What a summer!

 This has been a wonderful BUSY summer.  I need to get back to work to relax. :) 

The summer seems to have focused on the book, The Shack.  We've had weekly get-togethers to discuss it as well as an all day Saturday get together. It has been a life-changing experience, to say the least.  We've seen God's amazing work in all our lives- even amongst horrible tragedy.  If you'd like to know more about the book - please contact us.

Here are a few pictures from our Shack get-together:

I love these smiling pictures- we just had a wonderful day!







Food, fellership and family - and beautiful music sung to God and for each other.


We had a few family visitors this summer. Charlie's daughter, Amy, her husband Mark and granddaughter Kami came in late May. We had a lot of fun.

We also bought some new ducks at First Monday.  Nephew Brandon has 3 Indian runner ducks in that red onion sack and was impatient to let them go. :) That's my brother Brent and his honey Adele coming to watch.

I love this picture - Brent and Brandon fishing.

Charlie's daughter Amy did a little fishing, too.  Yep - that's a Barbie fishing pole - but it's proved to be the luckiest pole we have. :)

Here's Charlie's granddaughter Kami - trying to smile in the sun.

Her dad, Mark, caught the only fish that day. 


We got to take the train from Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stock Yards. What a trip - in more ways than  one - but was a lot of fun. On the way we're stopped and boarded by train robbers.  What fun!

We took several trips to Amarillo in the past few months to spend time with Mom. Here we are goofing on the plane.

(Evan, Nathan and Robin)

And here's NIB - wheeling through United on her cool cart.


In getting ready for a summer filled with gatherings - Robin and her friend Jessi did some original artwork on the floor of the pergola. It was amazing what they did with some spray paint!

Here are the artists.


And yes - it was time for some new puppies.    We got a brother and sister half Great Pyrenees and Australian Shephard.  We named the male Willie (after Wills Point) and the girl Leah, because Leah, Jacob's wife, had tender eyes - and this puppy has the most gorgeous eyes.


As you can see - they are already carefully guarding the front door. :)

One of the great things about living such a long drive from town is we happen upon some neat animals.  This momma turkey was down the road from us taking her babies (poults) on a walk. It was fun watching them grow.


The dogs have been making outside the house their domain - and have their favorite spots for keeping cool.  One place - behind the house - was really taking the brunt of their digging.  We also knew we were having a lot of company this summer and wanted to have a place to enjoy God - his trees and night sky - with one another. Not everyone enjoys sitting out at night in a lawn chair amidst the wild life as we do. :)  So our next door neighbor, Tony, an amazing carpenter spent a week with Charlie putting in a deck.

Charlie cleared a spot behind the house - and it seemed Maddie knew there was a problem. She sat guard so no one covered up her sleeping spot.

Annie came at night to help bolster forces:

Tony and Charlie hard at work:

It has been a great place for gathering.  It's like a kitchen - friends just gravitate there. And it helps out the folks who don't seem to want to sit out by the pond in the evening to attract snakes with catfish food. :) Now - who wouldn't love that????

And no fear - the dogs have found another place - probably even cooler.


Another get together this summer involved an afternoon of old friends and a gospel singing concert by some of the Gaither bunch - the Hoppers, Greenes and the Tribute Quartet.  What fun!

(Alice, Bob, Gaylon, Horace - The TQ bunch)

For those familiar with The Examiner which was published during the 80's and 90's - this get together was focused around some of its writers.

James and Eva Finley, Gaylon and Ginger Embrey, Horace and Nelda Hooper


Plus the great concert, of course. :) Isn't it a pretty coliseum? Pretty fancy for Terrell, Texas.

Could it get any better? Robin with The Tribute Quartet. They were great!

We aren't part of organized religion.  We don't meet at the same time or even in the same place.  We gather with different groups of folks and are encouraged by so many wonderful people. These pictures show examples of how informal and
encouragement-oriented the get-togethers are.  Different sets of folks engage in discussions inside and outside the house and at other times the entire group comes together.  To me it fits the example given in I Corinthians 14 - people coming together and each bringing something of their own to add. While worship is a very personal, one-on-one adoration of God - the gathering together of saints is a time for encouragement - and 1 Cor. 14 says that over and over. And we seek to live that way. 

It looks to me like Charlie made the rounds into all the little groups that day. :)

We would like to honor a young man who was lost this past week.  Anthony Moreland, 23 year old son of our friends and neighbors, was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident.  He had recently returned home from Kuwait where he had been assigned by the Air Force. 

His parents (Tony and  Valerie) were part of our summer learning about God's character and love in The Shack - and we are praying Papa's love as well as that of their friends and family will hold them up through this inconceivable loss. 

His father built our gorgeous deck, and the last two days Anthony came out and helped.  Anthony was a fine young man who was very responsible and a true giver to everyone around him. The multitude of stories from friends and family of how he affected their lives is testimony to his character.