Friday, May 29, 2009

Mem Day Happenings

We had a fab Mem Day. The whole weekend was filled with fun activities.

Friday we had fun cleaning around the house and out in the yard. Dave played some golf in the rain...good times.

Saturday we had cleaned some more and bought massive amounts of food for our par-tay. Saturday afternoon we hung out in Clarkston and participated in a huge end-of-school party for the refugee kids. It was quite an adventure. HC and Annelise enjoyed playing duck-duck-goose with the kids. Dave grilled almost 200 hot dogs, and I spilled about 50 popcycles (that were not quite frozen) on myself.
Sunday was a big day. Our old bud Mike and his new wife Lisa flew into town on Sunday afternoon. Mike and I met on my first Sunday at Intown over 10 years ago. We were both single, and both had a lot of things in common...both being ridiculously intense and very passionate about working overseas. Several years ago Mike moved to Australia to get his masters degree, and then was off to Tajikistan, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and Papua New Guinea to work with some different NGOs doing humanitarian work. In between his assignments in Tajikistan and Uganda Mike stayed with us in Baumholder for a couple weeks, so Dave got the full Mike Experience. We also met up on his way from Uganda to Sri Lanka, and then he came and stayed with us again for a weekend shortly after HC was born. He is now married to Lisa and we decided we need to have a big party in Atlanta so we could all meet her and see Mike. It was like a Horizons reunion (Horizons was the name of our fellowship 10 years ago).

So, Sunday afternoon we had a bunch of adults and kids over for a BBQ. It was quite fun to see folks, some of whom I myself have not seen in several years. Mike and Lisa stayed with us Sunday night and then Monday morning we headed to Centennial Park for a little play and a little Chick-fil-a, which Lisa is now addicted to. Too bad they do not have Chick-fil-a's in LA, which is now where they are residing, for the moment.
Dave finished off the day by fishing, which is always a good way for him to recover from people overload.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Would you be surprised if I mentioned I have NO idea what a podcast is? I do not know if it has something to do with itunes or an ipod. I have never used either, though I think Dave might know what these are, but I know he hasn't used these things either. I do have an MP3 player, but at the moment I have no idea where it is...maybe it is with my cell phone...somewhere...totally out of batteries...

Anyway, I mentioned that I would post a link to the White Horse Inn and their latest broadcast "Law and Gospel". When I went to the link I noticed it said podcast, and that is when I started idea what that means. I guess you can listen to it online, or if you have something like itunes or an ipod or an MP3 player it might be of use.

For now I just order CDs...or occasionally listen to something online (like when I miss a sermon).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


A couple weekends ago we drove up to visit Dave's parents. We decided to try something a little new and leave in the afternoon/early evening. Neither of our girls are good car sleepers, so we weren't exactly sure how it was going to go, but we thought it worth a try. Of course we ended up leaving later than we had hoped, and then drove through/followed a major storm. All in all the trip a bit longer than we hoped, but the girls did sleep a little bit. Annelise fell asleep around 8.30 and HC fell asleep around 9.30. Well, at least they fell asleep!
We all had a great visit. We enjoyed a couple walks, and a trip to the flea market. At the flea market the girls had their first pony ride. They both did a great job, and even Annelise rode without much assistance. The girls had a good time playing with Grandma and Grandpa and Great-Grandma too.
Dave and I had a chance to go out alone which is always a special treat. He wanted to take me to a fish farm where we could catch our own fish and have it cooked any way we wanted. However after driving around the mountains for over an hour we determined that the place was closed. We ate somewhere else and's a throw back...went to the drive-in. We watched Fast and Furious 4?5? It was fun. Before the movie started Dave had to figure out how to turn off the headlights in the car. We drove his mom's car and she has a sensor. He tried really hard, but to no avail, we ended up putting a rug over the hood of the car, so it all worked out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thanks, John!

I know I have blogged about this hymn before, but really I think I need to sing this song everyday. Or maybe I need someone else to sing it TO me. I was listening to this week's topic on the White Horse Inn which is entitled "Rightly Dividing the Word: Law and Gospel". It was fab. I cannot do it justice by summarizing, you must just listen to it, or ask me to borrow the cd. But here are a couple thoughts:
There are 3 uses of the law:
1. To point us to our need for Christ (we cannot live up to the law)
2. To some degree the law is written on all humanity's hearts, common grace, why we all agree that murdering is wrong, etc.
3. To show us how we should behave as believers.

The problem is that the basis for our faith is not law, but gospel. Law shows us what God demands and Gospel gives us what we need to meet what God demands. I often get bogged down in the law...I am not doing what I should be doing. I do not love God or my neighbor as I should. The solution is not to try give all of myself to read more pray harder. The solution is the announcement of the Gospel. My failures, my "mistakes", my sin, past, present and future was paid for one afternoon two thousand years ago. I need to hear that announcement everyday because I am always trying to pay for my sin. "When through grace in Christ our trust is, justice smiles and asks no more."

This week we have been teaching HC this hymn. Thank you John Newton!
Let us love and sing and wonder
Let us praise the Savior’s name
He has hushed the law’s loud thunder
He has quenched Mount Sinai’s flame
He has washed us with His blood
He has brought us nigh to God

Let us love the Lord Who bought us
Pitied us when enemies
Called us by His grace and taught us
Gave us ears and gave us eyes
He has washed us with His blood
He presents our souls to God

Let us sing though fierce temptation
Threatens hard to bear us down
For the Lord, our strong salvation,
Holds in view the conqu’ror’s crown
He, Who washed us with His blood,
Soon will bring us home to God

Let us wonder grace and justice
Join and point to mercy’s store
When through grace in Christ our trust is
Justice smiles and asks no more
He Who washed us with His blood
Has secured our way to God

Let us praise and join the chorus
Of the saints enthroned on high
Here they trusted Him before us
Now their praises fill the sky
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood
Thou art worthy Lamb of God

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Site

I found this new website that I think is pretty cool. Actually I saw something about it on my friend's fridge yesterday and it looked SO cool I had to check it out myself.

I love sites like this. I also thought I would like to a specific article that I enjoyed. It is called The Daily Balance of Parenting and Housework. I found it useful, and I will say HC and I have a good time when she helps me fold the laundry. =)

One more thing. I have the sweetest daughter in the whole world. Last night I went to be with a friend. When I was leaving I told HC that I was going to be with Sadie's mama which seemed to make my leaving better for her.

This morning I went in to wake her up and here was the convo.
HC: Oh Mama, did you see Sadie's Mama last night?
A: Yes, I did, HC.
HC: with head a little cocked to the side, "and did you have a good time"
A: Yes, I did have a good time, thanks for asking me about it.
HC: Oh Mama, I am so glad, so glad Mama.

I love my little Hadleigh Claire!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Girls Weekend

A couple weeks ago I was able to take a much deserved weekend away. I actually decided it was my first "Girls Weekend" in 5 years. I don't count going on a women's retreat as a girls weekend is just not the same thing. So, anyway, the last time I went away with women for no other reason than to be together was over 5 years ago, right before we moved to Germany.

So a couple weeks ago I flew up to Rochester, NY to be with my college buddies, Elaine and Jen. Elaine and Jen were my next door neighbors my freshman year in college. My last girls weekend was actually with these two girls, so it was fun to be together again. We chose Rochester because Jen is still nursing her youngest, Levi. Everyone has been asking me, why Rochester? Anyway, that is why Rochester.

This idea was actually hatched last fall. Elaine called me and said, let's do something the first weekend in May...I don't care what, where, etc. I put it on my calendar and then in January we began making plans.

Elaine and I flew in on Friday and went straight to lunch and then to get a mani/pedi. This has been a theme of our weekends away! It was fab! I actually got a french manicure because I knew that it would last at least 3 days (since I knew I was not going to have to wash my hands after changing diapers multiple times over the weekend).

We had a great time crashing at Jen's and her husband Dan took great care of her kids, so we could enjoy every waking moment possible. Elaine and I, in true extrovert fashion stayed up until 3am both nights. Oh the conversations we had were SO wonderful!

I know that I could write more, but I just do not have time. So, to sum up, it was wonderful. It was so fun to be with friends I have known for almost 15 years. It was fabulous to just pick up right where we left off, and to have the opportunity to speak into each others lives. And it is just comforting to know that there are women out there that really love me and get me, and have loved me for a long time, even when I was a freak in college (and I was a freak). I look forward to the day we can introduce all the kiddos to one another, oh what fun that day will be!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A New Era

The girls are napping. I just finished mixing up a new batch of granola bars (which we love and make often, thanks Jeanie), which are now in the oven. And now it is time to catch up on blogging.

I got a call from an Army friend over the weekend. Sara and her kiddos are coming through Atl in July and planning a stop here. Since her call I have been thinking back. We have now been back in the states for 2 years and 7 months, which is officially longer than we actually lived in Germany. The last 2.5 years have been filled/brimming over with transitions. Dave found a job, didn't find a job, found a job, didn't find a job (etc) for 6 painful months until he finally found THE job. We found out I was expecting Annelise. We started plugging back into Intown and getting involved in a Community Group and a fellowship. Annelise was born. She was crazy. We bought a house and moved. We started working on the house...but really for the last year things have been stable. No major transitions in the last year, what a relief!

We are beginning to sink our roots here in Atlanta deep (although we still talk about moving to New Zealand one day). There are wonderful things about that, and then for us (who thrive on change) there are hard things.

In the last six months we have both been feeling some need for change. We do not ever want to play life safe, but always want to be trying new things and taking risks. Although it is hard to know what that may/may not look like when we have two small children. So, we have just been praying that the Lord will lead and show us.

At this point I think we have decided more about what we are not going to be doing than what we are going to be doing. So, our community group, which we have been part of for the last 2 years has ended. It was bittersweet. Overall I had a great sense that Dave and I needed to do something different, but at same time it has been difficult to think of not being with those folks on a weekly basis. They walked with us through our major transitions of baby and house and job. I think it will be good for us to get a little break from leading/hosting, though I honestly have a hard time imagining my life and our home without people here regularly. We like a lot of people in our home all the time.

We have also been on the leadership team of a Sunday morning fellowship for the last 2 years. The fellowship is comprised of mostly singles and a few young marrieds. In the spring we also decided that it was time for us to take a break from the leadership team.

I think these are good moves for us, and will give us some much needed time to reevaluate our priorities/listen to what God would have us do. At the same time I keep wondering if there is a place for us out there in the big, wide world, and what that place might be. To be honest, I do not like to wait for anything! Sometimes I ask Hadleigh to be patient, and she often exclaims, "NO! God is patient!" Yes, I remind her, God is patient, but sometimes is HC patient too? And then she always thinks on this for a while, and usually answer that YES, sometimes she is patient. Sometimes she evens says something about me being patient. To that I always respond, "actually, Mama is not patient, but God is making me more patient." There is nothing about me that screams patient. In any case here I am forced to be patient, the very thing I hate to be. I want to know what is ahead and make plans and prepare...but for now I am trying to enjoy the waiting. The anticipation of what might is a struggle for me, but a fun journey too.

OK, I think I smell the granola bars burning.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

And Because I Apparently Forgot about Easter Pics

because what good is Easter if you don't get good pics...ok, so Dave played in the sunrise service, so I got the girls ready and was trying to get a shot before we left...

Gotta love the hands around the neck...
just the girls...
now dave tries to get a couple after service...
and the token self-portrait...

Miss Hadleigh Claire is 3.2

This past month has been very eventful for the little miss. She has been consistently dressing from head to toe in the morning. This is such a fun activity and I am so happy about this achievement! She loves to have a say about what she is going to wear which can occassionally become painful, but we are trying our best to minimize this. She seems to know which shirts are for school and which socks are for church. This can be helpful but also painful as you can imagine.
Another milestone is that she can climb into her carseat and buckle herself in. Yea! This is such a fabulous skill to possess. Both the dressing and the buckling came with a lot of practice. One of her favorite phrases the past couple months is "I can't", and I have heard this is a common 3 year old phrase. We have been able to switch out "I can't do it" with "I can do it!" After each accomplishment we exclaim (with great joy and excitement) "I CAN DO IT." She loves to say this now...and I love to hear it!Miss HC has begun memorizing scripture verses. This is super fun, although sometimes I have to get REALLY creative about how I explain them to her. She has memorized Colossians 3.20, Psalms 34.15-16, and Psalms 115.1. I love hearing her say the little verses. While searching the web for some resources on Family Worship I stumbled onto John Piper's website. He has a verse for every week that his congregation memorizes, and we thought that was a decent place to start. I had the Bible verses ABC book, but it just seems silly to have HC memorize things like "Jesus wept" when I know she can do a more complete thought. Anyway, we are going to work on Psalm 34 for a while and see what we can come up with. It might be too hard, but so far we are all enjoying it.

I have also been working hard at trying to know and understand HC. I am reading the book "Nurture by Nature" and I think it has been helpful in helping me identify HC's little personality (the book walks through the Myers Briggs Types...ENFP, etc). It has been a fun book to read and tool to help me think through how HC responds in different situations and how that comes from who she is. I love using the Myers Briggs, so it is helpful for me to think in those terms.
OK, that is about all I have to say re the little miss. You can see from some of the pictures that she has a new unique way of smiling for the camera. It usually involves looking off into the distance and smiling. You can see in the picture above that she is showing off the panda stamps she got at the zoo.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Berlin is My City

Here is a link that you must watch when you have 15 minutes to spare. We have written before about our dear friends David and Eowyn, who have been working in Berlin for almost 10 years. David was the bestman in our wedding, and also baptized Hadleigh Claire while we were living in Germany. They are dear friends, and we care deeply for their work.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Elf is 18 Months

Can it truly be May already? On Saturday our little elf turned 18 months old. It continues to be a treat to be around Annelise. She is always full of hugs and kisses and cuddles.
Sometimes I think I treat Annelise like a puppy as I show off her little tricks, but for the most part Annelise shows off her tricks on her own. She loves giving waves and blowing kisses to all who pass. Last week applied for her passport and she completely charmed the man who took her passport picture.
If you ask Annelise a question requiring a yes or no answer she will always answer. She gives one big nod for yes and will shake her head for no. This definitely helps with communication, but also leads to some tantrums. For example it will be obvious that she wants something so I will begin to ask her about the different things, "Annelise do you want your sunglasses?" I receive a big shake no..."do you want your cup of milk?"...a big shake no..."do you want Dada's hammer?"...a big nod yes..."I am so sorry sweet girl, you cannot have Dada's hammer", and then she will throw herself on the floor. I actually took a video of one of her tantrums the other day since I know that folks like Christy just cannot even fathom that my sweet little Annelise could throw a tantrum. But the video is over a minute and kinda painful. After watching it again I thought it might seem a little heartless that instead of comforting my obviously distressed daughter I was taking a video of her. It is somewhat impossible to comfort Annelise when she is in a mood like that, but in any case I decided not to post and let your imagination take you away with the idea. We usually have at least one day which is kind of annoying, but I hope will pass with time.
She is becoming much more independent. I have noticed when we are at a playground she will climb up the steps and come down the slide all by herself. We went to one of those places that have a lot of bouncy inflatables and Annelise absolutely LOVED every second. She would crawl into one of the enclosed inflatables and lie down on her back while everyone was jumping around her. I think she like being bounced by someone else. There was also a big inflatable slide, and she loved that I would sling her up and sit her on the top of it (the top was way above my head, I could barely reach it with my hands extended above me) and then she would slide down by herself.
Annelise is quite a destroyer. She is rough and tumble and sometimes I feel like she is dangerous! The other day she completely tore a board book apart. How does that happen? I am glad that she is so different from Hadleigh because it is fun to see her becoming her own little person with her own big personality. It makes life fun and interesting and never dull. She is still my little mischevious elf.