Sunday, January 30, 2011

Big Step!! Please Pray!

4 1/2 years ago Patrick and I, and Josh, Beth, and Brenna, too, surrendered to the mission field. A lot has happened since then, ordination, deputation, language school, more deputation. Well, now it's time for the next step. We're still not quite at 100% of our support, but we really feel it's time for the next step. Monday morning Patrick is leaving for St. Barthelemy to find us a place to live. He put a post on our family blog about it. Please pray for him to find a place for us. We are so excited about this next step. Pray for Patrick to have wisdom and direction from the Lord.
I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Footsteps to Follow

While I was in Michigan, I asked Mam-maw and Robin if we could go by the graveyard where Pap-paw is buried. When we got there it was very prettily covered with snow, then I realized my problem.....I was just in my church flats. Even though Mam-maw was just in her church shoes too, she decided to take care of me (as usual) and make a path for me. She told me these words:

"Just put your steps into my footprints and you'll be fine."I tried my hardest to walk in each footprint that she made. When I mistepped, my feet got cold and wet and didn't feel all that great. I almost fell once, and wavered a few times. I quickly realized that to keep as dry and comfy as possible, I had to walk like my Mam-maw. That really got me to thinking....'s sort of like following Christ. When we follow Christ, we sometimes waver, and even fall down. But, when we adapt to the path and way He has set before us, we are safe, protected, and have true joy. I could have plowed my own path on my way to Pap-paw's grave, but I would have been a yucky, cold, mess, with a not-so-fun ride home. (Who likes frosty toes?) But, when I put my feet in Mam-maw's steps, I was just fine, just like she said.
Thank you, Lord, for my Mam-maw. Thank you for my Pap-paw, too. What a Godly heritage I have. Help me, Lord, to follow in your footsteps. I don't want to plow through life making a mess. I want to follow you wholeheartedly! I love you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Trip to Michigan

I was so excited to be able to fly to Michigan with Callie for a few days to see some of my family before it's time to head to the Mission Field. We left on Friday, then returned on Monday. I had one ticket, but when I arrived at the spirit counter, they let me have the seat next to me for the carseat. Little Callie slept through most of the flight. She did so good!
All ready to meet her Aunt Robin for the first time.

As we started to get closer to the ground, we noticed it looked a little different. There was LOTS of snow on the ground!
We were so excited to finally arrive! Mam-maw and Robin (my aunt) picked us up from the airport. Then, we went to Mam-maws. It was so nice throughout my visit to have family stop by to say hello. This is Callie with her Mam-maw (on the left) and great-great Aunt Georganna

Callie with her great-great Uncle Joe.

That night for dinner Mam-maw made a wonderful feast.

Callie and her Great Uncle Gary.

Poor Callie was pretty pooped at the end of the day, and Robin was happy to rock her to sleep.

Callie loved playing with her Aunt Robin! And getting spoiled by her, too.

It was absolutely freezing there! Most of the time the wind chill was below zero!

We went to the Ice Festival in Plymouth. I love seeing Ice sculptures, they are so amazing. We were pretty cold, though. We probably stayed 10 minutes!

Warming up at Aunt Robin's house.

Playing lots of games. My Mam-maw and Robin loves to play games. We played Muggins and Phase 10, and I won....some of the time.

Callie with her 3rd cousins, Ethan and Sadie.

It was a great day at church with many family surprising Mam-maw for her birthday. This is the same church that my Mom grew up in.
Callie with her 3rd cousin on my Pap-paw's side, Elaine, better know as Lanie.

After church at Culver's with lots of family.

Callie with her Great-Great Aunt Dixie.

After lunch we went to the graveyard where my Pap-paw is buried.

Callie with her 3rd cousin Terry.

Our Cousin Rodney Coffey.

Lots and Lots of more cousins! I was so glad when Rod, and Terry came bringing Hannah, Leah and Chloe. We just had a little bit of time between Sunday morning and Sunday night church, but I'm glad we could squeeze in some more time with our family!

Me and Callie with my Great Uncle Linc and Great Aunt Natalie. They fed us some excellent pork sandwhiches. Then, I enjoyed hearing about Natalie's Portuguese heritage and when her family came to Ellis Island. So interesting!

Callie playing at Mam-maws. She can really get around and into everything in no time!

I'm so glad I was able to come. Mam-maw and Robin are wonderful hostesses. I miss you both already!

As we were leaving I noticed this man sweeping off the runaway before our plane came in. Then, they de-iced the plane. Fun, fun! It sure was freezing while we were there and I loved being able to see the beautiful snow. I love it when it falls gracefully down in huge clumps! But, I really loved being able to see so much of my Michigan family. Love you guys!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Bitter Cold North

Callie Grace and I are taking a mini-vacation to see my family in Michigan. We left on Friday and we will return on Monday. It's been super cold so far, I'm loving it! Snow pics to come soon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Godly Counsel from an "MK"

I love to get advice and counsel from others that have gone before me and have been in the shoes (or flip flops!) that I'm getting ready to wear. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips through Godly people God puts in our path. I've recently just met one of these people, and I'm so thankful! Sherry Howell is a dear lady that has joined our church while we were in Canada. Mom filled me in once we returned on new members (There are always so many new faces!) She told me about The Howell family and that they are very sweet people. Mrs. Sherry is someone my Mom said she would love to get to know better. When I met her, she smiled so sweetly and was so friendly. Through facebook, we've been able to chat and get to know one another better. I was so excited to find out she is a MK! (missionary kid) She was able to grow up part of her childhood in Japan. I asked her for some advice from an MK's perspective. When she sent me a message back, I was amazed at the wealth of information I received! What a blessing. I read her message to Patrick, Josh, Elisabeth, and Brenna. It was a good time of discussion, preparation, and a good reality check, too. I asked Mrs. Sherry if I could repost her counsel, and she sweetly said yes. I know it will be a blessing for you, too, since some of my readers are missionaries, just like me! So, here is an excerpt, from Mrs. Sherry Howell:

My biggest advise to you (off the top of my head and from my own personal experience), to be aware that the older children may have more of a struggle than the younger...just by the nature of the situation....more responsibility falls on them throughout the initial year's worth of entry and transition, and then becomes the norm. They tend to fall between the cracks as you all strive to keep your heads above water adjusting and getting settled...learning language. You will need to rely on their help, of course, and I know they'll be more than wiling,...but it can get tricky. If they're like me...and maybe they won't be...I tended to take that burden on very seriously and internalized...never expressing my own concerns or hurts or longings...grief over missing my friends and lack of friends over there, in fear of putting extra strain on my parents. In the end, I felt like I was required to be an adult too early and the first chance i got to have American friends,...I acted out and rebelled....feeling like I deserved a chance to have FUN for a a kid. My parents felt like was doing fine....I never complained...never said anything. But, I needed them to reach out to me and understand that there was no way I could not have concerns and hurts...even though I was not showing signs of it. I needed them to know that and just comfort me and encourage me. So, for that and lend some extra loving sensitivity to the child that perhaps....seems to be faring the best. Just tap in,...just in case there's a need. I'm sure you will. Today,....we know so much more about that kind of stuff. Fact is,...with full plates,...even under the best of circumstances, life gets really hectic and bottom line...ya just gotta do the best ya can and pray the Lord will pick up the slack and HE will. He will bless your willingness to serve Him. And we will keep those prayers going up in your behalf! Give yourselves time and don't set we must be fluent in the language by a certain time or we're failures. God us going to use you regardless, mark my words!!! Enjoy this wonderful opportunity and know that even if your children have times of struggle, the end...they will cherish this extraordinary experience. Trust in that. It will get you through the hurdles. Take time to smell the roses. Learn how to say no in a tender, but sometimes necessary way. Find the humor in your "bound to have them" embarrassing and frustrating moments...and share them with US! Your fans and supporters! ; ) Reach out to us when ya need some extra luvin or prayer. Let us know your needs.

Thank you, Mrs. Sherry, you've been such a blessing to me! I love how the Lord is preparing us for the field. We'll be there soon!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Relaxing with Bumpa and MawMaw

No, we're not renaming my parents, that just happens to be how Silas pronounces Grandpa (his favorite pal) and Grandma. We've enjoyed staying with my parents this week. It has been pretty hectic though. Patrick has been working on some things for my parents (more on that later) and my Grandma has been in the hospital for pneumonia. Please pray for her, they moved her into rehab, today. Hopefully she will be able to go home soon.
Even though it has been hectic, I love to be with my Mom and Dad and in the house I grew up in. Patrick and I are so blessed to have both of our families live close together so we can have this time with everyone before we head to the mission field.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Sweetie!

On the 14th of January we celebrated Patrick's birthday. We're staying at my parent's house for a couple of weeks and having a great time. We kept our tradition of waking up and opening presents first thing. I think Patrick enjoyed his gifts that we bought for him. Although, it's harder to buy for adults, and much easier to buy for kiddos! Then, it was cake time! I found this cake recipe and decided to try it out. It was very rich and chocolatey! And not so good for you either.

Then, we went to Patrick's Mom's house, Denise, for dinner. She made all of us Sweet and Sour Meatballs for dinner, but for Patrick....her perfect baby :o).....she bought him crab legs. He was quite excited!

Then, we had vanilla mousse with strawberry topping. It was excellent!

This is Patrick with his Mom, and brother, Marc.

Since Silas is now a pro at blowing out candles, he decided to help Patrick out. Denise made one of Patrick's favorite cakes for dinner. He loves it! It has several layers of jelly filling.
After we ate, we decided to look through Patrick's albums of him growing up. We saw this same cake in 1984!

Happy Birthday, my sweetie, my knight in shining armour, my dream come true. I love you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

First Bite of Ice Cream

I think my Dad enjoyed giving Callie Grace her first bites of Ice Cream. After 3 HUGE bites, I said, "Okay, Dad, I think that's enough!" I think she liked it, but you can tell she's not used to the cold!

Friday, January 14, 2011

One More Silas Birthday Post

Silas really did have a great birthday. It started the night before at Winkler with everyone in the foyer singing Silas "Happy Birthday". Then, he received a dollar from Pastor to go buy ice cream! yay! He was excited to open his gifts after, or should I say during, his breakfast.
We found this cowboy and horse at Target and knew he would love it. I love the sweet smile on his face.

Josh, Elisabeth and Brenna went together with their money and found a Black and Decker Tool Bench on clearance at Walmart. They got such a good deal!!

He was so cute as he unwrapped his gift he took the teensy tiny piece of paper and ran and threw it in the trash. I thought, "Oh boy, this is going to be a long process!"

Denise bought him a Breyer horse with a cowboy rider. Silas loved it! He kept saying "hat, hat!"

Then, we skyped with Mariane and George and they gave him his card with money in it! I think it's time for Mr. Silas to open up his own bank account!

It was such a good day for my boy. He was wiped out by naptime. It's tough being two, you know!