Thursday, December 29, 2016

Praising God: the lost is found!

Our bestest family friends are the Schultzes.
We think of them as family. We lived with them for a week in July and again in September between travels.
So to hear that their son was missing was craziness. It didn't happen on our trip, but it affected us. Since we are in Eastern time, it was late when we found out and kids were in bed. I spent all night praying. I would get in bed only to lay awake praying. Then go ahead and roll out onto my knees again. The next day we canceled our planned outings because I couldn't go have fun while Zeke was missing. I remember feeling his way on 9/11: thinking I shouldn't do anything because I wanted to do something to help, but I was too far away to help. Helpless, but not hopeless. 
In the morning, Kik, too, was distraught. He chose to spend most of the morning in prayer as well.
The elation we felt when we got a text, "They found him. He's ok" was incredible. It was 10:30am here, though only 7:30 there.

This blessed boy! After 17 hours missing and temperatures that dipped to 30°, I imagine he is more thankful than I - but not by much!
I have had many moving thoughts since, many lessons I feel I learned reflecting on that time on my knees.
But mostly, we thank and praise our Father in Heaven for His mercy. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Stone Mountain Evening

Oh, the lights!
Ky climbed up on this rock to see the parade.
Can you spot Rudolph behind Sy?
This show was super funny. The gals were singing Christmas lyrics to popular songs from over the last 50 years. For example, Michael Jackson's Thriller, to which they even did the Thriller choreography while singing Christmas lyrics.
Ky met the "snow angel".
We lost one kid in the gift shop. But, as I always say, 75% is a passing grade, so it's OK if I lose one. Right?

More lovely lights, and finally fireworks before we left. It was a long, fun day!

Stone Mountain

In the middle of Georgia, a huge granite rock emerges from the earth. This is Stone Mountain.
And on the side is a carving taller than Mount Rushmore.
Heroes of the south, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E Lee, and Stonewall Jackson all writing their favorite horses (whose names I don't remember).
Unlike mount Rushmore, this large rock carving is surrounded by a small amusement-type park.
After getting all our aggression out having lots of fun throwing and shooting foam balls at each other,
we rode the tram to the top of the rock.

At the top, there were ponds, some with plants growing in them, and lots of lichen.

We watched Rudolph the red nose reindeer in 4-D (which means we got wet from the snow) and rode a train all the way around the mountain singing Christmas carols.

After the train ride, Jo decided he wanted to hike all the way to the top of the rock. So, Scott and I went for a hike with him, while the rest of the kids played minigolf with grandma and grandpa.
We enjoyed a beautiful view from the top.
Then, we decided to take the cable car back down instead of walking. It was a little after 5:30. The night was young. Fireworks would not start until 8:45. We needed to conserve our energy.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas time is here!

Being with family has been the best gift!

Delivering cookies and caroling to the neighbors accompanied by my tin whistlers on Christmas Eve eve (12/23).  We sang all the songs together except Silent Night where kids played and adults sang. We had fun sharing the love of Christ.
Christmas Eve haircuts
And while boys were at the barber, Ky was running errands with Grandma and ran into a man at Tractor Supply who let her hold his owl!
Christmas Eve service at Grace Evangelical. It was a perfect low-key service worshipping our Savior.

Christmas morning. Jo made us breakfast as a gift to the family. Everyone always enjoys his baked goods and this new recipe was no exception. After a bit of time in God's Word, we got to see what all was under the tree.

Beanies made by ladies learning a trade and learning about Jesus.
It makes me happy to see them so excited to watch others open their thoughtfully chosen gifts.

And if this wasn't enough...
Grandpa in CA sent gifts, too!
When they first saw it Sy counted 1,2,3 (the bike, and 2 scooters) and said, "Now, if we get one more vehicle, we can all ride something."
So they were more surprised when we told them there were bikes for everyone.  (We only put one together.) And they fold up to take along while we're traveling!
Bike assembly time! Hopefully, they'll all know how to fix them because they assembled them themselves.
Thank you Grandpa Joe for buying the kids new bikes!
And thank you Grandma for his beautiful table that was shortly filled with delicious foods!
Happy Christmas to all! May Jesus be your reason to celebrate all through the year!