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***Note to anyone who comes by here to listen to the music ...You will now have to scroll down to the player on the right side and press play yourself. This is to accommodate those who only come to read and are distracted by the music;}

Monday, June 30, 2008

JJ's new playmate

It was with great anticipation that Julie (Jasper who is on the left's mother) and I awaited when our little ones could play together. God has been so good to provide this experience at Speakout for Julie and I. Julie was the one who recruited us to come on STINT and Jared and I became great friends with she and her husband, Zach while we were here. They already had a son when we were here. His name is Eli and he has grown up so much and is talking, talking, talking! (Pictures of him will come shortly) He already loves JJ so much and is so sweet with him and he's had the great practice because he's been a big brother to Jasper. Jasper is almost exactly 1 month older than JJ and they are getting along very well, doing a lot of the same things and just really, really, really loving another little person around them!

Scenes from the journey to Hungary

We made it to Hungary, but not without delays! We were delayed out of DC for 4 hours and then missed our connection in Frankfurt, Germany to get to Budapest which delayed our trip even longer (6-7 hours) and finally arrived in Keszthely, Hungary around 11pm local time on Saturday. It was great to get to know these AWESOME young people in the journey here!

Courtney(Minnesota) Rachel & Joel (TX), Kaelyn (California) and Claire (Texas) looking bright-eyed at the BEGINNING of our journey and delays.

Sarah (California), Brittni (Florida), Anna (California) and Courtney (Florida)

Sarah (Minnesota) lovin' on JJ...he made friends with ALL of the Americans quickly!
JJ hung out with Courtney a lot while we were waiting, he really likes her!
JJ on the flight to Budapest from Germany--the ONLY one that he had a seat...He liked it, but the seat belt didn't keep him too constrained...
In the hotel at our briefing in DC
JJ playing with the "man in the mirror"
He can't believe how fun he is!!

More playing cards in the airport: Jason(Indiana), Amanda (Alabama), Jewel (Indiana), Hannah (Ohio) and Janelle (Michigan)
They are playing some game (Skrim??) that is from the South
Kristy (NC) Will (NC) Eric (Florida) Kevin (NC) Andrew (Colorado) and Megan (Maryland)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Someone's on the go!!

JJ playing with James...James isn't so sure about JJ getting into all of "his" things

At a playdate with Kendra...showing off his crawling skills

Laughing with Daddy (see video in next post!)

My Life Right Now is summed up by...




Another Mom at the recent Student Venture conference that we went to gave the very practical suggestion of typing packing lists on the computer that you can use for trips! Here is my VERY THOROUGH list for JJ and myself (Jared is on his own!!) down to which skirt I should pack! It has seriously helped to preserve my sanity...

We leave tomorrow morning (Thursday, June 26) for our briefing and then fly to Hungary Friday evening to Saturday Morning.

Pray for us!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Flesh Becomes Word

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Flesh Become Word

The word must become flesh, but the flesh also must become word. It is not enough for us, as human beings, just to live. We also must give words to what we are living. If we do not speak what we are living, our lives lose their vitality and creativity. When we see a beautiful view, we search for words to express what we are seeing. When we meet a caring person, we want to speak about that meeting. When we are sorrowful or in great pain, we need to talk about it. When we are surprised by joy, we want to announce it!

Through the word, we appropriate and internalize what we are living. The word makes our experience truly human.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Bloggable Supermarket Moment

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Words That Become Flesh

Words are important. Without them our actions lose meaning. And without meaning we cannot live. Words can offer perspective, insight, understanding, and vision. Words can bring consolation, comfort, encouragement and hope. Words can take away fear, isolation, shame, and guilt. Words can reconcile, unite, forgive, and heal. Words can bring peace and joy, inner freedom and deep gratitude. Words, in short, can carry love on their wings. A word of love can be the greatest act of love. That is because when our words become flesh in our own lives and the lives of others, we can change the world.

Jesus is the word made flesh. In him speaking and acting were one.

While I do not know if my Giant Supermarket "angel" loves Jesus or not, her words and actions of kindness touched my heart a couple of days ago...

I was "running around" making final preparations for our Commissioning Service on Saturday and had picked up SEVERAL things for that event. I say several because as I was checking out I found the best (I mean QUICKEST) aisle in which to do so. Then, as I'm laying out my MULTIPLE hamburger rolls, ketchup bottles, baby food jars and various sundry other items I begin to get this uncomfortable feeling as I notice a woman behind me with only a few items in her cart. Suddenly, to my horror, I realize that I appear as one of those incredibly inconsiderate people who pays no heed to the "ABOUT 15 items" sign above express lanes! So I very sheepishly look back at the lady behind me and start to move my cart as if to leave. She is saying something quietly and in the general mistrust of people's temperaments in supermarkets, I assume it's something like, "You shouldn't be here, lady! I've got places to go too!" However, she is reassuringly saying, "Don't worry about it, just stay here."

For all I know, this woman doesn't even know Jesus personally, but her willingness to overlook my hurried ignorance spoke volumes in that moment. Not only was I blessed by her kindness, but it also gave pause to think of how I would respond in a similar situation. Would my words (verbal and non-verbal) be speaking of the compassionate love of Christ? Or would my own tension and worry reflect itself in a less gracious manner? I can only hope and pray that I would have responded as this dear woman. After all, it's so often in the little actions and moments that our integrity as followers of Jesus is truly tested.

May the Lord richly bless you my dear supermarket friend, and may you come to Jesus if you haven't already.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Swing Made for Two...

My dear friend Jamie and I were having "one last" mommy walk-n-talk in the park and our boyz--yo-yo TJ and JJ--were "hangin' out".

Ever since they were really little, they've had fun reaching for each other.

B-F-F or Best Friends Forever
They could have both swung all day in there! We decided that that they liked the swinging better than if they'd been by themselves.

At their weddings we'll pull this one out when they are each other's 'best man.'

Here is some video of them...
(please forgive my's so annoying to me on this)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day...

We had a really special day and I had a lot of fun "lavishing" my husband and AWESOME FATHER TO JJ with some special gifts...I made an album of some special times between Jared and JJ thus far in his little life...I think that the Father & Son bond is so sweet and just knowing how many images it creates of our Abba Father relationship makes it all the more special. I truly learn so much as I see my beloved Jareds be father and son.

Matching shirts

so cute!!!
I had to add this great pic of mum-mum and JJ!

JJ with one of his Pop Pop's...oh how we relish these times!

More Myrtle Beach pics

Playing in the hotel was a bit small...

but he's having fun and making mum-mum's favorite face!

We thought we'd try some crazy hair!

Hundreds of teenagers cool is that???!!

I've been away...

Sorry for not letting you know sooner, but we've been away...we went to Myrtle Beach...ROAD TRIP! 12-13 hours both ways with our little JOY. So tough to be couped up in the car at this age, but he did great!! We were at the Getaway Conference with Student Venture that the students and leaders from Orlando were at...I got to meet many people and we got very excited about the people we'll be with when we move to Florida. We also had an awesome week of ministry together, though it was a bit of a challenge as a mama:-)

JJ loving the rest stop and a chance to stretch out!
Doing his "whooooo" noise

Family photo at the Beach
JJ's not so sure about the Ocean which I guess is normal for his age.

Baby 'Cutie' Boy!!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Our New Place

We received photos this week of our new place that we'll be living at in Florida!! It made us really excited to see the place and picture ourselves there! Although I haven't posted pictures of the guest bedroom, you all (our friends and family) are welcome to it whenever you might be passing through:-) Or you certainly can plan a trip to visit Orlando and us!

Front of the house

Kitchen from the breakfast bar area
Part of the master bathroom
Family/Living room area
Another photo of the kitchen, I LOVE how sunny it is!
View of the back yard from the screened in porch

View of the back of the house
Screened in porch
Master bedroom