Sunday, October 18, 2015

10 months in

It's been ten months since I 
re-committed to my yearly word Legacy. And I feel like I'm doing much better this year...or maybe I'm just now starting to see fruit from a 2 year long pursuit.  Either way, it's exciting.

So a few days ago Richard and I were sitting in our old people rockin' chairs discussing life and we were talking about the education system. The 9 year olds are in a STAAR grade and we were informed that due to all the preparation needed that they will no longer have recess nor will they get any breaks throughout the day since there is so much to cover. This breaks my heart and infuriates me all at the same time. I'm wishing we could pull them out and home school them, but finances won't allow that. I'm wondering if I should make an appointment with the school admin to show them all the research on how kids flourish in environments where they are given free choice and brain breaks and exploratory play. I'm looking up state laws on opting out of the test all together...but then I'm reminded of the verse in the Bible that says we are called to be in the world but not of the world.  I have spent the last few days praying about what to do.

Just yesterday Baylee came home from a night of going to haunted houses with her friends and asked me about mediums and psychics.  It was neat to be able to share with her what the Bible says about that and that is when God confirmed two things in me.
1) Again, we are called to be in the world and not of the world. Even though I hate standardized testing, there is a lot the boys can learn from it. There will be lots of situations in life where the outcome is a lot less important than the lessons learned by going through it; like trying hard and doing your best, like being confident in your abilities, like finding your worth in Christ despite any score on a test.  So, in this inopportune education system I am going to choose to use it to stengthen the kids and teach them lessons that they can carry with them forever.
2) In the area of Legacy, I'm glad that Baylee felt safe enough to come to us to ask tough questions. If she wasn't "in" the world, there would be no opportunity for her to see something, question it, seek out answers and then to commit to her own belief. I pray that we will always create an environment where they can seek and find the Lord and that through that they will build their own faith foundation before entering this crazy world on their own. Maybe, just maybe, we are doing something right!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Koby's Big Decision

On Wednesday, our church did an All Church Worship night. I always love these nights because there is no structure and no sermon and no agenda. The Holy Spirit is free to move and all of us are free to worship as we want. The band plays and we sing or just listen or go pray for others, it really is a special night every time we do it! 

So this night a youth came tapping on Richard's shoulder to tell him Koby was crying and to come talk to him. So as Richard went to Koby I began to pray that we would be prepared for whatever Koby was feeling and going through. The song lyrics that were playing stuck out to me. first and so I wrote those down.  The song said "the doors that God opens no man will ever close." Then, Acts 9:10 came to mind when God called to Ananias and Ananias responded with "Here I am, Lord." So, I wrote those two things down and just waited til Richard came back.  

To our surprise, Koby had never asked Jesus in his heart! Our pastor had just finished praying with him and spoke a word of encourager over him about feeling like Koby had a calling on his life. I'm not sure if that prayer was the catalyst to his decision or not, but we are so proud of him!  Koby has grown up in church and knows all the "churchy" answers, but at the end of the day, if you don't have a personal relationship with Christ you have nothing! 

So Richard and Koby went to the front and shared his decision and the congregation erupted in cheers and applause. I love how our church celebrates this huge decision!! It's so awesome! 

The pastor then came up and shared his thoughts about the calling on Koby's life and asked all the ordained ministers to come up and pray over Koby. It was cool and something I know Koby will never forget!!

Today, at church we got to see Richard baptize Koby! 

Then it was off to lunch to celebrate some more!

We are so proud of you, Koby and we pray you will be like Ananias and you will not only recognize God's voice quickly, but that you will also be obedient to His plans for your life! We love you!

Double Trouble

We celebrated Kelby and Troy tonight with a sleepover. They both invited 4 guys and the night was filled with lots of outdoor fun! 

Kelby was the Blue Team and Troy was the Red Team so they made flags and wore matching gear in all the games! 

First, the played baseball.

Next, it was capture the flag!

Then, it was go cart time! 

They all worked up an appetite so we took a break for hot dogs, cake and ice cream. 

Then, it was one last game of hide and go seek in the dark with flashlights before  they opened presents.  Richard and I got them new baseball bags and batting helmets to go along with the red and blue theme.

They spent the rest of the night playing in the basement and watching movies. It was another fun filled party and the boys had a blast having all their friends over at one time! We are so thankful that God has blessed us with such a great place to have the kids' friends over. I'm sure this is just the first of many boy bashes we will be hosting!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Baylee's Sweet 16

Baylee's 16th birthday finally arrived. I had an idea for a party about six months ago, so I have just been slowly planning everything since then.  
Here are the invitations we sent out.  

Her birthday fell on a Friday, so we didn't do much that day except for the traditional morning donuts and then Richard hand delivered flowers to her school.

Then, on Saturday, everything started about 10 AM.  I took her to have a pedicure and then we went to lunch. 

I had found a cute sash for her to wear so that everyone knew it was her birthday!

Then, we met all of her friends at the mall.  They thought we were there just to do a little shopping, but I also had planned a photo scavenger hunt for them to complete before time to leave the mall.

They completed eight out of the 10 tasks within two hours, and all left with a new dress! They are some fast shoppers!

Brightest lipstick find

Ugliest prom dress find

Best accessory find

Baylee had to get a makeover from the cosmetic counter

Highest heels find

How many girls can you fit on a kiddy car ride?

By the end, they were getting desperate to finish as many as they could so instead of walking all the way back to Hollister to find the hottest hunk sales man they just found the first guy sitting alone in the food court!

Then, we were headed back to the house to start to get ready for our dinner plans.   Luckily, Troy and Teague where at their dad's and Kelby and Koby were playing outside, so the girls were able to take over all three bathrooms upstairs for hair and make up.

The guy guests that Baylee invited showed up at about six and we were able to take a few group pictures.

The timing worked out perfect because as we were walking outside to take pictures on the porch, the limo pulled up to surprise them. They all seemed very excited to ride to dinner in style!

We went to the Mexican food restaurant in town for dinner where we met up with all of the grandparents and cousins.

After dinner, the limo was able to take them around Waco for about an hour.  During that trip they stopped at the historic suspension bridge for a few pictures! 

Then, it was back to our house for cake and presents and ice cream.

It was a fun, exciting, exhausting 12 hours, but it was so worth all the memories that were made.  We love you, Baylee and hope the day made you feel as special as you are in our hearts!!