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Thursday, June 23, 2011

another step

so as we continue on this journey toward africa God has another step ready for us.
as we continue to pray our way along this journey we both felt very clearly that one of our first steps was going to be selling our home.
and yep, we know this may not be the next logical step for most people. because yes,
we are still listening and praying about where we are supposed to be and though we are closer
we are not committed anywhere yet.
so yes, it seems a little crazy to leave our house. 

but when God tells us to do something whether it seems crazy or not we are choosing to follow His plan and not ours {and for this journey i sincerely want Him in the driver seat - not me!} so we began to pursue selling the house.  and you know what happened??  

it didn't look like we thought it would.
we were nervous about the way it looked like it was going.
but God knew what He was doing.
He knew how to make it all work out!
oh yes, He did!
and through a bunch of crazy situations we will be out of our house by the end of july! 

and the fun part is that as we continue to walk through this {and it's only been a few days} He just keeps working more stuff out for us, for the other people involved, for our family!
it was fun to watch Him work this weekend.  He is good...

and amazing!

and so my life just got full of boxes and totes and packing
and trying to figure out what we will sell,
what we will auction off, 
what we will take with us to our temporary home here
what we will take to africa
and that last one is crazy since i don't know where we are going!
hooray that God does.

so here's to another step
and to where He is leading us

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

cousin love

ethan and grandpa
so this father's day we spent the day with pete's family and the cousins had a blast.  it was hilarious to watch them all play together and i seriously don't think they knew we were there all day long {well except for when they were hungry!} so the grown-ups had a relaxing day chatting and eating and enjoying each other while the kids played on the trampoline and in the blow up pool in the backyard.  oh how i love summer days!

WATER FIGHT!
run and ...
jump!!!
my terrible mom moment came when at the end of the evening i realized that poor asher had not had sunscreen on the entire day - out in the water.  poor buddy was sooooo red.  oh bad moment.  he was so brave about it though {and has not complained once - only asks for more "special" lotion}

father's day -a little late

so life around here seems to get away from me so quickly.
so here's a belated father's day to the best father that we know!!!
i am so very blessed
to have someone so amazing as a partner.
a man who is
loving, caring, compassionate
who is always willing to 
listen, cuddle, comfort
who models the Father's love to each of my children
every day
always ready to do whatever his kiddos want

we love you daddy!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

moving up

mia moved up to the next class at church last sunday.  she's now the "little" one in the group.  they have a memory verse each week.  she is soooo excited about this.  if she remembers her verse she gets a special treat {a little piece of candy}.  so we talked about this all the way home.  and i asked her what her verse was.  and she began to spell words to me from the back seat {i am getting pretty good at translating words from letters}.  and here's her verse ...

"He provided redemption for His people, He ordained His covenant forever - holy and awesome is his name." Psalm 111:9

and her mommy went "what???  this is your first verse to remember?"  well, okay so i said that part in my head but i was really thinking it.  thinking, "oh man, how can i help her remember these kind of words?  oh, i know how much she wants to earn that candy."  so we worked on it.  we came up with a little song.  we said it every day.  we talked about what it really means {those are some pretty big words} and when she flopped on the couch discouraged we just encouraged her and tried again.

and you know what??  SHE GOT IT!!  tonight at bedtime with the biggest grin on her face she rattled it off without even thinking about it.  so tomorrow i am quite certain we will come back home with a piece of candy in tow. 

and i have learned remembered to always help her reach for her goals - even the ones that seem pretty far out there and a little hard to reach.  because you know what?  believing in her is really all that matters.  whether she really makes the goal or not doesn't.  what matters is that i believe she can do it. and what matters is that she knows i believe in her.

what a week!

what a week!  mia has been away at day camp this week.  
oh did she have fun!
the infamous melissa, mia and cousin azy
she got to rock climb, do the "jumpy" thing, play games, chat, watch skits, climb a rope ladder to the ceiling, swing on the giant swing, learn about Jesus and countless other things she can not remember =)  she was so excited.  each evening her response was always the same "mom, we had so much fun i don't even know how to tell you."  she adored her counselors and already says she misses them.  though she also says she's glad to be home because she missed us too. =) 
mia and rylee - 2 tired girls at the end of a great week

her statement when i picked her up the last day - "mom, did you sign me up for next year yet?"  i think she had fun.  hee hee!  the fun thing is - it's the camp that my brother and his wife and a family friend of ours all worked at for the summer in college.  it's it great the way life works out?  hooray for camp!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

rest

so i had another blog post for today.  perhaps i will get to it tomorrow.  but as i was getting ready to load the pictures this little bleary-eyed man stumbled into my room.  he mumbled something about bad dreams and snuggled up next to me.  we said a prayer and he asked if he could stay "just for a little while".  so in he climbed and soon his eyes closed and he drifted back to sleep. and here he lays.  snuggled.  close.  and he sleeps.  in his sweetness and his innocence.  snuggled with his blanket.  safe in his parent's presence.

and it made me think.  isn't that what we all are?  safe in our Father's presence?  He is with us always.  watching.  loving. being.  there are things in our life that this precious little man is unaware of.  worries that are just part of grown-up life.  but he sleeps unaware and unworried because we are here.  because we are close.  and at the end of the day this is what i want for him {for all of my littles}- to always be able to rest because He is near.  because they know He is with them.  because they know that He loves them.  and really, it's what i want for you and me too. so rest well, He is near, and He loves you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

summer starts

it's here, it's here, it's here!  it's summer....and it's hot.  okay, maybe it's not totally hot but the humidity is here and that is plenty for me.  not my favorite part of summer but the rest of it..... =)  we have our list of summer things to do all colorful and on the fridge.  and we are enjoying our days. 

yesterday after church and naps we got out the sprinkler.  well, okay technically we got out every water toy we owned and had to try each on - several times.  evidently we needed a little variety to our afternoon of sprinklers.  the three big kids had a great time.  i seriously think the wiggly water one was the favorite though.
run boys run
 


here comes the water
not too sure yet


but asher's in with both feet

yet another spraying water toy

ethan was not too sure about this cold water thing.  
 

he much preferred the lawnmower.  
 
he did let me carry him through a few times though and giggled each time {sorry, no pictures of that for you - ha ha}.  then it was back to the lawnmower and the older ones and i got soaked.  yep, put my suit on and got my feet all full of grass.  and why is it that the inital voice in my head says "just sit and watch. they will have fun.  you are the mom, you stay on the sidelines."  seriously, what is that??  yeah, they would have had fun.  but we had a much better time together.  okay, side note over.

after a quick dinner it was off to hear grandma and grandpa sing.  their church choir was putting on a concert.  we managed to sit in the top row of the balcony.  i thought we were pretty safe.  long pew, plenty of wiggle room, space to move around and away from most people.  almost.  we made it through a little over half of the hour long show before ethan was done.  it's just too hard for him to sit still anymore.  we are definitely out of the snuggly stage and completely into the wiggle, move, explore stage.  so out into the foyer we went.  we could still see and hear and we still got to hear grandma's solo.  beautiful!  then it was time for ice cream.  oh were there tired children after that.  tired children on sugar.  but a good night.

today we headed to the zoo in the next town over.  mana and papa got mia a family pass for her birthday so actually it's the second time we have been.  the kids knew what to expect so mia came ready with her purse full of quarters to feed the goats and to get a stick covered in birdseed for the aviary.  they love getting to "hold" the birds on the stick while the birds eat the birdseed. 








checking out the otters as they swim overhead


Thursday, June 2, 2011

africa answers

so since our last post there have been a lot {a lot} of questions.  i'm not really sure i have any of the answers.  really, i'm not sure i can answer one of them.  but here's the answers to the most common questions ...

when are you leaving?
the short answer is - we don't know
there are lots of variables 
with finances being the biggest one relating to time

where are you going?
don't know that one either
{see i told you i wouldn't be much help}
at this point our hearts are leading strongly toward
uganda but don't rule out zambia

what group will you be working with?
we don't know yet.
{see, i'm not even sure why i'm attempting this}
there are several groups we are talking to 
some we have applied with 
and more that are presented on a semi-regular basis

how long will you be gone?
want to guess the answer here??
yep, we don't know
we will likely be there at least a few years
time for us to adjust,
to build relationships,
to hopefully truly help
and then we'll go from there....

why are you going?
 orphans have been on my heart since high school
africa since college
it was a theme for both of us when we first met
and now is the time that we feel 
God is inviting us to go
and where He goes, 
we want to follow

are you going to adopt?
probably
maybe
i don't know
i strongly feel that our family is not done growing
but i also feel that God is inviting me to 
birth the next children
solely from my heart 
and not my womb

are you crazy?
yep! 
{i think that could have been said before this venture}

what about your kids?
um, they will be coming with us. =)
sorry, couldn't resist that one.
this questions has so many connotations 
i'm not really sure where or how to take it
i guess my answer is this...
they will experience a new culture
a new way of life
they will see the heart of God
they will learn how His heart beats 
for them
for the orphan 
for us all
they will learn to be
His hands, His feet
they will gain an understanding 
of God
of people
that few of us can say we experienced.
they will be amazing!


soooo, probably not as helpful as you would have liked.  sorry.  it's the truth.  we are just walking out this journey one little step at a time.  sometimes i'm okay with that.  God is letting me adjust to this.  to following Him.  to letting go of everything that i have {materially, culturally, financially}.  He is so sweet, so gentle, so kind to give me time.  other times i want to scream at the slow pace of this.  to wonder why we are seriously not on a plane already??  my heart breaks for the little ones that wait for us.  i weep in worship as i think of the things they have survived and come from ... and from the way Jesus loves them.  oh how He loves them!!  oh how i can not wait to be His hands and feet.  to run to them and hold them in my arms and work side by side with the people there to help them break the cycles.  to expose the amazing beauty and gifts that is there.  and so each day is different.  but each day brings us one step closer to where God is inviting us.  and we wouldn't have it any other way. =)  keep your questions coming and i will do my best to answer them.