July 29, 2010

zebular

I'll be happy when Zeb learns that carpet does not equal grass that is acceptable to go potty on.

Zebular (not his real name, just my nick name) turns 7 weeks old tomorrow!

Yesterday, Zeb went outside to go potty. He went #2. And then we walked around the yard for a good five minutes. He decides he's tired and ... unknowingly ... sits in the exact same spot ... that he just pooped. Seriously. Its a huuuuge backyard. There's no where else to sit? I really don't think he even knew what he just sat in. I had to laugh.

Kanyon takes him out to "work" with him everyday. He really just slows Kanyon down cause he gets lost in the cotton thats three times taller than him but maybe he will be useful one day. Anyway, Kanyon was working on his circle system and took off a sprinkler system and put it on the ground. Kanyon said he barked and pounced on that sprinkler like it was a threat. And not just for a minute. For a good ten minutes.

Puppy breath smells like coffee. I don't care what you think it smells like. Its like we feed them coffee beans. And I like it.

Also, Zeb is 75%  fluff right now. I gave him a bath for the first time last week and he shrunk to a fourth of his size.

Yes, I know this is a random post.

I bought him his first rawhide bone yesterday and gave it to him. This video is right after I gave it to him. He was so excited! I know that probably 98% of you are going to think this video is boring but at least my mom will like it!

I've always thought that home videos with the person talking sounded kinda awkward.. but after watching this, I've decided videos with no one talking is even awkward..er. Note taken. Do me a favor and watch some music or something while you watch it.

video

Lauren Baker is coming to Welch tonight and we are leaving for Colorado in the morning!! We are going to go visit my brother who is working at Dry Bones this summer. I'm so proud of him.. even though being a mountain guide has encouraged his grungy habits..

Have a great weekend!

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July 28, 2010

My job at First Baptist

I said a while ago that I would do a post on what I do at first baptist, so here it is!

First Baptist Church in Lamesa had an ad in the paper in early April for a "Ministry Assistant." I was working in Brownfield at the time (40 minutes from Lamesa) so I couldn't go get an application. So Kanyon got one for me. He ended up staying there for about half an hour talking to the pastor about me, ha!

About a week later, I came back with my completed application and sat down with Chris, the pastor. The job sounded too good to be true. All of the job descriptors were things that I like to do or things that I'd like to learn to do! It was a variety of responsibilities, which appealed to me since I'd get bored doing the same things everyday. Not to mention the job included benefits - something Kanyon and I really needed for me to have with him being self employed and insurance premiums being out the wazoo.. I left the interview seriously wanting that job.

The next week, I got a call from Chris that I could have the job if I wanted it!! I was thrilled. I started that next week and settled into my new (huge for me) office:

My desk

Harris, the youth minister, brought me down this bright red couch 
from the youth room! Doesn't match but its funky :)

The door on the left leads to the lobby where our secretary is and the hallway to the rest of the offices.
Obviously, I haven't done much with this side of the office.. I don't even know how to open that safe lol. But I did get decorations on the wall at least! My books would fill up about two of those rows of shelves..

So what do I do? Well, since my job title is new to this church, the members sometimes call me other titles of former employees whose jobs they fused together to make mine: Administrator or Financial Secretary. But I'm not the administrator because our pastor, Chris holds that position pretty much, and I'm not the Financial Secretary primarily because we now have an accountant and I do more than just financial.

Financially, I handle our Purchase Order system. All purchases go through the Financial Committee and/or me. I sign all of our checks, along with a FC person, and keep records of all of our purchases. I am the go-between for the church and our accountant. Sounds quick and easy but its more extensive than that. I never thought I would like working with money but my need to be organized is satisfied through this!

Administratively, I am the contact for all of our many accounts such as our utility providers, our service providers, etc. I keep all the records of any relationship we have with another company. My job is to make sure we are being responsible with our money and getting the best rates, etc.

I also am the editor of our 8 page monthly newsletter. I have really liked doing this! I get to be creative and make it look pretty. A few pages, I get to design completely myself.

I am the editor for our website, also. Harris, our youth minister, thankfully had it all set up for me before I started working so I didn't have to build it, lol. It is a pretty fancy website so I was impressed. But I keep it updated with events and load documents or videos and stuff up so people will have access to them. I've learned a lot and have been able to put up some more info and pages on it since I've been working here. The website is www.firstlamesa.org if you'd like to look. (If you look at it today, it won't be updated, cause I've been out with Mission Lamesa, but it will be back up this afternoon!)

Those are my four main responsibilites and they keep me busy. But the variety comes from all the events and projects that we always have going on at our church. For instance, a couple weeks ago we did a missional event called Mission Lamesa. Joyce, a member, and our pastor wanted to put out a 40 day devotional leading up to it so Joyce collected devotionals from people. I designed and created a booklet for it and inserted all the devotionals. That was a big project and lasted all week but I got to do something different!

I work with Chris (pastor), Harris (youth minister), Andi (children's minister and Harris' wife!), Wayne (education minister), and Lanette (our secretary). I really do love our staff. We have a lot of fun together.

Hope that answered some questions! I am trying to get out the newsletter this week and update the website so gotta go!

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July 26, 2010

Kairos Weekend Re-Cap

Well, it was an amazing weekend.

I had so much fun getting to know all the women that work these things and all the men who go into the prisons with Kanyon. As one of the in-mates said, it takes a special man to want to work a Kairos.

The weekend didn't start until Friday night for me, though Kairos started Thursday night for everyone else. I didn't want to ask off from my new-ish job yet so I went ahead and just didn't work Friday. When I got there Friday night, they had just sent off dinner to be delivered inside the prison and then men were scheduled to be back in a couple hours. When they did get back, they had a few stories to tell, and then we got home by 9:15 or so.

Saturday and Sunday morning, Kanyon and I left the house around 6:00 to make it to breakfast before the men left for prison. Then all day Saturday, I worked with the women preparing lots of food. Those in-mates eat A LOT. Two guys at Kanyon's table ate 5 12-oz steaks!!! And the huge potato and salad and banana pudding that went with it! They love Kairos food :) We had a lot of fun making it for them.

Saturday afternoon, I went home at 10:30 to let Zeb out and to feed him. I decided to take him back with me and he was up there with us from 12 noon to 9:30 at night! I was kind of nervous about it but he had a blast running around with all the kids. I finally had to hide him from them around 7:00 so he could take a nap. Seriously. They kept coming up to me asking where he was and I would say its a secret.

Zeb and his buddy Blake in the ice chest.

That night, the men came back with some amazing stories. Kanyon gave his talk that day and it was amazing from what I heard. I knew it would be! I read it to the women, who all said wow, and the men came back telling me how awesome it was received and how it touched base with a lot of those in-mates. Of course, there were lots of men that gave amazing talks that day that were all used by God, I'm just proud of my husband :)

Sunday was the closing ceremony. The women are invited in to participate in it. I was really excited to see all these men we'd been praying for and talking about! It was so awesome to see their faces. They all were so on fire for God and had these looks on their faces that you could tell they were relieved of a lot of the mess they had been carrying around with them for years. They looked so free. It was so different .. thats a good word for it. Growing up in Houston and going to school with a lot of "ghetto" kids, I'm not necessarily foreign to those kind of people. I even had a lot of friends that dressed, talked, acted ghetto or whatever. But to see a gang member covered in tattoos tell you that he had never felt love before and how we are his new family and cry like a baby is one of the most surreal experiences I've ever been through! And not just one guy, but 30? Only God can do that. I love it.

I have one cool story that I'll share, although there were several stories that would blow your mind from that weekend. I had a time slot in the prayer room on Saturday afternoon. While I was in there, I decided to go down the list of names of the in-mates in Kairos that weekend. As I went down the list, I just asked God to reveal to me the different things the guys needed to be prayed for. There were several guys that stuck out to me that I prayed pretty specifically for. And I've always remembered names well if I see them written down. Anyways, that night one of our men was telling us how a man, who I'll just name KC to keep anonymous, had been carrying so much hate and anger towards his family his whole life and how he had finally been able to forgive them that day and felt so free. I specifically remembered praying that I felt like KC needed help forgiving something and for God to help him when I was in the prayer room that day! At the closing ceremony, KC got up and spoke at a time where the in-mates could share what had happened to them that weekend to us and he cried like a baby telling us how amazing it felt to be free of that! God really does want each of us to be free. How He knows every single individual inside and out on this earth is amazing to me. Maybe thats why He's God :) How could I not want to serve a God like that?!?

I hope that yall who read this (if anyone reads this lol) get to be a part of ministry somewhere. If you aren't, I suggest you do so immediately because your life will never be the same.

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July 23, 2010

kairos weekend


Some of yall might have noticed me mentioning we were working a Kairos this weekend but didn't know what I was talking about! Well I wanted to inform you of this awesome ministry..

Let me first say that this will be my first Kairos to ever work. I've been hearing about it for years from Kanyon's family though and know some about it. The best way to describe it is kind of like a weekend retreat for inmates in prison. From what I can tell, it is a lot like Walk to Emmaus retreats but tweeked a lot for prison. The lure for the inmates to want to go on these retreats a lot of times is the rumors about how good the food is. Before the weekend starts, we bag up a dozen cookies for EACH inmate in the WHOLE prison (thats a lot) so everyone knows its going on that weekend. They end up hearing about 12 really great talks about different aspects of God's love and the Christian life. Basically trying to blow away all their preconcieved notions. A lot of these men, like a lot of us, have had bad experiences of what church and being a Christian is and the men's talks try to describe to them how amazing and free God's love really is and how Christians are really just imperfect people like them who have accepted Christ as their savior. In between talks, they do some fun stuff because I know they laugh a lot too but I'm not sure yet what all they do. But obviously, the talks are the main focus. They are given by the men working the walk and include each man's story of how God has worked in their life. Hearing that man's testimony always means a lot to the men.

I am working on the Outside Angels team. I've always heard that its a lot of fun for the women, too, even though we can't go into the prison ourselves. Women cannot go into the men's prison except for the closing ceremony if you are approved. So we make all the really good food. We work out of a church nearby the prison that lets us use their kitchen. As you know, food in prison is terrible  and all the prison mates have heard how amazing Kairos food is. We also know what time the men in the prison are giving talks so at that time, we all stop and the wife or whoever of the man giving the talk at that time will read his notes to the girls at the same time so we get to hear the talk that the men are hearing at that time! One of the most important things we do is pray for the weekend. The inmates are floored when they find out how many people that they don't even know have been praying for them each individually by name. Besides the men working and the Outside Angels team, we have a prayer chain that people sign up for so the weekend is prayed for every second of it. Every 30 minute time slot is filled. Even at 3 in the morning, someone woke up to pray for thirty minutes.

One of the coolest things I have heard that we will do for the men is the Birthday celebration. You wouldn't believe how many boys and men in the prison have never had a birthday party thrown for them because they had a bad home life growing up, which resulted in their bad choices, then prison. We make a birthday cake for each "man in white" (what we call them) and the guys sing happy birthday to them and give them a huge sack of letters from all of us. I've heard of one guy bursting out in tears and saying "this is too much!" Seriously, I just got teary eyed typing that. I've heard its one of the most amazing things to witness a grown man blowing out his first birthday cake

On Sunday, we have a closing ceremony inside the prison walls. It is a big deal that they let some of the women come in for it. We have to be approved first by the warden, I'm assuming. I've never been to a closing ceremony so I'm excited for Sunday.

I'll post after this weekend to let yall know how it went! Be praying for us. Kanyon is giving a talk this weekend for the first time. He's gonna do so great!

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July 22, 2010

Baby, meet baby.


Last night, Tac, Al and Kasha's boy met Zeb. They got along so nicely that Tac even let Zeb share his pacifier!

(bad quality because its from my phone..) 
Can you see Zeb sucking on the end of Tac's pacifier attacher .. thing? I don't know what to call it.

Zeb had a great first full day with us yesterday running around with Kanyon around the farm in his pick-up all day. I don't think he's thought about his missing mom and siblings at all since the first night! He's showing a more rambunctious side now that he knows he doesn't need to always be scared we're going to leave him and never come back. He still cries if he can't see us sometimes but its not near as bad.

Sleepy puppy after a long fun day. He crashed in the middle of playing with Tac, who also got sleepy immediately after seeing his friend fall asleep, haha!

Going swimming with Kasha and Tac tonight and taking care of Zeb since Kanyon goes into the prison for the Kairos starting tonight! Its gonna be an interesting weekend with a new puppy and Kanyon and I working in the Kairos but it'll be fun!

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July 21, 2010

our other first baby


around 6, last night we got a call from our friend troy who we have been planning on buying an australian shepherd puppy from for a few weeks now. he told kanyon, "come get your puppy on the way home from community tonight!"

uh.. really!?

we had "walk to emmaus" community meeting last night where we worship and have dinner together. needless to say, kanyon and i were a little anxious to go home! finally around 9:15, troy & sue and kanyon & i finally left to head to their house and take home the puppy.

everyone.. meet Zeb!

"lady, who are you and why are you calling me baby?"


kanyon had to get up super early this morning to spray - about 4:30. but at about 12:30, he couldn't sleep anyway so he got Zeb, who was crying, and let him watch tv and sleep with him in his chair. (enjoy it while it lasts, zeb..) then i was up at 5 with him crying. you can tell he keeps lookin for his siblings and his mom but i'm happy that he's already attached himself tightly to kanyon and i. we are so excited!

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July 18, 2010

landon

landon had his all-star football game on friday night! he is a great football player and i even had little kids (and a hs student) workin at mission lamesa saying "you're landon brown's sister in law? he's such a good football player!"

this game was kind of a marker for us as the last high school event for landon. unfortunately, the night didn't end as well as we all hoped but that definitely doesn't take away from how good of a player he is. its a big deal to even be picked to play on this team and he's won so many awards in the last four years (not just sports, but ag and educational) that the lamesa newspaper took about four paragraphs just to list them all.

(he's number 9 with the red and blue socks)

even though i've only known landon for four years now and have only been his sister for five months, i'm so proud to be related to him. he's an awesome kid and has such an amazing heart. he is very mature for his age while still being so much fun to be around. i love him a lot. him and cole (my brother) have been good friends for years now and i don't even want to know the crazy things they've done together. those two are my favorite two brothers in the entire world.

landon is going off to school in about a month to texas tech to study in the ag department. he plans on farming cotton like his brother, dad, and grandfathers before him and i can only hope landon and kanyon's dream of living within 200 yards of each other comes true someday :)

mission lamesa.. almost done


we didn't finish the house by friday night as planned.. (see first mission lamesa post) but we got really far. we are hoping to finish it by tuesday so amanda and her kids can finally move in!

where we are now:

walls are insulated and sheetrock is all up! on saturday, a man volunteered to use a fancy sprayer thing to texture and paint the wall so hopefully when we come back tomorrow morning, all that will be finished. then we will finish painting the outside, hang the cabinets and put the appliances in. then this week, another volunteer is installing the carpet. then we're done!!

we painted the outside white with blue trim. it looks so much better!

friday night, we had a pool party to celebrate getting (most of) the work done! we were all pooped and needed a night to relax. this is andi and harris' (children's minister and youth minister) baby Silas. such a chunk of happiness. he thinks everything is hilarious.

my kind of man.

July 16, 2010

suggestions


well, i am on the lookout for some new good books. i just found out a couple days ago that the lamesa library is actually pretty current with their books! i'm excited to explore that one! i could sit in libraries for hours as a kid and that hasn't changed.

one of my friends, pam kearney, brought me this book on wednesday:



its a true story about a model-turned-secret agent! i'm pretty excited about getting to get more into it after mission lamesa is over this weekend (which won't actually be over till probably tuesday.. post on that coming later). i'm about 50 pages in and i think i'm really going to like it.

(author is Aline, Countess of Romanones, if you were wondering)




but other than that.. i got nothing besides my mom suggesting a book called Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter.. strange but i think i'm gonna try it.

spreaking of mom -- she is in jamaica right now with new beginnings youth group for a mission trip so prayers would be appreciated! that woman will never stop serving. she's amazing.

anyway, what i'm really getting at is.. does anyone have any book recommendations? they don't have to be new or bestseller. i love the newest stuff and i also love the old stuff like pride and prejudice (my favorite). let me know!!


our front yard

last saturday, vaughn and i went to lubbock to finally get some flowers and shrubs for our front yard. we got:



purple fountain grass (i love this!)
















 a plant that neither vaughn or i can ever remember the name of..
it has yellow flowers on it.














impatiens














i can't remember.. 











a rose of sharon
















also can't remember.. are you seeing a theme?



and we already had some monkey grass and some dusty miller that vaughn had gotten us a while back .. that i'm pretty sure i would have killed if kanyon hadn't stepped in. (i promise i've been watering everyday vaughn!)







this is the only setup we have come up with.. and we hate it. we want to redo the whole thing but don't know how.. i guess that's this weekend's project. along with cleaning! but more importantly - landon's all star football game in lubbock on saturday!
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July 13, 2010

mission lamesa


this week, the church that i work for, is doing something really awesome.

i work for first baptist church in lamesa. the pastor there, chris, decided this year was the year that instead of leaving for a mission trip, the church was going to be christ to our neighborhood. and oh, have they.

we have several projects going on. some are paint jobs, one roofing, some landscaping, most are construction. the house that i am at is considered the biggest project.


the first day, sunday, was demolition day. we tore down the ceilings, walls, and ripped up the floors. all while inhaling probably dangerous amounts of insulation.. all in the name of jesus right?


its turned out to be a much bigger job than we expected but we are all really excited to give this woman and her children a THOROUGHLY sound house. (the guys have been extremely thorough..) its gonna be great. she didn't even have running water before not to mention the rotting structure and the not-even-close-to-level floors. she could have had a great slip and slide on those floors before.


much to chris' (the pastor) dismay, the guys felt that the best way to level the floors was to tear down one of the walls! i don't have pictures from today yet but this afternoon, they had the new floors in and a brand new and sturdy wall.


i'm proud to be associated with this church all the time but especially this week. i don't attend here because we are members at our church in welch (which i am also very proud to be apart of), but i love being a part of this staff. (and that's the jesus type of pride, ya know.)


this week's theme is 1 john 3:16-18... "to love is to serve".

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July 12, 2010

pups!

are these not the cutest things you've ever seen?

well, hello gorgeous.




the beautiful daddy























beautiful mommy








such beautiful coats


"stay away from my momma"

he kept barking everytime another pup would try to play with her, haha!



















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July 9, 2010

flowers

guess what i'm doing this weekend?? FINALLY doing some leftover home projects that never got done!!

vaughn and i are going to lubbock tomorrow to get some good stuff like some under-the-cabinet lighting for the kitchen, some curtains for our kitchen that kanyon has been begging me to get for a while now.., and what i'm most excited about is.. landscaping stuff!!

i want my backyard to look like this eventually:


uh.. i think i've got a long way to go. but tomorrow is the beginning! if you remember from my home tour post.. our backyard is practically blank. we are working on grass and its come along pretty well. but other than that. its empty. hopefully i'll have some follow up picture of the start by monday.

but until then i have to direct your attention to something. as most of you know, i follow the Pioneer Woman blog. this was her post today: Tasty. I want to make all of them!!

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July 7, 2010

our honeymoon


i know what you're thinking.. didn't you go on your honeymoon over 5 months ago? well yes, but i'm gonna reminisce.. and recommend our awesome resort!

we ended up at this place without even planning on it.. kanyon's parents have a timeshare and they offered to let us use it (thank you!) so we started looking at places the program offers. there weren't many all-inclusive offers since the timeshare people don't really get much money from those types of resorts but we really wanted to have that. so kanyon called the company one day to ask something and the guy on the other end told him that he needed to consider this new resort in the dominican. we kind of had picky preferences ... so we weren't really expecting to find something from a random tip but it seemed that this place met our standards from what that guy was telling kanyon. the guy told kb, though, that there was only one room left and they were going fast. so without even knowing what the place looked like (!!), kanyon booked our honeymoon! ha, you can imagine my surprise (annoyance) when he told me. he was out in the field and couldn't get to the internet so asked me to look it up. and it was waaaaay better than anything i had found.

its the moon palace in punta cana, domican republic...


the resort has an awesome website that i'll give you but some of our pictures:

the view from our room:


about 1/100th of the hotel lobby




we went on two excursions: a cruise down the coast with snorkeling and a tour of dominican life.

the cruise was so nice.. i wish we were back there right now.

on our tour, we went to a primary school, met a few baby parrotts..

learned how to make coffee (this is a coffee bean!)

and how to make chocolate and cigars! this is the fruit cocoa comes from. chocolate is a FRUIT.
coffee, chocolate, and cigars. what more do you need?


its a beautiful country.


and we even made greek friends! who we will be sure to visit some day.


not to mention the 15 pools and 16 restaurants!

(he was happy, i promise)

i would highly recommend this resort!
the rooms were awesome, too. the "cheapest" room was gorgeous, with a jacuzzi and a private deck.





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