Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sweet Sabbath

What a weekend!  Every little thing still feels like a BIG celebration...thank you, Lord.

-celebrating another birthday (this time surrounded by my extended family)

-worshipping together at Antioch Baptist Church, where I grew up

-watching my kids play games with their aunts and uncles

-spending time with my beautiful mama and sister, two peas in a pod

-both of my grandmothers who somehow found the time and energy to celebrate my special day

-enjoying supper at Stoby's, a family favorite for years within walking distance of my parent's house

-introducing my kids to Stoby's cheese dip

-all but one of the Williams' clan (we missed you, Daniel!), notice I'm the short one

-my girls goofing off in my mama's gorgeous hydrangeas

-unexpectedly getting to eat lunch with a cousin and his wife, whom we'd never met since they got married while we were overseas

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Collins Farms

We drove to Collins Orchards with my sister Rachel and Poppa to pick peaches and blackberries and to let Aaron get some work done yesterday morning.

I couldn't help but think about our colleagues in the Solomon islands and how much they would enjoy the juicy fruit we were picking.

Every little thing still seems like a celebration...spending time with extended family, enjoying a beautiful low-humidity day, marveling in the jewel tones of the fruit.

I hope I never get over the delight of little things.

Something else that gave me the blackberry cobbler in a pretty blue and white dish given to us as a wedding present.

I even got tickled watching my sister and my mom take synchronized bites of their cobbler.  Just having both of my sisters and my mom and me all in the same room, oh, it's been a good day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Locks of Love

Yesterday afternoon, our family headed over to Debbie's Hair Production for our big Locks of Love extravaganza.  Debbie is a precious Christian woman, and one of her daughters was a cello student of mine when I was still in high school.  Debbie and Cara did a GREAT job on our hair!

Sarah donated more hair by herself than the rest of us all put together.

We were so excited that my sister, Rachel, drove down from Kansas City to donate her hair as well.  Four years ago, Rachel and Sarah donated their hair from Dallas, and this is the third time Sarah has donated her hair.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Aaron and I benefit from parents who live close by and who love to spend time with their grandchildren.  For the last few days, the two of us have spent time at Mt. Nebo State Park, reflecting, being quiet, reconnecting with each other, and enjoying God's creation.  We are so grateful that our kids and our parents gave us this gift of a few days away.

We met this beautiful deer as we rounded the corner of one of the trails - she just stood and watched us as she munched on her afternoon snack.

 The iron rich springs once provided the drinking water for nearby residents.  Even though the old stone structures were still beautiful, looking at the water made me thankful for the rain tanks we have in the Solomon Islands.

Aaron even brought his cello as something that nourished and refreshed him.

sunrise on "sunrise point" (taken while bundled up in a blanket)

"Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.  From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised."  Psalm 113:2, 3

sunset from our cabin porch

on "Lovers Leap"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sweet Sabbath

 "Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders."  Psalm 119:18 (MSG)

Enjoying where God has planted us this weekend and telling Him thanks for His "miracle-wonders":

-hearing my husband preach again

-my mama's beautiful hydrangeas on our dining room table

-owning library cards and perusing a library again

-eating berries and english muffins off beautiful plates from Germany that were handed down from my mother-in-law

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I just can't get over the wonder of having family close by again!  We were able to meet up with Oma and Opa at McDonalds as they drove through Conway last Friday.


And my grandparents dropped by our house over the weekend.  I'm just giddy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

All work and no play?

On the way home from the airport last Tuesday, our new phone rang.  My first thought was, "Who knows our phone number?!"  But I answered anyway.  It was a sweet lady that watched me grow up in Conway, and she was offering to bring a meal to our family.  So, after a hard day of unpacking last Wednesday, she and her family graced four adults and nine kids with the gift of a good meal.  Thanks, Sylvia!

Our friends, the Conards, were crazy enough to stay for another day.  We are so thankful for their friendship and for their willingness to drive down to Arkansas.  Last Thursday, we again found some time to play and fellowship.

This sweet family lives out Romans 12:10-13:

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God's people who are in need.  Practice hospitality."

The kids REALLY enjoyed making and eating s'mores!

Although Bear Cave Trail was short, God's creation trumpeted His glory!

This tree had thrust its roots into the rock, and yet somehow it was thriving.  I told Gayly I wanted to be like that tree - thriving and pushing my roots down deep into the Rock despite difficult circumstances.

I loved the hammock at the cabin!

Today was a day of delight in all of the things God put in Central Arkansas for us to enjoy.

"They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights."  Psalm 36:8

Look out boys!  She's got a BB gun, and she knows how to use it.

We did make our way back to the house and tackled some more boxes.

Saying goodbye was hard, but we swallowed our tears and began making plans for the next visit.  God amazes me with His gift of friends around the world!