After a busy week with my sister and her kids in town from Montana, I find myself overflowing with the always continuing, never-ending grace of our Lord. So, a day late, I add thanks to my journey to 1000 Gifts with The Gratitude Community at Holy Experience, my favourite spiritual blog....
226. Having my sister here with her two children this week provides the blessing of having all eight cousins together for the first time in two years. As the photo above illustrates, they are so silly and really enjoy hanging out together.
227. Enjoying the 4th of July together as a family at my parents' home. Although the weather was cold and cloudy--cold enough that we wore jackets on the beach in the mid-afternoon--we enjoyed watching the kids play in the sand and ride boogie boards in the high rough surf while we chatted with one another. We had a fairly large group: my parents, myself and our four kids, my sister and her two kids, my brother and his two kids, my mom's cousin and his wife, plus my mom's sister and her husband. Around 4:30 we walked the half block from the beach to my parents' house where, after showering the kids, we grilled burgers and hot dogs.
At nine the first three public fireworks displays were visible from my parents' upper deck which covers the entire roof of their two-story residence. From there we watched the cloudy sunset and the illegal fireworks going up from the beach and from nearby neighborhood parties. At 9:30 the Sea World fireworks went off, following which my mom's cousin and sister and their spouses headed home. We bundled boys into sleeping bags on the upper deck with my brother to watch over them while we girls took over the guest and living rooms. After a huge brunch the next morning, we headed home around noon.
228. A silly, silly husband. When Elizabeth and I returned at 3:00 AM after seeing Eclipse, I made a discovery on my bathroom counter. My stuffed bear, which Keith gave me the Valentine's Day before we were married, has been a long-running source of jokes. Over the years of our marriage, Bear ("Honeybear" is his full name, "Bear" for short) has been set up by Keith and discovered by me in many odd places, always with a Post-It note explaining his predicament. Whether he was stuck in the cookie jar, wrapped mummy-style in toilet paper, hanging from the rotating ceiling fan, or, more recently, warming his tush on the space heater or suspended halfway down the stairwell on a rope trying to escape from our upstairs bedroom, Bear has been the subject of 25+ years of jokes.
So on Wednesday morning, this is what I discovered on my side of our bathroom counter: a very sparkly bear with the usual explanatory note (and sparkly fangs, too):
I tried to laugh quietly but I just couldn't stop. Everything is far more hilarious at three in the morning, especially my TwiBear! I love my silly husband. :)
229. Spending extra time with my daughter this week, whether watching old black and white films like To Kill a Mockingbird or Arsenic and Old Lace or seeing all three Twilight movies in a row in the theater. Besides my husband, she's my best friend, and we have so much fun together.
230. Enjoying watching Elizabeth make good friends with whom she can go off and do things. She and some fellow workers at the Bible Camp are planning to take ballroom dancing classes together as well as see some movies and/or plays as a group. I'm so glad to see her have close friends--she's always been shy and doesn't have close friends at church and only a few acquaintances in our home school group.
231. The opportunities of this summer to rest and also to work. My next project: see if I can turn my Brave Writer MLA class into a downloadable book to sell on the Brave Writer website. We'll see how it goes. I'm to send Julie the first 25-30 pages, and she'll tell me if she would like to see the project go forward. I'll be starting this week.
232. Watching Timothy blossom too as he works in our local community garden. He's been doing a man's work there, gaining the appreciation of the older adults there. He's also a bit shy, but once he gets to know someone, he warms up nicely. It's nice to see him develop relationships with members of our community.
233. Watching Jonathan develop his musical talent. He continues with weekly lessons through the Free Teen Guitar Class taught by Father Acker of Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity. It's lovely to see him pursue music wholeheartedly.
234. Watching both Timothy and Benjamin develop their artistic talents. Both are largely self-taught, and art is in their blood on both sides. Keith's mother was fairly well-known locally as a professional watercolor artist; his sister paints holiday windows as a sideline business and also paints murals. Keith himself is so talented, too, with his photography, stained glass, and just about anything and everything he wants to do. My grandmother did some oil painting, and my brother was a fine arts major at SDSU; one of his paintings hangs in my parents' bedroom. My mother dabbles a bit for relaxation; we're trying to talk her into taking lessons. So the kids come by their artistic abilities from both sides, and it's wonderful to watch their talents develop and become more refined.
235. Quiet. Summer is a time for resting, reading, peace, and quiet. I love it...and I need it. Desperately. I'm still praying and hoping to spend a few days somewhere for a spiritual retreat. We shall see. :)
Walking in God's ever-continuing grace,