Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas with the Turner five....

Although we cut Kaitlyn's head out of the picture, this is when the kids read that they were getting a Wii. JT already had it set up and was ready for some serious playtime!

JT and Jett learning how to play the Wii.

Madison got something pink...of course!

Seriously, Kaitlyn wanted duct tape and a Swiss army knife - she was a happy young lady!

I got something I've always wanted....a paper towel holder that is automatic...I love it!

Christmas 2008 was a joyous time for all of us. Here are some pictures to show the love.....We tried to spread out the presents so that Jett would not be overwhelmed. So, we had sibling gifts one day (two children go together to buy the other sibling a gift), then Mommy and Daddy gifts (only three), and then Christmas morning stockings and a family surprise. This year, we bought a Wii for the family....it has been a ton of fun for all of us (as well as a workout)! We are so grateful to be home with all of our children this year to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas in the Desert....

Sorting gifts in the mission house in Sells, Arizona.
Sheryl and Cheryl Miller in the Miller's house (their first house ever)!

JT and Mike outside of his home.

Kaitlyn, Jai Rose, Madison, Sheryl, Pauletta, Heather and Julie
delivering presents at Pauletta's home.

Jenson Juan enjoyed handing out gifts to people!

In November our friends Clyde and Jackie Adams suggested that some past mission trip participants sponsor some of our Tohono O'odham friends in Arizona. We thought it was a great idea and pitched it to our friends who had been to Arizona this past year. At first we thought we would be able to sponsor 2-3 families. Little did we know....

By the time the invitation went out, we had several families sponsored and more. As our garage became the holding bay for gifts, we were overhwhelmed with the generosity of so many people. We were able to help almost 150 people with Christmas gifts! Isn't God amazing!
Here are some of the highlights of our trip:
  • Walking into the mission house to see over 20 boxes delivered via UPS the Friday before (this was quite a miracle in and of itself)!
  • Seeing the look on K and Nessa's faces when we showed them a pile of gifts. K told us that in the past, he had never opened presents on Christmas Day. He has served time in prison and his highlight was the kind of ham that would be served that day. Their faces were like little kids...they could hardly wait to open the presents. But, they waited except for one gift for Kayla and one gift for them....they got new sheets and were SO excited to use them. When we went to visit them the next day, the sheets were already on the bed!
  • The nursing home residents were thrilled with the blankets. Kaitlyn, Madison and Jai Rose went from room to room with our friends Julie and Cheryl to hand out blankets. We had 65 blankets (2 more than we needed for all the residents)!
  • We gave Mike Ramon his gifts (from Lisa C) and then saw him for dinner just a couple of hours later. He said "we are not promised tomorrow, so I opened all the gifts!" He had on his new jacket and was carrying his new Bible. He was beside himself with happiness!
  • Josie and her family just watched us with jaws dropped as we continued to bring in gifts for the whole family. The microwave (thanks Johnny and MaryLee) was a HUGE hit, and it had to be opened immediately! They were all so grateful and surprised!
  • Pastor Jay was thrilled with all of the stockings from our Georgia friends! With your help, 50 kids will receive a full stocking for the first time...what a great way to show Christ to the nations!
  • Julie Emerson helped us to deliver presents only to be the recipients of gifts herself. She was completely overwhelmed and thankful to everyone who participated in helping her. You provided gifts for a family that would not have otherwise had anything!
  • Pastor Jay had just finished telling us a story about Pauletta from a couple of weeks ago. She walked home from church and fell going up a hill. She couldn't get up and spent almost 8 hours lying on the hill by herself. Finally, her son found her, and she was okay....what a reminder of how frail life is sometimes. We surprised her at home with gifts that made her face light up....pure joy!
  • Cheryl Miller will be spending her first Christmas in a home! She and her children already put up a tree with homemade decorations (so creative)! We were able to fill the base of the tree with gifts for their family. They were so thankful and excited!
  • Matt Hall, the police officer who works closely with us, was also surprised to be the recipient of gifts....probably his first gifts from a believer...what a seed was planted. We may never know the eternal results.
  • Jay and Donna were shocked to find out that someone had sent gifts for them. They were thrilled and overhwhelmed by the kindness!

May the name of the Lord be lifted up and glorified through this ministry. May His name be praised and exalted by the nations!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Year Ago Today!

December 2008
Decenber 2007

A year ago today, I was sitting in the Galleria mall with my girls eating lunch. During lunch, I checked my email, and we got our pink slip to Guatemala. Although it was not before Christmas.....it made my heart leap to know our son was FINALLY COMING HOME! We had waited almost 2 years to have him here. What an exciting day.....now, he is here. He is home. He is safe. He is fed. He is loved. He is cared for. He is forever.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kailtyn's Birthday

It's hard to believe that 12 years ago tomorrow, our oldest daughter was born in Anniston, Alabama. She was almost a month early, but we rejoiced with her arrival. What a joy she has been to our life.

Kaitlyn has a heart for the world. She is into anything "Chinese" right now and of course, she loves Chinese food. Since we spent 2 months in China in 2004, she has had a heart for the country of China. I pray that God will use her to reach Chinese people one day! She made sure that her birthday cake was in Chinese colors (red and black) and used Chinese characters to spell Fun on her cake.
Kaitlyn loves to read (and is often heard running into walls while she is walking because she has a book in her hands), play the piano (and can pick out any song after hearing it just once), design outfits, magazines, etc. and loves being the oldest sister (with all of its advantages and disadvantages). I have to add a sidenote to the reading part of this...when I went to her bathroom this morning, there were 4 books that she is currently reading in there....2 American Girl books about Kirsten, a book on the life of Benjamin Franklin, and Fox's Book of Maryrs.....what a selection! She has truly been a delight in our life. As she is growing up, things are changing.....we look forward to the young woman God intends for her to be!