Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Monday, April 30, 2012

This is Rachel's mom, jumping into her blog-world, to wish her a wonderfully special birthday! Rachel was born 19 years ago and, with the exception of a few toddler-challenging years, has been a special joy to all of us. She is compassionate, helpful, creative, encouraging, neat and tidy, and a wonderful sister to her five siblings. And of course, she is drop-dead BEAUTIFUL.................on the outside as well as the inside.  But the most important characteristic is her incredible love for the Lord and her desire to do His will.  Rachel, my prayer for you is out of Psalm 37: 4-7a.

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him........"

Rachel, I love you very much and wish for you a wonderful year! You will always
 be the daughter of my heart!


Nebraska Trip, Part 3

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Towards the end of our trip, we visited the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha!  We LOVE that place!  Our grandpa used to by us year-long family passes we went there so often.  It had been a long time since I'd seen it, so it was a great time!  It's truly the best zoo in the country - I think that and the San Diego Zoo are rated the two best, right?

 Bad picture, but gives you a view of the humungous waterfall behind us.  It's enormous.

 This rope bridge always makes me nervous!  It has to be sturdy enough if they've let people walk across it for years....but it's always so jiggly and feels like it's about to fall apart.  Thankfully there weren't any alligators housed below...just large water animals that I don't even know the name of, and I think there was a water python, too?!
 We almost ran through the Desert Dome area because it was slightly....boring. Everything there that they labeled as "exotic" or "can only be found in certain parts" were pretty much old hat for us - those "certain parts" are right where we live.  Javelinas?  Seen 'em. Heard 'em.  Rattlesnakes?  Seen WAY too many of those.  Cactus was not even worth stopping to look at.  And the black beetles?  Like I said, we breezed through that area super fast.  :-)

 I loved seeing their huge aquariam again.  I could sit and watch the sharks and fish swim around forever...it was a slightly mesmerizing place.

 By time we got around to looking at the outdoor large animals, it was the end of the day, and they'd already finished off their dinners and were sound asleep.  So all my pictures of the *exciting* animals are sleeping pictures!

 You know all those warnings and signs that say "DO NOT TAP ON THE GLASS" around all the dangerous animals?  Am I alone in admitting that I did in fact tap on the glass when I was little because I desperately wanted to hear one of these lazy animals ROAR instead of sleep? I was half-tempted to do it again this time.

 At the end of the day, we made it to another of our *favorite* Nebraska restaraunts, The Bohemian Cafe.   SO GOOD. 
Dumplings, sweet and sour cabbage, and some sort of meat dish? that Dad got. Mouth watering.  *Groan*

Well, that's it for the Nebraska pictures!  I do have one more small post left with some pictures of my grandparents hometown....kind of interesting.  But this about wraps it up.  Regular posting will resume shortly!

Everyone here is sick - we haven't had colds this bad run through the family in a long time.  Now that the three oldest of us kids are out and about with jobs and school, we have a lot more oppertunity to bring home germs for the rest of the family......(sorry about that Mom!).


Sneak Preview....

Saturday, April 21, 2012

So today, Courtney and I went out to a nearby park to take my graduation photos!!  Yay!  I am so excited to be finally at the end.  I'm not posting the final picks here because I don't want to spoil the actual grad-anouncement some of you will get in the mail soon......but just had to share these two.

Unfortunately, a few of my favorite ones turned out either blurry or too bright (like the one above).  However we still got some good ones.  Thanks Courtney for being my photographer!

We have a fun church picnic tomorrow; and then back to life on Monday.  For me?  That means work at the coffee shop......beginning module eight of sixteen in my Chemistry book, cleaning the house, maybe start work on the kitchen curtains I want to make?, following up with a Canning Basics customer, research flight tickets (more on that later!), average out my math grades for this year to put into my transcript, plan my birthday meal, do my nails (low-priority but still on the "to-do" list), work on some violin/piano music planned for chuch, devour more of Don't Waste Your Life by Piper, scrub the kitchen floor......

Yep, that's life.  Now that I have my to-do list written out I feel better.  I'll let you know if I got all that done at the end of the week.  :-)


Excited to Feed Himself

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Joshua continues to do great!  He is such a good little patient!
 Isn't he simply the cutest bug with wrapped up hands you ever saw? 
 He was so excited - today we finally realized he could at least feed himself a smoothie.  Up until now Mom has had to feed him.  But a smoothie, he can do with a straw!
Isaac was quite upset that he couldn't get a straw.  Sorry, bud!  Hardly worth having hand-surgery for!


Nebraska Trip ~ Part 2

The big reason for going to Nebraska was to work on the rental properties that Dad owns there.  One was especially in need of some attention...and the others just needed some maintenance work.

 Here's David on the roof of one of the houses, cleaning out the gutters!  I  did a little bit of gutter cleaning, but I just cannot feel comfortable on a roof - getting on and off ladders is *traumatic* for me!

 David also trimmed the hedges and bushes around the houses.  He was pretty good at it!
 One of the houses needed a basement wall fortification job.....we watched the construction crew drill all the way through the walls to the soil outside.  It was pretty interesting to watch! 

These huge panels are what they placed in the basement. 
 David's job was mowing, and then I came along and spread fertilizer afterwards.  Don't laugh at my pink jacket.  It was very cold out and I was slightly miserable that day.  I didn't exactly dress for the chilly day that I wasn't expecting!!
 We had such a good time working together!  The work might not have been a blast, but doing it together in Nebraska was the fun part.  Plus we used to do this kind of stuff all the time when we lived there.....seemed like old times. :-)
 We replaced window-well covers.....
 Hiding a yawn.....yes, I was tired.
 Anyone been to Valentino's before?  It is our very very VERY favorite buffet ever!  Been going there since I was five - maybe even earlier?  It was just as good as I had remembered.
 Unfortunately they're tearing down the old original building in place of a new one.  In the words of one of the very first Adventures In Odysseys, "Why do they always have to tear down all the fun places?"

 Can you tell I like this place?  Alot?  It's the best Italian Buffet EVER. 

 On another day, Dad took us flying!  He is a pilot and built this plane before I was even born.  (Pretty cool, huh?!)  He used to take all of us kids flying when we were little ~ now, looking back, I can imagine Mom's instinctive worrying as she watched Dad and four-year-old me go soaring off into the clouds!! 
 Dad and David about to "board" the plane.  :-) 
 I practically have Dad's chat's with the air-traffic-controllers memorized by now.  "Niner-three-one papa-kilo experimental plane, clear for take-off?" 
 I had originally decided I wasn't going to go flying this time......it's been eight years since I've flown with Dad and last time I did, I got sick.  :-(  And, my five-year-old innocent trust in all knowing Daddy has been replaced with this horrible realization that, if my aging Dad happens to die during a flight, (hey, it could happen), I'm on my own for landing!!!  Which means hello Heaven.  And it didn't help matters that Mom called the day before with an *interesting* story on the news about an 81 year old pilot taking his 83 year old wife for a flight in his plane and yes, kicking the bucket mid-flight.  I don't remember if the wife made it or not.

But all this aside ~ I finally decided that I might as well go up for a quick flight because who knows how long it could be before I get to go flying with my Dad again? It's special (if not risky).  Thankfully my pilot was quite accomadating and let me tell him when I was ready to land; or rather, when my stomach was ready to land.  Which was about 15 minutes. 

 Right after take-off.

During that week, we also made time to visit our Grandpa's grave. 
 Dad trying out his grave plot for size.  :-)

David seems to have expired early.....
...and I mourn him.....:-)

Seriously though, it was good to just walk through the small little cemetery and read some of the graves.  Some died early, others had long lives.  But they all died.  It kind of re-affirmed the fact that even though I stay busy and have so much going on right now, even though I'm young and full of life, all this will end someday. 

And then it won't matter if we got dinner on time, or what kind of mascara I bought, or how excited I was to graduate, or how many plans I had.

What will matter is the decision I made about eternity.  And how I lived my life for Jesus Christ.

Sobering, isn't it?  I qoute I recently read and shared with a friend is as follows:
"Only one life, twill' soon be past; only that which is done for Christ shall last."
~C.T. Studd

Stay tuned for my last round of pictures from our trip!


Doin' Fine

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The last few days have been so hectic that I never got around to posting that Joshua had surgery on both hands yesterday. 

You would never believe that he had surgery done yesterday.......he has bounced back so great and is his cheerful little self today!  He hasn't complained about the pain once, which I can't believe. 

Last night he was a little teary, wanting the bandages "off".   He quickly learned that he can't do much with his hands all wrapped up like this.  That's been his frustration today.  He can't play with his toys like he normally does, and he can't feed himself.  But thankfully the bandages only have to be on for a little over a week. 

Doing great and on the road to recovery!  Thank you to everyone who knew about this and prayed for our little guy even though I didn't blog about it. :-)


Trip to Nebraska, Part 1

Well, finally, here are the pictures from our trip to Nebraska!  We really had such a fun time together; it was a nice stress-reliever for my Dad :-), and it was a lot of fun getting to see familiar places.  We used to live in Nebraska, so trips back there are always memorable.

 So we drove all day Friday and made it to Colorado Springs, Colorado the first night. 

 Love's, our favorite truck stop!  Their motto, Clean places, friendly faces! usually rings true and we always hit them on the road when we can for bathroom/fuel uses!  That mottos may sound dumb, but when you've been driving straight all day long at it's nearly midnight.....their clean places and friendly faces are seriously appreciated. :-) We like them so well that we have "L's" marked all over our road atlas from previous trips so we know where they are for future trips. 
 We were intending to drive straight to Nebraska........but just as we were heading out of Colorado Springs  we decided to spend a day at Focus On the Family Headquarters.  We had been there twice before, but it is always such a fun place to stop!  Adventures In Odyssey has been a huge hit at our house since I was about five, so visiting "Whit's End" is just great fun.
 Ah yes, the infamous Eugene Melsner.  Many of the jokes that make us kids laugh are lines that come straight from Adventures In Odyssey, particularly from Eugene.  (Anyone else out there that have hundreds  dozens of AIO lines memorized?  And use them frequently in conversations to get a laugh out of one of your siblings?  Or is that just me?) 

 I'm way older than Connie Kendall by now.  Okay, I'm bragging.  She's sixteen, and I'm 18.  Almost 19.
 And does anyone else have little brothers who prefer letting their hygiene go on road trips?  Hmmm.  You can see that David thought it was hilarious.

 This was the Soda Shoppe at Whit's End.  Dad graciously ordered us hot dogs and Wod-fam-choc-sods!  (That's world famous chocolate sodas, for those of you who aren't familiar with Odyssey.)
 David always loves the B-17 Bomber display from The Last Chance Detectives. 
 We got to "enter" the wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia.....
 I've grown up hearing Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre's production of Narnia.  They are such great stories, and I love how all the books parallel Christianity so clearly.  Dad read the books to us kids on the weekends when we were little, and always told us that Narnia was in our attic.  At the age of eight, I really believed him!!  :-)
 We visited the Focus on the Family bookstore while we were there.  Dad bought several new AIO CD packs - thank you, Dad!  We listened to many of them on the way home from the trip, a week later.  They are classic radio dramas that our family loves.  We also got some books there, one of which I am in the middle of reading, Don't Waste Your Life, by John Piper.  Can I say that I am captivated by it?  It's an incredible book and I would highly recommend it.
 Our old church that I went to for the first eleven years of my life.  I have so many memories here - it was neat to get to go back and have a look.  Mom says that she and Dad thought that we kids would all get married at that church - interesting how things change. 

I peered through the windows to have a look - nothing much had changed!  Same orange carpet :-).  So many years of Awana, Sunday School, potlucks, birthday parties, VBS days...etc.  That's where I was baptized as a 7 year old.  I have a lot of fond memories there.

More pictures to come!


About This Blog

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will
make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

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