Jul 12, 2009


Faithful Friend Ministry's documentary video is FINALLY here! Check it out:

Video thumbnail. Click to play
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We are SO grateful to Rod Dixon, Matt Dixon and Robert Morris for their efforts in producing this first class video and showcasing the mission the Lord has given us.
What are YOU using for the Kingdom?

Jun 20, 2009

Eh... Uh.... Oh!!

Blogger and I haven't been getting along. Two posts are written and sitting there in the list, but they will. not. publish. I copied and pasted them, deleted them, reposted, and they simply will not publish.

So I decided it was a good time to take a bloggy break seeing how I couldn't, you know, POST anything.


Then my little friend Suze told me in very clear terms that it is time for a new post.

I sat down to write about one of the 11,000 things in my head, and nothing would come. It's Blogger's fault. I'm sure of that.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. It isn't just ANY Father's Day, but the one right after my daddy has had some scary health issues. I was reminded once again that my least favorite sight in the world is someone I love in a hospital bed. However, Dad never lost his sense of humor, and he did keep us all entertained. Thankfully, he is doing well now, and all the scary stuff is behind us. God is good. And so is my daddy.

So tomorrow, we're gonna get together as a family and celebrate him and remember the good times we've shared while we're making new memories. We'll laugh a lot, and there will certainly be some pictures taken. Of course there will be presents. And hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.

Studly got to spend three days with his dad in South Texas this week. At almost 87, my father-in-love is going strong. Every Father's Day with him is a gift, as it is with my dad. If you're able, reach out to your own dad and tell him how much he is loved. Don't let it go unsaid.

To all you dads out there, Happy Father's Day!!

To MY dad... I love you dearly and SO glad God chose YOU to be my daddy.


See what I did there?

Nice work, Jenn.

Sat down to grumble about Blogger and ended up making myself grateful for my two wonderful fathers!

Okay, Blogger. I forgive you.

May 16, 2009

Fifty-five Years of Studly

I absolutely LOVE this picture of Studly Man. Such a cowboy! I think this was when he still lived in Peru and his dad's job on a zillion acres owned by W.R. Grace permitted access to ponies. I love his little outfit, his saddle oxfords, and the way his two-gallon hat sits back on his head.

Cute back then.

Still cute today.

His hat is bigger. His pony has been replaced by a Faithful Friend, and his toy six-shooter is now a real pistola.

Oh, yeah. And he grew a beard.

Happy birthday, Studly. Although you're officially a double-nickle senior citizen, you'll always have that little boy charm that warms my heart.

I love you.

Apr 29, 2009

Still Considering the Iris

Days later, and I'm still marveling at both the handiwork of God and how well my little camera captured it!

The colors: some bold, some pale.

The frills: some delicate, some strong.

The blooms: all breathtaking, all proof of the Creator's endless imagination.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

Still more to come. Check back soon!

Apr 26, 2009

Consider the Irises and How They Grow

In our yard in Virginia, my mom grew some of the most beautiful iris flowers I've ever seen. I've always loved them. So elegant. So delicate. So lovely.

Studly and I took a Sunday drive this afternoon.

To see beautiful iris flowers.

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:27

More to come. Stay tuned!

Apr 20, 2009

No Itching Here

Seven years ago today, I married my best friend.

Since then, life has been crazy and fun and full of surprises and adventures. Most of them have been wonderful; a few have been difficult. All of them have been easier because we've had each other.

We've laughed. A lot.

We've journeyed through life together.

We've cried some, too.
And we've had our communication challenges and our moments when communication simply didn't exist. We've frustrated each other. We've even made each other angry.
But those things make us human.
It's hard to remember life before April 20, 2002. Life before sharing a bathroom and fighting for the covers on a cold night. Life before the inevitable toilet seat up-versus-down debate. Life before the risk of having someone else eat your leftovers before you could get to them. Life before sharing the remote control. Life before splitting holiday and vacation time between TWO families.

But I wouldn't trade any of it. (Okay, I'd trade the toilet seat being up in the middle of the night.) Because through all of those adventures, we've become a team. We've built a home together that is a haven for us. We've grown a ministry together. We've become family.
Happy anniversary, Studly Man.
I love you.

Apr 17, 2009

Celebrating Easter

As in years past, Studly Man and I enjoyed hosting the family and our dear friend, Ben, at Casa de Castro for our Easter celebration. And as usual, I had fun planning and preparing and getting everything ready. I absolutely LOVE the colors of Spring and the colors of Easter; they represent a renewing, a return to life, and they bring me joy.

For the centerpiece on the kitchen table (where the snacks were laid out for those youngsters - okay, for all of us - to graze on before the big meal), I wanted something cheerful and bright and fun. I found a beautiful bouquet of 20 tulips in lavender, pink, yellow, and salmon. Gorgeous! Made my heart sing!

I put them in a nesting vase and anchored it with jelly beans. I ran out of jelly beans, and was ready to go get some more to finish my lovely design, but Studly said I couldn't spend more money on more candy that no one would eat. He said no one would notice if the jelly beans filled the vase or only went half way. Ya know what? He was right! No one even noticed the vase had ANY jelly beans in it! So we saved $2.99.

But the tulips were still gorgeous.

I had these cute little egg stands, and I also had an assortment of cute little eggs. I put them together, and voila! Cute little stands with eggs! The stands are in various colors, and they made fun little accents.

I also used the drink charms I made for Thanksgiving to identify each person's glass. My dad (or "Paw" as he is known to the grandkids and now to all of us) had his miniature Bible charm on his glass.

For the place cards, I again wanted something that involved the beautiful colors of Spring but also signified new life, new creation, new beginnings.
Enter: the butterflies!

I was pleased with how they turned out. I was also pleased that Cammie's was blue, Rachel's was orange, and Megan's was purple. Those things matter, ya know!

We had a wonderful day and basked in the blessings of family, faith, and friends. The greatest joy of all was and is the victory that is ours because of Jesus.

...and they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, and they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. Two men in dazzling clothing said, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has RISEN!"

Apr 6, 2009

Doesn't Everyone?

The Gregorian calendar says today is April 6. That's 17 full days after the beginning of Spring. More than two weeks! The vernal equinox marks the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring.

So why is it supposed to get down to 28 degrees tonight? Unless I remember incorrectly, that's below freezing. And temperatures below freezing don't occur in Texas 17 days after the first day of Spring.

Wasn't there some big movie about the Earth having a fever and the giant threat that is global warning?

Guess Al wasted his money on that!


In April!

My local nursery and the weathermen on every channel were kind enough to warn me to bring the plants in. So I did what any smart wife would do. I asked Studly to bring in the potted plants.

He's such a good boy. He did it!

(I'm keeping him.)

I walked by the bathroom on the far side of the house a while ago. Something seemed strange.

I turned the light on in there, and this is what I found:

The bathroom has become a temporary greenhouse.

Doesn't everyone store potted plants in the shower?

If they have to stay in there very long, it will be easy to water them. That Studly is genius. Pure genius!

Mar 31, 2009

31 Flavors

This year's flavor was chocolate pecan. As in chocolate pecan pie.

I can taste it just typing those words.

On Saturday, I celebrated my birthday for the 31st time with my BFF, Burlene.* (Burlene is also known as Matilda on this blog. She's neither Burlene nor Matilda, but roll with it.) Thirty-one years we've been friends. Thirty-one birthdays celebrated together. (Well, 62 birthdays if you count hers.)

That's so strange.

'Cuz I'm only 29.

Oh, I kid.

She was there on my 16th birthday when her brother/my high school sweetheart surprised me with a lovely gift. I was no doubt wearing overalls with a tube top underneath and no shoes. And she loved me any way. We've celebrated in some unusual places in unconventional ways, but we've celebrated nonetheless.

This year, Burlene/Matilda took me (Juantela Wayne*) to my favorite tea room for lunch and some serious girl time, although there was no discussion of armpits this time.* It was a FABULOUS meal, and of course, we topped it off with pie. Chocolate pecan pie.

Girl talk with the BFF over lunch followed by pie, presents, and shopping. Is there anything better than that? I think not!
Thanks, Burlene, for a wonderful day. More importantly, thanks for being my forever friend through thick and thin, up and down, good times and tough times and everything in between. Thanks for loving me just the way I am and always seeing the good in me. Thank you for helping me see beauty and joy in the simplest of things and for reminding me of the value of laughter. Thank you for praying with and for me and sharing the challenges of ministry. Thank you for loving Jesus above all else. You are a treasure.

A friend loves at ALL times. Proverbs 17:17a

*LONGstanding funnies from the "Life's Funniest/Most Embarrassing Moments" annals.

Mar 20, 2009


I've been having a spat with Blogger.

A long spat.

Blogger won.

I think Blogger was simply jealous of all the time I've been spending with his rival, Facebook.

I had three posts written that Blogger flatly refused to publish. They're still sitting over there in the "draft" column.

Won't publish. No way. No how.


the fine peeps at Blogger assure me the problem is fixed.

Except I still can't publish those posts.

If THIS one publishes... I'll see if I can cut and paste the others into new posts that can be published.

This blogging stuff is hard!!

Mr. Facebook isn't this contrary....

Feb 19, 2009

Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

Because they're so sweet when they're sleeping....

BigDog was asleep on the portion of the ottoman not occupied by Studly's legs, and Little was asleep on said legs, almost nose to nose with his sister.
Ahhh.... the quiet!

Feb 12, 2009

Daughters of the King

Last week, my friend, Heather, celebrated her 30th birthday. Two of her lifelong friends, Amy and Amy, and I had a princess tea party for her.


A) I have friends.
B) I have friends who are only 30.

Since we'd had such a fun time at Princess Betty's birthday party, Amy #2 and I decided we'd surprise Heather with the same idea. She's a ham as you will soon see, so we knew it would be a home run.

Here is Heather with Amy #1.

Amy #1 won the prize for the longest drive to attend a princess tea party that day. She drove four hours to surprise Princess Heather. I didn't witness it personally, but rumor has it Heather did the ugly cry when she saw Amy #1. I love ugly cries.

And here's Heather with Amy #2 (my planning partner in crime)

And here she is with me. Do I look 17 years older than Heather? Why, yes. Yes, I do.

And here are all the princesses together. Note that Cinderella, Belle and Sleeping Beauty joined the festivities. We had a blast. We laughed and we ate. We laughed some more. We ate some more. We talked about the Lord and what a difference He has made in all of our lives. We are princesses... we're daughters of the King! (All of us except Cinderella. Her tiara was prettier than ours, so we're not letting her play with us any more.)

The tea room is nestled in the back corner of a darling little shop that is geared to kids, mostly girl-type kids. We embarrassed ourselves browsed around for a while. And then Amy #2 came running over to get my camera/phone because Heather was being a, well, you know, a ham.
Girl cracks me up.

Just as we were leaving, the hostesses for a bridal shower came in to begin setting up in the tea room. When a woman pulled the cake from its bakery box, I couldn't believe my eyes.

There, in all its splendor, was an armadillo cake.

Yes. It IS red velvet. I asked.

Think "Steel Magnolias" and Shelby and Jackson's red velvet armadillo "groom's cake" that Jackson's aunt made. Ouiser Boudreaux cut off the tail and served it up to Drum Eatenton, Shelby's dad.

I hope the bride-to-be thought it was funny.

And yes, I DID send the pictures into the Cake Wrecks blog.

As we walked to the parking lot, Amy #1 said her feet were hurting her. Apparently she had a recent injury, and her pups were none too happy to be pent up in some high heeled shoes. She took the shoes off and stood in the parking lot for a few minutes as we said our goodbyes.
When she stepped away, this is what we saw.

Not only did her pups not like the pain inflicted by the shoes, they also couldn't breathe!
I'm still laughing about that.

It was a grand day, and I'm so glad to have been able to celebrate with my precious friends. God is good. Indeed, He is good.

And so is red velvet armadillo cake.