April 20th, 2008

When my twin sister married and moved two hours away I was seventeen. When I married and moved to California I was eighteen. Gigi is seventeen months younger than Vanessa and I, and when we were left without big sister we suddenly became very close. We came to know each other as if for the first time and became sisters in a new way.

I have always admired my younger sister for her ability to shine through any circumstance. She is aware of people around her like Daddy was, she reads people and loves people. You can’t tell when she’s hurting, and her smile lights up her whole being. Her loyalty is for life, her memories are sacred, and her laugh is contagious! The little sister I know now is a young woman striving after God and desiring to please Him in every area of her life. Gigi, you are an answer to my prayers and I thank God that He has sent you out here to me!

We didn’t have a lot of time on Saturday, but it was a special little hike and picnic lunch to celebrate Gigi’s birthday and we had both been looking forward to it all week! We had chicken curried salad in pitas with root chips and sparkling lemonade sitting on a low growing sycamore tree. We saw ladybugs everywhere and the boys wanted to catch them all! The chamomile growing on the path sent lovely fragrances up to us as we unknowingly stepped on it, and the warm sage was utterly California. The sun came out as we walked and it turned into a beautiful day!

I hope you had a wonderful day, Gigi, and I hope you know how much I love you!

 Seth found a stinkbug and flung it down and picked it up several times before leaving it. Gigi and the boys!

 I love this shot! Trying to keep up with Daddy. Sweet Gigi carrying a tired Seth. Ian’s perch during our picnic lunch. Jerome, our monkey. He didn’t jump. I love you, Gigi!

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April 17th, 2008

My day began with an e-mail from Kathy reminding me that we had planned a play date for today. How could I have forgotten such an exciting event? Jerome is often asking if he can have Gabe over to play with him and I love spending time with Kathy. Boy, what an incentive a play date is for getting our lessons and chores done! 🙂

Kathy, you made my day positively sunny! I love your honesty and openness and your heart toward God. You want to do the very best you can with what you have and by that you have encouraged me where I am right now. Thank you for your precious time!

And how could I have these beautiful children here without taking their pictures? Kathy, I’ll have your disc with me on Sunday, but it’s ready here if you want to come pick it up, too. Besides, I’d just get to squeeze your neck once more if you did. 🙂

 The youngest, Noah.   Gabe!   Elayna She was definitely shining for the camera!   Becca, the eldest of all these beautiful children!  And Kathy with her four blessings!

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April 17th, 2008

Peter is such a help to me! I couldn’t do digital photography without him. Honestly, I do the photography and he does the digital. At the last few weddings I’ve photographed Peter has set up a slide show on his laptop at the reception of all of the best pictures from the day’s events. People love to see wedding pictures! And I’ve been asked for my nonexistent business card and sent people away with crayon scribblings on napkins. :-/

So…I have a couple weddings this year and decided that I need to have something to send people with. However, I’m realizing this might bring me more business when more business isn’t what I’m after. I LOVE taking pictures of people and could do it every day, but I have three precious boys who need me more than I need business, so I’m praying over these cards asking God to send me only what He would have me do, and only the people He would have me invest in.

I made them on a website called Overnight Prints, and while I’m perfectly thrilled with the quality of the cards, I haven’t actually received my order. A couple weeks ago I got an e-mail from a gal in Ontario who had received my cards instead of hers and had I received hers? A couple days later I did, so we both wrote the company, asked for our orders, and shipped each other the mixed up cards. Hopefully she’ll get hers soon!

So, here are my cards!

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April 17th, 2008

Wednesday evenings are my time with Gigi, and she so graciously runs errands with me while the boys are in AWANA clubs. It’s nice to have the help and company, and the time with her is precious as we’ve had so many years apart.

As wonderful as Wednesdays are, this week was memorable for a busted milk gallon glugging under the fridge as I hurriedly put the perishables up before going to get the boys. Thankfully Gigi is strong enough to move the refrigerator and helped me mop it up before leaving, but then poor Ian was hysterical from being left in his car seat, and we had forgotten the dog who was following us out the driveway, so we just let her in as we didn’t have time to put her back in the house. Thankfully Gigi could drive while I sat back with him and talked and sang songs to him. Then after we picked up the boys from their AWANA clubs the brakes got so hot they were smoking! But Seth said the cutest thing and I wanted to remember it, so Gigi handed back a receipt and pen for me to jot it down…

“I see that star! A star is when an angel comes out! And the angel’s going to eat it! And go in the grave.” 🙂

Thanks for everything, Gigi!

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April 15th, 2008

We have two of them and I can see them out of my kitchen window. The almond trees are the first to bloom every year and I take much pleasure in their white, delicate blossoms in contrast to the dark deodars standing behind them as if guarding them, protecting them. The blossoms are long gone and they are bearing their fruit now.

It was the day Jerome chose the almond tree for his nature notebook entry that we met Summer. The boys had just finished eating dinner on the picnic table outside and Seth came to tell me that one of my friends was at the park. I walked out with Ian on my hip and saw a woman I had never met before peering over the wall. I admit I was rather guarded and suspicious, but I soon realized what she wanted. Summer is from Palestine and recognized the almond tree and asked for some green fruit to eat. She told me that in her homeland they eat them green like that and often served with salt. We got her a few handfuls in a bag and chatted on tip toe, seeing only each other from the noses up. I don’t think I had ever seen such amazing eyes as she has! I wish I had remembered my cell phone in my pocket to take down her number, but I’m not quite used to having it back and didn’t recall it. She said she would come back, and I have been praying that she will. I want to share with her, I want to know her story, I want her to know my Jesus.

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