Monday, October 24, 2016

missing pics and a broken camera...

I feel like there's a big hole in our family photo library....  Ten days after landing in the states I had over two thousand photos on my camera (see the Blackduck post below... a fantastically special vacation with Matt's family).  And I had no computer to upload the photos to and then LIFE happened (school, school, fixing up and selling our rental home, and lots of beautiful people to see).... Then I got our computer up and running and then my camera broke.

Now here I am two months in with almost no photos beyond two family trips and I have this ugly awkward inner sense of not-rightness to let two whole months go with no photos of our lives here... It just should. not. be.

Gratefully, the precious, dearly loved Mom of my heart, Judy, shared these photos from her phone.

(What a man, carrying his wife's purse like that!)  

During our time in Orlando this fall and winter, we are gratefully enjoying Lake Baldwin Church.  Since LBC meets in a public school, we had no meeting place on the Sunday morning after the Hurricane Matthew (even though there was so little damage in Orlando, the school still had to be checked.)  So we had a free Sunday to drive up to Sanford and worship at St. Andrews Chapel. Such a treat!

Don Bailey is the pastor that married us and first mentored Matt when he moved to Orlando in 2003.  What a gift to get time with the Bart and Judy Johnson and Don together!  (We missed you Tracy Bailey... who was helping her daughter clean up her home because Hurricane Matthew did cause damage outside of Orlando!)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Candidate with Honor... Evan McMullin for President

I'm not usually super political... but this election- when all the world is looking at two shameful characters running for president of our nation- in this election I am GLAD to support a new candidate: Evan McMullin // Mindy Finn. 

There's honor in this team. I hear intelligent competency addressing issues and polite, courteous character in dialogue with others.  And I'm unapologetically asking you to consider this vote.... would you shout out about this great chance on your social media as well?

He's pro-life. And on same sex marriage he said it so well (paraphrased): "I believe in the traditional view that marriage is one man and one woman. But the courts of our land have approved of this and I will support their decision. It's time to move on now."

As for the reality of him every possibly winning... its slim, very slim, but there is a chance.

And as for America needing to recognize that there are Conservatives that stand for principles of honor and virtue and truth and not just "Republican"...whatever that names has come to mean, this Forbes post shows plainly, why my vote is glad and confident for McMullin // Finn.

Monday, October 10, 2016

New York!

On the way into the stadium, this dog "Chica" captured our kid crew's hearts....  he watched his owner and obeyed so well!  What a great doggie!

So fun that our crew got to watch our first family MLB game in NYC- the Mets vs. the Twins!!  Mets beat 'em 3-0.  

With my dad gifting us flights to come see him, we were able to attach a few days to stay in New York City!  What a treat!  Super thanks to our friend Eli who hooked us up with a very dear church that hosts people who come to serve in the city.  Our family got to stay there for two nights, in a great neighborhood in Brooklyn.  

(so... it was pretty bright)

And from here, we ate a great NY style pizza and walked through Central Park and took a rest there for ice cream and dog & people watching.  Then we made it to the Museum of Natural History at the perfect time!  The lady at the door greeted us with the happy words "there's no charge for tickets in the last hour we're open."  Our kids might not have made it more than an hour anyway!  But this way we enjoyed our speed tour through the dinosaurs, Native Americans and gems and minerals exhibits.  

Sunday morning we deeply enjoyed worshipping at Redeemer Pres and even ran into the pastor as we popped up from the subway and were looking around for where to head for the service.  Pretty fun to get to say "Hey would you mind if we follow you to church?".... and then to tell him that he regularly preaches for us - via podcast- in our little worship services in China.   It was a beautiful worship service and we are unspeakably grateful, blessed, delighted to get to be a part of this tradition, as Matt is pursuing ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America.  

And that afternoon we headed back to sunny lovely Orlando....  such a great trip!  #superthankful #familymemories  #planestrainsandautomobiles #christforthecity


We got to spend a few days with my dad in Sept... such a gift to be in this beautiful place for the very end of summer- perfect to still be able to swim in the pond but also to catch a first glimpse of the fire that's simmering in the trees.  We learned, among other things, that our names and titles for these two did not hit their hearts so we've given up "Grandpa Jonathan" and "Grandma Barbara" and gone to the far funner "Pop" and "Nan".  Such a great time we got with you guys!  Thank you for flying us up and thanks for having our crazy crew in your lovely home!!

at Goldsmith Pond...  Lake Goldsmith

as always... some great conversation with you guys!  And of course lots yummy meals and beverages!

in the middle of an impromptu bed time story...  
(I'd like to think our crew outfitting this guy in a Chinese baseball jersey helps, just a tiny bit, 
to keep him interesting :)

bedtime stories

the six of us ran at least a dozen races around the pond... perfect length for a bit of competition + loads of laughter.

The big three caught over a dozen little fish... a good morning of learning to wait together

two times she caught such a heavy puller on her line that we were sure she'd be bringing in a northern pike.... but both times he got away after a good little struggle.

What a great visit this was... Thank you guys!
(Matt's getting limber for squats- and this subtraction of a few inches looks pretty natural!  
Great job, babe!)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Black Duck!

We were crazy blessed to spend this week in mid August with our K family in Minnesota...  What super JOY to get to do it for the FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY of our very own, very loved Mom and Dad K.  Dale and Mary, your example, care, love, support for us is more than we can express due thanks for!  You are enormous blessings in our lives and we love you "to the sky" (as Vivi would say!)

We had a fantastically fun week, even indulging in some restful afternoon naps mid all the excitement, and it was just Such a Gift to be with these people!!!  Matt has some of the funnest, most talented, and of course, downright zaney siblings on the planet.  I'm so blessed to marry into all this joy!

And like the perfect cherry on top of the Dale K crew... we got Dale's parents too!  Great Grandpa Harold and Great Grandma Marian.  Legacy and beauty rich in every wise and wonderful way!   Man, we love these people!!!

(These photos are out of order- and there are entirely too many of them to be blog appropriate I'm sure...  but this assortment of family fun is too precious a batch of photo joy to go light on....)

Marian told me on the way to Minn...  "I'm looking forward to seeing all of our family, but *especially* to meeting baby Evan for the first time!"

On the drive out to Blackduck we stopped to see Great Aunt Margaret....  another glimpse of the elegance and grace this family is so rich with!  What a beautiful lady!!

There was a bit of movie making going on one afternoon... and this is the kids' first peak and the final production of "Queen Princess Purple" (did I get that title correct?)

So this is what a "water trampoline" is...
Matt could jump (belly flop) onto the front of this blow up extension and the kid sitting out on the edge of it would fly...  about like this... except for the time the kid at the edge (was it Marian or John?) wasn't sitting out far enough and flew up and backward... landing right onto of Matt!

our fearless captain...

 Great Grandpa's line of firstborn males

a little bit of an odd shot on account of the pajamas and bed head and a few goofy smiles... but it's a keeper still!

so much love and loveliness among these precious ones...

oh!  these two lovely Marians...

such an exceedingly blessed heritage right here!  We're so grateful for these loved ones!!

And...I can't figure out how to get this actual photo in here... but here's a link to Heather's Facebook photo of the whole group of the Dale Ks!