Yesterday Ken and I took Doug and Susie out to dinner to celebrate Doug's birthday. Doug got to decide where we would go to eat. And his choice made us ALL happy. We went to Uncle Bub's. Ken first introduced me to this wonder BBQ place a few years ago. He would go there with friends from work, for an occasional lunch. When he mentioned it to Doug, it was no surprise that this was also a favorite spot for Doug and his friends. It was so good to sit and eat together. To talk and share and just be with each other. And the food was simply amazing. It was actually the first time that Susie had ever been there and she loved it. We went home with take home boxes and Doug and Susie went with a bottle of BBQ sauce in their hands. Back at our house, we sat and talked over some coffee. It was a wonderful evening.
That is, except for the coffee. It was not so smart for me to drink a cup of regular coffee at 7:30pm on the night that we LOSE an hour of sleep. I didn't manage to go to sleep until well after midnight (which was 1:00am with the time change). So it was a very early morning for me today...and it was actually later than I normally get up. And we had another big day today.
We went to Ellie's Hello Kitty party to celebrate her 6th birthday. It was a wild and crazy party with many, many little girls (and boys) running around. Gwen had 4 different craft areas (which is appropriate since Ellie is a CRAFTY girl!) to entertain the kids. There were beads to string, sun catchers to paint, scratch off shapes, and pages to color. There was a pinata and candy bar and cake (of course). And there were presents. Ellie got a large assortment of Hello Kitty items - everything from a beach towel and sprinkler to a bathrobe and headphones. Of course there were some Frozen items thrown in and also Barbie. What else does a girl need? It was a huge success.
Yesterday Ken and I went into Chicago to go to the zoo. It was the first "warmish" day that we have had. It was around 30, but clear and sunny. I took this shot just as we were walking into the zoo. I love the hint of a rainbow at the top of this photo, in the sun shining down. When I downloaded my photos and saw this picture I was reminded of those banners that I saw flying over me. The banner of Love and IS Jesus and also that banner of hope. Yes, we are in the midst of warming temps and the snow melting away. Spring seems to be nearer and the cold darkness of winter seems to be retreating. And then there are these reminders of all that is right around the corner. I feel an increasing excitement and certainty that all of the promises and words that have been declared are bursting forth. Yes, this is a time of the new springing up. How amazing!
Jesus, thank you for sunshine and warm temperatures, for birthdays and family and noisy little girls and boys. Thank you for BBQ and cake and time to just enjoy each other. Thank you for speaking to me in rainbows and clear skies. Holy Spirit, stir up all of those seeds sown so long ago and remind us all that this is a season of double blessings and new things coming forth. Jesus, thank you for knowing exactly what we need. Amen