Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter! (and a story of God's amazing plans)


We celebrated our first Easter, our first major holiday of any kind, without extended family this year.  It was a little weird, but we made it a wonderful time.  We have been celebrating Easter all week starting with Palm Sunday as we use our Holy Week Journey cards each day.  We've been reading and reflecting on what Jesus did during the week leading up to Easter.
Our Holy Week cards.  The red ones are for Good Friday, the Stations of the Cross.  The blue one is the empty tomb!
Something that has become an Easter tradition is to celebrate the Passover / Last Supper / Seder Diner on Thursday.  This year, with some help from friends, we hosted the Seder at our church.  Gong into the event I had a head count of about 40, so I had food planned for about 50.  Well...around 80 people showed up!  God multiplied our "loaves and fishes" and everyone had a great, although light, dinner.  It is amazing to me the ways that God teaches us about himself, in this case through the Passover foods - they all point to Jesus and his work on the cross.

On Easter Sunday we had a wonderful morning at church.  The kids sang in the Easter choir and did a great job.  Our friends the Saltarelli's joined us for Easter dinner and some fun egg hunts in the backyard.
Our Easter morning table.  The kids dyed the eggs on Saturday.
Easter kids choir!
My Easter Bunnies!
We ended Easter by driving about 90 minutes North to pick up our new Jeep Wrangler!  The crazy/amazing part of this happened when we got to the sellers house.  Keanan and Zac had been up to test drive this Jeep on Saturday and met the lady that was selling it.  After we decided to buy it she sent Zac a text asking if he wouldn't mind chatting with her nephew who was a recent amputee.  Zac loves talking to people and texted her back a yes.

We were cut to the heart when we arrived.  This young man, around 13, had to have his right leg and part of his pelvis amputated about 8 months ago due to cancer.  We walked in and his eyes lighted up.  He had seen all of Zac's news videos and research in Chicago with the neurally controlled leg and had lots of great questions.  Zac really encouraged him to continue learning about the new tech and figuring out what leg works for him (he was on crutches because his prosthetic was so uncomfortable.)  After signing the paperwork for the Jeep the seller and uncle of the boy walked us out.  He was so thankful to Zac for talking with them and encouraging his nephew.  He has been battling cancer since he was 2.  He has scans later this week because they fear it has spread to his lungs.  If that is the case, it's just a matter of time.  We are praying for this young man and are so blessed that God set up this Jeep, and this time to place Zac in his life and shine some rays of hope.
Zac's new toy!

What a sobering reminder of life and death on the day where we celebrate Jesus' victory over death.  Praise the Lord that He fought the battle for us, and won!  We are thankful for the hope that He gives us in this life, but more importantly that hope we have in spending eternal life with Him!  Amen and amen!  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Weekend Adventures: A Very Wet Race!

We had another rainy weekend in the Bay Area.  Good for my garden, not so good for going on adventures.  However, the kids and I had signed up for the 4-H Green Clover Run - rain or shine!  It was so wet and cold!  Much like running in WA (which is partially why I didn't run in WA!!).  I did the 5K and finished in 28:05!  The kids did the 1K and both finished in under 5:30.  Afterward we went out to breakfast, which was a huge treat!
Here's my forced smile at the beginning.  I was not happy about the cold and rain!
There's the back of Keanan and Kyla
Zac brought home a thermal camera from work and much fun ensued.  Keanan and Kyla's picture.

We have a full week ahead, but today we celebrate our favorite math holiday - Pi Day!!
Apple pie, just out of the oven!
Make sure you enjoy some pie! :)

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Train Ride to Old Sacramento

Last week in school we studied the transcontinental railroad.  That made Friday the perfect time to ride the train from Santa Clara to Sacramento to visit the train museum!  Zac dropped the kids and I at the Amtrack station on his way to work and we "rode the rails" for three hours to the Sacramento station.  The trip went by really fast and we had some great views of the bay, an old ghost town, San Francisco, a few tunnels, and the river delta.
being silly on the train with the wax from our cheese snack
When we got off the train it was just a quick walk to "Old Sacramento".  We walked along the wooden sidewalks and ate lunch at a cafe.  Then the rains started!  We ran into the train museum that had a really neat exhibit on the transcontinental railroad including one of the actual work engines and the golden spike!  The kids also liked the toy train exhibit.
The Golden Spike!


not too big to play with toy trains!
After the train museum we had a snack at a donuts shop and spent some time at the Sacramento history museum.  Lots of neat things about the gold rush, including some actual gold nuggets.
ready to pan for some gold
Then we walked to the train station and headed home.  We ate dinner on the train and read some books.  The kids did great!  We were all tired when Zac picked us up at the station, but it was a fun day.
dinner on the train
Since it rained most of the weekend, we stayed home playing games, building Lego robots, and taking naps.  We have a busy week ahead with friends for dinner, 4-H meetings, climbing team, and ballet.  The kids and I are also running a race this Sunday (5K for me, 1K for them) for 4-H!