I may not be artsy, but I try….

Last year, our old team in Kentucky traveled to a friend’s lake house for a staff retreat and while there, we took a self-assessment test named “The Call” that was way in depth (it took hours to complete), but it was really accurate and not only told you more about how you worked and functioned, but also how your team did, so you understood more about how you fit together.  It also told you what career you would enjoy based on your “fit”.

One of the things that I learned about myself through this was that I love balancing a lot of plates at once.  If you are feeling overwhelmed with all that you are doing and need to hand some of it off, I am the girl for you.  I think I get this honest because both my mom and dad function this way.  The man that gave us the assessment made the comment that, for me, if I didn’t have multiple plates to juggle, I would find things to do. How true this was!!

Here in NC, people have freed me up to not have lots of responsibility so I can transition to the area, a new team, etc.  While I am grateful for this, I am finding that I have less and less plates to juggle.  So, like the man said, I have found things to do.  This week, that has turned into arts and crafts, especially since Pininterest (which is WAY addicting) has given me creative things to get excited about.

I made this wreath for our front door, complete with fall colors.  The first one is the one I made, the second one is the template I created it from.  The template looks better, but mine is not bad for the first go round.  Ed isn’t too happy about all the glitter that still remains a week after the project!!

The next thing I did was made an advent calender for our fridge for Christmas.  I know it is early, but I had all the supplies from last year and decided just to do it so it would be ready for this year.  On the back of each number will be an activity that our family will do each of the days before Christmas.


In other news, we have a pacifier-free child!!  She did way better than I thought she would getting rid of it.  We cut it down little by little and by the end, she was throwing it out of the crib and refusing to take it from us.  The next challenge will be potty training.  Bring it on!!

Enjoying Fall at the Fair

So, how are you adjusting to NC?  This is a question I feel like I have been asked and answered many times this last week.  To be honest, it is a hard question.  So here is how I am feeling:

Ask anyone that knows me and they would tell you that while change isn’t my favorite thing, I do it well and can transition easily, just because I do what needs to be done.  I thought that moving to NC for Ed to take a new position would be a huge step of faith for him, but not so much for me.  But I am discovering more and more that is far from the truth.  I think everything happened so quickly with our move that I didn’t have time to process what life would look like for me in NC.  I miss a lot of things about Kentucky and have my rough days when I dwell on them.  I miss having Cherry Berry “self-serve frozen yogurt” 3 minutes down the street.  I miss our church and friends from small group.  I miss trading days with another staff mom so that we could be on campus one day a week.  I miss our Cumberlands students that I meet with at least bi-weekly.  I miss having multiple Wal-Marts, Targets, Krogers, etc. within 15 minutes of our house.  I miss our neighbors, more than I could have ever imagined.  I miss hearing everyone rave about UK, not that I cared about UK, but their radical love for that team made Lexington home.  I miss having childcare at staff meetings.  I miss having a park within walking distance.  I miss driving around and seeing horses and million dollar barns everywhere.  The list could continue.   Yes, there are many things I am loving about NC – I love our team here, though they are way more spread out than in KY, I love the town we are living in, I love our house.  Life is still good, God is still the same, but everything is different.  Different is not comfortable. And man, I didn’t know how comfortable I was.

Okay, enough with the sad stuff.  We went to the NC State Fair last night with our staff team and had a blast!!  Kinsley road 3 different rides, one of which was the Merry Go Round which she sat on the horse and waved at everyone as it went around.  We ate some really good (but bad for you) food, got to see lots of farm animals, did lots of people watching, and rode some rides.  Here are a few pictures of Kinsley riding the rides as well as a few of our team members racing down the slide.

Check out this huge watermelon, weighing 282 lbs (a new state record!) and this pumpkin, weighing 522.8 lbs.  What in the world?  What do they fertilize them with?  All in all, it was really fun and great to get to know our team better.

Oh, and the best part of the week, we have been cutting down the pacifier a little each day to get Kinsley to give it up and it is working!!  She slept all night last night without it!!

Wedding Fun!

Where do I even begin?  So much has happened in a week!!

Last weekend, we traveled to western Kentucky for the wedding of our friends Matt and Sarah.  Matt was on our team in Central Kentucky as an intern last year, so we got to know Sarah through him, and Sarah also lived in our house this past summer while we were on project.  Last semester, they asked if Kinsley could be a flower girl in their wedding.  While I was honored they would ask, I didn’t know what would happen given Kinsley would only be 18 months old.  So, after having a talk with Sarah about expectations and realizing that they expected Kinsley to be the comical relief, we agreed to let her participate.

As the wedding approached, I got more and more nervous about what would happen and if Kinsley would make it down the aisle at all.  Ed and I decided that he would drop her off at the end of the aisle and I would wait down on the front row with a sucker to entice her to walk the aisle.  When the rehearsal approached, we realized we didn’t even need a sucker because she SPRINTED down the aisle without one.  But, just in case she got cold feet the day of, I had one with me.  The day of the wedding, Kinsley sprinted down the aisle again, this time excited about the sucker.  She sat in my lap for a while, then decided she wanted to walk all around up front and sit on the stairs with her baby doll and the sucker.  While I was on pins and needles the whole time, she didn’t get the sucker stuck in anyone’s hair, she didn’t scream or talk loudly up front, and she didn’t even climb the stairs.  So, I consider it a monumental success and know only the Lord can be praised for that happening!!  Here is a picture of her in her cute flower girl apparel:

She also loved playing in the church nursery while we were waiting for the wedding to start.

We are so grateful that she had the surgery to get tubes put into her ears this week and was feeling better for the wedding.  We are so thankful to the Lord that he allowed us to get in and see the surgeon before we moved, that he prompted me to change her appointment to Wednesday from Friday (when I had originally scheduled it), and that the surgeon was able to squeeze us in Thursday for surgery (the only day he does surgery).  It was very evident the Lord was ordering our steps and leading us to get this done.  When the surgeon looked at her in the office on Wednesday, he said her ears weren’t infected but that they still had fluid and would be infected within a week.  The next day, after the surgery, he said that they were already becoming infected.  The surgery only took her from my arms for about 10 minutes and she acted completely fine within 30 minutes after the surgery.  Thank you for your prayers for everything to go well.

The other big thing in our life this week was our move!!  I am so thankful that my parents were able to come to Kentucky and help us by riding with Kinsley and I in the car, providing moving help, and watching her while we got settled.  It was also fun to have a road trip with them!  We are also so grateful to our friends and fellow staff members who helped us move two times in Lexington (once into storage and the next time from storage to the moving truck), gave us a place to stay in the meantime, and who helped us move into our house!! This whole process has been filled with ups and downs, but it has been so fun to see the Lord answer prayers and provide for everything along the way!

Last Fall Retreat in the Bluegrass

So this past weekend was our last Fall Retreat in the Bluegrass…and what a great one to end our time here with!

We had been praying for 150 students and we had OVER 150 students from 7 different campuses.  So exciting!!  We brought in 3 different speakers from 3 different churches throughout Central Kentucky and the Lord used them to speak great truth from His Word to our students.  In addition to worship by an awesome band from a church in Lexington and hearing from these speakers, they enjoyed lots of free time for fellowship and fun, a great big bonfire, good food, discussion groups where they talked about what the speaker shared, and campus times.

One of my favorite parts about Fall Retreat is connecting with new students who are new to Cru or maybe not even involved with Cru but who come because their friends invite them.  For instance, one of the best conversations I had, was with a girl from the University of the Cumberlands.  She shared that she had come to Cru social events at her school a few times, but that had never been to a Bible study.  She didn’t grow up in a Christian home but had come to Fall Retreat because she wanted to see what this Christianity thing was all about and if this was something she needed in her life and so far, she had decided it was!!  While I didn’t hear whether she made a decision by the end of the weekend to trust Christ, I know that she made great friends at her school that plan on meeting with her and inviting to surrender her life to Christ very soon.

Here are a few pics from the weekend:

In other news, Ed and I took Kinsley to see an ENT this morning at the recommendation of our pediatrician because she has had 6 or 7 ear infections this year.  The ENT took one look at her and said she needed to have tubes.  Her infection that was diagnosed just the week before was gone, but there was still fluid meaning it would be back soon.  This is what keeps happening and why they are reoccurring.  We are moving Tuesday and if we waited until we got to Raleigh to get an appointment to see an ENT, she is liable to have another ear infection.  So, the ENT was able to squeeze her in for him to do the surgery tomorrow!!  Tomorrow??!!??!!

So we will be going to the outpatient surgery center in the morning at 6:45, where we will meet with an anesthesiologist, and then she will have surgery at 7:45.  It will only take about 10 minutes to do the surgery and they say that after 2 hours or so, we will never know she had surgery.  She then has a doctor’s appointment at 11:30 with her pediatrician for her 18 month checkup and will get her immunizations.  Minus well get everything painful over in one day.  Please pray for wisdom for the doctors, a easy surgery with no complications, and a quick recovery.  We will keep you updated!!