MATTHEW 25:40- AND THE KING SHALL ANSWER AND SAY UNTO THEM, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Time....

 I recently came to my blog to look for some pictures from a few years ago and noticed that my last post was in December. :O I was surprised. It didn't seem THAT long ago....

Life has a way of bringing changes and our priorities sometimes change as well.

But one thing I enjoy is being able to look back on my blog, as a sort of journal! Not making this a priority now will result in less memories later. Sure I have my pictures on my computer, but it would not be as easy for me to remember the details. Seeing how many months I missed, made me realize that I need to make this blog a priority again.
So just to bring us up to date a bit, I'll share some pics from earlier this month...

The beginning of July, we took a trip to PA for my nephew Neil's wedding...


We got to spend a week with family and friends and had a great time and made lots of memories. I would love to add more pictures, but loading them is making my computer freeze! :(


We had planned to designate 2 days on the way home to traveling and a little family time. After leaving Dad's on Monday morning, July 11th, we drove through Skyline Drive! It was so beautiful!! We drove about 65 of the 109 mile length. We may have went farther, but the brakes on the van were having trouble getting hot if we used them too much.

Here are just a few of the pics we took along Skyline Drive!!

A busy bee collecting pollen....



You know how, when you look back at photo albums when you were a little child and you remember that "old" vehicle that your family had. Well, I decided to take a picture of "Sally", so years down the road our kids can show their kids....."this is what we drove way back then" and the kids can gross out over it! :) :) Haha!!

Sally has been in our family now for 9 years and we are coming close to putting 200,000 miles on her! She turned over 230,000 on this trip!! :O She has been good to us and we hope she survives for awhile yet! :)


Isn't this gorgeous???



We stopped to stretch our legs and enjoy some delectable doughnuts from Dutchway Farm Market!! :)



Of course, we always have to take that one C*R*A*Z*Y one!!! :)




Instead of getting a motel that night, we went onto a website we had recently heard about, Airbnb and found a cute little cabin in Southern VA to rent for one night. It cost us the same as an average motel would have, but it was a unique experience in a cute, well stocked cabin! 

As we were getting near, I was reading the direction to Dan off the email confirmation he had got from the owner. As I was telling him where to turn next, I scanned the rest of the directions and at the very bottom it said something like WARNING: You will be required to drive through a small stream to get to the cabin!! :O I about panicked!! ;) We have a hitch receiver on our van that is really low and it's so easy to scrape with just a small bump! I was a little nervous, but my Mr. Steady convinced me we would be ok! ;) We did scrape a little, but it wasn't bad! And the stream wasn't quite as big as I imagined! :)


We loved the cabin and I wished we had been able to stay there a week!! Sounds like the pure relaxation Dan and I could use! :) Maybe we'll be back one day!??




Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Good Samaritan Ministry "Points Of Light"

On Tuesday, Dec. 8th, Dan was invited to have a table at Good Samaritan Network's Points of Light Celebration/Expo.

The display was advertising the work that is being done at Gadsden ReEntry, where Dan works.
They are always in need of volunteers and mentors for the guys, who have 3 years or less left on their prison sentence! And all the inmates being released from GRC will be released in the panhandle, many in our communities! We want them to come back with the tools and resources to live a successful life and even more important, that they will know the love of God!!
 It was eye opening and so encouraging to me how many ministries there are in the Tallahassee area that are focused on helping former inmates or those with addictions, to succeed!!

Dan with his table of information about GRC.


Dan was so thrilled to have two of the men who he served at Gadsden Reentry, show up! It's so rewarding to him to see guys who are being successful on the "outside"!! :)



The kids waiting for the program to start! :)

 Kenny Munds, a former drug addict, was the entertainment before the program started! :)
Click on his name for the link to read about his ministry, if you have the time!


 Glenn & Beth Burns, founders of GSN, sharing!
What a blessing they have been to so many people! I don't even know them well, but from things that were shared that night, I know that they are very selfless, giving people who love the Lord and people!!




 Glenn and some of the banquet team leaders, read off short testimonies from different vendors, and then those vendors came forward holding a flashlight. They were the "Points of Light" that were recognized for their work in the community!

The 3 young men, center right in the picture below, went to Walmart and paid for people's groceries! What a blessing they were to so many!  It may seem like a small thing, but the impact can be life changing for people who are struggling!

The man in the wheelchair on the right, beside Dan.....well, here's his story....

This is Issac, a program participant of the Good Samaritan Network.
Two weeks ago he was about to be released from prison as a partially paralyzed, 60 something
 year old ex-felon with no where to live. With no support and no hope he had saved up his meds and his plan was to take his own life as soon as he was released.
Because of the grace of God and a few caring people at the Florida Department of Corrections, our local Circuit Director of Parole and Probation and a community of people in the Tallahassee area, today Issac was one of those giving praise and testimony (and playing a pretty mean keyboard, for a man who could barely move his left hand two weeks ago) at our 1st Sunday Woodville Outreach.
"All Glory be to God"!!!!



It's just so exciting and encouraging meeting all these people, from all walks of life, who have a heart for the hurting in the Tallahassee community! 

I don't know where God is leading our family, but it looks like ministering to those who are incarcerated and those who have been released is going to continue.....and we pray that it will continue in mighty ways!! We are His vessels for His service to spread His love and Hope!! :)

As Glen Burns said "Where God guides, He provides"! We are trusting Him for that!




After the event, we stopped at Krispy Kreme for some "Hot Now" donuts! :)




The lady was so kind and piled our box with more than a dozen donuts!! :) More like a dozen and a half!! And they were GOOD!! :)


Prison Ministry and Company!

In my previous post I said we had less then 24 hours after we got home from Thanksgiving vacation to prepare for company!

So, Tuesday afternoon, our old friends from PA, Trulan and Darlene Martin and their 8 kids (and nanny, Krista) came. They came to participate in the Gospel Express Prison Crusade here in North Florida. Trulan and Darlene and their 3 oldest girls were one of the singing teams!
Normally, the people who come stay in motels in Marianna, but since Trulan's were bringing all their kids, they asked if they could stay at our house so the children would not have to be cooped up in a motel all week/weekend!
 After some searching, we found two people who let us borrow their campers so we would have sleeping space for 11 extra people!! :)

They arrived Tuesday afternoon, in time for supper. We were able to sit and visit and get caught up on the past 4 years since we last saw them! Well, I say Darlene once in that time, during a brief visit to PA! :)

The last time they were here, in 2011, Mitchell (on the left) was a baby. Since then, they had twins who are now 2, and they just had a baby in August!

Mitchell and Aubrey

Selfie with Aubrey! :)


Wednesday evening was the Crusade Orientation at our church. I took a few pics for ministry purposes.....
People came from all over the US and from Canada to participate in taking the gospel to the North FL prisons!!



After supper, they had orientation and a worship service!


The rest of my week was filled with babysitting! :)
It was very different having 5 little lively kids in our house all day for 5 whole days!! 

Mitchell (4), Laurie (8), Zachary & Aubrey (2) and Tamara :)


Krista, their nanny, did a great job of keeping the 4 older ones entertained. I got the job of caring for Gabriel, their 3 month old. He was a pleasant baby and it wasn't hard to get him down for naps! :)

Don't let the poochy lip fool you! He loved me! :) :) :)




Mitchell was a good Uno player! "Just one more game" he'd say! :)


"Let's take a picture", when he'd see my tablet. :) So we took some "selfies"! :)


In the midst of all this (On Thursday, Dec. 3) Danny had a birthday! My little boy turned 17!!

We were not able to properly celebrate his day since Dan was gone ALL day and Danny ended up hanging out with friends in the evening. He wasn't even home to eat his birthday {jello} cake!!
 (He got some later)

We got him a tool set and a creeper (not pictured) for working on cars!
Mechanics is his passion and he can hardly wait to start at Chipola next year! :) 


Friday night, we invited another couple over for the evening, Jason & Kary Martin, who were part of Good News when Dan sang with them. They also lived in PA, but have since moved to OH.
They also brought some friends along. We had about 30 people here for a campfire and of course they broke out the instruments! At one point, our porch was packed FULL of people pickin' and singing!! :) Glad the porch held them all! :)


The ladies did some visiting inside! :)


Saturday evening we all went to the Blountstown Christmas parade....


Danny Ryals Christmas Bus!!
The parade wouldn't be the same without it! :)


From there, we took 3 of the older girls with us to the Pioneer Settlement Christmas event!

Found Brooklyn & Courtney Falb warming themselves by the fire in the Yon House! :)


My friend, June Clemmons, was giving tours of the Yon House!


Our church sings Christmas carols on the porch of the Yon House every year.
We were waiting for others to show up....

Laurie, Tamara, Sarah and Callie




We ate some of Ms. Lawanna's cracklin bread and stew and I had to get a picture with her to send to our friend Jill Smith, who moved to IN. We both miss her!!


The girls listened to a story read by Ms. Amy! :) She is an enthusiastic reader, by the way! :)


Sunday morning snack time. I stayed home from church with Krista and the 5 youngest children while Trulan's shared in the last prison program for the weekend!


Trulan's spent the afternoon and early evening at the beach. 

These two! Cute, nixy, and intense, in all they do! :) :)


Playing with a birthday or Christmas gift we gave Danny when he was 1!! 16 years ago..... :O


Mitchell had a long day and couldn't make it to the bed! :)


Our company left Monday morning!
I so enjoyed visiting with them, but was equally ready to get back to our normal routine and quiet house after being with people almost 2 weeks straight!! :)

So thankful for good friends and memories made!!