Saturday, June 29, 2019

Surprise for Joshua!

My wonderful son, Joshua turned 23 just a few days ago!  23!  A few weeks before Tabitha asked if she could have a small surprise party for him at our house.  Sure!  Parties at my house anytime!
So, she took him out on a scavenger hunt, and some of his friends arrived.  The kids had fun hiding while waiting for him to come in.

 Surprise Josh!  Happy Birthday!  We love you!

Patrick decided to contact some of his "Heroes of the Faith" and ask if they would send either a voicemail birthday message, or send a video saying Happy Birthday.  It was so sweet. All of them responded immediately and sent Joshua a wonderful message. We heard messages from Bob Gray II, Kerry Nance, Dave Sommerdorf, Cameron Giovanelli, Kurt Skelly and Scott Caudill. We played it on our TV so everyone could see.  It was really cool!  So thankful for the Godly Preachers God has put in Joshua's path that he looks up to!  So awesome!

 Then, after the video, he listened to birthday greetings from Pastor Strange and Bro. Nye.

I was so glad that Joshua and Tabitha's friends, The Stanleys, from Jacksonville could come over and join in on the fun.  What a great couple they are! And their baby girl is so adorable!

Tabitha made him an amazing oreo dessert.  It was soooo yummy!

Liberty loves party time....or should I say party food!

Patrick arranged a family feud game, girls vs boys.  It was so fun!  Of course, the girls were very thoughtful and let the birthday boy's team win.  How sweet!

It was a great party!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Big Shoals State Park

We had such a wonderful adventure at a new park today!  We traveled about 50 minutes to Big Shoal State Park in White Springs.  We loved it!  This park is known for being the white water rapids of Florida.

There was such a beautiful view of the Suwanee River!! Gorgeous!

We didn't hike to the rapids part of the river, we took the Long Branch trail.  It is a 2.4 mile trail that goes along the Suwanee River for a small portion of the hike.  The rest of the hike is through the Big Shoals Forest.

As usual, alligator warning signs can be seen in this park!

There was a canoe launch at the  beginning of the trail.  I'd love to come back with some canoes or kayaks!

After the first 1/2 mile the trail became very buggy.  Of all days, we picked a day where the heat index was over 100.  Even in the shade we were dripping with sweat!  Wow, it was hot!

We were a little concerned with the "Bridge Ahead Use Caution" Sign.

But, even after lots of rain lately, the creek was dry and the bridge rickety.

Beautiful Florida!

We hiked and hiked and sweated a ton.  I started telling the kids, "Look for the halfway marker!"  We stopped for water breaks, but still no sign of the halfway!  Then, we spotted it....the 1 mile marker.  What?  We weren't even halfway!

We didn't see much wildlife on this hike.  Just lots of these whitish colored centipede looking bugs.  I need to do some research and find out what kind they are.

Then, we made it to the end.  We were hot and sweaty, but it was fun!  Callie said a bug flew in her mouth the moment I said "Cheese"  I told you it was buggy!!

Monday, June 24, 2019

They moved up this way!

About two years ago Patrick asked his Mom to pray about moving up to North Central Florida.  He wanted to be able to help her and take care of her as she grows older.  At the time, she wasn't too crazy about the idea and said "Not now."  We understood, but prayed about it.  Then, about 6 months ago, Patrick's brother, Marc, and Denise decided it would be a good move for both of them.  They both thought that a fresh start and being near family would be a great idea!  They love Fort Myers and they love their home church, but felt the Lord was leading them up here.

So, Denise's house went on the market.  House hunting here began.  Marc gave a notice to his job.  And then the move happened!  Last Sunday Denise joined VSIBC!

Then, Marc arrived a week later and joined the church yesterday. 
We are so excited to have them here!  We are already figuring out ways to put them to serve in church!  And the members of VSIBC are so happy to have them here.
They close on their house on Friday and it's a gorgeous home!  I've already talked Denise into hosting one of our ladies Bible Studies. 
Thankful for a great family and so thankful they are here!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Freedom Expressions and Snuggles

It's amazing how much a baby can change in just a short amount of time.  Our little Freedom is changing and growing.

It is so cute to see Liberty and Freedom together.  I love it!  Liberty loves her baby sister so much!

 Freedom has so many adorable expressions.  I know it sounds strange, but I love the sound of newborn crying. It is just so precious and adorable. 

 So many cute expressions!

Such a cute little head!

More love from Liberty!

My sweet husband showed me his prayer journal the other day.  He has already started praying for Freedom's husband, wherever that little guy is!

Oh how this little one has captured our heart!  We love you Freedom Joy!

Monday, June 17, 2019

He knows our desires!

I love when God just proves himself real to my children.  It's so amazing as I see their eyes light up that God knows their desires and loves them so very much!  We had one of those moments yesterday!  But to tell you the story I need to back up a bit...

Joshua likes to tell of when he was younger we forced him to eat a bunch of butter beans.  The story actually happened a little different than he likes to tell it though.  I made a pot of butter beans and gave each of our children a small helping to try.  Our 11 year old Joshua didn't really want to try them, but when he finally did he decided he didn't like them before he even tried. He was convinced each bean was filled with butter. So, I told him he had to eat them all....which was a tiny amount to begin with.  Anyway, that was one of those parenting moments when Joshua and I went head to head.  Looking back we both laugh on it.  I was determined he was going to eat the beans....he was determined not to.  Can't remember who won the battle, all we know is Joshua says he still doesn't like butter beans  (which I still don't believe him. :o) )

My three little ones have heard that story told before and Friday Callie came to me and asked if I would buy butter beans next time I go to the store because she would like to try them.  ( I don't think I've bought them since Josh was 11!!)

Sunday at church someone wanted to give us some groceries from their pantry since they are moving to a new place.  What a blessing!  We were so excited to show Callie what was in one of those bags...BUTTER BEANS!

God knows our desires and He is such a wonderful heavenly Father that wants to meet those desires.  Even the things that others think are silly or minor.  He wants to be our everything, if we let Him!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

What does God say about Summer?

Summer.  Oh wonderful Summer!  We plan for you all year long and you're finally here!!

We're enjoying it so far, with many things to do on our list.  But, honestly, my list is changing up a bit.  My preacher hubby preached an amazing message on summer just a couple of weeks ago.  It makes me want to have the best summer ever and do amazing things! 

Have you ever thought about how we view summer?  We have been programmed that summer is a time to step back and be laid back.  You know, the whole 9 months on 3 months off mentality we had as kids.  That should not be so for the christian!  Summer is the time for us to move forward and we should take advantage of those summer months when things are a little different compared to the rest of the year:
~More time for God
~More time with Family
~Meet new people and be a witness and encouragement to them

God has a lot to say about summer in His Word.  Isn't it so neat how God really does cover it all in the Bible?  We just have to be willing to look for it.

     Be Careful of Summer Poverty "He that gathereth in summr is a wise son" Proverbs 10:5
In Scripture summer is a time to prepare.  Even the ant, that little creature that doesn't have a lazy bone in her body, works and prepares diligently in the summer. (Proverbs 6: 6-8)  This summer I want to gather spritual strength!

     Stay right with God this summer!  Don't allow things in my life that other times of the year I wouldn't let in.  Don't slip.  Stay tenderhearted!

     Summer is the time to gather fruit.  This summer I want to gather and produce spiritual fruit!

So, I must ask myself....where do I want to be by the end of summer?  Yes, I want to have a little more free time, fun time and rest time....this homeschooling Momma needs it!  Yet, in the midst of being free from school, I want to be productive as well.  How do I do that?  Have a plan!  I need to plan for
My Family
My Marriage
My Soul-Winning
The Ministries I'm involved in

I want this to be a summer to remember, filled with moments pleasing to the Lord.  I want it to be a  time of year where I purpose to seek God's face and ask Him how He wants my day to go.  It's going to be a great summer!!