Thursday, October 23, 2014

Arizona Top 7

We've lived in Arizona for 4 months now.  I would say all in all we have adjusted pretty well.  Here is my Arizona Top 7 so far, in no particular order.  Keep in mind this is just from my small Arizona perspective and some of the daily things I'm enjoying.  
1-  The weather!  Ok, maybe I have not fully experienced the perfect Scottsdale weather yet, but I can feel that it is coming.  This summer was HOT.  And it was hot for a while, not just a few months. We spent a lot of time in the pool before school started and even then, often after school the kids would jump in.  Everyone says Halloween is kind of the day that generally ends the heat and the wonderful weather returns.  We are only one week away from that and all pretty excited!  But for now, the mornings and evenings are nice and I'm enjoying it.

2- I'm loving having a house.  After 5 years of smaller apartments, it's been good for me and for our family to have a little space.  We are also enjoying the cul-de-sac our house is on.  The kids, now that the weather is breaking, are starting to enjoy riding bikes and scooters out side and where we are located in the cul-de-sac is perfect for them.  We are also 5 minutes from church which has been a huge help.

3-Sunsets.  We have seen some of the best sunsets ever and they happen almost every night.  Every one different,  but all are so beautiful.

4-  The Cactus have been fun to get used to seeing.  While I don't know much about them, the beauty of them are growing on me.  We don't have any in our yard, but we see plenty each day.  My favorite are the Saguaros.  They are the ones with the "arms."  Lillie and Elliott have studied them at school and Elliott is choosing to be on in the Desert Parade next week.  There is one on the corner of our road, it has sort of a bent arm, Lillie says "it's like it is hugging our van every time we come home."  

5- Our Church.  We are really enjoying being a part of First Southern Baptist Church of Scottsdale.  It has been an adjustment going from church planting to older established church, but the people have been so gracious to us and welcoming.  We've felt right at home with them from day one.  It is a sweet family to be a part of.
Freddy T. and Pastor Berry.  Pastor Berry and Mrs. Nancy served as the Senior Pastor for 16 years.  They have been so kind and encouraging to us.
 At our first ASU game with the Hortons!

6- Kiva Elementary School.  I'm grateful for this place.  Our kids have adjusted so well to a new school.  It is very different from their school in NYC, which we loved, but we are finding that we enjoy Kiva as well.  The kids have made new friends and I'm making friends with moms there while everyone plays on the playground after school.  We've even done some outside of school play dates with a few families, it's been fun.  Jack says he's pretty sure Kiva and PS 40 are the best schools in the world.

 Kiva is an outdoor school, so there are no hallways, every classroom opens to the sidewalk.  The kids hang their backpacks outside every morning.

This was at Family Fun Night
7-For our 10 year anniversary Freddy T. and I took a trip to Sedona and the Grand Canyon.  It was a great time away and really good to explore other parts of the state.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mommy Date With Lillie

The Saturday before Mother's Day I came down with Strep Throat.  I had some suspicion for a few days, so with a big week ahead of us I went to the doctor and sure enough that's what it was.  We had plans on Mother's Day to go to Church in Nashville where Freddy T was preaching and then spend the day at the zoo with his family.  I was looking forward to this day out, but the way I felt caused me to stay home with Parker and spend the day with my side of the family, which was special for me.  Freddy T. and the big kids had a great day, lots of fun with cousins and family.  When I put Lillie to bed later that night she said "This was the worse Mother's Day of my entire life!  I didn't spend anytime with you and I'm so sad."  It was pitiful.  

I decided I needed to take Lillie on a Mommy Date to make up for the disappointing day.  So we bought tickets to her friend Pipers dance recital for Tuesday night.  
 I asked Lillie if she wanted a necklace or bracelet.  She came back out with pink glasses instead and said she was ready to go.
 We went to dinner.  She insisted I get a picture with her and her Strawberry Lemonade.
 She got cold so moved to my side of the booth.  Then we decided to take a few pictures together.  The waitress walked up on us taking this one.  

 Lillie during the show.
Flowers for Piper afterwards.

Such a fun night with Lillie!

Jack's Broken Elbow

A few weeks ago Jack broke his elbow.  He was playing Freeze Tag, nothing out of the normal.  He came off the slide full speed ready to run instead he got ahead of his feet and landed on his elbow.  He is in a cast for 3 weeks, hopefully next Wednesday he'll get it off.  He's been pretty disappointed to be out of baseball for the rest of the season, but he's had a great attitude and continued to want to go sit with the team in the dugout.

About a month ago he hit a home run and ended up scoring the only run of the game.  I thought for sure he would get the game ball, instead it went to another player who had one of his better games in the field.  After two games encouraging his team in the dugout and showing up to support them he got the game ball.  It was a great opportunity to talk about character over performance.

Now his just claims this Fall is going to be busy... school and fall ball!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Easter 2014

I'm going to play a little catch up with pictures from my phone.  
Our time in Tennessee has been so good, but our normal rhythms have been off.  Blogging has not been on the forefront of my mind.

We spent an hour one afternoon dying Easter Eggs.  This year I bought each kid their own kit, no need for unnecessary battles!

 My brother and his family came into town from Pittsburgh.  Lillie and Karlee wasted no time getting into the dress up clothes.
 When I was 5 on the Saturday before Easter my mom took me to get my ears pierced.  I showed up at church and surprised my family.  Lillie is 5 now and has asked a few times about getting hers done, so I decided to start a tradition and took her the Saturday before Easter.  She said she was nervous but mostly excited!
 Egg Hunt
 The most exciting thing this Easter was Freddy T. getting to baptize Jack.  A little over a year ago Jack began to believe in and follow Jesus.  We've been talking with him for a while about baptism and Easter Sunday seemed like the perfect time. 

 Our family on Easter.  We're all in the picture.... about all you can say about that.  


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Harlem Memories - Fire Hydrant Fun

Today we hosted a brunch for all of our individual NYC supporters. We got to tell the stories of our the five years that we spent in NYC. So many amazing experiences. So much to reflect upon.

One of our favorite things to do while we lived in Harlem was playing in the fire hydrants on hot days. Here's some fun videos. I can't believe how small Jack looks here.

Fire Hydrant Fun in Harlem Part 3 from Freddy T. Wyatt on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Stars are Shining Brightly

The week of Thanksgiving, after five years of church planting and pastoring, we moved out of Manhattan to Clarksville, TN. You can read a little more about our transition here. God is good and his gifts to us in this season have been many. I'm excited to be working in a temporary role in my home church - First Baptist Church of Clarksville, Tennessee. These people are precious to Susan and me. I'm looking forward to collaborating with their pastor, Larry Riley on a number of evangelism and ministry ideas. I'll also be reflecting and writing about our experiences of the past five years. Perhaps something special will emerge in my writing that will be a blessing to others.

A dear friend asked the other night what we'd miss most about the city. It is difficult to put a simple response into words. The masses and diversity of people in the New York Metro area is simply unparalleled. Living among so many people that God loves, amidst so much darkness and brokenness, yet so much beauty and culture is difficult to describe. To live in NYC is as much a fight as it is an adventure that brings solidarity to all who have called the Big Apple home. To live in New York City with small children, several small children is well....impossible for me to describe in a blog post. So say a prayer for me as I write about our journey during these days. We will miss New York City in countless ways and will forever be changed having lived in the capital of the world.

We've laughed often as our kids have begun to experience what they call the "country." Yes, this town of 150,000 people is the country to kids from Manhattan.
  • They know very well how to walk the sidewalks of Manhattan without running into the street but have no idea what to do with the parking lot of Kroger here.
  • "What number is our school" The twins are in a preschool and can't understand why it doesn't have a number since every public school in NYC had a number. They went to PS40. 
  • "Why are we putting trash in the car?" All they've ever known is putting it down a garbage shoot. 
  • "Why are we driving to school?" They've only walked to school before now. 
  • Fun conversations explaining what a mall is and how it is different than a grocery store
  • They can't quick looking at and commenting on the stars. 
We had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas with family. Our kids have loved being with their cousins.

Pray with us as we discern God's direction to our next long term post of ministry. We know something special awaits. In the meantime, we are grateful for this precious time with family and dear friends.

Monday, November 04, 2013


Yesterday I shared my resignation letter with Gallery Church. Here it is. 

Gallery Church Family,

Five years ago, gripped with a vision to plant churches all throughout New York City, Susan, Jack and I moved to New York to join the church planting team of Gallery Church, as a teaching pastor.  By God's grace, this city quickly became our home and this church quickly became our family.

In December of 2012, Susan and I got unexpectedly pregnant with our fourth child, Parker. The months following this news were a roller coaster for us. We weren't immediately sure what our next step would be. Eventually, we determined to stay and to seek every sustainable advantage that would enable us to thrive in the city with four kids. We are grateful for the generous churches and many people that partnered with us to secure these sustainable advantages. Yet, now after living in the city for a year with four kids and after much, prayer, reflection and counsel, we believe that God is leading us out of New York City and into a new season of ministry.  

And so, it is with sincere sadness and sober gladness that I announce my resignation as Pastor of Gallery Church. 

We are sad to leave you, the people that have become precious to us. It has been one of my life's greatest privileges to serve as your pastor and to grow with you over these years. Our elders, staff and deacons have been a great joy to serve with. They have been very gracious and patient with me as a young pastor.
We also have a sober gladness. We are glad because our hearts are unified and this is God's direction for us. We are glad because this signifies a new day for us and for Gallery Church. Our God is the glorious maker of all things new and we will watch expectantly to see what wondrous things He does in this next new season at Gallery Church!

Our exact timeline is still falling into place, but our family will be in New York City at least until the week of Thanksgiving. We will be moving to our hometown in Tennessee for a brief season of rest and renewal as we prepare for whatever season of ministry God has for us next.  

We thank you for how you have loved our kids. So many of you are their heroes. You will not be forgotten. Large families can and will continue to flourish in New York City. It isn't easy, but it can most definitely be done. Everyone's story is unique and we each must faithfully sojourn the path that God leads us on.  

We believe now more than ever that New York City is one of the most strategic places on the planet for gospel ministry. In the years to come, we hope to encourage more and more churches around the country to partner with ministries here in New York.

During this season of transition, I encourage you to follow the leadership here at Gallery Church. God has given this church gracious, wise, and godly leaders - you can trust them. Susan and I are confident that Gallery’s brightest days are ahead.

We are thankful for you. We ask you to pray for us and we commit to praying for you. 

With all our love,

Freddy T. & Susan Wyatt