polka dots

Friday, October 29, 2010

If Children's Pastors Ruled......

  • The church water fountain would dispense Dr. Pepper.
  • Hymns would have motions.
  • The adult service would have a flashing light signaling that kids' church was out so the pastor could dismiss the adults.
  • The senior pastor would have to put up with YOUR kid.
  • Nursery duty would be mandatory for all choir members.
  • Ushers would pass out animal crackers and crayons.
  • People being baptized would be allowed to splash.
  • Greeters would wear full body costumes and make balloon animals.
  • Every Sunday you could poke your head into the adult service and bark out, "Keep It Quiet!" and they would obey.
  • Church staff meetings would be held at Incredible Pizza.
  • It would be considered harmless fun to wear cowboy gear and blast holes into the church's grand piano while hollering "yee-haw!".
  • Adults would raise their hands during the sermon and ask the senior pastor if they can go to the restroom.
  • Church finance boards can only say only one phrase, "Go ahead! We don't care how much it costs!"
  • The senior pastor would have to get permission from the children's pastor before adding any new services or scheduling any new events.
  • The church tithes would go to the children's ministry first. Any left over money would be distributed in small increments to the general fund.
  • When people got saved in the adult service, the senior pastor would fire off a confetti cannon.
  • The adult service would have to use the old sound system with the high pitched hum and the crappy projector.
  • Children's workers that did not show up would be fined. At the end of the year, you could use the money to go to the Bahamas while they ran VBS for you.

Ahhhhh, thank you Roger Fields. I like they way you think. All I can say is, "Yes and Amen!"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kids Minister in Big Church

Our theme at camp? "Learn by Doing". We talked about the only way we would learn to hear God better is to practice doing it - over and over. How do you learn to feel more comfortable praying for people - by doing it over and over. So, we did a lot of it at camp.

Then the following Sunday, our campers had the opportunity to pray over the adults in "Big Church" during the ministry time. Yes, they were VERY nervous....but God was so faithful. Those kids just started praying for the adults and you could just watch God pump them "fuller and fuller" with confidence! I am so very proud of them! We're already hearing stories of how God answered their prayers.

I am so thankful to have a pastor who sees the importance of allowing kids to minister. Our kids are begging to do it again we're planning to make it happen.

Kids' Camp

Every year, the 3rd - 6th graders head to Riverbend Retreat Center for camp. This year, it was August 13 -15 and I think it was the hottest camp I have ever been to! With temperatures running over 100 degrees every day, it was a challenge to keep everyone hydrated and lathered in sunscreen. But, despite that, we had a wonderful time! I love camp...love being with the kids..it's just such a special time. Thought I would share some pics.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

She's just so dang cute!

So, the other day, Wes and I had the whole family at the house for lunch. Yep, it was kinda a zoo with Dad, Brendon, Austin, Shawna, Ashlynn, and their two ADORABLE little foster boys -lots of noise and so much fun! Just trying to get everyone situated at the table can be a real challenge with 3 little ones 3 years old or younger.

We had just settled at the table to eat when Ashlynn proudly announced that Granddaddy and Juju lived too far away from her and needed to find a new house. She and her mama and daddy were going to find us a new house much closer. (We have been looking to build or buy a home closer to her, but Ashlynn had not been aware of the process until one day they were driving around in a neighborhood looking at houses for us.)

Ashlynn is fine with us moving, BUT she made it quite clear that when I do move I need to take "my toys" and "my pool" (it's a little one for her to play in) when I move. Hope she allows me to bring more of my stuff besides my toys and pool, or I'm gonna have a really empty place to live.

I love that little girl! She just makes me smile!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A-tation Bible School

Last week, we had Vacation Bible School at church - or as Ashlynn likes to call it "A-tation Bible School." This is one of the most labor intensive things that I do as a children's pastor....but to see our kids smiling, laughing, singing, and worshipping, makes all the hours worth while.

Our volunteers were wonderful! The teachers did a fabulous job sharing with the kids. Our guides were awesome and of course, the galley crew - the best snacks ever! Monica and I couldn't do it without all of them! They are the BEST!

Just wanted to share some pictures of our fun week!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brendon!

Today is Brendon's 29th birthday! 29! Oh my! It seems like only a few days ago I was holding him in my arms in complete awe of the most handsome little baby boy. It was love at first sight and honestly, everytime I see him, I still smile. He's my first born....the first of two very precious gifts from God.

I love the way God made Brendon. He makes me laugh, amazes me at his tender heart, and astounds me with his brilliant mind. How he can cypher a computer is so beyond me and yet he does it so easily! He amazes me at how patient he can be when teaching his mama about the computer or her new cell phone. I love to watch him play his guitar when on the praise team....watching him worship brings me to tears. Yeah, he's just an amazing dude.

So, happy birthday, Brendon. Our family would be incomplete without you. I want you to know that I love you and am so thankful to be called your mom. Son, you have made your mom and dad so very proud.

A wise son brings joy to his father.......Proverbs 10:1

A God Story

Wes and I had the opportunity to get away for a few days last week. We had planned on going to Mexico and spend some time at the beach. So, after work on Monday, Wes picked me up and we headed to the airport. As we were checking in, the agent told us that the ramp (or basically the whole airport) had been shut down due to lightning. We had noticed that a storm was coming in and sure enough, it collided over the airport. After 15 minutes, the agent announced that our flight to Mexico had been cancelled as our plane had been diverted to some other location. She asked all the passengers to please come up to the counter and she would book everyone on tomorrow's flight. Since we were flying non-rev, we knew there would be no empty seat for us, so we decided that Mexico was out.

What was kind of interesting was that neither one of us got upset or even disturbed by the whole process. We both really felt that if God had to send a storm to shut down the entire DFW airport so we couldn't get to Mexico, that we didn't want to go....it was quite obvious He didn't want us there.

So, we came home and started a new game plan. First, we asked God to show us where He wanted us to go. After some planning and searching, we decided on San Antonio and Fredericksburg. Our trip to Mexico became a road trip to South Texas.

I love San Antonio as I grew up there and we had two tours there while we were in the Air Force. Brendon was also born in SA, so we have many, many great memories of that city. We got up the next morning and headed out on our adventure. Enjoyed our trip on Hwy 281 - ate at the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls - which by the way, has the best pie anywhere! Then pulled in to San Antonio in the early afternoon. That evening was filled with eating at the Alamo Cafe (MOST AWESOME MEXICAN FOOD!) and shopping at one of my old stomping grounds - North Star Mall.

The next morning, we drove around checking out all our "old" houses, sending pictures to the boys and reminiscing with them over the phones. We had lunch and then headed to the movies. About half way through the movie, I got deathly sick.....I mean sick. Shivers, shaking, so cold I thought I was going to freeze to death and finally I looked at Wes and told him I had to leave. After leaving my lunch at a trash can by the Seven-11, we went back to the hotel. I was so weak, I couldn't hardly stand up to walk. I can't tell you how thankful I was to get into bed.

That night we discussed whether we should head home instead of going to Fredericksburg. We decided we would see how I felt in the morning and would decide from there. I woke up feeling much better, but still very weak. We decided to head to Fredericksburg. I am so glad we did. If we hadn't gone, we would have missed the miracle.

We headed to a cabin in Fredericksburg that we had rented in July of 2009. Wes reminded me that it was at the place where I had lost my favorite necklace. I had totally forgotten about this. I loved that necklace.....Wes had given it to me for Christmas and it was just special to me. It had been misplaced at this cabin....we had searched and searched that cabin, my car, my luggage, everywhere and couldn't find it. We'd let the owners know and told them to please call us if they found it. We never heard anything....I figured it was gone. It was just a earthly possession, but still it couldn't be replaced.

As soon as we got in the cabin, Wes sat down and called the lady who cleans the cabins. Her told her the story, said he knew it was a long shot, but did she happen to find the necklace. These are her words, "Sir, this is your lucky day. I have your necklace." Are you kidding me? After a year....she had my necklace? She told us that she always goes through the bags of her vacuum cleaner because she finds all kinds of jewelry and things that people had left behind. Usually, the booking firm would call her and tell her someone left this behind - did you find it? She had kept my necklace for 1 year waiting for someone to call and claim it! The next day, my necklace was back around my neck.

I can't tell you how much I felt the Lord's love during all of this. He was willing to show me how much He loves me by sending a storm to keep us from Mexico, urging us on to Fredericksburg even though I wasn't feeling great, just to give me a necklace that He knew was important to me. It's not worth a lot monetarily speaking.....but it is priceless. Because now when I look at it I not only see Wes' love for me, but my Father's love. Yep, that's priceless.

I love God's surprises. They are the best!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Our little princess had her dance recital last Sunday. She performed in "The Dancing Bunny". Of course, with 10 little "bunnies" on the stage, it was quite cute! Ashlynn knew her part and danced her little heart out.
As far as we were concerned, she was the cutest and the best bunny ever!

I think a star is born!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Doomaflautchee (doo-ma-flaut-chee)

Wes and I bought Ashlynn a gymset for Christmas. Yes, I know it's May, but the only time Wes and Austin could be off on the same days it either snowed or rained or was freezing outside. Finally, yesterday was the day! The guys knew it would be an all day affair, so they started out early.....
Ashlynn really wanted to know what they were building. We didn't want to give away the surprise because we knew she would get frustrated with the slowness of it being built. She even saw the slide leaning up against the house. She asked Granddaddy if it was a slide. He said, "Well, it may be a doomaflautchee." She asked what he was building and he replied, "It's a doomaflautchee holder."

The doomaflautchee holder is coming along nicely!

Once we got to this stage, Ashlynn came in screaming, "They've built a house! They've built a house! Will I be able to play in it?" Her daddy assured her that she would but that she must wait until the doomaflautchee was completed. She was quite satisfied with that answer and we continued to play.

We had "picnics" in the doomaflautchee boxes. Boxes are such great things to play in! The bigger - the better!

Ashlynn even grabbed a hammer and helped.

After 11 hours and two very sweet but exhausted men, the doomaflautchee and holder was complete.

After it was all over, I told Ashlynn that it really wasn't a doomaflautchee, but a swingset and that it was just for her. She quickly corrected me and told me that her slide was a doomaflautchee and that the rest of it was the doomaflautchee holder. Who knows, she might call it that for the rest of her life.
The guys did such an awesome job! It was a HUGE undertaking and they were in the sun and heat most of the day. But both of them agreed that it was so worth it to see her smiles and hear her giggles. She even told them, "You guys did a good job!" Yeah, they did an awesome job. Thanks, Daddy and Granddaddy, because not only did you make this little girl's day, but you made one Juju very, very happy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Austria - Day 2 - My Favorite Day!

I grew up watching "The Sound of Music" and even though it's not my favorite movie, I do know it by heart....I know all the words and all the songs....could probably answer most of the trivia questions about it. So, we decided to take The Sound of Music Tour to see all the movie sights. What we didn't know was that it would also provide us with a breathtaking view of the area. This is Leopoldskron Castle. This mansion was used for all the scenes where you see the back of the von Trapp home (the porch scenes and lake scenes).

What's unique about all of this is that Austrians know the story of Maria and Georg von Trapp very well. But the movie has "hollywood-ized" the story...in other words, there are quite a few parts of the storyline that just didn't happen that way in real life. The Austrians don't know "The Sound of Music" at all....they don't know the storyline or the music. So it is a little puzzling to them to see all the people come from all over the world to see these sites. (Yes, the movie has a cult following!)However, it is a huge tourist attraction and they are very thankful for that!

Here's the view from Leopoldskron Castle. My, to have to look at that every day!

Our guide, Peter, standing in front of the gazebo where Leisel and Rolf sang "Sixteen Going On Seventeen."

Lake Fuschlsee........indescribable beauty. Wes is pretty cute too!

The Mondsee Cathedral. This is where they filmed the wedding scene for the movie. Because...

how incredibly beautiful it was on the inside! Georg and Maria actually got married the the chapel at the Abbey.

We stopped at the Cafe Braun for a little apple strudel and "ice". Oh man....to die for....it was that good.

One gorgeous view after another.......I just walked around in awe. God outdid Himself on this little country.

Mirabellgarten. Where Maria and the children danced and sang "Do-Re-Mi." They told us we need to come back when the flowers were blooming!

Notice Hohensalzburg Fortress in the background keeping watch over the little city of Salzburg.

A view from the fortress.

The Abbey where Maria would never become a nun. It was built in the 700's and still has nuns living in it today. All the Abbey shots in the film were filmed inside.

This is how you end your day. You go to the town square, everyone brings their dogs, and you enjoy the evening eating and drinking with friends. And what do you eat?

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut! Well, Wes did anyway........I left the sauerkraut off!