Monday, July 26, 2010

13 Years...

A guy rang my doorbell today.

It was the FedEx guy, and he brought this:

I haven't received a box like this before.

This is what I found inside:
Delicate (and perhaps suffering from a touch of heat exhaustion... but they're already looking peppy-er)


And the card?

13 years ago today, Matt I promised to love each other in sickness & in health, in good times & bad... as long as we both shall live.

Thank you, Matt. These flowers are beautiful.

I love you!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


One of our favorite outdoor activities is chucking rocks.

We find a place on a gravel bar where there aren't any other people. Then we wade in a bit and start letting the rocks fly. What boy (old or young) doesn't want to here the words, "Well, for pete's sake, throw that rock!" I think it's interesting to watch my boys approach this activity in their own ways.

There is some tandem wading,

...usually at first as everyone gets used to the cold river water.

And then they sort of do their own things.

Tyson enjoys the feel of the water on his feet:

He likes to search for interesting rocks and share them with us:

He is fascinated by the skipping of rocks, and he both loves to watch Matt & my dad...
...and "teach" his little brother how to skip rocks:

Riley takes a completely different approach.
He loves to watch the boats go by:

And other than that, well, Riley just loves the

...and complete...
...that comes from chucking rocks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Family That Camps Together...

...stabs eachother with hot dog sticks.

I'm just kidding! We love camping, and every camping trip is a happy one... with no stabbing of anything other than hot dogs & marshmallows.

Summer is for relaxing, slowing down and recuperating from life's crazy pace the rest of the year. The best way we know how to unwind from the hustle & bustle is to grab the pop up trailer and head into nature.

So, what do we do while camping? Well...

We relax. I know it looks like a whole lot of nothing, but there is some serious rejuvenation going on here.

We read. A lot. This is my dad. What you don't see in this picture are Matt, my step-mom, my step-grandma and myself, all reading while the boys chase bugs nearby.

We eat fabulous summer foods. Watermelon, foil dinners, hot dogs roasted over a fire and s'mores are our favorites.

And we sleep. All that fresh air makes for some tired boys and long slumbers.

And yes, sometimes one of those tired boys leaves the campfire (on his own) to commence with the slumber... with unbrushed teeth and s'mores still on his cheek.

We also enjoy chucking rocks, but you'll have to come back tomorrow to find out what that looks like.

What do you do to relax in the summertime?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Okay, we didn't go all the way to the center, but we were pretty deep:
Last weekend, we went camping at Onondaga Cave State Park, in Leasburg, MO. This was our second trip to this particular park, and this time we decided to take the tour of the cave.

The tour was 90 minutes, and took us very deep under the park. Despite the fact that I'm not crazy about small places, and I might be a complete sissy little afraid of the dark, I love cave tours.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I love nature. I love anything that has to do with the outdoors (or in this case, the most natural of "indoors" possible).

My love of the outdoors is closely related to my relationship with God.

When I am out, in the parts of the world that have hardly been touched by humanity, I feel the closest to Him. I feel free to marvel at His power, His grace, His love.

I love that He put in us ~ as part of our humanness ~ curiosity, wonder, and appreciation for beauty.

I think that when God created this earth, He delighted in leaving for us interesting places to explore...

...interesting treasures to discover...

...hints of His power...

...and beauty to stand in awe of.

I found comfort in that big, dark space.

Because looking at these wonders, I was faced with the reality that God has always been here...

...and that He left his footprint, this beautiful reality of His power & might, for us to find.

And I'm certain that as I delighted in each new sight, He delighted in my curiosity, awe, and appreciation of the beauty He put there.