I'm trying to take full advantage of the fact that I live 5 minutes from the Kemah Boardwalk right on Galveston Bay! :) Because soon, very soon...my home will not sit 5 minutes away but rather over an hour away when we move! So today, I loaded up the girls this afternoon since the rain came and went way to fast and let them play in the water area. They lasted a whopping 40 minutes but we walked around, and visited the Aquarium and even ended our time there at the candy store. :)Fun stuff...and all free besides the sweet stuff! ;)
It was an incredible day...unbelievable actually! After the wedding in Abilene, we loaded up the van and headed on up North to Tulia (Ryan's hometown) late Saturday night. It was a nice drive in West TX and easy...nothing like driving I45 that's for sure. ;) We had decided to go to Tulia since we were already have way there and Ryan was preaching on Sunday at his home town church. He was also doing some fundraising for Cross Community. We were asking First Baptist Tulia to partner with us for prayer partners and financial giving to help start the church and for year 2! We had 3 families sign up to give monthly which is GREAT but we had a lot of BIG one time gifts. We raised close to $2000 and that didn't include the love offering and more cards that were filled out! Such a blessing to have many people..Rural, country people understand the need for church planting, love on Ryan, and give financially to start up church that is 10 hours away. So Awesome!
Another reason Sunday was a very blessed day....Ryan was given a CAR! Yes, A CAR! :D I could not believe it, neither could Ryan~we were in complete shock. After the service on Sunday, Ryan's dad (Donnie) kept telling us that he had something to show in his car. We were like ok, then kept talking and hugging people, greeting the folks in the lobby of the church. Donnie was like so eager and so excited and kept drawing us out of the church. As we walked to his car, he looked at Ryan and crying he said, I would like to hand you the keys to your new car!!! WHAT~ pretty much shocked us beyond words..literally! ;) lol I started to cry, Ryan cried, Ryan's best buddy from high school was out there taking pictures of us crying, Ryan hugged him. You see, Robert (the high school buddy) is a car dealer in Lubbock and he and Donnie got together 2 weeks ago and made a plan to buy us this car. Donnie had set aside some money and told Robert he had a certain amount of money he could spend to buy and car and help bless us on this new journey. Then, Robert said, I'll match it! Match it...really~ so incredible!! You see, every year Ryan has a guys weekend up in Lake Grandbury/Stephenville area where he and 5 other best friends from high school meet up. These guys are pretty tight and have known each other a long time. Truly great friends. Well, Robert is one of these buds and he ended up calling the other 4 friends from high school and asked if they would like to help bless Ryan. All of them stacked hands and within 2 days, those guys sent in $10,000. NOT KIDDING Those friends raised all that money and then Donnie and Robert combined their financial gifts and bought the car! Wow, I'm still in shock and completely filled with gratitude. These people have blessed our family beyond Huge! :) Ryan drives a 1997 Honda Passport that has been a good car but needless to say, 3 windows broken, the sun roof leaks way to much air and is loud...the car is old! LOL So this new and paid for car is a huge blessing and it really isn't a car but a minivan. It is a 2008 fully loaded Uplander. It has a dvd player, rear air, electric door, and a lot of room. The girls think they are high class now~its so fun! lol ;)
So, Ryan has graciously given me the minivan and he drives old blue (our other minivan) now! What a man. :) We are excited to give away Ryan's car to a family if they want it. We will be presenting it to them and ask if they would like to have it for their boys. They have 2 high school boys and neither have a car. I would love for them to have this Passport~it would be a perfect for a high school boy.:)
So~ Here it is. We are so incredibly grateful! God is good.
Prverbs 11:25 "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
Wow, I have not intended to be away from my blogging like I have but so much is going on with life transitions and then our summer trips have begun. Last Thursday, we headed out to Abilene, TX~ our old stomping grounds. Ryan and I went to college there and lived our first 5 years of marriage in Abilene so it is a pretty special town. Lots and lots of memories!!! :) We headed north to see family and attended a wedding of our dear friend Kimberly. She was in Ryan's youth group while we were on staff at a church in Abilene and we have stayed in touch with her all these years. To our luck, Kimberly is living in Houston so we have been able to see and talk with her some. She married the University of Houston quarterback so the wedding had some football theme to it and it was so cute. The wedding was so fun and so PRETTY and so BIG!!! Almost 500 in attendance so needless to say, very elegant and I'm saving my pennies now!! ;)
While in Abilene, we stayed at my aunts house in which she has a pool and the girls just swam, and swam, and swam! :) My sister drove over from Dallas with her kids so we could spend some time together and for the kids to play. Always a treat when we can get together....I sure do wish we could be around each other more! Friday night, we hit Perini Steakhouse Ranch right out of the Texas Monthly magazine. This little hole in the wall place is in Buffalo Gap (probably 15 minutes) from Abilene and it is delicious! Such good food~ such a treat when the steak costs $27! :) Then, the weekend was topped off with a fall from Avery girl on my aunts REAL hardwood floors that busted her chin. 8 stitches later and a big bandage...all is well. She was a trooper and strong little girl to get shots and all stitched up! She looked super cute in her pretty dress and a big o bandage on the chin for the wedding. LOL YES, this all took place hours before the big wedding in Abilene...not kidding! ;)
Here are some fun pics of the crew swimming! I've got some amazing news in my next blog post~stayed tuned. :)
Summer is here not because it has already hit 100 degrees to many times but because we are in full summer mode in the Prater household! ;) No more alarm clocks.. No more schedules... Late nights... Sleeping in until 8 or 9... Swimming... Family Sonic runs... Family games... and the one thing I love~Traveling
I love summer for a lot of reasons. For me, it's a time to relax and rest up, literally have no agendas, be flexible, and see family.
I hope you are all off to a wonderful start. Summer 2011 has begun! :)