Thursday, June 30, 2016

Birthday Madness.

Looks like it's becoming a tradition in our house to celebrate the girls' summer birthdays early. Why not party it up with your classmates before school's out, and they decide to exit the city?!
Big Sister is 15 years old now, (did I just say FIFTEEN?) and the Little Sister will chalk up 14 in just a few more weeks. Seriously. Please tell me I'm not getting older as fast as they are?!
First celebration with this loud and crazy crew, on June 4th.

Love all of these girlies. Have watched them grow up together since Kindergarten. Sigh.
And then we had this gang over on the 17th. Who exceeded "loud" on all levels. And thought nothing of dipping into the pool at 8:00pm, when temperatures had dropped below 20 degrees. Brrrr.

 Happy Birthday to these two girls of mine.
Life with them has been a pretty smooth ride so far. The teenage stage, though, has certainly presented itself with some amusing little bends in the road. Gone are the days when they were convinced I knew everything, wore precisely what I asked, and went to bed long before I did.
Now they mostly chuckle at my old-fashioned ways, and embarrassing inability to keep abreast of the world's latest and greatest. And snicker loudly when I recently needed to be told that "the dab", similar to its predecessor "the nae nae", is in fact, a dance move, not a superhero stance. Who knew?!

Joy And Grieving.

May 28th was planned for a happy celebration. A welcome shower for our latest grand baby, who joined our family with much fanfare on March 5th. It was an excited group of family and friends who came for breakfast that morning, and showered Stephanie with beautiful gifts for baby Henry.
So much happiness all around.
None of us could have imagined the astounding news that would come in the afternoon. Another son, welcomed into this world 25 years before, had suddenly passed away. Taken his own life.
No words can describe the numbness and shock that followed. And the flip-flop of emotions... a shift from the joy of celebrating a son born safely into the world, to the sadness and grief of one tragically departing from it. Tears. Unbelief. Sorrow. And oh, so many questions.
And while perhaps all the whys and hows about Dwayne's short life will never be answered, there is one memory in the life of this young man that gives us comfort. Several years ago, while burdened about his sin before God, he accepted the truth of John 5:24... "he who believes on the Son (of God) has everlasting life." This photo above, shows the happiness in the transformation that took place for Dwayne that night. He realised that the Lord Jesus had died for him. He accepted the free gift of eternal life. Nothing in this world compares to the joy of salvation.
But what happened... to turn Dwayne from the joy of his salvation to the emptiness of this world? What happened... to make him doubt that the One Who is able to save is able also to keep? What happened... to convince him that his life was no longer worth living?
What happened... that he chose such a violent end?
We don't know.
But we do know that the Lord  has promised His faithfulness to those who continually trust in Him. So we must trust Him. Daily, and only. And resist the devil, who constantly tries, with his ruses and trickery, to distract and derail us in our lives for God. Don't let him.
Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He Who promised is reliable, and trustworthy, and faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Beautiful BC.

Apologies for yet another bandwagon bail with the blog. Now that the insanities of June have been set aside, I think I've managed to climb back on. For now, anyway.
Another family outing to explore our incredible natural surroundings took us to Cascade Falls in Mission on Victoria Day Monday. The kids, bemoaning the fact that we had to be outdoors, hiking in the drizzling rain, traipsing on a rocky trail to see nothing more than some trees and a waterfall, would have much preferred to stay home and be entertained by their iPad screens all day long.
But the idea of meeting up with fun friends generated some incentive for them to move their tushies off the couch and into the van. It was a damp and misty morning, but the weather did nothing to detract from the beauty of these forested falls, tucked away from monotony of city life, and wifi.

Oh it was so incredibly breath-taking.
The sound of the water, the woodsy scent of the cedars, and the fresh, clean, mountain air.

The kids managed to make their own fun. From veering slightly off-trail and finding giant banana slugs, to tossing heavy rocks and rotting wood planks from the bridge, then watching with glee as they bounced and smashed on the jagged riverbed below.

It was a good, good day. Full of laugher and imagination. And of course, a stop at Starbucks is always icing on the cake... or for these Starbucksaholics... the extra whip on your frappuccino.
Our day ended with some good old-fashioned 10-pin bowling. At a rather hard-to-find and very dated 70's joint in downtown Pitt. Where these bowling ballheads definitely had much more fun together than their iPads could ever promise!