Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weekend Update: Conference Track Meet

We had a good week/weekend. We did end up making it to watch Tori play soccer at LR HALL on Tuesday (Searcy won!), and also to her Jr. High Conference meet in Vilonia on Thursday. Travelin' Arkansas for that girl! Ha! She did very well in her track meet. Clark is a sprinter and it's so fun to watch him run with quick bursts of speed...but then Tori is mainly a distance runner, and we are amazed at her endurance and speed for the longer runs. 

Joshua went to the Zoo with his group on Tuesday. He said, "We ate at the 'caf' at the Zoo. I ordered a cheeseburger for sounded good. I took one bite of the chips and they were 'ode.' I was going to give them to Jenni, but even she wouldn't like 'ode' chips."  When we got home, he gave me the change left-over from his meal. He looked over his receipt. He said, "I got water to drink. They added an extra charge for the souvenir cup." I asked him, "oh, cool! Where is the souvenir cup?" Joshua: "I threw it away."


On Thursday, they had their Zumba class. Oh, how I want to watch this class! Joshua's status on Facebook after he got home: "Jenni laid it all out. She broke it all the way down. I am 'zumbud' out. Jenni has all the moves."


He said, "I twisted my knee in Zumba." He has a knee that tends to pop out of socket if he's not careful, so I said, "Joshua, you need to pay attention and watch what you're doing." He said, "well, we do have a big mirror, but I couldn't watch ME...I was watching JENNI!" 

(because, you know, she has all the moves!)

On Friday night, we ate at Carino's...Clark was "carbo-loading" for his conference track meet on Saturday! We ended up at the restaurant at around 5:30, and the waiter told us it was "happy hour" for several items on the menu. Our whole meal for the 4 of us was around $20! Jim was ecstatic! Holly and Aaron came by briefly on Friday afternoon...dropped off Marley, and headed to the wedding rehearsal for Aaron's friend. Holly stayed the night with us...and he stayed with the other grooms-men.

We got up early on Saturday because Clark had to ride the bus to the conference meet in Benton. I thought it was ridiculous that he had to be on the bus at 9:30 in the morning, when the running events didn't start until 1:30. He told me it was AAA rules. WHATever. Then, I ran around with Holly, looking for yellow paint to use on an old piece of furniture we had given her...and then it was time for her to get ready for the wedding...and time for the rest of us to get ready for Clark's track meet! Stacy dropped Tori off at our house and then we headed to Benton. After worrying about a chance of rain, God showed out because it was a BEAUTIFUL day. Jim's parents and his brother, Joel, came to the meet as well. They stayed to watch Clark run 2 races, and then they left. He ran 4 races in all, and had at least two personal best times.

Clark placed 7th over-all in the 100 meter dash (12.18), 3rd in the 200 meter dash (24.92), 2nd in the 4x100 meter relay and 2nd in the 4x400 relay. There was a bad hand-off between the 1st and 2nd runner in the 100 meter relay, pushing them back to about 6th place, but the 2nd and 3rd guys ran ALL OUT to make up the time. Clark ran his heart out at anchor, too...making up enough time and distance to place 2nd. They would've easily won that event because they were so far ahead at the first turn. Oh, well. These things happen. Clark ran the 3rd leg in the 400 and was AWESOME! All this while dealing with severe shin-splints. So proud. :) Bryant Boys won the conference meet! This team will do so well in the next 3 years, if they can all stay healthy and injury-free. Sure wish Clark could be a part of it...

After the meet, we decided to run to the lakehouse and have a quick dinner with Jim's we did that. Clark was exhausted, and Tori and Joshua were drained from being in the sun all day...but we had fun eating with them and then came home.

Sunday was SS and church. I "resigned" from hand-bells this week. I hated to do it, and will miss playing, but I felt like it was time. The next few weeks are going to be really busy for our family. NOW, we are praying for a couple to come to us with a desire to take over our college class. It's such a great class, and we have met some amazing young adults through this ministry.

Holly and Aaron went home Sunday afternoon. Their dog, Marley, had his 6th birthday yesterday. We always miss seeing Logan and Morgan. We tell the college kids to "finish strong." It's a hard time of year for them. We have many prayer requests regarding our children...for character and strength; for school, further education, job opportunities, future mates, etc. We know God is in control. 

"He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:29-31

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


We've been very busy, but not with anything too spectacular. I just wanted to remember a few things. 

First, we have been so blessed to have Holly and Aaron home for a few weekends. They usually split their time between our home and Aaron's parent's home (but we always get to keep the grand-dog!).  They are at the age when a lot of their friends are getting married, and so they've been home several weekends for weddings or wedding festivities. We've enjoyed seeing them!

And Logan actually came home for the Easter weekend, and that was fun, too! I loved having them all here for one night! We went to the lakehouse and had a belated birthday celebration for Joshua. It was so much fun...and something that he has looked forward to for over a week! The only sad thing was that Morgan, Logan's girlfriend, couldn't be there...and Joshua LOVES Morgan. :) He loves Aaron, too!

We have been able to enjoy some sweet times with some precious, precious friends. Stacy is one of those friends who popped into my life when I needed her the most...and it's like she's always been there. I cannot imagine my life w/o her in it! We weren't really close friends before we moved here, but after we moved, our friendship has grown more and more...which is a good thing, since our kids have been friends since the 2nd grade. We try to get them together often b/c we both think it's important to have Christian friends you can talk to, encourage (and be encouraged by), and who will keep you accountable. And we want them to see that you can have friends of the opposite sex...and you don't have to "date" each other. You can just be best friends. We have gone to watch Tori play basketball, soccer and run track, and she has come to watch Clark play football, soccer and run track. Her friendship was invaluable to Clark when we moved here nearly 5 years ago, and I know that it will be the same way when we move from here next month and he is in a town and at a school where he doesn't know anyone.  

Last weekend, Tori's parents took the two of them out for a combined birthday dinner (their birthdays are a month apart). I just thought this story was precious...they went to see the Titanic in 3D (Clark was thrilled with their choice of movies...not!). Stacy had not seen Titanic before, but Jerry had seen it on tv. He remembered there was a part when the girl sits naked so she can be painted, and before that part came up, he leaned over and told Stacy, "tell Clark that he and Tori need to go to the concession stand and the restroom now," and so, they got up and left...not knowing why...and Stacy went to get them when that scene was over. Is that not the sweetest thing? I love that someone is watching out for my child, even tho he is 16 years old...and I love that Tori honors her parents, and Clark respects them....and when they asked them to do something, they did! Even when they didn't know the big picture! SO REFRESHING! It's so fun for us to watch them grow up together. So thankful for their family, and for friendships that stand the test of time.

And Clark ended up liking the movie after all. :)

Last night was Clark's last track meet of the season. He has done SO WELL. I am really sad to see this season end. He has worked really, really hard and I am so proud of him. His football coach was talking to Jim about Clark's foot-work and speed, and I know that is the result from the combination of soccer and track. 

So, last night, he placed 7th over-all in the 100 meter dash. I was really surprised, b/c that is typically his best event. He had been complaining about shin-splints all last week, and on Sunday afternoon/evening, he was on the couch with ice on both legs. Not really inspiring confidence since the meet was the next day! We saw him stretching and stretching before his first race, and while the boys in the heat before him were lined up to run...we looked and Clark was laying flat on the ground. Eeek! But he warmed up after that, I guess. He ended up placing FIRST in the 4x100 relay and the 4x400 relay...and 2nd in the 200 meter dash and 400 meter dash. YAY!

This Saturday is the conference meet. It will be interesting to see what events he will run in and how he does. I'm excited to watch him run, and very thankful that the meet is in Benton.

Not too much else on the agenda this week. Gotta get the carpet cleaned and the Terminix man out here...and I'm sure I am talking to myself by now b/c as riveting as this all is...who wants to know that someone is having their carpet cleaned and the Terminix man out? 

Seriously, how boring is your life?

But then we will be ready to list this house and start that ball rolling. Tori plays soccer in LR tonight, but I don't know if we can make that...and she has HER conference meet on Thursday night in Vilonia. It all depends on what time Clark gets out of football...if we will be able to make it to see her run. I really want to! Holly and Aaron will be back in town this weekend for another wedding. Yay!

We'll miss Logan. 

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win." 1 Corinthians 9:24

Joshua's Dynasty

Joshua is a creature of habit and a lover of routine. He likes structure in his life...knowing what we're doing next and what time we're doing it. He likes to be in charge of structuring his own time as well. It's pretty funny, because it might seem to you and me (and everyone else) that there is no rhyme or reason to his routine, but it all makes perfect sense to him. I can't tell you the times that we'll be sitting in the living room, watching TV or hanging out as a family, and he will jump up and say something like, "8 o'clock...time to clip my toe-nails," and head off to his room. I think I've blogged about that before. He loves calendars and day-planners. Once, when I looked in his day planner, he had written "spend time with God x6." He was planning to have quiet time with God SIX TIMES in ONE day. 


I feel bad.

Joshua likes to know what we are doing every day. He typically has his "outings" on Tuesdays and Thursdays, altho they sometimes throw an extra day into the mix. Mondays are the days he cleans the church, and then we always go get lunch after that at Chick-Fil-A. Always. Wednesdays are the stay-at-home days. Fridays are the wild-card, hanging out with Dad if he is home, going to the gym, etc. Joshua has decided that MWF are his "Pretendo" days (that's what he used to call Nintendo-type games, and what we call them to this day). He will go upstairs and play after lunch.  It can only be after lunch. His favorite game to play lately is NCAA08, one of our older games. We have  PS-2 and a PS-3. I think (one of them is always broken). Anyway...he built a "dynasty" of a team completely from the members of our family. His team is the ASU INDIANS. That tells you right there how old the game is, because a couple of years ago, the political correctness gods forced ASU to change their name to the ASU Red Wolves (which I like better anyway).


I am usually not upstairs when he is playing his games, but the other day I was up there painting while he was playing. I was able to do my work AND quietly observe him...he is hilarious to watch. First of all, he talks the ENTIRE TIME. Talk, talk, talk. The entire time. To himself, to the players in the game, to anyone who might be texting him at the time..."I'll get back to her LATER..." The other thing I noticed is that HIS TEAM ALWAYS WINS, and wins evidenced by ASU's 129-10 win over Troy on this particular day!

Honestly, tho, how could they not win, what with my 75 year old father as the Quarterback, and Jim's grandfather, J.O. or "Osborne," who has long since gone on to Glory, playing Corner (and FYI...if he was still with us, he would be 103 in May!). Joshua has them all...young and or dead...all the male members of our family play on this team. Even 5 year old 'baby' Kyle. 

Joshua was oblivious to me. I was doing my work and only half-listening to him most of the time. All of a sudden, I hear the commentator's excited voice, "and that's Osborne with the pic! He's going to run it all...the...way for the touchdown! That's an 87 yard run and Osborne's 13th pic of the season!" And while I stop painting to process what I think was just said...Joshua goes, "Way to go, Pa-Pa J.O. Woo-HOOOO!  Up from the grave he arooooooooossseee!"

(not bad for a dead guy)

Job 8:21 "He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

Monday, April 2, 2012

He Really DOES Know Everyone...

One Friday night in the fall, we...our family...decided to take a short road-trip to another town to watch a football game. It was just Jim and I, and the two boys that are at home...and we were going to check out a new school because of the thing which shall not be mentioned. We knew that having a good football, track and soccer program would be a huge draw for our potential new student...and really, isn't that why parents choose schools for their children...for their SPORTS PROGRAMS?

Silly academics.

So we decided to make it a special night. We went to a favorite restaurant for dinner, and then headed to the game. It was quite different from the 7A school we were coming from. It was VERY small (2-A). No nice bleachers or press-box. No track around the field. No TURF...they actually played on...(gasp!)...GRASS! (I know, right?) One of the first things we noticed was the Contemporary Christian music that was being played before the game. QUITE UNLIKE the music we're used to hearing at our school during the pre-game warm-ups!

Anyway, not-the-point (as Clark would say)...

But the OTHER main thing we noticed from the night was this: from the time we parked and got out of the car, everyone was waving and saying JOSHUA. We walked thru the parking lot and went to get our tickets...all the while, people were smiling and nodding, saying "hey, buddy" and patting him on the guy even gave him a high-five! Jim looked at me and said, "WOW! He really DOES know everyone!"

We found our seat and "people watched" until the game started. We got a lot of know, people would be scanning their eyes over the crowd, looking for their family or friends, and they would always come right back to us.


We are used to people looking at us when we go out because, obviously, Joshua has Down Syndrome...and there are just a lot of curious people in this world. Usually, it doesn't bother me...unless it's an obnoxious older kid or teenager who is POINTING at him and talking. Gotta admit...sometimes that gets under my skin. In fact...and this is a time when it did NOT get under my day, Joshua and I were at The Targets, and there was a mom pushing her kids in a buggy close to where we were walking. I heard the little boy say, in a LOUD WHISPER VOICE..."MOMMMM..." He was looking right at Joshua. "MOM...MOM..." The Mom was preoccupied, but I was thinking, "heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere it comes..." Well, she looks up to answer him and follows his eyes to us. She smiled and began to push her buggy away...trying to be quick about it and trying not to be obvious that she was being quick about it. I think she knew 'it' was coming, too, and wanted to get out of ear-shot so as not to be embarrassed. Or embarrass us. Because, haven't we all been there? Kids will say ANYTHING. When one of my guys was very little, he pointed his chubby little finger at a lady one time and said, "see her, Mom? right you see her? THAT LADY RIGHT THERE? She's gonna DIE."


(the lady was smoking)

Anyway, back to this story...the little boy kept saying, "MOM!" and patting her on the arm. She knew she had to answer him. As we pass by them, I can see his little finger pointing at us...and he goes, "do you see that, Mom? Right you see it? Why is that Daddy shorter than his Mommy!"


Dodged a bullet there! I cute is that?


Meanwhile...back at the farm...
Or, the football game...

It was getting closer to kick-off and the little bleachers were starting to fill up.We were sitting on the "home" side. We counted 3 people sitting on the "visitor's" side. As the team was coming out on the field for warm-ups, we noticed a little commotion down on the front row. Not a commotion, really...just a lot of people gathering down there and a lot of laughing and happy talking. When you're at a 2A football game, you pretty much know everyone there! I looked down there and nudged Jim to look as well...and things instantly became a LOT clearer.

There was another "Fred."


They think Joshua is THAT KID. All the people who were smiling and waving...and the "high-five guy..." they all thought Joshua was THEIR FRED.


You couldn't tell them apart? They looked nothing alike!

(besides the shorter stature, cute little ears, beautiful almond-shaped eyes and happy face!)

We had a good laugh about it...and laughed even more after half-time when we got up and left. You should've seen the looks we got when we walked out of the stadium. Like it was a kidnapping in progress!

Psalm 139:13-14 "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!"