Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Ahhhhhhh winter. It's the quiet season on campus. Bootcamp is over and the preparations for Nomads are just beginning.  Oh we're busy alright but there's a wee bit of time for some fun and games! And besides that...it was an incredibly cooooold winter this year! We were all hibernating and even had a full blown blizzard at one time! Mother of Pearl! Now there are signs of spring and things are beginning to pick up speed. But before franticness sets in for Nomads and bootcamp...here are the pictures of the quiet before the storm:
A serious game of Axis & Allies lasted several days in the dinning hall between Tom, Eric, John and Grant.  See John...he ALWAYS wins!
Isn't he cute!  He's getting tall!  Grant passed me up this winter.  His jeans were at his ankles before I knew it and I had to go buy him some more.  He hates losing to John.  Just hates it.  John already whooped him in Fantasy Football this season.
While the game was going on, Katie quietly worked a puzzle while looking on.  She kept those boys in line when they got rowdy!
Here's her baby!  Asha is getting big too!  Katie and Asha were out enjoying the warm weather one afternoon.
Asha can high five!  We're really enjoying having dogs on campus.  We've got Asha, Jetta and Ebony.  Jetta and Ebony belong to the Damons. 
I found Mercy hanging out under the big tree.  It's been so cold that the kids didn't even go out and play!  Now that's cold!
THE KITCHEN!  It's being completely overhauled!  I tell ya, you won't even recognize it when you come home!  And the pass through to the dinning hall?  It's going to be a den with a comfy couch, overstuffed chairs and a big tv for watchin' movies or tornado warnings!  :-)  Like I said, spring is comin'!
How does Bebe get a thing done with all that poundin' going on?  Her desk is on the other side of the fireplace!
All the room's floors and walls were painted a new color.  We're trying to make them more comfortable for you when you come home.
There's Miriam!  Here kitty, kitty!  She's waiting by my door to go in for an afternoon nap. 
"So, like, do you want to eat at Ted's tonight?"


I'm totally embarrassed but we had to reuse'em! Don't worry...if you lay just right you can avoid all the pokey springs.


See!  I told you they went right back into the room!
Check this out!  This is the room where Admin used to be.  Remember?  They took up the last two rooms on the dorm building.  Well now it's going to be a suite!  Pretty neat, huh!
The first signs of spring....
The flowers are beginning to bloom.
How lovely is this!
Time for a little stroll.  Wonder where it goes?

Well that it's for now. Nomads plans are about to really take off. I've got some stuff I want Steve and James to build for me. John heard back from Aradhna that they are coming for sure. Hmmmm....I need to order the sumo suits! I wish each and every one of you could be here! We miss you all and pray for you too! You guys are out there punching holes in the darkness. I'm honored to know each one of you!

Living Under His Grace and Mercy,

P.S.  I went to the science museum with all the kids and and stood looking at these paintings for a bit.  It's crazy how they move.  It works on your computer too!
They almost made me fall down when I was looking at them at the museum.  It felt like the room was moving!  I was instantly motion sick!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Hi friends!  It's been awhile since my last update.  I must confess something.  Sometimes I get weary of seeing the world through a camera at times....so I really don't have many photos from December!  I do have a few.  But I ended up getting the stomach virus while in Oklahoma along with EVERYONE (and I do mean everyone) else...except one lone person.  Eric Guthrie.  I don't have any idea how he escaped it but he did.  John texted us while we were there and even he spent time with his head hanging over the porcelain throne!  I really thought the guy never got sick!  Jamie had a health scare and had us all a bit concerned.  She had surgery last week and had two lymph nodes removed.  It turned out that they were just infected.  She's completed a round of antibotics and is feeling much better.  And oh I really felt sorry for her when she got the stomach virus two days after her surgery.  She's on the mend now and will be up and going for the spring round of Perspective meetings around the country.  We are all thankful to God for her recovery.

On a side note....baby it's cold outside!  We've got highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits on campus this week!  It's like the tundra out there minus the snow.  There's no snow!  It's windy and sending the wind chill factor below zero!  Where's the white stuff?   Campus is locked in a deep freeze.

This morning Eric, Grant and I went to the Little Rock airport to send off the Rackley family to Uganda.  They finished bootcamp with John and Jamie in December and have sorted through their belongings and have managed to pack their "lives" into sixteen suitcases.  This is a permanent move for this family of eight.  They have never been to Uganda and Eric, Grant and I have, so I was very excited for them.  They're excited too but have no idea what to be excited about!  Quite a few of us  met them this morning to hug them, cry with them, pray with them and send them on their way.  Their parents were there and their aunts and uncles too along with several friends.  We're all so proud of them but as you know, this is a hard morning.  Goodbyes are difficult and you wonder when you'll see your family again.  On the flip side, the excitement was growing and "when was that plane going to take off?!"  It ended up being delayed three hours from the snowstorms around the south.  Here are a few pictures that I took.  I can't believe it....I forgot my camera so I tried to take some using an iphone.  I'm no good at this but I'm putting them up anyway!  These scenes should be familiar to you all!

Oh how we'll all miss them here in the States.  But God is at work in the lives of the Ugandans and the Rackleys have answered the call to go.  Children are awaiting their arrival and the whole family will invest in the hearts of the "least of these."  The call was given, and on bended knee, the answer "yes" was returned.

Living Under His Grace and Mercy,

Saturday, October 30, 2010


 Hi Friends,
   It's been quite awhile since I updated the blog.  I hope you didn't give up on me!  Believe it or not, I've been home nine days out of the last six weeks!  We've been travelin' the world checkin' on projects and visiting our missionary, Cari, in Uganda.  What a joy that trip was.  We went back to Kampala and Pakwach.  Jim Folsom, one of our Heart of God board members, went with us.  He brought along two friends, Steve and Kim, and we all had a really great time getting to know one another and seeing all the work that Cari does.  Cari is doing well and the school is exploding with little students!  She had six preschoolers last year and this year - 60!  We traveled about an hour north of the city with her to look at land that she would like to purchase to build a boarding school on on the outskirts of town.  It all looks good and we're excited about what will be happening over the coming year.  One of our families in bootcamp will be moving to Kampala in January to serve there and help Cari with the school.  I can't tell you how high the excitement is here on campus over this work. 

   Things are changing here on campus.  We're beginning our transition from a bootcamp atmosphere to a missionary retreat center.  We're starting to slowly redo the rooms and turn them  into something comfortable and we hope inviting!  We're also overhauling the kitchen area and the pass through will become a den like area with big comfy couches and a huge tv to watch movies - or the weather on.  Oklahoma weather.  It still blows me away (literally):  scorching heat, 70 mph gusts of wind, tornadoes, hail that made the northern part of the city look like a war zone, and now fall and winter!  Believe it or not, there's snow predicted for the panhandle tonight.  Crazy!  I'm looking forward to  getting a bit of snow this year.  It's been so hot.  It was a record summer with highs hovering around 105F for weeks on end!  It's cooler out now and the trees are beginning to turn.  I do love autumn.  Here are this months round of pictures!

The big tree...  Not much color this year but it's still a beauty in the late afternoon sun.
We were all out last night enjoying the cooler temperatures.  Audrey is on the move!  She'll soon be walking.  Maia is in Idaho this month so we think that Audrey has decided to wait for her to return before she decides to walk!  She turned one two weeks ago.
Katie was working with Asha teaching her a few tricks.  She can give a high five and roll over now!  She just turned 5 months old.
Jewel came down to play but got some hugs and kisses from Eric first!  James...poor James.  He was at the dentist getting fillings.
The trampoline is always in use.  Ainsley and Mercy were having a good time last night.
What's up with that hair!  It had more fun than she did!
The boys were lookin' cool on the patio.  That's Benji.  He's headed to Uganda in January!
Now there's some beautifin' goin' on too.  James and Steve have the place lookin' spiffy!
Here's a before and After.  This is before...
And here's the after!  How do you like it?
Wednesday nights are date nights so Jael comes down and hangs out with the kids while we go out.  On this night, Tom, Rikki, Eric and I went to Soda Pops.
Have you been there?
They've got like over 600 different kinds of soft drinks from all over the United States.  They even have an imported section.  It's tons of fun picking out one to drink with your dinner.
Now on to more serious stuff.  Here's Maia and Katie in the missions office.  Ok...so like this was taken six weeks ago right before we left for Uganda.  I just didn't get it uploaded!
And here's the bootcampers in class listening to a guest speaker we had on campus.  He talked about Hernnhut.  I just thought nobody knew how to spell around here.  Turns out it's Dutch!
I caught them talkin' during class.
But Jamie would have none of that!  "Boys!  Hush!"

Tonight we had a big pizza and pumpkin carvin' party.  It really was a blast.  Before it was over we carved seven pumpkins!  Seven!  We had one rule - no throwing the pumpkin snot!  Everyone obeyed - even the boys.
All the bootcampers and staff got involved with this little project.
We needed the dads to do the heavy carvin' for us.

Spider Man showed up.
You know the slimy stuff is kinda gross...
Jewel thought she might eat some for $1....  But then Eric grabbed the whole thing and put it in his mouth!  Oh my gosh!  The stuff he will eat!  We all gagged but he didn't care.  He just chewed on!
Believe it or not but Spider Man did not want to get his hands all sticky.
But Ashley and Mercy didn't mind.  They ended up carvin' the whole thing themselves!
That's Bootamper Scott.  He's going to Uganda in two months.  Uganda - are you ready?!
Grant found Scott amusing!
There's Rikki and Annie!  Hi Rikki!  Are you havin' fun?
Jewel's creation.
Carvin' went on for quite some time.
Hi Annie!
There's Jael and Grace carvin' away. 
That's Benji and Melissa.  They're headed to Uganda in January too.
Now for the pizza party!
Did you know that Cici's has this new Bavarian dessert pizza.  I must say it's scrumptious!  When you come home - try it!
Feelin' fruity...

The temperatures were beginning to drop.  Baby it's cold outside!
"I think we need to build a fire.  We need two sticks and some leaves."  They can do anything you know.
Little Grant and Ainsley loved being pulled around in the wagon.
Ahhhh....  Now that's better.

This is Sarai.  She's from Monterrey, Mexico.  She came up from Raul's Heart of God campus to learn some English before she heads over to India.  She's really sweet and we like having her around.  Welcome Sarai!
Hey Grant!  Where ya going?  It's time for pizza!
Ainsley thought they were great!
And they were too!
The temperature really fell.  We need some hot chocolate!  Anybody got any?

   As I write this the bootcampers are still huddling around the fire watching it die down.  It has been a good week on campus.  It is such a blessing to work with such great friends and serve along side you.  Do you know that we talk of each one of you often?  Do you know that you're loved and prayed for?  If only we could come see you more often!

Happy Fall!