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InstaFriday #7 - Furlough 2015

Okay so I've been gone a while. Life threw us some crazy, busy stuff lately and we've been flying her and there. We're currently sitting in Pensacola, Florida with a little down time so I thought I'd use the time to update with an InstaFriday. 

I was over-joyed to get to see my sweet niece and her adorable family a little while a go. Traci is the oldest daughter of my sister Rita (she died in 1986) and these three cuties are her boys. From largest to smallest: Parker, Walker and Ryder. I was so blessed by the ability of these 3 to love so easily. My sister would be proud if she could see them now, I know I am. BTW, they're sporting their Croatian soccer jerseys.

Furlough, furlough, furlough. I often hear people say, "I'm glad you're getting to come home and take a break." I know they mean well but this is hardly a break. I'm enjoying seeing some stuff and being alone with Johnny but it's tiring for sure and I can't wait to go home. 

We've been all around the south. We started with meetings in Louisiana, went onto Mississippi, and in Florida now and headed to Alabama tonight. Oh wait...I forgot about Georgia. We had a great time with friends near Savannah and they treated us to a Brazilian Steakhouse. WOW! If you've not been and you have some money to blow (thankful for generous friends) then it's worth a try especially if you like all you can eat steak! 

After our Sunday meetings we headed to New Orleans to see the French Quarter. I loved seeing all the architecture but I didn't care for the hustle and bustle. I'm a coffee-sipping, strolling kinda gal and things were way too loud and busy for my tastes. It was nice to see and I'm happy to check it off my list. 

Stopped at a little store and bought some Brim's pig skins and was pleasantly surprised to find John 3:16 printed on the back. Bravo Brim's!

I was reading in my devotions the other morning and was saddened by this verse in Zechariah. Saddened that our dear Jewish friends can't see that the BRANCH has already come, He has already removed the iniquity of the land in one day. How sad that they can't see that the Messiah has already purchased salvation for all who will accept it. 

My hubby, love of my life and I have enjoyed Pensacola. The weather has been awesome and we've loved getting to see the water. It hadn't really been too crowded either. I loved strolling with him and making memories. I guess furlough isn't all hustle and bustle, and i'm happy for the times to just be together. 

Okay so I've managed another blog post!! Woohoo!! I'm trying to be faithful to my blog despite all the hustle and bustle. 


Our Baby Girl's All Grown Up

Well, I'm here! I know you thought I was long gone but I'm not. I'm still here, hanging on and riding along with life. We've had a crazy last couple months and they've been life changing. We made our way Stateside the last week of April and we've been running since we arrived. Our main reason for coming back to the States was to see our dear daughter Hannah graduate high school and begin her life here in Texas. 

We started getting ready for graduation by taking the long awaited senior photos. I had such a ball photographing Hannah. She made it so much fun and easy. It's easy to take beautiful photos when the subject is lovely inside and out. 

These are some of my favorite photos from the shoot. Oh yea the setting is in a very old botanical park about 10 minutes from our home in Croatia. 

I fell in love with the photo, she looks so angelic. 


This photo floored me! She looks so grown up and I don't think I was ready for that. She's my little girl and always will be. 

This photo was an accident. Her dad had decided to do push-ups right in the middle of the park and she was looking at him like he was crazy. I just happened to snap the photo at the right time. 

I'm responsible for the new part in her hair. She had it parted in the middle but she looked so grown up so I asked her to part it on the side and I love it. She looks so young. 

Loved the simplicity of this one. 

This is my all-time favorite photo of Hannah. It is her all rolled up in a photo. I can see her spirit and beauty in this. Love it!!



Hannah graduated with 3 other home school graduates at our home church in Texas. She beamed and looked like she belonged in that cap. I'm not sure when she grew up but she did. 

I loved that she chose to decorate her display table in the colors of Croatia. I love that she loves Croatia and counts it as her home. She has a real missionary heart.

I



Finally, she's working! She has her first job at Chick-fil-A and she loves it. She's working 40 hours a week and saving for school. She's doing amazing, I knew she would. So phase "Hannah" of our furlough trip is almost done and now we're taking care of business. 

We've  been traveling and visiting supporting churches for a month and right now we're sitting in bright, sunny Florida! We still have 2.5 months left but it's flying now. I have mixed feelings about leaving Hannah but I know God's in control. I'm thankful for our life. We've been so blessed and we're looking forward to the next
"empty nest" phase of our lives. 

INSTAFriday #6 & Admission

Hey everyone! It's that time again, INSTAFriday!! My Instagram account as been pretty slow as of late. Seems like there's way too much happening even to take a few moments to take photos. Here are the 4 I managed to take this week. 

We've been teaching about the end of Jesus' worldly ministry and last week we taught on the cross. We really want the children to understand exactly what the Lord did and sacrificed for them so we try to teach about the suffering of the Cross while keeping it kid friendly. I found this cute little craft and we made them for Sunday School. Plaćeno, means Paid For! Praise the Lord if you have accepted His wonderful Son Jesus then your sins are also paid for!!

 For my birthday my husband bought me several things but as usual he couldn't wait to give them to me so I got my gifts a week early so for my actual birthday he went out and bought me a slew of Bible pens for my new Bible. These are my favorite! They are the Pilot Frixion Point  and they are awesome! They're very fine tipped, they don't bleed and best of all, they're erasable!! I'm serious! The erase with friction and none of that nasty eraser stuff. Anyhow, these are some of my favorite things lately!

Okay so this is just silliness. How many of you play QuizUp? I'm am completely addicted to the Bible subject. When I actually saw the rankings and realized I could be number #1 in Croatia I couldn't help myself. Okay I have to admit, the fact that I'm probably the old native English speaker takes a little wind out of my sail but still it's cool!! Look me up if you play, I'm Tori L. or johnnysgirltori. 

For most people these verses mean a world of hope. Even though I have read them hundreds of times this time they really spoke to my heart. I'm so thankful for the promises we find in the Word of God. What a loving God we serve that cares enough about our hearts to reassure us that He's got it all in control.

Okay now it's time for my admission which won't be a huge shocker to most of my readers.

As many of you know, our lives are about to change drastically. Our last child, our daughter Hannah is about to graduate and leave Croatia to start her life in the States. With her leaving and our upcoming furlough life has thrown us a basket full of stuff to get accomplished in the next 24 days. Along with my list below that hangs in my kitchen and keeps me from having a moment of rest there's also the fact that next week we have a guest preacher from Oklahoma coming to stay with us for a week and preach our mission conference that starts next week.
That may not seem like a lot but for those of you who don't know, I'm a perfectionist. There, I said it. I admit it and I know that having house guests means a whole bookoo of prep and then serious upkeep all week. It is what it is and it shouldn't be that way but there it is.

So I rambled on and said all that to say this...I am gonna have to take another blog break. Not so much a break but my posting and reading will be sporadic at best. There's so much to be done and there's about 10 things I just remembered that I need to write on the board.
Anyhow my friends, thanks for understanding and sticking with me. I value all my blog friends and hopefully life will slow down sometime soon and I can get back to blogging on a regular basis.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter weekend! Praise the Lord, He didn't stay in the tomb but He is risen!!

INSTAFriday #5 Link-up

Okay so today's INSTAFrida is slim pickin's for sure. This week has again been busy and I've been feeling a little puny. My sweet husband decided to share his gunk with me and I'm been sniffling and blowing for days. Thank the Lord it is finally subsiding a little and I can see some clear breathing in my near future.
I took the above photo the other day during my devotion. I love it when I find smilies in the Bible. This was in Romans but I'm sure they have to be everywhere. 

 Then yesterday at church I took this little pretty's photo. I love Daffodils and I'm super-crazy-excited about Spring. I love flowers and Spring is perfumed with them.

Yesterday was pretty special too.  I didn't take any photos but it was my birthday, 42nd actually. My family did so much for me. My day started with a wonderful breakfast prepared by my sweet Hannah, who is BTW, an excellent cook. Then I opened some gifts and received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my honey and Hannah cooked a great lunch that included some crazy-good stuffed mushrooms. I followed all the excitement with a nap (which I needed) and then we headed to church and out to dinner afterwards with friends. It was a lovely birthday, really one of the nicest I can remember. Oh yea and it got up to 73 yesterday and was gloriously sunny. Altogether it was a perfect day!!

Okay girls, it's your turn, can't wait to see your INSTAFriday photos!





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