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Lots Happening…


Due to a crashed computer, a 3,700 mile road-trip for me, and other “minor” things :), the blog hasn’t been updated as much as we would like. Hopefully, we’ll be able to fill you in on our recent adventures soon. Until then, enjoy a sneak-peek of my amazing trip (which just might have included the beach), and be blessed by my new favorite quote…












“Continue seeking Him with seriousness.
Unless He wanted you, you would not be wanting Him.”
~C.S. Lewis

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Moving Out


Sooo…after 25 years of living all together as a family, John-Clay and Caleb have made the first move out! For quite some time, they have been looking around for a place more convenient for Caleb’s travel commute, and one that would provide them with a chance to start spreading their own roots. A duplex about 45 minutes away was God’s provision for them. It’s an exciting transition for sure, although the pain of change is sometimes hard – mostly because it will just never be the same again like it always was…
But hey, if you’re going to get to the next season in life, you have to start sometime, somewhere, somehow! :)

Moving is never a small task, even if you don’t have a ton of stuff to move. The guys have been coming home at least on the weekend – whether to see us or to get a home-cooked meal, I’m not sure. ;)

I spy a Pendragon poster...

The house still had a strong smoke smell from previous renters, so Abbie, Charity, and Maggie went up for about 5 hours one Saturday and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned…scrubbed ALL the woodwork (including all the cabinets!) inside AND out, vacuumed, mopped, organized, cleaned the bathroom, put up curtains,…they cleaned from top to bottom, literally! Needless to say, the guys were super blessed by their huge help!

Cleaning out from top to bottom!

Ab was determined to get that whole cabinet scrubbed out…

Enjoy the spiders, Ab.

The duplex is actually really cute nice. ;) Us girls would have no problem coming up with all kinds of ideas for decorating and making it homey.

By the way, we just returned from the Big Sandy ATI conference – it was amazing!! We’ll look forward to sharing about that soon. J-C just got back from an amazing weekend at the World Changers’ Summit, so all of us girls and Benj (the new man of the house!) are going up to hang out at the guys’ place tonight to catch up on everything with each other. It’s going to be a blast. :)

And yes, we are bringing them supper. ;)

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Alaskan Cuisine


I’ll skip lamenting the fact that it has been __ days since we posted and get straight to fixing the problem…writing a blog post! :)

Our friend from Alaska, Barrie Greenfield, came up from Bible school in Texas the other weekend to fix some of her own Alaskan salmon for us! Some of the family were rather skeptical, since we hardly ever eat salmon (what can you expect when you live in OK?), but I think we all enjoyed it! I thought it was delicious. :)


We peppered her with all sorts of questions as she prepared it (pun intended…sort of), such as, what kind of salmon it was, how they fish for it, what other ways do they eat it, how do you know when it’s done, etc.


On the side – Garlic Knot Rolls

Roasted Asparagus – the best way to eat it in our opinion! (Thanks, Aunt Janis!)

and fresh flowers. :)

I experimented with a new dessert – puddingwiches. They’re like ice cream sandwiches, except they have a pudding type filling inside graham crackers (or Ritz, if you run out of graham). Pretty good stuff!

After listening to Barrie’s wild bear hunting stories (true Alaskan she is), we wound up playing Fishbowl for Friday Fun Night…lots of laughs. =D This was the charades round…any guesses?



The next morning, a few of us got in some target practice. Speaking only for myself, I think skeet shooting is more my forte. :)

The Sharpshooters – heh heh. ;)

More posts coming soon…right, Abbie? ;)

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Exciting Times


We had a fabulous whirlwind of a weekend in Texas!

Lots of reading...
Buzzing down the road for the Saturday night, SAICFF. closing ceremonies!
Family road trips are the BEST. We (kids) always have an itch to go somewhere.

No time to stop here this trip, unfortunately.

Randy and the Burnetts (minus 1)
Mr. Randy Putz, our fabulous host – putting up a total of 14 people for the night is no small task. We always enjoy his kind, full-of-joy fellowship.

Henlines, Randy, & J-C
Of course, John-Clay had been in San Antonio for the whole week, attending the Film Academy along with the Henline family and their friend, Emily. J-C said the Academy was the best ever – plenty of practical instruction and challenging messages.

The Lila Cockrell Theater
The week is always key for networking with other Christian filmmakers. It’s encouraging to see how much independent Christian filmmaking has grown and improved in just the past 9 years since the film festival began!

Phillip Telfer and John-Clay
John-Clay’s main project last year was making the documentary, Captivated.
Phillip Telfer was the producer of the film, which was a semi-finalist at the festival.

So happy to be here!
This was our third year to drive down for the closing ceremonies on Saturday night! Sooo excited. =)

Doug Phillips – President of Vision Forum Ministries

Special music for the evening was provided by Charlie Zahm

Best Short Film Award
We were thrilled when the Henlines’ film, The Forgotten Martyr: Lady Jane Grey, won the Best Young Filmmaker’s Award and was also runner-up for Best Short Film!

Captivated playing in the finalist tape roll
Captivated was up against 15 other documentaries, so we weren’t sure whether to get our hopes up for an award or not. We were pleased when Captivated won runner-up for Best Documentary and was a finalist for the Best of Festival Award! =)

In actuality, the best award of all was the feedback received during the week from the many people whose lives have been greatly impacted through the message of the film. Praise the Lord! That’s a work that only HE can do.

Best of Festival Award - $101,000!
Courageous deservedly won the Best of Festival Award! Stephen Kendrick gave a meaningful speech, honoring his dad for the powerful influence he has been in their lives. One thing that really stands out among all these filmmakers is their passion to do what they do for the glory of God, that He might be lifted up and seen for Who He is!

What better way to end the night than by bringing down the house with the Orange Blossom Special! Personally, the harmonica was my favorite. :)

Fishbowl - LOVE this game!
Remember the Dorninks? We were so happy that seven of them were able to stop for a night going and coming from the film festival. They joined us for our bi-weekly volleyball practice at a church gym, which was super fun!! Sorry, no pictures of that. We were pretty busy playing, losing, and winning. :)

Discussing guns, I think. :)

My dear friend, Melody – we can talk for hours! And every time I’m left challenged, encouraged, and hungry for the Lord. That’s a good friend for ya. ;)

The Moms.

Spoons! A favorite around here.


Benj got a lot of basketball time out of Dustin and Kelly, much to his enjoyment.

Somehow, the length of the Dorninks’ visits seem to expand…and grow…and carry on…(not because we tempt them with homemade ice cream or anything).

On their way back from San Antonio, they planned to drop in from 10pm – 2am (yes, you read that correctly). But it so happened, they got an early start and expected to arrive by 7pm instead. Then, their mini-van broke down in Waco, and we weren’t sure if they were going to be able to come at all. :( Van got fixed, they arrived at midnight and decided to stay the night! (Nachos are a great midnight snack meal, by the way.) Wellllll, when their departure time of 11am rolled around in the morning, we said, “Is there any way y’all can stay longer?” A few phone calls made, and the rest of the day was spent with them until we sent them off with a blessing at 10pm that night. =D Good times!

Tradition: high-speed, competitive games of Dutch Blitz!!
Good friends = willing to ask meaningful questions, talk deep, and truly desire to build each other up in the Lord. The Dorninks definitely fit that list. We shared some great discussions together, and I know our family was really encouraged! Hopefully, we’ll find an excuse to meet up again soon. :)

There’s the re-cap for you! With the calendar as full as it is, I’m sure we’ll have more to tell you about soon. :)

Thanks to all you blog readers for staying in touch! We appreciate each one of you and pray that the Lord will really be the treasure of your heart as you walk through life with Him.

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Getting Involved


A week ago, we were privileged to participate in Home Educators’ Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol. A dedicated crowd of 2,600 homeschoolers showed up to be a presence to our legislators at the Capitol who had just began the first week of the legislative session.

Oklahoma State Capitol
Oklahoma is special. We are the only state who, ever since our Constitution was written over 100 years ago, has recognized that parents may teach their children at home by providing other means of education! There is a lot of freedom to home school in Oklahoma. That’s something we don’t take for granted and that we want to continue to uphold and fight for.

A Native American statue stands proudly on top of our capitol's dome.

I LOVE our country. The incredibly rich history of our nation never ceases to amaze me. Even just a simple trip to the state capitol and taking time to think about how all “this” came to be fills my heart with awe! There is just nothing like it. The freedom I live in every single day is HUGE.

Hundreds and hundreds of OK home educators! 
Finding a slot in the crowd to see was not easy with the floor and the two surrounding balconies filled. :) Governor Mary Fallin, who is very supportive of home schooling, gave a speech, as well as several other people, including…

Town Hall Meeting
…Meet Representative Josh Cockcroft! Josh is a home school graduate who we attended church with for many years. When he got elected at age 22 in 2010, he was the second youngest person to get elected in history of the House of Representatives (beat by another home school graduate who was elected the same year and is slightly younger than him).

Josh is a great example of the fruit of home schooling! It was thrilling to listen as he addressed everyone at the rally and so encouraging to see a young man willing to step out and do big, hard things for God in our country!

Meet TJ Schmidt, Oklahoma’s HSLDA’s attorney. HSLDA does an incredible job of helping protect our liberty to home school that is constantly being attacked and challenged.

After the inspiring rally, we met with our representative and senator – both of whom have eaten our homemade peach ice cream at the Stratford Peach Festival. :) Representative Hilliard and Senator Paddack are great at listening to constituents and representing us well.

America, America - God shed His grace on thee...
And if that wasn’t politically inspiring enough for one week, we had the unexpected opportunity a few days later to attend a rally for presidential candidate Rick Santorum!!

John-Clay, Charity, Carinna, and I walked into the hotel room with seating for 600 that was basically full, except for some back row seats and reserved seating. We were just about to claim the back row, when a lady gave us a red streamer to go get seats in the reserved section…on the sixth row from the front!! We weren’t about to turn that offer down. (That’s the second time we’ve gotten a really nice deal when four of us kids were together…hmmmm. Kinda like this.)

Partial Panoramic :) 
J-C ran over to the front corner of the room to take a quick panoramic picture of the full crowd that was there, when suddenly everyone started clapping and cheering, and Rick Santorum entered the room from that corner and stepped right in front of John-Clay! All the photographers began snapping away with a very shocked J-C in the background. *chuckle*
Rick Santorum
With a very enthusiastic audience of about 1,000 supporters, Rick gave a bold, timely speech to the issues facing our nation.

He is definitely not afraid to say what he believes, especially when it comes to his faith in God.

“If there are no rights that government needs to respect, then what we see with ObamaCare is just the beginning of what government will do to you.”

“The Constitution is there to do one thing: protect God-given rights. That’s what makes America different than every other country in the world.”
-Rick Santorum

Several of us managed to squeeze to the front to get his signature and shake his hand. :) Santorum went on to a rally of 4,000 people in Tulsa – the biggest crowd his campaign had had so far.

This is not an endorsement for Rick Santorum, by the way. There are still lots of issues we are weighing between candidates, but Rick Santorum’s value for faith and family as the key to our nation’s strength is something that we greatly appreciate! And since our family will have a total of 7 voters by November, these important issues are a daily topic of discussion for us. :)

This election is crucial to the future of our nation and our families and the world. Research, study, pray! We have a responsibility to protect our God-given freedom for the next generation – don’t take it lightly.

“You will never know how much it cost our present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” 
–John Quincy Adams

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