Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Joni and Friends

 Earlier this year the boys and I took a tour of Joni and Friends with our homeschool group. I found out that you can even schedule private tours, so when my mother in law visited I knew it was a great place to take her. My mom and mother in law love Joni so we all headed to Agoura together to take a tour.

On this tour we actually got to see her office and step into her little studio.
We were shown the paintbrushes that have teeth marks on the ends.

What a creative woman!

This year Joni celebrates a very special anniversary. 2017 marks 50 years since her diving accident that left her a quadriplegic. Most people wouldn't celebrate this type of anniversary but because the Lord used that accident to draw her to Himself she is happy to celebrate it. Joni and Friends does so much for the disabled community. It's quite humbling taking the tour and seeing all the ministry that takes place through Joni. I often find myself complaining about the smallest things, yet her life is so convicting. She's used this lifelong trial to glorify our Savior.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Silverstrand Beach

For some reason this summer we didn't go to the beach as often as we usually do. That may have to do with the fact that our favorite beach is obsolete now. For the last two years we have made Marina State Park Beach our go to beach but when we were there earlier this summer two thirds of the beach was pretty much gone. We're still not to sure what happened but for a majority of the stretch on the beach it was full of huge rocks. We don't know if the city put it up or if it all washed in. After a little research I found Silverstrand Beach in Oxnard. We had been there once before but only to eat lunch after our whale watching trip. If you get there early enough you can park in their parking lot. The beach is real clean and there were no rocks or pebbles as you got into the water. The waves weren't huge either but they were big enough for boogie boarding. Since Judy, my mother-in-law, was in town we hung out at the beach all day soaking up the son, enjoying the waves, and playing together.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Homeschool Fair

Our homeschool group's annual fair was a couple of weeks ago. The boys love to participate in the fair...it's one of their favorite events. This year's fair theme was the Creator's Hand.

Josiah won first place in photography for his age group and also took 2nd place for overall theme usage.

He took second place for his whoopie pies....they were a lot of work!

Josiah then took first place for video presentation with his short called "President Junior". Quite a funny little movie about a young boy who dreams about becoming president.

Nathan loves entering the tablet setting category. This year he took second.

He also entered the photography category getting second place.

Lately Nathan's been pretty artsy....he's been drawing and painting a lot. He even entered the drawing category and got third place!

We're so thankful for our homeschool group and all the fun activities the boys get to participate in! Makes homeschooling a lot of fun.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Descanso Gardens Part 2 : Now and Then

I knew I had some older pictures of the boys in the same spot when we were at Descanso a few years ago. I love comparing pictures to see how big they've gotten and how much they've changed.

April 2014
April 2017

April 2014

April 2017
I'm finding it's harder to get pictures of the boys as they get older. They just don't want to cooperate! Anyone have the same problem? I know that one day they'll appreciate all these pictures....or at least their wives and kids will!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Descanso Gardens

Spring is finally here and with all the rains we've had Descanso Gardens was absolutely beautiful! My mom has been wanting to get out a little so the boys and I took her to the gardens. Plus the third Tuesday of every month admission is free!
As you got closer to the rose garden you could smell their perfume...it was amazing! 
These are one of my favorites!

The boys were real sweet with their grandma this day ....thankfully!   

The gardens did get quite busy around 11:30 so I'm glad we got there earlier. It was a real enjoyable day and I'm so glad we got to go.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Beautiful Poppies

I have been wanting to go to the poppy fields in Lancaster for so long. I was really hoping we would go this year since all of the rains we've had have brought the poppies out like crazy. I recently found out through a mom's group on Facebook that we have a small poppy field right here in Moorpark. So on Sunday in the afternoon we headed over to Country Trail Park.

By the way....all the poppy pictures were taken by Josiah. He's actually entering the photos in our Homeschool Fair in the photography category at our homeschool group.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Joni and Friends

Not too long ago we had the opportunity to visit the headquarters of Joni and Friends. Do you know who Joni is? This is from her bio on her website:

"Joni Eareckson Tada, the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is an international advocate for people with disabilities. A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quad­riplegic in a wheelchair, without the use of her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations."

It was really such an educational tour for us. Growing up at Grace Community Church, I've always known about Joni. She actually used to attend our church when I was younger so I would see her there a lot. I just didn't realize all that her ministry does for people with disabilities. It is exciting to see how the Lord has used her and her testimony to help so many people around the world.

 Before we went on the tour the kids explored an interactive center where they tried different activities but had a "disability". In this center Jojo was trying to read but the glasses made it real difficult for him to read simulating a person with a vision disability.

We then toured the facility. Here the kids are in a recording studio where Joni broadcasts her podcasts! She will record about 60 4 minute podcasts in one day...she's an extremely hard worker!

After her accident Joni learned how to hold a paintbrush in her mouth and paint. She painted the above picture!! Absolutely amazing! I can't even paint that well with my hands! What a gifted lady and she uses her gifts to glorify the Lord!

We were so blessed to have Joni come and visit us at the end of our tour. She encouraged all the kids and just shared her heart with us. She also shared the following: "God permits what He hates, to accomplish something that He loves!"

If you want to learn more about Joni and her amazing ministry you can visit her site at Joni and Friends