Friday, July 29, 2011

Pick It Up

After 5-10 of my most trusted literary friends recommend a book to me, you'd think I'd pick it up. I intended too. But life was busy. Sarah R finally just handed me a copy. And it is among the few books I've read that I would describe as "life-changing."

So just in case you needed one more person to mention it to you...go ahead and pick a copy of this one up for yourself. I'm linking Amazon for your convenience...the kindle edition is on sale for only $2.99:

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Home Sweet Home

In hopes that our two months here would not feel entirely like summer camp, I brought a little decor from our shut-down apartment prior to its thrift store retirement. In the end, our kitchen has become the perfect re-grouping place after a long day of meetings.

Please note the curtains. These, dear friends, are made from a $10 sheet I purchased when we moved into our apartment in Louisville. As it turned out, the windows here were far to big for them. So, I turned them longways, wrapped them around a tension rod (no holes rule) and tied them up with ribbon. For 20 minutes with cut up sheets, they definitely add a little home-yness (or homeliness?) to our view.

The camp-style twin beds refurbished into king size:

And my favorite household adornment? Always the little man.

Home Sweet Home...for a few weeks anyways!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Just in case you're wondering...everyone made it through the day yesterday. The teacher told me he "didn't cry any more than the other kids." Judging from the looks of the room when I picked him up, that wasn't exactly complimentary:)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

1st Day of School

Today is Jude's first day of culture school. I bought him a pair of plaid loafers for the occasion.

Yesterday we met with his teacher. We went over his favorite snacks, nap patterns, and his aversion to loud laughter. I told the teacher I thought it would probably be a hard adjustment for him.

As I said the words, tears sprung into my eyes. It was out of control.

The teacher noticed.

"Is this going to be a hard adjustment for him or for you."

More tears.

"'s going to be a hard adjustment for both of us. But he'll be the bigger problem for you."

We were off to a good start this morning, until we hit the school door. Then, it was tears all around.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Settling In

We are settling in for 8 weeks of packed out days, full of meetings and workshops and cultural training. It’s going to be busy. It’s going to be useful.

We’re living at the training center with a number of other folks who are also preparing to transition to another country. The fellowship is good.

Our little “apartment” consists of two bedrooms, a bath, and a tiny kitchen. We share a living area with 4 other apartments. It feels a bit like we’re re-living our college days...only with a one year old:)

As for Jude, he’ll be heading off to his own little culture school starting tomorrow. He’ll be with his little friends from 8am-3pm during the week. Whew. I’m not sure who’s going to have a harder time with that or him!

Monday, July 25, 2011

In 30 Years...

...I hope these munchkins are still friends. I hope they look at these pictures and laugh all over again.

Here's to long and sturdy friendships.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sprinkler Love

Believe it or not, even after tears, only love.


We are en route to Virginia for a two months of training for international living. Somehow, my stack kept getting thicker and thicker. Thankfully, dear hubs is a master packer.

There was even enough space for us to take Jude along:

When, at the last minute, I mentioned the rocking chair would be a convenience for me, David strapped it to the roof rack...

Hubs is so obliging.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Puddin' with a Kick

Our first stop when we arrived in Mississippi this weekend was to the Barlow's house. While David was a student at MC, they 'adopted' him....and it stuck:) Mr. John and his sweet wife, Mrs. Claire, prepared a true Southern feast for us...served on fine china! It was delicious. The crowning glory was banana pudding with a crunchy topping in lieu of vanilla wafers. It's worth a try in your kitchen!

Banana Pudding with Crunch
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Lightly beat the egg and sugar. Stir in the nuts. Spread on parchment paper or wax paper, on a cookie sheet. (parchment paper works best)Bake at 300 degrees until light brown. Cool.

1 large package (or two small) instant vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
2 cups milk (maybe 1/4 cup more if using 2 small packs)
3 large bananas, sliced.

Beat pudding, sour cream, and milk until it thickens.
Stir in sliced bananas.

Putting it together:
Crumble the crunch into pieces and half. Save best pieces for topping. Put a layer of crunch in the bottom of a oblong dish. Pour the pudding mixture over the crunch. Top with the remaining crunch. Make on day to be served and keep cool.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mighty Mississippi

Mississippi is the only place in the world where:

1. We run a 5k and find our names in some one's front yard:

2. Jude is invited to play in a human car wash:

3. We are beautifully serenaded at a dinner party:

4. Someone else pushes my baby up the steep hills during a race:

5. Old friends feel as familiar as they did 10 years ago:

How we love Mississippi.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

losing my mind

We were in Mississippi this weekend visiting friends. We are leaving for Louisville this Thursday en route to a two month training in Virginia. Last weekend we were at Pickwick with David's family. The weekend before that we were hanging out at Mamaw's for the 4th of July. And we went to Nashville to meet up with the Boevings.

Apparently, somewhere along the way I got really confused.

I made plans with two separate people to meet up in Louisville this weekend. The only problem? We were 9 hours away in Clinton, Mississippi. I told them the wrong dates.

My friend called from a booth at Havana Rhumba, our favorite Cuban restaurant. I was mortified.

But it never occurred to me that I would make the same error twice.

Until I saw an incoming call at noon from a friend who was hosting a potluck for us in Louisville for We were just on the other side of Grenada, Mississippi.

All I tasted was a little bit of humble pie.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Seeds of Worship

This week I put a new find in our cd player. It's been rolling all Jude's delight and my encouragement. If you're looking for some new music for your little people, check out Seeds Family Worship....basically it's Scripture set to fun (kid-oriented) music.

And it's not just for the kidd-os. Through a variety of situations this week, I've noticed verses from the cd popping into my mind...apparently the seed took root:)

Click here to visit their website.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Let Not Your Heart

For the most part, all of this garage sale-ing, packing, and paring down has been easier than I anticipated. There's a sweet freedom in letting go of things. It's a good discipline for my heart. This stuff is not what we're made of and not what we're living for.

But this week, we moved Jude's furniture out of his room. It was the crib that I slept in as a baby and I've delighted in a year of tucking my little man away in it. Now it has an appropriate home at my sister's house in anticipation of Josie Jane. It would have gone there anyways, but losing it in the midst of an empty house perhaps made it more emotional.

One verse in particular has given me a great measure of comfort as we've sold, stored and given away most of our household. It is the rightful hope of every believer. And it's worth pondering. There is a home being built for us, one that will be established forever.

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:1-2 nasb

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Southern Summer

We're lovin' the sweet corn this time of year.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Boats, BBQ and Boys

We spent the weekend at the lake with the Dawkins crew (minus Brad). We ate bar-b-que, we took a spin around the water, and we were entertained by 4 (soon to be 5) very active little boys. Lisa's little man is due this September. Whew. It'll be a delightfully full house!

As it turns out, Jude's not much of a boat man. When we all piled in for the inaugural ride, he screamed the entire way. So we turned around and he took a nap while the rest of the crew went for a ride. Later that day, when we tried him out on the jet ski however, once our speed picked up, he was quite content. Apparently, he's a thrill rider, not a cruiser.

The highlight of the weekend for me was undoubtedly the fierce ping pong competition. A crowd of spectators gathered for the final match. It was high intensity.

As it turns out, David's grandpa was quite the ping pong player. It was a talent he bequeathed to his daughter. David remembered the skill from childhood and brought her into the match, much to the amazement of the grandchildren.

Every family has its secret talents.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Times, They Are A Changin'

We'll be camping in our apartment this week:) When you get to this point in the moving process...

...the inevitability of change begins to take over.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Concrete Burn

Yesterday, Jude fell flat on his face while we were walking to the car. There was only one (teeny) drop of blood, but it was enough for this momma.

He screamed. I felt sure we needed to go to the hospital.

Today he has a little concrete burn on his nose and forehead. (ok, you can't really see it in the pic, even with the arrows.) Still, it's a foretaste of my life with a little boy.

How will I survive?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


David and I don't exactly qualify as the spontaneous sort. We're planners. But if there's one family that evokes spontaneity in our little schedule, it's the Boevings. I think that's why, one year after our Louisville departure, we still miss them so much. We used to eat at Chick-fil-a together about once a week, with 5 minutes notice beforehand.

Despite my mounting to-do list, when Laurin and I realized that we both had a clear schedule on the same day, we coaxed the ole husbands into taking us on a little mini-vacation. With 4 kids in tow, it's best to meet in the to Nashville we did go. There were lots of smiles, all around.

And after those wild little munchkins fell asleep? The men-folk talked theology in the hotel hallway while Laurin and I enjoyed the hot tub. It was just the heart to heart encouragement I needed in the midst of this season.

Everybody needs a little change of plans now and then, right?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Farm 4th

We spent yesterday out on the farm. Enjoying country hospitality. Eating amazing home made BBQ. Watching the thunder clouds roll in. Reveling the cool air they left behind.

It was a happy 4th of July.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Land that I love

When I was growing up, our church had a little musical each year called Celebrate America. I usually went begrudgingly with my parents. Somewhere along the way, I stopped bemoaning the abundance of sparkling red white and blue decor, and started listening to the words of our country's anthems, reveling in the heritage of our forefathers, and glimpsing the gravity of our freedom. With maturity, came a deep rooted patriotism.

It is not a blind and ignorant idealism but rather a reverent and grateful appreciation for what the men and women who founded our nation fought to accomplish in our government.

Particularly this year, as we prepare to leave our homeland for a number of years, my heart is full with a love for our nation. This is the land that I love. It is the kind of love that cares for our past, weeps over the troubles of our present, and hopes for our future. God bless America.

I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.
John Adams