"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace"

Thursday, September 29, 2011


In case you are in need of a date night or an activity this weekend, I highly advise going to see the movie, Courageous. The movie comes out in theatres this Friday, the 30th. We had the awesome opportunity to preview this movie out in Colorado this summer & we were very impressed. The message that this movie delivers is multifaceted- it calls men to “walk in courageous faith and do what God has called us to do, specifically as fathers and men” (Alex Kendrick- director) as well as delivers the message of Jesus Christ. Also, ladies, it's not just a movie for men- it's an all around family focused movie as well! This movie is produced by the same people that produced Fireproof. I've attached a couple links so you can read more about the movie as well as listen to a FamilyLife Today radio program interviewing the producer & director of this movie.

To read more about the film: http://www.familylife.com/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=dnJHKLNnFoG&b=6196501&ct=11231017&notoc=1
To listen to the radio show: http://www.familylife.com/site/c.dnJHKLNnFoG/b.6235823/k.809F/FamilyLife_Today.htm?fromhp=TopNavAudio
To check out the movie's website: http://www.courageousthemovie.com/ 

If you're saying to yourself, "I am going to wait until it comes out on video" or "I want to wait until I hear what other people think of it before I see it" PLEASE consider this: Opening weekend (this weekend) is crucial to the life of this film. Currently this weekend the movie will open in 1,000 theatres around the country...IF enough people go watch the movie on opening weekend (this weekend), then the film with spread to over thousands more theatres & that many more people will have the opportunity to hear the Truth! Plus, it's just a good movie & you won't be disappointed :). Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

welcome to our home

It has taken some time but our home is pretty much all settled! We have actually loved apartment living. We are so thankful for the apartment that God led us to and have had fun making it feel like home. 

We love ...the convenience of maintenance
...living on a top floor
...having a pool (EVERY apartment in the south has a pool...though sadly we haven't used it too much)
...how cozy it feels
...all the sidewalks and nearby trails
...having a dishwasher for the first time!!
...having a guest room for all our awesome guests ;)

We miss... a yard
...not having to walk up three flights of stairs with arms full of groceries
...having a place for seth to work on his projects
...more windows & sunlight
...a garage & basement/storage
...good water pressure (top floor=bad pressure)

We've decided that you can make any place feel and look like your home. It's more than the building or the architecture. It's even more than the decorations and pictures on the wall...it's about the environment- the love and the family. Corny, yes. But so true.

Here's some pictures of our home...

                                                        As you walk in...this is the hallway 


                                                             Another view of kitchen    

                                                                       Our living room 

 Another view of living room

                                                                   Dining room 

Guest room

                                                                  Office in guest room 

                                                    Guest bath- we love having 2 bathrooms! 

                                                                 Master Bedroom 

                                                             Another view of master 

                                                                  Master bathroom

Two of my favorite garage sale find redos....

1. We found this window pane at a garage sale and decided to leave it as is...we liked the old look & then put some pictures in it!

2. We got a pair of chairs for $5 total at a garage sale...they needed a lot of work, but I love the finished product!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a little bit of recently

I have like 1,000,001 things I need to write about….I guess that is what happens when I don’t do a good job staying updated. I’m trying to decide if I should work from where I left off or from where I am and go backwards…or break this possibly enormous post into some smaller and less-time-consuming-for-the-reader posts. Well…I’m going to start with now and work backwards.
We are still adjusting to the “culture shock” of Arkansas. Laugh if you will, but it’s a different country down here. Yesterday we finally went to get our drivers licenses and do all the car change stuff. We got in line to get our new Arkansas drivers license and the lady starts asking our information…the whole time either calling me “Mrs. Braker or Babydoll” and calling seth “Mr. Braker”…it would’ve had to make you smile. Anyways…she gets all the info she needs from our Illinois drivers licenses and all of a sudden I hear a plunk!...she tossed my license into a scrambly old worn out cylinder container which must serve as a grave yard for licenses! I’m hoping I didn’t allow any of my inner emotions to be expressed on my face because I wasn’t prepared for that! As she continues doing her job and asking questions, all I’m thinking is, that’s my license! Give it back to me- I am from Illinois, not Arkansas…if you throw that away, you’re saying that I’m no longer a resident of Illinois…that sounds so permanent. As with most things, I’m a drama queen…though you’ve probably caught on to that already. Sigh…so there you have it…in my wallet, in a place where an Illinois DL used to reside now sits a license with the residence of: Arkansas.
We have decided that there are some things we like and some things we don’t like so far.
Weather (now…not when we first came & it was 110 degrees all day long)
People (oh my, have we met some incredible people!)
Living in the city (I’ll admit it’s nice to have a grocery store down the road)
Our apartment (yes, pictures are coming!!)
FamilyLife (we love this ministry. It’s definitely a change in job roles than we are used to, but God is teaching us)
Growing us & learning a lot more dependence on God
Don’t Like:
Being away from a lot of our family and friends
Missing out on things
Changing leaves
One World CafĂ© (may sound superficial but we just haven’t found a comparable place yet)
Construction & Nursing

These aren’t exhaustive…but they are some of the things we are thinking about. I was at a Bible Study last Saturday and they used the quote…”It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just different”…that’s true about a lot of things down here.
We had our 3rd anniversary on September 14th- but have decided to postpone celebrating it until the end of the month since things have been so busy!
We had some of our dear dear friends, Justin & Kirsten Wiegand, come and visit us a couple weekends ago and had an awesome time! On Friday we all went to a restaurant we heard about from a few people. I knew we had to try it to humor my OSF CFH friends back home who often told me what Arkansas was like…and I heard this place was it. We drove about 40 minutes, pretty much to the middle of nowhere, and stopped at a restaurant called “Cothams- Home of the hubcap burger”. To give you a visual…this place is backed up to a swamp and looks like it could fall over at any given point. The inside is an old general store where they simply pushed everything to the sides and plopped in some tables. Justin & Seth split the “hubcap” burger which is 17oz of beef. It was well worth the experience! We also did some hiking and just hanging out with them. We were sooo blessed by their visit to us!! Below are some pictures of our weekend together:
                                     Breakfast of sausage & eggs, fruit salad & muffins before our hike!
                                         They said this wasn't the first tree they saw that grew like this!
                                                                               Love them!!
                                                                The four of us
            The final night we did "mexican" night...salsa, guac, enchiladas & salad...& finish off with  blue bell ice cream!!
The weekend before that we went to the Braker reunion in Joplin, MO. We had an awesome time seeing family and talking with them face to face. We got to see our awesome niece and nephews and soaked up as much time with them as possible! Below are some pictures from the reunion and the weekend:

                                                            Little miss maggy moo!
                                                   Our sweet nephew, Rio- he has gotten so big!!

Well, that's about a long enough post for now! I'll be updating on some previous things and upcoming things as well!