Saturday, July 30, 2011

Malachi James...

Last but certainly NOT least of the end of July celebrations is the birthday of our second child and first son - Malachi James! Hard to believe that tomorrow will be 13 years since he interrupted me teaching an adult VBS week and made a surprise arrival about a week before he was scheduled to come (we had a c-section scheduled for Aug 4)!

Malachi has totally and completely changed our world. With a calm and sensitive spirit, many of our family refers to him as a "mini-Joel". He has so many of the same mild mannered, carefree characteristics of his Dad in him! He loves to do anything on computers, loves to talk about anything and everything, overall just enjoys life!

Malachi in Hebrew means - "My (God's) Messenger". I had picked out the name Malachi James in Jr. High simply because one day I thought of it and it stuck with me. However, I know that God in His infinite wisdom knew who my firstborn son would be and so He laid the name on my heart! Malachi truly does love to discuss things in terms of God and His Word. He will often compare or relate things to God. Although I have no idea what he will be when he grows up - I know that he truly will be God's Messenger wherever he goes!!!

Although there are many times that Malachi drives us crazy - he is a Jr. High boy after all - for the most part, he brings joy, laughter and entertainment to our lives!!! I am so very very blessed to have this sweet spirited, caring, loving, young man in my life.




HAPPY BIRTHDAY MALACHI JAMES!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Honoring a WONDERFUL Big Sister...

I did try to warn you that the last week in July was full of celebrations for us! Ha ha! Tomorrow my AWESOME big sister Michelle will celebrate her birthday!!! I have truly the BEST sis ever!

Michelle and I have always been close but we have definitely been even closer since our sister Sherri went home to be with Jesus. We have rejoiced, cried, prayed, and laughed over so many things throughout the years...she is always there no matter what!

I love that our kids are pretty close in ages so they can grow up together and I love that our husbands are friends too! I also am very happy that we now live A LOT closer so hopefully we will get to see each other more.

There really are no words to fully describe how much Michelle means to me. I can say that she has encouraged me in my walk with Christ and given me an amazing example of a wife and mom! I am blessed to have her in my life!!!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELLE! I LOVE YOU!




Thursday, July 28, 2011

Celebrating 16 years with the Love of my Life!

I told you yesterday that the last week in July was a BUSY one in our family...tomorrow will mine and Joel's 16th Wedding Anniversary! I am so very very blessed to call this wonderful man my husband...

This year I decided to take a trip down some of the high points of the past 16 years....

1995 - Our wedding of course! My close friend Anita goes to be with the Lord - significant in that Joel helped so much!!!

1996 - I graduate from college at Wayland Baptist University; we get our first position as youth pastor at a church; and move to Idalou Tx.

1997 - The birth of our first child - Hannah Marie; we join with a inter-denominational youth ministry in Pagosa Springs Colorado.

1998 - The birth of our second child - Malachi James

1999 - We move to Wheeler Tx where Joel is Youth/Music Pastor and the birth of our third child - Kestra Nichole.

2000 - Continue to serve at Wheeler Tx and computers DID NOT crash! Ha ha

2001 - We move back to Pagosa Springs Colorado and rejoin Power House Ministries and the birth of our fourth child - Tyler Bay!

2002 - Continue to serve in Pagosa Springs Co...no children born! Ha ha!

2003 - Move to Rockwood, TN. where Joel serves as minster to Children and Youth at Cornerstone Christian Church; in December we move to Lewisville Tx where we take a sabatical from ministry.

2004 - While not on staff; we join our college friend Sam Griffin and volunteer with Jr. High students at Northview Baptist Church.

2005 - After a time of healing we move to Arkadelphia Arkansas where Joel is Youth Pastor at Caddo Valley Baptist Church; I work for Henderson State College...

2006 - Continue to serve at Caddo Valley Baptist Church; move to a new house and get our dog Beauty!

2007 - In September, God brings us back to Colorado where Joel is Pastor to Youth and Children at First Baptist Church Bayfield Co; I work for Mercy Regional Medical Center in the Human Resource Dept; our "baby" starts Kindergarten! My Grandad goes to be with Jesus - Joel is out of town but manages to come home early to be with me!

2008 - The first of our own children is in Youth Group!!! Yikes!!!

2009 - Our first time camping with all 6 of us! It was fun!!!

2010 - I go to Zimbabwe Africa - which is my first ever overseas trip and the first time I have done anything ministry related without Joel; Joel is awesome at being Mr. Mom for 14 days while I am gone!!! Ha ha!

2011 - Our oldest finishes Jr High (and will start High School); we move to Borger Tx where Joel totally shifts ministry gears to Associate Pastor to Children and Families at First Baptist Church Borger Tx!

Whew! That is a lot and I know doesn't encompass EVERYTHING! As you can tell the three main themes in our lives; our family, ministry, and moving where God sends us! Many have commented throughout the years, "Don't you want to settle down somewhere?" "Now that your kids are older you should probably 'settle' and not move." etc. Please don't get me wrong - these people are well meaning and for some, perhaps that is the case. For us, yes of course we WANT to settle and even pray that perhaps this is where we can but we also know that God has called us into FULL TIME vocational ministry for the remainder of our lives and we will go and serve wherever and whenever He calls us to. So, yes we hope that Borger is our settling down place and are even working to buy a house within a year - but we will never limit God.

The past 16 years have been full of ups, downs, joys and sorrows. Through it all - I have grown closer to my Lord and my Man and wouldn't trade ONE moment of it!!! I look forward to whatever tomorrow brings!!!


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MY LOVE!!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!

For those of you who don't know, the end of July is full of birthdays and anniversaries in our family! Joel's sister and her hubby celebrated 19 years on Monday and tomorrow...July 28....is HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful man - Joel!

I would be blind if I didn't realize how incredibly blessed I am to have this man in my life! Joel is the epitimy of patient, loving, caring, devoted, etc in a husband. He has literally been a pillar of stability when all else was unknown, he has been the joy in the midst of sorrow, the shoulder when I needed it, etc. However, most of all - He has truly been the Godly leader of our home and has challenged all of us to grow in our walk with Christ!

It has been a joy to be a part of Joel's life for the past 18 years (dating and marriage) and I truly do pray that the Lord will continue to work and move in his life as Joel continues to seek the face and will of our Savior! I love you Joel!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

First full week in Borger!

It doesn't seem like it has been a full week since we got in our van and moving truck to head this way, but here we are a week later and now at home in our new house in Borger Tx!

So - for the basic recap of the past week, here goes! Friday and Saturday nights were spent at the Holiday Inn Express. We were so thankful to not have to worry about beds or anything for the first few days. Saturday we had a lot of wonderful people waiting at our home to unload - and they got it done quick! Sunday was wonderful and full of meeting new people as well as seeing others that we had met on previous visits.

Monday and Tuesday Joel spent the day at the church getting oriented to where things are, keys, office space, etc. My focus was unpacking/cleaning/getting the house organized! By Wednesday the majority of the house was unpacked and the kids and I as well as Joel were ready for some fun - so it was off to Amarillo to do some shopping for a few things we needed around the house! Wednesday night, was prayer meeting and for Hannah and Malachi - their first night of Youth Group. It was a fun time and they got to know even more of the kids!

Yesterday - after spending the morning working on the last bit of unpacking the kids and I headed for the Community Pool! It was a welcome treat in this 104 degree weather! Last night, Joel and I had the opportunity to go to the home of some of the Children's Workers for a bit and visit about what is working/not working and brainstorm! Then today was a work day at the house for me and the church for Joel finished with a fun family night at home tonight - we had pizza, snowcones, played Apples to Apples Bible Edition and watched the original Karate Kid! So fun to just be together as a family!!!

The biggest challenge of the week - getting the natural gas turned on so that we could have a stove to cook and HOT WATER to take showers! Apparently there was no shut off valve on the water heater and so the gas company wouldn't turn on the gas until that was repaired - so it wasn't til today that we could have gas on! However - we did take advantage of the Rec Center and were able to take showers there a few times this week and thanks to our handy dandy Microwave we had some creative meals! Ha ha ha!

However - as of tonight the bulk of the packing is done with the exception of books, gas is on and running well, we have almost caught up on laundry and finally feel semi-normal in our house here! I think all 6 of us are ready to settle into some semblance of routine and normal for the remainder of the summer and to really start developing relationships and ministering here. The kids have really done great at being outgoing and meeting new friends - I am so thankful for this! Joel has had the opportunity to not only meet church members but even met a new doctor that is in the process of moving here as well! Thanks to our dog Beauty being curious and running to the neighbor - I had the opportunity to meet our next door neighbors and their new little puppy Dixie...

The big task for next week is enrolling the kids in school! I will confess that I am the one nervous about that but I also know the Lord has already chosen teachers, schedules, therapists, etc for us and it will all work out. Hannah and Malachi are really no big deal as far as registering as they are not in any resource classes or anything. Kestra will have to be in a resource room for help in reading and math but for the most part should be fine. Tyler on the other hand will have to be set up not only for resource but also for speech and occupational therapy. Thankfully the team in Bayfield did a GREAT job of making sure I have everything in terms of documentation and testing that we should need! However - prayers would be really appreciated for a smooth transition both for the kids and for me into a new school district.

Many have wondered if I am going to work or not. The simple answer is probably in some form but we aren't exactly sure what that will look like at this point. I am possibly going to try and continue to work for my Dad from here to some extent depending on how the logistics work out. I am also considering either subbing or perhaps working a part or full time job. Although we can pay bills with Joel's income - we are really determined to work on getting out of debt within the next year so that we can potentially buy a house. My working either part or full time would definitely be a help to this. The other side of this is that at least for the first part of school - there will probably be some meetings, transitions, etc that I need to be available for with the kids; thus our decision for me to not worry about a permanent job right away. Please be in prayer for that as well - that we will make the right choice one way or the other.

Well with that - I think I am headed to bed since it is now 11:00 here and I have a busy morning helping Joel get ready for Sunday tomorrow...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pre-view of Heaven....and other

As I type this, I am sitting in the play area of McDonalds - yea, free wi-fi was calling my name after a morning of unpacking!

I wanted to share with you a revelation that the Lord showed me yesterday during the Worship Service here in Borger. Yesterday was our first official Sunday here and it was wonderful and hard all at the same time. However - God chose that particular scenerio to reveal some important truths and concepts to me!

Let me back up just a bit though to set the stage. We had spent Saturday night in the hotel and so Sunday morning was already a little off kilter for us in that we weren't leaving from home, had to check out of the hotel, check on the dog, etc. When we got to church - Joel and I decided to be the most loving parents EVER...(hear the sarcasim?) We got out of the car and simply told the kids "Ok, now go find your classes for Sunday School." Did I mention that FBC Borger is a literal MAZE to get around and is three stories high? Ha ha! The kids had had a tour twice, been to their classes when we came to visit etc, so we thought this a great test! They all four managed to get to the right places!

During Sunday School Joel and I were with the children of course and the older 3 were in the youth department. I told Joel that when the regular service started I was going to go to the sanctuary for worship because I didn't want Hannah and Malachi to be overwhelmed and alone (Kestra and Tyler are in Children's Church and don't ever come to the main worship service)
As I made my way down to the worship center, I began to really miss the familiarity of FBC Bayfield, the people I already knew, etc but God continued to whisper - "It's ok, I got this for you and just wait til you see!" So, I entered the sanctuary - Malachi was quick to find me and was excited to tell me about youth. We found a seat and waited for Hannah. Next thing I know, Hannah comes skipping, yes skipping, up to me - "Mom, I met some friends can I sit with them?" My heart was leaping with joy because I wanted her to find friends - "Of course." Malachi and I sit and a few minutes later we here "Hey Malachi, come sit with us!" It was some of the youth boys...he looks at me with the question in his eye. "Go ahead, go sit with them."

Can you picture this now? I have come to make sure my kids aren't alone and low and behold guess who is now literally sitting alone? Joel is with Tyler and Kestra in the childrens area and the older two have new friends...I am the one alone. Again I sense "It's ok, I'm here and I got this." Me, "Ok God but I feel really alone but it's not about me, it's about you right?"

That is the scene as the Worship Service begins but that is not the end! The spirit of worship was AMAZING and something that I have only experienced a few times before! I felt literally ushered into the throne room of the King of Kings. As I sat there in total awe and amazement of my Savior this is the revelation that came to me - THIS is what Heaven will be like! We will literally be worshipping and adoring the King with MILLIONS that we never knew here on Earth and yet we will be family and close to one another simply because of the King! My sense of being alone - GONE! I felt completely and totally at home, surrounded by the family of the King!

I am not even kidding when I tell you that I left the service completely and totally at peace and excited! No, these people aren't FBC Bayfield but they ARE part of my family and I am looking forward to getting to know them more and more each day!

Last night was a baptism/swim party/ welcome party and we had so much fun! It was wonderful to visit and get to know people better and to just relax for awhile. I did take pictures but forgot to bring the camera so I could upload them - will try to remember that tomorrow when I come.

Today as been focused on the kitchen and getting it set up. It was really dirty so I had to clean before I could unpack but for the most part it is all done. I know there are a few more kitchen boxes somewhere in the garage; just have to find them! Ha ha!

So - there you have the latest in our transition to Borger! Oh yeah, I have decided that next Sunday, I will find someone to sit with and get to know...but I wouldn't have traded that lesson the Lord had for me for anything!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our moving adventure!

Yikes! I can't believe this day is really here...we are now in Borger Tx to STAY! Whew!

As far as moves go, this one has been pretty smooth but it wasn't without its moments. Where to begin?

Wednesday - we finished packing up the house, did the majority of the cleaning, Joel took the furniture down, etc. It was a pretty good day and went well!

Thursday - we picked up the moving truck in Durango and got it back to the church at Bayfield. At the church, we dropped off the towing trailer and realized that the blinkers on the truck didn't work! However, we didn't want to take it back and risk waiting on another truck or that one to get repaired so just went with it. Got the truck up to our house in Forest Lakes only to discover that our drive way was a little rough - after high centering the truck twice, Joel was able to bring it in at an angle and get it up the drive! Whew! We had A LOT of help loading, cleaning, etc Thursday afternoon so got that all done fairly quickly.
Joel had the cat, which was going to my parents home, in the truck with Tyler. The cat was in a car carrier but managed to get out. So, we got to the church where we were going to load the Thunderbird on the trailer. While at the church, said cat managed to escape!!!

Loading the trailer was a little bit of an adventure as well! We got the car up on the trailer only to discover that while on the trailer the car doors would not open - meaning Joel was stuck in the car on the trailer! Ha ha ha!!! He literally had to climb out of the car Duke's of Hazard style!!!

We attempted to catch the cat and at one point I had him. However, once I got close to the car he went balistic and scratched the heck out of me and got away - again! By this time, we were tired, frusterated, and ready to be done so we left the cat! Good news - he was caught by some of our youth and they took him home!

Friday - We got up bright and early and left my parents house by 6:00 Colorado time. We were surprised to get an e-mail from Dennis Reimers - a deacon and good friend from Bayfield - offering to buy us breakfast in Bloomfield! So - we had a wonderful breakfast and were able to see him one more time before heading on down the road.

The trip out here went great - just really slow as we averaged 55 miles an hour with the U-Haul. So after a 15 hour day, we made it to Borger at about 9:00 last night!

Saturday - After a good night's sleep in the hotel, we woke up and unloaded the Thunderbird and trailer at the church here in Borger. After meeting with our new landlord to pay rent and get keys; we went to our new home!
A pleasant surprise awaited us - around 10 people were ready and waiting to unload the truck! I am not kidding when I say they had the truck COMPLETELY unloaded in 30 min! These people ROCK! In addition - one of the men there had an extra twin bed for Hannah so we got that as well...

The house looked good! It had been cleaned, painted, and repaired within the past week! The only surprise - NO STOVE!!! Can you believe that? We have never lived in a rental that didn't have a stove! So we have to track one of those down...but no worries!

After unloading, Joel's parents showed up as they are in Amarillo for the week and we all went to lunch at a local restaurant here called The Plaza - YUMMY! Following lunch, was a tour of the church with his parents. We then returned the U-Haul, did a few things at the house, and then we all came back to the hotel to SWIM as it was 106 outside!

Tonight - we are settled in for the night in the hotel. We have a big day tomorrow with church, setting up beds, and children's baptism/swim party tomorrow night.

Thank you all so much for your prayers, support and encouragement. We look forward to the unpacking and truly making Borger our home. We are eagerly anticipating the ministry opportunities God has for us here!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Last official night in Bayfield



As I sit here, there are literally boxes and piles of stuff surrounding me...the house is all packed and we are ready for the U-Haul truck tomorrow. In a way it seems so surreal that this is our last night in this home, our last night in Bayfield (we are spending tomorrow night with my parents about 30 miles away) and yet in another way I am amazed that this time is finally here!

For the most part, I am excited and so anxious to begin this next chapter in our lives; yet there is a part of me that is still sad and will miss this place immensely! I will miss the mountains and seeing deer in my front yard. I will miss the small town feel, walking in the store and knowing almost everyone, random trips to Wal-Mart with my dear friend Dani, the people, etc.

If I were to sum up our time here in Bayfield into one word it would be RELATIONSHIPS! More than ministry programs or events our ministry has been filled with dicipleship and mentoring relationships; friendships; relationships with those at the school; church family relationships, etc. A friend summed it up well when she said that Bayfield has been a place where we could heal from some past wounds and know that there really are caring and loving people in the world... I am SO very thankful that the Lord has had us here these past 4 years and I know that the people here will forever be in our hearts!

With that being said - I am SO excited to finally get on the road to Borger and the opportunities that await us there. Already we have met people that we love and can't wait to get to know more! The people there are so warm and welcoming and we know that it will also be a precious time for our family.

Tomorrow we load up the moving truck, clean the house and then head to my parents' for the night. Friday we will be up early and on the road - we are anticipating about a 10 hour drive. Saturday will be unloading at our new home in Borger. Sunday is Joel's first official day on staff at FBC Borger!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Every move has a verse...this is Borger's

Every time Joel and I have moved whether for ministry or other reasons, the Lord has given one or both of us a very specific word from the Word in regards to that particular move in our life. The one for Borger was actually given to me several months before I even knew that Borger was a possibility. It came at a time when I was honestly torn about whether or not I was even willing to leave this wonderful community of Bayfield.

"The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people's on earth will be blessed through you.'" Genesis 12:1-3

You see, here in Bayfield I am close to my hometown and to my father's house. For the first time in over 15 years of ministry I have a best friend in the church we are serving in and my kids are in a school district that we truly do love. So one Sunday in church Genesis 12 was the key passage - I can't tell you for sure what the message was about but as soon as I turned to the page this passage captured my attention!

I KNEW that God was speaking directly to me. He was telling me, now was the time to get up and go and that if I was willing to obey - there would be more blessings that I would ever imagine!

Now, I am not saying that by moving to Borger we will be a great nation in the literal sense or that my name is going to be written in the history books! Ha ha! However, what I do know is this: God has and will continue to bless our family through this move; we will have many opportunities to bless others through this move; and because of our obedience to go wherever He calls whenever He calls - we have had and will continue to have the opportunity to bless MANY people all over the Earth in His name! I am not taking the glory because it is all through Him and His blood.

The timing of this blog is also significant. I chose to write this today, our last Sunday here in Bayfield, because to be honest last night and this morning I really struggled emotionally. My dear sweet friend, Dani Vaughn and my husband Joel are singing in church today for potentially the last time. Dani has been a HUGE blessing to me - I will have to post a whole other post about that - but suffice it to say that the Vaughn family is pretty much our family in every sense of the word and as the day gets closer for us to leave - both she and I are struggling, even though we know we will be life friends!

I am also struggling with the knowledge that today will be a day of MANY goodbyes. There are many that we will not see before we leave on Friday except for today; however when I woke up and began to get sad God immediately said "Remember Genesis 12:1-3? I have great things awaiting you!"

So - with that in mind- yes I know it will be hard to say goodbye today but I am SO very very ready to be in Borger and to start getting to know the people there. I can't wait to look for ways to bless others because I have been blessed! I can't wait to serve because I have been served! I can't wait to love because HE loves me!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Hand of the Father - Trusting Him Every Step

I am happy to say that Joel is officially Associate Pastor to Children and Families at First Baptist Church Borger Texas! We were so blessed to have been asked to come! This has been an incredible journey for us and will continue to be as we take the final steps toward moving our family here permanently...

That being said, I must also confess that on more than one occassion the past week I have waivered in my trust in God to work it all out and have even found myself doubting at times if we really were making the right choice - yet God in all His wisdom and glory knew EXACTLY what it would take for this child of His to once again trust Him in ALL things!

The doubting primarily came as we closed the week at Hesperus Youth Camp - I found myself wondering why we would walk away from youth ministry when there were so many still hurting and so many that needed to know how much they were cherished and loved. However - God began to show me others whom He is raising up to be there for these wonderful youth and in order for them to do so; we must step out of the way!

The lack of trust - that came yesterday! If you remember in my first post about this move I mentioned that we had found a house? Well, yes it is true that GOD had found a house but not the one WE had in mind! Yesterday we called on the house and were told that it had been rented out a week ago... Normally this would not be a big deal; however in Borger - it's a BIG deal to find a 3 br rental!!! As soon as we found out, the people here began to ask and look for housing - it seemed like we were coming up empty and yes, I started to panic just a tad at the thought that we are scheduled to move here in 9 days and we didn't have a house to move into!

Yet - God had a plan! Through someone who knew someone we were given a phone number of a lady that had a 3 Br 2 Ba house for rent! We met with her and saw the house - although small and older; it will do for a place to live - like Joel said "A family makes a house the home!" So - this afternoon we rushed an application to her, she quickly checked references, and approved us to rent it! Yeah!!! In addition, it is $325 LESS in rent than the original house which will allow for savings toward a down payment on purchasing a house in a year or so!

As I was reflecting on everything this afternoon - God really spoke to me about having a missions mind set about this particular move. No - I am not going to the bush in Africa or the dry lands of Mexico; yet there are SO many here that are lost, broken, and in despair! Yes - I am going to have to sacrifice some in regards to a smaller, older house than what we are currently in; yes there are some other adjustments to make but God has clearly called us to this place and we are anxious to get here and begin the work He has called us to!

The lesson I have learned today - be willing to go wherever, whenever, no matter the circumstances and God will work out EVERY single detail! We truly do serve an amazing and wonderful Savior!

So what is our schedule? Tomorrow we will head back to Bayfield; we were supposed to be back today but due to the housing issue we had to stay an extra day. Thursday and Friday are packing days with breaks to have lunch/cokes with friends in the area and dinner on Friday night with family that is camping at Vallecito. Saturday is a special baptism and birthday celebration with our second family the Vaughns ( I am going to miss them SO much)! Sunday will be a time of good bye/celebration with our First Baptist Bayfield family - yep going to miss them too!!! Monday through Wednesday are packing and cleaning, Thursday is loading the moving truck day, and then Friday July 15 we are headed out! YIKES - lots happin in a short amount of time!!!

If you are in the Bayfield area and would be available to help load the moving truck Thursday July 14 at around 3:00 - we would GREATLY appreciate it! Unloading in Borger will take place on Saturday July 16 and we would appreciate any help then as well...

Thank you all so much for the continued prayers as we follow the Lord wherever He leads!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Youth Camp 2011



This year's youth camp was a bittersweet experience for Joel and I. We so loved being with the youth from both our church and the other churches! One thing that I truly do LOVE about going to a smaller youth camp is that you are able to form deep relationships with the youth that come year after year from all the churches - this is definitely the case at Hesperus!


The bittersweet part comes from the knowledge that this was our last youth camp as Joel is moving into Children's Ministry...we know that this is where the Lord is leading but it was still hard to let go of this part of ministry!


The camp it's self has changed so much for the better! They have repainted, got new equipment, built a zip line, are adding a basketball court, have a disc golf course, horse shoes, etc! What a blessing to see these things added!


Spiritually I will say that this was possibly one of the most difficult camps we have faced in that so many of the young people shared some truly deep hurt issues that they are facing! We saw everything from a young lady who had recently attempted suicide, to a young man struggling with the loss of his brother, to drug and alcohol addictions, to physical and verbal abuse. As a mom - my heart broke! I wanted to sweep them all up and bring them home to a safe, loving, and healing environment - but I was forced to rely upon the knowledge that Christ is truly their refuge and strength! I will say that for the most part - all of these young people really do have strong support systems in their home church and we are praying that they will take advantage of those!


The biggest release for the students was learning that their is true and real freedom in forgiving those that have hurt them! It was so awesome to see them grasp this concept and to take that difficult step of forgiveness!


Hesperus Baptist Camp and the staff there will always hold a special place in our hearts!!!

A Double Digit Birthday!

The day that I knew would come and secretly was sort of dreading has come! Our "baby" boy Tyler turned 10 this past Monday...we now officially have all four kiddos in double digits! YIKES!

We celebrated Tyler's birthday a day early since we left for camp on Monday (did NOT like being away from my boy on his day for the record!). Due to our crazy back to back schedule - the two Grandmothers stepped up to the plate to plan his birthday lunch and make a cake - THANKS NANA and MIMI!!!

Tyler's party was at my parent's house - one of his favorite places to hang out. We had a lunch of fish, potato casserole, rolls and of course birthday cake!

I must say that Tyler has the SWEETEST heart and truly beamed from ear to ear the whole day! He is such a joy to watch...he soaks everything in!

I can't wait to see how the Lord works in Tyler's life - he will do great things for the Kingdom!!!