Whirlwind on Steroids (part 2)

We didn't catch our breath, really, before catching an early morning flight to LA to spend the weekend in that area.  First stop, Santa Clarita, which just happened to be on our way to our Thursday night speaking engagement at Desert Vineyard in Lancaster.

Though it had only been days since being with Brandon in Sacramento, it was no less exciting to receive Brandon's exuberant, full body hug Thursday morning.  We managed to squeeze in an arduous hike to his favorite new park (Kari gets a "Mother of the Year" rose for pushing him in the stroller up the 1.5 mile route to the park) before heading up to Lancaster to spend the evening teaching at the Antelope Valley Ministerial Association date night.  A delicious bbq dinner preceded our talk on "Friendship in Marriage," over which we caught up with David and Nancy Parker, who lead the congregation at the Desert Vineyard.  We love them!  

Reward for hiking up that 1.5 mile hill to get to this very fun park!!

David and Nancy Parker have become not just partners in ministry, but dear friends as well.

The Antelope Valley Ministerial Association gave us a warm welcome in Lancaster.

We're not sure who enjoyed Friday more, Brandon or us, as we spent from morning ‘til night exploring Disney's new Cars Land, where Brandon's beloved Lightening McQueen lives.  Thanks again to the generosity of our dear Disney employed friends, we were able to enjoy this day without having to ransom our grandson to gain entry.  :)  It was a perfect Disneyland day....slightly coolish weather, cloudy-at times skies, and not horrific lines.  We had a blast.  Since Disneyland was part of my growing up years, it has always held my heart and I really do love the place.  We managed to "do" both parks and clocked 11 miles walking from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  :)  The delight exponentially increased as we experienced it through Brandon's "this is really real" eyes....especially on the "Finding Nemo" submarines when he announced that he had found Nemo to the entire boatload of people. So stinkin' cute!!

Cars Land lives up to its billing!  We had so much fun.
The traditional photo...no trip to Disney would be complete without it!

Highly recommend this tire air-hockey ride in Cars Land.

The highlight: meeting Lightening himself.  Does it get any better than this?
He conked out before we got off the shuttle back to our car, and didn't waken ‘til the next morning.

After a brief recovery from Disney Saturday morning (and a few lessons for Brandon about the fine art of yard-saleing from Gigi and Papa), we headed back to Lancaster to preach at the Desert Vineyard Saturday night and Sunday.  We once again found the congregation to be very receptive and teachable.  Many expressed appreciation for our teaching. One woman, through tears, said she was leaving with hope for the first time in years. Praise Him!!

We were so blessed to have another couple at Desert Vineyard who are committed book table sellers.  Theresa and Kevin Swafford ran our book table the first time we spoke for Desert Vineyard's marriage conference several years ago and eagerly volunteer each time we come to town.  They LOVE doing it and they do a great job.  Once again, feeling very blessed!!

Kevin and Theresa making selling books look easy. 

Back to Massachusetts we flew on Monday, May 20, happily exhausted.  Our flight back was half a red-eye; we were on a 6 am flight, which required getting up at 3:30 am.  We decided that was as bad as a red-eye.  

But the whirlwind doesn't stop here.  Stayed tuned for part 3.