Comic Strip Hero

July 23, 2009

That boy has received a lot of well wishes since breaking his arm. This comic strip drawn by his friend Rhett might be my favorite, though. It’s a simple story about how, after his unfortunate accident, the boy with the Power of the Kast has the ability to protect his family from intruders in his home. Please notice that in the last picture, both his cast and his mohawk are featured! [Click each page to enlarge.]






June 4, 2009

This will probably be my favorite month this year – it is our month of visitors. We have the joy of playing host to some of our favorite people for four weeks straight and I am loving every minute of it.

Last week our friends Joe & Suzanne were in town with their kids Evan and Maren. We hadn’t seen them in a year, but slipped right back into old conversations and rhythms within minutes. I guess that’s what 7 or 8 years of history will do. To add to the fun of having the Thomases here, the Gassiots tried to absorb as much of their visit as possible, so they were over a lot too. For a good part of the week there were 6 adults and 7 kids in our house. I couldn’t imagine having more fun.

While they were here we took pictures of the kids (I hope to have those soon), shot a music video, and spent lots of time talking, reminiscing, and wishing we lived closer again.



The Thomases left on Monday. As they pulled away, the kids wanted to know why Kim and I were crying. I tried to explain that when you love someone and they go away, you miss them. Fortunately, the easiest way for me to remedy the sadness of missing a friend is to have more company. That’s why I’m so glad that my mother-in-law came into town Monday afternoon.

I am truly blessed to have Teri for a mother-in-law. She’s fun, funny, quirky, and she explains so much of why Matt is the way he is. The kids love her, too. Bill will be joining her this weekend for even more fun. I can’t wait.


After they leave, my mom, sister, and her three kids are coming for two weeks. I have so much and so little planned for the time that they are here. It is going to be a great month.

Friday night we went to a birthday party at the racetrack. The kids loved watching the cars qualify for the race from the suites, and I loved getting a taste of the NASCAR craziness without having to actually go to the race. On the day of the race, we were able to hear the cars and see the finale fireworks from the Bowling’s house. Bristol becomes a completely different city during the race, and it was fun to see the insanity up close.


The next night, Gretchen was on call and at the hospital, so we brought her lunch. The kids found her on-call room fascinating. We had a great time meeting some of her friends, seeing where she works, and spending time with her.


Matt flew home out of Ashville yesterday, so we decided to visit the Bilmore House on our way to the airport. It was a lovely day, but we were a few weeks early for the full force of the spring flowers.



We are having a great time in Tennessee and so grateful that we have another week here. I am already dreading the withdrawl that we will face when we get home.

Creeper Trail

March 20, 2009

Yesterday we went to the Creeper Trail in Virginia. We rode 16 miles of what used to be a railroad line on bikes. The big kids rode tag-along bikes, little half-bikes that attached to grown up bikes, and the little kids were pulled along in a trailer. The ride starts at the top of the White Top Mountain in the Appalachian Mountains and goes down the mountain into a nearby town. It took us about three hours with several picture stops in the first half of our journey, and riding as fast as we could with sobbing children through the cold rain during the second half of the journey.

Despite the rain, it was a fantastic day that involved generous dads who took off their socks so that their children could have “mittens”, Mary wearing a shirt for pants, and sore bums for all riders. I would do it all over again. This is what great memories are made of.


Recent Update

March 17, 2009

There is so much to write about…

New House

First, last Thursday and Friday we were able to move into our new house.

It was a week later than we planned, but we got in and are trilled to be there. We are delighted to be in and can’t wait to complete all the initial plans we have for it – the kids’ bathroom has already been tiled (thanks, Clinton) and painting is happening pretty quickly.

Not So Baby Girl

Our sweet newborn, who we just brought home from the hospital, turned four on Saturday. I can’t believe that she is getting so big. Really, if it hadn’t been for the stress of the new house, I probably would have had a much harder time with this birthday. I mean, we don’t have any babies in our family anymore. Now, we have big kids – it’s a new reality.

We had her birthday party at The Ice Cream Shoppe – an old fashioned soda shop in town. It combined two of her favorite things – friends and ice cream. What could be better?


Road Trip

Despite being in the middle of a move, we have had plans to come visit our friends, the Bowlings, for several months now. Sunday night we started our 20 hour drive to east Tennessee and arrived Monday at supper time. It feels like being home. Not only are we with great friends, they have all these fancy luxeries like sheets, towels and furniture. So fancy.

The kids and I will be here for two weeks – a visit that I plan on enjoying every second of. Bristol is beautiful and the kids are having a great time with their friends. It’s nice to have normal for at least a little while.



Saturday Outing

February 10, 2009

Last Saturday, Kim and I took our kids to the Science Spectrum while our husbands were otherwise occupied. The Science Spectrum had a Dental Health Fair going on while we were there, and we also checked out their “Monsters of the Deep” exhibit. We had a great time with the five little ones, and I think they had a good time too…

Emma Is Here

January 23, 2009

Emma and I met in college. We took two semesters of French together, but became friends in a class on the works of Hans Christian Anderson. (Oddly that was over a decade ago – weird…)

Anyway, she and her 20-month old daughter Clara flew into town and are here for the next few days while her husband goes fishing. I have had such a good time with her already – we just picked up where we left off when we last saw each other about four years ago. (It’s nice that we can keep up with each other on one another’s blogs.)

There is nothing like good friends.

Disney Friends

September 29, 2008

My favorite part of the week at Disney World was that we were there with friends. Not only did we get a family vacation, we were able to share it with the Bowlings, our friends who moved to Tennessee last year. Our group of eight included four adults and a 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year old. It was quite a sight.

This was a trip that we have been planning and looking forward to for over six months. It was so nice to finally see our plans become a reality in ways I could have never planned. Our families complimented each other – at times pushing through the tired, at others encouraging rest. I love travelling with them.

The other fun surprise of the trip was running into the Bentons. Stacey and I knew that our separately-planned trips overlapped, but we kept the secret from our children until we “bumped into” one another at breakfast at our resort. I loved the look on the kids faces when they saw their friends from home in Orlando.

There is nothing like sharing fun with friends. I am so glad we had the chance to be with two different sets of friends while we were at Disney World.


September 1, 2008

We got a phone call early this morning. Early calls are never good, so I was not completely unprepared for the bad news that followed – my friend Bekah had been in an accident. I threw on some clothes and rushed to the hospital where I found Bekah, bloodied and bruised, covered in glass, but otherwise unscathed.

Bekah is the college student that I was assigned to mentor last year. In that time she has become a part of our family, a treasured counsel, and a dear friend. My family loves her and looks forward to her time with us. I love her.

The story she recalled was this, at 2:30 this morning she fell asleep at the wheel. She awoke as she was about to go off the road, swerved to correct herself and over-corrected her car into a lamppost in the middle of the freeway. The lamppost came down completely, but her little car kept going – flipping twice and spinning onto the opposite side of the road and landing upside down. She unbuckled her seat belt, climbed out the hole that was once her windshield, and wandered barefoot up the highway looking for her cell phone. The third car she flagged down (the first one didn’t have a phone, the second one drove by) called 911 for her.

I say all this to explain the miracle that I was privileged to witness today. Bekah should not have walked away from that accident. She should have, at the least, broken bones and stitches over her body. More realistically, she should still be in the hospital clinging to life – and if that was the case, I would still be thankful to the God that I serve. He is good all the time, but today, He chose to perform a miracle. Bekah walked away from a wreck that she should not have survived and right now she is sitting in my living room. She is scraped up, but she is surrounded by friends who love her. I am thankful – thankful that I know her heart for Christ, thankful that even at our ultimate parting I know I will spend eternity with her, and thankful God clearly still has big plans for her life. We all have so much to be thankful for. Tonight, among many other things, I am thankful for God’s mercy on Bekah.

Good Friends

June 13, 2008

I haven’t written in a while because we have been busy, busy people lately. The best thing about the past week and a half was that our friends the Thomases were here for their yearly visit. Joe, Suzanne, Evan, and sweet Maren (who we finally met for the first time) serve the Lord as missionaries in Canada. They were here for a week, and within minutes of their arrival we were able to slip back into habits and patterns that had been established over the many years that we lived in the same city.

The Thomases have amazing stories about what it is to live completely on faith. They are supported financially by people from around the country to do what they do, and they must depend on God in a way that I cannot possibly understand. I always come away from time with them feeling filled and rejuvenated in my faith. I mean, if they can move out of the country, certainly there is a way I can serve Him without going that far from home. It is such a blessing to have friends like these.

If you are interested in what they do, I encourage you to check out the Good Seed website. They are getting the good news out to the world and we are proud to support them in their efforts.