Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pre-Halloween Fun

Sam, Ella and Maddie at Boo at the Zoo. The Abilene Zoo had over 10,000 people visit that day. 

Sheryl preparing to go out with girlfriends dressed as Lucy

Angie Martin as the Black Widow, Sheryl as Lucy, and Beth Ann Fisher as Mary Catherine Gallagher

Ella ready for her Monster Bash at the HIllis's house. She went as "Spa Girl"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Sam Sees

Sam did some barn yard art in class last week. I was so impressed with his drawing! I feel like I could NOT have drawn this well as a 6 year old! He is loving Kindergarten at Thomas Elementary.

Here are some samples of his art...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend of Fun!

This weekend was the annual Highland Father/Son camp out. Until the day of, Sam hadn't wanted to spend the night. Luckily, he changed his mind! What a blast we had! We came back dirty, stinky, and tired but we played hard and loved every minute of it!

We started off the trip with a visit to Sonic!

The Abilene State Park is so awesome! Great trees, awesome trails, and great camp sites.

I loved this concentrated Sam time

Sam hanging out on the top of my truck

My buddy Greg inspecting the tent construction

What's a camp out without hot dogs??

Jim Etheredge and Steve Eller did a great job of cooking and planning.

Sam enjoying a mouth full of s'mores

Brandon Young and Lee Penya brought guitars for a camp fire sing along

Sam and I played an early morning game of chess

It was cold enough to really hug the fire

one of the trails

Sam and Cason Kilmer

On Saturday morning I went hiking with a mess of was a blast! Lots of "whoaaaaa's" and "COOOOOOL's"
We came home and rested a bit and got ready to go to the Abilene Zoo for "Boo at the Zoo". We were all excited to go. Abilene actually has a great zoo. Little did we know that the zoo was expecting 10,000 people on Saturday. UGH!

Sam (Frank), Ella as an Asian princess and Maddie as Queen Elizabeth

After the Zoo we had an AWESOME night with our buddies the Sullivans. Slade, Dava Lynn, Clark, Bennett, Griffin, and Nolan. Sam was in heaven playing ball, ping pong, etc. We had a blast with them. Slade and I have been friends since ACU days. It's fun to see what a great dad he is. I love his whole family. Dava Lynn sings with us at Highland.

We roasted marshmallows in the Sullivan's outdoor grill

The Sullivan and Thomas kids...a whole lot of fun!

All in all it was an awesome weekend. This morning was another amazing morning at Highland. God is doing great things here. I feel so thankful for getting to be a part of it all!

Friday, October 21, 2011

"The World As I See It" by Madeline Thomas

This is a poem written this week by my 10 year old, Maddie.

The world as I see it is so green and so blue.
The world as I see it is full of people just like me and you.
The world as I see it has days and nights.
The world as I see it has darkness and lights. 
The world as I see it has dogs and cats.
The world as I see it has hippos and rats.
The world as I see it has clouds like doves.
The world as I see it has never ending love. 

~Madeline Thomas

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Music Atlanta

Have you registered yet for New Music Atlanta with ZOE? It's not too late! Randy Gill, D. J. Bulls, the ZOE Group, Dusty Rush and others are preparing an amazing weekend of worship and an awesome music workshop for praise teams and anyone who loves to sing. You do not want to miss this! The registration price is ridiculously low too...probably the lowest of any conference you could find. Very affordable and with registration you'll also leave with a folio of brand new music. Go today to and register. We want you there!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning had to have been one of the coolest experiences I've had in a while. The worship center was packed with ACU Homecoming guests but there was an intimacy about the morning that could have only come from the Lord. From the moment we began you could feel it in the room. And the Spirit just blessed us with an abundance of power that day. There was a transparency on the praise team that moved me to tears...scriptures being read through tears, songs being sung boldly, hearts being laid before Him. It was a wonderful day. Our friend Amanda Vickers from Nashville was in town and sang with us. She sang Hallowed...completely awesome. Sheryl sang was just one of those days...a day I'll remember.

Jonathan Storment, our preacher, is great at using visuals as he preaches...props and other creative elements. This Sunday was no exception. Here's a picture of Jonathan during his sermon...

He confessed that he might look a little like "Fonzie's nerdy nephew". HA! Loved that!

Another thing I love about Highland is that Our children's minister Suzetta Nutt has taught the kids at Highland to "pray in color". It is one of the most formative things I've seen. Brilliant! (praying in color is drawing what you see and hear in your head and heart as you pray) Sunday as the story of Joshua was being read, one of the 4th graders drew this picture. This is incredible...from a 4th grader! Landry Bonneau (one of Maddie's good buddies) drew this and explained...the wall represents our struggles and the horn is the word of the Lord. When His truth is spoken, it tears down our walls. I love that Suzetta and others are giving our children the freedom and mentoring to pray in such creative and abstract ways. Check out what Landry wrote on the wall...just such a powerful image! I love this!

Highland has been deep in prayer for Liam and Tatum, two Highland children struggling with cancer. At a prayer service for them, Ella drew this while praying in color. I loved this too. I praise God for the children's ministry at of the big reasons we love it here so much!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ACU Homecoming 2011

This weekend is ACU Homecoming. Growing up, this was one of my all-time favorite weekends of the year. Our kids have been anticipating and looking forward to this for weeks!

The weekend got kicked off last night with the Homecoming Carnival and Jam Fest on the front lawn.

It ended with a fireworks show...but we didn't last that long. The kids jumped themselves into exhaustion...there was even rock wall climbing and laser tag.

This morning was the Homecoming Parade. We took our normal spot right in front of Bitsy's Flower Shop. The kids brought bags to collect all the candy being tossed from each float.

Kelly Wilson Litton and Meredith Speck on the Coming Home Court

Willie the Wildcat is very environmentally friendly

Gata Float

Siggie Float

My intern, Trey Wrape, (in white) marching with Gamma Sigs

Our dear friends--the Brown Family. Tod, Lee Ann, Bailey, Hutton, and Reagan

life-long friends--Corey Patterson and Amy Nichols Boone

Homecoming Chapel in Moody Coliseum
Tonight is the annual Homecoming musical. This year they are doing "The King and I". We've been resting this afternoon since it will be a late night. The kids are excited about seeing some of their friends in the show. More pictures to come!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sam A. Thomas

‎20 years ago today I said goodbye and hugged my father one last time. I've missed him every single day. Thanks to Amy Boone for this wonderful quote by Andy Raine from Common Prayer..."Do not hurry as you walk with grief; it does not help the journey. Walk slowly, pausing often; do not hurry as you walk with grief. Be not disturbed by memories that come unbidden. Swiftly forgive; and let Christ speak for you unspoken words. Unfinished conversation will be resolved in Him. Be not disturbed. Be gentle with the one who walks with grief. If it is you, be gentle with yourself. Swiftly forgive; walk slowly, pausing often. Take time, be gentle as you walk with grief."

I wanted to share this in honor of my dad. I love this because of Sheryl's voice singing and thinking about how much Dad would have LOVED hearing her. And I love the end of this slide show seeing the heritage of faithfulness passed down and having our own "Sam Thomas" who brings joy to my life every day. We all miss you, Dad! I only wish I could see what you see and hear what you hear in that great cloud of witnesses. Someday!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

New Music Atlanta

All of us in ZOE are excited about New Music Atlanta coming up next month. We want you there! Our first conference in 2 years. Randy Gill and the folks at Campus Church are working like crazy to prepare. You don't want to miss this. Awesome worship, clinics where we'll learn tons of new music and great fellowship! Go here to register