Monday, September 29, 2008


This weekend we had a cookout at the Tardy's house (the house where we have our small group). For the kiddos, there was a giant inflatable slide in the yard. There is an apartment complex down the street from our small group; this summer there was a backyard Bible club for the kids from the apartment complex, and they have continued coming to the children's small group that is in conjunction with our small group until recently. I was able to get some fun face shots of the beautiful children this Saturday. First of all, here's Andy: the official Redeemer Church Griller. Well, it hasn't been made unofficial yet, but every stinkin' time our church has grilled out (literally), Andy has somehow ended up grilling. It's probably because he's so good at it! This is Betsy Tardy. Someday I want to be half as cool as she is. The Tardy's are near and dear to my heart. They eminate love for Jesus, and they're extra cool because of they have 12 children. And they're not weird. And 3 of the 12 are adopted. And 2 of the 12 have down syndrome. And 1 of the 2 with down syndrome was adopted. I love all of them (well I love the 9 kids I've met and the parents and the dog, and I'd probably love the others if I met them). Seriously, every time I'm around Betsy Tardy I'm encouraged to love Jesus more.This is Jolie Tardy.

And Emily Tardy (check out her pose - it's awesome).

And Kaci Tardy.
And Caleb Tardy. And Sophie Tardy. Ok, now here are some of the kiddos from the apartment complex and from our church. Look at those beautiful faces!!! And this little guy's name is Zee. He told me he didn't want to go down the slide alone but if I went down with him, he'd go. Needless to say, he loved it!
This is my namesake: Jolissa. When I was in first or second grade I wanted my name to be Jolissa. Now Andy and I have decided that if we biologically have black children (which is genetically possible), that if it's a girl she will be named Jolissa, and if it's a boy, he'll be T'Andrew.
And here is Heather, our children's coordinator at Redeemer. This is a real live shot of Heather as you would normally see her: with babies in her arms.

I just love how faces are all so different and beautiful!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Christianity in Somalia

Monday night in Perspectives I heard a mind-boggling statistic:

The average life expectancy of someone who has just become a Christian in Somalia is 45 days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

"There is a reason why he is not known as Concise Jack Elliott."

That is my favorite line from the review of the Ramblin' Jack Elliott concert we went to in Ft. Worth this past weekend.

"Short on songs but long on stories."

That's the truth too! During the entire second half of the show, Jack only played four songs. And throughout the show there were long, elaborate introductions to songs or even short snippets of songs, but Jack would get distracted during the introduction and then introduce another song or tell another story. Despite his rambling (or maybe I should say because of them), we thoroughly enjoyed the show.

When I say "we" enjoyed the concert, I am talking of myself, Andy, our good friend Kenneth who rode with us for the concert, and our friend Bob who we met in Ft. Worth.

Throughout the evening, I was able to get some cool pictures. The McDavid studio where the concert was held.

Ramblin' Jack's guitar, complete with the nine year old set list taped on it, which he by no means followed, but would randomly look at during the night as if to get a good idea for a song to play.

But since Ramblin' Jack hates photography during his concerts, I couldn't take any pictures during the show. I probably had four different people working the concert ask me not to take pictures during the concert. So, I figured I could just snap a few pictures of us with him after the show. When the show was over, we waited and visited with Jack for a minute or two while his road manager was nudging him to leave and get some rest. We left and I never got the pictures I really wanted - a picture of us with Ramblin' Jack, the folk legend.

But then... We got a call last night from our good friend Andy Wilkinson. "Jack is on his way to Lubbock right now. Want to come over and hang out with us?" Sure thing! We wrapped up Perspectives and headed over to the Wilkinsons, and from about 10:30pm to 12:30 am we once again soaked up Ramblin' Jack's ramblings. But this time it was over a kitchen table.

What did I learn? Mostly things about sailing, bronc riding, and cowboys. But my favorite fact of the night was this: Dave Van Ronk says if a venue charges you more than 15% for cd sales, you just shouldn't bring your cds to sell at all.

And, I finally got the pictures I wanted all along.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Question I'm Asking

"He banished forever those dreams of literary and political ambition in which he had formerly indulged, and simply asked himself, How shall I so order my future being as best to please God?"

- From "To the Golden Shore", Adoniram Judson's biography

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sweet Friends

Last weekend, my good friend Kristen and her boys Davis and Ronin came to visit us. Andy was playing at the Cowboy Symposium, so Davis got his first cowboy hat which he was very proud of.

Here he is with his very tough face:

And here is little Ronin:

I have to say, I think military wives are far under appreciated. Probably all military is, for that matter. But what Kristen is doing at home by holding down the fort and taking care of the boys is extremely hard work. I seriously don't know how she does it - and she never has a bad attitude! When you say prayers, say some for Kristen and some for Kevin as he is finishing his last months in Iraq.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Answered Prayer #2

When I asked Drew what he and Jordan would be doing this weekend if Jordan didn't have the baby by then, his answer was "Jumping on a trampoline."

Seriously, I didn't know it was possible for doctors to change a baby's due date 9 months into the pregnancy, but Jordan and little Sayla have proved that it is indeed possible. We have been praying and anxiously awaiting Sayla's arrival for quite some time now. I love Keadryn (Drew and Jordan's 14 month old) so much and I swore I didn't think it was possible to have a baby as pretty as her, but this week I have been doubly proved wrong by both the arrival of her little sister and the arrival of my niece.

Yesterday Sayla Grace Remke was finally born - 6 lbs. 9 oz. She is absolutely beautiful. These pictures don't do her justice. My good friend Kristen and her boys went to the hospital last night with me to see the Remkes. Her son Davis was enthralled by Sayla, and after we left he kept saying, "She was soooo pretty!"

Here are a few pictures of her...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An Answered Prayer

Several months ago, I asked all of you to keep my brother and his wife in prayer. She was around 5ish months pregnant and began having contractions. Up until a few weeks ago she was kept on bed rest. Every day the doctors were concerned that little Addie would arrive. So week by week we kept tabs on how she was developing and prayed fervently that the baby would be healthy.

Today, at 12pm, Adelynn Grace Sommers was born. 7 lbs. 11 oz., and 20 1/2 inches long, complete with 5 fingers, 5 toes, and little fat rolls on her legs. I'm already pretty crazy about her. Praise the Lord!!!

Gretta looked exhausted and nauseous, but completely in love, and Jon looked terrified and excited all at the same time.

Here are some pictures for you all to enjoy.