Sunday, May 28, 2006

One More Week!

I almost feel like all I do anymore is pack boxes, move boxes, quite screaming children, and pack more boxes. We only have one more week of living at Northland Baptist Bible College.

I must admit I am both excited and sad. Since JA and I came on staff four years ago we have made many close friends. Some have already moved on, but many of them are still here. I find it really hard to leave not just because I have to say goodbye but because many of my friends here have been critical to my continued growth spiritually. Great friends like Carissa always ask me how I'm doing in my devotions. Also, the environment here at NBBC makes it so easy to be able to discuss spiritual truths and lessons without being looked at strangely. Also, being here around so many people who are truley passionate about serving God can become so convicting that it motivates me to seek a deeper relationship with Him. I am also thankful for the opportunity to be able to learn from women like Vicki Kimbrough, Julie Brownfield, and Diane Olson (there are many more that I have asked for advice in both child rearing and ministry). It really is a blessing to be in a place where women obey Paul's command that the older women teach the younger women to love their husbands and their children (not that any of you are old if you are reading this blog).

However, as much as I want to stay I am also eager to leave. The Lord has made it so clear that we need to leave that I know we would be miserable if we stayed. Even though we still don't know where we are moving to, I am excited about how God is going to use us.

We will be moving out of our apartment on June 1. Then we will be heading to Colorado for the wedding of my good friend Joe Pluth. After the wedding on June 9 we are going to vacation with some friends and then it's off to Canada for the summer. JA has the opportunity to spend the summer working with his best friend Jason Cochran. I am thrilled that he has this chance to work closely with his friend. They have been friends since they were toddlers. I don't know too many people who actually get this chance. Anyways, we will be in Canada until either August or September.

After that? Well, we are just going to wait and see where God leads us. The baby will probably come the last week of October, so we know we need to have a home somewhere around that time (I'm still not ready to let JA try to deliver our baby himself!).

Sorry that this is kinda a drab post but I wanted to be able to let you know what our plans were since I announced a couple weeks ago that we were leaving without knowing where we are going. In some regards I still feel like Sarah (only younger and with two kids), but I'm thankful for at least the direction for the summer.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Where Are the Animals?

Monday Kara had her first experience discovering the world of Zoology! I'm not sure that she really enjoyed the zoo, but I think that was due to a number of things (including the fact that she was tired). I'm sorry Shannon, but we were a bit disappointed in the New Zoo. First of all about 2/3 of the exhibits were empty. That in and of itself was enough disappointment because Kara thought she was looking for animals. Then majority of the animals that were there did nothing but lie on the ground sleeping (which made it difficult to keep her attention).

The funny thing is, we saw a lot of animals on our way to the zoo -- red fox, deer, alpalca's, dogs, hawks, sheep, goats, and geese. However we did enjoy the day since we were able to give Kara our undivided attention without Lydia (she was at a babysitter's). Kara seemed to bask in the attention and it has made the rest of this week so much easier because she has been better behaved. Kara's favorite thing to do at the zoo (other than the playgrounds) was to chase the peacock's (of course we wouldn't let her get close enough to touch them).

Amazingly we actually saw the penguins -- but they were trying to hide behind the rocks.
Kara and Daddy take a break to ride the dinosaurs.
We had a difficult time pulling Kara away from the sheep.
Believe it or not, but Kara acually fed the giraffe. This is her second giraffe cracker and she didn't like the nasty feel of the giraffe's tongue, so mommy had to finish feeding the giraffe for her.
Daddy is trying to help Kara see the penguin hiding in a nesting box.
In this picture Kara is taking a break to watch the buffalo/bison.

Kara's favorite part of the adventure was watching the otter swim back and forth in his little pond. He was even more active than the monkeys who only wanted to turn their backs to Kara.

I just thought this was a cute picture of Kara drinking her gatorade while we walked. Thankfully the day turned out to be quite nice without being cold or hot. Kara loved the animals, so hopefully we will be able to take her to a decent zoo later this summer with animals that actually move around in their exhibits. If not, there is always next year.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I Have a Confession . . .

I must confess . . . I love peanut butter. In fact, I love peanut butter so much that I have inflicted my children with peanut butter sandwiches. My true confession is that today I fed Lydia (9 months) a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. I don't know why I am not willing to obey the American Pediatric Association in their recommendation to not feed children peanuts or peanut butter until they are about 2 (peanut butter) or 3 (peanuts). Kara is two and loves peanuts also.

The reason I post this confession is because I am very curious. How old were your children when you first fed them peanut butter? What is your favorite brand of peanut butter?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

We are Done!!!!!!!!!!!

The school year is officially over. The Lord has faithfully brought us to the end of another season of our lives. JA and I both graduated with our Master of Arts degrees today. As much as we both enjoy learning and studying I pray that we are done with our formal education for the time being. We both hope to continue taking classes, but nothing in the near future.

Much to my surprise I really enjoyed today's ceremony. I think most of the reason was because I was able to walk in beside JA, sit next to him during the entire ceremony and be able to receive my diploma immediately after him. It was wonderful being able to watch Dr. Olson and Dr. Horn hug JA as he crossed the platform and to even be able to hear a bit of what they said. I praise the Lord for the honor of being able to graduate with JA this year.

Below are some pictures from today.

My wonderful husband and me before the ceremony

JA receiving his diplomaOur family together after the ceremony
My wonderful husband showering me with affection

Lydia making a final grab for the tassle

Thank you Lord for bringing us through the last four years of school (and the many years of school before we were married). We are exitedly anticipating the Lord's leading for a church in which we can minister. I pray we will always be faithful to God and that we will raise our children with the desire to serve and honor God with their lives the way our families taught us to be faithful through their church ministries. Please pray with us as we seek God's leading for the next season of our lives. We know He is faithful and will show us in His perfect timing when we are ready to receive His plans.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Instant Mashed Potatoes

Pour the flakes into a bowl, add two cups of water and microwave for three minutes. A simple recipe, and satisfactory potatoes. I love instant meals, not because they taste great (nothing tastes as good as homemade meals), and not just because morning sickness drives me out of the kitchen. I love conveniences - anything quick and simple.

However, as I was fixing these Instant potatoes for dinner tonight, I realized how often I expect God to fall into the category of convenience. I'll do my devotions when it's convenient. I'll witness to others when it's convenient. I'll pray when it's convenient. Oh, I am so thankful that God does not give instant answers to prayers, and I'm even more thankful that He does not always give an affirmative answer to my prayers. Still, I often approach God, my Creator, my Lord, my Father as I approach my cooking -- quick and easy.

Still thinking about cooking, I know how sweet a meal tastes and smells when I take the time to cook the roast, stew the vegetables, and cook the potatoes. Such are the makings of a fine meal. How I need to approach my Lord with such time and devotion. I enjoy my time that I spend with the Lord, but oh I wonder and long to experience the sweetness of a relationship with God not based on convenience. A relationship where I savor the promises of God. Oh Taste and See that the Lord is Good.

Before I strive to spend more time in the kitchen cooking healthier meals for my family, I pray that I will strive to spend more time with my Lord and Savior. Teach me O Lord to savor thy presence.

Ps 104:33-34
33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34 May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the LORD.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Honey-Love

Happy Birthday my Love. You mean so much to me. You are my dearest friend on earth. Thank you for all of the wonderful things you do, and the way you love me even when I am horrible to you. Thank you for being such a wonderful father to our children. And thank you for always turning my eyes back to Christ. You are more than I ever dreamed possible, and more than I deserve to have. I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

What matters most are the little things.
A gentle touch in the cold dark rain,
a tender kiss on a sleepless night,
or to hear the words, babe it will be alright.

It's a nice warm shoulder to lay my head,
as I curl against you in bed.
It's your nice strong arms to hold me tight,
your look of love as we turn off the light.

The knowing in my heart you will always be there,
the promise that for me you care.
The warmth in my heart for you alone,
and a future of happiness in beginning our home.

When your able to find all these little things,
consider yourself blessed and don't change a thing.
For God in His heaven knew from the start,
how to match the right two hearts.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Missing Teaching

My third year of teaching freshman English will be over after Friday. I am excited at the prospect of being able to stay home and take care of my children without having to prepare to teach and grade, butI am also saddened at the thought of not knowing when I will be teaching again (other than my own children).

Last night most of my students came over for a cookout. I had a wonderful time (and I hope they did as well. For the most part we all just sat around and talked, but before everyone left, we played a few rounds of Pit.

Here are a few pictures of my classes:

To any of my students over the past three years -- Thank you for being such wonderful classes. I can honestly say I have not regretted any semester of teaching here at NBBC. I will be praying for you as you leave for the summer and finish your college career.