Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NOW! Where was I?!?

OK, so I left off at the youth pool party last Friday.  Well, that day was also my birthday.  Since we don't really have any money right now, we didn't plan on doing anything special.  Or so I was led to believe!  We got home from the pool party and took a nap.  Then, Claude suggests going to Chickfila and then Barnes & Nobles (since the food would be cheap and fairly healthy and the bookstore would be "free" entertainment!).  I was a little bummed, but went along with it.  He asked me if I was having a good birthday.  I can't lie to him.  I told him that it really wasn't anything special and was kinda like every other day.  I KNOW, I KNOW...it sounds childish and selfish.  BUT, I love celebrating birthdays!  I want balloons, streamers, cake, people, etc!  Anyway, he said that maybe it would get better by the end of the night.  SURE.  
We ate, went to the bookstore for a couple hours, then headed home to watch a movie and eat popcorn.  
When I walked into the kitchen thru (by way of the garage) the kids from Crosslink jumped out and yelled "SURPRISE!"  They are so sweet!  Claude said that 2 of the girls decided to give me a surprise birthday!  Isn't that the nicest thing?!?
So, I am now 38 years old.  I had a great birthday!  

Sunday night, at youth the Crosslink gang went to work on a project!  I can't tell you WHAT the project is YET.  Nor can I show you pictures YET!!!!  But, stay tuned to find out what they've been up to!  Trust me, you don't want to miss it!!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

ALOT has gone on...

OK, it's been a little while, but I can honestly say it's been very busy!  With the ebelings gone on vacation, it seems like everything HAD to happen NOW!  
The bad stuff first... The teenager I asked prayer for a little while back.  Her dad went home to be with Jesus on Saturday, June 20th (yea, the day BEFORE Father's Day).  The family had him buried in a town called Jefferson, which is about 7 hours northwest of Greenville.  While they were gone, we took care of their dog and the day they were to come back, our youth went to their house and cleaned it up.  The guys mowed the yard, trimmed the bushes, weedwacked, and basically took care of the outside!  The girls washed tubs, sinks, toilets, dusted, swept, mopped, and pretty much anything else that needed to be done!  I was so proud of them!  they gave up a day just to help out a friend who needed some extra TLC!  Here are a few pics!

Claude made sure that the medical stuff was out of the house before they got home and then he and Kyle put the youngest son's bed together and put his things up around the room for him!

I had a "better" picture of them.  It was their "backsides" while they were cleaning, but I decided to be nice and use THIS picture instead!  They owe me for that!!!!!

I was impressed with how much work the guys got done outside!  They were out in the heat for a couple hours making sure it all got done!

What a terrific group of young people!

This is EXACTLY what we felt like doing by the time we were all done!

All this took place on Thursday, June 25th.  NOW, on June 26th, we had our summer pool party at the Dixon's house!  It was a blast!  Here are some pics of that!

3 "man" chicken fights!

LOVE this picture of Megan (far right!). on the left is her cousin, Michelle, and the guy is her little brother, Devon.

I'm so glad these guys are secure enough in their masculinity to help each other out!

Neat "moving picture" I got of the 3 doing flips into the water!

Cool group!

We had 1 first timer come join us that day!  It was really neat to have him there!  We also had 2 kids who came as "2nd timers"!  I just love how these kids keep inviting their friends!!!!

There is more to tell you about Friday night! But, it is late and I am having difficulty typing now!  So, I'm going to bed and I will try to remember to finish tomorrow morning!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More than cute!

Ginger's favorite place when she stays in Claude's computer room:

Claude swears that he DID NOT put her there.  she climbed into his computer bag and feel asleep!  I know, she's too precious!!!!!

I did learn something today.  Ginger is still too small to be outside in the "fenced in" backyard without adult supervision!  My neighbor came up to the fence to see her and she put her little head and front legs right thru the hole of the fence!  I thought I was going to die!!!  No harm though.  I just pulled her little body back out!  So she'll have to wait awhile before she can play outside with her big sister and brother!
I'll be taking her to the vet tomorrow.  I HATE DOING THAT!  She needs to get her shots and pill for worms.  Also, she has something wrong with her back right foot.  Before we got her, she was run over by a desk chair.  Her little toe is swelled up and she holds that foot up when she walks/runs.  I want to make sure it's ok and not infected.  Claude said I'm worrying too much, but it's pitiful to see her hobbling around.  Besides, I would rather be safe than sorry and hopefully I won't be charged "extra" just for them looking at it (since I will have her in there anyway!).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another small note!

I forgot to mention that when we went to the gym today, I weighed myself.  AND>>>
177 lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I haven't been under 180lbs in almost 10 years!  I am so excited!!!!  I told Claude that I changed my thoughts on my goal.  I'm shooting for 175 now.  WHEN I reach 175, I will adjust my goal to 170!  Once, I get there, I adjust to 165, then 160!!!


Happy EARLY birthday to me!

My wonderful husband gave me exactly what I asked for as a birthday present!!!  I got a puppy!  Her name is Ginger Snap (Ginger for short!) and she is nine weeks old!  She is a rat terrier just like Jack-Jack.  Here are some pictures of her:

She likes Claude!

She prefers to sleep on his chest! (Hey!  that's MY spot!)

She also loves Claude's slippers!  They are bigger than she is, but she carries them all over the house!


"That's my DAD'S slipper you're chewing on!  Leave it alone OR ELSE!"

Being cute is tiring work!  Time for a nap!

Can't get comfortable!

AAWWWW!  This works!

"I have one question Mom...WHY?!?"

Ginger did very well her first night with us!  She only cried in the cage for a few minutes.  Dipstick laid down beside the cage and I think it soothed her.  Jack-Jack was not as accomodating!  He decided if HIS BOX was going to be invaded by a little yapping dog, he would HAVE to sleep on the bed instead!  We let him sleep there for the night.  He'll go back to his box once we have some money to get Ginger one of her own!  Claude got up to take her out to potty only once (around 3:30AM).  She cried a minute or two when she was put back in the box, but went right back to sleep and didn't cry again til 7:30AM!  We were very happy with our first night!
I'll post more pics as I get them.  She doesn't stay still very long (except when she's sleeping!)!

Friday, June 19, 2009

A blessed wife!

To most people these are an ordinary pair of sunglasses.  Well, they are!  This pair, along with a red flame pair, were bought by my wonderful husband quite a few years ago.  We went on a trip for our anniversary and I fell in love with these sunglasses.  Claude bought us each a pair (a "his & hers" set!).  We've since bought other sunglasses, but these are ones I wear for yardwork, the beach, swimming, etc.  
So, today, we went to Green Springs with our teenagers and I packed my sunglasses in my beach bag.  I ALWAYS wear these when I'm in the water.  Anyway, somehow today while I was in the water, I was knocked and went under water and they came off...IN A DARK, DIRTY, BROWN RIVER!!!!!!  I was upset, bummed that I lost something, that, quite honestly was more sentimental than monetarily valuable.  I told Claude about it and he asked if I told any of the local kids so that they could "look" for them (as if you could find anything in that river water!!!).  Well, my wonderful, amazing husband went "fishing" for my sunglasses.  HE FOUND THEM!  I was amazed!  Impressed!  Proud!  WOW!  My incredibly persistent husband fished around in 10 ft. of murky water and found my sunglasses at the bottom of the river!  Did I neglect to mention that they DO NOT FLOAT!?!  Anyway, I was so impressed by me husband.  I've always told folks that Claude can do anything he puts his mind to!  I can't think of anything that he's set out to do that he's not done...with amazing results!  
I thank my Lord for such an incredible husband.  I know this story sounds silly to some, but to me, my husband is the most wonderful, thoughtful man I've ever been blessed to know!  I am truly a blessed wife!
I love you Claude!  You are my hero and I am so proud to be your wife!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

our youth party!

Here are some pics of our youth group and the graduation party we had for them!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Need prayer

Please keep one of our youth in your prayers.  Her father has been dealing with ALOT of health issues over that past couple of years and the mother was just told by the hospital that it would be wise to make "arrangements".  This girl is too young to be going through this.  She is a Christian, but we are not sure about either parent.  She comes to youth regularly, but her parents haven't been to Discovery.  Please pray that Claude & I will have wisdom to know what to do and what to say to help out the best we can.

Also, I need some prayer.  I've been feeling kinda icky today.  Sore throat started when I woke up.  As the day progressed, I started feeling kinda like I was sideswiped by a truck.  Claude blames it on Jason having the truck air so cold yesterday on our trip to/from Raleigh.  (Jason bought a Apple desktop, but don't remind Lora because she's still getting over the shock of how much it cost!).  
Anyway, just send a prayer up for me that I feel better SOON!  There's alot coming up and I need to be in tip top shape.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Graduation Nite!

OH!  I couldn't have been any more excited or prouder if these kids would've been my own!  
We got to go to the graduation of 4 of our 5 seniors last nite!  It was wild to see so many kids graduate!  (Of course, this is coming from a girl whose graduating class had 42 students!)  To see 350+ kids in cap & gowns was AWESOME!  Anyway, here are some pictures of "our kids"!
This is Megan and her Mom & little brother!  Isn't she adorable!?!  She's our HAPPY youth!  She NEVER frowns (and I mean NEVER!).  Her face will not do a frown!  She always makes everyone smile!
Megan and another of our kids, John!  They are so cute together!  When John first started coming to Discovery Church, he was a sophomore and BOY was he a handful!  It's been the most amazing thing to watch this crazy boy grow into a funny, caring, respected young man.  I am humbled that God allows us to work with such wonderful young people, like John.
Here's John with his little sister, Izzy (I call her Dizzy!).  They are the neatest pair!  I've never seen a brother and sister have a closer relationship than these two.  
John is heading off to the Marines in a couple of months.  Of course, we don't talk about that right now, because it makes Izzy sad.
I'm just grateful that I still have Izzy for another 2 years before I have to say goodbye to her!
This is Alex!  He's only been with our crew for about a year!  The first time he came to youth, we thought he was a college student who wanted to work WITH the youth!!!!  We call him "Fuzzy Alex" for obvious reasons!  He has a very dry and ironic sense of humor!  We just love him to death!!!!
I love this picture!  It's a great one of Claude and Alex.  
This is a picture of Kaitlyn and JC (and their respective parents).  JC and his sister, Courtney, have been coming to Crosslink for a while, but Kaitlyn just started hanging out with the crew recently.  She and JC are adorable together.  She is funny and he is a smart-alec, but we love him anyway!  Seriously though, we adore JC.  He adds so much to the group and has great leadership qualities!  I'm really gonna miss him. He's gonna stay local though.  He'll be going to ECU.  Kaitlyn will be leaving us to go to Campbell University which is about 1 1/2 hours away.  We told her we will come visit and go shopping with her since she's close to Raleigh!!!!
JC and his sister, Courtney, do NOT have the same relationship that John and Izzy have!  JC and Courtney are a typical sibling relationship.  He loves to pick on her, but when it comes down to it, he'd defend her to the very end.  I love them.  They are just so much fun!!!  They kinda remind me of my older brother and myself!  
Here's all the guys from South Central HS!  from left to right:
John Cobb, JC Lommatzsch, Ryan (not sure of his last name, just met him!), and Alex Lorentz.
I'm so proud of these kids!  They are really gonna be missed in our group.  
How does a parent do this?!?  How do you let go?  Maybe God knew what He was doing by not giving me kids of my own!  I would never want to let them grow up and leave!  

We had a fabulous time!  Graduation parties practically every night last week and then the final day came and went off without a hitch (except for JC tripping while walking in during the opening ceremonies!  That was HILARIOUS!  Only because it was JC!)
We love you all graduates of '09!
To our graduates from Florida, we thought about you and are sorry we couldn't be there for yours.  Congratulations!!!!  Well Done!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Precious treasures

I can honestly say the only thing I don't like about living in North Carolina is the fact that my beautiful nieces are in Florida.  I miss so much of their growing.  My wonderful mother takes lots of pictures and so I'm not totally left out of the loop!  Here are some precious treasures!

She's gonna be a supermodel someday!!!!
(Rose - 3 1/2 years old)
She can be rocker or sweet and sassy!  See, I told you she's gonna be a supermodel someday!
Then, there's Dahlia!  She is the "sweet pickle" of the group! At least that's what my brother calls her!  He says she's as sweet as she can be, but she can also be a pickle!  Mom says she's so funny because even at 1 1/2 years old, she bosses the others around!!!  
She's such a precious little thing!  She's got the most expressive eyes!  Man, do I love her!
Well, even if I don't have children of my own, I can at least know that some of my looks and my "distinct" personality traits are being passed down!  You gotta love the blood relations! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A wake up call

You know, lately God has been really opening my eyes to how "human" I am and how "human" those around me are.  I was reading a blog about a church plant pastor in Georgia who, after 5 years of growing his church to over 1000 believers, had an affair with his assistant.  I am at a loss over this.  I have so many thoughts that go thru my mind over this type of thing.  My "human" side wants to know WHY did he do it?  WHY did he let his guard down?  WHY did he allow himself to be in a position that would open those doors?  Then, my "human" side gets very angry because it makes me think about the possibilities that could happen in my relationship with my husband.  It makes me doubt our commitment.  It makes me feel vulnerable.  It brings up memories of last September and what our church had to go thru.  
Then, my "Godly" side tries to remember the grace that God has shown me MILLIONS of times.  
My gracious wonderful God loves me and forgives me OVER AND OVER again.  He gently reminds me that NO ONE is perfect and NO ONE can be put on a pedestal.  Everyone will fall (all have sinned and fall short!).  My shortcomings and my sins may be "small" from a human perspective.  But, God doesn't have ruler for sin.  SIN IS SIN.  
So, I still have a difficult time getting past these kinds of things.  I'm just so grateful that God doesn't have a difficult time getting past my sins.  
Please pray for your leaders in your churches.  They have struggles and Satan attacks them relentlessly.  Please ask the Lord to guard them and put a hedge of protection around them daily.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wonderful reminder

God reminded me today thru a wonderful friend, Jenn, just how blessed I am.  You see, it's been tight financially and of course, I worry.  I KNOW, I shouldnt worry about it.  God takes care of our needs.  Well, it's easy to know in my heart, but my head is logical.  And you know God...sometimes things don't work logically!  Anyway, I got up, fed the animals, had my time, paid our mortgage, went to Wal-mart and got groceries (BTW, healthy food is RIDICULOUSLY OVERPRICED!!!!), came home, went back to the gym to work out, went with Claude to get him a pair of jeans that ACTUALLY FIT HIM, then came home.  All this before noon.  I went online to check our account and got a little anxious.  The beginning of the month is always tight, but more so lately.  I started feeling a bit discouraged.  
Then, I read Jenn's blog.  She reminded me that I am blessed.  Sure, there may not be "extra" money around, but our bills are paid and we have a lovely house with air conditioning (Thank U Claude for being such a handy man!  I love you so much!).  We have food for me to fix fairly healthy meals!  We have vehicles that are paid for and STILL RUNNING (thank you Lord!)  We have a wonderful church and great friends who love us and pray for us.  We are blessed to have our overall health.  We have family who love us and pray for us.  We have neighbors who are actually opening up to us (again, God thank you for my husband and the wonderful Godly man that he is!).  We have opportunities to work with some of the best kids in the world!  I love them so much.  We have great leadership in our church.  We have so much more than I can list.  How great is my God that He gently reminds me of all the blessings He's given to us.  
Thank you Lord! 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cool Story!

OK, we work with the youth at our church (or they work with us, still not sure!!!).  Last night, we had a special "ceremony" that all began because of the guys doing a Bible study on sexual purity.  Anyway, Claude had a firepit and gave each of the youth a deck of cards.  He told them to set aside the aces.  Then, he asked each of them to think about some things that they struggle with that they want the Lord to take away/help them with.  Once they'd done that, he asked them to throw the cards on the fire...one card for small struggles, more cards for the bigger things they struggle with.  Finally, he asked them to take each of the aces and use them as a reminder of their commitment.  Each ace has a specific place:
  • clubs - in the car - to remind them while they are with friends driving around
  • hearts- in the wallet - to remind them while they are out in general
  • diamonds - by the computer - to remind them that they are a diamond in the rough and not to settle for generic/counterfeit
  • spades - in the Bible - to remind them everytime they read God's word that they are the best "in the deck" and no one is as good at being THEM as they are.
So, here are some pics of them last night.  I couldn't help but cry.  I love these kids!  They are so awesome!!!!!