Friday, April 30, 2010

Papa's Date with Jael

On the spur of the moment, Papa asked Jael out on a date.  You can imagine the flurry that ensued.  She had to run around and get all the stuff done that little girls have to do to get ready to go out with one of their favorite beaus.

She picked this photo op.  Because of the pretty flowers, she said.

And since Papa was taking pictures of her, she wanted to take pictures of Papa.  Good job, Jael.

She posed for this picture saying, "I'm going to try not to laugh."

Such a pretty little lady.

After dinner at Chili's, they had dessert at Coldstone.  A date consists of both dinner and dessert, don'tcha know.

She picked watermelon sorbet.  Such a grown-up choice.  
She then added gummy worms and gummy bears. 

Today is Jael's 8th birthday. 
Have a wonderful day, my beautiful girl. 
I love you to pieces. 
You are more precious than you know and wise beyond your years. 
Continue to love Jesus with all of your heart
and He will guide your steps into worlds you can only dream of.

Nana aka

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Aquarium, Part 1

For Christmas last year, we gave our grandchildren a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to be taken in family groups (minus the nursing babies and without parents).  Due to busy schedules and other stuff, we are just getting around to making good on our gift.  We took the Abdelaziz children last month and are scheduled to take the Gombojavs next month.  Hopefully, the Correas will follow soon. 

The Aquarium is an awesome place where it is very easy to spend the entire day and still feel like you haven't seen everything to your satisfaction.  My only complaint is that there were too many political displays.  I don't like being bombarded with political agendas while trying to enjoy the wonders that God has created.  However, it is a great place and they do a lot of good for the ocean and its creatures.

It is about two hours away, so we left early and had to stop for lunch.  We wanted to eat before we went in and the only place we saw was here, a place I haven't been to in ages!  But, what child doesn't want fries?  And a chocolate chip cookie for dessert?

Here we are walking from the parking garage down Cannery Row ready for our adventure.

I certainly cannot do justice to the sea life, so I won't be showing a lot of "fish" pictures, but since this is definitely Abishai's favorite, it must have its place in this story.

Jael was very conscientious and took little notes about everything that interested her.  She brought little slips of paper in her pocket.

The children loved all the hands-on learning.

Standing under a wave is exciting even if you know it's coming -- since you've stood here wave after wave. 

So, the girl on the right is the same little girl on the right in the picture below. 
How time flies!

(Meg, Izzy, Jael)

The boys have a fascination with all the snails in our yard, so they loved these little vests!

They have something for every age!

Okay, there's a story behind this picture.  Papa had the camera most of the day and realized that he wasn't getting in any of the pictures, so I took the camera for a bit.  After I took this picture, he took the camera to peruse the pictures.  (Isn't digital great?)  So, when he saw this one, he started laughing.  I looked questioningly at him.  He asked who I had taken a picture of.  I still didn't get it.  So, after a few comments and questions back and forth, I finally understood.  He thought I had taken a picture of some stranger just to make him think it was him!  He doesn't think it looks like himself.  I think it looks exactly like him.  I still don't get it.

As gorgeous as those jelly fish are, these handsome men surpass them!

They weren't standing up and they weren't laying down.  They were on a slope staring UP into an amazingly enormous tank with sharks, tuna, sunfish, and other huge creatures.

Leaving.  Can you tell the sun was in our eyes? 

We did a better job this time.

One last stop on Cannery Row before getting to our van.  Dippin' Dots!  Papa's idea, of course. 

The whole day was absolutely wonderful.  Not a stressful moment.  Pure unadulterated enjoyment.  I'm not sure if we gave our grandchildren a gift, or they gave us one.  As with Dippin' Dots, good to the very end!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

6:33 Club

Matthew 6:33 in the Amplified Bible says, “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” Those “things” are the daily things of life – what we are going to eat, drink, and wear. Basically, the cares of each day.

God is calling us anew to seek him first. We need to go to God first – when we have a need, when something good has happened, when we need advice, when we go about our daily chores, when a decision has to be made, when life is good, and when it doesn’t seem to be. He should be the One who hears all of our good news first and He should be the One who directs our doings and goings each day.

There is only one way this is going to happen. We need to stay in constant communication with Him. We don’t just need to pray once a day. We need to pray hundreds of prayers each day. The prayers may just be a word or a short sentence. And we also need to listen all day. We need to be on the alert that He may speak to us at any time.

But, we also need to set aside a part of our day to fully spend time with Him each day. Jesus gave us a good example of this. Though Jesus was one with the Father, He felt a need to get away by Himself and spend time with His Father one on one. How much more would it seem we would need such a time? Mark 1:35 tells us, “While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed.” (The Message) Because Jesus spent quality time with the Father before the day began, He was able to move in the will of God without hesitation throughout the day. He did not have to stop and “pray about it,” as we hear Christians say so often. He had already received what He needed for that day.

I am challenging each of you to join the “6:33 Club” with me! Let’s seek Him first! Let’s meet one on one with Him in the morning before our day starts. Before anything – before we eat, before the kids are up, before we read our email, before we get on our way.

In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart]. Psalm 5:3 (Amplified Bible)

Yes, it might be a sacrifice. But the rewards will outweigh the effort to get out of bed a little early. As your day unfolds, you will see how much better and smoother your day goes when you are prepared. In fact, you might find you’ll want to set your “opportunity clock” earlier and earlier as your time with your Lord gets sweeter and sweeter.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Easter 2010......Finally

It comes as no surprise here that I have been totally remiss at journaling my days.  So, without making any promises to myself or you about how I'm going to do such a better job, I am going to try to do better.  How's that for not committing to anything? 

And I figured I'd start with Easter.  Before April ended.

Easter was a wonderful day.  I just love spending time with my family!  But, even though the day was spent having a great time, we did not forget that the whole purpose of the day is celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  How amazing are all the ramifications of that simple statement!  Without the resurrection, the birth and death of Jesus would mean nothing.  Our Redeemer lives! 

And, as is our normal tradition, we try to wear something new on Easter Sunday.  Sadly, I can't post pictures of our entire family as the two newest members still haven't had their adoption court dates.  So, just imagine how cute they are!  And they are really, really cute!

Have you noticed how hard it is to buy a dress without black being a predominate color?  I know we don't have an abundance of clothing stores in our little town, but this is the ONLY dress I found that didn't have black in its color scheme!  I'm glad I liked it.

Mr. Good-looking Himself.

The Josh Abdelaziz family all dressed in orange.  I thought they all looked great, but thought it was amazing that they could all coordinate like this as orange didn't seem to be a widespread spring wardrobe color.  I guess I thought wrong.  Several families in church were all dressed in orange!  Who knew?

Shallah with her orange-suited friend, Mardell.

I just love our little church! 
I love it so much that I want it to grow bigger! 
I love every last person in this picture! 
(And the ones who didn't make it into the picture, too.)

Our main table only had six adults.  Odd for us. 
But, Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Janice all ate in Grandpa's room to keep him company.

I bought our little chocolate bunnies last year at the after-Easter sales.  They've been chillin' in our freezer for a year.  All wrapped in their atrociously colored foil.  But, disrobed and beribboned, I think they are just darling.

These little fake-moss-covered flying bunnies came from Pier 1.  I think they are just too cute when planted in a little rye grass.  (The basket and grass was a thank-you gift from Sarah-Kate.  I just love decorating with grass!  And she knows it.  I planted some grass in eggshells like Darcy over at fly through our window, but apparently I didn't take any pictures of them.  But, they were sweet.)

Lambchops on the grill.

Food is starting to gather.

Table is getting full.

Two little children's tables and one highchair.

The children thought it was great fun to eat a chocolate bunny with dinner.  Diego decided to roll the bunny in his hands as it started to melt.  Interesting thing to do.

Lots of eggs to hide.  The men in the family did such a good job hiding them, we almost didn't find them all!  Can you see the egg hiding in there?

Shallah "found" an egg, too.  But, she really wasn't interested in it, as you can see.

Besides the chocolate, dessert was Matzo Brittle from Tea Time magazine and Pioneer Woman's carrot cake.  Great ending to a great day.

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