Wednesday, September 18, 2013

K.I.S.S

I know K.I.S.S. makes one think of  "Keep It Simple Stupid."
 However, since the theme of our women's retreat is "Abundant Simplicity"  our team decided to morph this acronym to "Keep It Simple Sister."
 It's our retreat mantra.
Some simply awesome retreat friends
If overwhelmed, distracted and exhausted are words that describe you then this retreat was designed just for you!  Based on her book, "Abundant Simplicity" our speaker, Jan Johnson, will share how God invites us to live an unhurried, uncluttered life in which we make choices joyfully and intentionally.
 
Doesn't that sound simply wonderful?
 
She will give us experiments and practices of simplicity that will help us live the abundant life that God has designed for us. The thought of it makes me want to clean closets and cupboards of the unused stuff I've collected and only save things that really are needed. This idea stretches to simplicity of time, simplicity of speech and simplicity of service.
 
You know, so there's less of that life-fluff that causes distraction and stress.
Of all my retreat planning years, this has been the most relaxed and enjoyable by far. Why? It's so simply simple. No bells or whistles.  Jan Johnson is all about picking the engaging relational life we were meant to live. By shedding self indulgence and pretension, we can then allow God's power to move through us and bless others because ...
 We have more time, love and space to do good.
Keep It Simple Sister!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer Leftovers

He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.
Job 9:8
Looking over summer beach pictures, I found these leftover gems. 
Each left a grin on my face :)
I remember when the adults in the family would hold my hands and scoop me up over the white waves roaring toward mini-me. Did you ever do that as a child? Now, it's Benson's turn to feel small, yet protected. Here is Grandpa, Little Benson and Daddy Dave ... darling ... Sigh.
Benson flew his first kite and I was honored to share the experience. 
 "Look Momma, I do it!" he squealed. There he stood in the hot sand holding the kite string starring at what looked (to him) like a diamond floating in the sky. Magical.
Simple joys! THIS is what life is all about.

Last Thursday, Dan and his buddy went surfing while I parked my can on the beach.  It was a wonderfully-slow afternoon. I picked these two up after school and away we went. Thursdays are my day off, so it's the perfect time to do this carefree sort of thing ...at least while the weather cooperates! Flag football is starting so Dan's surf days are numbered ... gotta squeeze in what we can!
 Sadly, I packed away all the summer decore this weekend and am slowly sprinkling Fall into our home. Tomorrow starts our first full week of school and work. Thank goodness for summer memories to pull us through the new hectic routine. This summer was one of our best; little drama, new experiences, welcomed changes, and packed with good health (hold the collarbone) and togetherness. 
Yum!
 Those were some tasty summer leftovers.
For dessert? Two more chickens died this past week. We are down to ten now. However, dead birds would make for a horrible dessert. I will stick with jelly bellies and chewing on the tasty leftovers of Summer 2013!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Role Model

 Seventh grade Daniel was assigned to write a paper on the best role model in his life. When I read his finished work, my heart swelled with motherly AND brotherly love. There is so much suffering and struggle around lately. The tingly joy feeling Daniel's paper left inside me felt like a beacon in  thick fog. Enjoy!
Role Model
By Daniel Fisher
 Have you heard of a baby that is only months old that has survived multiple heart and stomach surgeries? Well that “Baby of Steel” is my older brother. Ever since I can remember, I have always tagged along with Lucas. He is the only person I look up to, my role model.
      Lucas is always keeping me laughing. His quick witted brain is a joke factory, and his jokes are always creative. At the dinner table, he can make a boring story hilarious. Probably the funniest part of Lucas is when he is just himself, when he’s not trying to be funny at all.
God is very relevant in Lucas’ life. He always goes to God first for all his problems before going to anyone else. When he goes to church, he’s a big help and he plays guitar on the worship team. Once Lucas had a person try to sell him drugs, and he responded by giving him a Bible and showing him God’s love.
Even though he may see me as his annoying little brother, he is always encouraging, and helping me. Every day when I get home from school he asks me about my day and he gives me advice about middle school. Musically, we are a team, and he is always encouraging me and giving me tips to improve. Whenever I need help with homework, he is there to help me in any way he can.
These two have come a long way!
But obviously the most important quality of his is his great love for God. He is the best “Gospel-spreader” I know, and he loves God unconditionally. Lucas is a fantastic role-model, and I couldn’t ask for a better one.
 
 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Birthdays and Long Weekends

Those are two of my favorite things! Birthday Parties and long holiday weekends. What's not to like? And, having both happen at the same time feels like we hit some sort of FUN LOTTERY. This is my kind of jackpot!
The traditional birthday donut walk

Hang Thirteen :)
We started off Daniel's birthday-morning by walking the Wiener Sisters to the donut shop. It was still "hotter than the hinges of hell" so, although only a few blocks away it felt MUCH farther. Even the dogs with their tongues hanging out  their mouths and practically dragging on the street would agree! What better way to kick off a new year than with apple fritters, cinnamon rolls and white cake donuts with sprinkles on top? It's not like we would be eating birthday cake later on. He, he!
Dan's Fans

Overboard made Daniel's cake, with some help from my Dad. He made the surfboard out of balsa wood and she made what looks like bronzed Stretch Armstrong riding the wave. Although only family came over, I decorated SpongeBob style, as Daniel watches this cartoon every day! 
He made a point to tell everyone that he did not pick out the decorations. He is at the age where being cool at all times is key. Even if it means denying his favorite sponge.
I love this kid!

The Birthday dinner party was a hit!
The night weather was gorgeous and thankfully it cooled down after sunset. We ate outside and hovered around the birthday boy. Except Benson. He was more interested in running up and down the baggo boards over and over, and over ... his energy level is exhausting to watch!
After presents and cake, we moved the party to the front yard to play basketball and skateboard. Again, it was a perfect summer night activity. When everyone left, Daniel crashed on the couch. Sara plopped right on top of him and fell asleep too. It's love :)
 
This morning Daniel was up first thing and starting to learn a new song on the ukulele. My Teckie and I took a unicycle ride and run. I'll say it again, "Momma Mia! He can run fast!" My face was tomato-red and steamy when we returned home. Those four miles are such a challenge when he is in front ... speedily leading the way. Puff, puff, puff!
Sweet dreams thirteen-year old!
 Now, we are off to see Dan's good buddy, Kobe, in a play, then wine tasting with friends. I love birthdays and long weekends!


So that wraps up Daniel's 13th. Most importantly, I continue to pray for his good health, smart choices and showered blessings throughout this next year. He is really growing up fast. Watching him physically, emotionally and musically mature is a gift from our great God.
Children are a gift from the LORD;
they are a reward from him
Psalm 127:3, NLT