Saturday, October 29, 2011


 Last weekend Jenn, Anna and I had plans to go on a fun little outing together.   It was a vintage garden and home sale about an hour away.
 Scott was so sweet to take Lindsay with him to camp for the weekend so I didn't have to take her along and end up regretting the whole thing.
 We had a fun time checking everything out but came away with nothing.
 Little did I know that "JOY" was going to be my word of the day!!
 On our way home, we stopped by an enormous cotton field.  I am absolutely fascinated by cotton.  I have some that Scott picked for me before we moved from Texas.  I have it in an apothecary jar and   Jenn wanted to get some for a jar of her own, so we became cotton pickers.  We watched closely for any farmers carrying guns though. Yikes!
 We got back to town and decided to look in a few local shops and have lunch at KOBE's (yummmy!)  I had talked to Shae earlier in the day and was looking forward to seeing the pictures of her day at an apple orchard with her friends from Liberty.  Jenn's husband's family goes and makes homemade apple cider every year, so I was happy that Shae was going to have the "Virginia apple experience" too.

We finished our lunch and Jenn offered to come over and help me with some things on the computer...any time I am offered help on the computer-I take it!
So we were sitting in the kitchen doing a project and  Anna was baking pumpkin bread when the doorbell rang. 

It was Maeghan, Shae's best friend.  She showed me a Liberty University shirt that "Shae had sent her" and said that it made her think of us and stop by.    

It is NOT unusual for Maeghan to come over while Shae was at school,  so I thought nothing of it, except to be happy she came by!

We were chatting and catching up on the events of Maeghan's life when I heard the screen door behind me open....


Maeghan had picked her up at the airport Sacramento that morning!

I can't even describe the SHOCK I experienced. (my heart is beating so hard and fast even NOW, as I am recalling the feeling!)  Jenn had been in on the surprise!!  Anna and I could not believe what we were seeing!  I was so convinced that Shae was in Virginia it took me a little bit to let it all sink in!
(I am sure that Scott was probably thinking hmmmm...wonder how much this cost and how many classes she is missing!)
"We waited for Anna's pumpkin bread to be finished, and headed to camp to share the surprise with Scott, Lindsay, Grandma and Papa!
Grandma was busy setting tables for dinner for the  the ladies' retreat when Shae walked in on her!
Her reaction was priceless!
Lindsay had no idea who this was...
Until she spoke.....
These really are life's most precious moments.  NOTHING could be more wonderful.
We stayed for dinner at camp,
went on a golf Kart ride...
(Lindsay was in HEAVEN having Shae AND Maeghan on each side of her!)
Then we started our weekend of "Shae's favorites" by having mini cupcakes and gelato at Sweet Spot.  (she had "In n Out" after Maeghan picked her up!)
The next morning we went to do a little shopping at the store where Maeghan works.  (Lindsay stayed at camp-I could NOT believe she didn't want to come home!)
Good thing this sign was hanging on the register at For Elyse! Phew!
We enjoyed every single minute we had with Shae!
Shae brought Lindsay lunch at school,
(It was pajama day) Lindsay was thrilled when she walked in and she kept saying, "My big sister!!"
What a special gift Shae gave us by coming home for a surprise!  I NEVER dreamed I would get one of those surprises since she goes to school on the other side of the country.
It was priceless and refreshing to see her so unexpectedly.
I think we can all make it until Christmas really WOULD HAVE been a long time to wait to see her!
The night before Shae left we walked across the Sundial Bridge since it is decked out in pink during the month of October.  It was so fun.
{this is the best thing I saw all weekend}


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Volleyball, Birthdays and Pumpkins

We have been going a mile a minute around here lately...
 Volleyball has consumed our evenings...
 It has even consumed our Saturdays from 7am until 6pm.
Lindsay does NOT enjoy going to tournaments.  They last too long.  However, last weekend's tournament was out in the country!
 Between games we shared our carrots and apples with the sweet horses.  It was especially exciting when they "did their business" right there in front of us.  I bet Lindsay laughed for 10 minutes over it!
 The swings were a great way to stretch our legs during the long day too.
 I saved the Dora the Explorer episode on the iPad for the championship game.  Lindsay usually does not wear headphones (I think because her vision is impaired, they may make her feel a bit claustrophobic?) but I found some that are not tight and they worked great.  She watched Dora twice while I watched Anna's game in peace.  It was great!
 The very long day was worth it because the Redding Christian Lions ended up undefeated, and were First Place in the tournament.  They also ended up First in their league.
 This picture makes me so happy.  Praying together as a team after the games...I L.O.V.E  our school!
 We have been busy doing chores around the house.  OH THE JOY of children who are old enough to empty the dish washer! Ahhhhh..... Even Lindsay gets in on the action!  She is in charge of the silverware (and she LOVES doing it!!) Anna, notsomuch.
 Lindsay is tolerating school this year.  She is always ready to be home and asks "where's Daddy?" each day when she gets to the door after getting off the bus (she wants me to wait at the door so she can walk up "all by herself")
 She plants herself on her new fuzzy pillow that her Texas cousins sent for her birthday.
Speaking of her birthday, we got a fun surprise! Uncle Barry was in San Fransisco on business so he drove up to SHOCK Grandma (and he DID!)  We happened to be going to have pizza for Lindsay's birthday with Brad, the boys, Grandma and Papa (Daddy had a group at camp and Beckie was out of town) so we were thrilled when Barry walked in!
Lindsay told me all week that she wanted to go to the pumpkin patch, so Sunday after church we finally went.
We had a fun afternoon looking at all the pumpkins and finding just the right ones!
They had a large variety of different kinds of pumpkins.
The girls went on a train ride around the ranch (we only had enough $ for two tickets after paying for the pumpkins and getting kettle corn and lemonade! haha)
Chloe was there working with the animals (she is in 4H) so she took Lindsay into the petting zoo to see all the animals.
Our pumpkin plunder came in handy as the table decorations for Grandma's birthday dinner a couple days later.
I love all the colors of rich and bountiful!
We had a fun evening celebrating Grandma and eating yummy food.

Just when things seem to be settling down a little....BASKETBALL season has arrived!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy 14th Birthday to Lindsay Leigh!

It's so hard to believe that it has been 14 years since this dark-haired beauty entered into this family!
 I still can't believe we had a baby with hair -DARK hair- after big sister Shae was born so bald!  Lindsay,  it makes me happy to hear you ask me to tell you about how thrilled I was when I saw that you had hair when you were born, and my FAVORITE thing about you-those DARK eyebrows!
 You were a smiley little girl and we adored you!
 (These pictures are SO special to me, they are the last ones taken before Lindsay's brain injury :)
It's incredible to think about how GOD has a plan for you, Lindsay.  He loves you more than you will ever be able to understand.  I had so many plans for the way I thought your life would go, but GOD is a much better planner than I and HE has it all taken care of.
 His ways are not our ways, but HIS plan is always PERFECT, and FOR OUR GOOD.  I still cling to a verse that we had written and posted in your crib while you were in the hospital,

"The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and HE knoweth them that trust Him."
Nahum 1:7

 Your heart failure (because of a virus attacking your heart) and resulting brain injury was a shock after trying for so long to have another baby, yet I can see how God has used YOUR life, my precious one, to touch the lives of so many.

"Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake;  for when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:10

The first few months after you were sick were  difficult in so many ways,  but God was faithful,
 and slowly, your personality and sweet smile returned,
 Just a few months later  your "partner in crime" was born...she has taught you MANY valuable things  over the years too ;)
 You are such an inspiration to me.  You are brave enough to try things, and bring such fun to our family!
 You are a Chocolate Chip Cookie MONSTER!
 and you a-d-o-r-e your Daddyboy!
 Your laugh can brighten up anyone's day, and you.are.funny.  I love funny girls.
 You are a hard worker...
 and you sometimes make my work harder!
 You say the most adorably, precious things and I LOVE our conversations at bedtime under your covers!
 Our family would not be the same without you, nor would it be as wonderful if you weren't the "way you are".  You are such an example of unconditional love and I truly think of you as my very "special" gift from God.  
I am so grateful that I was given the gift of YOU 14 years ago!

Happy Birthday, Lindsay!! I love you xoxo

"How precious also are your thoughts unto me, O God.  How great is the sum of them."
Psalm 139:17