Ghosts of Halloweens Past

I know Halloween isn’t for everyone.  My family did not celebrate it growing up.  For us Halloween is about family and community and about sharing.  Whether you go to a trunk or treat or a trick or treat or a fall festival, it is a great time to be together and have fun.

When I put these pictures together, I suddenly felt very old and grown up and also very thankful for the family I have been blessed with.  The days are long but the years are short!

Happy Fall!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge



The ALS Ice Bucket challenge is extra special to our family.  My father-in-law, Ltrain, who went to be in heaven last year had ALS.  Because of the viral success of the Ice bucket challenge, donations to the ALS foundation have gone off the charts.  This time last year, the ALS foundation raised $2.2M.  As of today, donations are up to $53.3 M!!!

To make a donation or for more information on ALS AND to watch some celebrity ice bucket videos visit

And for a good laugh check out these amazing ice bucket fails.  Ltrain would have loved to watch these with me!



An Unusual Act of Worship

I recently finished reading a little book called Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss, which was recommended to me by a friend.  It is a fiction book first published in 1869.  It is a sweet little story that is like a Christian Anne of Green Gables meets maybe, Little Women.  I am not sure this book is for everyone, but I enjoyed it.

There was one line in the story that really stood out to me…

I think a mother, especially, ought to learn to enter into the gayer moods of her children even at the very moment when her own heart is sad.  And it may be as religious an act for her to romp with them at one time as it is to pray with them at another.

It kind of reminded me of this verse from Romans 12:1 (MSG)…

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that even in the ordinary acts of mothering I am worshipping.  And I must bring my best sacrifice when I worship.  That means sometimes I must be happy with my children when I am feeling the opposite inside.  Sometimes that means I sit on the floor and play princesses or sit at the table and play chess even when I have a thousand other things to do.  It means I read the same books and watch the same movies.

My calling as a mother may not be as helpful as being a missionary doctor or impactful as starting a church.  But my calling as a mother is equally important.  I am raising a human being.  A person that I am going to send out into the world and hope that they can make a difference for Christ. They will be impacted because I offered myself to God and to them today.



We are the Champions

   We had another amazing baseball season with our boys.  I never could have imagined how much I would love watching my children play sports!

Our boys played baseball every night last week ending at the coach pitch championship game.  They were ahead 7-2 going into the bottom of the 6th inning (they only play 6 innings) only for the other team to come back and tie the game.  At the top of the 7th they did not score any runs.  In the bottom of the 7th they held them (not to mention Graham caught a tipped foul for the 3rd out).  Then our boys came out swinging and scored 7 runs (Elijah was one of them!).  The other team made a great effort with 4 runs but they couldn’t come back.

The Lake Monsters won!  It was one of the best sporting events I have ever attended.

And a bonus picture of the proud dad and the cheerleader…

63 fun and free!

Today is my dad’s 63rd birthday.  I am so thankful to have been blessed with a father who loves me and is proud of me and who tells me so on a regular basis.  He has taught me that following Jesus is fun and full of adventure (among many other things).  Happy Birthday Dad, I love you!

Snow day!

Over the past 3 days we have gotten more snow that I ever remember in my 12 years of living in North Carolina.  It just kept snowing and snowing!  The kids have had a blast.  Notice how Abbey has on a rain jacket and socks on her hands, only in the South!  Thought you might enjoy a few pictures…

Have a Happy Valentine’s day!

Lessons from Juanita who did not speak Spanish

This is me and my grandma, Juanita Boitnott.  She passed away 3 years ago at the age of 97.  She would have turned 100 this November.  Her birthday was 11-12-13.

Grandma B lived in the Roanoke Valley of Virginia all her life.  Juanita was not Hispanic.  She did not know her name was a Spanish name until my older sister told her one day (to which she replied, “Well I’ll be”).  She loved to talk and tell stories.  But she only told good stories, happy stories.  And she had sad stories she could have told.

For some reason I have been thinking about her lately.  And I think there are 2 things I want to learn from her example.

1.  Don’t worry about something that probably does not exist.  My dad has told me that one day he asked her if she ever heard voices in her head.  He said she looked at him and said, “No.  And you don’t either.”  She told him to eat his breakfast and they never talked about it again.

Now how many moms of my generation (myself included) would have had an appointment with a psychiatrist that afternoon if our child had asked us this?  I often have to tell myself to calm down and just let my kids be kids.  They can work out their social issues at school.  My 2 year old is not demon possessed, she is just 2.  And my children will not grow up to hate each other.  In Jesus Name, “No, and you don’t either!”

2. Healing from tragedy is possible.  When my grandmother was in her early 20s her fiancé died in a car accident.  Not long after that, her mother died in an accidental house fire.  Grandma B had scars on her arms for the rest of her life from trying to put the fire out on her mother.  Somehow she was able to go on living.  She went on to marry, have 2 children, and open up her home to house many others in need.  She had a relationship with Jesus for more than 70 years that obviously carried her through some very dark times.

I have not even come close to experiencing a tragedy like that in my life.  I don’t know what it is like to lose a child or a marriage.  But I do know that if my worst fears came true, Jesus would be there at the bottom with me.


Some of the best life lessons we can learn come real people.  Not movie stars or holocaust survivors but people that we interact with every day.  What are some lessons you’ve learned from your real life heroes? And even further, if you lived to be 97, what lessons do you want your life to leave for others long after your gone?


A farewell to summer

Summer is officially over as of yesterday.  No more lake, no more beach.  No more lazy mornings, no more late nights.  No more loads of laundry that smell like sunscreen.  No more kids that smell like sunscreen even though the have taken a bath.

My favorite season is officially over but there is much to look forward to this fall.  See you next summer, Summer.


Books, Books, Books

Yesterday we served at Promising Pages, an organization that gives books to kids in need.  The kids made bookmarks while the grown ups sorted  and wrapped books to be given out later.  The books are distributed at local schools and shelters.  Promising Pages has an audacious goal to distribute 1 Million books this year!  They are ALWAYS collecting  new and used books.

Tonight I am serving at Girls Night Out.  A night of fun for high school and middle school girls served by our partners, One7, Safe Journey and Right Moves for Youth.  It will be a night full of glitz, glamor and pampering.  I can’t wait to share pictures with you.

Tomorrow night is the Elevation Worship LIVE recording at Blakeney, everyone is welcome (hint: get there early!). And this weekend EVERYONE can participate in opportunities on location after worship experiences on Saturday and Sunday.  Check out to see more opportunities to get involved.

Servants with a heart

Last night we got to serve as a family. Servants with a Heart is an organization that provides food for hungry children all over the world. You may have seen a lot of pictures of people packaging this food this week because we have a goal to package 350,000meals by this Sunday and we are well on our way!

This is a fun activity that everyone in our family enjoyed. Together with other families, we formed a line to assemble bags full of rice, crushed soy (protein), powder with vitamins and flavoring, and dried veggies. The bags were then weighed, measured and sealed. Tonight we even got to taste the stew cooked and it was delicious!

















If you’re frustrated because many of the sign ups are full, keep checking the LOVEweek site because we are adding events daily!