Tuesday, 22 March 2011

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

We have been having the nicest weather lately.  Auntie K and Minnie went for a walk yesterday and ended up at a park in a housing area near us.  Minnie was super excited because she could do the monkey bars at this park! So we decided that after school today we would all walk down for some fun.  Auntie K and I both took our cameras and between both of us, we ended up with some fun pictures.
We stopped for a family picture by the side of our construction fence. They are putting in a bunch of new houses right by us. This is the way the kids walk to school every day. (I think Goofy was trying to put his arm around Minnie, but it really looks like he is trying to strangle her.)
Here are some fun pictures at the playground. Hope you enjoy!

Goofy got new Lightning McQueen sunglasses and hat today. Minnie had to try them out. I think this is her "blue steel" look.

And there we are.  I have a wonderful family. I am truly blessed. It was a good day. :)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Minnie Turns 5

I can't believe my little girl is five years old. She'll start kindergarten in the fall!  She has grown up a lot in the past six months or so.  Life is tough as an adult, but at her age when you take away her father, move houses, and have an extended relative move in all in a matter of weeks it will rock your world.  I think Minnie's age can be a hard one.  No longer a toddler, yet not a big kid quite yet either.  Minnie soaks up information too and it amazes me what she has heard and understood when I don't think she's even paying attention.
But besides all that, she has been looking forward to this birthday for a while. Tink had even printed her out a chart with birthday cakes on it, one for each day, that she marks off until her birthday.  Mostly I think she just wanted her roller skates.  She had picked them out and when Tink and Bucko got their roller blades at Christmas, she has often felt left out.  Goofy used his birthday money to buy himself a pair as well.  I ordered them soon after his birthday and they should have arrived a week earlier, but were sent to the wrong zip code. The funny thing is that Minnie kept saying he couldn't get hers until her birthday because it wouldn't be fair. Well, because it was sent to the wrong zip code, his skates came in the mail ON her birthday!  I couldn't believe it.  It worked out perfectly.
Minnie really wanted to have her good friend and old neighbor come over for her birthday. They had been out of the country for several months, so Minnie had missed playing with her.  It worked out well for them, so they came over for dinner and cake.  We had crockpot chicken sauce and rice as the main dish and Minnie really wanted a cake with yellow icing, so I made it into the shape of a sun.  Besides her skates, she also received a doll, some nail polish (or varnish as they call it here), makeup (from her friend), a Groovy Girl doll, and a few other small things from friends and family.  We also invited our neighbors and good friends over for cake.  (I don't like cake all that much, so hate having leftover.)  She had a good day though.  We ended it with glow sticks for everyone--those are always a hit!

Friday, 11 March 2011


So I have this theory about spring. First of all, spring is my favorite season. I absolutely love that the sun starts shining, flowers are growing, leaves are budding--it's just all so glorious.  It reminds me of new life, change, and, of course, hope.  I look forward to spring every year.  My theory incorporates all this, but it might not be what you think.
Everything bad happens in the spring. You may find out someone close to you has cancer. Someone dies unexpectedly.  Divorce.  I'm talking major bad things, not the little trials we have every day, but the really tough ones that there is no way we can handle without His help. Yep, that's my theory. That God waits until springtime when we can see His hand in all things.  Even when someone dies, we can see the new life growing all around us and it gives us hope.  Even though your marriage may be crumbling (I'm not talking about me, in case you were worried, but I have had many friends with marriage problems and the big ones usually seem to happen in the spring.) and everything seems dull and drear in your life, in the spring you can look at the world around you bursting with color and feel His love for you.  One of my favorite songs is I'm Already There by Lonestar.  The line "I'm the sunshine in your hair, I'm the shadow on the ground" is one of my favorites.  I know that these things happen at other times of the year, but in the spring it's different.  I'm just so grateful for a Father in Heaven who loves us so much and He shows us this year after year after year. 

This year is no exception. Our community is struggling through the recent events that took someone from us in such a tragic way.  My heart goes out to his wife and two sweet children.  It brings home how sudden tragedy can strike, at any time or place. It has helped my own children understand how easily it would be to lose their own father. Their prayers have taken on new meaning. Their hearts have been opened and their understanding has grown. It touches me when I see Minnie, who isn't even five years old yet, finally understand what death is and feel the pain of a friend who has lost her father.  She knows how hard it is to not have a Dad around, but to think that other children lose their dads forever in this life is an understanding she is just beginning to comprehend.
  In the past 15 months, PC has been home for a mere 3 months.  That is a very long time when you are little.  But we will be blessed to have him home again soon.  We can't wait.  And while we wait, we will enjoy the beauty of God's earth. Every morning I look outside and see more flowers blooming.  This week was tough, but we had gorgeous weather every single day this week.  That is pretty unheard of in England in March!  Just one more small miracle that I have seen this past week.  His hand is in all things.  And my faith seems to grow a little more each time I recognize it.