Sunday, June 27, 2021

She said YES!!

My Brenna said "Yes" to the man of her dreams and the one to mine and Patrick's prayers for over 22 years.  We can't wait to share all the details of AJ and Brenna's courtship and proposal. I've asked Brenna to write out their beautiful love story for me to post.  So, pretty soon you will read a wonderful story where God had His hand of guidance, protection and wisdom on my girl.  So happy!


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Blend, not balance

I heard a really neat quote not too long ago that has stuck with me.  A godly lady said, "Don't balance minitstry and family, blend them!"  As I've thought about it more and more, I realize how true that is.  Unbeknownst to me, that really has been our theme in our family ever since my Joshua was a baby and my husband was called to preach.

Whether you are in "full time" Christian service and that is your source of income, or if you serve in the church in whatever capacity you can while holding an outside job, this statement can be true for anyone!  Ministry life can be busy.  Family life can be busy.  But you don't have to choose one or the other.  We have found that some of our best memories are when we have served the Lord together.  We've tried to blend ministry and family.  

Planning on hosting a meal for the visiting preacher?  Let your kiddos help plan the menu.  Let them set the tables and make name badges for each spot.  They can even make a special centerpiece for the tables.  Then, let them have fun making new friends if the preacher has children. (Micah had so much fun meeting David and Jonathan Garraway and spending the afternoon with them!)

Serve on a bus route?  Go visiting with your children and let them see first hand that they have much to be thankful for as they will sometimes see poverty at a different level.  Let them help prepare snacks and treats for the bus route and plan the games you will do that day

Clean the church?  Let your children clean with you. Hide a special item and tell them to look for it while they clean.  When they find it they get a treat or something special.  Or you take a 10 minute coke break and just sit and talk before finishing up cleaning.  Pray for the pastor and kneel down at his seat with your child.  Or after you clean the church go about leaving a surprise treat or two for their Sunday School Teacher or Youth Pastor.

Teach Sunday School?  Have your child help you decorate the room in a fun theme.  Let them help you plan a game, but they have to try it out with you first!

You really can make the ministry fun and appealing, if you put your mind to it!  And plan ahead!

So make that your motto....blend, don't balance!


Monday, June 21, 2021

Silas, my carver

Silas has really been enjoying his new hobby.  For Christmas we bought him a wood carving set.  Since then he has carved several things and he's loving it!

He did this owl.

And this man.

The only thing about having a son learning to carve is that you find wood shavings everywhere.  Really.  It's everywhere.

So we're teaching him that carving must be done on the porch now.  So every afternoon I hear the blower start up as he cleans off his shavings.  He dreams of one day having a woodshop where he carves.  He said he wants to eventually see the floor of his shop lined with shavings from projects that he's done.  That's pretty cool!

 I love for my kiddos to have hobbies.  This one is pretty neat!!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Hello Summer!

Summer is officially here at the Gimenez Home!

We've hit the ground running with lots of fun things happening and projects at the table.  It's amazing how during the school year you dream of summer as a time to get caught up on things and to relax for a bit.  That doesn't always seem to happen.  We've had lots happening and another few busy weeks ahead, but I know there will be some pool time, some reading on the couch, some relaxing with a cup of sweet's just around the corner!

We enjoyed a bunch of corn that was given to us.  We feasted on Elote (mexican street corn), creamed corn, corn on the cob....we love corn!

We had a great graduation service at church.  Such a special time for a wonderful family that has become so dear to us.  So thankful for Godly friendships!

We managed to even squeak in a birthday party for Mary Ellen!

We've enjoyed some fun fellowships at church.  Pie, ice cream, all kinds of goodies!

There have been more and more sweet talks on the front porch, too.  :o)   

We enjoyed a wonderful retirement party as two of our teacher friends retired.  What a special time it was as we honored them and their service to families in our community!

On the last day of school we celebrated with burgers, fries, fried green tomatoes, and frozen lemonade.

Looking forward to a great summer!


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Ministry Refresher

Patrick and I were so blessed to be able to attend the Ministry Refresher Institute hosted by Southwest Baptist Church (Home of Heartland Bible College) in Oklahoma City.  It was such a great few days for us!

Of course since Covid, travelling is a little different.  But, we made the best of it!  We had an early flight out of Gainesville,

Then a layover in the busy Dallas Airport...

Then to the Wil Rogers Airport in OKC!

We were excited to be able to have some Braum's Ice Cream while we were there.  Braums is a place we enjoyed in our Carthage days, so we knew we needed to have some good ice cream while we were there!

The church really spoiled us and fed us well! 

We also ventured out and saw a few sights in the area. We drove to Stockyards City for dinner and to look around.

And with Taco Trucks on EVERY corner we knew we needed to try some street tacos! Anyone else have a love for taco trucks like we do?  Also, this may sound strange, but I had the best carrots I've ever had from this truck.  I think they were pickled.  I am now in search of a recipe, they were soooo good!

 The Conference was absolutely amazing.  The sessions they had were directly aimed for the Preacher and his wife.  I loved hearing the ladies speak concerning issues that I face on a daily basis as the Pastor's Wife.  It was encouraging, uplifting and convicting.  I walked away with so many quotes!!  

I learned things like:
"Give Patrick the gift of humanity.  Don't expect him to be perfect."  Isn't this so true!?  Just because I'm married to the Pastor doesn't mean I have a perfect husband.  I'm not perfect.  So I shouldn't think he is either.

"Don't balance ministry and family, Blend them!"  We have found this to be so true and it's so fun to serve God together!

"It will be worth it all, but it's truly worth it all right now!"  And that is so true as well.  I have much to be thankful for living this life as the Preacher's wife!

We had a wonderful time and even enjoyed some Phase 10 during our layover on the way back.  It was a great time to refresh and enjoy some time with my sweetie!

Now we're working hard to finish up school and getting ready for a great summer!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Freedom Joy is 2!

Our Freedom Joy just turned 2!! And what a joy she truly is to our family! 

She's talking more and more and I love it!  Although she still uses one word type sentences.  She will say, "Libby.  Play." which means her and Liberty were playing together.  or "Momma.  Bow." which means her Momma put a bow in her hair.   I just love it!!

We all ohhhed and awwed with her as she opened her gifts.

 When asked what kind of birthday she wanted, she told her Momma "Blue!"  That's her favorite color.  So Tabitha made the most yummiest blue ice cream.  It was soooo good!! It had chips ahoy and oreos all through it.  It was so creamy and so good!

 Birthdays are special around here and I love it when we all get together!

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

You're not their friend

I remember when my older 3 were little.  People so kindly gave us lots of advice on raising children.  I was a new Momma that wanted to learn everything I could, so I read and listened and watched.  As Patrick and I developed our "game plan" for raising our precious treasures, we had many people tell us to remember that in parenting "you're not their friend, you're their parent."  I understand somewhat what they meant.  But it just never fully sat right in my heart.

As kiddos are little, in some ways you really aren't their friend.  I mean, what friend tells you what to do constantly and gives consequences if you don't? ;o)  So I do understand that philosophy.  But when you love someone dearly and spend your time caring for them, you are "friends."  When you want to be with them and receive joy from just making them smile, you are their friend.  When the majority of your life revolves around making sure they are fed, protected, sheltered and secure, that really is friendship.

I have found that my friendship with these little people that God has given me just continues to grow.  It grows and deepens as they move from child to preteen. Although that friendship goes through some rocky seasons as we readjust to one another and the changing phases of life, the friendship continued to grow. And in the teen years as they are figuring things out and as I "cut some apron strings" the friendship grows to a new level.  We spend time together and have many more mutual interests.  Heart to to heart talks become more and more frequent and you find you are learning just as much as them as they grow.

Then the adult season comes.  I never realized how much more the friendship with my children could grow and blossom, but it does.  We have much in common and love spending time together.  Yes, I am their friend.  And they are mine.

For our Father's Day/Mother's Day gifts this year, Beth asked if we could do a mini road trip and go to Valdosta to eat at Mama Junes.  We had so much fun with her!  We laughed and talked the whole ride up.  We ate a ton and talked some more. 

 Then, I talked them in to scoping out a Dollar Tree we had never been to.  I found some neat things!  And we made more memories and laughed and enjoyed this special time together.

I am thankful for friendships with my children.  It seems like I was just trying to decide about being their friend when they were little.  I'm glad we decided yes!

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Updating with compromise in mind

We've had fun doing a little updating lately.  It's amazing though, because once you start one thing you see another, then another, then is fun though!  It's amazing how much your tastes can change in 6 years ago.  When we fixed up our mobile home we wanted a darker look.  That was nice....for a little bit.  Then I realized I wanted a bright open space with lighter colors.

When we put in our new countertops, it really clashed with our chocolate brown cabinets.  As Patrick and I talked about it we couldn't decide on what color to paint our cabinets.  One of us wanted white, one wanted a darker color.  Then, came our date to Lowes :o)

We walked in and saw several displays of the upper/middle cabinets a light color while the bottoms cabinets were a darker color.  Hello Compromise!! 

We went with a super light gray that looks white for the upper cabinets.  It's called Summer Gray.  For the lower cabinets we did a medium/dark gray.  It was quite a lot of work, but we love love love how it turned out!

 And I am loving the new shelves that I got from Hobby Lobby.  Such a pretty space.  I am loving "blessing" my home.  It's a wonderful life!!