Friday, September 23, 2011

39th Street Lectures...

What a blessing to have been able to be attend 13 hours worth of lectures this week at the 39th Street Church of Christ!
I was there with so many friends. So many brothers and sister I don't even know. And best of all, my kiddos. My sweet, wonderful, happy little ones were so, so, so good this week.
 This week was full of encouragement to me. It wasn't only from the lessons, which were great, it wasn't only from the singing, which was uplifting, most of it came from unspoken lesson learned by watching my friends.
 There were older couples there every day. All day long. They know the importance of the gospel and took advantage of it. They are as cute as can be, and it is so fun to watch them visit and catch up with one another. 
 There were the young moms, the homeschool moms, who came with their kids because they know it's the most important thing to teach your kids from an early age to LOVE God and keep HIS commandments.

Stacy, Ashley, Miss Debbie, Aunt Chas,Tina, Colby, Amanda, Shari, Sandy, Kathy, 
Tammy, and Katherine...
~You all are very special to me and some good examples in my life! Thank you for being there this week!~
 These women were huge encouragements to me. I'd never undertaken hours at a lectureship with kiddos before. It was great. It was hard. It was rewarding. I am so thankful to have incredible examples everywhere I turn, both around here and many other places. My support system i huge and incredible and keep me going and looking in the right direction.
There was the wonderful lunch hour of fellowship together. To talk about the lessons. To talk through problems. To laugh with our little ones. The ladies did an awesome job for us every day.
 In the afternoons some college students spent their time to come to lessons. That was very cool. We had friends who were not Christians there. What a blessing that is-- someone taking time to learn more about HIM. Pray for them!
To wait through line with brothers and sisters you'd not met before, who quickly became your friends. The church is such a small world. I love that. Never underestimate how much you might touch someone's life. Put yourself out there, get to know people, pray for them, love them. My "Aunt" made my day every time she walked in those doors because she took the time to come and hug me and talk to me. You know how nice it is to feel loved... Return the favor and show those you love that you love them! 
 "In all thy ways acknowledge HIM, and HE will direct thy paths..." 
 Does this look like a little wedding ceremony to anyone else?! :) It was crackin' me up to see the kiddos playing today at lunch. Loved the time with the sweet darlings to play everyday. There is SUCH a great feeling that comes from being loved by kids. Listen to them. Look at them. Hug them. That's how they learn-- but that's also how we learn FROM them!
 While lectures are encouraging, uplifting, faith-building... they are also tiring physically... =) 
  The weather's been absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Through the week we've had little bits of time to be out in it but not enough... McKenna walked outside yesterday and said how wonderful the world was that God made for us! How that makes my heart sing! Carter notices all the birds flying and sitting on the wires as we drive. He knows God made them. He knows God made them on Day 5. God is in their thoughts. They remind me to "think on these things" as well! 
And to end a perfect week, the kids and I Skyped with my family for my Daddy's birthday. My kiddos love my family, though they've not gotten to meet in person yet. They were too funny on there tonight. I just couldn't hug and kiss them enough. I am excited to go to Roundhouse, but I am NOT excited to be away from these two sweeties. 

A special part of today was having all 4 of their grandparents over. What a blessing to have Christians on both sides of their family! I am thankful for each of them and for the love and care they give both to their little ones and to me. What a blessing it is to be part of this family, of the family of Christ! 

And now... ROUNDHOUSE WEEK! =)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I claim a lot of places as home, you know. And Higginsville was the first town in Missouri that was home to me. Now there are so many. But that's ok. I like it that way. Lots of homes, families, happiness.
This town holds so many memories to me. Over the past 2 years I've walked with Stacy all around town, shopped and laughed and hung out with Abs, driven to and from Grandma and Grandpa's countless times to swim or just to hang out, gone all the way through to see the Becks, even went on a scavenger hunt with Abs, Drew, and Jon.  
There are so many cool old buildings through the main part of town. I love me some good little country town buildings! A lot of things about Missouri make me think of my Tennessee. I feel like I grew up in TN. I am more of a country girl than a city girl, though I can take on any kinda drivin', thank you very much. hee hee Even if I do drive a foreign car...
This small town is home to some of the best people in the world. And how blessed am I to know them? To call their houses home, their family members "my" family, too? 
So often we can get caught up in all the duties of daily life and forget to tell those around us that we love them. That our lives are so different, so much better, because we know them. I know that I think about the blessings in my life more now than I ever did because we have loved and lost-- though not for long, we know just where our Shauna is... we're just working every day to get there, too.
I am so thankful that God gave us friends in life. They make each day, every event, even job, sooo enjoyable. Try not to look at things like "I have to" but "I want to." You'll enjoy it more. Maybe turn up the music a little louder and spin around a few times, too. That's always fun. Especially if you have a twilly skirt on! hee hee 
 And a sweet and gorgeous friend to hang out with....
Wear boots with... enjoy the flowers and the sunshine of the day for a while!

 "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you..."

 When you find a true, good, kindred spirit, don't forget to make time for them in your busy life... This girl means the world to me and is the first reason I ever came to Missouri. Knowing the Leonards made for a life-changing move. No joke. And I'm not one bit sad about that.
Slow down enough to notice the little gorgeousnesses that God has waiting for our eyes at every turn. This was outside our adorable little church building. I love that I am able to be a member of a small congregation right now. What a chance to grow, work, and live for God and really notice everything about the congregation. Praying always for the souls we come in contact with. It has been WONDERFUL having our new sister in Christ with us. She is a joy and only wants to know more and continue growing. That's just the type Christian we should all be. Linda is an encouragement!! 
So many pretty skies, fields, trees, lakes... Loving the times with the kids and friends and even by myself to go out into the fresh air and explore more of what God's made. I'm walking/running as often as possible. I even like it alone, which I didn't think I would. It just feels so good! And it's such a good time to pray and notice the perfection of how our Father created it all.

Higginsville is such a special place. But every place is. Because there are people, people with souls, in every town, on every road, at every baseball game. They will spend eternity somewhere. We don't have time to not be teaching. Really, we teach in all we do... we are either a good or bad example. I am standing next to one of the best examples in my life in this picture. I love this picture of us. (She is super pretty, always is, but looks just gorgeous in green, don't you think!?)

Let's make sure we love where we live, notice the good in what's around us, thank our God for it daily, and share the Good News with everyone around us while remember to tell our "blessings" : the people in our lives, that we love them. Pray for those you love. You'll never get done. What a blessing that is, just right there. You can never really tell someone how much you love them, and you can never really pray for someone enough... God planned it that way. =)

September Sunshine!

How is it already this far through the month!? 
What an amazing month it's been so far... 
And with a week of lectures at 39th Street, 
then a week of Roundhouse, 
and a weekend at home in GA... 
how can it be anything but AMAZING for the remainder?!

Anyways, I'll just give you a quick glimpse
into the sunshine of our month!

~Seeing the Jacobs and getting to meet sweet Eli...

 ~Our Hallie Girl turned 2! How can it have been 2 years already?! What a special little darling she is!!

 ~My Missouri got to meet one of my best friends, my Kristen! 
Gospel Meeting in Higginsville= GREAT WEEK!

 ~Went on a walk with my kiddos and Aunt Chas, the feather girls, and Lynn... 

 ~My usually loves to be clean baby boy went all out playing in the mud. I loveddddd it! =)

 ~This girl is sunshine from within... every day I spend with her is a day in which I laugh many times!!

~Labor Day was one of the "best days of my life" as I termed it. What did we do? Slept in, enjoyed the sunshine, went for a long walk, ate lunch, did heaps of yard work, explored the woods, burned a piano, went on a scavenger hunt, had a bon fire, and counted stars... what made the day SO good? The people. These people. My family. My encouragements to do what is right. No matter what people might think or say or do. To live for God with everything we've got. To focus on what's important. To laugh, work, love, and enjoy anything we do together. My Leonards mean the world to me! 

 ~And what's a day if you don't rock out for a while?! Dance with your kiddos in the kitchen and around the house. Stop everything you're doing and sing, laugh, and hug with all your might. You will never regret it!

 ~Several nights of Family Fun Nights. BEST nights of the week. 

 ~Grandpa's been working on our house. He's so good at everything. And how fun for us to have someone working on the house who we know and love and who sings all the time and is just soo nice to have around? We play outside a lot. He makes us smile all day long. And brings marshmallows for roasting!! =)

 ~And they were GOOD!!

 ~Went to my first American sports event that wasn't one of my kids playing-- had heaps of fun, but I have to say, I watch the game wayyyyyyy more closely when it is MY kiddos out there... Here the lights, the fountains, and that I was sitting by Stacy and Abs were really the things that made my night! 

 ~My beautiful sister! <3

 ~My little helpers. They love anything to do with water... 

 ~Spending a rainy morning racing from one end of the house to the other... all those little things that kiddos love, DO them. Whenever you can. My kiddos are already growing soo much. Too fast. I am really working hard to not do too much "stuff" and do more with them. They are my world right now and I adore the hugs, the cuddles, the laughing-so-hard-you -can't-breathe-anymore times with them! 

What a brilliant month, huh? God gives us every single breath, every moment of sunshine, each chance to teach those around us about the gospel. I hope that your days have been filled with blessings just as ours have. Praying for many friends, family members, and the church world-wide. God knows and understand all. 

HIS plan is the BEST! Life for HIM is the ONLY life worth living. 
And it's worth living with ALL YOUR MIGHT!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Hecks!

So, I know this is late in coming, because I've been here headed on four months and this is the first official post about all of my Hecks... BUT! Really. It's hard to get all of us in one place and when we do THAT... it's hard to get all of us still enough for a picture! =)

 These are my parents here. Mr. David and Miss Debbie. I am blessed to live in their home. It is a place of constant work and laughter, of trying to do better, a welcome spot for friends and family of all ages. It's pretty big. There's always room for one more. :) And it's yellow. They are so giving. So fun. I love how they love one another. Mr. David is so hard working and patient. Miss Debbie lives her life for her family and sews the most adorable things. They both live for God in all that they do.

They have 5 wonderful blessings and 2 precious grandblessings with another 1 on the way. <3 <3 <3

Ashley~ who is married to Nathan (a totally AWESOME brother of mine who is the reason I'm here in MO!), and mother of Madison and Hallie (two little blonde beauties who make my world that much more full of sugar!), is one of the cutest little ladies in the whole world, super talented, makes me laugh every time we're together, is my Monday Buddy, looks good in everything she puts on, and makes the most amazing chocolate chip cookies ever!

Josh~ who is just barely older than I am, randomly speaks in German, is very nice and thoughtful, though don't tell anyone, he wants to be thought of as grumpy (ha ha), plays the guitar and sings while making me very happy, is a good, hard worker, and an excellent song leader!

 Candice~ who is as close to being a sister to me without actually being related as anyone could ever be, has the most gorgeous hair and looks too adorable in curls, shares her really cute clothes with me and counts down to fun events in the same way I do, is my swinging buddy, I love cooking, doing dishes, walking, talking, laughing too hard... with her. In short, for real, my sister here!

Bob~ who makes me smile a lot, has the same best friend that I do, likes to sing, is enjoying learning to drive, is one of Carter's very favorite people, is fun to talk to, and will even sit between the two carseats in the back of my car and be called "Dad" for an hour while playing house because he is that cool!

and Dustin~ who has more energy than anyone I know, makes awesome Lego creations, isn't scared of anything, all the little kids love to play with, especially dress up, and always comes to greet me when I get home and gives me a big hug!

This is Dutchess. She's one of the funniest and most loving doggies. I've always wanted a dog, and we've got a good one. She is so excited when I get home and shows how much she loves me, sometimes by stepping on my feet, but always by her happy licks. I love her!

Uncle Daniel, Aunt Chas, and their gorgeous girlies, Aubrie and Rylee, are super di duper special people in my Missouri world. They are so much fun to play with, talk to. We're zoo buddies, dance to music and giggle, giggle, giggle partners. Even texting... =) Uncle Daniel is Mr. David's brother. So we're all one big happy family. Really. Look at all of us!

We had a wonderful time down at Carol and Russ' (Grandma and Grandpa's) for Labor Day weekend. This family knows how to have a good time! We spend it TOGETHER! A Christian family IS the biggest blessing ever!

And of course, I can't tell about my Hecks without talking about my sweet kiddos and their amazing daddy! Darren, McKenna, and Carter are big pieces of my world now. I see them 6 days a week and the only thing that could be better than that is seeing them 7! They make me smile, dance, sing, and laugh. We pray, read, cuddle, clean, cook, run and swing together... Everything throughout my day makes me think of my kid. I love this little family with all my heart!

Dustin's sign on the mailbox for me when I came home from one of my trips just made my day~ They treat me like this is home, this is life, we're a family. And I couldn't ask for anything more wonderful!!

I am so blessed to be a "Heck" for a while.
Even if "my family" is nuts, they're MY crazy nuts, and scarily, I fit right in...

I love our life. Our home. Our hope of Heaven together forever. Because once you get to know this family, you will never want to NOT know them. And they are headed towards Heaven, so you want to be as well. 

~Count your blessings. Don't forget to call them by name!~