To Read on the Journey

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Groundhog Day!

a few years ago I threw in the towel on sending out Christmas cards, and started sending this instead- 

Highlights from  2013

Michael and I began a small group for young married couples which meets weekly in our home.  Coming alongside these sweet couples together has been a gift to our marriage.

In April we took the Kiss the Sky shop to Big Hat Days in Clovis, Ca (arts & crafts fair with 140,000 attending). We broke even financially, but what we gained relationally filled our souls with riches that are too many to count!

In the spring Noah and Emilie participated in “I {Heart} Fresno” - For 5 days they joined other teens to love Fresno by serving school-aged children with a daily recreation program, cleaning parks, painting over graffiti, and investing in the elderly.

Our dear friends the Cannedy’s and Gages joined us for Presidents weekend and Maycation at the Jones’ Bass Lake house. 18 of us FILL the house with laughter, music, games, stories, and enough food to feed a small island.

"The home of the world's greatest campers"- YSSC, POURED Jesus, fun, and friendships into our kids (and 3 cousins) for 2 fantastic weeks again this summer!  We love YSSC.  Also, there are only 132 days until camp... Josie’s counting.

While the kids were at YSSC, Michael and I traveled to “The South” to visit friends, Spinner & Ginger Allen. In North Carolina we ate BBQ "that'll make your tongue smack your brain."  We caught lightening bugs in South Carolina, and visited the Blue Ridge Mountains and historic Charleston. We finished our trip just the two of us traipsing around Atlanta, Georgia.  Michael would tell you that his highlight from the trip was stopping to smooch EVERY TIME we crossed a state-line. 

We had the privilege of being a host family to two teenage boys from China for a week this summer.  Jun Wen and Tanwey were terrific! Noah taught Jun Wen guitar, and they performed a little ditty for an audience at the end of the week. The boys, who marveled at the stars (which they don't see in China due to the thick pollution) had their first camp-out in our backyard.  

We stole the kids for one last hurrah before the school year started and headed to our favorite camping location, Sunset Beach. Unplugged from the world we plugged into each other with bike riding, beach play, campfire lounging and storytelling, and serious s’more indulging.

We became the parents of TWO HIGH SCHOOLERS! Noah (10th) and Emilie (9th) attend Minarets High School, where they're challenged by the digital learning environment and are involved in FFA, Key Club,Track Team (Noah) and X-Country (Emilie).

Sayonara Rick Springfield and Bryan Adams, Noah is my new teenage heartthrob! When he plays his guitar or ukelele I swoon!  Noah is a young man who walks in truth while seeing others with grace. He's not too cool to play with his sisters, to tackle his dad, or to show his mama love.  

We call Emilie “the house bestie." She's hands-down best friend to each one of us. She's intentional to play with Josie, to chat with Noah, to work alongside or joke with Daddy, and to melt with me in sweet conversation. She is tender and encouraging and fun. Emilie gives 110% to everything she does, Oh! and she is BEAUTIFUL in every. single. way. 

“Here comes the sun, du du du du” ... Josefiney Tortellini is a spunky, home schooling, 6th grader, who continues to delight us with tutus n’ mismatched socks, witty words, Spirit-filled prayers, songs, and with her scrumptious baking and cooking. She is joyful and thoughtful and looks for ways to serve others.
In November I turned thirty-ten (thirty-ten is the new forty).  2014 isn't just a new year, it's a new decade for me (and Michael, who'll be joining me soon).  And here's what I want for this new year and decade- to BE EXPECTANT.  These words are my prayer- "God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess in your wildest dreams!  He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently with is."  Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)

Denise, Michael, Noah (15), Emilie (14), Josie (almost 12)


The Every Day Extraordinary said...


Simply Sara said...

This made me miss you all over.

Your family is one of my favorites.