Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend Adventures: Lake Tahoe!!!

Oh my goodness!  What amazing blessings God keeps showering on our family!  On Thursday night we were given the gift of staying in a friends house in the Tahoe Keys in South Lake Tahoe for the weekend.  So on Friday we packed some bags, loaded the cooler and hit the road after dinner.  The kids slept (which was the plan) and we arrived at the beautiful house on the water about four hours later.  After a good nights sleep we had a lazy morning enjoying the quiet and the view - peaceful water surrounded by snow capped rugged hills.  After lunch we drove around the entire lake - it's big!  We stopped a number of times along the way, one stop was to do a waterfall hike (we are suckers for waterfalls).  Another hike was to see an actual castle, Vikingsholm.  It was all so BEAUTIFUL!  I understand why so many people in the Bay Area rave about this place.  They are low on snow at the moment, otherwise we would have also done some sledding.
This is the entry way in the house - the whole thing is beautiful!
on the beach
Eagle Falls 
The trail
top of the trail
Lower Eagle Falls
Emerald Bay with the rest of Lake Tahoe behind
The rugged mountains all around us
sharing a milkshake
Today has been one of the most restful, peaceful Sabbaths on record.  We are doing a bunch of this:
playing games
And this:
All while listening to some hymns of worship and praise to our amazing God who created this beauty surrounding us.  Zac even got to go on a run for some alone time :)

We head home tonight after dinner, so please pray for safe travels.

Praise God for this much needed restful weekend and the generosity of new friends.  We hope to come back in summer and spend some time on the water!

A Psalm for the Sabbath
You make me glad by your deeds, Lord; 
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.  
How great are your works, 
Lord, how profound your thoughts!  
-Psalm 92: 4-5

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekend Adventures: Ice Skating!

After church today we meet some friends and the ice skating rink in San Jose.  It was a ton of fun and everyone did really well.  Zac and the kids starting out using buckets to balance (great idea!), but by the end of the time they were all going on their own.

Zac only fell a dozen or so times :)  He was determined to skate without a bucket!
After skating we warmed up by walking across the street to a beautiful Japanese park.

In the evening we had Sushi dinner with Aldo, one of Zac's former co-workers in Lacey who starts working with Zac on his project next week.

A beautiful Sabbath of fun, nature, family and friends.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weekend Adventures: Monarchs at the Beach!

Today we drove to Natural Bridges beach in Santa Cruz to see the monarchs that are wintering there.  It was so neat to see them flying around and all bunched together in the trees.  We also walked out to the beach to see the "natural bridge" which was very cool.
It blows me away that we can enjoy all these outdoor things and hike in January!! The weather was beautiful and the sunset amazing.  But the best thing about it was that Uncle Casey was with us!  He's here for two weeks for a work thing, and we are having lots of fun hanging out with him.

It's been a good week getting back into school after our winter break.  There are also some possible big changes coming up... but that's for a later post ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Four Words for 2015

For the last few years I have prayed about a word for each of us.  A word that would focus my prayers over the year.  This year is no different, but first, let's review last year's words.  Please note that we had NO IDEA we were moving to California and Zac would be involved with an amazing start-up opportunity when God gave me these words last year:

Zac - PURSUE - we could feel that there was going to be a change coming, but had no idea what it was.  At this time last year the Holy Spirit was also working in us to be comfortable about moving, but we had no idea where.  Zac has pursued some crazy ideas this year and God has blessed him for it!  Some day I will be able to disclose exactly what those things are, but for now you will just have to guess :)  God made it very clear to Zac the path our family was to take in 2014, and Zac moved forward full steam ahead through some very scary changes - quitting a very stable job, selling our house, renting a house, moving 12 hours away from everything we've ever know, taking a job in a secret start-up company...! Pursue = Win

Jen - FOCUS - I went in to 2014 stretched a little bit to thin.  I have a hard time saying no to things, especially good things!  Through the process of our move God forced me to give up a lot of commitments and really focus on what was important for our family in the transition.  This focus also led me to delete my facebook account and step away from other things that were distractions.  It has been hard.  But this renewed sense of focus has been so good!  I am striving to be present, not distracted, when with the kids.  I am waiting for the Lord to lead instead of just jumping into things because they are good things (or will make me look good to other people).  There is much peace in living a life of focus.

Keanan - DILIGENT - In 2014 Keanan finished kindergarten and most of first grade.  He has been super diligent at his school work and it is showing!  He has also worked very hard at playing soccer, learning how to rock climb, riding his bike without training wheels, and meeting new friends.  When he chooses to be, he is a very focused kid!  He is still very 6 and silly and we love that side of him too!

Kyla - JOY - 2014 was the year of ballet for Kyla.  She started lessons in Feburary and LOVES it.  She dances all over the house, checks out non-fiction books about ballet from the library and wants to watch ballet videos on YouTube every chance she gets.  Ballet gives this girl joy.  Kyla also discovered another source of true joy in 2014 after asking Jesus to live in her heart this summer after VBS.  She spends time praying, writing to Jesus, reading her bible, and singing songs to God.  Kyla fills all our our lives with joy, especially when we see the Holy Spirit moving in her sweet heart.

So now we move on to 2015!!  Our words:

Zac - CREATE - I can't say much about it - but Zac is involved in new things with the potential to change the world.  I pray that God will give Zac favor, wisdom and creativity in this venture.  May 2015 be the year of something new!

Jen - BLESSING - I am in the middle of "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp (you should read it!) and am really being challenged to give thanks for all of the little blessings God brings to my life every day.  A heater that works, hot water, tea, fuzzy blankets, ...  By offering up thanks for these blessings, big and small, we are able to see even more blessings!  There is no room for grouchy, moody, stressed, worried thoughts if I am filled with thanks.  This is my prayer for myself this year.  I also pray that I can BE a blessing to those around me - the kids, Zac, new friends here in CA, and old friends far away.

Keanan - CONTROL - So Keanan may have gone a smidge overboard with the diligence last year.  He can get very uptight to the point of melting down when he does not feel in control of a situation.  Keanan loves rules and will hold fast to them, but has trouble extending grace when he or others do not meet them.  He also loves his sister fiercely and tries to protect her, to the point of controlling her.  I pray that he is able to let others lead, to enjoy surprises, to not be the boss of Kyla, and to show self-control when needed.  I pray that Keanan will focus his intense desire to understand and know things for God's glory.

Kyla - BOLD - Kyla is at a stage of life where she can be very timid and shy around others, even people she knows.  She is very outgoing and spunky at home, but can have trouble saying hi to friends at church.  I pray that God will fill Kyla with boldness that she can bless others with her sweet smile and words.  I pray that she will have a boldness to speak God's truths and be His light and to go after the dreams he has placed in her heart.

Our theme verses for the year:
1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Thes. 5: 16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Happy New Year!