Something So Big

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday

*I am thankful that we have had so much SUNSHINE this week!

*I am thankful that we were lucky enough to get "Tangled" in our mailbox from Netflix yesterday, the day after it released to DVD! We had some very excited young ladies at our house, eagerly awaiting their chance to see the movie. (It was full of adventure, so good for both genders--and had a neat twist at the end!)

*I am thankful that Wynne and I had a chance to visit with my parents for a few hours the other day. I am thankful that my dad's breathing is a great amount better than before his hospitalization, and I'm thankful for the laughs we all shared at the kitchen table on Tuesday.

*I am thankful for this young lady whose teacher reported a job well done on her organization and delivery of this demonstration speech (the famous mentos-diet coke explosion).  (I'm also very thankful for our great small school and the teachers who take the time to write a note and send a picture!)

*I am thankful that she still wants to talk with her mom and dad and not retreat to her room!
*I am thankful for this young man who met his A.R. goal last week and is pulling all A's and B's this quarter! I know that we shouldn't judge our children on their grades, but it is just gratifying to know that he CAN work up to his abilities and still have time to have fun!
*I am thankful for this young lady with the infectious giggle and willingness to help when I ask (MOST of the time)! I am thankful for her tender, tender heart.
*I am thankful for this young lady who is not afraid to stand her ground and fight against any forces, be they evil, good, or somewhere-in-between. Her conviction and inner strength are enviable (if not, at times, extremely frustrating)! I am thankful for the strong sense of compassion she has.
*I am thankful that we finally found out why our baby just hasn't been feeling well for over a month. After a doc's visit in February came up with nothing, yesterday I finally took her back to discover that she has double ear infection (on top of her chest congestion). As much as I hate to have my kids be sick, it is good to finally figure out that there IS something wrong that can be treated!!
*I am thankful that Wynne has been a trooper this past month, not crying all night long or whining too much. She has just been extra-tired and her cough hasn't gone away. Hopefully the meds will help clear this up after six weeks of it!!
*I am thankful to be spending 3 hours on the road and ? hours at a Christian concert with this man tonight! It's DATE night!!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. --Psalm 161:1 ESV

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Can't Find a Thing to Wear

I can see why certain animals eat their young.
Clean clothes mixed in with dirty ones. Time for me to recharge my 747!!
This is what our morning started out like. It's not an unfamiliar scene. Child #2 has at least 4 sweatshirts, but only one will do. Today and every day. Same goes for his jeans. Sure, he could wear the clean ones in his drawer. But that would make too much sense!

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger--James 1:19

Monday, March 28, 2011

Living Loved: The 747 Principle

This morning I read the account of the woman who crashed a Pharisee's dinner party, washing Jesus' feet with her tears and drying them with her hair (Luke 7:36-47). She went on to kiss Jesus' feet repeatedly, pouring oil on them that she had brought with her.

Keep in mind two things here:
1.) People's feet in Bible times were filthy from all that walking (sometimes in sandals, sometimes bare-foot).
2.) This woman was a sinner, and everyone in town knew it (Luke 7:37).
Jesus reads the mind of the pious host and tells a story of two people being forgiven by a moneylender, one of great debt and the other of a smaller debt. Of course, the one who owed more debt had a greater appreciation and love for the creditor than the one who owed little. Jesus was trying to make a point to the Pharisee: this lady knows of her sins, knows she is forgiven, and it shows. On the other hand, you, Mr. Pharisee, don't think you have anything to be forgiven of--so you don't show much love or kindness. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Max Lucado, in his book Cast of Characters, expands on this "sensible" concept. He calls it the 747 Principle. Like a 747 jumbo jet, the truth that Jesus points out in Luke 7:47 lifts you to another level. (At least, it lifts ME to one!) For no matter how hard we try to get there on our own--to love somebody who may not always be lovable, to get along with disagreeable co-workers or neighbors, etc.--we cannot show love if we ourselves have not first received it. And the only One who gives perfect love, at all times and unconditionally, is God.

I have been struggling with Mom Guilt a lot. Moms, as a lot of us know, are experts at feeling guilty. We agonize over leaving our children in daycare, or for staying home and not stimulating them enough or providing them an example of a traditional 9-to-5 work ethic. We feel guilty about doing housework instead of playing with our children. We feel guilty when we play with the kids instead of doing the housework. The Guilt Wheel keeps on rolling.

Me, I ride the Guilt Wheel on almost a daily basis. Am I providing wholesome meals? When they don't eat the healthy stuff, do I sacrifice their health just to get something in their bellies? Should I be reading to the kids more? They watch too much TV. Why don't the children want to help me with daily chores? Should I be making chores more "fun"? Why can't they see that I have more time to play with them if they help me with the daily grind? Am I complaining too much about the daily grind? Do they know how much I truly love being their mom and a homemaker? Do they know I have a brain and capabilities beyond cooking and cleaning? Am I painting a bad picture of motherhood? And on and on we roll.

The biggest guilt that I feel as a parent, right now anyway, is the inability to show them unconditional love. I love each and every one of my kids, and that will never change, no matter what they do. But I certainly don't always SHOW that love. There is usually one kid in the bunch, it seems, who is doing something (intentionally or not) to make my life downright miserable. Whether it's leaving their coats, backpacks and shoes all over the floor in three different rooms...or whining about the injustice of what's for dinner, who's on the computer, or how I'm treating a sibling better than him/ never ends. Someone is usually unhappy about something. And that's when my heart sinks into my stomach and I don't feel like loving anybody.

I have prayed to God about this feeling. I have asked him to give me the unconditional love that He has for us. I have wondered "What is wrong with me?" because aren't we, as parents, supposed to feel a strong love for our children at all times? You know what, the only thing I feel strongly about at these times is a strong need to lock myself in the bathroom and shrink away from it all!!

Now I know why my mom would just get in the car and drive away sometimes. Survival (of her sanity or our lives. Take your pick!).

It hit me between the eyes today. The 747 Principle. Sure, I have a knowledge and thirst for the things of God, but do I always fully receive His love? I don't think so. I think I get so busy with planning events, studying, reading about God and not always living WITH Him on a moment-by-moment basis. If I truly felt His love and forgiveness--for all that I have done and will do in the future which is not to His liking--then I wouldn't be struggling with this inability to show love to my kids. I need to be lifted to the next level, to feel His love and forgiveness, so that I can extend that same love and forgiveness to my kids.

The 747 needs a lift. We need to be fueled up with God's love (which includes his mercy and forgiveness). John wrote, "We love, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19). Notice he didn't say "We love first, then God loves us." God does the loving & fueling first. When we live loved, then we are flying that 747.

How can I expect my kids to be loving toward one another and me, if I don't practice that same principle of fueling up and sharing the lift? Paul wrote, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as God loved us." (Ephesians 5:1-2). Paul knew that the 747 Principle starts with God, then is shared by His imitators.

If there are two things I want my kids to remember, it would be:
1.) I love you very, very, very, very much.
2.) We can't do anything without God. Cling to Him! Share Him with others!!

If my kids know that, then I can ditch the Guilt Wheel and ride the 747!

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love--not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. --1 John 4:9-10 NLT

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cute Things They Say, This One Before I Forget

"Sometimes I have extra air that needs to get out.  That's the way God made us!" -- Wynne, almost 5 after passing a cute bit of gas
Wynne and her cousins Rheann & Danielle at Christmastime

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Afternoon Hi-jinks

Slacker Mom is a tight-wad. If I have to drive over 20 miles one-way to pick up a bunch of CPR mannequins for my husband's class, by golly I'm going to make the most out of the trip!!

So today I picked up the girls just before lunch to play hooky go with me on the excursion to Southwest Tech.

Southwest Tech means SALON appointments!!

Look who got her nails done...with *sparkle* ("Hold your mouth right, Wynne!")
Shae & Paige also had their nails done, but then they had another coat applied called Crackle.  Hmmm...I think I could have done that at home fairly easily!!
Everybody wanted to take pictures.  Everybody, that is, whose names were Shae and Wynne.  Guess who wasn't happy about not holding the camera this very second.

Okay, now it's Wynne's turn.  She got a nice shot of the layers that Ally and I both had cut.  I had about 2 inches chopped and received BANGS for the first time since the '90s, I think!

Shae and Paige LOVE their new cuts.  Their hair is so shiny and thick.  I love it, too!! 
Twin ham & chickens :)
Okay, now we're just being silly. 

Five shampoo/haircut/styles & 3 nail decs = $26.00
Kwik Trip lunch for 5 = $14.00
4 Candy sticks at the bulk food store = $1.00
One afternoon with my four grateful, giggling daughters = PRICELESS

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. --Philippians 4:4

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for technology. Can't believe I am saying that, but it's true! It allows me to write and create so much quicker/easier than I did ten years ago. I know that it has its limitations and can be dangerous/get out of hand/consume too much time, but I am also aware of its good points. I think of all of the good people and connections I've made that would have never happened without technology...

*Dennis Siler of Living Waters Bible Camp, on fire for God's Truth in our Creation!

*Shelley Hitz, author of "Mirror, Mirror, Am I Beauty" and the True Beauty website for teen girls and women of all ages

*Elizabeth Jackson, a dear fellow coach's wife who first inspired me with her book and then through years of e-mail correspondence and phone calls!

*Rex Hanson and his puppet ministry team
I am thankful for all of these people, connections, and more. When I think of what we've bought and sold on Craigslist...what ideas I've gleaned and modified to make for our home, kids, and gifts...the people we've helped through missions...the events we've attended that I would have otherwise never known about...the things I've learned from classes I've quickly I can share my thoughts and prayers with family and friends through this blog, family/church/class websites and blows me away.

I don't want to ever be so connected to the screen and keyboard that I lose touch with real people and relationships. I consider technology as a way to enhance those relationships. There has to be a balance!

...for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.--Philippians 2:13

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When You Least Expect It

God is there!

My friend Mary and I lead a middle school youth group. The other night we were out on a scavenger hunt, and the kids were supposed to take pictures of certain things, like a cross-shape NOT found on or near a church. My group took a picture of the Chevy grill on our Suburban, which was most clever. But then a few minutes later I looked up in the sky and there it was!
As with all of my Christian education pursuits, I spend a great deal of time in prayer, Bible research and preparation for our youth group meetings. I want to make God's Word relevant and fun for the kids. I want them to seek Him and want to be like Him in all their ways! Funny thing is, it's all in God's hands. Sure, the Bible lesson and scavenger hunt were fun and hopefully planted a few seeds about God's grace...but it's not up to me & my planning. The Holy Spirit takes over and works through our relationship-building and in our "down time"...which is why probably the most favorite part of our meetings at the Hawes home is when the kids go out to play basketball! God works there, too. Probably more than when I plan for Him to work.

A few months back, I was a little worried about Wynne's academic progress. I know that sounds silly, talking about a 4-year-old's academic progress, but compared to some of the other kids, it seemed like Wynne was a little behind on her letter recognition and formation. As my dad used to tell me, "If you're going to worry, why pray? and if you're going to pray, why worry?" So now I have evidence that worry does no good at all. After putting the kids to bed the other night, I found this.

God works in His own time, in His own way. Once again, I am put to shame at my lack of faith. My baby can write almost every letter of the alphabet now, and she even puts the right number of "little lines" on her E's now (not 4, but 3). I checked with Mark--nobody prodded her to write her name and my name. I remember putting clothes away and Wynne sitting on my bed, talking about how she was writing my name with hers. At the time, I wasn't listening and observing her...and then later, to my delight and wonder I see the output of her little brain. She asked me a few days prior how to spell my name, and here it was...she remembered!

Father really does know best.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.--Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our First Teenager

Wordle: Mickey

I started this post yesterday, but let it be known that TODAY MARCH 22nd is Mickey's 13th Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Mickster Mack! Remember when...

and look at you now!!

Mark looked up the following info on Jack Russells. I put in BOLD print the traits that we have seen out of our dog, which are few and far between. We determined that we are VERY lucky with how Mickey has turned out! Not really our doing, a lot of luck and love I guess!

Bad Dog Talk

The points here have evolved over the years, and represent the worst case scenario of owning a Jack Russell Terrier. Many experienced, as well as inexperienced, dog owners are overwhelmed by the demands of a Jack Russell Terrier, leading to the dogs being abandoned into Russell Rescue, Inc. even before they reach adulthood!

Jack Russells ...
... are first and foremost hunting dogs. The traits and skills that make them excellent hunting dogs (i.e., digging, barking, aggressive nature, ability to follow scent) are often interpreted as bad habits that cause people to give them up.

... are bred to go underground, following scent to locate and bark at quarry until they are dug down to or the quarry bolts. If they do not have an outlet for their natural instincts, they will invent new and fun jobs for themselves, which frequently include guardian of the world and/or their possessions and family, chasing cars, hunting birds, bugs or leaves, or endlessly digging in the soil.
... are a big dog in a little body. They have the same need (or more!) for exercise as a much larger dog... and the mentality to match -- they think they are at least 150 pounds, and are fearless, often challenging other dogs three times their size.

... are often aggressive with other dogs. Same-sex aggression and aggression towards other breeds of dogs is well documented with this terrier. It is strongly recommended that no more than two Jack Russells (of opposite sex only) ever be permitted to stay together unattended.

... are NOT a non-shedding breed! All coat types shed! Smooth coats shed the most, dropping hair continuously year round. Rough coats maintain the guard and dead coat, requiring manual shedding a few times a year. The broken coat is an intermediary coat, between the two types.

... require firm, consistent discipline. They are extremely intelligent, continue to test their limits throughout their life. More often than not, train their owners before the owner knows what has happened! This ability to train their owners can include displays of aggressive behavior. Their assertive nature must be understood and handled properly!

... can become very possessive of their owner or a favorite member of the family or of what they consider to be their personal property if allowed to do so to the point of showing aggressive protective behavior that must be controlled from an early age.

... are commonly known to harass, injure or kill other small pets, such as cats, birds, rabbits, mice, rats, etc., simply due to their strong natural hunting instinct. Raising a puppy with a cat does not guarantee the cat's life-long safety!

... remain active well into their 15-year-plus life span; their need for activity and desire to hunt continues for their entire lifetime. Untrained, unsupervised dogs rarely meet their life expectancy.

... require at least basic obedience training. The dog's life may depend on it! Even well trained dogs will be tempted to chase something interesting, or even disappear into a hole while you are not looking. Off-lead is always a dangerous situation for a Jack Russell unless in a safe environment with experienced JR owners.

... absolutely need a securely fenced yard! (we had this in town)Jack Russells will roam due to their hunting instincts.... even if left in an unsecured for a few minutes! You can let them out every day for three years with no trouble....but one day they will disappear and may never come back. Many JR's have been killed by cars by darting into the road in pursuit of a squirrel, cat, etc. They can also dig under, climb or jump over fences; some can climb trees and any height chain link fencing.

... can be very destructive if left unattended and unemployed! Most behavioral problems are due to a lack of companionship, discipline, activity and exercise. If you've only seen perfect, well-behaved JR's, they are ones that were lucky enough to be exercised, well socialized, and trained.

... are country dogs. When made to live in a city or suburban-type environment, their needs and instincts do not change. It would be unreasonable to expect them to be anything other than what they are genetically bred to be -- a serious hunting dog. Your lifestyle must be adjusted to meet their needs; they must have jobs to perform -- an outlet for their considerable energy and intelligence.

... are NOT recommended as apartment or condo dogs. They need a great deal of exercise and outdoor activity, and are usually too loud for such high-density living. They need room to run; leash walking does not satisfy their boundless energy. Unless your schedule permits many hours at home and a lot of outdoor activity, with a safe place the terrier can run, this is not the dog for you. MANY rescues come from apartments, condos, or homes where the owners work away from the home for long periods of time.

... will NOT TOLERATE even unintended mistreatment from a child. They will not put up with typical child handling such as pulling of ears, tails, etc., or taking or "sharing" of the dog's bones, food, toys, etc. They are very assertive and demanding, and never still... jumping all over whoever will allow it. Jack Russells are not recommended for households with children under the age of six unless you are previously experienced with this feisty little bundle of energy.

... are NOT as they are portrayed in the movies, on TV, or other forms of media. Those dogs are professionally trained and handled, and are very obedient only for VERY short periods of time. Celebrity dogs have their needs met by the trainer, and perform their jobs accordingly.

... require a long-term commitment to obedience, activity, exercise and entertainment... their unique character, intelligence and high energy level can frustrate you, will undoubtedly entertain you, and can bring you great joy (when they're happy!) or great grief (when they're not!). If this type of relationship does not appeal to you, then consider another breed. Jack Russell Terriers are always a work in progress!

Is the Jack Russell Terrier the right breed for you?

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Ah, the Wonder of the "Internets"!

Wordle: The message of Jesus

Yoga Dolls

A few weeks ago Mark discovered that our kids are pretty good at Yoga, thanks in large part to the occasional "classes" they have at school by a visiting parent/instructor!

I'm not familiar with the terms, but maybe you can recognize some of these moves?

Cy also got on the floor to do some gymnastics/tumbling. Too bad I didn't have a picture of him in his tripod position. He's pretty balanced for a 100-some-pounder!

Not to be outdone, Wynne had to join in with her own variations. We harkened back to her baby days when she would do stomach crunches at 6 months...I kid you not, the kid had Abs of Steel.

Oh the fun we have when we leave the television OFF !

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. --1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 ESV

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

#1 -- My dad came home from the hospital this week!! Praise God. We visited with Dad on Sunday afternoon, and he was really tired and weak...yet after some prayers, rest and goulash (!) he must have woke up with renewed strength, good enough to come home on Monday night. He isn't all the way "back" yet, but we are thankful to have him home!
I am thankful for the double blessing of two healthy, crazy girls who started out small and sick but are lively and louder than ever!

I am thankful for the special bond that they share.

I am thankful for the ministry at the Benton Bible Church, specifically this Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop where they serve free meals on Fridays.

I am thankful for a church who looks beyond fancy windows and pews, reaching out beyond its walls to serve its community. I am thankful for good Christian friends like Diane & her family, some of whom joined Wynne and me for a lunch/shopping date last Friday. We also shopped at this church's thrift shop where - bonus! - it was half-price day on Friday!

I am thankful for how the Holy Spirit speaks to people and, through something as simple as giving people space to gather and let their children play, works to build relationships.

I am thankful for Phil Vischer, Veggie Tales, and What's in the Bible curriculum that makes God's Word come to life for kids without watering it down!

Another thing I'm thankful for today is this. My amazing husband just told me today that he is taking me on a DATE NIGHT to worship with Lincoln Brewster, Matthew West, and Josh Wilson!! I am beYOND excited!!
Matthew West is such a gifted songwriter. He asked people to share their stories, retreated to a cabin for a few months last year, and wrote several songs which drive "The Story of My Life" tour.

Lincoln Brewster is a terrific worship leader and very talented guitarist, having played & collaborated with the lead singer from Journey!

Josh Wilson is no slouch either, writing some pretty meaningful songs himself. We used this one in Ally's middle school youth group last fall.

I get to spend some alone time with Mark, and then we get to hear these incredible artists who work for the Lord. Jeepers, I thought the new treadmill was my birthday present!! I am just so thankful to be married to a godly man who is not afraid to lead his family for Christ. He is sacrificing time and money to take me to this concert, and I cherish him for doing this kind of stuff for me. God has once again taken my prayers from years ago and worked it out in His own timing, going bigger than I could have ever imagined or done on my own.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.--1 Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Lord is Our Refuge

My dad went into this very same hospital, St. Mary's, last week. But this time HE was the patient. Like his little preemie granddaughters, he needed extra care for his lungs and his heartbeat.

Eight years ago today, our little Paige (above) and Shae (below) were born eight weeks early. It was a really scary time, but God carried Mark and me through it.

For three weeks my heart was torn between 2 places. Between my little girl and boy at home who needed me, and my fragile little birdies who were 90 miles away being cared for by an expert team of nurses and doctors, amidst monitors, lights, tubes and beeps. I stayed with our babies for a week, but was then sent home to return to "Normal". Here they are at 2 weeks old on a family visit.

Three weeks in the NICU seemed like an eternity then, but looking back and seeing the research on 32-week-old babies, they did quite well to get out within a month. God pulled me closer to Him in their first year than I had ever been before. He told me He was in control. My dad shared with me some wisdom from his dad when my oldest sister was born, "That baby does not belong to you."

So the other day when we went up to visit my Dad in St. Mary's, we took a stroll over to the 2nd floor. The NICU. Memories flooded back to Mark and me, and four NICU nurses (Anne, Bonnie, Mary, and Linda) remembered our family. They were delighted to see how Paige and Shae are doing now, and they were even kind enough to let our "graduates" walk into part of the unit to see where they were cared for and spent their first nineteen days of life. The incubators, the hand-washing tubs, the sights and was all a wonder to our daughters. I could barely hold back the tears when I thanked the angels who cared for our babies. For anyone who doubts the existence of God, I feel sorry for you because there is no doubt in my heart!!

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. --Isaiah 91: 1-2, 9-12

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Rolling into EIGHT

These two little girlies have a birthday today!!

Arriving at 1:58 a.m. on Saturday morning, March 15, 2003 was Paige Elizabeth...

and close behind at 1:59 a.m. was Shae Isabel!

And here's Mark with the book-ends A & W. Who'dathunk Daddy (having grown up with 5 brothers and 1 sister) would end up with all these beautiful GIRLS?!

After two years of postponing, we finally booked the Rainbo Palace in Fennimore for the twins' birthday party. Friends and family joined us for some crazy rink time!

Our friends had the right idea in having their little shavers start out on just one skate. Wynne didn't want to do that; she thought this would be as easy as pie. She found out that it wasn't!! But she had such a ball.

Cy discovered that traditional skates are MUCH different than in-line blades. He has the bumps and bruises to prove it!

Everyone cringed whenever our Hunka Grace slammed to the floor. Didn't seem to bother him too much; he laughs when he feels pain. Which kind of scares me, actually!

Rainbo Palace was an old, small rink but just the right size for a birthday party. Howard (the owner) told me that some nights they get over 100 kids in there!! I can't imagine how crowded that would be. We were glad to have the room to roam...and fall...and sit on the wrestling mats around the perimeter!

This is the first time EVER, I think, that we had a store-bought birthday cake for one of our kids' parties. The cake, ice cream, and beverage was included for 18 kids as the birthday package deal. It was Sooooooooooooo nice to have other people helping with all of this! I brought extra cupcakes we had picked up at Sam's Club for the grown-ups, because it was the rink's policy not to bring in any homemade food. The kids were so stoked when they saw the store-bought cake and cupcakes with the mile-high frosting! They could hardly believe it.

After singing Happy Birthday to Paige, we sang another round for Shae. I am still trying to grasp all those candles on that cake!! EIGHT!!!

Mark used refreshment time to enjoy the empty rink for a few minutes. He is proud of the fact that he didn't fall down ONCE. I would like to say that I matched that effort, but alas, I cannot tell a lie.

Thanks to Uncle Ryan for taking time out on his 22nd birthday to join us and take most of these awesome shots!

Limbo time, the Hokey-Pokey, the Chicken Dance, all your dance party favorites.

The lights and decorations were so fun. I just wanted to take off the skates and dance on solid footing! But it was fun to get on skates again. I think it was at Rheann's first birthday party in 1997 when Mark and I last took to a roller rink. And then, it was way before that when we were dating...

The party lasted only 90 minutes, but it was plenty of time for some skating, eating, and fun. It was just perfect!

Howard gave the girls a gift certificate to come back with 3 friends. I think he just made some lifetime customers!