Blown Away!!

Ya’ll, the Lord is moving big time in Eastern NC, and we are only two weeks in. Let me just share with you some of the things we have seen happen.

1.  We have had a record number of surveys filled out at all our schools – 450 at Fayetteville State, 393 at Campbell University, 637 at UNC Pembroke, and 323 at Wake Tech.

2.  In the process of following up with these contacts, we have already seen two people accept Christ through one-on-one evangelism!

3.  This year, I am the only lady on our staff team working at Campbell Univ. and Ed is the only staff guy.  Following up 393 contacts (trying to meet with all students who were interested in learning more about us and hearing about Christ) is a little overwhelming for one or two people!  Thankfully, the Lord has provided 4 other women and 2 other men from our church to help meet one-on-one with these contacts!  So fun to already see them having great conversations where the Gospel is being clearly shared.

4.  We had The Maze come to UNCP and FSU this week.  During the day, Jim (the illusionist) goes on campus, freaks people out, and creates buzz for the show that evening.  Then, at the show, he not only shares about truth through illusions but also clearly explains the Gospel.  This is a huge outreach that requires a lot of planning, time, and money.  In planning and preparing for this event, thing after thing kept happening that made it obvious the devil was working against us and God was doing something big – and he did!!

At UNCP, the venue held 1600 people.  We had 1200-1300 students in attendance for The Maze and 155 decisions for Christ.  A local pastor who partners with us in ministry there said “Congrats to UNCP Cru for bring the Maze to UNCP.  This was the most attended and well responded to campus ministry event I’ve seen in over 9 years of campus ministry.  This isn’t about what any one organization , or group, is doing at UNCP, it’s about what God is doing.”

At FSU, the venue held a little over 1100.  We had 900-1000 students in attendance and 280 decisions for Christ.  Statistically, this is a very high number of students to respond and place their faith in Christ – and yet another indication of how hungry students are for the truth at FSU.

Now, we began the task of following up with these students (in addition to the students who filled out surveys) and trying to get them connected and help them learn to grow in this new faith and their relationship with Christ.

What did the girls and I do during all of this?  I was going to bring them one evening but decided that may be a disaster (past bedtime plus sitting still for two hours plus having to be quiet = bad combination), so we hung around home.  I hired a babysitter one day and went to followup with contacts at Campbell and then we spent a lot of time with friends eating good food and enjoying good fellowship.  I am so very, very thankful for friends who take us in and love on us when daddy is away – praise God for the body of Christ – makes those long days bearable!

And then, tonight, we had a tailgate at Campbell Univ. before their first home game.  The girls had a blast, even despite the outrageous heat, and we even got to meet a camel 🙂  This is a picture with Jubilee, a student of ours who was in New York with us this summer and who is very dear to my heart.  So blessed seeing how the Lord is working in her life.

So, this weekend, we will get some much needed rest, and then the madness continues.  We had preschool open house this morning for Kinsley and she begins school next Tuesday (two mornings a week).  When they talked about us bringing class snacks, and having notes from the teacher, and doing show and tell, I kept saying “how am I already at this point to have a kid old enough for all of this?”.  It will be SO good for her and she is beyond excited.  Stay tuned for our first day pictures!

DIY/Recipe Update August 2014

Its time for another DIY/Recipe Update for the year.  When you see the pictures, it seems like I have been busy doing nothing but DIY projects.  Truth be told, they were easy projects and really, this is two months worth of projects.  Hope you enjoy!

Lets start with the recipes:

Spicy Baked Shrimp

The verdict?  It was okay.  Honestly, I prefer my dad’s fried “secret recipe” shrimp better.  Yes, this recipe is so much better for you than the fried, but when the taste isn’t better, what do you do?

Sausage and Rice Casserole – 

The verdict?  This was really good.  I was honestly pretty skeptical, but it was a hit with everyone at our house and it definitely made its way into my recipe box.  Plenty of flavor and easy to cook!

Million Dollar Spaghetti – 

The verdict?  Not the best, but not the worst.  I kept this recipe and am thinking it would be really good to take to people when they have babies, surgeries, deaths in the family, etc.

White Chocolate Funfetti Chip Cake – 

The verdict?  Seriously delicious!  This was a hit for everyone – from my sprinkle loving kids to their sprinkle loving momma.  And it was moist inside, which is always a must.  Definitely would make this again!

Now for the DIY projects:

Game Cabinet Upgrade – I was SO TIRED of having games fall out every time we went to pull something out, and honestly, it made me less likely to play games with the kids or other people.  So, after searching around on Pinterest, I found this great idea and my amazing husband fulfilled my wishes.  It is 100% better and so fun to get out a game without them all falling.

Name Wall Decor for the girls room – I wanted to do this project for a while, but it just never made the “Do It!” list until this summer.  After Ed started this one for me, I thought for sure he was going to tell me “NO MORE DIY PROJECTS” because it was that much of a pain and headache (and way more expensive than we thought!).  In the end, we figured it out and it turned out really well.  I love having personalized things in my kid’s rooms.  Just don’t mention this project to him, he will probably roll his eyes as it brings back bad memories.

Hetzel name blocks – I LOVE how this turned out.  It was super duper easy (thanks to my dad for helping us cut the blocks for all of these projects!) and it is so cute!!!

Gobble til you Wobble blocks – I also liked how this turned out, though the bottom is a little hard to read and given more time, I would have probably changed it.  File that in “what to do differently next time.”

Reversible Give Thanks/Jingle Bells blocks – Again, another favorite project of mine.  They look amazing (especially in person!), and I love they can do two holidays at once.

Wise Men Still Seek Him blocks – These turned out great too!  Super, duper easy to do once you had blocks cut.  I also LOVE the message and that it celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.

O Holy Night block – Again, I love that this celebrates the true meaning of Christmas and the color is beautiful in person.  This was a little harder to size the vinyl, but I love the end result.  Can I say again how much I love my Silhouette?

I also started another block set to make a cute snowman, but we forgot to cut blocks for the hat, so I will wait to share him until he is all put together.

So what is coming down the chute for September?  I want to create a wooden wreath for football season to hang on the front door and I am making fun things for a friend’s baby shower I am helping to host.  Other than that, we are busy enough with campus not to have time to do anything else.  I think I feel like “if I don’t get it done before campus starts, nothing will happen for months”, so maybe that is why I made this mad rush to get so much done.

Thanks for enjoying my sweet creations with me!


And the verdict is…

Today was the day…are we having a boy or a girl?  The girls are constantly in motion, so hopefully you can decipher through these pictures –


IT’S A BOY!!!  While we would have been excited about a girl too, we are ecstatic to be having a little baby boy.  Kinsley was pulling for a boy, so she was beyond thrilled to see the blue balloons and cookies.

While the baby is healthy, there were a few things that popped up in the ultrasound that were concerning, so in a week or so, I will be heading for a Level 2 ultrasound with a neonatalogist just to check that all really is well.  Please be praying for this appointment and that everything that seemed a concern will amount to nothing at all.

This little boy will be called Blake Edward.  Blake is my maiden name and Edward is after Edward, obviously.  We are beyond thrilled and even more excited to share it will all of you.


Why, yes, we are losing our minds!

I have been a little MIA the last week or two, as you may have noticed.  Why?  Because Ed and I are officially losing our minds.  Why is that, you may ask?  In addition to returning from New York, then returning from another trip to SC that lasted two weeks, and getting ready to start the crazy fall semester, and being pregnant and getting ready for another baby in our family, we decided to add yet another addition to our family and potty train our child…all in one week.  Yes, you read that right.  Get a dog and potty train our child all in one week.

We have been wanting another dog for a while but knew with traveling it would be hard.  Then, we decided to get one for Christmas for the girls.  However, when we found out I was due at the beginning of January, we decided two new additions in one month may be suicide.  So, we upped our timeline and started looking for a dog now.  We have always wanted a boxer since falling in love with my aunt’s and learning how good they are with children so we applied to adopt with Carolina Boxer Rescue.  Can I say how impressed we are with this organization?  We had to fill out an application, they had to call our references, and they normally do a home visit (which we got waved since we weren’t at home for two weeks).  They are constantly rescuing new boxers so once we got accepted, we sat back and tried to decide which dog (based on looking at what their foster families said about them) would be a good fit with our family.

One day, we saw this really sweet boy boxer that they rescued from a home where he had been on a chain for four years.  His name was Bruno, he was four years old, he was house trained, crate trained, and good with kids.  After learning more about him from his foster family, we decided he was the dog for us!

Since we were traveling home from Ed’s parents house in Greenville, SC, it was convenient for us to just pick him up on our way home rather than wait for CBR to arrange a transfer to us – so that’s just what we did.  Here is a picture of Bruno riding in the car on the way home…even though he had a whole seat in the back, he loved coming up front and sitting between the girls.

Bruno has fit in so well at our house and is a great dog!!  He does so well with the girls and never responds to their tail-pulling, trying to ride him, falling and laying all over him antics that they like to pull.  He has also not had any accidents and has gone in his crate every night.  He likes to nip at you when he is playing, he loves to be loved (like ALL the time), and he snores – but other than that, he is perfect!!

Then, as if getting a dog wasn’t crazy enough, we decided to start potty-training Emerson before Ed went back to campus full-time.  She is a few months older than Kinsley was when we trained her and lets be honest, I am tired of buying diapers and changing them.  I also am not good with looming transitions, meaning that if I know something is coming, rather than putting it off and continuing to think about it coming up or me needing to do it, I would rather just bite the bullet and do it right away.  So, that is what we did.

This was her attire during one of the days.  What, you don’t wear princess dress, necklace, and a vet outfit all at one time while potty training?  I guess she got tired of just wearing underwear and decided to go with lots of layers. 🙂

How is she doing?  After a ROUGH (wait, did I say rough?  Lets try that again – it was R-O-U-G-H!) first day and a half, she started catching on and has been only having about one accident a day.  We are still a little ways from saying she is potty trained, but I am hopeful and encouraged that we are moving in the right direction.  Now to pray for my sanity as I manage the additions and transitions from this week!