Here are a few highlights from our past few weeks:
Jack broke his collar bone jumping off a bench. He is a W I L D man and is always looking for the highest point to jump from. Thankfully he is almost fully healed-children's bodies heal amazingly quickly.
Jack loves to be "naked." (it rhymes with baked and he runs around the house saying "I'm naked" all the time!)
We just bought a house-well, almost. haven't closed yet, but if inspection goes well (that's tonight!) we'll close in April. We love the backyard of this house. lots of trees. When Emma Grace first walked into the backyard of this house she asked, "Is this a forest?"
Emma Grace is developing in her theology. A few weeks ago I told her I was going over to Erin's to teach her how to teach her how to use coupons. Here's how the conversation went:
Me: EG, I'm leaving now. Dad will be here with you. I'll see you in the morning.
EG: Where are you going?
Me: I'm going over to Ms. Erin's to teach her how to use coupons.
EG: She knows mom.
Me: No she doesn't know, I have to go teach her.
EG. No, mom, she knows.
Me: No babe she doesn't know. That's why I have to go teach her.
EG: Oh, well does she know about Jesus?
ME: Yes, she knows about Jesus. She just doesn't know how to coupon.
EG: Oh. Ok mom.
I guess in order to get to the second level of heaven you have to be able to coupon. Don't worry, Erin and I are well on our way! We've finally gotten in the groove of using coupons and it's truly amazing what you can save. just a 3 hour investment of your time and you can save over 100 dollars each week on your grocery bill! I sound like an infomercial. It's like playing a game really. I think that's why I like it.
Hopefully that 100 savings a week will help us get some of the trees in our forest trimmed. it's kind of overgrown at this point.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The one word I would use to describe my 30th birthday is LOVED. I felt so loved and celebrated this past weekend! My birthday weekend included a 24 hour getaway with Andy. The best part was getting to have extended time with him, but second to that was not having to take care of a single detail in planning it! Thank you Andy! It also included LOTS AND LOTS of cards from friends and family. Thanks you each of you. I read each one and loved them all. I plan to re read them and tape them to my door and read them for several weeks, just to spread out the love. It also included a surprise party with all our friends here. Andy and Terri, who deserves her own post and will get one soon, did an awesome job and I felt very loved and celebrated. And finally on my actual birthday I got to see this awesome sight: What a gift to be at the beach in 80 degree weather with my two kiddos. The morning of my birthday I read Psalm 139. David speaks of God creating us and intimately designing and knowing us, of him ordaining our number of days before they even began. In response to this he says, "How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand!"
God's thoughts are precious to David in large part because he knows how precious he is to God. God in all his wisdom and love and in his vast and unsearchable wisdom created David. He planned who he would be, the path he would take and even the number of his days. God loved him intimately. The thing I've learned most, this 30th year of life is to delight in the love of my heavenly father. He is to be loved as a response to his intimate love and care for me. He thoughts are precious to me because they are always for my good, always loving toward me, always kind.
I pray God's thoughts would be more and more precious to me with each passing year. That they would be my treasure and my delight.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
I've been writing about China a lot lately. I guess it just confirms what the sidebar of our blog says-part of our hearts will always be in China. We will always be 3/4 American and 1/8 Chinese and 1/8 confused about who we are. Our precious friend Ping invited us to her home to celebrate Chinese New Year. We were thrilled to have the chance to meet her sisters and her father. Her father owns a Chinese restaurant here. You can see him cooking in the kitchen here!
Their family is from the coastal part of the motherland so we appropriately had seafood hotpot. Can I just say I have come a long way in my ability to eat Chinese food. I took it to a whole new level this week by partaking of this spicy boiling pot of mussels and squid and calms and oysters. Andy commented that we enjoyed an "authentic Chinese New Year meal, complete with stomach issues to follow!" We really liked the crab legs and lobster! And the cake...
We got the cake at the Chinese Market and they loved having an authentic Chinese style cake to celebrate! And so did we! Chinese cakes taste not sweet enough for the first few years you eat them. But about year 5 they start to taste really good. Light, fluffy cake, not too sweet, with a light fluffy icing-and candied fruit. Yum Yum.
The best part of the evening-the company. Our kids love these A Yi's, Fen, Jing, and Ping. They were so kind and even gave our kids the traditional hong baos (red envelopes with money-kids receive them each new year from neighbors and family) Such a blessing to be able to celebrate with Chinese friends!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Lest you think that all we do is spend our time pining for China, I thought I would write a "half way" post about a few of the things we love about the life God is creating for us here. We are half way through our first year in the USA! We both feel like we turned a corner after Christmas and we're starting to really enjoy what God has given us here. It's like he's designed this perfect little spot unique for our family. I guess he does that for all his people, all over the world. So here's my top then list at the half way point of this year (in no particular order)
1. We really love the weather and the natural beauty of this place (once you get out of the city). Cookouts in January! Shorts in February!
2. Seeing our families more often.
3. YAY for Kids night at Chic Fila
4. We are joining an amazing church. A pastor who loves and reaches out to us. People who genuinely want to get to know us. A body of believers steadfastly committed to biblical unity and peacemaking.
5. Sweet times with Andy sitting on our couch talking and praying. seems the brokenness in our own lives, coupled with the transition stress, and all we are learning this year = great connection talking and praying .
6. Living in an apartment complex with lots of people from Andy's work who love the Lord and us! EG and Jack having awesome older kids to play with.
7. Our life group, our coaches, and our times with them. so sweet.
8. Lots of international friends that God has given us! For Arabic coffee, for hong baos from our Chinese friends, for being "frangranced/smoked" with burning incense by my UAE friend, Moisa. ( I smelled like smoke for week!)
9. For a new start. I like the challenge of a new place, figuring things out, developing some new habits. It's nice to wipe the slate clean sometimes. YAY for exercise class at the gym with Erin.
10. For the first time in my life feeling, not just knowing in my head, that I am precious to God.