Monday, May 25, 2015

Welcome Zane Forest Neeley!

On Wednesday evening, right around 9pm, our very first nephew was born!!!  We are so excited for Casey and Jess (Zac's sister) as they start their parenting adventure.
On Tuesday afternoon Jess called to let me know they were headed to the hospital (not the original plan, but all part of God's plan).  Thanks to our AMAZING friends, the Ireland's, and their Alaska Airlines passes I was able to fly out early Wednesday morning and get to Jess before active labor kicked in.  It was such a blessing to be able to be there as a doula and as family.

After Zane was born I got a few hours of sleep (like 2) at my parents house and then flew back home in time for breakfast Thursday morning.  We were also so grateful to our homeschool friends, the Saltarelli's, for letting Keanan and Kyla do school with them and feed them all dinner on Wednesday while I was gone.

The rest of our week was pretty chill, while I recovered from my practically-no-sleep day.  We did get to go see Cinderella the ballet on Friday and play at the park with friends.

This Memorial Day weekend has been very relaxing, since we purposefully made no plans.  It's been so nice to be home, weeding the garden, playing games, and available to spontaneous BBQ's at the Hoffman's house.

Happy one year of living in California to us!  God's plan is so good.

Next weekend: Keanan's 7th Birthday Party!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend Adventures: Maker Faire!

Happy Birthday (one day late) to my favorite 3 year old niece Aubrey!!

On Sunday after church we attended our first Maker Faire!  I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of people and amazing creations / tech represented.  Anything tech you can think of - it was there!  Some of our favorite things were: meeting up with our friends Gabe and Zoe, the steam-punk solar system model, seeing R2-D2 (he was actually rolling around and beeping - we couldn't fine anyone controlling him!!), all the 3D printers, watching "The Game of Drones" and Zac's friend, Ken, fly his drone.
Another neat thing was at the NASA booth we met the gal who is running the Future Engineer's program.  They have a competition for kids ages 5-18 to design a container that the astronauts can print on their 3D printer and use on the ISS.  I discovered this program earlier this week and Keanan wanted to do it so we signed up.  It was awesome to talk to the actual person that is running the competition!  All kids ages 5-18 can sign up and there are cool prizes! http://www.futureengineers.org/ 

Other things from the weekend:  Keanan finished the soccer season with his team the Silver Sharks!  They had a fun jamboree on Saturday:


Whew!  A busy weekend!  We are excited to have no plans for Memorial Day weekend, although it is the 1 year anniversary of our move here.  Crazy to think that it's been a year already.  God has done amazing things!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekend Adventures: Mother's Day in the Redwoods

Can you tell that I love the Redwoods? :)  We had a wonderful Mother's Day hike after church at Butano State Park.  This might be my new favorite hiking spot, so beautiful!
Look at my awesome mother's day present: a new clothesline!

In other news, we had a fun field trip with some homeschool friends to the Chabot Space Center in Oakland.  This was perfect timing since we are learning about the universe in science.  We got to see two shows in the planetarium, one about the Google space race and one about what it takes to be an astronaut.  Very cool place!


One sad thing this week was that last day of Petra / Bible Study.  Keanan has had so much fun in his Petra history class, Kyla has enjoyed her Thursday school class, and I have loved attending the women's bible study.  We will definitely be attending again next school year! On Friday night we attend the year end closing ceremony for Petra where the kids showed off some of the things they learned.  Keanan's 1st/2nd grade class did a dance to the Roman's Road (which they learned this year) and each student shared their favorite part of history that they studied.  Here's Keanan:
video
Zac successfully completed his crazy special project for work!  Thank you for your prayers, God's wisdom and favor have definitely been with him in this job.

We are back to our normal curriculum for school this week, and the last soccer practice and game for Keanan of the season.  Next weekend's adventure will be Maker Faire 2015!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Seasons - Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote a LONG post about the new season of ministry God is leading me to after living in beautiful California for almost a year (you can read it all here).  This new work has two main parts, Compassion International (which I talked about in part 1) and Young Lives.

With God's call in James 1:27 on my heart to look after the orphans and widows I kept coming back to a thought that God gave me - teen moms and their babies are modern day orphans and widows.  It was sitting in a BSF lecture almost a year and a half ago that God spoke this to my heart, but I didn't have peace about his timing.

Young Lives is Young Life's ministry to teen moms.  Girls are matched up with a mentor mom if they so desire to love on them, encourage them, and walk with them through some of the hardest parts of their lives.  In doing so, these mentor moms are the hands and feet of Jesus.  Most Young Lives groups have "club" once a month with dinner and childcare while the teen moms can just be teens - and hear the Gospel.  There is also camp in the summer just for them!   You can read more about Young Lives here: http://www.younglife.org/ForEveryKid/YoungLives/Pages/default.aspx
Right after moving here I reached out to the local Young Lives area to get a feel for what was happening.  Turns out there are a number of new Young Lives areas starting!  I went to the first meeting of the San Jose group - but realized that this was quite a distance from our house.  I also realized than we needed some time to settle in to our new life here.

Early this spring I was able to attend another start up meeting for a group in Mountain View (much closer to our house).  God has given me peace about the timing, so I am moving forward in helping this area start their Young Lives program.  I am excited and terrified at the same time!

One major way I am stepping forward in this ministry is by going to Young Lives camp this summer at Lost Canyon in Arizona, July 12-18 to serve as a childcare worker!  I am hoping and praying to take a team of volunteers from the Sunnyvale / Mountain View area with me.  This is going to be an amazing mission trip and I covet your prayers.  We are working out all the details at the moment (like who's watching Keanan and Kyla!) as the date was just set yesterday.

Want to experience one of the best weeks of your life?!?  You can come with me and share the love of Jesus to teen moms by serving them and loving on their sweet babies!  They need lots of help!  There is more info here: http://experience.younglife.org/Pages/default.aspx

I am excited about this new season of life: with Zac, with my kids, with Compassion International, and with Young Lives.  Please pray that I am faithful to the mission and call that God has put on my life during this time.  All for His honor, all for His glory!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekend Adventures: My Birthday in the Redwoods!

May the 4th be with you!  ;)   We are listening the Star Wars music all day, playing with Star Wars Legos, and watching the new trailer for the millionth time.
Yesterday was my birthday!  And to celebrate Zac and the kids got me an amazing cake from our favorite dessert place, the Paris Baguette.

After church we packed up and drove to Big Basin Redwood State Park where we hiked to a really pretty waterfall.  It was so good to get out of the city, we've needed this for a while.


Other things this week:
We studied Native Americans this last week and made a wigwam and tepee's
I put some bark down and planted an apple and peach tree!  (putting in the rest of the bark today)
This is an "off week" for school (we do 4 weeks on, one week off) so we have a fun space center field trip planned, some Lego WeDo lessons, Kahn Academy math time, and other fun learning things apart from our regular curriculum.

Happy Star Wars Day!