Monday, December 31, 2007

Great is Your Faithfulness

We are spending the eve of the New Year at home tonight...a pretty good place for a couple with 2 small kids. We remember the days of staying up late, but for now they are far gone =) Now that the kids are in bed, Travis suggested that we think of the ways that God has been faithful to our family this past year. So here is our list. We hope you will praise the Lord with us!

January - Our church's provision of the finances we needed to visit Romania for the first time on a survey trip
and our very first deputation meeting.

February - The trial of Becky's dad's illness and the grace He gave and continues to give us.

March - Travis' grandpa turned 90! He is very special to us.

April - Experiencing the beauty of the body of Christ. This was a very busy month for us. Becky's dad was being moved into a rehab and LOTS of people helped us take care of Samuel (Jessica Holland, Knickerbockers, Brenda Holder, Trent and Traci (Trav's brother), Janelle Francis, Pam Husler, Marlene Post, Jen McLeod, and of course Trav's parents). We were also getting ready for the birth of our little Kara!

May - Kara was born on May 23 after Becky spent 12 days in the hospital (we continued to benefit from so many friends who love us...meals, cards, phone calls, visits, babysitting!) What a beautiful new baby girl. We thank the Lord for sparing her life and Becky's throughout the pregnancy and emergency c-section.

- Dad came home on June 8 after 5 months in 5 hospitals. Our nephew Stephen was born on June 10.

- Travis ended his job at Analytical Labs. It was a great job for him and met our needs very sufficiently for 2 years. Our home church held a baby shower for Kara and gave so many diapers that we bought our first pack for Kara just this last week!
We also took a very fun trip to Lake Tobias with Trent and Traci, Grace and Ella, Trav's brother and family.

- God provided for us to move to Bellefonte to help with Becky's dad and start full-time deputation. Many of our dear church friends helped us move and Becky's parents allowed us to live in their house rent free.
Travis began calling pastors, and God filled our fall deputation schedule in just a couple of weeks.

- An encouraging visit from our missionary friend Eve a Douglas. She's a great companion for Samuel and stayed with the children one evening so we could go on a date. She also helped so much around the house to begin preparations for putting our house on the market.

- We had a great month of deputation, making lots of new friends and prayer partners. We received a call from Berean Baptist Church in New Castle, DE, saying that they would like to be a part of our support team. This is our first church besides our sending church...very exciting news!!

November - Thanksgiving celebrations with both families (Heckathornes and Gravleys). We are so thankful for TWO families that love us and support us wholeheartedly. As we contemplate our families we realize we have something that is very uncommon...both sets of parents and all of our siblings love the Lord and are serving Him faithfully. That means that Samuel and Kara will never have to pray for any of their grandparents' or aunts' and uncles' salvation!! What an incredible blessing from the Lord!

- Samuel turned three and was spared from being seriously injured on his birthday when he swallowed two quarters. We are so thankful for our firstborn. He is the light of our lives.We also had our family picture taken. We want to thank our Father for sending His only Son to be our Savior.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What Rudolph Left

We left Reindeer Feed (Cheerios) out on Christmas Eve, and Rudolph and his buddies left a trail all the way through the living room and down the steps into the basement. Sam said, "Rudolph left a mess, mess, mess!" He left a new bike with a note that read, "Thanks for the snack." I think we had a bit more fun creating this "reindeer appearance" than Samuel did finding it. =)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Fun Part of Samuel's Birthday

We had fun putting this video together to show you the scavenger hunt Samuel had to find his present on the morning of his 3rd birthday. We hope you enjoy it. This was before the "not-so-fun" part. You'll have to excuse the bed heads and pajamas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Not-so-fun Part of Samuel's Birthday

We just wanted to thank the Lord. Today is Samuel's birthday. He turned three. =) It started out as a very fun day, but this afternoon something very scary happened. Sam went down for his nap and had 2 quarters in his pocket. He decided to get them out and put them in his mouth, and I'm sure you can guess what happened. He began to cry and then scream. I thought that he was just being stubborn about going down for his nap, so I was ignoring him. I had no idea that he was in trouble. Travis decided he was going to just check on him and he found him in the hallway crying and crying, saying that he had quarters in his throat. Trav called for me immediately and I called 911. The ambulance came and transported Samuel and me to the emergency room. He was breathing okay, but drooling all over the place. By the time we got into the triage bed he was acting pretty quiet and I thought maybe the quarters had finally slid down into his stomach. Just as I sat down with him and the doctor came over, he got a funny look on his face and proceeded to throw up all over us. Out came BOTH quarters!!! Praise the Lord. He was completely normal and happy after that, and he even said "cheese" when they took the x-ray of his abdomen to make sure everything was out. He thought they were taking his picture =) I just held him in his bed tonight as he went to sleep and cannot thank the Lord enough for protecting my little boy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just Regular Life

On Thanksgiving morning we had breakfast with Andy and Suz and then spent the rest of the day with my mom and dad. Dad was really alert that day, and he was even able to join us at the table. He's on a feeding tube, so he's not able to eat, but he sure was eyeing up the food we were all enjoying. Thanks to Andy and Suz for letting us come over and use your house for our big turkey dinner. It was a really nice day for us.

A couple of weeks ago we went to see Travis' great aunt. She's 93 years old!! Doesn't she look good? She lives in an assisted -living apartment. It's a really nice little place and she has everything she needs right there. Aunt Mary is very special to us. She never had any children of her own, so she has treated us all like her own grandchildren even though we really belong to her brother (Trav's pappy). She's just like all the other grandparents (sending money and cards on your birthday and Christmas). I even lived with her for a couple of months before we got married. She had never met Kara, so we took the children to see her.

Sam is growing up so fast. He'll be three next week. Even though he requires so much energy and prayer, we could never imagine our lives without him. By the way, if you read about him back in the summer destroying our computer keyboard, you'd be surprised that now he plays on the computer using the online games from He doesn't even rip the computer apart while he plays! Here's a funny picture from Sunday afternoon. He had gotten a couple of Happy Meal toys from McDonald's and wanted them to watch him play his computer games. He set them all up and made them "watch" him play.

Samuel is even learning how to play with Kara now without making her cry every time. =)

Our sleeping beauty...