Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy 15th Anniversary to Us

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
- John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
- Ernest Hemmingway

Marriage isn’t for everyone... But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”
- Jesus (Matthew 19:11-12)

Happy 15th Anniversary to us! A decade and a half ago today two kids stood in a field at sunset in the presence of God, their parents, their families, and the Family of Christ, and pledged to love, serve, honor, and follow each other for the rest of their lives.

And the subsequent 15 years (let alone 15 months!) have been full of adventures, some chosen and some thrust upon us. And we have grown.  And we continue to grow.  And we have depended on the other.  And we continually depend on Christ. And we are proud and grateful that the adventure continues and that we continue, hand in hand, on the adventure.

Place me like a seal over your heart,
    like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
    its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire,
    the brightest kind of flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
    nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
    with all his wealth,
    his offer would be utterly scorned.
- Solomon (Song 8:6-7)

Monday, July 15, 2013

How does our garden grow?

Q: How does our garden grow? 
A: Very big, if we're talking about zucchini!

One of these years I'll learn to only plant one zucchini plant!  And for now I'll just enjoy shredding zucchini for future zucchini bread batches.  At least the girls think that coring and shredding zucchini is fun - it's always good to have cute grating buddies!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Garden Produces

You know that summer is officially well underway when the garden starts producing its summer crops!  We are up to our ears in zucchini, but fortunately Steve has discovered some very tasty recipes involving zucchini stuffed with sausage that make the green part very palatable so between that and zucchini bread we're keeping up with the zucchini plant. Mostly.

We're still waiting on the tomatoes, peppers, blue potatoes, watermelon, eggplant, and cucumbers, but the carrots are almost big enough to harvest!  These were our test carrots and I think that in another week or so it'll be time for a carrot feast.  These girls will be ready whenever the carrots are!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I have a birthday - and it turns out really fun

by Ben

At my birthday party we played video games cause it was a video game party. And this is what happened.
In this picture, as you can see, we are playing video games.  I personally think the best game we played was Super Smash Bros Brawl or the ghost game (on the WiiU)
In this picture I am getting Pokemon cards from Riley and it's a good deck.
In this picture I got a Minecraft shirt, which I am wearing as I am blogging. It's a good Minecraft shirt.
In this picture I'm trying to hit a pinata.  I got 10 swings, but I was blindfolded and spun around 10 times.
In this picture Riley just cracked open the pinata and we're all getting our candy. We put little chicklets in the pinata, which is what they're called in Mexico.  But it's Mexican candy and it's gum.
In this picture Dad just lit my candle.  I was very confused. And as you can see I have a three-layer ice cream sandwich cake.  First layer is normal vanilla, second layer is neopolitan, third layer is chocolate chip.
In this picture my candle had just opened up, started spinning around, and playing the birthday song.  It was awesome.

I had a really good birthday, a really good candle, with some really good friends.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 10th Birthday Ben!

Happy 10th birthday to my very favorite decader!  We figured that a new decade meant that a new bike was only appropriate and Ben is definitely enjoying the speed of 24-inch wheels.  We also figured that he was old enough to participate in the selection of the new bike, and he went with the brightest color at the shop! Our Ben is vibrant in every way.

Why use the seat when you have a perfectly serviceable crossbar to balance on?
Ben's favorite gift (well, besides the bike) - a whole case of MexiCoke from his brother!
Ben decided that he wanted fondue for his birthday meal, so we headed up to The Melting Pot.  The boy has taste!
Yeah, he liked the cheese fondue.  And the steak.  And the chocolate.
Sasha wasn't so sure about the bananas foster
But once the sparks started flying she decided this dessert was a-ok
Always end with chocolate, it's a requirement
Happy birthday Ben! Our very best wishes for another simply fabulous decade of you!

Our week in Mexico - a video

Here's a quick video review of our amazing week in Colima!

Thanks again to the whole team, to our gracious hosts, to our fab team leaders, and most of all to our Savior for providing us with this week of fun, joy, and hard work all for his glory.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beating the Heat at Sundance

When the forecast calls for 100-degree temperatures for days on end and you don't have air conditioning in your house, what do you do? Head for the hills!  This strategy works even better when one of you works for Sundance and your family season passes include summertime lift rides.

Admittedly, it was still hot on the lift, but at least it was less hot

One item of added excitement was the rattlesnake under the mid-mountain lift shack! Very little gets a mommy's heart pumping like the liftie's warning to stay to the left of the path so as to not disturb the rattlesnake!  Never you worry, he was far less interested in us than we were in him.

We had a lovely afternoon hiking about (note our excellent hiking apparel and footwear), avoiding snakes, eating treats and drinking cold sarsaparillas from the Deli, and avoiding a little bit of the heat that has been scourging our neck of the woods.

Thank heavens for Sundance!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Reflections on Serving - Jamie

We had a truly blessed week in Colima, Mexico serving and learning and having a whole lot of fun.  Before we left, we had three purposes for our trip:

  1. To serve orphans and their caregivers in Mexico 

  2. To grow deeper in our relationships with God, with our church body, our families, and the universal church 

  3. To let our hearts be transformed by the need in our world and teach our children lives of grateful service by example
    And God really knocked our socks off in all three areas. 

If you ask any of the 16 members of the CenterPoint team, we’ll talk your ear off about the trip, telling our our unique stories and the work that God did in us and through us in Colima, both through our struggles and through the fun times.

For me, I left Mexico with lots of lessons and impressions, but one of the strongest was what a joy it was to contribute to and serve in a place truly focused on the best interests of the kids living there.  No child should have to grow up in institutional care – every child deserves a permanent home and a loving family.  But if a kid does have to spend time in a group home, Hogar de Amor is the best I can imagine.  I’m an adoptive parent – I have 2 children by birth and 2 by adoption – and our family knows firsthand the struggles and damage institutional care introduces into a kid’s life.

I was really struck by Hogar de Amor.  It’s a place where kids are surrounded with the love of Christ and provided for by caregivers who truly love them and love Jesus.  It’s a place where kids are supported by a church family who cares about them and their future, their education, their hearts, and their souls.  Serving in Hogar de Amor even for a few days truly was a privilege.

The other thing I learned about in a whole new way last week was the unity of the body of Christ. In preparation for this trip, we studied the book of Ephesians.  Ephesians talks a lot about unity and in Ephesians 4:1-3, Paul writes:

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

We were a very diverse group, spanning 60 years and every vocation out there.  Some of us were focused on forming deeper relationships with caregivers and kids.  Some of us really wanted to go heads-down and complete our projects.  We each had different struggles – health struggles, language struggles, heat and fatigue struggles.  And God used it all! 

I experienced the unity of the Body of Christ, the Family of Christ in a whole new way in Colima.  This isn’t uniformity – God created us unique and loves our uniqueness – but rather unity of heart and purpose, a unity of Spirit. God grew in me a deeper respect and love for his church and a devotion to each member of our team.


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