Tuesday, June 29, 2010

music to my ears

i was going to post these photos tomorrow as "wordless wednesday" but as i was preparing to load them, i kept reminiscing about so many other stories and memories that i decided to go ahead with a full-blown (very wordy) post. 

but rather than make this the post of a hundred hyperlinks, i'm going to pull from some of my old favorites and re-post them here.  no, you're probably not that interested in all these jack-isms, but we're in love with them. 

so here goes nothing...

i realized this afternoon that the two lewis guys had gone missing, so i crept upstairs to find this:

can't figure out what's going on?  josh has googled "drum sets" and he and jack are pouring through picture after picture in the search results -- all the while exchanging man talk about kick drums, snares, and high hats. 

jack. was. in. awe.

jack's love of all things musical didn't just start today.  in fact, when he was born, i was laying on the bed racking my brain trying to figure out what the strumming sound was that i kept hearing.  i finally asked my OB what in this world that noise was...

turns out jack left my womb with a guitar in hand.

now he hasn't always had a pink guitar.  for a while, in fact, he didn't have a guitar at all -- but he made do.

(from april 2009 -- this was obviously before i gave up capital letters)
We're a big musical family around here. It's not that any of us is that incredibly gifted with any amazing musical talent (although Josh would give his broken leg to be able to tear it up on the drums), but we all love music. At any given moment, walk into our house or take a ride with us in the car and you're almost guaranteed to hear a tune. And if you're the really lucky guy sitting beside us at a red light, you might even find one of us playing a pretend instrument or two!

Apparently the air-guitar is a little too abstract for Jack, so he likes to bring it down to a more concrete level. He'll take any old household item, hold it like a guitar, and strum away to the beat. And trust me, he's got quite the imagination!

I thought this was a kid-sized mop (yep, I start 'em early around here), but to Jack, it's an electric guitar:


You know those little eye covers for your stovetop? They're no match for Jack's musical skills!

I haven't decided if this one is extra sweet or slightly blasphemous (at least it was a Christian song he was rocking out to)! Yes, that's Josh's Bible...

And finally, talk about making lemonade when you're dealt a big handful of lemons (very expensive, painful, and exhausting lemons)...

jack had a lot of time to fall even more in love with music through our involvement with the music ministry at church.  here's an excerpt from a post i did in july 2009.  it's actually more about izzy than anything, but it's still a piece of jack's musical history.  ;-)

I think I've mentioned our rotating church schedule of Josh runs sound/I take care of the little ones and then I play keys/Josh takes a turn with the kids. Well every once in a while, the schedule gets a bit jumbled, and we end up both responsible for our separate duties on the same day. That was the case a couple of Sundays ago. But it doesn't just affect Sunday mornings...it also determines the plan on the prior Tuesday, because that's when the worship band has practice.

On this particular Tuesday, we loaded everybody up in the car and headed to the church so that Josh could twirl the buttons and knobs on the soundboard (I'm sure there's a much more technical way to explain what he does, but that's definitely not my department) and I could practice with the band for the following Sunday morning service. For the first hour-and-a-half, the kids were fantastic! They entertained themselves by running around the empty sanctuary and playing their various and sundry air-instruments. But by the time it hit their usual nighty-night time, they were showing signs of fading. Quickly.

The funniest part of that picture (thanks to my camera phone) is that Jack is playing around with the cords (ok, that part's not so funny), and Abby's just about passed out because she's so ready to hit the hay. And they're laying on a couple of chairs that Josh turned over and laid on the stairs to try to keep Isabel off the stage.

Izzy, on the other hand, wasn't quite so content to wait patiently for practice to wrap up. She kept trying to get to me to be cuddled (hence the chair arrangement), but I obviously couldn't hold her when I was playing the keyboard...and Josh couldn't do much with her because he was busy working on the worship schedule for the service. Soooo...I put my thinking cap on and came up with this:


I dashed out to the car, grabbed the Ergo baby carrier, tossed her in, and played away. It worked beautifully!! I was able to run the whole set, and she was able to get the snuggles she so desperately needed in her sleepy state. Here was the view from my vantage point:

my being in the band at church afforded jack many more opportunities than just watching us play.  he got to be IN the band during practice some, too.  but first he had to have his own guitar.

(from december 2009)
to say that he likes his little guitar would be like saying i kind of dig photography. he has played it almost* constantly today. all. day. long.

*the few breaks he took were to play the DRUM he got last night from my parents.


but his head almost exploded with excitement when josh got his guitar out, too. nothing beats hanging out with daddy on the couch and playing some tunes on the guitars...


izzy's head almost exploded with excitement, too, when she pulled these out of her stocking. she loves them. really.
once jack had the goods, he was rearing to go.  

we all know how much jack loves to play guitar and how jazzed he was to get a "real" guitar for christmas, right? well, we thought it would be fun to let jack take his guitar to church this morning and play it while i was practicing with the band. first of all, he played it the whole way there...

...then when we got there, not only did they let him play it, they told him he could come up on stage to practice with us! he squealed like a girl and ran up to stand by his bestest buddy, mr. steve.

he took really careful notes on how all the guys played...

...and by the end of practice, he knew how to hold the pick in his mouth and how to put the guitar in a stand when he wasn't playing it. he even kicked his leg out so he could prop his guitar up while he was jamming (actually, he's been doing that for a while...i've just never gotten a good picture of it).

our friend steve plays way more than just the bass guitar, and he was happy to show jack the ropes on the drum set (he really wanted to school him in the trombone, but there wasn't one handy).

of course, i'd love for him to take up another instrument as well...

(from september 2009)
Did you know that Jack's even learning how to play the piano?


If he ever makes it big, we'll just have to sit him down to discuss the importance of pants. 

and now for one of my all-time favorites.  this is going to look very different one day, but i think i'll always remember jack and his guitar this way.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

our week in pictures

1. this round of "our week..." actually starts a couple of weeks ago at VBS.  our friends, the cobbs, invited abby to join the cobblets for a week of fun and learning.  i couldn't resist carrying my camera along for the water day blowout at the end of the week where all the kids got to play.  apparently we've deprived our kids since not a one of them had a clue what a slip-'n-slide was.  abby had it down in no time...

but izzy was perfectly convinced that it was a runway of some sort.

she got a little one-on-one instruction on proper slip-'n-sliding...

but they left out one very critical rule -- slide and MOVE!

jack took one look at spills like this...

and decided not to get so much as one of his toes wet.  (i have no idea who that kid is, but that was way too funny not to post.)

2.  we met up with some friends for storytime at the library. 

ok, i'll go ahead and state the obvious.  mr. mac totally looks like hannibal lecter...

but he's really a delightful little man who holds the attention of a roomful of preschoolers -- plus he plays a mean banjo for the kids' dancing time.

3.  we made funny faces for breakfast one morning...

4.  and josh tickled jack silly.

5.  josh taught izzy how to fly...

...in more ways than one.

6.  but my very favorite part of the week came a few days ago.  my friend, anna, wrote last week and asked if she could drive up to bham for the day.  we were having a really tough time around here, and she was just the face i needed to see (not to mention that i was dying to hold these sweet munchkins again).  i wish there was a way to describe to you how much anna and her family mean to us.  the four grown-ups have all known one another since we started at samford 14 years ago, anna and i stood beside each other as we each married our precious husbands, and it has been an honor to not only learn from paul and anna's dedication to giving but to be on the receiving end of the blessings they love to bestow on others.

they are truly, truly amazing people (and i promise you anna is reading this right now either 1. rolling her eyes or 2. typing out an email to me to remind me that everything we have is from the lord and that it's a blessing to bless others). 

to give you an example of what i'm talking about, anna packed up her two-year-old and her six-week-old twins and drove to bham to visit with us and to encourage us.  but more than that, when she walked in the door (on her third trip in, i believe), she drug behind her a huge cooler full of six or seven meals for our freezer.  homemade meals at that.

who is this woman?!?  ;-)

oh, and did i mention that she packed up her two-year-old and her six-week-old twins to come up here?  yeah, i know i did.  but it bears repeating.

here are the fruits of my monkey-like behavior behind the camera...

anne perry was in no way amused (one guess which twin that is).  but addie and izzy found me a little funnier.

it's been a challenging couple of weeks around here, but they've been two weeks full of laughter, fun, and blessings nonetheless.  and to our sweet, sweet, family who has been so wonderful to us -- thank you.  we love you dearly and appreciate you so much.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

josh lewis

two weeks ago, our lives took a pretty big detour from the path we thought we knew so well.  and in all honesty, the event i'm referring to joined with a few other factors to usher in one of the darkest weeks i think i've ever walked through.  i was hurt, i was confused, and i had far more questions than i had answers.

but the lord was faithful in spite of my doubt -- and josh lewis proved himself once again as a man of the highest character and faith.  here are a few things i've been reminded of recently about my amazing husband:
  • josh is perhaps the most selfless person i know.  he gives willingly to others, and he's blissfully oblivious to the expectation to receive.
  • josh is oh. so. funny.  i think i've laughed more over this past week (a trying one at that) than i have in a while.  maybe it's because i'm just so smitten with them that i think he's such a riot -- or maybe he's just plain funny -- but he can always make me giggle.
  • josh continually seeks the lord's guidance and wisdom.  he doesn't just pray for what he wants or how he wants the lord to move.  he prays for the lord's direction, and i've been witness to the countless times he's faithfully followed god's leading.
  • josh never wants to settle for average.  he strives to be an excellent husband, an amazing daddy, and a fantastic friend, servant, employee, and volunteer.
  • josh loves and trusts the lord from deepest core of his being all the way out.  it's who he is
  • josh will drop everything to help a friend in need.
  • josh really lives god's call to walk in humility.  as a person who has had to pray away pride more times than i care to count, i adore that facet of his character.
  • josh is a hottie.  there, i said it.
  • josh loves his family deeply and will do whatever is necessary to provide for us.
i could go on endlessly about the blessing that josh is to me, our children, and those who know and love him, but i'll stop by saying this:

josh, i am so deeply in love with you, and i'm daily in awe of who you are and who you're asking the lord to make you.  god has been so gracious to me, abby, jack, isabel, and JAL by putting you as the head of our home.  we love you so much and today -- on this father's day -- we thank our heavenly father for the gift he has given us in you.

oh, and the kids had something they wanted to say, too.
me: what's daddy's name?
abby: josh
jack: josh -- but he calls you "babe"
isabel: daddy

me: how old is daddy?
abby: 32
jack: i don't really know
isabel: he's two, abby's three, me's four

me: what makes daddy laugh?
abby: tickling him
jack: when i say, "oh my goodness"
isabel: i say, "RAWR!!"

me: what makes daddy cry?
abby: when i don't obey
jack: i'm not gonna even tell you
isabel: when he gets a rock (i'm not at all sure what that's about)

me: what's your favorite thing to do with daddy?
abby: play couch toss * 
jack: play couch toss
isabel: play blocks (she's just now learning the fine art of couch tossing)
*ah, the bliss.  we had no idea that less than three weeks after that post, i would be writing this.  but hey, if we didn't have that story, we couldn't have had this one.

me: what does daddy do around our house?
abby: he cleans the floors, mows the grass, rakes the leaves, and blows the leaves.  that's all.
jack: he cleans up the kitchen, he puts his cup in the fridge, he prays for our food, he washes the floor, and he "bacuums".  mommy, you answer the telephone when it rings, you take pictures, and sometimes you need quiet time.

quiet time?  i'll admit it.  but with the exception of josh's prayers and yard work, the rest is lies, people.  all lies.  ;-)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

our week in pictures

in no particular order:

we enjoyed breakfast out on the deck:

we played with the train set:

we read books (photos courtesy of abigail lewis photography):

i did a little scrubbing after a potty accident (hey, you take the bad with the good, right?):

we played "photo session":

we saved this little guy...

from this nasty guy...

(no, that's not the same cat who last weekend ate the entire nest of baby birds we had been watching for weeks now.  he was there, too, but something about my running towards him waving wildly and screaming "BOOGIE, BOOGIE" scared him off.)

we set our blog to have invitation-only readers:

jack and abby played in the band:

izzy announced that she had decided to suck her thumb.  thankfully, she had no clue what to do and quickly decided that thumb-sucking was overrated:

we cooked a yummy pasta dish:

we played hide 'n seek:

daddy set up the poor man's waterpark:

and we went to the art museum.  i don't actually have any photos of that, but make sure you check out the post i did after our first trip there.  it's a classic.

i did learn a couple of things while the kids were playing in the pool.  first of all, jack's face reacts violently to water droplets.

it's what i imagine a boxer's face would look like .2 seconds after the impact from his opponent's glove.  and it's the same every. single. time.

yes buddy...your face is still there.

izzy wasn't quite as bothered by the water, but poor thing...she just couldn't stay standing to save her life.

and speaking of izzy, this was one of my favorite pics from the week.  this is her watching the little bird we saved finally figure his way out of the screened-in porch once the cats were gone: