Wednesday, June 27, 2012

OK, I'll give a little update on the grandkids!

Well I know it's been a little while since I updated much on the little ones, especially the girls.  All of them are doing great.  I feel so fortunate to have Tanner and Emma so close and get to see them quite often.  I really miss the daily stuff about Lilly but her parents are wonderful about sending pictures and videos.  We have seen her roll over, clap, chatter and pull up.  But we will get to see her up close and personal on Saturday.   Below are a couple of my favorites from them:

Tanner is taking survival swimming lessons and I've only been 2 times and cried through most of the lesson that is featured here.  Emma is engaging so much.  Imagine Lindsay all over again, never wanting to be away from anyone else and talking all the time.  But the end result is amazing and the in between time was stinking fun!!  Here are Tanner and Emma doing their latest!!

There's a new house at the Tree of Life Village

After spending time with the children of Lusaka, Zambia last summer, Kevin and I really wanted to invest in those precious lives.  We were blessed financially beyond what we needed so we decided to build a new home, Blessing House, at the Tree of Life Village outside of Lusaka, Zambia, Africa.  We will dedicate and open the house on July 6th and welcome it's new residents about the middle of the day.  This is 1 of 3 houses opening that week, but it's about the 16th or so home on the property.  There will be 13-15 children and 2 house moms that will begin calling this their new home.  We can hardly wait to meet them all and show them around the house.  We began preparing and collecting some things for it back in January.  Basic needs will be provided at the house but anything else can be done by us.  So several friends and sweet Lindsay helped make tie blankets.  We sent those and some other things on the container that has already arrived.  We will begin moving in on July 5th.  Look for that event to hopefully make the blog with pictures shortly after it happens.

Please be praying for us as we leave this Thursday, June 28th for 2 weeks headed for Zambia to see our kids and our "kids".  Pray for our travel safety, safety while there, health and for the children moving into the house and those we will meet at CampLIFE.  Pray that we will glorify God in all that we do and that many children will hear the Gospel and come to salvation in Christ.
Below are the sweet ladies that helped make the blankets.  I can't wait to share their pictures with the kids. Thank you ladies for sharing your time and efforts to the children of Blessing House.  

Linda Harley

Gay Gordon

Lindsay Loucks

Jeanne Schwarzentraub

Grace Chuckray

Camille Hall

There's been a couple of showers lately!!

We have had the opportunity to host a couple of baby showers for my friend, Janie's 2 daughter-in-laws.  They are both expecting boys this summer so all of a sudden the Olivers go from 2 grandsons to 4.  Let me just say, "wow"!

For Candice's shower we use a "duck" theme and that became pretty special since ducks were used for a baby shower for Janie when Jeffrey joined their family.

For Erika we carried out the theme of presents and used that on our table for a centerpiece.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Taylor, Amanda & Lilly are moving to Zambia

We've known for a while now that Taylor, Amanda and Lilly are moving to Zambia with Family Legacy Missions International.  In fact they stayed until Lindsay's daughter, Emma, was born so they could meet her.  It has been quite difficult emotionally knowing this time was coming.  We have expressed concerns for their safety, for Lilly's well being, for emergencies, etc., but they really feel it is where they are suppose to be.  As they have prayed for this situation, the Lord has revealed himself in every little detail.  When we thought they could never lease their car to someone else, it happened. When we thought they put their house up for lease too late, it wasn't (3 or 4 offers came the 1st week). I can't help but think that my trip to Lusaka last year was part of preparing me for their move there.  I was able to see Taylor work there and saw the joy he had in doing so.  I also have a feel for the land, where they will be living and working, and what the people are like. The Lord also gave me a real peace overall about them going and that's powerful.

It was tough though helping them pack up the house and arrange schedules for everyone to see them 1 last time, but we never expected what happened the afternoon they left.  I think it was yet another way that Lord took our concern and sadness away because there was no time for that.  As we were headed out to the airport it began storming.  Then right before we got to the terminal it started to hail.  The airport went into lockdown and I've never seen hail look like snow before.  It was awful.  After parking the car, I found them tucked back in an alcove waiting for the storm to go over.  Lilly was so good, hanging out in her stroller and eating whenever someone offered her something.  So after waiting a good while, it was determined that their flight may still be on time which was amazing.  They were anxious for the good byes to be over and went on into the checked area.  We then left the airport and found out that they actually left just 3 hours late, and because of all the other flights being off schedule, they didn't have many passengers on their flight which allowed them to stretch out.  Lilly was great on both that flight and the one the next night to Lusaka.  The following morning I checked on their house and they would be having a new roof put on.  Right down their entire neighborhood was a total mess.  Broken car windows, broken skylights and yards that were torn up.  Yes we were moving on to other matters before they hardly got into their new home.  And the good Lord continues to give us peace about them living there.  They've met some wonderful people, have a new church home and Lilly is growing like a weed.

We will surely miss them but for the time being, they've only committed to 1 year.  We'll see come April of next year if they are here for vacation or to move home.

Please pray for them as they serve the Lord in ministry to the orphans of Lusaka, Zambia.  You can also visit their website at to see what's going on.  They haven't blogged much which means they must be pretty busy.  If you have any questions, please ask or visit to see what it is all about.

Baby Emma Paige Loucks is on the outside!!

Baby Emma Paige Loucks arrived on March 27th weighing in at 8 lbs. and is 19 1/2" long.  She is absolutely beautiful and one of the 1st babies in our family to be born with hair.  Lindsay and Chris are doing well and so is Big Brother Tanner.  Tanner is spending a few days at Grammy and Pops. Once again Dr. Glen Heckman delivered Emma and once again it was a very special time.

Baby shower for Lindsay and Emma

Lindsay's community group "sprinkled" her with a little shower that her neighborhood playgroup friends got to attend.  The hostesses were Joy Blocker, Emily Greening and Shellie Bland.  They did a beautiful job with the decorations and food.

Spring trip to the Arboretum

During our reunion weekend, several of us went to the Dallas Arboretum.  I think it's probably one of the most beautiful gardens in the US.  We all had a wonderful time and the flowers were amazing.  I never managed to get a picture of Lindsay and her family as you can see in one picture, Tanner was running (away) just about the whole time!!