Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Full-Time Job

9:00 am - Breakfast with Keith, Andrew and Rachel (who are visiting for a few days) at a nearby restaurant. Pleasant conversation. Reconnecting. Getting to know Rachel better.

12:00 pm - Fix lunch for the family. Andrew doesn't like tuna so I fix something else for him. Referee a few disputes. Clean up.

1:30 - Talk with a depressed daughter. Take her grocery shopping. Ask, "Is there anything in Wal-mart within reason that will make you feel better?" She decides a bag of fresh snow peas should do the trick.

All day - Clean house for Christina's college graduation party tonight. Cook food. Referee more disputes.

5:00 pm - Check in on husband who decides today is a good day to get stomach flu.

7:00 pm - Welcome 18 guests for dinner.

10:00 pm - ice youngest daughters swollen hand

12:00 am - Heart to heart talk with Erica on the front porch. Thank God for the gift of her sharing thoughts and feelings. We pray and my heart overflows.

1:00 am. - Finally finished washing dishes from the party.

1:45 am - Depressed daughter vents for a few more minutes before going to bed.

2:00 am - inspired to write a blog post.

All in a day's work.

I have the best job ever and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Being a mother means long days, squeaky wheels to grease, and talking to the wind. But nothing I've ever done has been as fulfilling and rewarding as raising my children and seeing them learn and grow. They're all so unique and amazing and I'm blessed to have them in my life.

I need to get off the computer and get to bed. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Mugs

This weeks theme is "The Backyard"

When we lived in Iowa we lived on an acreage in the country. 8 acres for our kids to play in and grow and roam safely. It was a great place to raise kids.

But 8 acres was a lot of work. When we moved to Ashland two years ago, Keith said he never wanted a yard that big again and that he wanted a postage stamp yard. Be careful what you ask for because that's exactly what we got. Mowing both the front and back yards takes 20 minutes.

From this angle the back yard looks bigger than it actually is.

Not a big yard for two big dogs but they make do.

Keith keeps wanting to take this play structure down but I keep telling him our kids haven't outgrown it yet.

Andrew defying gravity. He likes to yell, "Indiana Jones" and jump off the deck. The older he gets the less he does this.

View other Monday Mugs visit Heather at Oswald Cuties.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Little Mermen

Once upon some friends came to visit the Viks. Old friends like they've known each other a long time. Good friends like the kids played together in the sandbox when they were little. The Viks took the friends to the beach and the kids swam awhile before declaring the water too cold to swim in.

What to do? What to do?

So even though most of them were teenagers,
they reverted to the default -- playing in the sand.

They decided to bury someone in sand.

One thing led to another and before
they knew it, they had a muscular merman.

The second merman said to Amy,
"Give me big muscles too."
To which Amy replied,
"No way, I'm not giving you big muscles.
I'm gonna make you skinny."


The second merman had trouble extracting himself.

Everyone knows the best way to
rinse sand off is to jump out of a tree.

And a good time was had by all.

The End

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Red Letter Day

I have no greater joy than to hear

that my children are walking in the truth.
--3 John 1:4--

Erica was baptized last week and it was special time for all of us. Our church practices Believer's baptism by immersion. We see baptism as symbolic, an outside indication of what has happened on the inside. A public profession that it is her choice, not her parents choosing for her, to be a Christ follower.

The bad thing is our church doesn't have a baptistry.

The good thing is we live by Lake Superior.

The bad thing is the lake was freezing that day.

The good thing is the occasion was so awesome she didn't mind the cold water.

Celebrating with friends and family

I love this picture and think it's symbolic.
Erica's Dad is holding out his hand to
steady her and show her the way.

We were buried therefore with Him by baptism
into death, in order that, just as Christ was
raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
we too might walk in newness of life.

--Romans 6:4--

No baptismal robes - we're kind of an informal outfit.

Keith & Erica with the other person who was baptized.
(disclaimer: I am not responsible for my husband's
wardrobe. He shops for and dresses himself.)

Cortland and Erica with their youth leader

and her other youth leaders

Erica and her Daddy

A gaggle of girls plus a good-natured nephew

I love these words from Jason's Gray's song, I Am New

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
and I'm dearly loved
I am new.

Forgiven Beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the giver of life
Righteous and Holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and Worthy
this is our new name.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


On a recent trip to Iowa, a friend commented that his 13-year-old daughter likes to read my blog, and that she had commented, "Angie must have other things to do this summer." Which is another way of saying that I haven't been posting very often. In my defense, we now have all six girls living at home again which is an adjustment all the way around. However my friend's daughter is right and I apologize for being inconsistent.

Anyway, I wanted to share this picture taken at the marina where Christina works. (Christina's marina has a nice sound, don't you think?) We found a boat with my daughter's name on it. Kinda looks nice all spelled out like that.

Blessings on what's left of your summer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Leap of Faith

I (Erica) spent the last three months at two different Bible Camps, and the most asked question now that I'm home is, "How was your summer?"
To put it simply, it was amazing...in further detail, I met God, we became Friends, and now He TRULY lives in my heart. But sometimes a simple explanation doesn't do things justice.
To elaborate...
I met God.
Not my perception of God, or the weak flawed God made out by the World. No, the God I met was the unchangeable, unfathomable God found in the Bible and in the intricacy of the world's nature. It was startling, scary and uncomfortable. In some ways I wanted to serve God and keep living my life the way I wanted without giving Him control. But now that I have met the TRUE God, I have no other choice. There is no one else I would trust to guide my life.
We Became Friends.
As my view of God changed, my desire to meet God changed. Before I was reluctant to trust, not ready to give my life to a God I wasn't even sure existed. Now faith in The Alpha and Omega has led me to a point where I want God to shine into my life. Sometimes I find myself talking out loud, not so much praying, but filling God in on things that have happened in my day. If that makes me crazy then I'm so happy to be crazy.
Now He Truly lives in my Heart.
This is always the most difficult struggle for me in my faith. I can follow rules, I can obey authority (ok, most of the time!) but my trust and affection is hard to gain. I have trouble being attached to people which is only tripled when I try to love a God that I can't see, feel or hear.
But something beautiful happened this summer. I read the Bible, no I devoured the Bible. I began to feel this strange hunger for God, for the salvation of others, for a pure life that I've never felt before. It was...amazing, the questions that seemed so important, so faith-breaking before dimmed in importance.
Instead I pursued God with a longing that has truly changed my life. And the amazing euphoric feeling I have right now is beyond a doubt a peace that surpasses all understanding. I know things will be hard, I've devoted my life to Christ. I am seeking to become a true Christian, a disciple of Christ. And I am trusting God to lead me.
So how was my summer?
It was exhausting, day in day out taking care of energetic kids. Playing exhausting games, not getting enough sleep.
It was SO MUCH FUN! I'll forever have memories of the crazy spontaneous things we did - winning hoccer games, bungee trampolines, and mountain boarding.
It was soul satisfying, I thrive on deep conversations, and whether it was my best friends and I talking about life decisions or a random conversation with a complete stranger about political climate I was encouraged and satisfied with quality conversations.
But most of all
I met God.
We became Friends.
Now He truly lives in MY heart.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Music Lessons

“Wow, Mom. You’re cooler than you used to be.”

Thanks, I think.

Day 3 on our recent Oregon road trip. My 20-year-old daughter and I had exhausted music we both liked to listen to. Rich Mullins, Jason Gray, Jars of Clay.

I eyed her well-stocked CD case with dread, thinking there wasn’t much in there I liked. Knowing we had long driving hours ahead, I looked sideways at Kiah. “So what are some of your favorite songs?”

She glanced up in surprise. “Seriously?”

“Yeah,” I said. “Why don’t you play me some songs you like?” “Well,” she hesitated. “My very favorite group is One Republic.” She played their CD and to my surprise, I could tolerate it, though I’m not sure what all the words mean.

We did this all afternoon. Her playing songs, me asking questions like, “Why do you like it?” “What do you think the song means?” “What do you know about this musician?”

A favorite vacation memory is driving through beautiful portions of Montana listening to One Republic’s song, “Waking Up.” The first half is rowdy and I have no clue what it means, but the second half is a really pretty instrumental. Jumping to 3:17 on the song lets me skip right to the part I like.

I listened to “Waking Up” last week while fixing dinner and it just wasn’t the same without Kiah, a good stereo system, and Montana’s bright blue skies and turquoise rivers.

Kiah said this meant a lot to her and it was a special bonding moment. I cringe thinking of the many times I’ve asked the kids to turn their music down or off or to take it somewhere else.

By taking time to listen to music that touches my daughter’s heart, I touched her heart as well.

Recently my kids had friends over to play games. Everyone gets a turn to pick out a song. I chose “Hard to Concentrate” by Red Hot Chili Peppers which my son used in his wedding video.

A young guy looked at me in wonder, “You picked this?”


“I’m surprised you like it.”

I grinned. “Why? Because I’m old?”

He hesitated, probably unsure how to safely proceed without offending me. “It’s just my Mom wouldn’t like it.”

We resumed our game and I smiled to myself. Thanks to Kiah’s music lessons, I can navigate You Tube with the best of them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday Mugs - Sunglasses

Once again, I'm linking up with Heather's blog Oswald Cuties. This week's theme is Sunglasses.

This picture was taken by Kiah last spring on a beach in Spain. She was so tickled to have taken a creative picture since she's not much of a photographer.

These next two pictures were taken on a family hike last spring. In case you can't tell, we were in a goofy mood.

I can't believe I'm posting this last picture. Normally I'm a responsible middle-aged mother, but I have ocassional fits of silliness. Case in point...