Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy Avinersary Kiddo!!

Ok, today is our 10-year anniversary. If you missed any of the last posts (that started the 10 day countdown), scroll down to read them.

Yes, 10 years of marriage to the most wonderful, most beautiful wife ever. I'm so blessed as a husband to have Kendra as my wife, my parenting partner and my best friend. Thank you Lord for entrusting me with her and leading our paths together.

Some may be wondering about the title... or the spelling I should say. For some reason, somewhere along these 10 years we started having a little fun by not saying "anniversary" but calling it "avinersary". I can't pinpoint the day that occured (probably something I made up !) but we say it alot. So, for all of you out there who thought I couldn't spell, tak that!!! (some of you will get that joke, some of you won't!!)

Over the last 10 days, you've read (or can read later by scrolling down past this post) about my reflections over the last 10 years on a variety of topics. Of course, it would be appropriate to save the best for last ... that is the love I have for my sweet Kendra. Over 12 1/2 years ago, I laid eyes on her up at church in a class on a Wednesday night. From there, I excitedly courted her and made her my bride ... long before she knew it!! HA One of the things early on in our dating period was how much farther along I was with where I saw this going than she was. We were probably both a little off. Eventually I won her heart. I probably wasn't that great at trying to take it slow but hey, I knew I had a good thing and I didn't want to let her go. Fortunately the Lord led our relationship to a Saturday evening in early December 1997. On 12/6/97, we were able to present ourselves as a couple to our family and friends. We were blessed to have our parents, family, and some of our closest friends stand by our sides and to have some "Couples of Honor" be represented as well in the Jeffreys, Wilbanks and Hatchetts. We will always remember and cherish that special day. Still hard to imagine it was 10 years ago!!

Since then, we've been on a great journey together. From our first apartment in Bedford on Park Place Boulevard to our house here on Emerald Street. From our journeys as a young married couple to Oregon, Africa, Canada, and Prince Edward Island to our less traveling days with 3 wonderful boys to complete our family. We've laughed a ton, cried a few times, worked together on making our marriage better and partnered together to raise 3 wonderful young men.

I could probably go on for hours on how I feel about my sweet wife, Kendra but I'm not sure all of you reading this would hang with me!! :-) Just know that I'm a richly blessed man with a wonderful, loving, beautiful bride who I have been fortunate enough to spend the last 10 years as her husband. And that's a wonderful thought on this day.

Blessed be your name,

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

2 Days to 10 Years !

Ok, 2 days to go until our 10-year anniversary. If you missed any of the last posts (that started the 10 day countdown), scroll down to read them.

As I read this on Wednesday and seeing 2 days til ... it's a little misleading. Maybe I should have started a day earlier. Today is the day before our anniversary which is tomorrow. Yahooity !!!!

Certainly one of the things (or should I say 3 of the things) that cannot go overlooked in this 10-year reflection is (or is it are?) our 3 wonderful boys: Tyler (6), Colby (4) and Brady (21 months). We have been so blessed to have these 3 great guys. I say "guys" because they burp, fart, ignore Kendra and just watch TV all day like their Dad!! :-)

Seriously, they are great ... each in their own way. Tyler is a gifted artist. Or at least that's what he told me yesterday. Seriously he did. He was so proud of one of his drawings that he made that proclamation to me in the car on the way to run an errand. And by all accounts, he is a great artist. I talked to him about trying to find a way for him to use his talents to bless others. We talked about having him color pictures of superheros and mailing them to the local children's hospital so kids could have drawings on their hospital walls. He seemed to be open to that so I'm going to work with him on that after the holidays. Tyler has had his share of health issues mainly due to his sensory issues. Numerous trips to Austin and Dr. Stewart but the Lord really guided us there and Tyler is so much better now. He's done so well in school (even with just a little bit of help) and even posted straight-A's recently on his report card. We are SOOOOO proud of and love our little superhero, dress-up fanatic Tyler!!

Then there's Colby Joe. Of course his real name is Colby David but our little Joe was given this nickname by Kim Yowell back when he was an infant. Kim and Kendra swapped childcare (back in the day) and she gave Colby this name and it's stuck with us forever. I love saying "Hey, whats up Joe?" and he says "Good". Still working on the appropriate response. Colby is so sweet and tender and is a great ladies man!! HA He compliments Kendra on her nice hair and even notices when Kendra gets something new to wear. Way to go Joe for showing up your old man!!! :) Colby is our little athlete and is so fun to watch. He was for the longest time (and still is to some degree) Tyler's little punching bag. Not literally - just not big enough to take on Tyler in a good wrestling match. Now, he gets to do the same with Brady. He tackles Brady and it's kinda funny to watch. There have been times when Brady has knocked Colby over but that's because they are basically wearing the same clothes!! :) We love our sweet, fun-loving Colby!!

Speaking of the man-child... Brady is awesome. We love this kid. And to think that I thought at one time I was done with just 2 kids. I love how Brady plays in bed when you come to get him up. I love to watch him interact with his older brothers and thinks he is 4 or 5 years old. He mimics everything. He started his pre-school at the same place at Colby this year and that is fun. He's our little Brady Boo. I know people probably hate hearing us say "Boo" but it's cute to us so deal with it!! HA We've called him Brady, Brady Boo, Boo, and lately Crazy Boo because of some of the things he does. It's hard to put into words but he makes us laugh. We love (to some degree) when the plays the "Mama/Daddy" game. That's where he'll just say "Mama" over and over until Kendra says "Brady" and then he'll start saying "Daddy" until I respond with "Brady". Once I do, then he begins repeating the game. It's cute for a while and then we have to end it because it pushes us over the edge!!! But he knows he is cute and that is fun to us. We love our Crazy Brady Boo!

All I can say is that I'm a blessed man. I've enjoyed 10 years of reflection over the last 9 days or so. Thanks for playing and reading along. I'll have some final reflection tomorrow on our actual anniversary. Stay tuned for that. Until then...

Blessed be your name,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

3 Days to 10 Years !

Ok, 3 days to go until our 10-year anniversary. If you missed any of the last posts (that started the 10 day countdown), scroll down to read them.

One of the great things about the last 10 years surrounds the friendships we've made as a couple. We both had a good share of friends before we got married but it's great to have some great friends that we've enjoyed as a couple. Of course these are friends outside the most important friends of all that we have... that being our family.

One of the biggest advantages we have in our marriage is a great group of friends who are in similar stages in life and act as a support group for us. I'd love to start naming names but as soon as I do that, I would for sure leave someone out so I'll just leave it to say we are extremely blessed.

We've had accountability partners in the past which was great and still is even though we are not formally meeting. Those friends will forever being linked to us and we love them for how they supported us and helped raise our kids with us. That spawned a great group of "Date Night" friends (many are the same group as the former). This "date night" crew has been a fun group to share in a monthly experience that we all look forward to and frankly work our calendars around!! Anytime we can have a date with our spouse without our kids, we'll take it and this group has provided many opportunities for such. And for this group we are extremely grateful.

Another group of friends that has been very influential and supportive is our Care Group. This monthly support group started before we got married and we joined while we were engaged. And now 10+ years later, it's as strong as ever. Many of our friends in that group have been around since the inception so it's a great stable group of young families that we have been extremely encouraged by. Thanks Care Group friends!!

Of course there are great friends both younger and older than us that we've enjoyed spending time with. And we have several good friends who go to other churches or even live out of town too but they are encouraging just the same.

As I inch closer to our big day on Thursday, I cannot help but say a great big "thanks" to all of our friends out there. Hopefully you all know who special you are to us.

Blessed be your name,

Monday, December 03, 2007

4 Days to 10 Years !

Ok, 4 days to go until our 10-year anniversary. If you missed any of the last posts (that started the 10 day countdown), scroll down to read them.

This post may seem a little "shallow" but I thought it would be fun to mention. I'll start by saying that while Kendra and I agree on alot of things, there are things that we don't... and that's OK. One of those might be TV programs. For example, I may have every TV tuned to a sporting event so I don't miss a moment walking through the house. (hey, what's wrong with that!!!) Kendra isn't a big fan of that or maybe even all the political shows that I'll have on (Hannity & Colmes) or worse, anything to do with Jim Cramer on CNBC because Kendra thinks he just yells at the TV... which he does but it's funny to me. Then there are the times when I'm not in control of the TV and there's "A Baby Story" on from TLC. Or the TLC show about the midgets that I can't stand. Or I'm not a fan of the usual sappy love story.

So, when we find TV on that we both like, then we celebrate!! Ok, that's a stretch but there are alot of memories for me with Kendra as we sat down to watch some TV shows (usually after the kids went to bed). I can think of all the Survivor episodes we watched back in Season 2 and Season 3. Not much after that. We went through a big CSI kick for a while before it got just flat out weird on us. We still like CSI NY when we can though. Then there were the many seasons of the Apprentice that we faithfully watched. I can also remember the funny premise show involving the spoof of the "Who wants to marry a millionaire" where the whole show was based around a real pretty blonde having to convince her family she was marrying this bumbling fool who was less than attractive and even less "polished". I can't remember the name but Kendra may remember. For some reason we got a kick out of that!!

Then there was there was "Trading Spaces" kick we got on. I remember distinctly coming home one night from our accountability group in a hurry in order to make it for the big $10,000 Trading Spaces episode. That was a fun one to watch together so we could covet all the new kitchen appliances!! :-)

Recently we are into watching The Biggest Loser and our favorite now, '24' with Keifer Sutherland. We got hooked on '24' last season (our first one) so now we are in the process of going back to watch all the previous seasons. We've watched Seasons 1, 2, and 3 and will be starting Season 4 soon.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the other TV shows that we've sat down together to watch. And even though it's only TV, it has been fun for us to have that time together over the last 10 years. I do promise to have more "serious" reflections the next few days!! HA

Blessed be the name,


Sunday, December 02, 2007

5 Days to 10 Years !

Ok, 5 days to go until our 10-year anniversary. If you missed any of the last posts (that started the 10 day countdown), scroll down to read them.

Over the last 10 years, the Richland Hills Church of Christ (RHCC) has played a significant role in our marriage. This is the church that Kendra and I attend together. Because of our active involvement there, I certainly couldn't reflect without mentioning this wonderful body of believers.

RHCC is where Kendra and I first met. It was in the spring of 1995 in an upstairs classroom, I believe on a Wednesday night. My brother was teaching a class on Acts from what I recall and Kendra, who was working at the church as an intern in the youth ministry, was attending the class. I was given the thought by some friends that I needed to meet her which I anxiously made happen. The rest is history.

RHCC is where we got married. I began attending RHCC in the spring of 1992 so it was great to get married in the church that I had spent the last 5 years at as a single guy. During our engagement and now our married time together, we both have been very active at RHCC. Together, we spent many years volunteering with the youth ministry. We went on high school and jr. high retreats, taught together in Sunday morning classes and I was even a volunteer with the media ministry. We started a new chapter in 2004 when we transitioned out of youth ministry and began our ministry together by teaching children. We wanted to teach with our kids and our kids' friends. It's the stage of life we are in and it's great to see how we can have an influence on these kids. For 3 years straight, Kendra was the lead Sunday morning teacher in Room 124. I was her assistant and we taught alongside some great friends in Don and Barbara Wilson who we may have never met at RHCC had it not been for this 3 & 4 year old class. One of the things that Kendra and I learned back when working with the youth ministry is we have VERY different teaching styles. So when we started teaching children, we quickly learned the value of "role definition"!! We each had a certain role we played while teaching which worked out great. I think we are both too stubborn to have the same roles so it's best when we define our separate roles!!! (HA) Today, we are both teaching classes on Wednesday night so we are enjoying teaching our kids and our kid's friends. Kendra is one of the lead teachers in the kindergartner class and I'm helping teach a class that rotates through 1st and 5th grades. Eventually in the rotation, I will have the fun job of teaching when Tyler (our 1st grader) and his friends are in there which should be fun.

RHCC has provided a great place for our family to worship. Our kids thoroughly enjoy RHCC and they have made lots of friends there. Of course, we feel the same way as they do!! We love our Ministers and we love our Elders. I believe Kendra and I are laying a strong foundation that reminds our kids that church should be an important part of your daily life. Both Kendra and I had that background growing up and we are blessed to be able to carry that message forward for our kids to see and witness. And thankfully we have a church like RHCC that we enjoy and that can help us build our ministry as a family. Thanks RHCC!!

Blessed be your name,