Friday, June 29, 2012

family reunion

Last weekend Barbara's extended family converged on Seattle
in our first real reunion ever.
Dad has been with the Lord for almost a year,
and we know that without our parents on earth, 
we'll have to be more intentional about these times together.

Amy and Mark build a puzzle of the world with J&D
 It was a sweet time of playing together, singing, eating, 
talking, remembering, laughing, crying, and catching up.

University Baseball Catcher B plays a backyard game with uncles and cousins
 Two of my wonderful sisters hosted us in their cozy homes (thank you, J&J!)

in the pink!

Grill Master K prepared his delectable chicken! Thanks, K!!

 And with all that great chicken, Michael chose a hot dog?!?!?

The weather was chilly, but the fellowship was warm

Convergence of cousins!
Little J tells a 'knock-knock' joke.  Toodles, J!!

Mark catches up with R&K
 Below: us eight siblings

We miss our sister, Shirley, but we know that her reunion with Christ is much better!

 For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
Pleasures pure and undefiled,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

Michael, Amy and Elise walk to see the animals with their cousin, K, and little second cousins J&H

And yes, we were all taking photos.  :)

Three handsome men

My big brother Carl and me

Mark with one of his hiking buddies, S
 The grand-nephews and nieces had a great time with Mark;
they dived under a table at one sister's house to see how many of them could fit.  
I was told they squeezed 10 of them under there!
Then he escorted three of them off on a hike at the park...
it turned out to be a little further than Mark anticipated,
but he and Michael loved their cheerful company!

 What wonderful times.
I miss you all already!

But I won't cry because it's over,
I'll smile because it happened.  
(a paraphrase of a quote by Dr. Seuss)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Sixteen years ago (June 19)
two beautiful, tiny twin girls were born here in this city.

To celebrate their birthday,
 Amy and Elise started off their day with a cold morning run
with Mark, Michael, and their cousin, Marcus.

Later that day we visited Gasworks Park in Seattle

 with great views of the Seattle skyline!

Then a walk to see the Troll under the Aurora Bridge in Fremont
on the way to a tour of Theo's Chocolate Factory.
There were lots of birthday samples for all of us on the tour! (Yum!)

 Back home in the afternoon,
Amy and Elise picked and arranged bouquets of flowers
from their aunt's beautiful garden

They were serenaded by Michael (on his recently purchased trumpet!)
and with other less traditional Happy Birthday songs...
lots of fun and laughter!

Grandma brought two Coldstone Creamery cakes for the occasion...
they were amazingly delicious!
Thank you, Grandma!
Happy Sixteenth Birthday, Amy and Elise!

We are SO blessed by your presence in our lives.
When you were born all those years ago, we thanked God for you.
And we continue to thank Him each day for the beauty of who you are,
for your gifts and abilities, and for the joy of being your parents.

A later birthday cake baked by Aunt Judy...the celebration goes on!

To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling
 and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy -  
 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! 
Jude 1:24&25

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

sweet times

It's been a whole week since we've recorded anything here,
but a full, rich, special week it's been!

Amy and Michael prep for their cousin to pressure wash Grandma's walkway

The pressure-washing team gets ready to go in for a pizza break!

Cousins collaborate to cook a Father's Day brunch

Cousins enjoying Lake Washington and the ducks that roam the shore

Sister and Brother in a quiet moment on the shoreline

Basking in the beauties of the PNW!

Time with family is invaluable.  We carry special memories with us!

With Grandma and Grandpa
 These are sweet times.

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life! 
 ~Albert Einstein

Monday, June 18, 2012

thanks to Serena ♥

Thank you, Serena, 
for our new set of family photos!
You're the best!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

can't help but smile...

We've been smiling this week over so many things that have made us glad,
like toasted blueberry bagels,
hot water in the taps,
the luxury of deliciously warm dry clothes tumbling out of a dryer,
text messages and hugs from family,
red, juicy cherries,
and cozy blankets to snuggle under while we catch up on rest.

 Here are a few photos of other things that have made us smile...
Mark's mom generously planned a trip for us ladies to see
in an amazing production of Coppelia.

Mom, Mark's sister Amanda, Amy & Elise at the ballet

The music was lovely,
the set and costumes were gorgeous,
and the dancing and acting superb!
I think it was the most FUN ballet I've ever seen!

Thank you, Mom, for the very wonderful treat!

We're smiling over the times we've been able to enjoy the amazing beauty
here in the Pacific Northwest.
We went for a hike on Tuesday, despite the rain and cold,
and loved every minute!

Thank you, Amanda and Marcus, for helping us blaze the trail,
for borrowed shoes to wear,
and for the fun picnic lunch at the end!

How could we keep from smiling in the company of 
our sweet family - a few of Barbara's great-nephews and nieces!

Their little siblings were already in bed - sorry we didn't get more photos,
but you look great in some of the Filipino clothes we brought for you to try on, guys!

And their mom, Serena, made us smile as she
shared her photography skills with us,
taking some shots of our family.

We plan to share more of these with you soon!

Thank you, Serena!!

Michael, Amy & Marcus work on a mini-dam

More smiles as we watch our kids 
enjoy all this breath-taking nature with their cousin.

We hiked down to a beach today,
shivering in the chilly Seattle June,

Amy, Elise and Mark on a very different type of beach!

...smiling at all the green, 
all the fresh air,
the sound of trickling streams and of quiet.

Everywhere, signs of the goodness of God!

Time with more family,
to share about our work,
catch up on their news,

and feast on fabulous home-cooked meals,
enjoying amazing hospitality!

One of Barbara's sisters, Jean, with Amy & Elise

Thank you, Jean and Curt, for all the smiles!

A glad heart makes a cheerful face
Proverbs 15:13

We have every reason to be glad...
every reason to smile!

What's making you smile today?