Monday, June 29, 2009

Horse Camp 2009

I was invited to do arts & crafts at the horse camp sponsored by the place where Rachel rides & where Rachel attended as a jr. counselor last week.
I introduced them to a little cross stitching the first day.
Day 2: Horse tail bookmarks.
Day 3: We drove into town to join Ms. Sondra @ Ruby Jane Ceramics. Extra nice reason for this craft: A/C!

Day 4 I remembered to bring my camera! We decorated wooden frames and made horse stall frames from craft sticks.

There were many things to choose from to glue onto the frames.
I manned the glue gun.
Obviously did not take a photo of myself...

Rachel is sorting & choosing. See the sun-kissed face? They rode early & late to protect the horses from the worst heat of the day (when I was there for crafts!), fed & groomed the horses plus swam in the lake & had some basic horsie instruction times.

Seeing this photo, I'm sure you are asking: What exactly are my sons doing at horse camp with all these females? What is in those plastic containers that are holding everyone's attention?
I offered & the girls voted YES to my guys bringing some of their snakes for show-n-tell. The girls started squeamish but wound up all holding at least one of the snakes - the rosy boa. Most also held Andrew's Tangelo, the much bigger & more active corn snake.
Snakes invited to a horse camp? How often does that happen?

Rachel introduces her fav dad to Pockets, the horse she's recently been riding the most.

On the last day of camp, relatives come get their kids. It's 95 degrees in the shade and so dry that dust kicks up at every step. But do they pick them up & scurry back to civilization as quickly as possible?
No! First there must be a horse show!
The girls who regularly ride at Eagles Rest were paired with camp attendees to help teach them. At this riding display, everyone saddled-up, mounted, walked & trotted around the arena, attempted to reverse direction on command at the walk & trot, demonstrated "emergency dismount" and "brake", wove between cones and "ran" the barrels.

Then campers lined up to show their most perilous trick. The accomplishment of which they were the most proud: Standing in the Saddle.

And of course, what goes up must come down. Hearts jumped into parental (especially maternal) throats.
Yes, it was a perfect landing, a "10". The crowd roared it's approval. Horses tried to figure out what the big deal was.
Then the girls untacked & we all went home for showers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Power Planters

Some of our church youth group headed to SC this morning on a Power Plant Mission trip.

No, they are not planting power plants but helping a new church called "The Well" to grow in Greenville/Spartanburg. It currently meets at an area YMCA. Nine churches totaling aprox. 250 people will be staying at Rocky Creek Baptist Church while working in this area but I do not know if all are working with The Well.

I thought it interesting that the church facilities are being augmented with NAMB showers & bathroom trailers. The kids, not so much. :-)

Andrew packed the back of the bus headed to 4-H Camp two weeks ago so he's experienced for this job now. Everyone was told to bring only one suitcase & a backpack but also needed linens so pillows and sleeping bags were stuffed in & under seats also.

Ms. Jeannie brought her cooler. You can always depend on her to make sure food is coming. I believe she is the queen of snacking. Yea, Ms. J! :-)
Lift with your LEGS not your BACK, Bro. Jeff!

Bro. Jeff gathered the group for last minute instructions & prayer.
His 3 Rules:
1. No complaining.
2. No complaining.
3. Be flexible.
>That's Caleb's back in the blue T from 4-H camp 2 weeks ago.
Here's the whole gang. I was surprised that more of the youth were not going but others are attending SLU 101 this week plus the P2 people don't get back until July 3/4 so it may have interfered with some vacation plans.

Bro. Scott (far R) is driving the bus & I expect thinking, "Come on & take the picture so we can hit the road already." I heard Ms. Jeannie suggest they stop somewhere for breakfast too. LOL!

Here's the loaded bus. Bro. Jeff looks like he's proposing a toast.

Yes, that's Caleb in the blue with the Shades. Rachel is next to him. Yes! All 3 are going & with Jacob in KY that means Stan & I are CHILDLESS FOR A FULL WEEK.
Stan is not excited. When they were all at 4-H camp I barely cooked! :-) I'm sure I'll do better this time...
Andrew is seated in front of Rachel with his friend, John.

I expect some of you (Aunt Louise, Mom) are wanting more information about Power Plant. Here is their website.

A brief description:
PowerPlant (P2) is a new student missions initiative of the North American Mission Board. At a PowerPlant event, students will be taught evangelism skills and church planting principles. They will also have the opportunity to work alongside church planters in Vacation Bible School, sports camp, evangelism and other ministry teams. This experience is a prepackaged mission trip at a preset per-participant cost. Each project for junior high through college students is one week and all the logistics are handled by NAMB. Groups must complete a pre-project mission study before attending. Project and registration information are available on the Web at

In the mornings, everyone meets for Power Plant workshops/training/worshipful stuff. In the afternoons some (Andrew plans to do this) go out into the community doing some construction projects & meeting other community needs. I know they will be conducting a day camp at the Center for Community Services (food bank, clothes closet & counseling). Caleb is teaching on the ten commandments one day. Rachel helped plan some crafts. Caleb researched some indoor games options.

Other scheduled activities:
Travel. They hope to arrive around 2 p.m.
Help set up "church" at the YMCA & worship at The Well.
Maybe a picnic & visit the cool area park.
Participate in community-wide publicized (TV?) work-site day at the YMCA - "Give Back to the Y Day"
"Work" the city sponsored movie night at the park amphitheater by running the kids area & other stuff as needed.
Trailer Park Fun Night. They are bringing some of the church inflatables for this.
Depart early so they can go to 6 Flags in Atlanta on the way home.

Thank you for praying for my children & all the other participants in this exciting home missions program. Please pray for safety, energy & cooperation as well as the visible Hand of God moving through their efforts. Please pray for the Mitchell family who is the pastoral family of The Well, whom our group hopes to minister to while there also.

"Please, Lord, keep them all close & clean."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Big Creek Missions Update #5

I know I have JUST updated you on Sunday but Maryn sent some pictures & there was a couple reports at the Big Creek Missions website so here you go.
>Yes. There is a photo of Jacob in a dress at the end. The guys were trying them on somewhere for some reason, Maryn has photos on her FB page - I have NO IDEA what was going on so don't ask.

Maryn turned 21 on Sunday. Someone, knowing that they are starving at BCM (NOT!) was good enough to send her some all-beef patties! It's been so hot, maybe they cooked on the way to KY?

Oh, wait - that was just the packing box holding her birthday gifts & cards.

From Maryn:
"June 24
Today I was really stressed out because I hadn't been to the hazard senior center before and I had no directions and we were supposed to play a game I didn't know how to play.....ugh. We ended up playing bingo and I found my way really easily! (photo: me calling out the bingo today in hazard at the senior center.) I played their grand piano too.

Then we went to the veterans center and went to the Alzheimer's unit and visited the man Anslin that I visited last week. He saw me and his face lit up so much I wanted to cry! He was so happy to see me! He said he'd been thinking about me every day! I was like awwwwwww! Amanda was with me and she started crying. I didn't get to spend much time with him though.
We went to Walmart with some of the veterans and helped them shop (photo: me with Jerry, a man from the veterans center that I helped shop in Walmart). It was very interesting. We had fun!

Its been a great day!!!! love you all!!"

Big Creek site post:
"Wal-Mart Expeditions, Roofing, and Jesus
posted June 24 8 p.m. by Volunteer Editor

Today many wonderful activities occurred with our groups here at Big Creek. I was personally able to ride with Tony, our wonderful video and technology guy to see our construction groups at Mudlick Road, Cutsin senior center, and Hyden daycamp.

In James 1:27 the Bible says "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." Today at one of our construction sites, the guys in Jacob's group were roofing and working on other much needed projects at a widow's home. Not only did these guys do a great job today, they shared the love of Jesus with a woman who recently lost her husband. Also, it should be noted that her dog doesn't love they even got to experience alot of barking. Anyway, it was such a beautiful thing to see young men serving Jesus and helping a fellow believer. They are heading back tomorrow to finish up a ditch digging project. Wow.

Cutsin Senior Center was full of excitement from checkers to chicken livers for lunch. Ben's group did a great job just "going with the flow" and fellowshipping with the elderly there!

Hyden daycamp continues to draw more local children in & spread the love and hope of Jesus. Today the local food program, LKLP made some delicious burgers for the kids to eat! They also worked on some phoenetics homework & enjoyed crafts.

Maryn's community group spent time with the Veteran's of Kentucky while taking them shopping to Wal-Mart. It was really awesome to see community students getting to know these veterans and helping them with their shopping tasks. One chaperone shared that her vet was busy looking for the best hits of Johnny Cash while others needed simple supplies! What a great way to serve!~

Tomorrow night we are planning time for the groups to attend Bluegrass night at Hyden!"

Hmmm. He does not look dressed for Bluegrass unless he plans to get beat-up. As I said before, I have no idea.
But that pink?
So his color.

Here's one more update post frome the Big Creek Missions site:
Half-Way Through A Great Week
posted Jun 23, 2009 9:26 PM by Volunteer Editor Hello friends, supporters, and fans of Big Creek Mission!

Week 4 is amazing already! Groups from community have helped around the mission...from preparing food with the kitchen gals to keeping everything nice and clean, we appreciate ALL of their hardwork!

Tomorrow Maryn's group is planning to go to Hazard to the Kentucky Veterans Home. This home is such a great opportunity for our students to minister and love on those who have served our country. From pool to bingo, students connect with our former military, encourage them and get to share Jesus with them! Ben's group headed out to God's Closet today, a special local ministry for those in need. God's Closet is run by a minister's wife over in Manchester. Weekly we send our students to assist her in pricing donations and aiding those who need assistance in the local community. Community students were able to assist the janitorial staff at Leslie County High School today. These kind acts are a great way to share Jesus-in all places!

From reports this evening, construction is putting several roofs on this week. In Turkey Foot, Adam's team is making excellent success-great job guys!

Mudlick daycamps are underway with a great team who is dedicated to working on our new exciting project! Students enjoyed hotdogs for lunch there with lots of great fellowship. Please pray for our daycamps to continue to reach out to our children in the hollows of Kentucky.

Manchester and Hyden daycamps enjoyed the local free pool days today. Heading to the pool for a day of splashing, laughter, and fun in the sun allows our volunteers to get great interaction with the students from daycamp-what an awesome opportunity!

God is working here in Appalachia. Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and support!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Big Creek Missions Update #4

BCM has been great for Jacob & Maryn. Thank you so much for praying for them & the ministry there in Kentucky.
Today begins Week 4 and it's Maryn's 21st birthday!
Here's Jacob & a new pal, Douglas.

This is Maryn's community ministry partner, Blake, taken the first week when they worked at a school. But I'll let Maryn tell you about her photos. Some of'em anyhow.

Me and Katie Kibert, the second in command at Big Creek. We call her Momma Katie.

The whole group with all the groceries we bought for the family who's house burnt down.

The burned down house.

Us again with one of the ladies and her little boy who lived in the house.

Construction at Jacob's job site last week. I'm not sure which project it was but expect it was one of these:

Project 4:
Homeowner's name: Patsy Smith
Ms. Smith is a single mother with her daughter (Bridget, 16 yrs.). She lives next to much of her family including her sister. Ms. Smith is a hard worker and has done all she can and is now thankful to receive any and all repairs on her home.
Need 1: Build new porch (6'x8')
Need 2: Seal roof
Tools/Equipment: Safety glasses, work gloves, any framing tools including cordless drill(s) and circular saw(s).
Project 5:
Homeowner's name: Bonnie Lewis
Ms. Lewis lives alone with her dog and many cats. She is very welcoming and loves to talk with visitors. Ms. Lewis is eager to meet those that will be interacting with her in week 3!
Need 1: Bathroom floor
Need 2: Porch and handrail on existing porch (Porch to be built is 6'x8')
Need 3: Underpinning around entire home
Tools/Equipment: Safety glasses, work gloves, any framing tools including cordless drill(s) and circular saw(s), shovels (round point), mattock, any other hand excavating tools that would help with underpinning.
Here's the group with the completed porch! Jacob's in the green on the right.

Jacob is happy and proud of his group this week, everybody is getting along nicely and the work is getting done right on schedule. God is AMAZING and keeps His promises!
June 17 at 5:41pm

Look! He's in green again! In the midst, anyhow.
When J has some down time on the weekends (usually noonish on Saturday to mid afternoonish Sunday) he has enjoyed climbing the hills around the mission.

The first time Tyler was his climbing buddy. He was accompanied by four guys on the next hike

on which they found two turtles, destined for Kevin's shower I hear. This may have been June 20. It's important for guys to keep busy...

Katie Hi kevin! This is Jacob! I stole katies phone!!!!! Now she is chasing me. June 20 3.05pm
Patti at 11:46pm June 20
No, that's not MY Jacob. Mine doesn't steal phones. Must be some other Jacob.
Kevin at 12:24am June 21
There's only one Jacob here. Just one. and yes, he's yours!!

Here's the guys piled onto Kevin's bed (K is in the aqua designed shirt on the right). I don't know if this is an annual event. It looks an awful lot like the "nap attacks" called on Rachel's bed by her brothers. I'm sure Jacob did not start this. Nah. Couldn't be.

Here he's playing around with Jaron. It looks like something I've seen him do with Keifer. Hear the hungry carnivorous dinosaur snarling at the poor herbivore?

Me, Maloree, and Lacy with the same nail polish!
Guys climb mountains. Girls do their nails. Pedicure anyone?

The girl's table at Steak n Shake.
Facebook chat Monday, June 15
so glad to hear of the salvations there (7 1st week, at least 8 2nd week - all from volunteer groups)
any in the community?
it's amazed!!
believe it or not, none so far. that's just weird!!
what is usual?
salvations in the community
usually any from vols?
last year about 50
not many at all (in volunteer groups)
so God potentially has a different plan so far this summer
yes, it's all good. i won't complain. . .his purposes and plans are greater than ours!!
ru preachin?
are these responses at evening worship times?
although i do preach, we don't do altar calls - respecting the local church and their youth pastors
we dismiss straight to church groups. most have happened in church groups
did Jacob meet his cousins?
last week?
yes, he did. in fact, one was saved last week
i have to run. . . . .
we'll catch up soon!!!
:) they are both doing very well and appear to be having a good time :)
A Great Day 2 posted Jun 16, 2009 9:22 PM by Volunteer Editor

Here at Big Creek Mission we are experiencing many wonderful events and moments with Jesus!
Today our construction groups worked on floor repairs at a nearby home. In Douglas' group, the crew is doing a second roof at Ulysses Creek. Continue to pray for safety and endurance for all of our great construction people!
Community made a difference today by purchasing groceries for a family in need. Weekly they shop at Manchester IGA using a budget-$40 to provide a week of meals! Our students do an awesome job and report buying items such as Hamburger Helper, milk, and other nourishing items. Tomorrow Maryn's group plans to go to God's Closet. Drew's group is headed to Cutcheon Senior Center. Please pray that we would relate Jesus through relational ministry.
Daycamps had another great day. At Manchester, 13 children came to the weekly pool day. It is always so neat to see our groups mentor and spend quality time with our children! In Hyden, daycamps enjoyed a great day of lots of fun activities and learning.
God is continuing to work at Big Creek in amazing ways! Tonight Kevin spoke on the healing of the the blind man in John 9. We continue to see that our God allows things to happen-all to His glory. In John 9, when people tried to blame the man for his own blindness (due to his sin), in verse 3, our God tells us that "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in Him."
May we all continue to know that our circumstances have purpose...that God may be revealed and get glory.~Hannah
Another Rainy Day in Kentucky...can't stop us! posted Jun 17, 2009 9:43 PM by Volunteer Editor
We are welcoming the storms here in Kentucky once again! We are all learning how to be flexible and still serve, despite the rain.

The construction ministry still persevered throughout the rain. Although they could not follow their original plans, they were able to work together as a group and still accomplish their new tasks.

The community ministry is serving in various ways throughout the community. Today, one group visited God's Closet in Manchester to sort through clothes, while another group visited Compassionate Hearts in Hazard. The students and adults in the community ministry are actively serving this area and reaching out to the people of Kentucky.

Daycamps are still up and going in Manchester and Hyden. Today in Manchester, there were eight children present, and Hyden had a total of 29 kids. The children each have their own Bible now, and are learning how to use them.

In addition, God is opening doors to start new day camp sites in Clay County. Continue to pray for this ministry, as details are still being worked out.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

SHMILY discovery

You may (or may not) notice that I added a new link to my blog list, Dandelion Seeds. I discovered this blog after being invited on Facebook to join someone in S.H.M.I.L.Y. for a month.

"???" thought I.

What does that acronym stand for? Is it illegal, immoral or expensive?
I'm sure YOU already know and have probably known for years but I had to investigate.

I found a sweet story about grandparents who drenched their life with this word & passed along that lovie-ness to their grandkids who shared with the online world:


I added the blog link because it is a good'un but specifically for S.H.M.I.L.Y. FOR 30 DAYS OF PRAYER which is utilizing Stormie OMartian's "The Power of a Praying Wife" to help wives practice SHMILY (verb-ally would that be SHMILYing?) on their husbands by providing a number of daily challenges on the blog sidebar.

I just found it today so am just gettin' started. I'll have to check that book out of the library before someone else grabs it.

Anyone else SHMILLYing?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Everyone Know it's Windy

While I was organizing with Peggy at the church yesterday, it rained & poured. One never knows when it rains in town if it rained at home or not.

This was a yes day. 2.7 inches yes. And wind? - check that off the list too. Approx. 2.5 hours without electricity.
The condition of the road was my first clue. I got to make my way around several of these - note the rubbage on both sides of the road & realize that this has already been partially cleared.

Notice all those leafy bushes in my front yard? Those are branches fallen from the sweetgum trees.

I arrived home to find Stan hauling branches from the driveway & yard to the burn pile (bonfire for New Years?). This is how the place looks after three truck bed loads have been removed.

PTL the only damage we appear to have suffered was the knocking about of our newish antenna. Stan set it back up. It's still a bit crooked, but we were able to watch the telly last night.

Here's some tree damage in the neighbor's yard. I didn't get a good shot of all the trees down in a row in the wooded lot beyond their house (didn't want to go stand in the lake - still not willing to sacrifice THAT much for the shot...). It looks like something just pushed over a whole swash. Do tornadoes do that?

More praises:
No major damage to the house or garage.
Dog survived the storm in the pen.
No flood in the foyer.
That roof leak appears not to have leaked.
No hail.
Vehicles were not damaged.
I was NOT home alone in this storm!
Yes, I realize that I am NEVER alone.
But sometimes it is very nice to have around people with skin.

Cluttered Cabinet Un

At the beginning of each homeschooling year, when welcoming new members & leaders in the homeschooling support group, THA, I endeavor to remember to show them our supplies. This metal monster has housed our crafty, organizational & PE stuff since it was donated for our co-op the '98-'99 school year. Many of the craft supplies are that old.
Early this past school year, when showing the innards of the cabinet & mentioning that it needed straightening, Peggy volunteered to help!

Since my kids have been at 4-H Camp this week, we tackled it yesterday. Peggy is diligently creating an inventory (What a great idea! Why did I never think of that? - I actually think because I have no laptop. That makes a good reason to go shopping. Yes? ) to make available to group leaders this coming year. On the table is only part of the cabinet's guts since we'd already repacked 2 shelves: paper goods & painting.

Her kids were great! Watching a couple library DVDs and drawing a couple of pictures kept them busy most of the time we were busy.

That's a cabinet that purrs invitingly, "Come use my supplies. They are easy to find. You know you want to paint and make artsy things!"

Don't 'cha feel ready for school to start now??

Nah, me neither!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Home Invasion

I was on the phone with my mom last night when Stan frantically gestured me into the bedroom; "Hurry!" so I followed him through my room into the master bath.

"Gotta go, Mom. There's a snake in my bathroom that doesn't live here."

I grabbed the washcloth & picked it up - sometimes non-venomous snakes void nasty smelling stuff when you catch them - then headed out of the bathroom & met Stan, who was entering while pulling on some gloves.
After depositing the cute little fella into Miss Piggy's old digs (we have'ta keep it long enough for our 4-H campers to return & see it), we grabbed the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians and found him there in block 487 and/or 494 (details on p. 652) - a swamp snake!

My guess it that it was up by the house chowin' down on all the smaller-than-my-thumb-nail toads that scatter whenever I go to fetch the newspaper & mail. Stan said it was headed from the bedroom into the bathroom when he saw it so thinks it probably entered under the backdoor. No, we do not have a pet door.

Note proper snake-holding technique, similar to that of a teacup. Extend that pinkie. LOL!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Resurrected Mini

She's ALIVE!
As you may recall, it's been a long haul.
April 25, 2008 : the saga begins
July 12, 2008: the continuing story

When last we left Mini, she was waiting patiently in line behind
the '79 Honda cx500 which has spent much of the past year living at the home of a bike fixer. It came home a couple of times but had to go back to the doc - torn stitches or something.
The age plus mystery-black-box-which-has-no-new-market-replacement-and-can't-be-circumvented-so-ya-gotta-find-an-old'en-that-works (gasp for breath here) made this fix challenging but now completed! Stan hopes to start ridin' it to work this week.
Now, to come up with a suitable name...
You can see that Mini welcomed the repaired old man with motherly tenderness & caution.

How do you like the new & improved Mini?
Gotcha! (Or probably NOT!) That's not Mini.
That's some gangsta' wheels that whistled & tried to pick her up. "Hey, baby, come with me - I'm loaded."
Don't worry, we sent him packing.
(Who would do that to a Villager? LOL!)
Here's the real girl with master mechanic Robert checking out my marvelous mechanic's handiwork prior to starting the heart, eh, engine.
Stan wanted to MAKE SURE everything was hooked up the right way before adding the juice.
And she purrs! Just in time for summer with that frigid A/C! Yea!
Sidebar: Remember that BB had no A/C & the windows wouldn't budge - one reason I so missed Mini? For our anniversary BB got her A/C fixed. For my birthday, Robert helped Stan install a new driverside window motor so now my window goes down & up & down & up & down & up. :-)
But back to Mini: Still a little work is needed before she's officially on the road again - although those two took her for a little spin & got noticed by Mr. Policeman - of course, Mini had no hood & they ducked into a sideroad to quickly buckle their seatbelts (ticketing violation here in FL) & both realized that their wallets were still IN THE GARAGE. He followed them home but didn't stop them, PTL!
Living in the garage has not kept Mini from gaining some new body decor. Rachel claims Maryn is the heart artist but I'm not so sure. I see no signature & true artists ALWAYS sign their work.
Well, maybe not in a dust medium.

Here's a new face. This '89 Ford Taurus is Stan's new SHO car, standard with A/C & a sun roof, power windows & a security system that locks down everything until the proper code is entered in the door keypad.
I call her Beauty (Black Beauty, Beauty & the Beast - it fits!) but Stan wants a different name. Any suggestions?
Beauty is replacing Ranger as Stan's drive to work vehicle when he's not on the Honda. Ranger donated his tag to the cause & has been offered to the kids in age order for the price of transferring the title & purchasing a new tag & ins.

(suspenseful music here)
As Mini's saga ends, there are still some nagging questions:
Will Jacob take Ranger so he has a vehicle to drive when it rains OR will Caleb snatch up this deal so he has a vehicle ready & waiting when he gets his license OR will the boys let Rachel (who's always said she wanted a truck) become the new owner? Did Mini's A/C survive the engine transplant? Will Beauty gain a new name?
I'll keep you posted.