Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Man Escapes

We live about 1 mile from a state prison. On Sunday afternoon this man escaped. He climbed into a garbage can that was then taken from the grounds. He is still loose. Here is a picture showing how he did it.

Needless to say, that evening was not too fun. We received the call from our friend that this man was on the loose as we were leaving the church to walk home. I realized that I had not locked the house door when I left for church. So, Byron had to search the house for us before we could go in - while the kids and I stood out in the yard. The kids were terrified as you can imagine!!! I knew I would never be able to sleep that night so we headed out for my parents house. Byron had planned to leave in the morning to go hunting there anyways so we just left a few hours early!!

Once in a lifetime happened yesterday!

Kenton shot his first buck. I almost wasn't there to be part of it. Thanks to a convict escaping from our local prison, the kids and I went along. I am SO thankful I changed my plans and went along. It was a day that will never happen again in Kenton's life and nothing would have been worth missing it. For more in depth detail and info and LOTS of pictures see Byron's blog http://www.keepvillechurch.blogspot.com/ .
The abbreviated version of the day is this: Kenton shot a 2 point half rack. A perfect beginning for a 7 yr old hunter!!

Here's a couple of my favorite pics...

Ready for the hunt!

My 2 favorite hunters!

Mama & Kenton

Papa & Kenton

Sunday, November 25, 2007

So Now You Know

This morning as I entered the church Alyssa (almost 3) ran up to me and took my hand and excitedly led me into a room of our church that is combination storage/secretary's office. It has an old closet that is never used anymore. Probably hasn't even been opened for several years. Alyssa led me over to it and said, "Shhhhhhhh Mommy!"

Me: "Why do I need to be quiet Alyssa?"

Alyssa: "Because GOD is in there!!"

So now you know... here is where God is....

On a much more serious note: I do hope that we don't confine God to a "closet". However, I'm afraid that is exactly what some people do.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

All Good Things Must End (sadly enough)

We are home - safely!! Thank the Lord for a safe trip to and from the Heath's. My kids are quite sure we need to move there tomorrow. :-) As I was putting them to bed they were informing me that "life at Nicholas' house is so much more fun than here." LOL Here's a pic of the 7 kids.

Anyways... we are home and I can't express how much of a breath of fresh air it was to us getting to fellowship with Jonathan and Emily. We are still kinda smile when we think of 2 Florida people somehow met 2 PA people and have "clicked"! Isn't it fun to see how God guides our steps and along the way puts such fun things in our path? We tend to grumble at the pot holes and bumps on our path but God is so faithful to send the flowers and beauty along the way as well. The past few days have truly been that for us.

Jonathan & Emily, thanks SO much for the exceptional hospitality. You made us feel so "at home" and we left refreshed and encouraged. Emily, thanks so much for all you did for us even though you were not up to a house full of company.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wonderful Fun in Gratz!

We have spent the last couple days enjoying th fellowship of Jonathan & Emily Heath and their delightful boys. We have so thoroughly enjoyed fellowshipping with like minds. 7 kids in one house has been interesting too!!

Nicholas, Byron & Kenton, Jonathan & Vincent, and Mark Calderon

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, Angie!

Tomorrow my friend Angie has a birthday. I won't be on the computer tomorrow so I want to honor her today.

Angie and I have been friends for at least 5 yrs now. She and I live many many miles apart and rarely get to see each other but thanks to the computer, we "talk" everyday. Angie's careful Christian life challenges me daily. Angie carries more responsibilities on her shoulders than she should but she does it with grace, dignity and efficiency.

Angie has blessed my life in more ways than I can tell you. Angie, I love you girlfriend!!! Thanks for being such an example for me to follow. I hope your birthday is extraordinarily special - just like you!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Church Website Finally Get's Updated

For any/all of you who used to check our our church website - I have FINALLY updated it.

I will be adding more to it in the coming days as well.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Meeting Dylan & Maria

Because of Don's birthday party, we were able to finally meet Brian & Kirsten's baby and Mark & Lisa's baby. Fun!! Fun!!! Alyssa didn't want to bring Maria home with us but she DID want to bring Dylan home! We are SO happy for our friends, Brian & Lisa that they've married such GREAT people and now have adorable baby's.

Getting to meet Maria (6 weeks old)

Getting to meet Dylan (5 months old)

Someone sent me this and I thought I'd post it in case any of you all needed the encouragement like I do.


Author Unknown

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will.
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with the twists and turns,
AS everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out:
Don't give up through the pace seems slow.
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worse,
that you must not quit.

Happy Birthday, Don Fuller!!

Don Fuller, our good friend, turned 50 this past week. We were privileged to be able to surprise him (and Sue) and help him celebrate.

Don with his granddaughter, Maria (6 weeks)

Sue trying to make us all behave!

Picture of the Day!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Visit to Where it All Began

... For Kenton at least. Today we had the privilege of making a trip back to Aliquippa, Beaver Falls area (more blogging and pics about that to follow) and while we were there we took Kenton to see the hospital where he was born. He also saw (on a previous trip) the house where he spent the first 18 months of his life. It was fun to re-live the ride from our house to the hospital that April "night" (2:00 AM) and to remember the feelings of excitement and apprehension. This was my first time to have a baby so you can imagine how I felt! But now, 7.5 yrs later, its fun to remember!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My dear perfectionist husband

Honestly.... for the last 4 days I keep hearing about this dreadful 15 page paper that is due yesterday. I mean he has been staying up until 3:00 AM each morning to work on this. He's been spending ENTIRE days in his office on this thing. Anyways.... He's been stressing.

So, he turns it in last night at midnight and gets his grade this AM. He got an 89% on it. He was devastated. Completely blown away. So.... his prof told him to revise it and re-submit it by midnight tonight.

So..... I get the kids all settled in bed.... get him his favorite snack..... brew some tea for us..... and head to his office to give him moral support during this stressful and disappointing time.

While sitting there I say to him... "honey, hypothetically, what happens if you don't get any higher of a grade than the 89%?" So, he accesses all his prior grades up until now. GUESS WHAT???!!! If he gets no better than a 89% on this paper his average right now (even with the 89%) is 99%.

I about spit out my tea. I was like, "WHAT?!! You mean I've been feeling all sorry for you and letting you whine about your awful grades and then I find out THIS?!!!" I promptly got up and left. I said, "Honey, if you want to sit here in front of this computer and go over that stupid 15 page paper simply to bring your grade from a 99% to a 100% - go for it but I have more important things to be doing." GRRRRR!!!

So, for my perfectionist hubby, I have found a new motto that he must recite each night before going to sleep..... "I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."Michael J. Fox

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Letter From Jesus About Christmas

Dear Children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime. How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish. I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth, here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love, and remember:


P.S. I (Julie) did not write this. The author is unknown.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Can Anyone Help Me?

I am looking for a soundtrack of Christmas music for a alto saxophone. I have "googled" but can't seem to come up with anything. I am specifically looking for "O Holy Night" but any Christmas song would be helpful. And ideas, anyone?

Say "Thanks" to a Soldier

If you go to this web site,


you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send
one!!! It is FREE and it only takes a second.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Welcome, Sweetheart!!

Welcome to the "Blog World" Sweetheart!!! If you want to keep track of Byron you can check you his blog at http://keepvillechurch.blogspot.com/

Vincent Gets an Early Present

I'm sure he is hoping that the rest of his presents are more fun!! After several months of listening to Vincent breathing with difficulty during the night and more recently the last 3 days of labored breathing, we finally took him to the doctor. His doctor had previously prescribed Cingulair and Allegra (and I guess we are to continue them). However, last night his breathing was enough to scare me to death. He was gasping for breath in his sleep. With each breath he would almost moan. So, this AM we made the appointment. After examining him she prescribed a nebulizer with Albuterol 4x a day. He had a treatment at the doctor's office and she said she could tell a difference right away. So.... I guess the diagnosis of asthma is certainly not something we are happy for but we are thankful it isn't anything more serious.
P.S. The doctor neglected to tell me that the Albuterol would turn my docile, almost mopey little guy into a wild little boy with more energy than he's had in his entire 5 yrs of life!!! HELP!!!! I asked him if the medicine made him feel funny inside and without hesitating he said, "YES!"

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's UP!!

Our Christmas tree is finally up!! I've been working on it since Tuesday. I don't have the other decorations up yet but I'm working on it!!! So far I have 2 of 4 (maybe 5) trees up. Only one of those are big. The others are small trees (in the kids rooms, in the entryway, etc. Anyways... I took a pic of the tree but they look awful... so... more pics to follow...

Oh, and in case you are wondering why we put our tree up so early - we have good reason!! Up until last year we would put up the tree/decorations right after Thanksgiving. Well, in a parsonage, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas flys by faster than Santa and his reindeer so last year we decided to put the decorations up the week of Kendra's birthday - which is October 30th. So, because of Pastoral Leadership Conference we didn't get to do it then but we did this week!!

Amazing Story

A friend of mine posted this on another forum I am on. I was amazed and had to share with you all. (By the way, I simply copied my friends post so if you see this Deirdra, I hope you don't mind!!!)

This guy has an amazing voice! This is a story about a guy, a guy like most of us, common, questioning his existences, measuring himself to others, never believing in his abilities or his worth.

Then one day, his passion outgrew his fears as he stepped onto a stage, a stage that took him to a place beyond his self imposed prison.

Watch the faces of the judges as this guy walks out on the stage. You can almost see what they're thinking as they pre-judge this guy based on his looks and the fact that he's a cell phone salesman.

Maybe this guy stopped believing in what people told him for so many years and ultimately started listening to his passion.

Here's the first audition. I can't figure out how to "embed it" like the second audition... anyways... go see this one first....


THEN.... click on the arrow.......

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas!!

We woke up to SNOW today!! YEAH!!!! My kids were ECSTATIC! Here's some views from last winter.....

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday I want to specifically thank God for keeping his hand on our family particularly the last couple weeks. We have driven well over 1000 miles just in the last 2 weeks and never had even one problem with our "not so new" vehicle. I'm sure we have no idea how many accidents or mishaps the Lord sheltered us from. I thank Him for His protection!

Trick or Treat 2007

Since Byron wasn't home last night, we took the kids tonight. We ended up only going to 3 families but we had planned to go to a couple more. The kids got FAR more candy than they should eat in 2 years!!! My original plan was for the kids to be Goldilocks and the 3 bears. Well, I could not find brown sweatshirts/sweatpants ANYWHERE so I went to the Dollar Store (Everything's 1.00) and I found these costumes. The whole set (for each kid) was only 1.00!!! I was SO excited!!