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Archive for August, 2008

Summer in Review

School starts one week from tomorrow. This is the longest summer we’ve ever had, and we’ve loved every minute of it. The first three weeks were restful ones spent mostly at home and at the pool and recovering from our move, a round of sickness and the end of the school year. My Mom, my sister, Kathy, and her family arrived here on June 14. Everyone stayed with us for a few days, and then Kathy and her crew moved into their new home. My Mom was able to stay for two weeks, and we had loads of fun going to the pool and poking around doing not a whole lot of anything but really enjoying the time together.

July Fourth rolled around just after my Mom returned home, so we celebrated by meeting up with Kathy, Jared and the boys in the tiny town of Comfort. Their annual Independence Day parade is about as homespun and good as America gets. We loved all the homemade floats, tractors, fire trucks, hometown beauty queens (complete with beauty pageant waves) and especially the enormous truck bed loaded with military men and women for whom we all cheered. We closed out the day in Kathy and Jared’s driveway watching fireworks. And for everyone who insists on how hot south Texas is in July, I must mention that I had to go get a sweater after the sun went down!!!

A couple of days later our good friends, the Steelman’s (aka Steel-Babies) made the trek to south Texas. Here’s the run down of all the fun we had…

Monday: Arrival, unpack, house tour, catch up on life

Tuesday: Visited the King William Historic District and the Alamo; Waited out a downpour at the River Center Mall; Played dress up with all the cowboy/cowgirl clothes in one of the shops: Had lots of fun enjoying the beauty of the Riverwalk; Charlette and I made a stop at Cotsco because I needed some things and she’d never been there; She and I went to the Bible study I led this summer (I loved having her there!)

Wednesday: Spent the day at the Witte Museum, dinosaurs, Egyptian relics, Fiesta costumes, and the highlight, a special exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci inventions; Went home and ate tomato tarts

Thursday: Nine-and-a-half hours at Sea World on a beautiful sunny day…so fun; Ate at McD’s on the way home

Friday: Spent a restful morning at home; Went to The Shops at La Cantera, our favorite outdoor mall that is something like a cross between a botanical garden and a shopping center; Ate lunch at Pei Wei, the fast food version of P F Chang’s (good, but cheaper!); Went home and played around and ate tomato tarts; Took a picnic to the Guadalupe River State Park where we played in the water and enjoyed a perfect evening until sunset: Spotted some really big deer on the way out

Saturday: Go to the neighborhood pool and find out it’s (believe it or not) too cold for the kids; Go home for lunch; Spent the afternoon playing the Wii, talking and eating tomato tarts; Go to church together where we meet up with friends and enjoy a special service in which our new pastor, Randy Frazee, was commissioned

Sunday: Pack up early and say, “Goodbye.” We’re sad to see them go…and they took Maddie along. She spent another week with the Steelman’s and then a week with my Mom. It felt like she was gone forever.

Here’s a look at some pix from their visit…

Mason and I enjoyed the time together and he had a fun day with his friend, Caleb. Gerry, Mason and I spent an entire day at the Sea World water park and had loads of fun. Pretty soon we were packing for Springfield.

We were greeted to Springfield with an oh-so-good dinner at my Mom’s and spent most of our first full day there hanging out with my Mom. My sister, Kim, and her husband, Bill, arrived home late on Sunday, so we pretty much spent the rest of the week, hanging out with family and friends and eating…homemade ice cream, blackberry cobbler, fresh tomatoes, green beans, corn, fried green tomatoes…I could live on all that in that order! We loved being at church on Sunday and catching up with so many friends there. It was a fun trip but too short to see everyone we would have liked to have seen. But we were reminded again of how blessed we are to have such treasured relationships in Springfield…family and friends who love us and make our lives richer.

Mason’s buddy, Josiah, made the trip home with us. Kathy turned 40 two days after we returned home, so Maddie and I made a cake, and we all celebrated. We returned to the Alamo, Sea World and the Guadalupe and had a great time. Josiah made us pancakes almost every morning for breakfast and gave us lots of laughs. Mason was beyond thrilled to bring Josiah home to Texas and we can’t wait for him to come back…with the rest of his family. Here’s a picture of the dynamic duo…

Josiah made his maiden voyage flying home all by himself, and we began the countdown to the start of school on September 2. Some of our dear friends invited us to join them at the beach last weekend, so we drove to Port Aransas on Thursday evening, spent Friday on the beach and welcomed the arrival of more friends later in the day and then returned home that evening. It felt so good to be at the seashore where the awesomeness of the never ending waves reminds me again of God’s limitlessness. We loved sharing this day with people who have become so dear to us over the past year.

I spent this last weekend with four precious friends at a Beth Moore conference at the Alamodome. We talked, stood in line, made mad dashes to save seats, sang, prayed, listened, met new people and laughed until we were completely spent…and very happy. Beth is being used by God in so many lives, and this weekend her life intersected with mine, and I’m changed because of it. My friends, Rhonda, Julie, Kelly and Elisabeth, are wonderful, and I’m grateful to them for lots of laughs and an overflow of sincere love. Everyone should have friends like these.

On Wednesday of this past week, we celebrated a whole year here in Texas. Hard to believe but wonderful to see the ways God has been involved in our lives…giving us a home, bringing amazing relationships into our lives, using Gerry in ways we could not have imagined and now, having Kathy and her family close by, building friendships and a place of welcome and blessing for our children, providing me with opportunities to help write curriculum for our church and lead Bible studies. We’ve done so much more than I’ve listed here, but I figure all good blog posts much come to an end.  It’s been quite a summer and quite a year. Never would I have thought I’d live in south Texas, but now looking back over the past year, I see God’s hand more clearly and more powerfully than ever. He’s taught me, blessed me, and provided for me so much beyond what I would have ever expected.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

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