Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Morning Coffee

The boys are gone for the rest of the week at my mom's house in Michigan. Amanda has taken advantage of the time with just the girls. This morning she sent me this picture of her and Molly enjoying their morning coffee together. Two peas in a pod!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 Years

Today Amanda and I celebrate 10 years of marriage.  Actually we went out to Olive Garden and celebrated on Monday.  We laughed about how it was us and our five crazies out celebrating our tenth anniversary.  We were going to get a picture, but that dropped pretty quickly on the priority list.  We had some hopes of a big tenth anniversary trip for just the two of us.  That turned into a pop up camper, a dinner at Oliver Garden with the kids and probably going to bed as soon as I get home tonight from T-ball with the boys.  How romantic!

We probably wouldn't have written it quite like this 10 years ago, but in God's providence and in his timing he works all things for the good of those that love him.  I wouldn't trade any of it.  Amanda is God's second most precious gift to me (after Jesus and the cross.)  God has used her to mold me and shape me into a greater likeness of him and for that I will forever be grateful.  She's my best friend and the person that I would always choose to spend time with.  I look forward to the next ten, twenty and beyond, should God continue to give them to us.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Camping: The PUP's Maiden Voyage

From Camping

Last weekend we took our new pop up or PUP out for our first camping experience.  It was a great weekend.  The kids loved riding their bikes and scooters around the circle of campsites; they burned leaves with their magnifying glasses; the girls took baths in the dish basin and we all fell into bed at the end of the evening.  All in all, it was a huge success and we are looking forward to our trip to my mom's with the PUP in tow.  We've also got a date in July planned to check out another local campground.

From Camping

From Camping

UPDATE:  We went to William O'Brien State Park just north of Marine On St. Croix.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Song for those with disabilities . . . and me.

At the Desiring God blog this morning, they posted this song by Bob Kauflin.  It's titled "Song for those with disabilities."  I don't have a disability at least none that you would be able to see, and certainly don't want to trivialize the reality of disability, but this song seemed so much more universal than simply for those grieving their disability.  Don't we all struggle with the brokenness of sin?  Whether you have a disability that is outward or whether you just struggle with the sin in our world, I think this song would be applicable to you.

Click here to listen.

"Song for Those with Disabilities"
Within the womb I formed you
I fashioned and made each part
I thought of your fingers, your hands and your feet
Your mouth, your lungs, your heart
Though you might think that you’re different
I made you the way that you are
So you could discover the God who made you
And find out all I am
And though you might think you have limitations
There are no limits with me
When you turn your eyes to my salvation
Finally you will see
In Me, you have all that you need
In Me, you have all that you need
In Me, you have all that you’ll ever need.
And I’ve heard each prayer that you’ve called out
“Why did you make me this way?”
You may not completely understand now
But there will be a day
When I make everything known to you
And what you don’t now understand
You will see that I’m wise and I’m mighty and good
Just like all my plans
And if you trust in the work of my Son
One day you will see
That I’ve made you the way you are
To draw your heart to me
To draw your heart to me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Amanda Faith and a Crazy June


Today we celebrate our beloved mother and wonderful wife.  While I was away in Seattle last weekend God confirmed in my mind again how wonderful of a woman that He has given me and how great of a team we are.  It has been a crazy June (and really a pretty crazy last six months), but we were able to settle on what Amanda was going to get for her birthday.

Last night we picked up our new pop up camper.  It is a 12 foot Jayco and we are very excited about what we hope it will bring to our family.  As the 22-year-old kid demonstrated all of the things about the hot water heater, the furnace, the water pump, the deep cycle battery my head spun.  Amanda, in all of her wisdom, said, "You weren't taught about any of that stuff, but just because we have the pop up our boys will know more about that stuff than you do."  Our hope is that the pop up gives us another way to, as T says, "raise our country kids in the city."  This weekend is our first trip.  We'll celebrate Amanda more, our anniversary (10 years) and Father's Day.

The kids were so excited about this.  Matthew said everyday for about a week, "I can't wait until we pick up the camper."  Last night each of them prayed and thanked God for the camper.  I am thankful too:  for the camper, my five kids and especially for the woman that God has given me to walk through life with as a partner, lover and friend.

Some Things I Missed This Spring

Fun at Easter in Minnesota

Small Group Camping Trip

A Wonderful Memorial Day at Grand View Lodge with Shube

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Little House" Comes To Our House

Tricia posted a few weeks ago about how her kids are enjoying watching her Little House on the Prairie DVD's.  We decided that our kids would probably enjoy them as well.  One thing that I didn't really remember about LHOP (that's L-HOP, as I've decided to call it at our house) is how much of a tear jerker almost every episode is.  In last night's episode, Pa had to go looking for work after the wheat harvest failed.  Pa was off working hard and missing his family (just like me in Seattle).  One of Pa's new friends got blown up by dynamite.  Pa had to tell the man's wife and son that their husband and pa was dead.  I looked over and Matthew and he was doing his ugly face cry.  (You know the face I mean.  Just try holding tears in and then look in the mirror.)

I'm looking forward to making LHOP a part of our family.  I saw the whole series online on DVD for around $100.  We weren't ready to make that kind of commitment at the time, but I think it might be something to add to our Nis-nis list.

Guy's Weekend 8: Seattle

Every year I get together with 5 of my friends from college.  Usually we camp.  This year we all traveled to Seattle.  Ken (third from right) recently bought a cool house there.  It needed some work.  The roof had to be replaced and there was some landscape work to be done.  We spent three great days doing just that.  With our resident General Contractor, Ben D., who works for Habitat for Humanity and Alyn who has redone his house is Holland, Michigan, we were in good hands.  It's been a long time since I've been this sore, but it was a wonderful time of being with friends and learning more about roofing.  I told Amanda last night, that if I had a person to work out the details, I definitely could be of some help if I ever needed to do this for myself.

Thanks Ken and Andrea for a great weekend.  If you'd like to see more photos, you can here.