Monday, July 30, 2012

Life According To My iPhone

Colton + Coffee = Good Morning.
Aubrie loving on her cousin.
RAIN!  We finally got rain!
First week of dance.
Snack time at the pool.
Yes, Bferg you are holding a baby.
Pay no attention to the baby (doll) in the back seat.  


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Life Well Lived

It has been 10 years since the accident that took my Father-in-law's life.  It is hard to grasp the thought of 10 years.  While 10 years seems like a long time ago, I can still recall every moment from the entire day of July 25th, 2002.
The body of this post is a re-post from this day last year.  Bferg wrote a Top Ten List honoring his dad & on this day I want to focus on the good of Rick & not the pain of the loss.

In honor of Father's Day- 10 Things my Dad Taught Me:
This is not an exhaustive list, nor is it a ranked list.  Just a few things I have been thinking about over the past few days.  My Dad was a great man, great husband, and great father. 

Invest in your family. 
We had a fairly comfortable yet not luxurious life. My parents, (like my Grandparents) did sacrifice to own a (used) boat and at one point a (used) pop-up camper. And today we all have 1,000 memories as a result.  My personal favorite memory: The maiden voyage of our Bayliner Capri. We thought it was pretty fancy because it had cup holders AND a tape deck. I will never forget listening to a TAPE of 70's hits while cruising the muddy water of Sloan's Lake in Denver. Dad had a huge smile on his face. We were all together. I still get emotional when I hear Boston- More Than a Feelin'.

Earn every penny of your paycheck. No matter what you do.
The story goes like this: the first day any of us stated our first job Dad would say "I am going to tell you what my Dad told me when I started my first job: if you run out of things to do pick up the broom and start sweeping the floor.”

A great fisherman only needs 4 lures: 1. Orig. Wiggle Wart 2. Black Plastic Worm 3. Pig-n-Jig 4. White curly tail grub. 
A REALLY great fisherman can convince his wife otherwise and have a full tackle box!  Guys: if you don't have all 4 better get 'em. If you don't know what any of this means please submit your man card!

Never stop learning and growing. 
When he was around 40ish Dad- a Southern Baptist pastor from a farm in Missouri started to read about (and the writings of) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This was just so far from his own life experiences. But he let it change him (in more ways than space allows me on FB). I think it even changed our family and our church.  There are about 100 other examples of this from Dad's life. Again, just not enough space. But if you listen to his preaching- especially later on you see how different he was from when we moved to CO in 1991. Ironically, Dad hated wasn't natural for him. But somehow he learned to embrace it, to work at it and to let what he was learning in his mind actually impact who he was and what he did. In a lot of ways he was still old school, don't get me wrong. But he TRIED not to stay stagnant.

Never stop affirming your kids. 
Every year on my birthday there was a card from Mom and Dad waiting on me when I came downstairs. Mom and Dad BOTH always took the time to write more than just "Happy Birthday Love Dad." And Dad always wrote in it himself (didn't delegate it to Mom). It was thoughtful, positive, and loving.  I am 32 now and STILL miss that card and those words from Dad as much as I miss anything about him. Fathers: affirm your kids.

Never own a pet raccoon. 
It's a long story but let's just say it ended badly for Dad. Ended VERY badly for the raccoon.

The best thing you can do for your kids of love their mother. 
Never once in my life did I question my Mom and Dad's relationship.  Kids have so many fears and stresses.   Mom and Dad's relationship should never be a source of fear or stress for a child and it never was at my house.  27% of children live apart from their Fathers. 1 in 4 Father's live apart from some or all of their children. The thought of that never crossed my mind once as a child.

Heck yes you can wear a denim shirt with blue jeans!
Rachel tells me that denim on denim is acceptable these days. But it wasn't circa 1999 and the night Dad came downstairs rocking his denim shirt, braided leather belt, and denim jeans. All four of us just pointed back upstairs while Dad turned around and made the walk of shame. "What?? It matches doesn't it."  Ferguson Family secret: Mom picked out EVERYTHING Dad wore. The man had many gifts...picking out a pair of pants and shirt that that worked together wasn't one of them. The really crazy thing is about 80% of this closet was either Khaki or, he had about a 40% chance of success if he walked in with the lights off and picked any shirt/pant combo. The harder he tried the worse it was...

Don't be soft. 
I saw Dad make difficult decisions and take responsibility for them. I saw him take huge risks and lead his family to new and scary places. I saw him do the hard things and the dirty work. I saw him go to work and preach with his thumb tied on with stitches, a huge hole in his lip and blood on his shirt, sitting on a stool after foot surgery. The man wasn't soft.

I never saw him: wear skinny jeans, play the victim, run from responsibility, complain, take a short cut, or call in sick. 
We are raising the softest generation of men ever right now. Little boys who never grow up to lead and take responsibility. We need some men who are not soft.

Be the same...All the time. I heard Dad preach 50s weeks a year, lived with him, and worked for him...I never remember thinking "hey, that doesn't line up." Dad had integrity. I can only hope to have the same level of personal integrity.

God is faithful.  He was faithful in 2002 & He has been faithful everyday since! 

"We will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
Psalm 27:13


Monday, July 23, 2012

Beating the Heat...Princess Style

In an attempt to have a fun filled but air conditioned Saturday we took the girls to the spa & the mall.  Pedicures, shopping & ice cream...a successful afternoon spent with the princesses!

Their very first pedicures!

A spa that caters to little girls.

Lily loved every minute.
Time to paint!

Their very patient & willing chauffeur for the afternoon.

Blue zebra for Aubrie.

Dry time complete with suckers.

Pink flowers & polka dots for the fashionista.

Pretty toes make any girl smile!  

"Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle & quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."
1 Peter 3:4


Friday, July 20, 2012

Favorite Thing Friday

I would like to start this post by acknowledging the devastating news from Aurora, CO.  The senseless act of violence is both shocking & sickening.  My thoughts & prayers are with the families that have just had their lives turned up-side down.  We live in a very broken world.

This was last night's sunset over looking our favorite spot in AR.  Beaver Lake.  Yesterday would have been Bferg's Dad's 56th birthday.  Next week marks the 10 year anniversary of his death & while most years we have been able to reflect on his birthday with thanksgiving yesterday was full of deep grief.
There is a void in our family & yesterday our hearts felt that ache. 
We retreated to the lake where we were able to quiet our minds, reflect on the good, share our thoughts & find peace.  In a world of unknown & hurt we have learned over the last 10 years that our known & peace is found in Christ.  
And that is my favorite thing!

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, not let it be fearful." 
John 14:27


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

After 2 Summers...

We managed to get Aubrie on the tube!  She conquered her fear!  
Although she holds Bferg to a strict "not too fast" rule she had fun & took 3 or 4 turns.

"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us."
Romans 8:37


Monday, July 16, 2012

Lessons From Lily

Nicknames: Lily Pie, Lil Bits, Bits, Wits, Bitser Witser.

She is funny, strong, confident, sweet, sassy & caring.

I love when God reveals Himself through my kids.  I had one of those "revelations" last week.  
I was finishing up dinner preparations and I had a shadow.  Lily was at my side begging for me to hurry, asking when daddy would be home & reminding me that I had not given her an afternoon snack.

"I'm hungry Mommy."

"I know you are Wits, Mommy is making dinner right now."

"But I'm still hungry."

And that's when I lost my breath.  The small whisper that spoke directly to my soul that said, "I know you're still hungry.  I am still working.  Still planning.  Still writing your story."  

I was Lily, going before God.  I (in my heart & mind) know that He is (metaphorically) making dinner & I simply need to set the table (prepare myself for Him to work) & have faith that dinner will in His time be served.

Lily, knowing that I was indeed making dinner & after assuring her that her daddy was indeed on his way home & that dinner was oh so close to being on the table was able to patiently wait & have faith in me to satisfy her need.

I love when faith building moments happen & I love them even more when they come from this girl!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you hope & a future."
Jeremiah 29:11


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Not Exactly Miss Popular

I realize that this topic will step on toes & that I am not going to win any popularity prizes.  But the media craze on the latest summer entertainment has me sick to my stomach.  The easiest way to word this post is to not use my words but rather words from the Bible.  Inspired words of God & words that I choose to live my life by.

"For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life & peace."
Romans 8:5-6

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good & acceptable & perfect."
Romans 12:2

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence & if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
Philippians 4:8

As Christians we are called to a higher standard of living.  Entertainment such as the movie, Magic Mike & books like Shades of Grey should repulse us.  When sin is glorified, God is not.  Period.  
As Christians, we should not have to apologize for not wanting to read or not wanting to watch some form of entertainment where deep consequences are real.  The devil uses our minds, our hearts, our flesh to break & destroy relationships.  Relationships with our spouses & ultimately our relationship with Him.  Be careful of summer blockbusters, the results truly can be damaging.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Nights

The summer is just flying by & we are trying to savor each day.  Bferg & I have pretty much waved the white flag when it comes to (on time) bedtime.  Monday night we spent the evening on the driveway flying kites.  What was supposed to be an evening of thunderstorms turned into perfect kite flying weather.

Please take note of how dirty both girls' feet are!  I have also waved the white flag on making them keep their shoes on.  Ahhh...summer evenings; the dirtier the bath water the more fun was had!


Friday, July 6, 2012

4th of July Fun!

We had a great week celebrating the 4th!  
We started on Sunday night with fireworks at Cross Church where we played, ran & danced until dark.  
Patriotic Cuties.

Mr. Michael had glow in the dark bubbles.  BIG hit!


Carter doing the robot.  ;)

Best fireworks in NWA!
Wednesday we hosted friends for a driveway party.  Sprinklers, water balloons, homemade ice cream & small fireworks.  We were technically under a burn ban but we broke the rules & did a few small cones & sparklers.  We kept the hose close & had a bucket of water for the trash.  We had fun & did not catch the field on fire.  Successful party!

Decorating the driveway.

Total chaos!

All the kids...all lined up!



Happy 4th of July!
Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

{Tasty} Tuesday

Confession:  I have more than 2 dozen frozen bananas in my freezer.

 I also have a case (as in 80 individual hotdogs) of Ballpark franks pictured just above the bananas...but that is a whole different post.

So when I see a recipe that calls for a lot of bananas I usually have all the ingredients available.
I don't have a picture of the end result for this one but believe me when I tell you that the results were amazing!

Banana Ice Cream with Toasted Walnuts & Chocolate Chunks
6 Ripe Bananas
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
3/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Tbs Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream

Combine all ingredients in a blender & then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Pour mixture into ice cream canister & churn according to manufacturer's instructions.  (Note: If your bananas are frozen like mine; defrost them before adding them to the blender.)
At the very end of the cycle I mixed in 3/4 Cup toasted walnuts and 1/2 Cup chopped dark chocolate.  More or less to taste or even leave out if you wish.

It is the perfect summer treat! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Family First

The four of us were able to attend the LPGA event on Saturday. We braved the high temperatures, managed to stay hydrated & kept two preschoolers quiet during the shots. (Minus one meltdown on the 9th but Lily was just expressing how we all felt at that point. ) We had a great morning & can't wait for next year!
Here is a picture of my sweet little golfers as we headed out.