Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We got in!!!

Just yesterday we emailed our application to Les Cedres, a Christian French langauge school in France, where we hope to study French for a couple months.  While we were in Togo for our previous term, we worked with a tutor to learn French.  However, this time around we felt like it would be beneficial if we knew more French.  Since John will be working as a Nurse Practitioner he needs to be more independent and not have to rely on a translator. 

Les Cedres comes highly recommended by several other missionaries that we know.  We were thrilled to know that it is a Christian program. They have courses designed for short term learning.  Our plan, Lord willing, is to go to France right after John finishes his master's program.  So we hope to be there September and October.

Well, I just checked email and there was an acceptance notice from the director of admissions!!  We got in!  We are so excited and thankful the Lord is opening doors.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Word of the Lord Shall Stand Forever!

It is hard for me to believe that in 2012 there are still people on this earth that do not have the Bible in their own language.  Yet, that is more common than we realize.  In Togo, for the past 10 years, missionaries and Togolese believers have worked tirelessly to translate the New Testament into Kabiye, one of the most prevalent tribal languages in Togo.  Many of the Togolese believers read their Bible in French, which is their second langauge.  But now,  they can read the Bible, God's love letter to us, in their mother tongue!  What a testament to the faithful, deligent work of so many whom the Lord burdened with this task.


Can you imagine holding, and reading, the Bible for the very first time in your own language?  What a passion these people have for God's word.  I pray that I would hunger for the Bible the way so many of these dear Togolese believers have!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Time for Passports!!!

It is hard to believe that in just a few months, Lord willing, we will be headed to Togo.  We have prayed and prepared for so long that we are more than eager to get there!  One of the many things we have to do is get passports.  John, Eliza's and my passports have all expired so we are getting paperwork together for all five of us! 

We went to Walgreens to get passport photos taken. I was worried the kids might be a little scared about the whole process, but they did great. John and I went first and then they went. They were little troppers.
 Eliza was my brave one to go first!
 Olivia was little more hesistant.  She said, "Aiden can go before me!"   But she went and was such a big girl.
 And Aiden thought the whole thing was funny!
The girls enjoyed watching the lady fix the pictures on the computer! 

Well, one thing down....18 bazillion things left to do on our list to get ready for Togo.  So thankful for this opportunity the Lord has given our family.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How Do We Say "Thank You!!"

I am still working on thank you notes for all the people who helped us after the fire.  I write them with such a heavy heart.  There is just no way to really say how thankful we are for everything that was done for us.  With each card I write, I wish so badly that I could open my heart so that you all could see the gratitude that is deep within.

 How do you thank the very people that help you rebuild your lives?
How do I thank the neighbor that brought out shoes and blankets for us as we watched the house burn?
How do I thank the firemen and women who so carefully tried to find anything remaining in the house?
How do I thank the fireman that knew our computer held all our pictures and went in to find it or the firemen who brought the kids drinks while they waited in the car?
How do I thank the ladies that brought shoes and coats for the kids. 
How do we thank the friend who brought juice boxes and snacks for the kids....when I hadn't even thought of that! 
Or the sweet ladies who brought meals for almost 3 weeks when I wasn't able to feed my family. 
How do we thank the business men who provided a vehicle for us?
How do I say thank you to the family that stocked our pantry  or the family that gave us beds to sleep on!
Or the friend who gave me her shoes!
How do I thank the people from Florida to Illinois to Tennessee that sent us care packages?  People that don't know us and will never meet us, but were moved with compassion to help us in our time of need. 
How do  I thank the mom who made Christmas outfits for the kids and her 2 daughters that sent their favorite blankets to my 2 girls! 
Or the little boy that brought a box of his toys for Aiden.
How do I say thank you to the lady that brought a Christmas tree for the kids or the friend that made stockings for the kids! 
How do I tell people thank you that gave money & gifts card that allowed us to meet so many needs?  

When we say that we were flooded with support, it is no exageration.  People from all over the country, our community and church gave in a way that impacted our family in a tremendous way. How do I let people know that nothing, even the smallest deed, did not go unnoticed? How do I let people know that their giving touched our hearts beyond explanation.  The way you gave, the way you prayed and the way you have supported us through this valley has changed us forever!  The Lord used you in our lives and we are so thankful for that!  Our prayer, as we move forward is that the Lord will use us to reach another and make a difference in their life just the way you made a difference in ours!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spa day

My neice, Milyah, recently had a birthday and for her party she wanted to go to a spa.  So that's just what her mother did....she took the 4 girls to a beautiful spa to get their hair, nails & makeup done.  When Jamie & I picked them up from school, they were all giddy and so excited to "go to the massage"!  They thought they were hot stuff!  It's so fun doing girly stuff with them!

The "Cousins"
We got there a little early so the girls sat down under a pecan tree and entertained themselves with pecans!
 The spa is in a house that is over 100 years old.  Inside, it had beautiful antique furniture.
My silly girls!

Milyah thought she was pretty special getting made over!
My sweet girl.

 Little Macie plays while the big girls get their make up done.

I had to leave a little early to go to work so I didn't get a picture of them all dolled up, but the girls all looked beautiful.  I am so thankful for my girls.  They are such sweet little girls with beautiful spirits!

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Sweet Valentine

John & I recently went to Myrtle Beach with our church for a couple's retreat.  It was the first time we had gone in a couple years....our first time without kids in 2 & 1/2 years.  We had a great time shopping, relaxing & spending time together.  I adore our children, but John will always be my first love.  Ten years ago when we went on our first date, I never could have imagined the man, husband, leader & father that John would become.  I am so thankful the Lord put him in my life!

Going away party

Eliza goes to school with a little boy, Kaleb, whose family are misssionaries to Moldova.  They have been in kindergarten this year together, but it is time for Kaleb & his family to return to the mission field.  I thought it would be fun for the class to have a going away party for Kaleb.  What 5 & 6 year old doesn't love a party!?
                                 Kaleb with his mom & grandma

             All of the kids brought little gifts for Kaleb for the airplane ride!
                         Kaleb was super-excited about all his new stuff!
One of the other moms and I go in about every month or so and do a craft with the kids.  We did it last year in K4 and have really enjoyed doing it this year too.  The kids are so fun to be around and it is great to see them learning so much.  They made bags to put their Valentine's in!

Livi always comes along and "helps out".  She thinks the big kids are so fun!

What a fun morning doing a craft and saying good bye to Kaleb.  We love his family and will be praying for them as they return to the mission field.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Surprise for me!!

After I came home from the demolition of our old house, guess what was sitting on the fronch steps.......

A new Kitchen Aid mixer!!!!!   I was thrilled.  My husband knows how much I used,  and LOVED, my other one, so he orderd me a new one for Valentines!!   So thankful for a thoughtful husband.  But I can't open it until Valentines Day.  I wonder what I should make first?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I still don't understand!!

Today was the day I had been dreading for the last 2 months.  It was demolition day.   About 9:30 this morning, I got a text from John saying that the demo team would be at the house in a few minutes.  I quickly got dressed and went.  I don't really know why...but I had a compulsion to be there.  It was still our house and in some way I felt like I needed to be there.   Maybe a far part of my mind thought there was some chance things would change, and that I would wake up one day and this all would have been a dream. 

I stood and watched as they knocked down the reamaining walls and them dumped what was left of our home in dumpster to be hauled off.  All that we had worked for now stood in piles waiting to be hauled to the dump.  Very clearly do I remember the first time we stepped into that house.  Just the day before, we had passed by the house and noticed the For Sale sign, but commented that it was probably out of our price range.  We had spent all day with the realtor, seeing several houses that left us pretty discouraged as to what we could afford.  Then she said, "I have one last one for you to see."  We pulled up and I remember thinking that this was the house we passed and noticed.  When we walked into the house, we instantly fell in love.  It needed some work, but I could see us there with Eliza and the baby I was pregnant with.  The Lord provided in a great way, and we signed for the house just a couple weeks later.   It was the first place we owned.  It was ours!

As I watched today, tears fell down my cheeks.  I cried and I talked with the Lord.  It has been 2 months since the fire and I am no closer to understanding why this happened.  The Lord hasn't given me any answers.  I still cry.  I still hurt.  I still ask why.  I still don't understand.....I DON'T! I DON'T! I DON'T!  But that does not change this fact, God is good.....no matter what!  My lack of understanding does NOT change the character of God and He is always good and always faithful. 

                              We told the kids they were cleaning up the yard.

                                    The trucks lining up to haul off debris.
 The steps to the front door where I always took the kids pictures.

                           The drive way leading to where the garage was.

Lord, I still don't understand any of this, but I will trust you!  I am weak, humbled and broken.  Help me to trust you through the storm...I can't do this alone.

My family

My family