Monday, October 30, 2006


All I can say after yesterday is WOW!! We feel soooo blessed to be a part of the Highland Oaks Church of Christ!! Yesterday was one of the most inspiring worship services I have ever been a part of. We began the first of October with an Imagine Campaign. It includes updating the auditorium (the sound is horrific) and building not only for members but for groups outside of Highland Oaks that use our building weekly. It includes the Genesis Alliance to train and equip Hispanic ministers to plant churches in the metroplex and beyond. It also includes planting the Way of Life Church of Christ in East Hollywood, California where gangs are very prevalent. And finally it includes the River of Life Youth Center, which when finished will also include a fully staffed community center so the kids in the neighborhood around the church will have a safe place to get together.

Yesterday was pledge Sunday for the campaign. Each family in the church is pledging what they can do over the next 3 years to further the work in God's kingdom. There were baskets placed around the podium and all around the auditorium. They started with the ministers, elders and their family coming up to the front. The leaders at H.O. believe in leading by example. They all placed there commitment pledges in the baskets first and then families went and placed their pledges in the baskets. It was so incredible to watch so many families put there trust in God and what can be done in His Kingdom.

I forgot to mention that all of this started 2 years ago when the elders and ministers began praying for God to lead them where He wanted them to go. Several months into praying, Highland Oaks received a 1 million dollar grant from Austin Street to plant churches! Part of that is being used to plant the Hispanic Churches and the East Hollywood Church with many more to come. Two years later the Imagine campaign was born. We are just very excited to be here and working for Glory of God's kingdom!

To top things off yesterday we got to be a part of the Highland Oaks Annual Family Carnival. Oh my goodness!! What an experience! There were literally thousands of people there and at the end of the day a trick or treat line that was actually 4 lines with all 4 lines going half way around the building! (If not for the 4 lines it probably would have lapped itself around the building!!) What a blessing is was to see those kids faces light up when they walked away with an Albertson's bag full of candy! KLTY was broadcasting from the carnival, there were over 20 rides, games, climbing things, bouncing things, funhouses, etc. There were cokes, cotton candy, popcorn, chili, hot dogs and pies galore! (On a side note, I entered a coconut and cherry pie. One of the them actually one 1st place! I'm not sure which yet. But that was kind of exciting! :) They even had a booth for people to be able to get immunizations and flu shots.

It was all quite overwhelming. But what a blessing it was to get to serve all of those people and touch their lives. It was truly an exciting and very blessed and inspired day! And a great start to what promises to be a great week! Have a good one!

Friday, October 27, 2006

End of the week updates...

Things have been so busy lately I haven't had time to sit down and think about Thursday Thirteen's. So here is just a short update on some of what's been going on.

First of all, last night was my first "official" night of playing bunco with a group of ladies from Highland Oaks. I had never played before until a couple of months ago when they asked me to fill in for someone who couldn't be there. A couple of people had to drop out so now I'm officially a monthly bunco player. My kids think I'm now in an old lady group!! But it's really not! It is soooo much fun! And it's mindless which is kind of nice... it's hard to think after a long day with 4 years olds! More than playing, it's a great time of fellowship. We eat together first (of course! that's what us C of C er's do :) Then after we visit, we play with whatever time is left. Then we visit some more. It's just great! And I love getting to know these women. They are sooo much fun!

Chris has been gone all week in L.A. on business. I had to go to his office a couple of times and run some jobs for him with him on the phone telling me what to do. I am picking him up at the airport this afternoon... Yeah!!! A week seems like forever. I'll be glad when he's home.

Ashley went to New Orleans last weekend on a fall break campaign with Southern Hills. They completely gutted two houses that hadn't been touched since Hurricane Katrina. She had a great time and got to meet some new friends. They drive through the outer edge of Mesquite coming and going. They stopped about every 3 hours during the drive. We haven't seen her in about a month and coming back they were stopping somewhere in the metroplex for a break. Her driver was nice enough to stop in Mesquite off of I-20 for their break since we were here. It was great to see her. She of course asked if we could bring her a Starbuck's drink, which we did. And she gave us an Aunt Sally's Praline from New Orleans she had brought for us. At least a part of one. She had already eaten some of it. They are hard to resist!

She met a new friend named Whitney while on campaign. Whitney is Ashley's age and has a pacemaker. She started having trouble this past week and had to go home to the doctor in San Antonio yesterday to determine if she would need some type of surgery or not. She sees the doctor today and possibly could have surgery either Monday or Tuesday. Please be in prayer for her.

Ashley is still working at the Abilene Reporter Newspaper and she also doing some substitute teaching. That's hard to believe!! She did kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. Today she is subbing in a middle school math class! We'll see how that goes! Ashley stopped growing in height at about 5 ft. Maybe 5' 1"... so the some of the kids may be taller than she is. I'm anxious to hear from her this afternoon!

Jeremy is working fast and furious on Beauty and the Beast. They have rehearsal every day after school until around 6:00 or 6:30. That will soon become some Saturday's and after school every day until around 10:00 or 10:30. He keeps drugged up on vitamin C so hopefully he can stay healthy and not get run down. He is having a blast though!! You never hear him complain. He wouldn't have it any other way! Thanks so much for all the encouraging words everyone sent. I got emails or blog notes from over 30 people. I printed each one on different colors of paper and hung them all over the closet doors in his room. He couldn't believe all of the notes. You made him feel very special and loved. Thank you!!

We are working at the annual Highland Oaks Fall Carnival this Sunday afternoon. It's from 2:30 to 6:00. It's our first time to be there during the carnival and it seems to be a really big deal. KLTY broadcast their show live from the carnival. They have tons of food, rides, etc. Last year 8,000 people attended. This year they are expecting around 10,000! If you're in the area, stop by and say hello. We'll be there all day somewhere.

Lastly, I thought I'd post of couple of current pictures of Ashley and Jeremy. You might not recognize them if you saw them on the street. Especially Jeremy, he has matured so much over the last couple of years.

Anyway, I pray that everyone has blessed and wonderful weekend!

Love ya!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Just Randomness...

For everyone who grew up loving Grease, this is just great!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Open House

We had our dayschool open house last night. It's one of those times I really sort of dread. I enjoy getting all their work together and decorating, but it's the getting back up there after a long day of school that is sometimes tough. Even though it made for a long day, it was so worth seeing the excitement on all of those kids faces as they paraded their parents around the room and showed them all of their work. Their were all so proud of themselves!

I am teaching 4 year olds this year and I am having a blast! We are doing a lot of cool things and I think all the kids pretty much think I'm crazy. I like to keep things fun and I'm really just a big kid at heart. I have a really good class and they are eager to learn. It's really been great!

It is such an exciting year, but also kind of sad. Please be in prayer for our dayschool. The elders will be deciding probably after the 1st of the year whether or not to keep the dayschool doors open at the end of this school year. This is my 15th year to be involved with the dayschool and I hate to see it close it doors. It has been a tremendous benefit to lots of children and has the potential to impact many more lives in a very positive way. Please pray for God's blessings upon us. Have a blessed week!

Monday, October 16, 2006

I am.... An Idiot Driver Magnet!!

I jokingly told someone last week I might post about idiot drivers... well, the time has come and it is now. I really think I am an idiot driver magnet! I know, I know... those of you who have known me for quite a while know that I have a history of a very big lead foot! Some might even say a lead leg to go along with it! But I promise you, my driving habits have changed immensely since I started riding a motorcycle last October. Riding a motorcycle really does make you a better driver. I am more aware of everything going on around me (apparently for very good reason!) and believe it or not, I don't go over 5 miles over the speed limit anymore. (at least 98 percent of the time:)

But almost every time I am on the road someone around me is acting crazy!! It doesn't matter if I'm in our 4 door truck or on the motorcycle, it's like I'm a magnet for every idiot driver on the road. I kind of think I might have brought this on myself a few months ago after our Wednesday night class. We were talking about love, patience, compassion and the like and what we might need to work on in our own lives. I left thinking I need to be more compassionate to drivers around me and not call them names but ask God to bless them. I think that let the flood gates open.

Since then my driving life has gone wild. I have had people almost run me into the curb while on the motorcycle. Another lady watched me approaching and then pulled out right into my lane just as I got there and made me have to swerve around her. People are constantly pulling right in front of me where there is no room in the truck. The other day, someone cut across 3 lanes of traffic from the right directly in front of me to turn left. Last week I was stopped at a light on a very steep hill while on the motorcycle and watch in my mirror as the person behind me pulled up so close to me a person could barely walk through! Fortunately I can keep from rolling when starting on a hill. But the best one happened to me while I was sitting at the light last week, waiting to go into the mall parking lot. I was on the motorcycle completely stopped at the red light, waiting to cross the intersection to go into the mall. I saw a car coming up behind me in the mirror. I was reminded of the week before and the person pulling so close to me on the hill. I continued to watch as she slowed down but kept rolling. I kept thinking surely she is going to stop... I'm sitting right here. But no, she continued to roll closer and closer until she literally rolled into the back of my bike! Fortunately she was not going fast enough to do any damage and didn't knock me off the bike. But I swear, I think I must have a sign on my back that says "All Idiot Driver's Enter Here"!

I am trying very hard to show more compassion to other driver's, but Satan is making it extremely difficult! Does anyone else feel like an Idiot Driver Magnet??

Please keep me in your prayers as I venture out onto those crazy roads today :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sweet Memories

I was looking through some old pictures this week trying to find something I wanted to use in Jeremy's musical program. As I was searching, I ran across these pictures. Wow!! What memories they bring back. It is so fun to look through pictures and remember sweet memories you hadn't thought about in a while. So I thought I would share some memories with you. We are still good friends with each of these families even though all but one of them have moved and are not so close in distance any more.

This one is Jeremy & Josh Hardcastle.
They were in the 3 year old class at the Mesquite Dayschool together.
This was right before the Hardcastle's moved Lubbock.
They are now in Abilene and Jeremy & Josh are both juniors in High School!

The next two are of Ashley & Karisa Butler.
They were 13 years old at the time.
They are both in college now! Ashley in her 3rd year at ACU
and Karisa in her 2nd year at Belmont in Tennessee.

The next one is of Ashley and Rebekah Mock at 13.
Rebekah is now in Medina, Texas working as a nail technician.

The next two are of Ashley, Jeremy and Malaya Bizillion.
This was our first year to go to Celebrate Freedom.
It rained all night the night before and all that morning.
It was muggy, humid and about 800 degrees!!
We have since decided we like indoor concerts much better.
Malaya is now in 1st grade!
The Bizillions now live in Keller.

I hope you got as big a kick out of some of these as I did! Sweet, sweet memories! I hope everyone has a great week!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Beast of a Week

This week has kind of been one of those weeks with lots of "stuff" going on. Lots of good stuff, but still lots of stuff none the less. One of those weeks where I'm glad the weekend is almost here. We've had several late nights, lots of good stuff at church going on and Jeremy has been working hard for the musical tryouts for Mesquite High School. They have been trying out in some sort of fashion almost everyday since last Friday. They had call backs tonight and parts were suppose to be posted by tomorrow morning for school. Well, one of his friends had a church function at the school tonight and called Jeremy to tell him the parts were already posted. Jeremy went to school to check and this PROUD MOM is proud to say, that Jeremy got the role of The Beast in the musical Beauty and the Beast!!! He is on cloud 9!! And so is his momma!! The musical will be in January. So if you happen to be in the area on January 11th, 12th or 13th, I know he would love to see you! The musical will be in the Mesquite High School auditorium at 7:00 p.m each of those nights. I'm not sure how much the tickets are right now, but I know you can save a couple of dollars if you get advanced tickets. They won't go on sale until probably late December.

Whew Hoo!!! I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep tonight! I hope everyone has as great a weekend as our has started out to be!