Sunday, May 31, 2009

The A-Team

The A-Team soakin' up a little AZ sunshine...fabulous fun!

Fun in the car...

A few goofy moments in the car on the way home from church. I think Charlee was just so excited to have someone in the backseat with her she didn't know what to do with herself!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

First pool day this year...

Today was the first official pool day at Resort Brockhaus. Here's Andrew sportin' a mighty fine hat...
What a beautiful couple...
Charlee ready to do some swimmin'...
Gosh, another beautiful couple...beautiful couples all around...
Oh boy!
Post-nap pooltime...
Still just as much fun...

Aunt Amy helpin' Charlee throw diving sticks for Uncle Andrew to fetch...
Go Uncle Andrew...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

...and the celebration continues...

In addition to our celebration of Dad's birthday yesterday, we continued with another BIG surprise today! I dropped Charlee off at my parents house so they could "babysit" while Adam and I were supposed to go on a date. Little did Dad know that our date involved picking Andrew and Amy up from the airport to bring them back to surprise Dad with a weekend visit. Of course, we couldn't just show up at the front door without bearing a birthday dessert of some sort so my mom baked a cherry crisp (Dad's favorite) and placed it in a cooler outside complete with candles and a lighter to finish it off. We lit the candles...

... and rang the doorbell. We were greeted with a very surprised birthday boy! I believe the word coming out of his mouth at this particular moment was, "Wow!", as he took it all in.
Still not sure what to think...
A happy guy...
Explaining to him how we accomplished everything...

Ah, the beauty of a successful surprise...there's nothing better!

Working the system...Happy 60th Birthday Dad!

Today my dad turned 60! Oh my gosh, I remember when that seemed SO old, but now that it's my own dad that's 60 somehow it doesn't seem so old anymore. Hmmm, guess that just means I'm getting old. Yikes!

So, most of you know that we are BIG fans of Joe's...Joe's Real BBQ, Joe's Farm Grill and Liberty Market. Well, because we frequent these places so often we have come to learn that one can enjoy a free meal on his birthday just for stopping by and presenting the appropriate identification. Being the big fans that we are and always seeking to take advantage of a great deal, we decided it would be kind of fun to make sure my dad got a free breakfast, a free lunch AND a free dinner on his birthday! Shhhh, don't tell Joe! Adam enjoyed breakfast with him at Liberty Market, I "treated" him to lunch at Joe's Real BBQ and then we all came together as a family to spend dinner together at Joe's Farm Grill. Call us crazy, but he loved it and so did we!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Our lil' ladybug...

It hasn't really been warm enough yet for me to get in the big kid pool (it has to be like bath water for that to happen), but thankfully Gramma Brockhaus picked up a little kid pool at the store for her favorite granddaughter. So, what did we do for Memorial Day? We all (me, Adam, Gramma and Grampa) sat around and watched Charlee play in her pool. Kind of pathetic actually that she was literally the center of our attention the entire time! I guess that's what happens when you've only got one kid to attend to!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fun at the Gilbert Water Tower

This afternoon was a blast! We took Charlee down to the fountains at the Gilbert Water Tower. Oh my goodness, did she ever entertain us...seems to be a frequent occurrence with her. They have the fountains that spring up randomly and she was just beside herself with joy! This face says it all:

This is the face after she was attempting to peer down to find out where the water went...not too happy when it sprayed her in the face...

Oh, but it didn't take her long to get over it and ask Daddy for "more"...

Now, notice the little girl right behind our dear daughter. She was a bit of a bully getting up in Charlee's face and invading her personal space. It was all fun and games until Charlee decided she had had enough and took off running...

Unfortunately, the running landed her (literally) with her first "owie." Here's Dr. Grampa making it all better...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh dear...

Seriously Mom, do I really have to wear these shoes?
Don't you think these are way cuter?!?!


Dear God,
This is Charlee's Mama. I'm gonna need your help with this one. Please Lord, tell me you didn't give me a daughter who's all into dressing up and being girly! I don't think I can handle, I know I can't handle that. I don't do girly and you know that! At 19 months it's polka dot platforms...what's next? How can this be my daughter? See, this is why I always told you I only wanted boys! Please send guidance and wisdom to this Plain Jane mama!!!
The Mama


There are some days that I really cannot believe that this little person is my daughter. I know it shouldn't seem so strange at this point considering the fact that she's been here for 19 months now! There are times when I just find myself thinking, "No way!!! She can't possibly be my daughter!" Ah, but she is and I love her so very much.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Innocent to the pain...

These days I find that I am still reflecting on our recent time in Ogallala, on the last days we had with Chuck on this earth and on the subsequent days that were so full of love and fellowship with family and great friends. One of the true joys of those days was in having Charlee there with us. Prior to leaving we considered having her stay with Grandma and Grandpa Brockhaus while we were gone because we knew it would ease the burden of travelling, etc. Thankfully, we were convinced otherwise by my mom who reminded us that it would probably be a blessing to have her there with us during such an otherwise painful time.

We hadn't been in Ogallala long when I realized just how right she was and was so thankful that we had here there with us. I was explaining that in an email to a friend while we were away and her sweet response included these words: "Charlee is so innocent to the pain around her and I am sure she is her happy, joyful self which can lighten a heavy load." These words couldn't have rung truer with me. Little children are a blessing because they are innocent to the pain. It didn't matter what was going on around her, she was still her precious little girl self...a little girl who laughed when she heard her Grandpa snoring in the hospital bed after surgery. For a moment it seemed wrong to me that she would laugh when she saw him and heard him snoring (quite loudly, I might add!), but then the Lord reminded me that Charlee was innocent to the pain and reacted just as if there was none because she wasn't experiencing it herself. What joy there is in this...that He would protect these little children from the pain while using them to provide laughter in the times of deepest hurt. He is so very sovereign and so very good to us!

I think these pictures capture Charlee's innocence to the pain...they were taken just across the street from the hospital after a visit with her Grandpa Chuck...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Tribute to My Dear Father-in-Law

On Tuesday, May 12th we celebrated Chuck's life with a memorial service in the Methodist Church of Ogallala. Among the many tributes to his life was this video that I put together of various images of Chuck collected in the more recent years. This is how I will remember my father-in-law...

By faith we let him go...

It's been a while since I've blogged. I thought about it often while back in Ogallala and I've thought about it often since returning to Phoenix, but I just haven't been able to quiet my mind and process the things I've been thinking and feeling and learning. Now, I will attempt to do so.

On May 7, 2009 an amazing man was taken from this world...a son, a brother, a husband, a dad, a grandfather, a friend. In the days preceding Chuck's death there was much pain and suffering...pain because there was a reality that was drawing near though the day was still unknown to us. The unfairness of our impending loss felt so very unfair, but when the Lord finally took Chuck to be with him I felt so much joy amidst the grief. Joy because Chuck was finally from pain, free from suffering. Chuck lived with kidney cancer for nearly eight years, but it was not the cancer that took him from us. It was the Lord, in His great mercy, who took him from His book were written the days that were ordained for Chuck when as yet there was not one of them (Psalm 139:16). It was on that Thursday morning that Christ called Chuck to come home to be with Him where He is.

My mom came across this bit of wisdom from Charles Spurgeon that has completely transformed the way that I think about Chuck's death. Christ desires that His children come home to be with Him...what a glorious truth! So, while I will still wonder why He chose to take such a wonderful man who was too young, I will rest in the knowledge that I serve a sovereign Lord who chose my dear father-in-law to be with Him on the heavenly side of eternity. By faith I will let him go...

“Father I desire that they also, whom You have given me, may be with me where I am.”
John 17:24

O death! Why do you touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches weariness finds rest? Why do you snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all our delight? If you must use your axe, use it upon the trees that yield no fruit; then you may be thanked. But why will you chop down the best trees? Hold your axe, and spare the righteous. But no, it must not be; death strikes the best of our friends; the most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted must die. And why? It is through Jesus' prevailing prayer-- "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am." It is that which bears them on eagle's wings to heaven. Every time a believer moves from this earth to paradise, it is an answer to Christ's prayer. A good old divine remarks, "Many times Jesus and His people pull against one another in prayer. You bend your knee in prayer and say 'Father, I desire that Your saints be with me where I am'; Christ says, 'Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.'" In this way the disciple is at cross-purposes with his Lord. The soul cannot be in both places: The beloved one cannot be with Christ and with you too. Now, which of the two who plead shall win the day? If you had your choice, if the King should step from His throne and say, "Here are two supplicants praying in opposition to one another," which shall be answered? Oh, I am sure, though it were agony, you would jump to your feet and say, "Jesus, not my will, but Yours be done." You would give up your prayer for your loved one's life, if you could realize the thoughts that Christ is praying in the opposite direction-- "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am." Lord, You shall have them. By faith we let them go.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pink Crocs

Thanks to her Great Aunt Margi, Charlee has discovered a passionate love for Crocs! Included in a box of clothes and shoes her Great Aunt Margi sent her a few weeks ago was a pair of hot pink Crocs. Little did I know just how deep her love for these silly shoes would grow! I'm not a huge fan of them, but Charlee thinks she's hot stuff when wearing them and wants everyone to notice and comment on her fancy shoes. Thank you, Aunt Margi, for many laughs as a result of these shoes. Here's our little nut struttin' her nearly naked self with her favorite shoes:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Afraid? Of what?

This morning the Lord blessed me with a post on one of my favorite blogs, Given what we're currently going through with Adam's dad's failing health, I couldn't help but feel totally uplifted, encouraged and hopeful after reading this poem. In Christ, we have nothing to fear...we do not fear death and we do not fear life. We are free!

This poem was written by E. H. Hamilton upon hearing of Missionary Jack Vinsen's martyrdom.

Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit's glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour's face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash - a crash - a pierced heart;
Brief darkness - Light - O Heaven's art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven's rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not -
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Praying for Chuck

A man I cherish dearly. A man who knows and loves the Lord. A man who loves his wife. A man who loves his family. A man who has been stricken with and weakened because of a nasty cancer, but who continues to remain strong in the Lord.

This man is my father-in-law. I love this man. I hate knowing he's in pain. I hate knowing what this cancer is doing to his body. I hate that he is not free to enjoy life the way that we would like to right now.

Today, with so many emotions and thoughts stirring in my head and in my heart I rest only because I know that He is a mighty God...He is THE mighty God. I pray for Chuck daily...Adam and I pray for Chuck daily. We do not understand, but we continue to trust that the Lord has a great plan. We desire healing on this side of heaven. We don't know if that's what the Lord has planned. We will wait upon the Lord.

We love you Chuck!!!
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