Just Some Interesting Facts….

My dad is the middle (he says PERFECT) child in his family, sandwiched between my uncle, Tom, and my aunt, Ila. They were really close growing up and continue to be close even now…

Here’s their latest picture together (from Father’s Day 2012)….my aunt, Ila, lives in California now, with her husband, Johnnie, so we don’t see them quite so often, but we all really enjoy it when they come visit!

Anyway, my uncle, Tom, keeps a journal of his “daily happenings” and has also kept a lot of records and “journal entries” from my grandma and grandma, who have passed. Ila has the old diaries from my grandpa, and she’s been sending little diary “entries” to us via e-mail the last couple of days….they’ve been really funny!!

My mom sent me this information that I found very curious, funny, and made me a bit jealous:

Ila had measles Jan 1, 1948–Ila was not even 2 y/o

Paul had measles Jan 5, 1948–My dad was almost 5 y/o

Ila lost but later found asleep in bed Aug 10, 1948-Ila was not even 2 y/o (I just thought it was funny that she was “lost” but really was just in bed….)

Ila’s first haircut Jan 1948

Paul cut heel in water pipe at city lake July 2, 1948  Dr. bill $9.00-Dad was 5 1/2 y/o ($9.00 for a doctor’s visit)!! $9.00!! Can’t believe it?!! Can we say J-E-A-L-O-U-S of the “olden days”?!

Paul cut his arm at rodeo grounds June 30, 1949

Tom operated on for appendix Dec 22, 1949  Dr. bill $154.50-Tom was 9 y/o ($154.50 for surgery)!! $154.40!! It costs me more than that to just go to the doctor!?! J-E-A-L-O-U-S again!!

Tom had wreck with Paul in wagon Mar 5, 1950

Paul shot daddy in back with BB gun July 20, 1950-Dad was 7 1/2 y/o (I hadn’t heard this story; I may need to ask my dad about this)….I can picture Grandpa pretty angry about that one…

Paul got coon skin cap for birthday 1951

Teacher put cotton in Paul’s mouth to keep him from talking Apr 11, 1951-Dad was 8 y/o (I LAUGHED OUT LOUD when I read this; that’s funny)!!!

My aunt also sent this information today:

This is the best yet:

May 13, 45: Dad was about 2 1/2 y/o-Went to S.S. this morning  Paul H (my dad) pushed a piece of tape up his nose–we taken him to Dr to get it out. (He stuck a piece of tape up his nose)!!

Sat, March 17, 1945: My uncle, Tom, was almost 5 y/o … Jerry Tom got him a duck today

Sun, March 18, 1945:…Daddy (my grandpa) brought home an opossum for boys last nite

Mon, Mar 19, 1945: …Opossum killed Jerry Toms duck last night (That’s just funny to me)!!

Just funny stories about my dad and his siblings!!


What is Home?

There is an idiom that says “Home is where the heart is….”

What does that mean?

Home…..a place, a dwelling that is usually someone’s residence

Well, in that case, our apartment in Giddings is our home. It makes sense. It’s where we live…

But, why then, is my heart somewhere else?

Is my home where I live or where my heart is?

Last week my sister wrote a blog about HOME….

In her post, she mentioned that home meant…”An environment offering security and happiness, a valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin”

Did I feel safe and secure in Illinois? Did I find it as a place of refuge?

Yes, I did.

If you ever went to camp, you would know that Great Oaks was 105 acres of beauty….a refuge right outside the city….an environment offering security and happiness….groups would come all year long, longing for and searching for a place of refuge….

Was I always happy when I lived there? Of course not.

Happiness is temporary, but did I always have my place there? Yes.

Was our church in Illinois my family? You bet it was. I loved CCC, and I miss terribly.

So, was Illinois my home?

Yes, it was. (for 3 years).

Was it my place of origin?


My place of origin is Waco. I was born there. I was raised there.

So, if I say “I’m going home,” does that mean I am going to Waco? Or does that mean I am going to Giddings?

I lived in Waco for 25 years of my life. I moved from Waco to Abilene on August 16, 2005, my 25th birthday. It was a great move for me.

Did I struggle when my mom drove away 2 days later? Yes.

Did I get lost a few times driving around Abilene? Yes.

Was I homesick (for Waco)? Yes.

But, did I survive? Yes.

When I was in Abilene, I missed the familiar….not necessarily home, but just the familiar.

So, maybe that’s my problem.

I don’t necessary miss home, but I just miss the familiar.

I miss what I know.

I miss the convenience of “built-in friends.”

I miss my Great Oaks “family.”

“Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence. It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts. It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule.”  ~Frederick W. Robertson

This quote reminded me of my sisters in my Great Oaks “family”…..Shannon and Ember. I miss you. I miss your hearts, I miss your smiles, I miss your laughter. I miss your support. I miss your hugs. I miss your candidness. I miss your openness.

I just plain miss you….

“The worst feeling in the world is the homesickness that comes over a man occasionally when he is at home.” Edgar Watson Howe.

That’s where I am now.

I am home, but I am homesick.

It’s ironic, isn’t it?

A Night of Ministry

Exactly three months ago, I wrote this blog….about “Doing Church”–beyond the committees, the meetings, the prayers, the bible studies, the “right clothes”, the “right words”–we simply “did church.”

Well, here we are again. We “ministered” tonight and we were “ministered” to….

One of the Sunday School classes at our church had a party–it wasn’t the Sunday School I am a part of, but we went (because we were invited and because we’re loved, I guess). 🙂

I didn’t take my camera, but Jennifer had her phone. So, all of these pictures are hers!

Henlee taking a “snack break”

Henlee “swimming” with Jimmy

Kids playing on the floats and swimming

Toni and Jennifer

Holden jumping off the diving board


Riley flipping off the board

Hayden getting ready to “dive”



Hannah doing a “cannon ball”

Paul and me

Paul and me “swimming”

Thank you, Matt and Toni, for letting us come over! 🙂













Highway 77*

Our car is becoming very familiar with Highway 77, the road between here and Waco. When we lived in Illinois we carefully planned our trips to Texas: saving money for airline tickets, renting cars, navigating time b/w families, etc.

Well, now that we only live 2 hours away from Waco, I’ve certainly taken advantage of the “spur of the moment” trips that have come along and the opportunities that we missed out on for 3 years while we were in the Midwest.

I made another trip to Waco this past week….just for 3 days. My nephews, Drake and Grady, were at my parent’s house for the week, so I went to Waco to see them.

I’m writing this down, just so I don’t forget. While I was there, my nephew, Drake, and I had this conversation:

Drake: “Why couldn’t Uncle Paul come” (to Waco)?
Me: “He has to work.”
Drake: “What does he do?”
Me: “He is the youth minister at our church. He had to work today and tomorrow.”
Drake: “But, it’s not even SUNDAY!! (a serious pause)….you mean he has to go to church EVERYDAY; who wants to do that?!!” —

So, needless to say, Paul did not come with me…..

I had a great time while I was there….they wore me out, but I had a good time, nonetheless.

The first thing we did when I got there was go to Wal-Mart!! (You know I always have to go grocery shopping when I’m there). This time, though, I only got (maybe) 4-6 items–it hardly cost a thing!

We went bowling:

Drake and I (Mom and Grady were there, too)

Take a look!!! I WON!!!

Of course Mom would tell you (and I had to agree) that something was messed up on our lane because it was giving strikes when they weren’t really strikes and calling spares when there were still pins standing, but regardless of all of that, the scoreboard says I WON!!!

We took the boys to Vacation Bible School every night at my parent’s church:

Early Wednesday morning I met my sweet friend, John Ray, for coffee. John and I have been friends for 10 years, when I started working at The CENTER (at CABC) in 2002. He and his wife, Shirley, were always so sweet to me and just treated me with such respect and were always so loving. His wife, Shirley, passed away in July 2011 (one year ago yesterday, in fact). Yesterday was also John’s 84th birthday, which is a sad day for him….I love seeing him when I go to Waco. He holds a very special place in my heart.

On Wednesday morning (after coffee with John) Mom and I took the boys to the zoo:

Mom and Grady walking

Drake and Grady in the tent at one of the animal exhibits (buffaloes, I think)

Mom “feeding the animals” their mid-morning snack!!
(Grady and Drake)

me looking at the monkeys….


Wednesday afternoon, after the zoo, we went to the Mayb*rn Museu*m:

Drake playing the drums in the Indian Room

Grady playing the drums

On Thursday it was my morning with the boys (Mom had 2 meetings). We went to the library, Mardel’s, picked up a friend for Grady to play with, went and got the oil changed in my car, and then had lunch! (3 boys can be very LOUD)!!

Mom came home around 1:30 and we went to Ridgewood to let the boys swim!!

I came home on Thursday night. It was just the right amount of time to spend with them….they wore me out!!

Here are some other pictures that my mom had taken earlier in the month. My sister, Leslie, and her husband, Scott, and my sister, Marcy, and two of her kids, Kainoa and Kainani, were in Texas while we were at Youth Camp. So, I took some pictures from my mom’s camera, just so I could have some of their visit, even though I wasn’t there.

Scott and Grady waiting for the fireworks to start on the 4th of July

Drake, Leslie, and Grady at the 4th of July Woodway parade

Mom, Dad, Drake, and Grady at the parade

Kainoa standing on the tree stump next to my parent’s backdoor

Kainani swinging at the park

Drake, Kainoa, Kainani, and Grady–4 out of the 5 grandkids!!

Youth*Camp 2012 cont’d.

In the afternoons all the kids had free time from about 3-5. They had a blob, water activities, a ropes course, paintball, swimming, basketball, etc. I had a GREAT time during free time….

Victoria and Jaycie

Victoria on top of the Leap of Faith

Victoria touched the trapeze but couldn’t quite hold on….

me climbing up Leap of Faith

me on top of the Leap of Faith

Jaycie climbing up the Zipline

Jaycie going off Zipline

Victoria on the Zipline

Morgan on the Climbing Wall

Victoria on the Blob

Jaycie on the Blob

me on the Blob

(Stormi), Dana, Jaycie, and Victoria on the Water Teeter-Toter

Walker (and Tanner) on the paddleboats

Paul and me watching the kids at the Lake

The kids had a great time during Recreation and Free Time!!

Wesley, Jasmine, Jaycie, Dallas, and Morgan

Jaycie and me


Jasmine, Brianna, Morgan, Audrey, Jaycie, Dallas, and Dana

The Whole Group–Camp 2012!!

Youth*Camp 2012 Cont’d.

So, every morning the kids broke up into different groups to do Recreation! And then, in the afternoons, before Free Time, we all participated in Wild and Crazy Games! It was Wild, Wet, and Muddy!!!

me and my “Trashcan Head”

Brianna M. playing Trashcan Head

Morgan playing Trashcan Head

Jasmine on the bottom of the pyramid her team made

Paul after playing Steal the Bacon (Soap)

Walker playing Steal the Bacon

Walker and Tommy

Paul and me eating Sardines during Wild and Crazy Time


Dallas and Morgan eating crazy food during Wild and Crazy Time

Jacob and Jaycie

Brianna B.

Brianna B. and Wesley playing Ultimate Fruit Frisbee

Morgan playing Bed Bug, Backpack, Bunk Bed

Dana, Victoria, and me

Brianna M. playing Hungry, Hungry Hippo

Brianna B. and me

Walker and me

Walker and Tommy playing each other

Audrey being carried during “Magic Shoes”

Victoria and Dana

me rolling in the mud during Wild and Crazy Time

me after rolling in the mud (and having my face sprayed off b/c it was covered in mud)

I also had to eat a Twinkie filled with mayonnaise

Jacob rolling in the mud for his team

I have a TON more pictures from Recreation Time, but I figured this would pretty much cover everything! 🙂

Youth*Camp 2012

We just got back from Youth Camp….I am on my 3rd load of laundry (I have about 6 more to go)….Paul is asleep (with a fever and a sinus infection)….I am catching up on Facebook, watching our DVR list (that is rather extensive since we were gone for 6 days), and relaxing in our quiet, kid-free apartment!

(Six days with 13 kids takes a toll on you….let me tell you)!!

I took a TON of pictures–over 150, to be exact! I will do SEVERAL posts covering camp….just for my own benefit and to remember it!

So, here’s the 1st post:

Here are our faithful leaders:



Paul and I took 13 youth from our church (some are “regulars”, 2 were from another church, and one was a cousin of one of our girls) to Heart*of*Texas Camp in Brownwood. Paul and I took our RLBC Pre-Teens there back in 2006 and 2007, so we are pretty familiar with the campground.

in the van

in the van

Whenever my family went on vacation (or road trips) my mom always had stuff at her feet. We always joked with her about having “stuff at her feet” and not having any room for her legs….Well, here’s my “mom stuff” for the van ride…

2 backpacks, a purse, a cooler, a pillow, a box of rice krispy treats, a trash bag, etc….

We stayed in a cabin with another church–the other church had ONE girl (a 6th grader) and 2 women sponsors and about 7 boys and 1 male sponsor….so my girls definitely took over the girls side of the cabin! (I apologize now to every youth leader that ever had to work with teenage girls and ALL THEIR LUGGAGE)!! It was CRAZY how much stuff our girls brought! I think they packed their WHOLE CLOSETS!!

Victoria, Audrey, Brianna M., and Brianna B.’s side of the cabin, after the 1st night!!

Jasmine, Victoria, and Jaycie

Morgan and Jaycie

Jacob and Brianna M.

Jasmine and Paul doing push-ups in the cabin

Every night we had a time of worship from 7:00-9:30 (10:00)–here are some of those pictures!


Worship with about 400 other campers

Worship at night

In the morning we had a Morning Celebration, along with Bible Study (for Middle School and High School)

Jasmine and Paul

some of our group in Morning Celebration

Our 3 Middle Schoolers: Walker, Tommy, and Jasmine

In the afternoons we had a Pump-It-Up Celebration–we sang songs, danced, and played games!

Wesley dressed up for “Nerd Day”

our group dancing

Morgan and Victoria playing a game

Morgan was one of the finalist in Rec Team-Band-Byrd (just a camp game)–but….she lost!

Morgan playing Rec Team-Band-Byrd

Morgan losing the game…..

OK, that’s all for now!! Next up…..REC TIME and WILD and CRAZY!!