Thursday, May 31, 2007

Noticing Nature

We went to Abilene this past weekend to spend some time with Ashley. She is taking a Maymester and has decided to stay in Abilene for the summer. I miss her not being home this summer so it was great to get to spend some time with her. While we were there, Ashley got to meet Jeremy's newest pet, Zeus. He has wanted one forever and now that he is older, I finally gave in. Ashley was not to happy to see him though! Especially since Jeremy was chasing her around to me him!

Ashley & Jeremy at Prairie Dog Town in Abilene.

Jeremy and his new pet, Zeus!
(And no, I have not held it! I've touched it, but not held it :)

While we were in Abilene we ate at a place called "Brick Oven Pizza". It's over by Hobby Lobby. Even though Ashley has been there for 3 years, it was the 1st time we had ever eaten there. It may be fairly new, I'm not sure. Anyway, the pizza was probably some of the best pizza I have ever eaten. If you're in Abilene, you should definitely check it out.

The weekend was great and the weather was beautiful in Abilene. Blue skies and sunshine the whole weekend. Completely opposite from what we heard the Dallas area had been over the weekend.

As much as I hate the 3 hours it takes to get to Abilene, I love the view during the drive. Most people think it's a really boring drive. And it probably is, there really isn't much to see on the way. But the closer you get to Abilene the more of God's country you get to see. Lot's of trees, less buildings and during the spring the wonderful beauty of the Texas Wildflowers lining the highway. I enjoy the scenery of the drive.

As we made our way back to Mesquite on Sunday afternoon it was getting dark and we were headed into rain. We hit some pretty heavy rain, but also some times of sun. What I noticed coming back were the clouds. They were really amazing. I have always been fascinated by clouds and their ability to do what they do. Some of the clouds were flat, some were huge with dark bottoms and you knew the rain could just drop at any minute and some were just huge, puffy, beautiful clouds. I've often wondered if those huge puffy clouds could hold us up. If we could just jump and bounce on them or lay down and get lost in the cushyness of them.

I remember as a child driving and looking at clouds or just laying in the yard looking at the clouds and discovering what images they looked like. Sometimes they looked like animals or dragons, sometimes like angels. I still enjoy looking for "things" in the clouds. How can anyone look at clouds and then believe there is no God? That's what I love about clouds and nature in general. God is everywhere! No one but God could make clouds just float around in the sky. Especially the ones with rain in the them, you know they must weigh an enormous amount.

The most beautiful thing was the sky underneath the clouds. It was so many different shades of bright blues it was just amazing! Like I said, God is everywhere in nature. The sad thing was, the closer we got to home and the closer we got to the city, those blues began to fade and were not as bright. Our cities have covered up some of the most beautiful things that God created. I think it's like that for us sometimes. It's really easy to be all caught up in God when we are surrounded by His beauty. But when we get "closer to the city" does our love for God fade as we get busy with all the "things" around us?

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. Philippians 2:14-16

May we all shine like the stars in the heavens.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Catching Up...

It's been a while since I've blogged. The past 4 weeks have been extremely busy. I haven't had time to even read blogs, much less write one of my own. It has been really hard not having time to especially read blogs. I enjoy doing that so much. School is out now though and I hope to catch up on my reading and hopefully post a little more often.

Well, I'll catch you up on what we've been up to lately. It started about the 2nd week of April with Jeremy's prom. Yes, Jeremy is old enough to be going to prom. Soooo hard to believe! In fact, he is now officially a senior in high school! Ashley is now officially a senior at ACU! Where does the time go. Here are a couple of pictures from prom that night.

Ashley & Jeremy

Jeremy & Warren (Warren was standing on the down slope of a hill. He's not "that" much shorter than Jeremy :) Actually, he might be :)

Warren & Ashley

A couple of weeks after prom, Chris and I went with Jeremy's choir from high school (70 kids!!) on their choir trip for 5 days. We went to Branson and St. Louis. The trip was a lot of fun, the bus driver was a psycho (a story in and of itself :), but all in all a fun trip. Of course by the time we got back we were exhausted. We went non stop for 5 days from 7:30 in the morning until 11:00 at night. On the way back, a nine hour drive, we had 3 freshman girls sitting behind us, who did nothing but shriek and carry on for 9 solid hours! No joke, they NEVER slept for even 1 minute the entire 9 hours back. Believe me, I was so ready to get off of that bus :)

Then we had the opening of the new Highland Oaks auditorium which is just amazing! Jeremy's choir banquet was the next week (he was elected the new choir president for next year by the students and was also named a senior leader for next year by the faculty). The same week he also had 2 choir performances. In one of the performances he sang a solo of "Casting Crowns" Lifesong. He put together clips from the "Passion of the Christ" to be playing while he was singing. He did an amazing job! The next week was my 4 year old class's preschool graduation. Obviously, it's been a busy several weeks. It's been a good busy, but I'm sure glad it's summer!

Ashley is staying in Abilene this summer and working :( It's the first summer she hasn't been home for the whole summer so that is sad for me. That's always our time to hang out together. Although someone else is taking up a lot of her time now a days. You might have noticed the guy in the pictures from Jeremy's prom with him and Ashley. That is Ashley's boyfriend (yes I said it, boyfriend) Warren. He is a really sweet guy and we really like him a lot. He is the youth minister in Clifton, TX. He graduated last year from ACU and he and Ashley met working together at the Abilene newspaper. They started dating this past February. He spends a lot of time driving back and forth from Clifton to Abilene.

Summer is almost here and it promises to be busy as well, but with no school it will be a lot more manageable. Jeremy is going to Encounter at LCU the 1st of June, to Honduras the 1st of July, then to choir camp the very next week, the week after that will be Summer Bible Quest (VBS) at Highland Oaks, then at the end of July Chris and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and in August Ashley and I are going to see Celine Dion in Las Vegas!

Well, I guess that's about it. I had told several people after Jeremy's performance in Beauty and the Beast back in January I was going to try and post a video. I think we've finally figured it out. So I will close with a couple of videos from Beauty and the Beast and also his solo of "Lifesong". Have a great week!

P.S. Even though there is sometimes no picture on the YouTube screen, it still works. Just click on the YouTube image.