We just installed our pet elevator. Hope Andy likes it. (we did it while he's out of town this week!)
Saturday, June 25, 2011
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:...a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance." Ecclesiastes 3
Today is a day for laughing and dancing for this precious family. Our dear, precious friends, Xiao Li and Axin are holding their baby boy!!! Si En, which in Chinese means "to think about or mediate on grace" was united with his parents this week. Xiao Li and Axin have been praying and waiting for a child for several years now. While we lived in China, we had the privilege of walking with them while they waited and wondered about God's plan for them. I can't express how much joy filled my heart today as we talked with them on the webcam. They had a stop over near where Matt and Laura now live. While they were there we got to meet Si En via the webcam. He's healthy, 9 months old and almost exactly a year younger than his older cousin, who is also a boy!
I am reminded of God's faithfulness. He was faithful to them as they waited and wondered and he held them during the times of not knowing and the pain of waiting for a child. And he is faithful in giving this precious child to them. Si En is well loved. God has filled Xiao Li and Axin with hearts overflowing with love. We too love you Si En!
Bob the Builder and his helper Wendy hard at work. They (and their parents) chopped down all the undergrowth pictured behind them. Our yard hasn't been loved in quite a few years. It's fun to dream and plan about cultivating it and really making it a fun place for our family and friends to enjoy.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
1000 unfinished projects+2 busy children=VERY SLOW PROGRESS! That's where we are in life right now. I think we are more OK with that then we were a couple days ago...or maybe we're just feeling better now that our clothes aren't in a giant mountain laying in our floor. We got around to putting the kids clothes away and ours into folded piles-waiting for our dresser to get here. Having conquered clothes mountain makes life feel a little more manageable.
My favorite spot in the house right now in my desk. I have wanted my own little desk for a few years now. Seems like that could help me to be organized rather than just have crumpled piles of paper in random spots all over my house! We'll see. Not sure how much more organized I will be. Maybe the fun chair will motivate me??
I got the picture from a really cool night market when I went to visit my friend Abby before we came home. I am slowly getting around to framing the things we bought there and I am really glad to have some reminders of our life there around our home. This year it's almost felt like I lived in a vacuum-sort of trapped between the life I used to live and the life I will have in America. It's just felt really disconnected from our past. So I am glad to have some tangible reminders of the country and people we love so much.
And on my desk is a picture of my Mom, brother, and sister, and one of my grandfather. Lots of faces to love.
Monday, June 20, 2011
I love telling Emma Grace the story of when she was born. I remember so many of the details of that night and early morning. (which is impressive because my memory is so terrible) Everything about that night and morning seems to just stick out in my mind...eating shrimp gumbo in Hillsborough, my water breaking on the way home, and me thinking I was peeing in my pants since I drank so much water and skipped the bathroom because the line was way too long, the pain of childbirth, that was really painful, how happy we were to meet her, how we cried happy tears, the orange juice that tasted so good to me right after she was born, how alert she was from the beginning, all the nurses saying she looked like a 3 month old, not a newborn, the funny poop stories from her first few weeks of life, and on and on. Those two days go down as some of my favorite on this earth. What a blessing to experience God creating a new person.
And on your fourth birthday, I'm glad to reflect and think about the person God has created you to be, Emma Grace. He has given you a brilliant mind, one I pray will always be sharp with the knowledge of God. Would God teach you truth in your inmost being, beginning in that amazing mind of yours and trickling down all the way to your heart. I pray you would know the love that surpasses knowledge in your mind and in your heart.
He has made you compassionate. You have a heart that hurts when people hurt. That is a gift. I pray you would remain tender and hurt for the things God hurts for and rejoice for the things he rejoices over.
You have more dynamic determination than anyone I know. (And I thought I had a lot!) You have a penchant for everything fancy, frilly, girly, and pink. You're great at voices, like your daddy, and you are very responsible.(we like to say you're a 30 year old trapped in a 4 year old's body!) You are a gift, Emma Grace and we love you. Happy Birthday to the oldest 4 year old I know.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Hope you'll enjoy seeing our home!
taken from front door. Dining area in front of house, living room in back half.
Kitchen from back of house. sink overlooks the living room
standing at staircase looking into living room. Master off to right.
Standing at back door
It was a year ago this week that we moved back to the US. In some ways that feels so long ago that we lived that life. But these few weeks as we've been packing up everything we own, again, the feelings I felt last year at this time come back quickly. First of all, how do we accumulate so much stuff in such a short amount of time? Secondly, I DON'T LIKE moving. This will be our last move, ever, I informed Andy this week. HEHE. Just kidding, but I am really hoping not to see a roll of packing tape for at least 5 years. The feeling of saying goodbye is familiar, but thankful many of the people we've gotten to know this year are staying here as well!
We've made considerable progress on our house, considering if was a foreclosure and needed lots of tender love and care but the big mountain of boxes in our front dining area isn't being conquered as quickly as we'd like! Here are a few pictures of our home. I feel so thankful for this house. God is so kind to give us the house we asked for from the first time we saw it. I love that it's in a neighborhood, yet quiet and kind of rural. I love that it has an open floor plan and that the kitchen overlooks the living room. I love that it's bright and cheery, something I specifically prayed for when asking God for a house. I am reminded that God is lavish in his giving to his children. So thankful! Check out Andy's handiwork on the hardwood floors. I am very impressed by the work he and Kevin did!