Our sweet Raleigh home.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

This past week, we said goodbye to our home here in Raleigh. This house has seen so much life happen in the past 5 years. We've brought 3 babies home from the hospital, we've spent nearly half our marriage here, we've begun our homeschool journey, we've repented and forgiven one another more times than I can count inside these walls. I wanted to share our real estate photos to preserve the memory of this sweet little home. We will miss her dearly.

We're moving to Texas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

It's with such joy and sadness that I announce that our family is moving allllll the way to Texas! Shawn has accepted a position as worship pastor at The Mount in Keller, Texas (just outside of Fort Worth). Our Raleigh house just sold and the moving truck arrives two days after Christmas.

To our Raleigh fam, you have loved us SO well and we will miss you dearly. I wish there was some way to say goodbye (and *thank you*) to you all.

And to our new Texas fam, we can't wait to get to know you, to raise our kids alongside you, and to serve Jesus and his Church with you.

DIY: Stained glass.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Today I'm sharing a simple DIY project that my kids had so much fun with. This would make a perfect homeschool mini unit study on the history of stained glass or a lesson for a co-op! 
During the Gothic period and the Renaissance (1100s - 1500s), stained glass was one of the foremost painting techniques practiced in Europe. The process of coloring glass was probably invented in ancient Egypt, but it was during the Middle Ages that stained glass windows developed as a major art form. Stained glass windows were an important feature of Gothic-style churches, which first arose in the mid-1100's. The windows filled the interiors of the churches with light and color. They also served an educational purpose. During the Middle Ages, the church was the center of learning. There were few books, and only a few people could read. The designs in the first stained glass windows usually depicted stories or scenes from the Bible. Such scenes were important tools in teaching Christian beliefs to people who visited the churches.

The term "stained glass" derives from the silver stain that was often applied to the side of the window that would face the outside of the building. When the glass was fired, the silver stain turned a yellow color. Artisans of the Middle Ages perfected techniques for making stained-glass windows, many of which are still used today. On a large board, the artisan drew a picture the same size at the window. He numbered each section of the picture according to color. Over the drawing he placed pieces of glass that had already been colored while the glass was being made. Then, following the outline of the drawing, he cut out the shapes with a hot iron. Finally, the artisan cut strips of lead to fit between the pieces of glass. The lead did more than hold the pieces together; it became part of the design. Large windows were given a framework of iron bars for added strength.  

New methods have since changed the appearance of stained glass. But one thing has never changed: the magic effect of sunlight pouring through colored glass. 

Plastic box frame or frame glass (for older kids)
Glass paints (I found these at Hobby Lobby)
Small paint brush
Stained glass window template (find some here to print)

1. Place template behind glass or plastic frame and tape into place. 
2. Using puffy paint, trace the lines of the template onto the glass (may need mom or dad's help with this part). Hold the tip to the surface of the glass and squeeze gently.
3. Allow to dry completely, at least 3 hours lying flat.
4. Once dry, use a small brush and glass paints to fill in your design. Let dry overnight.
5. Enjoy your beautiful stained glass design near a window to allow the light to shine through the brilliant colors.

Richard Allan Tunney, my grandpa.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

My sweet Grandpa Tunney passed away in August, and our family traveled to Ohio for his funeral. I loved this man deeply and missed him for the past several years as Alzheimer's took his mind away from us while his body lingered. I wanted to share what I said at his funeral as I hope it truly honors the man he was. I cannot wait to see him whole in eternity!
He stood only 5 feet 7 inches, but Richard Allan Tunney - my Grandpa - was a giant of a man. Loyal, steadfast, hardworking. He was an honorable man, and I am grateful for the opportunity to honor him today.

Grandpa leaves quite a legacy, and I know he would love to see these first few rows this morning: his bride of 68 years, 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and (so far) 9 great-grandchildren.
I have sweet early memories of him: the smell of his workshop, the way he smiled with his eyes, his strong arms as he pushed one of his four granddaughters on the swing in the backyard. I remember many Sundays spent on one of those back pews, wondering how in the world every single person at Bethel knew Grandpa by name. Even though we grew up about 5.5 hours away, Grandma and Grandpa never missed a major moment. They'd drive to Nashville to watch our cross country meets or to take pictures before prom or graduations. And I'll never forget them dancing at my wedding. Grandpa also had a bit of a mischievous streak that I especially admired. One time, in my early teens, I convinced him to hang a full-sized hammock from the walls of my bedroom when my parents just happened to be out of town. We both clearly knew they'd said "no" to the idea, but he helped me do it anyway, and I loved him all the more for it.

Grandma - I want to talk to you for a minute. Your courageous, sacrificial love for Grandpa, especially over this past decade, has astounded me. You have worked so hard but I know you'd do it all again if given the chance. You never stopped, you never gave up. I know he would be so thankful for your incredible care. I'm confident he's the only Alzheimer's patient in all of Ohio who had his hair blow dried every single day. I know your love wasn't perfect, but it sure was strong.

A little while ago, you told me over the phone that it had been a particularly rough day. I listened as you recounted Grandpa's unsurprising stubbornness when it came to just about every part of his daily tasks. 

But then you paused. And I'll never forget what you said: "I still remember him walking up the drive to pick me up for our first date. I was 16. It's still him. I love him, and I'll love him 'til the day I die." 

I work part-time as a nurse, and each time I'm headed to work at the hospital, I call Grandma. It's a chance to catch up for 10 or 15 minutes, and one of the first things I always ask is, "How is Grandpa today?"

Now that Grandpa is in Heaven, you better believe I'll still call. But I won't have to ask that question because I already know the answer. So I want to ask that question - and answer it - one final time.

How is Grandpa today?

Grandpa is having his best day ever and this is only the beginning. Grandpa is whole. His mind is sharp and clear, his joy complete as he's in the presence of his Savior, Jesus. He's free from the broken body he struggled inside for the last several years of his life. Grandpa knows peace like none of us in this room have yet experienced. We don't have to pray for him anymore because we know where he is. We know Whose he is. We may say "we've lost him," but Grandpa is not lost to God. And in just a little while, we who place our hope in the resurrected Christ will join him in a glorious future we can hardly fathom. Amen!

Our fam.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I'm so, so thankful to have new family pictures (said all the moms in the room!). Shannon Mills Photography did an incredible job with a short window of time and impending rain - and a few wiggle worms - and I love that she captured our family at this crazy wonderful season. 

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