Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Very special treat!

Last week my best buddy, Samuel, and his Mama, came to visit!
I know this isn't the clearest picture, but it's the face that
I love...the face that I'm missing so much now that he's gone home!
(He was laughing here, because he had just nabbed my hat!)

I am not going to post many pictures,
but I'll try to hit some of my highlights of the week...
Walking down the road to see our buddy Scott is always exciting!

 When Samuel, who is already taller than I, climbs onto a stool...
 ...his "hairstylist" must find something taller so that wild hair is still within reach! 
-This picture brings back so many great memories... my boy is Oh, so much fun!!! 😀

The zoo is one of Samuel's favorite places to visit, 
and on Thursday we spent the day at the Memphis zoo.
"Welcome to a terrific zoo!"

I don't have many pictures from our exciting day,
but I do have one of Samuel with his all-time favorite animals...

-The Elephants!- 
Memphis Zoo has a fantastic exhibit with 5 elephants!

And I loved this picture of Samuel "swimming" with the fish!

Enjoying a picnic lunch

 On Saturday Samuel had a special treasure hunt, made just for him!
 Smart boy "read" and figured out each clue.  He trotted all
over the place finding and picking up new clues...

Stuart had a clue...

...and one was near the clothesline...

After about 20 minutes, the last clue led him to his "treasure"!

And last of all...
...this picture looks corny, but I always have to post
a picture of one of my favorite parts of having my boy here...
 ...Bedtime stories!!!

Now Samuel is home... and Bekah is lonely!
Come again soon, my boy!  I love you so much!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Lewis Edition: June and Grand Canyon Trip!

The highlight of June was Rebekah's visit and our trip to the Grand Canyon!

Since Rebekah did the (more difficult) chronological post,
I think I'll just share some of my favorite pictures and memories!

The drive through the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico and Arizona
was all-new for Rebekah and me, and greatly enjoyed by all three of us!

Such diverse, unusual and beautiful scenery!
Every few miles seemed to bring something entirely new into view.

A lot of the topography reminded us
of a scene right out of an old western!
We even had tumbleweed blow across the road and hit our van!

You could see trains for miles because of the flat, treeless land.
It made them look so long!

Rebekah and me at Capulin National Monument,
a dormant volcano.

We made it to Arizona!
Thanks to Rebekah for the pictures of
Russell and me in this post - so nice to
have pictures of the two of us!!

Entering the campground where Steven and Anna
were staying in Cottonwood, Arizona,
after 3 days (20+ hours) of driving.
We were so excited to see our family!!!

We enjoyed cool early mornings at the picnic table.

Reading one of our family's favorite storybooks,
"Huckle Cat's Busiest Day Ever."

Hudson getting a Desert Broom to tickle me with!

The beautiful Verde River, an oasis in the desert!

My handsome photographer husband

These two are so sweet and precious!
We miss them!

Russell and me on our 2nd anniversary! 😍
So thankful to God for this man,
and that I get to be his!!!

Now, for some Grand Canyon pictures!

It was awesome to see this magnificent part of God's creation,
stretching for miles and miles in each direction!
What an amazing Creator we have!!!

Layers upon layers upon layers!


I wasn't prepared for the tummy-flop feeling when I looked straight down!
I couldn't bring myself to get within several feet of the edge
unless there was a railing.

Some brave souls venturing down into the canyon!

"You see, if there really was a global Flood, like the Bible says,
we should find billions of dead things, buried in lock layers,
laid down by water, all over the earth. And that is exactly
what we find! -Ken Hamm

The Colorado River

We were thrilled to see this Scripture
at the top of the viewing tower!

"All the earth shall worship thee:
they sing praises to thee,
sing praises to thy name."
Psalm 66:4

It was exciting to see so many new animals in the wild;
antelope, elk, mule deer, prairie dogs, Stellar's Jay and more!

Mule Deer

Prairie Dog (to the left of the tree)
They are so cute!

We also saw many new (to us) plants, such as desert broom,
crucifixion thorn, Mormon tea tree, and prickly pear!

Rebekah and I were intrigued to learn that what we had always called
sage brush is actually sage grass, and this fragrant, flowering
plant is sage brush!

 Cacti everywhere, even seemingly growing
out of rock!

Prickly Pear in bloom

Our favorite campground of the trip, just a few miles from the canyon.
It was so peaceful and beautiful; I could've stayed there at least a week!

Ponderosa Pine

All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten trip
to a place I'd always dreamed of seeing one day,
and a special time to marvel at God's creation ...
and what could be better than sharing that
with your sweetheart and dear family members?!!

Monday, July 9, 2018

to Mama Flo!

❤ One of God's greatest gifts to our family! ❤

 There are no words strong enough to express
our deep love for the world's best 

Monday, June 25, 2018

An Unforgettable Vacation!

On May 29th Jonathan and I headed to Texas.
Jonathan went for his job, while I went for what turned out to be an unbelievable vacation!

The first couple days I stayed with Deborah and Daniel and this darling sweetheart. 
(a splendid intro to my incredible trip!)
Here precious Caitlyn is enjoying watermelon at the slash pad in Greenville.

The next week I stayed at Amanda and Russell's house, but I have no pictures of that.
Then we began an 8-day trip out west...
The first night we camped at Clayton Lake, in New Mexico.
It was gorgeous!

To "we southerners", the scenery became more and more unusual
the farther west we went

And the road signs also became very unusual!
Download Watch For Rattlesnakes Sign Stock Photo - Image of roadsign, scary: 49383642

Here are Amanda and Russell in New Mexico, sitting atop Capulin Volcano!
Russell was the only one feeling brave and confident as we drove up the edge of that mountain, 
but Amanda was the only vocal one! (I was having fun listening to her squeals!)

And then, finally, we arrived at our longed-for destination!
This cute little camper is Anna and Steven's "home" right now, as they travel the country.
It's not as tiny as it looks once you're inside, and we all 7 stayed here very comfortably.

We were so busy enjoying the sweet company that we didn't get many pictures, 
but here are a few...
Eva and Hudson lizard-hunting
(and such interesting lizards they found!) 

A tree just Hudson's size!

For a scorching dessert, we were surprised by how cool it got at night! 
The kids were so cold this morning that they had to move to the sunshine to eat their breakfast!

And the next morning, we all headed for the Grand Canyon!!!

Here are Steven and the kids arriving at the bus stop

We were waiting for a bus with 7 empty seats

I'm going to post a few pictures from the Canyon, but they come nowhere near showing the breath-taking splendor of it!  It was truly spectacular!  
(If you haven't been, you cannot fathom the incredible awe of God's handiwork!)

Although we regret that Steven is missing here,
he is the reason we were able to have a group photo!

Here are Anna, Steven, Eva, and Hudson,
starting off on the Bright Angel Trail!

It was AMAZING! The view was unbelievable...

...and one little person had not an ounce of fear!
"Don't step back, Hudson!"

If you look closely at the picture below, you can see the Bright Angel trail
 winding it's way down the canyon. 
The trail is like 8 miles long, but we didn't go too far

That night we camped just outside of the canyon.
This was our favorite campground of the whole trip.
(even if we did all wake up FREEZING at 3 am!  It was 40 degrees!)

The next day we spent back at the canyon

The next two pictures were taken from one of the windows near the top of this tower
As I viewed this incredible sight, the words of "How Great Thou Art"
were running through my head.  What an Awesome God we serve! 

We all went back to Anna and Steven's that night 
Adorable kiddos!
Here Eva was pointing out a "Prickly Pear" Cactus.  Isn't that face priceless???

And Hudson was demonstrating a "Dessert Broom"

In the evening, we girls and the kids took a long walk, 
enjoying the very different scenery and the quickly cooling weather.

This photo was taken on Amanda and Russell's 2nd anniversary.

The last day we were there, Anna and the kids took us to a remarkable place...
A Beautiful Oasis in the middle of the hot, dry dessert!
Running water...

...Mulberries to eat...

...and a place to cool hot feet!

When we left Anna and Steven's, our next stop was the Petrified Forrest.

Once again, you can't get the full effect of it from photos.
The tree trunks here are hard and shiny like stones,
though it doesn't look like that in the photos

By night we had made it back to New Mexico
If you can't tell from the photos, this campground was nothing but dust and dirt!
We were told that it hadn't rained there since last September, and everything was so incredibly dry!
This is the top of our tent. Sitting on dust, surrounded by dust...nothing around but dust!  
About the middle of the picture you can see "Church Rock" in the background

Back in Texas, our very last stop - "Palo Duro Canyon" 
Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the world.
It was lovely, but didn't quite compare to the Grand Canyon! 
We actually camped at the bottom on this canyon, and we were
visited by a thunder storm for several hours during the night!  What Fun! :)

Then it was back to Amanda and Russell's place for a couple days, and then my vacation days ended... but the remarkable sights/times with family will be in my memory forever!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 
"He hath made everything beautiful in his time"