Saturday, December 31, 2011

December ... where did it go?

Happy New Year!  I can't believe December has come and gone already.  We are in Winter Park with family and we have already celebrated the South African New Years and now we are waiting to celebrate Texas and then Colorado New Years.  We praise the Lord for all He has done in our family during 2011 and we are looking forward to seeing what He has planned for us in 2012.

Here is a quick update since we left Naples a few weeks ago ...

After leaving Naples we were working our way back to Texas but my parents had planned a surprise trip to Disney World.  We spent a week at their time share and had a great time at Disney. 

After leaving Orlando, we started our 3 day travel back to Texas.  We spent one night in Panama City Beach.  The water there was beautiful.  So of course we spent some time on the beach.

The next night we stayed in Houston with my Great Aunt and Uncle and we got to eat dinner with several of my cousins.  We also got to meet 4 of my newest cousins that have been born in the last 3 years Witt, Adelaide, Graham and Gray. 

The next night we stayed in San Antonio and we were able to see my Great Aunt Lavon.  The next morning we were up and on the road again with a destination of Amarillo.  Of course we made a stop for lunch in San Angelo at Franco's.  We also stopped in Lubbock to see Mark's Nannie and her husband Papa John. 

We arrived in Amarillo with 3 days left until Christmas.  So that meant a lot of last minute running around and cooking.  We had Christmas Eve dinner at my sister's house which was great because not only was my family together including my moms youngest brothers family, my sister's husbands whole family was there, including his sister's in laws, and Mark's dad and Bonnie joined us as well.  What a great way to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  We attended the Christmas Eve Candlelight service with Mark's dad and Bonnie.

We woke up Christmas morning to get ready to go to church with my parents only to notice that we had a little bit of snow on the ground (the forecast was no snow and a high of 50F).  We were very excited to see snow on Christmas especially since the last 2 years we had Christmas in Africa and it is summer time then. By the time the day ended we had 5 inches of snow!

Tuesday we headed up to Winter Park to spend time with extended family.  Wednesday, Mark spent the first day in bed with a stomach bug.   Friday, my dad, Mark, Brit, Luke and my mom headed to the slopes.  (I was supposed to go and hang out with my mom and take pictures but I got the spend the day in bed with the stomach bug).  Luke signed up to take snowboarding lessons (something he has wanted to do for a long time).  He had a great day and was enjoying it.  On the last run with the group he was at the top not far from the lift when in his words ... "I went to turn and just lost power and when I fell I put my hand back. I did that like 20 times today so that must be why it finally broke."   (He broke his right wrist.)  He also told me that he got to come down the mountain on the back of ski patrol. We go get a cast on Monday.  He hardly complains about the pain.  He has told me twice that he wishes this was a bad dream and that he would wake up and it would fine.  He is really bummed that he can't ski the next two days with Mark, Brit and my dad and that he can't sled with his cousins. 

Next Sunday we will speak at my parent's church in Amarillo in the morning and then head to Lubbock that afternoon to speak at Mark's grandmother's church.  Please pray for us as we will share at 14 different places between now and the end of March.  We will also begin school again for this new semester.  The kids worked so hard before we left South Africa and they managed to get all of their assignments completed until January.  They have really enjoyed the long break in December and I must admit I have to.  Please pray for the kids as they have to start this new semester and do school "on the road" out of their normal routine.  I know that the Lord will give them the strength and endurance to accomplish what they need to.  Thank you all for your prayers, financial support and encouragement for our family.  We wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas from the PaulAnn Baptist Church Missionaries

Check out the is video our sending church put together from the missionaries that were sent out from PaulAnn.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Nine Days with Two Special Friends

A year ago the Lord brought two new friends into our family's lives and we are so thankful for the friendship the Lord has given us with Ken and Nancy.  They have become like family.  There is a special bond and love that we share with them that ONLY THE LORD can do.

If you don't know the story of how the Lord brought them into our lives check here.

When they left our home last January they told us that we HAD to come and stay with them while we were in the States.  While planning our time here, we figured that the best time for us to make the trip to Georgia (that is where they lived at the time) would be in December.  We weren't going to speak at any churches in December and we thought it would be the only month we would have several days to stay with them.  (They made it clear that we had to stay longer than a 4 day weekend!).  Long story short, they moved to Naples, so our plans changed from visiting Georgia to visiting Naples.  My parents offered to drive us out to see them which was great since we don't have our own car here in the States.  We got a call a few months back and Ken and Nancy had arranged for us to set up a table at First Baptist Naples (the church they attend) while we are visiting them.  So, not only did we get to spend time with Ken and Nancy we also go to share about Samaria Mission with lots of people.  We even meet about 4 or 5 people from South Africa that currently live in Naples. 

We all managed to pack so much into a few short days.  Here are a few pictures of some of the things we were able to do while we were with Ken and Nancy.

At First Baptist Naples

watching the sunset from the barefoot beach

took Tucker and Tyler to the dog beach

watched the sunset from the boat on the Gulf

Brit drove for about 45 minutes

Luke drove about 30 minutes
fishing off the boat - Brit had a few bites but nothing caught

went to the dog park with Tyler and Tucker

attended The Living Christmas Tree at FBC

fishing off Naples pier - Brit caught a fish

Luke caught a fish (so did Ken and Mark)

Ken and Nancy

We praise the Lord for our friends

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

10 Days Already!

Wow, I can't believe we have been in the States for 10 days ... we landed and hit the ground running. 

Here is a quick recap 

Diana picked us up at the airport in Dallas and we were also surprised by my 83 year old granddad.  He had been waiting at the airport since it opened because he couldn't remember what time our flight arrived (which was 10 am).  After we left the airport Diana took us to the Cracker Barrel to eat.  This was our first time to ever eat at one and it was really yummy! 

We stayed in Dallas for a few days and Mark's mom spoiled us rotten ... she had bought us all our own bathroom supplies, let Mark, Brit and I get a massage, she "dog sat" our old dog "Snowbell" that we gave to a friend of hers before we left, bought our first Sonic drink, bought dough nuts, had the house decorated for Christmas and so much more.  We also went shopping and of course one of the stores we hit up was Old Navy.  

On Tuesday night we went to dinner with Mark's uncle and cousins - it was great to visit with them.  Then on Wednesday we headed to San Angelo and went to Mark's sisters house.  Of course soon after arriving we unloaded and headed to Franco's.  Two and a half years was a LONG time to go without Franco's!  When we went back to Steph's house she gave us a "welcome" sack loaded with our favorite candies and a new cup.  She also had signs on the bedroom doors and Luke's bed was decorated with a Cowboys blanket and Brit's room was COVERED in Tech colors along with a blanket and flag on the wall.  This made Brit really "excited" seeing as she LOVES Texas NOT Tech.... I think Steph enjoyed it! 

No clue why these next to pictures are sideways ... this is not how they look on my computer 

This is what it looks like to travel for 4 months!

This picture is making me hungry!  

 Diana and Steph took care of everything for Thanksgiving and we had a great meal.  The kids enjoyed riding the four wheeler, playing games and Brit even got a ride on Uncle Cary's motorcycle.  We also spent awhile looking through all the ads and making a plan for our traditional Black Friday early shopping trip.  Then we went home and had homemade breakfast burritos for breakfast ... tasted so good.

 We also celebrated Christmas early.  Diana called the week "Thankmas" since we were combining the two holidays into one and we ALL had so much to be thankful for and most of all the fact that we serve a loving God. 

On Saturday, Mendi dropped by to see us, two and a half years was way too long but we just picked up right were we left off.  I praise the Lord for her friendship. Sunday we went to PaulAnn Baptist Church, our sending church.  It was great to see everyone and be there.  Sunday night my parents arrived in San Angelo and we prepared for our trip to Florida. 

We left on Monday for Florida but we are taking 5 days to get to Naples.  This gave us time to stop and see my 3 great aunts (one in San Antonio, one in Houston and one in Groves).  Tomorrow we will stop and see a friend of my mom's in Jacksonville and then on Friday we will arrive in Naples and stay with Ken and Nancy for a week and a half.  The kids thought it was great that we were in 4 different States today. 

Aunt Lavon

Aunt Nita

We didn't take pictures with my Aunt Carolyn and my cousins Mel, Carrie and Cheryl.  I guess we were too busy talking and we all forgot.  I will be sure to get some in December when we are with them.  


Way past my bed time here, we have another full day ahead of us on the road tomorrow.  Thank you for praying for our family.