Friday, August 29, 2008

FUN FAMILY WEEKEND

Last weekend my parents, 2 brothers, sister-in-law and nephew joined us up at Lake Erie for a long weekend of family fun. It is the only time of year we all get together for a little mini vacation and it wouldn't be possible if my in-laws didn't allow us to use their cottage. My brother flew in from San Francisco and Mike was such a trooper to spend a whole weekend with my family after just getting back from India. We laid on the beach, swam, fished and even took in a local concert by a 60-70's rock band.



Here are some pictures and video from the fun weekend. It was the first time the kids got to fish with real bait, I was so happy that they each caught a fish and they were safely returned to the water. I remember fishing on a family vacation in High School and catching a fish, returning it to the water and then have it float belly up to the surface. Luckily the fish this day made it out alive minus one hook in the eye for Will's poor little fish. After Will caught his fish and we threw it back in the water he said, why aren't we going to eat it for dinner?



I am so grateful for these special family times that the Lord blesses us with. As much fun as we had I was reminded this morning of how amazing our time with Christ will be. As I listened to the song "Better is One day in your courts, Better is one day in your house, Better is one day in your courts then thousands elsewhere" I tried to explain this concept to the kids. I told them to think about their best day ever and that being in heaven with Christ is thousands of times better. I am not sure it really sank in but I know that teachable moments like this over time will definitely produce fruit in their lives. Thankyou Jesus for showing your love to me through my family and allowing me to be apart of your amazing family.




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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

He's Home!!!

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Well Mike arrived home safely this afternoon and on time. As you can see the kids were very excited to see their daddy. I can't not give enough praise to God for his protection over the past three weeks. The time went by suprisingly fast and we were all healthy and safe while apart. We are looking forward to some great family time this weekend at the lake. I love this time of year with school starting(Abby starts Kindergarten), Ohio State Football, the kids birthdays. I can't believe summer is almost over and fall is right around the corner. As I celebrate and rejoice in Mike's homecoming I can only imagine the joy I will feel at Christ's homecoming- I know it will be out of this world :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Comfort Zones

Tonight I had a chance to do something that was out of my comfort zone. I attended one of our churches get to know each other barbeque's with the kids all by myself. I often rely on Mike to start the conversations and I do not like going places by myself. Since Mike is out of town and this was the only time I could go to one I thought let's take a chance and do something I normally wouldn't do. I was excited about the possibility of meeting some new people from my church. We only know a handful of people and I have been really wanting the opportunity to get to know many others. Unfortunately I left the whole thing feeling defeated, disappointed and generally bummed out. I did not meet one new person and only had one other say hi to me.

I was upset with myself for not making more of an effort while I was there, although it was hard trying to mingle and keep my kids from throwing sand at the same time. I should have been more bold in going up to people and introducing myself. I know that people don't just fall in your lap but I guess I thought more people would be willing to strike up conversation with me. I really do enjoy our church and there are a lot of great people there, I just have to figure out how to meet them.

So as I came home with some tears in my eyes, I almost started a pity party for myself and then I got to thinking. Was the event a failure because the outcome was not what I had desired? Was it a success because I took the first step and attended something I normally would have been too afraid to? Most of all I am thinking what am I supposed to learn from this situation, what is God teaching me. I'm not completely sure, but I do know I should have prayed before we even left for God's guidance and that I would recognize his presence while there. I pray Lord that you will continue to provide me with opportunities that are outside my comfort zone so I can rely on you and await your outcomes instead of relying on myself and my own set of expectations. Thankyou that you are always present and willing to listen, guide, encourage and love me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Gold

I love the Olympics, I am completely sleep deprived but it is so worth it. I not only enjoy the actual event but all the side stories as well. To see all the training these athletes go through and the determination and commitment required is inspiring. I thought about how these athletes spend four long years preparing for a chance to win one single gold medal. It is amazing that one would spend so much of their time pursuing something made of metal. Something that will tarnish with the years and be left behind once life on earth ceases.

I will of course never obtain a gold medal but what is my prize, what am I training for or should I be training for. Paul gives great perspective in Phillipians 3:14 "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus". What if I prepared for this prize with the same commitment as these olympic athletes, what would my life look like and why am I not doing so. In checking out some commentaries on this verse I found this one by JD Branon "When Life's race gets you down, remember, the greatest incentive you as a christian have is awaiting you at the finish line-seeing Christ face to face and sharing in his eternal glory. Keep that in mind and you'll keep going".

So may the Olympics not inspire me to be more committed towards an earthly prize but towards the ultimate prize that cannot be taken away and will top any record. Meeting my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and seeing him face to face. China has a pretty nice venue for the olympics this year but the venue Jesus Christ has prepared for my award ceremony is sure to be unsurpassed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Google Analytics

I just started using google analytics about 2 weeks ago. I was curious if anyone was reading my blog. Having people read my blog is not my reason for starting this whole thing, it was really a way for me to sit down and think about all simple blessings I have in my life. It has also become a way to share pictures and funny stories about the kids for my friends/family that we aren't able to see as often as we would like. It has become especially useful now that Mike is in India and we can't get our web cams to work, now he can check the blog for new pictures and videos of the kiddos while he is away.

Well I started checking out the reports to see who if anyone reads my blog and I was shocked because it keeps track of visits. If other people have this program they must think I am a total blog addict and might even think I am a little on the obsessive side. Let be be clear, I do enjoy reading the blogs that I've found or been referred to, but I hope nobody thinks I am crazy. Many of the blogs I read inspire me and so I check them often when I need a little perspective. Sometimes something really exciting,challenging or thought provoking is happening in someones life and I am eager to see the results. No matter what, I hope I haven't made anyone uncomfortable with my blog viewing. Some of the blogs I don't even know the person but they were on a blog of a blog of someone I do know so I checked them out. Especially early on in the process I visited alot of sites for ideas for layout, template etc.

I don't know why this is bothering me but I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable with my visits. This whole blogging world is new to me, it has provided me with appreciation for my own family, encouraged my spiritual journey with Christ and has allowed me to pray for some really neat people. So if the number of my visits on your analytics program keeps increasing then keep up the good work. Its means you're interesting, encouraging and I think your thoughts are worth my "free time"when I get it. It means I respect your family values, your love for Christ and your ability to share a glimpse with others the simple blessings you have been given.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Events of the day

Well today was an ordinary day. The kids attended camp creation in the morning at their preschool. When I picked them up I asked them what they learned and this is how is went. Abby told me they learned about the 6th day of creation and then told me all the details of the book they read. The whole time Will is trying to chime in about what he learned and I told him he needed to wait until Abby was finished. When Abby finished talking about her day I told Will it was his turn and he says " I didn't learn anything today". NICE!! It still made me laugh, but thank goodness for the repetition he will recieve over the next few weeks at camp creation. Abby is so great about letting you know what she learned, what she thinks about things and answers questions really well. Will has great comedic timing and is so funny and most the time he doesn't even know it. I am so grateful for my kids and that God made each of them so very special.

Speaking of special, in talking to my husband today I learned something really cool. A couple of posts ago I mentioned that Phillipians 4:6-7 was going to be my go to verse while Mike is out of town. Mike told me today that the morning he left for India he read that verse to. How cool is that, God provided that perfect verse at the perfect time for both of us and we didn't even know it. I love it when God continues to surpise us like that. Thanks for the peace you are providing my family during this time Lord.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Irish Festival

Well the kids and grandparents and I had a great time at the Irish Festival. We managed to stay there 5 hours which is really far longer than I expected. I think my parents and I were more tired then the kids. They got to spend alot of time in the kids area with all the inflatables and trampolines. The weather was tolerable compared to past years. My dad wins the grandparent of the month award as he stood in line in the hot sun for an hour so the kids could bounce on the trampolines pictured below.


We managed to find a table and chairs to sit down and eat which can be a feat itself with all the people there. Will had a hotdog and fries, Abby a corndog and fries and my mom had a hotdog as well. I had a great burger from a local restaurant called Jason's and my dad had a corned beef sandwich with sauerkraut(sp?). So we had a variety of food, desserts and fun at this year's festival. We of coursed missed having Mike there and hope next year we can all attend again. This was my parents first time coming and they enjoyed it, maybe they can come next year as well.

My mom made an interesting comment there, we were talking about all the people there, over 100,000 usually attend throughout the weekend. We were talking about how many of the people really get into the Irish tradition and are loyal attenders. Then my mom said wouldn't it be cool if all these people were sold out for Christ. Wow, what a statement. That would be way cool if we Christians(I mean CHRIST FOLLOWERS, as my pastor would say) would be that enthusiastic and committed about our Lord and Savior. It just gave me a renewed commitment to make sure that I am not sold out for anything more than my Savior Jesus Christ. Gotta love my mom for always keeping it real and continuing to pass on her motherly wisdom. Hope my kids are inspired by me as much as I am by her. I love you mom.

Friday, August 1, 2008

He's There

Well Mike is finally safe in India. After about 48 hours of travel and wait time he got there safely and not as tired as he thought he might be. He actually ordered a pizza at 130 in the morning, as long as he has pizza I know he will survive. Right before he left there were two bombings in the city he was staying in, making us both a little nervous but allowing us to trust completely in God as we know we do not have control over those things. Dropping Mike off at the airport was very sad, wiping back the tears I was finally able to pull away. Abby asked why I was crying this time because I never cry when daddy goes away on business. I told her it was because daddy has never been gone this long and that I was going to miss him alot. Both Abby and Will answered "me too".

I have had lots of help this week from family who has graciously helped me get some free time. The kids have enjoyed the special activities and I am so grateful to have family that are so willing to help me out. Tommorrow we are going to the Dublin Irish Festival(dublinirishfestival.org) with my parents. It is the second biggest Irish Festival around and we always have a great time. Of course I am sad Mike will miss it as this has been a family tradition for a while, but I plan on taking pictures and video to share with him.

The verse I am using to help calm any worries that arise over the next few weeks while Mike is gone is Phillipians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will gaurd your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". Thankyou Jesus that you provide for all things.