Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Thursday, May 31, 2012

God Loves a Cheerful....

....Cleaner?  Growing up, my family often listened to Steve Green's Hide 'Em in Your Heart cassette tapes in the car.  One of the songs, based on 2 Corinthians 9:7, goes "God loves a cheerful giver, ha ha ha ha ha!"  I couldn't help but think of that this morning as Kyle was "cleaning" the back patio while I caught some warm sun rays.  God loves a cheerful cleaner, ha ha ha ha ha!  Maybe I'll take a cue from my one year old son and try to be a cheerful cleaner today as I'm puttering around the house.

He cleaned so hard, he even broke a sweat!

Cleaning is hard work.

Oops, missed a spot!

Dirty socks and a wet bum must mean the place is looking spit spot!

Kyle's Cleaning Service at your service!

I'm off to clean the bathrooms.  Haven't managed to teach Kyle how to accomplish that task just yet....


Monday, May 21, 2012

Sliver of Heaven

This past weekend we spent a delightful few days with my dad's cousin Ric, and his wife Rachel, at their home in the Charlotte area.  We've been trying to plan a weekend to get together for quite some time now and I am so glad we were finally able to make it work.  With absolutely perfect temperatures, pleasant company and tons of delicious food, it was a weekend to remember! Yesterday as I was peering into the koi pond in Ric and Rachel's back yard before we left, I couldn't help but think about how heavenly it felt.  The weather couldn't have been more beautiful during the middle of May and we had such a sweet time visiting and relaxing together!

On Friday when we arrived, Kyle spent some time checking out the pond in the back yard.  All he wanted to do was jump in and swim with the fish!  Jonathan had a good time scaring me as he held Kyle out over the water. Gulp.

While the boys played, Rachel and I chatted and occasionally had to steer Kyle away from anything he might disrupt, like that beautiful lantern on the table.

For dinner we went to Ric and Rachel's son in law's restaurant, The Stone Table.  The food was magnificent!  I ordered a thick slice of bourbon BBQ meatloaf atop bacon and cheese smashed potatoes, smothered in sautéed onions with a fresh salad on the side.  That was after the deviled eggs, candied bacon and scrumptious pimento cheese with homemade tortilla chips we had as appetizers.   For dessert, Jonathan, Kyle and I made a small dent in a butterscotch banana bread parfait. I ate too much.  I think we all did.  I'm almost drooling now just thinking about it all over again!

Saturday morning Kyle played in his jammies for a while, chasing the kitties around and calling to the birds outside the back doors.  Ric and Rachel's granddaughter had a soccer game that afternoon so we went to cheer her on!  The sun was shining but we found a tree to shade our blanket seat and there was a breeze blowing to keep us cool.  While we watched the game and talked the afternoon away, Jonathan and Kyle explored the play gym. 


"Wow, you can see so much from up here!" 

After some shopping for new Kyle clothes, some more family came over to the house for a cook out on Saturday evening.  We ate (tons of) delicious food and then went outside to play badminton and horseshoes.

That guy is so handsome.  Lucky he picked me!

If you can't beat it, eat it?

We ladies know how to enjoy a crisp May evening.... relaxing.

Blushing from all those sugary sweet kisses!

Kyle found a cousin to play soccer with!

And a Mom to toss him in the air!

What a lovely evening we had! Before we left on Sunday morning, we paused to take a quick family photo with Kyle sporting his new safari John-John suit and preppy white shoes from "Uncle Ric and Aunt Rachel."

On our way back home, we passed right by Brad and Hannah's house. So, of course, we stopped in to say hi!  They served us a yummy baked ziti lunch (oink!) and then took us to a Nestle Tollhouse cookie shop where we all chose various diet obliterating desserts.  Jonathan and Kyle shared some cookie dough ice cream and I devoured a Double Trouble, much like a Double Doozie from Great American Cookie Company.

I decided not to make this photo extra large.  I think large is plenty big enough.

What can I say? I love family.  The more time I spend with them, the more I love them. And then I think of moving across the world and I feel heavy with sadness.  But, that's another post in the making. For now, I'll focus on the joy of being here!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Family Photos

Hi. It's me again. I've been away for a while. Sorry.  Life doesn't slow down often enough to allow time to blog.  Also, I'm working on my blog layout.  Sorry it's completely jumbled looking right now. When I find a spare minute with my techy husband, we'll hopefully be able to accomplish the look I'm going for but haven't achieved yet.....

So, while I'm busy and overloaded, here are a few of the family photos our friends, the Overbeeks, took for us on our way to Illinois.  We met them at OM last May and finally had the opportunity to visit with them again on our way through Tennessee in March. They rock and their photography skills do, too. (If you click on the photos, you can see them larger.)