Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sweet Emily

Thursday, Emily sent me a post on facebook saying she needed some O'Dell party of six time. I have to be honest, not that many people can handle all of us at once, so I was thankful my friend was up for the challenge. She loves us!
So upon leaving from her very glamorous job (seriously, she's practically famous), Emily headed to the metropolis in which we live, no small feat, mind you.
After a yummy meal provided by Chef David, aka Chili's, we got down to business which included potty training the two year old, refereeing the three and four year old, cuddling the 2 month old, and talking up a storm. Thank you, Emily for gracing 2522 with your appearance. We hope to see you again real soon! We love you much!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer lovin'

I can't believe I almost missed posting this monumental event. Ten years ago this week, I was serving on MFUGE staff on this campus,
in this state,
and met this talk, dark, and handsome fella, who changed my life for the better.
Since that summer, we have spent countless hours on the phone, sent hundreds of emails and text messages,
traveled thousands of miles, said I do, lived in 5 states, served on 3 MFUGE teams,
worked through 2 additional graduate degrees, been on staff at 4 churches,
delivered 4 gorgeous (we are a little biased) children, and after all that I wouldn't change a thing, and I would definitely, beyond a shadow of a doubt do it all over again!
David, so thankful our paths crossed 10 years ago. You are the best C.O.W. a girl could ever want. Love you to the moon and back!


We have been doing a lot of this
and this
with this precious girl.
And let me tell you, this Mommy is worn slap out!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rejoicing in what He has done!

For those few of you who read my blogs, ha, you may remember me asking you to pray for a precious friend of mine, Mary Katherine. She and I met our freshman year of college and lived together for 3 years at UGA. We still talk often and see each other when we can. In fact, I received some sweet MK time last week when the two of us got together sans children thanks to our rock star husbands, who know that we are better and sweeter having spent time together! Anyway, I asked for prayer for Mary Katherine and her adorable family, but the main prayer was for this little cutie pie,
Molly Kate, who was born with a hole in her heart. Go here to find my last update on this sweet baby girl and her family whom I love so much.
Well, on Tuesday, Trent and Mary Katherine took sweet Molly Kate for a check up with the cardiologist, and the wait was well worth it. The hole in this little one's heart is getting smaller and smaller and smaller! In fact, the cardiologist is confident that it will close on its own. Praise the LORD! What a miracle, and this precious family is so quick to give Him all the glory and honor and praise for the work He is doing in this baby girl's life.
"Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord."
Psalm 27:14

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's on my nightstand?

Several months ago, I linked up to this blog to share what I've been reading. Since we have welcomed Story into our family and since she is still in the room with us, I have not found as much time to read as I like. I am also finding myself doing something that I said I would never do, reading more than one book at a time, gasp! Well, I am, and it's okay actually. Something unique to the books I am reading now, is that with 3 of them I have a personal connection to the authors, pretty cool, huh? So here's what I've been reading.
I purchased and read this book just before Story was born. It is written by a friend of ours, Jonathan Williams. Jonathan served on our FUGE staff in 2003, in Nashville. Jonathan and I were in the same track that summer, Games and Rec. That summer was so special to both of us. God was working in mighty ways in both of our lives. For David and me, the Lord was preparing us to pack up and move to New Orleans for David to attend seminary. For Jonathan, the Lord had called him to be a part of the Xtreme team in the Amazon Jungle. I will never forget the day he received his acceptance letter. We were all standing around during mail time, when Jonathan got his letter! For two years, Jonathan lived in the Amazon Jungle reaching people with the gospel of Christ. From this experience was birthed his first novel.
Charming, funny and handsome, 30-year-old Jonah feels he has wasted his best years. It’s not just the 1,070-day writer’s block that has him down, but also his dead-end job of teaching creative writing at a community college compounded by his unwanted divorce three years ago. Getting fired sends him over the edge. After a nearly successful suicide attempt, Jonah is cajoled by his brother to join him on a trip to Peru. Jungle Sunrise tells how that get-away excursion turns into a dangerous voyage by seven strangers bound together by a shared desire to locate the nearly extinct Isconahua tribe.

Also on my nightstand is a book written by this fella,
Dr. David Platt.
David and I went to college together at THE University of Georgia, where we were both involved in the Baptist Student Union, now called BCM. David also lived with a dear friend of mine, Tom, so I got to know him better that way as well. To make our worlds even smaller, David and his wife Heather were on staff at the church where my David and I were members during our time at seminary, Edgewater Baptist Church. Platt also taught some of David's classes at seminary. Anyway, he has written a new book.
And it is on my nightstand, waiting to be read. My David read the book earlier in the week and passed it along to me. The message is powerful, but simple.
"Do you believe that Jesus is worth abandoning everything for? Do you believe him enough to obey him and to follow him wherever he leads, even when the crowds in our culture -maybe even our churches- turn the other way?"
In Radical, David Platt invites you to encounter what Jesus actually said about being his disciple, and then obey what you have heard. He challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated a God-centered gospel to fit our human-centered preferences. With passionate storytelling and convicting biblical analysis, Platt calls into question a host of comfortable notions that are common among Christ's followers today. Then he proposes a radical response: live the gospel in ways that are true, filled with promise, and ultimately world changing.

Also on my nightstand is a book written by this lady,
Jeana Floyd, wife to Ronnie Floyd, who is the Senior Pastor at FBC Springdale and FBC Pinnacle Hills. My brother and SIL attend his church in NWA. So, we aren't really connected, but sort of, right?!
David bought this book for me while we were in Arkansas, and I have been reading it as I have time. For me, I have so much to learn about being a pastor's wife and about myself as a wife in the ministry that I want to equip myself with as many tools as possible to be the best helpmate that I can to my husband.
A strong marriage plays a pivotal role in the success of a ministry. Being the wife of a minister can be tremendously rewarding, but it is also a commitment of time, personal investment, and patience. Ministry is a challenging vocation, even in the best of times. Jeana Floyd knows these challenges well and has created this faith-affirming guide for pastors’ wives. Sharing years of wisdom and insight from her participation in her husband’s growing and visionary ministry, 10 Things Every Minister’s Wife Needs to Know is filled with practical tips on marriage, prayer, stewardship, parenting, and faith. With “interactive testimonies” included from other wives of pastors at the end of each chapter, the book shares poignant and powerful insights any woman or wife can appreciate.

This is the last book on my nightstand, and I have no connection whatsoever to this author, except we both believers!

David's mom actually gave this book to him for Father's Day, but he has been so busy reading and writing for his DMIN project that I knew he wouldn't miss it, if I took it.
Now, Dr. Dobson presents his highly anticipated companion book: Bringing Up Girls. Based on extensive research, and handled with Dr. Dobson’s trademark down-to-earth approach, Bringing Up Girls will equip parents like you to face the challenges of raising your daughters to become healthy, happy, and successful women who overcome challenges specific to girls and women today and who ultimately excel in life.
So, as you can see there's lots to be read on my nightstand. How about you? Have you read any books lately that are worth passing along to a fellow book-lover?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer's BirthDay

Summer's actual birthDay was July 17. We had her birthday party while we were in Arkansas. However, we could not let the actual day go by without a little celebrating of our own. Saturday morning, Daddy went out to get doughnuts because what is a birthday without some special treat. Can you tell by the looks on their faces that the doughnuts were a rare and delicious treat?

That evening after supper, we lit three candles on a doughnut, sang the birthday song once again for the birthday girl, and enjoyed our time as a family. Here is the birthday girl, singing the birthday song to herself, ha!

Happy birthday, Summer! We love you to the moon and back!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Breakfast at La Madeleine's

Saturday morning our party of six loaded up in the mommy car and headed to one of our favorite eats.
We first ate at La Madeleine's in New Orleans while David was in seminary, and it is delicious. There are several in the Atlanta area. Now, it wasn't so much the food that we were going for, though it is divine. We were most excited about the people we were meeting! Somehow, I missed getting a picture of T this time; she was busy helping all the children and playing hostess!
Mama! We have not seen her since Story was born, and we have been missing her.
Our cousins, Zoie and Haleigh! We have not seen them since Carter's birthday, so my little people were stoked about spending time with them.
Hart, you can barely see his head in the picture. David says my smile is fake here; I think he's right!
Noelle! She just got back from St. Catherine's Island, doing research on baby sea turtles.
Mama with all of her great-grandbabies! SO thankful my children know Mama, what a gift. If only we got to see her more often. . .

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chapter 7 Home in Marmaduke

Now, where was I? Oh, yes. We are truly on the last leg of our journey home. As you remember, during our time in Marmaduke, we stayed with this precious family.
The Longs.
I told David there was only one person I really had to see while I was in Marmaduke, and that would be this sweet lady.
Miss Bonnie!
I moved to Marmaduke 6 months before David and I married, just to be sure since we had never lived in the same town before. During that time, I moved into the pink bedroom in Miss Bonnie's house. Miss Bonnie is mother to Miss Lana, Brother Kim's wife. Brother Kim was and still is the pastor at Marmaduke First Baptist Church, where David served as a youth pastor for 3 years. I enjoyed my time with this sweet lady so very much. She was just like another grandmother to me, still is. I am so thankful I was able to spend a portion of an afternoon with her. She was more than happy to hold little Miss Story too! Thankfully, I had my camera on hand to capture the sweet moment.
Sunday morning and evening David preached at MFBC. For lunch on Sunday, we went to eat at the Grecian in Paragould. It is a favorite of David and Brother Kim's. Sunday night at church, I stayed in the nursery with my children, but it wasn't long before we were joined by many more little people. My children had so much fun with their new friends.
Snack time at church!My sweet friend, Nikki holding Story. I met Nikki the very first time I met David, in Charleston, SC, at MFUGE, ten years ago this summer in fact. She befriended me during our courtship. In fact, she and her husband, Shane, drove many hours to South GA to be at our wedding. AND during our honeymoon, Nikki and her sister, Lorie cleaned our house from top to bottom to make sure it was suitable for a new bride! I will never forget that. Nikki's daughter, Heidi, holding Story. Heidi was such a sweet friend to Carter, Summer, and Tilly during our visit. She showed them the ropes at the swimming pool. In fact, since our time in Marmaduke, Carter's swimming had greatly improved. I think it helped him to see some older friends swimming bravely.
Sunday night after church, our MFBC family gathered together at the Long's house for some yummy food and sweet fellowship. What a precious time this was for our family!
April and Ashley, were actually in David's youth group just before I moved to Marmaduke. Since then, they have graduated college, married, and April has two children of her own. It was so great to see them and catch up.
All of the children on the couch, minus Summer. She was having a "moment!"
Making funny faces!
Brother Kim and Miss Lana with their youngest grandson, Foster. They are expecting two new grand babies later this year, Noah and Amelia from daughters Melani and Lindsey.
I don't think that David nor I ever dreamed how very sweet our visit here would be. It was so bittersweet to leave this place, our first home together as husband and wife.
Carter and Summer are all tuckered out from all of our travels.
And Tilly's tear stained cheeks say it all. We were so very sad to leave this precious place. Marmaduke truly does hold a special, special place in our hearts, and we hold the precious people there even more dear. Now, we are home, and are trying to return to life as normal, but for the time being our hearts are missing Arkansas, along with our family and friends who remain. We look forward to the day when we will meet again. Until then, it is good to be home.