Friday, May 5, 2017

Easter on retreat

After our retreat, we re-hide the kids' eggs in our
backyard for another egg hunt. 

Around Easter each year I always marvel at the way childhood traditions form us. Easter weekend was always a family time for us growing up. Easter baskets were opened, candy eaten, pretty dresses put on, church attended, and grandparents came to visit for a big meal.  Usually on Easter the weather wasn't really warm enough for the spring dresses and sandals that we really wanted to wear.  

Our children here in Texas as part of Hope Fellowship will have a totally different experience of Easter to remember. We spend the weekend with church family at a retreat center out in the country. It's amazing to me that we can even make this work. Maybe we have enough people in our church who aren't really from Waco and so family obligations and traditions are less pronounced and easier to change. However we make it work, pretty much everyone makes the Easter Retreat a priority every year--we can sit around and name the few people who weren't able to make it and know their reasons why. 

love the awesome hand-me-down dresses Eliza has
right now...

We arrive on Friday evening for a Good Friday service. This year one of our teens put together the service with his mentor. It included original art work he made of the 12 stations of the cross. 

On Saturday, the children run wild up the trees, over the fields, and through the hills. Ben looks forward most of all to spending the day climbing everyone's favorite tree. Eliza spent pretty much the whole day running around with her little friend Dot. Community prayer time in the afternoon, a variety show in the evening and fresh cooked meals all day long. 

Easter morning starts with the Easter service and flowering of the cross, followed by a big brunch and Easter egg hunt. The Easter Retreat is both a highlight of the year and an exhausting undertaking. But it seems like an excellent way for our kids to know the joy of Easter. We do of course miss our families on Easter and would be happier for them to be closer, but its also meaningful to be able to celebrate the most important day in the church calendar with our church family. 

Eliza and her fairy garden, about a year after JB made it. We've
loved seeing how its grown and changed over the year.

Jumping the hay bales at the Easter Retreat 

Our first carrot! 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Winter at home

Time machine to go back to Daddy's birthday 

Serious about drawing a stegosaurus 

Eliza Jane was quite charmed by getting dirty in the garden

Learning to ride without training wheels 

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I worked with Ben on this masterpiece over a few weeks this winter. 

Spring cleaning and peanuts 

fort making 


A Spring Break visit from Grandmommy and Granddad. 

Most of the pics this time of Eliza Jane and her granddad. 

fun with shaving cream after supper 

Winter outings

Watercolors at the Wetlands --a perfect after school treat 

Winter camping at Meridian State Park with our camping buddies 

Ben loves "nature hikes" in the park--I think this was a day off from school.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Snowy Christmas in NY

Ben and Liza played for hours in a fresh layer of snow mid-week. 

The family told me there was "not much" snow on the ground before we arrived.
The Texans had a different perspective : ) 

First thing Ben did out of the car from the airport was
build a snowman. 

We even managed a little sledding in the "not much" snow. 

And then there was Christmas! 

Everything carefully arranged for Santa and his reindeer 

Eliza really upped her coloring and drawing game during quiet times
with her grammy. 

Riding the Polar Express with cousin Jack the day after Christmas. 

Meeting Santa at the north pole 

My favorite day--JB and I got to explore by ourselves and
found this wonderful foot path at Lake Minnewaska. 

Tubing at Mt. Peter. There's not much cuter than a 3 year old in a snow suit.
She pulled that tube up the hill and went down dozens of times.  

And sledding at the school hill during a snow storm 

Cozy cousin time. Unc Bunk knows what to do. 

And crazy cousin time 

What a funny guy 

Oldest and youngest cousins 

And a stop at the Liberty science center with grandpa before our evening
flight back to Texas. That's Eliza inside the infinity walk--a giant structure
that looks like it is suspended in the middle of the museum. 

Bouldering at the science center. Amazing place.