Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Friday, February 27, 2009

Flashback Friday For My Honey

I LOVE this picture! It was taken at the airport as my friend Jennifer and I were leaving to join my sister in Europe for 3 weeks. In this picture are Jen's parents, my grandpa and his sister my Auntie D., my mom, me, Paul (he got all decked out to see me off), and Jen. I had just had surgery on my ankle and had this walking cast for most of the trip. It drew many stares! This picture does make me miss several people as they are no longer with us on this earth. Jen lost her dad to Multiple Myeloma a few years ago and my grandpa and aunt are both deceased as well. This photo brought a bittersweet smile to my face on many levels.
When I returned from my trip, my boyfriend at the time (Paul) presented me with a stack of love letters/poems he wrote (one for each day I was gone) and a room full of roses from my Auntie D's house. The room was filled with their beautiful fragrance! The flowers went all the way around the room:
Here is a side of my husband I bet most of you are not acquainted with:
Oh, he was a snazzy dresser too! Below, we are at a sorority dance. I was into straightening my hair for a while...after the perm and home coloring. It looked so healthy didn't it??? Paul doesn't seem to have changed though:
Posing for pics with Grandpa and Jo in historic Liberty, MO where we went to college.
If I remember right, we were doing some wedding planning here in front of the TV.
We had no idea what we were headed for, but God did! I am so thankful for a husband who is the leader of our family and who has made it a priority to be in the center of God's will for our family! I love you honey! You are a blessing to me!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Its Monday again, and I know you know by now what that means! Time for purging of consciences by being brutally honest in a backhanded, dishonest sort of way and confessing what happened to me last week by saying it didn't happen. Now that you are thoroughly confused, my work here is done! Now you will have NO idea what to think about what I am about to post here! If you want to see what others are denying, head over to MckMama's blog and check it out. Or read the rules and consider playing along yourself!

I did not just end almost every sentence with an exclamation mark. I do not overuse them on a regular basis. I have not tried to use them less but do not feel that writing without them lacks emotion!!! See what I mean??!? I did not take just take this picture because of where Holden's baseball pants were made. I did not include it for my friend Lisa to tell her I was thinking about her since receiving something made in the country they are waiting to adopt from! I am not hoping your wait for your "S" from El Salvador is short!

Gabriel did not take this picture from an airplane on Saturday. This is not our neighborhood. I wouldn't show you which house was ours, but that would require me to figure out those cool features of Picasa or some other photo editing software that I haven't got a clue about. I have all the time in the world to be editing my photos. I do it all the time. I would never post a picture SOOC (straight out of the camera as MckMama calls it)!! We are not 4 doors left of the empty lot near the bottom left corner. Its not easier to see if you click on the photo!
This is not Jeff Yannucceillo, he is not a pilot at Agape. Jeff did not just happen to be going up over Venice on Saturday to get some pictures and did not agree to take some of our kids. I did not send 3/4 of them up with Jeff and think later about something happening. I don't ever think THOSE types of thoughts. I did not think to myself that I was thankful that neither Paul or I had done anything permanent to keep us from having more kids. That was not more information than you ever wanted, I am sure!This is not them enjoying their flight without a care in the world!

Our church's softball team did not get CRUSHED on Friday night. I was not scared to death to be playing 2nd base. I did not have a blast at that position. It was not just the right amount of action, and I was not so thankful that the pop fly hit right at me was high enough for Matt who was playing shortstop to come and catch it for me! I am not chicken to catch those myself!
Going through the line, slapping hands and saying "Good game" did not bring back a flood of childhood memories! I am not excited for next Friday night! By the way, if you do not know us well enough, you are probably not wondering what happened to waffle night if we are playing softball on Friday nights. I certainly do not want you worrying about it, so I will not tell you that we have moved it to Saturday night. There, I am sure you will not sleep better knowing that!
I did not want to update you on the latest with my business venture. I have not currently sold 38 cleaning systems! We are not checking into having a printer do all the cards and dividers because this printing and cutting is not getting OLD fast! I am not building fabulous triceps with the paper cutter though :o) I did not send 12 systems back to Iowa for anyone interested in saving the shipping costs! Do not let me know ASAP if you want one! If you do not already have one, DO NOT tell all your friends and neighbors how much you love it! Word of mouth has not already gotten me a few sales (thanks Cindy). Do not go to my website to check out the colors available--since having a cute tin that matches your kitchen is really what its all about anyway!! There's those !! again!!

That is all I have this week. I wasn't sure if I had any material last night and considered not participating. But I haven't missed a week since she started this crazy carnival, and doggoneit, I wasn't gonna start now! Hope you've had a great week, happy not me-ing!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Flashback Friday for my sister!

I found these GREAT pictures of JoDee and I recently and (after I wiped the tears away from laughing so hard) thought I would post them for today's flashback! The one above was of us before one of our sorority dances. LOVE the hair!
College graduation! What an exciting day! Such relief and excitement to head out into the working world...what were we thinking??!?
And this one VERY NICELY showcases the SKINNY girls we WERE! I thought Jo would love to show this off to her class! Oh, how I miss those legs...sniff.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More about our time with our Iowa guests and the Marriage Conference

I guess I'll start by explaining that last Tuesday, Tom and Glenda Widmer arrived to help us prepare for the conference and see what our ministry is all about. Alayna helped me make homemade rolls to pass the last couple hours we awaited their arrival. It was hard to wait!! We had anticipated this visit for a while now and the kids couldn't hardly stand it that THE candy man was going to be staying in their home! The rolls turned out perfectly and were DELICIOUS (thanks to Stacy Housenga's recipe!) The time with Tom and Glenda went too quickly and before we knew it the weekend arrived and we headed off to the marriage conference. Here is Matt (our pastor) and his wife Amy at the conference:
We had close quarters compared to what we are used to (having the entire Grace sanctuary):
We had a great turn out, 15 couples.
We missed dinner in all our preparations, so after the Friday night session, we headed out to Applebees. From left: Taryl and Ann Bockelman, Rick and Carol Wyss, Paul and I, Amy and Clint Helmuth, and Ryan Prouty (he is a professional videographer and he came to shoot video of the conference for us):When we got back to the hotel, we found several couples in the lobby playing cards:All in all, the conference went very well. It was a much different experience for us than the previous conferences. The people here are very open and social and it seemed they had a fun time at the conference...a first for us, I do believe...In spite of it being such a different experience, leaving us unsure if anyone there had any problems to work out, the feedback we got was positive. Several people felt light bulbs were turned on and one couple said the conference radically changed their marriage. The results don't really matter. We have all (those of us who share our testimonies) learned that what matters is that we are obedient to God's prompting in our lives to share our stories and allow God to change the people and their circumstances.

Okay, shifting gears here. Tom Widmer spent a day at Agape with Paul. He snapped some pictures during the day. To refresh your memory, this is the hangar's mail area:

The carts are each for a different area of the island. The boxes on them have already been weighed and inventoried.
A really amazing thing happened that day. An unannounced delivery arrived from Cedar Rapids. These garbage bags are filled with new shoes to be sent to the island from Church of the Open Bible. When the truck pulled in, the driver never thought anyone at the hangar would know where Cedar Rapids was and he was shocked to find 2 men from that neck of the woods right in front of him! AND, this church is Clint Helmuth's dad's church! Clint did not know when the shoes were to arrive, and had only heard his dad mention it previously and didn't know they were coming through Agape Flights!
The Agape mail room, each missionary has a mail slot:
Agape was recently given new office equipment including desks and filing systems. Here is Paul's new set up:
Later in the week when everyone else started arriving, they visited the hangar too:
Tom is finally taller than Paul!
Amy and Tyler pose with the shoes from home:
While we were all at the marriage conference, Tom and Glenda had childcare duty. That was 7 kids 12 years old down to 1 year old! They got a QUICK parenting refresher course! Lesson #1: the binky is your friend! Lesson #2: babies need lots of cuddling.
Lesson #3: Bribery with chocolate is a very effective tool!
Lesson #4: When the chocolate is gone, bring out the popcorn balls! Here they took heart shaped popcorn balls from Grammy Sharon and Papa Marv (thanks so much!) and decorated them with icing and candy...because they didn't already have enough sugar in them!
Lesson #5: Send them outside to play. Here they are picking the last of the grapefruit. They picked over 40 from our 3 trees. The oranges are long gone from our one tree.
Lesson #6: leave the dirty work to the parents! Here is Paul keeping up with the weekly nail trimming every child gets and needs!
Lesson #7: Find fine literature to read to the children such as Walter the Farting Dog. Then teach them the diarrhea song to sing to their parents when they return.
Lesson #8 Leave before anyone is ready for you to go so they can't wait for you to come back again soon!As if watching the kids for the conference wasn't enough, the Widmers then insisted on sending us out on a date on Sunday night. They took the kids to the beach for the sunset and dolphin watching:

Taryl and Ann joined them:Paul and I were too tired for much, so we rented a couple movies and went to eat Thai food! No pictures...way too boring! We had a great time discussing my business strategy for my project and dreaming of what we would do if any profits were actually made! Then, to get some family time with the Simpsons, we joined them for a few hours at Busch Gardens. Here they are on the Montu:
Caitlyn wanted to see the Critter Castaway show and some rest was welcomed:
Here the dog and the trainer are'll have to take my word for it:
We were wiped out at the end of the day, but so glad to be with friends!
The kids didn't make a sound on the drive home since we allowed them to take the DVD player on the trip:
Life is getting back to normal here...very quiet during the day...only 6 mouths to feed...sniff, sniff! We were so blessed by the visit and so grateful for everyone's flexibility. Poor Ryan had to sleep on a mattress in the living/dining room. Glenda ended up being quite ill and spent a day in bed. Avery was sick on Thursday, and Amy on Saturday, but we didn't catch any of the Iowa germs and didn't seem to share any of our Florida ones. Thanks for everything everyone! You were the hands and feet of Jesus to us last week!