Monday, February 22, 2010

"And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians: 13:13

Valentine's afternoon was such a sweet time with my girls. Just as visions of tea parties and daintily set tables come to mind when you think of little girls... we had the pleasure of making that dream a reality. My "new friend" (but oh so precious!) Christie and her girls, Ashlyn and Brooke Owen, hosted the most beautiful Valentine's Tea Party that I could ever imagine. Every detail was thought of... perfectly decorated tables, little sentiments of love sprinkled all throughout their beautiful home, delicious food and treats... and all of it shared among dear friends. It was truly a delightful afternoon. The girls, all of them no matter their age, had a wonderful time talking, laughing, eating, learning about table manners, playing dress-up... what a special time it was. One of my favorite things Christie had the girls do is write on a paper heart the finish to this statement: "I love God because...". She then glued each of the hearts to the strings of balloons and the girls took them outside and let them go. As the balloons raced up into the sky, we couldn't help but wonder who might find those sweet little praises to our Lord and Savior. What a blessing it is that because of a relationship with Him, we can experience love in its purist form. I've often pondered the thought of what it means to truly love, not with conditions and what I might get in return, but to deeply love the way Christ loves me... Hmmm, I can't quite get my mind around such love, but as I've thought about it, one main theme that always comes to mind is if I am loving that unselfishly and sacrificially, there are many sins that would vanish. Maybe that's why God's greatest commandment is to LOVE.

Thank you so much Christie, Ashlyn and Brooke Owen for a special time and a memory that will forever live in our hearts!

Ashlyn and Catherine - they really hit it off!

Catherine: "I love God because..."

Mary Scott: "I love God because..."

"love notes" written by Christie's grandfather to her grandmother

dress-up is so much fun

Catherine having a sip of tea

Anna joined in for "tea" like one of the big girls

flooded by the beautiful sunlight as they look out onto the lake... after a very snowy day before
Brooke Owen

Monday, February 15, 2010


This year, Valentine's Day proved to be extra special. We enjoyed the morning playing in the snow together then had a delightful evening at home. I made some special sweet treats for us to enjoy after a delicious dinner of pan seared tilapia and shrimp, garlic parmesan grits and steamed green beans. We could hardly eat fast enough, each of anxious to enjoy chocolate dipped strawberries, heart shaped brownies and chocolate covered pretzels. I really enjoyed blessing my family with a delicious dinner and dessert. I count it a true privilege to serve them is such ways. After dessert, Benjamin cranked up the music and the kids danced their little hearts out, and of course Brian joined in too.

Just before we tucked the children into bed, I began gathering all the goodies for the rest of our evening. I bought the movie, Fireproof, for Brian and fixed a nice cheese tray with a bottle of wine he'd been wanting. Benjamin was right by my side as I was getting it all ready. Before I knew it, he had likened my little set-up to a wedding reception and began asking me what type of reception Brian and I had. When I told him we had a nice and simple reception at the church where we were married.... he went on to share with me his vision for his wedding reception: lots of dancing at a millionaire's mansion with a big water fountain... sure sounds nice! For crying out loud, what 10 year old boy thinks about his wedding reception!!! My Benjamin does... he's a thinker, for sure.

After the children were in bed, Brian and I enjoyed the rest of our evening over wine, cheese and a movie that would surely be good for any marriage. It was wonderful to snuggle up with my man in the quiet of the night to watch a movie, even though I didn't manage to stay awake for the whole thing. I like the way we're comfortable with one another like that. That he pretty much knows I'm always gonna fall asleep... not because I'm bored but just worn out. I pray that we will celebrate our love for one another often, and we will be intentional about making one another feel extra special... I believe that's real important in marriage. This was one of my favorite Valentine's memories ever. It was truly a wonderful day, from start to finish. I was reminded the whole day through that a special kind of love fills our home... a love for which I am eternally grateful.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snowy Day Fun

How thrilling it has been, especially for the children, to have fun in the snow this year. Our first snow day happened on January 30th and then we got even more snow the second time on February 12th. Thankfully, the days to enjoy playing in the snow both happened to be on Saturdays which made them even better because Brian was home and able to join in the fun. There was sledding, snow boarding, "snow biking" and just good old-fashioned fun in the snow. It was wonderful and beautiful, too.

the snow started falling around 4:30 Friday afternoon and by 7 o'clock there was a good thick covering on the ground

according to catherine's measurement, we got 4 1/2 inches of snow