Archives For family

Growing up, I spent one week every summer in Yosemite National Park with my family. It was our tradition, a yearly vacation. From the moment we packed up and left Yosemite, I started counting down the days until we would be back. Hiking, rafting, bike riding, bouldering, swimming in Lower Yosemite Falls, s’mores, skipping rocks… it was just my idea of heaven on earth.

The last time we went to camp there, in the Housekeeping Campground, was after my senior year of high school, the summer of 2000. It’s been 18 years.

Back in 2012, my sister tried to revive the tradition, even creating a Facebook Group for all of the people who used to do this and we all tried to reserve housekeeping units. But nobody could get in.

But recently, I decided to try again. Not for whole week, just for one night. At the end of May I had our sons for two nights without the girls and I thought it was the perfect time to see if we could get up there for a night. And you know what… we did it! The three vlogs (video) below are from those couple of days.

What’s even better? I took the whole family back for two nights for Father’s Day! I’ve got a different vlog coming for that! So we are starting a new tradition. It probably won’t be a week, but we’re sharing some adventures with our kids in the wild! Looking forward to more.

If you’re interested in capturing family memories in video format, I highly recommend the gear below.

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*Disclaimer: If you buy through my gear links, I get a small percentage of the sale.*

Today marks the end of a significant part of our family story.

We have shut the door on an incredible season of personal and family growth. And we have opened a new chapter.

On July 3, 2017 we welcomed a little boy into our home as our foster son. Elijah came to us at just the right time. He hit the ground running, growing, learning, and yes, screaming too. And it’s been a big process adjusting to life with three kids and it’s been especially challenging because he came to us at 3-years-old.

Erica and I have always felt called to do for one what we wish we could do for all, through fostering to adopt or fos-adopt. Even before we were married we talked about adoption and always knew it was something we wanted to do down the road. We started seriously looking into it close to two and a half years ago when someone called us out of the blue asking if we would think about adopting their grand-daughter’s baby. That threw us for a loop and forced us to begin having conversations. We determined it wasn’t the right time or situation. But we began a process.

In that process, even before we welcome Elijah to our home, there were plenty of ups and downs. We were “submitted” for a lot of kids. But we were never chosen. We were praying fo the right child, at the right time, for the right reasons and God did not disappoint. When we were brought to a “disclosure” meeting with the county of Fresno department of social services, we were handed a huge redacted packet of Eli’s history. We asked questions and we were presented with all of the data. And then we had to leave and think and pray about it.

The next day our social worker called us and said, “So, what do you think?” All I could say was, “I’m running out of excuses. Let’s do it.” And I don’t regret any of it.

Today marks the end of that process.

Today, February 23, 2018, we went from fostering Elijah to welcoming him as our newest Foster. If you track with our social accounts, you’ve missed a lot of what’s been happening because we could only post certain things and we couldn’t show his face. But now, as Elijah James Foster, and our son, we can show his face.

I’d like to invite you to enjoy this montage video of some highlights from the last 7 and a half months.

Our experience with Elijah has revealed to me, even more, the depth of God’s love for us. I can’t wait to share some of those things with you. Stay tuned.

The following is from an Instagram/Facebook post my wife posted. It is a reflection of our heart and I am so proud to be married to this woman.

I have been putting this boy to bed for several months. He likes to hold my hand as he falls asleep, since the first night in our home. I couldn’t even count the number of those nights that he would fall asleep and I would look at his sweet face and sob asking God why. SO MANY WHYS! And wondering how I was going to let someone I love so much go.

A song called Take Courage has been playing in my heart and mind since we were in child search. Those nights I would have to really command myself to “take courage my heart. Stay steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting. Hold on to your hope. Let your triumph unfold. HE’S NEVER FAILING!

Well a few weeks ago we experienced a major turn of events, and a true Christmas miracle for our family and I really saw how much God has been at work in our waiting. We found out that WE get to be this sweet boy’s FOREVER FAMILY.

Wow God…

Now when I put him to sleep I can look at this face with deep deep gratitude for what God has done and only He could have done.

I’ve been processing a lot in these past few weeks the very painful process of adoption for everyone involved…the foster parent who has to let the child go, the bio family who can’t care for the child, the adoptive parents who know that their joy comes out of lots of pain and brokenness, the child who has experienced more loss than any human should ever have to.

It would be an understatement to say that fostering and adoption have become so important to me and close to my heart. If you want to talk about getting more involved in this community, I would love to talk to you.

Thank you to all who have been praying for our family during this season.

My son, Josiah, has recently become interested in vlogging. You know, video-blogging? So we’re going to start recording every-day adventures. So many people believe life is boring or that there is nothing to do in their hometown. We’ll, we’re going to prove you wrong. So we’re starting to put out some videos under the name “Go.Do” because if you’re bored, all you need to do is go do something. Check out our first video, Go.Do Episode 1: Touch Some Trucks. Feel free to subscribe and we’d love to hear what kinds of adventures you’d like us to try out.

Future Musician

August 8, 2013 — Leave a comment

Tonight Brynn was introduced to a keyboard. I was immediately impressed with her precision. She may be a future musician.

hope and a future

December 14, 2011 — Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go on a double date into “the city,” San Francisco.
We left the kids behind, with some trusted friends, and took off down the 101.
We parked under Union Square and waited for a table at the Cheesecake Factory for over two hours.
Regardless of the wait, it was fun to get out and have some fun with some friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
This time of year causes a lot of stress on people and it’s important to slow down.
You’ve got to take some time for yourself and breathe.
There will be enough worries and stressors to come with the new year ringing in.
The economy may tank further, more people may occupy things and difficult times are most likely ahead…
Not uplifting to you?

This should be:

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

– Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

And if that’s not enough, just take a look at the people you love who are around you and be thankful as we celebrate the birth of Jesus this month… be thankful for everything God has given to you, including freedom in Christ.

O Christmas Tree

December 10, 2011 — Leave a comment


What do you prefer?
Fake or Real tree?

I prefer fake and here’s why:

  • no cleanup
  • no watering
  • easy to put away
  • economical

Growing up, my family once sent me and my sister to get our family tree.
We came back with a charlie brown tree, you know the one nobody else wants.

Another time we didn’t have a tree and it was a couple of days before Christmas.
I said, “Let’s get the ladder from the garage and decorate it.”
That year we had a ladder tree! That was my favorite tree of all time.

So, what kind of tree do you have?

Brother or Sister?

October 15, 2011 — 6 Comments

on becoming family…

January 30, 2011 — Leave a comment

Last Sunday Nathan posted this on his blog. Just thought I’d share.

My Church Family
About a year ago I realized that I was missing a number of things in my life. Since moving away from the safety of my residence in my Small High School Town onto my Beautiful College Campus (which I now live adjacent to), I had not regularly been attending church. My first two years in college, I did not have an automobile with which to transport myself, and all the churches I rode my bike/scooter to did not interest me.

I figured that as long as I lived by the principals of Christianity, and kept a fellowship of believers about me, I’d be fine. And to some extent, that was true. The sins I committed weren’t any different than those I committed while regularly attending church, and I got to sleep in on Sundays too.

Some poor choices, and good friends who were there to comfort me in the wake of poor choices, made me question why I was not attending church. I realized that since I had acquired my driving license and an automobile, I really had no reason not to attend church. Additionally, I had friends who attended churches. So I began attending churches with my friends.

Then one week a number of my friends were out of town. In fact, everyone who I had been attending churches was gone. Now I grew up in a household where if you go to church, you go to church. EVERY WEEK. NO MATTER WHAT. So Saturday night, I made a google church for churches in a town nearby my Beautiful California University, where I’d found better church options. Now, the town next to my Beautiful California University is where I grew up until I moved to my Small High School Town. I remembered that one time when I was about 13 or so, I heard about a church that was doing new, crazy and innovative things. I didn’t remember what the church was called, so I went on Google Maps to the location of the church, and then Googled the church. After browsing the website for about 10 minutes, I decided that it looked retro and trendy enough for me to check out. I noted the address and the service time, and went to sleep.

I walked in and was greeted. Woohoo. I was greeted again when I walked into the actual auditorium where the service was held. I sat in the back. I worshipped, then listened to the sermon, which was on a topic that came up multiple times in my life the week before (this is a whole other story though). Then I left.

The worship service had lights and smoke, like a concert. The speaker was really energetic and engaging. I was intrigued, and interested in going back. I called one of my friends that had been attending churches with me, and told her about it. She was excited, as opposed to my vague skepticism. The next week she went with me, and liked it. We attended together for awhile, then summer break came, and she went home for a few weeks.

At this time, I must note that I had absolutely no interest in connecting to the church I was attending. I did not want friends, I did not want to deal with church politics, I did not want to become one of those yuppies who goes to lunch after church. I did not want any of that. I was perfectly happy going to church, then returning home and continuing with my day.

Early-ish in the summer, a man added me on Facebook through my churches Facebook page. I learned that he was one of the leaders at my church. Then some other people did. The man, who has a name (Micah, in case you were wondering) sent me a message on Facebook, and asked if I’d like to get lunch. I agreed, and we met at In-N-Out. I had a yummy cheeseburger. He probably thought I was crazy for bringing in my sustainable water bottle, instead of just getting a cup. Whatever. Anyways, little did I know this was the first step in a long journey.

Through this lunch, I became involved with the youth program on Sunday mornings at my church. I was going to be a small group leader. I was excited to stretch my strengths and try new things. All my work has been with college students. This was a chance to work with a different age group. Yay!

In the fall, the youth program started up after a summer hiatus. At first, I still didn’t care to connect to the other leaders. I would talk to them and stuff. One week we went to frozen yogurt, and that was cool. But overall. Bleh. Then this guy named Chris came along and shook things up. Micah told us to all go to lunch together and brainstorm some ideas for games to play before the youth service started. So we went to lunch. The discussion was legit. And fun.

The next week, Chris was all “let’s go to lunch!” I was like “eh. okay. sure. whatever” and went. Then the next week, he was like “let’s go to lunch” and I was like “yeah. alright.” Slowly, it became a regular thing. It was no longer “let’s go to lunch,” now the question has become “where’re we going to lunch?”

In fact, I now have a church family. I am involved as a volunteer at my church. I go to lunch every week after church. In fact, in a way, I have accepted this and planned it into my life. It is the weekly thing. Go to church. Hang out with awesome jr. high and high school students. Lead discussions. Have fun. Go to lunch. Be there ’til 4pm-ish.

I spend all week looking forward to hanging out on Sunday afternoons with Chris, Erika, Amy, Kelsey, Seth, and sometimes Lisa-Marie. Even Micah, Erica and Josiah would join us. A few times, we were even joined by Andy, the church pastor. I look forward to it so much that I’ve started getting coffee with Chris during the week.

I didn’t realize how much this meant to me until today. Chris and Erika were out of town. I felt a little bit of an empty spot and I realized how much my church family meant to me. In fact, as I was talking to Amy today about going to Grad School in August-ish, I realized that in just a few short months, I’m going to miss this family I’ve become a part of. I’m going to miss them a lot.

So I wanted to share a bit of that with you.

Josiah Drums.

August 16, 2010 — Leave a comment

Josiah loves this particular song by Chris Tomlin. It’s called Our God and he always has the same reaction. DRUMMING.