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, August 29, 2006

The "I" Survey

Dad and Mom are at the hospital with Pastor Sam this evening. They are operating on him to install a pace-maker. He has been doing much better since Sunday and the Dr. assured Dad that nobody has had any problems from having a pace-maker put in, ever.

I got this in my email, and instead of forwarding it and risking sending it to somebody who didn't want it I got this brilliant idea, "Why not post it on my blog and people can just copy it and post their own answers and email them to me?"

So, if you feel so inclined, it would be fun reading your answers.

I: am only replying to this because my oldest sister did and I really admire her.
I Live: at home with 15 of my favorite people in the world!
I Work: with my Dad and brothers remodling kitchens, or at home keeping house.
I Talk: more than I should probably.
I Wish: I could travel more, but I'm content to stay home because I know that's where God wants me.
I Enjoy: lots of things like sunshine, a nice breeze, extreme sports, doing laundry and dishes, cooking, singing, having company, driving, camping, the beach, the beautiful scenery God has created...
I Look: like me.
I Find: lots of things to do to keep me busy.
I Made: myself eat a big fish eyeball, and a huge serving of brussell sprouts, and I'm still alive to tell about it. ;-)
I Smell: fresh cut grass and laundry soap.
I Listen: to cars driving by and I imagine that what I'm hearing is actually the ocean.
I Hide: dirty clothes in the laundry closets.
I Pray: when I have someone on my heart.
I Walk: kind of fast usually.
I Write: a lot in my journal, and I wonder if I'll ever let anybody read all that I've written.
I See: darkly as through a glass... but someday I'll see my Redeemer face to face!
I Sing: when a song is in my heart. I sing a lot.
I Laugh: when my siblings do the cutest or silliest things.
I Can: do anything through Christ who strengthens me.
I Watch: crime happen in my neighborhood, and it's rather interesting to see.
I Learn: as much as I can from those who I admire.
I Dream: of being able to do back flips and back handsprings someday, but I never have the nerve to try them.
I remember: being scared of bears.
I Want: to serve the Lord every moment of every day!
I Cry: when I'm over-over-over-over tired, maybe once every 3 months. (A nap alway cures me).
I Burned: up our last oven cooking cinnamon rolls at 2am.
I Read: the Bible, email and blogs, and occasional books, but I try to keep them to a minimum...
I Love: knowing God! (Amen!)
I Sometimes: have to go out and run around to burn off extra energy, but not very often anymore.
I Touch: hot things in the kitchen and remember them for weeks.
I Hurt: other people's feelings more often than I realize, and that hurts just to think about.
I Fear: doing something stupid that might hurt other people.
I Hope: to see revival in America in my lifetime (Amen!)
I Break: open my skin on every kitchen remodel I've helped with so far.
I Eat: good food just about every ol' day of the week!
I Quit: the last game of volleyball I played...
I Drink: water every single day! ;)
I Save: almost all of my emails
I Hug: 50# bags of wheat when I carry them.
I Meditate: on Scripture sometimes, when I feel really motivated (ditto)
I Play: less and less often, it's terrible!
I Miss: playing more often. jk!
I miss all the neat people we met all across the country.
I Hold: the position of chief cook and bottle washer at home.
I Forgive: as God gives me grace.
I Drive: as often as I get a chance.
I Have: a purple Nalgene bottle and a top bunk in our bedroom
I Don't: like being inside all day long.
I Kiss: my little brothers and sisters.
I Believe: I know where I'm going when I die, and it's a wonderful place!
I Feel: really happy right now, sitting outside with my laptop, listening tothe kids practicing music inside.
I Know: that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
I Wonder: what's going to change with our family in a years worth of time because life is sure sweet the way it is now.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Work, Play and Pray

This week has been one full week! All week I've been finding lots of opportunity to practice flexibility and trusting in the Lord. I'm beginning to come to the point of not even making plans so that I feel available to serve however I'm needed. It's been fun, exciting, challenging and well worth it!

This morning Chris, Annie and I went and painted the kitchen we were doing with two different colors, and I'm feeling grateful to the Lord because the whole job went so smoothly we were done by 1:00 and so we were able to go home to join the party that was happening at our house!

Dad and Justin were working in 2 seperate places and they were able to make it home for the party too!

Mr. B. Came and did a very entertaining magic show for us! It was great!! People played volleyball for several hours straight, I joined in and jammed my thumb on the first game and wasn't able to play any other games all day which was a real bummer! Justin and Darrell BBQ'ed hot dogs and hamburgers, lots and lots of them. They did a great job. All in all it was a really nice afternoon/evening thanks to Mrs. Gramm's organization and hard work!!!

This afternoon Dad got a call informing us that Pastor Sam wasn't doing to well. Apparently he had several small strokes and so after spending some time with him Dad followed the ambulance to be with him in the hospital.

While in the emergency room Dad overheard a woman in the room next to them complaining to the Doctor about her breathing problem... As she went on and on Dad couldn't help but hear her and indeed she was not having any difficulty in breathing! What she wanted was for the Doctor to get the school board to clean her school room for her because she had asthma! Finally the Doctor said, "I don't know what to tell you. I think you should contact the mental heal-- I mean health board!"

The Bible says that a merry heart does good like a medicine. Unfortunately Pastor Sam must not have heard that conversation because he's still at the hospital. But I'm sure he covets your prayers! Dad's on his way back there tonight.

EDIT: Pastor Sam is still in the hospital. The Doctors want to give him a pace-maker, but he doesn't really want one. Especially when they told him he'd only have 2 months to live at the most without one. He's has congestive heart failure.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Trailer Fiasco

We just had our second Friday in a row with pizza nights. Now we're back onto our regular every other week schedule.

Last night we had 89 people here, and several people who were planning to come didn't make it. It was a great day/night. Annie and I made 18 pizzas, and we were really happy when a former Italian restaurant owner gave it very high ratings! We're hoping that he'll teach us to toss the dough some day, he showed me how to practice with a dish towel, but I didn't catch on. Dad and the boys were working at his house yesterday changing out their electrical panel so he cooked up some eggplant lasagna on the BBQ, and it was delicious!

Last Friday we had just started eating with all of our company that had arrived when the phone rang. It was our friend from TX who was on his way to our house when his trailer had a little accident... It rolled a few times and was completely obliterated, leaving it's contents all over the road.

It just so "happened" that we had two 15 passenger vans sitting in our parking lot ready to go, along with two big trailers. They were loaded and on their way in a few minutes. About an hour later the rescue crew returned with our friends from TX. The trailer base, (the only recognizable thing left), was inside of one of the bigger trailers that just "happened" to be here that night.

I just think it was so neat the way the Lord arranged all of the circumstances to help a brother in need.

This week has been a very special week for me! The Lord has been revealing a lot of things to me through His Word, and through other people's experiences. I'm so blessed, excited and encouraged to begin practicing the things I've been learning about giving thanks in all things and rejoicing always and serving those who I've been called to serve! (I already knew I was supposed to do that, but it's good for me to be reminded often).

(Now that I post this I'm going to have some tests that will try my faith, I'm sure!)

I enjoyed a week off from going to work. I got to do what I love best, keep house! Yep, I actually love to wash dishes and cook, sweep and mop, clean up and organize, vacuum and dust... But I'm excited about learning to be another "secretary" for Dad and the business, presenting kitchen plans to customers and scheduling with them. Today was my first trip with Dad and it was way too easy...

Dad: "I've made three different designs for you to look over and choose one of, and we can change them around however you like."

After viewing the three plans...

Dad: "Would you like to keep these and think about which plan you want to go with?"

Elderly home owner: "Nope. I make fast decisions. I'll take the third plan, that's the one I like best."

We actually have 4 kitchens waiting for us to do right now. They're all from word of mouth references. The customers have pretty much decided to use us before we even give them a price!

Last night several of us received personal thank you notes from the owner of the last kitchen we did. She enclosed a cash gift for each of us! How sweet is that?! (She also gave the company a bonus!)

I'm hoping to update the family website some day in the near future. It will probably be a mile long but hey, at least we have some new stories to tell!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Music Camp...2

Hey, I'm actually going to continue blogging about Music Camp!

For those of you who didn't know, I don't really play the fiddle yet, I just kind of picked it up a few times and tried to pick out tunes on it, so when I found out we were actually going to camp I signed up for fiddle 1. When we arrived I discovered that I had been placed in fiddle 3. When I asked about it I was encouraged to just try it and I was always welcome to move from one class to another.

Monday Morning came and I headed off to class. First I had to tune my fiddle, yikes, I had always asked Annie to do that for me! Then the teacher asked everyone to play a solo so that he could get an idea of where we were at... understand, I'd never learned a song on the fiddle to play straight through. As my turn came closer I was ready to run! Instead I told myself to just pretend I knew what I was doing, and to calm down.

It was definitely a humbling week. Fortunately my solo went fine, half of my class was actually just as prepared as I was, or less, even though they took lessons, so I didn't feel so bad... yet... (But that's another story).

All the classes were actually very fun! I loved them, and the instructors were awesome! But by Wednesday, I was going on my 4th day with only about 5 hours of sleep and I was getting more than overwhelmed, I ditched the afternoon class and a nap took care of that problem!

On Friday morning I ditched class once more, (With permission this time!), to go rock climbing with Justin and a group of others. After a week of classes I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of being outside and getting some excercise!

We went to Smith Rock. It was actually very pretty, in a deserty sort of way. I'm looking forward to going back there sometime! The climbs we did were really fun climbs, and the group we went with was great fun too! Some of the climbers had never done rock climbing before and they did great! I can hardly wait to go climbing again, but today, surfing will suffice!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Music Camp... 1

We just got back from the Booher family music camp where we had an awesome time! I was so blessed by the fellowship with other families there! It was great!!!

It was neat to see the way the instructors who didn't know the Lord couldn't help but see Christ's light shining... One of the teachers said to me, "I like the way everyone here deflects praise, that's really neat." They all seemed to believe that this was the best camp they'd ever been a part of!

My first performance with a fiddle ended on a memorable note. It was band scramble night. The night when they take all the students in the whole camp and assign them to different groups to be led by the teachers. My group was going to be performing Pecos Bill, and I was getting more nervous and embarrassed as the time drew nearer for the performance. I spent the time doing dishes instead of practicing, and the girl I was working with began to sing hymns with me. The first one we sang was, "It will be worth it all when we see Jesus, Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ..." At that point I heard the Lord asking me if I really believed what I was singing and I had no reason not to! So from then on I was totally at peace and happy!

Sure enough, our performance was lousy but I enjoyed it anyways. At the end we were going to throw candy out to the audience and I ended up throwing my bow accidentally...

I saw it fly up, hit a microphone stand and bounce off to land right in front of the kids sitting in front.

So yeah, that was my first attempt at playing the fiddle in front of a real audience.

But hey, "it will be worth it all..." Right?