Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Katelyn Grace - Pictures and a Letter

A couple of summers ago, while my sisters and I were students at the Amati Music Festival in Hunter, NY, we met an elderly gentleman who faithfully attended all of the concerts. Upon our return home, Mr. Sophocles wrote our parents a very nice letter commending them on our upbringing. This was the first of a great many letters written back and forth between one member of our family or another and this very kind gentleman. Before long, we discovered that he is a sincere Christian.

He was excited to hear the news of Katelyn Grace. I just had to share a few paragraphs from his last letter regarding our precious little baby. One of the things that has been hard for us at times is the way many people act like Katelyn Grace is a burden, and that we are to be pitied. To us, Katelyn Grace is our youngest sister or daughter, a little personality, and the greatest blessing in the world! Mr. Sophocles captured these thoughts very well in the following paragraphs from his letter:

I am very happy to learn that you are enjoying Katelyn Grace so much. She may be less than perfect to human eyes, but in God's eyes she is more than perfect. From the photograph that I received, she appears to me like a little radiant angel. And she will most likely turn out to be much more than you expect when she grows up. I once knew a nice young lady who had been born with Down's Syndrome. She always would express concern that my father was working too hard, advising him to sit down and rest. Consider Katelyn Grace, therefore, to be a blessing from the Lord and not, in any way, a handicap or burden. There is a passage in the Scriptures from John 9, of which I am reminded:

"As Jesus walked along He saw a man who had been born blind. His disciples asked Him, 'Teacher, whose sin was it that caused him to be born blind? His own or his parents' sin?' Jesus answered, 'His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parents' sins. He is blind so that God's power may be seen at work in him.'"

So it is that God's power is at work in Katelyn Grace.

Our prayer is that the Lord would use Katelyn Grace to reach others. We can already see so many ways that her life has touched the lives of those around her. What a little blessing!

With Nicole, Mom's midwife

Mommy and Baby

Daddy and Baby

Brother and Baby

Sister and Baby

Trying to drink out of Mom's coffee cup

A habitual thumb-sucker

And my three favorites....

Oh, ya'll, she's just the most precious baby in the world, and we love 'er to death!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Alaska Preview

Well, Mom, Dad, and I will be arriving in Anchorage, Alaska, to visit the Zimmermans in just twelve days. It's hard to believe how quickly the time has flown! We (especially I) are so excited to finally see Alaska!

In an effort to see a small window of that other world, I've been doing some "googling" and wanted to share some of the completely awesome, amazing, and perfectly breathtaking sights and sites. : )

Please humor me and share my excitement here. ; )

The following are some of my favorite live Alaska webcams:

Anchorage - Looking East
Anchorage - Looking Southeast
The New Seward Highway

Many times, there are clouds covering the mountains, especially toward the beginning of the day. Normally, if you look after around 6:00pm (eastern time) you can see some absolutely amazing mountains!

And ya'll won't believe the pictures on this site. I wish I could post some of them up here, but don't want to end up getting myself sued for "borrowing" someone else's pictures.

Of course, when we get back from Alaska, I'll have plenty of frigid pictures to post. (Just kidding! Actually, the temperature should "only" be in the fifties, sixties, and seventies. Brrrrr!) : )

Meanwhile, here are some Zimmerman visit pictures to tide you over.

Sweet Mrs. Zimmerman

Shannon dancing with Ashley's dress hanging from the fan in my room (random, I know)

Alligators on our outing to Bull's Island

Alligators "quibbling" on our outing to Bull's Island

A baby alligator paying us a visit on Bull's Island

Tait on the way back from Bull's Island

Can you believe they made fun of the name of our grocery store, Piggly Wiggly? (That's where the hat's from, by the way.)

Me, Ashley, and Shannon downtown

One of the few pictures of our lovely photographer, Esther

Goofing off downtown


Everyone now: "Awwwwwww!"

And now for my favorites....

Tait pretending to be a statue downtown
Isn't it great?

Sisters, sisters, never were there such devoted sisters!

Aren't porch swings the best? (That's what we're sitting on, by the way.)
: )

Um, that's me, if you must know

Shannon smearing cherries on her face at a beach-side cookout...

...Then sunscreen to cover up the red

Esther and me

Me, Esther, and Ashley at a cute little coffee shop around the corner

That's all folks!
Until next time,

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Zimmermans' Visit & Our Trip to Asheville, NC

I know. What an uncreative title. But hey, at least it tells you exactly what this post's about! : )

Meeting Katelyn Grace for the first time

Leslie and Ashley meeting for the first time

Thank you to Esther and Phil (her camera) for most of these wonderful pictures! All the ones that look too good to be taken by my little point-and-shoot camera are from her. : )

The day after the Zimmermans arrived, Leslie and I went with them to American Vision's Worldview Superconference - the same conference that we met Tait at last year! There, we learned about everything from epistemological self-consciousness to the fallacies of the interdimentional hypothesis. ; )

Esther in the backseat

On our way up to Asheville, we took a slight detour on the Blue Ridge Parkway. And yes, I know that the Blue Ridge Mountains (they are not hills!) are slightly smaller than Alaskan mountains. Oh, but they're beautiful!

We were able to make a few scenic stops along the way. Here we are at Looking Glass Falls.

Lunch was at a beautifully picturesque little cafe by the side of the Parkway.

My favorite talk of the conference, by Dr. Voddie Baucham (a phenomenal, passionate speaker!), was called "Whoever Controls the Schools Rules the World." A few of his especially hard-hitting thoughts (according to my rather sporadic notes) were as follows:

He who teaches, disciples. The student will be like his teacher. The pupil is not above his teacher.

As any homeschooler has noticed, they are always getting asked the same three questions:

1. How do you get socialized?
2. Is homeschooling legal?
3. Where do you get your curriculum, and who oversees the job your parents are doing in homeschooling you?

The reason everyone asks the same questions is because they have all been discipled by the same teacher!

Answering objections to home education:

"Parents are not professional teachers."
"Having at least one parent who is a teacher makes no difference whatsoever, statistics show."

"Students miss out on socialization."
"Good!" (We want selective socialization!)

"But they're not being salt and light!"
"Matthew 5 is about being distinct, and set apart - not assimilating! Jesus goes on to say that whoever keeps children from obeying the Law is least in the Kingdom of God."
All of the talks were exceptional, and I am so thankful we were able to attend!

Tait and Me

Esther and Ashley

Mr. & Mrs. Zimmerman

Talking on a quaint little bridge

While everyone attending the conference had a name tag, mine was somewhat unique. The front had the usual setup of the name of the conference, the name of the company, the date of the conference, and the name of the attendee. But, if you turned my name tag over to look at the back, you saw a slightly unusual note in a young man's handwriting:

(To see where "The Pesky Alaskan" came from, you can click here.)

One day, we were able to take a nice little hike up "Rattlesnake Trail" in between sessions. 'Twas lovely, with a beautiful view at the top.

A good time was had by all!

At Cracker Barrel on the way back

Esther, Ashley, and Leslie at Atlanta Bread on the way back

Random interesting fact of the day:

My name is Lauren Ashley.
Ashley's name is Ashley Laura.

Have a wonderful day, all you lovely people, and thanks for reading our blog!