Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chicago Trip Interrupted

I think I better be done blogging about the Chicago Trip. 

We have been so busy..jam packed with places to be and things to do for the last week.

We get to have a visit from the Kansas grandparents this week and attend college sister's graduation!

If you want to hear (and see) a little more about the Chicago trip, my sister did a really good job writing about the whole thing here:    sisters and shopping and sushi oh my

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Windy City: PD on the Phone

If you read this blog, you know how much PD works.

I am really so used to him being at work, at a work event, on the phone or on the laptop almost all the time.

But it ended up being a little comical that he was on the phone so much during our Chicago visit.  It was weird to see it through the eyes of others because it made me realize how ridiculous it is!
Here he is while we waited for the subway:
Him on a bus:
Him posing for a picture with me on a bus...boy it is a good thing he is cute:
He had to find a little corner of the American Girl store where he could get reception and we lost him for awhile.
Then he had to eat his Vietnamese noodle bowl for lunch with the phone on his ear.
I was a little too distracted to take pictures during those times.
After several hours of sightseeing we were about to get on a bus back home and his phone rang.
I looked everywhere for my indulgent patient wife face, but I couldn't find it and told him,
"DON'T answer it...you're done." 
And he knew he was.
Advice: Develop an excellent raport and friendship with your husband before having children or starting a super demanding all consuming career. 
I am so glad I did.
Advice: Marry the best guy ever.
I am so glad I did.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Windy City: American Girl Store

We went to the American Girl Place when we were in Chicago.  I must have been a little hormonal or somthing because I started to get choked up looking at all the beautiful dolls and watching the girls take it all in.  PD was visibly nauseous at the extent of the inventory (hey he is supposed to be the capitalist right!)

They have a cafe and theater, a hospital in case your doll suffers at the hand of a crazed brother or the family dog, and a hair salon:
The dolls and clothes are really beautiful.  My sister bought PK2 an outfit for her doll because PK2's birthday is coming up and I bought one for PK1 for being such a star pupil in Kindergarten this year.
It was really fun and a little overwhelming, and if you think our ecomomy is dead, you should visit American Girl Place.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Windy City: Part I

We visited my sister and her family in Chicago this weekend. I am going to try to write a little post about it each day this week in order to share all our fun times.  I apologize in advance that there seem to be more pictures of us doing crazy stuff than of actual Chicago hot spots.
Here we are waiting for the subway. 
The kids call it the train, and it is one of their favorite parts:
We also rode the bus:
We love Suzy Orman and her sound money advice and crazy jackets.  If you aren't familiar, she has a show where people call in and she tells them if they can afford to do stuff.  Unless you have your 401K maxed out and six months salary in the bank, she says, "DENIED" and won't let you go to Bermuda or buy new sofas.
Here are the PKs, my sister and her kids (same ages as mine) in the big city.  I can't believe that my sister lives and is raising her kids in such an urban area.  I was walking into her grocery store with her once and looked up and I was in the shadow of the Sears Tower!
Here are the little ones getting a ride.  This was the first trip no one had a stroller!
And here we got the biggest banana splits ever!  (click the picture to see it bigger)
More to come tomorrow...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter, from our family to yours.     He is Risen indeed!

Our church service was such a blessing this morning.  The music was incredible and our good friends from China were able to join us.  During a time of testimony I started crying hearing what God had done in people's lives.  I know it is ok to be emotional, but I was so embarrassed and really had to get control before I went to what Oprah calls, "the ugly cry."

Then we had a wonderful meal at the PGs' home.  They were so gracious to include our friends.  My key lime pie was one of my best yet...please make it for the people you love. And the PGs didn't cut any corners on the bounty!

Our baby Chinese friend (not pictured) liked everyone more than he liked me.

This picture isn't the best, I think I snapped it when everyone still had food in their mouths.
And in case anyone thought my children were deprived, they each received three easter baskets filled with gourmet candies, stuffed animals, craft supplies and toys.  PG even bought them each a pair of darling pink sandals.  It took forever to load the van full of the gifts and leftovers.
Then LNG (little neighbor girl) invited them over for an Easter Egg hunt with her family.  I visited with the ladies on the porch and PD got to watch Tiger lose the Master's.
PD did have to go into work tonight, but when he got home he caught me watching the Amazing Race and raiding the Easter candy. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Holy Week Part II

In addition to focusing more on Holy Week myself, I wanted  to create some traditions for our family as well.

One of the things we did was this series of candle lightings. Every day for a week you read a passage from the Bible about sin or our need for a Saviour and then snuff out a candle. The idea is that on Good Friday and Saturday all the candles are out and it is dark and then on Easter you re-light them all.

I wasn't completely satisfied with the passages. I adapted it from a couple different sources. I hope PD and I can rework it a little for next year, but the candles and discussions have still helped us focus this week. The passages also helped PK1 to understand more at the Maundy Thursday service we went to.

I also bought the book The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith.

It has the most beautiful illustrations.  (You can click on the pictures to see them bigger if you want to.) 
Here is Palm Sunday:
The Last Supper:
The Crucifixion:
The Ascension:
Overall I feel as though my prayers were answered and I have been in the right frame of mind this week.  The girls too, know what the week is about. 
Our Maundy Thursday service was incredible.  The music, the readings, the cross, the communion and foot washing were very emotional and powerful.  It did not seem like we were just going through the motions.  But we were exhausted.  And we aren't sure if it was too much for PK1. 
We didn't want to overwhelm her...but maybe that is exactly what we should be..overwhelmed.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Week

It is so much more difficult for me to focus emotionally and mentally on Easter than on Christmas for some reason.  I have been thinking for awhile about how to remedy this and I decided that I would tackle this problem in the same way I should face all problems:

1. Pray and ask God to help me focus on the true meaning of Easter, that by the power of the Holy Spirit he would transform my heart and mind in this area.

2. Obey...do the things that I know to do.  Go to church, read God's Word, pray, continue to rid my life of things that are not Holy.

Two books have helped me in my endeavor:

and a series of commentaries written by Luther, Augustine, Schaeffer and of course my favorite, John Piper.

The other thing I decided to do was rid our home of bunnies and pagan Easter decorations.  Our good friends from small group who host a Messianic Seder every year, did a presentation on what all the pagan symbols of Easter mean, so some of us have been in search of more godly Easter decorations.  This is a little difficult to do without adorning your house with a bunch of crucifixes, but I have a few ideas.

PD's mom got me this beautiful angel:

I want to collect a few more of those and maybe also something with lambs.  We have been doing some Easter devotions as a family and it is amazing how much symbolism there is with lambs.

Tonight we are going to Maundy Thursday.  It will be the first time for PK1.  She will not be able to take communion, but she understands the symbolism of the Lord's Supper. 

For an explanation and some interesting thought on Maundy Thursday go here:  Maundy Thursday

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Safety First

PK2 fell off her bike today.  It wasn't that bad, but she wasn't wearing her helmet and she cried a little and PD had to carry her home.  It scared her a little though.

Luckily PK1 was able to ride her bike home for her, because she wasn't riding her bike.  PK1 does not like riding bikes.  She hates it and goes so slow that you can hardly tell she is moving, kind of like those giant turtles.  We do make her ride once in awhile.  But that is a different post.

Anyway, after they got home, PK2 ran to the garage and got her helmet.  She wore it the rest of the evening, even to ride her cozy coup.

I guess she wasn't taking any more chances.