Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sweet Video

She's as sweet as her apple pies!  BTW, looking for a great book about Traditions & Holidays?  Well, this book is a must have!   
“He that deserves nothing should be content with anything.” 
~Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why I hate Disability

It’s so daily! There has never been a day over these 8½ years of my son’s life that I didn't have to face disability. It never ends. It’s something I have to face day in, day out, and many times in the middle of the night. It goes with us on every family outing & it invites itself on every family vacation. I may forget about it temporarily, but it won’t let me do that for long. It stares me in the face causing me to acknowledge its presence.

But disability is also a gift to me. Because it’s so daily, I must turn to my Savior constantly. Before disability entered my life, I was a prideful, self-sufficient, “I have my life all in order” type of girl. I had a great childhood, went to good schools, had the best teaching job, & married the man of my dreams, so when I got pregnant I thought that our son would complete this perfect picture. Then February 10, 2003 came. Along with it prematurity, hospital visits, seizures, mental disability, etc. My perfect life was shattered. What a good gift from God! Of course my flesh hates every bit of this chiseling of my selfishness & pride.

But it causes me to have to run to Jesus. Many days I wake up and dread getting out of bed. I lie there and wonder how I've been able to do all that I do for the last 2920+ days of my life. But I get up. Again & Again & Again. God is with me. Holding my hand or should I say carrying me through the day. So this daily-ness of disability leads me down the path to Calvary and at the cross is where I lay my burdens down and my Savior’s sufficient strength restores me to keep living life to the fullest (John 10:10)…Daily.

Friday, November 4, 2011

More Highlights from October

As I mentioned before, the Lord blessed our October to be full of good things. Here are the final five highlights from our month.

6. We hosted a picnic for our church members who live in our city. Being at a very large church where thousands of people from varying cities gather, it was nice to just meet with this small group. We had a sweet time of fellowship! Kempton charged us in the Word as he reminded us that our mission field was right here in our own city. Lost souls aren't just in Africa & China but right across the street and in the stores that we frequent on a regular basis.
7. My big girl started "Bible & Ballet". She absolutely enjoys it! Kempton & I are so pleased that the first outside activity that Carysse is involved in is led by a believer that: 1) promotes modesty in dress (they wear long t-shirts & leggings), 2) they start & end class with a prayer & a verse of the day, 3) they only dance to contemporary praise & worship songs.

8. Kempton & I had the privilege of speaking to our church's MOMS ministry. This year's theme for the ministry is Self-Control. I laughed when I was asked to speak on that topic. However, God chose to use this imperfect vessel to speak truth to the ladies through His perfect Word. He is so faithful in using us even when we feel we shouldn't be the one chosen. Many times the Lord gives these assignments because the speaker often has more to learn than the listeners.
9. The Hope Keepers Ministry (women who serve a family member with disability) from my church had a panel discussion. Oh wow; it was good! God’s hand was truly on this event. He blessed it beyond all that I imagined. As our Disability Ministry Coordinator said, "It was a Beautiful Tapestry of God’s grace seeing how each ladies' stories/insights complemented one another". God was so good & faithful to us!
10. My 36th Birthday! My hubby took me to my favorite restaurant and got my favorite drink - VIRGIN Strawberry Daiquiri. We had mozzarella cheese sticks for appetizer and of course I had to have shrimp & crab legs for dinner...yummy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What A Sweet Month!

The Lord has been so kind to fill our October with so many good things! We've been running non-stop, but not for the sake of being busy. Our plate has been filled with many sweet blessings. God's undeserved grace flowed to us in many ways! Here's a partial list of the highlights from the month.

1. Today, Kempton & I spoke at Northwestern College for their Disability Awareness Week. The Lord led us to talk about God's Sovereign Goodness in Disability. God was so faithful in using us to speak His truth. This was our 2nd time speaking together this month & we've really enjoyed it!

2. A couple of weeks ago, my friend, Julie, & I organized a Busy Bag Swap Party. Sixteen of our friends gathered together to exchange activity bags for our children. We had to put forth a lot of effort & time into our individual bags but it was so worth it when we ended up with 16 different activities.

3. On Saturday, my friend & I hosted a baby shower for our friend who is pregnant with her 10th child! I typically don't initiate hosting baby showers; but this was an exception. Jackie is such a sweet, humble woman of God that truly believes that children are a blessing and allows God to be Lord over her womb. Also, a couple of her kids have special needs. So, I delighted in honoring her in this way. Does she look like a mother who's birthed almost 10 children? Incredible!

4. Carysse enjoyed going to her 1st Tea. Her friend, Phoebe, had a fun 4th birthday party! My friend, Gen, is a super decorator as you can see!

5. When daddy had some time just with his daughters, he did this precious photo shoot as they enjoyed one of the last warm Fall days. He captures the best pics of our kids!

More highlights coming soon! :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Family Retreat '11 - Final Day

Kempton's Final Session was about Looking to Jesus ~ Our Ultimate Freedom! Here are some key points -

* Changeless Christians don't exist! There's always transformation when you collide with Jesus!
* When we look to Jesus, the devil's hands are broken off our eyes (2 Cor. 4:4)
* To be saved is to find out what happened to you at the Cross.
* At salvation, Jesus is no longer a boring sage but a Beautiful Savior.

Like mommy~Like daughter
My sweetie wanted to dress like me

My baby girl with Judy, a Joni & Friends leader from Chicago

Christian finally warmed up on the last day ~
This is the 1st smile we got out of him!

Joe, one of the campers, was fond of Kempton from the start.

Carysse & mommy took a ride in a steamboat while the rest of the family took a nap.

We Praise the Lord for another blessed year at Family Retreat!

He has done great things for us; we are glad.
Psalm 126:3

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Family Retreat '11 - Day 3

The Lord definitely blessed us through the Word that He gave Kempton to share. It was very encouraging to the believers but very convicting for those who are not the Lord's sheep & therefore do not possess the Holy Spirit. Here is what he discussed -

How do you really know if you have the Holy Spirit living inside of your body? How do you know if He lives in you? How can you prove if you are one of His locations, houses, dwelling places, temples...or NOT?

...O the way that you answer this question is the difference between heaven and hell....liberation and the lake of fire.....eternal freedom with Jesus and eternal flames with Satan.... (2 Cor. 13.5)

*8 questions to see if the Holy Spirit is in you..based on what the bible says the Holy Spirit does when He lives in a person who has trusted Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins?

1) Has the holiness and righteousness of God been revealed to your heart ...and is it continuing to be revealed to your heart?

= This is the inner, heart work of the Holy Spirit! (Jn. 16.8) He is HOLY!

2) Has the filthiness of your own sin been revealed to you in light of God’s holiness bringing about a deep conviction that you deserve the fierce judgment of God...and is it continuing to be revealed?

= This is the inner, heart work of the Holy Spirit! (Jn. 16.8)

3) Have your spiritual eyes been opened to see the irresistible light and beauty of the grace of God in the cross, leading you to trust Jesus for the forgiveness of sins...and are you continuing to trust Christ?

= This is the inner, heart work of the Holy Spirit! (2 Cor. 3.15-18)

4) Have you received a new, regenerate/ born-again heart that now

has new desires, loves, cravings, longings, hungers, thirsts for Christ

and His glory?

= This is the inner, heart work of the Holy Spirit! (Titus 3.5)

5) Do you have a new appetite and understanding of the bible and it’s basic doctrines concerning God, Christ and the gospel?

= This is the inner, heart work of the Holy Spirit! (Jn. 16.13)

6) Do you have a new found love in your heart for Jesus Christ and all people, especially other believers in Christ?

= This is the inner, heart work of the Holy Spirit! (Rom. 5.5)

7) Do you have an intimate prayer relationship with God the Father in the

name of Jesus Christ His Son?

= This is the inner, heart work of the Holy Spirit! (Rom. 8.15)

8) Do you have desires and passion to be a gospel witness of Jesus to the

lost and hell-bound all around you?

= This is the inner, heart work of the Holy Spirit! (Acts 1.8)

*Listen, whether your answer is I know the Holy Spirit is alive in me or I don’t think He is alive in me...either way....let this be your promise and prayer from the Lord Jesus himself in Luke 11.13,

If you, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.

The Family Highlight of the Day was our trip to the Beach

Walking to the Beach

My Big Girl was her sister's age the 1st time we went to Family Retreat!

"I'd rather be napping!"

Christian didn't want to get out of the stroller & decided to take a snooze.

Daddy-Daughter Swimming Lessons

The Turner Girls


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Family Retreat '11 - Day 2

The Lord blessed Kempton to be the Camp Pastor again this year. His 1st Session was titled, "TRUE FREEDOM".

The theme verse of the retreat was 2 Corinthians 3:17. Kempton unpacked that verse & the surrounding verses and gave lots of helpful insight on this passage. Here are some of the points that he discussed. (Above photo by Amy Mingo)

Three Enslaving Problems that We Were ALL Born With (Psalm 51:5)
1) the enslaving problem of not keeping the law (the rules--10 Commandments) (2 Corinthians 3:3, 7, 9)

2) the enslaving problem of our hard minds/hearts (2 Corinthians 3:14)

3) the enslaving problem of our blind eyes (2 Corinthians 3:15)

The 5 Most Important Words from Satan..."TO KEEP YOU FROM SEEING!" (2 Cor. 4:4). He desires to keep you from seeing the light of Christ, Jesus, and the Gospel.

That veil that we were all born with can ONLY be taken away through Christ.

When one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. ~ 2 Cor. 3:16

**Only through Christ can we have lasting freedom! This freedom transcends circumstances & situations.

There was a Friday Fiesta Night & we had tons of fun!!! The pics say it all!

My Unique Carysse wanted the face painting on her knee. :-)

Christian was pretty reserved our whole time at camp.
He actually wanted to stay in his stroller most of the time.
Here he's probably wondering why his buddy Jon has that funny hat on.

Lil Miss Sunshine

Carysse dancing center stage with her new friend, Joe.

Daddy & Son joined the Fiesta Train!
(Photo by Amy Mingo)

Mommy partying with the other ladies.
(Photo by Amy Mingo)

(Photo by Jake Preedin)

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Sweet Time Away

We just got back from our 3rd Joni & Friends Family Retreat! Our 1st & 2nd times were so memorable but I think we had the most fun this year! The Lord graciously answered all of our prayers for this retreat. I'll try to give a recap of each day in the next several blog posts. Below is a snapshot of the 1st day


After driving for almost 4 hrs to Detroit Lakes, MN, we arrived at the Young Life Castaway Camp.

The Short Term Missionaries (STMs) were eagerly awaiting the families arrival.

They took our family picture & then we headed to our room to unpack & unwind.

We had the Introduction & all our meals here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Birthday Pics

Kalia was so blessed to have both sets of grandparents come for her 1st birthday celebration. Kempton's parents' trip was planned. However, my parents pleasantly surprised us by driving 10 hrs to be with us. That was icing on the cake! To have everyone together on this special day was such a sweet gift from the Lord.

Kalia has been a mommy's baby from the start.
Wherever mommy is; that's where she wants to be (right on my hip).
So, my parents bought her a Koala book & mommy-baby koalas.
Too Cute!

Big Sister helping out & admiring the great gift from Grandparents T.

"I'm so blessed!"

Kalia's #1 cake

"Kalia, I'll show you how to eat cake!"

"I guess I'll give it a try."

"No Mom & Dad, we prefer to look at you instead."

"All done! My 1st cake was yummy!"

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Baby Girl is One!!!

Kalia Joy

Meaning of Kalia: beauty, beloved, tree

Origin: Hawaiian

We didn't find out our baby's gender before she was born. Even though we thought that we were having a boy throughout my whole pregnancy, we had a girl name just in case. Little did we know that "her" name was going to describe her so well. As we all know, the colors green & brown are associated with trees. So, how fitting it was for the Lord to give us a beautiful, joyful girl with hazel eyes!

Life Blessing: Jeremiah 17:7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit."

As her daddy & I are longing & hoping that she will belong wholly to the Lord, we constantly pray for her salvation and that she will be a beautiful tree for Jesus and bear much fruit for Him!

Oh How One Year Has Flown By!

1 Month
2 Months

3 Months

4 Months

5 Months

6 Months

7 Months

8 Months

9 Months

10 Months

11 Months

1 Year!