Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Final Post of "24"

This week we’ve been at the beach, enjoying some fun family time. DeLaynie has changed a lot in her attitude toward the beach since our visit in April. Last time she wanted nothing to do with the ocean, but she loved the sand. This trip she absolutely adored the ocean, waves and all. She enjoyed the sand as well, but only if she couldn’t see the ocean.

Ella, on the other hand, preferred the chill-out method of enjoying the beach.

Here she is, looking all contemplative.

Oh, and she ate some sand, too. I'll have to make sure that all of her future boyfriends are completely aware.

DeLaynie, being more adventurous, enjoyed daring the waves to hit her...

... and being thrown into the ocean.

This the very last time DeLaynie was patient in getting to the beach. That's because she hadn't seen it yet, and didn't know that's where we were headed.

Embrace the sea air, DeLaynie.

We've also gone for a bike ride, with another planned for tonight. The girls loved it, even if they don't appear too enthused here. We hadn't actually started out yet. Ella had this death grip thing going on until we were under-way.

This is the last post of my one-year commitment to blogging. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to blog anymore, but since our internet is inconsistent at best, I probably will take a break until we have regular access. I hope to return to my Bible Study blog at that point as well. I will post any news we get as far as jobs and moving plans. We still have nothing except for a few nibbles that we hope will turn into one, big, insanely clear answer in the affirmative.

It’s been a crazy year. The girls have developed and grown from infant and toddler to toddler and preschooler. We went from considering missions to planning for missions to training for missions to supporting missions stateside. We moved from Kentucky to Alabama to Virginia, and back to Alabama again. I never thought that we’d end up where we are when I began this journey. Our King did, though, and He knows exactly where we’re going, and why this bump in the road is necessary to get us there. There’s nothing like knowing the One who maps out every road, with every bump and curve planned ahead of time. 24 was a good year, and now it’s time to look to 25. Let’s just see where this year takes us.

See you in the blogosphere!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

So You Wanna Be A Minister's Wife

I have thought about teaming up with my mom to write a book by this title. I don't think I'll be able to convince her anytime soon, though she is definitely the source of the bulk of our collaborative wisdom. So for right now, it will suffice to simply post a blog. Before I list a few tidbits about life in the ministry, I want to say that I L-O-V-E being a minister's wife. When I was 17, God made it clear that marrying a minister was going to be a major part of my own ministry, and it's still the only clear direction I have as to my calling. (Well, I thought that we were called to go into missions, but that belief was merely a step to our true direction, at least for now.) Not everything comes directly from my personal experience. Some of it comes from my mom, and some comes from other ministry families that I've talked to.With that in mind, here are a few things that you should know before marrying into the ministry:
  • Many people think that the main task of a minister is what happens during church. The bulk of most minister's time is the stuff that happens between services. Counseling sessions, pastoral care (the term for visiting sick and distraught church members and their relatives), and administrative planning take up a huge part of the time for pastors. Hours are irregular because problems arise without warning. Hubby may have to get out of bed to help a member in need, and still have to get up to go to a breakfast meeting. Things even out over time.
  • People will die right before you're supposed to leave for vacation. It's not like you can ask them to change their plans, and death is a pretty big deal. So guess what gets moved, shortened, or cancelled? The beach can always wait.
  • It doesn't matter how badly you want to see your family on a holiday, there's a good chance that hubby will have some ministry to do, such as a Christmas cantata, or youth ski trip. That's just a part of the game, but you will figure out ways to get a few days with your family. Just be prepared to hurry.
  • People are watching. Sorry, sis. It comes with the territory. People need to see an example of a healthy family and a biblical marriage, so try to embrace the task. Every once in a while, there may be someone who just wants to see if you, your husband, or worst of all, your kids, fail. They're the ones with the problem. (Let me make it really clear that Edwin and I haven't had a problem with this yet. My Dad's current church doesn't have this as an issue, either.)
  • Sometimes a doctor gets a cough. There isn't a perfect church because there aren't perfect people. You may feel like you're getting jaded from being in an ideal church situation, but every church has problems. Some have lots. But healthy people don't need a doctor. (Edwin and I, and my parents, have been blessed tremendously that we have been a part of wonderful churches.)
  • Your best friends may live in other cities, states, or even countries. It can be difficult to have a completely transparent relationship with church members. Keep other ministers' wives on speed dial. They'll get it.
  • It's okay, and necessary, to expect certain things from your children because you're a Christian family, but never have expectations for your children based on being a minister's family. You can't teach them to have genuine faith if your actions are based on what people think instead of what God knows.
  • It's not about you. It's not about your husband being appreciated. It's not about owning all the things that people around you own (like your own home). It's not about your kids being happy all the time. It's about Jesus. And He is always worth it, no matter what "it" is.

Finally, if you're considering marrying into the ministry, talk to a minister's wife. They can give you insight that you could never get otherwise. It's a fantastic calling, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. In fact, Edwin and I are desperately seeking the next place of service for our family. We are considering getting a secular job until a church situation opens, and the thought of being something other than a pastor's wife is the most difficult part for me. I love it, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It is crucial to remember that being married to a minister is just as much of a calling as paid service. Many people overlook this, both ministers and their wives (or future wives), and the results can be detrimental to the marriage and to the ministry.

Edwin has reminded me to note that there are thousands of other issues. In fact, The Alabama Baptist has an article on the subject this week. It's more detailed than my own. But like I said, I want to write a book about it one day, and I don't want to give away all of my material ;). Have a great day at church, and remember to thank, hug, or otherwise show appreciation to your ministers' wives!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Let's Pretend!

DeLaynie is highly imaginative. She loves to play pretend. At any given moment in our house, you can hear her yelling, "With the power to read, I can save the day!" just before jumping onto the couch. (This is, of course, a line from Super Why, one of her absolute favorite shows.) He other favorite line is, "I just loooooove being a princess!" I'm not sure where that comes from. She's been saying it a lot, and I think that it's a DeLaynie original.

She has a Go, Diego, Go! animal rescue center that someone from my dad's church generously gave her. I love listening to the conversations between Baby Jaguar and the bear cub. They're always talking about some adventure.

In the same vein, she hs been dressing up lately. She will play with whatever is available, such as Edwin's socks, underwear, and almost his shirt. See below.

In Ella-related news, she actually answered "Yes," today! Normally, she answers "No," while vigorously shaking her head, no matter how badly she wants what I'm asking her about. She must have really wanted those animal crackers, though, because she was quite excited about her answer in the affirmative. Her facial expressions are always able to make me giggle. For example...

Well, maybe it's just because I'm her mother, but I love her little faces. Or maybe they're not so little. I love her face. We'll go with that.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 4th Dresses: Take 3

I've mentioned before that the girls' July 4th dresses were dirtified before I was able to take a picture due to a faulty diaper and a faulty bladder. I decided to wash the dresses that night and let the girls wear them to church the next day in hopes that I could get a couple of pictures. And that's what I got: two mediocre pictures...

So I put them back on my little models and tried again. I'm not sure why. I spent $4 on DeLaynie's and Ella's was given to us (thanks, you!) It's not like it would be a giant waste if we just missed out, but it mattered to me. Here's the one that I got of DeLaynie:

Ella was a bit more of a ham...

But I think she's seen too many episodes of "America's Next Top Model" because she kept doing this leaning forward, man-eater thing. (It should be noted that I don't watch Ms. Bank's show, nor does anyone else in my household. In large part I boycott it because of the ad that says "We're looking for women in all shapes and sizes, but you must be 5'7"," as if petite women are so obviously unattractive that the mere idea of one of us modeling is absolutely repulsive. But I digress...)

Well, at least she covered herself here. I think that these dresses are retired from picture-taking. They're obviously not lucky for the purposes of beautiful pictures. But I still have two great looking girls!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Something About Milo

We had a cat named Milo, who we gave to Edwin's mother for safe-keeping while we went overseas. Although we love Milo deeply, he has gotten accustomed to living in Edwina's (that's Edwin's mom's name) woods, so moving back in with us is not a good option. DeLaynie is especially fond of Miloshka (not his full name, but after reading a Russian novel, I always called him that because it's how they alter names to show affection; it kind of stuck), and the second thing she said when we pulled in to Edwina's for Independence Day was, "Where's Milo?" (The first was "'Wina!" which is what she calls Granny 'Wina.)

She begged us to go outside and look for him. We finally relented, and she was thrilled to be in the great outdoors. The heat didn't seem to bother her too much.

"Milo! Where are you?"

"There he is!!!" (Three exclamation points are necassary, I assure you.)

Reunited and it feels so good.

Ah, young love.
Yes, DeLaynie loves Milo. We've got to get these girls a pet, once we figure out where in the country we're going.
Just to prove that I'm an equal opportunity blogger, here is a picture of Ella.
I only got this one and one of her back before she managed to have a diaper disaster and get her dress dirty. That's actually DeLaynie's second outfit of the day as well. A similar issue led to the demise of her dress, but I had an equally festive outfit for her because of potty considerations. I had such high hopes for Ella, all squashed. Oh well! Better luck next year?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Promised

I'm at the 'rents' house, so I don't have my camera card to upload any new pictures. Still, I thought that you might enjoy this picture of Ella trying to run down an English bulldog named Sissy. This is her common reaction to dogs now days. She and DeLaynie love them! Ella says, "woof!" everytime she sees a dog, so we spent an hour and a half hearing her say "woof!" relentlessly when we gave in and let them watch 101 Dalmations.

Long Time No Type

It's been a while. I'm sorry. It isn't that I've been too busy (ha!), but I haven't had much to write about. I've been crocheting. DeLaynie's been pottying, averaging one or two accidents a day (!!!), and Ella's been into everything. In other words, life is about like it has been for the last few weeks. Edwin's still job searching, with the help of his lovely wife. We still don't have any solid leads.

My brother just started a blog, and if you would like to read it, and I encourage it, you can click here. He's coming from life from a different angle (some would say he's cooler, but not me, nope), so you may enjoy his perspective.

I'll get back to you soon. I have some pictures that I haven't uploaded yet. I'm sure you'll enjoy that way more than my ranting anyway. Who doesn't love pictures of little girls?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Not Quite Tiger

Last night we went to Youth Dude and His Awesome Chick's house for dinner and playtime. Da Boyz were practicing their golf swings, and doing very well, and DeLaynie wanted to join in. Her form was somewhat lacking...

So Edwin decided to use his vast knowledge of all things golf to help her. Even though he is not a golfer, I think it's safe to say that he can help her improve.

We then ate some very good hamburgers and potato salad, and in the middle of dinner, Youth Dude got a text message from someone of whom I am particularly fond- my brother, Micah! Apparently, he decided to make the trek from Jackson, Tennessee for the weekend. Youth Dude and His Awesome Chick were kind enough to invite him over, too. So we all had a good time. We would have had a better time if we had been able to get the girls to go to sleep, but we couldn't. Our grand plan of a game of Monopoly was thwarted. We had fun anyway, but next time I am going to make sure that any allergies that they have are being treated ;).