Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lotsa White

When I was a little girl, I only remember it snowing once--in east Texas, a momentous occasion. It may have snowed 1-2 inches, but my brother and Dad and I managed to make a small, dirty snowman in our front yard. It was probably one of the ugliest snowmen ever, but it was quite an exciting accomplishment, I thought! I'm thankful that my kids will have memories of fun times playing in the snow, and this month we've gotten quite a lot. This was Annesley's first time to get out in the white stuff, and it was fun to watch her reaction to the new experience.

Does this look familiar to any of you Moms?!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Me Love Cookies!

Yesterday afternoon the kids and I decorated Christmas cookies together. This is one of those things that is a blast for kids, but for me sometimes can seem like just another thing on my 'to-do' list. This year, however, I was determined to make it fun for everyone and focus on the memories we'd be making. Here was my plan to help make it manageable.

  • I baked the cookies a couple of days before. This was really helpful, as I would've been in the kitchen on my feet for hours more if I'd tried to do it all in one day.
  • I had the older three decorate their cookies while the littles were napping, and then the younger kids had their turn. Much less stressful with less fighting over icing colors!
  • The kids each worked on a jelly roll pan to contain the sprinkles. Annesley later took care of the ones that escaped to the floor.
  • I gave the kids each six cookies to decorate-one of each shape-and then allowed them to choose two to eat right away. While they worked, I decorated cookies for our neighbors. I think this was the best route considering all the finger-licking that was going on. (Them--not me!)

What fun family activities are you making time for this week?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Busy Season!

Sunni with Thai Ronald

The CFPM staff and kids

The Grand Palace in Bangkok

The hotel in Bangkok

Doug, Kevin, and Arlang working on the bunk beds

I've been neglecting my blog lately because we've been busy getting back into the swing of things now that Keely and Kevin are home. It is really wonderful to have them back! We've been doing school and enjoying fun Christmas-y activities, too. Things may be a bit more quiet here on the blog as we focus on Christmas preparations and fun and as we are busy getting ready for Baby's arrival! Two and a half more weeks! I'm getting so excited!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Not sure what happened here, but it ain't pretty.

Or, perhaps, the crocodile has come to worship the King?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gathered Links

The 'safe sex' myth is dead, but is anyone listening?

This is an insightful look at a chick-flick plot pattern.

Obama is creative with his 'facts'.

Okay, I'm not saying it's evil, but does anyone else dislike this ubiquitous symbol? Seems like you can hardly find girls' clothes that aren't plastered with it....

You may have seen this already, but if not, check out the silent monks 'singing' the Hallelujah Chorus. Pretty cute.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


This morning Annesley came toddling into my room, clutching her baby-of-the-moment and a doll pillow and blanket. 'Night-night', she said to me, indicating that I was to swaddle the doll for her. I did it as she watched attentively, no doubt making sure I was careful. I handed the bundle back to her and she tenderly planted a slobbery kiss on her baby's head.

I suddenly felt a sense of sadness, realizing that Annesley will only be my 'baby' for a few more weeks. Of course my love for her will not lessen, but once there is a smaller baby, that sense of protectiveness and tenderness moms have for their tiniest one will be transferred. Annesley will suddenly seem much more grown-up; a sturdy two-year-old who will dwarf a newborn. I'll have to watch out for the new baby when she comes near, as she'll try to 'love' him a little too much. She'll now have a sibling who is more vulnerable than she is.

So, it's bittersweet. So much of motherhood it, isn't it? As much as you try to enjoy your children, it's never enough, it seems. The messes and noises and fights and sleepless nights blur your vision.

And they grow in the midst of it all.

Lord, help me to treasure these last few weeks before our family dynamic changes. Help me not to miss these moments with my little ones because I'm focusing on the discomforts of late pregnancy and my desire for it to be over. Keep my vision clear and my heart tuned to all Your many blessings.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Halfway There!

I have to say that I really, really like my husband and daughter to be, say, no more than 20 miles away at any given time. Having them on the other side of the world is quite challenging! I miss them both, and selfishly am so ready to have them back home, yet I know that God is working in and through them, and my sacrifice is very small.

I was able to talk to them both this morning and things are going great there. They have been b-u-s-y every minute of every day, it sounds, with a mixture of ministry and projects, as well as fun sight-seeing ventures. I was so excited to hear that Keely's devotional with the little girls went well. She was caught off-guard about the time when she'd be expected to give it, and did not have the materials she'd prepared with, so she had to give her meditation from memory. I know that was a scary feeling, but Kevin said that she did a great job and the girls enjoyed it. God is faithful! I know He is showing her that even through the little things such as this.

Here's my latest prayer request: Kevin will be preaching in a women's prison tomorrow night (our time). He did not know that he'd be able to do this, and is so excited to be able to take the gospel of hope to these women. Please pray for his preparation, ability to preach with translation interruptions, and most of all, that the Holy Spirit would work in the hearts of the women who will hear the Word presented. Isn't this such an exciting development?! I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Thailand Update

It's cool to get to ride in the back of Arlang's truck in the middle of traffic!

Well, Keels and Kevin are safely in Thailand. They arrived Sunday after their 24-hour flight(s). I finally was able to Skype with them tonight, and it was so good to see their faces! The kids were thrilled as well. Annesley was sitting in my lap during out conversation, and she would periodically smile and scream with joy at getting to see Daddy's face! I think it was good for us all after almost four days with very little contact.

Keely said that her impression of Bangkok was that it was HOT, and that all the Buddhist temples and statues were sad. I'm sure it must be a sobering experience to see so many thousands of people openly worshiping false gods. They were able to tour a temple and also the home of Jim Thompson while they were there. The rest of their time in Thailand will be spent in Chang Rai (though I think they'll visit the zoo in Chang Mai with the children from CFPM). Keely seemed to be loving the kids and having a great time playing with them.

The kids and I are doing great. My Mom has been here since before Thanksgiving spoiling me completely. She works circles around me and is taking care of her baby (me!) and her grandbabies! She is such a blessing and example to me and the kids with her servant's heart and cheerful attitude.

In other news--baby news: I'm into my final five weeks of pregnancy now. It's hard to believe that we'll be cuddling a tiny new person very shortly. I'm getting so excited to meet him or her and to NOT be pregnant any more. :) I know, I know...It's a wonderful blessing to experience. However, at 35 weeks you're just really ready to wear a belt again, be able to shave your legs without grunting, and not have to eat Tums like candy.

Can I get an amen?

Thanks to all of you who have been and continue to pray for Kevin and Keely. I'll share more pictures as I get them.