Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Early this summer, Jason came home and asked for a Fedora. I didn't even know what a Fedora was!!! Luckily he has a dad and brother who are clued in. Here he is climbing a rock at the beach in his fedora. Who wears a fedora while climbing??? He loves it, and he wears it pretty well. This is classic Jason. I understand that these are becoming more popular, but I can tell you that I've never seen one of Jason's friends wearing one. He is such an individual. It poses it's challenges, but it is also a great characteristic. He continues to grow in his beliefs and has very strong convictions; we are working with him on grace and less judgment. Life is black and white, and for the most part he wants nothing to do with anything he thinks is morally wrong.
However, he is also quicker than his older brother to push the rules Brent and I set for him, especially if he doesn't agree with them. He is a good friend and will stand up for the underdog, which is something I am very proud of in him. He's a great conversationalist. I was on the phone with a friend the other day, and she said something about really enjoying conversations with Jason. She said she is around other kids his age, and they can't carry on a conversation with adults, but she finds it easy to talk to him. It's true; he's so social and has very good social skills with kids of all ages. He is good to babysit and play with his younger siblings, but he is equally great in adult conversations.
He loves to take pictures and talks now of being a photographer one day. This summer he and some of his friends got into making "stop motions". They took hundreds of pictures of lego guys and put those pictures into video form. He had a blast doing this and it occupied lots of time. I still can't seem to add a link, but Normal Joe Productions is the name of their youtube channel, and the address is It's pretty entertaining!!!!
I look forward to see where his creativity takes him.
when James and Jason were little guys, maybe 3 and 6, Grandpa Colaw used to say that when they grow up, they should have a company together. James could be the brains behind the whole thing, and Jason could charm their way into everyone's life. Not that James can't be charming and Jason isn't smart, but this continues to summarize our two oldest boys very well. Grandpa had incredible insight even when they were so young.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


"I'm sure you know this already, but man James is an awesome kid. :-)"

This was written on my Facebook wall the other day by a friend who also attends our church. I can't tell you how proud that made me. He really is an awesome kid!!! We have so many things that we love about him, so many funny stories. He's a hard worker. His boss calls him the robot because he works so hard without stopping. He's funny and makes us laugh all the time, most of the time intentionally. He's creative. He can draw and design and edit video and does it all with excellence. He is a great writer. I love finding his notes in my Bible. He writes little notes to us that mean so much. We love talking to him after church on Sunday to hear what he learned from the teaching and his critique of his dad. Brent says that if he wants to know the truth, he asks James. His critiques are normally very helpful!!! He loves the Lord and he loves people. He is a servant. One of my favorite recent memories was at a Gone for Good when we went to feed the homeless. Brent was not with us, and he's usually the one who draws all the people together and uses his hospitality gifts as easily in the homeless park as he does in our living room. I was busy serving with some of the other adults in our small group while other adults were watching the kids who were with us, so the people were not being drawn into conversation and rather than sitting with us, they were getting their food and going to sit under a tree. I looked up and saw James and Jason walking over to sit with them. They sat down on the ground right next to them and were striking up a conversation. After I finished serving, I went over to see what was being discussed. They were discussing the Vietnam war. The two man they were talking to at that moment had both served in Vietnam. James continued talking to them for probably over an hour. When we were driving home, I told him how proud I was of him for taking initiative and going over there. He said, "I just wish I was more like dad." I asked what that meant. He said he has to force conversations with them. He wished it came as naturally as it does for Brent. I almost laughed at his expectations for himself. Not only is he only 16 and speaking to homeless people, but he's 16 and speaking to 50-60 year old men and feeling bad for his conversational skills when obviously those men felt perfectly comfortable to talk to him for so long. He's just incredible with people. Many 16 year olds would have been mad at their mom and dad for making them go to the park and would never have considered going and sitting on the ground to be part of the conversation. Not James.

He had a really interesting/scary experience about a week ago. He was out on his skateboard at about 9:00 a week and a half ago on a Friday night with his friend, Jake. They were on their way home from grabbing a bite to eat. It had been a rough week, and I was wiped out, so I was laying in bed watching a movie. Brent was beside me when the phone rang. It was a very odd conversation that I could not understand but it seemed obvious that I should jump up and get ready to walk out the door. James was down the street, by the elementary school that David and Sarah attend, with Jake and the police. He and Jake were riding down the road when they realized a car was driving slowly beside them with about five guys in it. They decided to make a turn and go into a neighborhood to get away from the car. They were punching in the code to open the gate when the car pulled up and two guys jumped out of the car. Jake realized what they were doing and rolled his skateboard to them then ran into light and called the police (FLIGHT). James, on the other hand, responded by shoving the first guy out of the way and running after the second (FIGHT). When he ran after the second, the first got up and used a taser on James's abdomen. They then grabbed his board and ran. It turned out that James and Jake were maybe the third victims of the evening, and another boy was attacked after them. (This fight or flight story is a perfect example of James and Jake's friendship. They are as opposite as can be, but incredible for each other.)

It was super scary for all of us . . . the boys and their parents. We've all recovered, though I still think I may be a little overprotective for a while. James works at a skate and surf shop, so the next day when he went into work, his boss gave him a skateboard, and James bought Jake a new board also. That night we took James over to Jake's house, and both boys were back on their new boards. The police caught the criminals and they (at least some of them) are in juvenile hall. Some, if not all, of the items have been recovered. Brent was on the news as was the back of James while on his board. I was nervous about the news involvement, but I guess it's all okay. I can't seem to upload the link to the news story, but it is, if you want to cut and paste it.

This has been another moment in my life as a parent where I realize just how precious life is and how I need to be careful not to take things for granted. We are so thankful they had a taser and not a knife or gun. It could have been so much worse. As we talked to Jake's parent the following and watched the boys on their boards playing and having fun, I think we were all incredibly grateful.

Monday, September 5, 2011

trying a new thing . . .

I've been terrible about this blogging thing. Seems like I'm so busy, but I really like looking back on what I've written and being reminded of various things, including how God was working in my life at different times. So I was trying to think of what I might like to blog about, something that might make me excited to write.

I'm going to try to start with writing something about Brent and I, something about our relationship, how God is using us, whatever. If I can stay disciplined, I will do one day about us, one about each of the kids and one about work or something like that.

I must tell you that ministry has been beyond stressful lately. Actually, just life in general has been. There have been all sorts of stress: finances, relationships, time management, work related stuff for me, you name it. We can sense God really using us in different ways, but it also takes a toll. (I'm not one to blame everything on spiritual warfare, but looking back on our year, I can't help but wonder if Satan is trying to drag us down. I'm tired of picking up the phone to call home with another catastrophe.) We've had some friends going through a rough time in their marriage. We love being there for them, but it also brings up garbage in your own marriage, so we have had to talk through some stuff, which is not really all that fun. But in the process of watching Brent handle difficult situations, I have been so proud and so thankful for the man God gave to me. He has been so reliant on God. This particular situation is so much more than we know what to do with, but we know that we were called into the middle of it for a reason, and we want to be where God wants us to be and to be used by Him. I have watched Brent sit quietly praying for the next step and then listened to him as he acted on what he felt God leading him to do or say. It has been exciting to watch lives transforming because Brent has allowed himself to be used by God, even when he felt totally incapable. Truly amazing!!!!

I was "telling my story" at small group the other night. I've done this so many times before, beginning back when we were in Kyle Unruh's small group in Bartlesville, but it's always a little different and I always teach myself something (or remind myself of something) as I tell my own story. The thing I realized as I told my story last week is that God puts us through circumstances and gives us opportunities for a reason. If we are willing to be his tool, he will use us in really big ways. I've been watching my husband be taken out of his comfort zone to be God's tool, and he has been doing an amazing job.

I would just ask any of you who happen to read this to be praying for us. We had all the physical injuries last year with all six of us being in urgent care at one time or another (and David in on three occasions). There is an earlier post about that, I think. Recently, it has seemed more relational and emotional. James was mugged a little over a week ago. I will tell that story another time. I had to make a decision in effort to protect James's emotions in another situation and force him (and Jason) to delete one of our "friends" from Facebook because of hateful, sarcastic comments, which has caused even more relational turmoil for Brent and me, and as much as I play "tough", I don't like people not liking me, and Brent hates it when people are not happy with him. He wants to be loved by everyone. So it's been a tough couple weeks, and we could use your prayers for protection and for wisdom.

Here's the most recent family picture I have from our vacation to Yosemite last month. We went on our first ever camping trip. I will have to blog about that soon. Not the best picture. We were being swarmed by mosquitos, but the lake was beautiful and we hiked 3.5 miles one way to see it, so we had to get a picture.