Category Archives: Family

A Year of Firsts

By | Family, Just Thoughts | No Comments

Mark and I have lots of requests to revive this blog, but our life has become so incredibly full, there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to sustain another project. However, today, I find myself with some time as I’m confined at home with a respiratory infection and also, the nature of the day compels me to write a bit.

This year began rather strangely — just a couple of weeks after the birth of our 5th grandchild in late January, I was called to Texas to help with my Mother, who was in the hospital wth a laundry list of serious health concerns. She was in and out of ICU and my sisters needed more help to stay with her at the hospital. My first trip down, I had five days with her and she was in pretty good spirits, all things considered. Mentally she was quite sharp and we reminisced about many things. She also asked about each member of our family in Kansas — needing a person-by-person report. Since she lived up here in Andover on two different occasions, she also knows a lot of people at NewSpring and asked about each of them as well.

Mother had many friends and relatives who came to visit. One afternoon, she had 23 visitors in the waiting room. We had to divide into groups and go into her room in shifts. In addition to the time with my Mother, I got to visit with aunts and cousins I hadn’t seen in years. At the end of the five days, I returned home to take up my responsibilities at the church, thinking she would be dismissed after a week in rehab, but got called again a few days later as she was re admitted to ICU and my sister was taken ill, so I needed to fill in for her.

It was during the second trip (only 3 days) that Mother became convinced she was dying. We talked very frankly about it and she assured me she was ready to go. Having said that, the doctors kept assuring us that she was not at end of life, so I left on a Friday to resume responsibilities only to get a message that next Tuesday that she was gone. She was almost 91 years old and I don’t think we left anything unsaid, but I would have hugged her a little tighter if I had know it was the last time.

She died in March and when her birthday came in April, it was sad, but I tried to imagine her celebrating in Heaven with my Dad who moved to Heaven back in 2010. In May, when Mother’s Day came around, I realized she was reunited with her Mama and they were so close in this life, I’m sure it was a sweet time for them. I did find myself wanting to rewind and redo some Mother’s Days that I didn’t express my love as I would have wanted to. Regret is a hard condition because there is no remedy.

Today is my birthday and there has never been a year that Mother didn’t call and wish me Happy Birthday. As a mom myself, I would share with her that I always think of her on my birthday as she was such an integral part of that experience! I also know that she remembers that day WAY better than I do. She has shared the story with me many times so that I can almost envision what it was like for her. Of course, I have NO memory of that day, but without my Mother’s love to take on number 4 with an already crowded family, I wouldn’t be here. I truly owe her my life. Just 12 years later, she could have legally disposed of me. She wouldn’t have of course, but she had just gone through long months taking care of my older sister through a life-threatening disease and she had a full house with a limited budget. I’m quite sure I was inconvenient. I remember someone telling me once what a burden I had been as a baby — bad timing, cried all the time, etc. When my mother heard of it, she was LIVID! She said she asked God for each one of her children and she very much wanted me. I would hope that all mothers express such love and acceptance to their children no matter what the circumstance.

Perhaps the most sobering thing about this year is the awareness that Mark and I have entered a new season of life. It seems like just yesterday, we were bringing our babies home from the hospital, but now it’s our grand babies going home in the arms of our grown children. Of our four parents, only one is still living. Those sandwich years are almost over, then we become the top slice of the bread instead of the peanut butter in the middle. It all happened so fast! And, why is it that busy days consume lives faster than newspaper in the fire?

Mark and I have often discussed the seasons of our life together and since we were just children when we met and lived in the same area before that, I’m so glad we can walk pretty much all the way down memory lane together. We smile and shed tears as we remember all the amazing things God has let us experience and we shed tears over the regrets of opportunities missed, even though God is so faithful to redeem our mess-ups. God is SO good to us!

Our goal in this new season is to be thankful every day and apply God’s wisdom very carefully as the days left are short.

Remember your Creator while you are young, before the days of trouble come and the years when you say, “I find no pleasure in them.” Ecclesiastes 12:1

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:14

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Summer Excitement

By | Family, NewSpring | No Comments

It’s been a long time coming, so we are savoring the arrival of summer 2010. (I did have a dream last week that we had another snow storm in the middle of June. I think that was from all the times I wondered out loud if winter would ever end.)

At the Hoover house, we just enjoyed a visit from some of our kin folks from Burnet, Texas. It was a sweet reunion for Mark’s dad, WM to spend time with three of his siblings, John, James and Faye and also John’s son, Dennis. When the Hoovers get together they eat, share stories and sing. These are memories to treasure. Read More

Seasons and Things

By | Family, Message Series, NewSpring, Next Step | No Comments

It looks like another cloudy, unseasonably cool day here in Kansas. I’m thankful for the moisture which is needed to keep things green and growing, but I really miss the sunshine when the clouds stay more than a day or so. This reminds me of what I used to hear as a child when the weather seemed out of the ordinary — that it was a sign of the end times. Actually, I’ve never found the verse that they were referring to, but in case you’ve been told the same thing, there is a verse you might like to know. It was after the flood and God was making his covenant with Noah. Among the promises God made, you may find this one interesting. Read More

Out of Summer and into Fall

By | Family, Message Series, NewSpring, Next Step | 2 Comments

It’s hard to believe that summer has come to a close — but what a summer! We had some great times with family — especially Jared and Jessica’s wedding on July 31. Here’s a few photo highlights from that day. (Special thanks to Barbara Hotalen and Jessica’s cousin for the pics.)

In addition to Hoover family additions this year, we have celebrated NewSpring family additions with almost 300 people going public with their faith at Watermark 09.

Last weekend we had a great Starting Point Orientation with five new groups beginning Sept 12-13. By the way, there’s still time to sign up if you’re interested.

The new message series “Love Songs” also begins Sept 12-13.  Mark, Lance and the entire team have been preparing for this series for months and even though I get some previews, I can’t wait to see it all come together.

Speaking of “coming together,” I hope many more NewSpringers will consider making Saturday their preferred time to attend worship. I think there’s just a little more energy in the room on Saturdays and there’s definitely more music with XL. The main goal, of course, is to make more room for first time guests at 11 on Sundays. So give Saturday a try!

Two June Anniversaries

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It’s been a lovely vacation down here in Texas. After Mark spent the first couple of days in meetings, we enjoyed a couple of days of family get-togethers and then enjoyed being tourists here in our hometown. Last Saturday, June 6th was the 24th anniversary of the day we moved to Wichita. Today has been extra special as it is our 32nd wedding anniversary.

We look forward to being back home this weekend.


By | Family, NewSpring, Next Step | No Comments

Today I am in Atlanta attending the third day of an awesome conference called “Drive.” I was invited to come as a part of the Starting Point Advisory Board. Starting Point was developed here at North Point Community Church and they continue to update and improve it with new and fresh ideas. If you are wondering what Starting Point is, you can check us out at There are new SP groups forming at NewSpring every 6 to 8 weeks.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, last Friday, May 1, our granddaughter, Summer Juliette Hoover, was born, weighing in at a little over 6 lbs. She is absolutely beautiful as is her sister, Cheyenne. We are very thankful for our children and grandchildren by birth and by marriage. God is very good to us! (If you Facebook, our son, Jonathan has some awesome pictures uploaded.)

We had over 50 people at the Discovery Reception last Sunday. If you missed it, but would like to attend the next Discovery, registration is open for June 28. We have a great time in Discovery! Of course, my favorite part is just getting to know all the people who are new to NewSpring.

Tonight is First Wednesday, but not just your average First Wednesday — we will have an official groundbreaking for the new Kid’s Building. What an exciting day! I can’t wait to see this building start going up! Besides all the amazing new Kid’s space, there will be many other improvements to the main building that we will all enjoy.

Please pray for our safe travel as Debbie Kubish and I fly home this afternoon. See you at First Wednesday!

Room for More

By | Family, Next Step | No Comments

As we anxiously await the arrival of our granddaughter, Summer, I’m reminded of the feelings I had with the arrival of each of our children. It would seem that all the love we had was invested in the children who were already in our family, but with the birth of each child, God increased our store of love so that we had more to give to the new arrival. It is hard to imagine another grandchild as wonderful as Cheyenne, but I’m sure that God will increase our love to shower on little Summer. There’s always room for more!

At NewSpring, there is always room for more as well! This Sunday is our next Discovery Reception, which is a unique opportunity to learn more about NewSpring and how you can get involved. You’ll hear from the NewSpring leadership team and have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. There are still about 20 places available, so if you’re new to NewSpring, come join us this Sunday, May 3, from 9:15 to noon. You can register online.

If you’ve heard about the new Kid’s building, but would like to get more details, you’re invited to come to a Full Access Group. Opportunities are about to come to an end for Full Access Groups, but there is still room on April 29 and May 7. On Wednesday, April 29, childcare is provided, but you don’t need to have children to attend. You can register online.

Catching Up

By | Family, Message Series, NewSpring, Next Step | One Comment

I just realized that it’s been almost a month since we’ve posted on our blog! There are so many exciting things happening, so I’ll try to bring our blog up-to-date.

First of all, our family is looking forward to the arrival of our granddaughter, Summer, who is scheduled to arrive in mid May. Her older sister Cheyenne was in town with her Mom, Wendy over spring break and we enjoyed that visit. Stephen is looking forward to his 15th birthday in just a few days and Grandpa Hoover (WM) will celebrate his 84th birthday this Saturday. Grandma Hoover (Edith) had a little health scare that kept her in the hospital overnight for the first time since Mark’s birth, but she is responding well to medication and is her normal, energetic self.

Last Sunday we had a Discovery Reception and 57 people were present. As a result, NewSpring will again be welcoming many new members into the family. The next Discovery Reception will be May 3 and registration is already underway.

Mark is at the church tonight with a Full Access Group, which is a small group of people who would like to get some up close information about the exciting new building project that is about to begin at NewSpring. Although most of the groups are now full, there are still some spaces available. If you’re interested, you can register online at

This Sunday is Easter and every staff member and volunteer is doubling their efforts in anticipation of an overflow crowd — especially at the 11 o’clock service. Many people in our community will come to NewSpring this Sunday for the first time because of the holiday. There will be two services on Saturday — 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to allow many of our regular Sunday attenders to come on Saturday and make extra space for visitors coming on Sunday. Because we are also offering a full KidzWorld program for both services on Saturday, many of you I have talked to are volunteering for extra services to make this possible. NewSpring volunteers are awesome!

Mark has also been working on the new message series that begins this weekend, u x 2Double Your Impact. Along with the weekend talks, he has also written a daily journal that corresponds with the series. These will be available this weekend, but you can pre-order online. Because of God’s gift to Mark of expressing things so simply and clearly, I have been trying to encourage him for years to write a book. Being humble as he is, he never feels his material is worthy of print, but this particular series has so captured his passion that he has devoted many hours to writing this journal. I am very confident that God is going to use it to bless each reader in an unusual way. Even though I’ve gotten many previews, I can’t wait to get my copy!

I hope every NewSpringer will be praying for God to do amazing things this weekend at NewSpring and throughout the world as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Mary Alice

This is winter?

By | Family | No Comments

I don’t want to say it too loudly, because I realize that blizzards could be in our near future, but the weather is beautiful! Who would have predicted that the day after Christmas, it would be warm enough (in Kansas) for a game of backyard football?

Jared, Jonathan & Stephen Hoover

Jared, Jonathan & Stephen Hoover

As they were growing up, all three of our sons enjoyed playing a little football outside with their dad. I guess somethings don’t change — well, except the cheerleading section!

Cheyenne Hoover & Ellie Cummins

Cheyenne Hoover & Ellie Cummins

We had a great time of celebration with friends and family — and good weather too!

The Hoover Family

The Hoover Family