Category: Stanglin Family (Page 2 of 18)

Caleb & Abbie

We put 1,904 miles on Carrie-Anne’s Escape this past weekend to attend the wedding of our nephew Caleb and his beautiful bride Abbie in New Harmony, Indiana. Caleb is my sister Rhonda’s older son, a super-smart and determined young man with a killer three-point shot; Abbie is the hiking and biking fitness freak he met at Harding; and they are very very well-suited for each other. They make a really great couple and we couldn’t be happier for them both.

We took our time getting to this little community on the Wabash River. Carrie-Anne, Whitney, and I took advantage of Valerie and David being on their honeymoon (one year later; thanks, COVID) to stay in their apartment in Tulsa Thursday night. And on Friday, we took a 24-mile, 90-minute detour to catch some throwed rolls at Lambert’s Cafe outside Branson.

The day of the wedding, Saturday, we hopped in a couple of golf carts and did some sightseeing around New Harmony. The roofless church. The old abandoned bridge connecting Illinois and Indiana over the Wabash River. A couple of antique shops. Fields and fields of bright Peonies flowers. Several 200-year-old buildings. And a spooky burial ground. New Harmony feels like something straight out of a Stephen King movie: super old homes in a tight-knit community cut off from the rest of the world with a bit of a creepy vibe, like something’s going on here. Something horrible has happened here or could happen here.












The wedding, though, was perfect. Logan officiated an efficient ceremony on the banks of a Wabash tributary in the shadow of the New Harmony Inn, right after a brief rain shower that had us scrambling during the family pictures. The rest of the night was just as good: dinner, the dancing, the DJ, Asa’s really good toast, the shoe game, Joanna’s perfectly-timed leakage, blueberry popcorn, the new couple’s well-rehearsed exit, and three kinds of cake! The only miscue was Caleb’s throw of Abbie’s garter – a lame one-hopper that barely cleared two feet.










Sunday morning we all went to church together at the Christian Church in Carmi, Illinois where Abbie’s family worships and where she grew up. And then we loaded up the Escape for the 13-hour drive back to Amarillo. Brutal. Straight through. We got home at 1:30am. Asa, Rhonda’s youngest, is marrying the lovely Addie in November in Destin, Florida. I think we’ll take a plane.

Congratulations to Caleb and Abbie! We were so blessed to participate in your wedding and to share with you your love and joy and expectations. May the Father’s love bless your relationship together and all your relationships. May the peace of Christ reign in your home with you and everyone you know. And may the Holy Spirit provide you with wisdom and guidance and patience and everything you need so your marriage forever reflects our God’s love and faithfulness.



Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom!

Praise the Lord and pass the chips and salsa! The newest Chuy’s location right here in ruggedly beautiful Amarillo, Texas finally opened yesterday and, yes, of course we were there!

Carrie-Anne, Carley, and I vowed to skip lunch yesterday and then meet at the brand new Chuy’s at 4:00pm to beat the opening night dinner crowd for a super early supper. We walked right in – no wait! – and took our seats under the Chuy’s hubcaps and among the Chuy’s palm trees and had our chips dipped in Chuy’s amazing made-from-scratch queso in about two minutes.

Carley and I went with the traditional Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom, the roasted pulled white meat chicken enchiladas with the famous Boom-Boom sauce, a spicy blend of New Mexican Hatch green chiles, tomatillos, cilantro, and cheese. C-A ordered up her favorite crispy tacos in those homemade shells. And we just had a blast.

I have mixed emotions about famous region-specific restaurants expanding their reach outside of their territories. Chuy’s is an Austin original. Carrie-Anne and I would eat at the original Chuy’s on Barton Springs Road when we lived in Marble Falls back in the ’90s and the Chuy’s on Lamar has been our go-to Tex-Mex spot in Austin ever since. It’s nostalgic for me. It reminds me of the Texas Hill Country and great friends, when our kids were little and we lived in our first house on Hackberry, when C-A and I were trying to figure out marriage together, and life. I remember thinking it was weird when I first saw the new Chuy’s on I-35 in Waco in 2008. Shouldn’t you have to go to Austin to eat at Chuy’s? Up until ten or eleven years ago, all fifteen Chuy’s were in Texas. But on a family trip to Disney World in 2014, we saw one in Orlando, Florida. We were appalled! And we ate there twice!

It’s like the Chicago company buying Whataburger and planning to expand all over the country. I think it’s great that folks in Detroit and Boston might someday get to enjoy a #1 with cheese and everything on it, dip their fries into Whataburger’s spicy ketchup, and wash it down with a Dr Pepper shake. But shouldn’t you have to be in Texas to do it? Does it water down the whole thing if you can get it anywhere?

It’s weird to have a Chuy’s in Amarillo. And it’s great! I just might see you there today at lunch.



All the Girls

We drove hard and fast to OKC after church yesterday to clean Carley out of her on-campus apartment at Oklahoma Christian and move her back home. We were surprised when we arrived to learn that Valerie and David had driven down from Tulsa to help out. Beautiful! All three daughters with their mom on Mother’s Day! We loaded up the cars and the truck together and then celebrated at – where else? – Ted’s with my sister Rhonda and her family. It was a crazy day – we got home at about 1130p last night. But it was good to see all the girls. And it’s good to have the Bear back in Amarillo.







Bullet Proof!

A gargantuan thank you to all the wonderful volunteers at the Civic Center, our area’s public health officials, and our city leaders for making Amarillo the vaccination destination of the world! Carrie-Anne, Whitney, and I received our second COVID-19 shots today and we are set! The operation was smooth both times, no appointments, and no waiting. The only waiting has come now, wondering which one of us gets sick. And how sick. The suspense is killing us.



Joanna Has Arrived!

Our precious niece, Maryn, had their baby late last night in Memphis: a beautiful little girl named Joanna Madelyn.  Joanna is the first-born grandchild in this generation of our family, making my sister, Rhonda, a grandmother right on time. Joanna looks like her mom so I’m assuming she’ll have a fabulous singing voice, an exquisite ability to play piano, a sharp and funny wit, and she’ll shoot about 80% from the field.

The initial photo and text I received from Rhonda merely said “8lbs 5oz.” I wondered if that was the weight of the massive bow on Joanna’s head!

Congratulations to Logan and Maryn! May you give thanks daily to God for Joanna and the joy and love she will bring to your home. May you earnestly seek our Lord as you raise her in the community of faith. And may our Lord protect her and bless her with his grace and peace.


As part of our “Meals with the Messiah” sermon series, we’re asking everybody at Central to take pictures of shared meals around the table in their houses and post it using #amarillocentral. I don’t know what Kevin is going to do with these, but you can bet it’ll be significant. We took this picture of our covenant group in our dining room last night somewhere in between the chili and soups and Paul Brown’s Frito salad. We were missing Dale and Karen – maybe Kevin can photoshop them in.



Hope in What’s Up

“We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints — the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the Gospel that has come to you.” ~Colossians 1:4-6

It’s interesting that Paul tells the Christians in Colosse that hope is the source of their faith and love. Their hope doesn’t come from their faith — it’s the opposite. Their faith is grounded in their hope. That means hope, at least in this setting, is not about their mood or their attitude. It’s about the thing that is hoped for. It’s the thing that is stored up in heaven. This future glory with Christ, these eternal promises of God we know are coming true.

Not hope in the things of this world. Not hope in our careers or family, not hope in degrees or scholarships, not hope in elections or supreme courts, not hope in science or technology — hope in what God is holding for us in heaven. That kind of certainty is what gives birth to a faith in Christ Jesus, a faith that our God has acted decisively in his Son as our Savior. It generates a deep love for all the saints, a love that’s increasingly for others instead of self. This kind of biblical hope is a strong knowing, a confident conviction that impacts our every thought and deed.

Christian hope is not blind optimism with no foundation to it. It’s not, “I hope the Cowboys win the Super Bowl.” That’s just baseless positivism. Like when George Lloyd addressed the House of Commons on Armistice Day in 1918: “I hope we may say that on this fateful morning came an end to all wars.” That’s just wishful thinking. It just means, “I hope so.” It’s not really based on anything concrete.

That’s what led Alexander Pope to write: “Blessed is the one who expects nothing for he shall never be disappointed.” In other words, don’t get your hopes up and you’ll never be let down.

For Christians, our hopes are always way up! We expect everything!

We expect that our God is at work in this world through Jesus Christ and that he is reconciling all people and all things together in himself. We expect that God is right now fixing everything that’s broken and making right everything that’s gone wrong. Our hope is secure because God himself has sealed it by placing his Holy Spirit inside us.

“All over the world, this Gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.” ~ Colossians 1:6

That Christian faith and that mutual love and that common hope is changing our lives and changing the world and connecting us together forever.


Whitney and I took a quick road trip to Austin over the weekend to see our nephew, Isaac, play cornerback for the Brentwood Christian High School Bears. We also paid our respects at the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue at Auditorium Shores, ate some famous Austin barbecue at Oakwood BBQ, cruised the shops on South Congress, climbed Mount Bonnell for the amazing views of the Colorado River, and enjoyed a pre-game meal at the Chuy’s on Lamar. Isaac dominated and the Bears beat some Catholic school 24-0.






That’s a good weekend.

Go Cards.


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