April 30, 2007

A few weeks ago, the Thomas family, who we met back East last October, told us they were going to be in California soon! Thankfully, the Lord brought us together to enjoy a rich day of fellowship with them last week. We were able to stay with Daniel and Kendra for the weekend and enjoyed it immensely! :-) God is so good.

The day we were together, in 'sunny California' it RAINED! However, the rain made for a great atmosphere to use the front porch for shelter and talk.

Do you think they mean it?

Jayni and Melanie
All the Mom's chattin'. Dan and Kendra's baby is due to arrive very soon, so we're holding our breath in anticipation to meet this new little Parish!

Lots of picture taking went on . . .

As we caught up on each other's lives!

Rock hoppin'

Simon and Jaelynn enjoying themselves. ;-P

Miss Melanie

April 29, 2007

Recently we've enjoyed some special times with some new but dear friends, the Werzinski's. Here's a few photos of some singing time, visiting, fun, etc. :-)

Singing some Civil War songs

More music!


And making some yummy popcorn balls!

April 22, 2007

Little Maidens

What would life be without little girls?

April 16, 2007

Power Popper

After coming home from the house of some new friends of ours, the McCracken family, Simon was inspired by a trebuchet that Mr. McCracken and his son Conner had built. In a few days he rigged a much larger version up and began popping objects into the air. This machine has power and the boys have had a lot of fun with it!

April 08, 2007

Father Daughter Retreat~2007

A few weeks ago, Dad and I boarded a jet, bound for Atlanta, Georgia, to experience a life changing retreat into a secluded garden of beauty. Calloway Gardens, located near Pine Mountain Georgia, took my breath away. Flowers of every kind smiled up at the face of their maker, gloriously arrayed in full bloom. Rustic garden cottages and discovery centers throughout the garden contrasted with the serenity and beauty of nature. Throughout the garden, little paths wound around quiet lakes, brilliant azalea bushes, and tidily organized flower beds. But something was different about the garden at this time of year. The most touching sight in all of this magnificent creation was one rarely seen in modern towns today. In fact, the beauty of this picture is nearly extinct. Very few are taking steps to preserve the fragile nature of it. But here in this garden, which was bursting with beauty, the endangered bond of love between a father and his daughter outshone any pleasure nature could give. Strolling along the paths, one would often see the smiling faces of two happy individuals who were heartily enjoying just being together; a father and his daughter. Sometimes hand in hand, sometimes on bikes, sometimes sitting together visiting, wherever your gaze happened to fall a father and daughter pair were never far away. All ages, from different places, different circumstances, backgrounds, churches, personalities, convictions . . . but all feeling the pull of the Lord Jesus Christ to give their hearts to one another and live in the freedom of love that God designed.

My own father brought me to this gathering as a graduation blessing. We were both enriched by the scenery and fellowship, but most importantly drew closer to each other in ways I would never trade for anything. I learned so many new things about my dad as we talked, and was thrilled again with the heroic valor of my father as I listened to tales of his past, and the thoughts of his heart. We were both challenged and convicted anew as we listened to messages and the testimonies of our brethren.

Below are some pictures of this special weekend. The Atlanta airport was an adventure, but the Retreat was amazing. Thank-you to Vision Forum, and every family involved in making this event possible. The results are priceless.

The high tea on Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful sight to see so many handsome fathers treating their daughters like ladies as they served them and elegantly shared tea.

The Botkin sisters sharing their harp music with us.

Friday afternoon we enjoyed playing some 'Father-Daughter unity games'. Since I've had lots of practice trying to keep up with my father's militant step I wasn't too worried about the three legged race. Attempting to work together was more perplexing than I thought, but we made it to finish line still standing and finished with a hug!

Another game was an obstacle course through which the father was to lead his daughters vocally. This team of a father and his eight daughters did very well. :-)

These sweet young ladies are attempting to jump the rope on their father's command. Not as easy a task as it sounds! Sometimes one must take a break for some laughter. One of life's essentials!

Learning to play croquet with my Daddy.

Gathering together for the first time on Friday afternoon.

A peaceful little chapel snuggled in the depths of the garden. Somehow I couldn't help but think of hobbits while I was enjoying it's beauty.

We heartily enjoyed the fellowship of Mr.Fernandez and his beautiful daughter Francesca. Dad had met Mr. Fernandez at two smaller conferences back East last year, and it was a pleasure getting to know them better.

We saw these horrid cockroaches in the butterfly center and couldn't resist a picture. Can you imagine stepping on one of these enormous creatures? *Shudder*

Art Appreciation

Strange forms of art are appearing in various places throughout our house lately. We are quite perplexed as to the identity of the artist. Would you have a clue?

Three In A Bed

The last few weeks, the children have been coming into my room often; to talk, look at my pictures on the wall, or just to climb in bed and dream with me. It's been so precious to finally enjoy the sweet company of my own little sisters. And my own little gentleman! Jacob reminds me daily that he's my knight-in-shining armor. Especially when he's got his trusty sword at his side! :-)