Thursday, November 29, 2012

All for Christ

I read these words a little while ago and revisited them just tonight.  I love this friend of mine who shares about Harriet Newell.  I love Harriet with her for the quotes she shared.  And I love the God who is worthy... so much more than worthy... of all of our affection and energy and labor and lives.

If you have a minute....  please read!    May the Lord rise up many more like this 19 year old who lived and died with passion for the truth of eternity declared in the Word, a young woman who gladly gave her all for Christ.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

feast week

We got to have Grandma and Grandpa with us this week here in Florida!  What a feast of joy!  We're so thankful you could come... and glad to celebrate our THANKS with you.

What's that in your belly, Grandpa?

The Aqua Ball.   Leave it to (Matt's uncle) Father Tony to find a toy this fun.

It really must be said:  this girl is absolutely smitten with her grandpa!

And...  We are so grateful for you who track with our family in this little journal online.  Thank you for allowing us to share our lives with you and thank you so much for sharing your life, your heart with us too.  We love hearing from you-  whenever, however you're able!  We love you dear friends!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We ran for Premila

We ran for Premila.  What an honor and what compelling joy to Run.  For.  Her.
To run and to live and to push hard for the finish line... ultimately All For Christ.

THANK YOU to the friends who sponsored us, contributing to As Our Own, for Premila, for our run.

Yesterday morning Bart and Judy met us at the starting line and the guys ran a half marathon and Judy and I ran the 5k.  We love the connection we have with these two.  They are very much like spiritual parents to us, precious mentors, cherished friends.  It was great to run with them.... together for Premila.                          

The BEAUTIFUL blue sky and green all around was a huge cheer for Matt and I.  This is why we don't really run in China (just super sporadically.)  I need beauty around me to motivate me and the cement everything-rusty-smoggy running opportunity around us there does nothing to lure me into sweating. This morning was pure gift.   A gift very much made possible by one lavishly kind friend, Sean, who showed up at our house at 6 am to be there for our kids and shuttle them to the race in time to see Daddy cross the finish line.  Thank you, thank you, Sean!

Good job Daddy!
(it was bright)

Sadly, we missed the kids race (must have been while I was running) but we finished up with a little race of our own.  
Today, the kids and I prayed again for Premila.   World prayer time-lunchtime is becoming a tradition or at least hopefully will become a solid tradition in our family life together.   Pick a few current events, remember the names of organizations and dear friends and projects we love, our Compassion kids and so many friends in China... learn about the world and PRAY.   

Today was the best lunch time yet because I found As Our Own on vimeo and we watched a few of their videos and prayed for all the girls there.  Oh to pray more fervently for our four and for these girls too...  to love and give and pray for these girls more like we do for our own.  

(Side note:  there are so many excellent resources I'd love to link to on our family blog but not everything is bloggable because of where we live in.  Please email/comment if you'd like to hear more organizations and good works to pray for. )    More about world prayer lunchtime soon....  I'd love to have you join us!  

Harry Leu & Roman Elias

Last week we got to go to Harry P. Leu Gardens for their free admission morning with this fantastic group of friends.  Such a beautiful place to enjoy together!  

I love these two so much!
there were turtles swimming below 
finding the joy down there... together

Auntie Melissa knew this one kind of flower that can be eaten, so they all nibbled just a bit.
and they nibbled on these tiny oranges too.... but the sweetness just wasn't there

After the garden, we got to have a bday bash for Roman at Chick-fil-A.  Roman is quite taken with Vivi these days.

happy birthday big guy!

Friday, November 9, 2012

little bits on our little loves

Last night Isaiah battled Daddy in Stratego, a game loaned to us by our pastor, the item that is now solidly at the top of Matt and Isaiah's wishlist.  The other three were playing house (the first time they've really gotten into this) and Marian told me what was going on:  "Isaiah's the dad (even though he wasn't playing), I'm the mom, John's the kid, and Vivi's the cat."  They just really needed a cat and somehow she got the role.   I think she's cute whatever she is...

And she's gotten crazy verbal on us!  Last week she told me "Aye Yan Gum" and brought me a stick of gum.  Clearly she hears her siblings tell their mama plenty often enough "I want gum!"  She has a few favorite words that I just love to hear from her:   sanas (sandals),  cooookie,  my (mine!), blay blay (she gets giddy when she cuddles or plays with her beloved Blanket), bella bulah (belly button) and peeez (which I'm pretty sure she thinks means "give it to me!").   I love how she's started answering me "kay" or "gay" when I ask her a question.... "okay?"  I feel like story telling is really not too far off for her!

I just love her pointy finger stretched toward whatever she loves.  And too, she's always quick to raise her hand and shout "me!" for every possible "who wants......?" 

This guy, well... he cracks us up all the time.  I'm quite sure he rarely tries to be funny but he just IS so often, so super funny!  We really couldn't love him more....  or any of these four, of course!

PS-  He did get a haircut, mostly because of the long tuft sticking out the back in this pic!

My precious girlfriends from high school, two of my beautiful bridesmaids, Melissa and Michele,  have all these fantastically sweet, cute kiddos and I LOVE that our kids slip right in the middle of them age-wise.  Our three families each have 2 boys and 2 girls (the littlest girl is due in Feb) and it's just so much fun to have our crews altogether.   And yes... this was the tail end of Oct and we were swimming in sunshine here in Central Florida!

just a really cool, green, shiny bug and a bunch of delighted, adorable kids
the celebrity
More shots coming (hopefully) soon of our great morning at Leu Gardens!

I love these two together.  Isaiah is learning to be a great helper when this little one makes her messes.  
She's  an easy joy to everyone in the family.  
(I really need to dig up a photo of Matt snuggling Isaiah and May when they were all wrapped up in towels just like this about 3-4 years ago.   Grandma, you know the shot, right?)  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

a very interesting visit

We weren't sure it would happen....  but in the end, Hurricane Sandy didn't hold them back.  My dad and his wife flew into Orlando Thursday evening for a visit with us.  It was the first time he met our kids and it was a very enjoyable 2.5 days with them.

We enjoyed several nice restaurants with them, swimming at their hotel, the Winter Park Chain of Lakes boat tour, and a morning of play at a park near downtown.  For that, my dad sat on a bench and we all watched the kids and while he rattled off some sensational highlights from our family history.

At one point, a runner sped by and yelled back to my dad, "Hey, you look familiar."  
My dad: "You do too, I'll keep watching you to see if I can remember where I've seen you." 
The runner very cleverly replied, "yea, you may have seen me before, I'm in a few commercials."  

he didn't ever tell us straight if these were imports or exports of Cuba 
I said I wouldn't post this photo on facebook.   But I think this shot only enhances his image!  And anyway, this isn't facebook! 

Some dear friends of ours watched our kiddos on Thursday night and Matt and I got a double date with these two.  That gave us the opportunity to have much more focused conversation and we even covered good books and spiritual things.  At lunch my dad told me he would read Tim Keller's The Reason for God so at dinner I put a copy in his hands.  Would you pray with us for my dad while he reads?