Sunday, September 7, 2014

Baby Baptism & Firefighter Birthday

Since Eli was out of town close to O-man's birthday, we decided to have a party the first weekend of September, and also to have Gladys baptized then, too.

The whole Beaver clan showed up and my mom flew in from Texas for the festivities.  Gladys was baptized into the body of Christ during the early service.







The big kids were antsy.  Notice that they changed places between the first two pictures?  Oscar had his finger up his nose after I specifically told him not to do that (Pastor Scott was trying hard not to laugh).  Gladys sneezed and had snot bubbles coming out of her nose.  And Elsie kept standing in front of Eli with her arms reaching up, hoping he would pick her up--even though we had told her that she needed to stand the whole time (five minutes, tops--really?).  Mostly I just wanted to strangle my older children.  But, it was a perfect picture of who we are.  We are not perfect.  (Don't look so shocked!)

After lunch and naps, we had a fourth birthday party for O.  There's a firefighter who goes to our church who told me the best way to do a firefighter birthday, and he was, of course, exactly right.  We met and had cupcakes at the public park across from Fire Station #1 in Auburn, and then crossed the street for a tour.

One added surprise is that the firefighter who was doing the demonstrations was a rookie on his first day of work, and it was someone we knew!!  When we first moved here, I did a long-term maternity sub job in a 7th grade classroom at OMS, and this kid was in that class (I'm feeling really old, now).  Then, E & O went to his mother for daycare for three years.  His mom keeps Gladys now.  We love this family!!




 As a part of the invitation, we invited families to bring treats and snacks for the firemen, which they greatly appreciated.  And I'll tell you, those firemen seemed to really enjoy hosting birthday parties, haha.









And, I must also mention the cupcakes.  I dreamed about these cupcakes for about two weeks before they became reality.  Chocolate with marshmallow cream filling.  Tri-color "flame" buttercream swirl.  They. were. delicious.  Oh, yes!




 See Gladys in the background?  She was there.  :)


Proof that Mimi came from Texas, too.  Another shot of Gladys.


 Cheers!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 2014 Debt Update

August was a BIG month for us.  I went back to work, which meant I wasn't spending money out of boredom (hey, it happens).  Eli worked several Army days and was able to put heaping chunks on our debt!  Not only did we finish our last $10,000 thermometer...

 Fifth 10K Chunk, started 4/17/14, FINISHED 8/11/14!!
  fundraising ideas
 

BUT, we were also able to begin our FINAL DEBT-FREE THERMOMETER!!  And we're almost halfway done with that one!!

 Final $3600 CHUNK!, started 8/11/14
  fundraising ideas
 
We have just around $2,000 left.  I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!

We may not have this paid off this month, but maybe we will!  Eli has a week of Army days this month.  Either way, it will be done earlier than I surmised in the last couple of months.  Woot!  Woot!

I would write more on this post, but I plan to wax poetic once we have everything paid off--there will be plenty of words for that... :)

Cheers!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Though I initially was against it, we visited First Presbyterian Church of Opelika in the fall of 2008...and we continued to attend every week, joining within a few months.   The Gospel was being preached in such a lucid, honest way--I was hooked.  And I've grown sooooo much in my faith and Gospel application and knowledge since stepping foot behind those blue doors. We have been at this church for six years; there have been a TON of changes there in these years, and we have just rolled with the punches, adjusted to the discomfort caused by a growing church body.  Because in the scheme of things, the discomfort is a small price to pay for the JOY of seeing God work in such BIG ways.

And change is upon us again, bigger than anything that has happened heretofore.  My heart aches from the turmoil caused by the conflicting emotions of sadness and excitement.  Our pastor and his family are leaving, walking in faith, accepting a calling to a different church in a different state.  Our worship director and his family are leaving, accepting a calling to a different church in a different state.  Separately.  And they are leaving soon.  Too soon.  This causes deep, deep sadness.

But as the fastest growing church in the denomination, the ground is fertile.  I'm so excited to see what God has in store for His church body here in this small town in Alabama.  Who has He been preparing for us as senior pastor?  Will he (presumably?) have a family?  Young like his predecessor?  Or seasoned?  Most importantly, will he preach the Gospel unashamedly?  Will he live transparently and humbly?  Will the church continue to grow? Will we be able to build our new education building?  Will we pay off our existing loan (I HATE DEBT!!) on the sanctuary in the original time frame (or sooner)?  Will he be willing to preach a children's message during the early service even if there are only two kids (mine, usually) there...like the old times when the church was small?  Will he know and use the word "narthex" as seamlessly as he uses other GRE vocabulary words? ;)  Will our new worship director read music?  Start a choir?  Strike the same balance between contemporary and traditional, knowing that to see Ms. Joanne sing the timeless hymns from memory is one of the most moving forms of worship I've experienced??

I have such HOPE in my heart as I write this.  The Lord will not forsake his people.  I've read that.  And may or may not have googled it to find the reference...in the Psalms (several times) and 1 Samuel.  I BELIEVE IT.

I also have such hope and joy for the families that are leaving us, leaving what is comfortable to follow a call of ministry, to walk in faith.  God will be faithful in their lives, too.  He's doing such BIG things.  Just to think, while they have been faithfully serving here at our church, there has been the "meanwhile" happening as God has worked in the background readying their paths.  Amazing.  Utterly, utterly amazing.

Great is Thy faithfulness, indeed!

Cheers.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Under $2K

Another milestone!  With all the Army work that Eli is doing, he was able to put a major chunk on the loans today, and our total is under $2000!!!  (By $.30, but still!!!)  So close we can taste it!!

Cheers!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

4

Happy birthday to the most hilarious 4-year-old I know.  Can't believe he's growing up so fast!  






The best gift--his very own flashlight!




Sweet sentiments from the big sister:




Cheers!