car and went over to Central Market for an evening of live music and wine. we threw down a blanket and did some serious people watching while the kids ran off to find some others to play with. the band was good and made me wish i wasn't such a white girl and could dance. maybe in my next life.

An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.
Dan Rather

Thursday, April 12, 2012

we just got home from soccer practice at the Y. Margaret is loving soccer season this year. she and Samuel are on a great team with a great coach who lets the scrimmage for a couple of hours if they care to. Margaret has decided that soccer is her game and takes it very serious. Samuel could take it or leave it. he is a basketball man and spends most of his free time shooting baskets out front or asking me questions about Blake Griffin or Kobe Bryant. as if i know anything about those guys.

Hazel enjoying the beautiful evening

we had a productive week of school. William and John are finished with science for the year, and have one more week of history. all of the other subjects will be falling away one by one. because we have taken fridays off, we won't be finishing as early as i had hoped even though we've been doing school since June. i've already made lists of what books we need for next year and am looking forward to placing the orders. having one year under our belt, i feel much more confident about the next school year.

we decided on a realtor. we went with a guy that sells lots of houses in our neighborhood. his sons are both members of our church and he and his wife attend sometimes as well. we'd kind of like to just sell it ourselves, but we're just way too busy.

here is Karen's obituary. very sweet, i think.

we went to the library this afternoon and returned 55 books in exchange for nearly as many new ones. we sure do love the library!

A man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride. C. S. Lewis

15 Reasons To Keep Reaching out
{Even When You’ve Been Hurt}

1. Christ is the Body and He is Love and both can only exist in community

2. God’s people are given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5) and reconciliation begins first in our homes, down the street, in this pew, around the corner, in community — or we are ministers of misrepresentation.

3. It’s only when you reach out to community that your gifts can be used for the Kingdom.

4. Joining and participating in just one group or community this year cuts your odds of dying in half over the next year.

5. Community is only and always what people are: beautiful and broken and utterly redeemable.

6. There are no I-slands in the Kingdom, only His-lands, and the notion of lone rangers is purely bad fiction.

7. The wonder of this: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are the temple of the Holy Spirit? … God’s temple is sacred and you are that temple.” (1 Cor. 3) We are all the “living stones” of the temple of the Holy Spirit. But if one stone withdraws from the other stones?
The “you” in 1 Cor. 13 is plural. Y’all together are the temple of the Holy Spirit; we are a temple of the Holy Spirit together in community. We need each other, all of us.
And believing is about belonging to a community. It’s when we are committed in community that we collectively live it before the world: God is among us.

8. 2000 years of Christianity is founded on the breathtaking living organism of community.

9. Community is healthy for us:Those with strong social connections but poor health habits (eating, exercise, etc.) are just as healthy as those with good health habits but weak social connections.

10. There are sisters in Christ who have died for gathering together with their sisters — how could I neglect so great a privilege?

11.Dor” in Hebrew, it means generation. May we be the next generation to go next door — the generation who knows who lives next door, what they need next door, how they ache next door. The Next Christians need to be the generation of Next Door Christians.

12. The Christian life is the compassionate, crucified, cruciformed life. Not the comfortable life. Community is how God shapes His children into the image of Christ.

13. We love Him enough to meet Him where He is — “Where 2 or 3 are gathered there He is…”

14. Love is a tree, each person a branch. And a pile of cut off branches doesn’t make a tree. Love can only be comprehended in community.

15. Every chance I have to love imperfect people is another chance to perfect His love in me. . This is a way to soar

Monday, April 9, 2012

my grandfather's wife left this earth today at 1:26 pm. RIP Karen Sparks.
life hasn't given me much time to blog these days. let me see if i can catch up.

i joined some friends from church to run in the St. James Missionary Baptist 5K a couple of weeks ago. it was the toughest 5K course i've ever done. bleh. i had a cold, too, but still managed to snag a silver medal for my age group.

Brian had to attend a Texas Flood Plane Management conference in Corpus Christi last week and took Hazel and me along. the hotel was nice and all, but there is just not much happening in Corpus these days. seems like all the business must be going to Port A and Rockport. sad to say, but i left with a pretty poor impression of the city. i did enjoy the time with Brian. one of the nights we went out to dinner and had drinks and listened to music late into the night. we kept Hazel up way later than is respectable. i'm afraid we're going to ruin that little girl.

Hazel telling Brian a secret at Landry's in Corpus last Wednesday night.

the beautiful wildflowers were so pretty on the drive home from the coast. here are a few of the pics we took.

we've been doing a lot of talking about selling our house, and we've pretty much decided that it's a must. there is a house that has caught our eye, a colonial style house built in the 40's. it isn't huge, but bigger than our place here, and has a large lot with a pool. the asking price is less than others we've been looking at. we'll see...

Redeemer had their Maundy Thursday dinner last week. the deacons helped serve, so Brian didn't get to sit with us, but we had a lovely visit with the Muirs. the church goes all out on this event every year. they served lamb, or chicken, for those who preferred, grilled mixed veggies, salad, bread, wild rice, cheesecake with blackberry sauce, and wine, lots of wine. we went to the Good Friday service as well. these days i don't get to sit through much of the services, but Hazel and i listened from the foyer along with a lot of other mommies and babies. even so, it is always good to gather with the saints.

Margaret and Samuel had a soccer game saturday morning, but William and John and i stayed home to get some stuff done. i finished Margaret and Hazel's Easter dresses and tried to catch up on some homeschool lesson plans. they'll be finishing up some of their textbooks soon, but there are others that they won't finish until way into the summer. i can foresee William repeating fourth grade. he has just turned his noggin off this year and is not making much progress, if any. John continues to struggle with grasping reading, but is making progress,  even if it is painfully slow. Margaret and Samuel are doing well. i think they will do great, if and when we put them back into school.

my grandfather's wife who i wrote about awhile back is still at Brook Army Medical Center. it seemed that she was getting better, but apparently she has had a massive stroke and will be taken off life support today. my mom and stepdad went down there with other family members this morning. it is really sad to think of what she did to herself over the years and how hard her life has been. i just hope that these last couple of weeks have brought some sort of redemption and peace.

after a beautiful Easter service at Redeemer yesterday morning, we came home and had brunch. the kids played outside awhile, then we went out to the Evans farmhouse in Hutto. we haven't spent much time with that side of the family in awhile, so there was a lot of catching up to do. it was late when we got home and this morning i have a pounding head from not enough water and too many adult beverages, but it's all good.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

we're back from our camping trip. we got cut short because of the rain, but i have nothing to complain about. i've had my sweet honey with me all week just the same, and it really doesn't matter where we are when we're together.

we had beautiful weather at Garner SP the first day and a half. we brought a long a canoe that we'd borrowed from Madgie, someone Brian works with and who is also one of our neighbors. we let the kids have free run of the Frio River, and they spent hours paddling up and down and living in their own fantasy worlds.

Garner is the most visited of all Texas state parks, but we had the thing mostly to ourselves for the half-week we were there.

Margaret and Samuel are all big and grown up now and wanted to sleep in the tent while the rest of us slept in the trailer. a thunderstorm came up the second night, so they had to grab their sleeping bags and join the rest of us inside. that next day we hiked a five mile hike in the rain, finding shelter in a couple of caves along the way.

Margaret and Samuel have become such close friends. it's really sweet to watch them together.

we checked out the weather report and decided to head back home several days early. we had the campsite reserved until sunday, but decided to leave wednesday instead. it was sad to have to cut the trip short, but our stuff was already getting soaked and a lot more rain was projected.

Brian debated going back into the office on thursday and friday, but since he'd already taken the week off, he decided to just spend the rest of the week staycationing with us. he took William and Samuel fishing at Decker Lake on thursday, and then friday we ran some errands together and then took the canoe out on the San Marcos River.

that's all i have time to update now. i get to go on a business trip to Corpus Christi for the nest three days, so i'd better get ready.