Monday, June 29, 2009

living proof

Have you ever seen God live out a verse in front of your very eyes? I experienced that this weekend! Romans 8:28 is probably the most frequently quoted "suffering' verse in the whole Bible. People love to quote it especially to someone who is eating dust on the dirt road of life. My friends Robin and Andy have eaten some dust lately. The last 2 months have been, well, hard on them. God allowed them to go through some really painful circumstances that quite honestly I didn't understand. It all became so very clear this weekend. God has opened up a wonderful place of ministry for them. You know what? All things really do work out for the good to those who love Christ. These two kids love Christ with a white hot passion. I personally witnessed God just opening up heaven and pouring out his love beyond what they could ask or imagine.

It so so cool when you actually see the Holy Scriptures up close and in living color in your life! I did more than just quote that verse this morning, I repeated those sweet words, sweeter than honey, looked up to the face of God and smiled. My heart poured out a song of thanksgiving for them. Thank you God for being a God of truth. Thank you for being our provider, a very present help in trouble. Thank you for being the All Sufficient One. Thank you God that Your words are not just words, they are life! I saw it, I experienced them first hand!

Do you know what that does to your faith? It gives it a jolt! It makes me know I can believe that You see me. You know where I am. In the middle of circumstances that are sad and frustrating, I know you haven't forgotten me. You know where I am. You plans for me are not chaos. They are to bring me to an expected end.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday thoughts

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it----
we are called the children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to.
I John 3:1-2
The Message

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grand Ole Opry

How could you go to Nashville and not go to the Gran Ole Opry? That was the highlight of the trip for me. When we bought tickets, All I knew is that Marty Stuart was going to be there, since their guest list does not come out until the Wed. before the Friday night show. I was so excited when we got to the hotel and found out Alison Krauss my all time most favorite bluegrass girl was going to be live and in person at the Opry!!!! Her voice is so pure and sweet. In a class by itself.

She made me smile when she sang "Ghost in this House"

The Opry was hosted by "some guy named Vince"

Marty Stuart was a wild man!

This concludes the photo tour of Nashville vacation 2009. Hope you enjoyed it as much as us!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave, well it was a cave and it was mammoth. Wayne loves outdoorsy stuff on vacation so he was excited about visiting this place about 75 miles from where we were staying. We figured that midweek, we'd be about the only people showing up to venture down into Mammoth cave. Wrong! The place was packed with tourist buying tickets. After fighting the other camera toting, white sock with sandal grandpas, we found the mammoth cave restaurant. It reminded me of Mayberry. The waitress was about 70 years old, and they poured us a glass of water before taking our order. How long has it been since you got a complementary glass of water?

After lunch, we loaded up on the big bus that took us to the opening of the cave. I guess maybe I'm a cave snob, since I was used to summers at the Carlsbad Caverns, the mother of all caves. So it was hard not to compare "Mammoth Cave" to that. I have to admit I was a little disappointed when we got let off the bus here:

Yeah, the metal door let us in to the cave. After descending, 2,395 steps (ok maybe not that many but it felt like it) we made it to the bottom of the cave. Are you claustrophobic? Among my many phobias, I do not like to be under 300 feet of ground. I managed to keep my panic in check and tried not to focus on the possibility of a cave in, earthquake or other possible catastrophes. I wish I was a worry free as these guys:

Wayne has certainly given me the gift of learning to love nature. Before I met him, I thought a good time was good food, a pedicure and a movie. While I still enjoy those, I have learned to enjoy nature. How can you wander through this underground area, that just shouts the imagination of our God and not get a thrill? Isn't a really cool God who would bother to make beauty that we could discover?

The 3 hour tour was totally worth it despite the fact that we had to catch the older gentleman and his lady friend in front of us who kept slipping on the wet underground pathway. He almost bought the farm a couple times. The best part of the caves had to be the 60 degree break from the heat wave that was covering us all week! If you are ever in Cave City Kentucky, stop by Mammoth Cave. $20 well spent!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gaylord Opryland Hotel

When I found out in March that there was a nurse practitioner conference at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville I was pumped! One of the perks of working for the state is I usually score a great conference location every year. We've been to Washington DC, San Francisco Vermont. So this had the makings of a great family vacation. The greatest thing is staying in a luxury resort that I would probably never spend the money on myself.

The Gaylord did not disappoint. Everything I heard about it was true, plus more! The center of the hotel is a huge conservatory with exotic flowers. waterfalls, etc. The second half has a river and a tour boat that you can ride through! So awesome! Of course the pinnacle of the place was the super awesome BOSE noisemaker sleep machine that played rain fall every night to sleep by.

For your viewing enjoyment, I give you the Gaylord:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

No sweeter sound than bluegrass

We just got back from Nashville. Had to be one of the best family vacations ever! I'll tell you all about it this week, but for now, let me just say.......... Alison Kraus has the sweetest bluegrass voice in the world!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

getting there is half the fun

There is nothing like getting ready for vacation. As I write, Wayne is outside cutting grass, and the girls are washing clothes and packing. The anticipation is half the fun. We are headed to Nashville tomorrow. Nashville, I know, weird place for vacation, but we've never been there, and I have a conference all next week, so we are making a vacation out of it!
The only real plans I've made is the Grand Ole Opry on Friday night. Other than that, we are going to just kinds see what happens. Mostly, just enjoying being together, just the four of us. I have realized in the last few months that time passes entirely too fast. I am going to make the most of this family vacation. These kids will have a blast if it kills us!

Friday, June 12, 2009


The first time I ever laid eyes on her, she was sitting in the hospital floor playing with cars while I took care of her grandpa. Neither one of us knew that soon, we would be family. I married her uncle and became part of the most wonderful family in the world. Megan is my oldest niece and as of last night, the first to become engaged! Yep, we are having a wedding in the Welch family, and it's been 18 years since the last one. We are over the moon about her and Chris. He's a preacher man and we could not hand pick a better guy to join our family! Megan, how did time pass so fast? Remember when Leslie was born, and you asked the nurse,"How did you get that baby out of her tummy?" or, "Uncle Wayne, are you my Uncle Wayne?" There have been countless summer vacations, camping trips and Christmas Eve's we have shared. You have always been so special to me and Wayne. Our hearts feel so full. So happy. So proud. We love you! You are going to be a beautiful bride!
Aunt Stephanie

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Welcome home baby!

Leslie has been on a trip to New Orleans with her class all this week. She said that New Orleans was hot and her hair was frizzy. I am trying to imagine if I miss her as bad as I do now, after one week, what am I going to do when she goes to college? Maybe I can bribe her to live at home and go to GMC? No, she'd never go for that, and besides I have to admit, I kinda liked having a clean sink, and no dirty dishes under her bed. It was nice not to find long red hair on EVERYTHING in the house. No one drank the diet Cokes in the fridge out from underneath me.
But I missed her, I really did. I'm glad she's coming home. Can't wait to hear her one word answers about the trip went.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Heather

Happy Birthday Heather

In observance of Heather's birthday.......

10 reasons why I love my little sister

1. She grew 3 beautiful children

2.She always let me sleep with her when I got scared at night.

3. She listens without judgement to anything I tell her, and always makes me feel that my moments of insanity are perfectly normal!

4. She has great fashion sense!

5.She totally gets our mother.

6.She lives the farthest away, but always comes down south for family get together.

7.She loves her family with everything she has.

8.She loves God more.

9.She can cook way better than me.

10.There are countless hours we played Gilligan's Island, mermaids, cops and robbers and "pretend wrestling" and Little House on the Prairie. All the things that make for sweet childhood memories!

I love you Heather, Happy Birthday!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

saturday night grillin

Look what Wayne the grillmaster has cooked up for supper! Wish you were here!

Friday, June 5, 2009

memories....of the way we were

I swiped this off my sisters FB page. So many memories.............

.................My sister and I playing cops and robbers on our bikes

.................My dad making homemade fudge while we played CLUE

.................My oldest sister playing the piano while my sisters and dad sang

.................Getting a package from grandma that meant a new dress for all of us

.................Mom giving us haircuts, she even figured out how to "layer"

.................Homemade enchiladas on Saturday night

..................Holly Hobby dolls

..................Avon lotion and nail polish

This picture was taken when I was in first grade. We lived in Greenville, S.C. That house was so tiny all four of us were in one bedroom. Thanks Heather, for the walk down memory lane.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm firing the maid!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

All things for good

If God works all things together for good for those who love him and are called to his purposes, you can relax. If he doesn't, start worrying. If God can take any mess, any mishap, any wastage, any wreckage, any anything and choreograph beauty and meaning from it, then you can take a day off. If he can't, get busy. Either God's always at work, watching the city, building the house or you need to try harder. Either God is good and in control, or it all depends on you.

"The Rest of God" by Mark Buchanan p.63

Monday, June 1, 2009

0 to 16 in 5 seconds

That's how fast times seems to fly. She came into our world on a beautiful spring Sunday. On her daddy's birthday. She announced her entrance with a head of red curls and a loud wail. I turned around and she was missing a tooth and headed to school with her Barney backpack, scared to death. A few seconds later she was all arms and legs, braces and shy. Now I see a tall, beautiful young woman. Still arms and legs, but less awkward and more graceful. Still shy, but excited about what the future holds. Rarely hugs me, but when she does, I try to hold on to her a few extra seconds. Sixteen years. It passes in a flash. How can I begrudge the passing of time, when it gives me a beautiful gift like this?

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