Monday, June 22, 2015

mountain days

Last Sunday we enjoyed a special outing day with the two families with whom we worship.  We drove out for a day at this magnificent state park for worship and fellowship together.  How amazing to live just an hour from this beauty!!

(And as for web etiquette and protocol... I'm sure I'm blowing it with way too many pictures.  Sorry about the overkill, I'm just thinking of the Grands here :)

This guy is continually building a fort these days...  I love how he's a planner, builder, designer.  I love Isaiah! 

And I love his daddy!  #mostwonderfulhusband  #smittenforever  #wifeforlife  #onlyalittlebitgushy

(the green grass was showing up as greenish skin so that's why I went with BW for this one!)

Have I told you she has a goofy silly streak?  She was tickled about something and kicked her feet and laughed herself crazy in the hammock like she was a regular little monkey.  She's a treasure!
heading home
they played hard 
And as the kids snoozed after their glorious day of play, Matt and I hunted for a place to stay out there by the mountains.  We've been feeling a great need for rest.   Surprisingly and super gratefully we found a little countryside inn to stay in (think Chinese bed and breakfast / hostel combo) that hit the spot.  Completely a provision from the Father for us!  So I washed up all our dirty laundry Monday and we took off again Tuesday morning to stay two nights in this sweet little place... This was our last chance for a summer break because Matt is coaching baseball Mon-Thurs and double headers on Saturdays all summer long.

It was a perfect Rest & Relaxation trip for our family and it even covered my birthday- an unplanned but delightful treat!  We just walked around our place, checked the mountains nearby in the mornings, picked wildflowers and let the kids ride bikes (Matt dismantled and squashed two bikes into the back of our van so they could take turns).  In the afternoons, for the first time ever!, Matt and I talked long and worked on writing some letters and a paper he's got due while the kids played by themselves and (kind of) gave us time alone.  It mostly, really worked!  And we got yummy Chinese food cooked at the place by the super sweet grandma who ran the inn with her husband.  Gracious gift for this tired mama!  First time for a truly restful family getaway.  I couldn't be more grateful!

His big brother's bike is just a bit big for him, but he made it work!  (and those are the mountains we looked right over...just beyond the flatlands where we stayed)
hide and seek in the wildflowers.  (Matt's shot)
Can you believe how perfect a hand me down bike this is for our girl?  We have super generous amazing friends!

"our place" in the country, near the mountains, the getaway that we love...

Matt spent quite a while trying to fix a bike that belonged to the grandson of the innkeepers.  It was a valiant effort... but the "fixed" chain only lasted a block.

the sixth...

We got to celebrate our little big boy's birthday with a Pilot Party.... thanks to the amazing grandparents who sent a package of toy planes and cool Auntie Heather who found kiddo aviator glasses and a fun piloty shirt.

We folded and folded and I'm still finding more folded paper airplanes and most the evening was spent trying to hit targets or to shoot planes out of the air with the nerf gun that Isaiah and Marian bought for John.    It was a silly fun evening all around!

Happy Birthday John! 
Auntie Heather, you rock.  He *Loves* these Glasses!
you can hear that sound effect, right?
eyes on the target

We love you crazy much sweet boy John Timothy! I'm so proud of how you're reading, how you care for your little sister, how you listen to read alouds and sermons even when I think you're a million miles away.  I love how silly-goof-ridiculous you are sometimes (a lot of times) and how great a little athlete you are.  You are a joy to watch growing up to know and love the Lord.  Our hearts most earnest desire for you, son, is that you would cherish Christ and cling to His Word and serve His church with everything in you.  May your life be richly satisfied as you seek first the kingdom of God...  We are for you and love you endlessly.  Mom and Dad.  

flower girls... and one handsome little man in a suit

on the way there...  nervous and excited more than words can tell

my little wedding party
We just love this bride and her maid of honor as much as can be!  On the left is Isaiah and Marian's math teacher and the bride is their Chinese teacher.  So special for us to get to be at this celebration with both of them!

I was surprised how western looking this wedding was.  But there were still lots of traditional elements to the wedding too.  In fact, this wasn't the wedding ceremony but the reception, the celebration, after the imams had already performed a prayer service that was the real wedding earlier that morning.  We hung out with the bride and her friends in a top room at the reception until a few hours in, when the groom came in, brought her flowers and walked her downstairs to where all the grandparents were waiting to receive them and bless them.  Then there were a few more hours of dancing and feasting....  (We actually didn't get to stay that long but that's another story...)

waiting for the groom

Here's the guy who wanted to play baseball with his big brother this afternoon, until his buddies handed down to him a suit that they had worn in a few weddings previously.  That changed everything for him.  Not only did he get a suit, but shoes too, and a tie that matched the maid of honor!
coming downstairs to the reception hall
the girls were very serious about their job of laying down flower petals...
and also very sad about having to give back the baskets when they were done!
 We're excited to get to see this marriage grow for this precious young couple.  We love them and pray God's grace and help and joy for their new lives as one!

Sunday, June 21, 2015


So... I'm too far behind to try to quantify it.  I thought I was about 2 weeks, which would mean I maybe had a few hundred photos.  But it turns out there were 1, 744 photos waiting for me.  It's been more than a month since my camera's shared it's treasures.  It's been a busy, wonderful, hard month.

Finally, here's a bit of our best memories to share... more pics coming in the next few days hopefully!

Children's Day was a bit too much pressure for Vivi... just standing in front of the mob of proud parents all watching their kiddos receive their good attendance certificates about did her in.
his class did a yellow pom-pom dance number...  can't say it was his proudest moment but he made it through 
the director of their preschool loves these two
eating popcorn with the pretty princess, precious friend and legend extraordinaire...  our little neighbor & Vivi's best friend from school
Children's Day afternoon we had a whole crew of cool kids here playing.  The girls got creative with hairdos and dances... 
...and the boys made battles of one kind or another.

(And this mother called them all Wild Things.)
salsa making...  just thought it was pretty  
sleeping late
This boy is  consistently the latest sleeper of our crew... except for that time when he woke up soon after the sun (is sunrise this early everywhere?!  it's about 4:30 AM here now!) to play with the crazy amazing birthday gifts he received.  Come to think of it, this just might have been day #2 of his sixth year.  Birthday photos coming soon...
To say that this day was a highlight for these kiddos is a ridiculous understatement.  That we got to be there and be a part of honoring and celebrating this bride with her groom, and even her maid of honor (our big two kiddo's best-ever Chinese and math teachers) was an incredible joy for all of us.  I have a whole post of photos to share from this magnificently beautiful celebration.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Father's Day Matthew Love

Here's the Daddy of this crew that we're wild to get to celebrate tomorrow... down beneath the heap of laughing, tired out kiddos.  He's one gloriously loved, tickled-out and still triumphant at wack-tackle-battle daddio.  That I get to be married to this man is shocking and thrilling to me still.