I guess I left you hanging last Tuesday.  I didn't finish my post about our road trip and the SERVE week with my brother's church...  

This is my brother's old church and where he brought his youth group for SERVE week this year.  We've been coming here since Victoria was in Junior High so we were so glad to be back and see so many people we know.

Rebecca was on the Barnabas team again this year.  

And this is the guest speaker, Jolene DeHeer.  I can't really put into words how awesome this lady is.  I've mentioned her before and the heart she has for these kids each year, but she is just the greatest servant.  She has so many amazing life stories of God's incredible power and she's such a funny lady who is just REAL, like really real...  I'll have to share some of the stories with you that she has shared over the years because they are God sized miracles and I know this lady has moved lives in deep ways.

So during the week they all split up into teams and just serve the community in all kinds of ways.  I think Isabella's team cleaned up the lake one day, offered a free car wash one day, helped a widow with all her yard work that she wasn't able to do anymore, painted a house... there were so many jobs around the town that were getting done, it was great to see these kids works SO hard for others each day!

While we had fun... hahaha

While my kids were working hard all week, I got to spend some time with my sister-in-law and the girls!  We went to the Dutch Village...


The Farmer's Market...

I was able to walk to Lake Michigan from their house and be on the beach by myself and do my devotions.

It was such a peaceful time to "be still" with the Lord at the beach.  

We also had to do a little shopping downtown Holland!  This is one of my favorites stores, Spring Sweet.

Dawn & I also got to go out for the night and get a babysitter so we could have dinner and shop by ourselves!

This was a GREAT store in Saugatuk... don't you just LOVE everything about this front porch of the store??

Such a great sunset after dinner with Dawn.  I just love this place and feel so blessed to come here just about every summer!

We did get to visit Isabella and Rebecca during the week as well.  We would go visit them on a job site, or at the church at night for dinner.  These cousins love each other and I'm so happy they are getting this chance, even though we live so far apart.

These are the 2 "Becca's" and they are both going off to college this Fall.  Rebecca's made such great friends through this experience and it's been a really neat thing to watch these friendships continue and grow even though they only see each other once a year.

Of course you can't talk about SERVE without mentioning "Tuba"... He's such a part of this and has worked along side my brother for so many years.  He's just Tuba... and he's always doing SOMETHING.

My brother text me this photo early on in the week and it just made me SO happy.  My girl's first year and she was already making some great friends!  It's always hard the first year that the girls start SERVE.  They don't know anyone expect for their Uncle and they are coming into something where these groups of kids already have their friends.  But it's been so great to see each of our daughters step into something thats a bit scary at first and then grow in their independence, learn to make friends and fit it, and then get deep friendships out of it through the years.  So excited Isabella is doing the same!

And I get to spend time with my nieces!  We walked along the beach one day and I pulled some "sea grass" and made them a wrap bracelet and headband.

These girls grow up so much each year, it's great to get spend time with them.

And a walk by the beach just isn't complete without ice-cream at the General Store!

Basically this photo sums it up.  Arms wide open... full of good times and lasting memories!

Next summer is the last year for Isabella to be in Serve as a student.  Later on as they get older they can be on the Barnabas team, but I'm sad to think it could be the last time we go for SERVE week.  

We usually stay after its over for a few days, but since we did the road trip we needed to get back home quickly for Rebecca's surgery.  It was a fast 3 days getting home... picking up my car back in Nebraska, spending part of a day with Jeanne's family again(and spiderman & some strange horse head ;)-  had lunch with some of my family in Colorado, and then tried to make it all the way home from Jeanne's but got stuck in a huge traffic accident (we were fine) and could only make it to Vegas the last night, when all we wanted was to be in our own beds.


But God is good, He protected us all the way home and it was a fun road trip we won't forget...

Have a GREAT day and I'll be back later this week to share more about my Bible Journaling with Sheila Atchley's class!