The Coffee Club {Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You}

My kids love going to the farm.

They jump the hay bales with cousins. They hide in the barn. They make houses built of Alfalfa.
They name the cows. They search for hungry ticks under their waistbands.
Oh, could I tell you some tick stories! 
{But they certainly would NOT include a fat tick stuck to the nether regions of my then 3 year old son or of my joke-cracking hubby who threw himself on the bed and said, “Check me, I’m next!”}
But the highlight of their day occurs before the sun awakes most mornings. It’s coffee on the front porch with grandpa.
On our last visit, we snapped a picture of The Coffee Club.  
I know years from now my kids will look back on these porch moments.
They will remember their grandparents……………..
………………where their caffeine addiction began and……………
Their first tick.
{Okay, y’all. I want to punch Mr. Linky in the nose. He’s not working and the site is down, so leave your links and I’ll take my violent tendencies and keep trying.}

My Girl {Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You}

Welcome back to Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You!  The ‘fro has been all gussied up just for you. You can read about the carnival here.
Today, my oldest child, turns 9 years old.
That’s almost double digits.
How did she get so big? I’ve noticed just lately that she’s lost her little girl look. She’s wistful, thoughtful and when I see her care for her toddler sister or guide her little brother, I have to swallow the lump in my throat. 
She’s strong, smart and a straight-shooter. She is intimidating and loves a challenge.
Nine reasons I want to be like her:
1. She’s soft and sweet

2. She’s not afraid to eat cake for breakfast
3. She views the world as her playground
4. She thinks outside the box (while being in it) 
5. She’s not afraid to get a little dirty
6. She’s tough (completing a triathlon at age 7)
7. She’s loves adventure

8. She looks good in camo
9. She’s never too busy to stop and smell the flowers

Happy birthday, my girl. I love you.

{Mr. Linky keeps disappearing. If you don’t see him, just leave your link so we can all come read!}

I Can’t Forget {Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You}

{Carnival guidelines}

Tomorrow, I will turn 36 years old.
Today, I remember.
Because I can’t forget.
Two years ago, I celebrated my 34th birthday, in a hospital bed. 
My children, hubby and sweet mother-in-law (who dropped everything to help us) came bearing presents, balloons, cans of silly string and Bubba teeth.
We got quite the raised eyebrows from the nursing staff about the silly string hanging from the ceiling. 
And from my I.V.

My family did there best to cheer me up and they tried very hard to make if feel like my birthday.
But it didn’t. 
Because my gift was lying in the ICU.
She was 32 hours old and she was born too early.
This week she turned two. She’s perfectly healthy and a picture of God’s power.
And when I think of my birthday, I can’t really think of anything I want. Because I have it all.
I can’t forget.
But that’s because I don’t want to.
{The ‘Fro will be taking a 2 week-perm break for the holidays, I’ll still be posting, but I won’t resume Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You until January. Please let me know in the comments if you want me to continue this carnival ‘o mine. I have fun with it, but I want to quit it before it stops being fun for everyone else!} Updated at 7:00 am…The ‘Fro will live on—

The Sled

This is Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You sort of-edition. I have no idea if Mr. Linky will make an appearance today. He is an enigma. (If he is elusive, leave your link in the comments).
But I will not be deterred. 

Because I want to tell you a little story. 

As we decorated our Christmas tree the other night, I came across this ornament:
Our First Christmas Together.
14 Christmas’ ago. Almost to the day.
After only a few months of marriage, we packed up our 6 boxes and moved (from our Texas birthplace) to Arkansas to be Youth Pastors at a church.
I could write a book about the 2 years we spent there.
It would fit nicely in the horror genre.
I am not kidding.  At all.
But through the trials of church problems, parsonage living and meager wages, my new hubby and I learned to love each other.
One winter morning, we woke up to a soft blanket of snow.
And it was a big deal for this Texas girl.
Our parsonage was down the hill from the church (another blog post entirely!) and I wanted to sled down that hill badly.  We rushed to the store, but the entire stock of sleds (2) had been sold.
I was so disappointed. 
While I sulked only as new brides can, my hubby went to the library, checked out a sled-making book and did just that.
He handcrafted a sled out of plywood.  
We bundled up and rode down that hill, taking turns, and trying it together all day.
It was perfect. Even with the ups and downs and hard work that comes with sledding.
As I held the ornament in my hand and squinted at the young couple in the photo, I thought about our  hurried, complicated lives filled with noisy children and pesky cats.  The 3 cross-country moves that brought us back to Texas and family are still a blur.  We nearly lost our way with a difficult career change, a rough patch in our marriage and the dangerous birth of our last baby.
But we stayed the course.
It’s been the ride of my life.
On the sled.