Monday, June 28, 2010

2010 Youth Retreat

We were so honored to be apart of the Youth Retreat again this year. It was a week of fun and the sun. Our girls are blessed to be a part of a group of teenagers who are a good example and love the Lord. The group takes part in a photo scavenger hunt each year, but this year our girls had their own. In our "search for significance" this week (which was our bible study), we all saw sides to ourselves that need a little more work, but we also celebrated the parts of us that are "fearfully and wonderfully made"!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Late nights and later mornings

St. Augustine has been a land of great adventures this week. We have been sunnin and funnin it up for four days with two more to go...last night us girls had us an adventure of epic proportions. It was night of evening of kid duty during evening service and we went on the hunt. We headed out to the lighthouse. Trees were climbed, creatures were discovered, castles were built and ice cream was eaten. It was a time of making our nights last longer and our mornings come later.
These four girls have been inseperable. Fun times.

Workin it yet again.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I need a few minutes to share with you something that is amazing. It is Steve. Some of you might think you know him and agree that he is amazing. But, I get reminded every day how completely and incredibly amazing he is.

We are on the annual Youth Retreat with 41 other people this week in St. Augustine, and he without hesitating, gave up his Father's Day. We had taken him out for breakfast Saturday before leaving and gave him his goodies, and so Sunday seemed to be just another day. BUT, with him, things are not just ordinary. He is the most giving and patient person I know. He loves his girls in the most incredible way. He will stay up late playing, or go to bed early holding the hand of one who is scared. He will still carry his girls to bed and kneel to pray with and for them. Countless trips to the pool or the beach or the park are part of his playbook. He does not have boys to raise with the love of sports, but both of his girls will know the rules and regulations of the common sports and be able to partake in conversation with their future husbands and sit along side them to enjoy the game.

He is amazing. I mostly dreamed of marrying someone who would love their kids no matter what. Never leave them. Never be too busy. Always count them as special and irreplacable. To hold their hand,hug tightly, even carry them when needed. Stand in the gap for them and in their corner too. I got all of that when I married Steve eleven years ago this coming Saturday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A sheep story

Oh to be a little girl learning all the great stories of life....Olivia gave me a good laugh this weekend and I am still loving it even two days later. I can finally open my eyes more than a slit from the busyness of the weekend and tell you Kelley graduated. It was a great celebration. While Steve and I were at the four hour event enjoying the conversation amongst friends, the talk included the new information of THE DONUT KING in Minneola, FL...the girls were at First Baptist Church for a Friday night bash to kick off the summer.

Stephanie and Emma were transported back in time with their memories to last summer when they went to camp for the first time. Their leader, Nick aka RockStar, was there for the evening of fun. I wonder if Justin Beiber could have made such smiles come out! WhenUncle Aaron walked in to get them, he found all the girls down front at the end of the service...they had gotten saved "again"!

The funniest part was when Olivia was telling me about the service she painted a great word picture. It went like this.

" Mom, you know Jesus is like the shepherd who has 100 sheep. He has all of them together but only counts 99. He leaves the whole group to go and find the one. He found him and carried him back on his back." (I could picture the famous painting with the shepherd and the sheep draped across his shoulders...she must have too!)

I interrupted her then and commented how she is just like that one lost sheep. She is worth it too. Jesus loves us that much to come and find us.

"MOM! No, no, no...that is not what it is...he brought back the sheep to the whole group and they had a 'sheep party'!!! The shepherd was so happy to have them all back together."
I did not correct her, but I think it was so sweet how she mixed up the two stories about The Prodigal Son and The Lost Sheep. Mostly I am thrilled that she knows we are that important to the King of Kings.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


A conversation ensued this must be written down lest we forget it.

It was between Stephanie and Steve.... I was just an observer and giggle-er!

"Dad, when am I going to wear a training bra?"
"Some of my friends are wearing one."
"When will I get to?"

" What do you need to wear one for?"
"What are you training?"



Friday, June 4, 2010

A non-enviromentalist's opinion

I call myself a non-environmentalist for a few reasons. I have always felt a stronger need for people needing saving rather than sea turtles or dolphins, although I really love dolphins and sea turtles. I do not litter and have raised two kids who feel the same way, but I don't compost or put out recycled materials and I love some people who do. I do not want to jump on a soap box of being someone I am not,

I am having a hard time with this whole BP oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. It saddens me and is making me be careful about judgements being passed against our authorities and government. My heart breaks for these families who have worked so hard to make ends meet and now they cannot even go fish.

What am I doing, you might ask? The only thing I can. Pray.

I grew up on the beaches of the Gulf. Vacation on the Gulf. Love the Gulf over any beach I have ever been to.

Mostly I wanted to post these pics so it was a part of our families' memories and to have a voice in my concern.
This is a beach a friend of mine spends lots of time is west of Panama City and absolutely gorgeous. The oil is miles from the shores.
This picture and the following are some I found online while I was researching some of this horrific ordeal.

This was the kindest picture I found where it involved animials. I saw dead birds, turtles and a porpoise dead and covered in oil.
Mangrove islands as well as the marsh lands of Louisanna.
This is the porpoise.
Not a great spin on taking a walk on the beach.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It is beginning to feel a lot like Summer!

This week we are wrapping up some odds and ends for the school year. We finished a semester of Art and PE at a local park in Ocala and the kids had a blast. Stephanie was able to be a part of four field trips with the City Parks Program. Coach Dan was so great. They canoed, fished, hiked, swam, shot bow and arrows, make cast prints, and a bunch of other stuff. The ones who did not go learned all about Mario. I kid you not. They did. The younger bunch supported, and encouraged each other to the next levels. Olivia's confidence soared. It has even improved her reading. I'm not even kidding.
This project was done today at Trailer School. It is located in Oxford. The group from ages 6th grade to Kindergarten participated. They came home with nasty jiffy store feet and a poster of fun and a lapbook of sorts with all their learning. Kudos to Ms. Amy for being our "teacher of the year". No plaque, no money prize, just the satisfaction of a job well done.
Monday was spent doing not much more than this. It was memorial day and we shared some of our thoughts as a family and took time to enjoy each other. Stephanie and I were enjoying our books, Steve was working on the new and soon to be released, Myakkans2 movie. Be watching for it! Olivia seemed to be everywhere. We were pooped out after a busy weekend that included the Florida Homeschool convention, hanging out with the whole crew and having a fine steak cooked by Aaron Symonds. Life is good.