Monday, August 22, 2011

1000 Gifts: Cape May

Cape May, New Jersey... my mama's old stompin' grounds... a very favorite beach...
and five days together.

Adding to my journal, I count His gifts...
and give thanks for the many, many extravagances He offers... every single day.

Thank you, Lord...
For your beautiful creation.
For special times and special people.
For treasures untold,
And the gift of your love.


The sunken ship
Photos in front of it and many, many guesses... when will it sink out of sight?
A climb on the rocks
A jump in the sea

Early morning walks
The quiet surf
And the cry of the gulls

Waves for splashing
Sand for digging
Toes for burying
Shells for collecting
Buckets for filling
Shovels for scooping
Kites for flying
Hands for holding

And dad
Family traditions

"Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name."

1 Chronicles 29:13

and the list goes on...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The last 10 days

Ten days ago, we left northern Virigina and headed north on a whirlwind tour of the Mid-Atlantic region. Our first stop-- Penn State University & the Eastern Zone Championship. Noh-man was competing again, and he was looking forward to a crazy few days with his swimmer-pals as we looked forward to a few tasty treats in State College. The weather was gorgeous, the ice cream (at the Creamery... more on that later) was delicious, and the company (Poppa came in from SD!) was the best. The meet itself... not so much. But I snapped a few shots of the big event... and then we moved on :)

After Zones, we were off to Lancaster, PA for my cousin's Sunday afternoon wedding AND... tuxedoes. The boys have been desperate to dress "in style" at every wedding we've attended in recent years, and this go round, as Junior Groomsmen, their dream finally came true. They looked smashing (I think :), and they loved every single second of if!

And lastly-- our efforts at capturing a family photo... just the six of us.

Let me sum up that experience this way-- as of right now, I think I'm officially adopting my sister-in-love's philosophy. As long as all bodies are present, consider the photo a success. Agreeable, happy faces-- all smiling at the camera at the same time-- are an unrealistic expectation :)

It's always an adventure!

Anyhoo... next stop-- the beach.
But I'll save that for tomorrow :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The dog days of summer

On some days, it's just too hot to go outside.
So on those days, they choose to stay inside.
On the sofa.
So they can do absolutely nothing.
'Cause that's how they roll...

Oh, the life :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

1000 Gifts: The Championship

Truly, my cup overflows.
And I am undone.
God is SO good... He leaves me nearly speechless.
But not quite :)

"Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me.

The 2011 Long Course Age Group Championship
Christiansburg, VA
July 28-31


The opportunity for all three boys to compete in their championship meet
Cheering for Big Man via the telephone, as he swam in Charlottesville while Bub & Noh-man swam in Christiansburg
Big Man's new title-- the Backstroke Champion (according to his coach :) after winning the League title on Friday
A superb team of families... of coaches... and swimmers
FAST (the team)
For Noh-man... racing hair. Or perhaps-- Uncle Dave hair? Either way... a lack of hair.
And Uncle Dave, who drove from South Carolina to cheer for the boys
And Aunt Wilma, who held down the fort at home so that Dave could come to the meet
The YMCA for a little pre-race fun
And time together to ease the stress.
God's peace amidst the storm. His presence during the fight.
Prayers for His best... whatever that may be
And His faithfulness, His blessing, His goodness... even when things didn't turn out as we hoped
Comfort and certainty... the assurance... that He has something better...
because His ways are always higher, His thoughts are always better, and His plans are always greater than anything we could ever imagine on our own
Three fighting spirits
Three champion-sized hearts
And my sister-in-love's reminder-- Man looks at the outer appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Just in time.
Philippians 4:13
"No fear!"
Crazy hard lessons learned, especially for Chris and me
And their courage untold, their determination... magnified, & more character demonstrated in a span of two minutes than most adults display in a lifetime.
And the opprotunity to pursue them.
Competing with the best in the state... and coming out at the top
God's hand of deliverance-- like David and Goliath
Answered prayers
A coach... from another team... who cared
The prayers of loved ones, the encouragement of others, and the little kindnesses offered throughout the day that display His love in mighty, mighty ways
Brother cheering for brother, praying for brother, hurting for brother, persevering for brother... LOVING brother more then himself
And the privilege of parenting such fine young men
Life... shared.
God's grace.

"Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations;
I will sing praises of your name."

2 Samuel 22:50

and the list goes on...