Monday, July 14, 2008


Our new church home, Gateway, gives us 10 different service times to choose from and two locations. We have really enjoyed trying out most of the services but have settled on Saturday at 5:45. In doing this we attend church, have dinner and then end our night with a Shabbat- the"Graves" version of the Jewish Sabbath/communion celebration. We enter Sunday as a full day of rest including time with family and time with the Lord. This has worked wonderfully for our family because we truly feel like we get to rest. In the past our Sundays were fast and furious with our 5 small children. We are not legalistic about it, but now we do try to cease from our "regular work" and remember and observe His faithfulness. "This is what the LORD commanded: 'Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Exo 16:23

Here are a few pictures from the last 2 Sundays:

Family worship with the new Gateway DVD! We had a blast..from dancing and praising to some deep worship! It was awesome!

Last Sunday evening the weather was just beautiful so Hannah grabbed her Bible, devo and a towel. We all shortly followed her... she is such a great example! I thank God that my kids love to read their Bible-even little John!

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. " Deut. 6:4-9

FYI-Umm...yea...not too sure why my two little girls have their shirts off in both sets of these pics. It is not common practice around here for the ladies!! ;) They just say that sometimes the shirts make them sweaty! I guess this was one of those days!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One Amazing Husband

This past Saturday my wonderful husband and I celebrated our 11th anniversary! I can't even believe it has been that has seriously flown by! John told me when we first got married that my life would never be boring and I can tell you the man doesn't lie. It has been one faith-filled adventure after another and I wouldn't want it any other way! From helping start and lead a college ministry a few months after we had been married to running for US Congress twice to having 5 kids in 9 has been a blast! Here are a few more things that I love about him:

I am so honored to share my life with this man. When I say I think he is seriously the most amazing man on this planet, I REALLY mean it. He is just perfect for me in every way and has been since we first met! He is the most self-less man I know always putting me and the kids above himself and his desires. I truly contribute a huge success of our marriage to this quality in John. He does lay down his life for others and especially for us.

He is the most gracious and forgiving man that I have ever met. Before our engagement, I felt like I should share all of my past with him (I didn't get saved until college) so I poured out my heart to him on January 1, 1997. After I cried many tears, he looked at me and said. "I forgive you and God has forgiven you and I know you wouldn't have done those things if you would have known what God had for you." Oh how true that is! He has never once brought up my past and has loved me so unconditionally. John has given me such a precious glimpse of the Father's love and forgiveness not just back then but time and time again.

John is one of the most generous men I have ever met and I adore this about him. He loves to bless people! Whether it is secretly paying the bill of a single mom in a restaurant or picking the softest and nicest sheets and towels (despite their cost) for our guest room, he truly enjoys blessing others and helping those in need.

I also love that John is extremely wise and discerning. Hannah (10) one day told him he was like Solomon! He is wise about the things of God, about finances, marriage, parenting, business, etc... People love to come over and get advice or just hang around because of his wisdom! I am serious too and have pictures to prove it!

John is just as amazing in his role as a father. He loves the kids and makes them a priority. He trains and disciplines in love and always knows how to have fun with them. Our kids adore him and I love to watch him with them!

My hubby is an extravagant in his love toward me. He blesses me in so many ways and with so many gifts-and I am not just talking about material gifts. For example last year on our tenth anniversary, he scannned all of our old pictures and negatives, made a digital scrapbook (or 2) for every year we had been married, and had someone make coinciding videos for each year as well! Two months ago when he left the country on a business trip for 2 weeks, he surprised me with a day of pampering to "ease" the pain. Have you ever heard of such a man??! I haven't and I still can't believe God chose this man for me. I am blessed and still amazed.

John, this "list" only scratches the surface of who you are. I love so many things about you-too many to blog about! Thank you for an incredible 11 years! I thank God for bringing us together and still stand in complete awe that I was chosen to be yours. I am so in love with you...even more than I was on July 5, 1997!

Here is a snapshot of us on our wedding day and then on our date this past Saturday.