Our Sweet, Crazy Life!

Jake's been working hard on the truck.  Just look at all the progress that he's made since I last posted about it.  He had me helping him to find a part he had dropped.  That's about all I can be trusted with ever since the hood incident with our old mazda several years ago.  I'll sum it up for you: Three fingers under the hood jammed shut, keys locked in the car, pregnant lady, ER visit, and many tears... I can confidently say that searching for missing parts is about all I'm comfortable with!

We went camping last week too.  It was the 2nd year we have been able to join our church family and go celebrate time off down at Big Sur.  It's my own sorrow that I only have pictures from the first day after we unpacked and set up the tent.  I can assure you that the above picture sums up the chaos.. but wait a minute, there was the sand shark, crabs, fat lip, 20 pound Serpentine Rock, negative pregnancy test.. I'll leave it at that.

Ben's head stuck in the zipper.

Then we had the blessing of a surprise visit from some very dear friends, the King Family.  Pictured above is the oldest child, James.  We have know this family for several years.
Anna, their 2nd born, is a true gem.  She and Jackie put on a play for us Saturday evening.
Here they are altogether.  We are so thankful they could be with us!
Samuel is going to be our drummer once we start up our family band.  See how well he beats the fire pit?  We've got a future in this I just know it.

Baby's got hair and I cannot lie... His other brothers can't deny..


The Latest, but not the Greatest..

We have had a fun time here in Monterey.  The location of this little city is the perfect setup for explorations of all parts of California.  In our backyard we can surf the waters at a local beach, up from there we can hike in the Redwoods, down from this is the highly acclaimed Big Sur, Ca where we can camp, surf, hike, play all day and still have several days left of it to see.  Though all of these things are awesome and yes, even great, they are not the greatest.  Our God, who has created it all..., Mighty Jehovah, Father of our Salvation, who has given us His Son and all other things, is the Greatest!  It is by Him we are able to enjoy anything.  I am mostly blogging  at myself this morning as I struggle to find balance between wifing, mothering, and being my Father's daughter.  I can do all of these things, but the heart of the matter is whether I am doing them joyfully.  That is what I want to be marked by, a joyful Christian, one who personifies all of these things, but let me tell you dear reader, as I tell myself, that it is hard.  There are times I am quite monstrous in my thoughts..  I am reminded that I am not great either.  This may seem like an obvious thing, but I know that when I'm struggling and fighting for joy, that maybe and most of the time I am thinking much higher of myself than I ought.. I don't deserve good things, there is nothing by my own merit that I can give myself.  I am fully reliant on the Lord for all things and my chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!  If I could just put that knowledge into action and if the knowledge would consume and fill me when I struggle.. ahhh.  That would be sweeter and more refreshing than a tall cup of iced tea on a hot summer's day after mowing a thick muggy backyard.
I am down from my self-preaching soap box now.  Here is Libby:

We were playing in the lush, dark Muir Woods, known for its monstrous Redwood trees when we came upon a beam of clean fresh sunbeam.  I asked Libby to pose for a picture.
Trying to give justice to the massive Redwood tree is hard, but this picture gives you a glimmer of it's towering might. Did you know they are the tallest living trees and among the largest living organisms? Amazing.

Driving in San Francisco is crazy.  As you can imagine the streets are steep.  Jake thought it was funny to drive down these big street hills with his hands in the air as if it were a roller coaster.  The kids joined in too lifting there hands and squealing.  Louisa and I shut our eyes and pleaded for him to put his hands back where they belonged.

We have had fun and will continue to do so.  Thanks sweet ones for listening to me this morning.  Sometimes I need a good preaching too and putting my thoughts on this blog makes for some great accountability.  


Look who's 3

Silas was so excited to have his turn for a birthday.  He talked about it most of the day and with each ring of the phone the song Happy Birthday was melodiously piped out by sweet people who love our boy.  If you were to listen quietly enough you could hear him singing softly along with the callers. Yes, Happy Birthday Dear Silas!

He had his eyes closed awaiting special gifts...
He received piles of pennies from Benjamin and Louisa
Duplos and Legos from Jake, Colby, Jackie and I..  
Sam has a look as if to say, when is it my turn?
After gifts he was ready for his cake.  Look at that sweet little face working hard to blow out those candles. It took several tries, but he managed them all.  

Happy Birthday little man of the forest.  May you grow strong and tall, steady with deep roots, and only bend enough to weather the storms that life brings whilst singing the praises of our mighty Lord.


Funny Family

I think my dad is the only normal one in this picture...
Poor Grandpa John better find the tackle box...
Silas will only be happy if he's served sticky buns, sticky buns, more sticky buns!


4th of July 2010

Sweet daddy and boy.
The block parade.  The dog had a special salon treatment in honor of the 4th.  Colby died his tail red and Jackie died his mohawk blue.  Salt was walked on his leash by Benjamin and Jackie waved the flag.  They sang the Star Spangled Banner.  By the time they had completed the lap around the block they had picked up 5 extra children who were clearly interested in the festivities of La Mesa.  

All kidding aside, we had a blessed day.  Jake and the oldest kids went to church.  I stayed home with the littles.  Libby has been having Asthma issues again and we were pretty worn out from the past weeks excitement.  Instead of grilling, we ate Tomato Basil Soup with French Bread and sweet tea and enjoyed Fudge Brownies for dessert it's a shame I know, but I wasn't prepared.  After dishes and play we read the Declaration of Independence.  Reading it has become a family tradition of ours and it really is an awesome reminder of the grief England was putting the States through as well as the Astounding Bold Faith the founding Fathers had.  May these United States be not so quick to cast off the original ideals the previous great men had.  May they fear God and submit their wills to Him.  May the genocide of our unborn babies be quit immediately.  I fear God's wrath will be exacted before much more of his blessing will.  My ramblings will quit there as I can see my thoughts are coming away from the original idea of this post which was to wish you all a Happy Independence Day!

Mt. Lassen Camp Trip

The motley crew
This picture is so funny to me. Samuel is so frustrated that I'm not holding him, yet within seconds of Grandpa walking him around he was happy as a clam.
Benjamin panning for Gold.
Colby practicing the art of providing dinner.
Silas or Sylvanus from the latin meaning 'of the woods' or 'man of the forest'.
He was in his element.

Promised Pictures

Melia and I at the kitchen trying to stay focused.
Jake and Will debating.. Their still friends.
The Water Wizard!
As much as they are making eye contact with the camera is as much as we saw them all week long while they were together.
Finally free from the BRV.
The Golden Gate never looked so short.
Samuel is excited to be at Goat Hill Pizza.


No pictures here..

I don't have my fancy camera cord thingy that makes pictures magically transfer from my camera to my computer.  We are up in the mountains of California.  Near Mt. Lassen.  Fly fishing, hiking, enjoying family, and of course feasting.  Jake's been on a 3 week break and we have been busy.
First, we had our very dear to our hearts, far from our CA home, friends the Thomases, out for a visit.  We hiked, beached, ate, laughed, and cried together while they were here.  We continue to marvel over this amazing family and the impact they have on every person they come in contact with.  They brought their Foster daughter along with them and we had the immense pleasure of loving on her with them for the week, we knew she wouldn't always stay with the Thomases, thus the tears.  Their son, Beau, was the family hit stealing the hearts of a few of our children while he was here.  We were sad to see them go and oh so glad that they came.
We spent some time in San Francisco visiting Alcatraz.  When we disembarked from the ferry and stepped foot on the island we laughed out loud when Libby declared, "I'm so excited to be in Prison!"  It was an eye opening experience learning about the rock.. Did you know that military families were actually stationed on the rock while it served as a jail?  Now I always thought Corpus Christi was an awful place to be stationed, but to be on the Rock with only a wire fence separating your family from the nations most heinous criminals is a completely different type of awful.
Next up my folks flew in for a weekend visit.. well actually they were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary and touring the wine country.  They came down for a couple of days and spent some time with the family.  Jake, myself, and my folks went out for a double date which was fabulously fun.  Mom and I got dressed up and we must have sat at the dining table for at least a couple of hours enjoying each others company, it was so much fun. Thank you dad and mom.
Now we are here, up on a mountain with a swiftly flowing creek well stocked with beautiful trout beckoning us to reel them in.  Our lodging is quite comfortable with room enough for a partial family reunion.  Literally.  We had Jake's folks, his Uncle Bill and Aunt Becky, Cousin Andy and his wife Jackie, Cousin Will and his fiancee Ashley, and the Matriarch of the crew, Great Grandmother Hardesty, all over last night for a rather impromptu barbecue celebration.  It was a good time.  The family brought along their two dogs and our Salty, who is here too, was in doggy heaven.  He literally ran around the whole night, "shaking hands" with the girl dog.  I say shaking hands because Louisa was baffled by all of the lingering sniffing that was taking place.  I told her it was like people when they shake hands.. maybe not the best analogy, but it will do.

That's it for the explanations. I will try to remember to post pictures later, but for now I'm signing off.. hopefully not for so long this time.