Saturday, August 23, 2008


Well I am officially 27 now. I have toyed with what my phrase will be this year. I am leaving 26 and in the mix. I have narrowed it down to 2. Let me know what you think:

1) 27...bread unleavened.
2) 27...the year to act 11 ( I stole this from Bobby, but I still like it).

Here are some pics from this week. We left Tuesday for our Next Generation Staff retreat. We went to lake LBJ (which is the lake I grew up playing on. In fact, we found our old house and it is for sale! I am trying to talk my parents into buying it for all of its sentimental value).

Tanya and I. We all went bowling before we went to the lake. Tanya's birthday was the 20th. So it was one big party.
Whitney was our fearless driver. We blared music, danced and played an awesome game of catch phrase.

They got me season one and two of the office! awesome.

Birthday girls playing on the sea doo.

B. E. T. (Becca, Erin, and Tanya)

Thursday, we came back from lake LBJ for our all staff teambuilding day. Here are all the people I work with at the church (minus Andy).

For my birthday, the college interns dressed up for me! Best birthday present by far! Those legs, the awesome facial hair, totally priceless.
Here are the ladies I work with in Next Gen. They bought me all these cool presents at a truck stop. birthday bandana, coozy, rings pops, and candy necklaces.
That night, my community group made me a cake and dinner to celebrate! Yes that is a giant match for a candle.

It was a good birthday! My roommates woke me up on Friday with breakfast in bed, since I was not home on my actual birthday! It was awesome.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

another wedding, another sweet reunion...

So last weekend on August 10, 2008, in the year of our Lord, Amanda Parsons became Amanda Isaacs. It was such a fun wedding weekend. So many good friends reunited (and it feels so good). It was so good to see my friends. Some are mommies, some are soon to be mommies, some we tease about becoming mommies and then there are some of us that are still holding out. I love my friends! No matter what stage we are in, we are able to reconnect and pick up where we left off. Here are just a few pics from the weekend. I have more on facebook if you are interested.

All of us at the rehearsal dinner. Bottom row from the left: Stacy McClure, Amy Milner, Julie Harris, Denise Farris, Danielle Smith (and her bun in the oven). Top row from the left: me, Minday Goff (and her just about done bun in the ove, Amanda Isaacs, Leslie Janssen, Dara Steward (holding Evan Steward)
Amanda and her cute aisle attendants. I had fun with these girls.The beautiful bride.

The bridal party. We are great at creating candid moments, but not great at fake candid pictures.
There are no words. Well maybe awesome.Harris n Farris picture.

I love Mindy. I can't wait for her to be a mom!
Life is always fun with Danielle!
Just outside the church.
there is nothing like ending the weekend with the Bison Mobile. Carrie rolled up in this and of course we had to jump in the back and take an alum pic. Zip Bang OBU!

new favorite song...

your love is strong by jon foreman

Heavenly Father
You always amaze me
Let your kingdom come
In my world and in my life
You give me the food I need
To live through the day
And forgive me as I forgive
The people that wronged me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place
I look at the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day

So why do I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Chorus (3x):
Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town
The kingdom of the heavens
Is buried treasure
Will you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found?

Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes, you love me

(Chorus 3x)

Our God in heaven
Hallowed be
Thy name above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us wicked sinners
Lead us far away from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons

This is one of my new favorite songs. I sing it ALL the time. I love it because it is a great reminder. What a simple song, that is such a strong reminder of who our God is! It is well worth your purchase on iTunes! Just give it a quick listen. I have it above in my ear candy playlist.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

in the words of mws...friends are friends forever...

Doug and Carla Jones are long time friends of mine from high school. Doug and I were friends first, he was like a older brother to me and occasional partner in crime. Then Carla and I became good friends. Then they started dating. Then they went off to college and I soon followed them to OBU. Then they got married, then I moved to Texas and I am not sure I have seen them sense. I really cannot remember that last time I saw them. I got to hang out with them this weekend and we got to catch up on life and such. Well Doug's parents live down here now so I am hoping that these visits will become more frequent. Much love Joneses!

Friday, August 1, 2008

more summer updates...

4th of July
I got to celebrate our nations birthday not at camp or in Costa Rica this year. It was weird. I was not sure what to do. I was not watching my guy friends almost blow themselves up in front of campers. I wanted to grill and play out on the lake, which is what i ended up doing. Rachel and I went over to our friend Travis's house, played some ladder golf (which I was pretty good at, or not) and went out on the lake. We didn't know hardly anyone, but it was still fun. We ended the evening by catching up with Wendy and Mary and watching some fireworks out at Zilker Park. We weren't close enough to hear the symphony, maybe next year. But it was still a fun day!

my boys...
Aren't these guys the cutest!! They belong to a family that I have grown to love here in Austin. They actually have 3 girls too! One night the boys and their parents joined us at Rudy's for dinner. The boys saw some policemen (their heroes) and they were in awe!! The policemen gave us police tattoos and we of course had to put them on right then. It took some convincing before the boys thought it was okay for a girl to be a policewoman. But we worked it out.

3rd roomie
That is right. I have a third roommate now. No, Cassie and I did not move. We are still in the same awesome 2 bedroom. Rachel just moved her stuff on into my room. It is like being in college all over again, except this time rather than 2 twin beds, there is a double and a queen bed in our room. It has been fun learning to share a room and bathroom again, but it has been really fun so far.

Just Another Day at The Austin Stone...
Our church is going through a money matters series. MAN is it good!! You should check out the podcasts!! One of the best sermon series on money that I have ever heard. It has really revealed where my heart's affections lie.

But on a lighter note, we are teaching the kids about stewardship too. We are trying to give them a practical way to give above and beyond the normal tithe. So we are having a school supplies drive for Community New Start. Well to build excitement, I of course needed full size costumes. So my friend Holly whipped some up and they are awesome. Bradley and I LOVED wearing them all day Sunday. Don't be jealous of my job.

Nebraska lovin'...
Carrie came to visit last week!! It was an awesome surprise!! I only wish we could have spent more time together. I took her to Freddie's and had a surprise waiting for her at the restaurant. Michael Fermier! It was awesome!

40 acres

(the garrison farm)

40 acres by Caedmon’s Call

Out on these Texas plains you can see for a million lives
And there's a thousand exits between here and the state line
About the last time that I saw you
You said call me Pandora, call me a fool

And I'm thinking this view it could do you some good
So drop these scales and take a look

There's 40 acres and redemption to be found
Just along down the way
There is a place where no plow blade has turned the ground
And you will turn it over, 'cause out here hope remains
'Cause out here hope remains...

Out here the Texas sky is as big as the sea
And you're alone in your room like an island floating free
Your spirit's hanging in a bottle out on a tree
You say that you're the black sheep, I say you're still family

So throw that bottle to the waves
They'll bring you in to me and from the shore you will see

Out here the Texas rain is the hardest I've ever seen
It'll wash your house away, but it'll also make you clean
Now these rocks they are crying too
And this whole land is calling out for you

This is one of my favorite caedmon’s call songs for a couple reasons.

a) I hope to someday own a house out on some land, be it a ranch, a lakehouse, a house in the hill country or house in the piney woods of east texas. Just a place outside of the city, a place to get away too. That just sounds so relaxing to me. A place to escape the busy-ness of life and take in the quiet and the scenery. I want this place to not only be a place to escape to, but a place where family and friends can escape to as well, a place where we can come together from all over and reminisce, relax and have some quality time. Be it on 40 acres or not, “this view away could do you (me) some good…”

My friend has a farm that we all escape to every labor day. It is wonderful. We eat, play on the lake, enjoy the view off the deck, ride the 4 wheeler, play some cornhole, float the river and layout under the stars. Oh and watch Leslie’s pageant videos of course. But more than that we get to spend time catching up on life, sit in silence as we look at the sunset, laugh about old memories, etc. It is a place that restores the soul and I hope to have a place like this some day.

b) But I really love this song because it is talking about restoration and I love that! perhaps because I so badly can’t wait to be fully restored. I love watching the Lord restore people! It is so exciting to me to see people changed and healed. And I love that He often does this in the context of relationships. As much as we try to keep our junk to ourselves and as much as we try to go at changing things alone, it never happens that way. We are only satisfied in Christ, but he uses human relationships to change sharpen us and to flesh out His love. I love love love the picture of healing and restoration, which is what this song talks about. Hope remains. One of the distinguishing marks of a follower of Christ is hope. We ought not to despair, because we hope in the Lord Almighty!