A Heart Toward Home

"...But as for me and my house, we will serve (worship) the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Joanna's Birthday!

 I wanted to post about Joanna's birthday and how we celebrated the day of. Someone had bought Joanna some gifts at Christmas for us to give to her for her birthday. On the morning of her "Birthday" we gave her these gifts and she loved each of them!
 Joanna is all in to Minnie Mouse. Here she is with her Minnie Mouse dinner set and in the picture above she got a Minnie Mouse blanket.
 One of the many things that Joanna has mentioned is that her dress up things were burned up in the fire. She was really happy to get this new dress up dress and crown.
Here is our little princess all dressed up! :) For lunch she wanted to go to Mexican, so we took her out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. She loves the chips and salsa. :) They sang "Happy Birthday" to her.
I LOVE my kids so much and never thought I could love them any more than I did. Since the fire I am amazed at how much more I love them and I see that they ARE gifts from God! Celebrating birthdays this year will be a little more special, because the children are here to celebrate. When I think back to the night of the fire I am so thankful that we were not asleep and that we all got out...not even a burn, scratch, or inhaling the smoke. PRAISE GOD!!! HE is GOOD!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Enjoying Some Nice Sunshine!

Back in December there were a few really nice days and so the kids and I took advantage of them and got out to play. We needed that outside time and enjoyed the sunshine. 
 Here are Elijah and Timothy playing with some tractors that were given to them as gifts.
 These two were having lots of fun! They even let Joanna join in the fun.
 Here is Joanna doing her part in gathering up the gravel. :)
These three play so good together and I am thankful that they have each other!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


We enjoyed celebrating Joanna's birthday last Saturday with grandparents! I hope to post those pictures soon! We also have celebrated mine and Bryan's birthday's this month. 
 Happy Birthday to my man!! I love him for so many reasons!!
Here is our 3 year old!! She had a GREAT birthday! We are so thankful to be able to celebrate birthdays...celebrate life this month!

God Meeting Our Needs!

On Monday following the fire the Red Cross had small blankets to give the kids. There is a lady in town that makes these blankets for children in need and the Red Cross distributes them as needed. I was very touched and the kids were tickled to have the blankets. Below is a picture of the kids with their blankets. 
 Over the next few days we had a list of things that needed to be taken care of. We ate out every meal that first week. Things were crazy and our minds were in no shape to think about anything. There were moments when we would cry or remember something that we missed and cry some more. One of the first things Joanna asked was "Did my pillow burn up?" and our answer was yes. Then she asked "Mommy, did your pillow burn up?" My heart just hurt for her. This will be something that our kids will never forget. They will also NEVER forget how God has met our needs through the love and generosity of others being poured out on our family.
That first week so many reached out to us! I can not begin to list all of those who have sent a card, text, clothes, presents, etc. to meet our family's needs. Since this happened right at Christmas there were those who reached out by giving our children Christmas gifts. Thank you!!!  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Joanna turns 3!

Our baby girl is three!! Yesterday we celebrated Joanna's 3rd birthday and she had lots of fun! We are so thankful her and the joy she brings to our family! A gift from God and a blessing to each of us! I hope to share more pictures of her this week!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Next Few Moments and Hours

We made it to the end of our road as the fire trucks started rolling in. By this time we knew that our home was gone. As we watched the fire trucks come we also were surrounded by church members, friends, and other ministers. They were bringing clothes, shoes, toothbrushes, tooth paste, and lots of love. One of the men from the church went through the woods down to get the dogs. It made the kids feel better to see the dogs. A friend from church took the dogs to her house. The kids and I went to a nearby church members home and waited there for Bryan. Someone offered to run to Walmart and get a few things we would need the next few days, diapers and wipes for Joanna being the big item at this point. 
Bryan showed up to pick us up and I really wanted him to walk in and say that most of the house had been saved, instead the news was in an hour our home was nothing but 18 inches of ashes. We knew our next decision would be where to go for the night.

When we moved here 6 months ago we had not closed on our house yet so we were able to live with someone for about three weeks, these same people opened up there home to us again. Bryan and I decided that this would be a good place for our children since they had already lived here before. So we got the children and the items that had been given to us and went to Uncle David and Aunt Sandra's. It was around 11 or midnight when we arrived. The kids slept like babies and have ever since!

On Monday morning the first thing Bryan and I did was call our parents. We knew that if we had called the night before they would have not gotten any sleep. That was an emotional moment, our parents were very thankful that we were all safe and together. Then I took inventory of what clothes we had and what we needed. The kids were the biggest ones in need. The clothes we received the night before were mostly for Bryan and I. The kids had NO shoes and NO clothes. I found a few things for me and got dressed for a trip to Walmart. Another dear friend from church met me there and helped me pick out some things.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

God gives us...

Beauty for ashes,
Strength for fear,
Gladness for mourning, 
and Peace for despair.*

These words have been on my lips over the past month.We have been busy trying to get things together for the insurance. We have to list about nine things for each content we list that was in our home. It has been overwhelming to say the least. 

 The night of the fire was very scary. Something you never think you will go through and you think you can prepare for it IF it does happen. I had always told myself if there was ever a fire I would get out this, this, and this. The night of the fire I was so worried about getting my family out that getting those "things" NEVER crossed my mind. I didn't even think about getting my purse.  

We had just come home from church and I had drove Bryan's car home that night. As we were racing out the door Bryan went to move his car and we realized that the keys were in my coat pocket in the house. There was NO going in after them. We all got in the van and began backing up to leave and the house was already black. The garage door to the basement rolled up, black smoke rolled out and out came our cat of 8 years scorched. We got her in the van with us and we drove to the top of the driveway.
Bryan was on the phone with a deacon from our church when Isaac and I hollered "Fire" and Bryan called him back when we got to the top of the driveway. He told Bryan it had only been 5 minutes since they had hung up the phone, we looked back and the house was already in flames. We could even hear things exploding. Someone took the cat to the vet for us that night and they had to put her to sleep. We all were very sad to loose her.

It is hard to look at these pictures, retell the details of that night, and list the contents of our home...But this is a time in our lives that we will never forget and I don't want us to forget it. I want us to look back and see God's hand in this and all that He has done.

God's Word says He prunes those that our His so they can bear more fruit. Our prayer as a family is that we will bear more and more fruit for God and for His glory!!

*Song "Beauty to Ashes" by Crystal Lewis