Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Jared!

I can't believe my baby boy is 17, today! I'm so proud of him. When he was born, I had visions of what I wanted in a son. He is all of my hopes and much more. Jared, I hope you know that you are loved so very much!

Christmas in Oklahoma

Dee, Toni, Paige, and me.
Paige's parents and Toni's parents
Sorry it's sideways. This is me, Grandma, and my mom. (mom will kill me)
Family Christmas picture! Me, Maci, Molly, Kent, and Jared!

Oh ya! I have a blog! I still check other people's blogs, I just don't take time for my own. Does anyone really read this? I guess I should do some updating. Hope you all had a great Christmas. Ours was fantastic. I mean...we celebrated the birth of Jesus with family and friends! One fun tradition we have started is a "girls Christmas Eve lunch" with several of my highschool friends. We know to show up at Mazzio's Pizza at noon on the 24th. We never know for sure who will show up. This year it was me, Paige, Dee and Toni. Paige and Toni's parents came too!! How fun! We always talk for several hours and then leave feeling like we didn't get to talk enough! We have been doing this for probably 8 years or more. WOW! It's tradition! Here are some pictures so you can all see my lifetime friends. I LOVE THEM!

Coolest thing I did in Oklahoma...I GOT A TATOO!! Okay, not like a heart with Kent written on it, but I had my eyeliner tatooed on! A girl from our youth group in OK and who's parents were and are dear friends, did it for me!! THANKS EUGENIA! My eyes are still a little bruised and swollen, but getting better! IT HURT! But, I think it will definitely be worth it! Tattoo trip to Oklahoma?? Eugenia says she will do a girl party!

Hope you have a Happy New Year! I am so thankful for my Savior, my family, and my friends!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pei Wei, Moe's, and Starbucks

Shawnah and I have just completed a weekend keeping Cayden and Deacon. Aaron and Jamie asked us to help with the boys this weekend while they were away. Not sure if you know the boys...Cayden is three and Deacon one. As you might guess, with the boys plus our three teenagers, we had quite an eventful time. Honestly, we really did have a blast.
Here is what I found absolutely hilarious about our time together. When we asked Cayden where he wanted to go out to eat Thursday night, he said he would like to go to Pei Wei. Are you kidding me...I love this kid now even more than I did before! Deacon said he would like to go to Moe's. WOW! What ever happened to the standard McDonald's for a happy meal? But wait, it gets even better. On Friday morning, Cayden said he wanted to go to Starbucks. This is just not right. When I told Cayden we were not going to Starbucks, Deacon (remember he is just one) started saying, "Dodo say no Starbucks". How cute is that? I guess I should explain the "Dodo" thing. That is the nickname that both Cayden and Deacon call me. Lovely, isn't it!
We also had one other remarkable experience this weekend. We took the boys to Toys R Us. We ended up buying them some toy cars from the movie "Cars". I don't think Cayden has let that car out of his sight since Saturday.

So...what does all this mean?

1. These kids are way cooler at their age then my kids were. Guess that's what happens when you dad is a rock star.

2. The future of Starbucks is alive and well.

3. The happy meal and the golden arches better take notice.

4. Aaron and Jamie have obviously exposed their kids to some great food and beverage.

5. Shawnah and I are blessed to get to spend time with these wonderful kiddos!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Did anyone watch Oprah yesterday? She talked about joy being the best way to improve your health. The guest was a doctor who was talking about finding what brings us joy, and making sure that we put that into our lives. She said the best preventive medicine is joy and taking care of ourselves emotionally. Kent came home and started watching. He really got into it when she said that if you don't have meditation, exercise and sex in your life, you will fill the void with caffeine, drugs and alcohol. I'm realizing I need to spend more time...meditating...

So all you Starbucks fanatics, what part are you missing?

Today, I'm thankful joy.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Today I am thankful for seasons. I love the change in weather ...and the change in clothing!! Once I've lost my tan, I'm ready to put on long pants and long sleeves. The thick sweaters that don't show every bump are pretty awesome, too!
I love the smells in the air, watching the squirrels scramble and wrestle each other as they're hiding nuts and getting ready for winter. I miss the finches and hummingbirds that have disappeared in the last week, but am enjoying seeing more cardinals than in the past month or so. I am ready for the leaves to change and to stop watering my impatiens and have much less work on mums and pansies! YEA! Autumn is finally arriving in Tennessee.
Still wondering, what are you thankful for?

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Holy Spirit

Today I am thankful for the Holy Spirit. God, in His Spirit, came down and overflowed through our family last night. We felt His movement in each of us in a different and unique way. Spiritual warfare is real, but God is Almighty and Powerful! What a Savior we serve!

Saturday, October 6, 2007


I'm thankful for mornings with my huband! Kent has been out of town the last 2 nights. I love going to bed with him at night and knowing he's still there in the morning, stinky breath and all!
Also, I love that he does "big breakfast" when he's home on Saturdays. YUM!

Friday, October 5, 2007


Today I'm thankful for sleeping in and French vanilla creamer!! Kent's out of town and the kids are on fall break! I slept until 9:20!! YEA! Then I had my much needed coffee with French vanilla. Didn't take much to make me thankful today.(See yesterday's blog)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Being Thankful!

I've been seeing on tv about Deborah Norvill's new book. It's all about being thankful. She tells how that people who are thankful, have better health and many other benefits. It started me thinking. (Some may be surprised!)

I am thankful for lots of "things" in my life, but I am most thankful, for the people in my life. First of all, I am thankful that God gave his Son, and that through Him, I have eternal salvation. I am thankful for my husband, whom I love passionately and who continues to show me that he loves me too!!! I am thankful for my children. Not just that I have them, but for who they choose to be. They are kind and loving and such a blessing to me. I am thankful for my family and being brought up in a Christian home, where I knew God as Truth, not as the god we chose to believe in. I'm thankful for my friends. People that share in the joys and sorrows of my life.

I'm going to try, although my track record isn't so great, to add to my list daily. Even the small things. The things that no one else would care about, but that make my day sometimes.

What are you thankful for today? Let me know!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

LaVergne Homecoming

We went to LaVergne's homecoming on Friday night. Sang (my sorta adopted daughter) was on the homecoming court. She looked beautiful. I was so proud of her. I will put a picture of her on here as soon as I find the camera cord.
You know, I was never on homecoming court. Almost all of my friends were at one point or another. I still have issues about this. Our court was always voted on by the football players. At my last reunion, I whined and complained about this to them. I was nominated for "least changed" after 20 years. I guess that's the next best thing. The only thing that gets me through, is knowing that I am a child of the King, and one day I will have a crown. But, if any of you have old crowns you'd like to get rid of, I will wear it proudly.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Okay, someone needs to tell me how to find out the blog addresses of people who comment me. Is it possible to reply to comments? I'm a conversation girl. I need dialogue! Thanks. OH, and I'm also trying to get a picture of my mixer to post! I made cookies for Bible study last night!! YEA!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kitchen Aid Mixer!

I've told everyone I can think of, and finally remembered I could tell my blogging friends! I got a Kitchen Aid mixer! Here's the exciting part though...I got it for $100! Here's the story. Every year during the holidays, I want a Kitchen Aid mixer. I REALLY want one. I only bake during this time. Well, I make pies for special occasions, but not often. I want one, but won't pay that much. I think it's ridiculous to pay that much for one time of the year! (They are $299, for those of you who have a life, and haven't been coveting them). Kent always "thinks" about buying me one for Christmas, but I tell him that by then, it's crazy because I wouldn't use it for another year. Well, I was at Dillard's last week, admiring the display of all the various colors of mixers! (doesn't everyone do this?) The lady that worked there, came up and said, "I know, I just got one." I, in awe of her, said, "What color did you get?" She then told me how she found on their data base, about a Dillard's in South Carolina that had 3 GREEN APPLE (lime green) mixers on sale for $135, because the color was being discontinued! She ordered one and I asked if I could order one. We called the store and they still had one! They shipped it to me!! And...they had a $30 rebate on all new mixers!!! YEA! I now have a lime green mixer! I made a chocolate pie the other day. My meringue was the best ever and I didn't have to hold the mixer for 10 minutes!
Okay, yes I'm a housewife! 15 years ago I would have been embarrassed that I got so excited over something so silly! I wouldn't have wanted anyone to know that I was JUST a housewife!!
I made sure I explained to EVERYONE, that I graduated from college and had owned my own business. Now that my children are 16, 14, and 12, and I see what godly choices they are making in their lives, I am so proud to be a housewife and full time mom! I am so excited that I can make pies and cookies for them if they want. I am so excited that we have sat down at the dinner table and had dinner as a family all these years. There were many times that I felt like my life was simple. ALL my friends were working important jobs and doing exciting things and MAKING MONEY! Now I see that my job was important and IS important. It's exciting(!) and though we don't have a lot of money, I HAVE A KITCHEN AID MIXER!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007


WOW! You know I have the best kid ever named Molly. She is so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so sweet!!!!!! I like her lots more than Jared, Maci and even Kent!! She is just the BEST!!! and I love her style, she always looks so cute! ; ) She did GREAT at school today and she is just amazing! : D She is the best kid any one could ever have. She is great at volleyball she scored 4 points in her last game and she is great at serving to. She always has a great attitude! I think she should have all of her friends over next weekend for a sleep over!!! Did I say she was the best???

p.s. this is molly

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lacy Maci is going to highschool!

Okay, I feel the exact same way that I felt when I took her to kindergarten the first day! She will go to Lancaster Christian Academy starting tomorrow! A freshman! My sweet Maci is going to highschool. Can I just tell you how proud I am of her. What an incredible young woman she is! She is her daddy's Angel Princess. She has a heart for God and for people. One day after telling her I was proud of her, she asked me, WHY, I was proud of her. She thought because she didn't play sports or wasn't in any big play or wasn't "doing" any big thing, that I didn't have a reason to be proud of her. I realized how our society places value on what we do instead of who we are. I tried to explain that she was everything I could have ever hoped for and always prayed for. I told her that she could be the best athelete in TN or the most sought after teen actress in the world, and I would still not be any MORE proud of her. Since she was little, I've always told her that God made her beautiful on the outside, but it was her choice and my greatest dream for her to be beautiful on the inside. She is all that! She is kind, caring, loving, gentle, well, the fruits of the Spirit flow through her so gracefully. She has chosen to live a life that glorifies God. I see her loving Him more and more everyday. I will miss her. I know that sounds silly, but I will. I have homeschooled her from 1st -8th grade. I know her heart and her dreams. I am blessed! I am excited for her school year. She will blossom and cause others to bloom around her. She is just "that girl". She brings out the best in others. She is encouraging and a joy.
I love all my children, their blog will come another time...
Today, Maci and I are going out, just the two of us. We're going to shop a little and have lunch. I will tell her again that she is precious to her father and I, and most of all to God. I will thank her again for blessing my life with being "who" she is.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Yes, it's that time again. School is starting at the Shingleton home! Jared and Molly started at one of the tutorials last Fri. and Jared will start Chemistry at another this Mon. For those of you who don't know, Maci is going to Lancaster Christian Academy this year. She doesn't start class until next Fri., the 17th. She has been playing volleyball for them for the last month or so though.
With school comes lots of emotions: excitement, fear, loss...and that's just MY feelings! Oh ya, just think of the kids! I'm excited to start a new year and to teach new things in new way. I fear the new temptations that will be placed before my children (that keeps me in prayer a lot, which is a good thing). I feel loss for the SUMMER THAT I LOVE! It's got to be done though, so here we go.
I am excited about some new things that we will be doing. Jared will be taking a Bible class from Daniel Carr. I hear great things about his Bible teaching. Maci will have a Bible class at school, and Molly and I are starting Community Bible Study. This is all going to be amazing, but I am most excited about a Bible study we are doing as a family. Kent has really been convicted about discipling our children. We believe that we are good at finding the teachable moments and teaching them as we go through life, but we want to really get into the Word with them before they leave our home. We realize that is only two years for Jared! I can't believe it! It's a little awkward to sit and tell the kids to open up your Bibles. Why is that?? We have allowed the church to be responsible for teaching doctrine to our kids and not taking on the responsiblitity ourselves. We did better with Bible story time when they were little, but have really lost track as they have grown. We can't help but believe that we aren't the only ones who have fallen short. Kent was saying that as we look at Jesus' life, we know nothing about him from the ages of 12-30 except that he grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. That is our goal for our children in the next few years. Not that they be the youngest Billy Graham, or feed the most homeless people. Not that these are not great things and we would be pleased. But, we want them to grow in wisdom and favor with God and man. We believe that it is our job as parents to help them grow. Please pray for us as we have seen spiritual warfare in this short time since making this commitment.
We are excited for the new year! I am handing my fear over to the Lord. I will miss my summer, but hey, Christmas is just around the corner!! My next favorite time of the year!!

Monday, July 16, 2007


This is what summer is supposed to be all about! I am so thankful to my friend, Margo, for inviting us to share in her vacation. Margo was planning her vacation and feeling bummed because her family wasn't going this time. She asked Molly and I along for the trip. At first, I was feeling a little like a homebody. I've been gone so much this summer, and our own vacation is next week. I was sort of wanting to hang out here. We decided to go with Margo and Haley. I thought it would help Margo to have someone for Haley to hang out with. But...what I thought was doing something for a freind, ended up being such a blessing to me. Kent ended up getting off work the last part of the week and came down with Maci. Poor Margo didn't get lonely!! We had a good time and relaxed. I realized that I was going to be home all school year! Summer is supposed to be about the beach, camps, and mission trips! God blessed us through a good friend. I hope she had as good of a time as we did. We're trying to get her to quit her job and come hang out with us next week! I think beach bumming for the summer wouldn't be a bad thing. We'll figure out how to pay bills in the fall! She doesn't seem to be going along with the idea. I tried the calling in sick, but she's just too loyal to that job of hers!! Maybe next year!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Crazy summer!

Okay, things have been a little crazy around here! Brazil and then Super Summer (camp), but we're finally back on track, at least for the next few weeks. Kent figured out how to put pictures on the blog so maybe I can do better at keeping it updated. I think I felt bad writing anything when we had promised pictures and I still hadn't gotten it worked out. It is really Jamie's fault. She has been out of town for 3 WEEKS and I was waiting for her to get back to help me!! hehe. Kent figured it out before she stepped in though. YEA KENT!
Our summer has already been so full! The mission trip was the most amazing experience ever. Seeing my kids lead others to Christ was the best. God also brought a lot of healing to me. Many of you know that after we lost the baby in November, I had a hard time dealing with the grief. I kept praying for God to just show me how he could be glorified through this. I thought it would make it easier. I finally realized that I had to trust God without seeing. It wasn't until then that He opened the window. God allowed me, while in Rio, to lead many pregnant girls to the Lord. I was able to share with them a little bit of my story, and how that I would see my baby again one day in heaven. I told them that my prayer was for them and their babies to one day be with me and my baby in heaven. Over and over these girls accepted Christ. I told them that my prayer for them was that they would raise their children to love the Lord. God reminded me that if I had my baby, I would not be in Brazil. My due date was June 16. Coming home and facing that day, was made easier, knowing that not only me and my children, but my new sisters, and hopefully their children, would all be in heaven together one day. I saw a glimpse of the big picture that God was seeing all along. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through, but God understood. He had given up his son to save the whole world. Ephesians 3:20 has been the verse I have clung to since my brain lesion, but today as I was reading it again, I kept reading the whole thing and it came together even more clearly.

Ephesians 3:20-21: Now glory be to God who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of-infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes. (21) May he be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his master plan of salvation for the church through Jesus Christ.

He has been glorified through this, and I have been blessed to be a small part of his master plan.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Brazil pictures

This is the pastor from Park of the Mission church. Our group presented him with a love offering to help with ministry needs in the community.

Shawnah playing duck duck goose with the kids

Our family at the beach for a quick time to swim, bummer!

Maci with new friends. Sorry I don't know how to turn

All the kiddos LOVED Molly. Sorry, hope your neck is not sore!

These children are playing in a creek...full of sewage.

I love this picture of my wife! Shawnah had just been able to lead this baby's mom to the Lord.

Photo of our entire group...63 in all at entrance of Rio Hard Rock Cafe

Jared with his team. He is a rock star for Jesus.

Another pic of Maci sharing her faith. She was so nervous but God used her in an amazing way!

Photos from Brazil

Here are some pictures from our mission trip to Brazil.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday, June 10th - We are in Houston!

We all made it to Houston! Now we are waiting on our connecting flights to Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville. The Delta group should be arriving in Nashville about now. Let me take one more opportunity to thank everyone for your prayers! God has changed all of our lives and we will never be the same! Check back here later for some great photos from our trip. We can't wait to see everyone! We love you all, God bless

Friday, June 8, 2007

Friday, June 8th

Dogs, pigs, and the gospel! How different it is in Brazil! Today, as I was leading someone to the Lord, I heard dogs barking behind me. I kept on praying with this woman. When we finished, one of my team said, "You just missed it!" Two dogs ran by chasing a pig right behind us!" Praise God, the noise didn't bother Him! We didn't do as much door to door evangelism today. After getting to go walk on the beach, we ate at a great restaurant across the street. YUM! Then we went to the favella and had a big day in an open soccer field. I'm not sure how many children were there, but the Brazillian estimation was 600-700. We played games and sang songs. At the end of our time, we tried to split into smaller groups and share the Gospel. Many more came to know the Lord. We don't have a number, but you could hear children praying for their salvation all across the field. It was beautiful! Along with the young children we had many older ones as well. One girl prayed with a 91 year old woman. Our God has used your teenagers in so many ways! They have been changed! There were many tears tonight. As we left the church, the children from the area were crying and our kids were crying. It was so moving. It is a blessing to know that many will spend eternity with us, but leaving them in a place that is poverty stricken as we go home to warm beds and a refrigerator full of food, is tough.
This will be our last blog entry! Tomorrow, we will head out to the Christ statue. It will be fun day. We have to have our suitcases down by 7:30. We ask you to pray for us as we travel home tomorrow night. We love you and truly do appreciate your prayer support! God has answered your prayers!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thursday, June 7th

OK, I know that yesterday's post was pretty short. We purchase time on the internet and I only had a few minutes left before my time shut down. Sorry! I really don't know where to begin! Each day we are all more and more convinced that our God is bigger and more real than any of us have every imagined. Today I was blessed to have a very long conversation with a 60 year old man. His wife was a believer, but he was not. He told me he believed in God and he often read the Bible. He told me that he even knew that God had answered prayer as he had recently had heart surgery. Yet, he still would not call himself a Christian. He knew the significant cost that it would require for him to make this step of faith. After about 45 minutes of conversation and time sharing scripture, we saw God at work before our very eyes. The man began to weep as he came to the point of admitting that this was to be his day of salvation! Words cannot describe what we all experienced in his small home. This is just one of 58 recorded decisions of people who prayed to receive Christ today! The stories are all amazing. As a father, I have been blessed this week by watching as my children share the gospel. God is so good to allow our entire family to serve together in Brazil. All three of our kids already want to know when they can return...and we have not even left yet!!! Two of our teams started to build the house today. The home is for a single mom with five children. They had been sleeping near a river full of sewage in the open air. When the children saw the team arrive with the building materials and volunteers they just started jumping and cheering non-stop. This is what living out our faith is all about! We all will return home with a transformed outlook on life. There is no way to spend a week in the slums of Rio and not be forever changed. We ask you to keep praying! Tomorrow is a big day. We will have an event for all of the people in Park of the Mission on a large soccer field. My would not surprise me if 500-700 children show up! Pray for God to give us strength, unconditional love, boldness, and wisdom and clarity with our words as we continue to share the love of Christ with Brazil. We love you all! God bless, Kent

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Here is your daily update! Another great day with so many amazing stories and so little time to tell you about all of them! We started the day again in prayer with a focus on sharing our personal testimony. We took time to learn how to better share our personal testimony before leaving for lunch and then heading out for ministry. We had a great lunch today at the Rio Hard Rock Cafe. Everyone had a blast. This afternoon we again saw a great harvest! 99 people prayed to receive Christ as Savior! PTL!!! Some amazing things happened. One of our teams "happened" to run into a man who runs a radio station. He invited the team into the studio, put them on live radio, had them share a testimony and asked two of the girls from Grace Baptist in Tullahoma to sing live on the air. They have invited them back again tomorrow to share a gospel message live on the radio. We also have been led to mobilize one of our teams to build a home for a homeless family. For $350.00 you can buy enough lumber and plywood to make this happen. That project begins tomorrow! Wow! Keep praying, all is good! More stories to come later. God bless, Kent

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tuesday was another amazing day!

Our day started as usual with a wonderful breakfast in our hotel restaurant overlooking Copabana beach! No one is going to loose weight on this trip! Each day after breakfast we meet together with Ray and Sharon Fairchild (our missionaries). We pray together, share testimonies of what God is doing, and then Ray shares from the heart about what it means to be a true disciple of Christ. This morning was especially great as He focused on the significance of the blood of Christ and the forgiveness we have because of God's great sacrifice. Many of us (myself included) were moved to tears and a spirit of humility. After this time together, we loaded up and went to lunch at McDonalds. Yep, tastes the same in Rio just like in USA!
Then, after picking up our interpreters, we arrived at our mission church to break up into teams and begin to go door to door. We give out Bibles, share the Gospel, and interact with tons of children! In my previous trips to Rio I have never been in a community where I have seen so many children! They are everywhere! It is such a blessing to see our team love on these children. Today was another day of harvest. At the end of our time on the streets today, there were an additional 93 recorded salvation decions. Amazing!!! When it gets dark (6:00 p.m.) we all head back to the mission church for fellowship and supper. Tonight they made us chicken, rice and black beans. They had fresh fruit for dessert and some of the most amazing chocolate/fudge-like/carmel gooie things I have ever tasted in my life! Again, everyone is doing well. We are blessed. Please know that we are overwhelmed with your prayer support. Please do not stop praying! Please pray that the people who have accepted Christ will follow in baptism and get involved in the church or a home Bible study. Tomorrow we again look for God to be glorified as we do our best to obediently serve Him. God bless, Kent

Monday, June 4, 2007

Our first day in the favella

God is good! I cannot even describe how amazing today was. There were 73 professions of faith! Your kids (and mine!) were the ones who were blessed to be the ones leading others to the Lord! We split up into 16 teams and went on different blocks to hand out Bibles and share the gospel. The first person my team shared with was a woman. She ended up accepting Christ. After we prayed, she told us that she had been thinking about killing herself. She said she did not feel like she would ever do that now! Another team visited a home where they met a deaf man. The team really did not know how to respond and were completely overwhelmed when they realized one of the students on their team (Lacie) knew some sign language. The man understood the gospel and prayed to receive Christ as Savior! There are so many other stories that are just as moving. When I got back to the church the teams all started coming in. Jared's team came in and he began telling me about all the children that he had played with. He had taught them all the story of Jesus through the evangecube and by the end of their time together the children he was working with had all learned the message of the gospel. Jared also had the opportunity to lead 4 teenage girls to Christ. Then Maci came in and told me that she got to lead 3 adults to the Lord. All of the students have similar stories! God is so faithful.
Please keep praying! We are so excited about the next four days of ministry. God bless, Kent

Parque das Missoes

Today we are going to Parque das Missoes or Park of the Missions in English. This is an area that is VERY poor. Ray has prayed for this area for a long time. God has finally opened the doors! There is a very small church in the area. They are the ones who will host us, although that is why we brought silverware. They didn't have plates or cooking utensils or anything. Now all is provided. The area is flatter than what we have been in before. That is a blessing. Won't be as hard on us climbing hills. Pray for God to open the hearts of the people and for our group to have a boldness and the words that come only from our Savior. We will be given our groups for the week at our training meeting this morning. Pray that all personalities work together for the good of the Lord. We are excited to get started. We are going to have a great lunch at a traditional "shuhaskaria" (sp?). It will be amazing!! Then off to the favella (slum). We will eat dinner at the church and then back to the hotel around 8:00. More later! Love you all and thanks for the comments. I will read them to the group this morning!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

First Full Day Together!

We thought it would be fun to have a little different perspective, so we are going to have students blog every once in a while! Ta Da!! This is Heather Tompkins from Union Baptist in Knoxville, TN.

WOW!! What a great day. After a little sleep everyone seems to be in a great mood and really enjoying thier stay in Rio. We went to a large church about thirty minutes away from our hotel. It was definately a great way to get everyone excited about the upcoming week. It was amazing to see everyone happy and excited, raising their hands to sing praises to the Lord. We had a few interpretors spread out among the group helping us understand what was going on, otherwise we would have been completely lost! Those of us who are used to quiet baptist churches were alittle concerned about all our noise bothering the brazillian people, but they were just happy to have us there :) After church and some more wonderful food, we headed out to one of the largest Hippy Fada's (flea markets) in the area. Everyone had a ball. I'm suprised at how well some of your children bargain, they must have learned that from their parents. To end the night, we met back at the hotel and had a witness training session with Ray. He did a wonderful job easing everyone's fears. Sorry parents we are running out of time. Don't worry there will be plenty to read tomorrow. Good night and remember God is in complete control so sleep knowing your children are in His hands.

Off to church!

Well, we all had a great night's sleep. Everyone woke up to freezing rooms! The weather is much cooler than we expected. I think it was probably around 60 last night. The Brazillian people all had on heavy coats and scarves when we went out for ice cream sundaes last night. Funny! I must admit, we were a little cool in our summer clothes.
We are going to a larger church this morning that will hold us all without overwhelming them. The students will fall in love with the people. The service at this church is pretty modern with screens and a band. The kids will get to try to sing with the Portuguese words on the screen.
It is still rainy today. We are hoping for the weather to clear up before we go out to work tomorrow. The forcast looks like it will be better. (Well, that is my English interpretation of the weather man anyway).

We are all in great spirits. No one seems homesick or nervous. Maci, (my daughter) was really nervous about the trip, but has already said that she can see that she is not going to want to go home at the end of the week. I think they are all getting to know each other and looking comfortable! Praise God!

We are going to a great place for lunch that is right on a beautiful beach! Hopefullly the rain will be gone and we can walk down on it. We will update later this evening!


Saturday, June 2, 2007

We're in Rio Safe and Sound!

Wanted everyone to know we are here! The Delta air group made it in on time but the Continental Group was delayed two hours in Sao Paulo. We had to wait on a group from Newark to get on the plane. However, we are all here now! We just had a huge lunch buffet in hotel restaurant. It was delicious! Everyone now is going to their rooms for showers and a little break. We have our first orientation with Ray and Sharon (our IMB missionaries) at 7:00 and then a pizza party at 8:00ish. The time here is two hours ahead of central time.
No one had any problems at all going thru customs! God is good!!!
To all moms and dads reading right now, your kiddos seem to be doing great. I'm sure some are still a little overwhelmed but I know everyone will have a great week.
Weather today is overcast and light rain. We will all go to church together in the morning, have lunch together, then a little R&R and then more orientation. Our first official day of ministry begins Monday.
Thanks so much for your prayers! Keep praying as we prepare to share the gospel with the wonderful people of Brazil. Tomorrow's post will probably not be until evening. God bless, Kent

Christy...Holland is doing great!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

ONE more day!

Okay, I thought the blog I did last night, would be the last before we left. But...God has really been speaking to me, so I am going to tell you about it. Tues. night at our college Bible study, we talked about putting things before God. I have realized that I put my family before God. It is so easy. I realize that I don't trust God to do what is best for us. I worry about their safety and focus on them way more than I focus on God. NOT that loving my family as much as I do is a bad thing. God desires that from me. He commands that from me. But...where I am failing, is that I am not loving God MORE than I love them. He doesn't want me to love them less, He wants me to love Him more!! I guess since losing the baby in November, I have been afraid that God would take someone else I love. I haven't trusted Him. When I was reading my Bible on the deck yesterday, I looked out into the tree and saw two woodpeckers, male and female (the red head on the male gave it away). The male was picking out bugs or something from the branch and putting them into the females mouth. He flew off to another branch and the female continued to get her own food! She was capable! He came back and gave her more. He was taking care of her even though she didn't NEED him for food. I started thinking about how God is like that. I go on living my life, taking care of my family and doing all that I know to do. I'm capable! But, God knows EVERYTHING I need. He gives me MORE than I could ever hope for or think to ask for. He is MORE! I don't have to put my family on the back burner, in order to put Him first! I just have to see HIM for who HE is! MORE!! I thought with my family, I love them because I spend time with them, I serve them, I look to see what they are doing each day, I talk to them. I realized that I am not spending the time with God that he wants to spend with me! I haven't been watching to see what HE is doing each day. Sure I help with the Bible study, and I pray and read the Bible, but not because I'm trying to know Him more or love Him more. It's usually because I need to show someone else a scripture or teach a class or RITUAL! I am reading John right now. Just because I want to LOVE God more. I am excited to TRUST Him with what is BEST for our family.
He is MORE!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

42 hours 'til TAKE OFF!

I can't believe the mission trip is almost here! God has truly blessed us already! We have seen Him work in amazing ways. I've realized that some of you reading this blog don't know the story behind this trip. Here's the scoop. Tennessee has a partnership with the missionaries in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. 8 years ago, Kent decided to start taking teenagers from across Tennessee on a mission trip to Rio. The teenagers must be 15 years old. This would have been the first year that Jared would have gone. Our plan was to take him then take Maci in two years and then Molly, two years after that. Well, the missionaries, Ray and Sharon, are retiring and Tennessee will be starting a new partnership somewhere else. Because of the relationships we have formed with them and some of the translators, we wanted our children to get the chance to meet the people that we have grown to love so dearly. This is our last year so we decided to take all of our kids at once. The Brazillian people are so open to the gospel. It is a life changing experience that we wanted them to be a part of. We know that God doesn't NEED us to reach these people, but we feel so blessed that He has allowed us in the past and is now allowing our children, to be used by Him to enlarge His Kingdom. We are still in awe that this is going to happen. Thank you so much to all of you who have given to help us either by donating money or buying t-shirts. What once seemed like an impossible dream, is really taking place. We know that this is a "God thing". Thank you to those of you who have commited to pray for us while we are gone. We are leaving Friday at 4:30 from Nashville and flying to Houston. We leave there at around 9:00 pm and will arrive in Rio Saturday morning at about 10:00 am.
We'll do our best to keep this up daily! Thanks again!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Our 18th Anniversary!

WOW! Today is our anniversary. I can't believe I've been married that long. Kent is still my best friend. I still get excited to see him everyday when he gets home from work. I still get all giggley when he says sweet things to me.
I was thinking today about how when I'm down about myself or I think I should look a certain way, Kent always assures me that he loves me as I am. I'm blessed to have true love. Love that endures all things. We've been through a lot. A lot of joy, a lot of pain, but we've always grown closer to each other in the end.
Our relationship with each other is only possible because of our relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. We had a song at our wedding called "We Three Make One". I still think of that when I describe our life together. We have only grown closer during difficulties because we have grown closer to God.

Today, I am thankful, not only for a husband who loves me, but for a husband who loves God, first. I am thankful to have a husband that I know will always lead me and our children in our spiritual walk. He is truly all I ever dreamed my husband would be and much, much more.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

15 DAYS!

Count down has begun. The kids went and had all their immunizations updated last week. I was worried about the cost because our insurance doesn't cover well child visits. Someone told me about Mercy Children's Clinic in Franklin! It is the BEST place. The people there are amazing. The kids all had to have new rounds of immunizations, tetanus and MMR and all the normal stuff, they also got Hep A and B. They had complete physicals (cough, cough for Jared) and they only charged me $40! I loved the doctors and nurses. We were there for about 3 hours. Normally that would be miserable, but they made it seem like the best place to be. We went to Mellow Mushroom afterwards and felt we had just had a fun family day! If any of you need a pediatrician, GO THERE!

We still have to do a little shopping. We have to wear bermuda length or longer, so the girls and I could use another pair of shorts or capris and Jared needs some more shorts. Maci still needs a new pair of running shoes. You have to wear closed toes shoes so if you accidentally step in the sewage that is running down the streets, you don't get a parasite. Anyway, then we'll be ready! I can't believe it's almost here and we are REALLY getting to go!! "Thank you, Jesus for all that you have provided and the doors that you are opening for our family."


Okay, for all of you who were truly worried about Kent, he's much better today! I admit, I was a little worried. I do know that Kent has ZERO pain tolerance though. I really did try to get him to go to the doctor, but after watching him fall on Sunday and do the "tuck and roll" once he hit the ground, I figured he would be hurting at some point. I had to give him the TLC that he was craving, just in case I was wrong and the life insurance went into play. But, thanks be to God, his heart is fine and there is now no sign of a tumor taking over his chest.

Thanks to those of you who were so concerned. He thrives on the sympathy.hehe

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Birth Certificate Crisis!

Wow! We got a call from the travel agent today. She said she had never seen this happen before, but...the Brazillian consulate (sp) had called and wanted a copy of Jared, Maci and Molly's birth certificate. They have their passports right now for the visas. Kind of scary. Out of 60 other students, I don't know why they want our kids birth certificates? Any ideas?

Anyway, I went to the church and faxed them and then was home about an hour and the travel agent called and said that Maci's didn't go through. So I called David Ebensberger and went over there and re-faxed it. IT DIDN'T GO THROUGH AGAIN! Finally on the 3rd time, it went through. I was starting to think maybe Maci was going to Grandma and Papa's for 10 days! ha.

I was so excited to have 4 comments! I didn't think anyone would REALLY read this. I guess I'm going to have to get it going. Thanks to Jamie Ivey!! You are amazing! She came and set all this up for me! I was a little clueless on all of this! Kent and I will get it all figured out and try to keep you up on everything over the next few weeks leading up to our trip. (And of course, while we're on our trip.)

Oh, pray for Kent. He wants me to tell you that he is about to die. He thinks he is either having a heart attack or has a very large tumor that is taking over his chest. Yesterday afternoon, he started having heavy pains in his chest. It hurt to breathe. He couldn't hardly sleep last night and stayed home from work today. He took down the kids playhouse this weekend and built a retaining wall in our backyard. While holding a shovel, he fell off some boulders and landed on his side and rolled down the hill!! I think the muscles were pulled or something and just took a day to catch up and hurt. I did try to get him to go to the hospital. He won't. He made us promise that if he died from this, that we would all still go to Brazil. He said that was his final wish. Poor Baby.
Thanks again for reading,

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Going to Brazil!

We're off to Brazil for a mission trip with the TN Baptist Convention on June 1st for 10 days. This blog was created to keep you up to date on our preparations and our time there.