LIFE IS OUR ADVENTURE!

Our beautiful life as a family.

God is a Miracle Maker

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Over the last 38 hours, I have been in absolute awe of God’s mighty, miraculous hand. Our Baby C arrived beautifully perfect and we were instantly all in love. I look at him and cannot begin to understand how any baby is born so perfectly. How can people possibly question the existence of God? His tiny little toes are each perfectly made. His little nose and ears…unbelievable. Only God could create these little creatures.    “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” 1 James 17.

Mommy and daddy are still in a blissful daze that comes with realizing what has happened and that the little bundle of love is all yours. I know we were the same but it’s nice looking from outside that fog to see two people so in love with each other and now will fill their little miracle with the same.

Of the many emotions that are filling our hearts right now, I’m just so thankful…so very thankful….

 

Morning ROUTINE

Every day….every day the same thing….

No alarm clock needs to chime, buzz, or send shock waves through the bed to awake me. My eyes open every morning around the same time. Rarely do I need assistance waking. It occurs to me occasionally that my morning activities are on auto pilot. From the mundane task of turning on lights as I walk through the house (so I don’t trip over the canines), to the smile inducing first sip of coffee – it’s the same process every morning. Breakfast and lunches prepared, laundry started, and of course my time with God. When not in an organized Bible study, my daily reading plan carries me through the Bible one day at a time.

I don’t suppose there is anything particularly wrong with the same ol – same ol stuff each morning? Some “experts” suggest we should change up our routines to keep the mind sharp. Hmmm…not sure I’d be able to find my coffee cup in my stumbling morning stupor.

I need another cup…

Little “C”

Our family has a new arrival on the way and we couldn’t be more excited. With each passing day, our little “C” is one day closer to joining us. Our oldest and his lovely wife are about to experience the miracle of bringing a new life in to this world. Between now and the next month or so, our family will grow by one and we’ll all be forever changed. It’s been awhile since we’ve had this type of excitement.

The past 8 months have gone quickly – for all of us, at least. We’ve seen glimpses of little “C” with the ultrasounds. Man have the ultrasounds changed since my youngest was having her pictures made pre-birth! The 4-D ultrasound was incredible! We could count fingers and toes, look at his nose, and watch him open and close his eyes. Little “C” was ever so cooperative and posed for lots of pictures and videos.

As the days tick off of the calendar, we’re praying for a healthy delivery for Little “C” and his mommy – and peace of mind for his daddy. :)

 

Team Fang – Weekly Recap

ASP 2013: FANG

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As I reflect on our week in Leslie, KY with 43 amazing members of the FUMC ASP team, I am overcome with emotions. I was honored to serve on Team Fang with Jim Bain, Jeb Baird, Andrew Bice, Sarah Franklin, Alexis Goldhagen, and Christian Boldin. All of our team members have been to ASP at least one year, so our jobs of replacing joist and building a 10 x 5 front porch and a 5 x 5 back porch were within our skill level with Captain Jim’s leadership, expertise, and patience. Our construction work was basically uneventful, with the exception of some rain delays and the late arrival of some supplies. However, in all things there is good, and we used both of these obstacles to spend time with our homeowner, Mr. S. I have never met someone who was so grateful to have the companionship of 7 hot, muddy people who continuously trekked in and out of his home. Each day, he and his beautiful dog, Bear, were waiting at the door when we arrived. Although each of us has wonderful animals at home, we all agreed that there was just something special about Bear. Mr. S. shared that Bear has provided companionship and much joy during a very difficult time of his life. Bear quickly won our hearts as he watched us work from a window in an adjacent abandoned home that Mr. S. grew up in. Mr. S. has carpentry skills and worked with us periodically during the day when he felt able. He eagerly looked forward to the picnic and attended with his sister and brother-in-law. Although he said he had never danced, he was delighted when Sarah invited him to hit the dance floor with her that night. One of our most cherished memories happened on Thursday, July 4, during a lunchtime rain. We all climbed into the van and headed UP, WAY UP into the mountains, with Mr. S. navigating as Mr. Jim drove. What an adventure that was! We were blessed with an expanse of beautiful mountain scenery and even visited a deserted coal mine.

After our adventure on Thursday, we were a little behind on Friday morning, but we each agreed we would not leave until our work for Mr. S. was complete. Although we knew that we had a long day of work ahead, no one on our team seemed to mind. I think we were all dreading the moment when we would have to say good-bye to our new friend. Throughout the day, Mr. S. would appear, calling each of us inside to pick out a DVD from his collection of westerns and historical movies. Around 5:30 pm, we did finish our work. Certainly, there were a few imperfections, but Mr. S. said the porches were beautiful. As we prepared to leave, Mr. S. said he appreciated the work, but he was most grateful for the friendships that he had made with each of us during the week and would cherish them always. It was really hard to drive away that day, and we all agreed, Mr. S. and Bear had forever made an imprint on our hearts.

The ASP experience extends past the work with our team and allows for friends and church members to get to know each other in new ways. Although many of the adults obviously had some (or many!) aches and pains after hard workdays and sleeping on cots and air mattresses for a week, seeing love in action through our youth and each other is a priceless experience. These youth are a remarkably caring group who exhibit maturity beyond their years as they work long hours in conditions that present many challenges both physically and emotionally. Time and again this past week, I had adults from Kentucky express disbelief that so many of our kids would choose to spend a week of their summer working with ASP. I was even asked if we paid them to come! On the contrary, they beg to come on this adventure. And, even if they are not aware, they already know some of the most important lessons in life…that it is through giving that true fulfillment is found.

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Team Prong – A Week of memories

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IMG_0770Team Prong (Jimmy Yates, Tammy Wendling, Bella Baker, Logan Blake, Elizabeth Harvey, Sam Sturdivant, Lizzie Whitley)
After a week of virtually no internet access, it’s nice to finally be able to put pen to paper and recap our awesome week.

Each day we left the center by piling in the big 4-wheel drive truck (we needed the POWER). Nice and snuggly in the truck, our trek to Miss Kathy’s house was about a 30 minute adventure and so, we had lots of time to talk, laugh, and SING! And wow did we SING! Mr. Jimmy introduced us to a few new songs that by the end of the week, the kids knew as well as he did.

After the first day of working on band joists, Logan and Elizabeth were given the go-ahead to demo the bathroom. Whew – they made quick business of removing everything in bathroom…right down to the floor joist. They removed the potty, the bath and shower walls, and even the big vanity. Sam and Mr. Jimmy went in to lend a hand with the heavy duty moving.

While the bathroom work continued, we received the word that we would start framing for the underpinning on the trailer. Mr. Jimmy gave us the instructions and the team went to work. Sam dug the bottom trench; Miss Tammy cut rebar; we learned how to use a plumb bob (no idea how to spell that); Lizzie and Bella set the bottom boards and hammered and hammered the rebar. It was a good and productive day.

Then we learned that we would be adding insulation and chicken wire under the trailer. Bella, Lizzie, and Elizabeth started working under the trailer. I’ll stop here to note that the weather made our outside jobs extra “fun”. The rain made squishy, yucky mud. Our little ducks didn’t blink – they went right on about their tasks. Even with the special “duck suits” they were some dirty ducks! The girls met with some challenges in the mutant crickets and humongous tarantula looking spiders. As much as we laughed and cried – I couldn’t have been more proud when more than once I heard, “Remember why we’re here…remember why we’re here.” “God is bigger than that spider…” “I can do this…”

Our week ended on Friday with a delicious lunch prepared by Miss Kathy and wow, what a spread! We had a perfect ASP home-style dinner on an OSB board sitting on two saw-horses. Our bellies were filled with meat loaf, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans and peas, fresh cole slaw, cucumbers, rolls, pea salad, and yummy banana pudding! If that wasn’t perfect enough, Sam pulled out his guitar and played and sang for us. Think about it – sitting in the Kentucky hills (blue skies and green mountains), full as ticks after lunch, listening to some quiet music as the breeze picks up to keep us cool. It doesn’t get much better than that!

There is no explaining to anyone that hasn’t been what it’s like to see our youth seeking to serve others – and God. Bella, Logan, Elizabeth, Sam, and Lizzie were amazing all week – having fun with the chickens (and those rude roosters wrestling with the chickens), feeding the turkeys, sharing heartfelt discussion at our lunch breaks, loving each other – and Miss Kathy, singing happily along the mountain roads (even at the end of the day while sweaty and gross), waiting to potty until we were virtually paralyzed (and enjoying the bumpy ride down the mountain at my expense).

Every year is special and every year is amazing. Team Prong faced some major challenges this week and I’d go right back tomorrow to do it all over again. Love to you all and I pray that you came home ready for another year of serving!

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Team Lupin

Team Lupin
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Day 1

Team “Lupin” led by Wade Price had an awesome first day on their 2013 ASP trip. Wade and his crew consisting of David Hand, Robert Howard, Luke Mosely, Allyson Parmer, Brooke Baird, Gracie Mitchell, and Lorraine Whitley quickly bonded with their homeowner, Mr. Glenn. The team quickly went to work improving Mr. Glenn’s home by replacing the flooring in his bathroom and kitchen. Mr. Glenn was so excited about his home improvements but even more excited about the connection he was making with his new extended family, the 2013 “Lupin” ASP team.

Day 2

Mr. Glenn’s new family arrived early and went straight to work following a meaningful devotion lead by Mr. Wade. The flooring was completed and progress was made on the underpinning. More importantly, the bond with Mr. Glenn grew as the day progressed. Lunch under the big oak was peaceful and delicious. Mr. Glenn repeatedly thanked the crew for being there saying how blessed he was and how much the youth had lifted his spirits.

Day 3

Mr. Glenn’s new family missed him today! He spent most of the day running errands and buying groceries for his 83-year-old mother. He is such a sweetie!
The crew made lots of progress today. We finished the flooring and the underpinning and trimmed out a window.
Lunch under the big oak was delicious. The weather was breezy and the fellowship was priceless!

*Tidbits & Trivia
-Mr. Glenn politely pointed out that someone had a frog in his pocket – him!!

Day 4

Rain, rain go away! Our day started with rain and mud! We couldn’t drive the van up Mr. Glenn’s driveway without sliding back down the hill, so we parked across the street. Thankfully, Mr. Glenn offered to load up his 4-wheel drive truck and haul all the tools to the top of the hill for us.
We had another productive day. We installed a new “working” door with a deadbolt lock, painted trim, and installed air vents in the underpinning. Mr. Glenn looked like he had been painting with pain all over his jacket and hands. Needless to say, we had to paint over a few spots after his close inspection.

Tidbits & Trivia

*Robert Howard loves fireworks!

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Fairy Lights – Day 3

Fairy Lights
Day 3

Day three brought many adventures for the “Fairy Lights”. We got to meet another member our family, eighteen year old, Austin. Our boys embraced him just as if they had been friends for years. Today we felt like we made progress putting Miss Francis’ home back together, the floor joist and sub-flooring was put in. Thanks to Mr. Bob Howard’s saw, we successfully split 2×4’s to finish the frame for underpinning. It was a slow day for creature discovery, but we did forget to tell you we saw what looked like a crawfish on Monday. We are so thankful we can be God’s helping hands, please keep praying for us.

Team Fang

Team Fang

Captain Jim Fang is the team leader for Fang members, Jeb “Meteorologist” Baird, Andrew “Super Hero” Bice, Mama Margot Fox, Christian “Power Tool” Boldin, Sarah “Build-It” Franklin, and Alexis “Dog Whisperer” Goldhagen.
Mosey Monday started out slowly and, for the most part, lived up to its name. After gathering our supplies, we headed to our job site where our homeowner, Stanley and his beautiful lab/boxer mix, “Bear”, graciously greeted us.
Stan and Bear quickly warmed our hearts. Stan is so excited about the repairs on his home and the plans for two new porches at each of his doors. Both Stan and Bear joined us for lunch and we made a good dent in our prep work for the week.

Aragog – Day 4

Happy 4th of July from the “Yellow Hammers”! What a productive and fun day in the Kentucky rain! Anna Lee reminded us all to make the best of this rain, so we did. They all painted mud stripes on faces, of course David had a full mud beard! After installing insulation and making a little more of my favorite, concrete, we had a fantabulous lunch. Sweet Mrs. Norma and her daughter cooked chicken & dumplings, baked beans, potato salad, and cornbread. Banana pudding and a birthday cake for Anna Lee was the dessert. It was so thoughtful of them to include us on this holiday. After lunch, Dylan killed a snake, and we worked on more insulation. Yes, another snake. Smaller and not poisonous, but who cares? Hopefully, tomorrow will be an exciting last day, not full of concrete or snakes!

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Aragog – Day 3

Aragog
Day 3

We are the “Yellow Hammers” from Alabama! Our group agreed on a name today thanks to our Captain, Chad, we all wore our yellow bandannas and used them thoroughly today! It was hot but no rain today. We finished under the house today!!! I am sure David and Dylan are the most thankful for that.
The wonderful women mixed concrete and then we mixed concrete, and then we got to mix concrete…please, someone ask us what we did today! I think tomorrow we are getting to mix concrete! But we will know how to mix concrete!
Mrs. Norma surprised us with an ASP snow cone (apple, strawberry, and peach). Yum! She is coming to the cookout tonight and can’t wait to meet Tammy, Allyson, Ruth Anne, and Alexis (all of our other parts). We accomplished so much and it was a great day! I wonder if I will dream about concrete??

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