As my sons have become teenagers that has rapidly changed. Jeff & I made the decision to ride this wave, to embrace this exciting time with our sons. However I do wish Spring wasn't quite so incredibly busy.
At any rate I've been buckled up and ready for the spring sensation roller coaster. I love my children. I love providing opportunities for growth, fellowship and fun. Love is my source of energy. I find joy in exposing them to wonderful people, great events and exceptional works! Joy is what drives me forward in this season.
Let me share with you a bit of our March Madness. This is always pretty interesting as we not only deal with all the hub and bub of a rise in activity level, but a side issue. I was walloped again by my yearly storm of life, you know the crazy makers paradise! Grr, boo, hiss! Something I will never "get over". Something I have released to God time and time again. Something I leave in his hands again as I go about today. I am talking about the death of my little sister. Also the knowledge of the lingering death of another little sister. I hate March for this reason. (***for those who don't know, my two sisters are victims of Frederich's Ataxia, a form of Muscular Dystrophy.***)I hate everything about the disease. I hate that it overtook them. I hate that I carry the burden of not sharing in their fate.
This year March got even worse. My sweet, sweet Jacki & her family lost their son. He was 24 years old. A parent should never have to bury their child. Although this was a difficult situation, it was also a joy. We got to watch as God brought this family together. We were able to cry with them and rejoice with them as well. We had a wonderful visit at a pizza party and shared memories together at the memorial.
|Billy & Ricky at Pizza Party|
|The last time we saw AJ. Shown here with little sis Kayleen.|
March brings good with it as well. For one can you say, "RAIN, RAIN, Glorious Rain"!?! I do realize that not everyone in this country feels the same way about water right now. For their situations, I am truly sorry. BUT. For just a moment let us shelf that and be utterly grateful for rain in such a baron land. I just love springtime in central California. It is absolutely magnificent, extra especially so this year! I just love all the green and the blossoms are incredible!
|Our neighbors front yard|
Speaking of weather this spring. It snowed in Fresno! No joke, really it did! And. It snowed in the central coast mountain areas. We were hiking in the Bear Gulch area of Pinnacles National Monument the day it happened. At one point we were in a cave with an amazing waterfall flowing down the side and snowflakes floating down through open cracks onto our heads. I'm glad we were there for this wildly breathtaking natural event.
|A shot of the Pinnacles with snow freckling them|
|Ricky climbing in one of the many, many caves.|
|A sky-lite view of snowflakes falling into the cave.|
|Billy & Ricky climbing a staircase out of a cave.|
The "March" point? Two years ago, when she turned 10, we bought Elizabeth a hope chest. It is delicate and feminine, just like her. I have had a blast contributing to it ever since. This year Trisitea turned 10. I sheepishly confess that I was terrified to give her a hope chest. In my defense she isn't very...shall we say "girlie". I was afraid she would be utterly disappointed. We did manage to find an old seafaring trunk, which is gold for a tomboy! BUT. That isn't even the best part. She was thrilled with it yes, however she was mostly thrilled that she was getting this extra special "I'm a women-to-be gift. Wow. Who would've thought all this time I wasted in worry? She was on the other side of the coin eager with anticipation at HOPEFULLY receiving the same jester her sister received two year prior. As I sat munching on the sugary nirvana that Elizabeth created for us all to enjoy my mind drifted from the party. It was so special to know that what I do matters, it really matters. I will never forget that day. I will never forget Tristiea's excitement. I will never get over how she scanned the remaining packages after she got the hope chest in search of "just one more package from me". When I handed it to her she said "is this what I think it is?, Is this the first gift for my hope chest?" Awesome. Purely awesome!
In March we went to a dinner theater performance that CJ, our "nephew" was in. He played his part well, we enjoyed the food! Oh my, my and the dessert was de-vine! I should mention that this particular play was put on by a local charity. The proceeds from the play went directly toward water wells in Uganda. We were thrilled to support the cause...and CJ.
In March Billy & Ricky searched out and designed knives for this years Fine Arts Faire. They each made two. They spent any "extra" time they had working at their papa's shop. Jeff & his dad were overseers for this endeavor. The boys were really pleased with the outcome of their products, as were we. Unfortunately they came home from Winter Camp sick and so were unable to attend the Faire. However we did bring the knives in so they could be on display at the Faire. They had rave reviews! We are pleased for them.
|Ricky working on knives at Papa's shop|
In March Billy & Ricky went to the Rock and Worship Road Show, follow the link if you've never heard of it, or you know, you're curious. http://therockandworshiproadshow.com/artists/ We dropped them off at noon in front of Starbucks, across the street from the Savemart Performance Center, with a backpack full of waters and snacks. There they met up with a clump of other teens. Together they marched off to begin their long wait. This concert series is a mere $10 and is 1st come-1st serve. Which translates...wait in line for hours to insure your tickets get bought, hence the backpack. Late that night to avoid traffic jams we met again at Starbucks.
In March Billy & Ricky went to Aquire the Fire. This is a two day event meant to help ignite the desire to live a God pleasing life in the hearts of teens. Check it out if you want to by following this link. http://www.acquirethefire.com/ This is something we've been wanting to send our sons to for several years. In the past, it just never seemed to work out. Therefore this year we were so pleased to be able to send them! Jeff was so excited he even upgraded their tickets. They met up with friends while they were there leading to a great time of fellowship in between sessions and during meals.
In March our church hosted A Night to Remember. This was to teach young men how to treat young women. Our sons had to dress formally, use table manners, speak kind words, listen attentively etc..etc..etc..Think of it as Christian Charm School. It was an event filled with great, unforgettable lessons.
|Billy and a bunch of friends|