Friday, December 7

OK, guys...enough!

I'm not sure why both of our dads, who have been blessed with quite good health for years, decided to have heart surgery within weeks of each other. I mean, come on now, they could've planned a LITTLE better than this. And I'm pretty sure it's a testosterone-fueled competition, too, because my dad had his operation, and then Steve's dad attempted to one-up him with a quintuple bypass. I didn't know there were so many bypasses available, but Dad O. decided to max them out!
I am here to let the fellas know that this is it! They have used up their quota for health issues for the next decade or three, and they'd better keep those new tickers tickin'. I mean, we've all had such a blast hanging out at frigid hospitals, seeing the incredibly interesting incisions, and discussing catheters with all manner of excitement. Yes, and let's not forget to mention the joy of chest tube drainage, hospital gown fashion, and oh-my-goodness-I-can't-believe-my-dad-said-that-but-he's-on-drugs-and-now-I-so-need-therapy! I'd like to hereby declare 2008 a surgery-free year. Oh yeah, and that includes the moms, too!
P.S. We love you both!

Thursday, December 6

What?! I Need a Coat??

Saturday and Sunday found our entire little family in Syracuse, NY. I think my 9 year-old said it best when, as we pulled out of the airport, mouths agape at the snow all around us, he asked, "Why didn't we come in the summer?"

Actually, he was very much kidding, because he and his sister had prayed fervently for snow, and apparently, I need to hand all my prayer requests over to them, because Syracuse had had no snow until the day before we pulled into town.

We Floridians are used to wearing shorts at Christmas, so my sweet friend Jen did laugh at me when I began to walk out the door for church without a coat. And Shelby was so excited to finally be WEARING her new coat, that she modeled it for everyone, pointing out the lovely faux sheepskin features to all who would hear. But the saving grace from the cold was the new Starbucks in town. And it had a drive-through. Gimme a Hallelujah! I'm pretty sure I broke the record for most mochas consumed in a 48 hour period.
Anyway, we were so blessed by the church there. They loved on us, encouraged us, and really caught the vision for what God is doing in Guatemala. We pray that one day we will welcome their mission team to our church there.

In the meantime, I might want to consider therapy for the children, because this photo is a little disturbing.

Thursday, November 29

Hello, God!

My just-turned-four year-old has recently become very vocal about His thoughts concerning God. His childlike faith challenges me. God is real to him, a person that he interacts with. It's like he's just talking out loud and trying to figure things out. Yesterday, he walked to the fridge to get his beloved Dora yogurt and casually threw out, "Mom, I love God." In the car, during a random conversation (or, like it usually is with 3 kiddos, multiple random conversations going on all at once!), he said, "I think God left, Mommy. " I assured him, that no, God didn't go anywhere.

"But, Mom, I can't see Him." I gave him my great theological reasons why this couldn't be, and he replied, very emphatically, "Yep. He's gone. Bye,God. " And He looked out the car window like he was watching God go.

I didn't even have to stretch my mind to be challenged by this one. Just a couple of days ago, a minor household crisis came, and I determined that God must have left, because I certainly couldn't SEE Him anywhere. I was certain He had left this time. Later, when things worked out, I felt sheepish, embarrassed, ashamed at my tiny, weak faith. I confessed.

And God was STILL there.

Tuesday, November 6

Plastic Jesus

I opened the Sunday paper to find the super-glossy, extra thick, coupon-laden TOY catalog from Target this year.In my house, this results in immediate "shopping, " wishing, circling of pictures, showing Mom and Dad all the features of each new, incredible toy, all the while Mom and Dad saying, "Now, remember, you are only getting 2 or 3 things!" I'm pretty sure 47 things ended up being chosen, but that number is only so low because Jackson didn't know he was supposed to pick a color-coded pen and started choosing!
But I did learn something interesting from all of this. Once the ink had cleared, Shelby's top two picks were a doll and a puppy that are incredibly life-like. They eat, drink, talk, learn your name, and yes, they wee-wee and poop! I started thinking, "Wow! The poor girl is going to be really stressed, since she's gonna have to take care of basically a real dog and a semi-real baby!" Then, I mentioned to Steve, "On the plus side, we'll never have to buy a puppy, cause this is better than the real thing!"
Funny thing is, that's what I've done with my faith for so long. I bought the plastic Jesus, the one "sold" to me from the glossy, religious, legalistic churches/schools I knew. The one that was created by man to fit man's demands and desires, who bears some resemblance to Jesus, but doesn't totally act like the un-plastic Jesus I'd read about in the Bible. The one that was my ticket out of eternal damnation, but didn't really DO miracles like He used to, and didn't really DO anything to give me an abundant life. No siree, that was all up to me. As long as I could keep the ever-changing rule list and get a good education and basically follow the world's philosophy of success, I was o.k. When crisis finally hit my adult life, I realized I didn't know what Jesus DID do. Now I've learned, or, I should say, I'm learning. I'm learning that the real Jesus didn't need my "battery" power. He did still do healing people's hearts, giving them the ability to forgive when it really was humanly impossible, giving hope in the everydayness of life. He did still speak, and not just do's and don'ts. And He did want things that were completely, utterly backwards from what the world asked. But He always followed those commands with a promise, like, "Don't worry about looking out for yourself. If you put yourself last, you'll be first." Or, "Find your delight in me, and I'll give you your heart's desires. " Funny thing is, He even changed those desires.
So, when I think He's asking me to do something too hard, and I'm tempted to go back to that fake Jesus that I can "turn off" whenever I want, I remember, in the paraphrased words of Dr. Phil, "How did THAT work out for you??" Not so much. And there's an eternal warranty on my Jesus, too. Think I'll stick with Him.

Tuesday, October 30

Day of Prayer

I always thought that if I watched the news, whether Fox, CNN, NBC, whoever, I was hearing everything I needed to know...and oftentimes things I never wanted to know! It turns out that the media hasn't told us enough about something any of us who call ourselves a follower of Jesus DO need to know. There are brothers and sisters of ours, families all around the world who are being persecuted for Jesus. Yes, persecuted. What we thought was just an old tale of Christians being sent to the Coliseum, believers being stoned or burned at the stake is not a myth or legend or something of the past. It is happening now, and in awful numbers.
This is a fact I shut my eyes and ears to for far too long. Now, I know the truth, and I have a responsibility to do something with that truth. The enemy knows his time is short, and will do all he can to keep the church down. But, when you read the stories of those who have lost much and continue to serve, your faith can be strengthened. I encourage you to go to , sign up for the free Voice of the Martyrs magazine, and participate in the Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, November 11.

Monday, October 22


This week was Nate's birthday, and so we took him and Shelby to the Airshow. What a blast!

Nate in a REAL army blackhawk helicopter(this was much too solemn an occasion to smile at the camera...)

Shelby asked the pilots a whole lot of questions, and couldn't wait to go inside the plane...

There was a re-enactment, where a downed World War 2 American pilot was rescued by American tanks and planes.

Here are the tanks and soldiers "moving out".

Planes were flying overhead with guns blazing, German machine gunners were firing back, and American GIs approached from the ground. What a great reminder of the bravery of our soldiers as they defended our freedom!

Nate's comment - "Awesome!"

Shelby's comment - "Daddy, I have to plug my ears because it's too loud!"

Monday, October 8

Life Imitates Art...or at least a commercial

OK, so most people reading this blog might know that my dad is going in for open-heart surgery early tomorrow morning (and by early, I mean before Starbuck's is even open, which is just not RIGHT in my book). Anyway, I'm off track. What I'm trying to say is that I am thankful for my family, especially my parents, who have dealt with this situation just like we've dealt with most others that have come along in our lives...with a lot of prayer, and a lot of humor!
The best example of this was when my dad was hospitalized a couple of weeks ago for chest pains. After many tests and many threats by Dad to escape, they found that a section of his aorta will need to be replaced. While still processing all of this, Mom made phone calls to the rest of the family. She got a hold of Travis (older brother) who was on his cell, driving back from Tallahassee, and explained to him that Dad needed surgery and it would be very extensive. Here is where the cameras should have been rolling, because Travis let Mom go on for a few minutes and then said, "Wait a minute. Don't you have insurance??" Mom: "Yes, of course. Anyway....." (she continued to explain the surgery here). Travis heard nothing she said from this point on, because HE thought she had said the surgery was "expensive." And he was amazed! Was her next stop ebay, to bid on a discounted procedure? Was she going to scour the paper for a coupon?? We all got a good laugh at it, and since we'll need a few more laughs over the next days/weeks to come, I came up with a short list of good reasons to have heart surgery. Here you go, Dad!
1. The gowns you wear are just so dang cute....and the ventilation is unsurpassed.
2. If you're a guy, it's one of the few times you get flowers delivered to you and you don't have to feel weird about it!
3. You get a hair-free chest, which gets you one step closer to the Men's Health magazine cover.
4. It's the one time you're allowed to take really, really great drugs. Life will never look better to you than when you're this medicated!
5. You get to sleep a lot...oh, I forgot. They do come in and wake you up every 2.7 minutes to see if you're resting.
6. You hear from people that haven't called you in years.
7. The food is, scratch this one.
8. Pretty pink bedpan included at no extra charge.
9. If you've ever thought of yourself as a "modest" person and wanted to be a little more daring, let's just compare this experience to going from the Amish community to a nudist colony in one fell swoop! (no offense to the Amish)
10. And, finally, you get to find out how much people really love and care about you. We do love you, Dad!

Saturday, October 6

Making the MOST of it...

Straight from the Words of Life:

"Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.... Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.

Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us see your miracles again; let our children see your glory at work.

And may the Lord our God show us His approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!" Ps 90:12-17 (NLT)

When waiting seems wasteful, God reminds me that He is purging me of the unhealthy, unproductive, distracting, and downright disruptive, old hurts, habits, and hangups. Spiritual maturity is not an overnight process; and a calling does not equal readiness - it is merely an invitation. For years, the Spirit has waited patiently for me to submit to His authority, and now it a small thing to wait on Him for preparation He knows will be needed to fulfill His will.

All of these things come into clearer focus, and I wait. No longer in despair, frustration, or anxiety. Now, there is hope. He is replacing the evil years with good ones. It just might take years to replace years, but during the waiting I hope... and excitedly look forward to the promise of a loving God that a time of miracles awaits... that my children will see God's glory at work through our own family!

I can't wait! Then again, maybe I just will... as I look around I can see it's already begun! :0)

Friday, September 28


There are moments in life when time stops. Sometimes it's tragedy, at other times it is inspiration or awe. In a child, there are so many moments of wonder, amazement. Nothing matters but that instant in time, and the particular treasure they have discovered. It's usually something insignificant...something so mundane that adults never notice. But kids don't miss it.

It was like a wrestling match trying to get our 8 year old son, Nate, to remember to read his Bible each morning. "Gotta start the day right", "Let God talk to you" we told him. But we missed something. To a child, wonder and amazement at an awesome God does not start with words. It starts with something tangible...inspiring. A few days ago, Nate decided he would get up at 6:30 and go on the back porch to watch the sun rise. He ran in a few minutes later, talking a hundred miles an hour about the stars, Venus, and that he had to get his book on constellations. I followed him outside and was amazed at the number of stars we could still see just before sunrise. I pointed out Orion, Jupiter, and we couldn't believe how bright Venus was.

I went back inside to finish my own "quiet time", you know, reading, prayer, etc. Nate ran back in a few minutes later...."Dad, Dad, there are bats flying around, you gotta see this!". "In a minute" I told him. He's just a kid, and kids just can't seem to understand how important listening to God is, and I knew I'd join him in a few minutes.

Moments later, he ran back in again... "Dad, you GOTTA see this sun rise! The sun is just starting to shine through the trees!". "I'll be right there" I told him. Apparently, another fib, because I was REALLY getting into something good in Habbakthaniah or somewhere.

About 5 minutes later he came in again... "Dad, you MISSED it... why didn't you come outside?" His words dropped off in disappointment. I stood there, running the tape of the morning over in my mind. Why did I keep putting him off? Why was a concept of God that I was reading more important than an actual interaction with Him? With His creation? With one of His children?

The last few days, Nate has been up each morning at 6:30 sharp. No one has to remind him to read his Bible. He comes bounding down the stairs, races to the porch, and drags the plastic chair out into the grass so he can get as close as he can to the to the magic of the morning. In between events, he reads a little, talks to God in amazement, and jumps out of his chair when the next lizard, bat, bird, or star makes its appearance. I admire him... God used my own son to teach me how to "be still, and know that I am God" to be amazed not just by what He says, but by what He's to REALLY listen to him. Thank you Nate!

~ Steve

Wednesday, September 26


A few quotes given to us by friends which have been very encouraging when the daily battle becomes a grinding, protracted, and tiring war:

"It does require the supernatural grace of God to live the twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus.
It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things." ~ Oswald Chambers

"We should apply ourselves unceasingly to this one end, to so rule all our actions that they be little acts of communion with God; but they must not be studied, they must come naturally, from the purity and simplicity of the heart." ~ Brother Lawrence

Wednesday, September 19

Travel abroad...

We just returned from a whirlwind visit of family. We truly enjoy the friendships we have with our extended family (not something to take for granted, we are very blessed!).

On the way, we stopped by the historic town of Savannah, Georgia. And you can't stop by this town without checking out Paula Deen's restaurant, and we also found the Pirate House Restaurant (legendary hang-out of pirate Captain Flint - from Treasure Island).

Next, we stopped by Shelby, NC to visit Steve's cousin and family. They own several coffee shops (Broad River Coffee - with excellent coffee, by the way).

Next stop: Columbus, OH to visit Steve's brother and family. Lot's of fun with 6 kids in the house for the week. :0) Actually, we all thought it was easier with more kids, since they hung out and played a lot together! Also visited the Creation Museum in PA, which shows the history of the world through a Biblical perspective.

Finally, Charles City, VA (near Williamsburg) to celebrate with Jessica's brother and his wife as they were ordained as a pastors. How exciting - we're very proud of them both! We stopped by colonial Williamsburg and the highlight of the visit was the....

...amazing history? Nope.

...old buildings dating back to early 1700s? Nope. was the horses. Friendly horses, actually.

We also stopped by their home and enjoyed the amazing view of the river from a friend's dock. Amazing!

We will miss everyone, and we are so thankful for this very special time in our lives in which we could share these wonderful relationships! We love you all! :0)

Monday, August 27

We had a wonderful day on Saturday. We took the family to the beach, and we found so many amazing sea shells that we had never seen before. In fact, Nate (8 years old) found a very special one. He wrote about it here...
"we found the shell in the beach.we found an octopus in a diferrent shell."

In fact, when Nate found a shell just like the one pictured, we opened it and found a small octopus in it and we played with it for a while. That is, until it BIT Nate on the hand. That's right, who knew that a baby octopus would bite? Well, this little guy had a beak, and the first clue should have been that even the little ones use their beaks to break open clams and crabshells. No doubt he just had lunch thanks to the former owner of the shell. Anyways, what an amazing sight to see it as we put it back in the water and watched it jet away like a squid.

Tuesday, August 21


Lamentations 3:22-24 "God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!I'm sticking with God..."

Sunday morning, I woke Nate up before the sun, and we got in the car and headed toward the beach. It was our weekly date time (although now he likes to call it our "adventure" rather than a date!), and I had a special plan. What made this plan so great was that it included a nice, hot cup of coffee and a stop at the Lighthouse Donut shop. After grabbing our very fresh, very delicious key lime donuts, we went across the street, sat on a bench and watched the sun come up. It reminded me why I love the morning so much. Everything was so clean, so new, so peaceful. Even the sand was nearly untouched, except for some random bird footprints, and those of a few other early-morning risers like ourselves.

God's goodness is too much to wrap my mind around. Every morning, I get a new, clean, untouched start, and I get to decide how it will go. No, I don't pick what will happen, what unexpected things may jar me, but I can choose, in the morning, that I will empty myself of all my junk, beg God to fill me up with His Spirit, and decide, first thing, that I am going to bow to God's authority and control.

Thank You for the morning.

Thursday, August 9


On Sunday afternoon, we were surrounded by over 60 people who joined us to celebrate all that God is doing in Antigua, Guatemala and in our own family. We worshipped together, ate, laughed, listened to a few stories, shared a few of our own, and watched as God moved in a fresh way in all of our lives once again.
So much to celebrate! Six people were recently baptized at our sister church in Guatemala (Iglesia del Camino), and we watched a short video that Pastor Mike had put together to celebrate that event (Click here - it's available on his online journal).

SO MANY people responded to our financial needs too! Due to the outpouring of God's people, we leaped to 70% of our monthly support!

Over $3000 of our moving expenses were provided, and in addition, another $1000 matching gift could bring this total to $5000 by the end of this month!

We are so grateful! Please continue your prayers that we will be prepared when God releases us to go.

Monday, August 6

Jessica in Antigua

Jessica had a GREAT opportunity to see Guatemala City, Tikal, and Antigua a delegation to meet with the president of Guatemala. Our team at IDC (Iglesia del Camino) received an award from the president for building the first computer lab in Pastores (a little town just NW outside of Antigua).

She also visited Tikal, an ancient Myan city ruin
with over 3000 known buildings. Check out the size of one of the ruins...

Yes, she really is hundreds of feet up in the air...with only a wood guard rail. The tiny box in the background over her left shoulder is another large ruin. Yes, it looks lower than Jessica because she is hundreds of feet above it (yikes!)...

Tuesday, July 17

We are the Body

It's amazing...the body is made up mostly of water. Without it, the body would be no more than a worthless, very small, pile of dust. Probably smelly too. Trillions of cells surge through the body at any given moment, billions are grabbing oxygen from the lungs and rushing it to the arms, billions more digest food, skin requires the work of billions more, and so on....

Interesting too is my experience this week as I contacted several dozen churches. So many different ways of doing things, so many sizes, so many phases of maturity, so many different priorities. Each hardly aware of what the other is doing, yet all directed by the same Holy Spirit to move in directions and with power that could never be duplicated or comprehended by individual parts of it.

The church in China is millions strong. Millions more are responding to the Gospel in Muslim countries. Missionary efforts are reaching millions more in other corners of the world. Even though we could never wrap our minds around the scope of the world movement of the Gospel, and certainly the daily concerns and heartaches of each individual believer, Jesus Christ can! He is the water that fills the entire body, giving it shape, flowing and encompassing every living cell in the entire body. Amazing!

Friday, July 6


So...the fourth of July. We all got together as a family, ate, and decided to set off our own fireworks before heading to the park for the "big show!" As you can see in the first photo, Shelby was not too enthralled with the resulting noises! She spent the entire, and I mean entire show with her hands over her ears. We kept telling her, "It's ok, they're far away, they won't hurt you. " But she did not believe it! We were so proud of her, though. By the finale, she kept saying, "Wow! Wow!" Her decision was that she would stay, not cry, and enjoy the brilliant colors, even though the sounds scared her. HMMMM.....How many times does God tell me, "Do not be afraid or discouraged, " and I stand with my hands over my ears, not listening, not believing. I can choose to run away and miss the big show He has for me, or, like Shelby, I can stay and push past my fears. I'm gonna stay. I don't want to miss the finale!!

Tuesday, June 26

Where did the last 8 years go??

I guess God's really trying to get the concept of TIMING through my head...I'm glad He hasn't given up on teaching me yet!

My way-too-big 8 (almost 9, he'd say) year-old boy went off to camp this week. The only reason I could send him off without crying was because his daddy was going as a counselor! Which, by the way, will be a great shock to the boys in Steve's cabin. Steve seems to think it's a chance to relive his Air Force survival training, and took off for camp with his actual survival hat and grand plans of waking the boys up to sit-ups, hunting for bugs to eat, and maybe even buzz haircuts!!

Anyway, I realized just how FAST the past 8 years have gone when Nate informed me that it was fine for dad to be a counselor as long as he didn't hug him in front of the other kids. What is that?! I already told him I would not be able to stick to that rule when the bus pulls back in on Friday. Then, he let me know: "Mom, I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but" (that's when I brace myself), "I may be having too much fun at camp to miss you. I might even forget to think about you." OK, no problem. Only the Holy Spirit kept me from reacting to that one with wails of, "I'm your mother, I gave birth to you, I'd die for you, " and so on and so on. I just nodded....

All this to say. Life is just a blip on the radar screen. God meant for my life to matter. I don't want to waste any more time worrying about the silly things. I mean, when I get to heaven, where I'll be spending a LOT more time than I ever spent on earth, it won't matter if my house was picture-perfect. In fact, my house will be gone. It won't matter if my clothes were cute...I'll have a whole new wardrobe!! (Is there an Old Navy in heaven?) It will matter how I treated my friends and family, my neighbors, and anyone else who might end up there too if I open up my mouth and tell them about Jesus. So, I can't wait to see you there, and if you want to look me up, I'll be at the Starbucks!

Wednesday, June 13

Time's a tickin

We're celebrating 13 years of marriage this month!

We are also 2 weeks into "full-time" work on our transition for Guatemala. Steve's last day of work was the beginning of an exciting part of this journey.

We found a little nugget of truth in patience from our 3 year old. He has just learned to stay in his room until 7am. When the digital clock says "7:00" we hear loud and clear from his room..."Moooooommmmmmmmyyyy, it's seven!". We were all excited! That is until we decided to teach him how to sleep in another 30 minutes so he'd get up with his siblings. We set the alarm for 7:30 and told him to stay in his room until his clock "sings". Easy, right? Well for the next 2 weeks we got the 7:00 wakeup call "Mooooommmmmy, it's seven!" and we would go to his room each day and tell him to wait until his clock sings. He's finally got it, and we are all so excited! We laughed about it the other day as we work towards leaving for Guatemala. If there's a change in plans or a delay, we get all flustered with God. "But why do we have to wait so long? Why can't we just pack up and move down there now?" is the typical below-the-surface grumblings. Thanks to our 3 year old, we can better realize that a little extra time is actually meant to help us prepare, not to frustrate us. So, now we are taking every opportunity, and are excited about the lessons ahead. :0)

Monday, May 7

On the Road...

Our family loaded up and went to Ft. Walton Beach, FL last weekend. What a time! This was where we had been stationed by the Air Force when we were first married, and the church there had been a family to us. So, it was like a reunion, and we felt so at home. I (Jessica) would rather have walked across glass on the hot motel parking lot barefoot than get up front and speak, but the Spirit wouldn't let me go, and guess what?? He gave me the power to do it! At first, I was so nervous to be standing at a pulpit, speaking to a crowd, but He totally filled my mouth and heart, and soon I was crackin' jokes and feeling right at home! Steve preached, too, and God gave him boldness and power, and many folks were touched. The church voted to take us on for support, and we are very thankful!
We also got to catch up with old friends and have a little down time on the beach. On the way home, we visited the Air Force Armament Museum, where these pictures were taken. But, it DID feel so great to pull into our home...and I would be thrilled not to see another french fry for about 3 months!!

Friday, April 20

Living Proof Live!!

This is how close we were, and Beth Moore is in the center raising her hands

Wow!! God is amazing!! I (Jess) got to take my mom on a birthday trip to Columbia, SC to see Living Proof Live with Beth Moore. We hit the road early on Friday the 13th.Everything went well until we hit a huge traffic jam in SC, and boy, were we praying! We figured we would barely make it on time, and we even had to run into a McD's restroom and share a stall just to change our about getting to know each other! We got to the arena, where 17,000 women (OK, maybe 10 men were there) were ready to worship, and we were shocked to see that our seats, reserved for us by my dad, were on the 4th row!!!!!

The Holy Spirit was all over that place, and the main thing I walked away with was, "So, THAT'S what the abundant life is supposed to look like! It's real...God works, and He is huge!!" It also was just a sweet time for my mom and me...we laughed and cried like crazy! On the way home, we had a lovely time in Savannah, GA just being tourists, shopping and eating at Paula Deen's restaurant. Thank you, Lord, for being too good to me!

I will post my notes later on what we learned at the conference...awesome stuff!

On a light note, here is something I wrote when I got home:

Lessons I Learned From the Road:

1. If your trip takes you to SC, please add 3 hours to your trip time. Apparently it is a law on SC highways that you must, must come to an absolute stop for any vehicle that pulls off the road. Then, you must absolutely stare at the people for a good 4 minutes before proceeding, thereby stopping all traffic on the interstate for miles. If you do not do this, I think your license can be revoked. Seriously.

2. If you pass a Starbucks, you must stop and purchase a Venti of anything, whether you want coffee or not, because you will never see one again.

3. If you want to lose a little weight on your trip, use the McDonald's bathroom BEFORE you order, because then you will certainly have no desire to eat anything there, ever.

4. A clean motel room is worth any price.

5. It is possible to eat an entire dinner out of a vending machine.

6. Bathroom stops are frivolous...wear Depends.

7. Plan to spend an entire week's worth of grocery money on bottled water.

8. Bring your own t.p.

9. Don't ask how things are going back home.

10. And the most important...make sure you bring a great travelling companion! Thanks, were the best!!

Wednesday, April 18

An Easter to Remember

Every year I think, "This was the best Easter ever!", but this year, it really was! Nate and Shelby were given the opportunity to be in a small Easter drama, and our neighbor (who'd never been to our church before) came to church with us.

As I watched my precious kiddos crowd around "Jesus" and follow him with such delight, I could not help but let the tears flow! And when He picked up sweet Shelby and put her on his lap, I really lost it! I just thought how He loves and carries my children every day. How awesome it will be to see Him and sit on His lap someday! He is alive!!