Saturday, June 30, 2007

In a galaxy far, far away...

Katie and Ryan accompanied their dad to the Dallas Comic Con today. It was Katie's first comic book convention, and both kids had a great time meeting a Stormtrooper and a couple of sci-fi actors. They also came home with a bunch of comic books, so all in all, it was a great day! Brett said they were the perfect traveling companions, which is not at all a surprise. It's so much fun now that they're old enough to share some of our hobbies with us!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Free to a good home.

ChaCha's precious babies are growing up, and in just a few weeks, they'll be ready to head to their new homes. Want one? Know someone who needs a kitty? We have two gray and three black kittens to give away. (And one of the black ones has the cutest white paws--like Mama ChaCha!) The kittens are free--but we should charge a little something to help fund the surgeries our mama cats will be having soon!

Please pray for the Saxons.

For a few years now, I've been praying for the Saxon family in Waco. I don't know them, but they're friends of a friend, and their son Paul has neuroblastoma. Ever since I started following their story, they've blessed me with their example of faith. (Read "Leigh's Thoughts" from the sidebar, for instance "God is Good" and "Life Is Never Long Enough.")

Paul's in a lot of pain right now, and I can't fathom how hard that is for him and for his family. Please join me in prayer for Paul's healing and relief from pain.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


We're so glad to have Ryan and Katie home from camp! We had a little party to celebrate!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A time to remember.

I've already written about the Oklahoma City National Memorial and its impact on me (Remembering Baylee), but on this trip to OKC, I got to share the experience with Brett. Unlike last year, when Katie and I saw the memorial in bright sunshine, this year's visit was dreary. The rain seemed so fitting for the occasion, though.

The outdoor memorial is poignant, with its gates of time to mark the minute before and minute after the explosion.
Where the Murrah Building once stood, empty chairs represent the lives lost:

There's so much symbolism here and in the indoor museum. The organizers have done a wonderful job symbolizing life before and after the tragedy, not hesitating to show the horrors of the event but also demonstrating the strength and love of the American people.

A particularly touching part of our day was our walk along the fence. The fences that surrounded the site soon after the bombing were covered with messages, pictures, stuffed animals, all kinds of trinkets dedicated to the victims. A section of fence was set up near the memorial for that same purpose.After walking around the memorial grounds, we visited the museum, and both of us were touched by its message.Everybody should see the memorial and walk through the museum. It's powerful! Especially for those of us who remember that awful day in 1995, the experience gives us a chance to remember and reflect.

Water, water everywhere.

We lucked out last night, getting to spend time on the canal in between rainstorms. Today? Not so much!

It was raining when we left the hotel, headed for OC. Once there at Camp Impact, we helped Ryan with his factor infusion. (At OC we got quick glimpses of most of the HCC kids, who all seemed to be having a great time, moms!) Because of the rain, we weren't able to take Ryan back to the nurse's clinic for his infusion, which made for a, well, "creative" solution. Anyway, as soon as the infusion was over, we skedaddled to downtown OKC. And it was still raining. Hard. Imagine the fun of driving through a strange town in a downpour. Yippee.

Our first stop was the Myriad Botanical Gardens. Now isn't a garden the first place you want to go in the rain? Actually, our destination was the Crystal Bridge, an indoor, seven-story-tall conservatory filled with all kinds of plants and butterflies. Unfortunately, we managed to park on the wrong end of the bridge and ended up walking--in the rain, of course--all the way around the gardens!

Once inside, we could tell why all the travel guides make such a big deal about this bridge: It's filled with an impressive variety of plants. (Can you tell how wet my shirt is? Brett and I shared an umbrella, so my whole left side ended up totally soaked!)

The exhibit currently focuses on Hawaii, which explains the tiki hut and volcano:The place is gorgeous with all the waterfalls:Visitors can walk across the suspended walkway for a better view of the plants, especially the towering trees:It was cool to be at coconut level!
We also found some pretty bizarre species, like this octopus tree, the punk rocker of the plant world. Check out those spikes:After walking all around the Crystal Bridge, across the walkway and up to the elevated platforms, we were STILL soaked!
And then, when it was time to leave and traipse back to the car, we discovered it was still raining:
It was a pretty place to visit, but we certainly wished we could've seen the gardens at a more leisurely pace instead of running through them seeking cover!

Next stop: the OKC Memorial. But that story will have to wait until tomorrow!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Second honeymoon in Venice.

While the kids are away, Mom and Dad will play! Even if we didn't make it to Italy, we still managed to find a canal... in Oklahoma City.

Here are a few shots from our time along the Bricktown Canal in downtown OKC.

One of the highlights of our time in Bricktown was our dinner at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill. We had an excellent meal: grilled chicken smothered with ham, bacon and cheese. Mmmmm... Combine that with amazing green beans, excellent cream corn and a concoction called a Cabo Wabo, and you have the perfect meal! It must've been good, or I never could've handled eating under this sign:

In honor of Tammie's comment about OU, I'll add this shot:
Sooner fans' obsession with Texas just delights me to no end, and when I saw this at Toby Keith's, I just laughed! Too funny!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

And they're off!

Ryan, Katie and a bunch of their HCC friends are off to Camp Impact this week!

After church Sunday, we loaded their bags onto the trailer for the trip to OC.Katie is FINALLY old enough to go to camp, and she has been SO excited about going! Sunday morning when I went to her room to wake her up, she was already dressed and ready to go.

Ryan went to Impact last year and had a blast. He was ready to go back!

Thanks to Jamba, we can see pictures from the kids' camp adventures. Check out Camp Impact on JambaTV for pictures like these from their first day. THANKS, MATT!

If you do the math, you'll see that Family of 4 - 2 kids = 2 parents on their own. We love camp, too!