Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Learning to skateboard

Our nephew Andrew got a skateboard from his parents for his birthday. So first thing Saturday was riding lessons out front. We spent a bit of time trying to get Andrew covered from head to toe in safety gear...and a good thing too, I don't think that he needs any more broken bones. Then Robert and Vince tried showing him how to ride the skateboard without falling off, which took a while for the guys to even succeed at demonstrating!

Not to be outdone by his older brother, Jacob decided he wanted to learn as well. The poor kid was having a hard time sharing the attention with his big brother and kept saying, "It's Jacob's birthday now too!" He learned quickly that the easiest way to ride and guarantee not falling off is to just lay down on the board - it brings the center of gravity to a much easier to manage level.

By the time Vince and I left back to Olympia Andrew was riding like a pro.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Andrew's Birthday

Saturday was our nephew Andrew's 9th birthday, and we were so excited to be able to spend it with him and the rest of the family down in LA.

We didn't let Jacob and Andrew know we were coming in town, we thought keeping it a surprise would be more fun. When we drove up to the house on Thursday, Andrew was just walking around the corner from school. He had been told that when he came home there would be a surprise waiting for him, when he saw Vince and I he ran to give us a hug and said, "I thought it was going to be a puppy!" I'm not quite sure if he thought we were better than a puppy or not.

Friday, January 23, 2009

What happened to the sunshine?

Vince and I are so blessed to be able to make a quick trip down to LA. It was very last minute, because we were waiting on cheap tickets - but we are currently in LA with Vince's family, about to celebrate our nephew, Andrew's, 9th birthday in a couple hours. Vince is playing dominoes with Andrew right now, waiting on all his school friends to show up to the house.

Leaving gloomy Olympia we were excited at the prospect of sunshine and warm weather, unfortunately I think we carried the weather with us on the airplane. It rained yesterday in LA as we landed, it has been drizzling all day today...what happened to sunny southern California? Maybe God didn't want us to feel too homesick coming down here, so he let it rain so it wouldn't seem better than Washington! To top it off its supposed to snow back in Olympia when we land Monday morning. We just can't win.

All in all, sunshine or cloudy weather, it is wonderful to be with family. I am so thankful for our weekend trip - it was just the break that we needed.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Zookeeper's Wife, by Diane Ackerman

I stumbled across the book, The Zookeeper's Wife, by Diane Ackerman while window shopping at the bookstore across the street (yes, I was so excited moving into my new apartment when I realized that I could literally walk across the street and into bookstore - heaven!).

The Zookeeper's Wife reads like a novel but is in all actuality a superbly written historical volume, complete with bibliographies and an appendix filled with further information on the subjects in the story. Ackerman tells the story of a zookeeper and his wife who hid Jews from the Nazi regime in their Warsaw zoo. Guests are given animal code names as they hide in animal cages and habitats, and animals are given human names all in the effort to deceive the occupying Nazi forces. Their story is frequently accented with intriguing nuggets of historical information on the inner workings of the Nazis and their quest for a resurgence of classical Germany - which not only included a pure Aryan race, but the little know effort to restore native German plants and even extinct German animals. The Nazis truly wanted only 'pure' Germany to remain and were working to remove any traces of human, plant or animal life that was alien.

You will be amazed not only by the wealth of research you will find in this book but by the eloquence with which it is communicated. The story is so intriguing and I am amazed that it's subject matter has not been written about before this point - and I am sure we will be seeing a movie soon in theater's about this amazing true-to-life story.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Trip to the Library

We just took our first field trip with The YC students tonight. The public library in town was having a grand-reopening party with food, live music, and caricature drawings - and we thought it would be a great opportunity to get our kids acquainted with the library resources. We weren't sure at first if the kids would come with us, but we made an announcement and shut The YC doors for 2 hours and told the kids to walk with us a few blocks over to the library, and they actually came! While we were walking the kids looked at us and said, "This is weird, walking with you guys." Apparantly we are much cooler to hang out with when we are inside a building vs. being seen

We made it to the library, the kids signed up for library cards, several found books to read and we all got caricature drawings made. The field trip was a success - what was I worried about, who doesn't love a party thrown at a library? Maybe we should take them more often!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Don't Forget

Looking back on 2008 there is just about nothing in it that I had planned for, nothing that was expected, and many things that seemed like a disaster - and the first week of 2009 does not seem to bring any promise of change. As I have been sharing these concerns with God I have slowly been given a loving response. A response that comes in the form of reminders of the miracles He has performed in 2008. I know that in looking back on 2008 I have focused on the disappointments and not on the prayers that were answered after the disappointments occurred.

How is it that we can do this -forget the miracles that God performed in the past when we are faced with a new miracle-required situation? It seems at every turn this is what I am being told "don't forget, don't forget." I go to church and the pastor reminds me "don't forget," I read a blog and I am reminded, "don't forget," I read the Bible and I am reminded, "don't forget," I get a phone call and am reminded, "don't forget," my husband reminds me of a miracle we saw last summer and I am reminded, "don't forget."

So, I am trying my hardest to not forget - to remind myself of the things that God has done, to thank God for the things that He has done and to ask that He give me faith to believe that He is able and willing to do the same for my here and now. This is much easier said than done, because the here and now is so much louder in my mind than the past. It is often able to drown out the voice saying "don't forget." But, I am waiting and remembering and praying, and as I do this the here and now is slowly quieting and the stories of God's faithfulness are taking their place of prominence in my mind.

If you are reading this and you, like me, are facing miracle-required situations then let this be your reminder to "not forget." And in remembering God's faithfulness, may His peace that passing all understanding guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus as you enter this new year.