Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Here is our family in front of the church on Easter morning.

The kids pose in their outfits. My mom made the girls dresses while she was visiting. They are pretty, but also are wrinkle-free and made for comfort. I decided to skip the suits and ties for the boys. The green oxfords are practical here in south Florida.

This year Easter came alive for us here at Hobe Sound Bible Church. We presented a walk through "Journey to the Tomb" under the direction of Pastor Loper. This was a new experience for us, but we are excited about this adventure. I believe God used it to relate the story in a very dramatic way.
There were 7 different sites to the Journey-Doyle and I were tour guides along with several other couples. Our kids also got to be a part of some of the tours. Here are some people taking a tour.

The first stop was to talk to the disciples and ask them if they had seen Jesus.

Here is Justice explaining prophecy. Thanks, Mary Ellen, for the next two pictures- mine were a little blurry.

Here are the 2 guards in the beating chamber. This was an emotional scene.

Pilate quietly listens to his wife.

The High Priest listen as Judas throws the money down.

"Jesus" is taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb.

The last scene was the "Road to Emmaus".

After the last scene, people were invited to have refreshments and talk to Pastor Wolfe. He gave them a copy of a book about Easter and answered questions. We also invited them back to our service on Easter Sunday. This is the Sunday night musical. Dr. Peak and the choir did a great job singing about the Risen Saviour. My girls got to be in this scene where Mary comes to the tomb.


Thursday, March 20, 2008


Last Saturday found us up very early to head off to Disney. Doyle has taken the Concert Band the last 2 years. Last year the bus broke down and they missed their workshop. This year was much better--no bus problems and good weather. We arrived shortly after the park opened to begin our fun day. There were enough chaperones for all of the kids, so we were able to stay together as a family. We tried to see the things we missed last year. Doyle took the older 3 kids on all of the big roller coasters while I did a few things with Joseph. I still can't believe that they will get on anything Doyle wants to ride. The last 4 hours of the day the Concert Band was involved in a workshop. At this time, I had the 4 kids by myself. I gave strict orders to the older two and put the two younger ones in a double stroller. I know it seems odd to let a 6 year old ride the wildest roller coaster at the park, and then stick her in a stroller, but it was easier to keep track of everyone that way. I think that any of them would have rode in the stroller at this time of the day. It actually went quite well.
I think it was beneficial for the band to see another music teacher say the same things that Doyle has tried to get across to them. Only the band and Doyle were allowed in the workshop with the staff, so the rest of us spent the last hours in Disney without them. The guy in charge said that they needed something extra for the song-he then had Doyle make animal sounds into the mic for a jungle effect. It was quite a hoot. The director also picked up his trumpet and added a jazz flavor. To top it all off, Mickey Mouse came out and directed the last piece. They seemed to enjoy their experience. We got to see the DVD they made.
Well, we were all worn out when we arrived back home at 2:00 AM, but have good memories to keep tucked away.

Here is Joseph with Mickey Mouse. This is as close as he cared to get. He finally touched him, but was not crazy about the experience.

Doyle and kids in front of Mickey's house.

Minnie's house-how sweet.

Lydia and Minnie. We waited in line forever for the girls to see Minnie. We kept saying, "Are you sure you want to see her?"--they were, so we waited.

Here is Julianna with the famous female mouse.

Doyle and Joseph with their 3-D glasses on. Wow, that really made the movie come alive.

Splash Mountain. I took about 20 pictures waiting for the right people to come down. Doyle rode this ride with Julianna, Samuel, Lydia, Josh and Huston Petty, and Eric Grant.

While the others rode a big ride, I bought Joseph and me some ice cream with a big price. I justified that it was O.K. to spend that money on 1 kid. We had it almost finished when they got off the ride.

No, this is not the band. I don't think that Doyle is ready to add banjos yet. It is actally some guys playing music along the street.

Cinderella's Castle

This is how Joseph enjoyed the parade the last 2 years. I tried hard to wake him up, but to no avail--he was out.

Castle at night.

Main street before the Parade of Lights began.

I took lots of pictures of the parade, but I will just show you this one of Chip and Dale playing the piano.

Here is Samuel lying down on a bench waiting for the bus to pick us up.

Tired and sunburned--ready to go home.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Remembering My Dad"

Did you ever wonder why we celebrate birthdays of people who have already passed away? Well, I have come to the conclusion that it has something to do with the fact that we need to continue to learn about those that have contributed to our lives. I have thought about taking this one step further than just those on the official calendar. Why not celebrate the lives of our family members that our kids did not have the opportunity to meet and get to know?

I started a new tradition in our family and I am excited about it. We have begun to have Memory Days. I thought it would be a way to transfer my heritage to the next generation. Saturday would have been my Dad's 68th birthday. For those of you who may not know, my dad died of cancer at the age of 58. He went to be with Jesus the same month I had Samuel. It has brought me so much pain to realize that my kids never knew the wonderful man I had as a father. Since I can not change that fact, I want them to know as much as they can about the person that I believe was one of the greatest people that ever lived. He consistently walked with God and had an incredible amount of wisdom. He loved to laugh and really did not care to be in the spotlight. He loved his family and we never doubted that we were his highest priority next to his relationship to God. I miss him every day and know I will see him again in heaven.

Having said this, we celebrated his life last Saturday. My sister, Esther, bought me a nice frame that has the word "Memories" imprinted on it. I can change the picture whenever I need to. I put a picture of my dad in the frame and placed it on the kitchen table to remain there throughout the day. I decided to do some of the things that my dad would have liked to do. We played board games (one of his favorite family activites), and shared milkshakes (one of his favorite snacks). I also gave my kids a brain teaser-something my dad really liked to do. I began reading a contiuned story that my dad used to read to my siblings and me. My kids are really enjoying this adventure. I declared it a good day when one of my kids asked when our next memory day was going to be.

My dad and me on my wedding day.

My dad sculpturing a snowman. My niece, Kaleesha, and my nephew, Kaleb, Julianna, and I are also enjoying the winter fun.

All done. Don't you like the snowman's hat? Also, in the picture is my mom, Julianna, and Kaleesha.

My dad holding Julianna.

Dad standing in front of the altar where his mom was saved.

Dad helping me shoot pears off of a tree. (Hope the mailman doesn't come.)

Although I miss my dad, I am very grateful for the time that God gave me with him. I am also thankful for my heritage and the privilege to pass on the memories to my kids.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Family "Camp-Out"

Going camping with our church group has become a wonderful tradition for our family. Last weekend we made the one and a half hour journey out to "rough it." Our church owns land that is used for several events. It is out in the country away from civilization and the city noises. We gather around a campfire and have devotions, roast marshmallows, and listen to the cows in the distance as we make memories together. We truly slow down when we are out there. It gets cold in the night and warms up to perfect in the day. Our kids absolutely love "The Land." Since my parents were visiting, we took them along to be with us. We all really enjoyed ourselves. Here are a few pictures of our get-away.

Here is the group around the campfire as Pastor Loper shares with us.

The girls on the porch "sewing" wooden toys.

Joseph peeking out of the jumphouse.

When they found out that my step-dad likes to work, they took advandage of his skills. They are putting siding on the new cabin.

Doyle enjoyed playing volleyball. Here he is making sure the other team doesn't get ahead.

Joseph had quite a load as he pulled his cargo around.

Here is what they have been pulling around in the wagon. Candace brought her little dog, and I believe the critter got his share of attention from his admirers.

Joseph and Landon taking it easy.

Mom and I taking our turn working in the kitchen.

The four-wheelers were a big hit this year. Here is a picture of Doyle and me. This is his tame side. I am sorry I don't have a picture of him when he was by himself. I probably was praying instead of taking pictures. If anyone has one of him on two wheels with his body hanging off the side, let me know.

Samuel and Spencer found a spider in the woods. I thought it was pretty neat.

Mom and Dave "roughing" it.

Julianna takes her turn driving over the hill.

Samuel couldn't get enough of these machines.

We add the kids if Doyle is getting too wild. When he is carrying our children, he is careful.

Here are the boys coming back from the woods. They love exploring with their whittled palm branch swords.

Well, that gives you an idea of the fun we had. There were loads of laundry when we came back, and we began to wonder if the kids would actually come clean, but they did. We all have some more memories to cherish and I know we will do it all again next year.