Life Around Here

The past month we have been enjoying Sprinter!  This wonderful Spring & Winter time in CO where one day can be lovely and warm and we’re watering flowers and wearing shorts, and the next where it’s snowing and we pull out our winter coats again.  The week of covering the daffodils with buckets paid off, though.  They’re beautiful!  

I still enjoy my morning walks…

and recently have seen some visitors at the birdbath while I’m walking.

Several weeks ago, Kenny celebrated seventeen years at Young Life!  The date sneaks up on me every year and I’m never prepared to celebrate it the way I’d like.  After dinner, Anna and I quickly pulled some cookies out and wrote a ’17’ on one.  We are so proud of Kenny and his many years of loyal work to support our family.  There are no words to truly express how grateful I am to him.  We love you, babe. 

I mentioned in my last post that James has grown out of his shoes already.  Typically the ‘school shoes’ we buy in the fall last the whole school year.  Not anymore!  So, Kenny took him shopping and he ended up with similar shoes to Anna’s.  Anna thought they should stand in first position to show off the shoes.  

I’m still working my way through reading and collecting the Mitford series.  I so enjoy these books and love my travels to Mitford many evenings!  I just received another book for my birthday; five more to go.

A girl in our small group decided to give her American Girl doll that she’s outgrown to Anna.  Such a sweet gift.  Anna saved her money for a Target brand doll last year – a much cheaper version that is very similar.  Grace wrapped up the doll and all her accessories and presented it to Anna a few weeks ago.  

Aubrey, Isabelle, & Anna

The kids are growing!

Anna’s latest fashion purchase…

The moments where the kids play together seem to be getting rarer these days.  I’m always quick to grab a picture when they happen.  

My, how time flies!

2018 & 2021

A Week of Birthdays

James and I share a birthday week and it’s always so much fun.  We basically end up celebrating all week!  We went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday at the beginning of the week and also enjoyed a cake the next evening at small-group.  

Kenny and the kids got me such thoughtful gifts – they know me well!  Anna gave me some cozy, soft, gray coasters for my tea and coffee.  Four of them so I can have one at the desk, one near my quiet time chair in the bedroom, and a couple in the living room.  James gave me some Downton Abbey piano music which I’m excited to start working on.  And Kenny gave me two issues of a new magazine we recently discovered – The Joyful Life – Heart & Home Inspiration for Christian Women – owned and founded by a new friend we met at church.  This magazine is right up my alley and I love it.  

A couple of days later on James’ birthday, he took pop tarts to school for his birthday treat.  With COVID restrictions, we can’t send in anything homemade, and he thought pop tarts sounded great.  His teacher took a fun birthday video with students sharing words that describe James’ character.  

That morning James requested french toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast and Anna surprised him with a card.  

That evening, we ate pizza for James’ dinner choice as we watched the snow falling outside.  It was very appropriate on his birthday to have snow.  Twelve years earlier when James arrived we had quite a blizzard!  

On Saturday, we celebrated again with our family in town with some Halo games, tacos from our favorite taco truck guy, and chocolate cake and ice cream.  For his birthday, James received new drum sticks from Anna, a new video game, game controller, a case to keep everything together, some new books, and a journal.  

It is hard to believe we have a twelve-year-old.  We measured the kids this past weekend and James has grown several inches since last summer.  He’s grown out of his shoes and just bought a new pair in the men’s department, he handles pretty much everything related to his schoolwork on his own, he’s becoming quite the drummer, and he makes his own breakfast in the mornings – often frying himself an egg.  This boy is growing up so quickly and some days I hardly recognize him.  He is becoming more and more independent and while some days the letting go is hard, we are privileged to witness as he grows into the young man the Lord has planned.  We love you so much, James! 

I stumbled across this new-to-me song this week by Andrew Peterson – You’ll Find Your Way.  Andrew Peterson is one of my favorite Christian music songwriters.  He wrote this song to his second son – a song about a boy growing up and the parent hoping the son will hold fast to the truths he knows deep down.  I was flossing my teeth while listening to this song for the first time, and as the tears started to flow I couldn’t see well enough to even finish flossing.  So many emotions as these kids grow up, but this is at the heart of it all – my biggest prayer for them: that they will hold fast to the truths they know deep down in their hearts.  When life becomes hard and crazy – and it will – I pray James and Anna will lean on the only One who can help.  

You’ll Find Your Way
When I look at you, boy
I can see the road that lies ahead
I can see the love and the sorrow

Bright fields of joy
Dark nights awake in a stormy bed
I want to go with you, but I can’t follow
So keep to the old roads
Keep to the old roads
And you’ll find your way
Your first kiss, your first crush
The first time you know you’re not enough
The first time there’s no one there to hold you
The first time you pack it all up
And drive alone across America
Please remember the words that I told you
Keep to the old roads
Keep to the old roads
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
If love is what you’re looking for
The old roads lead to an open door
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
Back home
And I know you’ll be scared when you take up that cross
And I know it’ll hurt, ’cause I know what it costs
And I love you so much and it’s so hard to watch
But you’re gonna grow up and you’re gonna get lost
Just go back, go back
Go back, go back to the ancient paths
Lash your heart to the ancient mast
And hold on, boy, whatever you do
To the hope that’s taken hold of you
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
If love is what you’re looking for
The old roads lead to an open door
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
Back home

Easter 2021

We had a wonderful Holy Week this year – the biggest holiday we celebrate as believers in Christ!  

Beginning with the previous Sunday, Palm Sunday, we read each day from scripture (the book of Matthew) the events of the day.  From “Hosanna!” to “Crucify Him!” in the span of a week.  This is the second year we’ve done this together as a family and it really helps drive home the focus for the week.  Some days we read over dinner, sometimes right before bed, and some days we played catch up and read two days in one because of a busy evening the night before.  

On Saturday, Kenny and Anna dyed eggs and we celebrated the Passover meal together.  This is another tradition we started last year and also helps keep our focus on Jesus rather than eggs and bunnies.  Ideally, this is celebrated on Thursday or Friday of Holy Week, but it worked best in our schedule to do it Saturday before dinner.  

Saturday was a hard day.  For all of us.  There was arguing and misunderstandings and harsh words.  As we were about to start the Passover meal I almost wondered if we should abandon it because of how things were going.  But, the table and foods were set, and thankfully Kenny strongly suggested we move forward – that in being together and eating (getting something in our bellies) our moods would improve.  And, praise God, he was right.  As we moved through the traditions and scripture reading, our shoulders started to relax, smiles began to emerge, and the time was redeemed.  Oh, what a wonderful picture of what Christ does!  It was unbelievable how the purpose of Christ’s death and resurrection that we were discussing and celebrating took hold of our family and truly did redeem us and our time together.  I will always be grateful for that experience together.  

Matzo crackers and Charoseth – a sweet, apple/cinnamon/honey mixture

Resurrection Sunday was a glorious day!  Our service at church was wonderful and majestic and set the tone for the rest of the day.  Our family came over for brunch and an egg hunt and we enjoyed our time together.  

Grandma Lucile’s Coffee Cake!

Instructions before the egg hunt

Luke was SO excited about every egg he found.

Lynn brought Easter sugar cookies for each of us that we painted.  Such a fun idea and they were delicious!  

Kenny passed down his Chocolate Bunny Easter shirt to James this year.  My sister, Sheila, bought this for Kenny years ago.    

Sunday afternoon we enjoyed being outside together in the nice, warm weather.  

That evening we cooked a more traditional Easter dinner with ham, hashbrown casserole, and asparagus.  The kids and I made Resurrection rolls – something I’ve wanted to try for years.  We took large marshmallows (Jesus’ body), dipped it in melted butter, rolled the marshmallow in cinnamon and sugar (the spices used in Jesus’ burial), then rolled the marshmallow up in crescent roll dough and pinched the edges together (the tomb).  While baking, the marshmallow is supposed to melt and when you break open the roll, the tomb is empty!  A wonderful idea, but our tombs broke open while baking and we had sticky, marshmallow goo oozing out of the rolls.  They tasted delicious – like a cinnamon roll – but were pretty messy and probably something we won’t make again.  Oh well, a fun thing to try once!  

He is Risen!