Saturday, February 26, 2011

Women's Retreat--QM

I've been wanting to write for a week about my time last weekend. My sister Holly, our good friend and neighbor Katie McCord, and I went to Lakeveiw retreat center from Friday night to Sunday afternoon for a getaway with the women from our church; we ate wonderful food, played racquetball and ping-pong, swam in an indoor pool, soaked in their hot tub, and heard some powerful messages by our friend Mary Katherine Jauchen. I was so blessed and refreshed that I'd like to share a few highlights.

The song "For those tears I died":

Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul,
I know that without God I'd never be whole;
Savior, You opened all the right doors,
And I thank You and praise You from earth's humble shores;
Take me, I'm Yours.

And Jesus said, "Come to the water, stand by My side, I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied; I felt ev'ry teardrop when in darkness you cried, And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.
I hadn't heard this song for years; frankly, it made me cry. It also reminded me that God wants to satisfy our hunger; we "won't be denied." I get discouraged by the way I have good intentions and desires but don't always follow through on them. This brings me to another highlight...

The meditation by Thomas Merton:
We received this on an index card; I stapled it into my journal because it was just that good--

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain were it will end. Nor do I really know myself; and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you."
The scripture

Mary Katherine's theme was Living Water from the book of John. The story that hit closest to home was from John 5:1-15, the one about the crippled man at the pool of Bethesada. The first question Jesus asked him was "Do you want to be made well?" John 5:6b. That is such a tough question--I say that I want to have a close walk with Christ, but how often am I willing to make time in the Word and in prayer a priority? Fortunately the messages not only pricked my conscience, they also reminded me that I need to rely on God's grace to do this work in me rather than merely my own efforts.

The fellowship:

I might have missed my husband and my kiddos, but spending time with my sister, Katie, and many old and new friends from FBC was well worth the time away. I now like to say that "real fellowship happens in a hot tub!" Fun times!

Now that you've read some of my deep thoughts, how about some fun pictures of what my children were doing while I was away? Ethan was busy being super-daddy!
Dorie+frosting=yummy messes
Look who is hard at work...licking the beaters! Isn't this the best job ever?
Here's a red letter day...Dorie's first game! Some day soon she might graduate to Candyland! It will probably be a few years before Settlers and Dominion!

Friday, February 18, 2011

This One's All About Dorie -- E.

Just because she's so smart and her father is proud to death of her. Yesterday she drew her first smiley face. I honestly didn't think she could do it, but here's what she pulled off:
The one on the left is mine (not too shabby either, to tell you the truth). Dorie drew the guy on the right with only mine as a model, plus verbal instructions. I only got the idea to show her a smiley face after she drew the stuff that's up past the faces and called it said she was drawing hair.
While we're on the topic of how precocious my daughter is, I might mention here that she recognizes and names letters of the alphabet. Here's the video to prove it:

She's got time to improve on that one, I figure -- but she really does get a kick out of the alphabet lately.
Dorie ALSO played her first board game today. That had everything to do with me, and I'm not sure how much Dorie got out of it, but she's a gamer now.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How did the shrimp swim to the top of the mountain? --E.

I left Queena and the kids last weekend to go camping with five other GIAL students. Enchanted Rock! Here's what we did:

After choosing a campsite at point A , we hiked around the south side of the rock (the far side in the photo) before climbing to the summit, marked by point B.
Having thoroughly photographed ourselves, we set off to find Enchanted Cave, unwisely descending at steep region C.
After much exploration at the northern base of the rock we climbed again to point D, where we crawled around a marvelous cave, which was probably not the real Enchanted Cave. Maybe next time we'll find the right one.

Among the many wonders of Enchanted Rock are the vernal pools. Filled with water mainly in the springtime (hence vernal), many of these pools support plant and animal life. Though I didn't see any myself, these pools allegedly contain fairy shrimp.

I could tell you a lot more about the geological and ecological significance of Enchanted Rock, but I won't bother you, because you can go right to the source itself. Instead, here is a picture of the hiking crew on our way up the mountain.

And on top!

(Thanks for the photos, Katie!)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What happened to the nice sunny weekend? --E.

I hope everybody out there is staying warm. We certainly were a few days ago -- even pulled out the kiddie pool -- but the January summer is over.

(We didn't actually fill the pool ourselves -- that's frozen rainwater.)

So what do we do when the roads are frozen over and GIAL is closed for three days? Queena stays home and writes a huge sociolinguistics paper. I stay home and take black-and-white pictures of the kids. Dorie stays home and wears a scarf and carries her teddy bear around and licks whipped cream off the beater.

James stays home and practices his spoon skills.

[Friday morning P.S. -- It snowed even more! I think I love winter in Dallas.]