October 31, 2006

My Gran

Hello -
Busy week. My grandpa who I call Gran is still in the hospital. He had his last stints put in yesterday so hopefully after a day or two of recovery he will be heading home. Gran is 86 years old. When asking his surgeon what he recommended as far as diet and exercise his surgeon said, if he looks this good at 86 years old I wouldn't change anything. Granted he had 3 largely blocked arteries in his heart, but he is 86 years old, something has to start wearing out at some point in your life. So Gran is free to eat bacon every morning for breakfast. A funny story about my Gran, he is known for his "budgeting." He went for breakfast at a local restaurant in town, where my younger sister was working at the time. He ordered his breakfast which was probably one or two eggs and toast, my sister asked if he wanted bacon with that, and he replied, "No, bacon costs an extra .75 cents so I brought my own." He opened up his coat, reached into the pocket in his shirt and pulled out a couple of pieces of bacon wrapped up in a paper towel. Ofcourse everyone laughed and gave him a hard time, well for 13 years and still counting, that story still lives on. He is a glorious man, just yesterday he thanked me again for a Christmas present I gave him about 6 years ago. He is someone who does not take presents lightly, and hand written thank you cards are regular fare coming from him.
He is a living example of a strong man's man who loves God first, family second, and has a smile and a handshake for everyone in his path.
Yesterday when I went to visit I double checked his room number with the nurses station, as he has been moved several times. When I told them who I was looking for all the nurses started giggling and said he is in 3613, we were just talking about him. He makes everyone laugh. I am blessed.
One of my grandfather's proudest moments is when he looks down the row at church and see's his family, he used to lean over to my Nana and say, "Look what we started." and they would both smile. He is also as tender as any man I have known, he prays everyday for our family members who do not have a relationship with Christ. His eyes fill up with tears when he hears of his grandchildren not attending church regularly or pursuing a relationship with the Lord. My Gran has me wrapped around his pinky finger. I think he is dreamy.

October 25, 2006

Hot Cocoa

Hey long lost friends and readers - It has been a week since I updated my site. I tried yesterday but blogger freaked out when I was trying to publish my 5 sentence quick post. Atleast I hadn't spent an hour writing where the fruits went into that cyberspace where all lost posts go.
I have stayed busy working and taking pictures, along with visiting with my grandpa who is in the hospital. He had a heart attack on Friday night. His testing has come back to show that he is in need of some work on his heart and I am sure they will start putting in the first of 9 stints sometime this week. If he was younger open heart surgery would have been the way to go but as he is 86 years old he doesn't want to go there, and the dr.'s agree that the risks increase dramatically after 80 years old. So keep my sweet Gran in your prayers. I personally am tired of people dying around me, the people who have passed are praising and hallaluia-ing in glorious Zion, I am left wandering around this earth without all the wisdom that I have counted on for years in counsel and prayer. This is life.
Now let's find some sunshine.
The kids are all doing well. Jack has his MRI next week, November 1st and then we get the results at the clinic visit on November 2nd.
Derek's football team is still undefeated. They play their final regular season game next Monday night. Then the playoffs. It is starting to get cold for all of those practices and games, time to bundle up and bring some hot cocoa to keep warm. Yum.
It is starting to feel like Christmas time with the cool air and the smell of fireplaces burning. I am one of those crazy people who start listening to Christmas music in the first week or two of November. 3-4 weeks is just not enough for the sounds of Christmas. I think I need to purchase a holiday candle!
Just so you know I don't bring down the Christmas movies until after Thanksgiving, I do have my limits after all.
Happy Holidays!

October 18, 2006

Unashamed

I saw this letter written below on boomama's blog today. Then I went to the funeral of Brock Latham. This is how Brock's parents have lived out there faith. There would not be one person I would guess that has ever been in their presence and wondered if they are people of faith, believers, proclaimers, unashamed of their God. The word unashamed reminds me of the scripture Luke 9:26 NIV "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." These words are spoken by Jesus. The Latham's wave their Jesus Banner High, and that makes our Lord Jesus Christ smile a big beautiful smile. To proclaim Jesus in times of suffering pierces my heart. Whether it is a martyr like the man who wrote what is below or a mom or dad speaking and singing praise through their grief and mourning at the funeral of their 4 year old son. May God continue to be glorified by the legacy of Brock and the faith of his family.

___________________________

"I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.

My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear. I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My banner will be clear!"

-Found among the papers of a young Zimbabwe pastor after he was martyred

October 17, 2006

Brock

I want to just praise God for the example that the Latham Family has been to me through the struggles of their son Brock's battle with brain cancer. I just read on the blogsite that Brock has gone on to be with the Lord. Brock was 4 years old. His funeral services are Wednesday at 1pm at Beltway Baptist Church. As someone who has gone through brain tumors and chemo with my own son, this is a place that I have not gone. Our fleshly bodies on this earth are so fragile. At any moment things could change from an accident or illness. I learned through my experience with Jack that not one day should be taken for granted. Not one laugh or giggle from my children, each day on earth is a blessing with our loved ones. There is not one day that can go by that we are guaranteed will end the same way it started. Brock's death is a reminder to me that life is fleeting, we must prepare for we do not know when the Bridegroom will return for His bride. Are the lamps lit, are we ready, if we are not, then this is the time. Make haste and call up on the Lord for Him to guide you down the path of salvation.
God sometimes takes away the fire, sometimes He walks us through the flames right by our sides, like he did with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and other times we will be delivered straight into the arms of Jesus. Brock is right there. His family is being walked through the flames, probably even carried, and they call upon the Name of the Lord and continue to praise Him in this storm.
Latham's I am praying for each of you.

October 16, 2006

It is hard to hit delete.

Ponderings. When Rob and I first married we each had our own address books. I am curious if most people when combining their households immediately combine their address books, or if each person keeps their own for a while, forever? I was all about combining our households when Rob and I got married, we immediately shared a bank account, what was mine was his and his mine. But the one thing I couldn't seem to combine was our address books. Names of people who were in our pasts that we would probably never talk to again, do you forward those to your new address book? Or do you just put in the names of people who are currently in your life? These questions plagued me into keeping separate address books for years. Then the largest obstacle is when someone who you are close to dies, do you erase their name, or in this case do you forward their name, just because that person should always have a place in your address book. Maybe under the address I could have written... heaven. Right before Rob and I married his grandpa died in an accident, I knew how much Rob admired and loved his grandpa and his death was hard on all who knew him. So for years when I would look through Rob's address book to get an address, I would see Grandpa and his Waukegan, Ill. address and phone number. I didn't even want to think about what to do with that name and address, so we continued our separate address books. Then my dad died, then my mom died. When do you delete a phone number off of your cell phone? Do you just do it matter of factly or do you go through the grieving process all over again. I was sitting at Derek's football practice last Thursday night, trying to pass some time and I was cleaning up the phone numbers of people who have moved away and their numbers weren't correct anymore. I scrolled down and saw "Nana." I thought about it for a moment, should I change the name on that number to Grandpa or just leave it because I am not ready to erase her from my phone book yet. I left her name.
Rob and I have in the last year combined address books, my mom, dad and Rob's grandpa's name are not in there any more. There are huge gaping holes that are present on the M, G, and Z pages. Once very loved and important people held the top lines, and now they have been filled with other very loved and important people in our families.
I know that the new address for these people are all in Gloryland. But the Texas, Arizona and Illinois landscapes are missing some special people. Even when there is a peace in their passing, it is just hard to hit delete.

October 14, 2006

inspi (red)

inspi (red)

Several months ago I heard about the

product red www.joinred.com
line that was being developed by Bono and Bobby Shriver. This line of goods and services would be a way for us as consumers to buy cool stuff and a good portion of the profits would go to Africa for aids relief. I was so excited when I saw on Oprah yesterday that the line has been rolled out. Gap, Georgio Armani, Motorola phones, Ipod, and Converse, are some of the companies which have developed items in their lines that will benefit Product Red. Our Gap outlet in Abilene does not have the inspi (red) shirt that I want, so I went online to buy one this morning and they are sold out. I am going to keep checking back and get one as soon as I can. I love to buy gifts that give back, that is why I love the Eternal Threads Bags and have them listed on my sidebar. One can purchase a beautiful gift that helps someone so far away that we tend to forget about their plythe, or maybe we just don't want to think about it in the first place. Buying Product Red or Eternal Threads bags are a way that we can make a big difference in a persons life.
Shop Eternal and Red!!!

October 10, 2006

No Fun Allowed Today

Tuesday night. Derek and I just returned from football practice. He had a great night. It is hard to believe that there are just 3 games left, then we go into the playoffs which is a couple more games after that. The season is starting to come to an end. I needed to take some pictures with my black backdrop yesterday, and I couldn't locate part of it, so Stan at Photo Image Center let me use his studio to take the pics. As I have always been an "environmental photographer" using studio gear was a learning experience for me. I took Sophie with me to the studio to get my lighting and stuff right with her as my subject. She loves the camera. Click here to go to my website and click on blog to see my adorable child. ( I tried to link that directly to her page but for some reason the pics don't come up.) She was all about the posing. I moved my photography blog to my .mac website where my business website lives. I had plenty of space on that server and blogger was making me want to scream every time I was trying to post pics, which is the whole purpose of the photography blog. You can subscribe to the main blog page and it will tell you when I update. I have put 3 sittings on it this week including Sophie's.
Jack came home from school sick today. I could tell he wasn't feeling great when he left for school, but he wasn't stay at home sick, so I encouraged him to go on to school. A couple of hours into school the nurse called and said that Jack was in her office and he said he wasn't feeling good. I told him that if I came to get him then he would have to lay in his bed all day long and he quickly agreed. So he layed in his bed all day reading Harry Potter. I think that the point of my day was to make sure he had no fun at all. I can remember when Derek wanted to stay home from school the no TV rule and stay in your bed rule made staying at home a bit less appealing. So I gave that a go with Jack today and I think that it might have worked. I don't doubt he didn't feel 100% but he was not sick by any means. Now don't spill the beans on me but if they really are sick I go out of my way to make them happy, movies, playstation, anything to take their mind off of their sick tummy's or heads, but the" I am not feeling good" a.k.a. "I would rather be home hanging out with mom consequences are not as fun."
I am in the 3rd week on the bible study of Daniel. It is such a challenging study, I love it! Daniel is one awesome dude.
Blessings,
Tammy

October 09, 2006

Happy Homecoming Raiders


The Raiders had their homecoming game this weekend. Here is a picture of the team on their float. The Raiders continue to go undefeated, and Derek will say that they have only allowed one touchdown all year long. The scores are in the 40's-0 most of the time. They work hard for those scores. At practice last week the boys ran and ran and then ran some more. I think that working hard is a good thing, but as a mom (not the coach) I am thinking that maybe they could cut out one of the 3 practices a week, or cut down the time, but I don't think that thought has entered any of the coaches thoughts. They continue to work the team out just as hard as when they began, maybe even harder. I guess that is the difference between a mom and a coach. Then I realize to many of the boys and families that this season is more than just Jr. PeeWee, it is a foundation that will take these boys to their dream of playing football in high school and beyond. They are getting a thorough foundation with these coaches. I also appreciate that the praises come frequently and that the boys are respected by the coaches. Derek is lucky to be on a team with hard working (volunteer) coaches, solid instruction, and high expectations.

This has Troy's name all over it


I saw this bumper sticker on a car in the Target parking lot. I thought I would dedicate this blog to Troy S., but my surprise was foiled when I found out Troy had already seen this bumper sticker, and in fact has it on the back of his truck. Troy even has a bit of hunting memorabilia lodged in the back of his head, which makes this sticker even more apres paux.

October 03, 2006

Dream Night At The Zoo












After Geoff and Jamie's wedding on Saturday we made a mad dash to the zoo. It was Dream Night at the Zoo, a night for special need/disabled/chronically ill kids. Jack was invited because of his association with West Texas Rehab and the treatments he receives there. We got there late, missed about half the animals, but it is not like we haven't seen the animals at the zoo a zillion, literally times. The kids sat in a police car, met a friendly man with a puppet, ate some snacks, saw a big lizard and snake up close. Here are some pics of the night. It was a dreamy night at the zoo! The lioness and giraffe were delightfully cooperative and photogenic to boot.

October 02, 2006

Princess and the Queen

Check out some photograph's from this weekend. I am looking for a "hipper" name for mother/daughter pictures, help me think of one. I have thought of Princess and the Queen, but that is a bit long. Click here to see images of Tamara and Halley.

October 01, 2006

A Wedding of Heritage





Last night our evening was filled with celebrations. First we celebrated Don M.'s birthday, then we zoomed over to celebrate the marriage of Geoff and Jamie. Geoff and Jamie were attending a university in Israel when they started dating. The message of their wedding was a blending of Christian, Jewish and personal traditions. While in attendance I had to snap some photograph's it is not every day that I will be blessed to attend a wedding with a Chuppah (hoo-pa). The dad's did a great job of leading the ceremony and Geoff and Jamie were amazing. It brought tears to my eyes to see what God intends marriage to be, holy, 2 pure bodies and souls, and hearts that claim the Lord as their deliverer and salvation. God will use this union to do mighty things in His name. Glory. Here are a couple of pics from the wedding.