Posted by: brenterinbutler | January 30, 2015

Daddy Daughter Dance

Lucy has been asking to go to a Daddy Daughter Ball since she was 3! Today her dreams came true and she danced the night away with her prince. Some of the other girls, that are on Lake Hart Stint with us, and Lucy went on a special date before the dance and got their nails done. The girls were SO excited!

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Lucy was all smiles getting ready, she looked like a little princess. One of my favorite memories with my dad was going to Daddy Daughter Dances so it was so fun to watch Lucy experience her first one and I hope there will be many more for her!!

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Lucy was thrilled to ride with her best buddy, Anna, and her Dad to the dance at their school. It sounds like they had a blast, ate lots of sugar, took some cute pictures we’ll get to see on Monday, and made some very special memories together!

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It was a big night for them and I couldn’t be more thankful for the amazing Daddy Brent is to Lucy. He is such an amazing picture of God’s love for her!!!

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”     1 John 3

Posted by: brenterinbutler | December 31, 2014

Happy New Year’s Eve!!

Happy New Year’s Eve!!

Brent wrote about our foundational New Years resolution here. Enjoy!

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Posted by: brenterinbutler | December 21, 2014

Christmas pictures 2014

We had family pictures taken back in May in Iowa City that I was planning to use for our Christmas photo this year (which I still love), but we fell into an opportunity to have more “Christmas-y” photos taken, so we took it. Our friend Amy, who is also in Orlando on Lake Hart Stint, asked to see if anyone was willing to let her take their photos for her to practice her photography skills. We told her we were up for it and I was glad we could get the girls in their cute Christmas dresses Grandma Vicki bought them, and Brady was look’in like a stud in his bow tie for our card. Here are my favorites….

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We are in Jupiter, Fl for a week long Christmas family vacation! My family all flew down on Friday to celebrate together for the week in my Aunt Sue’s neck of the woods. The last family vacation we had I was defiantly in high school, maybe college…. it’s been a long time. My sister’s kids and ours were just ecstatic to see each other and are getting lots of beach time, pool time, and play time. My mom and Aunt Sue scheduled a photographer this morning so we’re oozing family photos this year. Hopefully I’ll share those soon.

This Christmas feels anything but normal or nostalgic. The romance of a frosty, white Christmas is a very, very distant reality. But being with family that we haven’t seen since July (a very long time for us) has made it so special. We are so thankful that no matter where we are living or celebrating that we can still find the magic of this season as we focus on the roots of it. Roots of blessing in giving and generosity, and in  the best gift ever given- our Savior. His birth leads us to hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, freedom and a love that we can’t find anywhere else in this world!

“We are most prepared for Christmas when you are done trying to make your performance into the gift and instead just revel in His presence as the Gift. That is all there is left in these last days of the Advent road- the sacredness of His presence saturating everything. God cleanses and sanctifies us, comes to us with grace and love.” Dietrich Bonhoefffer/Ann Voskamp

Posted by: brenterinbutler | December 7, 2014

Neighbors

December 3, 2013 our little Lucy went on a date with her Daddy to McDonald’s to talk about the gospel and put her trust in Jesus. For months Lucy had been asking about what heaven will be like, who could go to heaven, and what it really meant to believe in Jesus. It’s SO hard as a parent to know when to encourage toward making a decision RIGHT NOW and when to let them continue in the wonder of discovering truth in their own timing while questioning if you missed a huge moment.
I have such a sweet memory of Lucy asking lots of questions one afternoon and telling her, “You have to tell God if you want to believe in Him.” To which she responded by looking up at the sky and yelled, “I BELIEVE!!!”
Just precious!!
After watching a video of her cousin, Anna, share her story of how she trusted Christ and decided to get baptized here, Lucy seemed to be on another level of interest in her faith. Anna’s story really influenced Lucy’s little heart and she came out of her room the night of Dec. 2 and said, “Mommy, I’m ready. I want to become a Christian!” I was so proud of her my heart could burst, but at the same time exhausted from a very long day that was still going with Daddy on campus, so I was not sure I was up for an hour long conversation making sure she understood what she was saying. I said, “How about you and Daddy go on a special date tomorrow night and talk about how you can become a Christian.” She liked that idea and did indeed place her trust in Christ the next night.

That was just one year ago so Brent and I bought Lucy her very own Bible as a gift he gave her on another special date to McDonald’s. They celebrated her first spiritual birthday! What a joy it was to see such excitement about the Lord for our sweet Lucy!

The Lord really made it extra special by allowing us to impact our neighbor girls as well. Alecia and Kenashley were over playing when we told them Lucy and Brent were going out for a date, as well as why, so she showed them Anna’s video….

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After watching Alecia said, “Wait, how do you become a Christian?!” Brent wrote out Romans 6:23 for Alecia and was able to communicate the gospel with her! Lucy was right there by his side, learning from the best! 😉

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Keep praying for Alecia and Kenashley that they will continue to want to learn more about who Jesus is and desire a relationship with Him!

God must really want us to focus on loving on our neighbors this year because we had a pretty alarming situation happen just today! I was driving home from the grocery store when I saw a little neighbor boy  (8/9 years old) crying  so I drove over and asked if he was ok. He screamed that his step dad was going to kill his mom and I needed to call 911…. after a gut wrenching next half hour we tried to figure out the best next steps with this family. It turned out the step dad, Joe, had indeed broke some things in the home in a rage but hadn’t hurt his mom. He had calmed down and Brent was able to enter into conversation and hopes to get to know him more in the coming days and weeks ahead. The mom, Krista, told me they were fine but their relationship was over. I tried to get her to let me watch the 5 kids standing around in panic while they figured out their next steps or at least come over for a meal but she wouldn’t accept my help. I was able to pray over Krista and encourage her in plan to go to her extended family’s home. Pray with us for Krista and Joe that they will find peace, true peace that only comes from our Savior.

I had no idea that the Lord would have us meet Krista and Joe and had never been in a situation where I felt like I needed to call 911 over a family crisis. I saw such pain in their eyes and hearts, especially their kids. It helped me remember how much we have no idea what’s going on in others lives and how important it is to reach out and love even when I feel like my load is too full. It will always be full but it’s always worth being able to be part of God’s story, to be light to a hurting world, pointing them, and us, to the only one who can heal, redeem, and give peace beyond our understanding!!

Posted by: brenterinbutler | December 6, 2014

Heidi Love

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Heidi asked, “When you were a baby you were in Grandma’s belly right?”
Me “Yes, that’s right”
H “When Daddy was a baby he was in papas belly?”
Me “No, Daddy was in Grandma Carrie’s belly, only girls can have babies.”
Heidi “Oh! No boys? So it’s just a girl party?”

Needless to say we are enjoying our sweet little three year old and her thoughts far beyond her years!

Posted by: brenterinbutler | November 23, 2014

Is it Really November?

We have been living in Florida for three months! I can actually say life feels really normal here now. We had a lot of bumps and bruises settling in the past few months, but we have been passionate about making new family rhythms. As we’re learning how to do that it’s really helped us have stability and prioritize our family times, think through how we can grow as family, and hopefully pour out our lives as a blessing as we grow. God plopped a sweet ministry right in our laps you can read about here. We are so excited to see how the Lord is going to use this year in our future but we are SO enjoying right now, just being here!

I haven’t taken many pictures of our Lake Hart Stint 16 events, but I thought I would share with you the few that I do have. One thing I’ve been SO thankful for as a mom here is that the Stint is REALLY caring for our families. Our kids go to a meeting twice a month called Kids on the Move. They get together with the other kids on Stint and do activities together, talking about their transition and it gets our family talking about how they are doing and what they are feeling. So much change has happened uprooting these kids for the year, many of them from overseas. Here are a few pictures of the kids enjoying their time at Kids on the Move:

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Every Wednesday is Lake Hart Stint Day for us and it’s provided some great teaching, wonderful development, and the opportunity to get to know each person on the Stint. Three Stinters share stories about their life in 10 minutes each meeting. Brent and I went in October sharing about our Heritage, Hard times, Highlights, Hobby and favorite Hymn. We are also coached in a one-to-two settling that has been so helpful in all of this as well!IMG_9564 IMG_9670

We’ve heard from wonderful speakers on and off Cru Staff including Cru’s president Steve Douglas: IMG_9575

We had a serve day where we all went downtown Orlando to help The Orlando Union Rescue Mission where they help people in need get back on their feet with dignity. It is an amazing facility and mission, I was very thankful to be introduced to their mission and work here in Orlando! Brent and I worked in their Goodwill-type store where all the proceeds help fund their facility. We helped clean and organize with this fun group of Stinters: 10636062_10100463578237776_9200750500490099882_n

We also had a game day where we had to come up with a team name and be challenged in many unique ways. Brent and I ended up on the same team, lucky us! Our team name was “Every Rose Has it’s Thorn.” Can you guess who our thorn was?? 😉 IMG_0077IMG_00781896762_858195547547767_8087310755542632778_n 10477346_858196290881026_3926017384068188566_n10641076_858192734214715_2279964968774891842_n

We’ve enjoyed being part of Cru Headquarter’s events like the Harvest Fest. We did dinner on the lawn, hayrides, bounce houses, bags, and had yummy treats. IMG_9727 IMG_9723 10563058_859306637436658_4535251487095738643_n

I don’t have a picture of our Life Group yet! They have been the people we have been connecting with the most on Stint. Brent rides with the guys to and from work everyday! I see the girls at the bus stop, we swap kids, and we’ve connected at night some while our hubbies stay home with the kiddos. We all live in the same apartment complex so that makes for pretty easy touch points with each other. Our Life Group meets every other week, we get together at our leaders’ home and enjoy getting to know each other, chow on yummy treats, have a devotional from one of the members of the group. We process what we’re learning, share prayer requests, or intentionally hear about one another’s lives through the Lord’s weaving of our stories that we have each drawn out or listed out on our Life Maps. When I think about how difficult moving is and transitioning a family, community is so important and we’re so thankful for each of the people God has put in our group to process with for this season, for this year! Brent and I have been learning a lot! God is doing really, really sweet things in our hearts. God gave us this year as a gift, and it IS in so many ways!! We are into 10 years of our marriage and He is teaching us to communicate in ways we often get stuck, it’s not easy learning new patterns, but we’ve seen the outcome is so worth it! I have been tempted to have the mindset, “this is only one year” but have been challenged by Jeremiah 29 to plant… to grow…unpack…  to be intentional. God’s promises are true! Everything untrue, everything wrong in this life we know will be made right when He returns.

I’ll leave you with a favorite quote of mine from one of our speakers, hilarious, and true…. IMG_9847

Posted by: brenterinbutler | November 23, 2014

Lucy’s 7th Birthday

Hey hey! Its 2014 and this blog post makes me caught up on the kids birthdays for the year!! Now that’s a first in a few years!! Wahoo!

Lucy turned 7 on September 21! We enjoyed a quick cinnamon roll breakfast and got out the door to head to Magic Kingdom to try to get in line to greet Anna and Elsa. There is a Fastpass option but its full every time I check so I told Lucy we would try to see them on her birthday. By the time we got in line the sign read 35 minutes, which is the shortest I’ve ever seen it, although it took us at least 45. I was just thankful it wasn’t a 5 hour wait like it has been at its worst.

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Then we headed over to the Be Our Guest restaurant for lunch. We bring our own food when we go to Disney usually but on Lucy’s birthday we really wanted to do something special. We found out that you could have lunch at the restaurant without a reservation (like most of them) if we stood in line around 10/10:30. It wasn’t a character meet and greet so it didn’t cost an arm and a leg either! We didn’t have to wait too long and really enjoyed the beautiful ambiance of feeling like we were in Belle’s castle!

I don't know why I think this picture is so funny, but so cute of my little Elsa and Anna!

I don’t know why I think this picture is so funny, but so cute of my little Elsa and Anna!

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Lucy’s favorite thing to do at Magic Kingdom is to go to Enchanted Tales with Belle. I could not have scripted a better event for my girl on her birthday. The kids get to act out Belle’s story but you never know which kids will be chosen. Brady was chosen as Beast, Lucy was chosen to be Chip (her favorite), Heidi was chosen to be a plate, and Brent was chosen to be a knight. It was adorable! The new technology at Disney is pretty incredible, I have no idea how they make Lumiere move and talk in this attraction!! IMG_9541IMG_9540 IMG_9544 IMG_9549IMG_9511

I think I had one other Fastpass set up but Lucy wasn’t interested, she really wanted to get her haircut at Magic Kingdom. She had her very first haircut at the Harmony Barber shop when we were here four years ago taking classes. I think she really just wanted ‘pixie dust’ in her hair. 🙂  It’s a much cheaper option than the Bippity Boppity Boutique, and Lucy did REALLY need a haircut! Brady and Brent went off to go on “fast ride” while the girls got their hair cut and dusted. Heidi had a long piece of hair trimmed off when she was little but this was really her first all around haircut so she received mickey mouse ears just like Lucy did when she was almost 3. We loved that a parade went by as they watched out the window while we waited. DSC_0083 DSC_0088 DSC_0091 DSC_0092 DSC_0102

When the girls were done we headed home and let Lucy open her presents from family. Lucy had been asking for an American Girl doll for quite a while so we decided this year we were going to bless her with one. Her only gift from Mommy and Daddy was the girl of the year, Isabelle. Lucy decided to rename her Minnie. She was very excited that her Grandma’s, Grandpa’s and Aunts spoiled with some cute outfits for Lucy and for her doll! Lucy’s 7th birthday is a very special one for her and Brent. When she was only 3 years old I was reading a pamphlet from church and read about a Daddy Daughter ball. As I read it I said, “Oh Lucy, I’m excited for you and Daddy to go to the Daddy Daughter ball when you are 7” and to our amazement she has brought this ball up every couple of months, to every week since then!! When we knew we were moving down here that was a huge goal to find a Daddy Daughter Dance for them b/c it was very important to her that she be 7 years old for it. We were so thankful to hear that her elementary school has a Daddy Daughter Dance in February that will suffice. Brent made an invitation for her to check “yes” or “no” to join him at the ball on her birthday, very special. I know that the Daddy Daughter Dance was actually this weekend back at home, wishing they could’ve gone but I’m so thankful God provided for them here! Since we had such a fun-filled morning we told Lucy she could invite one friend over for cake and a tea party. So her new bestie, Anna (also on Lake Hart Stint with us), came over and enjoyed cake, apple juice and a couple of hours of play time. It was a fun day for our girl. DSC_0122DSC_0116 DSC_0129 DSC_0137 DSC_0140 DSC_0141 DSC_0146DSC_0152 DSC_0158 IMG_9524

I had to add these pictures of our next trip to Disney, Lucy was so excited to ride the Dumbo ride all by herself now that she is 7! And the picture of my girls with Belle just makes me smile! IMG_9641IMG_9638

These are a few of the beautiful pictures we had taken in May before we left Iowa City. It’s hard to believe our sweet Lucy is 7 years old already. She has had so much change this year and moved away from the only home she’s ever known but watching her blossom through many challenges this year has been an absolute joy! KKP_6257 KKP_6271 KKP_6282 KKP_6351 KKP_6597 KKP_6641

Here is Lucy’s 7 year old Survey….

Tell me 3 words that describe you: Creative, Playful, Silly

What is your favorite food? Mac and cheese

What do you hope you never have to eat again? Soup

What’s your favorite thing about school? Art

What makes you happiest? Mommy

What is your favorite toy? Singing Elsa Doll

What is your favorite thing to watch on TV? Backyardigans

What is one new thing you’d like to try this year? An Orlando Museum

What would you like to be when you grow up? Disney Princess

Where in the World would you like to go? France, to be fancy

What was the best thing about being 6? Being in Iowa

What makes you excited about being 7? My next birthday

What are you scared of? The dark

Whats your favorite sport? Ballet

Whats is your favorite thing to do? Play dress up

What do you like most about our family? Everyone in my family

What is your favorite bible verse? Mark 5:41-42

Posted by: brenterinbutler | November 21, 2014

Heidi’s 2nd and 3rd Birthday

Heidi turned 3 years old on November 15! She will always be my baby but this year, more than ever, she’s turned the corner and said bye-bye to many baby ways. Specifically giving up her paci’s this past summer and she is now potty trained, as of a month ago! Heidi’s sweet, smart personality is SO fun to watch, we just love our baby to pieces.

Three years ago she grew and grew… butler3 butler14 butler21_3

Heidi Carolyn stole our hearts right away, her middle name is after her Grandma CarrieDSC_0008_2 DSC_0012DSC_0129

Last year we celebrated Heidi’s 2nd birthday as a family, just before a weekend in MN for a conference with Cru. Heidi was obsessed with the character’s the Super Babies, Dora’s twin baby sister and brother. I knew she was going to be a little excited for the toy we found her on ebay…. DSC_0005 - Version 2 DSC_0051DSC_0055 IMG_4897DSC_0061 DSC_0024

Heidi was very spoiled in MN as we celebrated at my sisters house with cupcakes AND blaze’in birthday treat at Famous Dave’s that night as well!! We went to the Mall of America and did a couple rides for the kiddos. We are so thankful my family lives in Minneapolis so that we could see them when Cru conferences brought us there over many weekends throughout the year, HUGE blessing!! DSC_0068 DSC_0088 DSC_0086DSC_0093IMG_4973IMG_4975IMG_4962

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Heidi’s 3rd Birthday was pretty unique this year. We weren’t able to celebrate with family but we had some pretty spectacular events to celebrate our girl. Heidi and I started the week with a Mommy and Heidi date to Magic Kingdom to go on a couple rides and see Tinkerbell while the big kids were at school. We are using our free Disney passes to the max this year and the excitement hasn’t worn off that we actually have such a huge blessing in that! Heidi’s desires can easily get drown out by her older siblings so when I can soak in more of who Heidi is and know more of the little person she is becoming I really want to cherish that! IMG_0005 IMG_0007

The day before her birthday we had a little Minnie and Mickey birthday party at the park after school for the little kids her age and their siblings. It was very low key. The kids just played at the play ground (who knows if she will EVER have a November birthday party OUTSIDE again!!) I brought a few goodies to munch on and a pin-the-candle-on-the-cupcake game to play. DSC_0004 DSC_0015 DSC_0019DSC_0044DSC_0037

On her birthday we had leftover cupcakes and headed to Magic Kingdom as a family. We saw Tink, and “held” Tink, enjoyed It’s a Small World, Mickey Mouse actually sang Happy Birthday to her!! and watched Elsa “freeze” Cinderella’s castle. We had a blast! IMG_0061 IMG_0046DSC_0001DSC_0004 2IMG_0170IMG_0089IMG_0171IMG_0072IMG_0098IMG_0080IMG_0106IMG_0113

Build-a-Bear was a treat we did with both Lucy and Brady when they were finished potty training; so we followed suit with Heidi and she was pretty motivated by that. But more than anything she was just ready. I took her to the doctor wondering if she had a urinary tract infection, but the doctor confirmed she was just all set to get rid of those diapers! Hallelujah!! IMG_9820

We love you more than you know sweet Heida!! xoxo IMG_9774 IMG_9779

Here are photo’s of Heidi in May before we left Iowa City… KKP_6228 KKP_6339 KKP_6459 KKP_6675 KKP_6684 KKP_6716

Posted by: brenterinbutler | September 16, 2014

Lucy’s 6th Birthday

It’s that time of year again when I realize I never updated my child’s birthday from LAST year since their next birthday is coming in less than a week!! Lucy turns 7 years old on Sunday!  This is life for me now and I’ve come to peace with it. This blog is my scrapbook of our family so its better late than never! And no doubt will this post, and Heidi’s 2nd birthday post coming after this, be written in tears. Tears of grieving what we are missing this year. Family, sweet friends, and the only home our babies have ever known, Iowa.

Know that we are SO thankful for the many blessings that we are experiencing in Florida. There is nothing like the peace of knowing you are right where the Lord wants you, which we have daily. But as the temperatures are still raging in the 80’s and 90’s mid-September, you better believe we are missing a mid-west fall cool down, the gorgeous colors, and a cozy sweater. Fall is my favorite season, its just so romantic. So as I write, I’m reminded that even though the twinges of grief are there, I’m choosing to look to the One who gave these gifts, and cherish that they happened!

For Lucy’s 6th birthday we had a family party in Des Moines where we stayed with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and kiddos, Joe, Ava, and Ryan. We were in the midst of trying to sell our house so it was a perfect place to meet for the weekend and have some family fun. We found a Groupon that seemed like a great deal for everyone at the Ramada Tropics Resort and Conference Center. It had a pirate themed swimming area that we knew the kids would love and we would love for them to burn some energy at.  Lucy told us she wanted a Pop Star- Twinkle Toes birthday party. We found a perfect spot to set up shop, which we later found out was the employee break area, ooops- it was behind a couple arcade games with no signs, so we had no clue but we were asked to leave… Good thing the only thing left we had planned was dig into some delish Scratch cupcakes!! 🙂

DSC_0136 IMG_3816 DSC_0125Lucy loved her new Twinkle Toes shoes and had a great time jamming with her cousins!

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Lucy shares her birthday with Auntie Laura every year. Lucy’s birthday is the 21st and Laura’s is the 22nd. My mom’s is the 8th so September makes for a fun-filled birthday month in our family. Those memories have such a special place in our hearts of celebrating together!IMG_3803!

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Our favorite part of the weekend was finding a gem of a family outing. Center Grove Orchard had so many fall favorite activities! We all loved it so much!

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Lucy’s actual birthday fell on a different day than our weekend with family. So we celebrated that day with yummy cinnamon buns in the morning and a simple chocolate cake I made at night. Her special present was a chair swing we that we hooked up in our back yard for 2 months before the snow came. It’s actually a chair so we use it inside now, maybe one day it will become a swing again. 🙂 DSC_0008 DSC_0010 2 DSC_0018 DSC_0024 DSC_0035 IMG_3869 IMG_3866 DSC_0012 DSC_0015

We also made a special trip to Renee’s ceramics after school and let each of the kids pick out a little object to paint, which is one of Lucy’s favorite things to do!!

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Grandma and Papa Butler always made special effort to come celebrate Lucy’s birthday too! DSC_0012 2 DSC_0009

Lucy had a big year of changes as she turned 6. After only a few weeks when Kindergarten began our little 5 year old turned 6. 6 is way too close to 10, but we really enjoyed 6 year old Lucy this year. I missed having her home so much during the day but loved watching the incredible ways she grew all year. It has to be so hard being a first born, going off to a long school day knowing that your brother and sister get to stay home while you have to be hard at work. We are so proud of our sweet Lucy, our dreamer and girliest girl we know! How you changed our lives when we entered our family, you are a precious gift from above!!!

Here is Lucy’s 6 year old Interview:

Tell me 3 words that describe you: crazy, silly, loving

What is your favorite food? Mac and cheese

What do you hope you never have to eat again? bacon

What’s your favorite thing about school? Snack time

What makes you happiest? Mommy

What is your favorite toy? La La Loopsy’s

What is your favorite thing to watch on TV? La La loopsy

What is one new thing you’d like to try this year? Jump rope

What would you like to be when you grow up? A teacher

Where in the World would you like to go? A pirate ship to find tresure

What was the best thing about being 5? Dancing

What makes you excited about being 6? Not sucking my thumb

What are you scared of? Scary dreams

Whats your favorite sport? basketball

Whats is your favorite thing to do? Dance

What do you like most about our family? Draw with my family

What is your favorite bible verse? Luke 2:11

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Posted by: brenterinbutler | September 4, 2014

One Month

One month ago we pulled up in our van to our new home for the year! We live in apartments with most all the other Lake Hart Stinters which we’ve enjoyed the neighborhood pool, impromptu play dates, walking to the bus stop with lots of familiar faces- many of whom we still have to meet but some that we’ve gone deep with quickly!

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The day we arrived a family, that moved in a couple weeks before us, helped us unpack boxes, clean, and God sent them as sweet angles to me that day!! It has been so neat to see how the Lord has bonded our family to the Smith’s very quickly! Their daughter Maddie babysits Heidi every Thursday now, we’ve had dinner dates with our families and Brent even works at the Cru Headquarters in the same department as Mr.Smith. Mrs. Smith has been a HUGE encouragement to me in parenting advise, giving me hugs in my tears with Lucy’s struggle with school her first week or two, they even passed on some items from Family Life that we are excited to use in our family this year. We are SO encouraged by them, here are the girls the day they helped us move in:

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Here are a few pictures of the kids rooms, Brady and Lucy share a room and Heidi has her own. She was sleeping in a pack’n play all summer so our first night here was her first night in her very own big girl bed. She absolutely loves it!!!

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We found some wall art at Ikea that the kids loved decorating with themselves. These Florida white walls needed a little color for the year!! 🙂

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Our kids were quick to get some energy out in the pool with the crazy heat, like sweat ALL THE TIME, crazy heat and have had fun with our neighbor boys too… I think Brent is loving having little boys for Brady to play with and has already started the wrestling lessons! eek!  I’m loving having my friend Heather here from our region, its a game changer coming into a situation like this, moving to a new location, moving your entire family, but when you have sweet friends you already know and love it makes it feel like home that much quicker. My college roomie, Amanda is also living less that two miles from where we are, somehow I have not snatched a pic of us yet! Even though we’ve seen each other every few days since we moved here I still have ask myself if its real life that I live this close her!!! Such sweet gifts!!

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The kids started school! Lucy started first grade and Brady started his second year of pre-k! They have both transitioned so well, there were tears shed by the girls but everyday is better and we are getting used to our new normal with TOO much homework! yuck!! We are so proud of our girl for working so hard though and we can see her improving in each area she is working on very quickly!!

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We had an awesome last day of “summer”… really its year round summer here but no more lazy summer days during the school year! Lucy and Brady did a lemonade stand and had many life lessons that day, Brent carried that one and it proved a great family project!! Lucy and Daddy have also had some fun dates since we’ve been here, I love seeing him win her heart over and over!!

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One HUGE perk of the Lake Hart Stint program is that each family is given free Disney World passes!!! An insane gift we are eating up!!

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That last picture is of us celebrating our 10th Anniversary at Epcot!! Who knew we would be able to celebrate with such a fun-filled adventure?! Besides the hour+ I was nauseous after the Space Mission ride we had such a great time walking around enjoying each country represented at Epcot. The fireworks were incredible as well!! SO much of life has happened in 10 years! Its unbelievable, I feel like we are different people in so many ways. I remember our land lord, of all people, when we were first married said, “yep, I’m all ready to go fishing… because you either grow together or apart, and this is how I can continue to grow together with my husband.” I haven’t done that perfectly by any means, but it has stuck with me with such simple, beautiful advise!!

Brent also began his full-time job at Cru Headquarters. He was finished coaching the new Cru interns he had this summer August 1st and now is onto a new group of Cru staff he is coaching along with other responsibilities as they come in the office. Everyone we’ve met is SO welcoming and inviting as we learn the ropes. I went into the HQ with some of the girls in my LifeGroup (small group) in our neighbors convertible. That was a fun ride! I got to see Brent’s office and be part of some of the training he was receiving that day. Some other elements of our week are Wednesday is Lake Hart Stint Day where all the Stinters are together to share where we’ve been with each other, hear a speaker share from the Word, and have group discussion. We rotate these different meetings as well in the afternoon: Coaching Groups, half day with the Lord, while the other parents watches the kids. I’m amazed at how well the Lake Hart team has set the schedule up so both spouses can have time to be involved in the process of development and being challenged. We have been presented with so many opportunities to for growth we are praying right now for the best things to say to, because we know we can’t say yes to them all. Pray with us that the Lord will lead us to the best fit for development and growth for us this year! IMG_8924IMG_8930

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