Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Evolution of a Sandwich

It begins with several loaves of bread, jars of peanut butter, and some jelly. Throw in lots of willing hearts and what you have in the making are 400 PB&J sandwich lunches, complete with chips, cookies and a drink. These sandwiches made one by one each Friday night, are lovingly packed into hand-decorated brown bags with words of encouragement, love and some fun stickers. They are then loaded into banana boxes and packed into a 17 foot trailer, along with coolers and coolers of water, powerade and juice boxes.

On Saturday morning that trailer packed with 400+ lunches heads out to the Main Library in Downtown Toledo, where it is met by volunteers who for no other reason than to show the love of Christ in themselves to "the least of these" unpack it and distribute the contents to people who have been lined up anxiously awaiting perhaps their only guaranteed meal each Saturday.

Volunteers muster all their strength and love and put into selflessly serving people who are probably every day pushed aside. Relationships are being built and even those there for a free lunch are able to help bless others through the blessing they have received in brown paper bag.

This is Food for Thought - "a group of individuals from the Toledo, Ohio, area that believe a simple brown bag lunch can help change someone's life... When it's delivered consistently with a smile, a hug, and some friendly conversation."
This weekend Jourdyn and I were able to serve with Food For Thought and our friends Charlene, Carla and Sally. While there we ran into other volunteers that I know and love. But more importantly, we met people that we wouldn't have met in any other circumstance and were truly blessed by the encounter. On Saturday morning, we saw in each of the faces, not only a piece of ourselves but we encountered Christ in the streets of downtown Toledo.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me'...'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:35-36,40

Friday, May 29, 2009

Heather & Kayla's Graduation

My cousins, Heather & Kayla graduated from high school this week. Heather in Greenhouse/Floral Science and Kayla in Culinary Arts. We went to their graduation party this evening. They were so proud of their accomplishments, as they should be! Tomorrow, the both leave for employment with Cedar Point for the summer. Pray for them. They've never left home before so they are excited, yet nervous.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Heather/Kayla
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

The kids of course had a ball as usual at Aunt Jo and Uncle Scott's. It's the once place we have found that they don't care if I leave them there. In fact, I don't think they'd even notice at all. They love playing with all the kids, who aren't so much kids anymore! But Alex and Shanice love hanging out with Rowan and Nadine! I walk in their knowing that I probably won't see my kids unless they need to go to the bathroom or need a drink. They are kept busy running, playing football or jumprope. It's non-stop fun!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Got Blood?

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Blood Drive
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

This winter I coordinated with the Red Cross to begin doing blood drives at our church. Today was our first. I had a goal to get 25 or more donors. We had 26 people show up and we collected 18 pints of blood! AWESOME for a first ever drive!

It was a great day. The workers from the Red Cross were phenomenal! I gave blood for the first time since high school. It was nearly 15 years ago that I last gave. It was easy and quick! My blood guy asked me to give all the time because I'm a good donor. I filled the pint in about 5 minutes! It was probably a bit less actually.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

That's why they call 'em Great...

Today was Tatum, my great nieces 3rd birthday. So the kids and I went to Chuck E. cheese with her to celebrate! She is as cute as a button. With every gift she opened, she exclamed "Ta Da!" I guess that's part of why they call them "Great" has nothing to do with generations! It's all about our level of coolness and sweetness! It has nothing to do with age! Happy Birthday Tatum from your Fantastical, wonderful Aunt! (anything but great!)

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Tatum's 3rd Birthday
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Honors Program

Today was Jourdyn's Honors program at school. Friday is her last day of 6th grade! Rob, Rowan and I headed over to watch the program. Jourdyn was awarded Honor Roll for maintain a 3.4 - 4.0 throughout the year, the National Fitness Award, and received recognition for being on the yearbook staff. She received her "letter" for her jacket for Honors.

Two BGSU people came and spoke for the ceremony, John Harbal and Van Wright. We were excited to see John, we used to go to church together before he moved away. He is the Chair of the Board of Trustees at BGSU now.

We were told to save the applause to the end, but not Rob, the rule breaker!!! He shouted out "Jourdyn" and clapped when her name was called! He said this was the last time he had to embarass her with his proudness in sixth grade, he couldn't pass it up!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday Madness

I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did. ~Benjamin Harrison

It didn't feel like Monday yesterday, it felt like Sunday. I went from Thursday thinking it was Friday, to Friday thinking it was Saturday and somehow made a shift to Monday thinking instead of being a day ahead we were a day behind.

We had a impromptu gathering of sorts yesterday. We started with just Jules, Bro and Ed and Evalee coming over and it just grew from there. Amy and Jason, Chuck and Char and Dave and Karen and of course, all their families in tow, joined us. We had ribs, chicken, cornhole, brownies, cupcakes, rugby, firepit, smores, pies and just a whole lot of fun! The kids had a ball because the Rook kids and Amy's boys were here. We really didn't have to do anything for them all day long. They were in their own little world.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Mem Day
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day weekend

I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at work for the most part. Friday I came home early and was able to hang out with the kids and Rob in the back yard. Yesterday, I was called off work completely, not before driving all the way out there. I made good use of the run there and hit some garage sales. I found some clothes for Rowan and a really cute sweater dress for Nadine.

Later in the evening we headed out to Ed and Evalee's for a bonfire with their family! It was really nice. My kids love Evalee to death and the little ones had a ball playing with the animals and Mandi's friends.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Sunday Night
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Sunday, May 24, 2009

we are hanging out at ed and evalees tonight. the kids are excited about the bonfire and smores.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mad Anthony Rugby

This evening I had the privelege of watching my nephew, Brodie play his final high school rugby game. It's quite a violent sport and I believe I am going to aim Rowan towards golf or baseball, something far less aggressive. Unless of course he wants to play football for the Buckeyes. Rugby is definitely physical. Thankfully no one was critically injured during this game. And Bro's team won their final game!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Rugby Game
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Graduation Applications

Today, I had to fill out my graduation applications for school. It is so hard to believe that this Christmas I will have my Master's in Pastoral Ministry. It's quite exciting! I will receive my degree by mail after December, but will be traveling to Idaho for commencement in May. I didn't walk for my associates or my bachelor's. So I want to walk for this, plus I will be able to visit my family out there. They have receptions and barbeques, pictures and fun stuff for all the graduates planned. I also want to take this chance to meet my professors face-to-face and my classmates.

However, education means nothing really, it gives me the tools to do the job I have prepared for, but it does not give me the experience and hands-on. So there is fear still inside of me. Fear of the unknown and more strenuous is the fear of the known. I spoke with our new pastor yesterday and he is going to help me along the way with preparing myself for eventual teaching moments with the congregation. He basically said, "We'll put you up there, and it will be sink or swim. That's where you are now, you either do it or you don't." I asked if we could have CPR training for the congregation before that sink or swim moment, because I might need someone to give me CPR after I drown. Sometimes I'm just too funny!

So I'm excited to see where God is taking me, realizing that He has only plans to prosper me and not harm me. (Jer. 29:11) I still have to remind myself daily to be patient and wait on Him. It's three weeks from today that I will receive my district license. I've been told it's quite a ceremony. I am anxious to see what happens down there in St. Mary's!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

backyard fun in the bouncy house

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sometimes its as simple as shoes....

(borrowed the title from my friend Charlene's blog!)

I'm sure you've seen the TV commercials for At&t that feature Blake, Chief Shoe Giver from Toms Shoes. If not, they are a company that makes shoes and for every pair you buy they give a pair to someone in a 3rd world country. "TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what we're all about." Check out more info about their movement.

After seeing the first commercial I felt moved to get a pair but didn't. And then it seems at every turn Toms Shoes was there. So the other day I finally ordered a pair. I have been anxiously awaiting them and they arrived today! They are so well made and comfortable! I would encourage you to buy a pair.

The other thing that I love about this movement is that I'm not buying Nike's in order to give a kid a pair of jelly shoes. I'm buying the same product that I am giving to a child who without my buying them for them wouldn't have them. I'm not wearing something great and giving them something less. I'm giving them the same as I bought for myself!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Toms Shoes
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Friday, May 15, 2009

End of 6th Grade...

I can't believe 6th grade is already over! Jourdyn had her spring concerts this week. Wednesday night was band and Thursday night was choir. She did a great job! In band you can't see her because she's in the back but in choir she was right up front with her friend Brookelyn, who sang the solo.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beautiful Weather

The weather was beautiful today! I walked the kids across the street to ride their bikes. Nadine got her bike last year but this is the first time she got to ride it this year. She was very excited! Every time she'd finally get going, she'd put the brakes on and have to figure out how to do it all over again. Rowan finally at one point got sick of her saying "come give me a push start," so he went over and gave her a push start and forgot to stop pushing. Together they tipped Nadine right onto the ground. She got a little scrap on her hand but all was well. She got back up and started over again.

Rowan took over his tricycle, which we discovered he can ride very well. He can peddle great - forwards and backwards - he just has no clue how to steer the thing. So more often than not he found himself going in little circles. By the end of our time he was just carrying his bike around instead of riding it.

Jourdyn rode for a bit, but her bike is too small for her now. So after a while, she just sat down and read her book, while the little ones rode their time away!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Bike Ride
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

My class is going pretty well. It is all about global missions and the biblical mandate to carry the gospel to all the peoples of the earth. This week we read a lot of history of missions in the Protestant church. It was really neat to see all of these ordinary people who had faith that could move mountains and cross borders to change not just their immediate world but God's world!

Zooing It!

Yesterday, Nadine's school went to the Toledo Zoo. Rob, Rowan and I all headed out with her for the adventure. It was a very busy day at the zoo, since it was Monday morning and National Tourism day, everyone got in the zoo for free. Nadine's favorite animals are the penguins. We saw them as well as lots of other animals: polar bears, seals, lions, hippos, tigers, elephants, sloth bears and some monkeys!

First Game

Last night was our first softball game of the season. Our game last week was rained out. Our first time at bat we did so good! Then it just went down from there. But we are a team of teens and old people and we started out just to have fun this year. I had fun playing! I played second base, not very well, but I played it. I also hit the ball both times at bat! Was out on first, but I hit them! Note to self: when you hear the clank of the bat hitting the ball, drop bat and run immediately, don't watch to see where it goes before you run!

Rob didn't get to play. He's on second shift this week. So the kids and I went out to the field. Crystie is playing for our team this year. I'm excited about that. I'll get to see her smiling face every week for the next couple of months!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day from Oregon, Mom! Thanks for always being there to listen to my stories! Wish I could reach out and hug you today! So just have Jim give you a squeeze.

Happy Mother's day to all my mommy readers! I appreciate your love and support!

Today, I spent my mother's day at church in the morning. After church Rob and the kids took me to Applebee's for lunch since I had about an hour before I had to leave for work. I returned home at 9:30 pm from work and put the kids in bed. Rob and the kids went to his brothers for a cookout with their mom and siblings while I was at work.

Last night at work we had an art show. There was a gentlemen selling his hand blown glass jewelry. I stopped to look at his stuff on the way in to work because on his table was a card with a pendant attached on the card was written Matthew 17:20 "Because of your little faith, Jesus told them, 'For if you had faith as small as a tiny mustard seed you could say to this mountain, Move! And it would go far away." Nothing would be impossible." Inside the glass blown pendant was a tiny mustard seed. I asked him how late he would be around and told him I'd come back because I needed to clock in. Later, as I walked by I glanced over at the cards again and kept walking. Then on my way back past him again heading to the kitchen. I stopped and picked on up again and read it again. I asked him for his business card because I don't carry cash to work. He told me to take one, I argued for a bit and finally did. I'm going to send him a check and asked him to pass the blessing on to someone else. But I was so moved by his heart to not only make jewelry with the Message on it but also to act on that. His name is Keith Marok. His work was beautiful! He has some displayed in a gallery right near my hair salon in Downtown Toledo. Next time I get my hair done I'm going to go check it out!

Friday, May 8, 2009

A busy week

This has been an extremely busy week for the family! Especially me! I started my new class this Monday, Missiology & Contextualization. It's going to be a tough one, lots and lots of reading. The Daughters of the King Banquet is tonight, so I have been daily preparing for that event. Cutting crowns, decorating, ordering food, last minute shopping, etc.

Nadine had one of her cavitities filled today. She has a total of four cavitities. She will go back in a couple of weeks for the others. She did a fantastic job. She didn't whine or cry and obeyed all of the dentists instructions!

Besides tonight, I work all weekend, even Mother's Day! I'll post pics of the banquet next week!

And I received my letter from the district and the credentials board voted unanimously to recommend me for my first district license! Rob and I have to go to District Assembly on June 10th so I can be presented with the license! It's very exciting, yet a little surreal!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jourdyn's Regional Quiz Meet

Daddy spent the weekend with the little kids and I in Gatlinburg. Jourdyn went for her Regional Quiz Meet in Mount Vernon, Ohio with Miss Dawn and her friend Katie! They went down on Friday night and spent the evening practicing. On Saturday they woke up and went to quiz. Jourdyn missed 5 out of 40, giving her a Crystal Achiever. She was awarded a trophy and a ribbon. She also got a t-shirt and a Moses bobble head. After the quiz, they played games and had lunch, then the award ceremony.

I was really sad to miss it. When I bought our tickets for Women of Joy last year we didn't realize it would be the same weekend as her quiz meet and Rob couldn't go because you can't take little kids to it.

So now we are off to World Competition in June! Just Jourdyn and I are going - it is in Orlando, Florida.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Women of Joy Pictures

I'll post my thoughts on Women of Joy tomorrow or later this week. But here are the pictures.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Women of Joy 09
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Saturday, May 2, 2009

women of joy casting crowns

me n travis cotrell

me n carol kent

travis cotrell n praise team

kirk cameron

women of joy sevierville tn
well we are here. there were some setbacks for some of groups but we have all arrived. sometimes working with women is harder than working with children and thats really making me miss my kids. you would think that putting others first would be a priority. and i wouldnt find myself having to say do unto others as you would have them do to you. thankfully last night we had wonderful praise and worship. we heard kirk cameron share a powerful message reminding us how important it is to not be fearful in sharing our faith. and i get to share my bed with the most awesomeness niece in the world crystie. we did go to the scrapbook outlet yesterday. and i have been blessed with the joy of great encouragement. God is definitely good.

Template by Exotic Mommie and by Garcya