Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, September 25, 2010


This past week, some dear friends gave us a wonderful vacation. They sent us to Branson to their time share.
It was beautiful and so very restful and refreshing!! They knew we needed it! The pool was very, very relaxing!!

Branson feels very "touristy". So much traffic. Cars from Maryland, Ontario, Ohio, Virginia..... They come from all over! We aren't so much into "touristy". Which is why we really like the Marriot Willow Ridge lodge where we stayed. It felt very quite secluded.

We went to see friends from long time past, Jerry and Jeannie Giles (parents to Marshal and grandparents to Danny, Ryan and Casey). We used to be in the young family Sunday School class together even before Mindy and Tyler were born. They now live just outside of Branson. Out in the boonies! They have such a quaint home, filled with antiques. They have redone the home and still in process of redos. And making a guest house too (it used to be a donkey shed and also a pig house...all redone and you would never know!)

Jeannie is very good at gardening. It looks like something out of a magazine. Jerry would laugh because he said that she picked pictures from magazines and told him "This is what I want" and he would fix it for her.
We went to Florentina's Italian restaurant for pizza. Wonderful!! 2 hours of catching up and laughing together. Jerry and Jeannie used to live in Zaire and we went to visit them there many years ago when our kids were just little.

We did take in 2 shows while in Branson. They came recommended.
Noah - they wouldn't let us take pictures inside. We did the behind the stage thing before the show started. Got to go up on the stage to see all those props and also some animals. If I had ever had a real job (besides being a mom who stayed home with the kids), I would have loved to have been someone who makes props for plays. I did some prop making for school and some plays at church, but wouldn't it be awesome to make props like these that are 45 feet high??!

and we also went to see S I X. Six brothers who sing not only harmonies, but can make percussion noises, instruments and also that sound that you hear when you go to the movies right before the movie starts. They gave a tribute to their mother (who died of cancer at age 52) which was precious. They were so funny too! Just really amazing!! The place is a sell out almost every night.

We also went on the Branson scenic railway that goes into Arkansas.

These were vintage trains from the 50's and 60's that the city has purchased. We rode in the dome so we could see.

Here we are entering a tunnel. It doesn't quite look safe - almost like we are going into some mine shaft or something!

After 4 wonderful days, we started our trip home. We decided to make a stop here, at the Sandstone Gardens in Joplin. We have been by this place tons of times (since it is on the way to see the kids in Arkansas) but we had never stopped. WOW!! Very worth the stop!! Doesn't it look like some European estate or something? I thought it was a garden nursery, but although they do sell statuaries for your garden, it is more like a huge decorating store. Like Kirklands on steroids! There is even a bistro to eat at. I told Al it is a very girly place that my Bible study would love to go to! Just a little far to drive though.
And since we weren't in any big hurry to get home, we decided to take an adventure and take a different way home. We took the historic Route 66 through the southern end of Kansas.

We passed pecan orchards, gently rolling plains, lazy towns, pastures with cattle, many wild flowers. Most of the area was not tilled for farming. The ground is too rocky. Went through the southern part of the Flint Hills.
I have no idea what this building used to be. I could guess.

We could see thunderheads in the distance. Jill phoned to tell us that it was thundering and that storms were coming into Newton. And sure enough, before we got home, we ran through some mighty heavy rain.

Well, the Bible says "Refresh others, and you yourself will be refreshed." So, dear friends, I hope He returns the favor to you. Thank you for your very generous gift to us!! We have been refreshed!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Run for Hope


This weekend our church had the kick off for our Judgement House. Keeping pace with this year’s JH theme, “Hannah’s Hope,” the story of a young girl’s fight with cancer, we had a day to honor and/or remember those who are battling all forms of cancer.

There was a 5K run/walk. Around 220 participated.

And they're off!

The walkers and strollers.

Our son came in 3rd (didn't get a picture of that) and Adam came in 9th.

Our girls helped hand out water bottles.

Josh shares his water with Elijah.

Al ran with Jill. At the end she pulled ahead of him to beat him.

Dinner was pulled pork sandwiches, chips, drink and cookie.

Luminaries were placed around the church to honor or remember a loved one affected by cancer. There were others - my good friend, Debbie Fry. Della Loewen. Jane Busenitz....

Returning guest and recording artist, Andrew Peterson along with Ben Shive sang and led us in worship. Andrew was not feeling well and one of our doctors diagnosed him with bronchitis. He was put on some meds and he did a great job and was able to do the entire concert. Thank you, Andrew!

(Adam, this pic is for you)

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

"...resting on the hope of eternal life, which God who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time..." Titus 1:2

"May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13