Friday, September 28, 2012


Two years ago today my sweet Nana went to be with Jesus. 
It's hard to believe that much time has passed already. 
I miss her and think about her often.

Anyone who knew Nana knew that she loved butterflies. They were her favorite. Just a couple of days ago a beautiful butterfly landed just a few feet from me and just sat there on the stones fluttering its wings.

Each time I see a butterfly I can think of my Nana and smile.
Smile remembering all the wonderful times we had together and the memories made.
Smile knowing that I will see her again one day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Destin 2012

Jason and I spent the last week in Destin, Florida with my parents. 
It was an absolutely fabulous vacation.
I love the beach.
I love seafood.
And the weather last week was perfect. 
Sunny, mid-80's, and a nice breeze.

As soon as we arrived in Destin and got checked in to our condo, we went to eat at our favorite restaurant- The Crab Trap. We fit it in for dinner a few more times during the week. We made sure to have seafood for dinner each night and even had breakfast out a few mornings. Let's just say we ate a lot during our vacation!

The Back Porch, The Crab Trap, and The Donut Hole
Our first day in Destin was spent shopping, but each day after was spent at the beach and pool. The water was gorgeous. It was the most clear I have ever seen it and had that beautiful blue/green caribbean color. It was the perfect temperature too. Whenever Jason and I got hot from the sun, we headed into the water to cool off. Even at waist deep we could see our feet at the bottom and were able to see some fish swimming around us. We saw several different types, but I'm not sure what their formal names are. By the middle of the week, Jason bought a snorkel mask from Wal-Mart in order to get a closer look at things. With the snorkel, we were able to find a big crab, a baby nurse shark, and a flounder! 

A Beach Photo Collage
A few more animals from our trip- birds at the beach, alligators at Fudpucker's, and fish in the pond where we played putt-putt.
In the evenings after dinner we watched movies, played putt-putt, stopped for yogurt, walked on the beach, and watched the sunset. The first day of vacation I read Psalm 19:1 in my quiet time.

"The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship."
Psalm 19:1 (NLT)

The sunsets last week were definitely an amazing display of the Lord's craftsmanship.

my favorite sunset photos from the week.
We had to take a couple of pictures in front of the water.

Mom and Dad
Jason and I
Here are a couple of more pictures from our trip.

Views from our condo.
The Harbor
I am so thankful that we were able to take this vacation. Time away and with family is priceless.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Last year, as Jason and I stepped away from youth ministry, we felt God calling to minister in the community. Our good friends, Jeff and Sherry, also felt God calling them into ministry. In talking with them, we decided to start a non-profit to serve the community. Instead of being associated with one church, the goal is to be connected with multiple churches. Association with multiple churches would allow us to help connect people in the community to a church near them.

We decided to call our ministry iServe Ministries. An immediate need we knew of was food. There are many children using a free/reduced lunch program at their schools. For many this means they eat both breakfast and lunch at school for free or at a reduced rate. We knew of a group in a nearby county that was providing some students on the free/reduced lunch program food for the weekends. We thought that might be something we could do in our base county.

Our goal was to provide a backpack each Friday with enough food inside to feed that child and its family for the weekend.

We started trying to get connected at some of the elementary schools last school year. In the beginning we felt a lot of opposition. Satan was not interested in our plan being successful at all. But finally things started falling in to place. At the end of the school year last year we had already begun delivering backpacks on Fridays.

This school year the ministry has gotten even bigger. Currently, we are delivering backpacks to three elementary schools and one high school. We are in the process of adding another elementary school and high school. Each backpack holds 24 meals and some snacks. We are including non perishable food items like jars of peanut butter, cans of stew, cracker packs, pancake mix, etc. Getting the food and backpacks has been made possible through donations by friends, family, neighbors, and churches. It has been so awesome to see what God has done and is doing. 

We are excited to continue serving the community and to see what all God has in store for this ministry!

Galations 6:10 "Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone- especially to those in the family of faith." (NLT)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's A Lifestyle

I would like to brag on my husband for a minute. A month ago Jason decided he was going to get serious about losing some weight. And when he got serious, he got real serious. He basically cut out bread, sweets, and most dairy and starting eating a lot more fruits and vegetables along with proteins. He showed a lot of self control- especially in Maryland when Aunt Pat had four different desserts for us! Don't worry, he may not have eaten any but I ate enough for the both of us. It's been a month and he has lost 22 pounds! I'm so very proud of him for sticking with his plan and accomplishing his goal.

Jason's determination has helped me to start eating healthier too. We are more careful about what we order at restaurants and I have been cooking more veggies at home. We even tried some new things like Kale chips and peas. We have substituted fruits for dessert or had a frozen yogurt. I even started working out again. I think it has made both of us feel a lot better.

While Jason's month of his super strict diet is over, we know that this is not about a diet. It's about a lifestyle change. We will continue to make good choices but still allow a little splurge sometimes! Everything in moderation, right? :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Visit From A Friend

Over the weekend, Jason's friend Ramsey came to visit us from North Carolina.
Since I was working we all had breakfast and dinner together, and Jason and Ramsey got to hang out while I was sleeping. We took Ramsey to all the restaurants he loves but doesn't have in his small town NC home. We even took him to a couple of our favorite local places!

We also introduced Ramsey to frozen yogurt. There are no frozen yogurt shops where he lives, which is hard to believe because we have so many to choose from! When Jason told me there was frozen yogurt at the Race Trac gas station, I thought it would be one of those soft serve machines with two flavors like they have at Golden Corral or something. I was so wrong! There were at lease ten flavors and all kinds of toppings! I couldn't believe it was inside the gas station. It was really yummy too!

It even has a name: Swirl World!
Ramsey also got to ride Jason's motorcycle for a couple of days which he really enjoyed!

Ramsey on the bike!
It was such a fun weekend with a great friend!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Road Trip to Maryland

My last week off we headed to Maryland to visit family. Charles and MC were able to meet us up there, so it truly was a family affair!

We all arrived on Wednesday afternoon/evening. After spending some time saying hello and catching up, we had a huge family dinner complete with lots of choices for dessert! The evening was spent chatting and playing with the littlest cousins.

We all had lunch together before splitting up on Thursday. All the girls went shopping at DSW and the Home Goods Store while the guys took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese. We came back together for another delicious dinner and more family time!

All three wearing orange!
Friday, we went into Baltimore to check out Baltimore Harbor. It was a fun trip. We toured all four of the ships in the Harbor and had seafood at Phillips for lunch!

Downtown Baltimore
USS Constellation
The first boat we toured was the Constellation. This is the oldest ship in the harbor, and it was very interesting to see how small the doors and beds were and even how low the ceiling was! 

On the Constellation
While on the Constellation we were able to watch a presentation on the process off shooting off the cannon. Jason, Mom and MC were picked to help out!

Getting their instructions
The next ship was the Chesapeake, a lightship, but I apparently didn't take any pictures of the outside of it.  What I liked about it was the exhibit about different ship mascots over the years- all dogs! 

Then we went onto the submarine- USS Torsk. It was used in World War II. It was definitely very small quarters for those soldiers. These tours really made us appreciate those who serve in our military even more.

I called it the Shark Sub

Harbor View
The final ship was the USS Taney, a coast guard ship. This ship was actually in Pearl Harbor win the Japanese attacked.

USS Taney
Inside the USS Taney
This lighthouse was our last stop of the day. It used to be out in the Harbor. They used a crane to pick it up and move it where it is now!

We took some time for a couple of family photos while we were out!

With Aunt Pat

It was a great trip, and I am so thankful for the time we were able to spend with family!
Hopefully we will get back up to Maryland soon, but Jason said we are flying next time! :)