Thursday, October 22, 2009
I feel like I need to go backward to be able to catch up and go forward. That might take a bit. I'd like to say I'm going to write every day to catch up. I may not get that done, but I'm going to give it a go anyway. That means I need to go back to late August when I went to Scotland. I put some of my pix on facebook, but not nearly all of them. Thanks to the fact that rearranging them on here isn't always that easy, I'm going to put one of my favorites from each stop I made. Well, even that's not true, because some of them were on the move. This one will be the longest. How do you squeeze 10 days of travel into one post?
Friday, July 17, 2009
Little Alek is bundled securely near his Daddy's heart. It's obviously a peaceful place to be. Notice he's sleeping without a care in the world. In the meantime Lars is protecting his son while proudly letting the whole world know that his son has arrived! The title of this photo on FB was titled "Fanfare for Alek Jr, our firstborn!" I just love it! I'm amazed that Alek is sleeping so soundly while that trumpet is blaring. That makes one think he must have heard it a time or two while he was in the womb as well. It's a song only for him, the shouts of the trumpet joined with the steady beating of Lars' heart.
When I asked Lars' permission to use this photo, he shared with me that Alek's arrival helped him understand just a bit more the love our Father feels for us. Since I'm not a parent, I can only imagine. The pride in this photo, though, is more than obvious. Just think. If he feels just a taste of what God feels for His children, how much more must our Father love us and feel pride in us. That says nothing of his desire to hold us close to His heart. Take some time to soak that up.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Yesterday included my Grandma, my Mom and I, Mom's sisters ~Phyll, Chris, and Becky ~ Phyll's son James, several of Becky's kids, and random others that showed up here and there throughout the day. The only planning that really happened was preparing for lunch, which was delicious ~ a few salads, deli-style sandwiches, and lots of fresh fruit. Mostly the plan was to spend time in the sun and with each other. The plan came off without a hitch!
For any that have read The Five Love Languages, quality time is at the top of my list. Activities are great, but I just dearly cherish spending time with those I love the most. Grandma's yard is a great place to do that. It sort of has an upper and a lower portion. The lower part of the yard is by far bigger. That leads to the lake, has a picnic table, a fire ring, and much more space. The upper portion has the porch swing and smaller grassy area. When we got there a few were already sitting on the swing. Rather than move down to the larger area, we just brought the lawn chairs up and sat there. Other than when a few swam out to the middle of the lake and when we ate lunch, we never really moved. We were too busy talking. I've spent countless hours lying in the sun at Grandma's house. I don't think I've ever done it in the yard right beside the garage, but that's what we did yesterday. We were simply too busy talking and soaking up the sun to be bothered moving down to the area where we usually sit.
Life is too busy. We don't often enough just spend time with each other, as families, as women, and generations. When I was a child I remember my Mom and I semi-regularly getting together with the women in my Dad's extended family. I thought it had a name, but I don't remember it now. That group consisted of some Amish women and some who were not. They usually quilted while the kids played. There was always a mouth-wateringly delicious lunch, then we'd all head home late in the afternoon. I don't remember a single one of those quilts. I have no idea who they were for. What I remember we kids having a ton of fun, and the women talking and laughing, buzzing like a bunch of bees. It was time to catch up, share stories, ideas, and much more.
Every time I spend time with women, be it at church, Bible study, a sewing bee, or near the swing at Grandma's house, the concensus seems to be that it is a refreshing time that should happen more often. There's a reason families are designed the way they are, generationally. Really we had 4 generations present yesterday. Grandma, her daughters, my generation, and then the little girls. The little girls are my cousins now (yay for adoptions:), but Zoe is 5 and Ellie nearly 3. (Soon the ages of my Grandma's grandchildren will range from 3-40) Since I'm, well, much older than 5 (not the one almost 40, though:), it's almost like they're nieces, not cousins. There is so much joy and insight to be gleaned from all of those generations. We're all at different places in life, but still had so much in common. Even James, who was the only male a good bit of the day, seemed to thoroughly enjoy lazing the day away with us. I can't say the conversation was particularly profound. At points it consisted of intestinal issues, physical changes, eye infections, and funky toes:) It wasn't really the conversation, though, that was important. It was the time together, and lots of laughter.
My time yesterday only solidified my interest in continuing to make time with my family important. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to spend the rest of the day with my Mom and Dad.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
In the last couple days, I've felt as is my train of thought took me from one bloggable moment to another. There were no depots in sight for miles. Now I have more stops than I'm sure I'll be able to keep up with.
First on the list of things to share is two enjoyable evenings this last week. Wendy is one of the very special people in my life. We met nearly nine years ago. I had been volunteering at The Power House Youth Center. One of the directors asked me to think and pray about the opportunity of mentoring a particular girl who was a member at the PH. We had developed a bit of a relationship. After considering, I decided to agree. When I said I'd do it, I was told that they had decided on someone else instead. It was Wendy. I knew who she was, but didn't really know her at all. That made me feel a little uneasy. I had no idea what she was like, whether we would click, what we might have in common, what we might talk about, or if she would have any interest in spending time with me, for that matter. I went with it anyway, and I can't tell you how many times over the years Wendy and I have laughed about how right the choice was. We certainly have differences, but we have so many things, besides loving Jesus:), in common. There are things, such as a love for words, that we both implicitly understand about each other. When we tell others, they look at us like we just might be from another planet. The wondering what we might talk about? Ha! Quitting talking is usually our problem.
My friendship with Wendy has been an amazing experience. One of the adventures that I treasure most thus far. I don't have children of my own. She's too old to be my daughter. That's honestly not what a mentoring relationship is anyway, but I feel just a bit of the pride in her that a mother does. It's been my privilege to share in the last nine years of her life. I look forward to many more.
Fast forward nine years. Wendy has recently finished her Victory Lap. She's done a great job supporting herself, living on her own, and paying for school. The last year and a half many of our conversations have centered on the economy, unemployment, the vast array of jobs available or not to people with a business degree, and what in the world to do once graduation arrived. Graduating from college is an exciting time. Graduating from college in a rotten economy and thousands of dollars in loans is a scary time. We've been doing a lot of praying. Wendy found out last week that she had been hired for a job in Macon Georgia. I forgot to mention that once she was old enough, she quit being a member at The Power House and became a volunteer as well as employee. She is now the coordinator for a volunteer program at Wesleyan College. While I'm sad to see her move far away, I think this is a very good move for her. She lived in Macon for one year during school, and loved it. I'm just so excited for her! All those months of concern over how to find a job were taken care of only a month after graduation. I pointed out to her that it was nearly 6 months til I found a nursing job after school. In this economy, a job after only a month can only be seen as a HUGE answer to prayer!
A week ago she and I had dinner at our favorite pizza place. We said our "see ya laters". I figured that was it for quite a while. A going away party was scheduled for Friday, so I got to see her again. Saturday evening I went to church with her, and then to a cookout where we were going to stay for "a little while". A little while after midnight we finally left:) It was a very nice evening. The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold. The s'mores were delicious. The company was even better. I felt like it was stolen time with my girl. The two evenings made my weekend completely delightful. I'll miss having Wendy around, but I'm so excited to see what the next stretch in the road holds for her!
Side note: Just before we left church Saturday evening, the daughter of a friend found a large paper with a picture, apparently of Jesus on it. The adults were chatting and heard Vanessa in the background proclaiming, "God! I have a picture of God! I'm taking God home with me!" She really caught our attention when she raised the volume and proclaimed, "Giddy-up God! I'm riding God!" We turned to see her with the large paper rolled and tucked between her knees, "riding" it like a stick pony. How many times do we as adults wish that we could say "Giddy-up God!" I've been chuckling about it all week long. I guess He did giddy-up in finding Wendy's job.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
The crooked seams in this picture were what finally convinced me that this one needed to be a practice rather than the final product. I've discovered I'm a bit of a perfectionist.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
This is she and I getting some bonding time while her mama tries to catch up on some sleep. Once we went to Mindy's parent's house, where my parents were staying, then my mom soaked up lots of Grandma time. That meant Katie Grace and I getting our bonding done when everyone else was asleep. Fine by me.
Little missy just loves kicking for all her nakie self is worth. She's also good at peeing when there's not a diaper around, so I indulged her freedom while still leaving the diaper where it could help.
Katie with mommy and daddy........sadly watching Michigan State lose to Ohio State. Mommy tried not to rub it in to daddy too much, but daddy and I were both a little bummed. No worries. The important tournament starts tomorrow!
Daddy thought it would be fun to give Katie a fauxhawk. Judging by the look on her face, I'm not sure she thought it was a good look. haha
I liked this one. She looks so tiny with her daddy's hand coving her whole torso. Such a precious little bundle.
I didn't pinch her. Honest.