|Posted on June 10, 2013 at 3:45 PM||comments (0)|
We had such a great time this last week with Joe's dad, sister, and cousin! Doug (Joe's dad) came to visit for a week, while Zach and Jenna will be with us until the end of the month!! Here's just a few photos of what we've been up to. We miss you already, Doug!
|Posted on May 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
You are ONE!
With your bright blue eyes, toothy grin, and bleach blonde hair, you make us melt.
You are Jack. Our third child. Our second son. Our happy baby; as long as you're not sick or teething.
You make us happy and have brought us so much joy. You love to goof around, make us laugh, and play lots of games.
We took you to ride on some rides today. You loved the train, but held on for dear life. We know you enjoyed it though, because you cried when daddy took you off.
You loved the horse, too. The more it went around, the more you liked it. However, you only had one expression on your face the whole time. It was pretty
We love you so much Boo Bear!! Happy Birthday, buddy!
|Posted on May 1, 2013 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Today. 9 years ago today we made promises to one another. Those promises have held up so far and I am thankful. Amongst other things, I'm thankful for the way that God has blessed our marriage and allowed us to have some of the best years I've ever had. In ways we've talked about before, I know that we have a unique marriage. Things with you happen so easily and effortlessly. We can talk, enjoy, share, and laugh with one another in a way that I thought impossible. I know it's the Lord. All these years, His contant pruning, refining, maintaining, and sanctifying us. It's all made us into the people we are. And we are better because of it. And it's not because of us, but because of Him. He has sustained us. I can only pray that in the many years to come, God will continue to mold us into people more like him. And that through Him, we can remain an example of who Christ is living in and through us. I hope you know how much these last 9 years have meant to me. You're everything to me. I will always be your girl!
I love you.
No tengo palabras para decirte cuanto te amo. Sos la cosa mejor en mi vida, aparte de Dios. Cumpliste todos mis sueños de lo que quería en un esposo. Me llenas con alegría y con mucho amor. Yo te voy a querer el resto de mi vida. Te amo muchiiiiiiisimo, mi amor! Besos. Besos. Besos.
|Posted on April 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
We can't believe that you are a big 6 year old! You have been waiting for this birthday and it finally came. You asked me for a superhero birthday, so we did Spider-man. And you were pretty excited!
We started the day by taking Spiderman cupckes to your school to share with your friends.
Then you went home and opened presents. You got Twister from grammy and poppy and some super awesome cowboy boots!
A week later we celebrated with a superhero costume party/ movie night with your
friends from school.
You are still awaiting the day you'll find a loose tooth. You are learning to read and write in Spanish, which is much easier than English. You're adding and subtracting and coloring really well, too. You love anything that has to do with superheroes, dinosaurs, trucks, or your friends. You are a great big brother to Jack. You and him play together so well and you can really make him laugh. You and London love to pretend to be animals together and play I Spy and hide and seek.
We can't wait to see what is in store for you this next year and all the ways that you will grow. I know that God is teaching you lots of new things. We pray that you will continue to grow to love Him and know Him more. We love you, Bubba! Happy Birthday!!
|Posted on April 1, 2013 at 2:35 PM||comments (0)|
I happened upon this blog recently. She had a really great post on how to help friends who are living overseas. Check it out because there's a lot of good stuff. Not just for us, but for anyone living out of the USA. Check it out on the link above, or on the copy posted below.
"I get this question a lot: ”We have friends moving overseas. How can we help them?”
Here’s a list I’ve come up with over the years. It’s not a complete list by any means; but it is a sort of “Top Ten” list of things that have seemed most important to us and others we know who have lived/are living abroad.
Pray for them. I’ll just go ahead and start with the most important. One of the struggles I think we western [hemisphere] Followers have is that we devalue prayer. Take a peek in the Good Book index (or Google or biblegateway.com ) and see how many times we are told to pray or how many awesome things came out of focused prayer, by an individual or a group of people gathered together to pray. The Son Himself pleaded with His friends on the night of His betrayal to pray. It’s kind of a big deal, folks. People overseas need you to be making requests on their behalf. I will promise you that they will have days when one of the only things that gets them through is knowing you are praying for them.
Keep in touch. In today’s world of technology, this shouldn’t be so hard to do. But, sometimes it is. Sometimes, we get busy with all the responsibilities we have and all those little things that come up at the last minute and need our urgent attention. But, if you could take 5 minutes a week – or even a month – to shoot a little email or Facebook message, it would mean THE WORLD to your friends living abroad to know that you are thinking of them and took the time to encourage or just say, “Hi!” There’s a group of folks we met in TX just before we moved overseas 8 1/2 years ago who still email us to tell us about their lives, ask questions about ours, and let us know they’re thinking of us. And there are friends we’ve met at conferences who helped teach our kids for a week or two who still keep in touch with us. One sweet lady emails A-man little jokes and riddles. Hub’s aunt often sends emails just talking about her day and life. These are some of the most anticipated emails! These are all nuggets of joy, friends. True nuggets of joy.
You might just need to stalk them. I don’t mean be a weirdo. I just mean that, if you haven’t heard from your overseas friends in a while, find out why. Sometimes, it may just be that they have been busy and haven’t made time to send out an update. But sometimes, it may be something more serious. When some people are struggling or suffering, they disconnect with the world. Or, they may be suffering so much that they just don’t have the energy to reach out. Feb. – March of 2012 were very difficult days for us. We were traveling to a country outside our host country. Hubs and E-girl were both sick. Hubs had major responsibilities he was dealing with – while sick and taking care of E-girl. The boys and I were 30 minutes away from Hubs at a homeschool conference when Baby J got very sick and needed to be hospitalized. While Baby J was in the hospital, I had to leave A-man with a friend so he could take some very important academic tests. We also got a call during Baby J’s hospital stay that the sister of a dear friend of ours in the States was killed in a car accident, hit by a drunk driver. Knowing that our friend and her family were suffering and that we couldn’t be there to comfort them was heart breaking to us. During our time seeing doctors to find out what why Baby J wasn’t moving much at 9 months old, we were told Baby J might have a genetic disorder that could be very serious. [He didn't, by the way, and is completely caught up at 21 months!] We spent an extra week away from our home getting testing done for Baby J, and nothing came back definitive. We kept hearing, “Yes, something is wrong. But we don’t know what.” During that time and the months to follow, emails and phone calls from friends were so important to us. They encouraged us and helped us feel like we were not so very alone, even though our family and so many of our friends were on the other side of the planet. We were, and continue to be, so thankful for the friends who remembered our struggles and asked about them.
Get personal. We heard it said a million times before we moved overseas, and then found it to be true – little things hidden under the surface in the States can become huge monsters when put “over the flame” when you find yourself living life in a unfamiliar culture with unfamiliar smells, sounds, foods, culture, expectations and language. Let me just be honest: life overseas can be really hard. Everything you’ve ever known is stripped away. All the things you take for granted, from driving a car, to shopping at the grocery store, to asking a question like, “How much does this cost?” is all new. Just like a preschooler, you have to relearn everything. And if they have children, they now have the added challenge of raising them without the safety net and support of friends and family. No one is there is help when a child gets sick or when you just need a break. Chances are, your friends are struggling, especially if it’s their first year or two overseas. So, ASK THEM ABOUT IT. Ask about their heart’s condition, their attitudes, their focus, where their joy is coming from, etc. Most people don’t have to luxury of a Support Community once they’ve left the comfort of the States, so most likely no one else is going to ask those important questions of accountability.
Care Packages. When we get a call that a package is at the post office waiting for us, everyone in the house immediately stops what they’re doing and breaks into a happy dance! It is amazing how something like a package of Ramen noodles, a box of Gold Grahams, a DVD or CD in English, a scented candle, a tub of Lysol wipes or a stack of greeting cards or notes from a small group can brighten a day and add just the right amount of pep to everyone’s step. It brings smiles to faces and lets people know, “We are thinking of you! We care about you! And we remember you love Cadbury Cream Eggs!” It also helps our kids feel connected with friends and family back in the States. They cannot believe that people they sometimes have never met before care enough about them to send them little “happies” in the mail.
Remember birthdays. Even if they don’t remember yours. Facebook gets the gold star for thinking up that little feature that reminds it’s users of all of their “friends’” birthdays. A simple, “Happy birthday! Thinking of you!” goes a long way.
Don’t forget about them. We’ve lived overseas for almost 9 years. That seems like forever. We’ve added two extra kids since we left, and our little boy who was one year old when we left is now almost ten. It is amazing to us that people we knew before we came overseas still keep in touch, send emails, care packages, etc. It’s difficult to maintain those relationships over time and distance; but it’s worth it.
Find out if they have specific needs, and then try to meet them. Sometimes, your friends might have some specific needs. But chances are, they aren’t going to broadcast it and ask for help. So, ask them.
Visit them!!! One huge way to encourage folks living overseas is to just go see them! Get a taste of what their life is like. Eat what they eat. Shop where they shop. Meet their friends. Travel where they travel. Take a public bus. Go to a local festival. Spend time fellowshipping with them – give them refreshment! Babysit their kids while they go on a date or while the husband and wife take care of errands or visit friends sans kiddos. Do a short sports camp, art camp, reading camp, etc. for the expat kids in town. Do a one-week Book study with the expat women. The possibilities of how you can encourage your friend just by spending a week or two with them is really endless – and the impact could last a life time. Really, it could.
These are just a few ideas of how you can encourage your friends or family overseas. There are more, but these are the ones we keep coming back to. Really, the biggest thing you can do is something – just do something.
Have you done something to encourage a friend living overseas? Wanna’ share it?
Expats – What has someone done for you that encouraged you?"
|Posted on March 30, 2013 at 12:55 AM||comments (0)|
Oh, man! You have changed this month, Jack! You are crawling ALL over the place! You really discovered that things are a whole lot funner on the move and you haven't stopped. Of course, that means that Parker and London are chasing after you a bit, but you don't seem to mind too much.
You love Parker. Especially laying around next to him.
See what I mean? You kept on laying nearby over, and over, and over. You made Parker laugh a lot.
You also got your first haircut. And as much as I resisted, I'm sure glad your daddy insisted because it looked so much better afterwards.
You and I have lots of fun when you wake up from your naps. Lately you've been entertaining us with your "scared" face. The mirror in your room has proved to be a useful thing to take you from cranky to happy in about 2 seconds.
Your 10 months have seemed to fly by, Jack. You're such a joy to our family and you always make us smile. Thanks for making us laugh so much. Love you, Boo.
|Posted on March 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
Our first church team arrives to Salta today! We're so excited for another group from Denver Baptist Church in Denver, NC to work with us again. It is always so much fun when they come visit and so I'm sure this group won't let us down! Here's a bit of what we'll be doing this week:
- Visits and evangelistic movie in the plaza in El Carril
- A 2 day trip to San Antonio de los Cobres for visits, teachings, movie, and encouragement to current believers.
- Work in San Luis with the church plant
- Free day somewhere in between, and eating lots of beef and empanadas!
Please pray for us as well as the 4 members of the team this week. Specifically pray for:
- Traveling mercies
- Health- that we would all stay well and not encounter any physical ailments.
- Boldness- to teach people something new about the gospel that they may have enver heard before
- Protection from spiritual warfare
Thank you, in advance!!!
|Posted on March 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
We're excited that the church in San Luis is headed to San Antonio de los Cobres again. This will be the church's 2nd mission trip already! It's exciting to see that they are willing to go and minister to others and tell them about the Lord. Please pray for this one night trip as they go to share in a very dark place.
|Posted on January 29, 2013 at 9:25 PM||comments (1)|
We have a crawler this month! You finally did it. It started with just a little scooting at the beginning of the month, but sometime last week you decided it was time to get a move on. And you did. Over 20 crawl-steps at a time! We're so proud of you, buddy. Thank for making us so happy. Love you.