Nine years ago today "I will," are the words I used as I promised to take Aaron as my husband, to have and to hold from that day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from that day forward until death do us part. Well, I know we haven't been married all that long, but we have experienced better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness, and health in these past nine years. I have to say, I love him much more today than I did then, even though I thought my love could never be greater.
We decided to marry because we could serve God better together than apart (thanks Matt Schantz for that teaching). We strive everyday to serve God better. I have to thank my husband for helping me become a better Godly woman over these past nine years. I look forward to growing even more in my faith with you, Aaron. Thank you for being my leader, my teacher, my encourager, my helper, my friend and loving me as Christ loved the church. You are a wonderful husband, and I honor you today...our anniversary. I pray that I can serve you better each day, as I learn to serve Christ better each day.
To those of you who are married, I encourage you to choose to honor and love your spouse today. God will bless you for that. Remember what a blessing you have in your mate. God wants our marriages to grow and flourish. He wants us to grow closer to Him and each other in the process. Serving God together is always a blessing. May God bless your marriage and your lives today!
We took a mini vacation to Houghton Lake a week ago. It was so much fun! We talked Grandma Hess into going with us too. We all enjoyed being together! It was great to get away and not have any other distractions, just fun times as a family. The hotel had a small indoor waterpark, where Jayna expanded her horizons on the big water slide (after much convincing). We also went putt putt golfing a couple of times. One day, we went swimming at Higgins Lake. The pictures are from there. These are the only three pictures we took the whole time. We were just too busy having fun together! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family! Thank you Lord for all our special times together!
Aaron and Jayna walked out to the end of the swimming area a few times. Our girls LOVE the water! Aaron LOVES being with his girls!
Grandma Connie and Grandpa Shutes (my mom and step father) recently bought a condo in Sugar Springs, which is about 35 minutes from us. We enjoy visting them, as you can see in the pictures. Jayna and Autumn both enjoy the boat very much!
July 21st has always been an important day for our family because it is the day God chose to give us our Jayna Elizabeth. This year, the day became important for another reason. It is the day our very special friends Israel Cox and Michelle (Lewis) Cox joined in marriage. Israel, a long time friend, has been staying with us on the weekends since December, so we have felt like he was a member of the family. (Autumn has especially formed a bond with him.) Michelle has always been very special to us, but especially to Jayna. They spent many "girl days" together. It has been a blessing to watch this wonderful couple grow in Christ as they grew together in their relationship. Therefore, it was beautiful to watch them take the next step in their God led journey together. We are missing them both very much, as they moved to Swartz Creek, but we praise God for their friendship and committment to Him, as well as each other. Jayna was able to spend her birthday as their flower girl. This made her day. She also enjoyed celebrating with Stacie (a bridesmaid and friend) as "the birthday buddies." Thanks Izzy and Michelle for making her feel so special. We love you both!
Jayna shares a birthday with Grandpa Gene (my dad), so every year we go to the beach to celebrate. Here are some fun photos from that day. The girls had a great time! After this, there was only one more birthday celebration left. Stay tuned to see how Jayna spent her actual birthday...