Space Oddity

I have deemed this year my year of big adventures.

My most favorite kind of adventure is the one that contains two words. ROAD TRIP! I reckon I’ve got a rather strong case of wanderlust at the moment, so I was super-excited to hear about this particular weekend plan.

Mama had purchased a couple of Groupon deals for some of us to go and see the Ave Maria Grotto, located up in Cullman, AL. We made our plans on a Friday night while we were coming home from a ball (more on that later), and left the next morning around 9:30. I was so excited to do all the driving…it added a lot to the adventure for me!


Jess took this photo of me on the way up. :)

If you’re not familiar with the Ave Maria Grotto, they have a website that explains what it is here.


We’re here!

The miniatures are all absolutely incredible. Here are some of my favorites:


Leaning Tower of Pisa


Montserrat


Looking on


Caught with a camera. 😀


A statue of the man who built all of the miniatures – Joseph Zoettl


A view of several of the miniatures built into the side of the hill


Matt and Tim enjoying the day

and of course, there is the special chipmunk crossing area.

After we walked through the grotto, it was time for lunch!

Which was root beer, potato chips and a sandwich (not pictured). Random fact about me: I *LOVE* root beer. Especially the A&W brand. 😀

When I went to the Ave Maria Grotto several years ago with my grandmother, we also visited the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament over in Hanceville, AL, as they are somewhat close in proximity and they are both sister-sites. I decided to take my group over to visit since we were already so close.

The castle on the grounds…. it’s a gift shop, but it looks pretty neat both inside and out.


Door handles


Josh with the door handles


Timothy!


Found my “knight in shining armor”! 😀

(Back outside)


Jess and I on the grounds

They don’t allow photos inside the actual shrine at all, but I can share a funny story. We were walking around inside and just enjoying looking at the beautiful architecture, and we realized we had just walked up on a tour that was in progress. We all sort of looked at each other, and then decided to join the tour group. It was neat to get the back story on different things that were there, and we got to see a lot more than we would have been able to see otherwise, which was absolutely fantastic.

After all of that walking, we were pretty tuckered out. We knew we needed to be getting back so that we could help with church preparations, so homeward bound I headed. I noticed the fuel was starting to run a bit low, but thought there was plenty to make it back to our house. And then, I realized there was a Flying J right on the way home, so we probably should get some gasoline.

Josh teaching Jessica how to pump gas:

The real reason I picked the Flying J? The COFFEE.

I don’t have my frequent coffee drinker card for them for no reason. 😉 All 6 of us were able to get huge cups of coffee for a total of $8.00. Sweeeet. I love Flying J.

I proceeded to drive barefoot all the way home. It was pure bliss!

All in all, it was a fabulous day spent with some of my very favorite people. <3 I would have never dreamed how many new things the Lord would bring into my life throughout the past couple of months. I had been praying for some very specific direction over what it is I should be working on and pursuing, and also that the Lord would bring new opportunities for learning and growth as the days go by. Last year was a year of trying to stay above the water as we were being hit with many, many difficult circumstances, and many of them all at once. This year feels so very decidedly different. Every single day seems to bring something new! There have been some challenges to be sure, but in general, it has been a wonderful year of learning and adventures thus far. I can't wait to see what else the Lord does as He continues to show His hand at work. (more updates to come! I'm super behind! :P) ~Court

Oh, oh these are beautiful times…

Owl City released a new song about a month ago, simply entitled “Beautiful Times”.

Some of the lyrics seemed to apply to different things we’ve been experiencing, or that I’ve been thinking or working through personally.

When did the sky turn black? / And when will the light come back? / We all suffer / But we recover
Just to discover life where we all are / I fought all through the night / Oh oh, but I made it alive
The sun’s startin’ to rise / Oh oh, these are beautiful times / This fight of my life is so hard, so hard, so hard / But I’m gonna survive / Oh oh, these are beautiful times…

Life is beautiful. The rough times, the good times. The difficult times. The easy times. Everything in between.

The Lord is bringing me out of what has been a very rough time in my life. I’m so thankful for the journey- for the learning experiences and growth that has happened as a result of what He has been doing.

Life is a highway

Wow, what an amazing past few weeks. The Lord has been faithful to guide us through more rough areas and happy events alike as we continue to traverse the crazy road of life.

Spring has changed to summer, as it always does about this time in Alabama. We had a day this past week where it was already in the upper 80s, and we hadn’t even made it to May yet! 😀 All of the sunshine has been a blessing for our growing flowers, and the extra rain has been a blessing as well.

The most exciting “happening” lately has been bringing home Baby Lambert #13, Owen Elias. <3 As a matter of fact, I happen to be holding the baby guy right now while I am typing out this post. He has been such a good baby. We are so enjoying the blessing that he already is in our home.

I truly believe he is one of the most precious gifts of healing that has ever been given to us. This past week marked the 1st anniversary of my grandmother’s passing away, and while it was still excruciatingly difficult, I think focusing on the fact that God had sent this perfect little baby boy to our home helped ease the pain. We were focused on the precious gift of life, and less on loss through death. The Lord is so very faithful. He knows exactly what we need when we need it. <3

The next latest happening is that my brother, Josh, found a house. Last week found us getting him moved and helping him start to settle in.

It’s been odd not to have him here. We had gotten in the habit of making our coffee at about the same time in the mornings, so we would often trade stories and jokes for a bit. We’ve always been really close, so it’s definitely been different not having him here at home. I’m very excited that he found a house, and that he is enjoying the area and making sure everything is just right, but I still miss him. Change is hard, but I’m confident that this particular change is for the better. :)

Getting Josh moved in meant stretching out of my comfort zone a bit… I’ve been learning how to do some haulin’, driving our trailer back and forth to different places this week as we have had a significant amount of things to move to different places.

Once we got Josh moved in, I had to go and pick up a filing cabinet at a semi-local auction house, and then, today, I took 740 pounds of junk to the local landfill, which is roughly 45 minutes away.

All was fine and good until I got home, and while I was backing the trailer up into the spot, I ran over a piece of glass and it put a hole in one of the trailer tires. Not my brightest moment. :p It has been a lot of fun to learn how to drive though, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to try something new.

Then there was our kitty, Lyle. Lyle got hit by a car this week, and unlike our other animals who have been hit before, he survived the hit. I called our favorite vet to ask for advice as to what to do, and he walked me through a few things. Lyle was meowing and meowing, but it wasn’t his normal meow. I assumed this was because he had been hit, so I wasn’t paying as much attention to that while I was trying to figure where all he was bleeding and if any bones were broken. While I was on the phone with the vet, I realized Lyle had bitten completely through his tongue, and that his tongue was actually stuck on his teeth. I pulled his tongue up and over his teeth, and he immediately stopped meowing. The next order of business was his left eye, as the pupil was significantly less dilated than the pupil in his right eye. Our vet told me it was most likely from head trauma, and that he thought we could wait and see how he did, since I couldn’t find anything broken and he was still completely responsive. We decided to follow the advice of the vet and put him in a laundry basket in our basement, and he pretty much slept through the entire first day. By that evening, his eye was completely normal, and by the next day, he was eating soft cat food and meowing to be let out of his box.

He has made an amazingly miraculous recovery! I think the Lord knew that we still needed him in our lives. You see, it will have been a year this next week since he first arrived at our house. Our other kitty, Graysie, was ran over by car and killed at this time last year, just days after my grandmother had passed away. We were incredibly upset. Within the next week, someone came and left Lyle and a bowl of water in our front yard. The Lord had sent us a new cat! He adopted us right away and has become a family pet. I’m so thankful that the Lord chose to allow him to live through being hit- it would have been really hard to lose him in the anniversary week of him coming to be with us! He is truly our little miracle kitty. :)

I think that is all for this post. I’m going to be blogging soon about our latest road trip! :) Many blessings to you, my dear friend.
~Court

A thought or two on Godly friendships

Blogging over at Meditations of His Love today! :)

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“For many, many years, I prayed that the Lord would send me Godly friends.

Over the past couple of years, the Lord has been so very gracious and answered my prayer in abundance. He has sent specific people into my life at the most perfect moments.

When it seemed as if my family and I were the only ones walking along a particular path, He sent a special group of friends to me that I “met” online. I’m still writing back and forth with several of those ladies, and each one of them hold a special place in my heart. There were many times when I would be having a particularly rough day, and I would have a letter or email from one of them in my mailbox or inbox. It literally brightened my whole day! These ladies have shown the love of Christ to me in incredible ways, and while many of them I haven’t yet had the privilege to meet in person, I pray the Lord will allow me to meet each one of them if it is His will.

Along with these special online friends, over the past year especially, He began to bring ladies into my life that I see in person quite often now. It is so wonderful to get together with them and simply fellowship, or if the situation arises, to stop and pray for one another. There have been a couple of girls in particular who have literally stopped what they are doing right then to pray for me, and making it a point to encourage me if I had been struggling with something. They have prayed faithfully and diligently for us as my family has walked through some rather difficult situations over the past year, many of them making themselves available to help with things as we have had needs arise.

It’s really made me think a lot about the blessing that the Lord has given us through Godly friendships, so I was excited to see that our topic for the month here at Meditations of His Love is “Godly Relationships”. I’m going to focus specifically on Godly friendships today.

In the scriptures, there is a lot of value placed upon having Godly relationships with others.” Click here to read more!