Saturday, July 30, 2011

Follow up to Sky Ranch Summer Praise Report...(Yea God & Sky!)

Follow up to Sky Ranch Summer Praise Report....

As I was saying on Thursday, We attended a Ministry Team meeting at Sky Ranch in Van, Texas.  We were blown away, and treated to an amazing day!  The Sky Ranch Leadership staff took us, the Ministry Team, on a fabulous tour of the Sky Ranch campus, on a Sky Ranch Trailer...better known as a Sky Limo!  The grounds of the Sky Ranch have held up well considering the heat and lack of rain.  Even the lake activities have been able to continue due to continuous dredging, by our incredible staff!
(Yea God & Sky!)

We learned that this summer Campers and Staff have not experienced as much heat exhaustion and dehydration in the past, with the extreme heat this summer -as we give GOD the Glory along with the pre-planning in the Fall when making the schedule. This pre-thinking is allowing more time between activities, letting the campers and counselors take their time and not rush thus NOT getting over heated. 
(Yea God & Sky!)

Then the Ministry Team got a taste of a real cabin experience, Sacagawea! It was here that I got inducted into a cabin...very fun!  All the cabins at Sky Ranch all have names with a meaning, and a Character Trait that goes along with it.  Sacagawea is a girl-Sky 4 cabin and it's Character Trait, is about beauty within.  They share this character trait one evening with the campers by having a "ceremony", and naming the campers based on those qualities they possess.  I was inducted and named "Whispering Willow"!  LOVE IT!!

After, a wonderful tour we returned to the Legacy Center for our meeting to hear reports from each of the wonderful leadership team members in their core Sky Ranch Ministry area regarding how incredibly awesome this summer has been so far!  It is here as a SKYMOM I want to give a 
Linda, Rick, Chris, John, Jill, Clinton, Tamara, Malcolm, Todd, Kelly, Rope...and so many more....
you ALL are AWESOME!  
(Yea God & Sky!)

To all our readers who read this blog...the reports we were given in this meeting would BLOW your socks off!!!  Sky Ranch is reaching deeper, and stretching higher in every way possible, and the campers are growing in their relationships with the LORD!   OVER 600 salvations so far this summer...and we still have 3 more sessions to go!
(Yea God & Sky!)

Oh, and yes...The Ministry Team did decide that we would like to begin the prayer process of writing another Family Devotional.  Exciting times are ahead!
(Yea God & Sky!)

And then we concluded with an amazing spread of a lunch....WOW...and special thanks to  LeAnn in Food Service... you outdid yourself!  
(Yea God & Sky!)

Sky Ranch is TOP NOTCH!
(Yea God & Sky!)

Tori Miller, Sky Ranch SkyMoms Ministry Director

Friday, July 29, 2011

3 John 1:4 "Sky Ranch Summer Praise Report"

Sky Ranch Summer Praise Report far :)

Yesterday, I attended a Ministry Team meeting at Sky Ranch in Van, Texas.  We were blown away, and treated to an amazing day!  I will share with you more about how much fun we had in another blog but the most exciting news 
we received was...

Through Christ and the Ministries of Sky Ranch so far this summer Sky Ranch in Van Texas has seen over 600 campers come to know the Lord!  (and we still have have 3 more camp sessions to go!!!)
We are giving God all the Glory...thanking our counselors & staff for their hard work and countless hours, our amazing facilities & camp resources, the many sponsors for their prayers and financial giving,  and daily YOUR PRAYERS and overall support of 
Sky Ranch in being apart of seeing
 "Children come to walk in Truth"!
Don't ya just love hearing a Praise Report?!

~Tori Miller, Sky Ranch SkyMom Ministry Director

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Family Table...Launching, Ronda as Guest SkyMom Blog Food Writer!

I am so excited to welcome back my dear friend Ronda, We introduced you to her a few weeks ago,
As I began to peruse Ronda's Facebook I began to notice that she is an avid cook for her family with a God given talent that SkyMoms would love to tap into for encouragement, tips and recipes!  So, I am thrilled to introduce to you...the launching of Ronda as a Guest SkyMom Blog Writer!  
I can't wait to try her recipes...but more than anything 
Ronda keeps it authentic and intentional at...

"The Family Table"

Good Morning SkyMoms!

I am thrilled to be a guest food writer for the SkyMoms Blog! Tori and I are friends from Junior High and I am honored to be a part of the fabulous SkyMoms group that she has helped to develop! 
We love, love Sky Ranch and can see daily how going to camp in Van, Texas has forever changed the lives of our children.

It is my hope to encourage you to get back into the kitchens, create purposeful moments around the dinner table with your sweet families, and move from fast food to whole food!

When I first got married about 14 years ago, I could barely boil water. No kidding I almost burned our little apartment to the ground making microwave popcorn.  My husband and I moved from our hometown of Dallas, Texas way out here to Northern California. That first year of our marriage I had the daunting task of putting a Thanksgiving meal on the table…all by myself!  After a good chat with myself, I realized that the feeding and care of our family would and should be up to me!

After a few phone calls, I stumbled across a cooking class to teach the novice cook, me, how to cook a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. Little did I know that my first little class would be the impetus to develop an absolute passion for feeding my family the very best of what I could offer. 

Currently, I am the wife of an amazing husband and mother to three beautiful kids ages 6, 9, and 12. And lastly, I am a college student myself working towards becoming a nurse.

So now let’s talk food…With so many ways of eating from fat-free, low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, it is hard to know where to turn.  I am about eating real food in a moderate way.  When we eat real food, our hunger is satiated and we don’t want to eat a bunch of junk.

Over the next weeks, I will share with you some tips and trick for menu planning, pantry organization, yummy snacks, bountiful breakfasts and nourishing lunches, purposeful dinners and through it all bring back that focus on the family.
I hope you’ll join me for the fun and,
I sure look forward to hearing from you all!

Blessings from Ronda at The Family Table.

Proverbs 31:15-17“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.  She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”

Monday, July 25, 2011

Prayer Encouragement: "A Sun and a Shield" by Guest SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

A Sun and a Shield

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor;
No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 
Psalm 84:11 NIV

I love this verse.   It packs promise, reinforces identity, and gives 
hope for provision
and protection.  This one verse encourages me daily as I go before the 
Lord in prayer
with the seemingly big and small things in my children’s lives.
 I have many prayer
cards with this verse at the top!

This past year it has gone something like this;
Lord, thank you that you are a Sun and a Shield.   
A sun brings warmth and provision
and a shield offers protection.  I am so thankful that I can trust
You for provision as we
wait with hopeful expectation for the college acceptance letter.  
I also know that you
can shield my son as well…
shield him from a place that isn’t right for him, and when
he does make it to that place You provide, 
You will also be his shield….
from the enemy, from
wrong choices and wrong relationships.
He has worked hard and studied hard.  
We have prepared as we know best…
however, it is you 

who bestows favor and honor and it is not because of anything good 
he has done or we have 


it is all because of everything 

You have done, in your son, Jesus. 
So, I ask for your favor and honor as his application is reviewed.   
I thank you that if
this college that seems perfect in our human limited view for him is a good thing…
then You will 

not withhold it.  


~Terrie Chevaillier, Guest SkyMom 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Out of the Box" by Guest SkyMom Prayer Encourager Terrie Chevaillier

~ I received this email this week from a Sky Ranch SkyMom....

"We just picked up our son today from Sky Ranch and I grabbed one of your SkyMoms information sheets on the way out.  I love that you are offering this ministry and was actually encouraged by your track on last year's CD on the way home from Sky Ranch...cannot remember exactly what it was, but ya'll said something that encouraged me and touched my heart that day in regards to my boys!  Since then, I have wanted to attend one of the meetings or connect with the SkyMom ministry, so that is why I am contacting you today.  

With that said, I would love to host a SkyMom Gathering.  We live in Southlake and have been sending our boys to Sky Ranch for the last NINE years.  My oldest is headed to college this year and actually worked at Sky Ranch as a lifeguard during the summers while in high school.  The investment that was poured into him at Sky Ranch was not only an eternal one, but it keeps on giving relationally in regards to all of the wonderful friends and brothers in Christ that he still stays connected with!  So as you can tell,  Sky Ranch is dear to my heart."

Needless to say, I quickly responded, and thanked the Chevaillier family and their boys for investing in attending Sky Ranch!  I am looking forward to seeing Terrie as our Guest SkyMom Prayer Encourager on the SkyMom Blog!!
Out of the Box

Since my children were very young, I have seen the importance of my devotion to
pray for them.  I have seen answer upon answer of God’s faithfulness in
regards to most every detail of their lives.

This past year, as my oldest son approached his senior year, it seemed that
I found myself on my knees a lot as I prayed for wisdom regarding his decision for college. 
In the past, I tried the journaling method; however it seemed that I would not
always take the time to go back and read so I could get the full impact of
just how much God really was answering my prayers.  I wanted to remember
these times of going before the Lord and seeing His answers.

Artsy and creative have not been on my top lists of natural giftedness, however,
I decided to step off the box and with that came, Out of the Box!

Out of the Box is actually a customized prayer box containing each family member’s name.
Other categories included are marriage, friends, family, finances, church, and salvation.
My faith reaches new levels as I take the prayer written on 3x5 index cards
And move it to the answer tab!
There’s something in the picking it up and moving it that just does something in me!

I love it how God works.  He took a not so creative girl like me, gave me courage to ignore the voices of doubt
And from this endeavor He opened the door for a ministry.  
A ministry that encourages moms to pray scripture for their children and other issues of life.
Friends ordered boxes and I gave them away as birthday gifts, teacher gifts, and wedding gifts.
The feedback…..”I love the box and I love the idea, I just can’t get started!”

Once a month, I host a gathering for moms to bring their boxes and we
gather around my kitchen table.  I encourage them in why we pray and how to
get started praying scripture over the lives of their children…and wait
with hopeful expectancy to see answers!
Not only does the card move, but their faith moves….and so has mine!

~Terrie Chevaillier,Guest SkyMom Prayer Encourager, Creator of Out of the Box

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sky Ranch Family Camp ~ Chicken Pot Pie!

This chicken pot pie recipe is hearty fare for hungry folks who have just driven or flown in to Sky Ranch Family Camp!!   This was our our first meal served and sure did kick off our week knowing we would be served and loved well :)!
Chicken pot pie is the kind of meal that makes you feel like you are at home, and gives you that injection of comfort food that warms you up..... It was the perfect match to the Colorado weather and your family sitting around a table getting to know your counselor and Sky Ranch Staff!

The entire week of Family Camp is filled with awesome times around this table with 3 meals a day for your family with intentional moments!  We want to cook, and serve you!  We even do the cleaning!!!  Can you imagine an entire week all 3 meals each day sitting together...well YES it happens at Family Camp!
I promise things start to happen in families as they begin to sit across tables and begin looking eye to eye without the distractions of technology or busy schedules and/or having to eat in cars or through the drive thru lane of fast food chains, the communication lines begin to open, the Lord begins to work in the lives of the families and WOW....something special always happens at Sky Ranch Family Camp.
It is a vacation of a LIFETIME!

Chicken Pot Pie Family Camp Style
(makes 2 pies- 12 servings)
2 pie crusts - unbaked 
2 frozen deep dish pie crusts
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and cubed
2 cans cream of of potato soup
1 can evaporated milk
1 16oz bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 Tablespoon onion flakes
2 Tablespoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black powder

Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  Divide between pie crusts.  Place fold out crusts on top of filled deep dish pies creasing edges to keep filling in.  Ventilate top of pies.  Bake on a Cookie sheet at 400 for 45 minutes- watch for crust to brown.

Deuteronomy 6:5-8

The Message 
  Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got!
 Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lisa Life Lesson ~"It’s Summer!!! Time to …WORK?????"

It’s Summer!!! Time to …WORK?????

Summertime brings lazy days, sleeping in, vacation, mission trips, swimming pools and …WORK!!! Yes, Work! Well, at least for some of us.

The partnership my husband, Brad, and I share in raising our kids is invaluable.  He has never left it up to me to be the parent and I am so grateful for that.  He has been hands on from the beginning.  Parenting preteens and teens is very different from parenting preschool and elementary children.  Very different.

Our oldest daughter, Caroline, now 21 and living in Los Angeles, CA, was a precocious child.  She always knew more, felt more, needed more.  She was an August baby, and never did I ask myself, “Should we hold her back a year so she’ll be older than the other kids?”  NOOOOO.  That child was ready for school and I was ready for a break.  So, when it came time for driving, she was one of the last in her class.  She didn’t get her license until the day before she started her junior year of high school. 

Brad knew that Caroline could never save enough money to buy herself a car he would trust her driving around town in, and ultimately off to college.  Just wasn’t going to happen.  He masterminded a plan that was one of the best parenting decisions he/we ever made.  He told her that he would buy her a car (most likely a used one) but it would sit in our garage until she could put gas in it.  Yes, she had to buy her own gas.  How would she do it?  She would have to work in the summers to save enough money to put gas in the car for the year. 

So, the summer before she turned 16, she began to work.  Her first job was as a tennis instructor for her varsity tennis coach.  She would work 9-12noon everyday teaching little ones how to serve and volley.  It was hot.  She complained a little.  But it was a job and she got a paycheck.  At 15, we set her up with a checking account, savings account, and debit card and she was ready for business. 

Requiring your teen to purchase their own gas is brilliant for several reasons.  1 – It limits their driving.  Brilliant.  2 – They are forced to budget their money through the year.  3) They learn to work and save.  Unfortunately, many students are graduating high school and college without ever having had a job.  No employer, no resume.  They don’t know how to work. 

Caroline really wanted a white, Toyota 4runner.   Brad is a businessman.  A salesman to be exact.  He liked to sell and be sold.  He knew all the tricks.  Caroline is Brad in a girl’s body.  Those two stood toe to toe through the years.  Very stressful for the rest of us in the house.   Anyway, Brad required Caroline to make a presentation as to the benefits of a 4runner, etc. and she “sold” him.  The hunt for a used 4runner began and by the time she turned 16 it was in our garage.   She filled it up with gas and was on her way. 

The next summer, she retained the same job and saved for her senior year.  As I said earlier, Caroline lives in LA.  At 19, we packed up the U-Haul, attached it to the 4runner and drove across America to set her up, by herself, in an apartment in LA to pursue a music career.  Now, 21, she has been on several music tours, stayed in college and will receive a business degree from Liberty University in December, served the homeless weekly in South Central LA, and loves the Lord with all her heart.  We are so thankful.  We will never regret teaching our children to work hard and give God their very best. 

Our 17 year old, Camryn, has followed suit and works as a day camp counselor for Sky Ranch Camps.  She talked her daddy into purchasing her a Toyota Prius.  A hybrid.  Not a gas guzzler like her sister’s 4runner.  Smart girl.  She’s more like me. :)

Here is Camryn in action this Summer as a Sky Ranch Day Camp Counselor!

~Lisa Clark, Sky Ranch Parenting Mentor

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SkyMoms loves Ronda Brittian Ramadan!

SkyMoms loves Ronda Brittian Ramadan!

Wow... this weekend was an amazing SKYMOM experience!

Ronda and I are friends from Jr. High (see the above picture of a dance we attended) and have not kept in touch as she has since moved out to California.  We recently reconnected via Facebook.  One evening last December I received a message asking me about the Christmas Charity Parties I was planning with my teenage daughters and then she said...
"I have so enjoyed having a glimse into everyones life on FB especially yours. Gosh how I wish Grace and I were back in Texas to participate in your amazing mother/daughter events at Sky Ranch.  I love the idea of a mother/daughter get away. Our time with them is so precious and I feel it is flying by! I don't know how you have time to have all this fun events! I wish I was a fly on the wall watching you plan!"

I expressed my wishes for her to live closer so that they could be involved in the events at Sky Ranch....never thinking that in March this next message would appear in my Facebook inbox :)!

"Can you tell me about the Morhp Leadership camp. I am wanting to sign Grace up for this camp during session 7
I'd like to sign my son Collin up for the session 7 camp as well.
We would be flying in from california to attend. I have loved, loved following you through fb and it is exciting to see all you do to bring other to Christ. Please let me know any information about the camp you think may be helpful in making our decision. Fondly, Ronda"

I Went CRAZY Jr High friend, from Texas, who I had not kept up with, only reconnected recently via Facebook, lives in California, is now flying kids to Texas to experience   

I can't wait to see Ronda, Grace and Collin at the Closing Ceremony this Saturday, I will probably shed a few tears!  This is a story that is is sure to have a very happy ending!!!

They even decorated their rented car....

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version