Monday, October 8, 2012

Capture Gratitude: September

 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

Still getting caught up from my blog break... Should be back to weekly Capture Gratitude next week! If I were guessing ahead, I'd think you might see a bit of fall color in that, because the leaves are turning and I am HAPPY.

Going to the Farmers' Market is one of my favorite things to do here in Lincoln. Unfortunately, while my boys are willing to go, they don't exactly make it super enjoyable always (they like about the first 4th of it, then the complaining starts.) Between that and Luke's summer basketball schedule, last month we went for the first time this year. I think it's more enjoyable if I go with friends...but it's fun to go as a family too. I love it, at least!

This hardly needs any explanation, right? My family is nuts for Husker football. We watch a lot of games out at Matt's mom's house (because they're often on channels we don't have). But for the first game we were able to watch at home, Luke got REALLY into it. He was being all secretive, and then brought me downstairs to unveil the Husker-ized basement. Love. It.
So thankful for our awesome neighbors, plus more time to spend with them.

Along with our good friends Julie & Jonathan (Tobin's little best bud), we were able to get in one last trip to the zoo this month.

Yay for the butterfly tent! Micah was not interested in letting a butterfly land on him. Although he did try to stomp on them (oops.)

And of all the wonderful things at the children's zoo, playing in the big pile of dirt is at the top of the list...
Along with the train, of course.

I just can't get enough of scenes like this.

And this, which is how I found the boys one morning when I came back from my run:

My friend Susie has a collection of heart shaped rocks that's she has found on various runs and walks. She is always on the look out for them, as reminders of God's love for her. I was thrilled to find this little reminder of my own.

On our leaf unit, we visited Pioneers Park Nature Center, which was so much fun. Our friend Esther came with us - this was the week before she left for Spain, so our last hang out time with her.

Tobin was enchanted with Jake the Bull Snake. And he asked the Park worker about 800 questions. The poor man could hardly get 3 words of an answer out before there was another question. But he was super patient, and even told Tobin "that's a good question" when Tobin asked how Jake pooped.

I love fall.

Many of you know that the year before we brought Micah home, I worked an extra job to help pay our adoption expenses. It was the best job ever: We baby sat for our friends Brooke & Cody, whose daughter Sarah was adopted from the same babies home as Micah. It was great preparation for us, and helped them out in their first year home.

And the Lord worked the timing out perfectly. Just as we were headed to Uganda for court to bring Micah home, Brooke was able to quit her job and stay home with Sarah herself. Wonderful...except we really miss our "Sarah days", as Tobin used to call them.

Well this past week we got to have Sarah days again, while Brooke was on a mission trip in Uganda. SO much fun!

I really wonder if Micah hadn't had such a significant life change involving a long plane ride...would he still be this obsessed with airplanes? I know lots of boys like them, but I swear, it's different. The child can hear and see airplanes that no one else notices. And he notices

Imagine his delight when we took our friends to the airport and he got uninterrupted time to watch airplanes. For the most part, they just sat there. And he was happy just watching them sit.

I've often said that college ministry only has one downside, but it's a heck of a downside: You give your hearts to people for 4+ years, and then they leave you. Over the years I've had lots of goodbyes, and lots of airport "see-you-next-year!"s. I try to remind myself that it's better to care and hurt than not to care at all - I'd rather give my heart than not. Plus: we WANT to be senders.

So it was our privilege to drive our Esther to the airport as she and our good friends Alexis and Amy head off to teach in Spain for the year. Amy & Lexi's families drove them, but Esther's parents are in Colorado, so we got to be the stand-ins.

The girls and their sisters ( of Esther's sisters.) Watching these sisters say goodbye about did me in!
It was a precious time to pray with their families and entrust them to the Lord. And it reminded me of so many sweet memories in IAH (Heidi, I'm looking at YOU!)

This summer Matt & I made a conscious effort to spend time alone with Luke, which was really good (considering that he just doesn't get much attention with all the other attention-getters around here.) Now that school has started, that has been a lot harder. I can tell that we need to be more intentional about this... in part because Luke was THRILLED that I picked him up from school last Friday to take him fall/winter clothes shopping just the two of us. He is really a different kid when it's just the two of us, and I love it. He is really funny.

Case in point: Look what he found for $2.16:

One of the things we did together this summer is watch episodes of White Collar together. So Luke is pretty excited about his Neil Caffrey hat. Parenthetically, he's decided he wants to be an FBI agent, which I also love. I just found out they're streaming ALIAS on Netflix now, so I'll probably have him ready to work for the CIA in a month or so. Though likely he'll find Sidney Bristow not quite as slick and cool as Neil Caffrey. (For those just tuning in to my life: Alias is my all time favorite TV show. I love almost anything spy related.)

Micah makes a pretty cute Neil Caffrey too, don't you think?