Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Time with Friends

Laura and Emily's Visit

Laughter, hugs, long conversations, late nights, a movie and ice cream, encouragement, shower planning were all wonderful parts of Laura and Emily's quick weekend trip here. What a blessing and encouragement it was to spend that time with them! Other than the shower, we took some other photos from a walk we enjoyed together . . .

Emily and Leah a ways ahead 

The evening was gorgeous . . . Laura and I stopped often to simply soak it in and talk 

 Picking roadside flowers

The evening sunlight was lovely! 

Best of friends! And better yet . . . sisters in the Lord.

Creek Play

What fun to get together with Molly and her four children for a fun morning playing in the creek and exploring caves!

Throwing rocks in the water

Yay! Big splash!

See the fish?

It has been a great blessing to enjoy many special times with friends and family this summer! 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

At the Pinnacles

For Leah's birthday last week, we had such a fun afternoon outing to the Pinnacles! As time is short right now, and I am working to catch up on a number of blog posts, this will once again be mostly photos. Our time there also turned into an impromptu, unofficial engagement photo shoot for Ivan and Leah so there are some of those photos, too . . . .

Starting out

Leah and I at the base of the rock cliffs. We had to get some sister pictures while we were out here . . . the last ones before she is married!

Ivan and Leah

My beautiful sister 

Ivan coming back down

Amazing rock formations! 

Dad and Mom sitting and visiting while we explored

Ivan must have said something funny! 

Helping her back down 

 At the cave

Dad way below

These two are so cute, sweet, and fun together! And have such hearts for the Lord and for others.

Another of Dad's artistic shots (many of the photos in this post are his) 

Me on the way up 

Ivan and Dad told me to look out and act like I saw something neat . . . this was the result ;) 

The view from up there (which you can't see :) was amazing! 

Up high looking down to where we were when we first started out

Looking down

 And across
Mom . . . the rock climbing explorer!

Leah perched on a rock and enjoying the peacefulness

Ivan, Leah and I climbed up to this opening in the rocks and sat and talked for awhile


Fascinating rock layers! Such evidence of the biblical catastrophic global flood

After this photo, Leah made the comment about dad helping mom down so we could get a photo of that. Below is what followed . . . .

My parents have too much fun!! :) 

Ivan and I chilling on a rock after we climbed part of the way back down 

Sisters and best of friends

That evening Leah opened presents . . .

 Special to have more new things for setting up their home next month!

All in all, we had a fantastic day together, laughing, loving, having serious conversations, teasing, enjoying such beauty in God's creation, exploring, and making many memories!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Leah's Bridal Shower

A couple of Saturdays ago, our dear friends Laura and Emily came to visit for the weekend, and together, we hosted a bridal shower for Leah. It was so fun! Here is a glimpse (most of the photos are courtesy of Laura and Kathy . . . thank you both!) . . . .

Decorating mason jars Saturday morning . . . some for the shower, and others for the wedding 

With scissors in hand, we headed out to the garden in the morning and cut so many flowers before bringing them inside to make into arrangements. It was a lot of fun to do together!

Emily ready to cut some more flowers 

Part of the table with one of the arrangements (as life has been so crazy lately, we didn't make any of the desserts . . . Walmart was a definite help in this area!) 

So so thankful for each of these women! We have been close friends for many years (and Leah and I for life :) . . . what a blessing their friendship is and their hearts for the Lord! And now, the first of our foursome is getting married! We are all so thrilled and happy for you, Leah!!! 

Mother and Daughter

Emily and I making the punch

The table 

The gifts and a basket for the guests to leave a word of encouragement, Scripture verse, and marriage advice for Leah. 

Before long, guests began arriving and the shower began! It was a mix of fun games and exhortation and encouragement from Scripture to Leah about the beautiful role she is stepping into as a wife, and a mother.

I began the time by welcoming everyone, sharing why we were there (celebrating with Leah and encouraging her with her upcoming marriage!), and praying for our time and for Leah. We then had food and punch and played a few games . . . .

Having fun explaining one of the games . . . how well do you know Leah?

Most everyone knew her very well! 

Another fun game that we divided up into teams to do . . . how many wedding related words can you get for each letter of the alphabet? This team was very creative and came up with a lot! 

It was such a blessing having the room filled with special women . . . each one who has made an impact on Leah's life and blessed her. 

Little boys enjoying their crackers

Mom shared many Scriptures and encouragement about being a godly woman and wife, beginning with Proverbs 31. As I was in the kitchen watching some of the children, I missed a fair bit of it, but what I heard was a definite encouragement. What a blessing to have God's Word to guide when stepping into the beautiful role He has created of being a wife! And what a great blessing to have an older 'Titus 2' woman like my mom to be able to share with Leah, and the rest of us women as well.

During the gift opening 

Leah was blessed by so many thoughtful gifts for beginning her home! 

So much cuteness! 

Laura and one of the adorable little guys 

Wanting to help!

One sweet friend made these special mugs 

Thank you all so much for coming and for encouraging and blessing Leah at this special season in her life! And now we are on the wedding countdown . . . the joy and excitement continues to build!