Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beach Bound!

Sometimes I find so much enjoyment in doing what is routine and comfortable. Yesterday we went back to our favorite beach for the first time this year. Being the creatures of habit that we are, that statement in itself (about going back to our favorite beach) automatically implies that we followed our beach trip with dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. It's true. It's like peanut butter & jelly, salt & pepper, the beach & Mexican food...

This fantastically written, clever and enjoyable post from almost a year ago made me laugh when I reread it. Some things have completely changed, and some things (hopefully) never will. I just realized that this post, this post, and this post, all look very similar to the first, and what I was about to write. For that reason, the kids and I have agreed that THIS beachy Mexican post might need a little something special, a little gussying up, a little... Bob.

The weather was a little overcast, super breezy and warm. The water was still cold from winter, and no fish were in sight. There were no manatee or dolphin sightings either, but plenty of birds.

This is my absolute favorite picture from the day!
And this is my second favorite.

It was a perfect day. We followed our completely routine routines. We showered and changed and went for dinner. We sat slightly sunburned and hungry, and ate way too much chips and salsa, and delicious foods. And while it's a little bit of an old hat, it's our old hat, and I love it. I love the familiarity and comfort of favorite places. And I love this family of mine.

Monday, April 29, 2013

This Abundant Week...

This past week we found Abundant Life in:

~Tent Parties! The beginning of the week was rainy, too rainy to spend much time outside. So we pulled out the tent inside, and had a tent party.

Yes, Lilly is wearing a bathing suit, and Barkley is wearing a cone.

Lilly's newest obsession is bathing suits. She wakes up in the morning, and before exiting her room, she dons a bathing suit. And if it were up to her, she would wear it all day.

Barkley has seasonal allergies, and once or twice a year he breaks into fits of chewing himself bloody and raw. A trip to the vet, steroid shots and antibiotics, a cone, and a week past, and he's good as new.

Every night that Bryan's at work, we Skype with him before bed, so that the kids can say "goodnight". As you can see, he joined us in the tent, and the girls read bedtime stories to him.


I LOVE this picture. I love Grady's little face in the corner, so happy to talk to his daddy.
The next morning the kids woke up, the bathing suit went back on, and Curious George joined the tent party.

And that evening, they ate dinner in the tent. And then they camped out in the tent one more night, and the next day the tent party was over, and it returned from whence it came. (And yes, it appears as though Grady was recruited to join Lilly in her beach wear.)

~Classical Conversations End of the Year Celebration. I wish I knew how many children participate in our community, but there are a lot. My guess would be between 75 and 100 children. I have asked permission from the parents in Bella's class to posts pictures of their children's sweet faces, but the rest of the school I haven't, so just imagine lots and lots of other really smart and cute kiddos.

 Until next year, friends!
~Playdates at the park. They're just good stuff.




~"Family Dinners" at church. A bunch of us gathered that night, workers, musicians, technicians and families, and enjoyed a little time together.

~Work. As you know, we have spent some time this past week working at our new church building. There are a few things that I've learned this week. The first one is that I am so thankful that my father taught me to work. He taught me how to tear linoleum up off our kitchen floor and replace flooring, he taught me to change my own oil and made sure I knew how to change a flat tire. He taught me to use power tools and my brain. He does things correctly, efficiently and with integrity, and he works hard. I'd like to think I picked some of that up.

I remember one specific evening in the summer of 1997, before I left for college. We had bought two dressers for me to take to my new apartment, but they were a hideous shade of green, and needed to be sanded down and repainted. My friends all went out to watch a movie, and my parents made me stay home and work on those dressers. I was so angry. I cried mean and nasty tears as I sanded and painted. Those dressers are still with me, sixteen years later, and so are those friends.

Bryan and I, even now, make purposeful moves to instill that desire and ability to work in our children. Whether it was stopping by the church for a few minutes to clean up trash and make some dumpster runs, or helping with the family chores, we want to make sure they are able to recognize service needs, and act on them.

The second thing I've learned is that work or service looks like a lot of different things, but most importantly, it's an offering. As David said, "I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing".  Our service is a sacrifice. It's costs us our time and our energy, and we are happy to make that sacrifice. There is joy in working as unto the Lord, and the smiles and singing and laughter proved that this week.

I have seen so much talent from the people in our church. Many have taken on huge construction jobs, done all kinds of technical lighting and sound stuff, done landscaping and irrigation, painting, ect... All of those big projects stand out. However there were sweet friends that volunteered to watch children so that parents could be working at the church. There were folks that brought lunches and dinners and snacks and water for those that were hot and sweaty and hungry. Behind all of those really big exciting jobs, there were people pushing vacuum cleaners, cleaning toilets and windows, picking up garbage, and all serving in so many other ways. The many different offerings were there from so many.

~Story time with dad. Lastly, a little abundance from this week has been just time together. It's good for us, and we are loving it (bathing suits and all)!

The end!