Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Celebrating Caleb



Seventeen years ago, in Schwetzingen, Germany, a little boy came into the world. Yep...that would've been Caleb Joshua Patty!

I wish I had time to scan 17 years worth of birthday photos just to watch the progression of him growing up! But...one of him on his first birthday and one today will have to suffice!


We had a great time celebrating him tonight with just our family...minus Tyler, who did call!

Earlier today his friends from school cele
brated him...well, if you can call kidnapping him from school and driving him around in the back of a van with his hands tied up a celebration...ha ha! He loved it! They took him bowling after that...redeemed themselves!

We'll have another celebration on Friday night with friends - you know, you can never have too many celebrations! :)


We are so thankful for our Caleb - he brings an immense amount of joy and richness to our lives.


Happy Birthday Caleb!!!
May this coming year be your most blessed one ever!! We love you!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reedeming Purple




This is not your usual redemption story.

When I was in 7th grade, my mom bought me the most beautiful long, velvet, purple coat. This was not your usual, average, practical school coat...it was a splurge purchase that my mom made for me because she loved me, and we both loved the coat so much.

I remember her asking me, "Will you REALLY wear it to school??" To which of course I replied, "YES!"

And I did. For a while.


Two months into seventh grade, my dad was offered a promotion with the company he worked for, so we moved 100 miles away from the little farm town I'd grown up in to a much larger city than what I was used to.


The new junior high that I went to was "double-shifting" at that time - two junior highs sharing one building. One went to school in the morning, one went in the afternoon. My junior high had the afternoon shift (which meant I didn't get home from school until after 6 every day...it was a bummer).


On my first day of school at the new junior high, I was assigned a locker. When I opened it, it was obvious someone else was in this locker. The student showing it to me said that up to four people shared lockers so it was okay to put my things in.


I'd worn my beautiful purple coat that day (it was a "courage giving" item of clothing...much needed on that day) so carefully hung it up in the locker and went to class, which happened to be right next to the locker.


When the bell rang, I stepped out of the class into a sea of junior highers rushing through the hall...all trampling on my beautiful purple coat.
The girl whose locker I'd been assigned to, was apparently not happy to see someone else's belongings in her locker.

She was standing there with the locker door open, having thrown the coat on the floor, waiting for the owner to return.
In not so pleasant words (I can hear her saying them to this day) she told me I was not welcome in her locker and to get that ugly coat and my other things out of there...which I did.

Another 7th grade girl who'd been in the class with me, saw my predicament and offered to let me share her locker. We became good friends and I was even the maid of honor at her wedding years later!

But the purple coat, for me, was ruined. Oh...it was nothing that a good cleaning couldn't have taken care of. But it was more than that. It'd been violated.

I never wore the coat again.


And I've never had a purple coat since then...just one of those things that stuck with me. Caleb would call it one of my "issues"!


However...redemption was in the wings all those years. A mere 37 years later.

When Tyler and I were at the mall with my friend and her son, we had about a half hour alone to wander. In a store...one of my favorite stores!...Tyler was unknowingly the bearer of redemption.


He found the purple coat for me...on sale, no less!! He didn't know my purple coat story...he just saw a beautiful coat he thought would be pretty on me. That's a sweet son!


So...without much wondering whether I should or not...I bought it.
Honestly, I felt like it was one of those "meant to be" stories from the Lord, to remind me about what's available from Him - Redemption! Of all sorts!

I'll wear my beautiful purple coat as a gift from Him...from a wonderful Father who cared about a 7th grade girl who once had another beautiful purple coat that was ruined, and yet now has been redeemed.

Ahh, redemption! It's the greatest gift of all.

Hanging with the Boys




On Tuesday this week my friend, Sharon, and I did something we've never done. We had a mother-son day at the mall!

She and I have had plenty of mother-daughter mall dates...but never with our sons.

Tyler and Patrick were here in Frydlant at BMA together all four years of high school, and are both now college students in the States. Both came home for Christmas, which led to us moms thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a shopping day together with our college boys?"!


So, on a snowy morning we headed off to Poland to a mall that was new to all of us!

We had a great time shopping (yes, these boys like to shop...if their moms are buying!), eating Greek food for lunch, and drinking coffee at a very cool "sidewalk cafe" type coffee shop in the mall...clever design!


It's one of those Christmas vacation memories that I'll think of many times through the years!

Tyler leaves this Saturday to head back to Chicago. I'm glad we've made a lot of other g
ood memories too while he's been here. It's been a perfect time!