Visitors from Mexico

This month has been a busy, fun, exhausting, action packed time of year.  Hence the dire lack of blog posts.

{Cece happy to see her little friend again}

This month we have the honor to be able to meet up with some dear friends of ours from Mexico.  They were up in Canada for a few weeks visiting family (My friend Amber is originally from Canada) and they  managed to squeeze a beach day with us into their busy schedule.   

These were the folks we hung out with while we were in Baja this past December, and the friends we met for the first time while we were on staff at an orphanage back in '09.  

It really was great to see them and their adorable kids again, and to catch up on conversation (something we never seem to lack).

My sister in law and nephew have been spending the month with us too.  That's her hiding behind the umbrella post.  Great photography I know.   

We are already dreaming about, and making plans for our next trip down to Baja.   I miss "my" kids! Seriously.  I'm going to have to do a post about them.   Amber has been kind enough to not only be looking out for them, making sure they have food etc. but also to send me the occasional photo and even letters from them.   But beyond just visiting the friends and "family" we've accumulated over the years there, we have a new venture that's been on our hearts, and in the back of our minds for a while.      

  Our passion, other than loving kids living in desperate situations,  is ministry that is discipleship based.   Ministry that does more than hands-outs with a side of religion...but deals with the core heart issues that are at the root of so much generational brokenness, addictions, poverty, neglect, abandonment, abuse etc.   We want to see people, who are often cast out of society, given the tools they need to provide for their families, live with purpose, and know their Savior.  We have a desire to see men, trained, given job skills, and pointed toward home to love and serve their families.  Something that is SO lacking.  We want to see legacies changed.  I know that's not something we can accomplish, but we serve a mighty God who brings beauty from ashes.....so with what little bit of time we have, with our limited resources, we're going to start getting our feet wet.   We'll hand Jesus our few little loaves and fishes and wait to see what he chooses to do with it.  If nothing else, it will stretch our faith even more and be another fun family adventure....and we'll get to hang out and work with our friends Amber and Saul again.  

We don't have any of the details worked out, we don't have a clue how we'll get there, or when, ....but we're hoping and praying to make it down for another 6 wks this winter.   Not a lot of time, but with everything we have on the go even getting there will be no small feat.  I'll fill y'all in when it becomes more of concrete plan.    

The little nephew I met for the first time 3 summers ago, has now morphed into a young man trying his first cup 'o Joe.  Don't let his sophisticated look fool you though, he's still as goofy as ever.  He has grown  SO much since last summer.  I love that we were able to meet him while he was still little, it's fun to look back over the last 3 summers and see how much our crew has grown.

My friend and sister in law with my daughter while we were at Family Camp (our traditional place to go for a week when Brook is staying with us).   

Between lake days, camp, and visiting friends is a whole lot of laundry, weed pulling, berry picking, lawn mowing, packing/ unpacking, and garden produce picking.   Not a lot of time for posting, but I miss doing it...and I don't want summer to go by completely unrecorded (my secret reason for blogging is my senility).  Another couple weeks of summer and we'll be into Harvest season.  This summer is going by way too fast!


Happy 9th Birthday Little Man

Today my boy turned nine years old.    Nine years ago, I held my handsome, perfectly healthy, baby boy in my arms and felt so overwhelmingly blessed.   He had a head full of light brown hair that stood up on end, a dimple in his chin, and a cute little button nose.  

I fell madly in love, in an instant, 
and I still feel so blessed to be his mom.

Life with this boy has been exuberant, exciting, and sometimes exhausting.
He packs a whole lot of life into 9 short years.

POW! (his shirt pretty much describes him)

He's fiery, adventurous, courageous, affectionate and he has a huge generous heart.  
He has grown to be a respectful, helpful, responsible and trustworthy young man.  

The boy who was once my most exhausting toddler and my most strong willed/hyper active preschooler (I wondered sometimes what would become of both of us)....is now a child who rarely needs more correction than some gentle guidance.  His heart is so soft, quick to repent, and eager to make restitution.  He loves his family well....  

and we love him to bits.  

His wacky party included 3 cousins, 2 aunts, 1 friend, a grandma,  3 siblings...and Darth Vader.

The lime and coconut cupcakes were super yummy....made per request of the Birthday Boy.

Happy Birthday Roman!!


I heart summer

Our dietary standards drop to include things like hot dogs and Popsicles.

We spend more time playing with friends.

We get to wear clothes that don't include fleece. 

We squeeze as much camping, marshmallow roasting, beach playing fun into our too short summer as we can.   

One of the best parts of July is the arrival of our 2 extra house hold members.

This is our third summer spent with my husbands only sister and her son.  She lives in Seattle but she will be staying with us for the next month.

I met her via email and phone for the first time 4 1/2 years ago, and then after a year and a half of building a long distance friendship we met in person July 2010...and we've been doing our summers together ever since.  It's been such a blessing to make up for lost years, watch her son grow up, and have them both in our lives. 

We spent this past weekend camping with my husbands brother and his family, and his sister and her son.  It was so great to get all the cousins together for a weekend of camping.  These 8 kids hadn't all been together since we reunited with Brook, and I took these pictures  2 years ago.  They've all grown up so much since then!  

We're headed off to a camp next week, which has become our traditional thing to do while Brook is here, so posts may get a bit sparse.  We've got lots to do before we leave!  

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