Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Witnessing History

This Sunday we witnessed history at our church, as our pastor passed the pulpit on to a new pastor. The current pastor at our church is stepping down to "Pastor Emeritus", which from what I understand is kind of an assisting-type job, helping the new pastor with the ropes of the church and such. The pastor who is stepping down has been in the ministry for 43 years, pastoring this church for 34, and due to an illness he has been battling for a few years now, he has to step down from the ministry. Our new pastor started this last Sunday. He came from a church in Arkansas (though not as the pastor), and from being the vice president of a bible college that he and his brother (who is a pastor) started. Though we loved the last pastor, we are excited to see how God will work in our church in this move as well.

When we first joined this church, the pastor actually told us that we were an answer to prayer, as a naval officer had just left and since then he has been praying for another naval officer to take his place! We really knew that we were in God's will when we heard that! We really feel that our last church equipped us for the ministry God has given us here. It has been such a wonderful blessing and faith builder to see how God has brought us and worked in our lives to take us from one place to the next. What a glorious blessing it is to know that you are following God's plan, in His will, and what peace it brings!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

High Cotton

This may sound silly, but Carl and I are fascinated with the fields of cotton around here, so much so that we had to take some pictures of it to share. We personally have never lived anywhere that grew cotton, and have never seen it in real-life in the fields. We didn't even realize they grew cotton in TN until we saw it here (we are in the southwestern most corner). I am especially fascinated, as I come from a farming family, and now see all these new tractors I've never seen before (geeky, I know). We did stop and feel it, by the way. It feels much like regular cotton balls you buy from the store. Imagine. :) Anyhow, here are the pictures of the crop.
How awesome is it that our favorite clothes start out looking like this? : )
This is how they apparently bale cotton. As you can tell, these are huge bricks of cotton, and there are many more not included in the photo. Cool huh? I am sure the farmer in the tractor thought I was slightly insane when I was taking this photo.

Sorry this is kind of dark and blurry. I took it from the car. It was an afterthought photo.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mud River Island

This weekend we visited a site in Memphis called Mud River Island Park. It has a miniature-type version of the Lower Mississippi River, showing all of the states it winds through, and the history of the many cities on it. We had a fun time learning and visiting this free park. Since we move often, we try to visit as many local places as we can each place we live. The USA has so much to offer, and when you live somewhere, you forget about all the places you can visit. So, we try to view the places we live through tourists' eyes, trying to take advantage of all we can. Here are a few pictures from the day.

Here's a small part of the river representation.

Okay, so I know you are stupefied right now as to how in the world this fits in to a river park. I have no idea, but it was funny! This giant hay man was too good to resist, so we had to snap a picture of Carl sitting on his lap.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Break!!

This weekend I had Monday and today (Tuesday) off for fall break. Well, so did my sister-in-law, Krista, (she works in a school, too), so a while ago, we decided to get together with her and her husband, Kris, this weekend at a spot located about half-way between us for a camp out. Carl also had Monday off and Kris took off Monday morning. So, we both drove to the campground Friday night, setup our tents, and then had all of Saturday and all of Sunday for camp out fun! And fun we did have! It was a blast! It was a wonderful time, just spending time together, in nature with nothing to do but hike around, throw a football, play with the dogs, and sit around the fire and chat. Now that is RELAXATION! We camped at a site in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. Fall is our favorite season, and the weather and nature did not disappoint. The trees were just starting to turn, and the crisp feel of fall was in the air.

We went to a place called Garden of the gods, though we know it was actually formed by the only God. There were amazing rock formations, that displayed God's awesome beauty and power. I always wonder, too, about how much of what I see was a result of the flood. I've put all of our pictures in a slideshow, so if you want to zoom in on any, just click on them within the slide show, and they will zoom for you. I love the first one best, as far as photograph quality, as I think the lighting is gorgeous. Anyhow, we had a wonderful time and can't wait to do it again!

Click to play Fall Break '08
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Second Look

Since I last posted my pictures of our bed, and even before that, I have been looking for material to make larger pillows for it. I finally found just what I wanted the other day at Wal-Mart. Two brown pillow cases, with a simple detailed edge (which is kind of hard to see in the picture). Perfect! I cut the pillow cases down a little to my size, stuffed them, and stitched up the side. Taking advice from Charissa, I also wanted to help "anchor" the bed by finding something to hang on the wall on either side of it. What we ended up getting Carl picked out, and I agreed with his good taste. So, here's the finished product, slightly different from the first time you saw it. You'll have to let me know if you like it (if not, that's okay, you just don't have to let me know ;) ).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Our First 5 Years

Carl and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Saturday. To celebrate we went out to The Melting Pot, a restaurant we have always desired to try, but not wanted to spend the money to do so. We thought this anniversary was a good a reason as any, so we did and it was phenomenal! We LOVED it!! The food was absolutely delicious, and the experience was a great time. You will not leave there hungry, and all the food you eat is quite healthy! We got the 4 course choice (you can only get a minimum of 3 I believe), and our dessert was free as we had a coupon (always exciting). The first course is a variety of breads, apple slices, and variety of fresh veggies to dip in your choice of a cheese fondue sauce. The second course was a delicious salad (no fondue necessary ;) ) and the third course was the main course with a variety of meat and veggies and your choice of broth fondue. Here are a few pictures from the day and the meal. I will apologize in advance, I always remembered to take the picture after eating a bit, so you don't get to see the nice spread as we first saw it, but rather partially eaten. ;)

We of course had to get a little gussied up for our nice meal and special day. : )

Here is the first course (or what's left of it). : )

Main course of pork bbq, shrimp, salmon, honey dijon chicken, ravioli, and fillet Mignon (and veggies).

The boiling broth.

So, in our first five years we have lived in and traveled around Europe, moved 3 times, lived in 3 different states, had 4 different churches, gotten 2 dogs, both served in the war against terrorism, made many good friends, and seen the Lord keep us through hard times as well as good times. We have also seen many prayers answered. We are so thankful to be where we are now, as our marriage really does keep getting better all of the time, as we desire more and more to serve the Lord and through serving Him, serve each other. What a sweet blessing my husband is to me daily, and I strive to be the same to him. We are SO excited to see how God will work in our marriage in the next 5 years and more.