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July 8, 2009

Kelly's July Newsletter

Greetings from the Kelly household! We hope that you all enjoyed your July 4th weekend and were able to get some time away to relax with friends and family. This year, we loaded up the minivan and drove to Sheridan to visit Sandra's grandpa, and had a fantastic time. It's wonderful to see his face light up when he sees the kids, and this was also his first opportunity to meet Landen - the newest addition to the family. The kids loved the trip though and always enjoy seeing Max the "big puppy" as they call him. I've never seen an animal be so patient with kids grabbing, poking and pulling, but he does the job!

Family life has been going really well for us. Landen has officially been sleeping through the night for a couple of months now - praise God! He still wakes up to eat breakfast around 6am or so, but that's a lot better on Sandra than having nightly 2am feedings. She's still nursing which is going very well, and we're hoping to start him on rice cereal within the next couple of weeks. As you can see in the pictures attached, he's really getting big! Emerson still loves to sing and talk to him, and Braeden has been showing Landen his trucks, and still hasn't quite mastered the concept of "personal space." We often have to pull him away when he gets within an inch of Landen's face and tries to talk to him. Landen is picking up some new tricks as he goes along too...lately, it has been his ability to growl at you. Even though he's only four month old, if you look at him and give a little grrrrrr, he will smile and then take a minute and growl right back. It is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. You can check it out

Emerson is about to turn five, but is going to miss the school district cutoff to start kindergarten, which is a little bit of a relief because we're not sure we're ready to send her off to school full time! She will continue to attend New Life Preschool three days a week in their morning program. She really loves going and doing all the activities and singing the songs.

We're working on potty training with Braeden which proves infinitely more difficult with a boy than with our daughter. He really has no interest in it, although he loves having "speedcar undies." If he gets trained before school starts this fall, he may also attend the preschool, but only two mornings a week.

Summer is exciting with Emmaus Student Ministries! We've been meeting Wednesday evenings at my house doing an in-depth study of the book of Galatians. God has been surprising and challenging me with the students who come. The conversations continue to challenge me and I'm really impressed with how much the kids learn from the passages. They are continually taking things deeper than we ever expected them to go, which has been amazing. God continues to challenge them to new levels of discipleship. I really love having the guys and girls together because it is interesting to see the different perspectives on the passage, and they seem to be enjoying it as well. At the end of April, we took a group of them to Albin, Wyoming for a two night three day retreat themed on 24 - how to focus their whole day on God. It included games, worship music, teaching, a scavenger hunt and was topped off with ten prayer stations for them to work through. It was an amazing weekend and we continue to discuss the events of the weekend and how we can carry the teachings into our daily lives, and make sure it was more than just some weekend in April. We're currently working on a Rockies game, as well as a possible trip to Elitch's amusement park or Water World. We also want to take a weekend camping trip before school starts up. I've created a fund in our budget where people can donate anytime to help sponsor kids to events and retreats. We're also considering another retreat next spring, but keeping the option open for one in the fall.

Emmaus is still going strong and is now in the early stages of looking for our own facility! It will be a nice and welcome change when we can decorate however we choose, and be able to leave our equipment in place. It is really taxing on volunteers and equipment when you constantly have to set up and tear down on a weekly basis. It will also make it significantly easier when we have our own locations to host events and functions - like youth! Please partner in prayer with us so that God would reveal where He wants us to go...we don't want to take a step in any direction unless He leads us.

Finally, I'd love to ask specifically for your financial support. Having a family of five to support become difficult and takes a lot of faith when you are depending on other people to help pay the bills. Our current needs is only $750 per month, but have been falling short in recent months. Please pray about how you can help support us in this endeavor. As Emmaus continues to grow, hopefully they will be able to cover the needs, but until that happens, we depend on you. If you'd like to make any donation, whether monthly, or one time, please send a check to Emmaus Road Community Church PO Box 386 Laramie, WY 82073. Make sure to put "Kelly Support" in the memo line and it will go specifically to our funding. Any donation is tax deductible. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and financial support. Also, enjoy the pictures below.

Grace and Peace
Jon & Sandra, Emerson, Braeden & Landen Kelly