No better friend than a brother...

Gifts. We count them, one by one, the birds and the flowers and the sunsets. And they sing to us of the greatest of God, of His gracious blessing of abundant beauty. 

Even more precious are the days when we can stop and truly appreciate the gift of relationship. Nicholas was stoic, but sad, when Patrick left home last fall. Caught between being completely thrilled as any nine-year-old soccer player would be at the mere mention of the National Team and being acutely aware that his hero and buddy was  plucked from his daily life, he has struggled through the year. He is Patrick's biggest fan, but really, he just wants him to come home and play with him. In these last few weeks before the grand adventure comes to a close, Mike made a superhuman effort and got Nicky down to Florida to visit Patrick. So, this week, we count the gifts of brothers, together in the sunshine.


 ~a sporty red rental car to toodle around on the gulf coast~


~a hug (or two or three)~


~a chance to see where Patrick has been living and training, up close~


~up-close view of  Saturday morning training session~


~a tour of the dorms. What's this? Patrick's "count down to home" calendar. Since the date to come home keeps changing though, we suspect the calendar is more about the picture than the numbers.~
Bradenton haircut

    ~A much-needed haircut. Nicky only lets Patrick cut his hair.. Haircuts have been few and far between this year.~ 


~a tour of the school~


~A romp in the Gulf of Mexico. Sort of funny to look at these pictures since neither of them are big fans of swimming in the sea.~


~Perfect Sunday seaside~



It has been said that the greatest gift you give your children is a sibling. 

All true.