Sunday, May 30, 2010

bucket list

I added a bucket list to the sidebar of the blog. just some things ryan and i want to do with each other in our lifetime!:) we'll keep adding more, and we'll also let you know if we completed it! check it out and hope you enjoy!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

it started with prayer

Summa Va-cay-tion is here!
and I am ecstatic.
Storm Lake has SO many opportunities of ministry. Anyone up for a missions trip? Come out to Storm Lake.

There are so many kids wandering around now that school is out. We've been praying so much for them. I took a trip out to some apartments in this area to visit a new friend of mine, and wow...the kids are flooding her house with visitors. I'm hoping to take daily trips out there on my bike to play with the kids and maybe do a little camp out there. We'll see.

I've spent four days this week at the baseball fields. Cheering for our sweet #4 and also for our Blue #6-Luis. He's on a different team, but his whole family and ryan and I have had some neat times together. This past week, I took them out to BK after Luis' game to grab a bite to eat.

Chris came over for dinner after baseball practice one night; what a difference a few weeks makes! He talked and talked and talked-and we've seen that heart-melting grin come out more and more each time we've had with him!
we learned he wants to play Johnny Cash. interesting huh?

this past week, one of my co-workers had a baby, Baby Melissa. She is beautiful and breathtaking. I was blown away with the miracle of a new life-only God can create. a few of us from school showed up at the same time.
we were so excited because we captured her little smile!
kinda makes me want, just kinda.

last night, Ryan and I had four crazy guys from our church come over for a Wii fest-mariokart, Dance Dance Revolution, Smash Bros Brawl, and lots of different sports was the main even in our living room last night. these were some of the nicest teenage guys I've ever met, and some of the funnest. (is that even a word? I don't think so, but I'll use it.)
is this the start of FBC's youth ministry? Lord-willing, yes.

So, this has been my week so far. Today, we're going to try Frisbee golf. I will take pics to record our hopefully non-humiliating time at the course. We just liked it so much on the wii, we thought we'd try it in real life.

Will you pray with us this week for this lil guy and his fam?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Open Book girls

I want to introduce you to a new friend of mine, Anne D. Her and her husband have a really neat ministry in their neighborhood, and I would encourage you to check out their story on her blog: .
Maybe it'll inspire you to do the same thing in your neighborhood!
Today, she featured me on her blog, so i encourage you to head that way and read the interview post-I'm smiling that it's up there; it's kinda special in a fuzzy warm way. please check it out! here's the direct link for the interview:

"encouragement" for #4


yes, he had his first game. he was so excited, although he doesn't show that emotion on his face. he kept asking questions, wondering about things, and then he got hit with the excitement of his 10 special tickets to use on at the concession stand. His eyes were shining as he looked at all the possibilities of what he could use his ten tickets on. more on that in a sec.

i think one of the best parts of the games is how the boys feel like part of a team. it is pretty neat to be dressed like 7 other kids wearing the same uniform and feeling cool cuz people are clapping for you.
it's thrilling.
especially for this lil man.

he had probably the loudest cheering section there. Two of his classroom teachers came to watch him. WOW!
remember when i said he doesn't show emotion on his face? His face LIT up and he grinned this big grin (and even showed his teeth in his big smile!) that made his day. we were hootin' and hollerin' and cheerin' and clappin' for this special boy in our lives.
[Ms. H and Ms. Flink]
[Tegan and i took pictures and ate popcorn together:) (well, she ate the popcorn and i held the bag. haha.)]

After the game, Chris ran to me ready to use those ten tickets. We ran over to the stand and he stared at all the goodies inside.
*shakes his head*
"laffy taffy?"
*shakes his head*
he got excited. his head bobbed up and down.
"yes please." he told the man over the counter.
The man handed him his very own hotdog and C quietly asked me," is there ketchup ms. bb?"
"Here you go."

He loved ordering his own hotdog. he loved squirting the ketchup. after he ate his hotdog, he looked at me and said," um. I'm still hungry! can i go back? I only want to use one ticket more."
haha, anyone else loved going to the concession stands during a baseball game? i know i did. still do.
He's so funny. He was so careful about spending that ticket.
After the game, we talked about encouragement. I asked him if he knew what it was and he said no. I told him, "Encouragement is those nice things that people say to you that make you feel great."
then i asked him, "did you feel encouraged when you heard people cheering and clapping for you when you hit that ball?"
He smiled and said, "yeah, it made me feel good."
yes! God is good.
we can see how HE is working in this lil boy's life:).
oh, and let me share my most favorite picture from the game:) you can see why-his big grin kinda melts my heart.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

coffee in bed

The past week have been a whirlwind of activities-practically non-stop. Ryan and I have been so busy that each night we would fall into bed absolutely exhausted, but thankful. God definitely knew what He was doing when He commanded us to rest one day and work the other six days. If one is doing what God commands, working hard for Him is a privilege, and that one rest day is much needed and savored to replenish to be ready for another full week. Saturdays are our rest days, because Sunday is still a day of work and ministry for both my husband and I as he has taken the full responsibilities of pastoring the church.

I woke up this morning, ready to go and get stuff done, but then decided to slow down and not rush to get up, and do my quiet time in bed. So i made coffee, polluted it with all the good stuff [creamer and sugar] and brought it back to bed with me.
Ahhhh....did my soul good. I'm studying Ephesians 5 right now about husbands and wives-i might have to share about that next time.

After my devotions, I sat in bed thinking about the week. so much has happened, but it all will slow down next week when school ends. Alot has been burdening my heart, with the kids getting out of school, and so many of them not having meals or being cared for at home, and I can't stop thinking about it. I've been praying so much for the kids that I can be in contact with this summer-the ones down the street in the parks, the ones in my neighborhood, etc. There are so many kids without love, and all I can do right now is pray until God opens up a door to reach out.
Two and a half more days at school. Two and a half more days to give hugs and love to the kids who are unloved.

But besides all that, here's a few pics that I took this past week. We are so thankful! It was a week rich with blessings-people in our lives that we got to spend time with!

it was the last week of mentoring-i got to see my mentee three times this week:) We're making a scrapbook of the year together-it isn't finished but it was fun to do a little of it together.
Ryan and his kid has connected so well. It makes me kinda sad to see the mentoring program end, because the two of these guys really enjoyed their time together.

worms make me feel icky, but it was fun to see the smiles on these boys faces as they dug up the squiggly wiggly creatures.
[btw, we named this worm "snakey"]
ryan and I went over to our friends' garden. They are growing so many vegetables and invited us to come out and pick some. So we got some mixed lettuce and radishes straight from the garden...mmmm, yummy.

from the garden:
to my kitchen:)

I hope your day of rest is also restful and refreshing!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

monthly additions

Each month, we add to our little home together. This month, we added curtains and nightstands to our home. I'm so excited!

These curtains caught my eye like two months ago. I love Urban Outfitters, however, we don't have one here in Storm Lake, neither do we have one anywhere near here. Soooo, I looked at these curtains like every DAY hoping the price for the curtains would change from $28 per panel.Yeah, I wasn't willing to pay that and buy two of them, so i waited. It dropped down to $19.99 each; and i hoped and hoped and hoped that I could get the curtains-i just could not justify paying 20 bucks for one panel, but [hip-hip-hooray!] last week, whoo hoo! it dropped down to $9.99 per panel! So, i happily ordered them, and now, look at my cute cozy living room!:)
living room
living room

We have a high bed, and without glasses or contacts, we're both pretty near sighted-especially me. Usually each night, I placed my glasses on the floor next to my side of the bed, but in the dark, with no corrective lenses, I couldn't see my glasses when I got up in the middle of the night.
yep, i stepped right on my glasses and flattened the frames completely. I was horrified and frustrated. Ryan had just bought some new glasses, so, with the intent of not having his glasses squashed into a hanger as well, we thought we'd invest in the nightstands.
with some bending, manly hubby muscles, and carefulness, Ryan bent my glasses back into shape.

ryan took me shopping for the night stands and i had so much fun picking it out! and even better-God knew our need, and it was on sale. boy, do i love those words:) We got two beautiful nightstands for a great price.
God chooses our needs; He provided these things for us. Thanks God!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ehkmler turns 9

This is Ehkmler. [pronounced-Ek-a-ma-so]
He turned nine yesterday! He came to church and shyly invited us to his house to eat. Turns out he had a nice little celebration at his house that he shared with two others who had a birthday yesterday.

We brought him a little lego car that he and Ryan had fun putting together, and then a set of helicopter planes. it was a simple gift, but he LOVED it. We also brought the kids some birthday food-blue and pink cotton candy. I don't think they've had it before, because they tried different things with it, including adding water and then watching it instantly disappear before their eyes!:)
Enknaso [pronounced- En-a-sho] is a little princess. Her English is the best in the house, and she's only five! She greets me with a huge hug each time we say hello. She's a sweetheart.
this family has been coming to our church since about October. We had adopted them as a church to bring Christmas groceries and gifts to them in December, and have kept a sweet relationship with the family. Their mother, BaBlu, and i sit and chat, as she is trying to learn English, so I let her practice it out on me:).

The Karen community is large and growing here in Storm Lake. They come from Burma as refugees; many of them do not speak english and have just come out of the difficult environment of Burma and the persecution and poverty they knew there. We are looking for more ways to get involved with their community, and through this family we've had several neat opportunities. It is a different aspect of ministry with these people, because unlike many others, they are very willing to work hard and do their best to get their family up and running. They are good, honest, and loving people. This family lives with three or four other families in a small apartment, so it's cool to go there and meet so many of them.

So yes, it was a fun celebration with a sweet family and many others. You never know who you may meet when you go there, because people go in and out of that home. But we enjoyed seeing this nine year enjoy simple toys and treats. Pray for the Karen people and our church, as we look for more ways to reach out to them. We have plans in our church to do some special things, so we're excited to get that started up.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

work day


our church had a work day this weekend. we worked mostly on the outside of the church, cleaning up the yard, plants, and digging up the ugly to replace with new beauty:)

my job was to replace the old mulch in the brick box, with new mulch. I weeded, picked up sticks, and then replaced the mulch. whatdya think?:) it was alot of fun-i enjoyed it, even though i spent most of the day on my hands and knees.
after i was done, Tammy, our church's organist/pianist, taught me how to plant flowers. THAT was fun:) it was like playing with dirt, but getting something beautiful out of it.

i'm thankful for the beauty of service. the church worked well together, and the outside of the church is cleaned up and looks inviting:)

Friday, May 14, 2010

baseball players chew gum

yay! We're so excited about the weather warming up, and baseball season is in full swing!
Our little buddy is enjoying his time on and off the field, and he's especially loving batting practice. He's got a great arm, and is getting the hang of catching a baseball.

Ryan is assistant coaching the team, and I'm well, the cheerleader on the sidelines.
"Go, Chris, go!"

The team's name this week (because each practice they have, the name changes), is the "Crocodiles." we haven't seen the jerseys or hats yet, so i have a feeling the name will change again once we see what color the team will be.


We're still praying and excited each time we get to spend with this kid. I can't wait for his first game-his classroom teacher and family will be coming out to cheer for him, and then after the games, the boys have tickets to the concession stand to get anything they want. such fun!

Mentoring Connections


last week was the Mentoring Connections Fundraiser Banquet. The mentoring program that we are a part of is in need of prayer and support-otherwise next week is the very last time we get to meet with our Mentees, because of the budget cuts our school district is going through.
Please Pray for this program-over 50 mentors and mentees will have to end their time together if we don't raise or recieve a special grant to continue the program.

Ryan and I have been personally blessed so much through this program. We got in touch with two kiddos and have spent consistent time each week with them. Ryan's little guy especially is a testimony of the program, because of the choices he was making when he started the mentoring program, and the good choices he's making now.

So, please keep the mentoring program in your prayers. We'd like to continue it next year with the kids!:)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

we are who we are...

...because of these two women in our lives.
Happy Mother's Day to both our moms!
We love you!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

what color would you like? "blue."

Do you remember this special marble?


I get to share it with you now.
I got this special marble from a special person in our lives. It was his treasure that he found. and he gave it to me.

Baseball season is starting. And blessings are a blooming.

We have the joy to sponsor this young man to play baseball.
We are his personal cheerleaders. his sponsers. Coaches. Encouragement that he desperately needs. so we're gonna do it in the stands and through baseball.

We're praying for this seven year old. alot. join us?:)
[signing his first baseball-he refused to play with it, because he wanted to display it and show it to everyone.]

Sunday, May 2, 2010

coastal comfort


summer is almost here, which means it's time to break in the new Rainbows so our lil toes can feel the sun!
Mom and dad brought both Ryan and I new Rainbows to replace our other ones-after many years, these are still the only flipflops that I wear -just a little bit of Coastal Carolina Comfort in the Midwest:) You can't find these here in Iowa, so we were happy to get these:)
thanks mom and dad!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

lighthouses, lakes, and skipping stones

just a fore-warning-this post has many pictures.
i've been looking through them over and over again: i still can't believe they were here in Storm Lake! The three days they spent here were some of my favorites.

the two men in my life: my daddy and my husband. two godly men that reflect the the Lord.
I am one blessed woman, having these two amazing men's love in my life.
i can't express how much i just love them.
my daddy is full of wise counsel and does it with so much love.
[daddy testing out the pulpit]
my mom. she is full of laughter and joy. she is so wise in her ways from following the Lord all these years. I think hearing her encouragement on how to be a wife and take care of my home and husband is some of the best advice I've ever gotten, because she not only shares this wisdom with me, but she lives it, and both Ryan and I see it. I love talking to my mom. I love her input. and her contagious laughter.
[mom wanted to see the church from ryan's view at the pulpit.]
[she was trying to skip stones on the water.]
my lil sister and i have had many years and summers together, just the two of us. i think not spending the summer with ashley will be what i miss most about going home for the summer. Ashley and I can entertain each other for hours, and no matter what we do, it's just fun because we're together. we stayed up late, camped out in the living room, took tons of pictures, and played outside together. It was so cool having her here in Storm Lake in my own home! I think a summer month with her in Storm Lake needs to be planned and played out.:)
[mom and dad took us out for a big lunch at a yummy mexican restaurant.]
[sweet sisters]

we spent alot of time by the lake, skipping stones, taking pictures, and talking. we try and savor every moment we have together. our family is pretty simple: just put us together and we're happy.
[skipping stones. mom and ashley attempted. dad, ryan and i were successful.;)]
walking as a family by the lake. parks in storm lake are so well maintained and pretty!
[incomplete: we're missing one gamboa girl. but it's a nice picture anyways.]

on their last night, ryan cooked dinner-fabulous fabulous steaks.

ashley and i switched turns sitting in the middle of the front seat. we liked having three people in the front. it was fun.

aren't my parents cute?

after having the family here, we feel refreshed, encouraged, and uplifted. it was a blessing to have them here, and we were sad to see them go. although the apartment seems so quiet now, it's a treat to think back at the beauty of the family's encouragement and love. can't wait til the next time we see ya'll!
we love you, mom, dad, peyton, ashley, and ate!
i am so thankful for my family.