Saturday, September 29, 2007


When we lived in Ft. Myers, every Friday after school (if everyone had a great week) we would stop at a 7-11 and get Slurpees. Since the kid's new schools are in a very rural area, there really isn't a place to get Slurpees anywhere close. Needing to find a new tradition, we stumbled upon Bruster's Real Ice Cream. This place is amazing and the ice cream was incredible! Paige had Cake Batter (best I've ever had!), Abby had Cookie dough (with real spoonfuls of real dough!) and Carter had Cotton Candy Explosion (tasted just like real cotton candy with Pop Rocks mixed in). We had a great time and I am hoping everyone has another great week so I can try the new fall flavors next Friday - Apple and Pumpkin Spice! Yum, Yum!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rolling Hills

There is a set of three rolling hills on the backroad that leads to Paige's school. Every afternoon on our way home, all three kids raise their hands and holler as if we were riding Sheikra (Oh man do I miss Busch Gardens!). It's been a month now, and they still do this every day! So far, it hasn't gotten old. I often wonder how long it will take until they just ride those hills without even noticing. Maybe they will be too absorbed in a book, their homework or just watching the scenery. I imagine one day, probably not that far off, those hills will just become part of the "ride" to and from school. These last few months I have realized many things about myself. One of those being that I really didn't notice the hills very often. I often spent each day, very much like the last. Not really seeking the Lord's will, but kinda just riding "the ride". I'm not proud to say that, but it's true. I went to work, I went to church, back to work and sometimes I even made a trip home! My life was very routine, crazy, but very, very routine. Now I find myself searching for detours, absorbing all I can and putting the Lord first in everything I do. Proverbs 3:5 & 6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." I am convinced that the more "hills" I have in my life, the straighter my walk with Him becomes. Maybe that's not true for everyone, but for me, it seems to make me sit up and take notice. Like I've said before, He knows our every fiber. I know our lives as Christians do not make us immune to trials and tribulations. But I know that each trial brings me closer to Him and for that I am eternally grateful!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Less Is More

I just finished reading Andy Stanley's, "Choosing to Cheat - who wins when work and family collide". To be honest I didn't choose this book for any reason in particular. I picked it up in the office while looking for something to read in the parent pick up line. In the first few paragraphs I was hooked! Where has this book been hiding?? As I began reading the foreword I thought to myself, "Rusty should have read this years ago." But the minute those thoughts entered my mind, I myself was convicted. For years we thought we had it so right. We lived at church. What better place to be all the time? Right??? Sometimes 5 nights a week we were there. Almost always as a family. I remember thinking how lucky we were that we all were there together. Looking back, we had it all so wrong. We were both cheating our family and we were both willing participants. Rusty would say, "Christmas pageant is coming, see ya in January!" and I would say, "If you wanna come visit, I'll be in the preschool!" We would laugh and shrug it off, meeting later as a family over Chic-Fil-A in one of the classrooms. Looking back it all seems so foreign to me. Was that our life? Is that what we want our kids to remember? Is that the legacy we want for our family? Rusty and I made a recommitment to ourselves, our family and our marriage, months ago, long before this book came into our lives. We promised to make our family our priority. It amazes me daily, how He rewards and blesses us for that commitment we made before Him. Don't make the same mistakes many families have made, don't cheat the ones you love. Why devote so much of your time to something you know you will leave, and so little time to those you come home to at night? We are so fortunate to be part of a team that puts family before work and I thank God for the opportunity to serve Him, right here, right now.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

fall is here!

I am so excited... fall, the actual season, not just where it says "Fall Begins" on the calendar, is finally here! The weather is cooling, you can feel it in the air and in the breeze, it is so beautiful! I grew up in Florida, only venturing out of state for a few vacations here and there, so the idea of actually watching the seasons change is very exciting to me. The leaves are beginning, every so slightly to change colors and in a month they will be brilliant yellows, reds and orange. I can't wait....We spent the day traveling to Hendersonville, NC to take the children apple picking. None of us have ever done this before, so those of you that may be old hands at this, please humor me! We had no idea what we were doing but the kids loved every minute of it! We drove two and a half hours to get there and they had two bushels picked in all of about 45 minutes. I have no idea of what we are going to do with all these apples, so if anyone has any good apple recipes, please send them my way! Here are a few pictures of the apple pickin' in Hendersonville...

Monday, September 10, 2007

ridge church

Last night was Ridge Church's public launch. It was awesome! There were two hundred and seventy-five people in attendance and everyone had a wonderful time. Worship was amazing- our band (and Brandy) are phenomenal! It was amazing to see all the hard work finally become a reality. We have only been part of this journey for a little over 4 months, so I can't even begin to imagine how Chris and Angie must have felt to see it all come together! God is so good! They have been so faithful and the Lord has used them and the rest of the incredible team in such a mighty way! Only 6 more days and we get to do it all over again! Do you know how long it has been since I have felt so lucky to "get" to do church?? Dave & Christy, Steve & Brandy, Megan and David all made the journey to be here and be a part of this adventure God has placed us on. From the bottom of our hearts, "Thank You", it meant more to us then you will ever know! I know many more of you were praying for us this weekend. We felt those prayers and appreciate all the support you have always given our family. The above are a few pictures of weekend events. Continue to pray for the Ridge team and the people the Lord continues to place in our path.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Launch Day

Well, it's finally here! Ridge Church's official launch is this Sunday, September 9th! Several good friends are making the trek, some are already here and the final prep work is being done. I can't wait to see what God has planned for Ridge! The Lord has brought together a talented team of people passionate for sharing Jesus' love with the Charlotte area. They are truly amazing! Be praying for them and the people who will be there on Sunday. God is doing some awesome things in and through Ridge Church and my prayer is that this is just the beginnning! Stay tuned for all the details and pictures on Monday.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day Surprise!

On Friday morning my sister Sam called and asked about our Labor Day weekend plans. When I told her, "Not much, just hangin' out at home", she then said, "Want some company?" I was beside myself and nearly shouted, "Come on!" We ended up meeting them at the airport Friday night. We didn't tell the kids they were coming. We used the excuse that Daddy is flying out at the end of the month and Mommy needed to know how to get to the airport (not a real stretch since I still have absolutley no idea how to get anywhere but Target!). They bought it, and it was a sweet surprise for them. We had a great time catching up and did some fun local things. One of them was the Matthews Alive! festival put on by the town of Matthews, NC. It was great! Beautiful fall weather and lots of yummy, fattening food! The kids had fun riding the rides and trying their luck at the carnival games. I miss them so, but we had a wonderful time and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. (Not really, but that's what I keep telling myself)