Friday, July 15, 2016

And Just Like That They Are Back...

Well, maybe not just like that...
It took a 3 hour flight to Houston
 and a 24 hour drive from Houston...
But now, summer vacation includes a sweet, sweet visit 
from our adopted family :)

 Love these girls!

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Few Words About Girls Camp That Are Entirely Too Personal But I'm Sharing Anyway.

I am no stranger to Girls Camp.
As near as I can remember, I have been to camp for the last 7 years straight.
Last fall when I was released from the Stake Young Women's presidency, I was almost giddy with the thought that I would not be going to Girls Camp the next year.
No guilt about those feelings, I had definitely done my time.
And so, no one was more surprised than me
when I was called as the ward Camp Director again this year.
The bigger surprise was that I felt happy about it.
Not sure why- maybe it was because I have been to camp with Hannah every single year since she was old enough to go.
It probably was partly that- but now I know it went deeper.
It's been a rough year. And I suspect it's just going to get rougher.
Without going into details, my soul has felt shredded.
So much so that I was having a hard time feeling anything but the hurt.
I was a little frustrated by my inability to feel much from God.
I knew He was there but I couldn't feel Him.
When I knelt to pray- I would do nothing but cry and so praying became hard for me.
I was sooo tired of crying.
One day as I was working in the temple I told Him how sad I was that I couldn't feel Him.
In essence His answer was this: I can't communicate with you when you are in so much distress. 
It is blocking the spirit's ability to comfort you. Let me take it from you.
I wanted so badly to let that happen-but I couldn't figure out how.
And then came Girls Camp.
On the first day of camp, they gave us a paper that helped us set some goals to grow spiritually at camp.
The only thing I wanted was to feel Heavenly Father wrap His arms around me
and let me give away the pain.
I just wanted to feel His love.
And it happened.
Every. Single. Day.
By the time Girls Camp ended I felt like I could breathe again.
Five days of nothing but learning and talking about the gospel and God's love
brought amazing healing to me.
Each day I felt God's love in a sweet and powerful way.
And every day since camp, as I pray, study the scriptures, and let the temple permeate my soul, I feel the power of the atonement healing, comforting, and strengthening me.
I love Jesus. I LOVE Him.
And most importantly, I can feel right down inside my broken but healing heart, that He loves me more.
And that is why I love Girls Camp :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happiness in June.

June weddings are awesome. 
I had one and so I can testify :)
But last week we experienced another awesome one: 
    Cody and Justine's.

Just a few short months ago 
he returned from the Texas,Lubbock mission. 
Justine was his high school girlfriend 
and apparently was still interested.
Gotta love happy endings.
Or happy beginnings.

And five sisters were in the same state for a few days!
More happiness.

A happy day for these proud parents.
They seriously don't look old enough
to have married children, am I right?

All the best Cody and Justine.
Congratulations :)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Dinner on a Sunday.

It's been awhile since we have had a Sunday dinner with the the two Washingtonian sisters but yesterday it happened. :) 
All 5 of us girls together and we did not take ONE picture together. Ugh.
However, it was a great evening despite that misfortune. 

 Janis brought her famous dry ice Root Beer. 
No matter how old they get, the fascination is the same.

 We met the newest member of the Woolf family--Jones Parker.
Cuteness to die for!

 And speaking of cuteness, big sis Drue has just as much 
and then some :)

And some  more cuteness....

...and then not so much.
(wink, wink)

                       Food and family are my two favorite things...

Cuz it doesn't get much better than a brownie ice cream sandwich surrounded by the people I love most in the world.

Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Heather from Iowa.

True friend: someone who will loan you her brand new, 
never- been- used toothbrush* at Girls Camp 
because, you know, you forgot yours, 
and then proceed to use it after you, without flinching.

   Yep, true friendship.

 *A new toothbrush for me was brought up to camp immediately.
Heather continued to use "our" toothbrush the entire week. :)