Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Carvings and Other Happenings

We bought some pumpkins recently that were meant to just decorate the front porch. I've never (in my adult/parenting) life been a fan of Halloween. I don't like the historic roots of it and find it fairly useless. But Libby, after visiting Disney World, is all about dressing up and playing pretend. She heard a little about Halloween at Mom's Day Out and shared with me her excitement about dressing up like a princess for Halloween. I was a little surprised since we had never discussed it. So, I thought about, weighed it all out and decided on a compromise. We would carve up some pumpkins together, dress up and plant ourselves on the front lawn in hopes of passing out candy and meeting new neighbors (we just moved into this neighborhood in the summer and have not had the chance to meet most of our neighbors). So - last night we (Libby and I) carved pumpkins. Boy was I surprised by the effort and time that takes! I had no idea.

Can you tell who's who? - Billy (far left) has a goatee. Libby (middle) has almond eyes that turned out way to evil looking! And me (far right) with full lips and eye lashes. Not bad for our first pumpkin carving experience.
Here they are at night:

Actually - after looking at the pumpkins at night it kind of looks like Billy and I are singing and Libby is sitting in the audience with that look thinking "what sneaky thing can I do while my parents are preoccupied".

- Anyway - tonight Libby dressed up like Snow White. Her beauty is so radiant and elegant. I just stop and stare at her sometimes - and this was one of those moments:

Mommy dressed up like one of her Somali friends (and like Dakota, too!)

Once we set up our chairs, candy and pumpkins I realized that we were ready WAY TOO EARLY! So we decided to eat some candy before the night began!

Then daddy came out and joined us right before dark. He loves his little princess!
So - later Billy took Libby out to actually go "trick or treat" and they had fun, but one of my less than brainy neighbors decided to answer the door with a huge knife sticking out of his head with fake blood and all and that really scared Libby. And that's where my big beef with Halloween begins. WHY would any adult dress like that knowing that sweet little 3 year old girls will be knocking on the door for candy? Am I the only one who thinks it's a little thoughtless and certainly unecessary to be so gorey and dark? And then the real question is - did I drop the ball in deciding to participate in the whole thing.... The reason all this is tossing around in my head at this moment is because sweet Libby just woke up drenched in sweat from a bad dream and I'm sure tonights evil characters are the culprit.

Of course, Libby will get over it - but the question is - is it worth it? I'm not asking any of you that question. I'm just asking myself.

I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of our neighbors. There are some great families living right around us and even some from different ethnic backgrounds - such as India and Vietnam. Very cool!
On to the other happenings:
Grammy and Papa Boots bought Libby a princess tricycle. She loves it! The wheels recently started squeaking so Billy decided to let Libby help oil them. Is this picture great or what?

Libby and I joined our friend Katie ("chicken") to see some of the Somali girls play at a volleyball game. Libby loves sports and had a blast watching "Tuma" (her name is Fatuma, but Libby leave the "fa" off the name).

Above and below: Libby poses on the "river walk" for the camera. When she gets in a mood like this it is so much fun. She can be a total ham!

Mommy and Libby = Global Girls!

Above and below: I'm working on 2 baskets to donate to the Gala's silent auction. Above is the one I'm called "Devotion with a Global Twist" - it has devotion books, the "One Year Bible", CDs, a coffee mug with hot tea bags, some missions books and a Voice of the Martyrs 2009 calendar. The other (below) is called "The Country Chic Decorator's Book Set Plus". It includes 9 Better Homes and Gardens Books, a clear jar of various buttons, a small jewelry box and some other decor.

The Gala is approaching FAST! I will do a big announcement after the Gala to let you all know how it goes. But I want to share that in honor of Libby and her birthday many of you have donated funds for the Gala and to date the total given is: $870.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We purchased a table (8 seats/table for the Gala- but all the money goes towards the orphans) with $500 of that and we have a couple of options regarding how to use the last $370. One of the options is that we might put some money in with it to purchase a second table. The second table idea came to us when we received a phone call from a friend who is also a Toni and Guy salon technician saying that Toni and Guy employees have all talked about the Gala and among several of those employees they are donating around 15-20 services (cuts, color, styling, etc). Just want to make a note here that while we have had to pull teeth to get other (and yes, I mean Christian) business owners to donate or play some part in this Gala it was a breeze for those at Toni and Guy to make that decision. I'm blown away by their desire to help. Each employee has to make the decision to donate all on their own since they are all on commission and they had no problem with giving their time and services for the cause of orphans. Impressive, to say the least! So - Billy had an idea that when I go to pick up all the certificates tomorrow I should ask if 8 Toni and Guy employees would like to attend the Gala and we will pay for their seats (which is where the 2nd. table comes in). Some of these employees are believers, many are not - but I think they would love to hear about orphans and maybe even hear about the God whose heart is much like theirs for these precious orphans in crisis. It's profound, simple and still surprising how much you run into Jesus when out in the world.

I'll leave it at that. Just be praying that if this 2nd. table idea works out that those employees hearts would be touched by what goes on at the Gala and they would feel loved and appreciated for their desire to help out!


Tagged One Too Many Times To Ignore

I've been tagged quite a few times - by some really precious friends - but I have ignored them ALL! Until.... my sister tagged me. I can't deny my own sister a fun game of tag so here I go: 5 interesting facts about me:

1. My body does not metabolize garlic very well, so if I eat it I have horrible breath for at least 24 hours - at least, that's what Billy tells me - I can't smell it.

2. I looked like orphan Annie for a good 2 years of my childhood - red, short, permed hair - yep, seriously homely!

3. I secretly love to "hunt" for Indian arrowheads.

4. I would LOVE to sing in a Broadway Musical.

5. My favorite thing right now is the way Libby holds my hand when we take naps together.

So - here are the 3 lucky bloggers I'm tagging:

Cristie Martine



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Her Inquiring Mind Wants To Know

I will be doing an updated post very soon about my sweet friend Betty Jean and her visit to San Antonio. I'm waiting to have some pictures from her before I post the whole wonderful story. (we had an AWESOME time together!)

But tonight I have to quickly post the most oh-so-sweet thing that happened this evening with Libby. Earlier today we were reading a book about Christmas and I spent some time explaining to Libby that Christmas is a big birthday party/celebration for Jesus. She asked if we are going to have cake at his party and I said yes, of course! Then she asked, "Will Jesus be there?" So I explained the best I could on a toddler level about how Jesus was born on earth a long time ago but that now his physical body is not with us, but his Spirit is. She just looked at me like she was going to try really hard to trust her crazy momma and then she said, "okay".

So - tonight I was brushing her teeth and she said, "Is Jesus here?"
I said, "Yes, his Spirit lives inside of me."
She said, "He lives inside of you?"
I said, "Yes. He lives in me and gives me full life. He can live inside of you too. Do you want him to live inside of you?"
Libby said, "yes."
I said, "He will live inside of you if you ask him, do you want to ask him?"
She said, "Yes."
I said, "okay, let's pray, say - Jesus (she repeated), come live inside of me (she repeated). And Jesus (she repeated) help me to follow you (she repeated with a smile on her face) all my days (she repeated). Amen (amen!)
Then I said, "do you believe?"
And she said, "YES!" with a big grin from ear to ear.

So - do I think she really understands - no, probably not, but the journey may have just begun. A whole realm of understanding is about to blossom. And what parent wouldn't enjoy and take note of that sweet prayer/conversation. Just had to jot it down so I won't forget.

If you know and love my baby girl, feel free to join me in prayer that Jesus would indeed make His mark on her soul and life. Here's a cute picture or two (or 3 or 4 or more) of the inquiring princess for you to keep in mind as you pray:

More to come soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Libby News and Friends

On the Libby front - much has transpired.... Drum Roll.... she is no longer a baby. She is a growing little girl! She's tall and thin and her hair is finally growing (enough to do some cute ponytails!). She expresses herself very well. We have special "talks" often - mostly about Disney princesses and the Lion King Show. She loves to entertain us with songs that she has "written" and stories that she makes up. She has some dear friends that she talks about often. She is ALMOST potty trained (we're getting there!). And she has a great sense of humor - always trying to make us laugh. Her smile radiates the room. And there are some special moments here and there that I never want to forget - like when she picked up her "phone" the other day and said, "Hi Mickey Mouse. Oh-my-gosh - That's amazing Mickey Mouse. Bye." Wish I knew what Mickey Mouse did. And there are moments I wish I hadn't missed - like when "Chicken" (a.k.a. Katie) was here at our house and right at dusk (we were outside) Libby sat on the driveway, with her knees pulled up to her chin, looked up at the sky and said to Chicken - "let's sit here for a minute and look at the moon." Oh, how I wish I could have seen that!

So - here are some special pictures of our last few weeks around here:

I was trying to get a picture of Libby's cute self and cute outfit before school this morning and these are the poses she gave me - SILLY GIRL!

Libby and Taylor recently had a playdate. They loved on barbies (Ken=a prince, Libby says) and dressing up like firemen (ladies, I mean).

Libby LOVES to help mommy wash dishes. Here she looks so precious as she washes a pitcher. Libby is learning how to serve. At house church she helps take each person's plate to the kitchen when they're done eating. House church, by the way, has been an awesome way for Libby to learn about Jesus and authentic relationships in a "hands on" way. She is just as much a part of church as any of the adults. Sometimes she prays, sometimes she raises her hands in worship... and sometimes, she's just loud and playful and we have to say "shhh" a lot. But all in all, it has been the best way for Libby to really see an New Testament, Acts church in action. Love it!

Mrs. Elissa and her sweet baby Lily joined us for dinner the other night. Libby, wanting the most attention - even if it's not from her own mommy - climbed in Elissa's lap before Lily could. Sneaky girl!

I recently painted this "sign" for our living room where we have house church. We've started a new tradition. Each morning at breakfast, Libby and I open our "Operation World" book and pray for the nation that is posted on that particular date. We really desire for our house to be a house of prayer for the nations - not just at house church, but daily in our personal lives as a family.

Libby dressed up in ALL of her dress up clothes at once the other day. She became a fly-fishing, grass skirt/boa wearing Hawaiian crazy lady (crazy because of the purple hat!).

Libby and Maliah had a chance to play together when Cristie so graciously watched Libby for us in September. Billy and I had a big meeting in TN and had to fly there and back in one day so Libby got some special Martine time while we traveled. They look so cute together in this picture.