The One Where We Celebrate the 4th

Re, White, and Blue Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Happy Birthday, indeed...

Red, White, and Blue Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Happy Birthday, indeed…


237 years ago, the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Sometimes I wonder what they were thinking when they did that. I wish I could just get a glimpse into what it must have felt like inside that room – the electricity that must have coursed through the air as they each put a stamp on history. Was it somber, celebratory, raucous or hushed? Were they laughing and joking or were they contemplative?


Did they have any idea how far that one piece of paper would take a nation?


We are an infant nation and yet so much has happened in our short 237 years. We are good and we are bad. We have moved forward and we have moved backward. Many people will tell you that our nation is going to hell in a hand basket, but I’m not sure that’s the case. We’re young. We are merely going through the natural ebbs and flows that every nation before us has gone through. We are neither more vile nor more corrupt and though the world may seem less safe and, indeed, for America it is less safe, the truth is, we are no different from any civilization in history.

There are peaks and valleys. The world is as dangerous as it has ever been. Man is as corrupt and sinful as he has ever been. And God is as unchanging as He has ever been.

I really loved what Shaun wrote this morning. There is no theological way to defend much of our history, though pragmatically there is much to be said in its defense. We are Americans and with that we accept the good and the bad in our history. We have moments of shame that mar our past and we have memories of great beauty that have left their mark on the world.

I love this country, in spite of the bad and because of the good. For all that I’ve been given and all that’s been provided for me, I am proud to call myself American.

Happy Fourth of July everyone! I hope you all stay dry and enjoy a sparkler or two!

(Oh and remember when I told you yesterday that I would be posting my thoughts on Short Term Missions today? Yeah…totally forgot today was 4th of July. In fact, until about 5:00 yesterday I was convinced it was still June. I’m all over it, folks.)


50 Years

Fifty years ago today, the course of our family history stepped onto a new and exciting path. Really, the journey toward this future began some time before June 10, 1962, but it is today that we remember and commemorate my grandfather, grandmother and the legacy that they left behind. Today is the anniversary of the church they started so many years ago.

It was scary. It was hard. It was beautiful and ugly and delicious all rolled together.


Lee and I have thought a lot about the legacy we want to leave to our children. Walking across the plains of Africa has shifted the course of that vision a bit, though, and once again we find ourselves reestablishing this idea of legacy. What are we doing now that will shape the futures of our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren?

We must not take lightly this responsibility we have to create a legacy for our kids. It’s daunting, really, to think that how we guide them doesn’t impact the short term. I don’t know if my grandparents realized the ultimate and forever impact they would have on future generations when they stepped onto the white sands of South Caicos in 1961 with their four young children. Did they know that fifty years later the Carribbean would still remember the family name?

Did they know that fifty years after that first dedication on June 10, 1962 there would be a service at Calvary Baptist Church to honor and remember their faithfulness and sacrifice?

Did they know that fifty years after leaving the United States their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would have traveled the world with the Gospel?

Did they understand the legacy they were creating by the faithful acting of leaving?

My grandfather did not get to see the long-term fruits of his labor. He died in 1973 at the age of 44. But his legacy did not end and it will not because his hands, his feet and his love continues to spread through the Carribbean and the world.

My grandfather wasn’t trying to be faithful to a future he would never see when he left with his family and established a lasting ministry in the Turks and Caicos islands and in the Bahamas. He was being faithful to the present he lived in and he took his family on the journey with him.

Is this how we create legacy? Is it as simple as being faithful to those things that stand before us – the messy, the beautiful, the ugly and the delicious? Is it living fully in the present that allows us to create a legacy for the future?

My grandparent’s journey wasn’t without trial or hardship and not every memory from those years is met with fondness and yearning. But the seed that was planted all those years ago continues to grow and I am so, so grateful and honored to be a part of that heritage – that legacy. I’m proud of my family and the legacy in which we all share.

Messy. Beautiful. Ugly and Delicious. It is our legacy and it continues to grow, not to our glory but to His.

All to His.


The steeple and bell at Calvary Baptist Church, South Caicos


So what about you? What kind of legacy do you hope to leave for your children and the generations that follow?

*Three years ago this month, I had the privilege of traveling to the Caicos islands with my mom to see and feel the legacy that was left for us first hand. Here are a couple of the posts from that trip:

Why I’m in Turks and Caicos 

Another Story from the Mission Field

I’m Coming Home Soon!

A Journey through the Sands of Time

Island Gallery

Sing it out with Nicole Nordeman’s Legacy…

What if we all slowed down?

We wandered through the brush, the bristled fronds scraping against our bare arms.  December 7 and in shorts.  This is the things dreams are made of.

We stopped and peered inside the little windows and I let my mind wander.  Who were they that lived there then?  What sounds filled their homes in a time when the whirring of electronics was not yet realized?  When televisions didn’t dictate every thought and movement?  Did they, too, feel the rushing passage of time – they who had no option of jumping in the car and buzzing to this meeting or that event?

As the quiet moments ticked away the evening hours and their hands, weary from a long day’s labor, sat still in their laps, were they able to drink the moments in?  Or did those mothers, like me, find themselves each night wondering what happened and how did the day blur by in a blink?

One day older.

Did those mothers nestle their babes each night and wish they could freeze time for a brief moment just so they had the opportunity to drink it all in?  Did those same mothers also have some nights when the darkness brought a sense of sweet relief as the bustle and the energy finally stopped and they had a few brief moments of peace before it all started up again?

I imagine the mothers were very much like me in this regard.  Equal parts sad to see the days fly by and anxious for the peace the nighttime brings.  Perhaps even more so as the burden they shouldered was far greater than mine.  Their days were filled with much more labor and with far fewer luxeries.

As we walked into the tiny house, the tour guide met us with twinkling eyes, the lines in his face evidence of a life well lived.  With a gentle smile, he guided us through each room, his aging voice filled with awe, wonder and appreciation.  He understood simpler times and I heard the longing in his words as he pointed out the small tools and toys.  The days of quiet are not far removed from his mind.

I love the quiet, too.  Not setting up cable has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.  Evenings are filled with quiet togetherness.  Sitting on the floor, rolling the ball to one another.  Walks around the block.  Ice cream on the lanai.  Together without the noise.  It’s a step toward the simpler times.

What if we all slowed down just a little bit?  What if we all spent a little less time watching the lives of others and living our own? What if we all cut out just a few things so that the precious moments could at least be soaked in a bit before zipping past?  What if we just stopped for awhile?

I confess, the stopping and soaking in is hard for me.  It’s really, really hard.  There is so much to be done and the stopping feels like a halt in progress.  But is it?  When we stop, sit, listen and wait – does this stagnate us or, perhaps, move us forward still but in a deeper and more fulfilled manner?

As we pulled out of the gravel driveway, I turned off the radio and rolled down the windows.  This is a big deal for me.  I’m not a “wind in her hair” kind of gal.  I find it annoying and loud.  But today, instead, I listened to the wind whipping through the car, the echoes of movement passing through.  I breathed deep the salty air and glanced at the ocean just across the street.  I drove the speed limit, not pushing my speed but instead taking the time to enjoy the journey.

And they enjoyed, too.  We talked about the seagulls and the graceful way they danced on the wind.  The discussed what we would do if each of us were a bird.  How would the world look from the sky?

Even the (smokin’ hot) minivan has the potential to slow down.

What if we all just took the time?

What would life look like and how would it be different?

All photos taken during today’s field trip to Heritage Village in Largo, Florida.

Where we were then

We are the World Series Champions!

Alternately titled: I didn’t know I could love baseball this much.

The St. Louis Cardinals are the World Series Champions.  You probably already knew that, but unless you’re from Missouri or Texas it likely didn’t mean much to you.  Truthfully, not that long ago it wouldn’t have mattered much to me either.  While I’ve always enjoyed sports, I have never been much of a fanatic.  I could take ’em or leave ’em.

Until this World Series.  I don’t know what came over me, honestly.  Maybe it’s the fact that we just moved away from St. Louis and I was feeling nostalgic, maybe it’s the fact that my son is finally at an age where sports are a huge deal, maybe it’s the fact that I was smack dab in the middle of a strict diet and I was delirious from hunger…

Whatever the case, I was a nut job over this World Series.  I wanted to see every game and I nervously paced and sighed and yelled and fussed over all of them.  I told you – I’m a terribly nervous sports fan.

It could be that this is the first time baseball has been really exciting.  Watching Sloan dissect each pitch and interact with Lee like a grown up made my heart turned ten shades of happy. Hearing Tia yell, “Texas, you awre goin’ down like China town,” cracked me up.

Hearing Landon declare that he was going to stay up “til the Wowrld Serious ends” and then watching him fall asleep before the first pitch was thrown made smile.

There was just something about this Championship series that was magical.  Had it been any other combination of teams, I probably wouldn’t have cared quite as much, though I would have still been excited to watch the game with my first born’s commentary running in the background.

“Oooohhh…that pitch was nasty. Did you see that nasty pitch?”

“Okay, John Jay…time to be a hitter.  Aw, man!  Jay don’t swing at the first pitch!”

“Okay guys, time to play smart.  We need smart baseball here.”

Thursday night found the kids and I at my parents condo so we could watch Game 6.  Lee was at a dinner and wouldn’t be home until late so we decided to make it a baseball night sans daddy.

It was a make or break game.  The Cardinals had to win it or I would be teaching my fiery first born the finer points of losing gracefully.  And after the sixth inning, when it appeared that all hope was lost and the game was over for the Cardinals, I prepared myself to give him the “someone’s got to win and someone’s got to lose” speech.

“That’s it,” Sloan huffed as yet another foolish error was made in the outfield.  “Texas is going to win.  I’m done watching this stupid game.” And with that, he stomped to his bed.

I, however, decided to stay up and see if maybe, just maybe, the Cards could pull off yet another miracle. And they did not disappoint. Lee and I texted back and forth until just after midnight when my phone died and the Cardinals and Rangers entered into the 11th inning tied…again.

And then…well, honestly?  I fell asleep.

Okay, so I’m not a total die hard sports fan yet.  I closed my eyes when the commercials came on with the intention of opening them again when the game started back up.  Instead, I opened them to find an elated Lance Berkman being interviewed with clips of David Freese hitting the game winning walk off home run.  (He’s an alumni from my high school, you know).

(Name dropper)

(Naw…if I was a name dropper I’d tell you about the time that Lee played basketball with Albert Pujols).

Stellar Parenting 101: Take your exhausted 3 year old to a sports bar at 10:00 at night and tell him you're sorry he's tired but you're not leaving so he better curl up on the chair. At least he slept, right?

So Friday night found us all piled up together at Buffalo Wild Wings for Game 7.  Landon fell asleep on my lap within minutes and we stayed until the beautiful, glorious end when the Cardinals defied the odds and won.

It was thrilling because it was our home team.

It was thrilling because they fought hard and beat a really good, tough team.

It was thrilling because we were together, just the five of us, making a memory with our kids to last a lifetime.

When the kids are grown and are taking their own children to baseball games, I pray they remember the night we closed down a sports bar.  I hope they remember what they were doing when the St. Louis Cardinals won their 11th World Series title.  I hope they tell their kids where they were when…

I will have the memory of that night treasured up and stored inside the most sacred sanctuary of my heart.  And every day, as I walk outside and watch Sloan reenact the moment the Cards won the game in our backyard (and reenact he does, he mimics every player’s reaction from Yadi to Pujols to Purcal to LaRussa) I’m reminded that raising kids is a series of moments pieced into the tapestry that makes up a life.

It is flashes of time, memories and laughter all strung together, that I pray leaves them with a sense of love that will be unmatched until they one day repeat the cycle with their own children.

Thank you, St. Louis Cardinals for giving our family a memory to last a lifetime.

Let Freedom Ring

IN CONGRESS, July 4 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States

(an excerpt)

…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government…

…We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;

that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;

and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

May your Independence Day be full of blessings, family, friends and hot dogs.  God Bless this great country.

To read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety, visit my friend Angie’s website, Celebrating Holidays.  On it you will be find a jackpot of information and history to share with your children on why we celebrate this holiday, where our national symbols originated and what they mean, and creative things you can do with your kids to celebrate.  Her website is a gold mine.

May Day

On Saturday, Lee and I took the kids to a 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union.

Try saying that five times fast.

For an hour and a half, we heard stories from local veterans about their experiences during World War II.  Most of them were Jewish and experienced the effects of the Nazi hatred as well as the Soviet hatred.  It was emotional and poignant and beautiful and sad.

The kids didn’t appreciate it at all.

“When can we go,” they whined over and over.  And like any good Mom, I shushed them and shot them daggar eyes, melting them from the inside out.

At then end of each testimony, each speaker (most of whose stories were read by younger family members while they stood up front), made very similar statements.  They lauded freedom.  Freedom to practice religion, freedom from oppression, freedom to survive, freedom to love.  Those men and women are deeply loyal to the lands of their birth.  But they are also deeply loyal to their adopted land.

Attending this ceremony cemented my desire to bring the history of the former Soviet Union alive.  It reignited my passion for the people of Ukraine, in particular, as several of the speakers were from Ukraine, from towns and cities I have visited.

We Americans have no idea the depth of suffering other parts of the world have experienced.  That’s not to say we can’t sympathize, of course.  I feel deep pain for the suffering around the world.  But I don’t truly understand it because I haven’t lived it.  My pain at the suffering we endured on 9/11 is even different from my fellow countrymen who were directly affected by the loss of loved ones.  But think of this perspective:

It’s estimated that Ukraine lost up to 10 million people during World War II.  That’s half of the population of the entire Soviet Union and twenty percent of the entire world’s death total.

I know my children are young and I don’t expect them to appreciate or even understand why I continue to expose them and push them toward the language and history of that part of the world, but I hope to the depth of my soul that someday, as they grow in maturity and understanding, they will develop not only a love for Ukraine and the russian language, but also for all the different cultures of this world.

I also hope that they will grow with the understanding that they have been privileged to be born in the most amazing country in the world.  It is a flawed nation, to be sure.  But America is a land to be loved, a loved to be applauded and a land that deserves our deepest appreciation.

That’s the lesson I’m hoping to teach my children as they grow.  One of them, anyway.

I’m looking for Jiminy Cricket

jiminy_140x143Disney makes it look so easy.  You wish upon a falling star and anything your heart desires will come to you.  But even Jiminy Cricket realized that it took more than wishing for a dream to come true.  You have to listen to your heart and follow.  Let your conscience be your guide.

Of course, I try not to take theological guidance or direction from an animated cricket, but I do believe there is a nugget of truth buried in there.  But from my point of view as a believer, I believe my Jiminy Cricket my conscience to be the Holy Spirit.  It is this still small Voice, the Voice of God Himself, that I must listen to.  And it is this still small Voice that I often ignore, or worse yet, simply don’t hear at all.

Life is noisy.  Bills, responsibilities, work, commitments – all of these contribute to the noise.  And sometimes the noise gets so loud that it’s difficult to hear the Voice.  But there are moments when the Voice breaks through the noise.  Usually these moments are relatively quiet moments – in the still of the morning, or late at night, when the noise of life is in a brief slumber.  It’s in those moments that I’m reminded that wishing upon a star is not really going to get me far.  I might need to get up and start walking toward the star instead.

Lately, Lee and I have felt stirrings within us.  The moments come at different times for each of us, but the thoughts, dreams and ideas are the same.  Some of the stirrings require small, but meaningful, planning and action on our parts.  For those of you that know Lee and I well you know that planning isn’t, ahem, our strong suit.  We tend to fly by the seats of our pants and, while we always have the best of intentions, this means that many big plans get dropped along the way.  We’re working on this.

Other stirrings, however, will require a significant amount of prayer, hard work, diligence and faith.  And the faith part?  It’s a doozy.  I have personally never been much of a skeptic.  Faith, in it’s simplest form, comes fairly easy to me.  I’m not one to question or doubt.  In some ways, this is a very good trait.  But other times I have to remind myself that it’s necessary to think critically and not operate on blind faith.  In other words, I sometimes have to make myself question the concept of faith so that I can better defend my faith.  If that makes any sense at all….

All that to say, some of the stirrings within my own soul require a depth of faith that I haven’t yet grasped.  A complete, life altering, Here Am I Lord type of faith.  It’s the type of faith that may require me to be uncomfortable.  I may have to sacrifice some of my comforts.  I might even need to let go of some dreams and desires.

Can I do it?

I recently read this post from Shawn Groves.  It only further spoke to my already softening heart.  If my life were a home movie, what would it look like?  Hmmm…

So I’m not being totally cryptic, we’re not considering selling all our possessions and moving to far east Siberia to live in a cabin and start a slavic revival.  No need to worry!  We are, however, trying to open ourselves up to the What If’s. 

What if God called us to far east Siberia?

What if God called us to serve in missions?

What if God called us to go serve a meal to the homeless in downtown St. Louis?

What if God called us to adopt a child?

What if God called us to have another child?

What if God called us to rise in the early hours of the morning and pray over our children instead of sleeping in?

What if God called us to move to small town USA simply to minister to our neighbors?

What if God wants us to stay right where we are and continue to serve those around us quietly and effectively?

What if God wants me to drive my smokin’ hot minivan with pride all the while pouring His Truth’s into my children’s hearts as I shuttle them from here to there? 

The bottom line is this: We want to be ready for the What If’s, no matter what they might be.  Lee and I each have hopes, dreams, desires and vision.  Some of them line up and will be easy to implement – some do not match entirely and will require joint prayer.  But we want to stop ignoring the whispers that have grown louder over the past few months.  We want to quit talking and start doing.  Which takes planning.

*sigh* If only Jiminy Cricket could serve as our family manager…

IsleGo Missions


This next organization is near and dear to my heart because it is founded and run by my aunt and uncle, Dusty and Corinne Cooper.

I’ve already told you about the amazing heritage of my family.  Starting with my grandparents, my family has a long and rich history in the Caribbean.  I am proud of this history.

IsleGo Missions is a unique, team-led organization with a deep love for the people with whom they work and serve.  It began as a means to better connect short term mission teams relationally to those they were serving.

So often, teams of students and adults head on missions trips where they work hard at building homes, churches, hospitals and more.  But many times, a key component is missing: that of building relationships.  

IsleGo Missions’ purpose and reason for existence is to connect the Church of the USA with the Church everywhere else. 

Says Dusty, “National pastors and churches can reach their own better than someone from outside but they are usually lacking the training, resources, and encouragement they need to see their God-given vision become reality. Connection with the Church, the Body of Christ, outside their own boundaries meets those needs while simultaneously transforming the American church as well.”

So while the teams they lead to different countries are indeed involved in the construction of buildings, the IsleGo staff member that accompanies them works to ensure that relationships are built first.  These relationships are further nourished and grown through the constant communication and help received by the many mission teams that participate.

We tell our teams they could build a cathedral to rival Notre Dame but, if they fail to build relationships during that week, then they have failed,” Dusty explains.  “This is one of the reasons IsleGo, in every country we serve, works with the same established relationships that God is using to transform communities and nations. We are tied into their vision for their people that God has given them to do – We are truly partners with them.”

So where exactly does IsleGo go?  Well, to name just a few places, they travel to the Bahamas, Haiti, Trinidad, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Haiti, Cuba and Brazil. 

But the impact does not lie soley in the countries in which the serve.  The teams of students, from high school to college age, as well as medical missionaries and pastors, young and old, they all go home challenged and encouraged in their faith.

We emphasize that Christianity is a life of worship. Worship too often today is seen as music that moves emotions, when instead God shows worship to be a lifestyle of proclaiming His “worth-ship” in our lives. Our teams start each day with worship music and prayer as well as end the day that way. In between those events, however, we worship during the day with our work, our giving hope to others, our serving God by serving others. This also allows our team facilitators to build into the team members that what they do on this missionary journey can and should be replicated in their home church and city.” (emphasis mine)

In addition to being an amazing opportunity for growth, and the chance to visit some of the most beautiful areas in all of God’s creation, IsleGo mission trips are fun.  Every team is led by IsleGo staff, my aunt and uncle often acting themselves as team leaders. 

And they are crazy fun.  I’m not just saying that because I’m biased.  Dusty is crazy!  He loves the islands, he knows the islands and he’s not afraid to have fun in the islands.  I’ve even seen video of them swimming with pink dolphins.  Pink dolphins!  It’s just a fun organziation to travel with…and shouldn’t serving the Lord be fun?

IsleGo Missions does a great job of organizing and facilitating group trips from securing the planes tickets to housing to food and product management.  They know how to get a group of people mobilized and ready to serve. 

For more information on how you can be involved with IsleGo Missions, visit their website.  If anything, you should probably click over just to see the amazing pictures and read the stories of what they’re accomplishing in so many areas.

If you are interested in taking a team on an IsleGo Missions project, contact Dusty or Corinne for more information.

I leave you with this final, amazing quote from Dusty regarding the heart and philosophy around IsleGo Missions:

We see life as a journey with a “missions trip” just a missionary journey, but still only part of the life journey. The time spent overseas should be a continuation of the journey we all started when we accepted Christ, a journey that ends at the throne of God with every tongue and tribe and nation in praise of the Lamb.

It is not a “hiccup” or a parentheses in our lives but a vital part of God leading our lives from point A to point B. What He shows us on this missionary journey should become a part of who we are and our service to Him. If this happens, then missions happen wherever we are, home or abroad.”

So…will YOU Go?

Missions Week – Day One

Missions Week – Day Two

Missions Week – Day Three

On the Homefront

I was a little late in getting my requests out to the people I want to feature this week so I’m still gathering the information I need for the rest of the features.  I was planning on this being my last post of the week, but I’ve decided to post it today in order to keep up the Missions Week flow.

Perhaps the most important mission any of us will ever experience is that of parenthood.  Now, I realize that not everyone who reads this blog is a parent, but a majority of you are, or will be someday.

I am living my mission field every single day.  And while I have deep desires to be more involved in missions outside of my home (and, truthfully, outside of my country) for now, this is where God has me.

Lee and I work really hard to support one another as the missionaries of our own little battlefield.  And I call it that because every day we are waging a spiritual battle for our children.  We are their intercessors at this point in their tiny lives.

Well, and also because, if you’ve spent any time with Sloan and Tia you know that it really can feel like an actual battlefield around here.  They are the best of friends, but oooh m’goodness

Each morning, before he leaves for work, Lee prays over our children.  He speaks blessing over them.  And he rarely forgets.  Unless he has to leave the house before they wake up, he blesses them before walking out the door. 

The kids have come to so expect and look forward to this that on the rare mornings when Lee forgets or is in a rush, they remind him to bless them before leaving.

It looks a little like this:

Summer '09 146

Summer '09 147

The reason I don’t have a shot of him praying over Sloan is because the day I took these, Sloan had already left for school.

Lee and I are working hard to establish in our children the idea that there really is no place like home.  We want them to know that home is safe, home is a place where they will experience blessing and love.  We want them to know that no matter what happens in life, they can always return to the comfort of home.

As Laura Ingalls said in the first episode of Little House on the Prairie, “Home is the nicest word there is.” 

Season 1, Episode 1 – Harvest of Friends…Yes, I’m a geek, but didn’t that little bit of TV knowledge fit perfectly with what I’m trying to say today?  You. are. welcome


I’m so thankful for a husband who is willing to take his role as leader of our family seriously.  Praying blessing over our children is not something that comes naturally to me.  I have a hard time with it and so I am grateful for my husband, who so naturally speaks the blessings of God over our children.

His prayers over them usually go something like this:

Lord, I pray for Sloan today.  I pray that you reign down your blessings upon him – that you go before him as he goes about his day.  I pray that he would know how loved he is today, not just by his family, but by you, God.  I pray that you would give him a spirit of peace and of obedience.  I pray that he would be a leader in his class today.  Lord, we thank you for Sloan and the blessing he is in our lives… 

And that’s all there is to it.  It takes less than a minute, but the impact is eternal.

I would encourage all of you to take the time in your days to speak blessings over your children.  If, like me, it doesn’t come naturally, then I urge you to pray for them on your own.  We are in a time and age when our children’s generation could potentially suffer greatly.  We need to be paving the way ahead of them with our faithful prayers.

So today’s mission focus is the family.  May you all be encouraged…

Island Gallery

Our plane, which was scheduled to depart from Miami and 8:15 and land in St. Louis at 9:55 last night, did not leave until 11:40 and land until 1:15 am.  So I am tired today.  Really, really tired.  I can barely form a coherent thought, so I leave you with a few photos.  My pictures did not turn out quite like I hoped.  I am a little disppointed at how fuzzy many of them turned out.  I really need to take a photography course…

Here are a few of the images I managed to capture. I took about 150 pictures with my camera and equal that or more with my mom’s, so limiting this gallery to less than 25 shots was tough!  Click on the picture to see the enlarged image.