Thursday, April 28, 2011

Heaven is Richer Today

Many years ago, before we were even married, Dwight and I were the sponsors of the youth group in our church. One day we learned that a young preacher from New York was going to be in a small town in Eastern Colorado for a rally. His name was David Wilkerson and he had written a book called The Cross and the Switchblade, about a man named Nicky Cruz.

David had left a very nice pastoral position in a rural area of Pennsylvania, because he felt God calling him to New York City to work with troubled youth - it was in the 50s and the drug culture was just beginning. Nicky was a gang leader, and threatened David's life. Nicky was won to the Lord through the love shown to him by David. He has subsequently written many books and has a ministry as well.
David Wilkerson, besides many other facets of ministry, began Teen Challenge. Nicky Cruz eventually became the director of that drug recovery program.

Little did we know that, years later, Teen Challenge would become a huge part of our lives. We never dreamed, before our marriage, that our lives would become so enmeshed with the horrific consequences of drugs. Teen Challenge is a hard program. But with God's intervention, and through Teen Challenge, Kevin's life was saved. We are so thankful.

I was so sad to learn last night of the death of David Wilkerson in a head on car crash in Texas. I was sad. But then I realized he is now where he's been preparing himself and so many others to spend eternity. When I read the article, I clicked on his blog, which he had written for yesterday, the day he died. Please take time to read it, too. He knew where he was going, and now he's there.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Grandpa and His Girls

I have shared about my town and its love affair with bronze sculptures. We have a lovely park within walking distance of my house, where many sculptures live - some are beautiful, some are ugly (in the eye of this beholder), some are very realistic, and some are extremely abstract. Every August, the park turns into an outdoor exhibition hall, where people come from all over the world, some to show their works, others to buy, and many more to just look and enjoy.

The girls, all 4 of them, love to go to this park and visit the sculptures, and to play on them. There is a special children's section full of really great ones.

One day last week, there was an article in our paper about an elk that had come way down here into the west end of town - there are many elk running around Estes Park, coming down from the mountains into that tourist town - but it is 30 miles up the canyon from us. This one ended up in this park, and he seemed to like the children's section, too.

A couple of years ago I did a post about this wonderful piece, and its creator. The elk liked it, too.

So, back to the subject at hand - the other day the big girls were at a birthday party, so Grandpa gave the each of the littles one of his caps, got out the trusty double stroller, and took them to the sculpture park. Grandpa is totally great at coming up with adventures for all the girls. They were gone for a very long time, and I was so glad I had sent my camera with him when they finally got back. They had an absolutely wonderful time, which he did a great job of chronicling for me.

First they checked out their favorite art pieces --

Time for a bit of a rest --

Strolling down the path to their next adventure, large rocks in hand ---

Making lunch for Grandpa - mac and cheese and hot dogs --

Off to another path - this time with walking sticks - they LOVE sticks --

They headed into the "jungle" - Grandpa is too tall to go with them and Emma
takes his hand and says, "Come on Grandpa, you can do it!"

At their final destination, after a peaceful stroll --

If a lot of dirt indicates a great time was had, then this was a terrific afternoon!

I absolutely love watching their little imaginations at work - they make toys out of anything, and create fun out of everything. And they have the greatest grandpa who helps them create their adventures.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some Random Catching Up

Springtime in the Rockies - kind of a joke, kind of bi-polar, kind of a hoax. Every year I hope it will really be warm and beautiful, but every year the flowers faithfully come back, the birds sing, but the weather is very iffy. We usually get snow in March sometime, but this time it was April 13 -- the evening of the 12th, we were treated to a lovely, soaking rain, badly needed. In the morning - we got up to this.

By late afternoon it was down to this --

The week before, we were fortunate to have a nice day in between wind and rain and cold, just enough time for us to watch this going on -- necessary because of a long-forgotten hail storm.

The littles enjoyed the day as we sat and watched the workers. They can make a game out of anything, using sticks, eating utensils, pieces of toast as toys.

The tulips enjoy the sun or the rain, and were beautiful this day, before the snow.

DC planted several dozen bulbs last fall, tulips and daffodils. We're anxiously awaiting the arrival of new colors and shapes. We were surprised by this unusual daffodil this week --

Last Saturday we were blessed with one of those sunny days, just in time for our church's annual Easter Marketplace. We go back to 33 A.D. and many people in our church spend their morning creating an opportunity for children and their parents from all over the neighborhood to visit in a village reminiscent of Jesus' time.

They also set up a wonderful egg hunt in the gym for the children, who can get as many of the 4,000 plastic eggs, filled with a treat or toy, and enjoy opening them and recycling the eggs for next year (if they remember to turn them in - ours brought home quite a few this year). For some reason Emma found it "scawy, Grandma", while her sister Katie enjoyed the hunt.

Some random shots --

The twins being "princesses" in their Winnie the Pooh blankets --

Helping Grandma cook ---

Katie's first official drawing - ghosts! Kinda pale, but hope you can see them.

On a totally different note, I want to share Care Bear's poem, which her teacher has entered into a contest.

What My Family Means to Me

My family is special,
They take care of me!
If my family was not here,
There would not be me!
My family helps e with things that are hard,
My family for sure makes me feel like a superstar!
They help me, when I am sad,
They make sure that I am glad!

My brother and sisters, without them,
I would not really have any true friend!

Without my brother bothering me,
It would not be fun!

When I have homework and I cannot do it,
My mom would help me get it done!

When I am bored and I have nobody to play with,
My sister would step up and do it!

My baby sisters are so cute,
And when I am bummed,
They're the ones I look to.

My bigger brother,
The one who is funny
When I want to laugh,
I want Anthony!

Clearly, without my family,
There would be no happy times

I find it very interesting that she wrote so much about her half brother, whom she rarely sees.