Thursday, October 16, 2008

A little bit of heaven on earth... and a BIG HAIRCUT

Stories, laughter, memories, songs around the bonfire, sandcastles at the beach, family, friends, good food, good church, shopping, San Diego... and I quote, "It just doesn't get any better than this" (Paul Bertram). We had the distinct privilege and honor of reliving some old memories and making some new ones while visiting in Lakeside (San Diego), CA.

First let me say, I can never say enough about this family... set aside the fact that they are kin. These are genuine Christians. They don't just read the Word and watch out for themselves alone, but they have a huge burden as big as the sky for others. My cousin Paul is an incredible Pastor (in blue). I got to watch his devotion and commitment to God for the year Jeremy and I lived there. He was early to the church every day to pray. The fruit of that commitment is evident in the saints at Faith Mountain. They are some of the most dedicated, passionate, and committed Christians you will ever meet. We were so blessed to learn and grow with them that year.

In addition, his wife is also a Godly beautiful woman with strong conviction. She is a miner. She goes digging for things in people who don't know what they have yet. She did this for me. She pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to play the piano and sing after Jeremy would preach. This frightened me to death because I only knew a few altar call songs that I was coordinated enough to sing and play at the same time. At our Ladies Prayer meetings, she began putting me on the schedule and having me teach every other week. I began studying and digging into God's Word like I never had before. She is an awesome woman. Now as we revisited the church I saw others she's mined something precious out of and I became so overwhelmed with emotion. For you Bri... you too Amanda... Christina... don't close up the mine... always keep it open. She is always the same. She is a nurturer in the truest sense of the word. She took care of me when I left my "home" for the first time. I called her my 2nd Mom. She fills every bit of that definition. "Her children rise up and call her blessed." I bless you today "Mom."

Also, their biological children, Johnny, David, and Chantal, are some of the best examples of Godly young people you'll ever find. When we lived there, I remember going into the church in the middle of the day and Johnny would be bent over the altar praying and seeking God (I am upset I didn't get a picture of him. I'll have to steal one from his mom's blog) . He is transparent and pure through and through. I also remember Chantal and David in youth prayer meetings, and Chantal specifically one time right before we moved, as she prayed with power and conviction. Her praying that night lead the group into another level of intercessory prayer(the beautiful blonde). God used her in a mighty way. Then my heart was bursting within me again this trip when I walked into the house one day and heard that familiar beautiful sound of praying coming out of David's room. These young people know who they are... they are HIS. And it is obvious that's all that matters. Oh how beautiful and refreshing it was to see this.

It wasn't all serious... we had some down to earth times like when I beat everyone in Big Boggle haha (we won't discuss those other two games); or I got to go to my fave Mexican restaurant: Rodeo's; or when Paul and my Dad came in from Walmart looking like two escapees from the asylum (loved the cap's green light attachment) and Chantal says, "You went to the store like that?"; or the day at the beach building a sand castle and trying to keep Noah from eating too much sand (ahhhh); or getting to teach the youth choir again; getting to see and be with all my old Faith Mountain friends; or spending too much money shopping (my excuse is that its for a good cause... our upcoming Harvest Festival)... on and on I can go.

Yes, you read right, I did mention my Dad earlier. My Mom and Dad also got to come down for the week we were here. I was so glad too. I couldn't have picked a better set of parents than these two. They helped me through a very traumatic experience while we were in SD... the BIG FIRST HAIRCUT. Yes, we finally did it. I wanted it to be special so Lorraine helped me find a salon that was not only kid friendly but they also had a special first haircut package. Noah got to sit in a sports car with Winnie the Pooh. The saved his hair and put it on a cute certificate. Well things started out okay with the cool sports car and as his hair "began" to be cut. After this strange lady started playing with his hair, he started freaking out. I ended up sitting in a chair with him in my lap because things got ugly really fast. Noah was not considering forgiving this lady for cutting his precious hair. So, we just decided to go for a trim and maybe wait a little longer for the BIG BOY styling haircut. All in all we enjoyed a little bit of heaven in SD... revisiting memories and definitely making new ones.
Hair Before:
Hair After:
More pictures:

Mom and BriSis.Hoffer and meSis.Casias and meMe, Noah, and CynthiaMe and Bri


Michelle O said...

We sure did miss you while you were gone. I am glad that you took a lot of pictures, it shows that you had a lot of fun. If it is any consolation, Jacob would not let ANYONE touch his hair is there was even a thought of cutting it, not even John or I. Sometimes I would sneak up on him while he was asleep and trim around his ears and neckline. If he was in a REAL GOOD mood the he might give you 5 min of sitting kind of still so you can get a fast cut in with the scissors, forget the clippers. I once took him to a salon and forgot to tell her not to use the clippers, we ended up chasing him around the salon and when we caught him she must have cut 4 hairs and still charged us! Can you believe that!

James Wilder said...

Not just because we were starving for another post from you guys, but because it was that good... this is one of the best blog posts. It's FULL of goodies. I agree with you about the Bertram's. Congrats Noah on the new Fro Chop!

Denise said...

Vondebabe, I can't help but noticing that the last 2 blogs are all about your 2 trips to California. You are so missed here. Noah is getting soooooo big. And yes, you definitely have some awesome parents. We love them too.

Lorraine Bertram said...

Von de Leigh,
I am laying on the floor in my room my laptop open in front of me....your blog was nothing short of BEAUTIFUL. As I got to the end of the paragraph about me, tears had soaked my face. It is so sweet to know that your love for us is as big as our love for YOU.
You only become more special and dear to us as the years pass!
I love you very much!

Momma Lorraine

The Wisener's said...

Oh, it looks like you all had such a nice time.

Noah's little trim looks precious and we sure did miss seeing his sweet face.

We missed all 3 of you so much! But it was a great thing for you to be in SD! And your parents were able to come also. Wonderful!

Love you!

Kari said...

Hi Vondeleigh...I love your post about Paul and Lorraine Bertram and their kids...I hope and pray my family will someday be as beautiful as theirs when it comes to loving truth and godliness. I love them dearly. We miss you guys...No Limits will be here before we know it..I'm zsure we'll hook up then?

Raquel Rendon said...

Sis. Von de Leigh -
All I can say is that I'm glad to have finally met you. Sis. Pennison has told me so much about you. You truly are an annointed, awesome and talented woman of God. You are a great role model in my life. You remind me a lot of Faith Mountain's First Lady...Sis. Bertram. Gotta LOVE her!!! And your post about my pastor and his wife...amazing...! I hope to see you again soon. ;)

Jana Allard said...

Glad to see you back in blogland and what a great post! Loved all the pics. I love Lorraine, too. She is a godly lady with alot of character. What can I say about your parents! They are such wonderful people and I will always fondly remember their loyal friendship to my parents. Noah is such a doll. Of course, telling his haircut story brought back memories of Bryce and Blake's first haircut. Bryce was 18 months old and his dad held him while the barber cut his hair. Bryce had big tears but cooperated while holding tightly to a lollipop. Blake was 2 1/2 and went to a place similar to where Noah went. He loved the car and acted as if he didn't know anyone was touching his hair. LOL The stylist hated cutting his red curls, too. LOL

Janell said...

Awwwww that looks so fun, Vonny. Isn't it awesome being with holy-spirit filled family?! I had to laugh at Noah's hair! WOW it was long before the haircut! hahahahah!!!

Michael Pathmann said...

It was such a tremendous blessing seeing you again at our church. We miss you already. You will never be forgotten at Faith Mountain. I'm so thankful that my wife was able to meet your family (including your parents). By the way, Jennifer says hi and she misses you.
Did you get my email with the pictures?

Journey to Lilly! said...

What a beautiful post. We missed you while you were gone! How lovely to be with family & friends & that your parents were there too!!

Anthony was always upset at hair cutting time! It was always a very stressful time until a friend gave him a dum-dum while getting his cut! It got a little hairy...but he didn't seem to mind :) His cut looks adorable.

As for your latest post. I love to can tomatoes! Don't you just feel so proud when your done & they are all lined up on the counter. We must can together sometime!

Your such a blessing to us! Love You,

Manderz said...

Im so glad tht you guys came to c us again!! Thank you for the kind words and I will heed your advice about keeping that mine open... Sis. Bertram really is an awesome person to have in leadership through life's journey. You can actually read a little more about it in my NEW blog...Yes I started a blog! it is
now we can keep in touch better and i will post new pix of everyone and myself of course.
luv You and Miss Ya,
Amanda Lynn Ceballos