Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Long time no blog

I can hardly believe it’s been over a week since I last blogged. Most of you know that I’ve been gone for a lot of that time. Ed & I flew down to Redlands for his Aunt Joanne’s memorial service and were gone Thursday evening until Tuesday afternoon. As I’ve told many of our family & friends, we are so thankful that we could go and be there with all of Ed’s family for the celebration of Joanne’s life and to share in the joy of her salvation.

Aunt Joanne helped with some of the planning for the service, and it was her request that it not be about her, but about God….which is of course exactly what Aunt Joanne was all about. She was all about demonstrating, physically, to other people, God’s love. Her care for every person she met was evidence of God’s love for her and His love for each person. When you talked to Aunt Joanne, she made you feel like you were important. Her home was always open and she always served with a smile. All of these attributes came out in the memorial service…from the songs we sang, to the pastor’s message, to the memories shared…right down to the iced tea served at the luncheon after the service. Aunt Joanne always had iced tea ready to serve anyone with a thirst.

After the service on Saturday, Ed & I were able to spend some time with his brother & sister-in-law, his step-dad, and lots more family, including my brother & sister-in-law & nephew who are also part of that community. We continued that wonderful family time on Sunday and again on Monday when we met Ed’s dad and grandpa for brunch. After that, Ed & I had the chance to have a bit of an afternoon date! We headed southeast to Joshua Tree National Park for some sunshine and “bouldering.” You’ll have to check out the picture link farther down for clarification, if you need that.

We flew home this morning, ready to see the girls again and spend the rest of spring break having fun with them. Thanks so much to M,S, & J for hosting us. We LOVE staying with you guys and J, you are awesome! Thanks to the entire DeWitt/Barents clan for a beautiful service and for continuing to share God’s love the way Joanne did.

Here are a few pictures from the last week, just to catch up on the photos of the day:

I didn’t take pictures from Wednesday & Thursday of last week, so here are a few from Friday to make up for it:

IMG_1995 Josh and his “lovey” – a Little People Hippo.

IMG_2003 Mike & Josh

IMG_2045 Coming down the slide at the park!

IMG_2091 Blossoms on Mike’s Orange tree

And now Saturday:


This is Ed’s brother Eric and his wife Jacqueline, me, Ed, and Erik (Ed’s step-dad)

And now Sunday:

IMG_2113 It was Palm Sunday and Josh walked in with his Children’s Church class waving a red flag! He was so cute, but I didn’t get very good pictures because of the lighting and because when they got to the front he was standing in the back and we couldn’t see him real well.

IMG_2184 He’s got good balance! We went to this park on Sunday and we were the only ones there and it was such a gorgeous day! We couldn’t believe we were all alone at this park in Southern California.

IMG_2186 Is Uncle Ed wearing out Josh or is it the other way around?

IMG_2204 Josh looking down at Aunt Julie through the “bubble.”

IMG_2234 Baby DeJong ;)

IMG_2244 Aawwwww

IMG_2248 My brother is such a big kid. He makes a perfect PE teacher, that’s for sure.

And now Monday:

IMG_2275 Ed, his dad, and his grandpa.

IMG_2347 Large boulder at Joshua Tree

IMG_2431 The Coachella Valley behind us. The farthest away piece of land you can see…shrouded by smog…is Mexico! The water is the Salton Sea.

IMG_2454 Big brotherly love

I will post Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday pictures tomorrow, hopefully…

Here are the links to web albums of more pictures from our trip. Beware that the captions are directed towards my girls some of the time. We posted the web albums while we were gone so that they could see what we were doing.

April 3 album

April 4 & 5 album

April 6 album

I hope you enjoyed getting caught up on my past week!


Melissa said...

Hi Julie,
It's cool to see where you were in California. I recognized a lot of the places :) Joshua Tree is pretty cool isn't it. Also, those baby belly pictures are really neat, I like the artist look of them.

I am flying home tonight so I am still here in Yucaipa. It has been such an eventful and wonderful week! Talk to you later.

Julie said...

I hope your flight went well, Melissa! I can't wait to see your pictures and hear all about your eventful and wonderful week!! The baby belly pictures were hard to get - my nephew wouldn't do the kissing very well when we were outside at the park that day, so I had to try again at night inside their house, so I ended up having to use the flash, which is why I made that one b&w, but it's grainy and I wish it were better. But, it's a memory and that's the important thing.