Monday, May 12, 2014

The Girl with the Red Shoes

My girl did it! Rebecca Joy has her Bachelors of Science in Equine Science and Business.  Two degrees, four years. She's the girl with that great sense of humor, dedication and determination even when the work load seemed endless, a will to finish, though it might have taken some late night runs to Wal-Mart for some chocolate, and the girl with THE best shoes on campus! That girl is my girl! 


The first part of the 2014 graduation celebration is a walk across the bridge that all the students  previously walked across in the opposite direction as freshman. This ceremony welcomed them to William Woods University and now is saying Good-bye, you did it! Now if I only knew why they carried ivy! When the Ivy Ceremony began, the students walked from the library across the front of the campus to the bridge where we were all waiting. I was standing with other parents, camera in hand and heard people around me saying," Look at those shoes! They're awesome. You can't miss that girl!" I zoomed my camera in to see who it was at the same time T bent over to me and said, "That's Bec." Should have known she'd have the best shoes on that day.

These two! Georgia and Becca found each other in their early years at WWU and are now life long friends.

I was thrilled that all my children could celebrate Becca's  big day. They have always been there for each other and this was no exception. It took some planning but they all made it. From Spain to Nashville to Colorado, they all made it.

My girl... where did the time go? This sweet girl who was always reading a book, or out at Russell Ranch all day riding horses, or playing street hockey outside with her sisters and brother is all grown up. A beautiful woman ready to face her next adventure.

Becca and her daddy. You can see the pride all over that smile!

We are so very excited T's folks came to graduation with us! What a blessing to watch your granddaughter walk the aisle to get her diploma. Wow!

I love this picture. Could be my favorite of the weekend. Here are two friends walking together into their future. Life is an adventure.. you gotta get out there and go for it! With God for you and beside you, the path may be curvy at times and even  quite bumpy. You will have challenges but also blessings along the way.  It won't be boring, that's for sure but this adventure called life is so worth it!

Even as the ceremony is beginning, Becca's joy and humor are alive and well!

Whoo HOOOO!!! It's official!

Time to celebrate with family and friends. This is Bec's first college roomie! We moved Becca in the freshman dorm and met Beth the same day.

This is Bec's college advisor. A friend really, for many of the girls on campus. When your campus is small, you lean on each other. The equine program students spent hours together. I do mean hours!

And there you have it. The girl with the red shoes on, making her mark on the world. My daughter. You go girl! 

What would a celebration be without cake. Let them eat cake!
I love you Rebecca Joy!
May you seek God's vision and plan just for you. May you take the path less travelled by and may it bring you a delightful life.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Date Night

One thing we have always valued is our date night. It is a small portion of our week that we devote just to each other. Now, it hasn't always been easy and we aren't always focused on each other but we do try.  This week was a spontaneous gift to each other. After realizing Lina had plans, we said. "Let's go!" Ok.. it was more like

"I have to go to the bike shop to get a part. How about we hit the brewery?"

"Yeah.. a movie too? " 

"Sure.. check out the times."

So it's not this Cinderella love language that matters. It's the intent of the heart. Our heart must be inclined towards our One and Only. They need to see it, hear it, and believe it. Sometimes that comes through words, sometimes through actions, and sometimes through just being there. Sometimes it's moving over closer in bed and cuddling for a few minutes before you go to sleep. For my man who loves riding, going to a bike shop with him speaks volumes!

And I am so excited about his new ride!

This brewery: Bristol Brewery is located in an old school house. How cool is this place? Way Cool! If you are ever in Colorado Springs, this is a Must Do!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

This Tree

This tree... six years of memories. When we moved in our home, the kids were so excited for a tire swing. This giant old pine was perfect! We used it for pictures, watched it stand tall in the wind driven days, be smothered in snow, and be a figure of  all things Colorado. We wondered for years if it was on our property or the lot that was next to ours. See, that lot is empty. OR at least it was until this spring. Sadly, it sold. Now it has stakes marking the boundaries where a home is going. That isn't so bad except that this tree..

This tree is right in the middle of the new driveway. Soon this 150 year old tree will fall and be no more. We did our best to figure out how to save it, even the builder did but there is no other place for their driveway. It was sad to watch the swing come down but then again, life keeps moving forward and change is inevitable. So here we go. More change.

Oh if trees could speak the stories this one could share.

 All good things come to an end....

Good-Bye ol' Tree

Spring Break Fun

Spring Break... Oh the wonders of a break.
Break: rest, do nothing, laugh, relax
And let's just say we were all ready! Becca came in for some family time and family time it was. We snuck away with the girls for a night and just had fun. We went to a delicious dinner, took in a new flick, walked 16th street, talked, and enjoyed just being away. We also decided a movie marathon was in order for the week so a quick trip on our way back into town to our local five dollar bin at Wal-Mart livened up the evenings too. My folks came in for a few days which we loved too! I could go on and on! The week went too fast.
When is summer?


Sunday, February 9, 2014

More Adventures Ahead

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission - Park Information

This here is Washington State.

 It is Not Colorado.
 It is Not California.

 But it will hold the same name.... home.

The Lord is good... all the time. And even in our ever-so-long desert experience, He continued to show up, do what He does best, and as we watched and prayed, our hearts moved with His. His desire became ours.

We often ask ourselves, why we are led on so many adventures and others stay in one place for-ever. Honestly, we still don't have the answer other than we are willing to go. Our children have this heart of adventure as well. Maybe it's the nature vs. nurture thing. Maybe it's God's way for us to live out the dreams he gave us. Hey, I did want to be a missionary before I met my man 25 years ago!

So a glimpse into our last year and a story of God's unfailing love and provision....

April 2013, I wandered through the Bible House and stumbled onto a Ray Vander Laan video series, In the Desert. Thought it looked intriguing. We've always enjoyed and been challenged by his series, we could use it as a family bible study this summer so, I bought it. Little did I know God was working upstream already.

May 2013, my sweet man told me the company was making some changes. We have been here too may times to count. I kissed him good-bye, went to work and didn't give it a second thought. A few hours later, I found out this time, THIS time, we are affected. What? No job. Are you serious?

This began the deep introspection and search for the what, why and how? We covered the 5 W's and 1 H in one afternoon..... and then we prayed.

Last day with my teaching job was in May. I was ready to launch a home-school business. Optimum word there: I

The summer led us into great conversations with our children and times of seeking after God's heart for our family. Each us started feeling parched from this desert we were in. Where were our friends? How come we seem to be in this alone yet together? We knew the refiner's fire was working, we just had to allow it to be. And God showed up, over and over again, he showed up. Brought laughter when we needed it and tears, trying to figure out this Dream we thought was here in Colorado. Could it really take a turn like this?

Summer 2013, my dear brother, sister-in-love and kiddos move back to California. For while I felt like I was being kicked in the stomach. They moved to the same town where I DO have friends, I LOVE the people and they got to go there?  Now we are in Colorado alone. The refiner's fire is still burning. All the while God is asking... Am I still good?

We still didn't know when our last day with the company would be. Gabe moved home planning for his own adventure to California. That didn't quite work out; God had other plans for our boy. I love having him here 'cause the time is coming where he will make his own home. I'm secretly treasuring this time together. Again God showed up. I decided I'd look for work. A 1st grade position opened up at my school, just another campus. We prayed and we prayed some more. Again, God showed up. The summer was feeling hot and dry and I'm not talking about the devasting fire that was close to our home. Then we had a reprieve, a time of filling up our cup I'd say. The six of us went to California for my nephew's wedding; surrounded by family and laughter, sweet tea and warm days. It's was perfect.

August 2013, time for more change. Becca left for her senior year at WWU, Boo is going to school and working like a crazy woman for her spring adventure in Spain, Gabe is traveling with his job plus dating the sweetest gal. Side note: (we LOVE her!) Lina is jumping into 9th grade with volleyball, classes and girl drama. Navigating new waters for ALL of us. I'm learning a new curriculum and Terrell... well, he's keeping his head in the game, watching his job disappear, waiting.

Fall 2013, T's truck is totaled, Gabe had shingles, still waiting. God keeps asking... Am I still good?

December 2013, Will we make it through this month too? Again, God showed up.

January 2014,  T knows the day. January 24:  He will no longer have work. He began interviewing, putting out feelers, networking but all the while being patient. Not rushing. Jobs would show up and we would say there? Noooo, not there? No surely we would stay here. Again, God showed up. He knew how long it would take for us to walk this one out. He prepared our hearts. We never once doubted Him. Quite honestly, we  just didn't know what to expect.

January 22nd, 2014, a fellow co-worker told Terrell that a job was open; someone was moving on. He called, did all the steps he should and waited. He was asked, we were asked, "Are you willing to move to Vancouver?" Are we? Oh boy.. are we?? I remember sending Terrell an email from work outlining four or five points. God knew it was time and all this heat, all this time in this desert was preparing us for this moment. And He asked again: Am I still good? This would mean our children going in separate directions. We want to see our children. We want our family close. This would mean RAIN instead of snow. We love snow. This would mean moving but we love adventure. Yes God, you are good. We trust you.

January 24th, we sent out a very and I do mean very specific text: Pray that the door would be completely open and so big we can run through it OR that the door would be slammed shut with a lock on it. No questions.

I got that text from my man," You ready to move to Vancouver?"

Same day his job ended, a new one began. Again, God showed up.

And the new adventure begins...

How all the details will work out, we are still in prayer about. We do know we will be leaving the beautiful state of Colorado this summer and calling home Washington. Oh but don't fear.... we will still wear our Broncos jerseys! Where all the children will land is unsure. God has a plan for them too. Some will be with us, others probably here for awhile. I am looking forward to investing more in Lina's life this next year, exploring Washington and Oregon. I'm looking forward to a quick 6 hour drive to my folks and a10 hour drive to our family in California. I'm looking forward to being a part of God's plan.  How exciting is that?!

Over and over again, we knew His plan was at work. We felt blind and lonely but never questioned his faithfulness. He always showed up.

Always has, always will.

Reality Check: I see on the FB regularly the words "God Is Good" after a special event or a blessing in someone's life.  I stop and ask, but would you still think He's good if you didn't have this? What if it went another way. Could you still say He's good? and then I ask myself the same question. What makes us think God is good only when things are going our way. Can't He be good because he IS? What makes us a privileged bunch? God loves us. Period. He is good. Period. Life sometimes just sucks. Turn on the news and we see that everyday. But that doesn't change who God is. It just doesn't.

Can you say He is good today? How about when the Refiner's Fire is turned up? Can you then?  I know I ask myself that very question.

Oh God teach me that you are good even in the desert.

Thanks for Listening,
Mrs. Tuna Jones

“Love your calling with a passion, it is the meaning of your life”

Auguste Rodin

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Everlasting God by Lincoln Brewster

Everlasting God

From the album Let The Praises Ring -
Best Of Lincoln Brewster

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord Our God
You reign forever Our Hope our strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint You won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles
You are the everlasting God The everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting

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