Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Top 40

Recently Time magazine published their annual 100 Most Influential People of the Year list. Most of the people I had never even heard of. I’m not sure if that’s indicative of a general trend of ignorance among my contemporaries or if I am simply  burying my head in my family life and ignoring the major players of our age... Nevertheless, the article got me thinking… Who would qualify for the most influential people in my life?

So, I created a list -- In no particular order, these are my top 40. I am not going to expound on these people in this post, explaining their influence on my life, but I encourage you to think back and maybe take this opportunity to write a letter or make a phone call simply letting someone know that they made a difference in your life. Their time, their love, their support... There are a few people here that I am going to send letters to because I will forever be a better person simply for having known them. And who wouldn't want to receive that kind of letter!?! :)

I must place one caveat on my list: Not all of these people have influenced my life for the better - or at least for the "happier" or the "easier"; I believe that God works all thing together to accomplish His purpose of making me more like Christ but, given the choice, I would likely have ommited certain interactions or circumstances. That being said, I am who I am today because of all these people - good or bad, they have influenced my life.

Top 40 Most Influential People in My Life Thus Far:
Family: Lowell Trent; Mamie; my mom; Grammie; my dad;  Ashley Wood; AJ Woden; Pat Jay; George Jay
Friends: Megan VanBuskirk and Jessica Mustill; Michelle (Parker) Smither; Sarah (Fleming) Jack; Jennie Jackson; Robin, Shannon and Trudy; Sam Smith; Matt George; Franz Bodenmuller; Susan McCarthy; Britany (Nytes) Allred; Abby (Pahl) Sherman; Deb Fahey;  Dean Koontz (well, kind of friend); Carrie Lovett
Church: Tim Johnson; Dr. Maxie Bruchs; Greg Rohlinger;
Teachers: Mr. and Mrs. Nelson; Mr. Randall; Ellen RoyDay; Kathy Warring; Mrs Cosgrove; Vivian Byrnes; Dr. Baron and Dr. Donahue; Gail Johnson
                                                                                                 and more so than anyone – Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


"Can we remind each other that it is our uniqueness and love that our children long for? It is our voices. Our smiles. Our jiggly tummies. Of course we want to learn, improve, exercise, cook better, make our homes lovelier, and provide beautiful experiences for our children, but at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else."
– April Perry  
Working on being kind to myself today. Seeking a balance between humility and feeling worthy. Understanding that I am precious and special and important, just as I am flawed and imperfect. Desiring a clear view of my identity. I'm working on it. Getting closer. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Completely in love with this picture. 10 months. Beloved.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


This weekend I was blessed to be able to spend some time with a dear friend. Britany and her family were in Arizona for a week and invited my little clan over for a BarBQue and swimming. Her sister, Stephanie and her two daughters were there -- the last time I saw Steph was when Brit and I were in college... I also got to catch up with Britany's mom and grandma. They are dear, special women. Unfortunately Brit's dad was feeling sick so he stayed in the bedroom so as to not share his germs. This was appreciated, but sad that we couldn't visit!
The kids swam even though the water was cold - even Wyatt spent a little time in the water. Brit and I helped prepare the food, lounged by the pool and caught up. Like Britany said, ours is not a friendship that requires a lot of maintenance... It seems that, even if we go a year without talking, (we stay up on each other's lives via blog) we can still get together and feel comfortable with each other. In her I've found a kindred spirit... She is someone I can be transparent with, someone I respect and go to for advice and encouragement; I admire her and think she's altogether fabulous...
A few months ago, my friend Sarah stayed at our house for a few days.. I don't call Sarah "Sarah". She is "Moron". (Don't ask, neither of us remember why we started calling each other Moron. We've been doing it for years.) Anyway, my kids thought it was very amusing that their mom was calling Auntie RaRa "Moron" and being called "Moron" in return. Britany and I have a very similar situation -- we call each other "Marie". Actually, its MRE. Again, my kids were confused why I had a different name and why I was calling Ms Britany, MRE... This story I remember. Well, kind of.
For some reason in college one day we started talking about silly songs and shared a couple of the ones we knew... "Eddie-Cootchie-Catchie-Coma-Tosa-Neara-Tosa-Noka-Samma-Camma-Wacky-Brown fell into a well, fell into a well, fell into a deep dark well." That was one of the them and the source of the "E" in our name. The other two names began with M and R, thus - MRE. But I don't remember the other two songs...
MRE, do you??
Silly things you do in college... But they are precious memories I share with a precious woman of God who I am soooo thankful to call a friend.
And if she ever tells you she can't spell her name with her butt --- don't believe her! I've seen it! :)

Field Trip to the Fair

Nathan as First Chair playing trombone for the Maricopa County Fair
A shark exhibit -- This tied with the snakes  for Nathan's favorite thing at the fair 
Getting ready to preform

Friday, April 6, 2012

Proud Mama

My babies make me proud to be their mama. Examples:

 Because Lowell has been working first shift for his training, I have had to send the kids to a series of babysitters. On Friday the kids don’t have school, so someone has to watch all 4 of the kids. Last week they were with my friend Lauren. She has three children of her own including a 14 month old. When I picked them up she confessed that she had been a little concerned about watching 7 kids, including two toddlers, but she was pleasantly surprised. She said it wasn’t stressful at all, that the kids played so well and they helped a lot with Wyatt so there was no problem at all.

We have a rule when we’re at the playground in McDonalds. When there are toddlers in the toddler area, the big kids skedaddle. I am always so proud of them.  A lot of the time they will see the smaller kids and head over to the slide themselves but the times I have to remind them sound something like this, “Minions!” (That’s what I call them.)   They all stop what they’re doing and look at me. “There’s little ones in there.” Immediately, I mean i-m-m-e-d-i-a-t-e-l-y, all three of them head straight to the big kid area. There’s no whining, no complaining, no hesitation. They make me so proud.

 Completely her own idea, Jillian has taken it upon herself to write messages on her lunch bags. On Sunday’s we make lunches for the week and then put them in a bin for the kids to grab in the mornings. Usually they just write their names on the bags but recently Jillian has taken to writing “God Bless …” and then putting in the name of one of her classmates and her teachers. For example, today’s was “God Bless Karina”. Tomorrow is her kindergarten teacher – “God Bless Mr. Piper”.

During Saturday clean up last weekend, Nathan found $.13 on the floor. I wasn’t watching what he was doing so he could have easily taken the money but instead, he turned it in. The money was his sister’s but because of his honesty, I have him $.13 of his own. This also gave us a chance to talk about the price of integrity.     

 A couple nights ago, I went in to take a shower and then Lowell and I spent some time catching up on our schedule for the coming week, Wyatt’s doctor’s appointment, school, jobs, etc. While we were busy, they decided to go outside and play in the field, newly full of irrigation water. They are not supposed to do this because its reclaimed water. When I came out to check on them and get them ready for bed, they were solemn faced and “wanted to talk to me”. They confessed that they had played in the water extensively before remembering it was forbidden. And Nathan added that he had fallen in the water quite a few times and, since he knew he would have to anyway, he took a shower before being asked. (Remember, we don’t have hot water, so this was a completely cold water shower. In the past, Nathan has expressed extreme dislike for this process.) The kids were contrite, feeling guilty and, apparently scared of my discipline. I was so proud of their integrity, their honesty even when they knew they were going to get in trouble and their obedience that I commended them on their choice to talk to me and didn’t punish them a bit. I even went in and told Lowell about it – his response, “We have such good kids”. J  Yes we do, and they have a proud mama. :)
*Pictures are from the Easter party downtown