Tuesday, January 1, 2013

California Vacation, Volume 6

 

{After a 3 month hiatus, I’m blowing the dust off this blog and finishing what I started!}

We’d seen the city, we’d seen the ocean, and now we were able to enjoy the country (hills/mountains) of California. For our final few days in California, we stayed with our dear friends, the Stoppes. Their home is up in these mountains that they call hills, and they have 80 acres for the boys to romp around on.  They also have no internet or cell service, so it was an escape from civilization in a way.

The roads to their house are very winding – one hairpin curve after another.  Each one of us felt a bit carsick at one point or another.  But one morning, we fed the boys breakfast – cereal with MILK – then loaded them in the van and blasted the heat…and within 10 minutes of being on the road, Chance began upchucking. So we turned around and came back to the house. To our amazement, it had started snowing! Had we continued down the mountains, we might not have known it had happened, or gotten to enjoy it! 

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Rhonda and I told the boys how we’d both been praying that they’d get to see snow! It was so exciting!

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It was just a dusting, really, but enough to impress these South Texans.

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We spent 3 days talking, playing games, and talking. Steve and Rhonda are like second-parents to us, and it was so wonderful to introduce them to our children and just visit…

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While we were there, Rhonda was working on her book, called “Moms Raising Sons to be Men.” (Original title: Moms Molding Men, which I like more)…  You can preorder it here.  It’ll release this Spring.

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Meanwhile, the boys journaled about their vacation…

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And played board games.

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It was so nice to slow down a bit, and even enjoy staying warm with a fire. We don’t have a wood-burning stove or fireplace back in Texas!

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The kids also enjoyed the wildlife: the peacocks and dogs on the Stoppe’s ranch.  Thank you, Steve and Rhonda, for your hospitality!

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We ended our trip by spending a day at the Stoppe’s church. They have such a sweet and vibrant community.  I also busted a tire and we drove it on the donut back to the airport the next day. Ooops!  I loved how, when the tire went flat, Chuck didn’t have to even ask, but a bunch of men from the church just gathered together and took him to fix it. 

And thus ended our amazing vacation. One thing we can’t capture in pictures is the way we reconnected as a family. We tend to be so busy at home, especially with school and church activities, and it was so nice to just bond together.  We decided we need at least one of these trips each year!

2 comments:

Cindy Lou who said...

Thanks for your blog it is a fun read and brings back my own memories of 3 little boys.

Rhonda Stoppe said...

oh how I enjoyed this blog about your visit to our ranch! Isn't it amazing how the Lord puts His people together in a certain place at a certain time in history to knit their hearts together in love for Him and for each other? So thankful that He made your precious family a part of ours. You guys bless us to no end :)