Yesterday we started our 2007 - 2008 school year. It was a great day of learning. Even if we had not started formal teaching, God would have got our little girls excited about learning with everything he put in our path.
We started out our morning with oatmeal for breakfast and Richard going over his expectations with the girls. After breakfast Richard and the girls took the trash out. On the way out Rachel found a very large spider. So Hannah runs in and asks for a jar. I don't have any jars, so I do a quick check of condiments and find a jar to empty.
They all come in and are very excited. Richard, being the great dad he is goes and gets the field guide so they can figure out what is living on my kitchen counter. No luck. I have a pet spider named Robin living on my counter now.
Now, I must add as a side note here, when I was in high school I bought a tarantula for my dad. My mom freaked out and would not let it in our house. So we had to find a pet store to take it. My mom would not even ride with it in the car. When I was growing up she would always say, "I hope God gives you a daughter just like you," or she would utter some kind of bad karma on me. Well, yesterday I called my mom and she laughed and laughed and said God was good. He is good!
So, back to the story of our first day of school, after the whole spider event we started in on school.
After lunch we took the girls to the library. We came back home and were getting ready to go to our friends' house for dinner, when I found a lizard by our car. Don't ask me what I was thinking, but I caught it, gave it to Rich and went in to find another jar. I have named our lizard Izzy. He is sitting on my kitchen counter next to Robin the spider.
As a final example of God's beauty in animals we were on the freeway and a Great White Egret took off from right next to us and flew over our car. It was so beautiful and graceful.
We finished off our first day of school with great friends and food. What more can you ask for?
Rachel asked me today if we are going to start carrying jars around with us.
Friday (08-08-08) was the last day we did something special for our vacation. We used the Olympics as a starting theme and built up from there. We started by taking our girls to see KungFu Panda at the cheap theater. Since the Olympics were to be held in China.
Then we came home and had Wii Olympics for our girls. This was a lot of fun to watch them compete with each other. We even printed up medals for them and awarded them for each sport. We had competitions in bowling, baseball, tennis and golf. Here are the girls with their "hardware."
Abby was a little tired from all the excitement.
We picked up Chinese food for dinner. And watched part of the opening ceremonies. It was really neat to see the smaller countries' uniforms, they were actually original. We put the girls to bed about 10:00 pm (two hours after their bed time). I kept Richard up to watch the United States walk in. I was very disappointed with the uniforms and that the cameras spent most of their time on Kobe Bryant. I would have rather have seen some of the lesser known athletes. We were specifically watching for Allyson Felix, but later found out she did not participate that night. She was in another part of China preparing for her race.
All in all it was a great day to make good memories with our daughters.
I forgot to post my favorite camp picture. It is of my amazing husband.
By God's grace last night I found out that one of my favorite blogs is back up and open to the public. You'll remember I wrote about Jewels at Eyes of Wonder back in January. She was one of the inspirations for starting this blog as a way of documenting our journey in life as we serve God. If you would like to just relax and see peace personified stop by Eyes of Wonder and see what is happening in Jewels world.
Today is our sweet friend's birthday. Grace is an amazing young woman who loves the Lord. She is so talented. She writes songs, plays the guitar and sings. Today is her special day. Unfortunately, we are unable to see her today as she just moved out of state last week to go to school. My girls had the hardest time saying good bye to her. Driving home was so sad listening to the sniffling from the back seat.
Bekah, Grace, Peter, Becky, Ingrid and Rachel
Grace and Jewels singing.
Girl sandwich with chocolaty Nathaniel.
Grace and her family at Rachel's graduation.
Grace and Jewels leading music at Awana.
*Update- We just tried to call Gracie to say Happy birthday, but she is so loved that her voice mail box is full.
Around the campfire. Notice the train coming from the left.
As I was transferring pictures from my camera to computer today I realized I had not finished posting about our vacation this year. Our vacation in a nutshell was very much God's will not our plans. Many of the things we planned on doing just did not happen. As I reflected on it later I realized God kept us home to rest up for the upcoming busy season. One detour was our week of camping. We left for the campground on Monday morning and returned home on Tuesday evening. We were supposed to spend a week there. Richard and Rebekah had the stomach flu and Hannah had Fifths Disease. We decided Tuesday evening we better head home, Richard was in pain, Bekah was just miserable and Hannah could not be in the sun. We told the girls we were leaving and they all cried, but I am happy they all got on board to tear down camp. By God's grace I took 51 pictures in the short time that we were there. Here are some of the highlights.
The train going by overhead. These trains are so quiet.
Our campfire right before we put it out. Notice the pretty heart shape.
Well, we are almost done with our VBS this year. It has been a wonderful time of serving along with other brothers and sisters in the Lord. I am always amazed at what God uses to encourage me, this year as well as last year God has used those serving to truly encourage me. I watch as people who are serving together are also getting to know each other better. By serving in VBS you are often put with people who are not in your normal circle of friends. I am encouraged as I watch our church grow deeper in their relationships with each other and also with God. Some of the standouts have been:
• Our director is a beautiful single woman, who is serving the children of our church and neighborhood. This is an amazing picture of Christian love and sacrifice for me.
• One of our kitchen workers is not saved, but is faithfully coming to serve dinner to our workers and prepare the snacks. Tonight, she listened to the teacher teach his lesson to her first and encouraged him as he went out to share his lesson with the children. I am praying for her salvation this week. I must add this woman just found out her cancer has returned and she is facing chemo again.
• One of our workers shared with me tonight, "This is so fun," even though she was feeling sick all night.
• My youngest daughter's first words this morning were, "Today is penny day!" We collected pennies for a local Navigators missionary to UCI today. The boys won.
• My oldest daughter has taught the young children twice this week. Tonight, she was able to keep their attention! She spent over three hours preparing pictures to show the children for their lesson about Noah.
• Most of our workers have full-time jobs, but they continue to come and serve even though they are exhausted.
• We have had many children come from the neighborhood. Also, two of them accepted the Lord.
What a wonderful week we have had. God is so gracious to give us sweet Christian fellowship as we serve Him.
I will post some of the 250+ pictures tomorrow. I need to go to sleep now.
I am the daughter of the King of Kings, I am the wife of one amazing man, and mother to four beautiful girls. I am privileged to stay home everyday with my children and care for our home. I am striving to be who God wants me to be.