Thursday, July 29, 2010

Travel With Us - Day 3

Monday was dad's birthday so after we had our morning run (err, jog) on the beach we came back and had a little celebration for him. The celebration consisted of telling him happy birthday, taking a family photo, and watching him open his gifts.
China did so well at looking at the camera that we laughed and had to take another. Yay for self-timers!
Here we are watching dad open his gifts. Notice China intently watching as well :).
This day was very similar to the previous day. We headed back out to the beach to relax! The weather was just perfect - the closer you were to the water, the cooler the air felt.
Dad and I stopping for a photo.
Casie listening to some tunes and enjoying the breeze.

I need to step in right here and say that I did get in the water and I did "boogie" on the board. Conquering fears is a big part of my life this summer so I overcame them and got out there. (really I just like to be dramatic and play things up real big - ha) Somehow, my familia forgot to capture that on camera.
The next few photos are just headshots that Casie and I took of each other.
Mom plans to scrapbook them in the future.
....totally miss that sunny relaxing beach.

Each day as we were leaving the beach we would rinse off at the indoor pool and jump in for a few minutes. No jelly fish or undertow to worry about there! We had supper this evening in the camper again and then watched some tv as it was raining. Tomorrow we spend our last day on the beach before we head North.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Travel With Us - Day 2

Each morning dad and I got up and ran about two miles on the beach which, might I add, is harder than one would think. There is no give, there is no bounce. It's literally like running on your heels, but it's wonderful; your legs feel so tight for the rest of the day. It would be an adjustment that I could get
use to!
After we got back from our morning jog, we had breakfast (in the camper) and then went for a walk around the campground and on the shore of the beach.I just think grannies hat is adorable. So adorable I almost went and bought one just to have my picture made in it. Can I be precious like her?Once we had our swim suits on we headed out to soak up some rays and enjoy the salt water. Casie and dad were the first to attempt to boogie.
I'm secretly scared of jelly fish and the undertow so I stayed pretty close to shore... along with mom
who tried with all her might to keep her hair dry.
That night we went downtown to the boardwalk on the beach.
Mom and I are trying to teach Casie how to pose in photographs. These are my favorites!
We ended up spending majority of our time on the pier. The pier where a young boy caught an 8 foot shark the night before, as well as an older man catching a baby shark the night we were there. Dad has a picture - i'll have to show you. I don't know about you, but I forget that sharks start out as babies. Seeing that tiny little baby shark in that man's hand was weird.
Here is the view from the Pier.
Come back tomorrow....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Travel With Us...

After sixteen days of traveling i'm finally home sweet home!!! There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed after being gone that long!
Before I left I decided that I wanted to show our family vacation in pictures. In all of our years of taking family vacations we've kinda visited the same places over and over. Disney World was an every three year occurrence, and in between those we did Branson twice, Colorado, and our Lake Of the Pines camping trips. This year we decided that we wanted to go some where that we'd never been before and experience something new. So I invite you to travel with us, through pictures, over the next few days to North and South Carolina.

Let's begin...

Friday afternoon I got off work at 1:30 - I hopped out of my car and jumped into dad's truck which was hooked up to the camper. I stayed up the night before making sure that I had every thing packed so that I wouldn't need to do anything when I walked in the door Friday afternoon. That's a pretty big deal if you know my packing routine. I make list after list after list and even do a mental check for about an hour down the road. Amazingly, that was not the case this year. I did all that I could possibly do, left my luggage in the hands of my family and a big checklist for the sister to run down to double check my work!! :)

About five minutes down the road I realized that I forgot to eat lunch... oops.

And here is where I tell you the advantages of traveling with a camper - If you get hungry, pull over and get something from the kitchen. If you need a potty break, pull over and use your "johnny on the spot". It doesn't matter if you are in tim-buck-too, you have a place to go. Now that was a huge plus considering i'm always the one that we have to stop for.

We traveled for about eight hours that first day and stopped in Mississippi to camp for the night.
China was pooped to say the least.

The next morning we got up early to finish traveling to the East Coast. It's pretty exciting when you see this on the gps -


And our first destination was Lake Wood Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
We were packed in like sardines, but that's a small price you have to pay for being, literally, a few yards away from the beach.
Come back tomorrow for our first actual day on the East coast beach!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Well, we got back from vacation just in time for me to unload my things from the car, throw some shirts in the wash, and start packing again. The camper hasn't even been unpacked and here I am packing away.

One of these days I will slow down. Right?

Humor me.

I didn't mention where we were headed on the blog for safety reasons and because I just didn't find the time, but I do plan to share, in pictures and stories, about our trip.

We took the camper to North and South Carolina for many different reasons. - It cost less than getting a hotel. We could cook our own meals which also saved us some money. And China could come along which meant we didn't need to find a sitter.

After about five days the camper was crampin' my style. I love my family, but all four (five counting China) of us in that thing for that length of time.... man oh man. We hit delirium Friday afternoon and it was clearly obvious to everyone who encountered us.

When we went for a swim in the campground pool dad did a wonderful gymnastic routine for us... Olympic style!

Walking to the edge of the pool near the stairs he stands tall, hands by his side and says in a strange accent, "And now on the tight ropes we have Wild Bill". Then he proceeds to walk very femininely down the stairs into the pool and gets on the ropes separating the shallow from the deep. He walked a few feet, as serious as can be, and then prepared for his dismount; a back flip into the deep-end.

Oh help us.

Then for some odd reason on our way home (mind you we are still pulling a camper behind us) he decides he wants to break the record for 'pulling into the tiny mcalisters parking lot, inching back and forth, and then turning around with a camper before the Sunday afternoon church crowds fills up the very last parking space'. It's truly a miracle that we made it out without a single scratch.

Anywho, a group of us from church are leaving tomorrow morning to head down South on a mission trip. I know it's where I'm supposed to be for this week, but other than that.... I don't know much. I'd appreciate any prayers that you remember to utter on our behalf.

I need to get some sleep.

Lord Jesus, thank You for family and for the funds to be able to spend a vacation together in such a beautiful place. The memories we made will last a lifetime. You have made me aware of so many of my words and actions this week towards my family and I beg You to help me change my ways in those areas. I love them.... help me to show them. You are good and I need me some You. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Can't sleep.

The past two weeks spent at the lake were very enjoyable. Something must have happened to me over the past year because I spent almost every night out there with my parents despite the fact that I had to get up early to drive an extra 30 minutes into town to make it to work on time.

In the past any excuse I got to sleep at home I would take. It could have been the fact that we bought a new blow up mattress which I topped with an egg crate that provided much comfort. Whatever it was, I really enjoyed being out there this year. I wish I would have soaked it up even more.

What is my deal? I'm getting all emotional over a camping trip.

Not only did I sleep on an egg crate covered air mattress, I knee-boarded and attempted to ski. I say attempted because the skiing was a big failure. This is where I insert that hideous picture with my face contorted; clearly fighting with everything in me to succeed. The face obviously didn't help.

The fact that I was brave enough to try is huge in itself. Speaking of brave things, I'd like to think i've branched out a lot this past year.

I've been on 4 dates. All of which I shut down because I didn't sense anything. Okay, one of them shut me down, but I kinda prayed for that. Some people think i'm completely crazy for deciding if something is "there" that early on, but I mean really.... if you go on a date and don't get that "there's something about you that makes me want to stick around" feeling then why force yourself to go out again?

I've let too many people decide what is right for me in that past. I'm learning not to let their outside opinion affect me. And i'm begging for Him to lead.

In the process of all these dates i've come to some conclusions.

Number 1 - I like a sense of humor. There is something attractive about a guy that knows how to let go and have fun. Someone who has the ability to make a girl laugh and feel free. Atleast that's how it makes me feel... free. Laughter is good for my soul.

Number 2 - The past four guys that i've either dated seriously, been on a couple dates with, or had a crush on father's have been pastor's and they themselves were going into the ministry in some aspect. Weird?

No, I do not look for that type of guy... it just happened. And I just thought i'd mention it because it's odd.

Moving on...

Number 3 - There might be a little more to the whole number 2 type of guy.

As I was on my blind date this past week with a baseball coach, I felt a lack of his knowledge of biblical things. And please hear me out... I am not claiming to be a scholar nor am I saying that you can't have such knowledge unless you're in the ministry. I just think i'm realizing that there is something about a guy who knows his stuff that makes me feel secure. And by stuff I mean a guy who firmly stands for what he believes and knows scripture to back it up and what not. Not sure if that's good or bad. Just an observation and thought.

Number 4 - combine a sense of humor and a love for the Lord and you get, well.... a yummy guy. Godly is sexy - a guy that knows the right balance of fun and being serious. Yep.

So there you have it... My random, but not toooo thought out, thoughts.

I wrote a post who knows how long ago (I can't find it or i'd post a link) about a sunday school lesson that I remember very well. A lady was sharing how she had made a list of what she wanted in her husband and that she knew when she'd found "the one" because everything on her list had been marked off.

Back then I didn't know how to feel about it and partly that could have been because I didn't know what to put on my list. Over the years (mainly college?) I started to get a negative view of that lesson. It was as if I felt like we were telling God what we wanted instead of learning to trust what He knew we needed. It just didn't seem right to me. I decided I wouldn't make a list, I would just accept what He had for me.

Over the past year my view has changed.

I guess you can say my view of God has changed. I mean, that's what was wrong in the first place.

I don't think it's wrong to not make a list. That's perfectly fine. But when your motivation for not making the list also distorts your view of God... that's when it gets wrong.

Did I not think He was a God who could fulfill each of those desires? Does He merely give us what we need and nothing more?

It's like I saw God as someone who would never want me to be happy. Crazy? I knew that wasn't true, but yet my thoughts, faith, and trust didn't reflect that.

He isn't a god who is going to give us horrible situations just because He can and wants us to fight through them. He is the God who knows the situations that will create us into who He wants us to be. He is the God who knows the situations that will show us what we truly desire in life. in relationships.

He is the God who can do immeasurably more than we could ever think or ask.

I am now believing my God for who He is. A God who creates desires in us. And wouldn't it be neat to watch Him lead us to "the one" who meets each of those.

Lord Jesus, Your word says that you have created each of us, You've knit us together - which means you didn't just throw something together... you thought about it and spent time. I believe that You have given each of us a specific calling and desire. And I also believe that You are good. In Your perfect timing (even though sometimes it seems so far off) You will fulfill those. And if we get lost along the way and it doesn't seem like our plans are lining up with Yours... Lord, lead us back to You and help us re-shift our focus. In Jesus' name.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.