Our little family Christmas

Last night we had a little celebration of Christmas with just our family. It was really fun a special! Seth got a cool shirt and sweater from J.Crew, and I got a beautiful ring! Seth did really good :) I thought you'd be able to see it in this picture, but it is a little hard to tell what it looks like. It's white gold; has three rows with space inbetween (so you can see my finger inbetween the rows) and 7 little diamonds--2 on the top row, 3 on the middle row, and 2 on the bottom row--spaced apart and all in "windows" (to use a cheerleading term :) ) . It's really beautiful! Then Seth got a sweet little sleeper for our baby, which is adorable. Our first clothing item for him! It's crazy to look at that little thing and think that we're going to produce a child who will fit in that! Such a miracle. Then the last picture is of our sweet Bella in her sweater. At first when we got it (at the beginning of December) she acted like her cousin Norah did with hers--thought she couldn't move in it and acted like she had a body cast on :) She would look down at her arm and back up at me like, "Mom, I can't move." It was seriously hilarious. Now she's all used to it and she acts no different than normal. I think it keeps her warm, and it sure looks cute! She is very excited to come to Grandma and Grandpa's house and to get to play with cousin Norah again! But before she can do that, she has to survive the Branson Pet Resort, where she will be staying while we have Primm Christmas (since pets aren't allowed in the condo.) She'll get all rested up and ready to play in Colorado!! We are so lucky to get to celebrate Christmas 3 times this year! Once together as a family, once with the Primm family, and once with the Elliott family. Christmas is our favorite time of the year, and we can't believe it's finally here! Can't wait to see all of our family!!

18 1/2 weeks pregnant

Here I am at a little over 4 1/2 months pregnant...almost halfway! Feeling pretty good these days...totally over the nausea, which is wonderful. It's hard to enjoy pregnancy when you feel like throwing up all the time! Now it is getting to the fun part. We had our ultrasound on Thursday and found out that we're having a boy!! (and at this very moment he is making movements that I can feel in my tummy...so fun!) We were a little surprised that it's a boy, because for some reason, I had it in my mind that I thought it was a girl. So we're getting a new mindset now and preparing for a boy. It's wonderful to know for sure what he is, because it makes it so much more real and personal. I love thinking of him as not an "it" or "the baby" but as "him"!! We are very excited :)


Today is Thanksgiving, and we were so lucky to be able to spend it with my Mom, Dad, Julia, James, Karyn, and Jamey (and Norah and Bella of course). We had a great meal and great pie. Thanksgiving food is always so yummy!

There are so many things to be thankful for, and it is neat to have a day devoted to that. I am so blessed with a wonderful husband, an incredible family, good health, a baby with a beating heart on the way, my sweet Bella, a home, a good job, a really neat church, and the list could go on and on. Thank you, Lord, for all your many blessings! Posted by Picasa

Here is the family at the table, minus James who was taking the picture. Posted by Picasa

Here is my nephew Jamey! He is so precious, and it's so neat to have a little baby around. It's so fun to see him grow! Posted by Picasa


Here I am at 14 1/2 weeks pregnant. My tummy is growing! Well, everything is growing :) We had our 2nd doctors appointment yesterday and heard the heartbeat again loud and clear! It was 156 this time (160 last time). They found it rather quickly this time, and the nurse said they find it quicker and quicker as the baby grows. I seem to be healthy, and so does the baby, so hopefully so far so good! We scheduled our ultrasound for the week before Christmas and will hopefully find out if it's a boy or a girl...keep your fingers crossed that the baby isn't modest during this ultrasound :) We will keep you posted on our progress! Posted by Picasa

Fall, Nausea, and the Grocery Store

Well, even though today will be in the lower 80's temperature wise, it still is feeling like fall to me. It's a nice, breezy, cool morning, and yesterday when I was outside, I saw a few bright orange leaves mixed in with all the green ones on our trees out front! I love fall. Growing up, I always liked summer and winter the best. But here in Arkansas, fall and spring are hands down the best seasons. The weather is gorgeous, nature is changing, and during fall, holidays are just around the corner. I love the holiday season!

This morning is a good morning. I'm not feeling nauseous yet, so I'm trying to hurry up and get ready so I can run some errands (including the grocery store) before I start feeling bad. This is also the first weekend in more than 6 weeks that neither Seth nor I have any responsibilities at church! We are elated and wondering what to do with all this time! Maybe that is why I have a bee in my bonnet to get some stuff done around here. It's amazing how feeling nauseous all the time completely zaps the "life" out of life...I like this feeling good stuff....

....which reminds me, I need to get to the store...

Blue Like Jazz

Okay, has anyone read this book? If not, it is a must-read. Seth has been reading it, and I decided to pick it up this afternoon and read some. The author is Donald Miller, and much of his inspiration for this book was Anne Lamott's "Traveling Mercies". His writing style and delivery are so great--I just relate to everything he says, and cry, and die laughing....this is quality stuff, guys. The following is some insight into the title of the book:

"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened."

This blog will be a long one, as I feel compelled to share a few sections of the book that I really enjoyed today.....read on if you wish.

The following is from his chapter called "Worship - The Mystical Wonder":

"...I love how the Gospels start, with John the Baptist eating bugs and baptizing people. The religious people started getting baptized because it had become popular, and John yells at them and calls them snakes. He says the water won't do anything for them, it will only get their snakeskins wet. But if they meant it, if they had faith that Jesus was coming and was real, then Jesus would ignite the kingdom life within them. I love that because for so long religion was my false gospel. But there was no magic in it, no wonder, no awe, no kingdom life burning in my chest. And when I get tempted by that same stupid Christian religion, I go back to the beginning of the Gospels and am comforted that there is something more than the emptiness of ritual. God will ignite the kingdom life within me, the Bible says. That's mysticism. (Joy's note--he refers to mysticism earlier in the chapter) It isn't a formula that I am figuring out. It is something God does."
"...At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my math is wrong we are still going to be okay. And wonder is that feeling we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. I don't think there is any better worship than wonder."

The following is from the chapter "Love - How to Really Love Other People"

"...When my friend Paul and I lived in the woods, we lived with the hippies. Well, sort of hippies. They certainly smoked a lot of pot. They drank a lot of beer, and man did they love each other, sometimes too much, perhaps, too physically, you know, but nonetheless they loved; they accepted and cherished everybody, even the ones who judged them because they were hippies. It was odd living with the hippies at first, but I enjoyed it after a while.
They were not the traveling hippies, the 'live off the land and other people' hippies. They were formally educated, most of them from New York studying at NYU, getting their masters in literature, headed off to law school, that sort of thing. They knew all about Rostandt, all about Hopkins and Poe and Sylvia Plath. They knew the Americans and the Brits and the fashionable African writers, the Cubans and South Americans. They were books themselves, all of them were books, and what was so wonderful is that to them, I was a book too. We would sit around and talk about literature and each other, and I couldn't tell the difference between the books they were talking about and their lives, they were just that cool. I liked them very much because they were interested in me. When I was with the hippies I did not feel judged, I felt loved. To them I was an endless well of stories and perspectives and grand literary views. It felt so wonderful to be in their presence, like I was special.
I have never experienced a group of people who loved each other more than my hippies in the woods. All of them are tucked so neatly into my memory now..." "...I pull them out when I need to be reminded about goodness, about purity and kindness.
...So much of what I know about getting along with people I learned from the hippies. They were magical in community. People were drawn to them. They asked me what I loved, what I hated, how I felt about this and that, what sort of music made me angry, what sort of music made me sad. They asked me what I daydreamed about, what I wrote about, where my faovrite places in the world were. They asked me about high school and college and my travels around America. They loved me like a good novel, like an art film, and this is how I felt when I was with them, like a person John Irving would write. I did not feel fat or stupid or sloppily dressed. I did not feel like I did not know the Bible well enough, and I was never conscious what my hands were doing or whether or not I sounded immature when I talked. I had always been so conscious of those things, but living with the hippies I forgot about myself. And when I lost this self-consciousness I gained so much more. I gained an interest in people outside my own skin. They were greater than movies to me, greater than television. The spirit of the hippies was contagious. I couldn't hear enough about Eddie's ballerina girlfriend or Owen's epic poems. I would ask them to repeat stories because, to me, they were like great scenes in favorite movies. I cannot tell you how quickly these people, these pot-smoking hippies, desarmed me.
Because I grew up in the safe cocoon of big-Christianity, I came to believe that anything outside the church was filled with darkness and unlove..." "...Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined there were, outside the church, people so purely lovely as the ones I met in the woods. And yet my hippie friends were not at all close to believing that Christ was the Son of God.
...Until this point, the majority of my friends had been Christians. In fact nearly all of them had been Christians. I was amazed to find, outside the church, genuine affection being shared, affection that seemed, well, authentic in comparison to the sort of love I had known within the church. I was even more amazed when I realized I preferred, in fact, the company of the hippies to the company of Christians. It isn't that I didn't love my Christian friends or that they didn't love me, it was just that there was something different about my hippie friends; something, I don't know, more real, more true. I realize that is a provocative statement, but I only felt I could be myself around them, and I could not be myself with my Christian friends. My Christian communities had always had little unwritten social ethics like don't cuss and don't support Democrats and don't ask tough questions about the Bible."

The following is from the chapter "Love - How to Really Love Yourself"

"I wish Ani Difranco wasn't a lesbian. I am listening to her right now, and I think I would marry her if she would have me. I would hang out in the front row at all her concerts and sing along and pump my fist and get angry at all the right times. Then, later, on the bus, she would lay her head on a pillow in my lap, and I would get my fingers tangled in her dreadlocks while we watched Charlie Rose on the television.
Some friends and I were walking to our cars one night outside the Roseland after an Emmy Lou Harris concert, and I could see into her bus and Charlie Rose was on the television. I thought to myself, I like that show, and part of me wanted to knock on the window and ask if I could come in. I would not have bothered her or even asked for an autograph. I would have just watched television. He was interviewing Bishop Tutu, I think. By the time I got home the interview was over. If Ani Difranco and I got married, I would write books on the bus rides between cities and in the evening, after the concerts, we would watch Charlie Rose, and three or tour times each night we would whisper, Good question, Charlie, good question. But none of this will happen because Ani Difranco is not attracted to men, I don't think. Otherwise we would be on."

(The background on this next part is that he was dating this girl - a cute writer from the South - great girl - but he was having a lot of trouble accepting love--really going nuts inside)

"...Finally, Andrew (friend) said I should meet with Diane, who is this beautiful married woman who goes to our church and mothers us and speaks love into our lives because most of us are basket cases. Diane was studying at a local seminary to be a counselor, and Andrew recommended that I ask her to take a shot at all my troubles. I didn't want to do it at first because Diane's husband is an elder, and I had spoken at church a few times, so everybody thought I was normal. Certainly if I talked to Diane she would go home and tell her husband I was nuts and then it would get around the church, and when everbody thinks you are nuts you finally just give in to their pressure and actually go nuts. But I was desperate. So I called Diane.
She was beautiful and soft and kind with a tender voice, and she showed up at the house, and I put some coffee on. We went into my office, and I closed the door, in case one of my roommates walked by and saw me talking to Diane and discovered I was nuts. I sat in a chair, and Diane sat on the couch, and I wrung my hands a bit before starting in:
'Well, you see, Diane, I am in this relationship with this girl, and she is great, she really is. It's just that it is very hard for me, you know.'
'You mean it is hard for you to have feelings for her?'
'I'm not gay'
Diane laughed. 'I didn't mean it that way, Don.'
'I do have feelings for her,' I said, with sincerity. 'They are almost too strong, you know. I have trouble sleeping and eating and thinking about anything else. It is hard for me to be in a relationship, it always has been. And that makes me want to bail. I would just rather not be in the relstionship at all than go through this torture. But I promised myslef I wouldn't run from it this time. But I feel like the meaning of life is riding on whether or not she likes me, and I think she does, she says she does, but it still drives me crazy.'
'Whether or not she likes you, Don, or whether or not she loves you?'
'Yea, that too. Whether or not she loves me.'
Diane sat there and make listening noises the whole time I was talking, and when I told her how I will go days without eating, she looked at me and sighed and ooohed and was definitely letting me know that this behavior was neither normal nor healthy. I think I could have told her that Elvis Presley was alive and living in my closet, and she would have been less surprised. When you are a writer and a speaker, sometimes people think you have your crap together.
'You seem so normal, Don. You have a company and are a writer and all.' Diane looked at me, bewildered.
'Yeah. But there is something wrong with me, isn't there?'
I was half hoping she would say no. I was hoping she would explain that everybody is nuts when they get into a relationship, but then it turns euphoric shortly after marriage and sex. But she didn't.
'Well, Don, there is. There is something wrong with you.'
'Oh, man,' I said. 'I just knew it. I just knew I was a wacko.' I thought about that movie A Beautiful Mind and wondered whether any of my housemates existed or whether those guys who kept following me were in the FBI.
Diane noted the concern on my face and responded, smiling and kind. 'It's not that bad, Don. Don't worry. It's just that for some reason, you are letting this girl name you.'
'What do you mean, name me?'
'Well, you are letting her decide your value, you know. Your value has to come from God. And God wants you to receive His love and to love yourself too.'
And what she was saying was true. I knew it was true. I could feel that it was true. But it also felt wrong. I mean, it felt like it was an arrogant thing to do, to love myself, to receive love. I knew that all the kicking myself around, all the hating myself, was not coming from God, that those voices were not God whispering in my ear, but it felt like I had to listen to them; it felt like I had to believe the voices were telling the truth.
'God loves you, Don.' Diane looked at me with a little moisture in her eyes. I felt like Matt Damon in that scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams keeps saying, 'It's not your fault, it's not your fault,' and Matt Damon just freaks out and collapses into Robin Williams's arms and secures an Academy Award for both of them. I thought about acting out that scene with Diane, but it didn't feel right so I let it go.
'Yeah, I know,' I told her. 'I know God loves me.' And I did know, I just didn't believe. It was such crap, such psychobabble. I had heard it before, but hearing that stuff didn't silence the voices. Still, there was something in Diane's motherly eyes that said it was true and I needed that; I needed to believe it was true. I needed something to tell the voices when they started chanting at me.
Things got worse witht he girl. We would spend hours on the phone working through the math of our relstionship, but nothing added up, which I received as only a sign of my incompetence, and this made me more sad than before.
Then she did it; she decided we didn't need to be in touch anymore. She broke it off. She sent me a letter saying that I didn't love myself and could not receive love from her. There was nothing she could do about it, and it was killing her. I wandered around the house for an hour just looking at the blank walls, making coffee or cleaning the bathroom, not sure when my body was going to explode in sobs and tears. I was scrubbing the toilet when the voices began. I'd listened to them so often before, but on this day they were shouting. They were telling me that I was as disgusting as the urine on the wall around the toilet.
And then the sentiment occurred. I am certain it was the voice of God because it was accompanied by such a strong epiphany like a movement in a symphony or something. The sentiment was simple: Love your neighbor as yourself.
And I thought about that for a second and wondered why God would put that phrase so strongly in my mind. I thought about our neighbor Mark, who is tall and skinny and gay, and I wondered whether God was telling me I was gay, which was odd because I had never felt gay, but then it hit me that God was not telling me I was gay. He was saying I would never talk to my neighbor the way I talked to myself, and that somehow I had come to believe it was wrong to kick other people around but it was okay to do it to myself. It was as if God had put me in a plane and flown me over myself so I could see how I was connected, all the neighborhoods that were falling apart because I would not let myself receive love from myself, from others, or from God. And I wouldn't receive love because it felt so wrong. It didn't feel humble, and I knew I was supposed to be humble. But that was all crap, and it didn't make any sense. If it is wrong for me to receive love, then it is also wrong for me to give it because by giving it I am causing somebody else to receive it, which I had presupposed was the wrong thing to do. So I stopped. And I mean that. I stopped hating myself. It no longer felt right. It wasn't manly or healthy, and I cut it out. That was about a year ago, and since then I have been relatively happy. I am not kidding. I don't sit around and talk bad about myself anymore.
"...And so I have come to understand that strength, inner strength, comes from receiving love as much as it comes from giving it. I think apart from the idea that I am a sinner and God forgives me, this is the greatest lesson I have ever learned. When you get it, it changes you. My friend Julie from Seattle told me that the main prayer she prays for her husband is that he will be able to receive love. And this is the prayer I pray for all my friends because it is the key to happienss. God's love will never change us if we don't accept it. "

The following is from the chapter "Jesus - The Lines on His Face"

"All great characters in stories are the ones who give their lives to something bigger than themselves. And in all of the stories I don't find anyone more noble than Jesus. He gave His life for me, in obedience to His Father. I truly love Him for it. I feel that. I think the difference in my life came when I realized, after reading those Gospels, that Jesus didn't just love me out of principle; He didn't just love me because it was the right thing to do. Rather, there was something inside me that caused Him to love me. I think I realized that if I walked up to His campfire, He would ask me to sit down, and He would ask me my story. He would take the time to listen to my ramblings or my anger until I could calm down, and then He would look me directly in the eye, and He would speak to me; He would tell me the truth, and I would sense in his voice and in the lines on His face that he liked me. He would rebuke me, too, and he would tell me that I have prejudices against very religious people and that I need to deal with that; He would tell me that there are poor people in the world and I need to feed them and that somehow this will make me more happy. I think He would tell me what my gifts are and why I have them, and He would give me ideas on how to use them. I think He would explain to me why my father left, and He would point out very clearly all the ways God has taken care of me through the years, all the stuff God protected me from."

I just think that is so beautiful.

One more...

"I was watching BET one night, and they were interviewing a man about jazz music. He said jazz music was invented by the first generation out of slavery. I thought that was beautiful because, while it is music, it is very hard to put on paper; it is so much more a language of the soul. It is as if the soul is saying something, something about freedom. I think Christian spirituality is like jazz music. I think loving Jesus is something you feel. I think it is something very difficult to get on paper. But it is no less real, no less meaningful, no less beautiful.
The first generation out of slavery invented jazz music. It is a music birthed out of freedom. And that is the closest thing I know to Christian spirituality. A music birthed out of freedom. Everybody sings their song the way they feel it, everybody closes their eyes and lifts up their hands."

Well, if you made it this far, and I hope you have, I hope you enjoyed it!!


So, I'm finally getting my hair cut today. I knew it had been awhile, so I looked back in my datebook to see just how long it had been. Over 3 months. I know, isn't that insane? I knew my hair was getting unruly for some reason :) I'm looking forward to having it shorter again. I'm not sure how short it will be, but I guess it couldn't be any worse than last time, and I'm beginning to think that wasn't so bad. Anyways, we'll see.

I heard from Julia last night; she was in Branson with a group of other counselors who all took their 2-4 together. She sounded GREAT. So funny the difference between her and me--she's miss social extrovert, going out on the town with people she's just met; I on the other hand spent every single 2-4 in 2 months going somewhere by myself except for once when I came to Siloam to see James and Karyn. Anyways, at first she said "it is so hard"--but in a good way. She is a mom to ten 9-year-olds. She loves her co-counselor and has been on a canoeing trip and a skiing trip. She said she is having a great time. I'M SO GLAD. A small part of me worried that Jenna and I had talked it up so much, and that she wouldn't have as good of a time as we had; but from what I heard from her, she IS having a good time--learning so much. I don't know how anyone could go there and NOT have an amazing time and learn so much. Kanakuk is a wonderful place. I'm so thankful for the memories I have there. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Can't wait to see you, Ju-bug!!

Sweet Snuggler

We had to get a picture of this, because Bella was just all snuggled up on my chest with her paw up on me and everything. It was so sweet. I sure hope I get cuddly children! Posted by Picasa


Julia decided we should put bows in the girls' hair one night, and we got some cute pictures. It was so fun having Norah here for 10 days...she and Bella had a great time! I think Norah may have taught Bella how to "speak" because I thought I'd try it when I gave her her treat tonight, and it took a little bit, but she finally spoke! She likes to learn new tricks from her cool cousin Norah :) Posted by Picasa

Norah's cigar

We just about died when we gave Norah this treat and she just sat around for awhile with it sticking out of her mouth like a cigar. So hilarious and too cute! Posted by Picasa


Okay, am I the only one who missed this rage? Dave and Stacey got the first season on DVD, so Seth and I are watching. Man, that show HOOKS you!! It is seriously so good. I think it's a great role for Kiefer Sutherland...my favorite ever, in fact. It seems he plays so many scuzzy roles, which he plays so well, and because of that, I wasn't sure what I was going to think of him in this. He's such a good guy in this one...I think it fits him well. So, we're fans. Anyone else??

Scruffy, Sweet Girls

Bella and Norah are having a great time together. There is lots of playing, eating, drinking, sleeping, and more playing going on here :) Don't tell James and Karyn, but we let both Bella and Norah sleep with us in our bed a few nights ago. Norah is just such a sweet snuggler. Karyn, we understand why you won't let her sleep with you....her butt is near your face the whole night! She likes being right up there next to ya. Sweet girl. It went fairly well, but there's just not much room for 2 dogs and 2 people on a queen bed. So, last night she went back in her kennel. Plus, with today being my first day at work, I wanted to make sure to get good sleep. Having 2 dogs is just so much fun; they keep each other entertained and are just so cute together. However, I'm sure Norah will be so glad to have her parents back! Posted by Picasa

Okay, not really doin' it for me....

Well, I'm sad to say it, but I have to admit that I don't love my bedroom color. I'm already trying to figure out what color we can change it to. Such a bummer that this one didn't work out. It truly is rather orangey...much more so than I would like. I'm okay with a hint of orange, but it is the main tone of this color. I have the red beech sheets, which I think Jenna has the same ones, and I really like that color a lot. When you put them up to red, they look kinda orangey red, but when they are up next to my wall color, they look red. I just want more of a red tone, rather than an orange tone...just not bright red. Actually, I've never really known what I want, and I thought we'd try this one since Seth really liked it, but we just don't love it. I'm really happy with the way that the bathroom turned out, with the Faint Maple on the ceiling and walls, and the toilet nook and bathtub/shower nook Rum Raisin. It looks really nice. I got a new shower curtain today that is sheer (with a white liner, so it looks more white, which will match the curtains) with a pretty leaf pattern stitched into it in a creamy tan thread. I think it will go great with the curtains. I put it up, and I really like the look of it. We also got a new light fixture and new towel/t.p. bars, all in brushed nickel. It just adds a nice updated look. I'm excited for Mom and Ju to get out here to HELP ME!!!! I need some emotional support and encouragement with this whole room color thing....and some serious guidance :) Anywho, I'll post some pictures here in the next week or so and get some opinions.

What a busy and tiring week it has been! We have slept in, which has been nice, but I still don't feel super rested. I feel like we have been go, go, go nonstop. We have a BBQ here tomorrow evening with some old college friends, so that hopefully should be fun. I'm just ready to crash for a few days. Hopefully Monday afternoon will be restful before I start my new job on Tuesday!

We have Norah here with us for the next 10 days. Bella was very excited when she came over, and they've been having a ball. This will be nice, because hopefully they will tire each other out and sleep really well! They just play, play, play...then drink some water and lay down for a few minutes...until one of them decides it's time to play some more. Then every once in awhile, they do this cat-like thing where they stalk each other and then pounce. It's really hilarious and cute :)

Welp, I'll sign off for now. Love to you all.

He went for it!

Well, I guess with the combination of Seth shaving his head and James' recent thoughts of shaving his head, it all came out in tonight's events. James/Karyn and Seth/I went to Panera and Starbucks tonight. While dining, James got a wild hair and wanted to shave his head. We all thought he was joking, but once we realized that he was serious, Karyn said it was okay, and somehow James got me to do it for him. He looks great!! Way to go, James....again, I am eating my words....it suits you well. Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

The baldy twins Posted by Hello

James and SethPosted by Hello

Victory Bible Camp - Teen Week - 2005

Here is Seth and Jacob. And yes, Seth did shave his head. We fought about it for weeks beforehand, but he really wanted to do it. So I said what the heck, and he did it. I thought it was the most terrible thing I'd seen when I first saw it, but after a few days, it really grew on me. At first it looks like his head has been cut off, because you're so used to seeing more hair on top :) But, as usual, I ate my words, and he's quite cute. Trust me that it doesn't look quite as good in pictures as it does in real life....Mom and Julia, I guess you'll see in a few weeks! And James and Karyn, you'll see tonight! Jenna and Dad, you'll just have to trust us. I will admit, it's wonderful to not have him standing in front of the mirror for 15 minutes playing with his hair :) This getting ready in 10 minutes stuff is GREAT! Posted by Hello

Here is Seth and the band leading worship. They did a great job, and the teens really enjoyed the music. I entered and ran the slides for all of the music for the week, and enjoyed being in the congregation for the singing. Posted by Hello

Here is Bella swimming! We decided to put her in and see what happened, and she got her game face on and started paddling. It must be instinct. We were so proud :) Posted by Hello

She made it! Posted by Hello

Swimming back to Mommy Posted by Hello

The Wiebe Family

This is the Wiebe family. From left to right we have Philip, Vanessa, Jacob, Linda, and Kara. Jacob was the camp speaker, and we really enjoyed him. He has a pretty amazing story; his family is German, and I guess there is an area in Mexico that many Germans migrated to years ago. He grew up on a farm with his Grandmother and two Uncles; he didn't attent school except for 2 years when he was 8 years old. They spoke german in his home growing up, and he learned spanish when he went to those 2 years of school. He started learning english when he was about 20 years old, and that is also around the age when he accepted Christ. He went to Canada to work for a few years and ended up back down in Mexico. His wife, Linda, is from Ohio, and he met her when her family came down to Texas to work (I forget the rest of that part:) ) Anyways, they got married and lived in Canada for a number of years, and their two older children, Kara and Jacob, were born there. (Jacob, the son, is currently in college in the states and was not at camp; Kara is now 25 years old.) When Kara was 6, they moved back down to Mexico, and she and her brother, Jacob, had to learn spanish. Vanessa, 16, and Philip, 12, were both born in Mexico and only learned spanish. The family traveled to the States for different reasons, plus Linda's family lived in the US, so Vanessa and Philip began to learn english in their early childhood years. Jacob said Philip was very stubborn and did not want to learn english. He was fine with coming to the States and being clueless as to what was being said :) I had a major crush on Philip this week...I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but he is awfully cute :) He has blue glassy eyes and a sweet, sweet heart. We were pals, and he enjoyed playing with Bella. The teens do this (stupid) thing at lunch where they sing a song that goes "around the room you must go, you must go, you must go, around the room you must go, Joy Primm. help her out, Philip Wiebe, help her out" (it's to the tune of london bridges falling down) Then those two people have to meet at one side of the room, and the girl loops her arm through the boy's and they have to walk all the way around the dining hall. Really goofy teenage thing; I know we all remember those days. Anyways, they did it to Philip and I yesterday, and Seth played like he was jealous to Philip, and he thought he was so cool! It was really cute. Plus, Vanessa and Philip had major spanish accents which was music to the ears.

So, that's the Wiebe family. I really enjoyed talking with Linda and Kara, and one night Kara played the classical guitar for everyone. It was really beautiful! Jacaob has such a humble heart, just striving after the Lord. He had a lot of really neat things to say. He talked about the story of Jonah all week long, and had many amazing illustrations and stories. I may talk on those further at a later date...... Posted by Hello

Daddy and Bella in the pond. Posted by Hello


This is part of our new garden. All of the green stuff was here when we moved in, but this year I really wanted to add some color through flowers. My boss, Becky, came over and helped Seth and I plant and remulch, etc. It was hard work, but well worth the payoff. Now I love pulling up to the driveway and seeing the pretty flowers :) Especially the hydrangeas...they make my heart happy! It's amazing what flowers can do... Posted by Hello

Bella's Birthday

This is my sweet Bella on her 1st birthday! She had a very fun party with her cousin Norah. They enjoyed their usual wrestling. Bella loves living close to Norah :) Posted by Hello


Karyn and James are over here hanging out before church, and I thought I would take advantage of this time and have Karyn show me how to upload pictures onto my blogs. I think we have been successful! Here is Bella and me on our new porch swing...it's been a great addition to our porch. It's so nice to sit outside and enjoy the yard and weather and just the outdoors. Anyways, more pictures to come!

P.S. Karyn's belly is SO cute!!! Posted by Hello

On the Band Wagon

Well, I've been thinking about jumping on the band wagon with the rest of my family regarding this blogging thing, and tonight, Jenna's last blog sealed the deal. Nothing profound, just the fact that she has her settings set so that only blogspot users can make comments, and I really wanted to comment on her blog. So.....here I am.


This is a test blog...