Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wii wish you a merry Christmas.

Another of our Christmas traditions is to get together with our friend Dede and exchange gifts.

After lunch at Cheddar's, we came back to our house so the kids could play Wii and we could have a little more Christmas fun.

Dede and Cole gave Ryan a Beatles throw and Katie a Texas frame.

I got a gift card for a store that sells college merchandise—wonder which school's stuff I'll buy?—and Brett got a KISS throw. It was funny because just yesterday Brett was wearing a Destroyer shirt!

We gave Terry a bunch of Mason jars, but that's really a selfish gift since we know he'll eventually fill them with his amazing hot sauce.
We gave Dede and picture frame and an iTunes card (since she just got an iPhone), but her real present is still on its way from Walgreens. (Dangit, Walgreens! WOULD YOU JUST SEND ME MY ORDER?!)
And Cole? Cole got a Lego Batman game for the Wii.

We think he likes it!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

T & D & S.

Nothing says "holiday" better than Tea and Donuts! We love this little shop and even have a nickname for it: T&D.
On Tuesday I took the kids there for breakfast, and we also ran some errands. It felt good to be out and about on a weekday!

We made a point to get on home before too late, though, because yet another snow storm was on its way. We didn't get nearly as much snow this time around and the roads never got bad, but really? Snow on THREE different days? In DECEMBER?! Wow!

Monday, December 28, 2009

In loving memory...

A day of celebration.

It was such an honor to be in the A/V booth for Tim's funeral. Since he was one of the "boothies," we'd spent many hours together in that booth. It was tough to be there, sitting right where he'd worked just eight days earlier, but it was therapeutic, too. It felt good to be able to do something—anything!—to help out.

And what can I say about the service? It was wonderful! The family center was filled, so extra chairs were brought out. Those who couldn't find a seat stood up along the walls. I later found out that there were people watching on monitors in the Great Hall, too. Those who spoke did a phenomenal job describing our Tim. We cried, sure, but we also laughed at the "Tim stories" and sang some "Tim songs." It was truly a celebration of his life. (For a better description of the service, check out Jenna's blog.)

After the funeral I was blessed to eat lunch with some friends before heading to Alvarado for the burial.

The service and burial were both awesome tributes to our friend, but it's still so strange to think he's gone! Thank God we know where he is!

Speaking of tributes, there are many, many more on Tim's honor page on Facebook. My fellow bloggers have also posted their own tributes, too, so be sure to read what Jenna and Tami had to say about this incredible person. Apparently I have yet to run out of tears to shed, but thankfully, we haven't run out of words, either.

Please keep praying for Amy, Samantha and all of Tim's family and friends.

And Tim: See you later!

Friday, December 25, 2009

For Tim.

I don't know how to write this. Since we got the news yesterday, I've felt compelled to write something—anything—as a tribute to our friend Tim Head. Granted, this is an entirely selfish endeavor. Nobody needs me to add to the dozens of Facebook comments written to and about him, but I need to write down these feelings to process, to acknowledge, to grieve.

But when I try to describe Tim's place in our lives, I just can't.

For one thing, I don't want to make it sound like "the end," like he's no longer a part of us, because he will ALWAYS be with us. How could we ever forget him? Certain "Tim-isms" will forever be a part of our vocabulary, especially "Katie Girl"! This house we're so thankful to (finally) be in? Tim helped us get it. Every single time I thank God for getting us here, I also thank Him for Tim, who selflessly helped us survive our misadventures in real estate. We are so grateful for that. And I'm not nearly ready to accept that he won't be sending me texts during Texas football games, that he won't be there in the sound booth early on "his" Sundays, or that he won't be around to talk me down from the ledge the next time I get riled up about one of my causes. So how in the world can I write about him as if he's not here?

And then there's my limited vocabulary. I just don't have the words to describe Tim Head. He was so down-to-earth, so sincere, so genuine with everyone he met. As others have said, he would do anything for anybody. But that doesn't quite capture his spirit. There are plenty of compassionate people out there, and I'm blessed to have many of them in my life.

But Tim? Compassionate doesn't quite cut it. I know first-hand how hard he'd work for his friends. When we put our house on the market, he spent countless hours showing it or setting up showings. After a couple of months, we thought we had sold the house, but then our buyer had financing issues. Tim tirelessly worked with this guy when his real estate agent went MIA, making calls and trying to find a way for this "stranger" to buy a house. But Tim never met a stranger, did he? One Saturday, in the middle of all the showings and paperwork, he and another good friend spent their day off working on our yard. We're not just talking yard work; we're talking SUMMER yard work! Hot and sweaty, he kept smiling, kept cracking jokes. What a friend.

Then came the house-hunting. He gave up nights and weekends to show us house after house, trying to help us find a place that would satisfy our quirky needs. He never seemed impatient, never tried to rush us, never complained about our finicky tastes. Of course, our first contract fell through, so nine months later, we started the whole house-shopping process all over again, and he STILL gave us his time and energy without complaint. And on those house-hunting occasions, it never failed that he'd need to make a call to another friend, someone else who needed his help, too. I'll never know how one man could do so much for so many.

I'm also unable to describe Tim's effect on kids. Ryan and Katie adore him. (Now see that? I first wrote adored: past tense! They will ALWAYS adore him, but already I'm slipping into past tense. And that's just wrong.) At the hospital yesterday, a bunch of us were talking about how ALL of our kids have a special relationship with Tim.

And how can I explain Tim's work at Heritage? It seems too simple to say he worked in the booth—too simple and entirely inadequate. He was our veteran A/V tech, his tenure dating back to the transparency-flipping days at Midtown, but he did so much more than get lyrics on the screen. He also served as a small group leader for our student ministry, and he helped with countless other projects (like VBS), too. Our backup song leader, Tim was renowned for choosing "old school" C of C songs when he was leading. He would get pretty anxious before the service started, but he always did a good job because he so obviously loved the Lord! And how I loved to hear him pray! He recruited people to lead Sunday prayers, but he himself had such a gift for speaking his heart. As he led us in prayer, he opened himself up to God and to us. Many, many times he'd get choked up while praying, and we were all drawn closer to God because of his raw emotion.

Since we got the call about the accident, we're the ones who have been praying through tears. We prayed for a miracle, and the miracle we got was Tim's complete healing and the best Christmas present ever—for him. But what about those of us who love him so much and miss him terribly? This world was better because of Tim; our lives were richer because he was with us. Now our prayers beg for a different type of healing, for peace and comfort, especially for his beloved Amy and Samantha.

I'll never understand why this happened, why this husband/father/friend who meant so much to so many was called home. But I know that my Redeemer lives, and because of that, I know for certain that Tim has won eternal life. I know 2 Timothy 4:7. I know where Tim is, and I know we'll see him again.

I just don't know how to say goodbye.

A walk in the park.

After lunch the sidewalks were mostly dry, so Brett, Katie and I headed to our neighborhood trails. It was still pretty chilly, but the sun and the exercise kept us warm.

White Christmas.

I must confess: When we awoke on Christmas Day to see a blanket of snow still on the ground, I wasn't impressed. Having a "white Christmas" is overrated, I decided. Granted, I was still devastated by the loss of our friend, and I was disappointed that the weather had canceled our church's Christmas Eve service. Plus, my brother-in-law was stuck in Oklahoma, and my sister-in-law wasn't able to drive to Ranger for their Christmas celebration. All that equals one pooty See-Dub. Bah humbug.

But then Tim's wife updated her Facebook status and pointed out that Tim "is in Heaven celebrating with the angels and our Lord and Savior on this beautiful white Christmas morning!" Well, crap. If Amy can see the beauty in this snow, surely I can!

Yes, that would be my son playing in the snow in SHORTS.

Yes, indeedy, that's my daughter in SHIRT SLEEVES! Our kids don't get cold! Rolling all those snow balls helped 'em work up a sweat, too.

In spite of my bad attitude, I have to admit: It was a gorgeous day! Plus, because of the change in plans, Kelly and Chris joined us for Christmas dinner. That was a nice treat.

I even pulled out our wedding china and stainless. As Ryan would say, we had to get all "fancy pants"!

The food was delish, and the company was wonderful. Best of all, while Kelly and Chris were still here, Mike showed up at our door!

Christmas 2009.

It's Christmas morning!

Ryan and Katie (and ChaCha!) first checked out our stockings. They were a little confused since their big Santa presents weren't there or under our big tree.

Found 'em! Santa brought Ryan a game console and Katie an iPod Touch.

"REALLY?!" Ryan was a little surprised to see an XBox 360 under the tree. He thought he was just going to get money to help him buy one.

Brett didn't know what to think of the pooping cow candy dispenser Santa left in his stocking.

Santa didn't leave out ChaCha and Frisco, but they didn't get the candy dispensers. With those two, poop is no laughing matter.

I think the kids like their presents.

Among our gifts were...the New Moon soundtrack,

a Texas glass globe ornament,

a sweet letter and $5,

a Beatles calendar,

Atari boxers,

a picture of our family,

and a belly rub.

I was taking pictures (duh), but I was blessed to receive gift cards that Brett and I can use for dates (!!!!), a Sandra Boynton Mom calendar (that I can't live without), and the special edition West Side Story DVD set. I love them all!

While Katie started adding apps to her iTouch, Ryan wasted no time setting up his 360. Ever the stickler, ChaCha helped by following the box's directions:
Good kitty!