The Life of Gabe and Mandy

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night..." Psalm 92:1-2

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I spent the last two days filling in as a substitute teacher for a Summer School near our house.

My eyes have been opened to a few things that I often take for granted! I'm so grateful right now because:
1.)My parents don't send me to summer school from 8:00am - 6:00pm
2.)I'm free to learn the things that interest me instead of whatever is being presented to me by any teacher or school, (These things might include dancing, or watching movies about ghosts, witches, and other demonic subjects.)
3.)I've learned to play outside in the rain or in the hot sun and have fun, without computers, video games, adults to supervise and run the whole show just to keep order... It's okay with my parents if we have to sweat it out, and it's okay with us kids too!
4.)I consider my siblings to be something much more valuable and precious than a thorn in the side.
5.)In my schooling atmosphere I didn't have to hear minced oaths crude topics proceeding out of the mouths of teachers and students alike on a regular basis.

The list goes on and on... something seems to be seriously wrong.

Time to talk about something more cheery.

We're planning to take another trip up to OR! Next week we hope to attend a music camp, , where we hope to learn/improve on the fiddle, guitar, keyboard and maybe bass. We're pretty excited about that!

Last night it was so hot we decided to sleep outside. Chris, Annie, Merrie, Alyssa and I laid out a couple of blankets on the lawn and enjoyed a night away from our oven of a house! It was kind of scary when just the night before a guy tried to climb into our bus and upon detection of being detected he cussed dad out, threatening to bring back "the gang". And the night before, we came home to find a guy getting ready to bed down on the front porch. When Justin discovered him he said, "Oh, I thought you guys were gone."


It's interesting to consider that we need to love these guys as Christ loves us.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" Matthew 5:44

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35

If you had an opportunity to spend 2 long days with 8 kids, who didn't have a very good family life what do you think would be the most important thing to try to teach them? How could you impact their life for good?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another Week

Another week has gone by already.

This is for Johnny!

On July 3rd we went to LAX to drop off Anna and Sarah. That evening we went to Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy's house for a get together. We had pollo asada... and other good stuff. Later in the evening we all headed off for the park to watch a firework show. After the show Aunt Nancy pulled out brownies and homemade ice cream! Yum!!! (Yep, it was sugar free!)

On the 4th we had an absolute BLAST in Grandpa's pool. I finally learned to dive off the diving board. And I finally got up the nerve to do flips off of it again too, thanks to Dad and Uncle Mike's patient coaching.

Wednesday Annie and I had the day set aside to go pick up our adopted sister and her 3 girls at LAX. She was coming home from a month in New York. We took Charity, Kaylee and Heidi with us and they were so adorable the whole time! We took them to In-N-Out because they hadn't eaten since the day before but we didn't eat because of how early it was. By the time we dropped off the new arrivals we were feeling really hungry so we stopped at Baja Fresh. (Tip Of The Week: Don't ever buy a bean and cheese burrito there!) It was so fun going out with my sisters. Did I mention that they were so precious and cute?

On Thursday I got a call from Brian Denton, a friend we hadn't seen in 8 years. He was desperately looking for 40 volunteers for an all day Childrens Program on Saturday... I took on the task and after 3 hours on the phone while driving back and forth to Home Depot...(long story)... I was ready to quit! I was trusting that God would supply the perfect amount of workers, and He did!

Friday was Pizza Night and we had ... PIZZA for the first time in a long time! Making pizza between making more phone calls and running more errands wore me out. I was dead tired but then the company started arriving. It was fun to see the Rutz family from AK! There were quite a few people here and we had a nice time.

Saturday morning we had to get up around 5:30. That's normal for a week day, but it's not fun when you don't go to bed until after midnight as you all well know.

At the Childrens program we met up with Brian and his new wife Shanna, and the Leckenbys. They gave us a 20 minute briefing for the whole day and we were off to our team stations to start collecting kids.

I was so blessed by what Stephan L. shared about unconditional love. The whole day I was impressed by the message they were sharing with the kids too, it was exactly what I needed to hear that day! Even though I was seriously lacking on sleep, (to the point where I couldn't stop laughing at one of the skits it was way too funny. I think I had all the leaders in the back laughing at me). So despite being over-tired, embarassing myself like that I wouldn't trade the day for anything! It was fun taking Turner and Josiah to dinner and then home afterward. They remind me of ourselves a lot!

Sunday was a sad day because Hannah and Minna said goodbye. They went to Taiwan for a month. But one cannot be sad for too long because we had some great games of volleyball and some profitable fellowship!

Monday was a quick planning day because we headed off to the beach to test out the bus and to take the Rutz family surfing! The waves were incredibly perfect for me and I had the funnest time of my life surfing!!! It was REALLY FUN!

Tuesday had a million things to do on our to-do list so we threw it out the window and enjoyed a rare visit from our cousin who is heading off this Monday to spend 3 years in England with the Air Force. We got Jack to help us girls wash the bus using a folding table to reach the top. lol! Then we washed Mom's bedroom windows inside and out and made dinner while keeping an eye on the little girls who played happily together. Dad and the boys + Merrie had a hard day at work, Mom at the office, Annie, Joanna and Alyssa at the department stores.

In the evening I joined Justin, Willie and Jack on the basketball court for the first serious time in a long time. (They are WAY TOO good for me to play with anymore). We had a great time and I didn't even come in last place! (Probably because of Willie's tolerance and Jack's kindness).

After the basketball game we all sat out on the front porch and talked while waiting for the moon to rise. After the moon finally came up we all headed to bed because we're supposed to get up early ya know.

Last week I was driving in the car with Dad one day and he shared with me about something the Lord was beginning to teach him. He asked if I knew why God had created me. Do you know why God has created you? I'd be interested to hear your answers!

Maybe I'll tell you more another time. For now I'd better get going. We're planning to leave for Oregon tomorrow evening so we have some stuff to get done first.

" Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."
James 4:7-8a

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I wrote this yesterday but couldn't get blogspot to download any pictures so I thought I'd try again today but it's still not working.

I guess I'll have to do the pictures later. Bummer.

This past week has been full of fun and excitement!

We've had several strange or unusual happenings starting with the morning Merrie woke up to find a note on her pillow that had been pushed in through the screen in the window.
The other day Chris found a pin hole in his gas tank.
Mom lost her wallet. Thank God she got a call today saying that it's beenfound!
Yesterday we woke up at 6:30 after going to bed at 2:30 to find an old office chair we'd never seen before at our back door. Tiff had been up with the door open until 2:30, and we opened the door at 6:30 when we got up.
Willie went out to get the mail and lost his cell phone. After calling it over 6 times somebody finally answered it. They said they found it in the street, (Unfortunately Willie didn't go in the street, but whatever). They told us we could pick it up in front of the office at an apartment complex. Willie and I walked down there and as we neared the office two guys stuck the phone out through a fence they were standing behind and said,"Is this your phone?" I was surprised that they picked us out so quickly out of all the people who are constantly walking up and down that street. The whole thing smelled really fishy to me...

And now for the requested update:

Last Friday we had the Creightons over for the first time. It was nice to see their family again.

Saturday was an interesting day. We were invited to our old neighbors high school graduation party complete with a band. A few of us went and were very blessed and glad we did. I was impressed by God's incredible working as I talked to our old playmate/neighbor, (it was the graduates brother), he was born again shortly after he started going to CSULB. I guess some good can come out of universities after all. lol! But it was so neat to hear his testimony and to encourage him on as he is the only member in his family who is saved now. It's a long story but we had tried to witness to their family in many ways when they were a lot younger but only ended up offending them... so it was especially exciting to learn about Nathan's salvation. I came away from a party that I was dreading with regret at having to leave so soon.

Anna and Sarah Naylor came to visit us on Tuesday.

We went directly to the beach and they got to go surfing for the first time! Some other friends joined us for a Tuesday beach night and we had a good time. That evening we learned that Sarah had never been to an amusement park so the next morning we set off for Knott's Berry Farm... That was a memorable trip! We were really glad that they opened up X-celerator! The best rollercoaster in the park!!!

Thursday was a nice slow day... we went to Costco and compared prices and selections with the stores in OK. CA stores won I think! ;-)

Friday we visted both Grandparents, went swimming, introduced our friends to Cristen McIntire, ate at Boca Del Rio, Visited our two latest kitchen jobs, made apple crisp and played maffia until midnight. Saturday we headed back to the beach, (Doheny this time). The water temperature was a little warmer, and the volleyball courts were much nicer! Sunday was a full day as usual, but it wasn't usual if you know what I mean?

Monday we lost lost Anna and Sarah at the airport. :-( Haven't seen 'em since.

It was a special treat to get to spend time with sisters in Christ, sharing our room, talking until late, getting up and finding them reading their Bibles, Preparing meals with them, doing the chores together, going shopping, discussing scripture and other interesting subjects, encouraging and edifying one another, and just seeing first hand the way that God is working in the life of our friends.

Today we're on our way to Grandpa and Grandma's house as we usually do on this day every year. Last year being an exception as we were in OK.

This week the Lord has been convicting me about lying. I tend to be deceitful and call it joking. The Bible has a lot to say about lying, and it's not in a good way. This morning I came across Psalm 52 it really caught my attention even though it wasn't what I was looking for.

"Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.
Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.
Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living.Selah.
The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:
Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints."

That's enough for me to think about for a long time...

Have a great day everyone!

(I hope this was sufficient for you Turner!)