Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grace Unlocked

She struggles: 10 months young and knows what is best
She clings: nearly 7 years, and wants to force her way
These girls, separated by half a dozen, and yet closer than they know
for their hearts beat wildly the same and their feet ache to move and
never sit still.
Their will is strong and unyielding and I ache because I know
the tears and angst that come from wanting to learn the hard way.

And mother, 35 years almost, and learning lessons as I go
and how is it that the first born gets
the worst me--the me that cannot be taught?
and yet the last born gets an imperfect me as well
and I seek to draw the rebel in and soften with my arms
and how I want to melt the rock exterior with watering words--
to grow and nourish and not tear down. To draw in, not push away.
And rest together equals time spent and it heals and it slows down,
finding... grace

And grace--it is a balm and it is a saving and it does not exist
without HIM
and I reach in deep to share some of it
and I remember that grace is meant to be given away
for it isn't so and it isn't healing
and it isn't heart-changing if it's kept locked away.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9a
holy experience

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trail Trek

We have a wonderful library just down the street. Trail Trekkers is a Summer Program which seeks to educate kids about the outdoors through nature walks. The girls and I joined the walk yesterday and are so glad we did! During a short 20 minute walk, we learned that:

Cat tails are the name of the weeds in the marsh outside of the library
Yarrow is a tall weed with a pretty white flower. The leaves can be used to stop bleeding!
Red-winged Blackbirds make beautiful, rolling music
Silver Maple Tree are the variety of Maples along the River
Cottonwood Tree seeds are long and encased in cotton
The tender bark of a willow tree stem can be used as asprin.
Poison Ivy: Leaves of 3, let them be...and yes, all along the greenbelt! (I was happy the girls now know what it looks like.)
Erosion of the river bank takes away the bank and a look at the best type of plant to prevent it.
A dead tree is called a snag, and the Cottonwood snag is a long-time home for birds and their nests. A Willow snag doesn't stay put for long.
The shade of a Willow Tree over the river provides nice, cool water for the fish.

and last and perhaps most significant:

Poisonous Hemlock is pretty and just asking to be picked.

Wait...that's not what we learned about Poisonous Hemlock. That's what we already KNEW about Poisonous Hemlock when we took the above pictures last week....a week before we learned that this plant is poisonous. Yes, that would be my baby touching Poisonous Hemlock. And my other daughters sandwiched around her did indeed pick this Poisonous Hemlock with their own gloveless fingers. And yes, there might have been a bouquet or two lugged home between sweaty palms and placed in vases at their Auntie Chelsea's home. You heard right: my daughters gave Poisonous Hemlock as a gift.

Glancing nervously at each other, I asked the question these Wieber girls were waiting with bated breath to know, "Are the blossoms and stems poisonous?"

"No, just the root".

And I saw my eldest's shoulders drop in relief and her big eyes crinkled in a gasping smile. "Oh GOOOOOOD! Mom, I was so scared!"

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Main Street Mile 2

The girls, along with their Daddy, ran a mile for Men's health Friday night. Ever since Liv ran the race last year, both girls have been waiting very impatiently for June to roll around again. This was Holland's first time running a race and boy, I think she's hooked!

Here are some pre-race pictures:

Making sure the laces are double knotted...

Holland gets her "game-face" on:

More "game-faces"...Wieber-style:

Here we have fan pictures...
Youngest fan:

My brother was here to cheer the girls on:

So were Grandma Jan and our sweet friend, Alyce:

Nanette gives pre-race hugs:

We love this race. It's the perfect distance for youngsters: the children's race is only a half mile. And for a measley 10 bucks, the kids get a free shirt, a free kid's dinner at Spaghetti Factory, finish line ice cream, chocolate milk, and power bars, a chance to hang out in the closed off streets of downtown Boise,

and the feel-good of being a part of an athletic event which donates it's proceeds towards health. And, hey--where else can you watch 12 mascots duke it out down Main Street during a race of their own, dressed in a sweltering suit of fake hair and polyester in 100 degree heat?

Speaking of, which mascot do you think will come in first? The last 3 years, the mascot run has been won by the Cow. Let's see if this year is any different.

The kids take a seat to root on their favorite. Liv was thinking the Key Bank Key would win.

AANNNDD....their OFF!

And Bessie wins again!

Team huddle right before the race:

Did I mention that the kids chase an ice cream truck all the way to the finish? Well, they do:

Waiting in line for their finish-line treat!

Showing off their finish-line treats. Someone in this picture is a little piggy, though I'm not one to point fingers, so you won't be seeing his name here:

The girls get congratulatory hugs from one of the mascots. I just have to say, though, that mascots give me the creeps, BIG TIME. I mean, who is in that suit? And they are hugging my children?! Seriously? But here I sat taking pictures instead of protecting my children:

One last thing--Does this girl know how to enjoy her ice cream or what? :o)

Favorite Quotes of the event:

"Daddy, why do the runners have mad faces when they run?"

"Mom, you didn't make any signs this year!"

"Well, Liv. Chelsea wasn't here this year. Signs are her thing."

"I'm rooting for the guy in the straw cowboy hat and cut-offs. He's either really good and can pull off an outfit like that, or he's really bad."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dad's Day Hike

I'm so thankful whenever Father's Day rolls around. I have a stellar dad. Growing up with him was wonderful. Loyal and dedicated and always encouraging, my dad was my running partner, book-swapper, and paper-editor. He was unpretentious, even while being saluted during Army ceremonies, and was always quick to help those who were struggling. Whether it be writing-off the medical bills of a patient, or adjusting the backs of relatives and friends, he has always been generous and compassionate. The best thing is that he has taken his title of grandpa in stride. Because you see, we don't call him "grandpa" around here. We call him Papa Snail. The girls call him Papa Snail. In public. Loudly. And he has never balked or protested. He wears his name proud and for that I will always love him.

My girls have a doting daddy as well, and so I feel doubly blessed. Brian loves his girls with ferocity, works so hard so I can stay home with the girls, is our 24-7 handy-man, and tucks silliness and fun into our every days. He answers questions such as, "Can God take a bigger bite of pizza than you can?" with a straight face and emphasizes truth in serious conversations about religion, poverty, and even the tooth fairy. I am so honored to be his wife and friend while we raise up our girls.

For Dad's day, we gathered together with close friends for a hike in the drippy wet. More's Mountain is beautiful hiking spot a few miles past Bogus Basin Ski Lodge. It was enchanting for this Northwest Washington girl to see Florescent green moss hanging low on tree branches, fog rolling in the hills, and rain spattering against my nose. I loved it! What's more, the kids loved it. We were blessed to have a shriek-less hike through pelting rain.

Here we are pre-hike:

The views were amazing, the trails clear and perfect for little feet:

And of course, you can't get kids together without there being absolute silliness (I think the rain brought it out of them :o):

And the "TROOPER AWARDS" go to Julia (who totally bit it in the mud and came up smiling),

and to Reese (who was contented and happy the whole hike even with wind and rain and didn't cry until we put her back in the car.)

Here she is after getting rained on, right before we put her in the dry, warm, cozy car.

A picnic in the rain didn't sound as appealing as you might think, so afterwards, we climbed in our cars and headed back down the mountain and ate from our coolers and hung out under shelter.

Brian and Adam braved the weather all the way down the mountain on their bikes. It'll always be remembered as a favorite ride for each of them.


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