Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It's been two weeks since my trip to Joplin with North Village Church , partnering with Soma Community Church, and my thoughts continue to go back to the images of the devastation intertwine with hope. These past few weeks people have asked me about our trip and my experience. I can't help but start every time with, "It was overwhelming."

I have never physically witnessed a natural disaster. Yes I followed the news when Katrina hit and the tsunami and other natural disasters, but to see the destruction with my own eyes broke my heart.

What was most shocking to me was when we entered the town of Joplin,the town continued to function as a "town". Stop lights, cars on Main St., restaurants opened, and even the YMCA still up and running. (I am thankful it was not hit b/c that is where volunteers and our team took showers while we were there.) The middle of this town was completely wiped out, but they continued to press on. This alone sweetly reminded me of the mighty Love of our God and He is our God who is in control of all things.

Even before I left for the trip, Psalm 104 was on my heart. The first time we drove through the area that was hit by the tornado, Psalm 104 reminded me, God created all and is in control of all. Psalm 104 shares how God created every detail on this earth.
v.5 "He set the earth on its foundation, so that it should never be moved."
It continues to explain how God appointed how high the mountains will be, how low the valleys, how the grass to grow, that will He bring forth food from the earth, the rocks will be a refuge for the badgers, the moon will mark the seasons, and how God provides for the animals.

My favorite verses are:

27 "All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When YOU give it to them,
they gather it up;
when YOU open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
29 When YOU hide your face,
they are terrified;
when YOU take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When YOU send your Spirit,
they are created,
and YOU renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.

Praise the LORD, my soul.

Praise the LORD."

This just speaks to my heart in so many ways. I am reminded that God is in control.

This earth is not my home. So many times I try to make it my home, but am quickly dissatisfied with the pleasures of this world.

God showed me so much on this trip and definitely stretched me physically to do the labor work we did. If you know me at all, I am a wimp, but I pressed on. :) Just wanted to share a little of my heart.

I enjoyed the relationships I built and am thankful for the memories we shared.

Just a small picture of the mass of destruction there.

A house.

The roof part of our team put on in 2 days. They were awesome!

I helped demolish a kitchen.

We sorted debris at a home.

Our team!

Monday, July 11, 2011

4th of July/Mom's Birthday

Celebrating our freedom this year was so fun. So thankful for the men and women who serve our country for us to enjoy our freedom.

We started the morning with a 4th of July parade. Ok, so it's just a neighborhood parade with police cars and fire trucks, but Neela LOVED it. :) Her favorite part of the parade of course was the candy thrown at her.

We then enjoyed the activities set up for families to enjoy.

We picked up some Promise Pizza which was fab! (we had a groupon!)

Came home for Neela to nap and Tim and I relaxed by watching a movie, The Killers.

We then headed to Ft. Hood to my sister's home to eat dinner, celebrate Mom's birthday, and watch fireworks.

What a day!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Tim!

Happy 29th Birthday to my Love!!

I have always cherished birthdays with Tim. Another family tradition: celebrating birthdays with a bang! :) We enjoy celebrating another year of life, joys, trials, and the precious gift of another day. It's definitely something we want Neela to see and experience in our family. Not what we do each year but the joy and the gift each year is from the Lord.

Happy Birthday to the Man of my Dreams.

Here are a few things my heart is celebrating and I thankful for this year.
(not listed in any particular order)

29. Love his great Humor. He knows how to laugh, joke around and just be silly.

28. He is a strong Godly husband and to leads his family to walk in obedience to the Lord and to glorify the Lord.

27. He has mad bowling skills!

26. He has a personal desire to know God and being obedient to Him.

25. He has a sweet ability to be in touch with my emotions just with a look and know when I need a break, need to be alone, or just need a glass of wine. :)

24. He is so patient when I am being emotional or just being crazy headed. :)

23. He has a fun passion for playing and watching sports.

22. Love his ability to relate to people and speak truth into their lives.

21. Love the passion he has for parenting Neela. He is always thinking through and processing how we interact with her, how we discipline, and even how we introduce her to sports. :)

20. Thankful he has close guy friends.

19. Love your hotness!! (that's a given)

18. Love that he is a Lumberjack. :) Thankful we met in college and have been through so many phases of life together.

17. Love that he is a hard worker. He is given difficult tasks and always figures them out. I am always so impressed!

16. Love your business skills! Your ability to be able start a business Totally boomin!

15. Love how driven you are. You know what you want, and strive hard toward the goal.

14. Thankful for your tenderness and the quiet nights at home.

13. Love how you support my chocolate addiction. :)

12. Love how Neela loves putting her arm through his arm because you are so cuddly!

11. Love when you sing kiddie songs to make Neela smile and just bring joy to her life.

10. Love that you love Taco Bueno. It's the cutest thing ever b/c we don't have a Taco Bueno near us so it's a true treat to you.

9. Love the tender moments of you sharing God's truth with Neela through daily conversation and joyful moments.

8. Love your hugs. They are the best!

7. Love your ability to have a good time. You knows how to let loose and enjoy whatever the situation is.

6. You are smokin! Have I mentioned that yet.:)

5. Love that you speak wisdom to your family and friends around you.

4. Love how you are so good at computer stuff. So impressed by you.

3. Love your passion for Mexican Food!! It makes it easy to surprise you with a fun dinner. :)

2. Love when you make a decision, do a thorough job of researching and comparing about different brands. I love how you share the info with me and discuss all the options. it's so cute. :)

1. Love that you married me. I am one lucky girl and grateful you are my best friend.

Happy Birthday Tim!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cornfest 2011

Family Tradition- Cornfest.

The 3rd Saturday of each June is Cornfest in my hometown. This has been common knowledge my whole life. It's put on our calendar at the beginning of each year and we plan our events around it. It's when my hometown blocks the downtown street so we can have corn cob games, kernel spitting contests, and vendors selling homemade crafts. A carnival is set up for the kids a few days in advance and the big day of Cornfest. We even have a street dance at night with a live band.

I loved growing up in a small town. I don't think I would have said that as a child, but looking back I am thankful for the years. Nothing can replace the feeling of going back each year and seeing the same faces I have come to know so well. Even though I have been gone for 10 years, they treat me like I never left. Tim and I have been going back each year since we have been married and now with our little one. It's such a joy to see my little girl doing the same traditions I did as a child. I love family traditions.

Getting set up for the "big" Holland Parade.

The horses were amazing in Neela's eyes. She stared wide eyed and in amazement of how big they were.

Neela made her first "Sand Man" at Cornfest. She had a blast pouring the sanding in the funnel to the glass bottle. Tim and I ended up helping her toward the end because she was taking so long. :) The joy of an independent child. :)

We spent our yearly Cornfest afternoon at Joey's, chilin. :) It was fun this year because Neela was able to hang out and chill with Nayan and Sanjay. She always has so much fun with them.

Father's Day with the grand kids. My Dad was one happy camper! :)