Sunday, May 24, 2015

Cubbies Awards Night

AWANA, which stands for Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed, is a global ministry that believes the greatest impact for Christ starts with kids who know, love and serve Him.  Benji did Awanas when he was a boy and entered the Sparks program, which is for children in kindergarten through second grade.  He has fond memories of being a Sparky, so when the Awana Clubs relocated to our church, we knew we wanted McKinley to follow in Dadda's footsteps.  She began Awanas in late fall and entered as a Cubbie.  Wednesday nights quickly became her favorite day of the week.  Memorizing Bible verses was relatively easy for her, and she loved seeing her friends and singing songs.  I was so proud of her for completing her entire Honeycomb Handbook, and on awards night she received her Honeycomb ribbon, as well as a certificate for Good Attendance.  The ceremony was short and sweet.  The Cubbies sang three songs and recited some core truths from their book.  Piper is super excited to be a Cubbie next year, however McKinley will move on to be a Sparky. We are so thankful for Awanas and loved witnessing McKinley blossom and thrive through the friendships she developed and truth she  gleaned from memorizing Scripture.

Crazy hair day!

Singing the Karate Song: "I Will Call Upon the Lord"

Receiving her Honeycomb Handbook ribbon.

Receiving her Good Attendance certificate and a Cubbie finger puppet.

So proud of my Cubbie and Cubbie-in-training!

One of the girls' friends, Micah, was also in the Cubbie program.

The girls pose with Ms. Rhossacker, who is one the Cubbie Leaders.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Gramma's Visit

We were lucky to have Gramma around while Dadda was in Roseburg for work.  She organized fun projects for the girls like making binoculars out of toilet paper rolls and doll swimsuits out of old socks. She held down the fort in order for Momma to volunteer at a couple home track meets and go to Crossfit.  She came bearing lots of gifts for the girls.  She also babysat the girls so that Dadda and I could go on a date.  We love when Gramma comes to town!

Going on a nature walk with their homemade binoculars.

The girls caught a ladybug and a spider - score!

Mother's Day was super special with my mom here.  We even had Piper and Tessa dedicated at church.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

I wouldn't be a Momma without this fabulous foursome, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the sweet Momma's in our lives.  We love you!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dog Mountain and the Glade Trail

While Ahmma & Dumpa were here we took a mini-vaca to Mt. Hood, and during our three-day stay at the Colin's Lake Resort in Government Camp, we completed two more hikes.  The first was a six-mile hike (roundtrip) to the summit of Dog Mountain.  The stunning views and unparalleled springtime flowers make this one of the most popular hikes on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.  Once we reached the former fire lookout, Ahmma & I decided to turn back because the gusty winds were turning Tessa's nose bright red, while Dumpa, Dadda, McKinley & Piper continued to the summit.  After Benji & I shed some layers to wrap Tessa like a baby burrito, she ended up falling asleep on the descent.  McKinely hiked all six miles, with energy to spare.
The following day Ahmma, Dumpa, Dadda and the girls hiked the Glade Trail, which is a three-mile ascent beginning in Government Camp and ending at Timberline Lodge.  I stayed behind with Tessa so she could take her morning nap, but we arrived at the Lodge just in time to see the hikers finishing up. Then we had an amazing lunch in the Cascade Dining Room's all-you-can-eat buffet.

The vibrant, yellow balsam root is breathtaking.

How can she sleep like that?

The girls enjoyed swimming in the jacuzzi at Colin's Lake Resort.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Hiking Evangelist

Ahmma & Dumpa came into town for a visit, and the day after they arrived we left for a hiking adventure at Silver Falls State Park.  People often call it the "crown jewel"of the Oregon State Park System, but after living in Oregon for almost nine years this was our first visit.  The park's most famous feature is the Trail of Ten Falls, so that's what we did.  We began hiking together with McKinley and Dumpa setting a brisk pace while Piper, Tessa and I brought up the rear.  Eventually we split up, with Ahmma & Dumpa taking the longer route back to the lodge.  The trail was fairly flat, but after two hours of hiking Piper got to ride in the backpack.  I honestly was super shocked that Piper lasted for two hours because no less than five minutes into the hike she was already complaining about her legs hurting.  Tessa also did amazing.  I think this was the first time she was in the backpack for an extended period of time, and she was a trooper.  She got giddy every time she saw the creek or heard running water and even took a power nap while I supported her head and neck with my elbow.  McKinley, by far, was the biggest surprise.  She was enthusiastic, energetic and determined, but what blew me away the most was her boldness and compassion.  Towards the end of the hike when Dadda had picked up the pace and I was lagging behind, McKinley decided to stay with me and wanted to hold my hand.  She then told me about the Great Commission, which she learned in Sunday school the previous Sunday, and how our jobs were to tell everyone that Jesus loves them.  So that's just what she did.  Everyone we passed on the trail, she smiled at them and said, "Jesus loves you."  The hiker's responses varied: some walked by without looking at her, some smiled back, and some even snickered.  Despite all of it, she was so undeterred.   And in those moments I was so in awe of her, but mostly inspired by her.