Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Summer 3rd Spiritual Birthday

 We celebrated Summer's 3rd spiritual birthday today!  Three years ago Summer made her own decision to trust in Jesus (read about it here) and so each year in October we celebrate!  She was so excited about her spiritual birthday today telling her teacher, a teacher at pickup, and her piano teacher, not only that it was her spiritual birthday, but also explaining what it means to her.  I love the light that she is everywhere she goes and I thank the Lord for working in her life.

In both the first celebration (2014) and second celebration (2015) , as in today, we looked back and remembered what God has done in Summer's life by reading the journal entry that recounted her decision and talking about what her decision meant (See here for her three year spiritual birthday interview).  

Today, just like last year, Summer got to be "servant" and plan and prepare dinner for the family (she was so excited!).  She picked out her own recipes by scrolling through Pinterest on my phone and saving recipes that looked good to her in her own folder, wrote a grocery list of items she would need, shopped for her list, and (with a little help from mom!) made dinner.

She chose to do breakfast for dinner, and chose Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake
As a side she chose frozen Greek yogurt bites

She also made chocolate peanut butter banana shakes.

I wasn't able to get a shot of her blowing out her candle this year, as the candle melted within the warm blueberry breakfast bake!  Oh well!  She enjoyed a different slice that didn't contain candle wax ;).

Just as in the previous years, Summer received a gift that would promote spiritual growth.  This year after researching several devotional books for kids, we chose a devotional book called the One Year Devotions for Kids.  Starting last May, in addition to her Bible reading with me in the morning before school each day, she does her own devotions at night before bed, all on her own.  We loved this Adventures in Odyssey book of 90 devotions that had her reading through the book of Matthew along with fictional stories to go with devotional, however when she finished that book, the second book she received was more focused on the fictional stories and less on her digging into the Word herself.  She is almost finished with her second devotional book and I knew I wanted to find something that had her daily looking up verses in her Bible alongside a fun little story.  The One Year Devotions for Kids book is exactly what I was looking for!  Each page has a format of Bible reading, story, application, 3-5 word summary of lesson, and memory verse. 

It is the perfect format for our 6 year old and she exclaimed how much she loved it after reading her first one tonight before bed.

We had a great evening celebrating what God has done in Summer's life!  I am so thankful for how God is working in her life and I pray that he would continue to use her to bring glory to His name and others into His kingdom.  Thank you, Lord!

Cousin Laura's Wedding

My cousin Laura got married this past weekend in Michigan! 

We are lucky that our kids LOVE road trips, as we spent 18+ hours in the car this past weekend:).  On Thursday after school/gymnastics/work we drove partway to the Dells just long enough to sleep overnight there. 

 We got up the next morning, packed breakfast in the car, and drove to Michigan with enough time for a hotel pool swim before a big all family dinner at my Aunt's church. 

The original 7 cousins plus now 5 added spouses.
Aunt Lynda cooked a delicious dinner for all of our extended family and Laura's fiance' family.

Each of the parents said some words/gave a challenge for the couple after the dinner.

 The next day (which happened to be my birthday) we had fun celebrating,

They sang to me and brought cards/present into my bed :)

swimming in the hotel pool,

going out for a birthday lunch for me,

going for a run with my dad, and then going to the wedding.  The wedding was held at a beautiful park with the reception in a cute rustic barn. 

All of the cousins' kids (great grandkids to my grandparents)

Girl cousins with the bride

It was fun to have everyone together, and the kids were ecstatic about their first wedding dance, as all other dances have been too late in the evening to justify keeping them up! 

Here is a collection of the videos I took at the dance :)

After getting some sleep that night, we headed out Sunday morning for the full day drive back to MN.  It was a great weekend and the kids were awesome travelers!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Paul's Marathon

Paul ran the Twin Cities Marathon this weekend and totally rocked it!  He shaved almost a half hour off his previous time, finishing the 26.2 miles in just over 3 hours and 38 minutes!  What a speedster!  It was fun to watch him and cheer him on.  I was so grateful for all the family support we had on the day of the marathon.  Paul's parents drove down from Fergus Falls to watch and not only made the best posters ever to cheer on both Paul and his sister/bro-in-law, but Paul's dad expertly drove me all over downtown timing out the perfect locations so we could see/cheer Paul at 6 different locations along the course (if I had attempted this myself I would have gotten lost so many times!).  Also, my parents came over in the wee hours of the morning to babysit the kiddos, get them up for the day, and bring them to the finish line.  We had the best support!  Here are some pictures and video thanks to both sets of parents and Paul's sister.

Here are some videos:

You rocked this race, Paul!!!! :)