Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Can't you just hear Lael saying, "Go Wildcats!!!" She sure looks great in her cheerleader outfit!

Randy and I had such wonderful experiences at ACU and still remain close to many dear friends and professors from our time there. I have so much fun dreaming about Lael being a student on the ACU campus! It is certainly our dream and prayer that all 4 of our children will have the opportunity and desire to participate in a similar experience when the time is right at ACU!

Monday, October 30, 2006

One week ago tonight I returned here to our home in Aplahoue, Benin and my best friend and dear husband took his turn flying to America. If you have had a chance to follow our blog this week you know that he has had a sweet reunion with Tori and Timothy and they have had a wonderful week with his family. Today they are on the road and headed to Fort Worth where they will spend the remainder of their time before returning to me on November 17! Still seems a far way off. I pray it passes quickly for me and slow for them!

I have had a great week with Jonathan and Lael. We are having a great time together and I am getting lots of love, hugs and kisses! Oh they are so precious!! I have also finished 3 books and I am participating in a 30 hour course through the Center for Biblical Counseling by video. It is called Extraordinary Woman, Equipping for Ministry. I have been doing one hour in the morning (during their nap time) and the other at night when the kids are asleep. I am really enjoying the different speakers and the variety of topics. I would love to be involved in Women’s ministry and I have so much to learn. One of the things that I truly look forward to and so eagerly anticipate is the opportunity to serve and minister to others in my own language. My heart literally jumps at the thought! I don’t know what the Lord has waiting for me but I want to be ready!

For those of you who may be wondering about the mouse…I found him this afternoon…dead!!! What a relief! Mr. Mouse had really caused me some anxiety last week and although I could see the humor in the situation, I was really having a hard time relaxing! Laurance and I had turned this house upside down trying to find the mouse or at least his trail and were coming up with nothing! Yet every night after Laurance would leave, I would see the mouse. It was truly comical Friday night when not 10 minutes after Laurance and Sossa had left; I heard a mousy sound right beside me. I was on the couch and there was a basket of toys right behind me. Suddenly the musical toys began singing their songs. I sat up and looked at the basket and there was Mr. Mouse climbing out of the basket. He went right in front of me and went straight down the hall. Sossa had prepared a little something for Mr. Mouse to eat should he desire one last meal! Apparently he had a bite and that was all it took!

I am so thankful for the emails and phone calls that I have received this week! I have been so encouraged and blessed! Thank you for your specific prayers for our family all the time, but especially now while we are separated. We miss each other so much!
I want to close with an excerpt from “The Power of a Praying Parent” that I came across yesterday and it really blessed me. Praying this is an encouragement to you too.

The joy of the Lord is rich and deep and causes anyone who walks in it to be likewise. That's because joy doesn't have anything to do with happy circumstances; it has to do with looking into the face of God and knowing He's all we'll ever need.

Psalm 16:11
You will show me the path of life:
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore

Thank you Lord!!!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Even on a self-timer, I love this picture of the Vaughn Family...missing are my beautiful wife, Kelly, and our two little ones (Jonathan and Lael)....and Donny's wife, Kendra, and their oldest, Tyler, and their newest, Brady!  Posted by Picasa
Aren't these two cousins so cute! They are all dressed up and ready for church this morning...they are such good friends! Colby is my twin brother Donny's middle boy. Whether it's dressed for Sunday morning or running around the house with cowboy hats and toy guns, these two have been connected every minute of the day! Posted by Picasa
My neice, Hailey, gets a big hug from their new "puppy" named Sugar! She cuddles this canine like a baby...and Sugar holds on to her just like a little kid...it is so funny and cute. Posted by Picasa
Tori, Timo and Colby enjoy one last meal at Nana & Papa's....tomorrow morning we'll head back to Fort Worth...it sure has been fun!! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Today we celebrated Tori's birthday with my side of the family. (She turns 8 on November 5th). Kelly had a Fort Worth party when she was home back earlier in the month; this time I got to be here for another party, this one with my side of the family in the Littlefield/Lubbock area. As is our custom, I make the kids' birthday cakes...this year it was a cowgirl and horse theme! I loved seeing the joy on Tori's face all day long...dressed like a cowgirl, having a party at a real-live cowboy(girl) ranch, and surrounded by cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents! It seemed like the perfect day! Posted by Picasa
Tori said the party and the cake were the best ever! This is what Daddy likes to hear!!  Posted by Picasa
Mom saw the general idea for this cake on a FamilyFun.Com website...I made some adjustments to make it a Paint Horse....Tori's very favorite horse! (SOME BACKGROUND TIDBITS: Choc-covered peanuts make up the eyeball and nose and shredded wheat cereal gives us the hay look surrounding the horse). I love this tradition in our family! Posted by Picasa
Tori makes a wish and blows out the candles! Posted by Picasa
The day started with Tori blindfolded and led by her cousin Garyn and Aunt Toni...to the Coyote Ranch outside of Lubbock. It was so much fun...as you'll see from the pictures!  Posted by Picasa
I had such a fun time with Tori and Timothy today...it was fun to see their joy "on the ranch"...they are far more ranch-savvy than their Dad...but it was a thrill to see how much fun they had! Posted by Picasa
Tori and her Papa! I love this picture of my daughter and my Dad! Posted by Picasa
I love this little guy...so cute! He had a blast today!!! Posted by Picasa
Timo (not Tori) loved feeding the animals out of his hands...giggling the whole time saying, "he tickled me with his mouth" (Tori and her cousin Garyn wouldn't do it..."GROSS!" they said!) Posted by Picasa
Timo loved petting all the horses!  Posted by Picasa
Timo stands pretty tall in his mind next to this authentic clydesdale!  Posted by Picasa
Part of the birthday party treat was getting a 5 minute horse ride! And Tori managed to do it 3 times! She was so happy...had a blast! So very poised... Posted by Picasa
Timo's turn on the horse...no fear! Posted by Picasa
Such a handome little cowboy! Don't you just love the way he's standing?! Posted by Picasa
Tori was so comfortable on such a big horse! Just like a true cowgirl would be!! Posted by Picasa
Hayride...it was a beautiful day! Posted by Picasa
All the birthday party gang (L-R around the table): Colby, Garyn, Madison, Tori, Jacob, Laura, Hailey and Timo! Posted by Picasa
Tori's fun new hat rack from Uncle Gary, Aunt Toni and all her cousins! Posted by Picasa
Tori shows off one of her many presents...a pretty cool sack with a horse on it...it says, "Life without horses? I don't think so!" Perfect for Tori...thanks Nana for such a great gift! Posted by Picasa
Madison (Randy's cousin's daughter), Tori and Garyn posing as some real tough cowgirls! Posted by Picasa
WHAT A HANDSOME MAN!! Jonathan Vaughn takes a great picture!! What a smile! (Kelly took this picture in Benin but couldn't get it posted through Blogger...I am so happy to post it for everyone to see!) I miss this happy face! (He and his cousin, Garyn, have similar contagious smiles and great laughs!)  Posted by Picasa