Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Holden

Holden turned EIGHT years old on Monday! We celebrated over the weekend with a trip to Myakka River State Park to go fishing. He got to invite 5 friends and we took Grammy, JoJo and the Johnson's to help with the fishing poles. We had such a great spite of the fact that no one even had a single bite from a fish. Yes, its true, we took all those kids to a fishing birthday party and no one caught anything! AND, I don't have pictures of the fishing part because someone else took them I haven't downloaded them yet. Believe it or not, it was a really fun day!
Friday we started decorating Holden's cake. He chose to have a dragon cake...because that goes perfectly with the fishing theme, right?? Anyway, I found a picture of one in a magazine and we copied it. IT WAS HUGE! I needed to use a boogie board covered in foil to put it on! It used a doubled cake recipe and 3 batches of rice crispies! It was definitely one of my favorite cakes that I have done! We had been at our church's Bible school (thus the orange t-shirts) and we started when we got home. It took several hours, but everyone (including Grammy and JoJo) helped and it went smoothly and was lots of fun! Riley took pictures to chronicle the monstrous (pun intended) job.
Here, we have assembled all the parts and made all the rice crispies and formed all the parts. The head, neck and tail were rice crispies and the body was the velvet of course. My kids haven't had any other kind of cake for their birthdays! Because I love it and I also love that I have four reasons to make it each year!!! Can you tell its on the boogie board? How about JoDee's sunburn??? We had spent the afternoon on Thursday at the beach learning to skim board. She used sunscreen and sat under the umbrella and still ended up FRIED!
Frosting got spread on the head and tail and dotted on the rest of the body. I was surprised by how quickly it went!
It was hard to get at all the curves of the neck! I had to sit on the table several times. Notice the war wound from skim boarding on my knee?? Yeah, I might be getting too old for this type of stuff...MIGHT.
Everyone helped out!
Holden LOVED his cake!
He kept calling it a "fire breathing alligator"...he might have been on to something! Without the tongue, it looked a lot like an least that was appropriate for the Myakka trip!

After the unsuccessful fishing trip, everyone met back at our house for ice cream and cake. We just couldn't figure out how to get that overgrown cake to the river! Holden chose where the candles were to go, his favorite part! He didn't think about getting them all blown out in one breath though. It wasn't possible! The boys loved cutting into the cake and seeing the red cake inside! Boys will be boys!!

Holden, its been such a fast eight years! You are growing up so fast! You have handled all the curve balls we have thrown at you over the past year and done so well. You have made friends and adjusted so well to living in Florida. You are such a trooper and my favorite toilet cleaner! I love that you are so willing to help me out around the house without complaining! You are so important to our family! You are always making us laugh! I love listening to you play with Alayna in your fantasy world of Narnia or Middle Earth or pretending to be transformers! You have such a good time together and it warms my heart to see you loving her like that! You are so special! I am so thankful that God chose our family as the place for you to grow up. We pray that we will continue to learn all about you and raise you with understanding of the way you should go. We love you very much!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Changes: a letter from Paul

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I write this letter to each of you after much labored prayer, thought and insight from a few of you. First and foremost, I want to thank you and encourage you in your walk with Christ, confirm in you that He is in control and knows everything that is happening and that is going to happen.

Today I present to you a stirring change for our family, not from ministry, but to further focus what we do. I am resigning from my position at Agape Flights to begin full time work in our local church as a family type pastor (my title is yet to be determined). I have seen many wonderful things occur at Agape: my trips to Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the ministries that Agape supports; the addition of the King Air to Agape’s service; the claimed lives of non-believers being brought to Christ in our hangar, especially one who gave her life to the Lord two weeks before her death; the dedication and willingness to get an engine replaced on the King Air on the tarmac in the Bahamas. With all of this on my heart, God has made it clear to me that my time at Agape Flights is complete. He has confirmed that I need to be making disciples, counseling, and teaching them in the things of God. This is necessary for us to spread the gospel to the nations. If we are not making disciples and bringing them to freedom in Christ, other nations will need to send missionaries to us, and in fact, they already are.

I will be transitioning out of my current position at Agape Flights within the next eight weeks. Then, I will be partnering with The Bridge Church in Venice, Florida. We have been intimately involved with this church since we arrived. This fall, I will go through the Caring for the Heart internship program in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is the ministry that we have referenced in our Free to Love marriage conferences. I may also be trained as a financial counselor to serve the people of the church and the community in which we live. There will be no charges for this or any other counseling that I may do. This ministry position will allow me to do what God has placed on my heart: to be closely involved in the lives of people, believers and non-believers alike, to bring them to a relationship with Christ and walking with them along the way.

What does this mean for you? Today, I ask that you continue to pray for us. This is a transition as much for you as it is for us. We will answer the questions that you have as thoroughly as we can. We are doing fine, we are in agreement as a family, and in reality, we are closer than we have ever been. We ask that you stop your giving to our support at Agape Flights, and if God leads you, begin sending it to the following address or call the church office at 941-484-3339 to set up automatic payment:

The Bridge Church

528B East Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

Please place “Prachar Family” in the memo. This will ensure that we are not a burden to the church. The Bridge Church is a small body of believers who cannot afford to add me as staff unless you are able to continue partnering with us. It is my vision as it is the vision of the church leadership, that as the church grows, it will be able to take on a larger responsibility, and over time the church will take on my salary completely. We will re-evaluate where the church stands financially in one year and make adjustments as necessary. Please know this: I will continue to counsel and disciple even if I do not receive a salary. This is what God has called me to do.

Please join us in this transition. You all are on our hearts; we cannot thank you enough for bringing us to this point, and bringing us to the throne of grace in intercessory prayer. With your assistance we will be able to serve as agents for the Holy Spirit to bring individuals and families to freedom in Christ. Thank you and we love you all.

In Christ,

Paul and Travis Prachar

**Be looking for a letter coming in the mail that will include our current contact information after our recent move. We just wanted to be as timely as possible with this information once the decision was made to move on.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Oh, what we will do for free food...

Chick-Fil-A had their giveaway day on Friday. That meant if you went in to the store in full cow costume, you got a free meal. It was just what we needed because we were sitting at our garage sale all morning and had no fancy plans for lunch afterward. We did our garage sale at our friends Harvey and Felicia Johnson's house. They moved in just down the street from us just a couple weeks before we moved. They helped us out tremendously and also offered for us to place any items that didn't make the cut after we moved in their garage sale. That location was PRIME and we had a steady stream of shoppers both days!

Anyway, getting back on track...The site had a "starter kit" that I printed off on line onto card stock that included cow's ears and a nose/mouth. We snagged some old t-shirts of Paul's and drew spots on them and wrote the slogan "Eat Mor Chik'n" on the back. Riley was adamant that he wasn't wearing any of the costume. He didn't want to make a shirt, and he was definitely too cool to wear the ears or nose!! I said that was fine, but he would have to sit and watch everyone eat. He came around before we left:

Sarah had NO reservations however! She even found her sunglasses matched!

The ears needed to be taped in place or they wouldn't stay. We all risked the loss of hair for the sake of the ears!
Such good sports!Here is the proof that we actually went out in the mall food court no less! NINE people all walking into the mall dressed this way caused quite a spectacle. I just kept my sunglasses on and pretended not to notice.

We ditched the costumes and sat down to our NINE free meals. We got to choose any meal from the menu (that included fries and a drink too!) and got free refills. I even let the kids choose whatever soda they wanted (now that was a really big treat...each of the boys chose something with caffeine!!) Happy faces and full bellies! Riley even said it was all worth it and that he would do it again!!

Thanks to my friend Kate for the tip and forwarded e-mail with the details about this special by Chick-Fil-A! It reminded me a lot of Melanie's experience last year (that I thought was just a few months ago and surprised me that it was so long ago), but I had so much fun reading back through your blog Melanie! I guess we have something to look forward to once a year...we'll save the t-shirts for next time!

So, after all the moving chaos has subsided and the garage sale is over, we decided we were ready to enjoy a day of relaxing. After lunch today, Sarah, Gabe, Holden, Alayna and I drove over to the community pool for our neighborhood (bigger pool with no screens, more like a real outdoor pool...oh, and it has fabulous lounge chairs...because any chairs would be an improvement over our nonexistent ones!!) Anyway, we were only there about an hour when Alayna had a slight accident. She jumped into the pool but didn't jump out far enough and hit her face on the edge on the way in. She handled it really well and we went straight home for a bandaid and ice. This is how she looks after serious icing:

...almost unrecognizable! She is such a trooper and hasn't complained another second, I am just worried about what she will look like in the morning! So much for relaxing! I hope I will have more time this week to catch you all up on what we are up to. Its time to get the kids to doing some fun things, now that the craziness of moving is behind us! We are so enjoying having another girl in the house to balance out the testosterone in this place. Sarah, you are such a blessing and we will miss you when you go home! I am so glad you are staying longer! John and Kim, thanks for sharing her!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just for Kim!

We are officially on line at the new house!! WOOHOO! Kim (who is very visual) was disappointed that there was no picture of the outside of the house, so here it is...what the tree doesn't hide! You may notice the neighbor's houses as well...yes, they are that close!! I am still unpacking, sorting and organizing, but we are getting there! Today we took the day off to play games and we are traveling up north to a Big Daddy Weave concert. Hopefully soon I will have time to update you on the chaos that is our lives. There is much to tell, please keep us in your prayers as we are enduring an unexpected hardship right now. Psalm 142 pretty much sums it up.