Operation Christmas Child

We have been getting ready to go to Boone, NC to the Operation Christmas Child distribution center. We are all excited to be able to go and see just how the distribution center works. We will be working for three days and will also be able to visit Samaritan’s Purse Headquarters as well.

This week AFA had a packing party to pack 200 shoeboxes that we will be taking with us to Boone. And I thought I would show you some of the pictures from the packing party. My husband, Ms. Coni Gann and Ms. Angie May were in charge of the whole thing and I think they did a great job. Just to explain, there was a boy’s side and a girl’s side and then there was a neutral table also. So depending on which box you were packing, you would go down that side. Some of the items that were put into all the boxes were: soap & wash cloths, toothpaste & toothbrushes, pencils, notebooks, stickers, goo goo eyes, and much more. In the boys’ boxes they got a hacky sack, a ball cap, matchbox cars, socks and combs. In the girls’ they got compact brushes, socks, lip gloss, teddy bears, and hair bows.

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My Honey!

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My Baby packing a box.

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The teddy bear for the girls’ boxes.

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The cake we had made for the party. It was almost gone by the time I got out to make a picture.

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Our van loaded down bound for Boone.

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

This year it seems as if Thanksgiving has just snuck up on me. I’m just not ready! I’ve had the flu for almost two weeks, but I’m better and ready to tackle the cooking. I’m so glad we are not having our family Thanksgiving until Saturday Our menu is below with the cook beside it:

Smoked Turkey (Jim)
Smoked Ham (Jim)
Dressing (Mom – with me doing the cornbread)
Deviled Eggs (me)
Broccoli & Raisin salad (me)
Green Bean Casserole (Rebekah)
Fried Sweet Potatoes (mom)
Butter Beans (mom)
Rolls (me)
4 layered Dessert (mom)

We will have 9 people here on Saturday which is a small number for us. With the illnesses and other health problems lately, its probably better that this is a light year for us. I’m excited to be together with my family. I’m even starting to get excited about Christmas. I’m hoping to get my tree up by Dec. 10th. That’s my goal right now.

We also have some fun things to look forward to in the coming month. We have two parades to attend, a tree lighting, and our church’s Christmas musical. Our family also goes to look at lights at least once every year. Mom and I haven’t done any decorating yet, but I know we will begin that now that I’m better.

I’ve been surfing the internet looking for some Christmas crafts to do, and I found a good site. It’s Handimania. They’ve got some great and fun crafts. I also found a couple of good ones on youtube. One was LilyShop, and the other was ModernMom. I loved the Christmas Tree craft made of just construction paper and wrapping paper. They are cone shaped, but very cool. If you like to craft you might enjoy them.

I love Christmas time. The lights, the presents, the family being together, and especially knowing that this is our time to celebrate our Savior’s birth makes this a very special time.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving and will have a blessed Christmas.

Meal Plan Monday

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Monday – Beef & Broccoli Stir-fry

Tuesday – Mac & Cheese w/ hotdogs (Abby is cooking)

Wednesday – CHURCH

Thursday – Lemon Pepper Chicken, Au Gratin Potatoes, and French style beans.

Friday – Chili and Cornbread

Saturday – Grilled porkloin, soft fried potatoes, and butter beans

Sunday – Crockpot Sticky Chicken, rice, and mixed vegis

Have a great week!

The song Waterfall

Have you ever heard a song that touched your heart? I might have heard the song many times, but all of a sudden the meaning just hits me and touches my heart deeply. This has happened many times. I think its one way God has of speaking to me. The song “Blessings” has been one of those. The Lord used that song to get me through some hard times. Recently the song “Waterfall” by Salvador has been another song that I feel the Lord has touched my heart with.

Waterfall by Salvador

So many times I stayed thirsty
When all along I had Your cup
Within my reach

So many times I’ve gone weary
When there’s a water edge
Where I could rest

Renew me, refine me
Refresh me
Bring me to life

Overcome me like a waterfall
Overwhelm me, let me see You as You are
Pursue me, all of the days of my life
Let Your water fall

So many times I’ve run on empty
When all along I had Your word lifting me up
And when my life is like a desert
You’re like a precious spring that rises up within

Renew me, refine me
Refresh me
Bring me to life

I think many times we, as Christians, get into a “rut” in our Christian life. Do we actively seek God? Do we ask Him to refresh and and refine us? I know, that at times, I find myself coasting through my life. I also know that I don’t always seek God’s counsel, I try to figure things out for myself. This song has helped me to see some of my shortcomings. I love that it reminds me of God’s love and how He wants me to come to Him for refreshing. I can also see that I need God to refine me and to instruct me in be His servant. I can go to Christ with any and all problems that may come my way. This song also uses some wonderful imagery. Words like “there’s a water’s edge” and “You’re like a precious spring that rises up within”. The imagery of the waterfall is so uplifting and helps me to know that God is always here to renew my walk with Him.

I know I’m rambling, but knowing that my Father is there for me is so comforting.

Blessings!

We had such a wonderful time we have decided to go in July on our own. If you ever have the chance to go you really should. The place is beautiful, the food is great and of course the teaching is second to none. You can find a schedule of events here.

We worked hard during the conference, but it was still great. Here is a couple of pictures of where we were set up.
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We were set up just on the left of this beautiful fireplace.

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This is our booth. We had both the information table and the recording area together.

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Jim working hard.

They had a really nice gift shop that was called Ruth’s Attic. I thought it was funny because it was essentially in the basement. I found a nice Willow Tree display. They had some beautiful ones with flowers.
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Jim got me the one with the huge bouquet of roses. It’s so pretty.

We also got dad a hat, mom an umbrella, and Abby a neat Bible and bracelet that helps in witnessing.
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I also bought some postcards with some great pictures.

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This is the Training Center building. We were set up right inside off the balcony.

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This is Shepherd’s Inn where our room was.

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This is chapel. Jim and I went in on our way home. It was so beautiful!

On our way to NC, we stopped to do some geocaching and saw this sign.
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So of course I had to stop. We bought a couple of t-shirts. Jim took some pictures and sent them to a friend that is crazy about chocolate. So on our way back we had to stop again and get her some chocolate covered twinkies. They make everything there, I tried a sample of the fudge, it was outstanding. Here are some pictures of all the chocolate.

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The chocolate covered twinkies.

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We got Abby a Chocolate and caramel covered apple.
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Chocolate covered whoopie pies.

Our trip took us an extra day to get home because of a wreck on I-40. So we stayed in Hurricane Mills. Then made it home on Friday. I took Jim to work, but he decided not to stay too long. We headed on home after I went and got papers at the Journal office. I’ve started couponing, so I’ll post about that soon.

Billy Graham Training Center – The Cove

Today we have arrived at the Billy Graham Training Center, The Cove. We are here for The Heart Cry for Revival Conference. This place is so beautiful! We are up in the mountains and the facility is very nice. But before I go into all the pictures and such, I just want to say that yesterday was a wonderful day. We were both so stress free and relaxed that I am energized and I seem to have a new outlook on life. Maybe we need to do this more often. I wonder what would happen if we would all try and de-stress our lives some, would we feel like we had more energy, would we feel more loving and kind toward others. I’m hoping this experience will follow me home!!

Ok, back to our travels and work today. We left Fairfield Glade around 8am this morning. We did stop and eat at a Cracker Barrel, I’m not sure if we have ever been on a trip that we didn’t eat at a Cracker Barrel at least once. We did a little caching today, but not much. We drove on some very curvy roads through the mountains. While it was beautiful, I’m really glad I was driving or we would never have made it (I get extremely car sick). Because of the time change, and us forgetting about the time change, we were an hour later than we had planned. We did get unloaded and set up before supper. The booth is both the information booth and the broadcast booth, so we will be a little crowded. We have a big space though so it should be fine. We also have a booth for the “Behold Your God” video series and it looks great!

The supper tonight was amazing. It was buffet style but the food was really good. We had tomatoes with basil and cheese, bruschetta, Italian vegetables, pasta, roast beef with a mango demi, and a shrimp and crab combination dish. For dessert there was Creme Brule.

So now for the pictures:

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This is our room door. After the cabin theme from yesterday, I thought this was just too funny.

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This is a view from our balcony. It’s one of the trails that you can walk here at the Cove.

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Another view from the room looking back at the Inn.

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This is a view of the room from the balcony.

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The “Behold Your God” booth with Mr. Matt Robinson.

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The buffet from tonight. If this is what the food is going to be like the entire week, I’m in trouble or at least my diet is in trouble.

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The dessert table. I did eat half of one, Matt ate the rest.

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I’ll leave you with a view from the training center building looking over the mountains.

Blessings

Traveling

Yesterday Jim and I left a day early on our way to Asheville, NC and Abby left for a mission trip to Jackson, MS with We Will Go ministries. So we are all traveling this weekend. Abby will be back home tomorrow, but Jim and I will be gone for a week.

We are in Fairfield Glade TN. This place is gorgeous! It is a big golfing community, but the area is very pretty and serene. Today has been wonderful. We didn’t have an agenda, we weren’t in hurry to go anywhere, and it was a very stress free day. We had so much fun just being together. We started with a nice breakfast at a place called The Log Cabin. Which we then decided to go back and rest. It had been such a long week, Jim was exhausted. We went back into town around 2:30p. We stopped at The Custard Cabin and had some frozen custard that was very good. It was like very smooth ice cream. We then went Geocaching until almost 6pm. We found 11 caches in all. We are now up to 418 caches. Jim wants us to get to 500, but I don’t think its going to happen on this trip. We ended our day at The Catfish Cabin, do you see a theme? This was one of the best catfish and hushpuppies I have ever eaten. I could only eat two pieces of fish, they were so big. The rest of our evening we will be resting getting ready to finish the drive to Asheville.

Here are some pictures of our trip so far.

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This is the fireplace, gas logs, and the TV in the condo.

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The is the jacuzzi. This was in a room all by itself and there was a skylight above it.

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This was taken right outside on the balcony. There is a little creek, but I don’t think you can see it in the picture. You could hear though.

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This is one of the cache sites. I’m not sure if it is a crypt or just a memorial.

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This was at the same cache site, I just thought it was a beautiful tree.

I’d also like to give an update on our garden. Mom and I planted three rows of Okra, five yellow squash, five zuchini squash, two tomato plants, and three rows of butter beans. Here are a couple of pictures.

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Well that’s all I’ve got for right now. Blessings!!

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