Saturday, May 4, 2013


I haven't been inspired to blog in a long time.  Obviously.
But with so many changes in our lives in recent months, I thought it might be time for an update.

We moved to Conway in December and I started working at Theodore Jones Elementary teaching K-4th graders music.  I absolutely love it!  Our school has about 77% of the kids on free and reduced lunch.  Many kids have rough home lives and live in poverty.  I remind myself every morning as I watch them walking down the hall to their classrooms that I don't know what they experienced at home before coming to school.  I make a point to hug those who need hugs and give encouragement to all of them.  I love these kids.  Even after only teaching them for 4 months, I love them and feel like God has given me a new ministry through my job at TJES.  Henry goes to school at TJES and we have really enjoyed being able to go to the same school for the first time!  He has made some really good friends there and has fit right in.

Scottie is starting a new church plant with the backing of the Arkansas Baptist Convention called Outdoor Church of Arkansas.  This church will be unconventional and will meet on a weeknight to accommodate outdoorsmen and their schedules.  It will likely meet in a shop at our home.  Scottie is definitely in his element!  He has felt God calling him to this ministry for some time, but we knew last fall that it was time.  Things are still in the beginning phases, but are moving along.

A is with us and everything is still in process.  We are going on 2 years with him in our family.  While the process is slow, we are patiently waiting.  We love him so much and cannot wait to share pictures of our WHOLE family!

We sold our house in Farmington and closed last month.  We have started looking for a house around Conway and are anxious to get settled!  We have been living in a 2 bedroom duplex and are a little cramped, but it has been good for us. 

God has definitely worked out all the details for us to be in central Arkansas.  There are many people we miss in NWAR, but we feel so blessed to be here starting new ministries.  We are also so thankful to be close to Jamie, Rodney and Nick as well as all of Scottie's family.  We haven't lived close to them in over 15 years.

God is good.  I look forward to sharing more and maybe a few pictures soon!
Who knows, maybe I'll blog a little more!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


On September 1, 2012, we lost a precious member of our family. 
Drake Walker drowned during a flash flood near his home in Conway.
Our family will never be the same.

For us the call came as we were with friends watching the first Razorback game of the season.  Scottie got a phone call that Drake had been missing for over an hour.  We immediately turned to social media to get the word out for everyone we knew to start praying.  The next phone call came that the police were dragging a nearby pond.  The final phone call was that he had been found in the pond and had drowned.  There are no words to describe the emotions that came as we dashed out of our friends' house and started to think about what to do next.  I have never experienced anything like it before.  Henry was staying at a friend's house.  I called my parents and told them.  They were on their way to get baby A.  We started packing.  I knew we had to tell Henry so I went to his friend's house and told him something had happened and we had to go home.  Telling Henry that his cousin and best friend was gone was the most difficult thing we have ever had to tell him.  To say Henry and Drake were close doesn't tell the full story.  They were like brothers.

We arrived in Conway just after midnight to our sweet family standing on the porch and immediately began hugging and crying.  There simply were no words.  I remember just saying "I'm sorry" over and over.  The house was full of people.  Over the next several days we were able to witness the church being the hands and feet of Jesus as pastors and small group members took care of every detail imaginable.  They kept ice chests full of cold drinks and food supplied.  There were tissue boxes all over the house.  There were ladies cleaning and doing laundry.  There were tables and chairs and canopies set up on the deck for people to sit.  There were plenty of people around from early morning until late at night for hugs, tears, prayer, support.  It was an amazing scene in the midst of a terrible situation.

Drake's legacy lives on through a mission fund set up at his church.  Through this fund, his family will be going to Haiti next summer to share the gospel.  His legacy lives on in schools throughout Arkansas as students strive to be the friend Drake was.  He was nice to everyone and took the time to make everyone feel accepted.  He stood up to bullies.  He welcomed new kids as friends.  His legacy lives on in the lives that have been changed as a result of his story and his family's testimony.  We know hundreds of students have accepted Christ of their savior in the month of September.  This month of tragedy has also been a month of blessings.  Drake's legacy lives on in his family and friends who strive every day to live each day to the fullest.  Drake loved life and we owe it to him to do the same.

Drake's story is a reminder to all of us that we are not promised tomorrow.  Life is so short and we often take so much for granted.  May God change this attitude in us.  May God make us more aware of how precious life is.  May we live differently.

Drake loved this song by Building 429 and this has become his anthem.  I am so thankful to have know Drake Walker and to have called him my nephew.  I miss him dearly and I cannot wait to see him again in heaven one day.

Please pray for my sweet family and they grieve and seek God's plan in their new normal as a family of three.  I have witnessed them praising God in the midst of terrible tragedy and I know God is with them supplying their every need.  We believe God has plans beyond what we can comprehend through this amazing family.  It's all for His glory.

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Obviously, blogging isn't really my thing.  I think it could be, but it just hasn't been a very high priority these last few months.  I could go on and on about busyness, but anyone reading this is probably in the same boat.  Just wanted to give a quick update.
Baby A has been with us for 5 months.  I thought about this while I rocked him to sleep tonight and wondered how many miles we have rocked these 5 months!  He is such a sweet boy.  We had to get up at 4:00 am to prepare for an EEG his neurologist wanted to do to rule out seizures.  Our instructions were to keep him awake and one nurse even said if he falls asleep, we will have to reschedule!  Scottie and I were both up with him and then took turns taking short naps.  Keeping him awake was pretty easy at first, but got more difficult as the morning went on!  Our appointment wasn't until after 10:00 am so you can imagine...6 hours of keeping a sleepy toddler awake!!  Some of our tactics were eating, walking outside into the chilly air, playing with all sorts of toys and a cold, wet paper towel on the head and face!  They worked well!  Things got really tough when we left for the appointment. A wanted to go immediately to sleep in the car.  Scottie had to task of keeping him awake there.  I had a hard time not speeding to hurry to the appointment!  Long story short, the appointment was a success.  It was not easy for this momma to sit and watch the tech glue 24 electrodes to his sweet head while he fussed and cried.  When the test was over, we thought he would go right back to sleep, but he surprised us all by staying awake!  We drove over to Mad Pizza (one of my favorite places to eat) for lunch.  A stayed awake through lunch and even munched on some ham and cheese.  He did take a great nap this afternoon after we got him home and cleaned up (he still had some glue in his hair).
Christmas was so much fun!  We haven't had a little guy for a while, so it was a fun experience.  He got some wonderful gifts from family, friends and Casa.  We have had a wonderful time together as a family this year, for sure!
We went to court recently and will have baby A for a while.  It's tough to know how to pray.  It is even tougher not to be selfish.  I have to keep reminding myself that he isn't mine.  He is in DHS custody and I'm a third party raising him for the time being.  Our goal is still reunification.  We pray for God's will everyday for this little guy's life and want whatever is best for him, even if that means we don't get to keep him.
The new year holds lots of promise and excitement for our family.  We can't wait to see what's ahead!  Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It's been a long day.We had court today and I had no idea how exhausting it would be.  For all of us.
I am thankful today for a judge who sincerely has the best interest of children in mind day after day.
I am thankful today for a system, though flawed, seeks to protect children of all ages.
I am thankful today for an incredible and supportive family who I love dearly and they love me.
I am thankful today that God put me in a family who loved me and took care of me.
I am thankful today for a network of friends who love me and my family.
I am thankful today that God has called me to be a mommy to children I did not give birth to.
I am thankful today my own son is able to love other children just like they were his siblings.
I am thankful today that God is always with us equipping me for every good work.
I am thankful today for so many reasons.  Too many to name them all.
Most of all, I'm thankful for this crazy journey we are on.  I am learning to trust God more and take it one day at a time.  I am also learning to be prepared for anything at any moment!

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.   Romans 8:28

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Can You Do?

I have been thinking a lot this week about foster care and the church.  I have read James 1:27 a bunch of times.  Yesterday I read foster children referred to as "American orphans" and it took my breath.  It is so true.  I just read this post and was brought to tears.  There is so much you can do to help, to bless, to love foster families.  You don't have to become a foster parent to love foster children and support families who care for them.  You can help be Jesus to these precious little ones, too.  So, I ask...what can you do?? 

Friday, September 2, 2011

County Fair

Henry had his first opportunity to show a sheep at the Washington County Fair this week!  It was very exciting.  And as you can see from his expression, even though he was a total rookie, he was all business.  He was very serious and even though his sheep (not really his, just the one he got to lead) didn't win, he was really proud.  And he got a free t-shirt!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back To School!!

The last 2 weeks have been unbelievable.  Getting back into the routine of going back to school is always a bit challenging, but throw a baby into the mix and it's downright silly!  I really don't know if I can sit here and actually recall everything that has happened.  Let's just say that every time the phone rings we hold our breath and say a prayer.

Henry's first day back started off like this:

And ended something like this:
I had just stopped and picked up dinner at Wal-Mart (a rotisserie chicken, frozen veggies and Steam and Mash mashed potatoes).  The cashier even made a crack about my purchases being an easy dinner.  I was driving to the after school program to pick up Henry, literally down the street when the director called and told me "Henry has fallen off the monkey bars."  And I knew.  I knew the evening of an "easy dinner" and stories about our first day was out the window.  When I got there I could tell he was in a lot of pain.  Bless his heart.  I called his pediatrician and they told me they don't do x-rays after 5:00 (it was just after) and said we should got to the ER.  Yeah right.  Not if I can help it!  I wasn't about to make my baby wait for hours and hours!  We picked up the baby from daycare and headed to the Mediserv Clinic on Wedington.  I cannot say enough good things about this place.  They have been there for us so many times on the weekends and after hours.  Thankfully, they do x-rays, too!  He had fractured his arm and would need to get a cast.  Through it all he was very brave. 
The nurse said we would be going to see the orthopedist the next morning and they put a temporary brace on his arm.  I called a sub for the next day (2nd day of school, no doubt) and planned to take him with Scottie to get his cast.  But they didn't set the appointment until the FOLLOWING day, which meant I would also miss the 3rd day of school.  Not a great way to start off the year for H or me!  But family always comes first.  Always.  The baby had a check-up scheduled that Scottie was going to take him to, but I ended up being able to do it.  He had a runny nose so we had that checked out, but were told it was viral and he would be fine.
H got his super awesome blue cast on Wednesday and couldn't wait to get back to school.  Scottie and I took the opportunity for a lunch out together after he was back at school and I had plans for a nap.  As I laid down in my bed the phone rang.  It was daycare.  The baby had a fever and needed to be picked up within the hour.  What?!  So off I went.  Which also meant he couldn't return the following day because he has to be fever free for 24 hours before returning.  Oh my.  I had to get back to school!  I hadn't even seen my 6th graders yet and it was nearly the 4th day of school!  Crazy.  In steps Grama and saves the day!  She agreed to keep him at her house and poor on the TLC Thursday and Friday so I could return to work.  What a lifesaver!  The week seemed to end alright after all.  I was thinking this week had to be better that last week!  Monday seemed to start out well enough even though the baby had been kind of restless the night before.  Then the phone rang at school.  It was daycare again and the fever had returned.  Really?!  Scottie went to pick him up and I made a doctor's appointment.  Turns out he now has a sinus infection and the beginnings of an ear infection.  Here we go again.  Our friend, Kelly, graciously agreed to keep him for us at her house.  Yet another lifesaver!!  She even made us dinner!!
I am really hoping we are on our way up.  After all that has happened, it is hard to say for sure.  But I am definitely being optimistic!