Cindy Lou Who 1 and Cindy Lou Who 2 wish you a very Seussical Saturday!
Archive for the 'Julie’s Blog' Category
Last year, I started off with a word that was going to color my life lens. HOPEFUL.
I look back at 2012 in awe of all the blessings God has bestowed on my family:
Hopeful that we will raise enough money to go to the Dominican Republic with Rilyn and Ella in July. PRAISE!
Hopeful that my son will learn to obey his parents. STILL WORKING ON THAT ONE! James is reading a book with some of his best friends with sons, called Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood that I believe will be instrumental in raising Asher to be a godly man!
Hopeful that my son will sit still long enough for a Bible story. STILL WORKING!
Hopeful that my middle child will come to know Jesus as her Savior this year. PRAISE!
Hopeful that I will be a more respectful wife. STILL WORKING ON IT! I AM GETTING BETTER AT APOLOGIZING THOUGH! :)
Hopeful that my photography skills will improve. PRAISE! But I defnitely have a long way to go!
Hopeful that I will spend more time playing with my children. STILL WORKING…with my photo business picking up speed, I lost my gusto to really play with my kids, and more about using my time to edit photos. :(
Hopeful that I will see the Bible Study I’m in for the spring not as a burden, (as in LOTS of homework), but as a blessing (as in LOTS of time getting to know my Father through His Word). PRAISE! That was a challenging spring, but I look back and see God’s hand in every detail, and feel so blessed that I got to be apart of Women’s Development!
Hopeful that my oldest daughter will find a best friend who loves Jesus. STILL WORKING ON IT. :(
Hopeful for health for my family and extended family. PRAISE!
Hopeful that I will go to the gym 3 days a week and eat healthier. I WORKED OUT THIS YEAR MORE THAN I EVER HAVE BEFORE AS AN ADULT! BUT EATING HEALTHIER? NOPE. :(
Hopeful that all things in 2012 are happening not to me, but for me, and for His Glory. YES!! THIS BIBLICAL VIEW HAS BEEN MY ANCHOR IN MANY LIFE EVENTS THAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR! PRAISE HIM!
2011 was the last year of diapers in 7 straight years of buying them.
2012 was the year that naps disappeared. I had to build “naptime” in my schedule for the previous 7 1/2 years and it was time for Asher to stop napping.
2013 is going to be another year of big changes…ALL my kids will be in FULL TIME school by the end of August! Wow!! Asher will start kindergarten! We will no longer be paying preschool tuition (we’ve been paying preschool tuition(s) for 8 years)! What will we do with all that extra money (I can hear James laughing now), maybe get our first pet?!?
The girls got to go ice skating yesterday at a friend’s birthday party! What a fun winter treat! I was so surprised at how much the girls loved it. They went two years ago, and were tired after 15 minutes. This time, they wanted to stay longer than 2 hours! I’m not saying they were good at it, they just loved it! Rilyn has already asked if she can have her 9th birthday party there!
|watch out for Ella!|
The lights are up, the Christmas cards are mailed, the gifts are all wrapped- JUST KIDDING on that one! We are officially counting down the days ’til Christmas!
|we added a nativity this year!|
|Rilyn’s idea-”let’s be the three wiseman!” lol|
Tonight we decorated a gingerbread village and ate it for dinner!
|big sister helps out|
|Asher loved decorating|
Rilyn got to go to the Aggie game on Saturday with grandpa, James, and…Ella. We had to have a “you should be happy that your sister gets to go again” talk with Rilyn. There was an extra ticket available, and Asher has one more year before he gets to go, (5 years old is our rule), so Ella got it! The Aggies won against Sam Houston, and Johnny Football played a great game (I was told because it was only on pay per view!) :(
|grandpa and Rilyn walking up to Kyle Field|
|On our deck!|
|Hump it Ags!|
|12th man towel|
|cartwheels on the field after the game!|
And the next morning at the Octaranch in College Station…
|we love the Octaranch!|
James and I got to attend the home opener Aggie game last weekend! It was the first game being in the SEC, and it was fun because ESPN College GameDay was there! Although we lost to Florida, it was a GREAT first half and just being in Kyle Field is electric!
|Can you see the College GameDay guys filming?|
|College GameDay (sponsored by Home Depot, can you tell?)|
|He picked A&M to win!|
|Before the game, we always have fighter jets flying overhead!|
|My Aggie ring I always wear! Class of ’01|
|my brother, my sister in law, me, and James!|
Thursday was Makarios’ end of summer school carnival day! I took pictures, James grilled almost 400 hot dogs (with help!), and the girls got to help the “balloon dart” booth a little, and walk around the carnival and participate in the games along with the other kids.
They got their faces painted again!
|ice cream cutie!|
The carnival was a success, and many of the student’s families showed up to celebrate the end of summer with fun, food, and a Gospel message.
After the carnival, we got ready to go to the soccer tournament final game! The girls made signs to hold up at the game and so the players could run through!
|Can you tell Rilyn colored the “n”? My girls LOVE rainbows!|
|cheering them on!|
|nice goalie block!|
After the game, we headed back over to the Makarios school, where we had a trophy ceremony and medals for the winners and the participants. James helped a great deal in the soccer tournament with the refereeing, and he was being recognized here.
One of the sweetest things I saw in the ceremony was when a 10 year old boy got his medal. He immediately walked over to his sister and put it around her neck. No hesitation. Just pure, unselfish love. The sister was beaming with pride. :-)
Here are the boys praying after the trophy ceremony. I love this picture because the boy on the far right is actually kissing his trophy while they are praying!
This was our longest day out in the sun. We were out from 8:30-5 p.m. and the kids were tired, but I don’t remember them complaining. Rilyn even mentioned to me, in her cold shower that evening, how she couldn’t believe our trip was nearing the end, and how she wanted Asher to come here, so we could stay longer! Whoa, that comment really hit me, because for the first time I thought about one of the reasons we came on this trip was to plant seeds in our girls’ hearts about being a missionary one day! Now home, my goal is for us to start going through the Christian Heroes set which has biographies of Christian missionaries (written for children ages 5-10 to understand.) They also have a series for children older than 10 here.
Tuesday started out rainy. And in the rain, Dominicans rest. I kept imagining all the homes we saw earlier in the week with their roofs made of tin scraps. All the rain that must be falling in their homes. We drove to the Mak school still.
|Do you see their skin? This is how we were “glistening” with sweat all day every day!.|
|playing in puddles at the Mak house waiting to hear where we were going|
I was slated to take pictures of the soccer tournament that morning in Tamarindo, but we weren’t sure if the tournament was still going on because of the rain. There would be some very disappointed boys if we had to cancel. Thankfully, the rain came in bursts, and so the boys were able to start play during a long dry period, and continued play in the pouring rain even when all of us took cover in the vans.
|the light blue team won, can you tell?!|
After lunch, we came back to the Makarios house with the remainder of the time to rest and reflect. We had an ESL class coming later in the afternoon, but that was it. I should of been reading my Bible, meditating on his Word to give me strength for the rest of the week, but I just didn’t have the motivation. It was a cool afternoon, the steady rain bringing respite. It felt good to just lie in bed. Our kids played happily with the Makarios host family kids (who were the same age as them! Such a blessing!)
Later that evening, something someone said really hit me: Why don’t we keep reading our Bible everyday when it is so beneficial to us? I love the Bible! I love chocolate too, but I have no problem eating it everyday! So why do I struggle so much to read the Bible everyday when I love it?
Satan is at work.
Ella had a break down later in the bunk room. She cried because she wanted to go home and she missed Asher. When I asked her why she didn’t want to play with the village kids anymore, she replied, “Because I don’t want to play with sticks and rocks all day!” Ella missed the comforts of home. This mission trip was “rehab” from our “mistress(es)”, (the thing(s) we miss most at home that try to take priority in our lives over our relationship with God.) It could be a person, a hobby, toys, facebook, a certain food…
I stayed off the internet and my cell phone for 7 days. It was a great rest for me, and reminded me that I can be without those things and my world will not crumble. With my cell phone (and my data plan!) I feel in control. Lord, help me remember YOU are in control!
Rilyn was feeling it too, but not one to have outbursts like Ella, she journaled her thoughts. She told me later that she drew a red heart with sin around it because she knew worrying and being fearful were sins and she needed to bring all these things to the Lord.
|Darianny is our Compassion child we were going to meet on Friday|
It was time for ESL class. On the agenda was the DR kids “buying” small toys (with tokens they had earned throughout the summer) using English words. My girls were eager to help with this!
|“How much does that cost?”|
|“I would like to buy…”|
The Lord ended our day with a beautiful sunset! Tomorrow would be a new day full of God’s grace!
Monday morning we drove 10 minutes to the Makarios school where they were starting their last week of summer school. The theme for the week was “food and your 5 senses”. Each week in the summer, they have one age group who comes, and this week it was entering 3rd grade. They get 15 minutes each in a different classroom where they they learn math, Bible, reading, etc. I wanted my girls to experience “school” so we went around to each classroom throughout the morning. In each classroom, they go over the theme verse which was John 6:35. It was neat for my girls to participate in reciting the verse with the other kids. Some children asked how my girls knew the verse without reading the words, and the teacher explained to them they memorized it. The kids were amazed, and then we told them it took 3 weeks and LOTS of practice! :)
|Learning about taste and how important your tongue is!|
|listening to the Bible story in Spanish|
|PE! Limbo was on the agenda today! You like how Rilyn is holding the stick lower than the other person? :)|
|lining up to limbo!|
My girls definitely had moments of feeling bored during school because it was all in Spanish, but I think it was really good for them to experience. Math class was fun because they could finally understand and do the same worksheets! They loved listening to story time because they could see the pictures and the book was about “smell” and a farting dog! My girls laughed right alongside the other kids!
After school we went to a local restaurant which served us fried chicken, beans, and rice. It was yummy!
|Rilyn and Ellie|
After lunch, all 35 of us went back to the school to do some maintenance work. Thursday was their big “end of summer school” carnival, so we wanted the school to look in tip top shape. There is construction going on at the school because they are building a cafeteria so James’ main job was to help with that in the afternoon!
|James hard at work!|
Another job was to clean the plastic chairs that the kids sit on!
|Ella hard at work!|
At one point during the afternoon, I found myself using the back of a spoon, scraping old stickers off of $2 plastic chairs with turpentine. It was very time consuming because each chair had like 50 stickers on it. I found myself thinking, I came all the way to the DR to do this?! I would rather give them $20 so they can buy 10 new chairs! But then I became thankful that God chose me to do this humbling task.
34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
And I ask myself “Why did I come here?” To feel important? Because going on a mission trip is the “right thing”? Or to serve, in response to the Gospel having received grace upon grace?
To serve by scraping stickers off of a cheap chair with a spoon.
God had me go on this trip with 50 other people to feel humbled by serving in the least ways. Every time a big or “important” task needed to be done, it was done quickly by other people who didn’t have kids to watch over, or who were stronger, more able. I was just one of the photographers on the trip, (and had to carry a 10 lb. camera over my shoulder everywhere) and I had kids to watch over.
Satan has a way of getting to you.
|After we finished our tasks at the school, we got to walk around the village surrounding the school, Tamarindo.One third of the kids at the school live in this village.|