Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Forcing myself out of bed before 7, I agreed to fishing that early based on the fact that Malikas and Charlie had done so well the day before. We headed out... cold, fog... and finally reached our destination. The thought was that we would float down with the current in the "trophy" area and catch some nice size trout as was done on Monday. Here is a picture of the catch of the day... literaly the only catch of the day until much later in the evening....and we couldn't keep it because it fell in the 12"-20" range and those have to be thrown back if caught in the "trophy" area.

About mid-afternoon, we went out again. Why not, I thought... we had done so well that morning. Sarcasm intended... So we headed back up to the "trophy" area and caught nothing. Continued to go with the current and continued to catch nothing. I mentioned that we would probably start catching fish when we got to Lilley's Landing... which is where we are staying. And sure enough... we did and caught our limit and then some but threw the small ones back. We were even the talk of the Lilley Landing office this morning.

The afternoon was spent riding one of the Ducks. Malikas even drove it on Table Rock Lake. The guide was great... kept us laughing and thoroughly enjoyed the entire outing.
On Day 3 a few fish were caught in the morning hours and then 2 of the 3 thought a trip to Springfield to Bass Pro was in order. And in case you're wondering who the "outcast" was... here's a picture of me enjoying my time there... don't get me wrong... I like going Bass Pro but not to just wander around...

I think the sign out front is very appropriate...

We met Christopher at Lambert's for a hearty dinner...

...and now we're back on the Lake. Charlie and Malikas are fishing from the dock. I've not heard that they caught anything yet. I guess I should go and show them how.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Some of us don't like getting up when one has to... so I certainly wasn't interested in getting up at 5:30 a.m. for a fishing trip while on vacation... even though I love fishing. So I sent Charlie and Malikas off with a guide with my blessing! And here is an idea of what they came home with...

One of the first catches of the day...
Doing the trout victory dance...
Charlie decides to get in on the action...
And later that morning catches a very nice one...
And the winner for the biggest catch of the day...
The limit was caught and many were thrown back. And tonight they will be quite tasty when Chris joins us for dinner.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Using my adaptation of a friend's blog, I'll use TWIML (This Week in Moppy's Life) to share our CentriKid experience. You'll note I didn't write anything after Day 2... a couple of reasons for that - too tired to write anything comprehendable late at night and just wanted to take it all in for the last few days.

Sitting... on my bed with my laptop and thinking about the week... listening to CK music from the week.

Eating... nothing at the moment but it's nice to know my food will be hot and my choice not so limited as you find in a cafeteria. I was reminded that I do NOT miss cafeteria food. No chance of a low-carb diet there... but I did not gain any weight so that's a positive. However, I thought I would have lost more with the walking and sweating... that's a bit disappointing.

Drinking... a Diet Pepsi. I drank a lot more water at camp. I figure I couldn't fuss continuously at the kids about it unless I was willing to do it myself. I'm still finding today that I'm very thirsty.

Glad... that I went to CentriKid. Parkway has been going for 10 years and never had I gone along. I would have but there was always an intern and/or volunteer willing to go. This year there was no intern and I felt it was time for me to go. I wanted to see what exactly happens and not just hear it from someone else.

Needing... a way to convince other parents how cool CK is so they will send their kids. Considering all they get while there, the price is certainly not too bad. They really don't have time to get homesick and we can usually deal with it. We have never had to call parents to come get their kids... although I know it has happened with other churches. It's a time in their life that they will NEVER forget. I had a note on Facebook from a recent high school graduate who mentioned that it was the "highlight of my childhood".

Avoiding... anything to do with excessive heat. Much of CK is spent outside. Take a shower in the morning... walk to breakfast... and need another one. Finally just gave up... sweat was gonna happen with heat indexes of over 100 each day. The CK staffers did a good job of having water available for all outside Tracks and activities.

Enjoyed... wow! that list could go on and on. I enjoyed spending a week with 7 girls... who went for different reasons but all came away with something new. We talked on the way home about what they had learned and how God had spoken to them during the week... and everyone had an answer. It was soooo cool. I enjoyed having Chris Grater as my sidekick... and for those who know her, then you know there was a lot of laughter and a lot of fun. God has given her a great sense of humor. I'm so glad she was willing to leave behind her two little boys and husband and spend the week at CK. I know she went because Anne was going... and that was OK because I'm pretty sure God taught her some things, too. I really enjoyed the music. It was so incredibly loud... and I didn't care... I'm not that old yet. We sang... we danced... we jumped... we did motions... and I loved watching the staffers. Their energy level was amazing. Their example of worship was heart-warming.

Preparing... a surprise packet for the girls with music and notes and pictures.

Trying... to catch up on sleep... does one ever really catch up?

Laughed... at the many things that were said throughout the week... most of which will never be written here. :-) But one of the funniest was when some things went missing... like socks, a washcloth, some art work... and the RA (resident assistant at the dorm) was accused of coming in the room and taking them. Chris and I found that very comical... and tried to picture the RA with a young girl's art work on her wall and a mobile made out of socks & washcloths. :-) And then we overheard our girls telling other girls on the hall about it. Oh... the items were found... and not in the RA's room.

Reading... Rescuer by Dee Henderson - the final book in the O'Malley series and also Transformational Church by Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer... more about that on another day.

Thankful... for Lifeway and seeing a need 10 years ago for a camp for older elementary children... Thankful for Carie Guest, the staffer assigned to Parkway for the week. She connected with the girls... was a wonderful example... shared a loving testimony... and obviously loves the Lord with all her heart. Thankful for the freedom to worship with no inhibitions.

Ending... with mixed emotions and personal sadness but reminded that God is in control of all things... and He knows what's best.

Pictures from CentriKid will soon be available on KidZone Children's Ministry Facebook page and on the church's website. I'll let you know when they've been posted.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We have all survived Day 2 of CentriKid Camp. Starting with breakfast at 7:30 is never my idea of fun but I managed to get myself and the girls in my room ready and in the cafeteria by 7:30ish. And breakfast wasn't too bad... scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, bacon. They really weren't too generous with the bacon, though. Some of the girls had cereal and few had donuts... after their cereal or eggs. I'm not guaranteeing that these kids are eating the healthiest of meals... but they are eating. We're doing our best to keep them drinking water... now that is a task.

It was really stinkin' hot down here today... and many afternoon tracks are outside. However, CentriKid is prepared with huge water jugs and breaks for the kids to rehydrate. I'm really impressed with everything I've seen at CentriKid. Parkway has been attending for 10 years but this is my first trip as a sponsor... and everything that every camper and every sponsor has told me is true. It is extremely well-run... much care given to each child... an enormous amount of love shown... and a genuine concern for their spiritual needs.

Our morning began with quiet time... centering on the One who shows us everlasting love. Then the whole group went to the auditorium for "I Can't Wait..." and it was something to get everyone revved up for the day ahead... beach balls, very loud music, and some other craziness. The kids then departed for Bible Study and Recreation. Lunch was edible. Then it was time for their tracks. Each camper chooses 5 tracks... beginning with the one they want the most... and they get 2 of their picks. The girls are doing Splish Splash, Wet 'n Wild, Art Studio, Foot Praise, Cheernastics, Drama, Soccer and probably some others that I'm not thinking about at this time of night and the end of a long day.

After some free time and dinner, it was time for worship... much more subdued... much more a feeling of reverence... a time to listen... to pray... and to allow God to work on their hearts. After Church Group Time, it was back in the auditorium for The Party... and that, my friends, is a LOUD time of games... more beach balls... and t-shirts being thrown everywhere.

Everyone is doing great... one incident today of homesickness but it was worked through and it didn't appear to be contagious. Day 3 will be in a few short hours. Good-night!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Unfortunately, not enough of our Parkway family takes advantage of a really cool camp... CentriKid is for kids who have finished 3rd-6th grade. It is sponsored by Lifeway... is high energy... and will leave a lasting impression on your child.

We are at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO for the a week of CentriKid. Leaving this morning at 10:30 with 7 young girls and 2 sponsors, we arrived to a rousing welcome from the camp pastor, Chris Mize. He directed us to registration when I got us all signed in and Chris G. followed the girls to get t-shirts and pick out their tracks. Pictures of our group and then it was off to find our "home" for the week - Beasley Hall. Three rooms... 9 females... and hope for survival. After settling in, it was time for dinner... and zero choices for a person on a low carb diet so I settled for cold broccoli, rubbery lasagna, a cold breadstick (one bite only) and a decent salad. Gotta love cafeteria food! NOT!!! Next up was Opening Celebration with huge beach balls being tossed all over Pike Auditorium... music so loud you couldn't hear yourself think... and everyone having a great time! A couple of songs of praise to the Father... a word from the camp pastor... and then the kids were off to Bible Study while we had an Adult Meeting... basically a time to go over all the basics - CentriKid 101. And then we had a tough chore... going outside and finding our kids amongst the several hundred who are here this week. We finally managed and then headed back in the auditorium for "The Party". Lindsey Geisz participated in one of the first "boy vs. girl" games. So another time of some fun, raucous behavior and then Church Group Time with Carie, our CentriKid staffer for the week. Basically, we went over everything with the girls... had them write prayer requests... and then I had the privilege of praying before heading back to the dorm. After insisting that the girls take showers, things finally settled down, and all is quiet as I type.

Our verse this week is John 1:12... "But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." Pray with me this week that these kids will receive Him and know that they are His child if they will believe in His name.

Saturday, July 03, 2010


The ratio is just wrong... games & parties are so much more fun than meetings but I must say these were very productive meetings.

CentriKid parents & campers came together for a quick overview of the week - what to bring, what not to bring, participant forms, balance due checks, and new KidZone t-shirts. CentriKid is a camp for 3rd-6th graders sponsored by Lifeway. This year we have 7 girls going... Chris G. and I hope to survive the giggles and everything else that comes with 7 young ladies that age. Usually I don't go because there are always interns or assistants or a daughter who want... or should be going. But this year... it's me and a mom of one of the girls. July 12-16 - mark it on your calendar and pray.

Two meetings on Tuesday... one about the upcoming Fall Kickoff... one to evaluate our recently completed VBS. Once again... productive. There are some very special fun times planned for the Fall Kickoff... but you have to wait for the details. Just mark your calendar... September 1... and pray for good weather. Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS received a positive review from the directors and the volunteers. Work has already begun on next year's The Big Apple. Dates will be announced after they are approved by the staff.

And at the end of the week came the fun. First... tickets to the Cardinal game given by one of Charlie's suppliers. And since he's not as big a Cardinal fan... and had already gone once this week with others from his company, he was glad to pass on the tickets to Sara and me. We invited Teresa (Ty Ty) and Susan (Bug) to go with us. The seats were so much fun. I had never been a bleacher bum but our seats were in the front row of the bleachers... right above the Cardinal bullpen. And the game started with parachute jumpers landing in the stadium... so cool!! And the best part... we won! Jaime Garcia pitched a great game; Tyler Greene hit a homerun so we got fireworks; and we got a Brockabrella.

And then on Saturday it was time for a celebration... a birthday part for a wonderful lady - Etoile Finefrock. Many came out to celebrate her 70th birthday. She is an incredible woman who loves God... loves her family... and loves preschoolers. She taught Sara and Chris in Sunday School when they were 2 or 3 years old. And she is still teaching preschoolers... laying those basic foundations that are so important as children begin to form their worldview.

Have a great 4th! Remember those who are serving to preserve OUR freedom!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


If I had to choose a favorite part of the week, it would probably be Sunday mornings at KidZone Worship. I'm always amazed at the insight of the kids... sometimes comical, sometimes pensive, sometimes deep, sometimes off the wall.

Today we had the story of Hannah and talked about prayer. Kim asked the question "How does God speak to us?" The first answer from a 9 year old boy was "a talking donkey". Kim agreed that had happened in the Bible and she asked the question again. A 9 year old girl says "a burning bush that didn't really burn". OK, we now know that the kids listen to the Bible stories but that still wasn't what we were getting at. A 4 year old boy raises his hand (as he always does) and says, "a talking penguin". No idea where that came from but Kim simply chuckled and asked the question again... "How does God speak to us?" A little 4 year old girl raises her hand and I'm thinking we're going to get a similar answer and in a very quiet voice says, "He speaks to us through prayer." Ding, ding, ding!!! Now we're on the right track and Kim asks for one more answer. A 5 year old boy then says, "Through His Word". How cool is that?

And today we had the perfect example of answered prayer. We had asked God to protect and be with Captain Chris Pruitt while in Iraq. The week that he left - over a year ago - we had prayed for him and prayed with his sons, Sam and Jack. Many times Chris' name was mentioned during the KidZone lesson or prayer time. And today, he walked his sons to KidZone and later got a standing ovation in worship. Welcome Home, Chris! We praise God that you're back safely.

Today was Teresa's last Sunday in KidZone... and, like Jennie, she will be missed. Both young ladies have been a big asset to our KidZone Worship since it first began. They are off to college... to new adventures... to prepare for the future that God has planned for them. Now we're waiting to see who God will send us to rotate with Sara, doing the preschool portion of the lesson.

Each week the kids put a marble in their cup for bringing homework... and periodically we allow them to have marble for bringing a Bible or for going to Sunday School... or just because they were great kids who listened and were obedient. We gave away our first KidZone t-shirt today because Meredith was the first person to reach 25 marbles. Well, she really had 30 but we had to wait for the t-shirts to arrive. So now she starts over and with her consistency, I'd better think of a new reward really soon.

It has been a blessed Lord's day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


No laundry got done... very little house cleaning - just the bare minimum... and it was a fun day!!

Jason asked if I'd take the kids to swim lessons because Jenny was going to a conference and he had to work. Such memories of swim lessons... Jason hated them - screamed and cried and literally made himself ill. Sara was like a fish - loved the water... loved to learn... and couldn't wait to get in the water. Chris... well, his favorite part was splashing the swim teacher whenever she turned her back... go figure! And now I have memories of grandkids' swim lessons. Sammy won't take his shirt off until the last minute... when it's actually time to get in the water. The first thing they did was hold onto a board (with the teacher) and kick their feet. Sammy didn't hold onto the board... he held onto the teacher... very tightly around her neck. Lizzie does not like getting her face wet. The teacher would take a kid out into the water... hold them... and both would go under. As she started doing that Lizzie came to me and said, "Moppy, I need to go to the bathroom." Lizzie is a very smart little girl but I'm a pretty smart Moppy, too, so I said, "You can go to the bathroom as soon as you go under the water." :-) She didn't argue but neither was she happy. And guess what? After going under, she didn't have to go to the bathroom. So I figure it was either a ploy to get out of getting her face wet or she went in the pool. Let's hope it was the first one. :-)

Sara and I went to see Karate Kid. Young Jaden Smith is cute and a good actor. Of course, it's not as good as the original one but we enjoyed it. And for dinner we were able to lend some support to the BJC Hospice by eating dinner at Chick-fil-a.

Thanks to those of you who have prayed for my sister's husband, David. They are still working on getting his blood to thicken but he is home and has been cleared to go back to work a little at a time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Saddle Ridge Ranch week

Actually, this past week - Saddle Ridge Ranch, VBS 2010... fun, demanding, exciting, tiring, inspirational... and the adjectives could go on and on... but I'll use Rebekah's way of describing the week.

Sitting... is not something that happened too much during VBS, except when I was working on the newsletter each evening.

Waiting... it seems as though we waited so long for VBS to arrive. We've known the theme for a year... attended a VBS preview in Nashville in February... began recruiting teachers in March and then BAM! It's over!

Glad... for the 10 children who indicated a desire to know Jesus personally.

Needing... wisdom on what we need to do differently next summer.

Avoiding... or at least trying to avoid thinking about next year's theme... The Big Apple... I've never been a big fan of New York...

Enjoyed... the music... the motions... watching the kids catch on... even the very youngest were "roundin' up questions; drivin' home answers".

Preparing... follow-up packets for those who made a decision or have questions; also for those who are unchurched... trying something new this year.

Trying... to catch up on sleep and rest...

Ending... being thankful that all God did during the week and will continue to do in the time to come.


  • A 4 year old picks up a VBS flyer the week before we start and says to her mom, "Is this about UPS?"
  • On Monday night, towards the end of the evening, one of the first graders asked his teacher, "Are you a real cowgirl?" "I was born in Texas, but I don't know if that makes me a cowgirl. Why do you ask?" He replied "You sure sound like one!" Then he also told me he was born in Houston, Texas. "Really?" I said. "You sure don't sound like a cowboy!" He laughed but I laughed more because he is Asian!
  • As the 3 year old class entered the craft room, one of the boys looked out the window and said "It's getting really dark. I should go home and take a nap."
  • One of our newest craft volunteers told me our VBS was too realistic. She woke up this morning with a chigger bite.
  • One kindergarten cowgirl really liked her class. They could be rowdy because there are "NO MOMS in there."

Pictures are available on the KidZone Children's Ministry page on Facebook and soon to be on the church's website.


Yes, I'm aware it's been almost 2 weeks since I promised part 2 of our wedding day. My sister, Brenda, even tried to guess what it was... such impatience. She mentioned the coconut in the icing of the wedding cake. I had forgotten about that... I HATE coconut!

So the wedding and reception are over... we've changed clothes and find our decorated blue Pontiac LeMans waiting for us in front of the church. We were headed to Phoenix to spend the night and then on to the Grand Canyon and Pikes Peak for our honeymoon. A few minutes out (but already on the highway) I say to Charlie "Did you pick up my little overnight bag?" He says no... that he doesn't remember seeing it but "whatever is in there can be replaced, right?" And I said sure - it was no big deal. A little bit further and I say, "Oh, wait... my birth control pills are in that bag!" With a look of fear on his face, he quickly turns the car around and we go flying (and I felt like we really were flying low) back to the church. In the meantime, his best man has found the bag and is trying to catch us. So we get back to church and wait... The bag finally arrives because our best man gave up trying to catch us. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a cell phone? What was nice to know was that Charlie didn't care if I had my make-up or deodorant or toothbrush... he was willing to buy all that new... but the birth control pills? Now that was a much different story... :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


June 9, 1973 - at Morningside Baptist Church, Tucson, Arizona in the sweltering heat, I entered into wedded matrimony with Charles Dean Wescoat... a skinny, long-haired, handsome guy. We were much too young to be getting married but we were crazy in love and didn't know any better so off we went into the sunset. I have two things that always come to mind about that day - and it has nothing to do with the pastel dresses or the frilly tuxedo shirts or the beautiful flowers or even the wedding party. Instead my thoughts go to the rehearsal the night before. We had spent much of the day doing those last minute wedding things and decorating the small church. We were short two candles for the candelabra so that was one of our errands - finding two candles that matched the rest - and we did even though they had been more expensive than the others. So we finished the decorating and went home to dress for the rehearsal. Remember: Arizona - sweltering heat - and many places did not have a/c but had an air cooler. The temps were over 100 degrees but no humidity and many times the air cooler was enough. When we get back to the church we find that the candles have all drooped except the last two we bought... all drooped over in a very symmetrical pattern. However I was not seeing the humor in it. Now my dad is a very thrifty person. My thought was where will we find candles but my Dad took them out of the candelabra, rolled them on a table and put them in the freezer, saying they would be fine by the wedding the next afternoon. If you look really close at our wedding pictures, you'll see that the candles don't stand straight and tall. :-)
And the second memory? It'll have to wait for another day. I have VBS shopping to do. Saddle Ridge Ranch is in 3 days...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

TWIML (This Week in Moppy's Life)

Not really a very good title... I don't keep this up weekly... maybe because my life isn't exciting enough to warrant a weekly update. Yeah, I'm feeling rather blah lately... it'll get better.

Sitting... alone on a Saturday morning and wondering what to do today... but actually kind of nice to have no specific plans until evening.

Waiting... for evening when I get to play with the grandkids... that'll perk me up.

Glad... for unexpected hugs from little peeps... invites to DQ... weekends with extended family.

Needing... smiles.

Reading... Healer by Dee Henderson; Daughters of Hope by Kay Strom & Michele Rickett

Avoiding... most carbs... slowly (very slowly) losing weight...

Enjoyed... Luke's (my nephew) wedding and seeing the family last weekend.

Preparing... for Saddle Ridge Ranch, VBS 2010... register here.

Drinking... Diet Coke... no little bottles of Diet Pepsi available at the store... what's up with that? And I was too lazy to go anywhere else.

Trying... to get out of a funk and think about all the positives.

Ending... with a sigh... and pictures.

Mom, Dad & Dominic (great-nephew)

Nora likes her Moby.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Lord, You brought someone special to mind. I pray You will bless her for the many ways she's been a blessing. Surround her with the love of those who care so much for her. Help her to see the many ways she's touched her family and the many hearts who are blessed by her life.

God has blessed me with an incredible family... immediate and extended. My mom raised my sisters and I to love the Lord and honor God in all that we do. I've tried to do the same with my kids. They all know Him personally and that is such a joy. He has blessed me with 3 by birth (Jason, Sara & Chris), 1 by choice (Masha) and 2 by marriage (Jenny & Chris) and I am thrilled to claim them all. :-) And then He gave me 3 beautiful grandchildren... I love being Moppy to them. Thank you, Lord, for each of them and for what their lives and hearts mean to me. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. Philippians 1:4 NIV

Friday, May 07, 2010


Are you a SAHM (stay at home mom)? If so, you have a mission field, a ministry platform and multiple ministry opportunities... check it out here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Flooding in Tennessee - The Big Picture -

  • These are incredible pictures of the devastation caused by the flooding in Tennessee. Please remember to pray for those who lost their home and belongings. Ask God how He can use you as a result of this crisis.

Flooding in Tennessee - The Big Picture -

Posted using ShareThis


How can we help? Right now, organizations are accessing the needs there but it will take thousands of volunteers in the next several months to clean-up, rebuild, and help the people of Nashville. This video is about 45 minutes but it will give you a good idea of what is happening there. The host is Ed Stetzer, head of Lifeway Research.

The Exchange with Ed Stetzer, 05-04-10 from Ed Stetzer on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

TWIML (This Week in Moppy's Life)

Sitting: and watching the most current "Bones" on TV... love that DVR.

Waiting: for nothing really... no one is at home except for me so I can do whatever I want... nice!

Glad: to see the sunshine after last night's storms and was glad to see a double rainbow before all the storms came... so cool... and a reminder of God's promises to us. Also very glad that Malikas has arrived home safely from Belarus.

Needing: some breakfast.

Reading: "Crazy Love" and doing the study guide with Keith. My fiction reading these days is "Protector" by Dee Henderson.

Avoiding: carbs for the most part. It's kind of a slow process but it is helping me lose weight - 11 pounds thus far... hoping it'll stay off.

Enjoyed: Family Movie Night with my little peeps including Sammy & Lizzie... but disappointed that so many signed up... and didn't come... even though we had enough food for them.

Preparing: for VBS promotion to kick it up a notch...

Drinking: Diet Pepsi

Snacking: on nothing

Trying: to learn patience and be more understanding of some things that really irk me.

Ending: another year of Children's Choirs and looking forward to their presentation on Sunday night. Cheryl Ferguson does such an incredible job... as well as all the other choir leaders.

And a few Easter pictures of those precious kids... and grandkids... :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010


"Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord's work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." --I Corinthians 15:58 (HCSB).

Heart of a Child is a children's ministry convention held every 2 years at First Baptist, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It is sponsored by a five-state team of Southern Baptist state convention associates from Arkansas, Kansas-Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. One participates in general sessions where the above verse was dissected and expounded upon; in workshops of one's choosing; and the viewing of exhibits from a variety of vendors. It is a time for preschool and children's ministry leader who share a common call to come together. Each of the four general session speakers did an excellent job of reminding us to "be steadfast" and to do it step by step because "God has and is guiding us"; to "be immovable" and the importance of growing and developing spiritually; to "always excel" and to do it above and beyond what is average; and lastly we were reminded that our "labor is not in vain" because God has called us to be involved in His plan, not ours.

Donna Peavey, an associate professor from New Orleans Baptist Seminary, is one of my favorite workshop leaders at these kind of events. I attended two of her sessions - Christian Education & Family Ministry and What Do Parents Really Want From Me? Donna is very funny and after one late afternoon conference asked if we were tired of sitting and then said, "You know that your brain can only take what your booty will allow." Jan Marler, a Lifeway ministry specialist, led a workshop called Developing a Discipleship Strategy for Kids. She reminded us that by age 9, most of a child's moral and spiritual foundations are in place so we must INVEST IN CHILDREN! A question that Jan discussed was - What should parents expect from their church? Here are her answers...
1. A philosophy of ministry
2. An intentional plan for nurturing the faith of children
3. Prayer
4. Balance - knowledge, behavior, missions, skills
5. Mentors
6. Trained leadership
7. Safety
I know that we have made an effort at Parkway to deal with these expectations but we can always improve. But sometimes it's not just up to the staff to accomplish these things but also up to the volunteers. There are also things that the church should expect from parents...
1. Regular participation
2. Prayer
3. Reinforcement
4. Parent & teacher communication

Cheryl and Christine from Parkway also attended this event and I hope was blessed in some way at the workshops they attended. Their emphasis is in music but they are also vital parts of other parts of our children's ministry and I appreciate them more than words can truly express. Also, I invited Kayla (an intern at First Baptist, Bolivar) to attend. She has such a heart for children and for the church and it was her first major children's ministry conference. My prayer is that she became even more excited about investing time in children and sharing with them the love of Jesus. I also hope I've been of some help in mentoring Kayla as she pursues His calling.

We made it back safely although I seemed to have left part of my brain behind. As we got in the car, I realized I didn't have my phone - which I left in the hotel room on the bed. Then I managed to miss the turn to get on the turnpike so I had to pay a toll to get off the road and then to turn around and get back on. And lastly, I realized later in the week that I was missing some clothes and after calling the hotel, sure enough, I had left them there. Let's just say I was really tired by the time we left.

This conference has some of the best speakers from around the country and I would encourage anyone who works in children's ministry (paid or volunteer) to attend. It's not too early to put the next one on your calendar - April 20-21, 2012.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Memories that Matter

I get a lot of emails - and I mean a lot - and many times I glance at them and think "nope, not enough time to read that one." But today, I slowed down enough to read one from MOPS... and it's certainly not just for Mothers of Preschoolers. (I get these because I'm one of the mentors for MOPS not because I'm a mom of one... those days are long gone.) Anyway, take the time to read this (I think you might relate; it certainly struck a cord with me from years past) and then make some memories that matter...

Making Memories that Matter

I remember yelling at my kids for interrupting my email writing, my Facebook time and the season finales of a dozen reality shows that have since slipped from my mind. Those deadlines and projects were so important at the time, but now, like those flowers I planted, they’ve faded away, never to return.

"For this season of your life,
I challenge you:
make memories that last."

Thankfully, though, I do remember some things that seemed boring and non-urgent. Like the dandelion crown I placed on my daughter’s head and the night we cuddled on a blanket in the backyard and stared at the clouds until the stars came out. And bubbles. Popsicles. Galloping around the yard like a pony. Tackling my boys and playing baseball with them. Slow moments, all of them. Non-urgent moments without deadlines.

There is not one material thing, one worldly accomplishment, even one friendship that I now value more than those precious, fleeting moments with my little girl who’s now in Kindergarten and my boys. For this season of your life, I challenge you: make memories that last. Savor the small. Treasure your time with your babies in your heart, and tear yourself away from the unimportant. You will never, ever regret it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Normally I like the color yellow - it's bright, reminds me of sunshine, and friends tell me I look good in yellow. However, lately, it's been more of an enemy. Sara's silver car is now yellow; the island and counter in my kitchen is supposed to be blue but had a layer of yellow when I got home from work recently. I see lots of yellow cars. Even the floor next to my open kitchen window had a slick, yellowish tint to it. So windows are closed now - thanks to the "lovely" spring pollen.

I've been home from the Isle of Man for 3 weeks - seems like forever since I was there... so much has happened in a short span. Chris and Malikas have had much heartache in that short 3 weeks. They were both very close to Bunty. She had no family except for the Kinley's and she was like a grandmother to Chris. Bunty died on March 23 at the age of 94. A few days later Masha's grandmother died who lived in Belarus. She was in the hospital because of heart problems but was expected to go home in a couple of days. Malikas will be leaving next week to go to Belarus. She wants to visit the village where her grandmother lived and see her grave. It will be a difficult trip. Please keep her in your prayers.

Saddle Ridge Ranch, VBS 2010 - 2 months, 3 days away. 'Nuff said...

Join us April 30
for a Family Movie Night at Parkway. FREE dinner and a movie... but don't forget to sign up so we can get a count for food. We'll show 2 movies simultaneously that night... the new Veggie Tales, Pistachio, and for those who think they have outgrown Veggie Tales, we'll show one of the Sugar Creek Gang movies, Swamp Robber. Go to the church website and sign up for Saddle Ridge Ranch, VBS Music Camp ($35) and Family Movie Night - all in one place for your easy convenience.

My favorite pics from my trip...