Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer Recap - Relaxing by the Lake

Our unexpected vacation started with visiting Brandon's Grandmother in Indian River. She is such a wonderful host and this visit was doubly special since Brandon's Aunt and Cousin were visiting from North Carolina! We decided to take a trip together to the northern most point of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, Mackinaw City!
It was wonderful to have my cousin Curtis and his girlfriend Jaclyn come with us this day!
My cousin Curt & Josiah
Curtis teasing Leah with the cold water!
I don't think this boy know anything else to do with the water, 
other than throw rocks into it! lol
We crossed the Mackinaw Bridge and had lunch together in the Upper Peninsula.

Like always, we had to take a trip over to my family's cabin on the lake. There we were able to really relax, go out on the boat, sit by the bon fire, and marvel at God's masterpieces!
A view from the cabin's front porch
Relaxing around the bon fire pit. Dad & Monica fishing off the boat in the background.
Josiah trying to fill the lake up with sand
Me holding two of my sisters, Erica & Hannah
Brandon and I goofing off for the camera!
Isn't God great??
The following night's sunset...
My sister Monica's fish!
Docking the boat
Precious Little Leah
Look closely... there's a fish head nailed to the tree... thats why Curt's pretending to swim! lol
Our final night...














Saturday, September 17, 2011

Summer Recap - Butterworth Hospital

I have always felt that trusting in God and His ways was one of my strong points. But the faith that 'everything happens for a reason' has put us to the test last month. I have often heard people say that they wish God didn't trust them soo much, and at this moment I have to chuckle as I think the same.

I know that God will never give us more than we can handle and I know that sometimes he puts us through trials to teach us, and those around us lessons. Many times we go through tribulations and never know why they happen. We trust that there was something good that came from it and in this situation, I am very thankful that I believe that God has given me some insight to the reasons for all of the chaos that has gone on in our lives lately.

 Brandon had just finished his first week at his new job in Grand Rapids. His new boss told him how much he appreciated his hard work and that he thought this would be a great fit for both Brandon and the company. We were thrilled as a family to have Brandon working for a company that valued his work and respected his time with family.

That Saturday night we went grocery shopping as a family and on our way home Brandon started having terrible stomach pains. We went home hoping it would pass. Pretty soon it was 1:30 am and Brandon was sick to his stomach with no end of pain in sight. I woke the kids and drove Brandon to the hospital,  by the time we reached the ER he was soo overcome with pain that he could no longer walk. After getting into a room the nurse gave him the strongest pain killer they had. Since Brandon has no built up tolerance to drugs, his body hard a hard time handling such a large dose as his oxygen and heart rate dipped dangerously low. They put him on oxygen for the rest of the night as they tried to figure out the source of the pain. A CAT scan proved it to be Appendicitis and he would need to have an Appendectomy that morning. In the midst of all this it was hard to keep the kids entertained in the small room, so it was a major blessing when a close friend came and picked up the kids, taking care of them till the next afternoon! I stayed at Brandon's side until the time for surgery, when I went to the waiting room and meditated on a few scriptures.....

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4:6-7


You will keep in perfect peace
   those whose minds are steadfast,
   because they trust in you. 
4 Trust in the LORD forever,
   for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.

Isaiah 26:3-4

Brandon came through surgery flawlessly, Praise Jesus! I can't thank everyone enough for all the prayers sent heavenward for Brandon and our family! We are truly blessed with wonderful friends and family!

Brandon recovered at an amazing speed and I often had to caution him to take it easy. At his doctors appt. that following week we had hoped for good news that Brandon could get back to work, instead they told him he had an entire month to wait it out! This was a hard dose to take but we were overcome with relief when Brandon's new boss understood what was going on and informed him that his job would still be waiting for him when he was fully recovered!!!

I understand now that God gave us more time to spend together as a family, to grow and bond as one before this crazy year of school and work started. Since we had another 3 weeks before Brandon went back to work, we decided to head back Up-North to visit family.....

Friday, September 16, 2011

Summer Recap - Traverse City Cherry Festival

Our summer adventure truly started at the end of June when we finally moved to Grand Rapids! Our moving day was June 30th which gave us a night to unpack before we headed on a much needed week long vacation to visit family!
Brandon and Josiah loading the Uhaul!
My sister Erica put Josiah to sleep
Almost done!

Our 4th of July weekend started in Indian River celebrating with Brandon's family, and ended at my family's cabin in Oscoda, relaxing by the Lake.
We cut our vacation a day short so we could head on over to the other side of Michigan for the Traverse City Cherry Festival. T.C. is such a beautiful town with many activities for the entire family. The beaches were beautiful and the water crystal clear.... I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves!



After a wonderful week, we were definitely ready to go home and conquer mounds and mounds of boxes.....








Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Christ Centered College

I'm sad to see the cooler weather set in so soon, but so very thankful for all the time we got to spend together as a family this summer. Though the summer months were filled with many ups and down I'm thankful that we got to do it all as a family!

Over a year ago Brandon felt God telling him to go back to school. During that year we spent a lot of time researching schools and even more time praying for God's guidance in our every step. It has ben a long journey but it feels amazing to finally be here. Brandon started school last week and is loving every minute of it. Cornerstone University is such a blessing to us! This school truly strives to bring glory to God and build disciples for furthering Christ's Kingdom!

Since Brandon is at college Monday - Friday, anywhere from 8:30am-4pm, it is very important for us to feel a part of this chapter in his life. We have brought the kids with us to visit the school, orientation, bringing Daddy lunch on his break, and going to Chapel as a family. The worship during Chapel is just phenomenal, and it makes me soo happy to immerse Josiah among elders that are so alive with the Holy Spirit.

I have seen a new passion for life in my husband, and it brings me such joy to see him thriving! Though  I know this will be strenuous at times, I pray it will lead us to depend wholly on the LORD. After all, we want less of us, and more of Him!

Here's a link to a video from Cornerstone's page, giving a glimpse into Chapel...
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.cornerstone.edu/uploadedImages/Website_Assets/Images/UG/Student_Life/Chapel/Undergrd_Chapel_MainImage3(1).jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cornerstone.edu/Undergraduate_Studies/Student_Life/Chapel/Evensong/&usg=__uUo0bmVkoS_05o6w6JiVxLjOyHs=&h=268&w=544&sz=64&hl=en&start=10&sig2=xGd4gI_ubKAsArEmq3vKQw&zoom=1&tbnid=5kpru-8ZukLZqM:&tbnh=66&tbnw=133&ei=bn9yTq-BNOyjsQKzw9HrCQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dcornerstone%2Buniversity%2Bchapel%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1
Click on Chapel on the right hand side, then play the movie!