Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kids Choir Fun

Ben and Bethany were in their kids choir program at church tonight. I must say, this is a day I've been looking forward to for a long time. I smiled so much my face hurt. They absolutely sang their hearts out. Here's a little snippet of the kids in action.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ten Amazing Years: "I Got It!!!"

So we're standing on the deck of our cruise ship watching a pod of very active whales.  They are a ways off in the distance, but a friend of ours had loaned us her camera with an extra good zoom lens.  I am poised and ready to shoot. Sure enough, out of the water comes this breeching humpback, and "click" goes my camera at precisely the right millisecond.  Let's just say that there was no one on board who wondered whether I had captured the moment.  Nothing like an exuberant amateur photographer!

Of course, that was back in the dark ages when I had to wait until we got home to know what, exactly, that picture was going to look like. That way I could also share my ecstasy with all of the people at the photo place. I'm sure that they must have been thrilled to share that moment with me. (In fact, I'm sure that each one of them would be clicking on that photo right now to see it bigger. You can too!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ten Amazing Years: "We Thinking"

It was just before we got engaged that Lee introduced the concept of "we thinking" into our relationship. At that time, it was a matter of shifting our thinking to making decisions as a couple, but it has become much more than that. Of course, much of my role in our family (and in life!) revolves around trying to strike a balance in all of our activity. But I have my own agenda too. And so does each member of the family.

I have learned that, when there is friction in our marriage, it is time to do some "we thinking". Almost every time I notice that I have reverted to defending "my turf" for some reason. Of course if I choose to, I can rifle through a mental list of all the reasons why I am justified, but that never solves the problem. It always helps to refocus and figure out where we need to go collectively, and then how best to get there. Together. It's hard work. But we are a team, and the work has produced great satisfaction in our marriage.

This photo is from our honeymoon.  Can anyone guess what city is in the background?

UPDATE: Check the comments for a winning answer! Here are some more honeymoon shots. Makes me want to go back!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ten Amazing Years: Surprises

Since I'm not a novelist, I'm just going to give the short story version of our courtship. I can't say that Lee and I were a likely couple. We met at church soon after Lee was transferred up to the tundra with his job.  We were in choir together. We did a few things together for fun, knowing that I was soon to leave the country for a couple of years. We did not correspond at all while I was away, and I fully expected to discover that Lee had moved back south as he had hoped to do. But I got back, and here he was! So I guess if one thing sums it up, he took me by surprise.

Lee and I dated for 2 1/2 years before we got engaged. Although the first few months we couldn't quite admit that we were dating. We tried hard to scare each other off. In fact, I even tried to get a couple of my good friends to talk me out of dating him, and they refused. But in the end, Lee couldn't envision a lifetime without my chocolate chip cookies. And I couldn't envision one without his affection--symbolized here by the roses.

I'm so glad we don't scare easily, because I do love surprises. Lee is undoubtedly the best surprise God has ever had for me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Family Friday

We like to go out as a family on Fridays and have supper and some fun. Tonight the theme was "I"--IHOP, IKEA, and Ice cream. Lucky us, the featured menu at IHOP right now is Horton Hears a Who. The kids had the tough choice between Who Cakes and Green Eggs and Ham. Can you guess how many food groups we counted in their Who Cakes? We had to add the milk group by having an ice cream cone after the kids enjoyed the play land at IKEA. We sure had a great time! (And tomorrow we'll eat some veggies.)

(Originally posted on Tracy's Scrapbook)

An unforgettable moment

They say experience is the best teacher, and this was one experience that didn't disappoint us. Bethany embraced spring the year she was about to turn two with a special affinity for dirt. Potting soil, garden soil, and the sand at the playground. For a few weeks we tried desperately to keep up with her and stop her from putting it in her mouth. She finally wore us out. So one day I grabbed the camera on the way down to the park, and had it ready when she did what came naturally.

And it was...the LAST time!

Ten Amazing Years: A Theme

It took me no time at all to discover a theme in our pictures.  Of all of the pictures of Lee and me together, I'd say roughly 75% of them have water.  That would be a conservative estimate.  (Lee would love the fact that I used a percentage as a descriptor. And that I was conservative. It's the little things that he appreciates about me!)

I don't think I ever noticed how often we found ourselves around water together, even from the very beginning of our friendship. We have always loved to walk around the lake or catch a beach side concert. We went on a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters with a church group while we were dating.

One of the things I appreciate most about all of these activities is that they have taken us away from our tasks and allowed us time to talk to each other. They have helped us to relax together. We often find ourselves laughing hard, and many times end up solving problems or understanding each other and our kids better. Of course none of these things requires water, but it sure helps!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ten Amazing Years: A Love Story

Here begins the story of the sweetest romance I know own love affair with my husband, Lee.

Ten years ago Lee and I had just gotten engaged on the first day of spring and were planning a June wedding.  I was a second grade teacher, and he whisked me away to Georgia to visit his parents for spring break. This picture is from Callaway Gardens, which is also where the gorgeous azalea photo at the top of my blog is from (another stop along our journey).  We haven't changed much, have we???

I've been working hard to get some of the highlights of our pre-digital years onto the computer, and I find myself stopping frequently to marvel at where we have been.  God has been SO good to us.  So this is the first in a series of celebration of this decade of our journey as a couple and a family.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What you might not know about your pastor's family

I ran across the blog of a pastor from North Carolina who, in the past week, has done a series on what life is like for a pastor's family. It is fabulous! Check out these links, and PRAY for your pastor, his wife, and his kids today.

What you might not know about your pastor

What you might not know about your pastor's wife

What you might not know about your pastor's kids

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Three Dollars' Worth of God

I heard this years ago, but my last post got me thinking about it again.

I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don't want enough of him to make me love my enemy or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
--Wilbur Reese


Dear Guest,

I'm glad your search today sent you to "The Journey". I wanted to tell you that this post is by far my most frequently visited because so many people search for Three Dollars Worth of God just like I did before I posted it. It sticks with you, doesn't it? May you find yourself filled to overflowing today, choosing not to be satisfied with the little bit of God that fits into a comfortable box, but instead venturing outside your comfort zone where He is allowed to be wild and untamed, in all his glory.

Blessings to you,
Tracy P.