Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lake Henry

My grandfather (Oupa) built a cabin in the Poconos on Lake Henry when my Dad was a kid. The family used it for vacations then Oupa & Ouma lived there during their retirement. As a kid I went to the cabin many times, especially for family reunions and to visit cousins. My aunt and uncle now live at the cabin and graciously welcomed us for a visit.

The kids took rides in a rowboat and canoe to see islands and turtles. I definitely remember feeling choked by those life preservers and the pride of rowing myself. We had some good weather between thunderstorms so that the kids could go swimming in the lake- a first for them. They were a bit concerned to be in the water with all the fish that they fed off the dock but that didn't stop them.

They did catch some of those fish - gratefully no people were hooked in the process. Eric was the busiest of all putting worms on and taking fish off. He showed them how to clean one of the sunfish- they were shocked.

And of course we also played in the woods, built a fire, saw some wildlife and got very dirty. The kids were asking to come back before we even began to leave- brought back memories of crying myself at the end of each trip to the lake.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday Carson!

Carson turned 8 years old on June 25th. He had been thinking long and hard about how to celebrate it and was very eager for the big day. In bed one night last week, he told me he'd like a civil war birthday. (I assume this was suggested to him by a recent trip to a Civil War enactment with Dad & Gramps). Since I couldn't find any "Happy Civil War Birthday" balloons, Eric built long rifles with the kids as part of Carson's birthday gifts (with dowels, 2x4's, and Gramps old belts). The boys got to paint them and played yankees vs rebels at my aunt & uncle's cabin in the Poconos (more photos of that to come)...

Happy Birthday Carson! We love you very much! You are kind and intense and love to do the right thing. Thanks for being a leader, a helper and a great big brother! We are excited to see how the Lord uses you and grows you up to a man of God!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saying Goodbye

I've been taking Meredith's advice and slowly reading through the stack of encouragment and goodbye cards (and a few sympathy cards- nice touch Calles!) that we received the Sunday we left San Diego. I may not have gotten to read yours yet, but I am grateful for the love and honor you have lavished on us.

Reading the evidences of grace that you point out has drawn me to worship God. I am amazed that the ways you have seen me change and grow are not the result of my great effort or my master plan or my handy schedule. They are not the result of my tireless pursuits of holiness. They are not due to my faithful disciplines.

Instead, the grace you see is due to the Lord faithfully changing me from the inside out. They are things (like loving my husband, serving my family, loving others etc) that feel natural to me, things that I want to do, ways that I enjoy serving the Lord. How exciting to see that the Lord is truly changing my heart and motivating me by his great love for me! How exciting that the areas you point out are often surprises- things I didn't even notice or never considered one of the places I needed to work on. Instead God has been changing me in his own way and truly producing the fruit of his Spirit rather than the fruit of my labors.

Not that it has all been easy. I definitely have seen that his best tool for changing my heart is trial. It has been the hard days that make me depend on him and the hard days that make me need to find out who He really is. And I keep finding Him greater and more glorious and more loving than I ever imagined.

So thank you for pointing out how the Lord has been working in our lives. We praise God for you and we praise God that he is the one working in our hearts. I am convinced it is his work and not ours.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sewing with Gram

Gram likes to sew. She sewed clothes for me and my siblings when we were kids (I remember matching sesame street jumpers). She made me maternity clothes while I was pregnant with Carson. She made all our crib bedding and decor. Anyone remember that huge cow in the boys bedroom? Yep, she made that too.

This trip Natalie got to watch her in action as she made skirts for Natalie and her cousins Sydney and Sienna. Here is Natalie modeling the skirt with matching accessories from Gram. I think the photo was taken on Saturday- Natalie has worn the skirt everyday since. I finally put it in the wash after her bath last night- hope it's dry when she wakes up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Picking Strawberries

My mom (Gram) asked us to pick strawberries for her to make strawberry jelly. We went to Seiples Farm- a family tradition for many years. I used to go with my grandmother when I was a kid. It took Natalie awhile to learn to pick them without squishing the berries (they are much softer than CA ones). And the kids switched rows constantly since the berries were always better on the other side. But everyone worked hard and we had 28 pounds when we were finished! Gram made lots of jam!!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Last Sunday we went to visit the Sovereign Grace church in Souderton PA, about 1 hr from my parents. It is so good to be part of a family of churches- we felt very much at home. We got to see some old college friends and the Bowman's cousins (Natalie & Ashley had a great time together!)

On the drive back we stopped at John's Diner- "the shiny food place" as Henry called it. They really don't make them like this in California. I got to have my first helping of fried pierogies- yum.

The kids favorite part was the video games in the lobby. It's not deer season around here yet, but at least Eric got to do some training in hunting with the boys. The goal of the game is to shoot the bucks but not the does.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Playing in the Garden

It's been a few rainy days here in PA- quite a change from our San Diego weather. The little ones are still terrified of the lightning and thunder, but are enjoying all the greenery in the garden. Yesterday Natalie & Peter got to play outside with umbrellas for the first time.

Henry found a caterpillar that he carried back from a hike and Carson has been taking photos of the birds in the backyard for his friend Jeremiah. They've also been enjoying the hammock- especially when all four climb on at once!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Henry at Work

Henry has found a favorite place to hang out. My Dad (Gramps) has a woodworking shop set up in the basement. He is currently building cabinets for their kitchen so Henry has been watching and helping in all his safety gear.

Vacuuming the sawdust was one of Henry's preferred jobs. They are finishing the last base cabinet in order for the granite countertops to be measured and installed.
One of Eric's ideas is to do a wood project with the boys this summer- so watch for more to come!

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Tuesday morning we left from the Detrich's house in SD for Philadelphia. We chose to fly on Southwest Airlines partly because 2 checked bags per ticket are included in the price. Since we'll be gone for more than 6 weeks, we packed lots of things we just may need (like the boys scooters- but i forgot helmets-oops!). All 12 bags plus carry ons and 7 people (thanks for the ride Mark!) were able to fit in the Honda minivan.

It's so much easier to fly now that all the kids are potty trained and can carry their own stuff. This was our first trip without a stroller. We flew to Phoenix then on to Philly with an extra stop in San Antonio. Since the weather was bad in Philly so we had to stay on the plane an extra hour, but at least the plane wasn't crowded so we could spread out.

Peter hadn't flown since he was about 6 months old so this was all new to him. He was very excited and very chatty- talked to the pilot in line before getting on the plane. The take off was a bit too much for him- he peed in his pants in the midst of it.

We made it to my parents house in Whitehall by 2am and got the kids right in bed. Peter was especially excited to see the cats- but we convinced him to hop in bed first. A great beginning to our vacation!!