Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"It Is Finished"

(by Dustin Kensrue) 

I told y'all about traveling with an amazing group of difference makers to the ends of the earth & back again (by way of London). It may seem like I was finished, but I have saved the best for last!

The kids...

They once were fatherless, but now they have a Heavenly Father. Many of them were homeless, but they now have a home with a family who cares for them. And God has seen fit to provide for each of their individual needs.

We got to see this group of kids every day that we were in the village, and I wouldn't trade one second of my time with them. We took advantage of every moment that we could find to be with them, even if it was only long enough to give them a hug on their way to school. Seriously, we'd hear anything that sounded like it could be one of them, and we'd be out the door in a heartbeat!

We played soccer with them...

Ate with them...

Danced with them, cried with them {the tears were my fault, apparently} & laughed with them...

And we took lots & lots of photos with them!

I wish I could adequately describe the joy in their eyes, in their smiles, in their laughter. These pictures are only a glimpse of how joyful they were. And the joy was contagious. I love those kids so much. I think about them all of the time. And I pray for them every day.

There's so much more that I'd like to tell y'all about them, but I still can't seem to do so without crying my eyes out. It broke my heart to leave, and I long to go back. Tomorrow. Seriously, even on the day that I returned, I said that I'd go back the next day if I could. Even if all I got to do was hug the kids once & leave, I'd do it. It'd be worth every minute of the travel.

And I get to do it again in 50 days!! ♥

Photo credit: basically all of the good pictures were taken by Nicole (&/or with her camera and expertise), and the others are from various team members' phones and cameras...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"The One I'm Running To"

(by 7eventh Time Down)

How bout this, guys?! I'm actually posting on the weekend!! It helps when I don't have much to talk about! ;) This week has been fairly non-eventful. It was super cold, like it was everywhere else in the States. Except we're totally not used to it here! I do have some boots that I enjoyed wearing. But if I can be honest, I'm already over winter. And it hasn't even begun! Yikes! Basically the only things I like about winter are boots and scarves. And Christmas!

Speaking of boots, one of the only pictures I took this week was of my super cute rain boots:

And the only other thing I took a picture of was coffee. My favorite kids in the world went to Starbucks after school one day, and they brought a Salted Caramel Mocha home for me! How awesome are they?!

Laurien joined my family for Pizza & Movie Night on Friday! We made peanut butter cookies that were delicious!! We had a little situation with our frozen pizza, though. {Frozen pizza, y'all. We can make amazing desserts and stuff, but we screw up frozen pizza?!} You can't tell, but a crater formed in the pepperoni pizza, and it got stuck on the oven rack...

Because we make a great team, we were able to successfully get the pizza out of the oven...

This last picture was after the disaster. But you can see both of us in it, so I decided to post it!

Baby girl got to shoot guns today for her friend's Sweet Sixteen!

We had our last midweek services for the year at church/work, so we're slowing down a bit to allow for the extra events that tend to take place during the holidays. I'm looking forward to some things that are coming up over the next few weeks...

We're breaking with tradition this year and will celebrate Thanksgiving with my dad's in-laws. You may recall that we usually go to my brother's, and I will miss that. But P-Dub's mom has invited us, and it sounded like a good idea. Kerry will still be hosting his in-laws, so we're going to try to find some other time to hang out with them.

Our new Executive Pastor is hosting a Christmas party for staff and elders in a couple of weeks, so that should be fun! He has also initiated a little Secret Santa-style gift exchange amongst the staff. I think most of the boys think it's lame, but the girls like it! :) And then there's our annual Community Group Christmas Party in a few weeks! I'm hoping that nothing Davy Crockett-like ends up gracing my mantel, piano, or bookshelf for the next year! We'll see...

In case you didn't listen to today's song, you really should! Amy told me about this band, because they sound like Daughtry, and she knew I like them. Thank you, friends, for telling me about music! My last couple of WW posts have been recommended by friends! :) Anyways, the words below really echo what I've been discussing with my girls lately:

Tonight I’m gonna fix my eyes
On the only hope who satisfies my heart
You are the One I’m running to
Everything that’s good and right and true
Jesus, I’m coming after who You are
You are the One I’m running to

Good stuff! I hope y'all have a super great week! ♥


Friday, November 21, 2014

"A Foggy Day (in London Town)"

(by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald) 

A Foggy Day In London Town by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald on Grooveshark

Seeing as there are only 55 days until I leave for India again, I suppose I should finish up my previous India trip posts! Though today's post isn't technically about India, I'm considering it Part Four of the trip. You've read about the trip there with my super great team and some of what we did while we were there. So now's the part where I tell you about our trip home...

Our flights were fairly uneventful. We tried to get some rest, and we talked, looked through random airplane magazines, & watched movies when we weren't trying to sleep. We had a seven-hour layover in London, so we took the tube from Heathrow into the city...

Saw some stereotypical London sights...

Enjoyed some delicious coffee...

Went to the British museum...
[imagine a group of Americans who look like they've spent a week in a remote part of India here]

Honestly, I've waited this long in hopes of getting pictures of our day in London (specifically the team picture in front of the museum), but that hasn't happened. I will probably get them now that I finally decided to post this long overdue recap of our day! If I get them anytime soon, I'll post them here and let you know!

Photo credit: basically all of the good pictures were taken by Nicole (&/or with her camera and expertise), and the others are from various team members' phones and cameras...

Monday, November 17, 2014

"Poor Man's Son"

(by The Gundergsen Family) 

Ugh...I'm posting late again! I used to be way more dependable than this. I'm sorry! But to make up for it, I've posted this awesome song! I've been meaning to post some Noah Gundersen stuff for awhile now, but I've barely been posting for awhile now! This is the very first song that I heard of his {thank you, Laurien!} so I thought it would be the first I posted for y'all! ü

And now for the highlights of my week...

I don't know if I've mentioned Lindsay (the new children's ministry admin) before, but she's my new favorite! Not only is she friendly, cute, & a great singer, but she surprised me with coffee the other day. Just 'cuz she's sweet like that!

Amelia & I were sorta twinning at youth on Wednesday night :)

{Random fact: not sure if you can see them, but someone thought my nails were fake! As a former nail-biter, that was a huge deal!}

We got to hang out with Evie Kate on Thursday night while Clyde & Nicole got to see Tedeschi Trucks band!

She's so adorable, but Pepper wasn't quite sure what to think of her! :)

{Do you see her hiding under the table?!}

I got to attend a luncheon celebrating women in ministry on Friday! It was hosted by the Houston Graduate School of Theology, and it took place at The Junior League of Houston's beautiful facility. The food was delicious, and the company was even better! I failed to get a picture, though. [sad face] I went with Amy, Sam, Jana, Sally, Marcie, and Elaine. We sat at a table with Mark (a man from church who is on the board of HGST/the reason we were there) and two ladies who work with him. Funny story: Carol & Jeannie had arrived before Mark and introduced themselves to us. We didn't expect them to remember our names, but I said that it'd be pretty easy for them to remember mine & Amy's since we were sitting right next to each other. When Mark arrived, he asked Carol & Jeannie if they had met us, and Jeannie waved her hands and said, "They're all Amys!" :)

The kids were on a youth retreat over the weekend, so Christopher & I went on a couple of dates! He had a Chuy's gift card, so we used it on Friday night. Then on Saturday, we met up with Wade & Amy for bowling, dinner, and a movie!

And probably the best thing of all was that Anny's surgery was successful! I don't even think I've mentioned her on here, but I shared a bit of her situation on Instagram and Facebook. She is a precious little friend of mine in India, and she had a growth on her liver. It was very serious and would have most certainly killed her if she did not have surgery. Her family could not afford the surgery, but God provided! Last night/this morning, she underwent a six-hour surgery, and she is now on the road to recovery! There is a possibility of recurrence, so please join me in praying for a speedy recovery and no recurrence. Thank you!

[photo credit: Nicole P. Fotografie]

I hope y'all have a great week! ♥


Monday, November 10, 2014

"We Are Brave"

(by Shawn McDonald) 

Ya, my weekend posts are becoming Monday morning posts. I don't know what's wrong with me! Aside from the usual work, chiropractor, and church, my week was pretty normal. I had a few fun things happen over the weekend, though...

I don't know if you'd call this fun, but Elly & I watched a high school play that a couple of the students from church were involved in. The play itself was weird, but we enjoyed some Thai food beforehand and enjoyed visiting with our friends afterward! :) I totally failed to get a picture, though. :(

On Saturday, Cassie came to town!!!! I haven't seen her since Misty's wedding (two and a half years ago!), so I was so excited when she texted me a couple of weeks ago to say that she'd be here for a quick visit. We met up in Houston with Misty and had a great time catching up with each other!

Yesterday was Freddy & Cara's 25th anniversary, and they celebrated by renewing their vows! Chris officiated the small ceremony at Freddy's parent's house (where he grew up). It was mostly family there with just a few friends {randomly including our dentist & his wife!} I didn't get any pictures because I had accidentally left my phone at home, so I stole the picture below from Facebook:

(photo credit: Freddy's brother Kevin)

25 years is such a beautiful thing, especially in this day and age. This couple is such a great example of love and endurance. It was neat to be a part of their special day!

I guess that's all for now! I hope y'all have a super great week! ♥


Monday, November 3, 2014

"Song For You (Live)"

(by Jenny & Tyler)

I'm sorry I'm late with this! We really need to get Elly's computer working, because I would've had some time to post this weekend if she hadn't been doing homework on my computer! Anyways, there wasn't a whole lot of excitement to my week other than costume-related events...

I've told y'all about our student ministry's Somethingerweens in the past, and this year we brought back Bowlerween! Though I didn't get any pictures from the actual bowling, I managed to get pictures of some of the costumes...

Cody & Ike went as Rhett & Link:

Elly went as Inigo Montoya:

Here are a few of my favorites...

And our fearless leader {Kloé was Sister Encarnación, but I didn't get a picture}

I teamed up with Julie & Nicole again this year, and we went as Anna, Olaf, and Elsa! :)

On Friday, I dressed up as Elsa long enough to take a picture with my adorable little neighbor {who was also Elsa...we were two of 182,000 other Elsas this year!}

Then our family joined up with Amy's, Marcie's, and Kim's for our traditional soup and trick-or-treating at Amy's. I think this was our 7th Halloween in a row, though it's possible that we've done it even longer!

The only other thing worth mentioning is that Elly & I got to ride in carriages pulled by ponies yesterday!

That's what was going on when I picked Elly up from Briana's birthday party, so I got to go for a ride, too!

I hope y'all have a super great week! ♥