Monday, June 29, 2009

Crocheted Insanity

Well, the Attaway household is now running over with winter hats, crocheted by yours truly. I made Ella one, and Edwin became jealous and begged me to make him one. I'm not sure why. I've never seen him wear a hat unless it was a baseball cap. Oh, and it is 100 degree most days. Still, he wanted one, so I made it. I've made two others, for what purpose, I am not sure.

I'm working on an afghan. It's going to take a little while longer than the hats, I'm afraid. I hope that DeLaynie will enjoy playing with it with her dolls, and maybe she'll even cuddle up with it on occasion. Now, I never thought I'd say this, and I'm a little embarrassed, but I have found my favorite yarn. It's called "I Love This Yarn!", and it's only available at Hobby Lobby, a Christian owned and operated company. It's wonderfully soft, inexpensive, and I highly recommend it to all you crafters out there.

Well, the end of my one-year commitment is coming to a close. I will hit the mediocre age of 25 on July 24th (as you should see from the address). I haven't developed a plan for the blog after that date, though I do plan to keep on blogging. Because of the frustrations surrounding dial-up, I haven't been blogging at my normal rate anyway. I'll try to pick up the pace, but I'm running out of things to say. I hate to say it, but there's just not much going on right now. I can only talk about yarn for so long.

Keep on praying that God will open some doors to a new job where we can be used and DeLaynie can get all the therapy she needs. Thanks for your support. It still matters!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009


The very last class we took at the missionary training center was on the Meyers-Briggs personality instrument. We learned a lot about working with people whose personalities differ from ours, and we also discovered a few things about ourselves.

I was shocked to discover that I tested well into the extrovert category. I was not shocked, however, to see that I am a thinker, as opposed to a feeler. The woman teaching the class made the comment, "Most people just don't know what to do with a woman thinker." Well, that's true. Only 30% of the world's female population fall into such a category. We have a little trouble with male feelers (who make up the same percentage, 30%, of their own sex), but female thinkers seem anti-instinctive.

Applications? Maybe I would find housework more bearable if I were a feeler. I mean, spending a grand total of an hour and a half on preparation and clean up for a meager fifteen minutes of eating just isn't logical. If I were to get a buzz from knowing that my family is full, happy, and grateful, maybe it would be a more desirable task. For me, though, it's just something that I do because it's my job (although I still think a frozen pizza makes more sense and accomplishes the same, basic task).

Beyond that, it's helpful to know that I'm not heartless, just thinky. Just because thinkers prefer logical analysis to mushy emotion, it doesn't mean that we don't have feelings. In fact, right now I'm feeling quite thirsty. See? Maybe I can be emotional.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Did It... Sort Of

I have been trying to learn to crochet. I have a hard time keeping the rows a consistent length, but I'm making progress. I finally finished a hat. It's the simplest of hats. It's pretty much a tube with one end pulled tightly together. Unfortunately, I didn't make it big enough for anyone in our family to actually wear, except for Mrs. Bunny here.

Last night I went to a 31 party, yarn and needle in tow. It just so happened that the hostess crochets, as I was hoping someone would. She showed me the basics of the Granny Square, and I'm making some progress in that area. It's slow work, but while I keep trying, focus your eyes on this bad puppy. I know. It's one impressive work of crafting... or something like that. Mrs. Bunny has been very grateful as she has bad circulation, making her quite chilly. At least someone is benefiting from this little endeavor. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Housebound (and pictures, too!)

We're going to be home this week. All the time. We're using this opportunity, with two stay-at-home parents, to get DeLaynie potty trained. I've made the commitment that until DeLaynie is completely trained, or until church Sunday morning, we will be here.

Progress? Well, 4 successes and 0 failures for the day so far! Maybe we'll get to leave the house before church on Sunday!

Well, I figured out that I can compress the pictures and upload them, even on dial-up. So, here are pictures. They're in no particular order, I'm afraid. I just couldn't move them. I don't know why, but I dedided that I shouldn't push my luck.

DeLaynie, lounging in the grass, just daring a tick to get her.
Edwin and DeLaynie yesterday after church. That girl is a daddy's girl to the core.

Ella, looking out the window. This picture has no significance. I just liked it.
DeLaynie and Ella riding on the gardening wagon at Granny and Pa's house. The first thing she said when we went outside to the lovely backyard was, "Where's the wagon?"
Ella and her good friend, the straw.
My dad and Ella.
A family picture.

Edwin's dad, Bill, and Bill's wife, Cindy. Oh, and our girls.

Edwin and his dad.

Friday, June 19, 2009

There Is No Common Thread For This Post

I have some fabulous news! No, we don't have a job. I'm not totally sure that the English language has an adjective to describe such an announcement. But, we do have internet! It's slow, good, old-fashioned dial-up, but it works, and I am now able to blog from the den of our mission house.

Moving on...

We received a package this week that made us especially happy. It was an envelope full of prayer cards from missionaries who are leaving for other countries. Some are leaving tomorrow. Some have already left. Others are going to be delayed for a while because of legal issues with their visas and other hold-ups. We now have a photo album full of 4o cards representing 40 families and individuals who are sacrificing their ideas of normal for the sake of Christ.

Today we went to Dothan to see my grandparents, the girls' great-grandparents. The girls had a great time. Unfortunately, it was just too ridiculously hot for the girls to spend much time in their gorgeous yard. DeLaynie still remembered the garden wagon that she so enjoyed in February, and she asked to play on it. She only lasted a few minutes, but she really seemed to enjoy those minutes. I'll post some pictures from today when we have the pleasure of high-speed internet.

Don't forget Father's Day this Sunday. And don't eat any Tollhouse Cookie Dough, even if you cook it. There's a recall on it due to E-coli. Just a thought to ease you into the joy of the weekend. Though, what is a weekend without raw cookie dough?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Commissioning

Today is the commissioning service for the missionaries with whom we trained. Congratulations! Obviously, we wish that we were next to you today. We desire nothing more than to be getting on a plane in two days. That just wasn't God's plan for us. We are glad, however, that it is God's plan for you. We are honored to know you. You are in our prayers. (For those of you who are not missionaries, you should know that those being sent are incredible people. They are worth every penny that we Southern Baptists invest in them.)

As for us, we have a few leads, but nothing particularly promising. We are sure that God has something for us out there. We look forward to finding out what, exactly, that is.
We designed a prayer card of sorts, though we didn't want to pay money to have them printed. I figured that I would just share it with you this way:

In other, far less eternally consequential matters, potty training is going much better. She is using the potty seat all by herself now. We are going with the nudist approach, not that you really needed that image burned in your brain. We are very proud of our little Laynie Bug.
Summer is in full, muggy swing here in Alabama. I've determined that Alabama is a more lovable state when in a long-distance relationship. It's just so hot! I know, we were going to move to Nicaragua, which is somehow hotter and more humid. Somehow it's less bearable without fried tortillas.
DeLaynie loves the kiddie pool her Granny 'Wina (Edwin's mom) bought her. We love that there's a backyard to put it in. Ella doesn't care for it, though. She seems pretty freaked- out about it. They also have an inch-worm sprinkler. Ella likes it a little more, but DeLaynie is more fond of the pool. I hope to have some pictures soon. It's hard for me to remember to take pictures right now. If I ever finish a crochet project, you can be sure I'll remember to post a picture of it. But I wouldn't count on that. It probably won't happen.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Study in "Almost"

We almost had internet. Technically, we had dial-up for a day and a half, but then something happened, and our motem kicked the bucket. We have no desire to buy an all-new dial-up motem for a few weeks on internet. I didn't even get a chance to blog from the house. (I'm at my parents, my favorite wi-fi hot-spot.)

I'm almost crocheting. I don't know what I'm doing, but it isn't actually crocheting. I'm playing with yarn in the hopes that something will eventually be produced. Nothing so far. I have a $4 book from WalMart on the subject, but I'm not following. I'm fairly good at learning things from a book (cooking, for instance), but I wish this thing had a glossary. I may run to the local (tiny) WalMart and see if they have a more in-depth book on the subject. About thirty years from now, I may just have a scarf to show for the experience. Probably not, but I am trying to talk myself into believing it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Than Enough

I'm at Chic-Fil-A today. It's about 45 minutes from our current home, but we were out-and-about, so it was the best option.

I said in my "about me" section that I want to share the joys and the challenges of this life with you. Right now, we're in the challenge phase. We are unsure of what we're supposed to be doing, or where we're supposed to be living. We've decided to add potty training to the confusion of our current situation. It's not going smoothly, but it has to happen. Waiting until we're "settled in" somewhere would result in DeLaynie being 14 before being potty trained. We're just going to have to bite the bullet and give it a shot now.

Unfortunately, church job hunting doesn't go quickly. Usually, that's a good thing. It's very important to be in the right church. But we're not in a typical situation. The longer we don't have a job, the greater the length of time DeLaynie is without therapy.

There are other concerns, but they're relatively menial. It's a difficult place to be.

I know where God, and I know Who God is. Those two things bring comfort and peace when times are difficult. I know that He will be faithful. I also know that His grace is enough for me. And that's where I'll be... standing in the grace of the King of Kings, who is worthy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Together-ness Time

The girls spent the night with my parents. We went "into town" and poked around for a little bit. Then we went back home and played on the Wii. It was the first time I'd played in a long time. I'm very glad that we didn't sell it. We had a good time, especially since I won 6 games, and Edwin won 4. Yep, I did alright.

This morning, we woke up to a house without children. It was too bright in our bedroom for me to go back to sleep (I bought a sleep mask today; that won't happen again!), so I made pancakes. I put a few blueberries in Edwin's. It made him happy. It makes me happy that I remembered how to make them, even with Bisquick.

It's hard getting back into a normal routine. I haven't had to cook on a daily basis, and I haven't had to do dishes, either. The house is a lot more to clean than the little quad, but there's also a lot more places to put things away. We have television again, though mostly just PBS since we don't have cable. It's amazing how much a little television helps DeLaynie with her language. She's talking much more now that she's able to get a Sesame Street fix again.

We've been thinking a lot about our friends back in Richmond. They're almost done with training now. Some very close friends will be flying into Asia at the end of next week. Others will be delayed a month or more before they get to the field. They are all on our hearts and in our prayers. (We love you!) Join us in lifting these missionaries-in-training up to our Father as they become missionaries on the field.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Whatcha Doin?

We are getting pretty spoiled in a four bedroom, two bathroom mission house. There's even this strange thing called a laundry room. The girls have been running around, enjoying the plentiful space. There's even a fenced-in back yard! It's amazing.

There is one, little thing. We don't have Internet, which is why it's been so long since I've posted. I probably won't be posting that often for a little while. Sorry.

Right now, we're looking throughout the country for a job. Edwin's emailing various churches, hoping to find the right fit for our family. I'm scouring the Internet for information on various areas. We're doing our best to find a place where DeLaynie can receive lots of therapy, and where there are plenty of lost people in need of the Savior.

That's pretty much all that's going on at this moment. The girls are spending time with grandparents, and we're trying to think out the next few months. It's a strange place to be in, but we're not alone. It's a crazy, wonderful road, this Christian life.

Friday, June 5, 2009

On The Road Again

It's obvious, cheesy, and completely over-done, but it's what's happening in the Attaway universe at this moment. We are spending our second night in a hotel this week. This time we're somewhere in Georgia. Edwin thinks that we may have scared some neighbors away because he saw them leave the room around 6 o'clock tonight. My girls are loud enough to scare travelers away; I'll give 'em that.

We insisted on staying somewhere with an indoor pool last night. We thought that DeLaynie would like it. She most certainly loved the pool. She loved it so much that removal from the pool area resulted in a tantrum that could be considered excessive, even for a young lady at her age. She eventually calmed down, and when she did, she went to sleep quickly. So, obviously, we made sure that our hotel tonight also has an indoor pool. Judge us as you will. They only got twenty minutes of pool time in tonight, but we plan on spending some time splashing around tomorrow morning before we leave.

Edwin did me the huge, sanity-saving favor of giving me some time out by myself. There's an outlet mall right down the road from our hotel, so I went and bought a few (very few) things for the girls to wear this fall since we sold all of their fall/winter things. I also bought myself a pair of jeans from Banana Republic. "What?!" you say. "Why would you spend a ridiculous amount on jeans when your family is in the situation that you're in?" Well, the jeans were $11. I have one pair of BR jeans that I bought from another outlet with some birthday money, and those are my favorite. I made the decision that $11 for jeans that I'll wear constantly isn't that irresponsible. Judge me some more.

Well, Ella's going through my purse, and that has no potential for good things, and tons of potential for bad things. I should probably get to that. Don't forget to dwell.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lotsa Girls!

Edwin's brother is also the father of two girls, ages 4 and 2. That makes for a lot of females during a visit. It's such a fun thing to watch four little girls, from 1 to 4, play together. I've realized that giggling begins early in life for a girl. There have been lots of giggles, a few cries, and plenty of fun for everyone.

I can't count how many games of "Ring Around the Rosy" have been played. Ella tries to sing, but it isn't quite recognizable. It's funny to hear her try, though. She's also tried imitating Edwin as he battles his brother on the Wii. She's almost thrown several remote controls.

Tonight Edwin's sis-in-law made fried chicken, butter beans, potatoes, and corn bread. It was crazy good. Thanks, other Attaway family, for the fun and hospitality during our stay. I hope it won't be another two years before we are able to get together again. We'll try to have you over whenever we get to... wherever it is we're going.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Little Mommy

DeLaynie's favorite game right now is "slumber party." This game, which I believe she made up on her own, involves dragging as many blankets, pillows, and stuffed friends into a very public place and arranging them into a bed-like configuration. After they're all arranged, she then tucks them in, gives them kisses, conveys her intense and un-dying love, and snuggles up next to them. Here are a few pictures from Sunday's game:

This was just the first of many games. It has grown to three dolls and a penguin in membership. She wants to play it all the time, but she was particularly fond of playing during church time.
FYI- We are now in the D.C. area, visiting Edwin's brother. I'm so happy to get to see my nieces and Edwin's wonderful brother and fantastic sister-in-law. Although it was intensely painful to leave so many close friends this morning as we departed from the training center, we know that God's plan is good. We look forward to seeing how God uses us for the expansion of His Kingdom.

Monday, June 1, 2009


You might be thinking that the title refers to the fact that our lives are changing rapidly. You may think that I'm talking about all of the packing, cleaning, and other preparations that have to happen before tomorrow morning. Those would be logical conclusions, but that is not what I'm talking about.

Why am I overwhelmed? I am overwhelmed by the kindness being shown to us by the Christians in our world. The churches who signed on to partner with a missionary family, and are now missional orphans, have been nothing but loving to us. They have sent me constant reminders of their prayers, and those prayers mean a lot to us. In some ways, I feel like we have failed them, as if we performed a bait-and-switch by promising them great works of evangelism, but are giving them another out-of-work minister instead. They don't see it that way, though. They still see our family as a way for them to minister. And that changes the way that we see ourselves.

The missionaries here at the training center are another incredible example of the Body of Christ at work. They have shown us generosity and kindness that we couldn't have imagined. They've taken care of Ella while we went to doctor's appointments with DeLaynie. They've offered to help us pack and clean. They have prayed and cried with us through the struggles, even to the conclusion. Today they prayed over us as a community, and Edwin said that he could physically feel a peace that he hadn't experienced in a while. They surprised us today at lunch by giving us an envelope full of notes and gifts to help us replace the things that we sold in order to go. These are people are going to be missionaries, and they are sacrificially giving to us, who aren't going! That is an amazing thing.

God has used our supervisors and the nurse who has managed our case to show us His love and concern. They have taken hours out of their time to talk to us and take care of us. They have genuinely hurt alongside us. We may have diverted them from things that many would say are more important, but they were there every time that we needed them.

If you don't know Jesus personally, you may have a bad taste in your mouth from past experiences with people who claim to know Him. But those aren't the Christians that I know. These people are genuine, deeply kind, and loving to the point of personal sacrifice. These are the people that Jesus points to when He wants to remind the Devil that he isn't winning the war.

This is the Body of Christ as it should be, and this is one of the moments when I realize that I don't deserve to be called to service at all. If I'm called to serve here, I am privileged to receive that calling, just as I would be privileged to receive a calling to go. This life, the Christian life, is a gift that I could never earn. It's just too valuable. I am grateful for each and every moment of it that I get the joy of living, no matter where God calls me to be. And this life is just the tip of the beginning of the amazing things God has planned. How beautiful is this God whom I call, "Father"?