summer days are here

We can be found in the backyard swimming...

or in the front riding bikes...

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or in the house hiding from the excessive heat!

I just love summertime, even with the 100+ temps, because it means lots of carefree moments and ice cream ;-)


7th inning stretch

After fixing the refrigerator and putting together a Star Wars lego set with Kade, Keith took us to the Express game on Memorial Day. Throughout the game, the announcers had the men and women who had served in the Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and Navy stand up. We got to both enjoy the great American past-time and focus on the people that have served so that we can afford the freedoms we enjoy, like baseball, on this holiday. Speaking of our servicemen - Kade told us this morning that he plans on being in the Air Force when he gets older. We mentioned that he wouldn't be able to see his family very often and he (a little too quickly, I might add) said, "That's o.k. - I'll be protecting ya'll."

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five reasons to retire

We are in Dallas this weekend celebrating that Papa is about to retire! His school had a retirement party for him and another counselor on Friday and then Keith and the boys went with Papa to the Rangers game last night. Today, we took him to see Kung Fu Panda 2 and he took us to McDonald's. Needless to say, it has been fun celebrating that he is about to be available for Papa duty 24/7 ;-)

I'm sure there are quite a lot more reasons for Dad to retire, but the youngest five in the picture are at the top of that list ;-). They're all going to benefit from having more Papa time.

Both Keith and Karen were born after Dad started working at North Garland. His faithfulness to his wife, children, and his work are such great examples he has passed down to his kids and grand kids.

I love this pic below because it captures the friendship that Keith has with his dad. I don't know...maybe because I never really had a good relationship with my father, I'm always blessed by how much Keith respects his dad and values his input on life.

The boys retreated to Papa's office to enjoy his retirement cake....
Speaking of his office, I don't know if I've ever mentioned what Papa likes to collect...see if you can guess...

I remember a couple of times while we were in high school when Dad took us to McDonald's and bought all the teenagers 2 happy meals (when they were .99¢) as long as we gave him the toys that came with it :-) The kids love going to his office to play with all the toys....I wonder what the high schoolers think when they come visit him for the first time.

They have worked together for many years and are now retiring together. For those of you who know the Ferguson's love of Rangers baseball, you'll appreciate the retirement shirts that their co-workers had made for the occasion.

Brynlee is obviously ready for Papa to retire so he'll have more free time to hold her. I got this pic as she was looking at me with the "Look, mom, I got my way," eyes.

Congrats, Papa, for all your faithful years of service - we love you and are so proud of you!

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hanging at e. and papa's

It's been a fun day - so thankful for the chance to hang out with family!

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our happy place

I'm so jealous of their garden!

I just thought this pic was hilarious of Kade sitting on the swing - nature all around him - and he's wearing dr's gloves....too funny.

Thank you, Horace and Retta, for always extending an open invitation to the farm. We so love being there and spending time with ya'll!

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bryn and shoes

Those two things just don't go together. I've tried. Many, many times. She is extremely picky (or if I spin it in a positive way, she already is clear on what she does and doesn't like in a shoe). And I'm slower because I'm still trying to figure out what her criteria is. As you can see in the picture, matching shoes are not one of those criteria...

You know what though? I look forward to seeing how this certain sense of style develops as she gets older. I'm sure it's going to bring Keith and I lots of laughter ;-) And, I've got to admit, I was just happy she put shoes on....many times, she takes her shoes off right before getting in the car and we don't know she's barefoot until we get to our destination. Crazy cute girl.


so thankful for him

When Keith and I met in middle school, he was "the man," or I guess I should say, "the boy." We were both in band together and he just always had this confidence about him - he was extremely smart and extremely talented. His confidence continued all throughout junior high and into high school as he continued to achieve everything he set out to accomplish - whether it be one of the top kids in class academically, running for class president, band president, nominations for Homecoming King, Most Likely to Succeed, Band Beau, Drum Captain, etc., etc....you get the picture, he was simply good at everything. And he knew it ;-) He was pretty cocky about all of his skills.

But then something changed. Our junior year. He realized that God was the giver of all good things, including all of his many talents. He began to love God more than himself. Now, we had dated a couple of times before this point. But...it was at this point that I fell in love. hard. and I knew I was going to marry him. We were 16 then. We finished high school and went to Baylor University together.

And, on May 20th, 2000, I got to marry the man of my dreams. He is still just as talented, actually, even more talented. He still has an amazingly high capacity to achieve anything he sets his mind to. But, he doesn't delight or find his worth in these many talents. These verses from Psalms always make me stop and thank God for my husband - because they so accurately describe him...

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers." {Ps. 1.2-3}

I am a better woman because I have a husband who loves God so much. He leads our family so well. He provides for us. He makes us laugh. He points us to God. He prays for me. He encourages and challenges me spiritually and mentally. He is such an amazing father that the kids eagerly anticipate his arrival at the end of the day because they just love to be around him. He leads our home, our church and the staff with such integrity. He is a man of his word. He can be both direct and loving at the same time. No, he's not perfect. But, I would say he's pretty close. And I love him dearly.

Thank you, Keith Patrick Ferguson, for 11 years of bliss. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.


love wins, by rob bell

This is one of those few books that I literally have to get up and walk around to diffuse my pent-up frustration after every couple of pages.

Rob Bell is so slick with words. He is by far one of the best communicators that our generation grew up listening to...anyone remember the Nooma videos? But, being an excellent communicator doesn't equate to being the leading expert on God and His plan for redemption.

The artistic, creative part of his personality comes out strong in this book as he does extremely well in appealing to our feelings. Of course, who wouldn't want "love to win?" That so catchy and appealing to everyone with a beating heart. The way he makes you think he is addressing all the skeptic's questions ("At this point another voice enters the discussion - the reasoned, wise voice of the one who reminds us that it is, after all, a story.") gives us an idea that he is presenting the whole picture. As if Bell is the humble one in the discussion - please! He basically has me so fired up because he is pretty much appealing to every reader with this thesis....

I (Rob Bell) am so sorry that you have had to sit under a pastor who fed you the toxic idea about God being a God of wrath (because of His absolute holiness!!!) and a God of love....the wrath part just doesn't line up with my book title, "Love Wins," and it really isn't the message that people in our generation want to hear or that feels right (because we should always go with our feelings instead of truth, right?!). Don't you think it would be better if in the end, God's love conquers His wrath so that everyone ends up getting to experience heaven? Wouldn't that be a nicer, more loving story? Does is really make God glorious that people spend eternity in hell? Let me (Rob Bell) tell you that I've got it all figured out and it is just what you've been wanting to hear. "

The arrogance that he tries so hard to mask in his onslaught of "innocent" questions is unnerving to me. And don't be fooled - remember, he is a master-crafter of words - everything he says, including his innocent questions, is there for an intended purpose.

OK...I've paused my ranting and continued reading...now I'm on pg. 46 and I'm fired up again after only reading two pages by this quote...

"If you believe that you are going to leave and evacuate to somewhere else, then why do you do anything about this world?"

Again, I'm sad by this. I know he knows his history well...why didn't he talk about all the Christians (who do believe in literal heaven and hell and God's wrath/God's love and pre-destination and God's absolute holiness and sovereignty) in our history who have spent their lives trying to relieve suffering? I think about our Agape Pregnancy Center and Round Rock Serving Center, right here in Round Rock, who are Christians who believe they will one day die and go to heaven, yet they spend their everyday taking care of the people in our city who are suffering. My husband, who I watch everyday pour over the Scriptures so that he can correctly handle the word of truth (2 Tim 2.15), is one of those pastors that Bell basically apologizes for...do you understand why I'm taking this so personally? He is attacking so many men, including my husband, throughout 2,000+ years of church history, and saying basically, that they had it all wrong.

Speaking of church history, I love how he tries to make readers think that his teaching isn't radical...he wouldn't want you to put him in the category of "false teachers." So...he leads us to think that he is just simply following in the steps of orthodox, Christianity and not departing from what has literally been passed down for 2,000+ years - as he says in the preface, he's just "introducing you to the ancient, ongoing discussion surrounding the resurrected Jesus in all its vibrant, diverse, messy, multivoiced complexity." Yes, thank you Rob Bell, for keeping the ongoing discussion alive. It's because of people like you throughout history that have challenged the orthodox, Christian body of believers to clarify what we hold true and what is false teaching. I wonder why he didn't include 2 Peter 2 in his preface....

"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who brought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves...For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment, if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood of its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness......if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment."

I'm going to stop now and send you to my husband's blog for his review...which I'm sure is holier than mine ;-) here's the link - go read it! www.gospelrenewal.com.


in love with instagram

Ok, all of my iphone peeps must try this app....Instagram. It makes it so easy to take a pic a day (or two, or three, or four ;-) and grunge them up a bit. I'm not always the best photographer, but I'm telling you, this app has made me feel like a cool photographer these past couple of days. Plus, it's really quick to post to Twitter or Facebook.

And...if I'm honest. I'm lonely. I'm for the most part following random people just so that I'm not scrolling thru my own pictures...I need you. I would so much rather see pics from your life over these random people - even though some of them are amazing. Let me know if you do start using this app so I can become your "follower." Yes, Gennae, that does sound a little creepy :-)

Here are a couple of pics I've taken with this app...


favorite iphone apps

I am a sucker for the free and .99¢ apps for my iphone. love, love, love trying them out. Sometimes, if I hear they're really good, I'll on occasion go wild and purchase one of the $1.99 apps. I usually get one or two iTunes gift cards for Christmas and it makes it just too easy to hit the install button :-)

Here are some of the ones I enjoy the most...

1) Twitter - This is really helping me to learn to keep my thoughts short and sweet. I've noticed that men tend to use Twitter more and ladies tend to prefer Facebook....I wonder why that is ;-) maybe because FB allows for comments and for longer postings so we can fit all our words in! I would enjoy getting to see more of your thoughts on Twitter and not just men that I know who use the app a lot - so here's my plea - JOIN me in the Twitter world!! It is such a quick way to pass on links and valuable information found on the web or to let everyone know you've updated your blog.

2) Google - I love the feature on this where you can search for something thru the voice recorder. I tend to think about random stuff when I'm driving and that's not really a good time to be typing in the search box, so the voice feature keeps me and everyone around me safe!

3) Icredibooth - I just downloaded this one this morning based on a friend's recommendation and it is so fun! You know how she convinced me it was worth it? She told me she uses it to send "special" pictures to her husband sometimes. Oh the fun I'm planning to have with this one! I'm just saying that you can "help" your husband to remember throughout the day how home with you is really the best place to be ;-) Now, I won't name names on which friend sold me on this one, but I will say that they have a sweet marriage, so you really might want to consider jumping on this one.

4) Shazam - This is so I don't go crazy trying to figure out the artist or name of song when I'm stumped with something I'm hearing on the radio. It can affect the rest of my day and take up all my brain space if I can't think of something in regards to a song, so this really helps my sanity. Warning - they limit your uses (which I found out the hard way), so only use it when you're really about to go mad if you don't know the information right then.

5) Words with Friends - This is fun as long as I'm winning :-) I'm not as motivated to play when I have a horrible set of letters. I know, not fair play. Laura and Tomi - don't give up on me. I'm a work in progress.

That's all I can write about for now...kids are all needing something at the same time and don't care that I'm not done with my list. Boo.