Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Gold Head Branch State Park

I just love travelling to Florida State Parks.  And when we go as a family it's even better!!

I am so glad we were able to visit Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park.  wow!  That's a mouthful!
Florida is pretty flat, so any time there is a change in elevation, we are amazed.  (which is why we usually try to vacation in the mountains.)  This park has a canyon with steps that lead down to the creek.  It was quite a ways down!  
It says there should be a temperature change to cooler as you head down.  But, on this day, it was pretty hot!  We really didn't feel any coolness.
Once we reached the bottom we could see a clear creek, which is quite unusual for Florida.  It was so pretty!

Then, we went on the hike through the woods.  It was a pretty boardwalk for part of the time.

We explored, and walked, and sweat.  It was so fun!!

Then, we saw a really cool sign about how their used to be a baptist church here that started in 1876.  The members would walk long distance to come to church whether it was hot, rainy or cold.  Now, that's dedication.  It was a good reminder for us as we walked, of our many, many blessings.

As we almost made it back to the car, we learned another lesson.  You don't touch a cactus plant.  You just don't.

We had such a great time as a family.  I'm thankful for great state parks, with interesting history, that we can explore together!

Friday, November 26, 2021

A Visit to Brenna's

Brenna and AJ are all moved in and settling great in their camper.  As they are preparing to build on their property, they have parked their camper at a quiet, out in the country, campground.  So, us girls went out to visit her.  I am loving stopping by my girls home.  She has made it a restful haven for her and her hubby. 

Of course, she baked us some homemade cookies that were so yummy and homemade hot cocoa, too!

She has her camper so cute!

Halfway through eating cookies, Liberty jumped up and said, "Brenna you have a door just like me in my house!!!"  She was so excited!

 Such sweet memories.  I miss her like crazy, but she is so happy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Overcoming Abuse

 As I look around, I see a world that is hurting.  It seems that emotions are out of control in the Christian world, and words such as anxiety, fear and depression are spoken of quite often.  As we peel the layers of what is going on in the lives of those hurting, scars from past abuses are at the root.  Many people have scars.  Many people have past hurts.  Whether it is from someone that intentionally hurt you, or the wounds were caused by failures and decisions you have made, those scars can't be hidden.  If we don't deal with them and put them in their proper place, they will take the center stage in our life.   Those hurts will make our emotions out of control, and anxiety and fear become a daily companion.

As my husband has talked and counseled with people, this same theme seems to be recurring.  As he's prayed and sought the Lord on how to help, he has gone to the book of Jeremiah.  Jeremiah suffered many hurts in his life.  His wounds ran deep and the trials he faced made him want to quit.  

But, he didn't. 

 How amazing!  My husband preached a 2 part series on Overcoming Abuse out of the book of Jeremiah.  It was powerful!     The truths he shared from God's Word were practical and so helpful.  I know they can be a help to many out there, so I wanted to share the links.  

 Part One- Overcoming Abuse.  Message begins at the 35.00 minute mark.

Part Two- Overcoming Abuse.  Message begins at the 25.00 minute mark.

Monday, November 22, 2021

A front row seat in learning

I think it's so amazing that even though my 6 kiddos were raised so much alike, God made them each so different.  They each have different personalities, likes and dislikes, and hobbies.  They each have different strengths and weaknesses.  They are all just really cool people!

My Micah is more of my science experiment/ let's build something child.   In science he recently learned about butterflies.  He has been fascinated with them!  I told him it would be neat for us to create a butterfly garden to attract more butterflies.  He loved that idea! 

And then, it's just like God, to have a dear sister in Christ, with the same love for butterflies, to call Micah and give him a butterfly habitat she has.  It was so neat!  She even had several chrysalis' and caterpillars.  Micah was able to watch the stages of caterpillar-to chrysalis-to butterfly.
What a fun experience for my boy!  I love it when God opens the door to a front row seat in learning.

And this spring, Micah and I are planning a beautiful garden for all of us to enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2021

Wedding Pictures ~ The Happy Couple

Well, I said the last post was my last wedding post.  But, I forgot pictures of the happy couple!!

So thankful for the joy on that day as God brought together our Brenna with AJ.  God sure is good!

Our family is really growing!!


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Wedding Pictures ~ The Reception

I feel like my blog has become wedding central :)  It has been fun sharing all the beautiful details of Brenna and AJ's wedding.  But, this will be the last wedding post. 

Brenna's goal from the beginning is that the ceremony be a little more traditional, with an air of seriousness since this was a promise of faithfulness that her and AJ were making to God.  But, once they said "I DO" she wanted it super fun!  And it really was!!

Like I had mentioned before, it's amazing how God provided in so many ways!! There is a very dear lady at our church that loves to decorate.  As God started providing things for the wedding in the EXACT decor Brenna wanted, we took them to Mrs. Judy who had agreed to put the reception all together for us.  She did amazing!!! She worked so hard on making the reception at the Civic Center amazing!!! She took Brenna's ideas and ran with it!  What a wonderful blessing!!!

We also have a very sweet lady at our church, Nan, that loves to bake.  Her goodies are always so scrumptious!!! She baked the cake for Brenna and AJ.  It turned out beautiful!!

Water bottles were a wedding favor for everyone. 

There were so many personal touches. 

For the send off, they did glowsticks. How fun!

We had a soda bar set up with cherry and vanilla syrups to add to the cans.

There was so much laughter and friendship in that room!!

Before the bridal party arrived, Brenna and AJ wanted everyone to go ahead and start eating. There were BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, Chicken Salad and a potato chip bar.  So yummy!

 We had Brother Babston pray for the food.  I love to hear him pray as you can tell he has a sincere relationship with the Lord.

Then, the Groom and Bride arrived! :o)

AJ thanked everyone for coming and being there for their special day.  Then, they announced their bridal party and who they were as they each came in. That was so special.

For days before the wedding, Brenna baked and baked her homemade brownies to serve at the wedding.  Hers are the best!!

Then, it was time to cut the cake.  I told you Nan is a wonderful baker!! AJ even went back for a second bite. :o)

And then it was time for them to go....
Look how happy they are!! I just love it!

It was a wonderful day that God has His hand upon.  We are so thankful!!

I'm reminded over and over again of 3 John 1:4, there really is no greater joy!!  Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Blankenship!!