Mixing Work and Play

Thank you for your prayers – we are currently at 72% of our monthly goal to get to NYC! We are so thankful for those who are giving, meeting with us, have been giving, are praying, are giving us contacts, so forth and so on.

To be honest, this has been a weird season for us.  After 8.5 years of not having worked on ministry partner development (support-raising) full-time, it has definitely been a transition getting used to the ebbs and flows.  For instance, we by no means have consistent hours, I have found myself working way more than I normally do (and I worked a lot for a staff mom to begin with!), our kids sometimes join us on appointments but are sometimes left with one person or another while we head off, some days we have 4 appointments and some days we have 1, one of us, or both of us, is almost always working during the evening “crazy” hours between dinner and bed, we haven’t been able to really live life with our friends and church family because our schedule is so crazy and planning is almost impossible, etc..

Don’t get me wrong – we love what we are doing now and there is nothing more rewarding than inviting people to join in on what God wants to do in NYC.  To see people catch the vision and get behind us prayerfully and financially is such a cool thing.  We are so grateful that we get to do ministry even now as we meet people, pray with them and for them, and challenge them to worship God through their giving.  But for all the love we have for it and as rewarding as it has been to see God move, it has been hard, challenging, tiring, and weird.

That being said, we are learning – to breathe when we get a chance, to live life with our kids in between appointments, and to look ahead with expectancy but enjoy the here and now.  Part of that has been asking the kids to put together a list of what they want to do before we leave NC and head north.  A few things on the list – go bowling, go roller skating, visit the Splash Pad, go to Pullen Park, go to the park with friends, go to the farm pool (some people in our church have a really cool pool at their farm), go to Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, and paint pottery at Crazy Glaze studio.

We are taking advantage of any lulls in our schedule to mark things off the list – so far, we have rode the train and played at Pullen Park, we went bowling, we went to the Splash Pad with friends, and we went to the movies to see “Finding Dory”.  Of course, I didn’t take hardly any pictures – so enjoy the only two I got.  I have to get better at this!

Little man at the Splash Pad – he absolutely loved it – even if it was freezing!  He just laughed and laughed at the water being sprayed.  Speaking of, he also got his first hair cut…had to get rid of the rat tail he had going on in the back.  He wasn’t a big fan of it and kept trying to push the hair stylist’s hand down.  The pictures are before, during, and after.

Visit to Pullen Park – combined with an appointment, its a win-win!

Thanks for praying for us!  We go through another big step this week or next – putting our house on the market.  Whoa, big steps ahead!


Running or Swimming?

Ladies and gentlemen, we officially have a first grader in our house!  How in the world did that happen?  Kinsley had a great last few weeks of school with lots of fun happenings like field day, water day, and an end of the year picnic in her class.  She is glad to be out of school, but will miss seeing her friends and teachers.  We loved Mrs. Rhodes and Mrs. Wallace and are so grateful to them for the awesome job they do with their students!  She has made lots of great friends that she will miss dearly when we move (and I will miss their mommas!), but we are looking forward to keeping in touch (Thanks Facebook!) even after we move.

It is so fun to see how much she has developed in one year – she is now reading, writing full sentences, and doing lots of math ALL the time.  Seriously, I think I call out math problems for her to solve in my sleep!  And lets not mention the other fun things we have learned – like did you know that frogs don’t have teeth and to swallow their food, their eyes go down into their mouth and push their food back?  Um, yea, I couldn’t believe it, so we watched a You Tube video to confirm…totally a true fact!

Our fun little town hosts a race every year called “Run the Quay” (for Fuquay Varina, get it?!?) and I did the 10k last year and wasn’t super pleased with my time, even though the course is super hilly and challenging.  Actually, that race was where I realized how slow I was running, that I didn’t like being near the last person, and if I was going to keep running, I had to get faster.  Which, thankfully, I have.  So, I decided I wanted to do it again to beat my time and have a new challenge.  Ed and I like running races together so my parents came into town to watch the kids so we could both run it.  And to make it more fun, the girls decided to do the kids fun run (Kinsley did it last year and loved it).

I didn’t get a picture of us at the race, but we DID finish and I DID beat my time from last year.  It was super hot and humid and one guy actually got taken away in an ambulance.  All that to say, my time wasn’t a PR for me, but it was better than last year and I was happy with it given the hot weather and crazy hills (I seriously counted 7 or 8).  Then, we went to cheer the girls on at the fun run, except Kinsley didn’t feel like doing it because she was having breathing problems that morning and a low grade temperature.  Emerson rocked it though, and thought she was big stuff for getting her medal.  We pray the kids see us exercising and view it as fun and not something that is tedious and boring – and so far, that is true for them.  Thanks mom and dad for watching and bringing them!

And then, because we couldn’t decide if we liked land or water best, we decided to take swim lessons.  We take it from this lady in Raleigh who is really good and super hard core, but the girls have done really well. We took them from her last year and were really pleased, especially since Emerson was fearless and we knew we needed someone who would push her to really learn in just a few days so she didn’t drown – she doesn’t coddle them and just ask them to kick their legs, if you know what I mean.

Lastly, because our real life right now with swimming lessons, finishing school, running races, and meeting with lots of people to tell them about NYC isn’t exciting enough, we will add to it another ear infection for Blake and this –

While I was taking Blake to the doctor for his ear, Ed took the girls to the pool for a very short swim.  When they came back, Emerson’s eye was swollen and red around the top.  It continued to get worse that evening and after a trip to the doctor the next morning, they confirmed our suspicions – it was a bug bite of some kind.  Seriously??  Thankfully, it didn’t hurt her, but taking benadryl 4 times a day when it makes her tired and groggy did hurt her.  Thankfully, her eye is back to normal now and no ER visits were needed.  Please continue praying that everyone gets healthy and stays well!

Up, Up, and Away

We have been slammed with appointments – meeting with people to share about our ministry with NYC and how they can partner with us – and while that is a huge blessing and has been super encouraging, it was nice to take a little time this weekend to spend with friends and our family, enjoying Fuquay Varina’s Hot Air Balloon Festival.

We packed a picnic dinner and joined friends for the evening, excited to wait it out to see the balloons do a mass ascension into the sky and to see the balloon glow they held after dark.  Thankfully, they had lots of fun things to do and look at while we waited, like rides for the kiddos, arts and crafts tables, military vehicles to sit on, and live music.

I thought these two pictures were funny because they perfectly depict Emerson.  Sweet one minute and oh so cute – and then “who knows what” next.

Instead of a mass ascension, they only let two balloons off into the sky.  Turns out it was because of high winds, but we didn’t know why from the ground.  However, we did have a moment of panic when this balloon (which we found out was a racing balloon because it was skinny, long, and went super fast through the sky) got twisted in the wind and the bucket turned almost sideways.  Everyone on the ground gasped at the same time because we all just knew it was going to be a disaster in the making.  Thankfully, it wasn’t!

We loved seeing the balloons in the sky from our street, seeing friends pictures of the balloons floating all over Fuquay, and hearing from friends that the balloons went right over their houses (seriously, one friend had the balloon so close to their house that the person said Hey to her and she heard them – crazy!?!).

And, the moment we so patiently (or not so patiently) waited for – the balloon glow.  It was definitely fun and something that was worth waiting to watch.  Pictures don’t do it justice.

And just to provide an update – we are at 66% of what we need to move to NYC.  We started out at 56%, so this is huge and we are so thankful to the Lord for the partners He is bringing on our team.  We are so grateful for them, their heart for NYC and college ministry, and your prayers as we continue on this journey!