Thursday, February 26, 2009

Growing family

It's true - the Lord is SO good. His goodness is all around. Sometimes I'm just moving too fast to notice it.

My family includes the Thornton's, Osmon's, McDaniel's, McMillan's, King's, Wood's, and many more (yes, Keeling's too!). But, my family also includes Harper's, Haggerton's, Jenkin's, Wagoner's, and many more. These last ones are my missionary family. Families that were our family on the mission field. The memories and loyalties run deep. I loved my childhood growing up in Costa Rica and Mexico. It has shaped who I am as an adult, as a parent, and as a servant of the Lord.

I have stayed most in contact with my lifelong BFF Cindy. We were in each other's weddings and have celebrated many milestones together since. We've known each other since I was 7. Her family moved to Mexico when I was in 9th grade where we picked up our friendship. Today we give each other motherly/wifely advice - well, more like feedback than advice! And, we laugh at the world around us. We have the same interesting since of humor.

My Aunt Cindy was my first mentor. She is the definition of hospitality and encouragement. I got my first recipe from her - Zucchini Bread, and I still make it often! Aunt Cindy always opened her home to me and sent many encouraging notes during the rough teen years. Before we left Mexico, she gave me a cross-stitch with Jeremiah 29:11. I have had that cross-stitch in my home ever since - in a place where I see it daily. Everytime I hear that verse it reminds me of her. We were recently reconnected thanks to the wonder of facebook.

Just two weeks ago I was reconnected with another dear friend - Sarah. We knew each other in Mexico, but lost touch after we moved back to the States. I knew she went to college in Louisiana and eventually got married and had 3 kids - and that her husband worked for WalMart (this is key). Over Christmas I was reading a friend's blog - an entry about her Sunday School's Christmas party and recognized someone in her pictures. As I scrolled, I noticed the captions - and it said Sarah and Ronald. I knew Sarah's husband's name - and it was logical that they could relocate here with WalMart. Two weeks ago, I was at a celebration service for our Association's Director at FBC Bentonville. I commented to my parent's that this is where I thought Sarah went to church. Toward's the end of the service I saw a lady get up near the back of the sanctuary. I took a risk and exited to see if it was Sarah. Sure enough! It was Sarah and her whole family!!! Anyhow, we have talked on the phone a few times - to discover she's lived less than 3 miles from me for the past year!!! Today, Sarah and her daughter Faith came for a play date at our home. We spent hours catching up on our lives - a lot has changed in 12+ years!

I share all of this because I have a heart for missions and missionaries. I often wonder why God has not called my family to serve as missionaries abroad. Or...has he and we haven't been listening? All I know is that the Lord has brought the mission field to me - literally. Via phone, via computer, via living in the same town!

These women know a part of me that cannot be explained, only experienced. They are women whose lives have also been shaped by living abroad. I have been blessed to have them as a teenager - and more blessed to now have them in this phase of my life.

I look forward to many more play dates and opportunities to catch up. I'm get giddy realizing how my family is growing!

Speaking of family - Eli is up from his nap.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The weekender

Well, you probably feel the same way - the weekend has come and gone. Even being at home I have the same thought on Monday morning: how long is it to Friday? I guess some things never change.

Friday night we went to Chris' parents home. Kyle made chicken fried rice and chocolate pie. I think he could live on those two items alone! It was delicious! Kimber was home and we got updated on the latest wedding plans. It won't be long! We had a relaxing evening enjoying everyone and we watched The Wager with Randy Travis. It was a good movie - a bit slow - but a great family film.

After work on Saturday, Chris went goose hunting with his uncle. So, yes, the kids and I came to my parents house. Eli played so hard. He is serious about playing. He helped make a fire (a routine task) and got to visit with his Uncle Micah and Aunt Ga Ga (Glenda).

We had a wonderful time at church - even thru the artic Sunday School class. Thankfully I had Abi to snuggle with! The afternoon was fast and furious - I was able to finish some cards, do a little website editing, spend time on the treadmill (!), and go by WalMart...all before our 4:30 meeting at church! We're in the process of building and WOW! It is coming together! It's like we've been talking and planning and talking and planning for the better part of 2 years now - and the building will be ready to go up in 3 weeks! I can't wait to see the plans the Lord has for the church! I've been dreaming about the church most that we've setteled on wall colors I'm hoping to stop dreaming about them!

Well, I've got to meet Chris at the Ford dealership in a few minutes and it takes me the better part of 30 minutes to get me and the kids ready to walk out of the house.

We've had a wonderful weekend full of family! Thanks to everyone for making it so fun for the kids and relaxing for the parents! We are truly blessed!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


What a difference a day makes! Even though Abi only slept in 2 1/2 hr intervals (ugh!), it's been a good day. I've even had time to reintroduce myself to the treadmill! Such a good old friend.

It's interesting - if I get up around 6 and do my Bible study, get a shower, do some laundry, and (of course) have coffee - I have more energy than if I "sleep" in til 8 or 9!

Today Eli has learned his elbow, ankle, chin, and cheek! We've also added Polar Bear, Polar Bear to our reading routine. He loves Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

It's only taken 6 weeks, but I've finally figured out how Abi likes to sleep best. On her back, not swaddled, not with any blankets near her, with her head facing north (or the window). Oh, she's so peaceful when she sleeps! Plus, I've been limiting giving her a paci. She doesn't do so great with it anyways, so I'm just not going to fight it. If she'll sleep fine without it, then she doesn't have to have it.

Ok, Eli has woken up from a way too short of a nap. Oh - anyone, please leave comments on your potty training tips - what worked and what didn't. We are quickly approaching this phase!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A quick catch up

It's been a few weeks since I've posted. I get caught up in catching up with other blogs, that I ignore my own. Oh, so is life.

We had a great trip to OKC. Well, except for the change in sleep patterns of the kids. And, by change in patterns I'm not referring to a positive one. They wore us out! But, our purpose was to celebrate Ian's dedication to the Lord and it was wonderful. Such a special time in a family's life. During the service, they showed a power point of all the babies being dedicated. Eli (who loves pictures) was very impressed and oohed and aahed at the pictures. At the end he clapped and asked for more. It was adorable!

While there, I was able to participate in a ladies' ministry get-together. It was just what I needed. It has been a while since I've spent time with other women AND was a participant, not an organizer. So nice. The ladies were all so kind and very inspiring.

Back to the home front in Centerton, we're continuing with the daily grind. Eli's vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds daily. He's also big into repeating. It's adorable! You should ask him where his thumbs are. It's so cute. And, he plays this game where he sticks his hand back inside his sleeve and acts as though he can't find his hand. Then, he dramatically pulls it out and celebrates finding it! It is hilarious. We do this many times a day. Abi is continuing to grow. Unfortunately, she's not sleeping any longer than she did at birth. When does this change? I can't remember! And, she's a cryer. Not colicy - but, as I tell her, she is very passionate. Which is a good thing...later in life! I think she's definitely a strong willed child. comments please on where that came from!

Sunday night I was reconnected with a missionary cousin from Mexico. I haven't seen her in atleast 12 years!!! We both are married with kids! What a difference 12 years makes! Anyhow, she lives only 15 minutes away and her son goes to school a few blocks from my house! How great is that?!?! So, I gave her my phone number (I didn't have mine to get her number) so we could catch up. She called this morning. Only thing is that my phone never showed a missed call or logged her number. BUT...I did get her voice mail. Of course, she didn't leave her number b/c that's what caller ID is suppose to do for you. So, I guess I'm going to have to call the phone company. Gross. You know that's going to take forever. Hopefully she doesn't think I'm snobby.

I would ask for your prayers for our home. We're in the midst of making decisions about my possible return to work or to be a full time stay-at-home mom. It's a big decision that will require sacrifice and creative budgeting. But, obviously there are monumental benefits! Please pray that Chris and I would be united in the details of making this decision.

Also, we're expecting new nieces any day now. London Eve and Elizabeth Elle - not twins. But, they will be making their arrival any time now. We pray the Lord gives their mother's safe and quick deliveries to healthy little girls. We can't wait to give those girls kisses!

Ok, I need to fold laundry. Fun times!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Playing dress up

One of the best things about being a girl is dress up. My Mom and I have always been shopping buddies. And now...we have a new girly girl! She racked up at Old Navy this week and I am having a blast picking out clothes! Plus, Chris' work hosted a shower for Abi yesterday and she got some GREAT outfits (plus the awesome Mary Jane socks below)!

Ok...enough words...the pictures speak for themselves! More to come after our weekend in OKC!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A quick soapbox on you-know-who

Each person has a different set of priorities when selecting a candidate to support. For me, it's a simple ranking. I look at the candidate's position on 1) Abortion, 2) Sanctity of Marriage, and the military and taxes. The single most important is the stance on life. Why? Because one's views on life (when it began, its importance, its worth) tells me a lot about how they make the rest of their decisions and gives me a good idea about where they stand on other topics. This being said, I strongly...STRONGLY...oppose Obama's views on abortion. Strongly. With today's medical technology, there are no medical issues that would require a woman to abort her child to save hers. Scientifically, there is less than a 1% chance that a woman would carry a child that resulted in rape or incest (mainly b/c her body goes thru such shock and trauma that her uterus is not able to accept the egg). And, because I have personally benefited from women choosing adoption versus abortion. I can think of many family members and friends that are results of choosing life.
Yes, it is about choice. But, it's not a choice about abortion or no abortion. It's a choice that should be made before you get to that question. It's the choice to have sex or not. Period. People use the choice for abortion as an excuse for their sexual behavior. It's not usually the married couples that are pondering abortion. Per the Bible (the standard for Truth), sexual relations are only right when between a married man and woman.
So, now that I've made my case, here's my rub with Obama and how it is personal to me. There is a young couple in our church who have been dating for four years. While they attend church 90% of the time and are surrounded by Godly people - they are avid supporters of Obama, abortion, and all the world says is right. And, I do belive it is the younger generation (not that they're much younger than me!) made the difference in Obama winning the election. The views of this young man and woman create great stress with their families. Stress because the parents want to see their children sold out for Jesus.
I wonder where my responsibility lies with helping this young couple develop a Christian worldview. I have two beautiful children that they are crazy about. But, our second was a surprise and there was a lot to work thru. I wonder if I wasn't more open about my struggles (not regarding abortion, but her timing) and my questions that she would see that all is not perfect in the world - but that God was so faithful in giving me peace and joy. No, He didn't and hasn't given me answers to all of my questions, but that doesn't change my trust in Him.
Today's culture tells people that truth is relative and that you should make decisions that make you happy. There is no standard for truth, no standard for right and wrong. And, definitely, no need to take responsibility for your decisions. What a lie. A beautifully wrapped lie that makes Satan roll over laughing as individuals and families fall apart...and as babies are killed.
So, in all my ramblings, I believe I (and others) need to be more open about our struggles and ask for prayer from others. Being honest and candid about our situation assures others that their struggles do not make them weirdo's. But, that we can honestly rely on our brothers and sisters in Christ for assistance, encouragement, and support. Also, it provides a relationship of honesty and trust. Where issues can be discussed openly and without criticism. Where as we grow and encounter new issues we can fall back on the Bible for direction and affirmation.
I understand that the election would not have changed based on the votes of these two. It's not about the election. It's about them, and me, living our lives in a way that honors and pleases God.
Ok, I know this is a long post. But, it is important. Well, it's been important for me.

Obama - Part 2

Ok, where was I? Well, it was encouraging that Obama said in an interview with Matt Lauer that he took responsibility to nominating the individuals that had failed to pay taxes. Anyhow, I understand that we aren't perfect and those in public service are under the spot light all the time. But, again, I go back to - Really? Where is the accountability? Where is the outcry of this injustice? Oh, wait - they sent a check with an ammended return. Ok. All better. Anyhow, it's just one example of people in "lofty" positions that are "sticking it to the man."

My other current issue with Obama is the stimulus package he's proposed. It is SO big and full of pork that it's actually hard for me, an average person, to get it all figured out. I have done some research to try and get a better grip on what's "offered."

Here are some points from
- $4.19 billion in slush funds for ACORN, the left-wing advocacy group best known for allegations of voter fraud during the 2008 presidential campaign
- $600 million to buy brand new cars for government bureaucrats
- $335 million for adult sex workshops
- $150 million for honeybee insurance
- $2.8 billion for the US Department of Agriculture in a misdirected program more likely be spent to build unnecessary broadband internet services in urban areas than in the rural areas that lack service

Fox News also has an article on-line about the stimulus -"Conservative groups declare Obama's stimulus bill a war on prayer". Here is an portion of the article:

"According to the bill, which the Democratic-controlled House passed despite unanimous Republican opposition, funds are prohibited from being used for the "modernization, renovation, or repair" of facilities that allow "sectarian instruction, religious worship or a school or department of divinity."
Critics say that could include public schools that permit religious groups to meet on campus. The House provided $20 billion for the infrastructure improvements, of which $6 billion would go to higher education facilities where the limitations would be applied."

So, basically, if a school or university allows students to hold any type of religious meetings on their campus they would not qualify for money to modernize, renovate, or repair their facilities. How many new churches meet at schools each Sunday? HMMM. I doubt school's will turn their noses to government money. No. More likely they will politely require the churches (who pay rent) to find other places to meet.

Here again, I don't think this is at the heart of stimulating the economy. Instead, it appears to be an opportunity to further a social and cultural agenda - one that leans FAR left. I think that most American's would not be in favor of this part of the package - but it is so complex that it is hard to get at the details. And, ofcourse the media is not really explaining the details. Just that the Republicans are stalling everything. Heaven forbid Obama's policies be questioned or taken a second look at.

And, if it's all in good interest of the housing market - why not use the money to pay off everyone's mortgages. I can only speak for our family, but WOW! That would definitely make a difference in our discretionary spending each month.

These are my honest issues with the Obama administration, but it is not the soapbox that I originally intended to touch on. So, I will publish this post and write a new one about what I really want to say.

Obama - Part 1

Well, it's a rare time when both kids are napping soundly. So, I'm going to take a few minutes to blog about a soapbox issue.

Here's my deal with Obama - I do wish him success, as that will reflect our country. However, it is up to him to prove himself to me. Well, it didn't take long for him to pass legislation that disappointed me. First, there's the "Global Gag" rule that Obama overturned. Basically, our government will now send money to foreign groups that advocate/mention/recommend abortion. It should be mentioned that Bush 41 signed the bill stopping this practice. Then, Bill Clinton repealed it. Then, Bush 43 re-instated it. So, now we're back to Obama who is allowing our tax dollars to fund abortion approving groups around the globe.
Another big issue I have is the appointment (or attempted appointment) of several cabinent members that had back taxes not paid. Seriously? It is an embarrassment that our law makers cannot abide by the laws they require the rest of us to follow. Oh, and if the people had been Republicans the media would chew them apart. But, you know, media just acts like "oops - he spilled some milk on the kitchen floor and didn't clean it up."

Ok, Abi's crying...more to come after I get her settled.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pics Part 3

More pics

Pictures of the kids

Pictures from the ice storm

Just a quick update - my parents have been staying with us since Tuesday. They still don't have power! It's been a little crazy - but we've enjoyed good food and fellowship. The kids are spoiled rotten! We got about 1.5 inches of ice - there is no snow in these pictures! We stayed hunkered down for several days. Oh, how nice it was to venture outside of the house! Our first stop was Starbucks!