Monday, June 30, 2008

What I Won't Miss

There are actually somethings that I am not going to miss at all while I'm gone. Such as the massive influx of bugs we have in Iowa this summer because of all the rain and standing water we have. Also i won't miss paying almost $4 a gallon for gas. Ok, ok. I know that this totally trivial... but I thought you all might like to know. *smile*

But you know what I will miss amongst many other things???
  • I'll miss eating supper with my family every night
  • I'll miss talking to my friend, Alyssa on the phone in that crazy accent we always talk in "Huwo?? How ah yoou? Gooood, gooood."
  • I'll miss watching Sophie lunge for me to hold her.
  • I'll miss telling my best friend "Thanks for everything" as we're falling asleep at night, just like we have for almost ten years.
  • I'll miss listening to my pastor preach the Bible like it is every Sunday.
  • I'll miss my little sisters telling me every little detail about their day.
  • I'll miss listening to my favorite Christian radio station.
  • I'll miss making brownies and licking the bowl.
  • I'll miss reading all your blogs and knowing what's going on in your lives.
  • I'll miss not being here to celebrate our country's birthday

Even though there are lots of things that I will miss while I am gone... there are so many things I look forward to. Like playing with kids all day, hugging my friend, Kayce, who I've been talking to for a year, but never met in person, eating with chopsticks everyday, talking to the college students about the Lord, seeing all my California friends who I've not seen for a year, going to a chinese wedding, and bartering at markets!

Please continue to keep me in your prayers... only two more days

Friday, June 27, 2008

MY Verse.

I have been studying the life of David for several months and am always amazed at the way that God used him because of his humility and brokeness.  That is how I want to be.  The other night when I was reading the end of 2 Samuel, I found the verse that God would give me as 'MY verse' this summer.  It is through God that I will have the strength for every task ahead and it is only through Him that I am protected from the enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy.
Here it is.

"For thou hast girded me with strength for the battle: them that rose up against me thou hast subdued under me."
2 Samuel 22:40

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Launching to China!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I wanted to remind you that I won't be doing much blogging at all while in China due to blogs being illegal.  Yes, the government has them all blocked.  So aside from anything Tiff can forward to this page... we'll be stuck with staying in touch via email.  I will be sending out weekly email updates and I would invite any and all of you to join that group.  Please send me a blank email if you want to receive those updates during my seven week absence.
Also, if you ever have a minute to shoot me an email while I'm gone, please do so.  I won't be able to keep up with your lives through blogs... and I will miss knowing what's happening to you!  Plus, hearing from home will be a great encouragement!

It's Creeping Up.

"Thy God commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us."  Psalms 38:28
I can't believe that it's almost time for me to leave for China... two weeks from tomorrow.  I have to pinch myself to believe that after eleven months, I will be walking once again on Chinese soil.  It's been so surreal up to this point, that I've not even started packing or mentally preparing myself for leaving my family.  

It's starting to become more real with each passing day that brings me closer to boarding that plane, that it's almost time to leave.  I'm reminded how soon it is when I get a call from a friend saying they want to have a send off party for me next week.  I'm reminded how long seven weeks is when I hug little Sophie and realize that she'll be all grown up when I get home and probably won't remember me.  I'm reminded how much can happen when I think of everything my family will do without me.  And I'm reminded how much my own siblings will change and grow while I'm gone.  I joke with Tiff that when I went to China last year, she got her first job... and this year, I'll come home and she'll have a boyfriend! *smile*  (She does her monumental things while I'm out of the country.)

Though it is sad to think of breaking my ten day record of being away from home with a seven week stay in China, I am very excited.  I will never forget when I left Beijing that overcast July day... as we taxied down the runway, I could stop the tears from falling.  I just remember knowing that I had to come back.  There are kids waiting to be played with, friends to bond with, translators who need to hear of and see Jesus in action, and new memories to make.  And then I realize how much I need God's strength.  I can't make an impact this summer on my own.  My greatest fear of all in going to China to spend seven weeks, is going without the power and strength of God.  If I do that, I've done nothing more than hang out for the summer having a good time.  And while I realize that it will be a blast, I desire so much more.  Something deeper. 

I was praying this morning as I drove to work that God will use me as a servant.  I have a thing for liking to be recognized and appreciated for what I do... I know, it's a pride problem.  But I was asking God that I could be a servant and that people would not see me working with orphans, but that they could see Jesus Christ oozing out of my very being.  That HE alone would get all the glory and honor.  Anything good or worthwhile that I can do is only because of HIM!

Will you please pray with me along these lines.  Pray that God will break up the fallow ground in my heart and that I can come home a different person who can serve Him even more.

Friday, June 13, 2008


"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

Isaiah 40:31

"This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle: we are given one life and the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind, or whether to act, and in acting, to live.”

Omar Bradley, 
- US General who commanded US ground forces in Normandy invasion in World War II -

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I never knew...

How much makeup could do!
(These pictures were taken within two hours of each other.)
(If you're wondering, it was a dog cage latch that killed my eye the other day... it's really not my family. *smile*)

My (little) Man

This ismy little man that is always willing to give out hugs and kisses. Isn't he just the strongest and bestest?! *smile*

Luv ya Jackson!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Potty Training....

Rodney and Jodi are in Mexico all this week shooting a wedding, so I have the kids the entire week.  I decided last night that it's high time Alana is potty trained... I'm tired of changing diapers on a 27 month old... so this morning I stepped out onto unchartered waters and we're not lookin' back!  It should be a good surprise for mom and dad when they get home!  (And a good learning experience for me... it's hard to be a 'mom'!)
Anyway, the day has been going pretty good.  She's only had one accident and almost half a dozen successful trips to the potty chair.  I'm just praying to God that she gets it... 

The potty book that we've read about fifty-zillion times so far today!
We've been eating lots of salty snacks...
... which makes us drink lots of juice and pop!
Alana and Madeline her potty-training partner!
The coveted treats that reward every success!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

We've had enough rain this spring to flood the Sahara Desert... it's insane. We are definately not lacking for percipitation... there's so much puddles are all over, all the time! Here's a few pictures from our area and how all the water has affected things.

This river and camping area are now one!

Closed because of this...
This is a road... not a dock! *smile*

It's almost the the top of the concrete bridge supports!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sometimes it may feel like singleness is nothing more than a lonely, empty road between playground kisses and wedding bells.  When traveling such a road, it's really easy to become consumed by our circumstances and frustrated by our lack of to make a difference at the roadside.  If only, like Philip we can learn to take our eyes off the next bustling metropolis for a moment, we will find that God has great things to offer us right now.

Although this road seems long, dusty, and very lonely at times, even here it is often the most amazing things that happen on the way.

- Saving My First Kiss, Lisa Velthouse

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

28 More Days...

Growing in cuterness and cuterness...

There's been lots of really awesome pictures of the people I spend a lot of my time with on this awesome blog...  you should check it out.

Ok, ok, so un-original.  But Jared, Mandi and the kids are over at Rodney and Jodi's blog and since the little ones are growing so much and getting cuter everyday, I knew you want to see it! 

(In case you are wondering... I am always at Jared and Mandi's every Monday, with their kids Dawsyn, Grady and Sophie.  The first picture on the post is of Mandi's family... the two babies are her daughter, Sophie - on the right- with her cousin, Aravis... and then the next family is Jared, Mandi and their three way-too-cute-for-words-kids.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Graduation

One of our bestest friends, Rachel Short, graduated from highschool this year.  Last night she had an awesome party at her house in Norwalk.  Mom, Tiff and I were so blessed to see her beautiful face and help her celebrate.  Here are a few pictures we took between laughes, hugs, and food.  
We love you Rachel!!!
They served the yummiest mint-chocolate brownies ever!!!
Rae & Tiff
One of Rachel's many adorable cousins who refused to have her picture taken.  
Every detail about the Shorts and their house is most amazingly beautiful!!!
Congrats to all the '08 grads... welcome to the ranks of us old 'gradutated-folks'!