Monday, December 7, 2009


I have had a hard time keeping this a secret, and now I can finally let the cat out of the bag. NO I AM NOT PREGNANT! Scared ya, didn't I?

Have you ever heard of these people?

Well, they are coming to the big metropolis of Gainesville. As if that is not exciting enough, guess who is doing all of the demolition of the old house and the dirt for the new one?

And, one more exciting detail: Guess who the licensed contractor is that will be pulling their very first permit for the demolition?

I am excited beyond words! If this doesn't make Daddy proud, I don't know what will! If you are interested in any of the "extreme" details, check out this website. There are still many ways you can help be a part of this event. There are food and blood drives and several other needs.

Stay tuned next week as the family and location are revealed. It is going to be AMAZING!!!

I am really proud that my dad and Uncle Brad decided to be a part of this event. The economy is TERRIBLE right now, but God has blessed us beyond measure, so it is a blessing to give back. We are just so excited about this opportunity to help someone in need, and be a part of such a great experience.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crowns and Poodles

This past weekend was AMAZING! Rob and I spent some much needed alone time Friday night. I surprised him and took him to see these people:

Casting Crowns is Rob's favorite group of all time. Their music was instrumental in helping him turn his life around. We have sung some of their songs in church together. Rob idolizes Mark Hill. They truly are an amazing group with an amazing ministry. Here is our picture with them after the show.
Rob is about to poop his pants right about now! We drove home from Brandon that night with our hearts full and our soul on fire!

Saturday morning, we took the kids to PetSmart to see all of the dogs. There were tons of dogs!!! They fell in love with each and every one of them. Cade has been asking for a dog for quite some time now. That is the only thing he has asked for Christmas. Convincing Daddy was the trick. We haven't had the best of luck with dogs, and Rob hasn't forgotten it. So finally he gave us some criteria that the dog had to meet. They were:
  • Had to be inside
  • No shedding
  • Not too expensive.
Well, if you know anything about non-shedding dogs, you know that a poodle or a doodle of some sort is the best bet. I had emailed about a poodle that was advertised in Ocala4Sale on Friday. They were giving it away. She emailed me back and said it was already gone, but she had a 2 year old if we were interested. She left a number for me to call. It didn't work. I emailed her back with my number, but never heard from her. Hence the trip to PetSmart. We left PetSmart, after 2 hours, empty-handed. Cade was upset.

We went to Publix and then home. I was getting ready for the game and company, when I get a phone call from the poodle lady. I was explaining to her why we were interested in a poodle. She told me she had a registered male, 2 years old, house-trained, and great with kids. When I asked her how much she was asking, God really blessed us with "If it is for your son, you can have it." WHAT! I couldn't believe it! (How is that for meeting Daddy's criteria!) Cade and I got in our car and took off down I75 to Ocala to get this sweet little guy:

Cade is the proudest little boy on the block! He spent the entire trip home telling "Blue" (he was already named) about his Daddy and Sister. It was really sweet:)

SaraGrace absolutely LOVES the PUPPY! I'm not so sure the puppy loves her so much. Take a look at his poor little face.

This weekend was filled with many blessings that I am so thankful for. We serve a MIGHTY GOD, and as we were told at the concert, we aren't here just to be here. We are here to make sure the "Whole World Hears" the story of Jesus. I hope my life can be an example by which those I come in contact with can know the story of the love of God.
The dog was just an added blessing, and I want to make sure the sweet poodle lady knows it!

God bless!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pee-Can or Pu-Con?

There is an age-old argument, here in the South, over the pronunciation of the infamous PECAN. Me personally, I say pee-can. Either way, these precious little nuts have made their way into our yard and into our kitchen. Actually, they have been in our yard for quite some time, but no one bothered to tell me that!

Rob and I were out in the back yard talking to the owners of the land behind us. Her parents used to live in our house. We started discussing the tree below.

It is in the corner of our backyard, and it's full of nuts! They were all over the ground, and a lot were still on the tree. Cade had a blast picking them up. But Rob had a great time picking on me as I did the following: (WARNING: Don't think I am sick. I actually enjoyed doing it!)

I was the raker. I raked all of the leaves off of the pecans so the boys and SaraGrace could gather the pecans. We gathered a 5 gallon bucket full, with tons still left to be picked.
Rob loves a good pecan pie, so I told him and Jon if they cracked 'em, I'd cook 'em. I called my Aunt Wilma (Wimmy) and got a recipe. Of course I only had 1/3 of the ingredients needed, so I drove to the local grocery store(20 minutes away) and gathered them up. By the time I got back, the boys had cracked and shelled just enough pecans for the pie.

Well, here it is. A promise delivered:

Now, I don't eat pecan pie, but I must say, it was pretty tasty! Rob and Jon sure enjoyed it. They enjoyed it so much, we cracked and shelled more to bake a pie for Bible Study that week. Cade has enjoyed picking up pecans everyday after school. If you have any great recipes that require some pecans, please pass them along!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Vaughn Costumes

Halloween is always a fun time for me as a mom. I have enjoyed coming up with fun, creative ideas for costumes. Cade's costumes have included a frog, Dennis the Menace, Spider Man, Jack Sparrow, Darth Vader and now Jengo Fett. SaraGrace has been a pumpkin and Strawberry Shortcake x 2.

Here they are at our church's Fall Festival. They had a great time.

If you know our family, you know we live for a good laugh. Rob wanted to dress up SOOOOOO bad. But he also wanted to go buy a $50 costume. Our dear friend, C J, was at our house Thursday night, and offered his assistance with coming up with Rob a costume. After many funny ideas, the perfect idea popped into C J's head. You see, when Cade was 3, he got this HUGE stuffed "Shampoo" from Sea World. It was the biggest one they sold. We have held onto that thing all of this time, and it finally came in handy. C J asked Rob if he had a wet suit. Of course he did. He is a scuba diver. Once C J shared his idea, Rob agreed. I will have to say, this was the funniest costume of the night. You don't get the full picture without all of Rob's sound effects and routines, but here he is.....

He is Shamu's trainer! I give him props for being a good sport!

Finally, A Halloween Post or Two.

October just flew by! I can't believe it is November. Only 23 more days until Black Friday and I am already making my lists. I'll save that for another post!

Last weekend, we had our October Sunday School Social ~ A Pumpkin Carving Contest! It was a blast, and we had some really neat pumpkins. This one was fun because it involved the kids. They painted pumpkins while we carved 'em.

Cade & Christian were "TOO COOL" to paint pumpkins. Instead, they just broke the rules and climbed on the playhouse. But it did make for a cute picture!

SaraGrace did a mighty fine job painting her pumpkin. Surprisingly, she got more paint on her pumpkin than on her shirt. She had a blast.

I signed up to bring a dessert, so I thought I would try out these cute little spider cupcakes. The kids, especially Cade, loved them!

Finally, Rob and I were slap out of creativity when it came to our pumpkin. We just didn't have it in us. So, here is our pumpkin, in typical Vaughn fashion!

We are so blessed to have such a wonderful group of people in our SS class. It took us a long time to start going, but we are so glad we did. Some of our BEST friends came out of this class, and we keep gaining more and more as our church family grows. If you don't currently attend a small group, I encourage you to do so. They can become such an amazing support group, as well as some great Christian friends. For the first time in our married lives, Rob and I have an ABUNDANCE of fine, Christian friends that we can have a great time with, and they help keep us accountable. If you don't have any ideas where to start, let me do my job as the "Welcome Wagon " and invite you to ours. We meet at First Baptist Church Alachua, every Sunday morning at 9:30 am. By the way, I am the official welcome wagon for our class. It is a "real" job:) Also, if you are interested, Rob and I host a weekly Bible Study at our home on Thursday nights. You can come, bring your kids, enjoy some dinner and fellowship, as well as some great discussion. Email me if you are interested.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Puppy Named "DUMB"

Wednesday night, all four of us were piled in our bed discussing Christmas wish lists. Cade told us that he really wants a puppy. Of course, SaraGrace chimed right in and said she wanted a puppy. Cade then told us we would have to get 2 because he wanted his own. So I asked SG what she would name her puppy.

Her response..."Dumb"

Rob and I couldn't keep a straight face because she was so serious. Then I asked Cade what he would name his puppy.

Before he could say anything, SG blurted out...."God."

So if we decide to get puppies, we may have to live with the names "Dumb and God." Can you imagine those conversations?

Kids say the darndest things. When I had my myspace account, I blogged regularly about Cade and all of the funny things he said. I called it "Wise Words of Cade". Starting next week, I will start sharing some of those here. They are sooooooooo funny! I will have to start one for SG as well. I look forward to sharing those hilarious stories.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Remember this post? I have always wanted to learn to make cakes and such. The problem is I am great at mustering up an idea, but the execution is not always up to par. I am learning by trial and error, so it is definitely a process.

This past week, three of my closest friends had birthdays. Amy, Kristen and Mindy had birthdays within 3 days of one another. As luck would have it, they were all coming to Gator Growl with me. I wanted to do something special for them, and I had just the perfect idea.....CAKE POPS! These are the cutest things ever, and you can make them into anything you can dream up. I decided to go with cupcake pops, because they are super cute.

The recipe is simple. Just use this recipe for cake balls, shape them however you would like them, add the stick and candy coating, and any additional details you would like.

Cake Balls: Pick a cake mix, any cake mix. I chose red velvet.
Bake as directed. Cool completely.
Crumble the cake into a bowl. Add one "can" of your icing of choice.
Mix really well. It is much easier to use your hands instead of a spoon.
Roll into quarter size balls and place on a cookie sheet. (You may choose to refrigerate before doing this.)
Once rolled, chill in freezer for 20 minutes.
Melt candy coating and dip until your little heart is content!
Very EASY!

This was my finished product:

I made one can for each of them. Now I am trying to come up with some for the Florida/Georgia game. Oh the ideas I have!

As if these weren't ambitious enough, I made a cake for Kristen for her birthday get-together. I have the best friends. They always let me try out something new on them. This cake was my first attempt at homemade buttercream icing. Everything else I have done has been with fondant.

She is an AVID Seminole fan, so I made her a Seminole Spear cake. The design was hand-carved from my homemade pound cake recipe. I then made and colored the icing. Spreading the icing was an entirely different beast than fondant. IT IS A PAIN!!! And I am way too much of a perfectionist. it is.

She LOVED it so that is what counts. And I gained some much needed experience for my next project.

The biggest problem I have is that I have no tools that are common to baking and decorating cakes. If I ever make a business out of it, I should name it "Primitive Creations" because I do things the hard way....PRIMITIVE! I have asked for some tools for Christmas so we will see if Santa delivers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Victory in Pictures

It is great to be a Florida Gator, even if we did almost lose to the Razorbacks!

Cade & SaraGrace were dressed up for this game, so I thought I would attempt to get a picture of them for a Christmas card. That did NOT happen. I guess when you turn 6, you are WAY TOO COOL to be seen with your sister. Here are a couple that I took anyway!

Rob and I very rarely get a picture with just the two of us.

Finally, the best picture of the night goes to none other than.....

It was close one, but we got our money's worth!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Little Miss Independent

We went to visit some friends Monday night. As we were walking out the door, I told SaraGrace to get her shoes on and "Let's Go!" This is what she came out with.

If the non-matching shoes aren't enough, check out that pink one. It's a wrong-footer!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Geaux Gators!

This past weekend, Rob and I got to take a road trip to go see the Gators whoop up on LSU. We had a really good time spending time with friends and family. We stayed with the Windhams in Laurel, MS. They were the most gracious hosts! True Southern Hospitality!

We left Laurel around lunch time Saturday to head to Baton Rouge. It was a 3.5 hour trip, that was interrupted midway with a trip to Longhorn Steak House. We knew we better get a good meal, because it would be stadium food the rest of the day. The boys found Bass Pro, Gander Mountain and Cabelas along the way, but unfortunately for them, the Hunting Gods were not on their side. We didn't have enough time to stop and shop....YES!

We made it to the stadium with plenty of time to spare. We walked around and checked out the sights. And let me tell you, there were some sights! There was an abundance of trash talking all the way from the parking area to the stadium. They would not let up!

We got into the stadium and Rob and I met up with my parents. We had great seats, that were so great, they sold 3 tickets for every seat available! Needless to say, we stood the entire game.

Here is the view from our seats. That was one loud place. That is until we started beating them, and then......SILENCE!

Winning made the game even more fun! I have to tell you that the walk back to the car was the most peaceful stroll down the streets of Baton Rouge. Where were all of those trash talkers? We made it out very quickly, thanks to the witty mind of Elio. He came up with a strategy to get us the heck out of there. I think it was because he was so excited about his first ever trip to Waffle House.

We made it home Sunday night, after MANY hours in the car. But we had a great time and really enjoyed the company.

Now......Go Gators! Beat the Hogs!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This little life of mine.....starring?

It has become very apparent in the last few months that I have far too many distractions in my life. Things that distract me from following God's will for my life. Things that distract me from being the best wife, mother, sister, friend that I am called to be. Things that can get in the way of my testimony. Things that Satan tries to use to tear down all that God has built up. It has really affected my ability to let His light shine through me. As the old saying goes, you become what is most important to you. Boy....that's a tough one to chew on, because lately, my focus has not been on furthering the Kingdom of God. I have spent most of my energy focusing on my own problems, which are, of course, created by me!

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3: 1-4

In my every day life, I spend entirely too much time on facebook, Perez Hilton (don't judge...ha), and many other things that mean nothing in this world. If I used the same amount of time to read my Bible, pray for others, encourage others, forgive others, or just looking for opportunities for my life to be a testimony, what kind of witness would I be? It wouldn't make me perfect, but it would make me stronger. I would be closer to being what God has called me to be.

Satan has really been at work! He just kicks you when you're down. He uses the very things you treasure the most to hit you where it counts. Things like spouses, children, families, friends and jobs . These are all blessings we should be so thankful for. He puts doubts in your mind that allow you to fall into his trap. And boy have I fallen!

The good news is that God is waiting there to catch me. He picks me back up, wipes off the "boo boo's" and sets me back on my feet, while encouraging me to keep seeking Him. This song, by Selah, talks about places where grace is. Each and every thing in our life that brings us to our knees, including our own setbacks and failures, will not be unredeemed if you bring them to the cross.

When we get so busy with all of the things of this earth, we tend to lose sight of our true purpose here. We get all worked up, out of sorts and stressed out. But it's all in vain. God has already written this script. He knows how it all turns out. It is up to each of us to live up to the role He has chosen for us. We have to remember that God is the lead character, as this story is about Him, not about us. However, He doesn't want us to be just an "extra". He wants us to be a supporting actor, doing our best to put Him in the best light we can.

What role have you taken on in your life? What role have you given Jesus? His story has a much happier ending than our own. My encouragement for you today is to ask Him to take the lead. Offer yourselves as a supporting role, doing everything He has called you to do. Keep your focus on things above, not on the things of this earth.

In an effort to help me keep my focus, and to be held accountable, I will be deleting my facebook account as soon as someone can tell me how to save all of my pictures. So, if you have any idea of how to do this, your help is greatly appreciated.

To ALL of my friends, I love each and everyone of you for who you are and what you mean to me. I want to apologize to each one of you for letting this world, and Satan, get the best of me. My life has been greatly blessed by you, in many different ways.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall, Football, Costumes and All

This is one of my favorite times of the year (other than Christmas.) So much is going on, but it is all so much fun! I did finally buy some scarecrows and pumpkins, but I need to get some hay and some mums for my "display" out by our gate. Maybe I can do that tonight. Or better yet, maybe I can talk Beas into chipping in on the mums, and we can put the display between our two houses. Sounds like a win-win situation to me:) Mom got crafty this weekend and got her fall decorating done.

She took pictures of the kids on Sunday.

She had spent all weekend working on this and also planted some new flowers down her walkway. After she had it all done, SaraGrace comes to her bringing her a of the newly planted ones she had dug up. It was very cute! At least I thought it was:)

We have also been busy with football. Both Gator & Raider football! Cade is loving life as a "stinkin' blocker" on the line. He really wants to run the ball, but he and Daddy are working on that. He has done a great job! He always has to block someone way bigger than him, but he never backs down. I think he gets that from his Momma!!!

Here is Coach Daddy and Cade running through the banner. Cade is # 80.

Cade in the huddle.

Just for is a picture of Cade with his biggest teammate. Cade is the smallest of the bunch.

And here he is after a game, giving the other team a "good game."

But you gotta give it to him....the kid's got HEART! He's our little "RUDY!"

Last week, we went to Kentucky, and had a wonderful time watching our boys beat up on those Cats. I have to tell you, I love me some Tebow. I love everything he stands for. He is just amazing! I love it that Cade thinks he's just the greatest thing ever. He is always drawing pictures to give to Tim. Last week, while we were sitting at the game, he drew Tim a picture in the middle of the program book. I will be giving that to Mr. Don Mauldin to give to Tebow.
We did manage to get a picture of the three of us. SG stayed behind with some very dear friends, the Del Valle's. Here is our family minus SG.

Talk about a long day...we went from Raider to Gator in just 3 hours. That's why we look like we are whipped. I was up at 5:30 that morning to get us all ready for the day.

I did finally order Cade's costume today. This is a huge deal because I normally am running ragged trying to get it together at the last minute. He wants to be Jengo Fett from Star Wars. What happened to all of the cute little costumes? I guess those days are over for him. This is his costume.

Not only am I on time, I got one heck of a deal! Costume Express was the only place I could find the deluxe version (not the jumpsuit kind that looks like it was painted on). It was $59.99, then you had to buy the jet pack and gun. With shipping it was over $90. We are in a RECESSION people! That was ridiculous. I had two different coupons that would have made it around $60, but wouldn't you know it, you can't use both. So I did what every deal searching mom would do....I got on ebay. I got this costume, with the jet pack and shipping for $29.99! That is a STEAL! It should be here by Thursday. He will be excited.

SaraGrace is going to be Strawberry Shortcake....again! My dear friend, Mindy, made this AMAZING costume for us last year. And 1 year later, it still fits! SG got sick last year so she only got to wear it for a few minutes. I cannot let a perfectly AWESOME costume go to waste!

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street

Ticket to Sesame Street Live ~ $14 (well, actually it was free because Gamma bought the tickets.)

Stuffed Zoey and Program Book ~ $23

SaraGrace's reaction to seeing Elmo in the flesh (if you consider a costume flesh)


Friday, September 4, 2009

Let's Play Catch....up.

Just a warning~ This is a long post with a lot of pictures, and it is very RANDOM! But, I have to catch up on everything from the last few months..HA!

As you can see, I have updated this blog to be a little "fally!" I love fall, and am hoping I can get Rob to help me get some scarecrows and hay out shortly to decorate. But I'm not holding my breath!

I will start with cakes. I have always wanted to make my children's birthday cakes. It looks pretty easy, right? Not exactly. I have tried for 6 years to make Cade's cake, and always had to call Publix at the last minute. So this year I decided to attempt SaraGrace's cake. I got really lucky, because one of the greatest friends in the world had a birthday. I told her I would make her cake as a practice run. Her name is Christy, more lovingly known as "Eestie". Here is what I came up with.

The image quality isn't that great, because it was taken from my phone, and then saved from facebook. But, I thought it turned out pretty good, for a first attempt at fondant. But, this was a deception. After days of working on SaraGrace's ""Under the Sea" cake, this was the final product.
There are better pictures on my facebook. It wasn't exactly how I had pictured it. And to make it worse, my pound cakes kept falling. The small white layer was one half rice krispy treat and one half brownie. The octopus was also rice krispy treat. That is all I had left in my pantry after my 4th pound cake was a dud:( But, when SaraGrace finally saw it, her expression was worth it all. "Mommy, Aeial (Ariel) is on my cake. I love it!" Needless to say, I think I will try to make every birthday cake for both of my children from now on. Cade, can you tell me what you want for next year so I can start now? Maybe I'll have it done in time:)

Once all of the birthday festivities were over, it was time for Cade to start tackle football. That's right, full on tackle football. He has waited 6 years to be able to take someone out and not get in trouble. Here is a picture of him all fitted up in his new pads and helmet.

The minimum weight requirement was 35 pounds. When we started he weighed 35 pounds, but at his official weigh-in, on Saturday, we were up to a Cade Record Weight- 38 pounds! Folks, that is a huge deal for this little fella. He has 75 pounders on his team! He had his jamboree last Saturday, and Jah has the pictures. I need to get them and post them. Cade has his first real game this Saturday at 8:00 am. It is really neat. He sports the same number as his daddy did....the big #80!

I am really proud of Cade. Since starting first grade, his reading and writing have been AMAZING! It seems like I have a different child from just a few months ago. He is doing really well!!!!! Just like his Momma:)

Now, on to Costa Rica trip # 2. This trip was really amazing for our team of guys. They were able to finish everything they had set out to do. It took them until the final minute, but they did it. No, GOD did it! The church is complete with a roof, new lighting, new fans and a new electrical system. The people there were so thankful for all that was done. To show their appreciation, they got up at 2am one morning to practice a "dark show" which is like a black light show. It was a surprise to the guys, so they had to do it when it was dark, and when no one would see them practice. Now that is dedication! Rob said the show was AMAZING!

Going into this trip, we had really been praying that God would give us direction as to where we were supposed to go to follow the calling He had laid upon our heart. It seemed like everything was pointing toward Colombia. We were both really excited about it, but while Rob was in Costa Rica, that door was shut. While we wanted to be really disappointed, we were thankful that it happened before we got all the way over there. We were even more thankful that God was faithful in providing the direction we were asking for. Please be praying for us as we seek His will for the next step in our lives.

In blog land, we tend to hear a lot of sad stories, but we can always see how God used them to share His love with others. But, I know of a really happy one, too! One of my friends, Mandi, has an amazing story of God's faithfulness to us when we just trust Him. After a long road of trying to become parents, their adoption was final on Wednesday. Please jump on over and read their story. It will bless your heart.

Also, some of our very best friends, the Volpes, just welcomed their son into the world last Thursday. Go visit them so you can see sweet Ryker!

Sorry this post is so long, but I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Costa Rica....TAKE TWO!

As the mission team left this morning, at 5:30 am I might add, I couldn't help but be a little jealous that I wasn't going. But I know it will be good for them to get some much-needed guy time. God has shown his power throughout the entire planning process of this trip. They raised almost all of the required finances they would need for materials and travel, even in this bad economy! Praise God!

Please pray for the team as they will be working to finish the roof of the church, as well as install all of the electrical stuff they need. Rob is kind of in charge of that department, and let's face it.....the Costa Rican village of Abangaritos is no OSHA sponsored safe haven:( I know he will be fine, but electricity scares me to death!!! Also pray for the local people there. I know they were excited to find out the American's were coming back. They have a lot of healing and forgiving to do amongst themselves, and the boys were bringing them messages from His word that dealt with those issues.

Some specific prayer requests for today would be:
  • rest from a long day of travel
  • unity among the group that they may best utilize their gifts and talents
  • preparation of their minds and hearts as they seek what God would have them do this week
  • This is definitely a selfish one - the families they leave behind to carry on the daily tasks of raising a family, bringing home the bacon and everything else us wonder women do:)
With love,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Costa Rica....a month later

Wow....It has been WAY TOO LONG since I have updated this blog. I am actually a little embarrassed:( I have to warn you that this is going to be a long post, because I have a lot to tell!

Costa Rica

As most of you know, Rob and I spent a week in Abangaritos, Costa Rica, doing a mission for a church there. It was an amazing week, and God showed us so many things while we were there. Below are some pictures, with captions of course.

Saturday: We started our day by waking up at 3:30 AM. Yep. that's right, AM! You know I am not a morning person, but I was up with a cheerful heart, anxious to see what God had in store. By the time we had landed, waited on our transportation, and survived the first 30 minutes of our 3 hour drive to our village, I was wiped out. I don't know why everyone thinks it is so funny to get a picture of me sleeping on every trip I take, but I'm glad Casey didn't break the tradition.

Speaking of transportation: There was not enough room in the mission vehicle for all of us, so we rode in the trailer all week. Edgar had so much fun speeding through all of the mud puddles all week. We could always see him laughing in the mirror:)

The church had services several times while we were there, and we participated in all of them. This is the Father's Day service. Notice all of the men up front...Normally, men sit on one side of the church, and women on the other. We introduced them to the good ol' southern meet-n-greet during a fellowship song. They LOVED it!

Rob had the opportunity to use his electrical knowledge to help the "contractor" install some new electricity. Here at home, we take it for granted the resources we have. This is Rob looking absolutely thrilled about this electrical gadget. He had a good time with all of that business:)

The first couple of days were really draining for me and Rob. When we were in Nicaragua last year, our only focus was evangelism. We had never done it before, but we spent seven days doing only that. We had the same expectations for this trip. But it was not the focus of this trip. I really struggled with the fact that we were not getting to spend time talking and witnessing to the people there. I have never felt something so strongly telling me I was not doing what I was supposed to. We talked about it with a couple of people and prayed that God would give us the opportunity to reach out to the community. We thought it would be great if we could go out, and recruit some men to come help with the construction, and witness to them while they were there.
The next morning, Edgar told us that we needed a minimum of 15 men to get the trusses lifted for the roof. We only had 5 on our team, plus another 3 from the church that had been helping. Some of those 3 had to work that day, so he thought we could go into the community and see about getting some to come help. Is that a GOD thing, or what? He had no idea we had prayed that exact prayer the night before. God is AWESOME! The guys went out to the bar, and there they found Liver, who was extremely drunk, but God can use drunks too! They also found several more. When it got time to lift the trusses, we had 15 (that's right, 15) men there ready to go. Some of the men had to come and go during the day, but we were never less than 15 strong. At the end of the day we even had 20! Liver never left our side. When the construction crew quit for the day, he came and helped with children and youth. He even took our recorder class. At the end of the week, he made the decision to accept Christ. What a BLESSING!

Once the red beams, pictured below, had been painted all of 60 times each, they were finally ready to be hoisted in the air as trusses.
We had children's programs every day we were there. They made crafts, played games and learned about Jesus. They got loads of candy and toys, and followed us everywhere we went. After the children's programs, we had youth programs for the teenagers.

This young couple, Goudy and her husband, had quit coming to church. Pastora Belen had requested that we go and visit with her. We got to her house, and she broke down, telling us of all the trials she was facing in her marriage. Her husband drank all the time, she had 3 little ones to take care of, and her husband had gotten very mean to her. I was able to share mine and Rob's story. She really opened up once I shared what God had brought us through. I had asked if her husband was local. I was thinking Rob could come talk to him. He happened to be there at the house (Another GOD THING!) I ran up the road and got Rob. He spent a lot of time talking to him, and sharing his testimony about his drinking, and the problems it caused. Rob was able to spend the rest of the afternoon with him, helping him dig trenches to relieve the flooding at their house. I really feel like this was our divine appointment for the week. It helped remind me that God brings you through the rough times, to share them with others to glorify HIM. It makes the long journey worth it.

Sweet Little Daisy! She followed us around all week. Isn't she the cutest little thing?

After I had some time to reflect on the trip, and the mixed emotions I had about it, I realized that God was showing me that my plan is never perfect. What I have in mind, isn't what He has in mind. I must pray and ask for direction and wisdom, not head down a path that I think it should be. God was able to use us all in different ways, and show us time and time again that HE answers prayer!

The roof didn't quite get finished, but our guys are headed back in a couple of weeks to finish it, and do all of the electrical work. We are excited to see how God will use them the second time around. Then we're off to COLOMBIA in October. Please be praying for both of these mission opportunities, as we seek what God has planned for us.

I will update tomorrow with the rest of the Vaughn adventures. Have a great day!