Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Isabelle is 10!

On July 15, 2013 Isabelle turned 10. I can’t believe it has been 10 years since she was born. All the things that have happened and we have been a part of in the last ten years. It think about people who are 100 years old and all of the things that they have seen and done. Then, it just boggles my mind to think about eternity in heaven.  Isabelle’s ten years are just a flicker of a thought in that time frame. But how special they have been to us so far. I can’t wait to see how God uses Isabelle’s loving, giving, stubborn, and willing to do what she needs to attitude to further his kingdom. 


Here she is with her Moshi Monster cake. She had a great day of swimming with friends. Thanks to all who came to celebrate her special day!


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More Beach Time–Summer 2013

Last weekend we spent a few days in Gulf Shores with Joshua, Sarah, and the kids.


The first night we were there the kids couldn’t resist so we walked out to the beach to see the sunset and let the kids play for a bit. After playing for a while, we decided to take a walk down the beach. Upon returning to our chairs and toys we saw people pointing and fishing about 15 feet out in the water right in front of our stuff. When we looked to see what they were pointing at we could see two sharks circling and swimming about another 20 feet out in the water. I was ready to go home at this point. It wasn’t too far from where my kids and husband had been playing about thirty minutes before.


The next morning, we attempted the beach again because my kids are addicted. The water was smooth, beautiful and very enticing. So we played for several hours. I love morning beaches.  No sharks this time but we did see a few dolphins stirring up fish.


At one point in about three feet of water I put my shin down on the sand and hit something extremely hard. When it dawned on me that the sand shouldn’t be that hard I looked down and there was a horseshoe crab right underneath me. I didn’t realize how hard those little knuckle things are on their backs.


We thought we were going to try a local favorite and eat at Lulu’s one night but in our efforts to get five kids ready and cleaned up from a day at the beach and fishing, we forgot that it was a Friday night right at five o’ clock. It was a 2 hour wait.  Knowing that Luke’s blood sugar couldn’t wait that long, we decided to try Lamberts. It was 1 hour and 45 minutes, so we just ate at Cracker Barrel. We are close enough that we can try Lulu’s again some other time.


Here are a few pictures from the weekend.  Charleigh eventually got used to the water in the pool. But she never did come around to the beach water, or sand for that matter.


Staring contest? Or is she just looking at her reflection in her daddy’s glasses?


I think Luke enjoyed having someone younger than him to take care of since Riley doesn’t much want anyone’s help. She wants to do everything for herself.  However, I think that between Luke, Connor, Isabelle and Anna, Charleigh may have had enough help by the time we left.


These two looked like two old men telling tales about what they were catching. I kept hearing ‘hammerhead shark’ come up in the conversation.  The only thing they did catch was a sting ray and a very small fish.


Isabelle and Anna never did catch anything but, they enjoyed trying.


I never thought my kids would love the beach so much.

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Luke and his daddy.


Luke and Connor.


My three again!


Luke thought he was going to catch a sting ray.


Thanks Joshua and Sarah for the invite. It was a great couple of days!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 4th, 2013

Here are a few pictures from our July 4th holiday.


Isabelle, Anna, and Luke with their cousins Riley and Jackson.



Nana and Paw with the grandkids…


We started out taking pictures on a bench with ferns behind us…


And then someone had the brilliant idea of putting us all in a tree…



Here are Will, Amy, Riley, and Jackson in a family photo.  Isn’t Jackson’s smile adorable?


This is Charleigh (my cousin’s little girl) with her beautiful eyes…


Joshua, I have to say, you are looking a little old in this picture.


Mission Fuge 2013

A month or two ago, our Youth Pastor began asking for a female chaperone or two to go to youth camp since the person that was supposed to go was unable to at the last minute. I waited a few weeks to see if anyone else wanted to go.  Finally, about two weeks ago during VBS, I agreed to go.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t crazy about the idea but I didn’t want the kids to not be able to go.  So I began praying and asking God to use this trip to touch their hearts as well as mine.


In order for me to go, my mom had to come stay with the kids during the days and evenings while Will was working. He had a crazy busy week.  Last Monday, we left Jay at 5AM.  After talking to my mom for breakfast and lunch, Luke’s blood sugar had gotten messed up and he had to have some corrections. Since I was already nervous about being away from him for so long, the doubts began to creep in. I was ready to come home.  After we finally arrived at Belmont University in Nashville, TN around 1PM, I quickly realized that I had bitten off more than I thought I could chew. We had an issue with one youth doing something they weren’t supposed to and I had to be the bad guy; another forgot to take some medicine and I had to make four very long treks across the BU campus; it was hot and rainy; I forgot close-toed shoes and realized I’d have to go to Wal-mart after 11PM to find some shoes; I found out I was going to have to play games and be in the heat every day in an un-air conditioned gym with the kids we were ministering to; I wasn’t crazy about some of the kids in my group or the group leader; our bathrooms in the dorm were moldy and gross; and to top it all off there was NO Dr. Pepper for me to drink. I was very grouchy, unhappy, and tired that night when I went to bed. I prayed the entire time I was trekking around the campus and all day and night that God would use me. But I was very disappointed by the end of that night.


The next day I was nervous about going to site with people that I didn’t know as I am not a very outgoing and chatty person. It is hard for me to talk with strangers.  Our camp pastor for the week was amazing and the worship leaders were great. I got so much out of hearing them. I continued to pray that God would use me and our teenagers would grow in Him.  I found that I don’t have a problem talking to kids; just adults.


Most of our youth kids came back from their sites talking about how much their kids loved on them and played with them and all the fun that they had. Our kids were difficult, stubborn, and would run off any time you tried to have a conversation with them.  So by the end of the second day, I was still frustrated, but things had gotten a little better.


By the end of the week, I knew that God was using me and teaching me. There were two kids that touched me the most. One was Paul; he is disabled, but one day at lunch he told me and another chaperone about the story of Moses. He talked for thirty minutes about how God used Moses to free the Israelites.  He went into detail about the burning bush and God calling Moses,  the plagues, their escape, being chased by the Pharaoh, the pillars of smoke and fire, wandering in the wilderness, and his brother Aaron. It was truly amazing. I don’t think half of our teenagers on the trip could have told the stories with as much detail as he did.


The other kid was a little girl named Marissa. She started out the week by lying to me about her name and age. She spent most of the time saying, “nope” to everything that I asked or said to her.  She would walk by and mess up the games of any other kid in the building. She would stick her arm in the jump ropes to mess other people up, she would knock down the blocks that others were playing with. She just spent the first three days being difficult.  I could see that she was trying to push people away and see if they were going to keep being her friend in spite of her behavior.   I refused to give up. (For those of you that don’t know, I have a little stubborn streak of my own.) I encouraged her to be nice even when the others weren’t nice to her, and I told her that I wouldn’t be mad at her or ignore her just because she did something wrong. I told her that Jesus was the same; no matter what she did, He was still going to love her.  I told her that even after I left on Saturday I would continue to pray for her.  By the end of the last day, she had decided that she was my friend. She asked to play with me and every time we got separated she sought me out. When she left, I asked her what she would remember about me, and she said that she would remember that I was sweet and her friend, and that Jesus loved her no matter what, just like I did.  I knew that if for no other reason, she was the reason that God put me on this trip. 


But He didn’t stop there.  He showed me that I had misjudged some of the girls that were in our youth group as well as our camp group leader.  I was able to make a few more friendships with some of the girls and guys. Two of our girls accepted Christ.


Another lady in our church answered God’s call to attend camp with our teenagers. Her name was Mrs. Voncile and she is 82 years old. An extremely funny, nice, and up for anything lady that likes to travel.   At one point this week she was doing the chainsaw dance with some of our kids and another chaperone. She held her own with our girls and she refused to sit in the room and not participate.   Belmont has some pretty big hills and after she had leg cramps the first night, I told her that she didn’t have to go back to site. I would talk to her leader and she could stay in the room and rest. She said, “No, I want to go because I don’t want people to think I am old.”  She was truly up for anything and she never complained.


Each day during camp, they gave a hashtag challenge  to choose a few pictures to put on the screen the next day.  Tuesday was #nashfugetebowtuesday.  They wanted pictures of everyone doing the Tebow pose. Our picture was one of the five chosen for the next day. 


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Like I said, she absolutely was up for anything.


Since we had connecting bathrooms with some of the girls, I have about 20 or 30 pictures like this on my phone.


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After the girls realized that I was incredibly ticklish, they would not leave me alone.  So, after many threats, I told Shila, the one in the middle, that if she did it again I was going to put my foot in her face since she is horrified of feet.   She didn’t believe me…


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I have a picture to prove it.


The campus was beautiful and we had a wonderful trip.

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I am truly blessed for having gone on this trip. God used the kids at site, the kids in our youth group, the camp pastor, the worship leaders, our other chaperones, and my camp group leader to touch my life.   Thank you to Will and my mom or making it possible for me to go.

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