Monday, November 28, 2011

You've Been Blogged

 Dear Family, 

You were warned this might happen.
Yep. You've been blogged.
But don't worry.  I have a very small audience.

I'm sorry.  I can't help it.  You're all so photogenic!

We had such a fun day together.  I can't just let it go un-documented.

I promise your identities will not be revealed.

I'll even throw in an unflattering picture of myself  if it makes you feel better.

I'm hoping this day was the beginning of a new tradition.

Why do the kids always look so fun...

and the adults always look so serious?

You can't be serious ALL the time.

Especially when you've found the perfect tree.  
 Josie and Gabby get the credit for picking out this beauty. 
Where's the other two?


While we do all the "work."

I love these kids.  They make everything more fun. 
(We miss you two down south!)

Let's go!  We're getting hungry!

Now this one I'm not going to talk about.  It's a little shady.

Table for seventeen, please!
A cozy old train depot turned restaurant provided the perfect atmosphere for our breakfast/lunch/supper/snack/dessert/meal in the middle of the afternoon.

The perfect ending to a perfect afternoon.

 That wasn't so bad, was it?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Slide

What's everybody looking at?

Do you remember this "event?"
I remember that mom was very sentimental about that tree trunk 
because of all the little hands that held on to it as they crossed over the creek.

Remember that velour couch?  I can practically feel it!
And I spy a familiar looking race track...Joel's?

This is a classic Dad picture.  He's got his standard "uniform" of khaki, plaid, and the hat.
So handsome. Always doing something.  I always thought he could do anything. Anything!
The only times I remember him sitting were to eat, read the paper, 
or read The Banner.

Mom wanted to save a chunk of that trunk for a keepsake.
I wonder if they did?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Sticky Holiday

 (click here to find the inspiration for our thanksgiving day breakfast! )

Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble."

Now that's a strange way to start a Thanksgiving Day post.
I bet you're thinking I burnt the turkey this year. Nope! The food was delicious!
But holidays are an emotional minefield of sorts for me--
or for anyone that has experienced loss.  
The sweet memory making of today mingles with the bittersweet memories of the past.
There are just so many triggers--the traditions, the food, the scents, the songs, even the weather.
One minute I am down deep grateful for God's abundant provision. 
The next minute I am down deep longing for what's missing--
for who is missing from our celebrations.
It's a sticky situation.

"But take heart!"

What do we do with our hurting hearts?
Pretend all is well?  Hide the hurt under layers and layers of...something, anything?
No! What good is a buried heart?  Besides, I've tried that.  It doesn't work.
  We live in a broken and sinful world.  We will hurt.
Our hearts would be numb if we didn't feel the pain right alongside the joy.
 Here's the good news for hurting hearts.
There is reason to hope for--even long for-- something more, something better.

 "I have overcome the world!" 
John 16:33

God wins! One day, God will make all things right.
Complete restoration.  No more brokenness. No more tears.
Thanks to Jesus, we can live each day in joyful anticipation for our heavenly home.
And while we're here, we need to share that good news to a hurting world.
We need to wake up each new day and choose to see the gifts and receive the grace.

Yes, some days are harder than others. Some lives are harder than others.
But everyday with God there is joy to be had and love to be shared.
Remember, the future is bright.  Take heart, and give thanks.

~ ~ ~

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me with His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With pow'r upon my heart

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly
Whose every promise is enough
For every step I take
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who reigns above
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace
Whose every thought is love
For every day I have on earth
Is given by the King
So I will give my life my all
To love and follow Him


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Safe and Sound

Last Sunday we got a flat tire. "We" -- meaning all six of us in the van. On the highway. It's cold. It's windy. We're 30 miles from home.

Where's the Greatest American Hero when you need him?

The Greatest American Hero tv show photo

I loved that show way back when.  I bet my brother can still sing the whole theme song. "Believe it or not--I'm walking on air..."  Remember that? Never mind.  Back to the saga on the highway.

My Mr. has never been put to this test. Do it himself? Nah. He has a better plan. One quick phone call and help is on it's way. Thank you for roadside assistance programs and cell phones!

Soon Mr. Roadside Assistance arrives, but he's having some difficulties. The big kids and Dad have to get out of the van and stand in the highway ditch or the lift won't work for Mr. Roadside Assistance. Mommy and Josie stay in the van. We pray. Mommy's nervous--thinking of the late night news headlines, and traffic accidents, and scary stuff.  Mommy prays some more.

Mr. Roadside Assistance finally gets the van up and the wheel off, ready for the spare. Problem is, a spare tire doesn't do you any good if you can get it off it's rusted bolts. Yes, that's right. The spare tire won't budge.  Mr. Roadside assistance can't help us anymore. Good-bye Mr. Roadside Assistance.

Now we're going to need Mr. Tow Truck. Another call. Another wait. But thank you for tow truck drivers! Problem is, six people are not going to fit in the cab of a tow truck. We don't know a soul in this town. It's late, and dark, and cold, and windy. It would take friends or family at least 40 minutes to get to us. More praying. We're going to need a taxi cab for six. Another call. But thank you for taxi cab drivers! We pile back into our van and wait on the highway, still praying.

Mr. Tow Truck arrives.

Mr. Taxi Van arrives.

God provides.

And we all head home--a thirty mile tow truck ride and a thirty mile taxi ride. It's the most expensive ride we've ever had, but worth every penny just to be homeall safe and sound.

Who needs superheros in tights? 
God answers prayers.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fun by the Dozen

Trick-or-Treating wasn't allowed in my family when I was growing up.  
But I do remember my brother and I getting to go to a neighbors halloween party once. 
Let me hear you say "awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww..."

I vividly remember coloring that contruction paper crown.
I also remember being terrified and excited at the same time--
wanting so badly to go, but also terribly shy.
 I think you can see the fear in my face!

Perhaps in an effort to make up for all the candy begging I missed out on in my youth,
I've thrown a Halloween party or two myself.

Good memories!

This year, Gabby asked to have a party with HER friends.

Gabby is all about friends.
If I didn't give her a limit, we probably would've been shoulder to shoulder with giggling girls.
A dozen was just right!

She planned this party for weeks. 
I stayed out of it for the most part, but at the last minute,
I decided to whip up a little atmosphere around the house.

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooh! Spoooooooooooooooooooooooky!
 She came home from school and LOVED it.
Totally worth it.

After an hour of frantic after school party preparations,
the hostess with the mostest got the party started with gross "guts" and scary stories.

The guests had to reach into the box and....well...
their faces say it all.


Crack. me. up.

Now all you need is a little mummy wrapping,

and monster-mashing,

and pinata bashing.

By the way, don't you love the homemade pinata?
Gabby's handiwork!

Way to go, Gabby!  Your party was a smash success!

I don't have pictures of all the fun stuff they did, but trust me...

they had FUN!!!

P.S. Thank you, Hanna, for most of these pictures.  
After all, who wants their mom hanging around taking pictures all night?!