Saturday, July 24, 2010

July Newsletter

From Laura, 11 … During the past week or so, I have been starting a card-making business. First I made business cards and now I am making greeting cards to display. I like making cards, but I’m not very good with notes, so this is fun for me. The purpose of the business is basically to make some money off of a hobby I enjoy.

From Becca, 13 … One really fun part of our trip was going up Trail Ridge, which is a very high road in the mountains. It was cloudy, which made it seem like another world. We were quite impressed with the phenomenon of seeing absolutely nothing except white out the windows. At one place it was cloudy, very cold, and there was only tundra and rocks on the ground. It had an eerie feel. At another place there was snow! We made snow balls and threw them high up in the air.

From Seth, 17 … One of the highlights for me of our recent trip to Colorado was a hike John and I took to the top of the Twin Sisters mountain. We started very early in the morning, so we were able to see the incredible transition from night to day. When we started, the sky was brimming with stars, the Milky Way was faintly glowing above us, and darkness was all around. As the day progressed, the light became grayer, and trees and mountains gradually emerged from the darkness. Near the last of the switchbacks, we caught a glimpse of the sun just as it rose above the horizon. The horizon blazed pink, and warm orange and pink hues cast shadows as we walked the trail. When we reached the summit, the sun continued to travel across the empty blue sky. The color faded from the sky, and the sun shone in all the brilliance of day. Watching day arrive in all its glory made me think of this phrase from the song “In Christ Alone,” describing Christ rising from the dead: “Then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave he rose again.” I appreciate the imagery in the song quite a bit more now!

From Anna, 20 … On our way to Colorado this year, we stopped and spent a day at Palo Duro Canyon, near Amarillo, Texas, a place where we’d never been before. Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the country, after the Grand Canyon. Palo Duro has a lot more plant life in it than the Grand Canyon, so its overall appearance is much greener. It was overcast in the morning the day we were there, but it cleared up around lunchtime, so we were able to see the canyon in both types of light. It was beautiful. It was fascinating to see how the same layers of rock appeared at the same height and in the same order all over the canyon. It was easy to see how the canyon had been carved out of the layers that had already been there.

From John, 25 … This morning at breakfast, we were talking about the place pleasurable activities and recreation should have in our lives. Often, for me at least, it's hard to find a balance between two extremes. On the one hand, all of our time is the Lord's, and we as stewards should make the most of it. On the other hand, sometimes we feel like we need a break--some time to acquiesce to our own desires. It is true that we should serve the Lord with all of our time, but our minds and bodies need rest and an occasional change of pace. Yet even in those times of rest and recreation, we remain Christ's servants, so we should be careful to use our time in a way that brings health to our minds and bodies, strengthens our relationships with our friends and family, and advances the kingdom of God.

About Ray, Katie, and Peter … Ray had his first house-purchase closing this week. Unfortunately he was unable to attend due to bank delays, which resulted in the new closing date conflicting with his flight to Washington for a friend’s wedding. Nevertheless, it was an exciting step. He has had good activity with some people wanting to list and others looking to lease. Peter is getting busier with crawling and stronger with climbing. He is eating a fair bit of solid food now.

From Judith … This year’s trip to Colorado felt different. As we suspected, the loss of Gerald’s dad was quite pronounced on this first visit in their home without him (apart from April just after he died). In time I’m sure I will stop expecting him to step into the room at any moment. I really noticed his absence at the table each meal. He was so much a part of our family time in Colorado. Also different, we added in a few days at a YMCA camp just outside of Estes Park, Colorado. My sister, her daughters, and their two children, as well as our mothers, Katie’s family, and Gerald’s sister and brother-in-law, joined us. What a blessing to be able to gather amidst such beauty.

From Gerald … I really like living in Houston, but it was still refreshing to spend a bit over a week in Colorado. It has been a while since we have been in the mountains. It was good to have a chance to relax, do some hiking, visit with family, and re-connect with some friends. It was also a bit cooler. That was nice.

Our Love, Gerald, Judith, John, Anna, Seth, Becca, and Laura

Editor’s note: We have posted pictures from our vacation here.

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