Last Friday, (December 21st), baby brother, David, surprised Daddy with his early Christmas present (I think it actually was a great 'present' for us all to be together). David arranged for a tour of what is left of the 100 Oaks Castle in Winchester, TN. B.D. (Before David), Dad owned this castle and in fact we lived a short time, not in the castle, but beside it while they were working on it. Although Dad eventually got rid of it and we never lived in it, I think where we lived was just as much a 'castle' as this grand place. Although I was very young, I still have lots of fun memories in the castle such as the haunted house Mom planned for her teen youth group. But then again, I have fun memories of where we lived growing up. In other words, it is not really whether you live in a castle or not, home is where your memories are as great as a castle.
This is one of my favorite photos from Ecuador this year. I am not sure if it is their happy faces or the memories of such a great group. This pix was taken on our last day of training. We graduated 21 participants with not just a certificate but lots of tools we took for them to teach children and share the gospel with others. Each of them have their own story. Each of them have their own piece of Ecuador to evangelize and each have a piece of my heart.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Caleb from Peru. Apparently, one of the things that the school kids loved to do with the American team was to get their autographs. It melts my heart as this is what I want for Caleb. No, not rock star/autograph seekers, but for that moment when you realize that you have something special about you. It's not your looks, it's not anything else but that you are there in that place because God put you there. You have a purpose. May this be a great faith moment for Caleb. He loved the people. I loved the changes in him. Oh yea, I am a little bias, but he is a star to me!
I laugh everytime I see this picture. I am not sure if it is Kevin's expression or Lila's disregard for picture taking. This lovely photo was taken at Anna and Chase's after Lila's baby dedication at their church that morning. It was indeed a sweet dedication. Lila did everything just right (in other words, she did not cry.) But the reason for the post is an affirmation of our dedication to Lila. We love her so much. We commit to praying for her everyday. We commit to praying for Anna and Chase as they raise her (praying especially for their marriage as this season of baby raisin' ain't so easy on a marriage). We commit to bringing joy into her life in some way whether it is by attending her special events or just ordinary days turned into special ones because of her!
Oh and did I mention that we dedicate ourselves to spoiling her, too? :)
Wellllllll, I have successfully went to 3 Warrior Dash races and not participated in any of them. I personally think that deserves a medal :) I love this pose as Henry is trying to be a big boy like his dad and Uncle Caleb. This has become a tradition and quite frankly this year was somewhat nostaligic. Who knows if we will get to come back because Caleb will be busy with graduation this time next year. I am sorry that this picture does not fit in all the other crazzzzy people around us. You see all kinds of costumes and themes. This year's favorite for me was the big group of M &M's. They had M&M t-shirts of every color. Of course by the end of race, they were all brown. Go warriors!
I could think of lots of excuses of why I should not be teaching sewing. I certainly do not have the expertise, but I do have the heart for it. This picture is of sweet Ashlyn. This is the second sewing project we have been working on. Isn't this cupcake apron adorable with all the ruffles? Did you know that there are lots of life lessons in sewing? Such as... if you do not follow the directions, it's a mess. And, if you get off track, rip out and start over. Also, it is more fun to sew with someone. (By the way, Ashlyn is modeling her apron, but ignore her top as we did not coordinate it with the apron.) I am so proud of her not just because of the project, but because she is so sweet to work with and be around. You can't expect to influence a child's life, unless you are willing to invest in it.
When I was talking to Sandy this morning, she told me about this blog she had read. Oh my! It is so encouraging and a blessing. You've got to read it! It is www.aholyexperience.com/ The story is entitled Where to Find Happiness dated February 24th. I am so getting a horn to put in my house. What a great reminder of God's greatness!
I love this picture because it is my baby girl holding her baby girl. It is hard to express the love that comes to someone the first time you see them this way. How can that be so? I call it a mother's love. I felt it when they first handed Anna to me when she was born and then in a different way when I held my granddaughter, Lila. As for the title of blog, yes, I am slightly prejudice, but I am proud of both of them. Anna, you did amazing in delivery and now being a mom to Lila. As for Lila...you can just lay there and cry and poop and spit and still be the cutest baby to me.
Happy New Year! Of course, while I am cooking that southern ham hock (what part of pig is that? :) and beans for New Year's Day (and cornbread), I am reflecting back on 2011. I know...I know..I need to look ahead, but I need to look back to see God's hand (and my hands messing it up plenty of times). I am such a forgetful person (not sure if it is the age or the wanting to forget some things); but this is what I don't want to forget.....I made it through reading the entire Bible; Had the privilege of discipling Robin and Eddie (so proud of them); completed monthly book reviews for BFG class; Took enough antibiotics and prednisone to kill a horse (but kept going and going and going); Started family prayer time one night a week with Caleb in April and we've kept it up; Survived a tornado; Got to go to Seattle and Dallas for Randall House doing seminars and getting paid to talk (loved it); Watched another Warrior Dash, in other words did not participate; Enjoyed beach and got to go with the Sullivan's; Attended Merge and lived through it again; Helped sister with Jared's beautiful cupcakes, I mean wedding; Celebrated 25 years of Wegener's and healing; Found out that Anna and Chase are having a baby girl (still waiting on Lila); Caleb got a deer with my car but was not hurt (not true about buck and my car); Memphis crew became part of our family; fell and sprained my knee; got sick in Ecuador but managed to still finish out trip and get to do the training. Of all the things God did through me and in spite of me, I am once again humbled that He picked me and all these events. Sounds so cliche'. But I refuse to look ahead without acknowledging God's hand in the past. Did I always like it (especially the death angel visit when sick in Ecuador...ok I am dramatic)? No, but I cling not to the past but to the faithfulness of God. Because if I did not believe He was faithful, I wouldn't even think about 2012. Oh yeah, 2012....I almost forgot :)
I am computer challenged but refuse to be beaten up by an electronic device. (I can unplug it and run.) I love to laugh. I love my family (which provides me lots of reasons to laugh (OK, tears, too.) I love to worship.