Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday, Knox!

Knox, you are strong, funny, compassionate and generous.The reasons your Dad and I love you are many, but our favourite thing might be your hair smile.

You are loud like your Dad and you have a strong sense of right and wrong. You are eager to forgive, quick to share, and you return your little brother’s tackles with surprising gentleness.

Your Dad and I marvel at how quickly you make friends. You instinctively understand people and social situations in a way that we never could at your age.

May [the Lord] grant you your heart's desire
   and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation...

Happy Birthday, Knox. Our family is better for having you in it!
xoxoxoxoxoxo...ok, I’ll stop.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Travel Adventures and Home Again

Shortly after Christmas, we began our road trip south. Three kids in tow, we traversed 1600 miles in four days, frequently stopping to explore and enjoy the changing landscape.  

When we arrived in Arizona, my health took a turn for the worse. I was bedridden for four days with a nasty case of strep throat. Clint convinced me to visit the local hospital and get help. We joke now that this particular hospital is becoming our second home because Clint stayed there last year when he had pneumonia.

Despite a rough start, we felt very blessed. My in-laws graciously let us stay at their beautiful home near Phoenix and it was a wee bit warmer than the -25 celsius everyone was enjoying back home. 

The following days were filled with family, good friends and sundry adventures.

At one point, two little boys came bursting into the room.

“Mom, I just had the ride of my life!”

The older one said, referring to his quad ride in the desert with his dad.

“Was it fast?” I ask

The younger one chimes in. “I was scared. But Daddy told me to yell “Yee-haw” as loud as I could when I felt scared.”

“Did it work?”

“Yes. But it may not work for you. It think it only works for men.”

I’m trying not to chuckle because my 5-year-old thinks he’s a man.

“I’m pretty sure it works for women too.”

Two days later I find out first hand.

The engine rumbles beneath me and I push the accelerator with my thumb. The cool desert breeze caresses my face and the warm sun cloaks my back as I carve out a path through the desert terrain. My calm heart opens up like a flood. The wide open space, the rugged beauty and the speed at my fingertips, I feel exhilarated.

In the past I’ve been afraid of speed, noise and grit. But today I feel free.

I see how God is working in my heart, transforming my fear to trust, and although I still have a long way to go, my heart echoes the Psalmist's words:

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps. 27.1)

The kids had their own adventures and fears to overcome. I was especially proud of my eldest getting back on a horse after his horrible accident last spring.  Roasting marshmallows over an open fire and pretend gunfights in the desert were also favourites for our aspiring cowboys. 

On the way home our family made a small detour to southern California.

An afternoon spent reveling in the ocean’s beauty was followed by a day at Disneyland--a Christmas present for our kids. Their joy was infectious. So were the measles, but we came out unscathed.

And it doesn't get much better than this for a 7-year-old. :)

Coming home was so much better than last year. We still have loose ends to tie up, but the lion’s share of post-flood work is behind us.

Speaking of home, my Valentine's gift this year:

We have affectionately named these three young bulls Hunt, Knox & Win. :)