Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gettin' Our Kicks on Route 66

Raise your hand if you know the old song by Nat King Cole. That song has been running through my mind for the last week. As we pulled out of Santa Clarita I started to notice names of towns that were familiar to me but where I had never been before and I realized that I was traveling down that classic road, route 66, just in the opposite direction from the song. "You'll see Amarillo; Gallup, New Mexico; Flagstaff, Arizona, don't forget Winona; Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino..." Well we didn't hit San Bernadino and we didn't drive through Barstow but we were in that general direction as we headed out of California. Theresa Bischoff supplied us with Trip Tiks from AAA and those were fun to read as we drove and, being a map lover, I followed where we going on the map and found the little towns mentioned in this song along with the big ones.

Arizona had some fun topography and there were times I felt like I was in the middle of the Disney movie "Cars". I kept looking out my window expecting to see rock formations the shape of old cars. But this was as close as it got.

I also saw this beautiful mountain side and thought it looked like a man's face.

Our God is amazing, making beauty abound in many ways. It's a different kind of beauty than the Great Northwest which I have been more familiar with up to now, but beautiful just the same.

We drove through Arizona and stayed our first night in Flagstaff. We had checked weather ahead of time and knew that it had recently snowed and was supposed to be cold. We weren't disappointed. The kids were excited to see the snow and really wanted to touch it.

On Saturday, we left Flagstaff and began our longest driving day, planning on driving all the way through New Mexico and into Texas, spending the night in Amarillo. The sign for New Mexico as we crossed the border stated that it was the land of Enchantment, but I have to say that maybe they were talking about another part of New Mexico. Where we were driving was not all that enchanting. But the miles rolled by and the kids traveled well that day. God gave grace to everyone in the van so that Brenton didn't cry his day away, no one got car sick (Isabel got pretty car sick the first day on the way to Flagstaff) and we had minimal potty breaks considering we were traveling with three potty trained kids and two adults. James and Brenton loved seeing the many trains along the way and Brenton sat in the back seat saying "choo choo" over and over again. Michael kept his own pace driving the big moving truck and the kids looked forward to every stop that they might be able to see him. We saw a couple of other Penske trucks as we drove along and each time the kids would yell out "Uncle Michael!" Sometimes it was him, sometimes it wasn't. We met up in the end in Amarillo and enjoyed dinner at Red Robin before heading to bed.
Sunday was our final travel day and the kids eagerly anticipated arriving at our new home. We left Amarillo and drove through the great state of Texas all day, some 350 miles, in order to reach home in Hurst, Texas. Along the way we saw miles and miles of open ranch land, many small towns that were once oil towns but now that the oil is gone they are little more than ghost towns.

People who have stayed on because that's where their family has always been, even though there is no oil industry there anymore. We chuckled a little as we came through Wichita Falls. I hadn't thought about a town in Texas having the word "falls" in it's name before but once considering it it did seem a little out of place. Thanks to Trip Tiks I found out that the original falls was a mere 5 ft. falls but so unusual to find in the area that the first settlers named the city after it. But 5 years after settling the area a giant flood washed the falls away and the falls that you see now as you drive through Wichita Falls is a man made falls in memory of the original 5 ft. falls. The things you learn as you go...
It was a great opportunity to see and learn about things we haven't seen before, never having traveled that way. We enjoyed our trip on route 66, but enjoyed even more arriving at our destination.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Musing on Moving

The Lord recently picked us up and moved us out to Texas. This has been an amazing process of watching His hand at work and resting on His sovereignty in all things. We loved our many years (for Jason, his whole life) in Southern California, and now we are looking forward to what the Lord has for us here in Texas. Should anyone who doesn't already know the story like to hear about all the details that God orchestrated to get us to where we are today, staying with a lovely family in Hurst, Texas not far from Dallas, we would be happy to bring you up to speed at any time. Suffice it to say that there has been no doubt in our minds as we have taken each step east.
Last Thursday we had a number of good California friends come and spend their day helping us pack a giant moving truck - thank you to those who came. Amazingly enough, even though our house was a mere 1,100 sq. ft. there was much that got left behind - Thank you Mary for having a garage sale for all of our homeless things. But I guess that's how we're supposed to move ahead, saying good-bye to those things which are going to hold us back. Jason did come into the house at one time last Thurs. to tell me that I was going to have to decide between my rocking chair and the red chair that his mom gave us, that my kids love; and that really we wouldn't even get to bring our chair and a half as nothing was fitting. At that moment, I realized that I had to give my "stuff" to the Lord and if nothing came with me to Texas than He would give me what I needed. After all, it's just stuff. It was all the living room furniture we had as we got rid of our couch already. As I wrestled with letting go of my things, those great men out in the truck wrestled with my furniture and just as I gave it up and said "ok Lord, I trust you to give me what I need" Jason came in and said "They did it, they got it all in." Thank you men and thank the Lord that He gives us all good things and we didn't come empty.
We said good-bye to our dear neighbors and friends early Friday morning, loaded the van up with children, snacks, books, movies and music and drove out of our neighborhood. It's a great neighborhood and we were blessed by our years there. We will miss Miss Sherri, the kids preschool teacher just down the street. And we will miss seeing the Gutmans backyard from our front yard. We will miss our wonderful teachers Mrs. Reimbold and Mrs. Goossens, two of whom couldn't have been more wonderful for our girls. Yet, forgetting what lies behind we press on to what lies ahead. Not forgetting what was good as we will always love these dear people who are still in Cal., but not letting such dear memories hinder us from following the hand of God.

We are excited to be here in Texas. We will gladly welcome, as I am leaning most Texans do, anyone who wants to come visit us here. Maybe you'll find God's hand moving you here too. You never know what He's going to do. I read in James this morning that verse that many of us know, "Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.'" Jason and I never saw Texas coming but when the Lord wills and we obey then we are pleasing to Him and we trust His hand of blessing. Love to our dear friends in California and love to our new friends in Texas. May our roads merge to make a path that follows after God and brings Him pleasure.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sweet Six!

So, Acacia turned six two months ago. I have been a little behind in posting but I wanted to celebrate her, even if it is a little late.
Acacia is my planner. She desires to know all things in advance. When she wakes up in the morning she asks me what I've put in her lunch and then proceeds to question what our plans are for the evening. With this character trait well established, Acacia planned her birthday party last August.
One early morning in Aug. of 2009 my friend Katelyn Urban came to get the girls ready for school and drop them off for me as I had an all day work meeting. When Acacia saw Mrs. Urban's magic fingers when it came to her hair she enlisted her services for her "hair style" party planned for January 2010. Mrs. Urban was happy to comply and so began the planning of Acacia's 6 year old salon party. We enjoyed having a number of girls come over and Mrs. Urban was there with all the hair supplies, her sister, Courtney James helped as the make-up artist and Auntie Christine was the nail lady. Each girl got to have a turn at the foot spa, having her hair and make-up done and choosing her favorite color for her nails. While they waited their turn they played princess bingo. We had a wonderful time! And I am very thankful for Mrs. Urban, Miss James and Auntie Christine for their help as could never have done all of the salon stations on my own. Here are some pictures to remember our fun spa day.

Acacia's invitations were lipstick tubes. I made the cake to match the invitations.All the pretty princesses - Kennedy Lycklama, Jenna Tyson, Acacia, Nicole Hartung, Isabel, Noelle Olsby, Kate Brown. Acacia's little friend Lindsey had to leave early but she joined Acacia for a princess picture before leaving.