Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Fun

I have alot of pictures from my recent trip to Michigan to see my family. It's hard to narrow it down to a reasonable number for blogging purposes. I'm also surprised at the pictures I DIDN'T GET. (See List Below). But I hope you enjoy them. (I'll probably post the rest of them to Facebook eventually).

The first "fun" we had was in Flint- we took the kids to Byram Lake to swim. The pictures of that were taken on my mom's camera, so I don't have them, yet.

Then we went to Lansing for a few days.

Jacob and my niece Kelli playing the Wii. Since we don't have one, this is always a must-do when we visit Aunt Melissa.

One of the first things we did was to take the kids to a free history museum in downtown Lansing. It was a great museum- I could hardly believe it was free. In the sound room, dancing....Honest Abe, Honest Sarah and Honest Kelli....My favorite were the little rooms they had set up to look like rooms would have looked throughout history. I liked the kitchens the best.
Then we took the kids to Michigan's Adventure amusement park. I was about to say that Jacob has a hard time making a normal face for pictures, but with Jacob, this is fairly normal. He seemd completely content being the only boy in the group and keeping us all entertained.

Jacob taking grandma for a ride:

One of the only rides that I rode (for fear of hurting my back further)....It was raining off and on most of the day... apparently it's not fun to ride a roller coaster in the rain because the water feels like shards of glass hitting your face. Jacob and Kelli on the Wacky Whales. :-)This is a picture of the "creepy guy" in the background. We were trying to be inconspicuous. He had on that yellow poncho, pink back pack and was holding two stuffed animals... staring at one of the rides with a permanent grin on his face. This picture does not do justice to how funny he looked. :-)Then, a couple days later, my sister and I decided, after having lunch at Spartys (Coneys!) to drive to the Mackinac Bridge... 3 1/2-4 hours away. It was very fun, for the short time we got to spend there! (Thank you, Melissa, for tolerating my spontaneity and taking me to see the bridge! It meant alot to me!)

This is the hotel that we stayed in at least a couple times as kids when our parents would take us up to Mackinac on vacation. It looked exactly the same.
In St. Ignace (across the bridge), we got pizza and ate it outside (despite the sprinkling rain) and you can't see it in this picture, but we were on a deck overlooking the water. The pizza was delicious (and cheap- $18 for all of us including drinks!). We got fudge in one of the stores you can see in the background.
Then we went to find Castle Rock. We drove about 20 miles out of our way because I thought I remembered where it was.... then we called OnStar. (It turned out to be a pretty route they sent us on to get back to it!) This is Castle Rock.... now, you are looking at the rock formation to the left in the picture with the flag on top. On the right is just the sign with a "model" of the rock.
Kids at the top:

Melissa and I at the top. I thought I might die climbing up there (it's stairs)... I had to stop and sit down twice and I thought I'd never catch my breath. But I made it. At the top, Melissa, who is terrified of heights, held onto the flag pole beam for dear life the entire time. :-) I was proud of her for facing her fears, though!

Back in the gift shop, the girls tried on silly hats:

Driving back to the bridge, we saw part of a beautiful rainbow (God's promise of Hope)....

And here is the bridge from the car....

And the sunset from the bridge felt like God's reminder to me that He is always with me and He is always good....

Here are BONUS PICTURES: Back on my birthday (July 9), we drove to Pigeon Forge for one night just to see the Titanic Museum. We had a great time. Here are the kids in the very small hotel pool:

And standing in front of the Titanic Museum (horrible picture, I know). I highly recommend this museum. We went because over the past school year, Libby developed a big interest in the story of the Titanic and she really wanted to see the museum. I also enjoyed driving through Gatlinburg and the mountains!

As always, God never ceases to amaze me with beauty....


- Pictures with my Uncle Mike in Linden at McDonalds and during our visit to the cemetary where my grandparents are buried
- Pictures of my dad or the kids with my dad
- Pictures of my kids with their grandparents in Ohio, or their new dog
- Pictures of my lunch visit with my sister and our friend Denise who I hadn't seen in.... probably 20 years and also pictures of us snooping around our old church building trying to look in the windows (I cannot believe I forgot to take pictures of Denise!
- Pictures of my Uncle Wayne, who I forgot goes to my parents' church now and so I was pleasantly surprised to see him
-Picture of my mom's backside after she sat in water on the ferris wheel at Michigan's Adventure.

I can't tell you things will always go like they should, but I can tell you GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD.

(Sara Groves)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


It hit me tonight while Pine-Soling the bathroom and listening to Chris Tomlin.... out of the blue and as if someone punched me in the stomach....

Beth is moving to Kentucky in a few days.
Within the past couple weeks, I have visited her in Kentucky and seen her new place, spent some time with her new love and decided he is worthy of her (and me!), spent time at her house here helping to pack, clean, babysit... laughing, talking serious........

....why the delay in the realization that my kindred-spirit friend is moving away?

Denial probably. I've suffered enough loss. I can't imagine more. And now that I have (imagined it)- the familiar dull ache of loss is more than I expected. What I am saying is that it just hurts.

She is off to a new life in an old place... living in her grandma's old house, closer to Chris and Nancy... doing what is best for her and her little munckin with the bright blue eyes. She has been through so much and I see only brighter days ahead for her and that makes me happy.

But... who do I have in my life who will ride a carousel with me.... and enjoy it?And what will I do without this preschooler to brighten my day ever so often?

I got to lay down and take a nap with him today. As I pretended to sleep, his jabbering slowed and then he took off his socks and laid them, one by one, on my arm... then fell asleep next to me. Who will lay their socks on my arm when Sam is gone?
Who laughs at the most inappropriate times with me? Who "gets me" like Beth?
Facebook, cell phones, email.... true. In 2010, there is no way to lose someone you choose to keep. And then there's always heaven. But...... Just but.
My Dear Friend,
Miss you I will, sad I am.
I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. 3 John 14

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I do NOT share the above picture because I look so beautiful with my eyes closed. I share it because I think that look on Sarah's face is precious as she looks at Libby. "New baby sister? This is what everyone was all excited about? Yeah, well.... there ain't room in this house for the both of us....... "
She likes Libby okay these days, though. And I think Libby's pretty okay. Check out her new blog, but particularly the post about her mommy! http://www.libbyluslife.blogspot.com/

More Birthday Fun

I can't figure out how to crop these into individual pictures.... but here are some pictures of me through the years. (You may be able to click to make them bigger... sometimes you can!) I know you want to see just how adorable I was! Something about turning 40 just makes one want to reflect on where they've been. Isn't it weird looking at baby pictures of yourself and thinking about how that was YOU... I guess it's because we don't have memories of what it felt like to be a baby... but I just can't get my head wrapped around the thought that the soul named Brenda that I know today (because I'm her) is the same soul that occupied the tiny baby body, too. (It's also 3:00 a.m., so that may help you understand where I'm coming from!)

Friday, July 2, 2010

40s in the Bible

Well, I have 15 minutes to post this and be true to my word about posting on "40s" in the bible today. :-)

I actually found a neat website that I am going to explore further when I get a minute to do so....http://www.40day.com/index.shtml. I like the idea of a "40 Day Miracle" when I'm about to turn 40. :-) So here are 4 interesting 40s.....

It rained for 40 days and 40 nights when Noah was in the ark.... during which time, the earth was cleansed of ugliness.

Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days and then brought down the ten commandments.

The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land.

Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness... and then stood against Satan, physically weak but spiritually strong.

The point I am trying to take to heart in my life is that important things happen after 40 days or years with God. What has God been preparing me for all this time? I don't know- but I can't wait to find out!