Friday, August 29, 2008

Another busy weekend on it's way!

Here we go again! Or maybe I should say, it is still going! We have never been so busy in our entire lives and I must say...we are LOVING it! Being a stay at home mom is great but in the past, I would get a little stir crazy staying in the house all the time. I remember Chris coming home from church and I would ask if we needed to get some gas in the car, just so I could get out and know that their were other people in the world besides me and my kids!

I am supposed to be cleaning house right now since Mom, Stacy and Jace will be here this evening and staying till Monday but as you can read, I am on this silly computer writing about how much I have to do! Haha! Today is Isaac's eighth birthday and we are having some friends over tonight for cake and ice cream. I am sure Isaac is hoping for a few presents too! I have purposefully left tomorrow's options open for whatever Mom and Stacy want to do and then Sunday takes on a life all it's own! Haha! Sunday night after church we are headed to Jonathan and Amanda's for a cookout if I am not totally worn out by then! We have been invited to another church family's house on Monday for another cookout and then Mom and Stacy will be headed back to Kansas.

I am also keeping my eye on the hurricane that is headed for New Orleans, as we have some friends down there that are evacuating today to another town north of there. They are not sure right now if they will need to come all the way up here but I have let them know that they are more than welcome to come visit, if they need to! Lisa said that if they needed to come farther up, it would probably be Saturday or Sunday. Bring it on! Let's see how many people we can fit into this house! Haha!

The church had a swimming party this last Wednesday night and here are a few pics from the evening. I managed to get Emma into the big pool and she loved it! Even Chris and I got in and that is another miracle in itself! Isaac was doing great swimming with his face in the water and Ian was brave enough to go down the water slide with arm floaties on!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yay for friends!!!

This weekend has been very full and very wonderful!!! Saturday, Isaac, Ian and I traveled to Wichita with our friends, Todd and Debbie, to attend the wedding of a missionary friend, Brad and his beautiful bride, Chelsea. Chris and I have supported him since he first went to Rwanda, Africa several years ago. What a blessing it was to witness their union with all their friends and family gathered around. During the ceremony, they exchanged their vows while washing each other's feet and it was so amazing. My sister, Marcy and her family were there also from Oregon and it was so great to get to see them even though it was just for an afternoon. There were also so many friends there to talk to that we had a hard time heading back home to Oklahoma but the talk of an ice cream stop on the way home got us all moving.

Today, Chris and I were treated to a visit from my former boss and forever friends, Dr J and Mashella and their girls!!! They were able to be here at church to hear Chris preach and then came back to the house for pizza and adjustments from Dr J! It was so good to see them again and to hear that things were going so well for them and their clinic, I wish it could have lasted longer! We hardly even saw Ian and Hannah as they play so well together and it was great to watch them together again. As the Lord knows, we always need those special people in our lives that can encourage us along this adventure that we are on and Mashella is definitely one of those people for me!

Today was also Kris and Amber's first Sunday here at Chandler and I know they are going to be such a blessing to this church and it's youth group! I can't wait to see what God has in store for this community and how He will use us in the process!

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Youth Pastor's

One of the first things Chris wanted to accomplish when we got here to Chandler, was to hire a new youth pastor. An area that is of course close to his heart! :D Chris had a list of three possible couples that he was interested in contacting about the job and he started that process as soon as we came home from our interview at Chandler, yes, even before we knew they wanted to hire US for sure! Haha!

One of the couples, Kris and Amber, were living out in Santa Maria, California, where Kris was a youth pastor. When my Chris left a message on good ole facebook for Kris about the position, we had no idea what a ride we were in for! Kris wrote my Chris back and told him that they were happy where they were and that things were going good for them but was flattered that we were interested in them. We were hitting dead ends with the two other couples as well, so Chris and I really started praying for God's will and timing. Unknown to us, God had a plan and was working out all the details for us! The very night after Kris told us that they weren't interested, they were informed that the church was having some financial issues and that Kris would be the first staff member to go. The problem was, Kris and Amber's apartment lease was up in just three weeks and they knew they would have a hard time finding an apartment that would let them lease month by month. Hmmmm, I wonder what they are going to do??? Hahaha!

Long story short, Kris and Amber moved back to Haviland and then came to interview here at Chandler the very next weekend! The church had a emergency meeting that Sunday evening and it was an overwhelming YES to extend the call to Kris and Amber to come as our youth pastor's!!! Chris was so excited to call them right after the meeting and told Kris that they could have some time to think about it but Kris said they didn't need any time, they knew they wanted to say yes as soon as they got here to interview! GOD IS SO GOOD! Since, Kris and Amber didn't have any jobs at the time they were able to come to Chandler the following Monday, just four short weeks after we moved here!

Kris and Amber also have a dear little one, Aiden, that is just a little younger than Emma and they have become great buds, as long as Aiden isn't pulling Emma's hair or Emma isn't taking Aiden's toys away! We sure have increased the number of babes in the nursery! Haha!

Tonight is Kris and Amber's food pounding and it is going to be so much fun! From 7 - 9pm, any and all church members stop by at their house and bring them gifts of food or household goods to welcome them to the church family. They did it to us also when we moved here and it was so much fun to get to see everybody and it really helped Chris and I get a lot of unpacking done beforehand so that everyone wasn't walking around a ton of boxes! Jonathan and Amanda came over and played Apples to Apples with us after everyone had gone and it was the perfect ending to a very fun day. Maybe, I will take Apples to Apples over with us when we go!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Poor Emma

Well, my little one has a double ear infection and I am hoping that the ear medicine will solve her diarrhea issues as well. She has not had a fever or any other symptoms so I had no idea that she had an infection at all! I took her in because she had diarrhea for a week and a half and the doc said that it could be related to the ear infection, here's hoping! Ian was not thrilled about having to spend the morning with Dad at the church office but there was no way that I wanted to try to keep track of both of them in a new place! And we had to spend 20 minutes, bummer, browsing in Walmart waiting for Emma's prescription. Something that I never get to do with a hubby and three kiddos along. Emma didn't complain much until she thought it would be cool to stand up in the cart seat and then she didn't want to sit down anymore! Haha! She was even interested in the purses, that's my girl!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My family at Derby Chiropractic.

Chris and I had a really hard time waiting until the following Sunday to hear whether Chandler was going to extend us the call to come be their pastor or not but we felt so great about it that we started packing our things right away! Good thing that we did too or we would never have been ready for moving day. Chris and I had lived in the Rose Hill parsonage our entire married life and brought home all three of our babies to that house so there were a lot of memories and just plain junk in the house that needed to be sorted through and packed. Just a few tears along the way but God was so good to us during that time. Speaking of tears, the weekend that we decided to put in our resume at Haviland and Chandler, Chris brought up the fact that I would have to quit my job at Derby Chiropractic and the water works began. Chris felt that I shouldn't say anything to Mashella or Dr J until we knew that we were really going but I just knew that I couldn't work across the desk from one of my best friends and not share what was on my heart. You see, I didn't really work for Dr J and was more like...well, they were my family, I worked with them to provide patients with a safe alternative to reach their optimum health and I loved it!!! All weekend long I couldn't even think of talking to Mashella without crying and I did a lot of praying before I drove to work Monday morning that if God wanted me to talk to her about it, that he would provide the opportunity to do so. Well, you know how God works...I barely sat down in my chair before Mashella asked me what was wrong! Haha! Dr J and Mashella had gone through a rough road with their staff before I came and God had led me to ask for a job right when they needed me the most. Mashella and I had become such dear friends in the short 10 months that I had worked there, so yes, she knew there was something going on just by looking at my face. It was quite the teary talk that we had and God was gracious in giving me the words to say that truly explained how I felt about them. God had also been working on Mashella's heart through the weekend and he had prepared her for what I was going to say even before I said it. She just sat there and smiled at me, knowing without a doubt how hard it was for me to say that I was leaving. GOD IS SO GOOD! I have no doubt that I was there at that job at just the right time and for just the right purpose. To fulfill God's purpose. I wish with all my heart that I could have stayed there forever, or as Chris put it when we went out to dinner with Dr J and Mashella before I became part of their family, "until Jesus comes" but I am right where I am supposed to be now. And it just happens to be in Chandler, Oklahoma!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ok, it's been a while...

Hahaha! I told you that I wasn't very good at this! I haven't been on here since May and boy, have things changed! Chris and I had been feeling for some time that God had bigger and better things in store for us and Chris was really being led to be a Senior Pastor. We spent so much time praying and there were times that I felt like we were on a roller coaster ride, which I must say that I strongly dislike, real or emotional! I remember one day, Chris came home and had changed his mind about what we should do again...and I told him that I couldn't ride this ride with him anymore! He just needed to figure out what we were going to do and then let me know whether to pack or not! Aaaaahhhhh.

Well, we packed and we packed...and we packed. I have now decided that we need to move every couple of years just so that we don't acquire so much junk!!! Ten years and three babies later...we had no idea how stuff we had to pack but we do now! Haha. Here is the story of our journey to Chandler Friends Church in Chandler, Oklahoma. That's right, I said OKLAHOMA! We are Okies now!

Back in April, I think it was, we were in Friendswood, Texas for the Junior High Bible Quiz Finals and Chris was talking to Todd, a member of Chandler Friends Church. They were chatting about how Chris was feeling like it was time to move on from his role at Rose Hill Friends as youth pastor. Chris explained that he wasn't sure whether God was calling him to be a senior pastor or if he was calling us to be youth pastors somewhere else. Chris and I both felt that if we were to go to another youth pastor position, that we would probably look for one that was needing a new program built or one that had experienced a bad situation and was needing some repairs, if you will. Chandler had been without a YP for about a year and a half at the time and none of the YP's had been there very long so Chris and I had been KINDA considering it but not really. Haha. Todd then went back to Chandler and mentioned his and Chris' conversation with the Senior Pastor Homer. I am not sure but I assume that Homer then talked to Sam, the clerk of the church, about us and Sam then sent Chris an email just asking if that email address was a good one. Haha! Chris assumed that they were contacting us about coming to interview for the youth pastor position so we kinda dismissed all of it, at the time we weren't all that interested in the job. God had other plans. The very next day, the MAYM-EFC superintendent, contacted Chris to let him know that Homer had resigned from Chandler Friends Church and to let us know that he was sending our resume to several churches that were looking for a senior pastor, including Chandler. Sam continued to try to call us about coming down to Chandler to interview and Chris has since admitted to avoiding his calls, we just weren't feeling it, I guess. And we had been talking seriously about Haviland, since the Senior Pastor position was open there too. Imagine being so wonderfully close to my parents, Stacy, Jeremie & Jace, Chris' grandma Lucy and Chris' aunt and uncle, not to mention all the wonderful friends that we have there also! It was very enticing for sure!

It was not very long after our resume was sent to Chandler that Chris just didn't feel it was right, so he called Sam back and withdrew our names from the consideration list. Much to the dismay of many people at Chandler, so much so that one individual called Chris and wanted to know why!!! Haha! I think that Chris had just kinda freaked out about it all personally but don't ever tell him that! :D After the conversation with the individual from Chandler and several other wise people, we decided to at least go interview...we had no idea we would leave our hearts in Oklahoma.

We got to Chandler on Saturday, June 14th and Sam and his son, David, met us at the church. We unloaded some of our stuff at the Youth Pastor parsonage, where we would be staying that weekend and were pleasantly surprised by a wonderful basketful of goodies from the same family that had called Chris after he withdrew our names! I had been just telling Chris on the trip down from Kansas that I could really use some chocolate and guess what was included in the basket??? CHOCOLATE! God knows the little desires of our hearts! Sam and David then took us to the Senior Pastor parsonage so that we could have a look around. Homer and Lois were in the process of packing but were gracious enough to let us look around. As we were leaving Homer and Lois pulled us back and then explained that they knew the church was in need of and ready for change and that he also knew that he wasn't the pastor to bring about that change. He told us that he knew the minute Todd came back and told him of his conversation with Chris that his time here at Chandler Friends was done and that Chris and I were the ones. Homer had then turned in his resignation and started praying for us in this process. Amazing how God works!!!

Sam and David then took us on a tour of Chandler and we were pleased to find that it was about the size of Rose Hill and even more surprised to find out that there was a Walmart Supercenter in town! Chris and I both felt very much at home from the very beginning and it was easy to see ourselves living in Chandler. I know that Chris was still a little nervous about the interview that afternoon but it went just as smoothly and they were able to answer all our questions. After the interview, we went to the all church BBQ out at the church pavilion and got to meet even more people from the church. So many names and faces to remember, it was quite overwhelming but fun all at the same time. Chris is a die hard Jayhawk fan and it was quite funny when we were told we could sit in a pair of chairs...they just happened to be OU chairs and Chris was quick to tell them that he would most definitely NOT be sitting in those chairs. Haha! One of the things we were concerned about was how the boys would feel about moving to a new state, new church and new schools but we were so happy to realize that we never saw them the whole night! Isaac was on the sand volleyball court the entire time and Ian was playing with some other kids and neither one even came to eat, that I saw anyway. And if you know my Ian, he is always hungry!

Chris did an awesome job preaching Sunday morning and we were told later how great it was to watch people actually listening to the sermon, not sleeping or texting back and forth. After church, we were invited out to Todd and Debbie's house for lunch with their family and Debbie's parents, David and Mae (a whole other story to be told, for sure!) After lunch, our plan was to go back to the YP house, pack our things and then head home. I guess God had other plans...we only made it 2 miles north of town when I was pushing on the gas pedal and nothing was happening. I pulled over and Chris said there was coolant pouring out from underneath the engine. We decided to turn around and park on the other side of the road in the shade so that Chris could try to find out what was going on. As we pulled over on the other side, Chris phone rang and Todd asked us if we were having car trouble. Ummm, yeah. Todd said he would be there in just a minute to bring me and the kids back to his house while the boys worked on the car. After getting off the phone, Chris came around to my window and asked me if I had called Todd? Nope. How did he know that we were broke down? Then there was the question...did he know where we were at? As it turned out, Debbie had passed us on the side of the road just after we pulled over and had called Todd, letting him know that we were on the side of the road. As we sat there waiting for him, I told Chris that maybe God didn't want us leaving just yet. Isaac piped up from the back seat, "Maybe God wants us to move here!" Out of the mouths of babes. I told Isaac that I hoped God didn't mind if I went home and got my stuff first! It turned out to be a coolant hose that came off and so it was a simple fix. It wasn't hard to decide to just stay another night and go home in the morning. We got to enjoy hearing the kids camp reports that night at church and then went to eat pizza for dinner with Sam and his family. We found out that night that Emma really took to Paul, Sam's other son! Haha! Monday morning, it was just as hard to leave. OK, break time. And I think Emma is awake from her nap. More to come!