Thursday, November 29, 2012


Along with The Littles’ desire for a pink costume for their birthday, they wanted a pink party.  Because this is the last birthday around friends and family for the foreseeable future, they got their PINK PARTY.

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As gifts were unwrapped, The Littles added layers to their costumes.

(Notice above that Little J has a hot pink tutu under her pink costume)

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Thanks to all the great sports, definitely a PINK birthday to remember.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Chores

After a big Thanksgiving feast, The Littles convinced their uncles to take them out around the farm and they “helped” with chores.

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They love the farm and have their uncles wrapped around their fingers.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Say goodbye to defined curls. The Littles have learned to somersault!  At least Little J. Little A tries and flops to the side.

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Little J helps Little A

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“More flips. Mama!”

Friday, November 23, 2012

As The Dust Settles

Last night as Jon and I talked, I realized how I have been in a season of thankfulness. Not because I am such the grateful person but because God has brought me out of the dark place where I have been the past few years.

Last February was when I began to beg the Lord to restore my joy, and He has.

Since getting home from SIMGo, it has been a whirlwind. To debrief a bit about our training, I am overcome by feelings of…thankfulness. I don’t know how to express this in a way that doesn’t sound cliché or simplistic.

While at SIMGo, we covered classes over a myriad of topics, ranging from orality and the Gospel, computer encryption, saying goodbyes, working successfully in international teams and child safety.

Every day, we spent time with SIM Home staff who have spent years on the field and are now using their gifts to serve as senders. We prayed together, laughed and gleaned wisdom from them. There is something so encouraging about hearing their stories of God’s faithfulness. After the day wrapped up, we would walk back from the dining room, play with The Littles and then talk late into the night with other families.

My low point came when sitting in the “safety seminar”. Sitting in this session, fear reared it’s ugly head. As I listened through hypothetical situations, I thought of how I would handle it but then I envisioned going through these motions while keeping two kids safe. Panic rose in my heart and as soon as class was over, the tears overflowed. I replayed a scene in my mind in which I stood on the street, fighting to hold on to The Littles’ hands against an assailant.

I was frustrated and felt guilty that my fear was back. Receiving encouragement to let the words of scripture rush over me and let my soul worship, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness in a million, billion ways. I found this little picture recently and my heart sings at what God has done.


How a year ago at this time, we had just returned from an exploratory trip to Ethiopia and we didn’t know what the future held, but I didn’t want a single part of moving my family across the ocean.


And I realize that over the past year, not only has God restored my joy, but at SIMGo and since, I am excited. Not excited about getting on the plane and leaving friends and family, but so excited for being in Ethiopia, ministering there, even homeschooling!

God is good.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

Glad to be back home (where we will be for the next few weeks), here are a few more pictures I want to remember from our time in North Carolina.

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Coming up, we have Thanksgiving with family, a birthday party and then packing for our next trip. Life is full and I have much to say but I am waiting for the concise version to form. Maybe I can give the abridged version soon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Just Pink Costumes

The Littles celebrated their 3rd birthday while in North Carolina.

Leading up to their birthday, I would ask what they wanted as a gift. “A pink costume”

Not too difficult to find the perfect combination of pinks, frills and sparkles.

Before we left, I felt disappointed we wouldn’t be with family and friends on their birthday. I shouldn’t have feared, by the time the magical day arrived, we had made so many deep friendships. :)

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The Littles opened gifts from their friends.

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Our kitchenmates, Joel, Hannah and Esther started out the morning with more gifts!

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In the Kids’ House, the girls spent all morning decorating cupcakes for lunch and having a tea party!

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A very girly birthday party at lunch. Jon was declared “king” and I was “queen”.

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Very different styles to blow at the candles.  Neither one super-effective. :)

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On a full sugar high…”Look at my pink tongue!”

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A different birthday then ever before, but oh, so good. :)

I am sure you will be seeing those pink costumes again.

Friday, November 16, 2012

SIMKids’ House

An amazing blessing of being part of the SIM family is the member care department and the MK’s member care. While we have been at training, every day The Littles have gone to the SIMKids House where they have been with 3 other girls (ages 3-5).  These three are also heading to Africa with their families.

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Very intentional lessons are taught and The Littles and friends have been daily learning about the world, other cultures and world missions. 

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One day, we arrived to pick up The Littles for lunch, “Okay girls, let’s go to lunch!” to which Little A responded, “No Mama, let’s go to Africa!”

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Jon and The Littles running to lunch.

Their crafts often include African themed items, like this necklace.

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Charlotte is also heading to Ethiopia about the same time as us (though we will be 13 hours away). As they bonded through living together for two weeks, they would have conversations about living in Ethiopia. I heard Charlotte tell the girls, “Maybe we’ll see each other in Ethiopia, let’s fly on the same plane and sit together!”

Strides have been made to “normalize” the future. 


At the Ethiopian restuarant, Charlotte convinced The Littles to try the food. “Okay girls, it looks slimy, but it’s not! You will love it!”.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Legit Vacation

Because we spun our trip to The Littles as a vacation, we knew to make it seem like it, there had to be some “dipping”.  Thanks to a nearby hotel, who graciously let us use their pool (But I mean, really, who is going to say no when there are two little girls in their swimsuits and floaties in the lobby?), The Littles had a blast swimming and so now it has officially been proven that North Carolina is vacation. :)

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A few more days left! We are so thankful for what we are learning and how God is growing us.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Start Your Engines!

On the SIM campus, we do lots of walking. We walk to class, meals, chapel, SIMKids house, etc.  The weather has been beautiful, but we have taken advantage of the strollers around campus. 

The epiphany for a daddy-daughter race was born.

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Jon had to drop out around the first turn because Little J was in front and had never gone so fast in a stroller.  Clearly, the jogging stroller won but it was hilarious for all involved (besides Little J)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Just a Snap

With almost a week under our belt, SIMGo, our training, has been a huge blessing. Your prayers are felt and appreciated.

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Our road trip was exactly 12 hours and went exceptionally well. 

We arrived and met our family for the next few weeks. It’s quite the experience, to meet people from all over the USA with varied passions and talents, all preparing to be commissioned in different directions.  We all live together, with our own bedroom/bathroom and shared kitchen and living areas.

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The 21 adults are in classes and meetings each day, while the kids are involved in the SIMKids House. The Littles eat every meal with us as we can pick them up between classes. Though they have done amazingly well, by the time we go to get to have them with us, they are ornery! See Exhibit A below.

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I have been a bit haphazard in losing most everything. “Has anyone seen my keys? Where is Little J’s coat? Oh no, I lost my wallet!” Yes, learning more about humility. :)

We have had a few other minor incidents but God has provided. Little A may have stuck a bead up her nose…Okay, she did, but I didn’t freak out because I have never lived with 1 surgeon, 3 doctors, a nurse practitioner and two nurses before.

And then there was the moment with Little J in the tub (water running) and Jon and I were locked out of the room. Little A sat crying on the floor, fully unclothed.

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“Little A, can you bring me Mama’s bag?” After some chocolate bribery and a quick call for another key, all was fine. Funny story. Now. 

We have some free time every day although spending quality time with the girls, hanging out with the cool people we are living with, and working on assigned projects, time flies!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Here in North Carolina, we are feeling your prayers.  Thank you.  It has been going really well and we’ll write more on this soon.  Our only downside is 3 sessions of vaccines (two complete already!).

We are a bit late to the whole debuting our costumed kiddos to the world. :)

The Littles were a not feeling great and so our visiting was cut short. Here are a few gems captured.

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Lots of head swiveling because of their earrings.

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After one house, The Littles decided the bling had to go. They haven’t yet learned that beauty is pain.

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What’s better than dressing up and getting candy?

Not much.

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The princesses ditched the tiaras in favor of party hats. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday.

"I will not leave you as orphans: I will come to you." John 14:18

God has a lot to say about the orphans. If you are interested in learning more (not just if you are interested in adoption) read Fields of the Fatherless by Tom Davis and Adopted for Life by Russell Moore.

Blessings of your Sunday. May God be glorified through His Church raising up and caring for the orphan, widow and stranger on more than just today.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


It’s here! Our much anticipated (and delayed) training in North Carolina. We are so excited to go back to the SIM USA office as faces there have are now very dear to our hearts.

If you are reading this on Friday, we are in a van, driving, driving, driving and stopping way too often for potty breaks with barely trained toddlers.

We are selling this training to The Littles as “vacation”.

Thanks so much for your prayers on their/our behalf.

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Saturday, we get vaccines (the girls get 6 each!) and then by Sunday morning, they are off with the children’s program.  I am excited to see how God is going to answer all of the prayers.

He is faithful.

I have been memorizing Psalm 34 and it has done wonders for me to reflect on it continually.  Great scripture for a heart of thankfulness.