Monday, June 30, 2014

Hawaiian Falls Employee Appreciation Event

This evening Hawaiian Falls hosted a special employee appreciation event.  The employees could bring friends and family and participate in activities, drawings for prizes, etc.  Since Caleb worked most of today, he just ran back up for the event with Abigail.  The kids enjoyed some pizza from Sharky's and a snow cone or two.  

The entertainment for the evening was the No Regrets band performance.  No Regrets is a four man praise and worship band at Horizon's Church and two of the members, Che and Jason are part of our Metro Relief family.  Che runs the Overcomer's Meetings at Metro and Jason is over the Outreach/Bus Ministry.  How fun is that!  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Time!!

For our anniversary gift this year Jon and I purchased season tickets for the four of us.  Frankie can't stand Caleb being at work every day, she misses her brother terribly.  With season passes, we can visit the park, say hello to Caleb and give Frankie a little peace of mind! 

Today the girls and I enjoyed the rides, I'm a huge fan of the lazy river!! Our favorite cotton candy maker was working the Snow Cone Shack today, so of course we had to have some banana snow cones!

Do you see the big smile on Frankie's face?  It was a good day!   

Everyone helps his neighbor
    and says to his brother, “Be strong!”

Isaiah 41:6

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Caleb's 17th Birthday

My 'little man' turned seventeen today!  The reflective mom side of me would like to offer some profound words on the passage of time.  But words fail me.  What I do know is I have been incredibly blessed to be his mom. 

As our family tradition has been, we began the day with breakfast in bed with the birthday boy.  His breakfast of choice: chocolate donuts and Dr. Pepper.  The day continued with a little Captain America, a visit to the Lego store, and Barnes & Noble.  One stop was the Disney Store, when the clerks discovered it was Caleb's birthday they put his name on their screen and the entire store sang to him!

His day finished up with an evening with friends.  All in all, what a great day for a great kid! 

For you, O Lord, are my hope,
    my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
    you are he who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you.
Proverbs 71:5-6

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hangin' with Our Peeps

What happens at Metro Relief stays at Metro Relief, or gets posted to Facebook, my blog or random social media.  The best part of the blog is sharing our ordinary days with our family who are all in other states. 

Jon's mom often hears the stories of the friends we've made at the pantry and today I took a few pictures just for her!  This is Che' with Abigail, he is the Overcomers Director and a great guy.  After I took one photo, he said one more and then he kissed her forehead.  I was so tickled, I didn't even notice her reaction until I uploaded them to my laptop.    

Caleb, out back! 

Abigail is probably the youngest regular volunteer at the pantry and she and Caleb get special treatment when we volunteer.  Lots of great people looking out for the kids while I finish up paperwork in the office.  

The photo in the lower left corner is a group of about 15 volunteers from today having lunch today after the pantry closed.  Some help with the pantry and others work exclusively with the bus ministry, others work on fund raising and donations.  Many hands make light work. 

The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry

Proverbs 10:3

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Little Volunteer Work & Good Friends

Another busy Monday, the best part about today was that Caleb didn't have to work so he was able to join us for five hours at Metro Relief.  The pantry and bus ministry have been shutdown for the past two weeks allowing volunteers some time off.  The week before the shut down we served 118 families through the pantry, I was really concerned about how busy today would be with some of our guests unable to get help with their food. 

We served about 45 families today, we'll see more through the week on Wednesday and Thursday.  Fortunately several donors came through with some of the pantries biggest needs, toiletries and canned meats! It was great to be back at the pantry with our friends! 

Later in the day, the kids ran over to Ms. Ramona's to say good bye to her foreign exchange student, Ali.  Ali has been here the entire school year and has attended church with us.  She heads back to Italy tomorrow, we're sad to see her go.  Caleb took her an American and Texas flag back in her luggage! 

Tonight was also Teen Bible Study for the PEACH youth.  They are now going through the Answers in Genesis' Demolishing Strongholds DVD series.   

So every one of the people cut down his bundle and following Abimelech put it against the stronghold, and they set the stronghold on fire over them  Judges 9:49

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Today we visited a church in Arlington because we knew we couldn't make it from Plano to Mansfield for Abigail's tournament by eleven this morning.  As it turned out, we had plenty of time.  When we arrived at the tournament the schedules were running thirty minutes behind, then an hour behind, and finally after sitting for two hours the tournament was cancelled.  

Sissy, Caleb and I brought books with us, knowing we would have time to kill while Abigail and Jon and the rest of the team warmed up.  So the three of us sat comfortably in the cafe reading while Jon and Abigail were bored, bored, bored!  

She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:

Proverbs 31:27-28

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Softball Tournament at Big League Dreams

Another weekend of tournament games!  Abigail's Frisco Fusion played in two games and have two more games tomorrow, if they win their bracket they will advance to another one or two games.  

Realistically because her Frisco Fusion are newly formed tournament league they are still learning to play together.  Most of the team is still getting acclimated to the higher level of play, but who knows maybe they'll advance.

This weekends tournament is at Big League Dreams in Mansfield, Texas.  This field has replica fields to big league stadiums, a round indoor club house that over looks the fields, stadium seating and practice indoor field house! 

During the first game Abigail played second base but she was much more comfortable behind home plate on the second game.  

Ball games pic up again tomorrow at 11 am! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hanging Out at Hawaiian Falls

Hooray, our first day of no school, no VBS, no church camp, no work, and no Metro Relief!!!  So we enjoyed the benefits of our family passes at Hawaiian Falls.  This was the first day that Caleb actually got to hang out in the lazy river and ride down slides!  

Notice what we are snacking on, yep, that's some of that yummy cotton candy.  Caleb said it would be inappropriate to snack on cotton candy while working but every day he comes home talking about how good it smells.  Caleb even comes home smelling like sugary goodness.

Tonight Abigail does have batting practice, and Caleb ended up mowing for three of his regular customers, but for four hours we were carefree and in no hurry!!! 

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.  Psalm 32:4

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

VBS Moses: Night 4

Big finale night!  The Israelites are packing up and heading out of Egypt!!!  

But wait what is that, it's Pharaoh and he has now lost his son, his slaves, his kingdom and he is mad!  He is headed to get those slaves back!  

The Israelites panic but God is faithful and raises the Red Sea allowing every Hebrew to cross on dry land.  When the pillar moves the Egyptians follow only to have the walls of the Red Sea fall in on them.  

We finish up with great celebration by the Israelites, and a final big production song with the entire cast.  

After the play the cast were available in the education building to have pictures taken with the kids.  
For tonight, Abigail and I both played the part of Egyptian sorcerers, and Caleb was a member of Pharaoh's army that charged the Israelites across the Red Sea.
Tonight's story was taken from Exodus 12:33 - 15:18 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

VBS Moses: Night 3

Our story continues tonight with Moses returning to Egypt and meeting up with Aaron the two of them delivered the message to the elders that God was going to deliver them.
Tonight's play ran through all ten plagues ending in Pharaoh agreeing to release the Isrealites.  This evening Abigail played the role of one of Pharaoh's sorcerers who duplicated the staff to a snake trick.  Caleb was a giant frog during second plague.  I was a back up singer as we went through the musical numbers including, "There's lots of blood in the N - I - L - E," sung to the "It's lots of fun at the Y.M.C.A." Village People song. 

The singing ability and voice quality in our congregation is incredible!  In my wildest dreams I sound like that when I sing, but the truth is, the back up vocals were recorded and I stood on stage and lip synced!! 

Tonight's story is taken from Exodus 4:29 - 11:10 and 12:29-32  

Monday, June 16, 2014

VBS Moses: Night 2

Tonight's story picked up with Moses being 40 years old having grown up in Pharaoh's palace.   Caleb was the Egyptian Task Master whom Pharaoh interrupts beating a Hebrew slave, then Moses killed Caleb and buried him in the sand.  

Pharaoh of course issues a decree that Moses must be killed for his treachery.  Moses then flees to Midian where he meets Jethro and his seven daughters.  Abigail and I played the part of two of Jethro's daughters, but not Zipporah.  

Jethro gives Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage and by the close of Night 2, Moses is eighty years old and speaks to a burning bush! 

Caleb worked today, and got off work in time to shower and head to VBS.  I know he is looking forward to a chance to catch up on some sleep but I don't think his first day off isn't until Thursday.  

Tonight story was taken from Exodus 2:11 - 4:31

Sunday, June 15, 2014

VBS Moses: Night 1

Things never slow down, it doesn't matter that less than 24 hours ago the kids just got in from a ten hour bus ride; or that Abigail has spent the afternoon in a softball tournament; or that Caleb has spent the afternoon working at Hawaiian Falls.  Today was the first day or our Vacation Bible School musical production.  

I finished writing the script back in February and then Ms. Jennifer adds these amazing songs.  Each night has four to five songs with popular music like the Disney movie Frozen's 'Let it Snow' with the lyric changed to 'Let us Go,' to be sung by the Israelites.  

On top of that we have wonderfully talented ladies who take care of our backdrops and costumes!  It is so much fun to see everyone's hard work.  We began tonight's story with the telling of the Pharaoh who knew nothing of Joseph or what he had done for Egypt.  Next we moved into the decree to kill each male Hebrew child, leading to Miriam hiding Moses then Pharaoh's daughter finding him in the Nile.  

In tonight's production Caleb played an Egyptian Task Master, Abigail was hungry crocodile in the Nile River and I was Moses' mother Jocabed.  Sissy was in the audience with her favorite four year old class; and Jon, well he was taking pictures of all the fun!  

Tonight's story was taken from Exodus 1:1 - 2:10

Back to Reality: Softball Tournament in Garland

After a wonderful week at church camp, the kids are back to reality.  For Caleb, reality means that he is spending the afternoon spinning cotton candy at Hawaiian Falls.  For Abigail, reality means her first tournament softball game in Garland with her select Frisco Fusion softball team.  

They both had a rather rude awakening after spending eight days in the mountains with cool fifty-five degree temperatures to the one-hundred degree temps plus added humidity.  Abigail suffered some pretty sever leg cramps adjusting to the much hotter temperature, plus wearing all the catchers protective gear.  

Her team didn't win this weekend but with being a newly formed team, hopefully they will begin to gel quickly and start having some wins!  Besides, the next tournament is only a week away! 

I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.  Ecclesiastes 3:10

Father's Day 2014

The kids came home late last night from church camp and today begins our four days of Vacation Bible School and sandwiched in between is Father's Day.  Oh, did I mention that today Abigail also has a tournament softball game and Caleb has to work?! 

We really try not to overbook, but sometimes everything seems to happen all at once!  This weekend was one of those weekends! 

Caleb missed out on the Father's day lunch at Applebee's but we got a to-go box together for him.  Jon said with the exception of Caleb being gone it was a great day, something about any day that included steak and some softball was good!  

In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
    you will make them princes in all the earth.
I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
    therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.

Psalm 45:16-17

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Camp Blue Haven: They're Back!!

What a welcome sight to see that chartered bus pull into the Brown Trail Church of Christ parking lot!  Ironically, the first kid off the bus was my independent, high-spirited, youngest child!  She got off and came running to see Sissy!  Abigail knew that their being gone was worrisome to Sissy, so she made a be-line to her big sister to show her how much she missed her.  I asked if she was sitting in the front of the bus and she said, 'no, I was in the middle, I'm just fast.'

After another twenty or so kids Caleb came off the bus!  I promise he looked taller and older!  Padme' was very excited to have her 'puppies' back too!  Oh, oh and did you see the blue Camp Blue Haven Master Camper Caleb is wearing?  Yes, he got Master Camper for the boy’s cabins.  It is points accumulated for attitude, cabin cleanliness, memory work, etc.  Funny thing is he never told me about the award.  It was another mom who said she was so proud Caleb won; I had no idea what she was talking about.  Later I asked Caleb and he says, 'oh yeah, I forgot!' 

So happy they are home!  The first they did when they got home was down load all the pictures from their cameras, while sitting on Mom's lap!!   

For when he sees his children,
    the work of my hands, in his midst,
    they will sanctify my name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel
Isaiah 29:23

Caleb's Star Wars Room

With all the foundation work we had done to the house almost every room of the house is in need of wall patch, painting and working towards new flooring.  Since the kids have been gone this week I decided to start with Caleb's room.  Yes, he knew I was going to be completely disassembling his room and yes, he didn't care.  In fact his words were, 'if I came home from camp and my room was re-done and I didn't have to any of the work, No, I would not be distraught.'  

The primary wall and window in his room face the south and the room gets very warm in the summer.  Several years ago we painted it a dark blue and it even had LED lights around the ceiling to go with the Star Wars movie posters on the wall.  There was even a Star Wars glow in the dark solar system on one wall.  

However since he's almost seventeen it was time to give the room a more grown up feel. Jon and I moved out all the furniture, patched the walls, re-textured the ceiling where needed and then began to paint.  The ceiling, walls, and trim took two coats of paint.  Frankie doesn't like change and wasn't happy that the kids were out of town and was even less happy about me changing Caleb's room, so she hung out in his room and colored or read a book, but kept an eye on me the whole time! Love that kid! 

When the room was completed in a light gray hue, I hung up all the Star Wars movie posters.  I used his light sabers, laser guns, and fighter ships as wall art around the room.  Caleb has Jon's grandmother’s dresser and we had the mirror replaced in it so it would be more useful.  Jon even got up on a ladder and cleaned the outside of Caleb's window.  

Caleb has a great leather futon gaming couch / bed that I left folded down so that when he gets in late tonight he can crash.  Can't wait for him to get home and see it! 

it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you Luke 1:3

Friday, June 13, 2014

Camp Blue Haven: A Few of Mom's Favorite Things

One of the great things about Camp Blue Haven is that it is there is permanent adult staff and specially selected college staff that remain as counselors throughout the duration of the summer.  The counselors are specially trained and prepared to guide and work with the campers.  These counselors are the cream of the crop from our Christian colleges.  

The camp has a huge spiritual emphasis with morning devotionals, chapel services, classes, Lord's Day Worship, Early Christian Worship, cabin devotionals, and evening worship.  This year four or the kids friends from the McDermott congregation were baptized, Blake, Beau, Tate and Hunter.  

Both of the kids come home amazed at the singing and worship time.  All campers are expected to complete scripture memory work and are encouraged to work on it as a cabin, ensuring success for everyone.  They not only recite the scripture but mus explain in their own words what the passage means.  Each passage is 2-4 verses and the campers memorize six passages.  The passage below is one of the selections for this year's memory work. 

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen  I Peter 5:8-11

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's a Better Day!

Frankie's day just got much better!  What a rough week with her siblings out of state at church camp this kiddo does not like change!  But just when it was looking pretty bleak, Sissy and I headed to Sonic for some ice cream.   Padme' accompanies Sissy on all outings, so of course she joined us too.  

Armed with chocolate sundae we returned home and checked the mail.  Woo hoo, a letter from Abigail!  What a happy day!  The sun was suddenly shining brighter, the birds were singing, life was looking up!  Only two more days until Caleb and Abigail return home!  

Therefore, my brothers (and sisters), whom I love and long for, my joy and crown,
stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. Philippians 4:1

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Camp Blue Haven: A Few of Caleb's Favorite Things

What are some of Caleb's favorite things about Camp Blue Haven?  well, this year he came back with great stories about the Zip Line!  He had several campers in his cabin that he's been with the last two years. 

His cabin also participated in an overnight camp out under the stars.  His cabin won the talent show for the boy's cabin.  
Caleb even delivered the message at one of the morning devotionals.

He always comes home with stories about all the wonderful food they are served.  I don't know how they make any money feeding that many teenage boys!
For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.  Psalm 19:29

Monday, June 9, 2014

Camp Blue Haven: A Few of Abigail's Favorite Things

This is probably not the first blog post I should make about the kids at Camp Blue Haven, knowing that my target audience is the kids grandparents.  So, Granny, take heart, the babies are fine!  No scratches, scrapes or bruises! Whew, with that out of the way, let's look at what Abigail loves about camp.

Abigail loves hike day!  She said on one hike they went three miles and another day the took out for a seven mile hike.  The camp is surrounded by National Forrest and is just beautiful. 

The camp also has an amazing ropes course that includes a climbing tower, a giant swing,a zip line and a leap of faith! This year Abigail and her cabin went out on the giant swing, she said the best part is to 'scream like a little girl' the entire way down! 

On Monday night Abigail's cabin had their sleep out where instead of sleeping in the cabin they slept out under the stars.  The night time temperature got down into the 30's and she said she woke up with frost on her pillow!  

Two other seventh graders from McDermott were in her cabin, Tate and Abby.  The three dressed alike for Twins Day wearing their McDermott Road Youth Group t-shirts.
Yes coach, she did take a softball with her.  Yes, Grandmother, she did take plenty of sunscreen.  No Granny, Abigail's group did not see any bears!

 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! Psalm 72:3

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Off to Camp Blue Haven

This afternoon Caleb and Abigail took off with youth from the Brown Trail Church of Christ for Camp Blue Haven in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  This was their third year to enjoy church camp up in the mountains.  

When they left Bedford, Texas it was almost a hundred degrees but they were packed for eight days in fifty-five degree weather. They both love the cooler weather and the beautiful mountain scenery!  I know they will come home with lots of great stories that will include zip lines, trust falls, camping out, early Christian worship night and stories of friendships made.  

It will be a long week for Frankie with them gone, but she knows how much they enjoy it.  

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:9

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Making Cotton Candy

Today the girls and I headed out see our favorite cotton candy food ambassador at Hawaiian Falls.  I snapped a picture when he wasn’t looking of him spinning the pink sugary goodness.

At one point I went past the cotton candy shack to find a little crowd of kids visiting with Caleb.  He was explaining to them how cotton candy or ‘Fairy Floss’ is made by heating a small bowl of granulated, colored sugar to its melting point.  Heaters then heat the melted sugar through tiny holes by centrifugal force. 

He went on to explain that the molten sugar then solidifies in the air and is caught by the larger bowl that surrounds the spinning head where he gathers it up in plastic bags. 

I wish I would have had my camera with me when he was talking to the kids; unfortunately it was in the locker to keep it dry from the rides the girls and I were riding.

Caleb has collected several cotton candy fun facts like:  machine-spun cotton candy was invented by a dentist in 1897 and introduced to the public at the 1904 World’s Fair; and that the United States celebrates National Cotton Candy Day on December 7.  Who knew?! 

I think it makes his day go a little faster and the kids always seem fascinated to find out how things work! 

the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.
Deuteronomy 15:10

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Post Season Softball Tournament

Our spring softball season has come to close this weekend was our Shock Waves tournament ball games.  I would love to report that the girls played amazing ball, but the truth is they played a good game but were out played and did not advance in the tournament. It was a fun game, wish it had gone better for the girls!  They have really enjoyed playing together this season and know they will look forward to playing together again in the Fall. 

When they finished up the game we headed over the the church building for VBS rehearsal.  Caleb, Abigail and myself are in the four nights performances.  Frankie will be working with her four year old class.  I'll post more pictures from VBS soon! 

I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.  2 Peter 1:15