Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Basketball Season

Becca’s basketball season is well underway and she’s having a great time! Her BFF’s mom is their coach and they’re learning lots and doing pretty well. Their team is not the best in the league, but they hold their own and fight hard. Becca’s made a few shots, had some great defense and assists, and even dances a little less down the court than last year. Smile


stealing the ball


That green #6 is a pretty good ball player…Becca managed to hold her off well



Looks like I have to try getting a few more pictures of her face at the next couple games!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A disappointment and the Glory

I have to admit that I am struggling a lot right now. We've been trying to sell our house and buy another house that seems perfect for us since the end of October. Unfortunately, our buyers have a loan through the bank where they are employed, which seems to be completely incapable of doing anything in a timely fashion. We have signed a couple of extensions with both parties, but this past weekend, when our latest extension expired, the sellers of the house we want to buy decided to put their house back on the market. Our buyers' loan is still not progressing and we don't know when or if or where we will be moving.

Disappointment. Frustration. Anger. Sadness. Even grief, in a way. These are all emotions that have been wracking at my soul since this past Friday. We were all attached to that house. It was already our home. We were moved in there in our heads and hearts...just not with our bodies and our belongings. I know that in the grand scheme of things a house just isn't that important. I know that there are far worse things we could be facing and I am ever-so-grateful that we are not facing a life & death situation here. And yet. I am struggling.

It seemed like God put all the pieces together for us. The way that our house sale and finding the new house came together so perfectly, so smoothly, and with such obvious God-ordained timing. I know some of you out there know exactly of what I speak. So now what am I supposed to think? He didn't? He changed His mind? I had it wrong? We're supposed to learn a lesson? God has some bigger, grander, better plan for us?

No offense, but I don't believe it's the latter. God doesn't promise wonderful stuff for us on this earth. He doesn't play "Big, Bigger, Best" like some of the youth in one thing for something slightly better. He promises us a hope and future, Jeremiah 29:11, but something in me believes He's really referring to a hope in Christ and a future in heaven. Do I believe God changed His mind? Nope. Do I think I'm supposed to be learning a lesson? Maybe. Did I have it wrong - was it not all God-ordained back in October? I don't think so. Do crappy things sometimes happen and God uses them to bring Him glory? Yes. Definitely. What will bring God glory in this? Well, in fact, I could. I'm supposed to bring all the glory to God, even in this very disappointing time. I'm not entirely sure how to do this because it often seems like we say, "Soli Deo Gloria" whenever we are blessed  by something. It's much harder to say "Soli Deo Gloria" when we're going through struggles.

And yet. It is all for His glory. Perhaps the way I conduct myself despite the fact that I'm hurting can bring God glory, because I can tell you this: it is only because of God (& the fact that He gave me Ed as a husband) that I am not lashing out constantly. I don't tend to be very rational, logical, or sensible when I am feeling this way. But really, God will receive the glory simply because He IS. Because He is God. And that should simply be enough.

Because He is God, we are choosing to trust. And for me, that is a very conscious choice and decision that lately I have to make about 100 times a day, whenever the anger and frustration stirs up again. I've been reading Jesus Calling (no coincidence in timing there, either) and several phrases have helped me to choose to trust simply because He is God, even though every ounce of my humanity doesn't want to.

Try saying, "I trust you, Jesus" in response to whatever happens to you...when you view events from this perspective...fear loses its grip on you.

It is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness that you learn to rely on Me.

Cling to hope, and My rays of Light will reach you through the darkness.

I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will thoroughly equip you for the journey.

Seek My Face, and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible...Let Me displace worry at the center of your being...When you seek Me, you will find Me.

Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity...instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties...if you believe that I am sovereign over every aspect of your life, it is possible to trust Me in all is like a staff you can lean on, as you journey uphill with me..the staff will bear as much of your weight as needed...lean on, trust, and be confident in Me with all your heart and mind.

And so, I struggle. Because I am human. And I choose to trust God because He is God. And I give Him all the glory that I can even do that. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Celebrating the wrong side of the 30’s

My baby brother celebrated his 35th birthday while he & his family were visiting. We actually celebrated on New Year’s Day, (which is the day before his birthday) because we all had to go back to school & work on the 2nd. It was a sunny day & we had loads of fun, but it was bittersweet, because we knew it was our last day together for this trip.



The cousins had some fun outside with the bow & arrows.


A basketball cake for my basketball-loving brother! I baked it and my SIL decorated it!


All the big kids…I think he’s handling the “wrong side of the 30’s” pretty well.


Singing Happy Birthday and he wants more volume!

And here ends the Family Christmas of 2012 Pictures!

We are so blessed.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Often on New Year’s Eve we go to a gathering at some friend’s because all our visiting family has left. This year, they were able to stay a little longer and we had such a good time with them celebrating the New Year!

My brother & his family spent a good part of the day with his in-laws in Bellingham, but the kids of course had some fun before they left.



I think that is one of my favorite pictures from the entire vacation. Have you ever seen such happiness?

Then, as my brother’s family was leaving, it began to snow. HUGE flakes were coming down and I adore this series of shots. I just couldn’t decide which ones to leave out, so I put them all in.








We headed home for the day – did some laundry and got things ready for school that would be starting up again in 2 days. Then back to my parents for our New Year’s Eve Par-tay!


Sarah made some party hats, plus we had the “Happy New Year” headbands leftover from 2006!

New Year's Kiss




What New Year’s Eve party is complete without Calvin College balloons?


Then we started our “Just Dance” party. If you know my family, you know that this was a GIGANTIC stretch for us. But we all did it, at least for a little while, and we all had fun. Mostly. Except for Ed who compares it like this: “Ed is to Just Dance as Superman is to Kryptonite.” Well, thanks for trying, dear.



He’s much better at playing on his iPad…





We celebrated the New Year at what Elise has come to call “First Midnight.” Translation? 9:00 p.m. PST, Midnight on the East Coast. Watched the ball drop live. I still think we should have changed all the clocks to East Coast time to try to fool the kids…


A few of the adults, plus the big girls, made it to midnight, at which time some of my parents’ neighbors started shooting off what sounded like cannons. Becca woke up and ended up watching the fireworks over the Space Needle with us. Shhhh. Don’t tell Elise, Josh, or Carter!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


On the Sunday after Christmas, there was a BIG Seahawks game. My brother and his boys are HUGE fans and so we were pretty excited to watch the game with them. No one got into the game quite like my youngest nephew, however.

First Grandma said we must take pictures.



Then the kids insisted on a quick game of Kick the Can, since it was nice out and it wasn’t time to eat and the game wasn’t on.





Then, after Sunday dinner, they got their gear on.



There was some pre-game tackling.



Cracks me up how Elise looks so bored out of her mind in the two shots. Get into the game, girl!


And during the game tackling.



And lots of cheering!


And later,

post-game music.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Children’s Museum

We had been hoping to maybe go to the mountains to play in the snow while my brother was here with his family, but with the road conditions being questionable and neither vehicle having even traction tires, let alone chains, we elected to do something else instead. I checked into the Children’s Museum in the town where we used to live years ago and it turned out there was a coupon deal in the local paper that day, so we all got in for half price! It was a 45 minute drive, but it gave my youngest nephew a good little nap and later, since Ed & I had a gift card to The Outback, which is in that town, we picked up some Bloomin’ Onions for everyone to share. It was a really fun afternoon.


Elise driving the semi. What was really fun was that this was the same Children’s Museum we used to go to when Sarah & Bethany were little, but it had changed locations. Sarah wondered on the way if they would still have the semi, because she remembered it. We were happy to its nose sticking out the front windows of the museum!







My youngest nephew was enthralled with this turtle…and it was pretty active while we were there, which was fun to watch!


My mother trying to convince my nephew to wear the dinosaur costume was also pretty fun to watch!