Ok, now on to the news....
Tomorrow morning, I (clay) will leave for a mission trip with 57 others to Jamaica for a week. It is a 'freshmen' trip - meaning that the students on this trip are either freshmen or part of our freshmen ministry's leadership team. We will be in Montego Bay, and there will also be two other freshmen teams in other parts of Jamaica. All said, there are nearly 180 students on these three trips! Wesley also has five other mission trips going out over spring break - very exciting stuff!
We would covet your prayers as this will be the longest separation the kids and I have ever experienced. They will spend a few days with my parents, and Deborah's aunt Pat from Colorado will be in town all week as well. Once I get back, I will post some current pictures of the fam!
clay for the kirklands
Most certainly, we still desperately miss Pam. If you have never lost anyone close to you, then it might be tempting to believe that after seven years, one should be 'over' the loss. Unfortunately, that is an unfortunate assumption, for I do not believe that anyone 'gets over' losing their parent/loved one. Does it get easier? Yes, in the sense that life must go on and things change. Does it still hurt? Yes, because we loved her and she loved us.
I will always remember how she immediately made me feel welcomed into their family, and that comfort and peace that she provided for me never ceased from her. As parents, we long for her to be around to teach us what she knew, to help us when we are in trouble, and to know and bless our children. We are left with our memories of her, and it is a true blessing from God that we have so many good memories about Pam. His goodness is still evident in the midst of a terrible and tragic loss in our lives. He is good because Pam is living now without pain or sickness in her body. He is good because He has blessed Deborah with the gift of motherhood. He is good because He did and still grieves with us and sends His Comfort to us whenever we need Him. He is good because He can't be anything else. We are thankful to God for Pam.
We are also thankful for God in the ways He has protected us in the past few weeks. Three weeks ago I started having abdominal pain. Five days later, I was in the ER and found out that I had some rare torsion of an appendage on my intestines. Gratefully, it did not require surgery and it was something that had to work itself out. Two weeks later, I was as good as new!
On Saturday, Deborah was giving a shower at the clubhouse of our neighborhood and I was home with the kids. While in the playroom, Cannon tried to climb up a wooden play kitchen and fell backwards. Unfortunately, so did the piece of furniture, and it landed on top of him. When I removed the furniture off of his body, his entire face was covered in blood and blood was actually coming out of his forehead like a fountain! I ran him downstairs, wrapped him in a towel, and called Deborah. Within fifteen minutes we were in the ER (again) and Cannon was getting cared for. Praise the Lord, he had no head trauma or concussion. He did, though, require three layers of stitches since the gash went all the way to his skull! He is doing well now and will get his outer layer of stitches out at the end of the week.
So, it has been a little wild around here lately, but as mentioned earlier, God has been good.
Clay for the Kirklands
Our winter was spent waiting for Gracey to come, and while we waited, Cannon decided to start walking. Everyone was thrilled with his development, especially Fields, because Cannon's new skill meant that playtime would become a lot more fun. Well, at the end of March (the 29th to be exact), Pamela Grace Kirkland arrived! The boys were instantly mesmerized by the new baby, and both Deborah and I fell in love with our little girl at first sight. Since then, she has continued to be a stunning baby: she is sleeping through the night, eating quickly and thoroughly, and she calm temperament has made the transition from two to three kids very smooth for everyone.
The school year ended very well for all things Wesley. Our sign ups for student leadership were at an all time high, and our upcoming intern class is the second largest that we have ever had. The Lord is continuing to build us, and we are continuing to learn how to adjust to each year. Working in a campus ministry where your staff changes by 50-70 percent each and every year demands a fair bit of flexibility! Despite the challenge of change, it is a tremendous place to work and watch God transform young men and women. The directors return on July 18th, and the interns arrive on August 1 for intern training. Our 'summer' is quickly coming to an end, but good things always come in August!
We spent a week with my brother and his family as well as my parents on Amelia Island the first week of June. My parents are always gracious hosts to the madness that six kids six and under bring to a beach week! The boys enjoyed the pool more than the ocean, but in reality, they enjoyed the junk food, extended bed times, and the cousins the most. Gracey had a baby tent that was her favorite spot all week outside, and Deborah was able to soak up some rays and listen to ocean. The highlight of the trip for me was playing golf with my dad at TPC sawgrass!
So, that is our summer in a nutshell. Hope you enjoy!
clay for the kirklands
Five Course tasting menu:
- Chef’s treat #1 – amuse-bouche – local carrot, pickled beets, Moroccan spiced aioli
1. 1. Local glazed carrot, applesauce smear, German style red cabbage
2. 2. Olive oil poached shrimp, golden raisin tapenade, crispy fried eggplant donut
- Chef’s treat#2 – amuse-bouche – heirloom tomato with pickled cucumber relish
3. 3. Berkshire pork belly, fire roasted okra, sweet corn puree, local fire roasted glazed quail, roasted tomato vinaigrette
4. 4. Sous-vide and smoked lamb loin with Yukon gold sauce, braised pistachios in beef broth, pickled mustard seeds
5. 5. Blueberry and cornmeal cake with blueberry ice cream, white chocolate ganache, and sweet corn sauce, blueberry syrup, with crumbled cookies on the side
- Chef’s treat #3 – 2 chocolate truffles
It was fabulous - I mean, FABULOUS!!!!!
clay for the kirklands