Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Whole Year in Kentucky!

As we have thought of all that transpired a year ago when we were moving to Kentucky, we wanted to post about our goals for moving here and update how the move has worked out for us.

1.  Get out of debt.  Selling in Colorado when the real estate prices were great allowed us to pay off the rest of the loan and buy our house here in Kentucky for cash.  Not having a house payment allows us to work for less income than we had in Colorado and still stay out of debt.  Though we often say this is not our 'forever home' (which is really heaven) here on earth, because we are planning to continue getting older instead of younger and there are too many steps in this house for old people--we are very happy with what God has provided for us.

2.  Allow our college kids to live at home with us instead of in the dorms.  We have been blessed to be with Elizabeth and Jason instead of 1240 miles away from them, occasionally calling or videochatting.  We have had so many fun and informative meals together, hearing what they were learning in classes.  Now Jason is married and we miss seeing him every day, but we still are glad to have Elizabeth and Emily at home, and we get to hear about their lives and pray for them every day.

3.  Get to know Karen and have her in our lives before she and Jason got married.  We enjoyed the many meals and sharing holidays and family times leading up to their wedding on July 1.

4.  Be a part of a growing church fellowship.  Burlington Bible Church is so special to us.  We have loving, precious pastors and congregation.  It is our joy and goal to get to know each of the 175+ congregants by having them in our home for meals.  In our blog, we post pictures often of those who come over.  We are so blessed by knowing these good people, and we are fed spiritually every service we are in.  Janet enjoys substitute teaching for 4-6 and 7-9 year olds Sunday School classes on a prn basis.  Elizabeth is very involved in bus ministry and junior church.  Emily plays the violin each Sunday.  Rowen has done some driving for the bus kids pick-up and take-home.
Our senior pastor and pastoress, Darrell and Regina Stetler, and our assistant pastor and pastoress, Andy and Sherilyn Stroud and their precious children, Wilson, Marshall, and Karilee.  We love these people like our own kin.  They exude God's love!

5.  Have students from God's Bible School and College in our home for fun, food, and respite.
We had some mission students over for a meal last fall, and we had a game night for girls lately.  We have "adopted" a couple girls who are invited to eat Sunday dinners with us and call on us anytime they need us.
Missions class with Dr. Dan Glick
 Girls' Game Night
Our adopted girls: Lily Rectenwald and Danette Teed on the left side.  Sunday dinner with some of our church folk, the Tallmans and Sister Smith.

6.  Be the protectors of our precious daughters until God brings them their life mates.  This is an on-going responsibility and we are so glad to be where our girls are during this important season of their lives.  They are our precious treasures and worth protecting!

7.  Have meaningful jobs to provide for our livelihood.
Rowen is enjoying working for Budget Blinds as an installer.  
 Janet enjoys care giving and companionship to Beulah Conley in this stage of her life when she can't be alone safely.
God has been so very good to us.  We cannot thank Him enough for leading our lives and allowing us to move to Kentucky.  We added these words to our kitchen wall in January as we prayed for a meaningful job for Rowen.  It is a great reminder to us everyday.  God is in charge of our lives!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Taylor Mill Bright Lights 2017

This spring, God put it on Elizabeth's heart to host a Bright Lights discipleship group for the young girls in our church.  Though there are quite a few other girls the right ages, it worked for five girls to be a regular part of the group, which met seven times over the summer.

Elizabeth led the Bible Study and Emily was her helper.  At each meeting they sang, studied a lesson, prayed, and had tea and snacks.  The girls seemed to really enjoy the time together.  Most of the time, Bright Lights was held at our house, though the church fellowship hall was also used.  Elizabeth put a lot of work into each lesson to make them interesting, applicable, and memorable.

Here are a couple pictures from the second Bright Lights tea time in June:

The seventh and last meeting was held at church.  First, the girls had lunch together, sang together at the nursing home service in the afternoon, and practiced a special song for the evening service.
 Singing with the folks at the nursing home
 Singing to them
 Emily playing her violin at the nursing home
 The Bright Lights girls at the church
 There you can see their fun personalities a little better...
the girls wanted to know what it felt like to be in the pulpit like a preacher.
 Heading over to the Fellowship Hall for the last meeting...
 and celebratory brownies and ice cream...Yum, yum!
 Singing "Who Will Shine God's Light?" in the evening service.
 (We had a missionary speaker, so that's why the screen and projector were there.)
They were a real blessing at the nursing home and at church!

More highlights of our summer

We enjoy having people in our home for meals. We didn't get a picture of our supper meal with these friends, but here is a picture taken at church. On the left is Retha Elger, our long time friend from my childhood, and on the right is a missionary friend from Belize, Joanna McKinney, who has been our virtual friend for many years.  Joanna spent some time in our area, going to the Creation Museum and the Ark, and staying at Retha's house.  It was fun to get to spend some time with her, after knowing her on email and Facebook for so long.
 Joanna and Elizabeth
We unexpectedly got to have friends from Colorado over for supper on July 10, which happened to be Augie's birthday.  Augie and Kathy Manzanares were in the area working on a house they are flipping.
After we ate, we went to Chick-fil-A for ice cream.  Elizabeth was working and Emily was already off work for the day.
We loved having the Harms family over for a meal and play time on July 14.  Steve and Korin told us the story of finding out they were going to have triplets!  
 The triplets turned 3 recently and their big brother is soon turning 5.
Since school started, Emily gets to babysit them on Tuesday and Thursday mornings!

On July 16, we had our Care and Connect people over for Sunday dinner.  Sister Debby Byer and her daughter Esther and Shelley Carey and her sister Stacy were in our Care and Connect Group May-July.  Stacy didn't get to come this time because of her night nursing job, but we were glad the other ladies could join us.  Emily is always missing from the pictures, because of being behind the camera.
Rowen bought himself a bowtie and has worn it to church a couple times.  There is a fellow at church who always wears a bowtie, so we pictured Doug Hodnett and Rowen together in their ties.
The lady I am companion to was visiting her other family the last part of July, so I got to make a trip to Missouri!  While there, I got to spend time with my parents, our second son and family, go to family reunion, and see an old and a new friend.
Everybody at the reunion
 My Smith cousins who were there
The three surviving Smiths:  My mother on the left, Wanda Scoles, her brother, Kenneth Smith, and sister, Carolyn Hulett
Brenda, Charissa, and Felix playing in the water
I enjoyed hearing Daddy (Rex Scoles) preach again. 
 I'm thankful my parents are still able to be in our lives.  It was a privilege to visit them again.
I got to meet my virtual friend, Lorraine Doty and get acquainted over a DQ ice cream!  We have only emailed, snail mailed, and texted before.  Now we know each other!  We are both breast cancer survivors.  She has been a painting customer of Tim's, so that's how we got connected.
I shared a meal with my friend since 3rd grade, Cyndi Smith.  It's always good to see her and get caught up on each other's lives.
I was so grateful that Retha (mentioned and pictured above) was happy to make a trip to Missouri with me and she got to visit several of her friends and relatives.  Neither one of us would make that trip alone, and we did great together!
Shortly after I returned from the trip, we had the privilege of hosting Byron and Melissa Manners for an overnight stay.  We loved getting to know them a couple of years ago when they stayed with us in Colorado.  We got to share a meal, and then ice cream at Chick-fil-A, play some Chicken Foot Dominoes, and take them to church with us the next day.
 Byron and Missy are missionaries to Taiwan.
We had Darrell and Regina Stetler over for Sunday dinner with us so they could also visit with the Manners.
We had some visitors to our back yard and hedge a couple of times recently.
The other time, we didn't get a picture, but there was a mother and THREE fawns!
Moving on to August, on the 6th, we had a picnic lunch with the Harms at church.  We were going to have a picnic in the park, but it was raining at lunch time, so we did it at the Fellowship Hall.
 Rowen took us home on the back country roads he drives to and from work most days, so we could see the beautiful scenery he sees every time.  We stopped to take some pictures on the lovely drive.
Elizabeth by some pretty flowers.
 Emily in front of a lake with lots of lily flowers.
Close up of the lilies with several stages of the lilies' life cycle showing.
 Emily, our wonderful photographer, who hardly ever gets in the pictures herself!!!
 Rowen, outstanding in somebody's field!
 On August 20, our friends Augie and Kathy Manzanares were back to work on the house again and stayed with us.  For Sunday dinner we had them and our new friends, Brian and Lois Harvey at our table.  Brian had a heart attack and stints put in since then.  I don't think it was because of our food, but we are praying for him to have a full recovery!
 In the evening, we went to God's Bible School and College for the beginning service of the new school year.  Emily with her friend, Lily Rectenwald, who we plan to "adopt" as one of our girls.
Augie and Kathy went to the Creation Museum and the Ark while they stayed with us.  They gave us this wonderful puzzle as a thank you gift. We couldn't resist putting it together right away!
Elizabeth started back to college for her junior year.  Emily joined the Symphonic Wind and String Ensemble at GBSC.
Our tomatoes have been growing well and giving us tomatoes for the table.
 Rowen's boss's wife gave us lots of her tomatoes and I made homemade catsup with them. (The blue vase is a thank you gift from the Manners from Taiwan.)
On August 24, Janet turned 56, but we didn't get any pictures to prove it.
On August 25, our friend Seth Stevenson was in the area, getting a new Christian radio station up and going for the Cincy area!  We are enjoying listening to it often at WYHH 89.7 FM or
On August 27, we had David and Kelly Stamper and their children, Josh, Katie, Kara, Jacob, Klarissa, and Kelsey for Sunday dinner.  What a wonderful family!
On August 28, Emily and Janet went to the Adoption of a foster child into the home of our dear friend Kathy Manns.  Jewels has lived with Kathy since she was 3 months old. A good number of our church people were there in support of Kathy.
 The judge gave Jewels a pink rabbit.
 Kathy Manns and her beautiful girls and one of her foster boys.
A kiss for her mommy!
 We are so happy that Jewels has a "forever" home with Kathy, and the opportunity to be raised by a godly lady who will help her know Jesus so she can someday live in her heavenly forever home.
One morning this past week there was heavy fog.  
This is how our deck and flowers looked in the fog.
The three color mum is a birthday gift from the family whose mother I take care of. 
Our flowers have been such an enjoyment to us.  We can see them out the kitchen window while we do dishes or cook.