Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Disney Princesses Meet "The King"

I thought this was cute and thought I'd share it with you. This is what Emma was playing with this morning. She got the Elvis ornament off the Christmas tree and was using him as the prince.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Emma's Shows letter to Santa

I'm having the hardest time getting a picture for our Christmas cards this year. If you look at the first picture, you'll see why. I'll admit that this isn't my best photograph but it totally captured her sassy personality so I had to post it. The second is a picture of her showing her letter to Santa. He looks a little frightened. Hopefully, I'll have some good pics soon.

Love from Above,


Friday, December 01, 2006

Emma Sings a Thanksgiving Song

Emma sings us one of the songs she learned for her preschool Thanksgiving program.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My parents, Adam's parents, My sister, and her in-laws came for Thanksgiving dinner. I succeeded in feeding 12 people! I had a little help from mine and Adam's mom but really, I did most of it. I'm very proud of myself. I probably won't cook again for a month but I did it. I'm an official big girl. I had Thanksgiving at my house!

The visit was nice. Adam's parents left on Friday and then my sister left of Saturday and so we had my parents all to ourselves for a couple of days. I cried when they left on Monday... It kind of suprised me. That's the first time that's happened. It'll only be a month before we see them again. I don't know.. I think it's just knowing that if I feel like I need my mom, it's too far to just go.. I really like West Virginia fine. I just wish WV was closer to AL.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Emma's Letter to Santa

She wrote her name and drew the picture. It's sad but her handwriting is almost as good as mine.

Love from Above,


Friday, November 03, 2006


Ok, so Halloween lasted like four days this year. Our town does trick or treating on the Saturday night before Halloween and the town the church is in (which is three miles away) does trick or treating on Halloween. Emma had two costumes: Her choice, the princess and our back up cat since the princess wasn't very bathroom accessible for preschool. Anyway, it was interesting because we had a youth retreat going on this past weekend. I had already worked it out so that we could go trick or treating during the dinner break on Saturday during the retreat. But, I was a little sad when I found out that there was a tea party with Belle and the Beauty and the Beast characters at the art museum on Saturday afternoon. Not to worry, my good friend Julie came to my rescue and graciously offered to take Emma and her little girl Anna. A very large undertaking I might add!! And she also took my camera and so I have lots of pictures from it too. So, just to show all of my friends and family why they sometimes don't hear from me for a while, this is how the weekend went...

The retreat started on Friday evening. The planning of this event was an undertaking of one of our wonderful parent volunteers and the kids in our youth group (Thank God!!). So anyway, they invited up a couple of small groups from Virginia that don't have a full time youth minister or the facilities that we have etc. And they put on a retreat for them. So on Friday night, I went to the youth house to hang out and prepare for the other groups to arrive. Around nine, I brought Emma home so that I would have plenty of time to get her to sleep before the 23 girls from the retreat showed up at my house to spend the night. It worked.. Some how I got Emma to sleep and managed to fit 23 girls into my tiny little house. I can't say that I slept much considering the three or four girls that decided to jump on top of me and my friend Erica at three o clock in the morning because they "were hot". Did I mention that it was 26 degrees outside? They were begging me to turn on the air. They had to settle for me breaking ice trays over their sleeping bags. And I guess staying up late could have a little something to do with the fact that I myself got the chance to act like a teenager again by having one of my friends my age (ok she's a couple of years younger) there and laying awake all night chatting. It was so fun! But, it is more fun to blame it on the teenagers.. On Saturday morning, we went to the youth house, had breakfast and a devo and then headed up to OVU to play in the gym. I stayed there for a couple of hours and then came home to get Emma dressed in princess attire for the grand tea party and got to Julie's house just in time to rush back to OVU to be a driver for the scavenger hunt. We finished the scavenger hunt, took the teens back to the youth house, went to get Emma to get her ready for trick or treating and then at 6:00 our community group from church came to our house to do a little group trick or treat. So I think we had 11 kids and probably nine parents. I think the last person left our house around 10. After church on Sunday, I crashed and slept all afternoon and on Monday, I took Emma to a magic show that they were having for the four year old class at her school and to dance and in between times I tried to repair my house from the weekends events. On Tuesday, Emma had a party and a program at her preschool. And pretty much this is how our live is. So, if I haven't called you, please don't be mad at me. Rest assure that I still love you. And, by the way, I don't think being busy is a virtue. I just have a hard time managing to not do it. But, at this moment, my husband is at the youth house doing a fifth quarter with the teenagers. And I, stayed home and put my child to bed at a decent hour and now I'm writing this for you dear reader. So see, I do love you.

Ok, so when I started this, I was just planning on posting the pictures and not writing anything. But I have to say, if you are bored enough to read this whole thing, you need a second job or something. ;).

Love from Above,


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cute thing Emma said.

There really hasn't been anything real revolutionary to post lately. I just wanted to share something that Emma said last night. We were saying her bedtime prayer. We've been trying to teach her to actually talk to God and not just say a recited prayer. I think it's working.. The other day on the way out the door to preschool, she said, "God please help me stay on green all day today". But usually, when we are telling her to thank God, she's looking around her room and saying, "Thank you God for my barbies, thank you God for my polly pockets, thank you God for my jewelry box" the list goes on and on until we've named every item in her room. Well, it's hard to instill in a three year old that it's good to be thankful for our material things but there are other things to be thankful for. But we try to get her to thank God for the people in her life. So last night, I said, "You haven't thanked God for your friends at preschool" and so she said, "Thank you God for my friends at preschool." I said, "But you didn't name them". She said, "But they already have names". LOL, so Adam and I laughed and laughed and laughed some more. And I have to think that God was laughing with us. She'll get eventually. But, then it won't be so much fun.

Please pray for us. This time of year really seems to be hard as far as ministry goes.

Love from above,


Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Create Your Own!

Create Your Own!

Our trip down south was wonderful. We went to my class reunion on the 23rd and then on down to the beach where the weather was beautiful. I must say that we have such great friends and a wonderful families. It was so nice to see everyone. Now we're back in time to see the beautiful falls that we have in WV.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Emma's first dance class, The Facts of Life, and A Kingdom Assignment

Emma had her first dance class on Monday. We found a lady that does it in her basement and it's only $14 a month. She had a ball. They do a little of tap, jazz, and ballet. She's taking it with her little friend Anna "my little friend Anna" is what Emma calls her. We have a big Anna in the youth group. Anyway, she and Anna both had ballerina buns in their hair. It was fun to watch. They were hilarious. They followed the teacher more than I had expected and threw in their own little spins when it wasn't exciting enough. Emma has been practicing with her tap shoes on my kitchen floor ever since.

On Tuesday, after preschool, I got a call from Emma's teacher. So I answer the phone, and I hear, "Dana, this is Missy". Of course, my heart skipped a beat because I was thinking, "oh no, she's been in school for a week, and the teacher's already calling me to tell me we have a problem". This is what she said, "I just wanted to let you know that we pray every day and Emma is praying for a baby sister. She's not just praying it, she's praying it with all her heart. It almost made me cry". It's all Emma talks about. We will be going through a store and she'll see something in the baby section and she will say, "can we get that for my baby sister?" I'll say, "Emma you don't have a baby sister." She'll say, "not yet". I haven't figured out how to explain this to her yet but here's the situation:

In May 2002, I had surgery to remove a cyst the size of a softball from my ovary. When they were doing the surgery, the doctors discovered that I had endometreosis growing pretty much everywhere. The doctor then told me that the chances of me having children was very slim. He recommended me taking a drug called Lupron and said that if I didn't do that, the chances were next to nothing. I remember getting home and lying in bed praying (lying in bed only because I was too sore from surgery to hit my knees) "God, all I've ever wanted to do is be a mother. If it is in your will for me to adopt, I can do that. I know I can love any child but, I really long to know how it feels to carry and nurse my child. If you will only give me one, that's all I ask for". So, to make a very long story just a little bit shorter, After a lot of prayer and counsel from some Godly women, we decided not to do the Lupron. It had some harsh side effects, was very expensive, and I was very concerned about the long term effects of putting something that strong into my body. I started looking into natural ways to control the endometreosis and in October 2002 became pregnant with Emma.

So anyway, I tell her every day that I know God must love me a lot because he gave me her and her daddy. But, I don't think that she's quite old enough to understand the miracle that she really is. And, that I'm sticking to my deal. If God decides to bless us with another child, wonderful! But, I'm satisfied with my one. But, she's praying hard. And, the faith of a child.... I guess we'll see. But, I did attempt to explain a few things to her and this is how it went:

Me: Emma if God decides to give us another baby, He will also decide whether that baby is a boy or girl.
Emma: Then we can have twins and the boy can live with someone who wants a baby brother
Me: No, if we had twins, both of them would live with us.
Emma: Lots of crying with real tears.
Oh goodness, what will I do!

This is going to be a really long post but I also need to share with you what's been going on at church.
On Sunday, Joe did a lesson about the parable of the talent. He was basically saying that we are responsible for the gifts, money, ect. that God gives us and it is up to us whether we use those things to further the Kingdom and to prosper more or we can hide them away and have them never become anything more. My translation of all of that: Make the most of every opportunity. If one passes you by, you may not get a second chance. Ok, so back to the sermon. Then Kevin gets up and says that he needs people who are ready to take on a "kingdom assignment". He didn't tell us what it was but he asked 100 people to come forward for an assignment. Tons of people came forward. So much that some of them had to sit back down because there were more than 100. Then, they gave each of us 1oo dollar bill. We have 90 days to do something with it and then report back to the church what became of our $100. Of course my business mind started working and I think I've come up with something really good. So check back. I'll be reporting back as this thing progresses.

Most importantly, It was awesome to see how many people were willing to step forward, not knowing the task ready to serve God. I think it's exactly what we need. Something to make us look outside of ourselves and into the world where God wants us to be. Please pray about this! Please pray that we will be focused on God's dream for the world. That we will be fishers of men and that we will show the love of Jesus to this community we're living in. How awesome would it be if the whole church could actually grasp that concept. Think about how lives will be effected!!

Love from above,


Friday, September 08, 2006

My Project

I just wanted to share a picture of the project I've been working on. I took two book cases and painted them and then put one of the shelves in the middle of them to make a vanity. I even wired the lights to a plug. I'm thinking of doing a show on HGTV. LOL. Just kidding but I am pretty proud of myself if I do say so.

Love from above,


Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Ok, we did it. Today was the first day of preschool. They had it set up today where the kids only went for an hour and the parents visited in the lobby while they waited. Emma will be going on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 2:30. So anyway, Emma did great. She walked around all morning with her backpack on ready to go. I kissed the palm of her hand and told her that that was a kiss in case she needed it (a tip from the teacher) and reminded her that there was a picture of the two of us in her notebook if she missed me. She gently assured me that she would miss me and then took off running to her class. I took several pictures and then she went on into the class room not even looking back. I moved on quickly to keep from crying. It's not leaving my child that was the problem. It's the milestone. I had to keep telling myself that it wasn't like she's going off to college or something. Anyway, it's exciting but a little bittersweet.

We took her to get her ears pierced yesterday. She had asked periodically and I would tell her, "ok, but it's going to hurt" and she would decide to wait. Well, yesterday, she woke up and told me she wanted to do it. I gave her the routine, "ok, but it's going to hurt". She said, "I know but it'll be ok". So we did... She didn't even whimper. This morning, she woke up and said, "My ears are pierced, my ears are pierced, I just can't believe it". She's so much fun. I love being a mother.

Well, I'll leave you with something I read in a commentary I've been reading.:
No one can ever begin to save men unless he firsts believes in them. A man is a hell deserving sinner, but he has also a sleeping hero inside his soul and often a word of praise will awaken that sleeping heroism while crticism and condemnation will only produce resentment and despair.

Isn't that beautiful? Lord please help me to have a heart that will awaken heroism.

Love from above,


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What does your letter say?

There are two new posts. If you haven't already, you might want to read the last post first.
St. Francis of Assisi said this, "Go into the world and preach the gospel, if necessary, use words". That has been our focus this summer. Teaching the teens to "be" the gospel to the world around them.

I'm going to be totally honest here. At the beginning of the summer, I was ready to tell Adam to quit and take a job at Walmart. Actually, I did say that. I have said something like that many times over the past eight years. I never wanted to marry a youth minister. The thought of living in a glass box and feeling responsible for other people's souls never appealed to me and as shallow as it seems, being poor never appealed to me either. First, I will say that God has taken care of us very well and that I am so glad that God knew what I needed more than I did. However, there have been many times that I have longed for a "normal" nine to five job in where my husband and my children's father would come home and we would have no where to go in the evenings and we would have him all to ourselves. Well, it so happened that a youth minister stole my heart. So anyway, even though I had it planned out in my mind that I was going to marry a doctor and live the easy life, I have always come back to this: I have always had a dream that somewhere somehow, I would see and particpate in a group of Christians that was the church that God intended us to be. In our trip to New Orleans, we did it.

I have never been more proud of a group of teenagers (and adults). We did more than just gut a couple of houses. Before we left, Adam talked about how we were a letter from Christ and how no matter what we did and said, the people that we came into contact with were going to formulate an idea of who Jesus is based on us. We also talked about how the Bible says that people will know us by our love for each other and that how we treated each other really effected how others see Him. All I can say is WOW, I have never seen any group of people so unified in their mission. I hesitate to mention any specific examples because there were so many and not one person slacked. However, their are a few things that I just can't slip by. Our bus driver Paul... Paul is a Christian, we knew Paul for a week. We love him. It reminds me of the love that the Paul in the Bible talks about. We love each other because we all love Jesus. Paul worked with us every day. Though I was already off the bus and didn't see it personally, I was so touched when I found out he cried when he left the group. And there were so many little things, like instead of having everyone pack their own lunch, a couple of the teens would pack everyones lunch for the next day. Or how Susan and Kathy washed everyone's shirts for them every night, or how someone went and found J.T. extra blankets because the building was FREEZING and he was really cold, or how instead of complaining about the outside M.A.S.H style showers everyone laughed and talked about how "fun" it was, or how we would be waiting in line somewhere and let other people go before us so they didn't have to wait behind such a large group, or how all the girls made it their mission at the trip to the mall to find a pair of capri pants for Nicole so that she would feel special on her birthday, or how when someone was asked to sweep, not only did they do it without complaining but they washed the windows too or how when someone walked up to sit with the group, the teens would make their circle wider to make sure everyone was included, or how a couple of the teens fixed us dinner one night. I could go on and on. We went to save a families home and we did! The city workers thanked us and told us that they knew it wouldn't be getting done if it wasn't for the church groups. What an awesome testimony for Christ!! Someone from FEMA came by and thanked us. But, the kingdom of God broke through in the little things. It was going the extra mile that showed the heart. No one stopped at doing just what they had to do but, did so much more.

I don't know where we'll go from here. But I do know this: you can't catch of glimpse of God's dream of how the church should be and not be changed. I would estimate that we have done 10 trips a year for 8 years. Out of approximately 80 trips, this was no doubt the best trip I've ever taken.

I am a letter from Christ. I think we all know now what our letter should look like. I think the question we should keep asking ourselves is, "What does my letter say"?

Please pray for our ministry!

PS: I will add pictures soon.

Where have we been?

I started this blog for Emma, so that she can have a record of the life we lived before she was able to remember, I want her to know that she was born into a mission. Since, we are far away from our family, I want a way for them to know her and know our ministry. I know that many of you have been praying for us. Words seem a very inadequate way to describe how grateful I am for that. I'm about to tell you where those prayers have taken us. First, I want to tell you a few things about Emma.

On July the 28th. Adam and Emma and I loaded a charter bus headed for New Orleans LA for a mission trip with 22 other teens and adults. We left at 6 o'clock in the evening and around 4 o'clock in the morning, we dropped Emma off with my parents in Trussville Alabama. I will use this as an opportunity to tell you what wonderful parents I have. It is unbelievable that even with us living so far away, they have managed to be so active in our lives and so supportive of us. Anyway, Emma made it obvious to us how eager she was to get rid of Adam and me and have her grandparents all to herself by the way she repeatedly said, "bye mom and dad, bye mom and dad". Her being so excited about her visit made it much easier for me to leave her. This was the longest I have ever been away from her and I was quite proud of myself. I did very well. Though many times, I had a feeling like I had lost or was forgetting something, I did much better than the other trips we have taken where we have actually come back early because I couldn't stand being away from her. Every day, I would call and talk to her and hear from my mom or sister depending on who she was staying with at the moment the cute things she said. Here is my favorite: She was sitting at the bar at my parents house and she was kicking the bar. My mom told her to stop kicking the bar and she said, "I'm not kicking the bar Nonna, I'm playing the drums with my feet". Oh no, could that be a politician in the making? After my mom explained to her that she would play the drums on her bottom, she decided that playing the drums with her feet might not be the way to go.

Well, to sum it all up since I still have a whole other post to do that I presume will be pretty long, I couldn't wait to get back to her on Friday. We met my mom in Trussville for lunch and Adam was able to spend a few minutes with her. We were all very happy to be together again. I felt like she had grown a foot and that her hair and gotten much longer and she of course was wearing new clothes since she had made a shopping trip with my sister. We sent Adam and the rest of the group from GC on up to WV. She has been a little more clingy than usual since we've been back together and I have to admit to you that I'm kind of enjoying it. Monday evening, we started out for a visit to Adam's parents (which is where I am now). On the way here, we stopped for a visit with Aunt Jan and then saw Grandma when we got to Enterprise. Yesterday, we spent the whole day and I mean WHOLE day shopping. Emma will start preschool in the fall and she will definetly be the best dressed kid there thanks to Nana. We are enjoying ourselves but are really missing Adam and are excited about getting back to all the people in WV. Ok, now our to the next post for New Orleans.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A little Clarification

Due to the enormous amounts of questions I've gotten about who ticked me off so badly by criticizing my parenting.... I thought I'd give a little more information.. No one, although I'm sure it's happened. I know that usually when someone says, "I've got a friend that has this problem", it is usually that person but honestly, it was a friend. Actually it was a string of conversations that I had had with a few different friends. But, I would like to say thank you for all of you that offered to "hunt that person down" it's nice to know ya'll have my back. Seriously, I am blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.

Now a little thought for the day, week or until whenever I find the time to post again....
Emma has been studying the story where Jesus feeds the five thousand in her bible class at church. I'm sure most everyone is familiar with this story. It can be found in John 6. Anyway, the jist of the story is this: Jesus is speaking to a crowd of about 5000 the disciples say, "how are we going to feed all of these people". Jesus asks them how much food they have. And the disciples say look, here is a boy with two fish and five loaves of bread. So then Jesus turns that little amount of food into enough to feed five thousand and have tons of leftovers. Ok, so here's my question.... Out of five thousand people, why was there this one little boy who had a lunch? Probably because his loving mother packed it for him and made sure he didn't go out the door without it. Alright, have a blessed day!!

Love from above,


Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Emma

This post is a little late. It's the first I've gotten a chance to update you on our big girl (Emma is very adamant now that she's three that she is no longer a little girl). Her birthday was June 19th. For any of you youth ministers/wives out there. Summer is the worst time for a youth minister to have a baby. Poor thing, her birthday is always shared with some youth event. Since her birthday was the second day of work camp, we had her party on Saturday. Aunt Jan flew in on Friday and Adam rushed home from the air port on Saturday after picking up the work camp speaker just in time to grill some fabulous hamburgers for our guests. We had a nice little party. Also, my mom and sister had her a wonderful little party when she was down in Alabama visiting them weekend before last. We ended up celebrating her birthday for about two weeks. But here is what's on my mind...

I can't believe my baby is three. Wow, it's like it's the cut off between baby and child. It's working to my advantage.. She told me the other day that she helped her Sunday school teacher clean up because she has to be a good example for the two year olds. And, she also informed me that now that she's three, she will be obeying me because three year olds make good decisions. So like I said, there are good things about having a three year old. I'm hoping this new philosophy sticks but still, SHE'S THREE. That's a little sad. Don't get me wrong, it's nice that she can have these little conversations with me. I have so much fun just seeing what she comes up with next. This age is great! But, my baby is gone. People have told me over and over to soak it up because she will be grown before I know it. And, I will say this, I can't... As much as I soak, she's still growing too fast. So anyway, I just thought I'd get that out.

Ok, now to work camp. Work camp is this thing they do here where they go around the area, find people that need there houses painted and then 500 teenagers and adults come in from all over the US and they paint them in 4 days. Well, apparently being the work camp photographer is quite a task. They normally do a slide show at the banquet on Thursday night that has before, after, candid and group pictures in it. I figured that photographer meant taking pictures. Little did I know, that I was supposed to do the slide show (something my wonderful husband neglected to share with me at the beginning of all of this) So on Monday morning, I received before pictures of about 35 houses none which were labeled and a separate address list. Once I finally figured out the addresses to the houses, I had to go re-take about half of them because they were very poor quality taken from a phone camera. Emma spent her birthday riding around in the car with me while I jumped out and took pictures. Adam was able to go with us the first day though so it wasn't so bad since we were all able to be together. I know that riding around in the car all day isn't the best way for a child to spend her day but, it is teaching her that she's part of a bigger plan and that it isn't all about her. That is something that we'd all be better off if we learned at a young age. It rained a lot of the week and it put a lot of groups up to the very last minute finishing their house. I had gotten a hold of some people were out on the sites that were the furthest away and asked them to bring me their pictures. We were still getting pictures at 6:15 and the banquet started at 6:30 So anyway, we didn't get the slide show done quite in time. Thank God Jan was here or it wouldn't have gotten done at all. But, Kevin, the director did an excellent job stalling. I swear he had everyone in the room stand up for applause and some a second round of applause. It would have been funny if I hadn't been on the verge of a nervous break down. The power went out once too! Thank God for battery back ups! We finally got a very mediocre slide show up and going. On Friday, I went back and took some more final pictures and Jan helped me build the final slideshow which was pretty good if I do say so myself. That will be sent to all the churches that participated for them to show at home. The most important thing though is that some lives were touched and hopefully, those people were able to see Jesus in a very practical and tangible way. It's very hard during things like this to not get caught up in the work and forget the point (Showing Jesus to the world around us). None the less, Jason Steckel, if you happen to read this, The Mid Ohio Valley Workcamp missed you this year!! We need to talk to you before next year and figure out your system! Anyway, this week, is Emma's week. I will be making up for all the time she spent in the car last week.

Btw, if any of you that are reading this were at church last Sunday, I am aware that David got all over my last post. For those of you that weren't... He said that it took a community to raise a child and that we all got offended if someone told us how to raise our children. Ok, here's my disclosure: David is a wonderful guy and he's a great speaker. And, I agree with him...sort of. There is this old saying, "No one cares what you know until they how you care". That's true. There is a way that you go about "helping someone". Criticizing is not the way. And, you have to have a certain relationship with that person before you can even "help". So, I stand by my words. You can love someone and support someone into being a better mother. My mother does it to me all the time. A critical spirit never helps anyone but Satan.

Love from above,


Friday, June 09, 2006

Sorry, need to vent again

Ok, I just need to vent a little here. I love my daughter. She means everything to me. I feel confident in my parenting. I know that I will make mistakes but I also know that I have her best interest at heart and I want nothing more than for her to one day be the woman that God wants her to be. I pray daily for God to give me the wisdom to make the right choices in raising her. I also know that every child is different and that it is usually the mother that spends the most time with their child and therefore knows what is best for her child (at least children Emma's age). I believe that there are no pat answers and that every child is different. Like I said, I feel like I do a good job. However, I am not arrogant enough to think that I am qualified to raise someone elses child or tell them how to do so and frankly, that drives me nuts. From day one, moms (especially new moms) have people critizing if they let their babies cry or if they pick them up too often and not let them cry, whether they have a pacifier or not, how long they take the pacifier. Then their is how often you change your kids diaper. People critize if you take your child out of the house too early or accuse you of being an over protective parent if you keep them home too long. Then when the child gets older, it's what food you let them eat, how much TV you let them watch, or my favorite, how you discipline. The list goes on and on. Don't get me wrong, I'm very cautious about all of these things but I just don't think I have the right to judge a mom who is say overworked and needs a break and let's her child watch three hours of TV a day as opposed to the two recommended by the american pediatric association. Seriously, can people actually be taking care of their own children if they are so worried about how someone else takes care of theirs. If someone is truly concerned about the well being of the child involved, the best thing you can do is encourage the mom. Since day one, my family has made it a point to tell me what a great job I'm doing. I'm so thankful for that. A lot of my friends don't have that. It makes me confident in my approach and helps me to be consistant. The worst thing you can do to a mom is make her second guess herself. There is one reason that people criticize others, insecurity. Most mom's love their children more than they love themselves and that alone is to be commended. When you've gotten up two times a night to take care of a newborn, then you've earned the right to make choices for that child, THAT CHILD not any other. Come on people, mom's need support!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Where do I start?

Ok, so it's been several weeks. I've got a whole lot on my mind and just haven't known where to start. Should I tell you about how the nature of humanity is to stick to tradition whether it's pratical and efficient or not (more often not) drives me insane? Or how Paul says in the Bible that we should "become all things to all men". Paul believed in that principle enough that he shaved his head and observed a forty day jewish ritual (after he was a Christian) all for the sake of reaching the jews. And we are still arguing over whether or not one translation of the Bible is more holy than another. By the way, is anyone realizing that the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek to begin with. Just to clear it up, No one reading this is reading the Bible out of the "original" text. Or maybe these concepts can't even be approached yet because we haven't yet grasped the concept that God is LOVE and that people will know us by our love for each other. Ok, just needed to vent a bit.

Now, Emma...
Emma is about to turn three and she's bringing it in in style. We had a rough week last week. She's testing the limits. Being a mother is hard. It's true when people say that having a child is like having your heart walk around on the outside of you. Today, we just stayed home and played. We had a wedding with her princess dolls and read books outside on a blanket in the yard. It was nice. She's with me all the time but there have been so many distractions.

Yesterday, she asked me if I could put her in a box and mail her to her nonna. It was cute, but a little sad too. I explained to her why that wouldn't work and she assured me that she wasn't hungry and that she wouldn't have to go to the potty. She doesn't understand what illegal means so she didn't care much about that part of my explanation. She amazes me how much she knows. She can now add numbers on her fingers up to ten. I read somewhere that toddlers ask on the average 300 questions a day. She reaches that by noon.

Since the last time I wrote, we went on vacation to Gatlinburg. We were with Adam's parents and grandmother for most of the week and then the last day, My dad's whole side of the family was there for my grandpa's 80th birthday party. We weren't able to stay for the whole weekend because we had to get back for church on Sunday but it was nice to see all of them. I guess distance does make the heart grow fonder. I feel like I'm always counting the days until we get to see family again. We will see my parents again this weekend and then Jan will come to visit the next weekend for Emma's birthday. Ok, sorry, I'm not much in the mood for poetic writing but that pretty much catches things up. I'll try to give you all a more inspiring upbeat post soon.

Love from above,


PS: Pictures:
Adam and Emma at the bird exhibit they had at the resort we stayed at in Gatlinburg
Emma and papa at the bird exhibit
Emma and my grandpa playing ball

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Because the story of Jesus is so impressive- God among us! God speaking a language we can understand! God acting in ways that heal and help and save us!- there is a danger that we will be impressed, but only be impressed. As the spectacular dimensions of this slowly (or suddenly) dawn upon us, we could easily become enthusiastic spectators, and let it go at that- become admirers of Jesus, gererous with our oohs and ahs, and in our better moments inspired to imitate him.

Eugene Peterson, The Message

God, please help me imitate Him not only in my better moments but also in my weakest!

Love from above,


Sunday, April 23, 2006


Mom and Dad came to visit for Easter and we had a wonderful time. I tried to go light on the easter basket but with the basket that my mom gave her, the package Nana and Papa sent, the package Aunt Denise sent, the bunny that Aunt Nancy sent, and the card with money that Grandma sent, Emma was pretty spoiled. I guess it's not too bad since they all live so far away. You got to do something to make up for that missed time.

Anyway, we had a great time and I was sad to see mom and dad go back home. We made the most of our time while they were here though. The good thing about being so far away is that we never take our time together for granted. We are going to meet our families in Gatlinburg (all except Jan) in May and then Jan will come up in June so it won't be real long until we see them.

I found out yesterday that Emma has imaginary friends. Their names are, Trinka Falon, Hamni Cup, and Helen Cake. Don't ask because I don't know LOL. She was talking to them in the car on the way home from the grocery store yesterday. Emma has also started using the phrases, "Well that's interesting" and "Oh, I get it" quite often. Well, I'm going to have me a little sunday afternoon nap. So until I get another free minute, Best Wishes to all.



Monday, April 10, 2006

Here's my secret

Ok, here we go. Time for a big update. My computer is fixed, finally. This past weekend was our "Happily Ever After" girls retreat. It went extremely well. Everyone had great attitudes and I really felt like we accomplished our goal and that was that we left loving each other and most importantly, God more than we did when we got there. I think we all really needed it. The girls needed some time together away from the guys and I needed something where I could see some immediate results. I think that is the hardest thing about ministry to me. Most of the time, you don't get immediate results. I know that it's not about that but, it's really nice to be able to see a work in progress. To know this stuff we're doing is making a difference. Well, I saw that this weekend. It was like, ok, this why we do youth ministry. That was nice.

So Adam kept Emma over night for the first time. I have to say, he did a fabulous job. Not that I doubted that he would. He's a great daddy. Emma is really starting to get attached to him. It's bittersweet. No offense Adam. I'm so glad she's got such a strong relationship with him. Girls need their daddys to adore them. And he does. But, it's still a little sad that it's not me that she prefers 100% of the time. Tonight when we were saying her prayer, she wanted to sit in Adam's lap. She wanted Adam to brush her teeth. She walks around the house yelling "Daaaadddy" it's really sweet. Anyway, I think they had a good weekend together. However, last night as we were going to bed, Adam said, "she's really sweet and funny and lots of fun but, I'm exhausted. I'm really going to try to help you more". That was nice.

This morning, she came and got in bed with me and we snuggled for quite a while. That was nice. I can't wait to see the woman she becomes. At almost three she is already so passionate about everything. She loves hard, she plays hard, she sleeps hard and she hurts hard.

I finally shared something with some of the girls at the girls retreat that I had only shared with a few people. I guess it's kind of silly that I kept it all to myself so here it is for the whole world to see... When I first had her, I was soo overwhelmed with the responsibility that God had gave me. I felt so inadequate. I still do. Anyway, I pretty much came to the conclusion that Adam and I couldn't possibly do everything perfect and that there was no way we could raise her to be the woman that God wants her to be on her own. So, I got this book of prayers for mothers to say for their children but, there were a whole lot of prayers and none of them seemed quite right. So, I came up with my own, and here it is:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I want to thank you for the wonderful blessing you have brought into my life by given me Emma. She has brought me so much joy! Having a child has taught me so much about the love and happiness you want to bless your children with. I know that Emma is your special creation, anticipated by you from before the beginning of time, now given on loan to me, for me to help grow and nourish into a child who will carry out your perfect will.

God, please call Emma to you by name as you have called me. Thank you that you promise to knock patiently on the door of each heart in this family. Thank you that you pursue us. You did it for me--- please do the same for Emma.

I pray that she will love your word. I pray that by loving your word, she will receive important warnings about life and be blessed with great personal reward. Help her to be obedient to you. Please help her to know that you discipline us and give us guidelines for our own good and because of your great love for us. Help me to share in this motivation of yours when I ask her to obey. Lord, let her see that I obey you because I love you. Help her to have an honest heart. Help her feel your delight when she speaks the truth and to remember that you hate it when we lie. And when she perseveres toward truth, let her feel great freedom of spirit so much that the passing reward of a lie looks as cheap and fleeting as it really is. Help her not to value the material things that the world values but the things that you value. Most of all, I pray that her character would bring praise to you. May your light shine so brightly in her that it will be obvious to everyone that she loves you, and people will have no choice but to praise you and give you all the credit for her goodness. I pray that she will put a high priority on love and faithfulness, exhibiting them like beautiful clothing or jewelry. Bless her with a beautiful strength, a wise innocence, and a shielded vulnerability.

I pray that Emma will develop a passion for purity. May she always think of her body as your dwelling place and want to keep it pure for you. Help Emma to feel she can bring her questions to her dad and me. Please give us the right words in awkward moments. Nudge me when it’s the right time to pass on an important attitude or piece of information even if she isn’t asking for it. Fill her with a genuine and enthusiastic desire to save sex for marriage. Thank you that you not only created the abiding love of marriage, but you also understand crushes, puppy love, and the storms of teen romance. God please protect her heart. I pray that you would help her develop healthy relationships with members of the opposite sex throughout her life. I pray for a husband that will help her grow towards you that she will spend her life with. Bring them together in your perfect way. Have your hand on them even now. And, may their eventual commitment to marriage be strong enough to stand up against any trouble or testing life brings. While she is growing up, please help Adam and I to be a good example of how beautiful marriage is meant to be. Please introduce her to other couples that will do the same.

God, sometimes I wake in the night and feel how helpless I am, ultimately, to make life turn out okay for my little one, to keep accidents, evil , and disease from touching her. Thank you Lord that when I’m afraid, I can turn to you. Help me to remember that your spiritual warriors can shut the mouths of lions and defeat the agents of Satan. Thank you that even when she is out of my sight, she is never out of your sight. Please watch over all that she does and every encounter that she has with the world. Thank you that I can surrender her to you and place her in the dangerous river of life, knowing that you will be watching over her, not from afar off but from very nearby.

Finally, father, help me to pray faithfully for Emma, being a good example of the importance of confession and worship. May I be a witness morning and night of your love and faithfulness.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen

Now tell the truth, did you read all of that because you wanted to hear my thoughts or because you wanted to know my secret? Sorry you were looking for something more juicy :).

Please pray for the three of us and our ministry.

Love from above,