Monday, June 29, 2009

Taylor's Tap Dance

Saturday night was Taylor's tap dance performance. It was her first time on the "big stage". She started lessons back in September and we decided once we moved in May that I would make the drive every Saturday back to Gilbert to let her finish. I'm so glad we did. Not only has it been a great experience for Taylor but it's allowed us a chance to see some of our friends and swim at my parents.

Taylor did a great job dancing! Smiling and dancing through it all. The best part was after they finished and everyone was clapping, they had to grab their prop and walk off stage in a line waving to the audience as their exit music played. Well Taylor grabbed her book and tried to squeeze into line but it didn't work. So she walked all the way to the back of the line and turned around. Now at this point all the girls were pretty much gone but she took her time waving to everyone, smiling as she slowly walked off stage. It was awesome! Way to stand out there girl :)

Here's some pictures from Saturday night.

Taylor all dolled up:

Some in action:

Taylor & her fans:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The little men in my life

Now that my computer is in working order again I've finally got around to editing some pictures again. Let me show off some of my nephews to you!

Check out this little guy:

Gotta love his curls!!!

And of course my nephew Owen gets cuter by the day, if that's even possible! Can't wait to have you in Peoria buddy :)

This last little guy is way overdue in his introduction. He's not technically my nephew but I've adopted him as one :) This little one will join us in Peoria this coming weekend! With his family of course :)

Here's some of his newborn shots:

What joy children bring their families! Auntie Tara is happy to babysit anytime :) Alright Carrie time for me to come back to Gilbert and get some shots of your little guys.

Lock of Love

My hair grows really fast. It always has. Throw in a crazy year, three kids, not much time for haircuts and you end up with really long hair. I wish I had a before picture but this past month it's gotten way to long! Chris has always liked my hair short. I've questioned whether it's that he likes MY hair short or just short hair in general. I always thought guys like long hair, but not my husband :)

Friday I drove to Gilbert to my favorite hair stylist Cynthia, and told her to cut it all off. Ok not all off it but I had gotten to that point :) This past year I have thought that when it was time to make a more drastic change I would cut enough to donate too locks of love. So we measured off 10 inches and Cynthia snipped away. Actually I was quite surprised with how much hair I still had left after 10 inches.

I'm happy with the results and better, so is Chris. And well when it's 100 degrees out it's nice to have it short!

Here's my braid I'm sending off :

A after picture taken by Chris. Can I just say I hate taking pictures of myself! I'd way rather be behind the camera then in front of it :)

I'm donating my hair in honor of Heather Coombe. She's was a sweet, Godly gal I meet in December at our Church's winter retreat. She had just recently gone into remission with Leukemia. She wore a beautiful wig there, I would never have guessed it was a wig either. I had one great conversation with Heather about her journey with cancer. How hard it's been but how faithful God was to her & her family through the trial. Meeting her sealed the deal for my lock of love desire. Heather went to be with Jesus on April 20th. Her life & death had an impact on many. Please keep her family in your prayers. They miss her dearly but do not grieve as those without hope.

Go here for more information on Locks of Love. I know since my doing this it's now Taylor's desire to grow her hair back out and donate!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sure As The Setting Sun

There's a lot of things I like about our new house. One temporay thing is my view of the mountains. At night I can sneak away to my room and watch the sun set. They've built houses up in front of us and a few blocks behind us but their are no houses directly behind us yet. Each night I can take in the spectacular AZ sunsets from my master. I love the picture the sun gives us of God's faithfulness.

Psalm 36:5
Your steadfast love Oh Lord extends to the heavens. Your faithfulness to the clouds.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

God's faithfulness has been very evident to me since our move. It's not always easy. I'm often tired and have had moments questioning if I'm really cut out to be a church planter's pastor's wife. Or a pastor's wife at all. But God will bring some word of encouragement or rebuke to my soul. Sometimes through my husband, friend but always through his word. He has been so faithful to me through the transitioning here and our new church beginings. I know His faithfulness will only continue and for this I am thankful.

I invited Luz up to catch the tail end of a sunset the other night. She caught these moments while up there. Gosh I love having a photographer in our home :)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

The past week we've had our friend Luz staying with us. We've had a lot of fun with her! Luz loves the Lord, has a great sense of humor, kind of quirky, and has real cool shoes. She is also an amazing photographer & graphic designer. The next few posts will feature her pictures from staying here. My computer is super close to being ready for me to upload & edit pictures again but not there quite yet. You can see more of Luz's awesome pictures here.

And now for the story of this:

The other day I had some very ripe banana's and a craving for chocolate. I always make my banana bread with sour cream and the recipes for chocolate chip banana bread I had didn't use sour cream. So I googled "banana chocolate chip sour cream bread" Which lead me here for:

Banana and Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Bread
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup sour cream
3 overripe bananas (mashed)
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and in a large bowl. Cream the butter and brown sugar in another bowl. Stir the eggs, sour cream and banana into the butter and sugar. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the batter into a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until a tooth pick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes.

The waiting to cool-so-you-can-eat part is hard but well worth the wait :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

First Sunday Report & Pics

This last Sunday was a first for Grace Church. As in it's first Sunday. We will be meeting in our home until our "official" launch at the Rio Vista September 13th. It was so amazing watching our team transform our house into church! They came and moved out couches, arranged chairs and moved tables upstairs in our loft for Children's Ministry. There wasn't a room in our house that went unused! We had around 50 people! A couple of them were unbelievers too. Chris preached on the Gospel as being central to the foundation of Grace Church. I had worked all week trying to come up with a plan on how to make children's ministry work. I was concerned with the noise level of the kids during the message. I'm happy to say that was not an issue. The kids stationed through our different bedrooms, music time, craft time, snack time & story time. Afterwards everyone stayed for dinner. One of my favorite parts of church planting, dinner together after church! Being I had only planned on 30-40 people for dinner I was a little concerned but God stretched out the food and only one guy on our team & myself didn't get a full sloppy joe.

Here's just one story of the many crazy ways God has been at work:

Sunday morning we are at Costco picking up more chairs for church and items for dinner. We are trying to get through the check out. Chris has a massive amount of chairs in his cart, I have a cart full of bulk food items and at the same time I'm trying to keep the three kids from knocking over dad's chairs. I say that to say our only goal at the time was to get through Costco with no major scenes and to get home before our set up crew arrived. The lady begins ringing us up and says to Chris, "Are you starting a new congregation?" Chris, kind of caught off guard, told her we indeed were. She then asks, "Does it meet at night?" Chris confirms. She then goes on to say her friend, who's loading up our cart, needs to find a church that meets at night. Chris strikes up a brief conversation with this lady, gives her a Grace Church card and directions to our house. We went out to load up the car and having two cars, Chris tells me to go on ahead. He felt lead to go back in and talk with the lady some more. He was glad he did they ended up talking for awhile. Long story short, she got saved on Easter and due to working every Sunday morning she hasn't been able to find a church. She came Sunday night, cried through Chris' gospel message and was ministered to by members on our team. She called us yesterday to thank us for inviting her and after talking with her unbelieving husband about her experience, he has agreed to come back with her next Sunday night!! Wow. Could you ask for a better first Sunday?!

I was not able to take any pictures that day but knew there were others who would. Here's a few my friend Sarah took:

Chris addressing our set-up team

Beginning of worship... filled up a little more as time went on

Here I'm going over our craft for the afternoon. Do you like the example? I made it :) Seriously if you know me you know how NOT crafty I am. I lost more sleep that week over this silly creation mobile craft then anything else! But I conquered my fear and the kids loved it!

Here's a couple more:

This is going to be a fun summer!! Thanks to everyone for all their prayers and support!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Church Plant Sendoff

Well good news, I got my computer back up & running today and did not lose any pictures. However before I add anymore pictures to my computer I'm going to work on backing up the ones that are on there! You only need that scare once :)

I've been wanting to share this video that a girl Sarah did for our send off Sunday a week ago in Gilbert. I seriously bawled through the whole thing. She did such an amazing job! Not only does Sarah have one of the sweetest hearts for the Lord & the lost that I've seen in a long time but she is one talented girl! Sarah I'm so glad you & Matt are on this journey with us!


Thursday, June 04, 2009

If My Computer Worked

If my Computer worked...

I would post pictures from our send off Sunday. You would see how we were sent off with more love & enthusiasm than I've ever been apart of for a church plant. You would see the "We love Grace Church" shirts the ushers wore and the tables with the church plant team's pictures with holders filled with notes. You would see the special "Grace Church Parking" area complete with special parking permits & balloons. You would see our team being prayed for and the group picture that followed. You would also see some pictures of my husband preaching his first message as a Senior Pastor. He BROUGHT it to by the way on Sunday, just in case you missed it. You would see some old friends from our past who chose to spend their Sunday morning supporting us.

If my computer worked...

I would show you all the fun we've been having swimming at Papa & Nana's house this summer. My fearless children & the yummy cold watermelon Nana keeps on hand for us. Oh and some pictures of my adorable nephew getting in on the fun.

If my computer worked...

I would post a new recipe to a delicious grilled sandwich we've been eating as of late. I had pictures of each step.

If my computer worked...

I would show you how my house transforms from a house to church on Sundays. We practiced last night.

But that was if my computer worked. It doesn't. And it took with it all my pictures & photoshop. And now I'm stuck with this boring dell and no pictures or possibility of pictures. Here's hoping we can get it fixed soon. Otherwise this will become one dull blog. Assuming it wasn't dull before, when my computer worked.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Gospel & Suburbia

Chris and I have talked a lot recently about the gospel & suburbia. He wrote a post today and linked to a great blog we've been reading as of late.

Chris' blog.