A December Vacation

The smiles on our faces reflect the fun that we had at our annual Gaslight Theater Holiday Show. 

Then it was on to a special weekend in Scottsdale where the first stop was my parents' favorite watering hole.

The evening was spent reminiscing over a beautiful album of photos that Robyn had arranged. We are sure that Mom and Dad were looking down on us fondly. I was definitely in my happy place with everyone gathered together.

My ever present and vibrant Auntie Barb is as kind as she is beautiful!

A beautiful Arizona day found us gathered at Mc Cormick Railroad Park in the heart of Scottsdale celebrating the life of our beloved Mum and sharing her memory.

Her love of the blue skies and sunshine created a perfect blend for the hours spent playing golf.

We enjoyed blue skies too as we shared stories led by Bret who delivered a heart warming remembrance of the love that we received. 

Thank you to our amazing daughters who put their hearts and souls into creating prayers and music. Thank you for the support of all our husbands that accepted this family get-a-way without a fuss!

Get ready to be awed by glass artist Chihuly at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens.  
The spectacular display can be seen through May 18, 2014. 
The Arizona setting sun and cactus garden background is a gorgeous combination.
Add a beautiful SIL and it is magic.

These huge works of art are arranged within the gardens and as the sun goes down they come to life!

Lest these photos fool...the glass is delicate, intricate and yes....sharp!

The mature saguaros in the foreground give you an idea of the size of these sculptures.

All the while our favorite 'littles' were keeping up with us.
Now it is their turn to visit a museum.
We don't see much sea life in these parts so we were all mesmerized by the ocean beauty at the Sea Life Museum.

Our hotel had an amazing life sized gingerbread village. 

We even made one of our own.
NOTE:  This could become a competitive endeavor*!*!*

We are now experts in making wallets a la masking tape.

 Here are the crafty ladies sitting in our boot of course.

I even had a chance to slip away and check out a vintage marketplace that was on my list.

Our vacation was magical and memorable.

We returned home overflowing with a desire to give our hearts during this season. 

We had that opportunity at Saguaro Canyon Church Blue Christmas Service that is held each year on December 21. The service provides hope for those experiencing grief, loss or pain on the longest night of the year. 

Knit with love and intention, these prayer shawls provide a blanket of protection to those in need.

Over four years ago we were introduced to our special Bolivian friend named Ruth. We have traded so many letters with each other. We are amazed by her positive attitude and her love for Jesus. Sharing scripture with her has provided so much to my heart. The pictures that she draws always include a sunshine; this despite the fact that she lives in a rain forest with dirt floors and parents that are often out of work. Someday I hope that we meet one another with the help of Compassion International.

 So friends, I end 2013 with a full heart and more grace than I started the year.
  Thank you to our local Home Depot for the complimentary evergreen sprigs. 
A few cranberries and candles that float keep this spruce moist.

 I heard a rumor today that the Packers are still in the game. Who knew?
May you all have a blessed 2014 full of grace!


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