Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Place

Well we are now in Russellville, Arkansas converting an old Sports Complex into a Church! The men are going to be building an auditorium, finishing classrooms, expanding the kitchen and building a Fellowship Hall and making a Missions Apartment upstairs big enough to hold two families. It will also have a washer/dryer! (that's exciting when you've lived in missions apartments for a year!!) More families from NTCP are coming this next week and the work will resume after Christmas. It should only take about two months to get the job finished.
Our family is doing great! Noah is speeding through school, he tries to get done as fast as he can so he can help pick up nails or so he can play his Lego Star Wars game! Kayla is doing great at school, she's started recognizing how to put sounds together to form words. She likes to guess at what the words are, though, so I have to be careful and make sure she's actually reading, not just guessing. Lela is a big girl now, she turned four on the 1st. She doesn't want to do anything little anymore, she wants to be big! Today we went to the park and she refused to go down the little slide, she wanted to go down the BIG slide with Noah and Kayla! It's amazing how fast kids grow. Anna is our littlest baby so far, but she has big attitude! She smiles almost constantly, we can even get her to smile while she's crying. She's starting to try to crawl, she gets up on all fours and rocks and growls, but she hasn't figured out the arm movements yet!
We're having fun living in our trailer still. It's amazing to think of how much room we used to require, and now we all (somewhat) fit into this small trailer. But the Lord is good to us, and when you know you're doing what God wants, it's easier to adjust to what that life is for you.
We've met some good people and made some new friends. We were sad to leave the church in Lincoln, they felt like family, but it's exciting to look forward to the new people we're going to meet!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Almost finished!

The house here in Lincoln, Arkansas is almost complete! The target date for completion is December 11th and if everything goes right (haha!) it should be done by then. It is looking really nice and it's exciting to see it all come together! I wish I could get some pictures posted but right now I'm not able. As soon as I can, I will!
We were able to go to Iowa for two weeks. My parent's church- Bible Baptist in Glenwood, IA- is trying to remodel a house into a Sunday School building so Caleb was able to go to put in windows, make some suggestions, and do some small repairs. While we were there we got to stay at my parent's house! We had a great time, Grandma made some new pjs and dresses, the kids got to run around and play with Grandpa, and we got to spend time together. It's such a blessing to have parents who always leave their home open to you, no matter when it is! We just have to tell them when we'll be there and they leave the door unlocked!
Next week we are going to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. The Monday after we will be coming back to Lincoln to finish up a few things, and then heading to Russelville, AR. The Pastor there was able to buy a 2million dollar building for $600,000.! It was a sports complex so there is a lot of room for a church to grow! A Private school was renting the building and they build classrooms, so all they need is an auditorium and some plumbing issues solved. We will probably be there for most of the Winter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Construction Update

The construction on the parsonage here in Lincoln, Arkansas is going very well! It's fun to see the everyday progress and to see the excitement of the church and the Pastor's family. The first floor walls are done and they're finishing up the second floor walls. They're hoping to put up the tresses on Saturday and then work on the inside. Caleb is itching to get some plumbing done! He's excited to get to that part.
Last Sunday I found out that the ladies from our church back home were going to a Ladies Retreat in OKC. I have missed the last couple retreats and I wasn't able to go to camp, so this was something that I really wanted to do! When I found out Mrs. Moody was going to be a speaker, a little plan was formed in my head. Caleb called Bro. Moody and they said they would be able to pick me up in Tulsa (a little under 2 hours from Lincoln) and Andrea (my Sister in Law) said she would be able to take me back to Tulsa on Saturday. So I had a ride there and back, I just needed the money! We figured I would need about $50. to pay for the registration, meals and gas. All week I prayed and prayed, just knowing that God would provide. On Friday morning (we would have to leave at 11am to make it to Tulsa in time to meet the Moodys) Caleb called our church to see if any support or money had come in. Pastor said I was clear to go, that the money had been provided!! Praise the Lord! I knew He would come through! So I was able to go and I had a wonderful time. It was so fun to be around my church sisters and goof off, talk, cry, and fellowship. I miss my church family when we're gone and it was nice to see them more than just at church.
It is cold and rainy here in the Ozarks. Please pray for the health of our family and the men in the group. It seems like a sickness is starting to go around because of the cold and rain and we don't want anyone else to get sick! Thank you for your love and prayers, God is so good to us, better than we deserve!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home, Sweet, Home

We had a great time at home! We left Jacksonville, AR later than we had expected. A lady in the church owns her own salon and she wanted to give me FREE highlights before we left. How could I say no? They took longer, much longer, than I thought they would and we didn't leave until after noon. We got home at around dinner time, unloaded our stuff, and then went to pick up the kids from Nana and Papa. It was SO good to see them! We stayed up late talking about things they had done, and then we went to bed, I was exhausted.

Friday we unpacked and tried to organize the house, Saturday was visitation and things all day, and then Sunday was church, of course! We dedicated Anna on Sunday that 6th. We have forgotten to do it in the past and we wanted to make sure and get it done. We tried to take family pictures but, unfortunately, we couldn't get one. Nobody was in the mood, really, and we couldn't get a picture where everyone was smiling and looking at the camera! We're going to try again when we go back home next time.

That following week, the 7th-13th, was our revival. We had a wonderful week, and we had a good crowd for each night. There weren't a lot of big decisions made, and the altars weren't filled every night but as our Pastor said, it doesn't where the decision was made (at the altar, in bed, in the car) as long as decisions were made, that's what counts. There was a lot of rain, but it was a good week regardless!

That Monday, the 14th, my plan was to do laundry and pack and then clean the house on Tuesday. I had about 6 loads of laundry to do that day. After the 2nd load of laundry and only one sink full of dishes, the water pump went out and I was unable to do anything that involved water! We're hoping to be able to fix that next time we go home. Fortunately we were able to catch rainwater to flush the toilets and Caleb drained the hot water tank so I could wash dishes! The laundry I just stuffed in bags and I washed it here later.

We arrived in Lincoln, AR on Wednesday the 16th. The Brays arrived on Friday, and the men were able to get some work done on Saturday. While we are here we will be building a parsonage for the Pastor. Kevin Alexander and his family have been in Lincoln, AR for a little over a year. They started out in a rental home but when that wasn't working out, the Lord worked it out to be able to build a house on the property. Until that is complete, they are living in the top floor of the church building. It's and attic-type floor with no windows and slanted roofs. They were able to put in a bathroom and outlets for a washer and dryer, but other than that they live in a big living area. They have three children; Ashley is 16, Timothy is 13 and Abigail is 10, I believe. They are a very sweet family!

Just an update on recent projects: it is estimated that Caleb saved the church in E. Wenatchee, WA over $15,000. And the church in Jacksonville was saved $8,000. This isn't to brag or to be prideful, but just to show the need and usefulness of this ministry! A lot of people don't understand and think it's unnecessary for us to be going around and building churches, but when you see those numbers, it's hard to say that it's an unneeded ministry. That's almost $25,000 that can be used for the Lord's work and seeing souls saved, instead of going into the world and the hands of men. We don't know how much will be saved here yet in Lincoln, but in Oklahoma there is a house-building company that charges $45/sq. ft. to build a house. The parsonage we are building here is going to be approximately 2,000 sq. ft. That would be $90,000. NTCP saves an average of 60% off original building costs, so if you figured that up, we will be saving the Lord, and this church, $54,000!! Think of all the money that could be saved, if more men and families would surrender to this type of ministry! It may not be a Salvation Ministry, but it does help further the work of the Lord so more churches can be planted, and more Missionaries can be supported, so that more souls can be saved!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Moving On

Well, today is our last day here in Jacksonville, Arkansas! We've had a great time, the people have been amazing, and we've felt right at home. But we are ready to go home and see Noah and Kayla! At least I am! Caleb will finish up the bathrooms today. He just has to put in the toilets and sinks and make sure everything drains fine. And then tomorrow we're headed back to Oklahoma.

(closets that will be turned into bathrooms)
We'll be in Oklahoma for a week and a half and then on Monday the 14th we're headed back to Arkansas but this time to Lincoln, Arkansas. It will be our first time using the fifth wheel that we are borrowing, so it should be exciting! We will be leaving Noah and Kayla in Mustang again so they can continue going to school.

(Caleb putting pipe into the ground)

While we're in Oklahoma our church is having our 8th Anniversary Revival services! Bro. Ivan Casteel will be preaching and we'll be having the Nelsons provide special music Friday through Sunday. It should be a good time with good music and preaching!

(mobile classrooms that needed bathrooms)
Please pray for us for safe travels as we drive back and forth. Praise the Lord we had another church take us on for support! We are excited how God is providing for us and that we are able to share our ministry with other churches. Paul said in Phil. 4:17 "Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account." Our goal of raising support isn't so that we'll have what we need, God will provide what we need! We want other churches to share the fruit of what God has called us to do and have a part in this exciting work! Like Paul says, if we have Christ, we have all. Thank you for your support and prayers!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hello All! We are having a great time in Arkansas. The people here at Jacksonville Baptist Temple are very sweet and have really taken care of us! We left last Monday after some setbacks, but we finally made it here at about 9:30pm. When we woke up the next morning Caleb and I both felt just awful! We had headaches, upset stomachs and other issues nobody wants to hear about! Caleb pressed on and worked that afternoon, but I rested. We're not sure what the problem was, maybe allergies?, but we're feeling much better now and are adjusted to Arkansas....we think!

The church here has two mobile classrooms and Caleb is putting two small bathrooms in one, and connecting the existing bathrooms in the other one to the water and sewer lines. Things are progressing smoothly and he should be done this week, hopefully! He is going to try to set up some meetings for Wednesday and this coming Sunday with some churches in the area. It's always good to be able to present your ministry when you can!

I will try to post some before pictures this afternoon!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Here we go again!!

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. After Anna was born Caleb left for E. Wenatchee, Washington to remodel some bathrooms in a church there. He was gone for four and a half weeks while the kids and I stayed home in Oklahoma. I didn't feel that Anna nor I were quite ready for a trip that far away so we all stayed back. We survived!! Caleb came home last week and we were very happy to have him home.

This next week is VBS at our church and then the week after that we will be going to Jacksonville, AR to do some work in a church there. We will be there for a few weeks, then we'll come back to Oklahoma for our church's 8 year Anniversary and Revival.

After that, we're not sure where we're going. Maybe North Carolina and maybe Pennsylvania, depending on who needs us! Maybe somewhere else.

Please, please pray for our trailer/camper situation. Right now we have a camper on loan from a church here in Oklahoma but it is very small, 24', with no popouts. With four kids now and winter approaching, it won't work much longer. When we go to Arkansas we won't need it because the church will be letting us use their Missions Apartment and we probably won't be taking Kayla and Noah. They will stay here with Nana and Papa (Caleb's parents and our Pastor) so they can go to the first few weeks of school. I just don't see how this camper will work if we go to NC or PA in the Fall/Winter. We know the Lord has a camper out there for us, please pray for His guidance and grace to give it to us!!!

Right now we are almost to 60% of our support. God has been so good to us and we are grateful to all of our supporting churches! We had a nice break off to have the baby and be home for a while, but we are ready to be on the road again and get work done!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Baby Anna

Well we had her! Baby Anna was born yesterday, June 16th, at 3:12pm. She weighed 7lbs 11oz and was 19 inches long. She is beautiful and healthy and has blond hair. Laura is really tired but doing fine and Anna is eating great! Thanks for the prayers.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Prayer for the Baby

Last week we went to Lindsborg, KS to be in a Missions Conference. We were supposed to be there from Saturday night to Friday morning and then we were going to stay in Wichita Friday night and go to my sister Julia's College Graduation and head home late Saturday night.

Sunday morning I wasn't feeling well at all and only a tad bit cranky! By the time the afternoon service started I was feeling very poorly and noticed I was having some serious contractions. After the service I laid down at our hotel for a little over an hour and drank a ton of water. I was still having them so after talking to the hospital, my mom and most of my friends on Facebook, we decided to go to the hospital.

They put me on Brethine to calm my uterus and when I only had one contraction in an hour, they let me go. The next day I called my doctor and she said to take the Brethine every six hours and that we could stay in Kansas, but to go to the hospital if the contractions started again.

After talking to the Pastor (Chris Matthews) we decided to leave Tuesday morning for home. Caleb was able to present our ministry on Monday night and the church was very gracious and understanding about why we had to go! We made it home Tuesday and my doctor put me on bedrest.

Saturday we decided to still drive to Wichita to see my sister graduate, since it is only a three hour drive. The day was great, I had a wheelchair, plenty of people to watch the kids, and there was always someone around to get me what I needed! My entire family was there; my parents, all of my siblings, all the neices and nephews, and we had a blast! I love my family and I love being around them!

So if you could please pray for us. I'm not allowed to do anything, just sit or lay down and drink water. This means that Caleb has to do everything including cooking, cleaning, laundry, and taking care of the kids. Plus he has responsibilities for the church and other things that he has to do. Please pray for him that he can handle it all and not take on too much! Pray for baby Anna too that she will wait a couple more weeks before she decides to come out. I'm 35 weeks today so in two weeks I think I could have the baby safely. Please just pray that I can last those two weeks! This medicine makes me a little bit crazy. It makes me swell, shake and my heart race.

Thanks for the prayers!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's a Girl!

FINALLY, I am able to post this! For some reason my computer hasn't been letting me post a blog, so I haven't been able to update it. But, now I can. We found out on April 13th that we are definitely having a GIRL despite predictions from almost everyone (including an old Indian lady in New Mexico) that we were having a boy! She is very healthy, growing well, and has her organs all in the right places. We were a little disappointed since we wanted a boy, but we're just happy to find out what she is! So I've been buying clothes like crazy and a few of my friends have been giving me stuff. The Lord has been good with sales, and good deals at thrift stores! We have numerous pictures of her, but I'll just post one. The name we have picked out is Anna Lauren after my Grandma Anne and my friend Lauren, who was my Maid of Honor. We recently connected again and I cherish her friendship!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns

I promised a post about when we went to these places, so here it is! Even though I'm really tired and will probably forget a lot of things. On Monday we went to the Grand Canyon and had a lot of fun! We didn't realize it would be so cold, since where we were staying it had been in the 70's all weekend. The kids all had coats, but Caleb and I didn't have anything. We had to resort to paying for overpriced Grand Canyon hoodies and wind breakers. Actually, my hoodie was the only thing overpriced, Caleb got a good deal on his wind breaker.

Noah has been wanting to go to the Grand Canyon for a LONG time. He's been talking about it for months and for the last two weeks has been asking everyday when we were going. I wish I could've gotten a picture of his face when we went to the first lookout, you could tell it was a lot more than he was expecting! He just stood there at the fence looking out, amazed. I asked him if it was better than he expected and he just nodded his head and said "Oh yeah!" which, if you know Noah, is a lot for him to say!

We went to most of the lookouts, walked as much as we could even though it was so cold, and took lots of pictures. Noah, Kayla and Caleb became Jr. Rangers (Caleb really wanted that badge!) and they took a nature hike to complete their assignment. I stayed in the van with Lela, who had fallen asleep. We were going to eat sandwiches at a picnic table overlooking the Canyon but it started snowing once we got all the food out so we decided to eat in the van!

On Tuesday we drove to Carlsbad, NM where we found an open Missions Apartment at Bro. McKinley's church. We were grateful to find it since we had a cancelation in Colorado and had nowhere to go for five days! We thought it would be a 10 hour drive but it ended up being a 14 hours drive! We made it to Carlsbad at 1:30am. Amazingly, I was able to stay awake the entire time and keep Caleb awake for the last four hours of the trip.

On Wednesday we relaxed and on Thursday we went to Carlsbad Caverns. We didn't tell the kids a lot about it, except that we were going into some caves and there might be bats but no bears and no mountain lions! When we got there we sat in on a lecture about bats (gross!) and then got in the elevator to go 750 feet down into the Caverns! The kids were stunned as we rode down, the elevator guide explained how long it took to dig the shaft and you could see the rock passing by as we went down. They didn't say a word the entire 10 seconds it took!

They were warned to use their quiet voices once we got in the cave, but I'm pretty sure they would have been quiet without the warning. Once you get off the elevator it's like you're in a different world. It's dark, quiet, damp and cold. We started walking around and the kids couldn't stop looking around, pointing, and just gaping in awe! It is truly amazing to see the different formations in the rocks. We didn't see any bats since they don't migrate back until late April, but the kids were okay with that! We walked the entire Big Room, which was a mile and a half hike! I was tired and sore halfway through, but I kept going. What else could I do? It was worth it, but my back was sore the rest of the day.

Noah and Kayla also got their Jr. Ranger badges at the Caverns and it was fun to help them fill out their books. Noah had to ask a Ranger questions and he did it bravely! I am so glad we were able to go to the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns. It was a wonderful oppurtunity to relate what we were seeing with our eyes with stories from the Bible. We talked about how after the waters receeded from the flood, it formed the Grand Canyon and then the Caverns as it continued to go down into the earth. I'm sure that's not the most scientific explanation, but it was neat to see the kids be able to connect what they were seeing with what they knew from the Bible. It's also amazing how other people can be so ignorant of how the Canyon was created. Their own scientific "studies" tells them that every year the water leaves "this much" of a mark on the Canyon wall, yet they insist that it was formed over millions of years. When all they would have to do is count the "this much" marks on the walls and it couldn't be much more than a few thousand years! But they always have their explanations to explain away God! The Caverns wasn't as bad, except explaining how long bats had lived there by studying guano droppings.

This week we will be in Rio Rancho, NM in a Missions Conference and then Sunday Night we will be in Liberal, KS. Then we are going HOME! And will be there most of the time until after I have the baby. We have a few meetings, but we won't be gone for more than a week at a time. Thanks for reading and thanks for praying for us!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Colorado, Arizona

We had a really good time with Nate and Tresa Scholz in Florissant, CO. I was really dizzy and a little sick the whole time, probably because of the altitude. It was great to catch up and see old friends!

After we left there we went to Garden of the Gods on our way to Pueblo, CO. Noah and Kayla had a blast climbing on everything while Lela and I watched! Lela isn't much of a climber so she was content to stay with mommy. Caleb took Noah and Kayla on lots of trails and hikes and they had a good time!

We stayed in Pueblo, CO for a few days in a Missions Apartment NTCP, USA had helped build, so that was neat. After that we left for an 11 hour drive to Page, Arizona. This is where it gets interesting! On the way there we found out the church was giving us an "authentic" Navajo meal, including Mutton. The church is on a reservation and the Pastor wants to turn it over to a Navajo Pastor in a few years. They came early on Saturday, slaughtered the sheep, cut it all up and then grilled it! I was doing school with Noah so unfortunately I couldn't watch! But Caleb had a good time taking pictures. The kids got to see them take the wool off and then Noah watched them cut the meat up, they thought it was pretty neat. The made a dish called "konan" with the intestines, onions and peppers. I braved it and ate it and it was delicious! Although I don't know if I would try it again. The grilled meat, or mutton, was tough since it was an old sheep, but it was still fun to try it and it was nice of the people to do that for us. The church was so nice the whole time we were there and such a blessing!

Page, Arizona is at the top of the Grand Canyon so we went to Glen Canyon and the dam. It was fun and the kids had a good time climbing and seeing it. It made us really want to see the Grand Canyon! I wish I could post more pictures but they'd take up too much room and I haven't messed with this blog enough to figure out how to get a picture display thing on it. Maybe someone can help me? I have a Facebook where I post most of our pics. I haven't uploaded photos from the Grand Canyon yet and we went to Carlsbad Caverns today so I'll write a post about those places when I get the pics up.

I wanted to do an update about my pregnancy. I could complain about the baby being low, my hips and pelvis constantly throbbing, but in all honesty, I am having a great pregnancy now that I'm over being sick! I have a friend who had a uterine tear and has been on bed rest her whole pregnancy; another friend who is having twins and is miserable; another one who is still sick constantly even though she's 7 months along; and two other friends who have gestational diabetes. I have been so blessed with this pregnancy, I can't complain about anything! I'm not sick anymore, I don't sleep well because of different beds and hip pain but that's not bad, I can eat whatever I want, I haven't gained very much weight, and I can climb canyons and explore caves! I'm doing pretty well. We don't know what the baby is yet. I will probably have an ultrasound in April but then the baby might be too big and squished to see what it is, we'll see. I've learned to let it go and trust God. He knows what it is, He knows that we need clothes, a car seat, burp clothes, blankets, pacis, diapers, wipes and pretty much everything you would need for a baby, and He knows when I'm going to have this baby. So I'm just enjoying being pregnant and doing fun things with my family, and He'll provide what we need! Thanks to everyone who has asked how I've been. If you want to pray that I'll get some relief from this back pain, I'd appreciate it. But God's good! All the time!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Arizona, Colorado

After the GIBF meeting we were in a Missions Conference in Phoenix, Arizona with Bro. Bessinas. We stayed in their Missions Apartment for two weeks and we had such a great time! They have foster kids and adopted kids all around our kids' ages so they played mightily the two weeks! The church there is so sweet and loving. On Saturday Caleb went to the swap meet with the church where they set up a tent and hand out gospel tracts. It's mostly a spanish community and people were very receptive! The kids and I met him later and I was amazed at how friendly the people were and how much they wanted to take the tracts. Of course we found a lot on the ground and there were people that refused them, but all in all alot took them. The Missions Conference went well even though I was TERRIBLY hot!! It was in the 80's which to them is cool (they wore jackets and sweaters) but to this pregnant lady I felt like I was going to die. To make matters worse they didn't turn on the a/c in the church, they just opened windows, and there was little to no breeze. We also got allergy colds so we were all sniffing and sneezing the whole time.

When we left there we headed to Farmington, NM to be with Burson Corley in his Missions Conference/Preachers Meeting. We stayed with the Waldrip family who live on the bumpiest road I have EVER been on! It was awful, we couldn't go more than 5 mph and we were shaken around like rag dolls. We had a good time at that church also, and Caleb was able to sing some specials and I played some offetories and Caleb was able to present our ministry. Sunday morning (March 1st) we were with Bro. Harjo in Shiprock, NM. They have mostly an Indian congregation and it was good to be with them. It really is sad how pitiful life is on indian reservations. It's almost like a third world country, like Bro. Harjo pointed out. Whole families living in tin shacks, beggars everywhere (Caleb wouldn't even let me take the kids to the bathroom at a gas station by myself), and just poverty and sadness everywhere. I'm sure not all reservations are like this, but it really opened my eyes to the need the indian people have of hearing the gospel!

On Tuesday afternoon we left Farmington to go to Englewood, Colorado. We were planning on leaving at noon but didn't leave until after 3pm so we didn't make it to the first night of the Home Missions Conference. We drove straight to Silver State Baptist Youth Camp where we were staying for the week. It was excited to drive through the mountains at 10 at night, let me tell you! We went around the back of the mountain because of the direction we were coming from and I was for sure we'd go around the corner and there would be a bear.

But we made it safely and we were able to get unloaded and in bed before midnight! The next morning we woke up and drove to the church in Englewood for the meetings. Let me tell you, we've been in a few "big" Home Missions Conferences and we have NEVER been in one like this one. I don't want this to sound bad, but we usually feel like we have to make ourselves known or nobody will talk to us, we just end up sitting by ourselves hoping someone will look our way. But at this one, everyone was so friendly and there weren't "ranks" in the preachers of who you could and couldn't talk to on a social scale. Everyone was open and nobody was made to feel less than worthy of a conversation! That doesn't always happen when you get a lot of preachers together, sad to say. The people of the church were incredibly friendly and I can't even count how many asked me about the baby and if we knew what it was! I felt like taping a sign to my shirt "6 months along, we don't know what is it" because I answered those questions so often!

The best part of the entire week, we got to see Lauren Murray. We knew each other in High School from going to camp together but for some reason never liked each other. Then we went to Heartland together and we were inseperable! She was my Maid of Honor and I love her so much. I forgot how much I love her, actually. On the last night of the Conference we were sitting in the service and Caleb was on my left and Lauren was on my right. I felt so deeply satisfied I honestly could not think of anything else I needed. I am so thankful that the Lord brings friends into your life that you know will be there forever. Even though we don't talk often, maybe 2 or 3 times a year, whenever we do talk it's like we've never been apart. I am so unworthy of a friend like her!

This week we're in Albuquerque, NM. Sunday morning we were with Bro. Carr at Mesa Baptist Church and we might be able to be in their Missons Conference the beginning of April, if we can work it out! Sunday night we were with Rio Grande Baptist Church which is where we're staying in a Missions Apartment. We were supposed to get here Saturday night but the Pastor forgot we were coming and put another Missionary in the apartment! But he was very kind and put us in a hotel room for two nights. We are now in the apartment and will be here until Saturday.

After this we will be going to Florissant, CO to be with Nate and Tresa Scholtz; Page, AZ with a Navajo Pastor; and then Hobbs, NM which is at the bottom of the state. We're hoping to go to the Grand Canyon when we're in Arizona and Carlsbad Caverns when we're in Hobbs. Noah really wants to go! Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

GIBF Meeting

This week has been long already! And it's only Thursday. Sunday night we went to Miranda's church, Lakeview Baptist Church in Peoria, AZ, and had a really great time. We went to the Pastor's house (Bro. Crichton) for pizza and fellowship and had a good time laughing about funny and crazy things we used to do. The Pastor and his wife are so sweet and you can tell they love Miranda as much as we do. I am so thankful for them that they took my request for them to take care of Miranda seriously. It would've been easier to forget about it and not worry about picking her up, letting her fall by the wayside. But they continued to pick her up and keep track of her for the last 1 1/2 years.

Monday morning we picked Miranda up and went to the mall. We only had the morning since she had track practice at one, so we couldn't really do anything fun like the zoo or a museum. By the time we got there and got in we would've only had 2 hours to do anything before we had to head back. So we just walked around the mall and goofed around. I got texting on my phone (YAY!!!) so we drove Caleb crazy by texting each other while walking next to each other. It was sad when we had to take her home, but I'm glad we got to spend a little bit of time with her!

Monday night was the first night of the Global Independent Baptist Fellowship. We aren't a part of the fellowship, but Bro. Randolph (the Pastor of the church that was hosting it) said we could put up our display anyway. We figured, hey, free advertising, right?! Plus a lot of our friends were going to be there including my Pastor I had growing up and my Youth Pastor. It was really, really, incredibly good to see them! They both had such an influence on my life and I'm so thankful for them. My Pastor always had a heart for kids and youth and making sure we had a youth leader that would take us to camp and things. I know that he took teens to camp when there was nobody else and I know that not many Pastors would do that! My youth Pastor, Doug Taylor, was also very special to me. He gave his heart to us teens and gave us his all. He was always quick to correct us in a loving way, but he was never overbearing, from what I remember. He married Caleb and me and he was the one that was always pushing us together! When we were working with the youth I found myself thinking "What would Doug do" very often! I know he gave his all to us and I'm thankful for that, I always will be. I love you, Doug!! (Mr. Taylor, sorry)

The meeting lasted through Wednesday night and although it was exhausted, it was fun. The preaching was all excellent, the church was very good to us with meals and coupons, and I always love seeing my friends from college! It is such a blessing to see people you went to school with serving the Lord just like you are. It's an encouragement and also a reminder that you need to be faithful, so you can be an encouragement to them. We had good fellowship, good food, and good preaching. What more can a Baptist ask for?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Emergency

Before we left for Arizona we had a little family emergency. A member of our family was dropped and broke her arm. She's okay now, Caleb was able to tape her arm back together even though the plastic band that is supposed to hold it on broke.
Okay, I'll be serious. Kayla's favorite doll, Jean, was dropped and her arm broke. Kayla cried for no less than 40 minutes and wouldn't let anyone touch Jean! She was holding the broken off arm in one hand and cradling Jean in the arm while laying face-down on her bed wailing and lamenting. I called my mom because I had no idea what to do. Let her cry it out? Try to console her? Make her stop screaming and crying? All I could think about was a time when I was 12 and I got in really big trouble for doing something really stupid. I cried for hours I think, because I was disappointed in myself. So I called my mom to see what to do and we talked about it. Eventually Kayla came out of her room and talked to Grandma. I don't know what Grandma said, but it worked!
Kayla let Caleb (our in-house doctor) tape up the arm and put it in a cast. We have to get a different kind of tape to make it a permanent fix, but she has a good temporary cast. Kayla was feeling much better afterward but decided to leave Jean at home to recover and brought a different doll with her to Arizona. We're hoping Jean will be stable enough to travel again when we get home in April. Kayla would appreciate your prayers on this matter!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I have been so remiss in updating this. We don't have internet very often and when we do, it's only for an hour or so and I hate writing in a rush!! Last time I left off we were headed for Arkansas so I'll start there!
We were supposed to leave Monday afternoon I think the 26th of January? Not sure of the exact date. But, a huge ice storm moved into Oklahoma on its way to Arkansas, so we would have been following a huge ice storm the whole way there. We decided not to go, and delayed it for that weekend. We left on Saturday and when we got there found out we were staying in a nice Missions Apartment about an hour away. I am so sorry, I can't remember any town names. This is why I hate writing in a rush!! The church where Caleb was working needed toilets and vanities put in, hot water heater put in, and a water fountain. They were also working on getting the painting done and carpet in. The Pastor was really nice and we all had a good time. They didn't get all the work done by Tuesday morning like they wanted, but I believe they were able to meet in their new building that Sunday which was a huge blessing. They had been meeting in a train depot and they had to set up and take down for each service.

We left there Tuesday afternoon and got back to Oklahoma late Tuesday night. Wednesday we did laundry, packed and cleaned up. We had to get ready to be gone for two months! Thursday we left a lot later than we wanted, we didn't leave Mustang until almost noon and we had a ten hour drive ahead of us. But the drive went well and we ended up in Albuquerque, NM late that night. We stayed in a Missions Apartment there at Rio Grande Baptist Church. It was a nice facility and it was free, so that made it better! We are so incredibly thankful for Missions Apartments, words can't describe what a huge blessing they are to Missionaries! They save us so much money and enable us to do so much more than we normally would be able to do. I think every church should try to have one in their church, even if it's one room with a bed and microwave!

Friday we traveled to Prescott, AZ and we're staying in a Missions Apartment there at Valley Baptist Church. The church bought an actual house that they turned into an apartment in the Master Bedroom area, and the rest is classrooms and a fellowship hall. They then turned the shop outside into the sanctuary. It's at a great location and it's so beautiful here! I never knew that Arizona had mountains and it's unbelievable pretty here. It started snowing Sunday and snowed all through Tuesday morning and so the kids had a great time building snowmen, snowforts and having a snowball fight! The weather is warm, in the 30s-40s, but the snow isn't melting. It's perfect play outside in the snow weather!

Saturday we met Bro. Ikenberry at his church, Faith Baptist Church in Prescott Valley, to do visitation. It was fun to do that again, a surprisingly large amount of churches don't do visitation anymore, or just the Pastor does it. It was good to see a church that was concerned for its neighbors and those around them! That afternoon we went to a birthday party (I promise we were invited!) where Caleb thoroghly insulted the hostess by suggesting she turn her goats into summer sausage and jerky. She firmly said "We don't eat family members" and glared. They were both joking about it and had a good time, but what made it even funnier was that the Pastor suggested to Caleb that he tell her that goats make good jerky! He was totally set up by the Pastor. We played a game where you kind of needed to know people, and Caleb ended up winning, how strange is that? He's good at reading people I guess.

That Sunday we were with that church in Prescott Valley and had a great time. The church is very sweet and loving, and we felt like we fit right in. Caleb taught the teen class for Sunday School, I played an offetory and he sang a special for morning church, and then he preached for night service. I think things went well and the Spirit moved. It was a refreshingly relaxed and loving church, not something you find often out on the road.

On Wednesday we were with Tim Larkly in Cottonwood, AZ. Caleb knew him in college and hasn't seem him since, so it was good to see him. He's married now and his wife is so sweet and fun, we had a good time. They have two adorable kids and our kids had a good time being rascals together.

This Sunday we're going to be in the church with the Missions Apartment (Valley Baptist) in the morning and then in the evening we're going to Peoria, AZ (in Phoenix) and we're going to see MIRANDA!!! She's a girl that was in our youth group a couple years ago. She was saved at a youth rally she went to because her friend made her, and she was such a blessing to us. She was over at our house almost every weekend and she was my best friend, even though we were ten years apart. It was really hard for both of us when her Dad got a job in Arizona two years ago, but I am so excited to see her again. She was faithful enough to find a good church in her area that would come pick her up (her mom wouldn't take her to church) and her Pastor says she's a faithful person in the church. It will be so good to see her again, I always call her my mini-me.

After that we'll be staying in a Missions Apartment in the Phoenix area and I am praying with all my heart that they have internet!! I know that's so vain and carnal of me, but it's a desire of my heart! My pregnancy is going really well now. I'm about 6 months along and I'm in that final stage where I'm always uncomfortable and feeling huge. But at least I'm not sick anymore and the baby kicking reminds me that he's still there and still healthy! It's such a relief to not have to wonder if the baby's okay, to just be able to feel it moving and know it's okay. God is so good to give us worrying moms that peace of mind! We still don't know what it is yet, boy or girl. We might find out in April, if I can get an ultrasound. We're trying to get our insurance things worked out and see if anyone will cover it. I'm almost to the point where I don't care! We've waited this long, what's the point in finding out now?! But then I see cute baby stuff in the store and I feel the need to HAVE TO KNOW because I want to buy stuff!!!! Whether that be cute little pink fluffly socks or little suits. But, God will provide when I need it!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our "Relaxing" Weeks at Home

Well, we finally made it back home to Oklahoma. We had been told that there would be a mobile home on a church member's property where we could stay, but it wasn't ready for us when we got there. We stayed with Caleb's parents for a week before the trailer was ready for us. But once we got there, we were so thankful! Ron and Vicki LeHew bought the trailer and property next to them and were planning on moving into it this Summer, but they decided to let us stay in it until we found a place of our own. It's a really nice trailer with 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a HUGE kitchen, dining room, and a massive living room. Our puny little possessions looked like they belonged in a doll house instead of this house. The church really got behind us and people donated a couch, chairs, side tables, dressers, curtains, table and chairs, and a LOT of food! We now have a lifetime supply of mac & cheese and hotdogs, which the kids are excited about. They want to eat it everyday, I guess they missed it on the road.

Although we've been home, we haven't really been "home". The first week we were there our church had a Family Life Conference with Bro. Mike Hays. He's a Biblical Counselor and probably the wisest, smartest man I've ever met. He did our pre-marital counseling and I love listening to him every chance I get. We had a really good conference, but we were ready for a few days off. That next week was the Heartland Home Missions Conference, so we were barely home that week! We had a good time even though Caleb didn't get to present our ministry. He was able to set up our display table and he made some meetings, so that was a plus. I didn't get to see many friends since most of my friends are pregnant and had to stay home! But I saw a lot of husbands. I always love going to these meetings because so much money is raised for Home Missions projects and one Pastor was even given a brand new minivan. Pastors come with all kinds of things just ready to give away and it's exciting to see God work.

That Saturday we were cleaning and recovering from the week. Caleb cleaned the oven, since I couldn't, and since every time we used the oven it smelled like burning mouse poop in the whole house! It's quite nasty. After it sat all day he rinsed it out and I made dinner. I made cornbread in the oven, but the smell was still there. Since my stomach is so sensitive I couldn't eat anything but everyone else ate the food. In the middle of the night Kayla woke up sick as a dog, so I got her in new pajamas and put her on the couch where I could hear her if she was sick again. Caleb and I decided that I wouldn't be oging to church so I didn't wake up to take a shower. Caleb woke up but after his shower, he started to get sick too. We were trying to figure out what to do when Noah and Lela both woke up sick! So we all stayed home from church Sunday morning. I was the only one not sick so we figured it had something to do with the oven cleaner/dinner. By Sunday afternoon Caleb and the girls were feeling better but Noah was still sick, so I stayed home with him. But I soon got sick myself and felt awful! I was sick all night and all day Monday so it must have been some kind of stomach bug going around, not my dinner. That makes me feel a little bit better anyway.

That week we just kind of relaxed and focused on school and laundry. Caleb went to Wellington, KS to install a new hot water heater for the Jacobs and then roofed a house of a church member for two days. He recommitted his vow to never roof a house again. He has a huge blister on his hand now that's quite nasty.

This weekend we are in Luther, Oklahoma at a Missions Conference with the Dedmonds. We know another couple in the conference, Hector and Erica Garcia, so it's good to see them again. The church is really nice and very sweet and Noah is loving it! The Pastor has two boys around his age and another Missionary family, the Rooneys to England, have some more boys his age (eight in total) so he has a lot of boys to play with!! And then Kayla tries to keep up and be apart of their club, but they won't let her.

Next week we're going to Arkansas so Caleb can work on a church there. We're only going to be there until Friday, and then we'll be back in Oklahoma for a week to prepare to leave for Arizona for a month! Wheew!! It's kind of exciting to start our third leg of deputation, especially since I'm feeling a lot better and actually look pregnant! My morning sickness has almost completely disappeared so thank you to everyone that has prayed for me. I'm starting to feel like a normal human being again and I can eat food again, which is nice for lots of reasons.

Well I'm going to bed. Thanks for reading the blog, please leave a comment or email me! I like to hear responses to what we're doing. It's nice to know people still care.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A New Year

Happy New Year everyone! We had an exciting New Years week. We left that Monday from Grandview, WA with the destination of Klamath Falls, OR. Josh's church in Grandview voted to buy us new tires, so Monday morning we packed up and headed to Yakima to get our new tires. After that we left and almost didn't make it to Oregon. We got stuck on Hwy. 97 and Caleb had to put our chains on. It took him almost 30 minutes to get them on, and then when we got over the hill we didn't need them anymore! But at least we made it over the hill. Once we hit the bottom of Oregon we started seeing snow again and for some reason everyone wanted to go 35 mph on the highway. It was very frustrating because the roads were dry with no ice whatsoever and there were still vehicles stuck in the snowbanks. We were trying to figure out how in the world they went off the road, but I still don't understand it. We finally made it to Klamath Falls, and met my old friend Bekah Donaldson (Frain) at a restaurant with the rest of her family. We haven't seen each other since I was a Junior in HS so it was really nice. Her mom and brother are living with her, so it was good to see them again too! We had a nice meal, and then we crashed at our hotel!
The second day, Tuesday, our destination was Bakersfield, CA. The GPS said it would take 10 1/2 hrs and it was pretty close. It was a loooooooooong day, but we made it. Caleb's Granny (great-grandma) lives there and her church let us use their Missions Apartment. We went to see her the next day, Wednesday, and had a great time. Most of you will know that our oldest child, Noah, is not a hugging person. He doesn't like to hug or be touched, but he gave Granny a big hug (for Noah) right away. It was so sweet and I almost cried! The kids were really good and we had a great time with Granny. She is so sweet and I felt like I've always known her even though I had never met her before. I started to do the lunch dishes until she told me that was the only thing she could do and she was going to be completely bored the rest of the day if I took that job away from her! haha, she makes me laugh.
That night we went to Granny's church, McKee Road Baptist Church, for their services. I was having really bad indigestion and could barely sit up straight, so I took Lela back to the apartment. We cuddled and rested until Noah and Kayla came running back in all excited and exclaiming "We're going to stay up until midnight and play games and eat food and make popcorn and watch movies!!!" I was about to call them crazy nuts until I remembered it was New Years Eve! The apartment is attached to the Fellowship Hall and the church really did stay up until Midnight doing all those things! So we didn't get much sleep Wednesday night.
Thursday we drove from Bakersfield, CA to Flagstaff, AZ. This was probably our worst and longest day. I don't know why this drive was so hard, but it seemed like we were never going to get there! We finally arrived at Bro. Feaster's house at about 7:30pm and they showed us the apartment where we would be staying. It wasn't anything more than a few mattresses on the nursery floor, but we were so exhausted we were just thankful for a warm place to lay down! I probably would've slept on a pew. We did drag ourselves out to eat since we hadn't eated since 11:30am and we were thankful we still had some Chili's gift cards left!!
Friday morning we were a little more jazzed about traveling and we left pretty early in the morning. We drove all the way to Pampa, TX (a little NE of Amarillo) with a few stops at some trading posts along the way. Caleb has decided he hates New Mexico. Every time we stopped for a bathroom break, we had to drive around to five different places before we could find somewhere that was open AND had a bathroom! I guess if I were more willing to use a port-a-potty we could've gone earlier, but I'd rather wait, thank you! We finally drug ourselves (dragged, drugged?) into Pampa around 10:30pm and crashed in the lovely Missions apartment there. I don't even remember putting the kids in bed, I was out as soon as I laid down (lied down, layed down? my mind isn't working grammatically tonight).
Saturday morning we were more than happy to get on the road because our final stop was Mustang, OK!! Caleb was up and got the kids into the van before I had even moved from the position I landed in the night before. We left Pampa by 7:30am which was a good thing, because we didn't find a place to stop for breakfast until 9:30am. We all decided we just had to have biscuits and gravy and what better place to get it than Braums!! We knew we were close to home when we saw that Braums. The rest of the drive seemed to drag, but we were in Mustang by 11:15am. We went to the church and saw Miss Vicki who was watching the kids for visitation, and then we went to lunch with Caleb's parents.
We had a good week of traveling with no major setbacks. Noah got his school done while traveling, we didn't have any car problems, and we never left anyone at a gas station. We are so thankful to the churches that let us crash in their Missions apartments. Churches may never how much of a blessing it is to be able to stay in one, but I feel it is a necessity in a church! Even if it's a few mattresses on the nursery floor! =)