This is a blue moon which means it is the fourth full moon of the season. It is a rare occurance in the lunar cycle. Thank you to my astronomy loving friends who listen to the radio and told me about it :):)
O.K. so the other day I was out watching Nathan in the kiddie pool while I was supposed to be reading The Destruction of Jerusalem by Josephus. He got cold so he came out by me and I had my camera and well, we got a little distracted.
He figured out what the big deal about earbuds is. They play music!!! :)
Most of you live with families. All of us come from families of various sizes. Our families know us the best. They are some of the most influential people in our lives whether we realize it or not. Despite all this many of us find our families the hardest people in the world to get along with. But since we spend something like 20 years living with our families and will be connected with them for the rest of our life we should do our best to cultivate our relationships with our family members. I have seen families split over the stupidest things because their relationships were strained and when an issue came up the fine thread snapped. The Bible says "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1 It says "brothers" but this verse could apply to any family relationship; brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. Having a good relationship with the members in your family is a wonderful thing. I have love my family dearly. They are the people I love the most. I have a pretty good relationship with my family but there are times when I realize that my relationship with them isn't what it should or could be. Am I the only one or do some of you know what I mean? God has been teaching me, through different means, about what it means to live in a family and what my place in my family is. I think I will be on this learning journey until I get married and then my family dynamic will change and I will have to start all over again!! Being that we are all sinful, fallen people our relationships will never be perfect and will always need work.
I am inviting y'all to join me on the journey. Do you want to come? It would be much nicer to have company. It is always nicer to know someone is dealing with the same thing I am.
The first thing I am going to suggest in building stronger relationships with our family members is that we pray for them. I know that as christians we do that alot and it seems rather mundane but really God is the only one who can strengthen our relationships. When we pray for our family members it draws our hearts to them whether we like it or not. When there is a problem between us praying and thanking God for our parents or siblings it helps put things into perspective (sometimes the last thing in the world we want. Believe me; I know from experience :\) And they (your family members) really appreciate it when they know you are praying for them. So my challenge for this week, that I am taking and you can join me if you want, is this; assign a family member to each day of the week (if you have a big family like me some people might have to share a day) and make sure to pray for them on that day. Thank God for them and be thoughtful about it. Thank him for the character attributes He has given them that are a blessing (cheerfullness, helpfulness, strength etc.) Thank Him for all that they add to your life (adventure, surprises, sunshine) Pray for strength and help for them with the problems and troubles that you know they are having. And most of all pray that God will grow you closer together.
Have a lovely day and enjoy the family God has given you!!!
This is me and my family five years ago. We are two people short in this picture :):)
Hannah and I enjoy taking a pictures of ourselves together so this trip we tried to take pictures of ourselves in key locations around the country. We weren't quite succesful in the "key locations" part but we did get some pictures in interesting places.
First day of the trip with our seat partner
Enjoying the sun in sunny San Diego :)
VMI with General Jackson coming up between our heads!! :):)
Jack in the Box somewhere in Arizona
The Pacific Ocean!!!
Comfort Suites in Amirillo Texas. You don't know the troubles we had getting this picture
This is us in colonial Williamsburg saving colonial America from dangerous internal spies!!
Almost everyday Dad had to repack the trailer due to the amount of stuff we need to stay the night someplace :\ Actually it wasn't that much; four suitcases, six pillows, one briefcase, a laundry bag and three sleeping bags.
I See Shadows
This picture was taken in Amirillo Texas. I am not sure who the other shadow with me in the picture is. It might be Tobin. He is not a huge fan of having his picture taken yet he loves to photo bomb.
We arrived in San Diego just in time for my absolutely adorable cousin's first birthday. As you can see from the picture she wasn't to sure about the whole ordeal but she LOVED the strawberry cake her mommy made her.
This is my wonderful aunt and uncle. Aunt Alana is my mom's sister. She is also my mom's youngest sibling. My Uncle Spencer is a marine and an absolutely awesom uncle.
Waves, Sand and the Absence of Sun
One day we went to the beach with Aunt Alana, Uncle Spencer and our cousins. I love the beach and I wouldn't mind living a little closer. The day we went it was quite cloudy and the water was rather cold so I only got my feet wet. The boys, however, built a large sand fort which only got destroyed five or so times!!!
The last day of our visit we had a "surprise" birthday for Uncle Spencer, Sean and Scott because their birthdays are three days apart.
P.S I am sorry about the strange lighting on Uncle Spencer's face. The setting sun was rather brilliant.
Pretty as a Princess
This is Paige wearing her mommy's dress and posing by her grandma's piano. Isn't she a cutie? She could be a Cambell's Soup baby :)
The End of the Road
So that is it folks!! On Tuesday, July 30 we arrived safely home exactly five weeks after leaving. We had an awesome trip. We learned alot, met new people, caught up with old friends and made many memories. This picture was taken in Lexington, VA in front of the presbytirian church Stonewall Jackson attended.
On Sunday August 4th Sean and Scott turned 14!!!!! Wow, it is hard to believe that my little brothers and playmates are 14!!!!! They are growing up to be such wonderful young men and it is really neat to watch them grow in their walk with the Lord! I am so proud of both of them.
here are some pictures of them that I thought I would share with you all on this special occassion.
This is the "four olders" in 2006.
Here is the "four olders" in 2013. This is us at one of the Healthy Eating Society meetings.
Two of the days we were at the Creation Museum I took a photography class taught by Martin and Deb Minnard. The class was on basic exposure and equitment and shooting flowers and shooting in stage lighting. I learned alot in the class.This is one of the pictures I took in the Creation Museum's gorgeous gardens. The first day of the class we spent three hours in the gardens and it rained several times.
Two of a Kind
The main exhibit and one of the best parts of the museum is the history walk through. This exhibit walks you through the seven C's of history (creation, corruption, catastrophe, confusion, Christ, cross, consumation.) I did that all by memory :] My favorite part is the creation room and that is where these deer are.
The Road Goes Ever On and On
And that is exactly what it felt like on some of our long driving days. After the Creation Museum we drove to Fort Smith, Arkansas. We had to stop there for Wings Stop (an amazing wings restraunt we found last year in October) Then we drove to Amirillo. I love Texas and all, but that city is definately not a place I would want to live. From there we drove to Phoneix and then to San Diego where we stayed with my mom's sister and her family. I will tell you about our visit in a later post.
After Williamsburg we drove to Lexington, VA. I absolutely fell in love with this charming, historic little town. We spent two days walking around and touring the different important locations including Lee Chapel, Washington and Lee College, Stonewall Jackson's House and VMI. The church in the picture is the Episcopalian church that Robert. E. Lee attended. While we were in Lexingon we visited General Lee's grave and General Jackson's grave.
Light in the Doorway
One night we walked around Lexington and I brought my tripod because I have always wanted to do a night photoshoot in a city. This is a picture of Hannah and Scott in front of Lee Chapel. Traveler (Lee's horse) is buried very close to where they are sitting.
When we were in Lexington we stayed in a Sleep Inn. On the second night we were there we went swiming in the hotel pool. Afterwards mom was going to take our wet swimsuits to the dryer but she didn't have enough quarters. When she tried to open the hotel room door to go down to the car the door wouldn't open!! She tried several times but with no success so she called Sean over to see if he could get it open. He couldn't do any better so they had Dad try still without success. So mom got the room phone and tried to call the front desk but the phone wouldn't work!! Thankfully our cell phones still worked and the lady at the front desk came up to see what she could do. She tried unlocking it and wiggled the door handle but she couldn't get it open either so she called someone and did the same thing. Then she called the maintnance man to come get us out. At this time it was around 9:30 at night. The maintnance man did everything he could think of to get the door open but he couldn't get it either. He assured us repeatedly that he would get us out and that "never, never in all his years had he seen anything like this and that's the truth." (great comfort to all of us) Finally he realized that he would have to break us out so with screw drivers, files and a saws all, he and daddy set us free. It was now 1:00 in the morning. At the end of the process the door looked like this.
Hooray for the Creation Museum!!!!!
After Lexington we went to the Creation Museum in KY. That place is amazing!! Everyone should go there at least once before they die. It will strengthen your faith, teach you usefull science facts and give you an answer for the hope that is within you. We spent three days there and that was barely enough. This picture was taken by daddy. And while I am on the subject I will say that dad is wonderful. He did pretty much all the driving on this trip and he funded the entire thing :) He also lugged his gigantic extra laptop all over the country with us so that I could post pictures on my blog even though I only used it twice. Isn't he great???