Monday, December 31, 2007

2007.

It's New Year's Eve, and I thought a bit of reflection on 2007 would be interesting.

- Our family has grown, and with that growing, we realized we're no where near done! Who knew? I want a BIG family!

- Our life in the ministry has been tested. We've faced some things I never thought we would. We've seen such ugliness come out of good people. We've read When Bad Christians Happen to Good People many, many, many times. At first, it helped heal the wounds we had from all the gossip and slander and general meanness. Then, it caused us to look into ourselves, and really "fix" the issues brought to light. It's also helped us to forgive. I've learned (over and over and over) that our God is a God of forgiveness and love. He wants me to be a woman of the same. I was actually just talking to a lady from our church who went to an event at the church most of the people who left are now going to (Got that? Whew.). She told me how involved they were and how happy the church was because of some of them. How the church was on the verge of closing it's doors, and now, because of the influx of people, it remains open and thriving. My heart just sings at this news! God took an ugly situation and made it glorify Him. One of my prayers for everyone who has moved on from our place of worship is that they find a ministry they can serve in. One they can be a part of and be used for God in. I am overjoyed that it's happening!

- Tucker and I really solidified who we are and what we have been called to do. Our confidence in God's calling is stronger than ever.

- Our trip to Chesapeake was a blast. It was so exciting to see our students be stretched (and even see some stretching in the adults!). It wasn't always pretty or fun, but it was amazing.

- We've left a small group filled with people we love, only to fall into a group of people we love just as much! What started as a painful and hard transition became an easy and joyful one. God is good.

- We've been amazingly blessed by new and strong friendships.

- We've been amazingly blessed by old and comfortable friendships.

- I've fallen in love with my husband all over again. Having two kids certainly changes a relationship, but watching the way Tucker is with our babies makes my heart beat faster and my love for him just explode! He's the most hands-on father I've ever met. (Excluding my own. My dad rocks. Hi Dad.) He's wonderfully funny, goofy with our children, and the social part of this relationship. ('Cause I, um, would never really leave the house if he didn't make me...) He's an amazing provider, a best friend, and really so much more. I'm beyond blessed that he's mine.

- The student ministry at the church is growing...both spiritually and numerically. It's exciting to think about next year and what it will bring! Same with the church. After an initial hit in the beginning of 2007, numbers are climbing. New faces have become familiar faces.

- We've house hunted this year. And stopped house hunting. And started it up again. Hopefully 2008 will be our year for home ownership! We'll see.

This has been a full year. A hard, sometimes sucky, most times wonderful, year. I'm planning on looking at 2008 with the following mentality. It's a quote I came across from Garrison Keillor:

"Give up your good Christian life, and follow Christ."

That's what we're planning on doing. Right there. Nice and simple. We're not going to live the life that most Christians in this country think is "right". We're not going to take the easy way out. We're going to follow Christ...regardless of how people view us, regardless of where it takes us, regardless of the risks it involves. This life is meant to be an adventure!

And so, if you're reading this, Happy New Year! We're going to be partying with our small group tonight, and ringing in this new year with some dear friends and much hope for 2008!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas.

We had a wonderful Christmas! Our families (and some friends) spoiled us silly. We feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so much love!

We had a quiet morning at home, and a blast watching our children open their gifts. We only give three gifts (There's one main reason for that. It's our way of keeping the holiday focused on it's true meaning...three gifts for Christ from the wise men...fewer presents, so less focus on the material side of things...oh. And we're cheap.), so we spend a lot of time picking out the gifts and making sure they are things our children will love. Rory got her first "Big Girl" doll house! She's loving it, and watching her eyes light up when she opened it was so much fun! Tate opened his presents, but he was really much more into the wrapping paper and boxes! Tucker surprised me with an ipod nano. And it's green. So cool. I bought him a new watch and a hat. After opening our gifts, we headed out to my parents. My sister and her husband were there, along with my Uncle and Aunt and my Grandmother. My mom made a delicious dinner, and we enjoyed a lazy afternoon of eating, Wii playing and The Office (Do you watch this show? 'Cause you totally should. Funniest thing on TV. Ever.) watching. Good times!

Christmas Eve was wonderful! We spent most of the day at Josh and Phyll's house enjoying good food, many laughs, and great friends. They treated our kids to some amazing Christmas presents, and spoiled us a bit as well...thanks guys! You know how much we love ya!

After leaving the party, we headed over to the church for the service. It was wonderful! We had about 200 people show up, and the service ran smoothly. How The Grinch Stole Christmas was read, and then Jim gave an excellent short message based on the story along with a Gospel presentation. Tucker played some (Awesome and rocking...but, I'm biased) music, and we all ate some good cookies. It was really great to see a good portion of our congregation in the building at the same time. With the two services, you see some people on a Sunday, but not others. It was really nice. Also, people dress up for Christmas Eve. Who knew? Not me. I felt sort of out of place in my hoodie and blue jeans. That is until about four other families walked in dressed like me. That's one reason why I love our church!

All in all, a great holiday!

And, um, we're taking down our tree tonight. It's dead, and I'm super sick of vacuuming up it's stupid needles so my son doesn't eat them.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tate Gibson.


Today Tate turned one! Yay! Happy Birthday!

I just can't believe that my baby is one...


Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve.

Some randomness:

-Our cards got here (Yay!). However, there's a mistake on them (Bummer). And since I'm such a procrastinator, and know that I could never return them and get new ones before this holiday season is over, you all get the mistake cards. It'll be fun. You can play "Spot the Hibbs Mistake" with them. Woo Hoo.

-We finally decorated the sugar cookies this morning. Better late than never, right? Tuck and Rory were so busy with this...
...that the sugar ones never got done. I'm sure you can understand why. That house is way cooler than our duck, star and people sugar cut-outs. (Hey. Rory chose the cookie cutters...)

-We've had our Hibbs Family Christmases for the past two days. We spent Saturday evening at my mother-in-laws and then Sunday afternoon at Tucker's Aunt and Uncle's house. Much fun was had! Tuck's brother Toby took some great shots of the kids. See?

-We realized this morning that Tate needs a cake for his birthday. Poor kid. I hope I get better at this Christmas/Birthday thing! So Tucker's going to be in the kitchen, baking away. We have no icing, though. Since we're staying at my parent's house Christmas night, we don't need the cake until Wednesday evening. Hopefully I can pick up some icing before then. Yeah. I kind of suck at this wonderful-mommy-birthday's-are-special thing. Hm.

-We gave the kids their Christmas Eve PJ's early today. We have a busy day ahead, and I wasn't sure when else we would be able to do it. Rory waited so patiently for all of us to be ready. She sat on the table, rocking and singing away until we all came over and let her rip into those gifts. Tate was just a happy little guy! Not so into the presents, but very into running around! And yeah. That's a plastic cookie. Because, you know, I would never give my kids cookies for breakfast...never...right?

-We're off to the Hendrie's (Of camping fame) for a rocking party. Looking forward to it! Then we're headed to the church for our Christmas Eve service. I'm excited for it this year! How The Grinch Stole Christmas is being read, then Pastor Jim is doing a message based on that. The kids should love it! Plus, we'll have cookies, paper and crayons on each table. If they don't love the story, they should at least love those! Tucker's doing some music, and then we're headed home. Once home, we'll be assembling the doll house we bought for Rory and stuffing some stockings. Good times.

Happy Holiday's!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

True Love.

This song really spoke to me today. The artist explains it much better than I ever could:

"It’s about the truest lover we have ever known and the most powerful work of love that He did. I feel like this is my gospel song. The verses and the chorus telling people of the amazing story of love that the cross of Jesus is, and then calling them to respond to a God who overcame death and offers the free gift of life to all who would receive it. The bridge where it says “Jesus is alive” over and over is my favorite moment on the whole record. There’s power in it." - Phil Wickham

Yeah. If you don't have Phil Wickham's album, Cannons, go out and buy it. While you're out there buying that album, you might as well pick up his self titled one from last year (I Will Wait For You There is a powerful song). His voice is amazing, and the passion of his heart and his music is right on. Good stuff.

Come close listen to the story
about a love more faithful than the morning
The Father gave his only Son just to save us

The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Fathers broken heart
tears were filling heavens eyes
The day that true love died, the day that true love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn’t move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, The day that true love died

Search your hearts you know you can’t deny it
Lose your life just so you can find it
The Father gave his only son just to save us

Jesus is alive
He rose again

This is our hearts cry. Tucker and I live so that others can simply hear the story. We truely live because of this story. It's the reason we do what we do, it's the passion behind what we do. This story is the driving force of our life...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Card.

This year we decided to send out picture cards. I meant to get professional ones done, but things kept coming up. First the kids were sick, then money was tight, then Tucker was working on the day we were supposed to go...so yeah. Here we are a week before Christmas, and we finally set up the camera and took a (somewhat) decent shot! I'm upset we didn't get Tate's big 'ol smile, but I'm thrilled we got a picture of him not screaming. (He's been doing a lot of screaming lately. Yay teething.) I'm still planning on getting professional ones done. Just not for Christmas. Obviously.

Anyway. I've ordered the cards, and they should be arriving on December 27th. So, um, they'll be a little late this year...

Some random fun ones that didn't make the cut!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

There he goes again.

Clayton King. Being all kinds of awesome.

This guy really gets it. He gets what ministry is supposed to be.

Body Decoration.

So back in April, my husband gave me a gift certificate for my birthday to go and get my nose pierced. Well, two weeks ago, I finally went and did it! Better late then never...

I went with my small group ladies, my friends. Rachael got an amazing tattoo on her back. See?

Carey added stars to the awesome piece she already has going. See? (Warning...she bleeds.)

Phyll got a tattoo on her foot. It hurt, but was totally worth the pain! See?

And just because I'm sure you all want to see me with a giant needle through my nose...


I have to take a moment and tell you all how much I love these women. They are real, they are honest, and they are very important to me! I never thought I'd be so grateful for church issues (Which is how Rachael and I became friends. She was my safety...my phone call when I needed to talk it all out or cry), or for churchy women retreats (Carey...my breast friend), or for the desperate need of volunteer help (Hi Phyll! If she and her husband hadn't of stepped up and helped out with the students, I never would have gotten to know her as well as I do now).

So yeah. That was our Girls Night Out. Body decoration. I love it...and them!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Rachael.

Rachael is my friend. We do things together like trick or treating, we have loooong phone calls (Sometimes several times a day), we plan on getting together every Friday night for small group (We haven't done this yet. We keep on planning to. There was some communication problems, and then we decided that a Girls Night Out was way more fun...but this Friday! This Friday it's on), we have more fun than we "apparently" should at women's retreats, we make offers to watch each others (wild and out of control...) children even when we can hear said children screaming in the background during the phone calls, and we enjoy body modification (decoration?) together (I got pierced, she got tattooed).

So Rachael, there you go. I've mentioned you in my blog. Happy now?

Seriously though, I'm so immensely grateful for Rachael's friendship over this past year. She's been my listening ear, my crying shoulder, and my rock solid support. She is part of a group of women that I consider to be some of the best friends I have. I love them dearly, and I can't imagine doing this life without them! (I will blog about them next. I'm waiting for some pictures from Rachael...)

Now look. I'm all mushy. And squeaky.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Good stuff.

When I'm done following around Perry Noble, I may just turn my target of nodding and agreeing onto Clayton King. He rocks. Yep.

Check out his post on the Pitfalls for Loung Lions. Awesomeness.

That was good, right? How about his Dangers for Seasoned Veteran's post? More awesomeness.

Good stuff to keep in mind, and to be on guard against. I admire how he brings these (tough and often defensive) topics up, but does it in love. I'm amazingly grateful to be in a marriage and in a ministry with a young lion, but also led in church by a seasoned veteran. We have a lot to learn from each other, and a lot to hold each other accountable for!

God knows what He's doing by putting these two (Not only Tucker and Jim, but other random ministry pairings) together. There's a purpose and a place for each. How awesome is that?

Camping...again.

I meant to post about this, but never did. Whoops!

A few weekends ago we joined the Hendries on another camping trip. (I told them that we're coming on every camping trip they go on, invited or not. I think they thought I was kidding...)

It was Josh's birthday, and we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than camping, swimming (Indoor water park thing. Pretty cool. My camera died as soon as I snapped the first picture there. So, bummer. No pictures of that! The kids loved it, though!), a few cold beverages, and some good food. (I hear there was a cake, but have yet to actually see it. Phyll's holding out on us...) We had a wonderful time! It was, however, very cold. See?Thanks again, Hendries. We love you guys!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Shades.


So apparently, it's "Too bright!!" at our kitchen table...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pain.

Should I ever meet Perry Noble, I may just walk around behind him nodding, with a sign that says "Yeah, that."

He might find that strange. Or awesome. Whatever.

Seriously. He just hits all the nails right on their heads. He words things very well, and really gets into the heart of the issue he's talking about.

I was hesitant to post this one, mostly because I don't want people to think I'm whining, or something silly like we're miserable. We're absolutely not! (Well, I do whine some, but I'm not whining here. Honest. You'd know if I was whining...) Anyway, I decided to post this because it really spoke to us...but really, more so to Tucker.

This past year has been an amazing one! Both wonderful things and awful things have happened. We've experienced immense happiness and incredible sadness. What's left in the calm moments, the valleys, like now, is just this: Joy and Pain. The joy is great, and the pain deep. We've learned (And what a lesson it was!) to embrace the pain and be open to learning amazing things from it.

Perry Noble addresses the pain part of it all...

*Nods* Yeah, that.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Zoo.


Tucker took Monday off for some much needed family time, and we put our zoo membership to good use! Much fun was had.



Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pumpkin Carving.



Rory does her very best "Mad Pumpkin" imitation.

Rock on.

Halloween.



We had a great time trick-or-treating with some friends last night!

Tate was a bit fussy, but it's perfectly understandable as to why. We stuffed him into a hot monkey suit and made him sit in a stroller while his sister got to run around and get fun food. But dang. He looked so cute!

Roar-y? She got the hang of the whole thing pretty quickly. Candy? Free candy? Buckets of it? Yeah. She's been asking all day if we can go again tonight!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Deeper.

So, sometimes I want to say some things. However, I can't always form the words right.

Like that.

Thankfully, people out there say what I'm thinking, and say it much better! And, well, probably a bit harsher than I would ever say it...but the basic idea is what I'm going for here. So yeah. Perry Noble has a great post today. Check it out.

I think when you're in the ministry, criticism comes hard and fast. Gracefully, so does encouragement. Tucker and I have been amazingly blessed to be surrounded by a group of strong and passionate encourager's. (Little do they know that Words of Affirmation is his love language!) I just wanted to thank those that love us, and keep us afloat. Those who push us to go deeper while we encourage the same in them. We couldn't do this without you...and we wouldn't want to.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Friday Night Fun.


On Friday night our church had their Ladies Retreat: "What Could Be Better Than Chocolate?". I have to say, I have never had more fun! (Okay, well, I have had more fun, but that was the most fun I've had in a really really long time.) If you know me, you know that I typically shy away from anything that involves lots of women and retreating. Or really, anything women's ministry like. I'm a bit shy, and really rely (in a not so healthy way...I know, I know) on my husband to make and sustain any and all conversations (What? He's good at talking...). So the very idea of being alone with women for a night with no children or husband as my buffer zone had me a bit nervous.

I was nervous about nothing. It was an amazing time! I got to know the women of our church better, I got to relax, and just for one night, forget about any issues going on in my life. (I'd also like to say that I finally got to sleep a whole night through, but that wouldn't be true. Going to bed at 3:30 and waking up at 7 does not a whole nights sleep make...) Honestly, it was the first chance I've had in a really long time to just be myself...and witness other ladies in our church do the same! I saw women let go of that whole Christian-y facade, and get real. We shared deep things, laughed a lot, and found true friends in each other. (Chocolate covered girlfriends...I still can't help but laugh when I say that. I know my table was distracting during the seminars. I am sorry. Truly. I really am. However, when someone tells you dig deep into your layer cake of friendship and find your chocolate covered girlfriend, how do you not laugh? When they make you hold hands and promise chocolate-y themed promises while looking into each others eyes, how do you not laugh?? No really. I'd like to know. Because I failed to master that this weekend.) I know that we somewhat broke the mold of what a womens retreat usually is and how the ladies should act on one. I know some people aren't crazy about that. But you know what? Nothing we did was out of line...in all things we had a good heart and a genuine desire to find new and strengthen old friendships. And it happened. I just think we all go about doing that in many different ways. This weekend, what we did worked for us! I've made at least one very good new friend. A person that I know will be in my life from here on out (And I'm praying for that hot husband and dance room for you, my breast friend. Seriously. I really am!). I've strengthened at least two other relationships and am so glad I had the chance to do that!

God answered a deep prayer for my life this weekend. I've been begging Him (Seriously. Pleading with Him.) for close girlfriends (I have some close friends here, but we've never really had the chance to strengthen and deepen those relationships). I've been asking Him for friends that I felt like I could be myself around, friends who would love me and support me and expect the same from me for them. He gave me that this weekend! So was it all worth it? Yup.

It was better than chocolate.

(Ha! I know! I just couldn't help it...)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Doodlebops.



We had a family from church invite us to go with them to see the Doodlebops in concert on Saturday. Rory loves the television show (Okay, okay. So do I. Probably as much as, if not more than, her...), so of course we said yes! The concert was fun, lunch was delicious, and it was an absolute joy to watch Rory enjoy the show.

We're so very grateful! Thank you Renson Family! We had a blast!

And just because it continues to make me laugh...the best picture of Rory and Tucker ever!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Walking.




Tate took two steps yesterday! Yay!


Disclaimer:
Tate is not walking in the above picture. I totally posed him for that shot simply so I could blog about this and have a picture. Yep. I'm cool like that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tea Time.


So, this morning Tucker and I sat at our table for a cup of tea (I know! We're totally reformed coffee drinkers! Those of you who knew us during our pre-tea days can be shocked and amazed that we kicked that little (HUGE) habit. We now drink the sweet and heavenly nectar that is Earl Grey...), and Rory decided to join us. You see, Tucker has decided to replace his TV time with God time (Be it Bible reading, prayer or family time). So instead of turning on the TV or jumping on the computer, we sat down and just enjoyed the early morning together.

We all sat around our tiny kitchen table, ate sticky buns, drank tea (Rory likes hers with much cream and sugar.) and talked. It was really nice...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Celtic Fest.

We spent Saturday down in Bethlehem at Celtic Fest. We caught the tail end of the parade (Which Rory loved), and spent some time walking around the city.

It was a fun day!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tate's tooth and a sold Miata.

Tate has a tooth! I am sorry to report that, even after much baby wrangling, I was unable to get a picture of this new tooth. Trust me. I tried.

Also, we sold the Miata on ebay! It went for quite a bit higher than we thought it would, which is, of course, wonderful! We're buying my parents' old car (a much more family friendly one) and all of the sale money is going towards that. The more we could give them from the Miata, the less we have to pay out of pocket. So, yay for selling above our projected price!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Beach Babies.



So, we spent Friday at the beach with some good friends, Paul, Aime and their three beautiful girls. Paul is the pastor at a church down in Bucks County, PA, and we've known them since our college days at PBU.


It was the first time Rory and Tate have been to the beach (We really did want to take them allll summer, but things kept coming up! Imagine that. Things coming up in our life! What? We live such a boring and calm one...). Also, it was free. Yup. We're cheap like that. We go after Labor Day.

It was a great day (And I was worried. I'm not much of a beach person, and had visions of sand everywhere (Which it was, but it wasn't as bad as I thought!), cranky kids, sunburns and extreme exhaustion. Wow. I'm a bit of a pessimist at times, huh?). We relaxed and had some good conversations, and the kids just loved it! Rory had a ton of fun, and Tate (Being the laid back kind of kid that he is...) was wonderful. He was happy in his pack and play, and even took a short nap. Rory made a good friend in Abby, our friend's middle daughter, who is also two. Aime and I spent time sitting in the sun with the babies (Which is where I confessed my not-so-much love for Beth Moore. Don't get me wrong. The woman has a gift for teaching, and I get a lot from her studies, but I just can't sit through her videos. I've tried. Really hard. Multiple times. And yet...no. And just so you don't think our only conversations were about church stuff and Bible study leaders...we also chatted about the kids and other fun and fascinating things! Pastor's wives really do talk about other things besides church stuff and their kids. Really.), and Tucker and Paul spent a lot of time reconnecting and talking. Oh. And Rory realized that sand throwing is much much fun, but also earns you some stern talking-to's from Dad...

I'm so glad we took the time to go down to Ocean Grove and have fun as a family. We don't do stuff like that often enough!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

He bites.



Tate's been teething like crazy lately (And yet, still no teeth. *sigh*). He's cranky, drooling, and seems to want to just sit on my lap all day. Poor guy.

However, nice, cold, dill pickles seem to work wonders! We saw the return of his smile!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

$1 Make-up.


I'm all over that.

Spend $20, type "Carolina" into the coupon box, and you get 50% off!

$5 shipping for everything.

Rock on.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Girl.



I love her!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Flowers.

Rory picked them, put them into the water, and is quite proud of them!

And I'm just feeling very loved because she did all of this just for me...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Camping over the weekend.

We spent a good part of the Labor Day weekend camping down by Cape May, NJ with some friends from church, Josh and Phyllis. We had a great time relaxing around the fire, talking, laughing, and sleeping in their huge trailer. Seriously. That thing slept seven us comfortably (Okay, okay. Two of those seven were small children, but still. Seven!), and has successfully ruined my husband and any of our future camping vacations. I'm afraid the man will never want to sleep in our (tiny) tent again! The definition of "roughing it" has been changed forever. Oh well. Guess we'll just have to keep barging in on Josh and Phyll's vacations...

So a HUGE "Thank You!!" to the Hendrie family. They entertained our children, fed us, housed us, and let us sleep in (Seriously. They could have just done that and ignored us for the rest of the weekend, and we would've loved them forever. We're easy to please like that. Oh. And we love our (severely lacking) sleep. If Josh and Phyll ever invite you to go camping. Say yes. Don't even think about it. Just go. Trust me. You will have an amazing time). We are so grateful to have friends like you!

Some pictures of the children enjoying a truely wonderful weekend!