Bring Bennet Home

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Our First Dip

We are blessed to have lots of sweet people involved in our ministry. We truly have some of the very best! One of our family's has a great pool and they always lets us come swim. Tucker and I plan to spend many afternoons there this summer. We went for our first dip in the pool this week and T-Money LOVED it! We were there for almost three hours and he would've stayed all day. Here are some pictures of him and Caleb having a great time in the water. Caleb is going to be a senior in the fall and we think he's great! He is going to Zambia with Chris and I in July. He's a super special kid that is crazy about Tuck. We're so thankful our boy is loved so much by so many!

And we heart Caleb too! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I've heard from my friends that when you're pregnant you have weird dreams, anxieties and fears. For me, the same is true with adoption. They're just different and totally beyond my control! Which adds a whole other level of nervousness. We have our home study this Tuesday and so maybe that's why I'm thinking so much about these things, I don't know. But I wanted to get some of the things that are weighing on my heart off my chest so to speak. 
-- I'm worried about MY plan not working out. Typical, but unhealthy and unlikely. I know.
-- Timing. It's so hard to not know when a baby may arrive and what will be going on in our life around that time. I know with most second children most people try to help their first child achieve different goals before baby arrives. No such luxury with adoption or for Tuck.
-- Safety/health. Not being able to control what is going into our birth mom's body or our baby is nerve wracking! I don't know if she is exposing herself to unhealthy things or if she's eating enough or going to the doctor or taking her prenatal vitamins. All of this is out of my control. I had a friend who I stayed the night with that is preggo and she got sick almost immediately after taking her prenatal vitamins. It's her first baby and she was concerned about whether or not she should take more vitamins or not. I explained I didn't think it was that big of a deal to miss one day because so many babies go without for much, much longer. Just different perspectives.
-- It's hard to trust someone else to love your baby as much as you do. If anyone does, their Birth Mom certainly does, but still its hard. Not knowing her or her situation. My control freak nature really pushes against so much about this process. It's good for me, but difficult none the less.
-- I'm starting to wonder how long we'll wait for Baby 2. Tucker was SO fast and I know that it won't be the same this time, but I also hope we don't have wait for a super long time. I'm not a good waiter. And I'm already having to wait eight months before we're even being considered. I really enjoyed the three week "pregnancy" we had last time.
-- I also hope that we get to be there for the birth again. I know that we had the IDEAL labor, delivery and hospital experience with K and Tucker. I mean we were front row, center the whole time. It was so special and I want that with our second child as well. Amazing bonding experience for Chris and I with our Birth Mom and with Tucker.
-- I pray so often for our Birth Mom. For safety, support, wisdom, clarity, bravery, well being, wise choices for her and the baby, peace and the list goes on and on. I hope that she is loved by many and is receiving lots of support and affirmation from those around her. K didn't have that luxury, and I've always wished that for her.
I can't think of anything else at the moment. But I'm so anxious to meet our fourth family member and get to love that sweet baby. Just today Chris and I were talking about how big Tucker is getting. He is a little boy now, not a baby. I told Chris that's why I needed another baby to cuddle. Dear Baby 2, HURRY!!! Love your Momma.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Class of 2012

The hardest part about youth ministry is that you have to invest your whole heart. You HAVE to invest your life into teenagers or it doesn't work. It's a requirement. It's also a risky bet because teenagers are not always dependable or wise. Sometimes your heart gets trampled and hurt, but other times you get to be a player in the story of a student who could change the world. You make sacrifices and walk through difficult situations and watch them make choices. Sometimes right and sometimes wrong. The wrong ones sting and the right ones make you beam with pride for the part you played in their lives. Every class is different. Some are big some are small. Some are sweet and easy, others test your patience and try your nerves. May is a sweet month of mixed emotions where you see your kids walk across a stage and life is different. Some you know they're ready for the next step and others you see lots of untapped potential. Some times the bystanders are ready and other times we're not.
When we moved to Sayre almost four years ago this year's group of seniors were freshman. They attached quickly to us and we attached and invested quickly in them. Among that bunch were three girls who have sewed themselves into the fabric of my heart. I needed to feel a connection when we arrived and they welcomed me with open arms. Maybe it was just because I would come to school and pick them up for lunch before they could drive, I don't know. But like it or not they were stuck with me.

I've walked with them through arguments with parents and each other. I've watched as their hearts were broken by boys who didn't deserve them. I've beamed with pride as they have succeeded in sports, FFA, band, leadership team at church and most of all, as they have led others to Jesus. I've been honored to carry their secrets and their sorrows, their hurts and happinesses. And tonight they will walk across a stage and into the next chapter of life where youth minister's wives don't live.
It has been my honor to love these three young ladies. They are each so different, but they all exemplify who I hope my own children grow to be in different ways.

Summer is my missions lover. She went to London in 2010 and is going to Alaska and Zambia this summer. She is bold in her witness. She has used her own story to encourage younger girls in our ministry. She shows them that they can change and overcome any reputation a small town may give them. She is dependable, responsible and a learner. I've seen her grow from a quiet girl who was afraid to stand up for what she believed in to a young lady who is honest about her faith and walks with grace among her peers. I'm so proud of her and I know OSU will be better for her presence on campus.
Nikki. Oh Nikki. When I moved to town I had no idea who this girl was going to be. I watched as she stood at a crossroads in life and took some winding roads. She's been over her share of rough times, but she is faithful and honest. She wears her heart and her struggles on her sleeve and I so appreciate that about her. I can't wait to see the woman she grows into! She is an amazing athlete and has been such an example to the younger girls on her teams of how important hard work, dedication and practice are. I pray that the Lord will be close to her and allow her to see herself how He see's her. Shes beautiful and funny and talented and precious. I hope that SWOSU allows her the perfect environment to keep growing and to keep learning who she is because she's pretty great!
Sawyer is a girl after my own heart. She loves things to be organized and neat. Folders, tabs, color coding and school supplies all make her as happy as they make me. She is one of those kids who has defied the odds. Her parents aren't believers and have never encouraged her to be in church, but she was anyway. Sawyer is a leader where ever she goes. She gets things done and done well. Her drive, work ethic, brains and smile will take her far. She loves people so well. It's a joy to watch. I have loved watching this shy girl who wanted to blend into the crowd become a young lady who can't help but stand out. She is wonderful! I hope her time in college allows her continued growth, success and happiness. I know that she will make her presence known at SWOSU. I'm so proud of all she has done and will do.
On top of all of these accalades they LOVE my baby and he loves them! We all went to one last lunch this week and he showed off for all three of them the entire afternoon! He knows all of their names and loves them deeply. I'm not sure he'll know what to do without them either!
All three of these girls will walk away from SHS tonight with countless friends, proud teachers and even prouder parents. They will walk away from our youth group in August with a very big piece of my heart. They will always be the first thing that made Sayre feel like home to me. I'm forever grateful and honored to have been a spectator and cheerleader for the past four years of their lives. I'm so proud of each of them and I truly hope their lives are filled to the brim with blessings upon blessings. May they continue to grow into the woman God has planned for them to be and know that I'm always just a phone call away. You three make ministry worth the risk and sacrifice! Thank you!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bricktown Canal & OKC Zoo

We set out on a beautiful May morning to go to the zoo. On the way up we discovered via Facebook that over 35 schools were also visiting the OKC Zoo on field trips. So we had to think fast of something else to keep our favorite four year old happy & that could occupy a couple of hours so the field trips could clear out a little. We opted for Bricktown. I'm so proud of what Oklahoma City has done to downtown! It's looks great and there are things to do all the time. 

We got a free trolly ride from our free parking spot at Bass Pro to the Canal Rides.

Look at my cute boys. I just love em a whole lot.

Pretty Ladies.

Chris and I opted out of the canal ride and went on a mini date to the 'Peake to look at Thunder gear. Emrie was SUPER excited to take this picutre!

Fun was had by all!

Finally to the Zoo!

I mean really! These sunglasses melt my heart every time he wears them!

SUPER fun day with Granna, Aunt Sassie & Tucker's "best friend" Emrie. So thankful for my family and my husband! Sweet memories and good laughs!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Little Drummer Boys

The highlight of Tucker's Sunday is getting to play the drums. It's a challenge some mornings to get him around the sanctuary to the nursery without him wanting to detour to his instrument of choice. Our church praise band's drummer also happens to be a very special freshman in our ministry. He is so sweet and patient with Tuck every week to watch him and allow him to mess with his kit. 
"Sef" (aka Seth) and our little drummer.

He really does fairly well. He can repeat a beat if he really wants to. So maybe we will have a drummer in our family.

I hope he always loves music and it becomes apart of his life. For now it's just pretty cute to watch him bang around and be so proud of himself when he makes loud noises. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just a Swingin'

This spring one of Tucker's very favorite things to do is to swing. Last fall he could take it or leave it but now he asks for it. Really any swing will do: baby, tire swing, porch, big kid swing. He's not picky. Tucker Gordon loves them all!
My sweet Papa pushing Tuck 

Emrie and Tucker with their Great Papa swinging on the swing set my dad built for my sister's and I when we were kids. 

One of my favorite pictures lately. Pardon his lack of pants and PJ top. This is how we do it in the country!

Also excuse my lack of make up/shower. It was one of those days.

Here we are at Tucker's Great Great Grandma Smith's house. She will turn 100 years old this October and we are so blessed to still have her around. He LOVED the swing from the moment we walked up that's all he wanted to do.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Surprise in Stilly

A few weeks ago Tucker and I were in Purcell for an unexpected week because Tucker got sick on our way to my mom's and wasn't better when we needed to head home for church. So Chris came home alone and Tucker and I stayed for several extra days until Chris could come back and get us. These days just so happened to be my baby sister's finals week at OSU. On Wednesday the other sister, Cassie and I decided to load up the kids and head to Stillwater to surprise the baby.
Emrie was SUPER excited to show Aunt Chelsie how she could ride her bike without training wheels.

She only had one test left by that point so we came and played, ate & hung out with out Aunt Chels. I think she enjoyed the break from the tests and we loved seeing her. We're all glad to have her home for the summer! We miss having our third piece when she's gone. I heart my sisters and I'm so thankful to have two of them. I really can't imagine life without a sister and I truly think every girl needs one!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Golfing with Our Coach

Chris is the Sayre High School Boys Golf Coach in the springs. This was his third season and they did really well. When we found out we were getting Tucker we were actually at Chris' first golf tournament ever. He loves the investment he gets to make with high school kids that he otherwise wouldn't, but it takes a lot of extra time so Tucker and I try to go out from time to time to "play." Nap time interfered a lot this season, but we did make it out there once.

Working on his swing. I guess it's never too early, right?

He was a SUPER helpful caddie! 

He had fun playing with his daddy and there were plenty of butterflies for him to chase. He kept saying, "Come back here beautiful butterfly!"  As he run his hardest to keep up.
A fun day indeed.

Friday, May 18, 2012


In college at OBU I got to live with some really fun girls, five of them in fact. There was plenty of drama and nonsense, but also lots of fun. Dance parties, crafting projects and more then our fair share of chick flicks. One of those sweet friends was Jennie David Sanders. (She is my only friend I still have a hard time not calling by her maiden name. I don't know why that is.) 
Anyway, Chris decided that he needed a little vacation before summer begins and we didn't really have time for a big one so we went to our favorite mini-vacation destination...Tulsa.
Jennie and her family live in Broken Arrow so we planned to spend some time with them. The weather was beautiful so we took our three babies to the zoo. Jennie's kids are three and 10 months so Tucker fits perfectly in the middle of the Sanders Babies. 
The boys LOVE each other! They had a ball checking out lots of animals and laughing at each other. 

Sweet baby Charis was a doll all day! She was along for the ride and enjoyed watching the boys. She's so laid back and easy going.

We spent a long time at the little park area at the zoo. The boys played and played forever and were still sad to leave. Lots of adventures with these two.

When we hang out I always end up with cute pictures of the kids, but always leave us out! Here's my Bennie. She is precious to my heart and our day together was wonderful. We chatted the WHOLE time about life, memories, roommates, kids and a million other things. I love that I have a foundation with her and we don't have to get to know each other. I feel like a lot of my friendships right now are in a get to know you phase, which is ok. But it was so refreshing to not have to ask get to know you questions but to talk on a deeper level. Really blessed by this girl who lived down the hall from me in the basement of WMU. I knew when we moved in to OBU in 2001 she was fun and I liked her, but know 11 years later I also realize what a blessing she truly is. 

We ended the day with a train ride and Tuck is still talking about it! It was a great day with some of our favorite friends. I so wish we lived closer!!! But I do love that we both make effort to spend time with each other. These three are planning another voyage to Sayre at the end of June. Can't wait!