Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween

Recently, we received a letter from our high school and our middle school asking for baby pictures of our Faith (who is a senior) and our Mary Grace (who is an 8th grader). As I was frantically trying to find the cutest ones and send them in before the approaching deadlines, I came across a couple of pictures from Halloweens long past.

On the front porch of our house on Oakland, where we lived for 9 years

I'm guessing the boys made sure the footballs were in the picture. Faith is holding a kitten.*

These don't make me sad and ache for days gone by. They make me smile and remember good times!

Aren't you thankful for being born in a time when cameras can capture and save these moments? A couple of old Halloween pictures made me smile today. And we all know that joy is multiplied when shared, so I'm very thankful to be alive during this time of social media. It has its faults, like everything. But it is also a powerful force for connectedness when family and friends are spread far and wide across this country and this globe.

In a digital way, I ran across my living room when I found these and said to you who are reading my blog, "Awhh! Look what I found! Aren't these precious?!"

And you, being a kind friend, shared my joy.


Happy Halloween.

**Sorry Mary Grace...lack of time prevented me from finding an old Halloween picture with you in it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

That's So

When my doctor husband cleaned out his locker at the hospital the other day, he found a newspaper clipping that was dated 2003. (He obviously doesn't use that locker very often.)

When I looked at the clipping, the first words out of my mouth were, "That's so Elizabeth!"

When I showed it to Faith, the first words out of her mouth were, "That's so Elizabeth!"

When I showed it to Mary Grace, the first words out of her mouth were, "That's so Elizabeth!"

You know why we can say that?

Because we know Elizabeth. Thank God we know Elizabeth. What a gift she is.

When we saw this clipping, we could just hear what probably came out of her mouth right after this picture was taken. Because we have years of history with her, we know that she very excitedly said something like, "Faith! I love it! That is soooooo cute!!!" And she said it with the sweet little lisp she used to have.

She doesn't have her cute little lisp anymore, but she still has the above captured enthusiasm that is uncontainable and contagious! She can't help but let people know when she's excited about something. That kind of encouragement makes your heart glad!

That's so Elizabeth.

Those words are not light. They carry the weight of living life with someone - through the tears and through the joys, from the mundane to the sublime. Our family can say those words because we know that girl. And we are sticking with that girl from here on out. We are on her team. In her court. On her side. Her biggest fans.

I could have written this about any of my young'uns had a camera captured them at just the right moment. And you could have too. You have beautiful, hard, easy, mundane, sublime history with those near and dear.

History that cements like nothing else can. You are on their team. In their court. On their side. Their biggest fans.

That's so right.

That's so good.

And, that is so.

Friday, October 19, 2012

InstaFriday - InstaOctober

Is your October flying by like mine is? A lot going on in these beautiful, cool fall days. Thanks for stopping by to take a peek at my last couple of weeks - all captured with my ever present iPhone.

Two weeks ago Saturday, I attended a women's event here in Bolivar called Pure Joy. The theme was Beauty -  emphasizing what God says that really looks like. Even the decorations got ya thinking....

After that event, our senior, Faith, and some of her friends, thought our house was the perfect place to film a movie one of her friends has written. I'm thinking we may have the next Steven Spielburg here.

The next morning, Lou, Hannah, and I were up bright and early. We had a date in Joplin with David where we handed over the now appendix free Hannah to his very capable hands so he could ferry her back to the U of A.  We met where all coffee loving people meet - Starbucks.

I miss seeing David, our college freshman, on a regular basis!
Later that same afternoon, after that 3 hour trip to Joplin and back, we drove 70 miles to attend a wedding at a beautiful venue in Branson, Missouri, Integrity Hills. I snapped this at the reception in The Stables.

On Monday, and in stark contrast to The Stables, we hit the Mennonite store in Dunnegan.

This turkey was just wondering around in the yard.

And in stark contrast to the Mennonite lifestyle, is our digital, texting age - with all its bells and whistles.

Like auto correct - which may not always know exactly what you meant to type, but it may accurately describe where you sometimes feel like you are!

I was asking Lou, my hunk of man, to '"text Mitchell."
If my dad saw this,  he'd say, "Well, I'll say the word!"

Sweetness greeted me on Classical Conversations day! When I arrived to set up for class, this candy flower and note were waiting for me.
I have the best students.

More sweetness! My Elizabeth is holding my great nephew, Marcus Andrew Vaughan. We enjoyed him, his mom and grandmother for four days this month!
Nothing like a sleeping baby
October 10, 2012 was a big day. My Lou, of bike wreck fame, donned his helmet, bike jersey and shorts, and went for his first ride since the wreck. He was almost giddy with excitement before, and I was near tears. Our ride was mercifully uneventful and wonderful!
Back in the saddle
Cleaning up in my mom's room, I find...pretty much the cutest button I've ever seen. I have no recollection of having this made for my parents, but I obviously did.

Hannah, taking care of her Faith

Speaking of Faith, she greets every patient that comes through the front door of Bolivar Family Care Center.

 And this house greets you when you drive by Bolivar Middle School. I may be way off here, but I think they like Halloween - which, btw, is my least favorite holiday.

However, one of my favorite things right now is cupcakes  - from The Cup, in downtown Springfield, MO. It's ridiculous how obsessed with them I am right now. And just fyi, most gourmet cupcakes have 350-400 calories each.
Worth every calorie

I've mentioned here before that this is Faith's senior year, which means this is the beginning of a lot of "lasts" for her. Here we marked her last regular season home volleyball game.
Another thing my dad would say about now, "Nothing but fun."

And fun is how I'd describe my tiny attempt at decorating my front porch. The pumpkin, blue, yellow and white combination going on here makes me smile!

And smile is what we did when we drove into John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and saw our reserved parking spot.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and capped off a lovely day by meeting up with Luke and Hannah at a conveniently located Starbucks! We hung out there for over and hour - enjoying coffee and great conversation. Not only do I love these people, I really like them too.

I know you too have those that you not only love, but really like as well.

Aren't we blessed?

Before October slips away entirely, I hope you have time to sit around a cup of coffee or tea and visit with those nearest and dearest.

Those times are some of God's sweetest gifts.

Blessings to you and yours!

life rearranged

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Exciting Schedule

This week, I started a new Bible study called No Other Gods, by Kelly Minter.

The very first sentence on the "meet the author" page is as follows:

"Kelly Minter keeps an exciting schedule as an author, songwriter, worship leader, speaker, and  musician - a list that's likely to keep growing as she continues to discover new talents."

I read that and then immediately rewrote it in my head.

"Shelley Harris keeps an exciting schedule as a wife, mom, friend, caregiver, laundress, taxi driver, cook, cleaner, teacher, and blogger - a list that's likely to keep growing as she continues to discover new talents."

I'll admit that my first thought was that Kelly Minter's life with the travel and public acclaim inherent in what she does did strike me as more exciting than mine. That was my first thought. That was my first feeling.

But it wasn't my second.

I love that you aren't saddled with your first thought or first feeling the rest of your life. You get a chance to tell yourself the truth. You get a chance to kick a lie out the front door of your life and into the trash heap where it belongs!

The truth is God has given Kelly Minter her exciting schedule, and he has given me my exciting schedule. They aren't the same, but they have the same purpose: to glorify God and bring us joy.

That kind of purpose is big and exciting.

And that is the truth.

My truth. Your truth.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

(Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Precious Thing

10-11-12 would have been my paternal grandmother's 112th birthday. I called her "Mama Trudy," and she loved on me until she died in 1991.
Luke and Mama Trudy - July 1990

During her 91 years, she made a couple of trips to the Holy Land, where she picked up small New Testaments bound with wood and embellished with the Jerusalem cross.

When I was a young girl, she gave one to me.

And when she was 89 years old, she gave one to my first born, Luke.

Her inscription - her prayer - for her grandson still touches and moves me today.

I often pray it for Luke and for all my children - for Hannah, David, Faith, Elizabeth, and Mary Grace.

Yes, Lord, may they read it often and may they grow in wisdom and stature with God. 

Thank you, Mama Trudy, for my precious heritage and this precious gift.

Truma Elizabeth Calhoun Vaughan 
October 11, 1900 - November 26, 1991

Friday, October 5, 2012

InstaFriday- A Full Two Weeks

 That just took me by surprise.

I was uploading the pictures for this InstaFriday, and all of the sudden, I had a lump in my throat.

It's been a full couple of weeks.

Sometimes, taking in all the fullness God gives me overwhelms me - in the best kind of way.  And I'm not just talking about the "good" fullness, but even the "hard" fullness. He is so faithful through it all.

Faithful through homecoming week - which is fun, but exhausting! I tell myself every year we are not going to wait until the night before to find the different outfits. But every year so far, we are up late the night before picking out outfits.

Monday was Hip Hop Day
Monday was Hip Hop Day at BHS, but it's my day to teach at Classical Conversations of Bolivar. I took a picture of one of my favorite illustrations to share with my students.


Tuesday at BHS - Disney character day.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Rapunzel and Mulan.

Since my last InstaFriday, I wrote a blog about my attempt to get on The Amazing Race. I thought it was hilarious the "tags" You Tube suggested for my application video!

Desperate? Crazy?

I posted the above Amazing blog on this amazing guy's birthday. I love him.

Highly recommend this restaurant in Springfield
And...back to homecoming week - and class color day. We're talking a senior and junior, baby!

"smh" = shaking my head

I did have to go to the grocery story in the middle of all this fun. They were sampling this stuff.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

I eat it on apple slices.

Our Faith was a senior homecoming candidate, so Friday, September 28, was an especially full day. She got to wear a beautiful dress (thanks, Hallie:) in the homecoming parade.

And another beautiful dress at the football game. But of course, before the game, we had to take our traditional front porch picture.

It was a special moment to hear her name announced as the 2012 Homecoming queen for Bolivar High School.  Mary Grace was more than happy to celebrate her 14th birthday with her sister!

All the kids were in town for Homecoming, so I scheduled our church directory picture for the next day. They were running behind schedule, so we grabbed lunch. I snapped this because that hanging out time was an unexpected joy. Lots of conversation and laughter as we waited to smile for the birdie.

Speaking of smiling, that's what Faith made me do with her unexpected humorous text. When we finished supper, Faith "disappeared" for over an hour. Instead of going and looking for her (was she in her room? the basement? outside?), I texted her. I laughed out loud at her response.

I didn't laugh out loud this week when we started getting phone calls from Hannah describing gastric pain.

Pain that didn't go away and eventually prompted a trip to the ER at Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville.

Our oldest works there as a pharmacy tech. He was communicating with us all the updates. You have never seen two people move as fast as Lou and I did when the text "Appendicitis" showed up on my phone.

Luke and Hannah's nursing student roommate, Jasmine, took excellent care of her until Lou and I got there.

The drive to Fayetteville has never seemed very long. But when your daughter is about to undergo surgery for appendicitis, it feels like somebody added a hundred extra miles. I know everybody says an appendectomy is routine. Let me tell you - it's not routine when it's your child.

All went well - that pesky appendix is out and Hannah is healing. We are very thankful to God for that!

Post Surgery...and Hannah looks great!

Faith and Elizabeth did their part to cheer their sister. They snapped this pic at McDonald's and sent it to make Hannah smile. I know it made me smile.

We ended this week where we spend a lot of our time - in a gym.

Faith and Elizabeth are in the thick of volleyball, so we are in the thick of cheering for volleyball. Here we have pre-game bonding!

I'm partial to #7

Full and overflowing.

That's what these two weeks were.

I am grateful.

Thanks for stopping by. As I end, know I've breathed a prayer for you, my readers. Praying you have a full and restful weekend.

life rearranged