#familyfirstin2015 #SGF #movetoMO

It has been a whirlwind of activity for the Stones over the last two weeks as we have moved from Boca Raton, FL to Springfield, MO. I wanted to answer a few questions for many of my Facebook friends, 2 Twitter followers, and 3 people who follow this blog (thanks Mom!)


We have been praying for several months about this move back “home” to the Ozarks. The main reason we have felt a calling back to the area is to help with the care of our parents. The older I get, the more I am understanding “honor your father and mother.” I used to think, as a snarky little kid, that it was just a verse to “try to keep a good kid down.” It makes sense that parents would teach this verse, right? But I believe the real power of this verse is the fact that you are always a son or daughter. We feel really strongly that we are making this move to be able to better honor our parents (both Jenny’s and mine.)

Here are all the details in a letter that was submitted to The Journey Church family in Boca Raton explaining the move.

Dear Pastor Nelson and The Journey Church family,

Almost a year ago, God called me to Boca Raton to be the Pastor of Families here at The Journey Church. When God calls us to a place of ministry service, it is often not a lifetime calling at that place.  He often calls us to complete a work and then we move to the next assignment He has for us. We believe God has given us a new assignment for the next season of our lives.

As many of you know, both Jenny’s parents and my parents live in Springfield, MO. Jenny’s dad is moving into the final stages of Alzheimer’s Disease as well as a newly discovered heart condition. These issues are causing a great amount of stress on her mother for his care.  In addition to my father-in-law’s condition, my mother is still not recovering well from her fall this past November and my dad needs some help caring for her.

After much prayer and consideration, Jenny and I are moving back to Springfield to help with the care of our parents. Therefore, I am resigning my position as Pastor of Families of The Journey Church. My last Sunday will be January 18, 2015.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve alongside you all over the last year.  I know that I have grown as a pastor and as a Christ follower.  It has truly been an honor and a blessing to be a part of the family at The Journey in Boca. Please pray that Jenny and I can both find employment quickly as well as a smooth transition in schools for the boys. Thank you for your continued love and prayer as my family makes this transition and we pursue God’s call on our lives.

In Christ’s Love,



In a word, FAMILY. In a hashtag #familyfirstin2015. We have been 20+ hours away from our family for four years and with the recent health issues for our parents, we just feel we need to be near our blood family for this next season of our lives. We have found over the years that our spiritual family has been there for us when we have been away from our blood family. However, it is time for us to be near our blood family full time. I have also been putting a lot of time and energy into my career in the church and I feel a need to spend more time with my family while I still can before it is too late. It’s good to be around our parents…and even better for our boys to be around extended family (Taylor and Tucker have already had a really fun time on Sunday with their cousins while they were “helping” unload the moving truck.)

Now What?

  • We will be moving to a family farm house outside of Springfield (Strafford, MO). Jenny’s grandparent’s left a house for her and her future family to have for a circumstance just like this–a place to live during a transition time. Pretty cool how all those years ago they made provisions for us.
  • The boys will be enrolling in school at Strafford.
  • Jenny and I will be looking for jobs.
    • Jenny will probably substitute teach some and will be considering going back to full time teaching in the fall.
    • I will try to find something that fits within my gifts and personality. Obviously, I am a people person, so I will be looking for a job that I can help lots of people. Maybe in sales or customer service? I have even thought about starting my own business (the entrepreneurial spirit hasn’t gone away, has it? Mr. Church Planter. Ha!)
    • I’m not opposed to serving in the local church at all, but it would need to be a really perfect fit for me to serve on staff right now for this season. I would love to get a secular job that would allow me to be a “civilian” church member and volunteer in the local church.
    • If that doesn’t work out, maybe I could be a swimsuit model…lol!

Thanks in advance for your prayers for our family. We are really excited about 2015!

Tucker and Talan

Tucker and his buddy Talan from church ran in a fundraising run (Boosterthon) for their elementary school. They look like they had a really good time.



Robert Mufson Sportsmanship Award

Taylor received the Robert Mufson Sportsmanship Award in Boca Hoops today. He is great basketball player, but an even better kid. The description of the award is a pretty good picture of Taylor as a an athlete–he really loves the thinking part of the games as well as helping everyone on the team succeed.

Here is the description from the Boca Hoops website:

The Robert Mufson Sportsmanship Award is to be given to one player from each team. This player has shown the courage to be themselves. They have shown their love for the “game of basketball”, and have balanced the desire to win, with the enjoyment of playing the game. This player does not have to be the special athlete but rather a special person who understands the meaning of sportsmanship. A player who truly cares about others, such as players, either teammates or opponents, coaches, referees, and parents.

This award is a landmark in Boca Hoops tradition by recognizing a quality in our children other than pure athleticism.



Boca Hoops Finals

Taylor and Tucker are taking part in the closing ceremonies of Boca Hoops for the 2014 season today. They have had a really good season and the league does a really good job with the “Finals.” There is a sportsmanship award given to a member of each team in the league and the championship game of each age division is played immediately after the awards ceremony. It will be a full day of Boca Hoops…oh, and of course some college football mixed in for good measure!


Zinc Atom Project Completed

Taylor did an excellent job with his science project. The initial nucleus took the longest to get all the protons and neutrons glued on the sphere. (I still have glue on my fingers.) He had a really great idea of using the half sphere as a cutaway of the atom. It really turned out really well! So proud of him!IMG_6747 IMG_6750

Happy Birthday, Jenny!

Today is my best friend’s birthday! She is the best part of me for sure. Don’t know what I would do without her love and support!

The boys and I love you very much!


Science Project: The Atom

Taylor boy is working on a science project about the element Zinc. He is making a model of the atom. #funwithcrafts #glueeverywhere


Happy 9th Birthday, Tucker!

Tucker is 9 years old! We had a big day out celebrating his birthday on Saturday.

  • Playoff basketball game
  • The Whale’s Rib in Deerfield Beach (made famous on Diners, Drive-Ins & Drives)
    • Tucker loves the “whale fries” (homemade potato chips) and especially the “whale juice” that goes along with it!
  • The Sports Authority and Super Target (because the birthday money was burning a hole in his pocket!)
  • Roller Skating (Tucker inline and the rest of us “old school” skates) (This was painful, very painful.)
  • Dunkin Donuts in Riviera Beach that has the “famous” aquarium made by the guys behind the show “Tanked.” It is a pretty cool coffee cup and saucer with a donut being “dunked” in by a hand.
  • Here are a bunch of pics from a very busy day of festivities…

    First Time Guest Follow-up

    We like to send each child that comes to Journey Kidz a gift for coming to join us for the first time. We send beach balls (see Oriental Trading or Rhode Island Novelty) for bulk items.


    On each beach ball we write a brief note on the ball with a Sharpie marker. The ball is then mailed (it’s true, you can mail an inflated beach ball!) to each child. Tucker was super excited to receive his in the mailbox after his first visit to The Journey.


    This is what my office looks like on Monday mornings before we send the beach balls.

    Neighborhood Hoops with the Boys

    We enjoy coming to the neighborhood courts to shoot around. #dadlife