Our 2014 OCC Story

204 shoeboxes…that was the goal for Brylee, Nolan, and Neely this year.  I remember last year, when 100 seemed like an impossibility.  204 is quite a leap from 100.  But, that became the goal this year.

In 2013, the kids made and sold candy cane ornaments to raise money for shipping.  First, we had to come up with a plan on what to make for our project this year.  After looking at several possibilities, the kids decided on an angel ornament.  So, we ordered enough beads and material to make around 200 ornaments.  
Angel Ornament
Brylee and Nolan hard at work making ornaments
Showing off their creations

I have to tell you…I was still skeptical of 204 shoeboxes.  Just to ship those boxes, it would cost $1428 and this figure does not even include the cost to pack the shoeboxes.  That is quite a lofty goal.  

But as we began making and selling the angels, it became clear that God was going to provide for that lofty goal.  As orders and donations began pouring in, the goal of 204 shoeboxes began to look more doable.  If you bought an angel, made a donation, or helped in any way – THANK YOU!  

As we were approaching the time to pack our shoeboxes, we found out that Operation Christmas Child would be sending a videographer to come film the kids making their ornaments and packing their shoeboxes.  Their goal is to make a promo video for next year to send to churches around the nation about how to raise money to send shoeboxes.  
Being Interviewed

Telling about their ornaments
Filming packing the shoeboxes
On Saturday, November 22, Brian came to film the kids making an ornament and tell about why Operation Christmas Child is so important to them.  We went to church and filmed the kids selling their ornaments and then made our way to the Fellowship Hall to pack their boxes.  
Brylee working hard
Neely being cute packing her box

Thankfully, we had some amazing help packing Brylee, Nolan, and Neely's shoeboxes.  At the end of the day, the kids surpassed their goal of 204 shoeboxes!  They packed 215 shoeboxes this year!  Praying for God to use them in a major way to impact His Kingdom! 
Amazing help!  Thank you!
215 shoeboxes
I love my family!


Faith Like a Child - Our 2013 OCC Story

Brylee (6) and Nolan (4) LOVE Operation Christmas Child.  Several times over the past year, I have noticed them playing a game.  It’s a game in which they pack imaginary shoeboxes to send overseas to children so those kids will hear about Jesus.  So, it was no surprise this year as they decided to save their money to pack shoeboxes for OCC this Christmas.  They saved all year long, and by November they had saved around $300 for their shoeboxes.  But, how were they going to cover the cost of the shipping for the boxes?  Brylee came up with the idea to create a business…to make and sell candy canes for $7 a piece – the same price of sending one shoebox overseas. 
Working hard on their ornaments

So, as they began selling candy canes, I began to think, “OK, maybe we can cover about 20 boxes or so.  That would be great.”  But, that was not Nolan’s goal.  You see, Nolan had a God-sized goal – he wanted to send 100 shoeboxes! 

Cute, Nolan.  That’s really cute.  But, 100?  That’s not realistic!

Within 2 weeks of selling candy canes, Brylee and Nolan had raised over $800!  Not only that, we had others donating to help them reach their goal.

Brylee showing off her ornaments
Making her plea to the church
Last night, we finished packing 100 shoeboxes in our basement! 

And as 100 children get to hear about Jesus this year, God used my children to remind me of something.  When I have faith like a child coupled with a God-sized goal, He will ALWAYS come through and Jesus WILL BE exalted.  The question is…do I have faith like a child?  And, does my vision line up with God’s vision? 

Thank you, God for using my children to remind me of your power this year.  May you use the 100 shoeboxes to make much of Your Name!
Filling those shoeboxes
They fill the basement!
Nolan filling the boys' boxes
Finished Product



Does anyone see any similarities in these kids?  Me either!


The Whitehead River

So we had a pretty exciting weekend. Saturday, we decided to go to Franklin - as we arrived at the Factory, sirens were going off indicating a tornado sighting. So we stayed there for a couple of hours and watched the weather. Then we attempted to make it to the mall to no avail - flooding everywhere we turned. So we went back home.

We woke up Sunday to water - lots and lots of water. It was everywhere as Brylee would say. Here are several pictures of the Whitehead River. For a few minutes there, I thought we were going to be that family you see on TV that is being rescued by helicopter. I was trying to get my best southern accent ready just in case we were to be interviewed - but thankfully, it did not reach that point.

I always wondered what it would be like living on a river house, but I didn't really expect to find out living on Clifton Road. Anyway, I guess clean-up will begin this week - our yard is a mess!

Front/Side yard

Getting to the cars

Brylee and I thought it was pretty

Starting to reach the front porch

More of the front "yard"

A little friend joined us on the porch

Reaching the camper

Rising up on the cars

Even around the garage

Getting worse

Where the two creeks meet

Saved by a tractor

The tractor pulling the Sentra to safety

Building a baracade to protect us

Tyler enjoying the Whitehead River

What a fun Sunday!