Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summer nights

While the big kids are at youth group Jojo and I try to have some fun with the 5 littles.

We are so blessed by all of the great places to explore and enjoy practically right in our own back yard.  We literally walked about a quarter of a mile to this park area.  The kids loved watching the swans and ducks... as well as the people!  The highlight was catching frogs.

Jojo even said it was better than walking to Oberweis for icecream... now that is saying something!

Summer is passing by way too quickly.  Some of our friends are back in school... most go back on Monday and we are putting it off and going to enjoy summer for two more weeks.  Seriously, the kids and I even considered doing school six days a week to have a really long nice summer next year... we will see how that plays out...

But truly, it flies by entirely too quickly!  So we are going to cherish the last two weeks of playing, swimming at the pool, going for walks, and just spending time together!

Is she yummy or what!  Seriously, this girl is pure JOY!

The boys enjoying the park on campus... Isaiah has earned the nick name Kamikaze this summer... He is wild at the pool, wild at the lake, wild in the house... just down right wild a lot of the time... But I think Jojo might give him a little competition jumping off the swings:)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

In honor...

There has been so much hurt directly affecting people close to me the last couple of weeks.  And literally after hearing of the 4th death in a two day time frame while at FMSC prior to our prayer time... I broke...

Those lost are not even people I know... Yet those I know and love are hurting deeply... so I hurt...
That is one thing that losing Samuel taught me... empathy...
Grieve with those that grieve, rejoice with those that rejoice... people don't have to hurt alone... We can help shoulder that burden...
My heart hurts for those that hurt...

This past Saturday we packed in honor of the Pals family... When the slide was up on the screen as I set up for orientation... it was almost too much... too much hurt... One amazing family wiped out in a moment... All at once... Read this amazing article that was written on the FMSC blog and take a moment to pray for their families... She says it all so well...

‘Now I Know in Part….’


“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Death and life. Hunger and fulfillment. Sorrow and joy. At Feed My Starving Children, we wade in the mire of these dichotomies daily.

We know that more than 6,000 children a day die from hunger related causes. We grieve. We take action. We hope. We do it all again the next day.

We are about life, despite so often being surrounded by death.

This week we lost one of our own. Jamison Pals was a grant writer for FMSC for the past three years. He left us in April to pursue missions in Japan with his family. While here, he touched countless lives. He was about to touch countless more through ministry in Japan.

Not only were we inspired as staff by his heart for Christ, but thousands upon thousands of children will live because of the work he did as a grant writer.

He died with his family on a road in Nebraska. His wife, Kathryne. His two toddlers, Ezra and Violet. A two-month-old infant named Calvin. The thought is almost incomprehensible.


We are grieving with the families of Jamison and Kathryne. But we are not without comfort and hope — this is the wonder and the miracle of a life with Christ.

We know from God’s word that there is a time for everything “and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…”


Good and gracious God,

May we take time to mourn, to grieve.

Thank you for your grace — that there is room for questioning and anger in grief.

And that sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

Be near to us as we walk the line between sorrow and joy every day.

Thank you for Jamison, Kathryne, Ezra, Violet and Calvin.

Thank you for the thousands of children who eat MannaPack Rice™ and the volunteers and donors who make it possible.

Thank you for the comfort and healing from your presence, and we humbly ask for more of it now.


After traveling to the Dominican Republic with FMSC, Jamison wrote a blog post about fatherhood. He closed with this verse:

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Monday, August 1, 2016


Summer is absolutely flying by at the speed of lightning!!!  Way too fast for me!:(  

I think we may not start our school till after labor day just so we can soak up a bit more of summer!  I think with teaching last year I was a bit behind even before summer began... 

It has been pretty non stop, especially for the big boys... In the above picture they were getting ready to leave for the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans.  They loved it... worshipping with 25,000 other Christian youth.  We were so happy they had the opportunity to go.  Literally, they were home for 3 days and off they went to Haiti!  

My sister and crew were up from St. Louis just for a day visit... But it was really special!  It is always a treat to spend time together... even if it is far too short!  The kids loved the toilet bowl slide at the pool.  We have spent countless hours there... It has been a perfect summer weather wise:)

Hope and Eli chatting it up... They discovered they really could get married since she is adopted... The conversations were hilarious!

Sweet baby Kaliyah Joy and her old man face... She was passed out cold at the pool.  She has been such a great sport... Goes with the flow and seriously is the happiest baby whether it is hanging at the pool or inside in her exersaucer she is a joyful baby! 
We were so blessed by this perfect little baby!

My two biggest helpers while the big 3 men are in Haiti!  They have been amazing!  I literally don't know what I would do with out them!  

The Haiti crew at 4:30 am as they headed out.  I spoke with  Greg for just a few minutes tonight!  They are all safe and well and having an amazing time!  I can't wait to hear all about it, especially from the kids perspectives!  I really miss them all! But we are so thankful that they have this wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus with the people in Haiti! 

I was amazingly blessed by the head pastor's wife Gretchen coming over and helping me with laundry tonight... What started out as towels ended up as the WHOLE bunch of laundry...load after load as we talked!  It was so nice to have some adult visiting and the helping hands with folding!  What a gift to my tired heart today!