Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Kyra doesn't pronounce the letter "f", so all week long as we anticipated going to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Kyra would talk about going to see the "ishies". On Saturday, the girls and I made the long, short drive (if you get my drift) to Baltimore where we met up with my sister-in-law, "Aunt Susie". To help with traffic flow, the aquarium doesn't allow strollers in the building, so we traded the wheels for a stylish back carrier and started the tour.

The first thing you see is the impressive tank of sting rays. The NAIB has a bunch of them and a few are rather large. When we pointed out one of the largest ones to Kyra, she informed us that it was a daddy sting ray. I just adore her logic.

We hit up nearly all of the exhibits, including the tropical rainforest, the sharks, and the jellyfish. We also splurged and paid the extra $3.00 to attend the dolphin show. I must admit that every time I see those amazing creatures in action I find myself wishing I would've chosen a career path that allowed me to work with them. I mean who wouldn't want to work with someone who always looked like they were smiling (and didn't mind being paid in fish).

One of my favorite little moments of the day was when Kyra pointed at the huge blue whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling and said "dinosaur". Obviously, it wasn't, but I think she assumed it was because of our trip to the Museum of Natural History in DC several months ago where every large bone structure was in fact a dinosaur. I found it cute how she made the connection. It's little things like that that make me realize she is growing up.

By the time we reached the end and traded the now 1000 lb back carrier in for the stroller, the girls were beat (and by girls I mean Susan and I too). So much so that Kylie fell asleep within minutes after we put her back in the comfy stroller. Although, she did seem to really enjoy her special bird's-eye-view of all the exhibits and creatures. All in all it was a very fun, very memorable day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vicky's Rainbow

Two Sunday's ago I met a woman at our church named Jo Ann. As does so often happen, she immediately asked me about my name and I told her the Cliff's Notes version: a beam of light, reflecting off of glass, caused a rainbow to appear on my mom's stomach and God spoke to my parents regarding His promise of children for them. I am the first born and my name, Keshet, means rainbow in Hebrew.

She reacted as pretty much everyone does, with comments of "Oh wow! That is so neat!" or "How beautiful!" But then she went into her own story....

Jo Ann and her sister became believers in their late teens. They had a cousin, Vicky, who was right between the two of them in age and she thought their "religion" was crazy. However, as they got older, they invited Vicky to a Christian women's retreat held on a beautiful bay. The weekend offered different classes or sessions and Jo Ann and her sister, both having kids, were going to be attending one on parenting. Vicky, not so interested in that particular class, needed something to do while her cousins were occupied. So Jo Ann and her sister gave her a Bible and told her to go find a place and just read it.

Like with any book, Vicky started at the beginning, in Genesis. Later that day, a storm came off the ocean out of nowhere and as quickly as it arrived, it moved out. But as it cleared, a rainbow appeared over the bay. Vicky said to her cousins, "That's my rainbow." They asked her how that was so and she replied, "Today I read about Noah and how God gave him a rainbow as a promise. I asked God if He was real, why couldn't he give me my own rainbow too."

Three weeks later, Vicky was killed in a car accident.

Tears are streaming down Jo Ann's face (and mine) as she says to me, "I believe God is a relentless pursuer of our souls right up until the very end. He knew Vicky's time was almost up and he gave her just what she needed to believe in Him." She then pauses and says, "You know, I had forgotten all about that story until you told me about your name."

For over a week now, I haven't been able to get Vicky's testimony out of my head. It is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever heard of God romancing someone into His arms. Since Vicky isn't around to tell it, I felt that I needed to share it. I was so encouraged by its reminder that God does pursue us, no matter where we are. He is the one waiting at the end of your rainbow. He is the one who made it for you.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

And Finally.... The PARTY!

Yesterday we celebrated Kylie's birthday with an "under the sea" themed party at Pop Pop and Mom Mom Witmer's house. The day couldn't have gone any better. We had beautiful weather, delicious food, fabulous decorations (thanks to Aunt Susie and Aunt Katie), amazing family and friends, and tons of fun. The kids stayed busy for hours playing on the swing set, jumping in the bouncy castle, and splashing in the kiddy pool. Even the "grown ups" were able to enjoy some rounds of washer toss while the kids played.

The birthday girl, though most likely oblivious to the fact that we were all there to celebrate her, had as much fun as anyone. It took her no time at all to dig into her birthday cake. And when she had had her fill, she enjoyed painting her tray with what was left. Unfortunately, she did have a minor allergic reaction moments later due to the eggs in the icing and cake mix. But after a little dose of Benadryl, she was fine so we started opening her gifts. She was a good sport as I held her on my lap shoving tissue paper and clothes and toys in her face as she was fighting the urge to sleep brought on by the Benadryl.

Most of the guests went home just after 2:00 and Kylie got to take her nap, but the party didn't end. We hung around with Jim's family and chatted and played and even got take out from my father-in-law's fire company's chicken barbecue for dinner. We would've hung out all night if we could have, but we had a very tired Kyra and Kylie that needed to be tucked into their beds. So after much partying we called it a day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009