Monday, January 28, 2008

Our favorite Basketball player suited up to play this past Saturday and the real fun began!! We had a blast watching her. Our camera was not able to capture much. I hope you will click on the picture below so that it enlarges and you can see Tori enjoying herself on the court. This was a girl that was truly excited about being in the game! This week Tori was given the star for Best player on Offense. Her coach commented on how special it was for this to be her first game ever to play and she was able to score TWO points!!! Yea Tori!!! I included a picture of 3 loyal fans.

Sunday morning Donny and Kendra and their crew came over for brunch! The best part was that Donny and Randy were the cooks! It was great to spend some time together and the food was great!!

Tonight I captured on film Timo being the sweet and nurturing brother that he can be so much of the time. I love that Lael loves to cuddle up next to him. Tonight, Jonathan glanced over and saw Lael snuggling up to Timo and I guess he thought that looked like a great idea!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fort Worth Texas Memories

This past Sunday we spent a day doing one of our favorite things! We went to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo with my parents, the Brooks family and our own. We literally spent the entire day there and although it was truly crazy at some times with tired crying little ones, we perservered and they did too and we made some FUN memories! We did our best to dress western, at least all of the kids had cowboy boots!! We all enjoyed watching the kids interact with the animals at the petting zoo, Lael was introduced to cotton candy, and the comfort of falling asleep in her Granddaddy's arms. The kids loved the rides at the Midway and Timothy was so excited to sit in a John Deere tractor and have his picture made. Ever since that day, he has been saying that for his birthday this year he wants to have a John Deere birthday party!! Wonder what that will look like?

We also were able to visit briefly with Greg Bailey and his 2 daughters Jessica and Faith. They had some cattle there they were showing at the Stock show and they had won some prizes too! It is always great to see them. We sure wish we could have seen Melanie and Hope as well.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Times of Refreshing

A little over a week ago a dear friend of mine who was one of my absolute favorite teachers from junior high and high school called me and asked if I could come to her home for a special birthday get together for her daughter, another one of my dearest turned out to be a gathering of 4 of my most favorite people in the world!!!! My teacher/friend is Donna Reynolds, her daughter is Donjalea, and the 2 others are Trish Grisso and Laura Banks. There are so many fun memories among this specific group of girls and my heart was so blessed, that so many years later, this was the group that was getting together!! Trish and Laura have been roommates of mine and are know me inside out friends, and Donjalea and I have been friends since elementary school. Donna R. is someone who comes to my mind often as being so influential in my life during a time that I was truly needing someone to speak truth into my life and I thank God for her everytime that she comes to my mind.

I had not seen any of them since I have returned from Benin....this fellowship was too sweet and intimate for words...lots of laughter and some tears as we shared what the Lord has been doing in our lives. Donjalea asked us all to take a turn at sharing what Jesus has meant to us in the past year. All of us had stories to tell and none of us are in circumstances remotely like the other. We poured out deeply and were encouraged, challenged and abundantly blessed. My heart is FULL. At the same time my heart has an ache...a longing for more frequent connections at this level of the heart. Time with these friends was like a sip of a refreshing drink and now I am wishing I could finish the whole cup...I know as we get older, real quality time with friends is sometimes hard to find. Tonight my heart is thankful for this time of refreshment that I know was from the Lord.


Lael takes on the role of Police Chief with a smile!

Timo and his "Sweetie Pie" relaxing on the couch

Saturday, January 12, 2008

First Basketball Game

Today was Tori's first Basketball game. She is playing in the Upwards Basketball league at our church and has 2 of the coolest coaches EVER!!! Coach Ryan Christian and Coach Kelly Christian!!! Tori was able to participate in one practice before the holidays and then practiced daily through the Christmas Vacation. She has found a new excitement in playing basketball....then she had a planned outpatient surgery on her arm (which could be another blog post). The surgery went well until the Doctor said that she could have absolutely no physical activity for 3 weeks. This has knocked her out of her favorite class at school...P.E. and Recess:( And she has not been able to continue her Basketball drills and practice...for the moment.
Even so, she has continued to attend Basketball practice and watch her team as they learn new skills and drills. She was so excited to put on her new uniform and wear it to school yesterday and tell everyone that she had a game today! She was so excited that her school teacher decided to come and support her even though Tori was not playing in the game. Although it will certainly be 10 times more fun to watch her play, we all had a great time watching her and her team today. The minutes before the game started made it worth our time. The Lights were down, a strobe light was moving and over a loud speaker the players names were called as they ran through will see from the picture below, Tori looked like a professional running out and getting high fives from everyone! It was SO FUN!!!
After the game, every team member is recognized for their contribution to the game. Today Tori was given the Star for Sportsmanship.....the best attitude as she supported her team although she couldn't play. We were so proud of her!

Fun Pictures

I found these fun pictures on my mom's camera. They were taken sometime in the fall!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tori Vaughn is Student of the Week!

Tori has been waiting for this opportunity all year long! She was finally chosen and today was the day that she got to share about her life!! She began preparing on Friday night, listing out all of her favorite things and her proudest accomplishments and selecting the pictures of her life that she wanted to share with the class. Last night we gathered different items from Africa to show the class. This morning we went early to class to set everything up and I stayed to watch her give the presentation! I was so proud of her and found my heart swelling up thinking how much our hearts are a like. Especially at this moment....very tender about life in Benin. It gave Tori so much joy to talk about our life there. She has such a story to tell and when she talks you can see her come alive in a way that you may not see otherwise. We have been home 6 months now and there is a reality sinking in for all of us that we are not returning to what is most familiar to us...we are moving forward into a new life where God is doing a new thing. The Lord is providing for us at each turn and gently leading us on our new path. We are thankful for his gentle ways as we grieve what we have left behind and press on in our journey with Him.

By the way, Tori said her proudest moment was when she was baptized and when our family adopted Lael. At that point she held up a picture of Lael holding her passport! So precious!
January 3rd was the official birthday for Jonathan Ruisseau Vaughn. We plan to throw the "big bash" party for him on March 3rd. We want to put some space between Christmas and Birthday for this precious little-big guy!! On January 3rd we gave lots of hugs and kisses and Randy and I talked a lot about the three years that we have absolutely loved being his mommy and daddy! We thank God for His plans for Jonathan and we are confident they are GOOD plans! He is an amazing boy so filled with love and joy to share with others and a gentle sensitive spirit. A great mixture in the Lord's hands!

These 2 pictures are from our somewhat quiet family celebration of his 3 years at Luby's!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Entering into this new year with these 4 treasures, our hearts are FULL of thanksgiving and anticipation of what the Lord will do. What an anchor of hope and stability we have as we enter into days unknown, trusting HIM.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year !

May the Lord prosper you with a very fruitful year! May we continue to walk in His ways and find rest in Him. May He be the God who reconciles, heals, and saves! We praise the Lord God Almighty and we are thankful for every spiritual blessing we have in Christ Jesus!

Randy & Kelly
Tori, Timothy, Jonathan & Lael