Sunday, September 20, 2009

I loved my Grandpa

I don't want to try and write something about my Grandpa all over again because it's still a bit emotional for me. So here is what I wrote in the memory book online...

As a girl I remember thinking my Grandpa was a very important man because he was the Pastor of our church. When he spoke, people listened. I also thought he knew everything about God and the Bible. He studied more than anyone I knew!

There are also the memories from the good times we spent with my Grandma and Grandpa. I will never forget spending the night and having yummy snacks like popcorn or bread and milk in a cup. There were the times laying on his bed playing with Andre the dog. The times out in their pool. Every couple weeks he would stop by our house to visit and we knew there would be a treat involved... most likely a Kit Kat Bar! We also enjoyed going to Burger King to get a whopper because Grandpa loved a good hamburger.

As I've gotten older I've come to realize just what an important and special man he truly was. It was so amazing to watch the relationship between him and my kids. My boys loved Great Grandpa and the times spent with him. It was always cute when Great Grandpa reached for his wallet because my boys knew he was about to give them a dollar! He would roll the ball with them or take them for rides in his chair.

Grandpa, we will never forget the good times we had with you. Thank you for loving us, believing in us and encouraging us no matter what life brought our way!

Here are some pictures from the graveside service. It was so emotional but I felt such honor for him and his service to our country!

I loved seeing the flag...

Such a cool thing to hear and see

She played so beautifully

Folding the flag

Presenting it to my Grandma

Probably the strongest woman I know

Grandma, Mom, Uncle Steve, Aunt Karen and Uncle Matt

The kids were trying to process the whole thing

Friday, September 18, 2009

Family is a blessing

I feel very blessed to have such a large family! Since I was a little girl we've always been closer to my Mom's side. On that side there were 9 grandkids, 7 girls and 2 boys. I used to love getting together at my Grandma's house for Holidays. My Grandparents had a pool and we would swim from morning til evening! I will always look back at those times and be thankful.

As I get older, I appreciate my family even more. I've come to realize just how special each of them are to me. We're all grown now and have our own lives but we still make time to get together and celebrate life. You should see it when all of us our there together, it can get pretty crazy and loud. I guess some of the noise may have to do with the 9 great grandkids ranging in age from 13 years to 1 month old.

Recently we all got together to visit with my cousin, Danah and her daughter, Aylah. We don't get to see them much because they live in Wisconsin now. It was also a blessing to have my cousin, Jen and her baby girl, Emma who was just days old. Here are some pictures from that night...

8 of the great grandkids

He said "Mom, we need a baby girl!"

He said "Mom, we need two baby girls!"

Isn't she the cutest thing ever?

The men of the family

My Mom with baby Aylah

I couldn't resist taking pictures of her!

Three generations of wonderful women

Tony and Kristi... they just got engaged last night!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some students steal your heart...

Student ministries can be very tough but so rewarding! I've had such a great time loving on these students and pouring into their lives. Anyone who knows me well, knows how nervous I was to jump into this area because I was so used to working with babies/children. I knew I had life experiences to offer these students, girls especially. I just wasn't sure how receptive they would be of me. It was amazing as I jumped right in and started serving. God truly blessed my life with each and everyone of them.

As time has gone on, I've poured into different lives and seen such growth. Wow, some of them have amazing talents and gifts. I've been to High School summer camp twice and what an experience! Jeff and I had the opportunity to do GO in 2008 and what a blessing it was. We trained with the students to do GO in 2009 but had to step away at the last minute with the passing of my Grandpa. It was tough but we knew family comes first in all areas of ministry!

All of this to say there are certain girls who steal your heart and make you so proud. Since I started a few years ago, I've been impressed with Ashley. She seemed wise and mature beyond her years. I've seen her serve as a member of the praise band, leader for Jr. High students, put in hard work for the GO trips and above all else a girl with a big heart who loves the Lord. She also reminds me of myself years ago when I was young and in love. She knows she wants to be a wife and mother and is praying that in God's timing she will marry the man of her dreams, Casey. I'm so glad God has given us the chance to get closer in the last few months. I feel so blessed to be a part of her life! I'm looking forward to the things God has planned for her.

This pic is not one of my favorite pics (because of me) but she looks cute...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Round One... ding, ding

So lately Jeff and I have really felt like we're under the attack of the evil one. We just started back with High School small group in our home and a just last month felt led to start a college age ministry at our church. I should have known that satan would find that troubling and do everything in his power to tear us down and destroy our efforts! After all, when you're reaching people, especially students for Jesus Christ, that is just going to tick him off.

One of the first big blows was when Jeff got a pay cut of 5% at work. We weren't happy but what else could we do. So we praised the Lord that Jeff even had a job! The Lord in return gave Jeff a small raise by being able to take on HR stuff in California.

The second blow came when they announced that they would no longer be covering the health insurance for families of employees and only covering employees at half as much as they used to. Unfortunately we couldn't afford that because it more than doubled our rates to over $1000 per month. As of yet we still haven't found a new insurance plan that fits us just right. We are truly praying about what God would have us do in this situation and that He would protect each one of us until then! We cannot afford any more medical bills at this point.

There haven't been huge blows since then but just little nagging pinches, pokes and kicks...

All three boys and myself got sick. Seth got so bad that he had to see a doctor, fortunately they were nice and only charged $60 for seeing the doc without insurance.

Jeff's car died on Saturday night as we were leaving for church and the new battery cost us $80.

The boys have been disrespectful and argumentative lately. Which causes Jeff and I to be on edge with them and each other.

There are so many more things that pop into my head but I'm not going to list them all. I just want to get the point across that WE ARE NOT going to let the evil one get us down! God has called us to to serve HIM and that is exactly what we plan on doing with our whole life.

Changes are being made and every attempt to kick the devils butt is happening. Because "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!"