Happy Day's

Tuesday morning. I am not sure that I could have put one more event or breath in the last couple of days. Each moment was a blessing (well most, there is that lantern...). My sister, Becky, and her sweet family came to Abilene to visit for 3 whole days. We are a stop through on their trip from Arizona to Kansas to visit grandma. We normally get them for two days, this time we got an extra day and we didn't want them to go.

In the midst of a family visit I shot my LAST wedding, well kind of my last ; ). It is very clear that even though my heart loves wedding photography, my back, feet and weary body are very mad at me for days after. I was blessed to take pictures of sweet Hallie and Colby this weekend. I have watched Hallie grow up and I am so glad to have been the one behind the camera to take pictures. I did, however, have a meeting of the minds with a lantern that was hanging from a tree. The wedding was outside on Colby's family property, under the oak tree's. The decorations were beautiful and included many lanterns and chandeliers with crystals hanging down from the trees. As I was setting up the first set of pics with the Bride and Groom I walked right into a lantern and it drew blood and left a big knot on my head. I ended up with a bandaid across my forehead for the rest of the wedding day. I am thinking that it could be the next trend for those who want to look like a big...idiot. Really it shouts out...look at me I don't watch where I am going. I embraced humility and swallowed my pride and wore my bandaid with my head held high for the rest of the night. The day was beautiful and my head will heal, but most importantly there is a new Mrs. Rideout in the world.

I arrived home to my family playing the card game Fluxx at the dinner table, it looked fun and it was a game for kids and adults alike.

Sunday morning arrived a little to soon, but with a smile on my face I knew that there would be a great morning ahead at church. Not only would I be worshiping with my sister and her family, earlier in the week I had been asked to take pictures of a wedding to take place during bible class. I couldn't wait! Our church has been blessed to welcome in refugees that are placed in our town. On Wednesday nights many people volunteer to help the refugees learn English. Right now we have a wonderful group made up mostly of Nepalese refugees. They have stolen our hearts, they are the most amazingly kindhearted and loving group of people I have ever been around. This group has lived a very difficult life being sent out of one land to another and living in tent cities for years before arriving in the U.S. You would not know that they have been treated so poorly by the rulers of their lands because they are gracious in every way, always ready to give a hug and shake a hand. Many of the refugees have chosen to make Christ the Lord of their life, the only God, not one of many gods. It has been a blessing to see how just as they have warmed our hearts, Jesus is warming their hearts.

The bible class would start with the groom's baptism. He wanted to start his life with his bride as a follower of Christ. He was baptized with all of his friends and family there to cheer him on and celebrate his choice, then he immediately changed into his tuxedo. His bride, in a beautiful gown, was then ushered down the aisle where they would join hands and be married. This was probably the first American style wedding that most of the refugees had attended and their was a lot of excitement. Once the wedding was completed in English and Nepalese languages, the reception was held in the foyer of the church. We have some very special women in our church that has taken this group into their hearts not just in spirit but in actions, they provided everything including the bride's dress, food, cake, decorations. It was a true wedding feast like the one in Cana (minus the wine ; ). God's people were welcoming and providing for those new in their land. I am so thankful to God for these special women and our new friends.

After church was over we had a family meal at church to celebrate my sister's family's visit, along with my grandfather's 91st birthday. It was fun to just hang out and let the kids play in the gym. My sweet grandfather is precious and his love for all of his family is evident. He is a gentle and kind man, who has a great conviction for truth and wants all to know Christ. He will share the love of Christ with others until he draws his last breath.

Everyone wanted to hold onto Gran here ; )

And the type of picture our family does best....

Monday morning we woke up to packing and getting my my sister's family on the road for the second part of their journey. Here are some early morning pics...i.e. that's why my kids are still in their jammies.

As soon as the group headed out we ate a good breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then our first summer lesson of Laundry 101. My kids weren't real excited that they would be learning to do laundry, but such is life. Then we got right to work in the boys room to clean it out and get it ready for Derek's new loft bed that is arriving today. It was a full day. Whew.


denise said…
So glad you were able to have a visit with your sister, and an extra day at that! Sorry about the boo boo, but glad you were able to hold your head held high! :) That wedding at your church sounds.... perfect! What a loving body of believers you worship with, truly the hands and feet- and hearts- of Christ!

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