Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pickin' blackberries

I was going to write about our trip to east Texas to pick blackberries with our friends the Mortons, but Shannon (the wife of the Morton family) wrote such a great post that I figured I would just link to her blog. Click here to read about our fun trip this past weekend.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I am a Kingdom Kid!

It is hard to believe that 3 years ago, Maxwell went to his first day of Kingdom Kids (the preschool at our church) and on Thursday, May 14, Maxwell "graduated" from preschool. What sweet and wonderful memories we have of his time at Kingdom Kids in Mrs. April's "Frog" class, Mrs. Lisa's "Apple" class and Mrs. Pam & Mrs. Amanda's "Sunbeams" class.

Mrs. Pam, Mrs. Amanda, Mrs. Kelly

Ms. Marianne (music teacher)

Mrs. Beth (movement teacher)

Here is a "through the years" review of Maxwell on his first day of school each year. My how time flies!
September 2006

September 2007

September 2008

Since the day we heard about you...

On Mother's Day 2009, we had the privilege of dedicating Miller to the Lord at our church. Both sets of grandparents were able to make it to the dedication so that made the weekend even more special.
For those of you who may ask, "what does it mean to dedicate a child?", it simply means that Maria and I committed to raising up Miller for God's glory and to be used by the Lord however He wants to and our church body committed to supporting us in that endeavor. We did the same for Maxwell when he was 7 months old so we've been anxiously awaiting to have this opportunity with Miller.
The verse we chose for Miller is Colossians 1:9-12. "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledege of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."

We love you Miller!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tell me about your day

Every Tuesday and Thursday when I pick Maxwell up from Kingdom Kids, I ask him about his day. Like a good parent, I avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, focusing instead on questions like, "what was your favorite part of your day at school?" As you might expect with a 5-year old boy, this process usually requires more than one question though.

This week I started with the standard (see above) and when his answer was too short for my liking, I followed that up with, "so...are you the line leader or caboose or anything else this week?" (There are certain "jobs" that the kids are assigned each week and they rotate through them).

He looked at me and with all seriousness said, "No dad, I'm on vacation."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Maxwell!

On Monday, May 4, we celebrated Maxwell's 5th birthday. Well actually, the festivities started on Saturday, May 2 at his birthday party at the pool, but I didn't take any pictures there so I have no proof for the blog. Oh, I would have taken pictures, but Maria got sick in the middle of the "swine flu" panic so we had to basically quarantine her to the back bedroom and I got to do all of the birthday party "stuff" that we would have normally done together. So the truth is that I just didn't remember to take pictures at the swimming party (we all had a blast though!). (By the way, Maria didn't have swine flu...or any kind of flu for that matter. Just a virus that caused a fever for 2 1/2 days).

So on his actual birthday, May 4, we started the day by having waffles (his request) on our family birthday plate that Nana gave us last year (and that we just forgot for the other birthdays in our family).

Then we had our last day of Hot Shots soccer followed by lunch with our dear friends, the Shannons. Maxwell wanted to have lunch with his best buddy Jackson, so it gave us a reason to have lunch with the rest of the Shannon family, too. That night we then had the privilege of having dinner with the Mortons (which includes Maxwell's best girl buddy, Elizabeth). Thanks to his Nana, Maxwell even had a birthday crown/hat to wear to dinner. As you can see, Maxwell and Elizabeth had fun being goofy.

Maxwell, thank you for bringing so many sights and sounds into our home. We can't imagine life without you and we are so thankful that the Lord gave you to us. Our prayer is that over the next year you grow in your knowledge and love of the Lord. We love you!
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy 70th Anniversary Grandad and Grandma!

I know this blog primarily covers the Upton family of four from College Station, Texas, but today we want to honor my (Matt's) grandparents who live in Orangevale, California. On April 29, 1939, M.G. and Viva Upton were married and today they celebrate their 70th Anniversary! What an amazing heritage they have established for our family--it is hard to imagine 70 years of marriage in the world we live in today.

Grandad and Grandma--thank you for the godly heritage you have established in the Upton family. Thank you for holding on to each other through all of these years and thank you for being an example of a godly (though likely imperfect!) marriage. We love you and are thankful for the privilege of honoring you today. Here is a special wish for you from the boys.

We love you!!!
Matt, Maria, Maxwell and Miller
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our first attempt at Bluebonnet pictures

The day before Easter we took the boys out and attempted to take Bluebonnet pictures for the very first time. Out of 122 pictures we took, we only got a few decent ones. Here are our favorite pictures. We really didn't get any of the two of them together that we loved, but we will try again next year!

This one cracks us up everytime we see it. Can you tell Miller is our "fit thrower"?
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jesus threw 'em in the trash!

Happy Easter (or more likely, Happy day after Easter)! We had a good day today celebrating the risen King. After a rough start to the morning, we enjoyed time at church and then lunch with our neighbors, the Wards, and one of the students from my work (at the Bush School at A&M), Ashley. Throughout the day, we obviously talked quite a bit about the fact that today is all about Jesus conquering sin and death for everyone, everywhere. Maxwell continued to say to us, "Mommy and Daddy, He is risen!" to which we replied, "He is risen, indeed!"

At the end of the day when I was putting him in bed, we were talking about the day one more time and about how Jesus defeated sin and death. After telling Maxwell that Jesus had taken our sins away, he asked how far away they were. I told him about the verse that says our sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west--and told him that was as far away as he could ever imagine. He then looked at me and, with a huge grin on his face, said, "yea Daddy, Jesus threw our sins in the trash!" I just smiled and agreed--good to know our sins are in the trash because of Jesus! Have a great week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Maria/Mommy!

Today is a most special day because today is the day that the Lord brought my beautiful bride, the love of my life, my best friend, the mother of my children, my precious Maria into this world. Words alone cannot express how thankful I am to the Lord for creating her and, especially so, for giving her to me as my wife. When I think about my life without her, it is all blurry and bland, but life with her is vibrant, full of life, and full of happiness.

Oh sure, we've had some hard times, but overall, life is so good with Maria in my life. I still remember the first time I saw Maria up on stage at Breakaway leading worship and how I thought, "I should ask her out...but she would think I am a freak since she doesn't even know who I am." Only God knew then how the future would play out...and I'm glad he let it happen the way it did.

I love you sweetie. Happy Birthday!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Miller's 1st Birthday Party

On Saturday, February 28 we celebrated Miller's 1st birthday (his actual birthday is March 3).

Guests included:
Mommy, Daddy & Maxwell
Nanny & Papa
Nana & Grandad
Aunt Jana & cousin Zachary
Mrs. Lizi & Rae Rae
Mr. Morton, Elizabeth & Abigail

Here are some pictures of the big party:
The candle is lit and we are singing "Happy Birthday" to Miller here. Apparently, he didn't like the sound of our singing though--notice that he is covering his ears.

Below is Miller's first taste of icing...and he wasn't the biggest fan. Neither of our boys have liked their first birthday cake. Fast forward to this week when Maria tried to give him another bite of a vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing--he still didn't like it. She then thought, "I know Maxwell doesn't like chocolate, but maybe Miller will", so she gave him some chocolate icing guessed it, he loved it. Mind you, he still didn't like the cake, just the icing.

Here he is playing with the cake...not eating it though (Maxwell cried at his first birthday when he felt the icing because it made him dirty...not so with Miller).

Finally, here he is with his friend Abigail. At least he isn't pulling her hair here.

First (assisted) steps

This video was taken on Saturday, February 28--toward the end of the day and after Miller's 1st birthday party. Maria had been trying to get him to walk using the walker toy for a few weeks, but he just wouldn't do it. Then after Papa pulled the walker toy out and worked with him some, followed by some more workout time with Nana and Grandad he decided he would show us his walking ability!

Happy Birthday Miller!

I know it is what everyone says, but it is true that it is unbelievable how quickly time flies with with your children! A little over a year ago, Miller Isaac Upton joined our family and we are so much richer by having him in our family. Here is just a little about Miller:

When any of us (Mommy, Daddy, or Maxwell) walk into the room, Miller lights up with the biggest smile. One of the best parts of my (Matt) day is when I go to get him out of bed in the morning. First, we go see what Maxwell is doing and then we go into our bedroom to see Mommy. Miller loves his mommy and he makes it known every morning by the smile and giggle he gives her when he sees her for the first time.

Miller adores his big brother, or bubba as we call him, and is really starting to watch what Maxwell does and tries to imitate it (sometimes that is a good thing...other times, well...).

Miller is a snuggler and if he is tired or just needs some loving, he will lay his head on your shoulder and just snuggle in. As a parent, you have got to love that.

Miller loves to laugh and is so much fun to see when he gets tickled. What a beautiful sound it is to hear his laughter in our home.

Miller seems to like music just about as much as his brother--he heads straight for the computer when I am playing music on it. After seeing he and Maxwell playing their instruments together this morning we may have a band in the making, the UB Band (Upton Brothers Band)...we'll keep you posted.

I know there is more, but since I haven't blogged in so long, I'll stop here for now. Our prayer for Miller is that the Lord uses him in mighty ways to reach the lost with his tender love for people. We love you Miller and are so glad you are part of our lives!

Mommy, Daddy, and Maxwell

NOTE: I realize this post is 2 weeks late, but better late than never. Sorry Miller--I didn't forget your birthday. Love, Daddy
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Sunday, February 1, 2009


We were sitting in the living room this afternoon with Miller fussing and talking in his room instead of taking a nap. Maxwell was being especially rambunctious and running around the living room with a extra long skinny white balloon (think balloons that are used to make animals) that he got from HEB after church today. He ran into the kitchen using his balloon as a sword when we heard a loud crash. Apparently he had run into the trash can and knocked it over. The only thing we heard from him, in his best California surfer dude accent, was "Whoa..."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

When I grow up...

Today was "Occupation Day" at Kingdom Kids and everyone was supposed to dress up as what they want to be when they grow up. This was part of the Occupation unit that they have been studying for the past few weeks. Several of the parents had come to the class to share about what their occupation was. They had a doctor, a veterinarian, a cowboy/rancher, a police officer, a helicopter pilot, and "someone who blows up things underground to find oil and gas." All in all Maxwell really enjoyed this unit, especially learning about the helicopter pilot who told them he flew over the sea and the "walls of Nineveh" (Maxwell's favorite story is Jonah).

When we asked Maxwell what he wanted to be he did not hesitate to tell us that he wanted to be a scuba diver like the one in Finding Nemo. Rather than pick something easy to dress up as, he HAD to pick something we had to be creative in dressing him as. Where do you get a wet suit for a 4 year old that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Thanks to the help of Jenny Petter who found online instructions for making a costume and loaned us some black T-ball pants and Carla Hilland for loaning us some flippers, Maxwell's wish came true. Maxwell the scuba diver was a hit! As soon as he got home from school he had to put his costume back on and we "played" Nemo until Nemo (Maria) got tired of being caught.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't honk shoe daddy and other random thoughts

So Maria keeps reminding me that part of the purpose of a blog is to record different moments in our life. She also keeps reminding me that every post doesn't have to have accompanying in honor of our friend Brian Miller and his "random thoughts" posts, here goes:

When I put Maxwell down at night I pray, he prays for someone, and we sing a couple of songs before saying our final good night and turning out the lights. After I turn out the lights he asks for a hug and says, "You're gonna stay in here forever!" to which I often reply, "Oh, I am?!" He then either asks me to make an animal sound (I have no idea why) or to pretend that I fall asleep on him (I did that one time and it became a tradition). A few weeks ago I pretended to fall asleep and also started to pretend to snore. A few nights later he asked me to pretend to fall asleep again, but this time he said, "Daddy, don't honk shoe when you fall asleep on me...okay?!"

I had Monday off of work for the MLK Holiday and finally got on the roof to take the Christmas lights down. Maxwell was in the yard playing and when he saw me on the roof he came over and asked, "Watcha doin' up there little fella?" Needless to say, it is a good thing I was sitting down by that point because if I hadn't been I might have fallen off the roof laughing.

We came home from Kindermusik on Monday night and Maxwell promptly sat down at his desk and said, "I'm thinking...I'm sitting at my desk and thinking". While I captured the moment on megapixel, (is that what you say when you take a digital picture? I didn't capture the moment on film so I'm guessing that is right), I'm determined not to include a picture on this post.

One final story--this one about Miller. After I got off work today we decided that I should meet Maria and the boys at Wal-Mart for some errands. I knew they would be in the kid's clothing area so I just walked back there and hid around a shelf of items. I then peaked out from behind the shelf and Miller caught my eye. I thought it might be fun to play peak-a-boo with him. When he didn't respond to that, I started walking toward him like I was going to tickle him (something we do at home all the time). Rather than smile and get excited, he promptly looked at me like I was a stranger, puckered his bottom lip out, and started wailing! Once I picked him up, he quickly calmed down though and from then on kept smiling at me as we walked around the store.

Enough randomness from me for one post. Have a great day!