Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Friends

 I love how God intersects our path with others in the most unusual and unexpected ways!  The youth minister at our church met some young people from China that were working in Natchitoches, La.  He began bringing them to church and they introduced him to some students working for Burger King in Coushatta.  Of course, he invited the ones working in Coushatta to church and they came!  This is where our paths intersected.  Amy and Wales came to church one Wednesday night and I introduced myself to them and began to ask questions.  I was very interested in knowing what brought these very educated and talented students to work at Burger King in Coushatta.  First, you must know that Coushatta is a very small town in Louisiana with a very limited amount of things to do...that's putting it nicely.  These precious Chinese students told us that they were here on a work and travel experience to learn more about the American culture and work to have money to spend while they were here.  I about choked when I thought about them learning about American culture in Coushatta!!  Don't get me wrong, I love where we live and know that God has placed us here for a reason but bringing Chinese people to Coushatta to learn about our culture...that's funny.  Unless they want to know how to hunt, fish, or work in the oil industry.  Anyway, I love people from other countries and embraced this opportunity to tell them about JESUS!  It all started the night that we met and Amy told me she was very interested in Christianity!!  I took that opportunity and gave them an invitation to our home which they were very excited to accept.  I told them I would buy the groceries if they would cook.  What a deal!  We got the better end of it!  Before they came to eat and cook, I learned that there were actually five of these students living in a very small apartment in Coushatta.  They were more than excited to get to cook in a large kitchen.  It was a party waiting to happen.  Four of them came and we had a great time!
Echo, Amy, Robert and Wales hard at work.  Robert is not the typical Chinese man as you can tell by his size!  He is a giant in China.
The girls doing the prep work.

The boys started making dumplins and they gave the kids and Mrs. Marilyn lessons!

The smells were heavenly!

You can't find Chinese food that tastes this good in a restaurant.  It was amazing! Pork, beef, chicken, dumplins, and eggs!
The food was scrumptious but the fellowship was the sweetest!
After the meal, we shared in a sweet time of fellowship and sharing the gospel.  Using the EvangCube, we shared the gift of salvation that God has given us through His son, Jesus.  They soaked up every word and asked some very intellectual questions.  This evening forged a very sweet friendship that I will cherish forever.  I know that the seed was planted and someone else will water and I pray that the harvest will be reaped in time.  They may have come to learn more about the American culture but I believe that they learned something greater that will have an impact on their lives and affect others in years to come.

The next four weeks were spent building these relationships.  We gave them rides and brought them to church.  They were eager to come every time they were off of work.  We even taught them about grilled cheese sandwiches and brownies (thanks to Mrs. Marilyn) which they loved!  The boys left first after about three weeks of knowing them and it was hard to say goodbye.  The girls stayed about two more weeks and in that time we made plans for them to see a little bit of Louisiana that would be considered "culture."  My sweet mother-in-law came to pick them up and take them to her house in Baton Rouge.  While there they toured LSU (which Echo loved and wants to come back and go to school there), the state capitol, ate at some nice restaurants, met some wonderful people who loved on them and shared some more of JESUS with them.  One of my favorite stories is them meeting my MIL's pastor and wife who have adopted a child from China.  This child is a female with special needs.  The girls were amazed that someone with a healthy biological family would adopt a female from China with special needs.  The pastor related their story to our adoption story of how God adopts us (with our special needs) through His son Jesus.  Talk about bringing it close to home....they could understand that!  My MIL also planned a special day for the girls in New Orleans where they went to the N.O. Cooking School and  were able to taste and see some authentic Louisiana dishes!  They also went on a carriage ride, ate at Cafe du Monde and went to an art studio(Echo is a fine arts major).  They began to call my MIL their American Mama!  This tickled her pink.  I think the end of their time in Louisiana was the icing on the cake. 

Saying goodbye!

Their American Mama!
They might have had a less than ideal time in Coushatta compared to other students around our nation on the same program but I think they will remember our time spent together forever.  I know they are forever engraved in my heart.  I love and miss them very much as does my family.
Thank you God for new friends in China!

Catching Up...Levi turns 8!

Well..it's been a LONG time!  And I have a LOT of catching up to do!  I'm trying to take advantage of this very rainy, Mardi Gras day to do just that.  I'm going to rewind to September 2012.  A very important event happened on the 28th day of September.

My very energetic, rambunctious, hilarious, sweet boy turned EIGHT!  His birthday fell during a very busy time in our calendar so we had to celebrate on the go!  We started the morning with our traditional birthday pancakes!

That evening he had two friends come over to spend the night.  We ate supper at Clara Springs Baptist Encampment for the fourth Friday fish fry and the boys enjoyed running around and tossing a football.  After returning home, they watched a movie while camped out in the living room.  

The next morning came early as the children from church had a field trip planned to the 
Louisiana Baptist Children's Home in Monroe.  
The kids delivered food that the church had collected for the children's home and they toured the campus.  It was a very educational and informative trip.
We ended the trip with a meal at Johnny's Pizza House.
A great time was had by all.  We learned that birthdays on the go aren't all that bad!
Happy 8th Birthday Levi!
We love you.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School

Now that summer has come and gone, we are getting back into a school routine.  It's always harder for me to get back into this routine than it is for the kids!  They have done a great job setting their alarms and getting up early to get to school on time.  Our goals for this year are:  No tardies! No Conduct  Marks! and Good Grades!
3rd Grade
5th grade
Our principal Mrs. Wright
Third grade teacher Miss Pool
 It has been a successful start and we are looking forward to a great school year!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Recap

It has been a fun and busy summer and it is quickly coming to an end!  I know you've been dying to know what we have been doing so here is a picture collage recap of our summer! :)

As soon as school let out in May, we headed to Houston to watch the boys of summer play!  We were rooting for the Chicago Cubs but once again they disappointed us with a loss.  Although they lost, we really enjoyed the game.  The Astros stadium is indoors so it was quite comfortable and there was an energetic atmosphere.  It was a great way to kick off our summer of fun!

After returning from Houston, it was potato diggin' time!  My parents have quite a large vegetable farm and my kids are the happiest when they can help in the garden field!  When Papa called and said it was time to dig potatoes, we took a road trip to the farm.  The kids had a grand time playing in the dirt! :)
Potatoes taste so much better when they are fresh from the ground.  My mouth is watering now...

Catching up with friends is another highlight of our summer.  We started things off right with a visit to my best friend"s home to take a dip in the pool, have a water balloon fight and bite into a juicy watermelon!  That watermelon was so yummy that it made our eyes cross (check out Levi's silly picture)!
Friends make the summer so much sweeter!

VBS....Vacation Bible School!  I have to say that this is one of the most anticipated adventures of the summer.  VBS always takes us on an adventure through the Bible and around the world!  This year's theme was Amazing Wonders!  We journeyed to the seven wonders of the world and learned about our Awesome God and His Amazing Power.  Next year....we will be hanging on tight as we face our fears and trust God with Colossal Coaster World!  It's sure to be the time of our life!

Summer is not complete without a mission trip!  The past four summers I have left part of my heart in Brazil.  The people there are so loving and eager to hear the gospel.  This year God showed out in a huge way!  We traveled to a city that we had never worked in and over 4500 people made decisions to follow Christ!!  Next year, we will return and work along side our brothers and sisters in Christ to continue to share the gospel in Montes Claros, Brazil!  To God be the Glory!

Last week, our annual Summer Musical Activites for Kids took place.  It's an intense week of singing, drama and FUN!  The musical this year told the story of Noah and the kids did a dynamic job of telling about God's salvation through singing and acting. 

Now we are gearing up for another school year and saying goodbye to summer....until next year!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Softball season is here again!  Claire and Levi are both much improved from last year.  Their daddy has been keeping up with their stats on Facebook in hopes that they will be drafted to the major leagues one day!  We will just have to wait and see!  In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy our Dusty Cut league.
Levi is the 10th batter.  That means he is the clean up guy and he has hit a grand slam on more than one occasion!

And she SCORES!!
Daddy has been helping coach first or third base.

Awards Day 2012

Claire and Levi both had a very successful school year!  They have both proved to be good learners and they always put forth their best effort to make the honor roll.  They were both rewarded for their hard work this year and I have to say that they have made their momma and daddy proud! 
We are so thankful for a principal who pushes our students to achieve success and teachers that care and pour their hearts into teaching!  As much as we enjoyed this school year, we are thrilled that SUMMER is finally here!  Bring on the SUMMER FUN!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Heading Home

After a great stay in Pigeon Forge, it was finally time for us to head home.  We decided to stop for a little more sightseeing in Chattanooga, TN which was on our way home.  Our first stop was at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.
The next stop was the Incline Railway, one of the steepest passenger trains in the world.  This train takes you straight up Lookout Mountain where you can enjoy the scenic views of the mountains and valleys.  There are also many points of  Civil War interest at the top of Lookout Mountain but for times sake we didn't get to visit these sites.
View from the top of Lookout Mountain
After descending the mountain on the train, we drove back up the mountain to Rock City.  The beauty of Rock City was amazing.  There are massive rock formations, hundreds of native plants and beautiful panoramic views.  Oh yea...they have Gnome Village and Fairyland Caverns too!
Mushroom Rock
Lover's Leap
Fat Man's Squeeze

Hansel and Gretel
Last stop in Chattanooga....Ruby Falls.  Ruby Falls is America's highest underground waterfall.  We wandered through the cave that Leo Lambert reopened to the public in 1938.  Ruby Falls is named after his wife Ruby.

Not sure what Levi is pouting about?
We traveled a few more hours after leaving Chattanooga and spent the night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  My favorite part of the whole day took place in Tuscaloosa.  I was able to connect with a friend from seminary and actually got to see her face to face for the first time in 10 years!  We picked up where we left off and had a grand time eating mexican food, catching up and listening to our kids get to know one another.
My sweet friend, Tanya

Acting like brothers and sisters! 

We were all wore out from our wonderful vacation!!