Friday, August 21, 2009

A Gift

Yes, I know... I go through some really dry spells, then.... WHAMMO! Two in one day!!!

I couldn't resist though, and I felt God tugging on my heart on my way home from a birthday party tonight. I knew that He wanted me to share this with my sister.

T'riss, you know I love you. You know I pray for you consistently... without ceasing. You also know that I've been through my own storms. You have seen me "weather" them. Sometimes you saw something good... sometimes you saw scary things in me. It is now that I'm watching you go through some of your "firsts". I am proud of you and the grace that you have shown. You are confident in the One who loves you most... the One who knows each one of your days and the steps that you will take. The One who carries you everyday.

You also aren't afraid to admit that you're afraid... that you're feeling a bit lost. I love that about you too. It's the people out there who are always pretending that everything's okay that you have to worry about in life. You aren't one of them.

I thought of this song when I was praying for you tonight, and then... it came on the radio. It was a gift. It was a gift to me (I still need these reminders too). It was a gift to you. I know that it will bring peace to your heart, as it does mine.

No. Matter. What. ... He NEVER lets go.

I love you ~

Whidbey Island

It is now time for part two of our road trip vacation. I told you I'd be breaking this trip up... but I didn't know it would take me so long to get it done! Oh, if there were only more hours in the day...

So, after a couple of days at Diamond Lake, we headed up to Whidbey Island. For any of you that don't know, this island exists right off of Seattle. It's a pretty big island, and although you can get there by driving on land, it is a shorter trip (not to mention more fun) to get there by taking one of the several ferrys. We took a ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton. Whidbey was my favorite spot! It. was. GORGEOUS. The house that we stayed in overlooked the Puget Sound and we could actually see the ferry going back and forth during the day, and the city lights over across the water at night. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. We enjoyed time with friends, time at the park (the boys' new favorite park), and hours at the beach. We ate lunch at the cutest and yummiest little Thai cafe. The boys spotted every thrift store on the island and we shopped. Colby found an old (but cherry) bike that had a $15.00 price tag on it. He wanted that bike Soooooo bad, but of course, we had to leave it since we had no room in our little mini van for a bike to go home. They managed to find other treasures though, so all was not lost. We sipped on great coffee and just enjoyed more of being together and exploring new things.

The friends that we stayed with have been friends of mine for a long time. They are actually my parents' age, and our families did Saturday night get togethers on a regular basis. Will has always had this creative flare about him that attracts children, and that has not changed. The boys were by his side most of the time that we were at their house. Will even did an origami lesson at his dining room table. There are now hundreds of origami balloons throughout my house! What a treat that was though... and such a memory for us ALL to tuck away.

Yes, Whidbey holds a special place in my heart. I know it is a place that we will go back to often.... to explore, sip coffee and be together.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Caleb!

It's birthday time again. My "baby" is turning eight years old tomorrow... WOW... can't believe this.

Caleb continues to be one who brings a smile to anyone's face. His smile and laughter have always been quite contagious. Maybe it's that extra cute dimple on the side of one cheek. :0) He LOVES to help anyone who needs help. He isn't one who loves to sit. He's happiest when he's doing something... anything actually.

Caleb has done a lot of growing this year. Everywhere we go people say, "Wow... all of your boys keep growing so fast, but Caleb... he's growing DOUBLE fast." As his mom, I'm not sure that I like to think about this too much since he is my baby and all. What I DO like to think about though, is all of the other ways in which Caleb has grown this year. He accomplished so much as a first grader. He is reading comfortably and confidently. That is HUGE growth. It has given him so many freedoms that he truly enjoys. He can take almost anything (including the ridiculous non-assembled IKEA items) and read the directions himself and put it together. Let me just say, this comes in REALLY handy for a mom.

Caleb also continues to be my snuggler. He LOVES a good snuggle with mom! I think I love it more though. I keep reminding him of how much it means to me that he spends that kind of time with me, and I tell him that he'll NEVER be too old for it... no matter what anyone else tells him. Those snuggles are precious to me.

This year I'm praying these things for Caleb:

1. He starts school at a co-op this year where he'll be in class three days a week. I'm praying that he will be a leader and stand up when it is appropriate to do so, and be still when it is equally appropriate.

2. That he continues to be one who enjoys being so sweet and helpful. This is a character trait that I know God can develop in him and use for His glory.

3. For patience and diligence as he continues to learn his academics. Caleb LOVES to be outside the most. Sitting down while learning isn't something that comes easy for him. It is necessary for him to learn this skill though, and I know that with prayer, it will be something that becomes easier.

God, I am so grateful for the fact that you know this son of mine from the inside out. I thank you for Caleb and all the joy that he brings to my heart and to others around him. I thank you for your protection over his life. I pray that you continue to grow him and use him for your kingdom. I pray that you continue to guide me, as his mother in seeing the areas where he deserves praise, as well as the areas where he needs encouragement. Thank you for blessing our family with this boy for the past eight years. Because of your faithfulness, I know that the next eight years will be just as sweet.

Happy Birthday Caleb!

I love you ~

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vacation... Part 1

Good Morning!

I've decided that today is the day to get started on journaling our vacation. We've been back for a couple of weeks now, so it's about time, right?

Instead of writing one VERY long entry though... I'm going to tackle our vacation bit by bit. We did a lot of traveling, and there are so many stories to share. So... as the song says... "Let's start at the very beginning... a very good place to start." (You get extra bloggy friend points if you can name that tune).

We left on a Sunday morning. We left VERY early. We made our first stop just 15 miles down the road @ Starbucks for coffee. Our first destination was Diamond Lake, Oregon. We were told (by Mapquest) that we had about an 8 hour trip ahead of us. We were prepared though. J had checked out all sorts of audio books from the library. We had all kinds of snacks in the van. There were pillows strategically placed. Road trip 2009 was going to be good... memorable!

After making very few stops, and getting stuck in a bit of a traffic jam due to a cherry truck over turning, we arrived at the lake late afternoon. It was GORGEOUS!!! Crystal blue waters... tall, snow peaked mountains... cute little cabins... our vacation was off to a perfect start. We quickly changed into our swim gear and headed down to the swimming area for a quick, cool dip. It was so peaceful to sit there, watch the boys and linger over words with my hubby. We talked about the next day and what our plans would be. The boys were determined to catch "the big one" in this lake, so we decided to rent a boat for the following day.

We had an excellent night's sleep in our cozy cabin on the lake and headed for the lodge for breakfast before heading out on the boat. We packed up some food, books (for me, of course), sunscreen and a TON of fishing gear and set sail. It was a perfect day on the lake. We caught a couple, but of course, the big one got away. I will testify to the fact that Colby had that big one on his line. I saw it, and it was HUGE!! So big, that it broke his line completely OFF!! We didn't let it spoil our fun though. We explored every corner of that lake, and I got off the boat feeling like I was still ON the boat. I think I've decided that deep sea fishing is out for me. It's something I've always wanted to do, but after having that feeling for a good few hours, I'm not sure about that anymore.

We had some of Oregon's best pizza at a little pizza shack on the lake that night. It overlooked the water. Again... beautiful! It was breezy that night, which caused the water to have those glistening little caps floating on the surface of the water. It reminded me of scenes straight from a movie. There were bald eagles soaring over the water plucking all those fish that were feeling lucky not to have been caught by a hook and a worm. The pines that lined the shores were swaying in the breezes. All of this speaks volumes to my heart about God's goodness and how He provides for every living thing. I could have stayed at that lake for the rest of our vacation and been perfectly happy...

They were two very short days and nights spent, but two of the best. It was a charming little place. Someplace we'll definitely visit again. We were on the road again... this time our destination being Whidbey Island, Washington.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

For Now...

Hi friends.

I know that most of you expected that my next entry would be all about our vacation. It's coming... I promise. I don't even have the pictures loaded yet, and I want to make sure that I can share our trip complete with lots of photos. It was a great getaway! I really do have LOTS to share. But... for now... can I ask a favor?

Would you please be praying for me? I have had a couple of circumstances occur since coming home that have put me in a place I don't want to be. I'm feeling broken and tired. I know God is giving me new wings here, but right now the growing pains are seeming to paralyze me a bit.

God... show me the light in this darkness. Make your path so clear to these eyes that WANT to follow you and honor you. Give me your words to speak. May everything that is in me bless YOU... in every circumstance. ~