Monday, June 30, 2008

Patriotic Parade

Yesterday, our church gathered at 4:30pm and stood on Parsons Avenue with flags to celebrate Independence Day. Ok, we were early, but it's a "simple church" mentality to have this event already on a day we come together. Plus, afterwards, we all went to the sanctuary and had a wonderful patriotic service. The music was amazing (I always need tissues), there was a recognition of the service men & women, and at the end of the service, the pastor asked for all active military folks & their families to come forward so the church could pray over them. Very cool.
The pastor's message was very challenging. It was on the scripture:
2 Chronicles 7:14.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land

The pastor kept saying "IF" "IF"... This verse shows it is up to us, the Christians, "His people", to stand up and make a difference in our families, our neighborhoods, our community, our COUNTRY. He mentioned of the "buzz word" going around in the political circles: change. What kind of change are WE making? We can't expect the world to make the changes God wants if the world is not submitting to God's will. Are we? Things in this country are not that great right now, (though it could be worse and we should be grateful). But why is that? Have we (Christians) been too conforming? Have we gotten too lazy, to afraid, to speak out on behalf of our Savior? Is it easier to say: what can I do? I am just one person?...

I think I have. To be honest, sometimes I have been afraid to open my mouth and make matters worse. But if we walk with the Holy Spirit, we should not be afraid. We should, instead, prepare ourselves with the Word and be ready to proclaim what God has done for us.

This blog is for me. I need to be better at arming myself with scripture, to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's moving all around me. But I thought I would share and maybe you would pray with me.

the line went from Morgan St to Victoria St
Me & Fred in red
Fred with his big flag. For those of you "old timer" KABCers, that's the Gickers standing next to Fred
The big flag in the middle of the street is our pastor running with it. Crazy guy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Update on Bro. Chuck

I got this email from Evelyn this morning....

Bro. Chuck got his new knees a week ago yesterday and it’s been pretty rough. The surgery was to take 3 hours and it took that long just for the left knee/leg which was in really bad shape. The block for surgery took days to wear off his left leg, leaving him unable to control it and start rehab. Of course, as you’d expect, any movement is excruciatingly painful. He ran a fever, and they got that under control, but he’s having trouble with his blood being at a healthy level. I’m not medical so don’t know what I’m talking about….red blood cell count or something? Anyway the count is low, and he may need a transfusion to get it back to normal. He had B-12 shots for awhile to give him energy, but the blood count isn’t what it should be.

Mobility-wise, he’s now able to walk about 120 feet with a walker and bend his knees up to 70 degrees. Don’t know if that’s on his own or with someone else bending them to keep scar tissue from adhering to them.

Yesterday he was transported by ambulance to Tampa General where he’ll be starting rehab this morning. Guess at Brandon, they don’t have rehab facilities to do the really serious work; people transfer to another facility if they aren’t ready to go home and be on their own. With the delay (the block problem) in being able to do the rehab they offer, he wasn’t ready to go home and be on his own with just Sharr-an’s help. Tampa General is supposed to have the best rehab facilities around, according to various medical personnel in the church.

Please remain in prayer for him as he starts this (probably painful) procedure. Will keep you updated as I hear news of how it’s going.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Reading

I love to read. I am taking advantage of this Summer and getting a lot of reading in. The thing is, I find myself reading till all hours of the night! haha
I just finished reading "In search of Eden" by Linda Nichols. The way I ran into her was through Nicholas Sparks' website. When asked if he could recommend only 1 book to people, he said it would be "Handyman" by Linda Nichols. So, I read it and it was really good... now I am moving through the rest of her books.

In Search of Eden is about a girl who has a baby at 15 and her mother gives it away for adoption. She doesn't even get to know the sex of the baby... that haunts her life. Through circumstances, she has a chance to start looking for her. But it's more than about the search of a baby. This book is about healing of wounds, and how God is always with us, guiding our way. It was VERY good.

Other authors I like are (of course) Nicholas Sparks, Terry Blackstock, Dee Henderson. I have read ALL of Sparks & Blackstock. Working through Dee Henderson. I would recommend these authors.

Desere Hewitt gave me a bag of books to read. They are mostly about the "pioneer" era, you know, "little house in the prairie" times. I don't really get into that, though a couple of them were pretty good. I am more into present time stories. Maybe I relate better.

I have a lot friends who are big into Karen Kingsbury. I plan on reading her stuff, but I tend to want to finish one author at a time. So as soon as I get through Linda Nichols' books, I will get started on KK. She seems to write in series and I like that. Terri Blackstock does that too...

So, what are YOU reading this Summer?

Monday, June 23, 2008

season of weddings

This past Saturday, my "nephew' Joey got married. He's not really my nephew, more like a 2nd cousin, but since he was little, I was "aunt Valerie". He was born 6 days before Stephany, so his mom and I were pregnant together. So it was very strange to see him get married. Now, there have been several "kids" Steph & freddy's age that have gotten married, but because I've known Joey all of his life, it hit a little harder. The ceremony was nice, though VERY short. It lasted all of 15 minutes! Fred wants to get the minister's phone #. haha. I am so bummed because my camera kept taking blurry pictures. (I think due to low battery). So I don't have any good pictures.
Steph and I like to take notes of ideas for her (future) wedding. I know Fred thinks I am crazy, but I can't wait till she gets married. She is probably going to be a "bridezilla" but it will be fun anyways! We have decided Fred should cook BBQ for the reception. She wants me to be her "matron of honor", though I think it's only so she can boss me around. :) As she and I were discussing where the reception should be, Fred chimed in and said "we should be discussing the bugdet for this". Aaawww, budget, smudget! :b

Well, here is the only picture that I could salvage from the wedding. It's Andrew getting stepped on by his "graceful" dance partner!

Friday, June 20, 2008

1st Brandon VBS

Well, we are done! It was fun! Someone asked me if I preferred this one over KABC. That’s hard to say as they both have good stuff. I really liked doing it during the day. It gives you more time (30 extra) mins) and you can have games outside. At 1st Brandon, the workers get “real” food and a 20 min. break while the kids are at music. And I liked the worship time, it’ 55 mins long and they get to watch the video that Lifeway always has to go with the theme. BUT, with KABC, the story is the best, the music is more child interactive (in MY opinion). So I can’t say one is better than the other, they both serve their purpose.

Ok, not to brag, because it wasn’t me, but my class was one of the best behaving kids there. We had people come to us in the halls and in worship and say our kids were so well mannered. In all, we had 18 2nd graders. Not bad for 3 adults and 2 teens. Oh, and my teen helpers were great! I told them I was going to request them next year.
So now, we do visitation on Tuesday. I already have in mind some of the kids in my group that we are going to hit up. They are the ones who said they don’t go to church anywhere. Actually, one of the boys said it was his 1st time ever being in church. Another one said it was his 2nd time, the 1st time being a wedding. Lol.


going to try and drop by KABC and take some more pics...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To the KABC defectors

Ok, I am one of them, too. But I think we can all agree they put on a great VBS.

These are some pics of what I saw tonight when I visited.

Anna, Abbey B wans't there, but I may go back on Friday night. Either James S or Cindy S will be getting slimed depending on who wins the missions offerin. I will try to take more pics of people then.

A side note to some of the pics: the one of the "bubbler" in hallway. The butt you see in the back is of Ashley Gallops. She has really grown. Has a broken thumb right now but doing good. In the craft room, the mural had an Adam & Eve that Fred thought it was "risque". lol! I heard Jean K. was a "lab rat" in a tu tu. See, James, what you could have been! On Thursday, Brittany Prenatt is going to give her testimony about surviving brain surgery. It's going to pretty cool...

Please keep Bro. Chuck in your prayers. He is having DOUBLE knee replacement surgery tomorrow (Wednesday). I can email whoever wants to be posted on how it went.

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's VBS time!

Well, today was my 1st day at VBS at 1st Brandon. I have been a wreck the last few days trying to prepare. I am in a class of 2nd graders. This church does it a little different than KABC. The day starts out in a room for every grade level. They spend 1 hour in there with a "sunday school" like atmosphere. There is the story, then some activities to reinforce it. My struggle is that I am not really the "teacher" type. I am more of an administrator, you know? So I was stressing about telling the story well, making the hour run smoothly from one activity to another, not running out of time/having too much time... aaahhh!!!!
Well, it went ok. (like Fred said, what can 2nd graders do to me!) I think the story went fine, didn't get to do 1 activity cuz we got a late start as we were getting name tags to the new registered kids. But that's ok.
After that 1st hour, we went into the sanctuary for some music, skit, missions video. Then it's off to games & snacks. The games is sorta a "free for all". A lot of classes outside with different options of playing. A little too open for my taste. I am going to have a game for our class to do tomorrow instead. Snack was a juice box and oreos... Then, when the kids go to music, the leaders get to go to the dining hall and eat. NOT oreo cookies (though they had some if you wanted)... they had sandwiches, chips, pastries, and even little meatballs! Oh, and sweet tea!!
I have to say, that was my favorite part! (jk)
After music, I barely had the kids back in the room before parents started showing up. The day flew! It was fun. I think I can be a little more relaxed the rest of the week.
My assigned co-worker canceled because of a sick child, so I recruited Debbie Hofrichter to help me. She knew I wouldn't let her NOT help...

I stopped by KABC on my way home. They are having their VBS this week too. Their theme is a "Science Lab". As always, it looked great! I am hoping to go by tomorrow night and watch a little.
As happy as I am at our new church, I still miss the goings ons of KABC. I miss the late nights with Sharran working on VBS... well, my body doesn't but my soul does. :)

I volunteered to help at a day camp next week at church. What was I thinking??? I am busy this week, in 2 weeks I am going to Orlando to spend time with Nina, and 2 weeks in July we'll be gone on a mission trip/vacation. I have given away my summer! I was really hoping to get some walls painting in my house. I have to somehow get out of next week. :(

So, how is everybody's Summer going??

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tony the pizza guy

Andy's name is actually Anthony. We nicknamed him "Andy" when he was little because I didn't want people to start calling him "Tony". That name makes me think of a mafia/pizza guy. (no offense to Tonys out there)

Well, funny how life works, Andy now works at a pizza place making pizzas. ha ha

And he does a good job, too! Steph was in town this weekend so we went and ate at Old West Pizza. Andy made ours. It was very good!

On a different note, but not really...

Andy decided to start off his Summer with a new look:

Yeah, it's a Mohawk. My first reaction was to kill him, since he did it on Saturday night. That meant he was going to church looking like that. We also had a lunch date with the minister of Education. NOT a good 1st impression. (he didn't think it was so bad)
Then I realized it's only hair, it grows back fast. And though I hate to admit it, it's growing on me... But he WILL NOT have this "doo" for his senior pics. So he better hope his appt. is not until his grows back.
I keep reminding myself that it's not as bad as what Freddy did one year during Spring Break. He shaved his whole head bald. NOT a pretty sight. And what's worse, people at church thought we had a bout of head lice and that's why he shaved. AAAHHH!!!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Girls night

I went to the Chonda Pierce concert last night with some ladies from church. Funny, they are from the class that we "used to be" in. No one from our own class wanted/could go. The ladies from our "old" class are very nice and welcoming. I am glad we have been able to sorta stay connected with that group. You can't have too many friends, right?

And speaking of friends, I was SO excited to see some of my friends from KABC. Boy, do I miss them!

This is pic is not too good, I was in the balcony and had to zoom in a lot. But there's Kelley and the girls!!
God is so good to me to bless me with such amazing women!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

School's out for the Summer!!! (insert music)

Yep, today we said goodbye to all the little rugrats, er, I mean lovely children! What a year it was! There were times I didn't think I would survive, but all in all, I think I learned a lot. I guess it's like labor pains, you know you had them, but somehow you forget how it felt.

The question of the day was "what are you doing this Summer?"

Well, 1 week I am doing VBS, another week we'll be in New Orleans with the youth group doing "Habitat for Humanity". I am very much looking forward to that, except I am worried that my wimpy body won't be able to keep up...
Right after that week, Fred and I are heading to Texas. We would like to go look at land to purchase, plus we'll visit his brother and family.

The last week of June, I am planning on visiting for 3 days with Steph in Orlando. Since she is taking a Summer class and needs to work full time, there won't be many chances for her to come home. She also wants Andy to come over for a few days. I think she is homesick...
And speaking of Andy, I have planned a couple of "lunch dates" with him. Though I better not call them "dates" or he might freak out and not go with me. :)
I remember our "dates" when he was little... but that's a blog for another time.

The rest of the Summer (besides sleeping in) I am hoping to get some painting done in the house. I have wanted to add color for years, but I am so afraid to mess it up. So I figured if I take my time, it won't be too bad.
I might even do some cooking this Summer and give Fred a break... if he lets me.

So, what is everyone else doing this Summer???