Wednesday, February 11, 2015

return of the snowbirds


oh these friends.... such joy to be with you guys!  Thank you for this special fun time with you!  #bocagrande
ok...  we're beachies and poolies here....

So the boy that jumped on a bike and rode off with almost no practice or help at all (when he was 3.5 years old) also taught himself to swim pretty much by himself.  Pretty awesome deal considering we don't get much time (at all!) in pools for him to practice.  He wanted to jump into the deep end... and he did.  He can make it back to the side like a big brave guy- no problem at all!

There really were about a thousand takes on this, trying to get everyone mid-air together....  

He perfected "the arrow jump" which got his wiggly toes down to the bottom of the seven foot side!

We love you Burgess Fam (and Culvers!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dream Reads

I remember talking about book clubs once with Matt and his friend, Rob.  What great depths and heights there can be in discussing good reads with good friends, mulling over good books, words, life.  Rob chuckled at himself when he said "well, that sounds like it would mean having to actually process and apply what you read before moving on and just taking in another title."

And yea,  I really want that.   Not just the words before my eyes but the Word and even little words changing my heart, my mind, our lives together....  It is such joy to dive deep into good words with good friends!  

But book clubs are tricky.  There are some sweet ones online, its just that I can't commit to reading what others are interested in and I don't assume that anyone else would be interested in all the stuff that thrills me.

So, for the sake of good books talking to each other in my mind (like Ann Voskamp has said), and teaching me and fueling thoughts, dreams, transformation, life, and general beautiful joy, and for more of a chance to "chat" about books with you....  I'm going to try to post more about good reads here.  Maybe just a quick review or a prayer for applying it under our roof or a bit of its beauty, we'll just have to see what happens with it.  

and...  I'd absolutely love to hear what books you're enjoying or inspired by or challenged by, or maybe just filled with wisdom and beauty.   I cannot give thanks enough for book recommendations I've received from many of you friends, and if you have any chance to keep your favorite titles (and your thoughts about them!?) coming my way.... what a privilege it'd be to hear from you! 

What's on your Dream Read list for 2015?  What did you love best of reading in 2014?

My list still needs filling....  Here's what I've got so far.  (Aiming to read two books a month....  it would be a beautiful thing if it happens!)

1.  Somewhere More Holy, by Tony Woodlief.  Depth of sorrow with deep simmering grace as this man shares how Christ conquered his grief and rebellion.  I've never read a memoir from a man before....  profound and excellent beauty.  I loved it.  
2.  You and Me Forever; Marriage in Light of Eternity, by Francis and Lisa Chan.    Crucial, soul-stirring, beautiful message to married folks in the church.  
3.  Look and Live, by Matt Papa.  Nearing half way and very grateful for these simple illustrations and storytelling to reopen my eyes to the magnificent worth of the Gospel.
4.  A Gift from the Sea, by Anne Lindbergh Morrow.  
5.   Prayer, by Tim Keller.  
6.  A God-Sized Vision, Revival Stories to Stretch and Stir, by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge.
7.  Saving Leonardo, by Nancy Pearcy.
8.  Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin.  
9.  maybe some Mary Oliver poetry?  some Madeline L Engle literature? a Marilynne Robinson or Wendell Berry novel?  it's time for a library Kindle run.... and to gather up a few more of these dear pages to tuck into boxes heading over the Pacific with us soon!
10.  I'd like to have some more old (dead) authors here too for some time-tested wisdom....  any leads to share?  email me please or leave a comment...

far beyond...

I picked up You and Me Forever; Marriage in the light of Eternity, by Francis and Lisa Chan, at a friend's home....  Incredible.  Oh how I long for, how really we all need to have our hearts focused on and anchored with greater consideration of the eternity we say we believe in, that we say is forever and of magnificent importantce.  But don't we usually live like there's no such thing?   Don't our lives often look like we must believe that earth is all we've got. This book is a needful, excellent help for correcting that and inspiring earth-shattering, soul-satisfying joy.

One part that has stayed with me since I read it, is where they write about the common American Christian emphasis on family.  We often say "God first, family second."  And we live it as if family is a very close second. Or maybe, if family was "first" would it look any different than the so-called second place position we give it?  The Chans exhort us to see and remember and live out the radical truth that God is far beyond us, far greater, totally holy and eternally worthy of us giving away, as Jim Elliot said years ago, what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot loose.... all for this, all for God.

And, Matt Papa's book Look and Live goes well right along side it.  He tells a short story about this a guy who might leave a pile of bills on his table.  If he came home at the end of the day and realized his buddy found his bills and paid them all off for him he'd be grateful.  If the bills totalled $50, he'd say "Thanks man."  If the bills totalled $5 million, he would respond with far wilder expressions of gratitude and joy and indebtedness.... "command me, I am yours."

Papa nailed my heart when he challenged "too many of us respond with a "thanks man" to God.  But really, with the infinite weight of our sin, us fully deserving eternal death, and the infinite goodness of God's holiness, we ought to fall flat before him, all-soul-acknowledging "command me, I am yours."

These books have been sweet challenges, refreshing a fire in me to see more of the Lord's glory in my life.  Two books, ten stars total.  Highly recommended.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


so grateful to be in relationship with this man.  my dad.  
We're so grateful for a visit with these two again in Florida!  We decided (thanks to Barbara) that this boat ride would be our tradition together.  A place to take some pics to measure our years with.  I love it....  hopefully we'll get many more photos together here in visits ahead.  So fun!

(Here's pics from our first boat ride together.)

We had to be sure to get a funny face photo
... and a tackle hug
... and a cuddle.  
(These two have a special connection.... they're both sparkly kinda girls.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

welcome sunshine

lots of fun with friends... so fun to have Leu Gardens for our baker's dozen kiddos exploration morning

this crowd wasn't so up for standing still for a pretty picture (just the big boys here)
I remember my special lunch with Judy on this beautiful back patio over nine years ago, rejoicing together that the Lord was knitting a little one (Isaiah!) within me.
couldn't be cooler.... staying at this beautiful place, with Bart and Judy, and just enough space for a bit of baseball in an open lot across the street.  And that we got to fill out that baseball diamond with the dear friends above?  Pure Gift. 
this crew.... more amazing joy!  We totally love these precious friends.... We feel so grateful for their love for the Lord and their joy to pray for good work. Such a super fun crowd to get to hang with!   
we're just an hour from the coast but we've only made it there once so far.  Such a treat to meet up with family who were also vacationing there....  bummer that I got wayyyy too few pics that day!

There are just never enough photos...  I tend to take a heap more photos when I'm alone with my kids.  And when we're with others, I'm usually hoping to sneak in some thoughtful conversation (if even only a tiny bit possible!).  But I miss photos of more of the people we love.  Each of these places has spectacular people that crown these places with such joy.  We are so crazily blessed with amazing friends!

And one tiny note for the record....  we've been having lots (and lots) of fun here.  But the kids and I have been missing Matt.  He's been loving seminary classes this month and we've been enjoying sweet visits with lots of dear friends most every evening so we are super excited that we'll get four days family vacation this coming weekend with just one family, dear friends to be with.  It will be sweet to linger with this cool family and get rest time for just our family.  The introvert in me is screaming for some down time....  we are so looking forward to this weekend!

These guys know how to enjoy lush grass and warm sweet sunshine.  I love that Vivi invited me simply "lay down by me."  We didn't have to do anything at all... just be there together.  Perfect.

And I think those two dreamers give me a sweet chance to give a little shout out for a great new song I think you really must hear.  Our friend Rhetta Jane has just released her first song on iTunes....  Saturday Dreamin.  Because who doesn't need a soundtrack and little encouragement for some sunny Saturday fun?  I think it might become a favorite for some K family dance nights... "Roll that top down, pedal to the ground..."  Way to go Rhetta Jane!

bubble beards

our kids are crazy smitten with any chance they find to make funny faces in a funny "mirror"

we love baths!

Monday, January 19, 2015

bits of Christmas- just a little late! {part two}

We enjoyed this Christmas with family so incredibly much!  It's not hard to do when you have a crazy fun-funny family with more than a handful of treasure kiddos to tickle and generally a bunch a easy, delightful, hilarious family members.  We're insanely blessed....

#matchingpajamapants, #christmasstockingcheer