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02 January 2013


There is a huge tidal wave heading my way, whether I am ready or not. And right now I am feeling the NOT.  I'm not ready to touch starvation.  Not ready to cradle babies on the verge of life or death.  Not ready to talk and pray with women who suffer.  Eye to eye.  I am so not ready.

It was only anxiety about leaving our kids, what to pack, writing our will that taunted my mind.  The typical American life oriented things causing some clutter.  Now, the fear of soul altering change is bulldozing that easier temptation of worry.  How will I come home and be "me" again?

That must be God's point.  I am not ready, but He is.  And I am not supposed to just come home.  I'm supposed to come home, and let His work be evidenced in me as He has already determined in His heart.  

I will never be ready to hold hands with poverty-injustice-suffering, but somehow I get to  - and with Jesus holding my other hand.  The one thing I know for sure, He is NOT going to let go.

"But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”"
-Matt. 15:25

31 December 2012

Memories from 2012

"And with my song I shall thank Him."
-Psalm 28:7

A= apple picking, Aunt Mimi’s visits and cookout
B= riding bikes without training wheels, Barnum and Bailey Circus

C= Caroline's favs: 3rd grade, ACTS, Christmas Tea at The Jefferson Hotel, cut baby ring off of her finger, met author Jim Arnosky, Groove Thing performance, 8th birthday at Onesty Pool, reading; cherry picking, cook outs, doughnuts at Carters Mountain, our sunset Christmas tree hunt at the Kennedy’s

D= Donald's favs: finished work project with flying colors, coached two seasons of T-ball, took the “bigs” hunting, 39th birthday Reeses Peanut Butter cake; diving at Grammy’s pool, drive-in movie theater with friends

E= Egypt IMAX movie, Etiquette School dinner at Glenmore Country Club, Easter egg hunt at Grammy’s and La Fayette playground

F= camped at Fairy Stone National Park for Caroline’s 8th birthday, Caro learned how to do a flip under water, Father-Daughter Christmas Dance, fishing at the lake, sleepovers and flashlight tag at grandparents’, celebrating the Fourth of July at Lake Monticello, Fluvanna Carnival, Fruit Hill Orchard, fun with the fam

G= 1st Girl Scout cookie sale and fall festival, Caro scored a soccer goal or two, God opened the door for us to minister in Guatemala, golf lessons for the kids

H= hiking near Hump Back Rock, hand print stepping stones, hand-me-downs, ministered to the homeless on the Downtown Mall

I= i-phones !!

J= Jackson's favs:  5th birthday party at Camp Friendship and the circus, graduated from preschool, big boy bike, 1st sleep over, started to read, Kindergarten, Lazy S field trip; Jerry John letters from Haiti

K= Karis' favs: the centerpiece of our table A LOT, loved Mommy’s Fisher Price record player, new friends Cana and Abby, enjoyed visiting the Food Lion restroom A LOT, 2nd birthday beach party, 1st haircut, pumpkin decorating, cookie and ornament making with Cana and Abby, Kid’s Point

L= Caro’s spring musical “L.O.S.T.”, swimming at Lake Monticello, Little Drummer Boy performance, Aunt Leni’s visit

M= Mommy's favs: watching my kids, naps with Donald, became a runner girl with running partners, ran the Women’s 4-Miler with Aunt Steph, started leading Charlottesville Women’s Community Group, visited Laura in TN, taught Caro 2nd and 3rd, invited to former students’ graduation parties, Bible study at Effort Church, Sister’s Group, Michie Tavern with Aunt Leni

N= new carpet, new friendships

O= Onesty Pool party for Caroline’s 8th birthday, Caro’s 1st oral book report at homeschooling book club, old friendships

P= pillow forts, pumpkin picking at Hanover Farm, The Point, paint renovation

Q= Quetzel Kite Festival

R= roller skating, Relay for Life with the Meyers, The Royal Ballet's Nutcracker

S= strawberry farming at the Kennedy’s, sledding on the golf course, stuck our heads in a T-Rex skull, Super Heroes and a Strawberry for Halloween, slip-n-slide at Alex’s graduation party, swimming with Grammy, bedtime stories and snuggling

T= Jackson lost 2 teeth – didn’t  realize he had lost the 1st one!, baby turtles, T-Ball, tea parties, Tyler’s community group, tractor rides (Grandpa, Mr. Kennedy, Dr. Farley),Tabitha made Mommy a birthday cake

U= Upwards soccer

V= Velveteen Rabbit book report, Caro learned about the Vikings, Valentines’ Memorial Day cookout, Thanksgiving Indian vests

W= visited my old home in Warrenton, Washington Monument, two trips to Washington and rode the D.C. carousel, watched the Sound of Music with Grammy, played in Grammy’s wedding dress, water gun fights with Dylan and Grandpa, 

X= Caroline had a chest x-ray

Y= yes and you and yummy and youth and yappy kids

Z= National Zoo

04 February 2011

Back to 2011

I promise I know what year it is!  I thought I would write about our year in review last month and missed the opportunity.  2010 was such a BIG year, full of BIGNESS in every way that I may just do a flashback every month.  Now, onto 2011 -- 

This January we were plagued with quite a few unwelcome bugs and some snow, which has kept us more grounded than usual.  I have secretly liked it.  The time home has helped me to understand how Mom maintained a beautiful home and had delicious manly meals every night of my wonder years.  The secret?  She stayed HOME.  Ohhhh, is that how it happens?  I'll think on it. Done thinking.  My poor mom!

We started the month off with a trip to "Chuckie  Cheese-Its" with Grammy.

Jackson loved this bicycling helicopter!

Poor Caroline couldn't get it to move!  Brought back an awful memory of being in a bumper car and getting slammed by other kids, because I couldn't get my car to move. 
Obviously, still traumatized.

Jacks' favorite outfit these days.  Cannot get him out of that old sweatshirt to save my life! 
Why he's on the chair?  I have no idea-

Our sweet baby turned 6 months old!  More on her to come!

One lovely snowy afternoon I *treated* my family to a homemade, gourmet peppermint shake
with the leftover peppermint ice cream from Christmas. 
We were totally psyched, especially since I added peppermint oil
(that was supposed to make my hair grow in nice and thick, but I digress...). 
This turned out more like lactose-infused peppermint schnapps!

Too darling for words, even with a dried boogie on her face.

Can you spy Jackson?

Jackson's teacher Ms. "Ali Dora" says, "He is a very physical little boy." 
Here he is with his buddy Eli on "P is for Pajamas" Day.
I don't think Eli ever saw it coming.

Princess Caroline with her Word Study.  Look at those big girl teeth!

Jacks is quite into anything "fireman" these days...

...and multitasking.

The Return of Caroline's Crazy Hair Day

This is all Karis could come up with for such an event.
10-4 good buddies!

03 February 2011

January 2010

January last year...

Caroline was learning to read!  Love this -- The "princess" reading a Tonka Truck book. 

Doing her best John Travolta moves in her modern day leisure suit!

The 100th Day of Kindergarten and Jackson's snack -

This was hillarious!  Nope, not a gold tooth wanna be, just a stuck raisin.

Crazy Hair Day

Looking quite productive!

Good reminder of all the snow 2010 brought!

12 January 2011

Making Headlines

We've had a couple of lousy days on this end.  The kids are battling a whopper of a virus.  The bonus is we've been able to hunker down and not leave the confines of our petite home since Saturday.  Saturday.  However, we do have much to cheer about!  Let's see, the top stories making tonight's headlines...

1.  Proud momma reporting that Karis Elizabeth is now sitting by herself for a good 20 seconds or so!  That is until she topples backward.  I remember as a little girl trying to sit my baby doll up and she would fall back just like Karis does now.  Makes me laugh!  Same perfect posture with her little bent arms out to her side.  She is such a doll.

And I debated about putting this first, because we are SO excited -

Jerry John is now a part of our family!!  Doesn't his name just make you smile?!  I knew Donald would love his name too.  My hubby with the WVA roots who halfway teased this want-to-be Southern Belle about naming our son Jimmy Don. 

I am very embarrassed to say we have talked for too long about sponsoring a child, though this one year anniversary of Haiti's earthquakes did our hearts in.  The kids and I got a call this morning from Donald to chose someone, anyone, but to do it.  So we threw open the laptop and prayed that God would hook us up with just the right child.  After pages of too precious, extremely adorable faces Caroline was quick to point out the only photo we had seen with a red heart in the corner.  We had found our someone.

The red heart meant the child had been waiting for over 6 months for a sponsor.

I still can't get that out of my head.  I have a hard time thinking people have been passing his photo for 6 months.  I have a hard time thinking we've waited so long before taking action on a constant pull.  It breaks my heart to think of children all over this globe in such dire need -- of clean water, attention.  I really dislike how tightly I've been clinging to the few tens we'll be sharing each month, as if I can look back and say they made any real difference in our lives.  I really, really dislike how easy it is to be informed, feel horrible, and still ignore.

BUT!  I really like to imagine how Jerry John and his parents will react when they learn  they finally have a sponsor!  I really like how thrilled our kids are to be helping someone they've never met, picturing Jerry John wearing his school uniform for the first time, perhaps a healthier year for him, easing his parents worry, the kids writing to him, watching him grow through photos taped to our fridge, praying for him.  Julie Andrews singing "My Favorite Things" is floating through my head, but with different lyrics.  I wonder what he looks like sleeping.  Now, I can watch the news about Haiti with Jerry John in mind.  It's personal now.

Our New Friend Jerry John

Jerry John.  Jerry John.  Jerry John.  I keep saying his name.  Makes me smile!

02 January 2011


It was a great 1st day!  Extremely average and when I am in mid-year feeling rather middle aged with an average life I want to remember how truly remarkable that is.

Let's see, today...
-Jackson crawled in bed with me while I cuddled my 5 month old baby saying he wanted to sleep with me.
-Donald slipped back in from being "in the woods" because he forgot something, but in the process he fixed me a pot of coffee and Jackson his oatmeal.
-my big kids brushed their teeth without hassle.
-I used new hair products that made my post pregnancy, fine, thin hair feel a bit bigger.  Trying really hard to focus on the fact that I have some hair.
-Karis hung out virtually fuss less.
-I was able to call my mom and sister to wish them a great new year.
-Caroline wrapped a few gifts I have to give to folks at church.
-Jackson and Caroline played with his new train from Grammy and my old doll house furniture in her castle for at least an hour.
-I made some awesome banana nut bread and got around to delivering it to a new neighbor 2 houses down that I have actually known for a few years!
-Jackson and Karis napped at the same time for a couple of hours while Caroline read her Bible among other things.  I am not lying, I promise. 
-a couple of old friends sent me some very sweet messages.
-my favorite uncle and I are now FaceBooking.
-the kids and I visited an even older friend and exchanged Christmas gifts. 
-we arrived home at the same time as Donald who had pizza in hand.
- we played "Don't Wake Daddy" with the kids.
-I snuggled all of my kids to sleep.
-I am currently having my fair share of peppermint ice cream with a picked up house, some laundry in process, and may I repeat, sleeping kids.
-Donald just walked in the door safe and sound at midnight from saving his parents and their dead car battery.
-our needs and an awful lot of wants are taken care of.

I realized even after moments of laziness, procrastination, frustration, loneliness, exhaustion, awful comparison that I am loved, lavished, happy, happy, happy and blessed beyond my deserving.  And I'm thinking if you're reading this, you probably are too. 

Signing off very happy to be average.

01 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Thankful to give 2011 to the big hands of an even bigger God! 
Looking forward to this new year!
Hope it's a great one for you.

"But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way,

who can't see where they're going.

I'll be a personal guide to them,

directing them through unknown country.

I'll be right there to show them what roads to take,

make sure they don't fall into the ditch.

These are the things I'll be doing for them—

sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute."  

-Isaiah 42:16 (MSG)