Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Weekend Reflections....Part One

As you know, we enjoyed a wonderful weekend of visiting Youth Challenge, dear old friends, fellow and lurking bloggers, and an exciting, educational trip to the Creation Museum. We topped off the weekend with our church's annual Harvest Party. With so many fun times, treasured memories, and reflective thoughts, I have decided not to try to stuff it all in to one post. So this post will focus on Friday night, Youth Challenge, and friendship.

*First thoughts: this ain't yo mama's Youth Challenge! Now keeping in mind we were only there for one night this year, you can take my observations with a grain of salt. But, wow, have things ever changed since the days of my youth! I am obviously older than I realize. The traditional trappings of the CHM in method and style have been set aside for a sweeping entrance into the 21st century. The place was packed to capacity, the music was more contemporary and energetic, affirmation was made known in the form of applause, and the evening speaker, Randy Brown, had the crowd on the edge of their seats from his first uttered word to the last. You can make of this what you will; overall, I think it is a positive thing. I am confident that the leadership will continue to pursue balance, but their primary focus is/has been/will be on YOUNG PEOPLE. This is a good thing.

*Secondly, VISION sang... and all bias aside...it was wonderful to hear their blending voices again. I think they maybe beat themselves up a little for not being as polished as when they were traveling 478 days a year (slight exaggeration!), but I thought they were wonderful. And I even shared a conversation with someone (if you're reading you know who you are!) who told me that those songs were just for her and ministered to her need that night. So, in light of that, what more could you ask for?

*I saw many many people from all different phases of my life; pieces of my life's history are found in the people that I have been blessed to know. It is difficult, as I told many of them, to make all the rounds and have quality conversation when you have so little time to see so many. My beautiful cousin, whom I hadn't seen for probably 12 years, was one I got maybe 5 minutes with~! So sad! In a related vein, it was also a little disconcerting to learn just how many lurkers there are reading this blog and probably many of yours! Of course, we know this in the backs of our minds, but hearing outright makes it more real! I say, "come out, come out, wherever you are" and join us here in the land of blogging! Make your presence known~!

*Final observations...I'm still as "in love" with my closest friends as I ever was. What a blessed, lucky gal I am to have such beautiful people to call my friends. We enjoyed our time with you so much, both Derek and me. I have probably left some things out that I wanted to share about this first part. Maybe I'll remember it while I'm getting on to the good stuff.....
VISION singing; looks so familiar, doesn't it?!
So great getting to see each others' children. Pictured here, l to r, Janessa B., Josiah T., "Little Guy", and Micah T.
Jani's cuties: John Henry B., and Juliana B.

Our Sophie and Michah T. playing ring around the rosie. These two turned out to be quite the pair. :)
Another very lively pair! Lauren and Ms. V; I had a difficult time getting a "normal" picture of these two. Others may have a better pic than me!
It was SOOOO good to be with Jani, John, and their sweet family! The time was just way too short, as they couldn't stay over and be with us the next day. Friday night was it. :( John was holding Juliana out due to a tell-tale odor! (you could just squeeze her to death, though. She is a doll-baby.) They're expecting a new Baby B. in February.

Once upon a time, three girls shared a one-bedroom apartment. They dreamed big dreams for the future, and probably always thought they would be close by to share all the daily parts of each others' lives. Alas, that was not to be. But the happy ending is that no matter how much time passes or how many miles are in between, the love and friendship is still there when they come together again.

What a sappy way to leave you with my favorite picture! 11 years, 3 husbands, and 9 1/2 kids later! OY!


Kimberly said...

Yay...so fun to see!! (esp. Jani's kiddos..been so long!!) I am a "leetle" jealous but so happy for ya'll..not a bitter bone in my body!:)

Love your line:"pieces of my life's history are found in the people that I have been blessed to know"...well-said, my dear! Love Ya!

(Do you really think there are masses reading these blogs?! I go back and forth on that!)

jenny said...

Oh, how very, very sweet to see these pictures...Jani, Julia and Tara--you all looked so pretty! I'd have loved to hear them sing. And the family pic of you all together is great--nice to see others our joining the "4-club"!!!

Jody J said...

Great to see you guys! Your kids are beautiful. You are right about Vision - they sang wonderfully. I love the picture with all of you together. It's so fun to see what a difference a few years makes!

kayla said...

Despite the fact that I feel very "rubbed", I really enjoyed the pictures. Everyone looks great, and I must say that my friends got themselves some cute kiddos.
You're right about the lurkers who need to come out. Do you really think there are masses? I do think there are more than we think.

Cara said...


Thanks for the pics! I haven't seen Julia or Jani in a long, long time! I didn't even know Jani was expecting again! Anyway, you all look great and your families are wonderful. I'm glad that you had a good time!

Kim M. said...

Awwweeee... so enjoyed this post! Wow at all the kiddos... beautiful!

Kelly S said...

Are we famous?!! hee hee. Really, it is amazing how many people you run into that say they've been "lurking". I don't mind, but it would be fun if they would join us!

LOVED seeing the SWEET pics of Jani! Of course you and Juwah are just as sweet, but I see pictures of you regularly now. Were you able to convince Jani to start a blog? I see her parents often at IHC/GBS, etc. You meet them once, and you can see where Jani gets her sweet disposition from. They are dear people!

Marty said...

I'm very jealous and happy to admit it! I so wish I could have been with you guys!!!! The pictures are BEAUTIFUL!! I so wish I could have heard VISION sing...they are FANTASTIC even with rusty edges!!! I'll try to catch up with my blog soon...been a little busy around here..

Tara, can you email me your phone number...I lost it in my phone...short, stupid story. I have some questions and comments on schooling!! Thanks!

Charity said...

OK, you had way too much fun ;o) Sure wish we could have been there, too. When ARE we going to do another friend's vacation?!