Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Florida College Camp - Part 1

I have been seeing so many posts on FaceBook about the upcoming Florida FC Camp and I must admit I am so JEALOUS!!!!  I have 2 nieces that will get dropped off this Sunday for 5 days of F-U-N!!!!  I know so many “big kids” that get to be counselors/workers and although it is a very tiring week I know that they have just as much fun, if not more, than the campers do!!

I attended the Ohio FC Camp for 9 years … I looked forward to it EVERY year!!  Back in those days you had to wait until you arrived at camp to find out who your counselor was, who was in your cabin, what society you were on and what “activities” you had been given for the week – sometimes the waiting was unbearable!!  Nowadays thanks to technology the campers find out everything before they arrive at camp; however I know that does not make their excitement any less!!  Camp was always extra special for me because there were not any other kids my age at the church I attended growing up.  I was baptized at camp – August 1987 - we had had a Bible study in the cabin and I knew it was time … it was late, it was dark BUT off we went to the swimming pool.

All the years I attended camp I heard the FC Friends talk about how wonderful “camp friendships” were and to just imagine how GREAT FC would be - this is something I never could fully comprehend until I went to FC!!  Words cannot even begin to describe the lasting friendships from both my camp years and my FC years. 

I am so thankful for all the encouragement to attend Florida College that was provided to me during my camp years.  I can’t imagine where I would be if I had not gone to FC … after all that is where I met the love of my life!! 

My prayer for ALL the Florida College Summer Camps – MOST ESPECIALLY THE FLORIDA FC CAMP- hey I have a vested interest there – is for a FUN SAFE week growing in God’s word, making lasting friendships (both for the campers AND the counselors/workers) and that same encouragement is given to attend Florida College for a life changing experience!!!!  I pray that my 2 nieces attending camp next week will enjoy EVERY moment just like their Aunt Amy did!!  I also pray that the Lord will bless me with an opportunity next year that will get my youngest niece (yes YOU Hayley Bug) and my nephew Jake to go to camp!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

14 Years STRONG ....

It all started in the fall of 1993 …
His friend came to me and wanted to know who I was going to ask to banquet while putting the “bug in my ear” that he wanted me to ask him … after all it was Sadie Hawkins week and the girl had to ask the guy … 
I agreed to ask him to banquet and the rest is history …

 My constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward.
In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow.
I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

Fall Banquet - November 1993

The invitation ...

Our engagement picture - December 1996

Our wedding day - June 21, 1997

Our wedding day - June 21, 1997

March 2011

March 2011

Flowers from my man ...

My anniversary gift (JW Stannard Interlude wind chimes)  
This is a really bad picture but it was really windy outside
I don't have a picture of Byron's gift - a new holster for his gun.We will celebrate with dinner at The Great Outdoors in High Springs – my man wants some crab legs ...
Oh and did I mention that our "Baby" is 3 years old today ...

Bryant - June 2011

Bryant - June 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

~ Beach Day ~

Anyone who knows my husband knows that he DOES NOT like the beach!!  The ONLY thing he enjoys about the ocean is when he is in a boat with his gazillion fishing poles and his tackle boxes. 

I certainly enjoy a beach day every now and then and fortunately for me I have 2 sweet nieces that enjoy it too!!  This past Friday I took the day off work and me and my sweet nieces were beach bound by 7:30 am.  We stopped at Publix for snacks, water and ice.  Of course we had to fuel our bodies up for body surfing so we stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast.  We arrived at Crescent Beach at about 9:45 am.  We found the perfect spot, dropped our stuff, lathered up with sunscreen and hit the waves.  Surprisingly the water was rather cool and we had to force ourselves to get in.  We took a couple of breaks to snack and “people watch” … we had full intentions of building a sand castle; however we ended up just building a heart.  Finally at 2 pm I told the girls we needed to think about heading home.  We were able to rinse off the salt and sand and put on some dry clothes.  On the way home we stopped at Sonny’s for “lunch (at 3 in the afternoon).  Fortunately all the bad weather that hit Friday afternoon did not cause us any trouble on our way home!!  We are already planning our next beach day.  The girls and I can go ANY TIME but Jake is playing travel ball so we have to work around his games so that he will be able to join us next time!  I am so thankful to have such sweet, well behaved nieces and nephew that I can spend special time with …..

Feet in the sand ....

Our heart and a starfish Hayley found ....

 We had to stop and take this for Uncle B ...
Brooke and Hayley know Uncle B loves cattle ....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Where Is YOUR Faith?

I am an avid follower of some pretty AWESOME blogs!  Over the last several months one blog in particular became very special to me.  You see in September 2010 my Best Friend SaraBeth found out she was pregnant and of course I was beyond ecstatic for her!!  Little did I know how difficult the journey I was about to embark on with my BESStie was going to be.  To say that my “FAITH” has been strengthened over the past several months would be a complete understatement! 
On Monday, November 15, 2010, SaraBeth and Rob received a fatal diagnosis for their sweet baby.  The doctor only gave them one option which was to terminate.  Of course this was not even considered as an option for SaraBeth and Rob.  From the VERY beginning SaraBeth and Rob put their FAITH and trust in the Lord – that His plan IS ALWAYS PERFECT!! 
The next several months were filled with MANY ups and downs … many changes in the diagnosis … many sleepless nights … many tears … MANY prayers … HOWEVER God’s grace and unfailing love were there EVERY SINGLE DAY!!
May 19, 2011, Faith Mackenzie Vaughn was scheduled to be born via c-section … May 19, 2011, 11:13 am Faith Mackenzie Vaughn was born … May 19, 2011 11:55 am Faith Mackenzie Vaughn passed away.
God chose Rob, SaraBeth and Faith to tell an AMAZING story.  God handpicked them to be a testimony to EVERYONE – A testimony of FAITHfulness, A testimony of Love, A testimony of Peace, A testimony of Endurance, A testimony of His Plan!  I can’t even begin to tell you the thousands of people who have been impacted by Rob and SaraBeth’s dedication to the Lord and I know that their testimony and Faith’s Mission will live on for years to come!
When I was younger my most favorite Bible story was when Jesus calmed the sea.  This is the bedtime story I chose almost every night.  Recently I heard a sermon, from our AWESOME preacher I might add, that included comments on Luke’s account of Jesus calming the sea … comments that I had never thought of before.
Luke 8:22-25
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out.
23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”  He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.
25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.  In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
Notice in verse 25 what Jesus asks His disciples after he calmed the sea – “Where is your faith?”  Understandably the disciples were scared because of the storm HOWEVER if you look at verse 22 Jesus said to His disciples “Let us go over to the other side of the lake”.  Jesus TOLD His disciples they were going to the other side and that is what He meant!!  Jesus didn’t tell them they were going to have smooth sailing while going to the other side!
So let’s apply this to OUR lives …
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.   John 3:16

God promised us Eternal Life HOWEVER He NEVER promised us a perfect, happy-go-lucky all the time life.  We certainly are going to face trials and tribulations in this life.  Unfortunately it is during those trials and tribulations when MANY people pull away from God and lose their Faith – kind of like the disciples – when in all actuality during those trials and tribulations we should be drawing closer to God to strengthen and renew our Faith!!

So if you want to read an AMAZING blog documenting a difficult journey BUT a journey of a Renewed Faith, go here here; go to the blog archive on the right, click on 2010, click on October, begin reading with the first blog entry on October 4, 2010, entitled “4 to 5”.  I will prepare you to have some tissues handy while you read.  Rob and SaraBeth have very well demonstrated where their Faith is AND they KNOW where their Baby Faith is!!!!