And, (drumroll, please) Cruise turned 11 and graduated from fifth grade!! Here he is performing on his birthday at the school talent show:
As the Fonz for "Blast from the Past" day:
Cruise was the recipient of the "kindness" award at his end-of-school-year ceremony. We couldn't be more proud of our wonderful rock star.
This is Cruise and I on Mother's Day. I will let you guess who picked the movie:
Enjoying Iron Man 3-D
Savanna Jane turned 14 and graduated from 8th grade. High School, here we come! SJ had a stellar year. She danced, played basketball, and performed the lead role in the school play as Princess Winifred the Woebegone, all while maintaining an A+ grade point average. She was voted Jr. High "Student Of the Year" by her teachers, an award based on academic achievement, outstanding Christian character, community involvement and sports participation.
2nd Place ~ King of the Hook windsurfing contestSteve and I could not be more proud! We truly feel blessed (and amazed) by both of our kids.
Performing "Jackson" by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash
The kids are not the only ones growing around here. The puppy we got for Savanna's 13th birthday has now doubled in size.
Vivi has been a wonderful addition to our family, although we discovered that our sweet puppy can also be a holy terror. I've never seen such a small dog create so much havoc. Picture a house full of ripped-up tissue and the stuffing from inside her toys, strewn EVERYWHERE. She also ate my favorite slippers and several pairs of miscellaneous undergarments. Blessed dog. I'm just glad she's finally potty trained.
In other news, we officially became members at River of Life Assembly of God in Hood River. For those of you who know us from Spokane, you know we were active at Southside Christian for about 9 years - from the time of it's inception until we moved. Southside is special and will always be like "home" to us. Now we feel blessed to be a part of the church family at River of Life and consider it an honor to serve in a wonderful fellowship and to be a part of what God is doing there!
Also since January, I have published two books and am working on the third. This is all coming from one HUGE, long book that God laid on my heart to write the first year we were here. My editor informed me that it was too long, which is why I am breaking it off into chunks now. The first is about healing, and in it I share my testimony. It is written as a friendly wake-up call to the body of believers. The second book is on the religious spirit. (This book is NOT anti-church, but rather is intended to build up the body of Christ by exposing attitudes that seek to divide us. You might consider it a warning book.) The third book, The Truth about Our Kingdom Inheritance, is a strategy. It is about how to get back the inheritance that religion has stolen. I am really pleased with how they are turning out, and I give all praise to God. I know one thing FOR SURE: I would never have had the courage, perseverance, and boldness to write these books without His continual prompting and His hand upon me. The books belong to God, and my only prayer is that they bring Him glory. I would have given up a long time ago, except for this:
With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort. (1 Cor. 15:58, The Message)
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36, NIV)
Not to mention the encouragement of this amazing man:
We are celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary this summer. Steve always says that he "over-married", but I secretly know that I am the lucky one. I thank God every day for him.
This is the sign over our front door:
It is a reminder to us that we are not alive for our own notoriety. Everywhere we go, and everything we do, is for His Name, and His fame!
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts. (Isaiah 26:8)
P.S. Some have mentioned that you would like to receive this blog when it goes out. Just put your email address in the little box on the right that says "follow by email". :)