Friday, June 28, 2013

KY Fun - Part 1

So much has happened in the last week.  I have several blogposts to write to catch up on all of our adventures.  We ended our time in KY, traveled across the country with a pit stop in Kansas City to celebrate Laila's bday, and have been settling back in at home.  I think I finally have all the bags unpacked and laundry done.  I did some mega grocery shopping to restock all that we used up before our trip.  I even cooked a meal last night.  That means we are really home.  

For now, I have to go back to before our trip.  
The night before we left, Laila lost her first tooth!!
 While we were on our trip, she lost another tooth!
 We have lots of fun when we go to KY.  We get to enjoy our time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.
Isaiah took up the job of being Grammy's personal fanner
 My parents' neighbors have become good friends over the years.  We are always excited when they are home during our KY trips.  There was lots of playing in their pool, jumping on their trampoline, some wii, bike riding, s'mores, and even some fireworks on several nights!
Synchronized Swimming

 This girl is such a little fish.  She LOVES swimming
 Chillin' at the pool
 Abby even conducted swimming lessons with Isaiah and Laila
 We got to spend a couple of days with Briley, my niece.
I miss those baby days so much!!
 She was cracking us up with her phone and purse.  
We also discovered that she is into shoes.  
 Sam was given a Pinewood Derby car.
He and Rick used Papa's tools to make it.
 This boy is in his element
 Adding the wheels
Of course, it is orange, and of course, I don't have a picture of the final product, but you get the idea!
 I had the opportunity to reconnect with 3 friends from my high school years.  It was so fun to see what is happening in each other's lives and to realize how our friendships transcend time and location.  I would love to see these ladies more.  Thank you, Kim, Michelle, Traci, and Linda for making the time and effort to see me.
Linda and Me
 We also got to do a lot of celebrating while we were there.  There were a total of 5 Birthdays in the family during our trip.  
We celebrated Seth's first bday with him
 Willow turned 5 and Seth turned 1
 What a cutie pie!

 Rick, his brother, Rob, his sister, Kimberly, and his mom
(Rob, it looks like you didn't get the memo about the blue color scheme!)
 A family recipe that has Rick's mom has made for years is called Carne Frita.  He requests it every time he comes home.  Here is the first step, the meat has been sliced and breaded.
 Rick offered to help since it is a pretty labor intensive process.
 Frying up the meat
 Plus, it gave he and his mom some time to hang out
 The final product.  They like to dip it in Ketchup, but I prefer it dipped in mayo.
 Rick sent me this pic while they were cooking.
Of course it would be shaped like Africa!!

There were also many relaxing mornings on my parents' porch sipping coffee, cousin sleepovers out the wazoo, cookouts, lemonade and sweet tea o' plenty, some group efforts to make it past certain levels on Grammy's candy crush saga game, shopping with Grammy, donuts, and evening chats on the porch.  

We only had one trip to the doctor while we were there!!  That might be a record.  Abby developed a sinus infection.  Since we have returned home, it has now taken down Isaiah, Sam, Rick, and me.  Laila started sneezing this morning so we will see how she does.  Lauren and Cody are the only ones still standing.  

More KY fun to come!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Amen and Amen!

"What if caring for the poor was more than just caring about easing our consciences? What if caring for the poor meant feeling sacrifice for the poor?  What if we weren’t really feeling care for the poor – until we were really feeling sacrifice for them?"

Amen, Ann Voskamp, Amen.  

Read it.  Soak it in.  Ask the Lord what He wants to speak to you.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kentucky Fried Wedding

The event that triggered our visit to KY this year was our nephew's wedding.  Rick was asked to perform the wedding so we decided to make it into a family road trip.    The wedding was on Sat. It was outside at the bride's home with perfect KY weather.  
Our family all dressed up and ready to go
 Papa and Grammy(my parents) with the grandkids
 Rick and Tyler (Rick's brother's son)
 My little pretty, pretty
 Rick's mom has 16 grandchildren.  
15 of them are 15 years old and under
 Do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of 16 children at once???

The men, awaiting the bride
 Ashley's Daddy rode her in on his motorcycle.  It was really quite cool!
 The wedding party
 The couple
 This is my favorite pic from the wedding.  Those are Ashley's parents watching as Tyler and Ashley walk back down the aisle as husband and wife!
 Rick, his sister, his mom, and his brother
 Rick signing the marriage license, making it official.
 I just need to stop here and add my personal commentary.  There is just something about going to a wedding that makes me remember my wedding day and reflect on my marriage.  Adding in the element of watching Rick perform the ceremony, made it very special to me.  I love watching him do weddings and funerals.  It is in those milestone moments of life where he really shines in his calling as a Pastor.  He is really good at them and makes it so special and personal.  The best part of it all is that I know that everything he is saying is for real.  He lives it every day in our marriage.  Anybody can perform a wedding, but not everybody embodies the Scriptures they are reading and the words they are sharing for the new couple.  I am so blessed to have him as my husband.  Truly, God has given me such a gift in him.  He is the kind of husband that really seeks to love me as I need to be loved.  He has taught me so much about grace and forgiveness.  I am so thankful for that.  Watching him do this wedding was a huge reminder of what I have and how grateful I am for him and the marriage that we have.  We will be celebrating 19 years of marriage in September.
I pray for that same kind of marriage Tyler and Ashley!
Congratulations to both of you, and welcome to the family, Ashley!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Another Year of Life

Yesterday was a bit of a bittersweet day, but not because it was my Birthday.  It was bittersweet because there are fires raging once again in Colorado Springs.  We thought last summer's fires were bad, and they were, but this fire is already worse and still is not anywhere close to being contained.  It was hard to celebrate when I knew so many people were dealing with such devastating terror and losses.  Many, many people from our church family and other friends are evacuated from their homes.  Many are finding out their homes are a total loss.  Even those whose homes are standing will not escape this ordeal without wounds, scars, and damage to deal with.  This kind of disaster cuts deep; deep into the hearts and minds of people.  Even my own children have been impacted and their exposure has been very limited and minimal.  

I hate to be away, but also believe that we are better off at this point.  3 of my kids struggle with breathing issues.  Their health could be greatly affected by the air quality right now.  We wouldn't be able to go outside.  We couldn't run our air conditioners.  We couldn't open our windows.  That would be a challenge in the 90 degree temperatures they are having. 

So, I am trying to peel my eyes away from the news reports over the internet. I am praying desperately for all involved. Yesterday, we still celebrated the milestone that is my 41st bday.  Because you have to.  You have to live life even when life is debilitating.  While one family is mourning a loss, another is celebrating a birth.  There are ALWAYS reasons to celebrate AND there are ALWAYS reasons to grieve.  

My day was filled with many reasons to celebrate.  I began my day with a nice cup of coffee on the porch of my parents' home in KY.  It was going to be a hot day, the hottest while we are here, and that was a gift for me.  I love the heat.  I love the humidity.  God delivered that right to me on my special day!

We had the blessed treat of being able to visit with friends from Dallas.  They just happened to be driving through KY yesterday with a stop at Mammoth Cave National Park planned.  That just happens to be only 30 minutes from where I grew up.  So, we gathered at an outdoor area to chat and catch up while the kids had some adventures of their own.
Laila and Abby practiced their photography skills with some nature shots.

 They did some people shots, too!

 The kids found a turtle that I am pretty sure was terrified and traumatized.  
When they finally gave up on him coming out of his shell, they put him down and he ran away faster than any turtle was ever made to go.
There was a fallen tree to climb and play on
There was a soccer game that resulted in an injury of temporary blindness in one eye.  There was a spider bite.  There was a scrape.  My kids were absolutely positive that they were going to dehydrate and have a heat stroke.  They are not used to this kind of weather!!
The crew of kids
We served on church staff with Chris and Dori for almost 5 years.  
It was great to catch up for a few hours!
That night we went out to eat Mexican food with my parents and brother's family
You better believe I drank some sweet tea!
Love my babes
I even got a little baby fix from my niece, Briley
Her bday is one day after mine!
What Birthday at a Mexican restaurant would be complete without a big hat, singing Mexican men, and dessert on my face?
I am sorry, but I needed a Blizzard for dessert.  
One French Silk Pie Blizzard, Please!  
This girl was serious about her dipped cone.  
My dad is watching the entertainment.
The night ended with some gifts of cash, treats, and love from the family!!
It was a full, happy day.  I am one blessed 41 year old woman!!