After living overseas for 7 years, I feel really drawn to other cultures. There is something really comforting about being around people who aren't from my own home culture. I like Americans, don't get me wrong, hehe, but I just really enjoy people from other countries. One unexpected blessing from this year has been how international the area is! We live close to a few colleges, one of which has a huge foreign student program. When I open my door, I hear Vietnamese across the hall and smell the garlicky meat they cook on their porch. We have neighbors from the Ukraine, Haiti, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Poland, India, Korea, Colombia, and Dubai and quite a few white American college students! It's been a blessing to be surrounded by so many different cultures. So far this year I've gotten to try Arabic coffee, see my fully covered Muslim friend uncovered in her home, try sushi made by our Japanese friend, and I've been "smoked" with fragrances by my friend from Dubai. Our kids also have the blessing of learning about the nations. Today in our apartment we had 4 countries represented in the kids playing! I am thankful that the nations are at our doorstep. How fun.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Happy 30th Birthday Andy! I love you and I am so thankful for you on this day. It seems so significant to me that your 30th birthday falls on the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. He has "trampled death with death." He has defeated once and for all our greatest enemy-our sin which leads to our death. He has bought us out of slavery to sin and into freedom-freedom to be who he created us to be-to be made into our original design. Freedom from shame and guilt and the wrath we deserve. Freedom to be in intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. Freedom to come each day to him, needy as we are, and be filled with streams of living water-to be made into a new creation by his power. Today we celebrate all that Christ has done for us. God is raising us up with Christ to be new creations and I see you living your resurrected life this year, more than ever. I see you experiencing the freedom God has called you into when he bought you. I see you walking in confident trust rather than fear and self reliance. I see you growing tender and soft, like our Savior. I see Christ conquering your sin, just as he is mine. This year I'm seeing glimpses of the Resurrected Andy more than ever. I love the work he is doing in your life. I love that I get to know the intimate works he is doing that no one else sees. Christ is risen, he is risen indeed. I am so grateful that I get to see his resurrection played out in your life, and you in mine. I'm praying our 30's will be a decade of growing into our new names together. I love you Andy! Happy Birthday!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thanks Tim, Kathi and Mary for a really fun treat! We loved being with you.
Emma Grace is very much into the whole princess thing and I am pretty sure she changes dresses about 74 times a day. She was delighted when Tim and Kathi treated us to dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming a few weeks ago!! She and Jack really enjoyed meeting the characters and the hotel (castle, wink wink) was beautiful. Emma Grace had a magical time for sure! Thanks Tim and Kathi!Prince Charming has nothing...on this little guy! Thankfully for everyone, the stepsisters were much kinder in real life than in the book!! Emma Grace was worried about that but they ended up being her favorites! And Jack's favorite was....
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Since I haven't been great about updating my blog, I thought I'd do a little update for those interested!
These past few months has been so busy for us. We've had lots of visitors and taken several trips, all of which were really fun and we are in the process of buying a house. Although it was all really fun, I am feeling the need to slow down some! Andy and I have been talking about a few things we want to cut out in order to slow down and little and I am really hopeful that a slower pace of life will be healthier for all of us! I guess after living a slow paced life in China, I am just having a really hard time adjusting to the go-go-go ness of our life this year.
Our house is closing on Monday, Lord willing!! It's been a much crazier process than I would've imagined. It's been encouraging to see God providing for us. Just last week the price of our house went down 5,000 from our original offering price (long story!) On top of that, several people have given generously to us because they wanted to help with this purchase. Thanks to those special people. What a blessing you are and your gifts were a huge reminder that God provides for his children!
Our awesome realtor, who happens to be from Charleston, WV (Andy's hometown!) is letting us stay in her beach condo this weekend so we are heading there for a fun, low key beach weekend, just the four of us, to celebrate Andy's upcoming BIG 30!!!!
I definitely need to go back and update my blog from these past few months-so much has happened-dinner with princesses, a great visit from the Huffmans, retreats that involved thrift store fashion shows and karaoke, as well as a weekend with John and Alisa. Maybe someday I'll do that. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll just have to tuck those memories deep in my heart since my blogging time is short these days.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
We are trying to convince Sheryl and Andy that they just need to move down here! I mean, they love this state, they come all the time for business and some of their favorite people in the world now live here! Those seem like pretty good reasons to me!!!
They were here again in March and we had a belated bday celebration for our big 30. Andy kept our kiddos so she and I could get away to the beach for 24 hours! It was really fun and really restful and I only peed in my pants once. We stayed at this quaint little hotel on the innercoastal waterway. I feel like this year my life has been full of great views and peaceful getaways. Much needed. On our big night out we ended up coming back to the hotel and watching 5 hours of TV together. We are so 30 I guess. It was a blast really and just what I needed! We bought matching shirts at the restaurant we ate at and now we wear them every Wednesday with rolled up jean shorts and parrot earrings. HEHE. Flashback to elementary school except the shirts were neon green.
We ate in St Pete Beach on the innercoastal waterway for lunch on our way home. It was a beautiful day and the waiter sang a really fun bday song. YAY for a lot more Sheryl in my life this year.