Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pictures and Ramblings

T had great fun taking photos of Lil' Cowboy. I liked this one in particular. It is probably the first photo that we have that he is not smiling in and yet his eyes look so...content.

Goose, always willing to help, was recruited along with some other young men to form cookie dough and cut cilantro for the night's dinner.

Oh yeah...we were in Illinois for a purpose...Goose visiting some of the guests at the Covenant Presbyterian Church General Session luncheon.

Goose, Lil' Cowboy, Brown Sugar, and I all arrived in Peoria around 2am. We had driven from North Platte, Nebraska to Peoria. We would have gotten their by midnight but there was one huge detail missed in the directions that were given us and so we ended up on the other side of the city. Since we got in so late, I stayed in bed while Goose went on to Presbytery and the other kids went to a wildlife park.

L's oldest daughter came with her dad to the Presbytery. Daisy was incredibly happy to have her friend there.

J McDonald carrying Brown Sugar on a nature walk.

While the kiddos were at the park I enjoyed an incredible morning of rest. The view was incredible. But, it was a delight to see all the kids come back and finally meet the other McDonald children. They were busy getting ready for the ordination service/dinner/dance. Boo with J and M McDonald. We met M last year when she came out to Presbytery as it was held at our church. Boo and M became fast friends and pen pals.

K with Daisy and Miss M. All prettied up!

A getting her hair done by big sister.

The girls in their finest Regency gowns.

What do I like about being a Presbyterian? Good wine, wonderful fellowship, family, and dancing! It is beyond fun dancing the Virginia Reel with little and big people.

T, the oldest McDonald at home loves photography. I say she has an incredible eye. She had so much fun taking pictures of Brown Sugar and Lil' Cowboy. I love this picture.

Have you ever spent time around girls who sang psalms and genuinely had a good time? These girls had "fun" by serving us great food and drink, helping with the little ones, and cleaning up the house all the while trying to sing in harmony. What a blessing!

We had the priviledge of meeting T's fiance before he left to go back to school. They were dear and also helped watch the little ones play.

G and this one.

Dr. RC Sproul Jr was also a guest in the house. He had the kids attention Sunday morning at the breakfast table. You should have seen these kids...they were mesmorized.

I had an idea that Miss M liked photography but had no idea that she had such an eye for it. This is one of a few that I thought I would show and tell.

And, here is another one.

Stacy had a moment to hold Brown Sugar. She was an incredible hostess who not only had over fifty people in her home but also helped take are of the odds and ends of a General Session that hosted over 170 people. She truly is a Passionate Housewife...and a sweet friend.

Just right out the back door there is a beautiful pond/lake. Goose took E and C out on a boat ride.

There were seven Patriarch Wives at church on Sunday morning. Patriarch Wives is a yahoo group that I have been a part of for over five years now. Stacy and her husband started it several years before I joined. From Left to Right: Heather (Arizona), Jean (California), Me, Sheri (Illinois), Jayne (Canada), and Stacy. We were missing Rachel who had to leave right after church. I have two more PW's to meet in person and one to visit with that I met last year. Do I get an award for meeting the most PW's in one year?

I take responsibility for these adorable pictures...

This is from Stacy's side yard. What a view!
What a happy crew! They just planted the McDonald Garden. Goose even helped work on a chicken coop and help tear up the front yard for the "stinky" guy to come and flush out the sewer system.
We left today with much sorrow. We had such a wonderful week with the McDonalds. It was packed full with lot's of fellowship and fun. We would have loved to stay longer but the schedule was calling our name. So, off we drove today through Illinois, Indiana, a small portion of Ohio, and on into Kentucky.
We arrived at our destination about 9pm (we lost an hour due to time zone changes) and were greeted to a site right next to a babbling creek (my favorite kind of location - I just wish we could stay longer). For a moment I was thinking about staying another night...who can beat $25 for full hook-ups? But, we must press on so that we can join the Centerville, TN church for worship on Sunday.
As we were setting everything up for a good night's sleep Brown Sugar had difficulty breathing. I must admit that I went into panic mode. After the fourteen mile drive to the hospital and a call to a friend I calmed down enough to realize that what I really needed to do was pray. Why is this not always my first thought?
We prayed before going into the ER and I felt like my money and time would be better spent if I found a Walmart and bought some cheap medicine. As we drove away from the hospital Stacy called me letting me know that William had woken up from his nap with the same problems. After talking for a while I realized that maybe she has croup. I have never had a child with this so I am not certain but we have been drowning her in some homeopathic cough syrup for the past couple of hours. I am up in the wee hours of the morning listening to her breath so I can catch any problems she might have.
It has been a rollercoaster of a day. I woke to the news of Steven Curtis Chapman's daughter being killed which made me break out in uncontrollable tears. I understand his sorrow and pain right now. Oh how I miss Eric. The pain seems so unbearable at moments and I have started having those gut wrenching pains again that just make me want to scream. I especially get these feelings when I look at pictures and realize that he is not in any.
So, it will be a sleepless night but I can rest tomorrow while the kids are in the museum. After that we are headed to Tennessee. By the way, Kentucky is a beautiful state. I sure hope I can come back here and spend more time poking around.


CristyLynn said...

What great pictures! God has blessed you with such wonderful friends and beautiful and talented children. I look forward to reading more about your adventures!

Valerie said...

Oh Heather,

I shed tears with you now! I dreamt about crying last night over Eric's death. It was very odd. So to read that you were probably doing the same thing during that time is interesting. I am praying and crying my friend. I too was hit by the loss of Stephen Curtis Chapman's daughter and to have to deal with the fact that it was an accident by their oldest son. I can't even begin to imagine how one deals with something like that. Not on their own as you know so well my friend.

Things like these bring tears to my eyes and I ask that God would always keep me tender to the hurts of others. Yet it also just makes me long more for heaven. I remember when I was younger and had so much of life I wanted to experience (marriage, having children etc...) and couldn't even think of heaven. Yet, as more of life comes my way I do long more and more for being with our Saviour and experiencing no more pain and suffering. In the mean time we are here to glorify and serve our Heavenly Father and may we continue and "not grow weary in doing good."

Let us know how Brown Sugar is doing.


Laurie said...

Praying for you Heather for safety, good health, great fellowship, and for your heavy heart. I admire you so much for this journey you are taking the family on. You have been missing some wacky weather here in California. Hail, tornadoes, mud slides and rain, all in May!!:) Such wonderful pictures of your time with Stacy and the family. May the rest of your journey bless your socks off and fill you with joy.

Love, Laurie in So. Ca.

danshelpmeet said...

It was such a blessing to meet your family.

Cara has a croupy cough also. A good humidfier and steamy showers followed by cool air does wonders. It is usually to the change in weather.


godlover said...

Hoping and praying that Brn Sugar is much better. My youngest son had asthma and he always seemed to get it in the middle of the night. He finally out grew his, but still as an adult has severe allergies. We had many trips to the ER and he was even admitted a few times. Scary stuff!

Your pics are wonderful to look at and you definitely have a photog in the making. Ms M has a good eye and great composition!

It looks like you had a wonderful time and I'm only sorry that Eric wasn't with you as I know how much you must have missed his secure presence. I don't do well in crowds but as long as I can see my hubby I am okay; lose sight of him and I'm in a panic.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers while you're away on this incredible adventure. I so agree with other writers, you are the bravest woman I know to have pushed on with your plans. I am honored to know you thru these blogs.

Calaveras County CA

Jessica NicDhòmhnaill said...

We're so happy and thankful that y'all were able to come visit us! I had a wonderful time getting to know each of y'all(whether in working or play! :-)).
We can't wait to see y'all again (hopefully soon!)! God bless each of you on your trip home, and know that y'all are in my prayers.

Hugs to y'all, Jessica

Darby said...

Look at my dad!! :) He told me all about your family, and how much he enjoyed all of your children. :)
~Darby Sproul

Kristi said...

That was a wonderful update and I'm hoping Brown Sugar is clear of any breathing problems. Enjoy TN - I have a lot of questions for you about it ;) God bless you, Heather!

kristi gregg

guitarwife97 said...

I am enjoying all the pics on your blog!

Hmmm, the most PW's in one year - I don't know about that! I've been blessed to meet Stacy, Tonya, Kathy G., Sheri (Okay, so that was all at camp before I joined :), but since then I've met all of those but Stacy again!!) I've met three others who don't post much, plus Christy S., Amy M., Daisy, Andie. Seems like I'm forgetting someone. . .

It is always such fun to meet in real life! I would love to have the same opportunity with you and your sweet family some day!

May the Lord bless the remainder of your travels!


MrsMelody said...

Beautiful pictures. I am glad you enjoyed your trip (so far) and I am sorry to hear Brown Sugar wasn't feeling well.

Praying everyone is better today.

Have a blessed weekend

Lesa said...

Kentucky is a beautiful state - I've been here for all of my 47 years!

Hope Brown Sugar is on the mend soon! She is so beautiful - I love her smile and brown eyes! Croup is one the most scariest things my son ever had when he was little. He would get it every Spring and Fall - allergies make it worse. I remember getting in the shower with him in the middle of the night and praying for God's healing hand! Steam, Vicks Vapor Rub on the chest, and lots of prayer helps!

Stay safe on your journey and I'll be keeping you in my prayers daily!

Valerie said...


Happy Birthday to you today! Did I finally get the day right? :-) Happy Birthday to Daisy as well! Such special memories of being there for her birth. I am thinking of you as it is one more milestone without Eric and I am sure will be hard. Wish I could be with you but we'll do lunch together when you return. Thinking of you today on your special day.

Sorry to announce it on the blog but wasn't sure how else to wish you a happy day.

love to you!

BelovedPeace said...

I'm glad you all had a good time! :-) It was so nice to see you all again!! :-)
I'm so sorry to hear that Brown Sugar isn't feeling well!! How is she now? Poor dear!

Anonymous said...

Oh man! Where in KY did you stay?! You could've met another PW! It was kind of funny though in church today they said the Davis family was visiting and I about gave my self whiplash! It was another family from NC. Oh well, 'nother time!

Kristy S in KY

Marilyn said...


My name is Marilyn Moll, and Stacy McDonald wrote some time ago you suddenly lost your husband about six months ago.

My husband passed away 3 months ago, suddenly.

Your blog is amazingly full of pics. My blog is shorter as time is short at

Possibly you could email me and we can encourage each other.

Gods ways are certainly not our ways.

Marilyn Moll