Monday, August 25, 2008

Horseback riding with Opa

We've been home for a week now. And I realize that there are some stories that didn't get blogged. (Can you use blog like a verb?) So I'm going to list a few of them now. Starting with horseback riding. No trip to see my parents is complete without horseback riding.
Blake and Kendra show so much promise when they get up on a horse it just makes my dad pine for the chance to get them riding regularly! Kendra has no fear. Which is great for those who admire riding and horrible for mothers and Omas.

Luke climbed up willingly with Daddy. But the jury was out until they got going. Once they started riding up and down the pasture he began to laugh. Then he started singing quietly to himself. He was so content! And adorable.
Dad's horse Shasta is such a great horse! Each kid climbs up and she changes her style to suit each of them. Becca is definately a more cautious rider and every time Shasta calms down when she climbs on and lets her ride like a lady.

My Grandpa

While we were there we saw my Grandpa who we always called Papa. One night he came for dinner and Josh cooked up some of the salmon he and Blake had caught. The kids sang for him. They love to sing together and sound very good. These days they sing "Bad Day" Luke joins in on the chorus.... sort of. And Grandpa gave each one of them a silver dollar. Just like the one he and Grandma gave me when I was a kid.

Last dinner at the Spaghetti Establishment

Most nights while we were visiting my parents we had dinner at my parents restaurant. Some nights we had friends or family there as we got caught up on life and shared about what God is doing in Slovenia. We sort of got into a habit of what we liked to order. Becca found out she likes Thousand Island dressing. Kendra can eat Mac and Cheese with the best of them.
Luke learned how to order for himself! It was quite a shock when our waitress turned up at the table and Luke patiently waited his turn and then blurted out, "Fries! Aaaple juish. Peash."
Blake has crossed into that time of life when he can order with the big boys! That kid can really eat! But he never gets wider...just taller. He's already wearing bigger shoes than me!

" I lay in the grass"

One day Luke was at my cousin Stacia's house and he told her, "I lay in the grass." Then he laid down on his back, stretched his arms behind his head, laced his fingers together and set a pose to relax! Too cute! Here's Kendra joining in the fun!

Josh and Rebecca preparing for Sunday

Our last Sunday in the US Josh preached at Columbia Community Church a place that has become dear to us. My parents attend there and last spring I taught at the women's retreat. Rebecca sang in slovene and stole the show before things got started. Josh started off by way of introduction saying that some of the women had heard me teach and that he was sorry but he was afraid his message would be a downgrade. Well, Josh is an amazing teacher and communicator and the Lord really used him to bless these folks in this community of faith. Afterwards a woman came and told Josh, "It wasn't a downgrade." She was right!

Josh and Luke

I just love this shot!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Friends and Family

Our time in Portland was full of opportunity to be with people we love but don't get to see often. I had one full day to spend with my best friends from high school. From l to r is Holly, me, Kelly and Kendall. It always refreshes my soul to be with these women who have known and loved me for so many years. I feel deeply connected to them despite the fact that we don't get to share in the day to day and their committment to me stirs up feelings of gratefulness and nostalgia.

Blake and Josh along with my dad went on a men's retreat. Luke and Rebecca stayed with my mom in the Tri-Cities but Kendra had to come back to Portland for a dental appointment. I had planned to be meeting with people on Saturday and it was bound to be boring for her. Until my mom's best friend Lynda invited Kendra to spend the day with her. They went to a birthday party, shopping, to the movies, out to eat.... at one point they called me and she said, "Mom! It's Kendra day today!"

Now we've closed our time in Portland. Blake and Josh went on to meet the Patty men for a fishing trip in Alaska and Kendra and I rode home to the Tri-Cities with my dad where Josh and Blake will join us and we'll finish out our stateside time. It's great to be with family and just soak them up. August 3rd was my dad's birthday so my brother came from Seattle where he is working before he returns to Costa Rica and we had a great weekend together. Luka just hung on Uncle Matt as if they've always been together. And of course we took lots of pictures. This one was after Uncle Matt treated us all to the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth. The best part was laughing at how goofy we all looked in the 3D glasses.