Thursday, January 21, 2010

Same Kind of Different As Me = Fantastic

At the recommendation of some friends, I just read Same Kind of Different As Me. For those of you, who like me a few weeks ago, know nothing about this book because you are not up on books, it is a true story about two men from very different worlds who meet and become lifelong friends through the encouragement and faith of an incredible, strong woman. It is a story of God's power to overcome heartache and pain that seem impossible to overcome.

For me, it was a story of the blessing and encouragement I can be for my husband, especially, but also for others. If it was not for this woman, this friendship would not have taken place. It was through her forgiveness and loving encouragement that her husband was able to become the man he became. It was convicting! It was through her courage and conviction that so many lives were touched. I pray I can leave a legacy (in my own way) like she was able to do. I hope I am obedient and the woman of God that I am called to be. I hope I am in touch enough that I can hear or see when God points me in certain directions so that I can leave the legacy He has called me to leave.

I can't recommend the book enough!! And, aside from the tears, it is an easy read!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Holidays

I know I'm a bit late on this one . . . but we had a fabulous holiday season, so late or not, I want to share!!!

For Thanksgiving, we traveled down to my aunt, uncle and grandmother's. I don't think I actually took any pictures. We spent the evening before Thanksgiving at Disneyland, then we had Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt and uncle's and spent the night there that night. It was nice. The kids enjoyed their second cousins, and we enjoyed my first cousins.

Christmas was just wonderful! We started off the break from school with our last trip to Disneyland. It was such a great year with season passes, but we had pretty much decided we would do something different for 2010, just because Disneyland passes are so expensive. So we enjoyed a night and day there. The biggest excitement that night was that David was finally tall enough to ride California Screamin'. He has been waiting for this moment all year long, and I wasn't sure he was going to make it. He was a little freaked out, as was I. I'm still not sure he was tall enough, no matter what the sign said! But he loved it and rode it several times! Here are few pics of our two days. The first is of Sarah on the Ariel Carousel while the boys were on the roller coaster.

The next is of David and Sarah on the main Carousel in Storybookland.

Then we have Sarah comparing shoes with Mrs. Clause . . . they were very similar.

I didn't get any great pics of the older boys, at least not any that are on my computer.

I spent the next couple days cleaning the house and preparing for Christmas. Dad flew into San Diego and picked up my grandmother. They arrived here on Wednesday. This was our first Christmas since leaving Bartlesville that we were with family. I was so excited to have them here!! We have done fine the last couple years, but I was really dreading not having family with us this year, so I was so happy when Dad said he was coming and then when Grandma asked if she could come, too. Among other things, she was great help in getting prepared for Christmas Eve. We invited everyone from the church over, and we had about 40 come. We sang carols, read the Christmas story and just enjoyed company. We had a lot of finger foods. When everyone left, we attempted to get some family snapshots in front of the Christmas tree. I got a couple of decent ones of the kids and the kids with Dad and Grandma, but none of the six of us.

We woke up Christmas morning and opened gifts, followed by a nice breakfast (a rare occurrence in our house)! Then Brent put together Sarah's kitchen while I finished the food for lunch. Everyone watched Up. Then at about 2:30 our friends Scott (our new strategic pastor at Kaleo!!!) and Amberly and their children, Judah and Josiah, and our friend, Susan, came for dinner. We had a HUGE amount of food. It was delicious! Clean up was followed by a short nap and playing of games.

Dad and Grandma stayed until Wednesday morning, at which time we all went to Escondido (Northern San Diego County) to my aunt and uncle's to spend New Year's Even and surprise Grandma for her 90th birthday.

New Year's Eve was celebrated at my cousin, Cindy's. The kids swam while the adults played Wii. Even Grandma had her turn batting and golfing, as did Aunt Mary, who is blind. Yes, she batted, swinging when the crowd told her to, and proudly, she scored better than her husband, my Uncle Jim, whose sight is perfectly fine!!! It was a blast.

The following day we celebrated Grandma turning 90. Her birthday was not actually until the 7th, but this is when everyone could be in town. It was special for all of us who were there. She seemed to enjoy herself very much. She is in amazing shape for her age. I hope I am doing that well if I live to be that age. She will be spending a month on a cruise in early spring . . . a month, yes!!! But I figure, at 90, if that's what she wants, that's what she should do!!! It's great to be close enough to celebrate with her!!! We returned home late that night, or rather early the following morning. I felt so blessed this year at Christmas, with friends, family and church family around. I could not ask for more, except for the rest of our family to be here, too!!!