Welcome Home, Stephen!!

After 4 years of service in the Army - serving as a UAV pilot everywhere from Texas and Arizona to Germany and Afghanistan, "Sergeant Schuurmans" has officially completed his term and is home!! We are so grateful to the Lord for his protection, proud of Stephen for helping protect our country, and GLAD to have him back safe and sound! Yesterday, our family held a welcome home party for him, and many friends, old and new, were able to come and express their appreciation for him.

We love to open our home to others and we always have such a great time with everybody: grilling out, playing volleyball (Take a nice, relaxing look at when I snapped a picture of the volleyball game... this is probably the only time there were 4ish people a side. Typically, we're tripping all over the ball and eachother's shoes...), frisbee golf, basketball, doing wild tricks with the ropes in the barn (you'd have to be there...) talking together and enjoying good food. Melissa put together a great slideshow for everybody to see some of where Stephen's been these past 4 years, and a little of what his job has been like. We also had a treasure hunt for all the "littler" kids this time. :)

In case you were wondering what our family was standing around in the first picture - it was this awesome cake that a family generously brought.

In fact, generosity is a trait a lot of people in our church exemplify. The men all put their wallets together to present Stephen with a brand new .22 rifle!

Dad, welcoming Stephen back, expressing appreciation for his dedication and character, and verbally recognizing that though we war with our hands, it is GOD who fights for and through us, protects, blesses and guides us.

Admiring certain other "happenings" of the day... ;)

What would these events be without all the helpful little bubbly blue-eyed, wide-eyed, lemonade-stained kiddos running around?!

Hannah Hanson is to thank for a great deal of all these lovely photos. :)

Words are powerful, powerful things. When they are used well, what a tremendous source of encouragement they can be for years to come! "I would be true for there are those who care..."

Welcome home, Stephen! 

Blessed be the LORD my strength, 
which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
Psalm 144:1