Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Sanctuary West

We've gone to a home church setting for now and we're loving it! We have a meal together on Sunday evenings and then share what God has been speaking to us and spend time in prayer together. One of our friends recently challenged us to be committed to the teaching and to each other! I am excited to see how God uses us to encourage and strengthen and challenge each other and to continue shining His light in the dark places.

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Remembering Dad

This is my wonderful dad.

Bob and I had a great coffee time this morning, remembering my dad and reminiscing about him. Today marks the 19th year of his death. He had a cancerous brain tumour and fought it bravely for a year.

I have about 5 million things about dad bouncing around in my brain this morning...memories, qualities about him, conversations with him or about him, things I want my children to know about him (even though they never knew him, they all love their Papa Bob)...I'll try to get a few of them written here.

Dad was a follower of Jesus and church pastor was his profession. He was a sinner, just like the rest of us, but he did leave a beautiful godly legacy for his children and grandchildren. He loved God, the Word, and people.

He had a great fear of the Lord (in the awe-struck, *otherness* of God, I am small and God is huge way) and taught that important belief and practice to those of us he influenced. His doctoral thesis was even on the subject of fearing God.

He loved studying and teaching and explaining the Bible. I remember calling him several times when I was in university and trying to grasp a verse or concept I had read in the Word. He would delight in my call and in taking the time to walk me through the verse until I grasped the meaning of it. Bob often tells people that dad's love of the Word is where my love of the Word comes from.

He was a big hugger and gave the best bear hugs of anyone I know. I attribute my love of affection and hugs to him. I cannot tell you how many people have told me since dad's death that they could be talking to him in the hallway at church with lots of other people milling around or walking by but dad's focus was on them and only them and that he made them feel like they were the only person on the planet at that moment. I've learned the importance of really listening and giving my full attention to someone when they are talking to me (not that I have it down or never get distracted, but I recognize the importance and know it is sometimes a lost art in our busy society).

There are so many other things I could mention. I'll just share one more memory. I'm turning 40 soon and this is one sweet memory that I've carried with me since I was very young, probably two or three years old. My dad would sit in our old brown rocking chair, hold me in his lap and sing God Is So Good to me over and over. It's a precious song and one that each of my children knows and loves to sing now, too. One of dad's favourite things to say to people, even at the end of his life was *God is good!*

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for giving me a wonderful man to be my earthly father. A man who knew You intimately and loved You and wanted everyone around him to know and love You. A man who knew the importance of relationships and was passionate about people. A man whom You used in beautiful ways to share Your love and shine the light of Jesus. Thank You for dad's example to me and to our family. May we continue to remember the godly legacy he left and may we continue moving forward making Your name and ways known for Your glory and praise.

You are good!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Tex-Mex Goodness

One of our favourite foods is Tex-Mex! Mexican restaurants are a little hard to come by here, so over the past six years, I have learned to make my own south of the border cuisine...

Fajitas, black beans (okay, those are actually a carry-over from our time in Venezuela), chips and homemade guacamole

Spanish rice

Apple enchiladas with vanilla ice cream for dessert!


The Princess and the Super-Freak

I love watching my children play and use their imaginations...some more so than others! LOL! They were having so much fun in costume this week that I decided to take a picture to document it.

Maya is always a princess, although at times there may be a variation on the generic princess (cowgirl princess, jedi princess, dino princess...).

But with Ben, you never know! And, by the way, he was the one who came up with his dress-up name!

His creativity and drama never cease to amaze me.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rachel Barkey

Please, please, please make time to watch this video of Rachel Barkey!!!!



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Gardens

Ahh...I love springtime in Ontario! And I love being able to visit these beautiful gardens to see God's amazing creation, colours and creativity!!!

Can you smell the lilacs? Delicious!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

North Carolina Trip

Still battling sickness here, but I wanted to finally get these pictures posted.

Our trip to North Carolina was great...well, at least the actual four days we were in Asheville were great. (The trip down and back were pretty hellacious, but we made it through, by God's grace.) My mom, brother and nephew flew in from Texas, and we all stayed together in a lovely rental house.

On our drive down to Asheville we were able to stop by Windy Gap, the Young Life camp where Bob met Christ. It was a great time for us as a family to see this very significant place in Bob's life. It is SO beautiful and we made a great family memory by taking time out of our trip to spend a little time there.

One of the JOYS for me on the this trip was getting to meet some of my Five In A Row mom friends, Heather and Rachel, as well as their beautiful girls. We met them at the Nature Center and had such a great time (and later that evening I was able to go out on the town with them and was so amazed by how connected we you, friends!).

The next day was the Bent Creek Baptist Church reunion. This is the church where my dad was the pastor before we moved to Texas. It was a very sweet time with dear friends, some of whom we had not seen in 20-30 years!

Then we had a great time with our extended family. Thank you guys for driving in so we could all be together at the rental house! Here Patrick and I are with Grandma.

These are the Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas and Canada Hamilton cousins (and although we forgot to have beautiful Stephanie get in this shot...we did get her in the fourth picture down). I'm sorry I didn't get pictures of my uncles and aunts.

On our last day, we were able to get out and enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Pisgah Inn, the Cradle of Forestry, Looking Glass Falls and the Davidson River (brrr!).

We were so blessed with the rental house we chose. The views were spectacular and we enjoyed the times we had just to hang out and relax a tiny bit. I, especially, enjoyed the amazing sunrise each morning!

Here is a perfect depiction of what our trip home was like...poor Ava was so sick. We stayed an extra day in Ohio to take her to urgent care and for her to rest...she slept the entire day!

We LOVE to travel together as a family, but it is always nice to come back home!