Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gaylord Opryland in Nashville

Daniel and I took off last Wed. evening for our trip to Nashville. Daniel was attending his annual Southern Assoc. of Colleges and Employers conference. Our first stop was at the Grimaldo's home. Wow!! I wish I had a picture of those girls, they have grown into fine young ladies. They were so easy to catch up with with all of their activities having moved to Kellar recently. We enjoyed a great meal cooked by Lisa, and Jose was the perfect host. Could not have asked for a better night!!

We drove out the next morning very early and it took us 12 hours to get to Nashville. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is 59 acres of resort under one roof. The Christmas season was bursting from the seams in every corner. There are four sections to the hotel and you have a main "street" that you stay on as you walk through each. As you get off the main "street" there are many Christmas trees, water falls, poinsettias, a boat ride like the San Antonio river walk, many places to sit and eat or drink some coffee. There are performers to your left and right (singing and dancing), a huge fireplace in the section we stayed in and so many paths off the main street you get lost. Out in front of the hotel was a huge nativity scene, complete with Luke 2 being read over loud speakers. Check out the pictures, hard to describe all that this hotel presented to our eyes!! We were most thankful for a company that spoke the Word of the Lord so boldly through the scriptures. Hard to take it all in!!! I did leave the hotel a few times and did get lost, but always seemed to find my way back to home base. Daniel had MANY long hours of meetings, but we were able to have dinner a couple of times together in the hotel.

We were able to have dinner with our long time friends, Mark and Amy Phillips. What JOY, we laughed and talked for a couple of hours.

On Sunday morning we headed over to Shelbyville, TN, to have a time of great loving on and fellowship with the Fairlane church of Christ. This congregation supports Alison, Justin, Cailyn and Corban while they are in Lima. You are not going to find a more loving, caring group than these folks. There were so many we spoke to and they really love our kids. It was an humbling time and also a time of God's graciousness shown to us. Thank you, Lord Jesus!!

On the left is Patti and Geoff Geisman, the preacher and his wife, and then Pat and Juan, the Spanish congregation preacher and wife. On the right is Buddy and Mary Ellen Koonce, their grand daughters and son, Doug, at the end of the table. Buddy and Doug came to the weekend retreat held for the Lima team, families, and supporters at the A&M church before they moved overseas.

We left Nashville on Wed. morning and got home about 11:00pm last night, after 15 hours on the road. We did stopp for an hour to get out of the car and eat dinner in Mt. Pleasant. Great trip, but our beds felt SO WONDERFUL last night!! We are here until early Fri. morning and then we head to College Station to visit a few friends and on to Jaime and Elizabeth's Wedding in Houston. We will, Lord willing, see my brother, Mitchell and his family, Alisa, Storie and Lindsey and then travel through Bastrop to see Daniel's parents on our trip back home!! What a worldwind trip, but we love to see family and don't get down to Houston or Bastrop as often as we would like.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Daniel and I have truly had our eyes opened as we watch what God has planned for our family when it comes to young men (and their families) that will join our girls on their journey here on earth!! Justin brought with him - Teri and Andy, Allie and Preston. You can see us all as we enjoyed Christmas 2008 in Costa Rica last year. We have been so blessed to enjoy many Thanksgivings and Christmas Day meals with them while living in College Station. We especially enjoyed Christmas of 2004 when Alison and Justin exchanged their marriage vows. What JOY!!

Now we introduce the other family God has brought us through Jason's love for Hannah!! Phil and Patti Grassie, Jason and his sister, Lauren and Andy Simons. (pray for Andy as he serves our country in the military in Afghanistan). The Grassies joined us in Abilene this year for Thanksgiving. You can read what Hannah thought about the weekend on her site. Our hearts were full as we enjoyed much conversation and laughter, singing and praying together.

We will be able to share some of this family excitement as Hannah and Jason join Daniel and I on a flight to Lima coming up soon. We will have a day that laps over Teri, Andy, Allie and Preston's visit. We love the extended families that God has gifted us with!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hay Day 2009

Today we attended a tradition that is part of one of our Hope families. Hay Day consisted of a ride out in the country to about a 600 acre farm, a big barn set up for dinner and a kitchen to serve food from. We had singing on a stage as well as some banjo and bass playing!! The event also included a hay ride behind a tractor. I got to sit by a senior ACU student and had wonderful conversation!! One more activity to bond us together as a community!! We played a game where a person was timed while they put on jeans, boots and suspenders and then ran out to find the two plastic cows in the pasture. It was a reenactment of the farmer who is called in the middle of the night to come get his cows off the road and back on the other side of the fence. Much laughter and hospitality!!