Monday, January 29, 2007

Grady's Birthday Party

Grady was 3 on the 3rd. We celebrated in PA while we were there...we were there over his birthday. But, we hadn't ever had a party here in Saline with all of my family. So, yesterday was the day. We had a great train birthday. Everyone was instructed to bring something train-related for Grady, whether it be a colored train picture, a train photo, a toy train...whatever. It was a lot of fun to see what people brought for him. We also had some GREAT train decorations, drawn/made by my stupendously talented husband. We played "pin the caboose on the train" and had cake and ice cream. It was so much fun. Here a couple of pictures with Grady and his cake.

By the way, more pictures to come on the website next week...lots of pictures, including more of the birthday party (and the great decorations).

And, keep scrolling down for another post for today.

Jump Start

Just like a car sometimes needs a jump start to get things going, we are feeling the need for a jump start in a couple of areas: physical and spiritual.

So, we are fasting. I haven't been able to do a total fast in over 4 years since I've been either nursing or pregnant for over 4 years now. :) I have done little fasts from time to time, fasting certain things. But, we are now fasting meats and sweets, starting today and ending Mar. 1st.

Firstly, spiritually we just feel like we need to get things more in order. This discipline of fasting certainly does that. And calling on God to help in time of restraint is key, not just trying to use your own willpower to do it...that defeats the purpose.

Secondly, this will also hopefully get us back on track in eating healthy, no matter who is around, what food is around, or where we are.

We are buffeting our bodies. Not always fun, but good for the soul (our bodies too).

I'm telling you all of this because I will also be fasting from the computer for the first week. Craziness...I like to stay informed and in touch with all of you. But, just so you know, that's why you won't be hearing from me for a while.

If you need to get in touch with me before next Monday, just go to our website, click on Contact Us, and either call us or email

Have a great week!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cut Off No More

To elaborate on my previous post and to also give those poor missionaries the benefit of the doubt, I want to bring out a point that I am super glad about...the world has become much smaller. Used to, when people announced that God had called them to be a foreign missionary, it meant that they would never again see their family. To even receive a letter or package from them would involve a small miracle of the postal service and even then they would have to wait weeks/months to get it.

These days, not that it's not a sacrifice, but the measures are much less drastic than they used to be and for that I am very grateful. Right now, I can talk to our friends in Brazil and China every day for free as long as I have Skype, headphones, and a microphone...a free "phone call" to people on the other side of the world. Incredible. Who would've even thought that 20 or even 10 years ago? Then there are the web cams so that you can see the people you are talking to too. If you don't have all that technology, there is at least just regular old email and instant messaging. Most of the time, even out in the bush these days (although not always that dependable) they have internet access at some level.

Missionaries used to be cut off from the rest of the world...not the case anymore. One of the reasons is because of this little thing that many people use, including my airplane! Trips that used to take days and even weeks can now be made in minutes. Amazing. People can go in and out of remote and isolated areas with relative ease now. Travel is easy and relatively inexpensive too. No more crossing oceans in big rocking boats, getting sea-sick and being stuck on a boat forever. Nope, that is much easier now too.

So, seriously, missionaries really have little excuse for being out of touch and unrelate-able these days. Another side note...even with the appearance of the missionaries I talked about in my last post, if they had had an attractive personality that probably would've helped. In truth, missionaries have sometimes gotten the reputation of being a little socially inept...and from what I saw that report was true. But, in recent years that has been proven false to me, thank goodness. To date, most of the missionaries I've come into contact with are just super dang cool...and so much fun.

Needless to say, it's a great day and age to be on the mission field. Sure there are still challenges (I'm sure you will hear me talking about them in future posts), but relatively speaking, compared to what the challenges used to be...well, let's just say that I'm glad to be in this day and age.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Frumpy Missionary

My first memories of missionaries are not fond memories. As a young person, you are constantly, although unconsciously most of the time, looking for people to emulate. The missionaries I came into contact with growing up were not people I wanted to become like. Bless their little pea-picking hearts...I know that they were probably totally serving God wholeheartedly...they probably have huge mansions with all the upgrades imaginable waiting for them in heaven. But, I hope that we not only serve God with the people He sends us to, but I hope to always be relate-able to everyone I come into contact with.

Now, I have never claimed to be a stylish person. I am well aware that I am, in fact, borderline "What Not to Wear" material myself. But, I do try to keep somewhat up-to-date in my clothes, hair, etc.

I can't say that is always easy. I don't necessarily like those pants that you can't bend over in without looking like a plumber and don't even get me started with the thongs (and no, I'm not talking about flip flops). But, I do try to stay away from things that would "date" me...I try not to get stuck in a time period. I may not be succeeding completely, but hopefully I am doing an o.k. job.

So, if you ever see me back in the states on furlough with long limp hair, oversized bifocals, a button-down cotton shirt that is tucked into my pleated elastic long denim skirt, buckle sandals, with my handy slide projector in tow...please, please, please...nudge me and give me a friendly fashion police rebuke.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sweet Success

O.K., so last night Asa slept through the night. Well, I guess in actuality we really just "started" the sleeping through the night thing. I'll explain.

With Grady, around this age (Asa is almost 3 1/2 months) he would wake up at the same time every night. We decided that he was probably just waking up out of habit and that we were going to see about helping him go all night without waking up. The first night we decided to do this, he cried...for 35 minutes. It wasn't continuous, but he did cry. For those of you who think this is horrible or something, just keep reading. The 2nd night, he only cried for 5 minutes. The 3rd night, he stirred a bit, but didn't wake up. The 4th night he didn't wake up at all. He never did again. Stupendous.

Well, we've been feeling like Asa is at that point. So, last night we decided to try it out. She ALWAYS wakes up between 3 and 4 every night. Last night, I fed her last at about 10:30 pm. She woke up at 3:41. We let her cry. It was a little harder this time to let her cry than it was with Grady...not sure why. But, I was just praying and knew that God would just lead me/us in what to do. I told myself that if she didn't go back to sleep by around 4:20, I would feed her. Well, she was sound asleep by 4:06...exactly 25 minutes. I knew that if she truly was waking up out of hunger, she would be awake again shortly. Well, I woke up at 8am and she was just starting to stir. I would say that she wasn't waking out of hunger, only habit.

We'll see how tonight goes and I will keep you posted on the sleep happenings. We're excited and encouraged from last night though.

Here's a sweet picture of sleeping beauty. I just LOVE those little dimples they have in their little hands. By the way, she has found her feet now. And, when you are holding her now, she reaches up and touches your's SO sweet. I'm sure Grady and Hadley did that too, but I think she does it more, and more intensely...tonight she reached up and not only touched my face, she actually stroked my cheek as she cooed and smiled at me. SO SWEET. I could seriously just eat her up.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Where We Are

Many have asked about where we are concerning our financial support raising. So, I thought I'd let you know a little bit about how it works.

All commitment cards (i.e. cards from people interested in supporting us financially and/or in prayer) are sent directly to CTEN, the organization that is handling all of our finances, among other services they provide. At the end of each month, they give us an update as to how things are going. So, in about 15 days I guess, we will know more about 'where we are.' :)

Joel started his job last week, although hasn't actually done anything to get paid yet. :) He is paid by the hour...flight hour with a student that is. Last week he went and got checked out by his boss. He is only going to be working Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week. Well, Friday we were traveling for that wedding, Monday was a holiday, today the weather was too bad to, he's still here with his family and his family is happy about that. :) As soon as the weather is good enough to fly though, he will be heading up in the sky with students.

Things are going well here in Saline. It's nice to be home and not too busy...such a nice thing, since it has been VERY non-stop since Asa was born. Monday was really our first day here since our travels to Pennsylvania, so we cleaned house bigtime and have just been taking it a little easier and spending some great time together since then. Of course there are still the "dailys" to do (laundry, dishes, and in our case dirty diapers galore), but those are always there. We are truly loving this time.

Our next projects though...possible potty training and trying to get Asa sleeping through the night. I'll keep you posted on both.

Now, for a few pictures...these were taken back before Christmas. We went down to Daddy's barn and all the kids posed on his tractor (even Asa) and in the hay. We framed a couple of them and gave them as gifts to my family.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Well, the wedding was this Saturday. Kevin and Carrie May Clay are now officially married. It was a great time with some great people and a beautiful wedding.

Just to let you know about the dress, I had ordered a 10. I had to order it 2 weeks after Asa was born, so I had no idea what size to get. I was definitely worried driving to try it on for the first time on Friday. Turns out it did fit, but barely. Oopsies. :) I called David's Bridal and told them that a 12 would probably be perfect. They said they had one and that I could come exchange, so that's what I did. The 12 was perfect and I had a great (and comfortable) time. :)

Here are some pictures from the wedding.

I love that's so gorgeous to me.

Me and Carrie, the beautiful bride.

Me and my honeys. Grady and Hadley spent the weekend with my mom.

Me and sweet Asa Rose.

Full-length shot.

The hair.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Crowned In Peace

He's home. He's perfect. And he is definitely crowned in peace.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Asa Update

Asa is 3 months old today. I took these pictures today while I was holding her. She is such a gorgeous blue-eyed little girl. She smiles and coos ALL the time and HATES to sit or lay down. I can tell she's going to be a good candidate for a jumping seat soon. :) I weighed her the other day and she is a solid 14 pounds. She loves to eat. She doesn't sleep a whole lot during the day, but knows when it is bedtime at night. She still wakes up once during the night...hopefully for not much longer. She holds her head on her own just fine now (has for a long time actually) and rolled over, from back to front, for the first time last Friday (she has rolled from front to back before too of course). She never fusses unless she is tired, hungry, or has a dirty diaper. I think she might be teething also...her brother and sister had their first teeth around 3-4 months and she's been gnawing on her fingers alot lately. A new development as of today is that she is starting to notice her hands, just sitting and looking at them move around for a long time. So crazy...we take our hands for granted everyday...really fun to see someone noticing theirs for the first time. :)

Happy 3-Month Birthday, Asa! You are so much fun and we love you a ton!!

Also, hopefully soon I will have more pictures on the website. I know it needs to be done, but haven't had the time to do it. Hopefully soon though.

Here is Asa with some "presents" from Grady and kids love stickers. :)


This blogging world is so crazy. I don't know these people, but I've actually put their blogsite on here before. I've been reading their blog daily about their sweet and beautiful little boy, Noah, since they set it up in August I believe. It's amazing how you feel like you know someone so well just by reading their blogs, even though you've never met, talked, or even emailed.

They've made a really tough decision to take their sweet baby boy off of life support this Friday. I cried alot after I read that today. Makes you thankful for what you have. They have never even been able to find out what is wrong with Noah. So crazy, but with the blog, I've been on this journey with them. My heart breaks for them, although I know that they are at total peace and praising God no matter what.

Please pray for them. God can still do a's never too late for Him.

Visit their website here if you'd like.

Monday, January 08, 2007

My 3 Year Old

I can't believe I have a 3 yr. old, but I do. While we were in Pennsylvania, we celebrated his birthday which was Wednesday, the 3rd. Yep, he had his 3rd birthday on the 3rd. :) That'll never happen again.

He's so great. He is growing leaps and bounds as usual, but more mentally than physically these days. I am amazed at his vocabulary and comprehension of things sometimes. That comprehension makes a Mama's job easier.

Grady's favorite things right now: The Word (seriously) which is now in his new Bob and Larry Bible cover, his Jonah book, his train set that he got for Christmas, his dart gun, going to church (he was begging to go this morning...I think he's having withdrawals since we didn't go Wednesday night or yesterday), playing outside, watching movies (we have to seriously limit them...we are in the middle of a movie fast right now), and of course his family. :)

This is my current favorite Grady picture. Here he is, being cute and sweet (and fun) Grady.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

Well, we got back home to Saline last night. We were supposed to fly back from PA on Thursday, but Hadley got sick...the throwing up everywhere kind of sick...not exactly the best thing for travel. So, we postponed our flight and came back yesterday instead.

We had 3 separate flights which made for a long day. From the time we left Joel's grandparents' house in PA to the time we got back to our house here in Saline, it was about 13 hours. That's a long time with 3 kiddos, but they did really well.

By the time we got home though, Joel was feeling really sick. He took a shower and went straight to bed. Therefore, I had to handle everything else. I decided to just leave all of the heavy suitcases in the van and just make due with what wasn't packed. I even found an unused toothbrush here in the house...a small miracle. I put the kids in the bathtub and got them all washed down. Meanwhile, Asa was screaming and I had to nurse her, so I just let the kids play in the tub while I sat on the bathroom floor and nursed Asa. Unfortunately, when I was almost done nursing, Grady started yelling, "Ewww, there's poo. There's poo in the water Mama." Yes, Hadley had pooped in the water. So, I laid Asa down in the floor, scooped out the poo, and re-bathed the kids. Eeesh. It was a very busy night for me. I am SO GLAD that I'm not a single parent.

I finally got a shower, gave Asa a bath, got the kids to bed, got Asa to bed, and went to bed myself. By the time I went to bed, I was feeling really bad too. I woke up freezing about an hour and a half after I'd gone to sleep...then I abruptly had to go empty the contents of my stomach. Yuck...I hate to vomit. Then I had to get back up and nurse Asa around 3:30am. I slept really good other than that though, and slept alot today when I wasn't nursing. I am feeling much better, thank God.

Tomorrow Joel starts work at Northwestern State University as a flight instructor. I'm hoping that I feel 100% by the morning. It's back to the grindstone.

Sad...I don't like grindstones. :) But, I guess it will be good to get back in to some sort of routine. I personally don't really like routines. But, as I've posted before, I know that it does wonders for kiddos. Even when we (Joel isn't very fond of set routines either) set them up, we have to change it up every now and then.

Alright, enough rambling for tonight. Just wanted to let you know we are home and safe...jiggety jig.