Thursday, May 26, 2011

*25 Cents*

"I have something for you," my husband said as he was getting ready to leave for work this morning.

"Oooh, what is it?" I replied.

He grinned as he handed me a quarter, knowing what my response would be.

I smiled. "Alright! Thanks, honey!!"

Quarters are a high value commodity around here and every time my husband gives me one, he's communicating his love for me. Forget the flowers, exotic vacations, and chocolate. Wait, I take back that last one... chocolate's good too! But quarters tell me "I was thinking of you" or "I appreciate you."

You see, we live in an apartment without a washer or dryer. That means I trek to the laundromat once a week (in fact, I'm going this morning) to get the laundry done. My husband shows me he values me by being aware of my "needs" - in this case having enough quarters to do our laundry!

It's kind of a little game I play... see how far I can stretch the quarters and my tip money without dipping into our family cash. We won't always be without a washer and dryer, so I know this isn't a permanent thing for the rest of my life! I will be doing it for the next few years though, including deputation:).

My husband does a good job speaking love to me every time he hands me a quarter. I'm constantly telling him he speaks my love language:). He also carries his hamper down to my car... and I try to time it with lunch time so he gets to carry it up when I'm done;).

Just another reason why I love that man!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Catching My Breath!

I feel like so much has happened in the past couple of weeks and I'm just now getting a chance to stop and catch my breath:). Two trips = 12 states and 4300 miles and our little Saturn held up to the beating! We saw so much in two weeks, ranging from the flat cornfields of Iowa to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Nat and I travel a lot, but many of our trips are ministry-related. This trip out West was no exception, although we did turn it into a mini-vacation too:).

We started out the trip with a stop in Cleveland, Ohio to check out the USS Cod, a submarine that was in use during World War II. The cool thing about the submarine is that it is 75% operable. It hasn't been turned into a "user-friendly" museum like most others are, so we actually climbed down into the sub and saw what it was like when it was in use.

We did spend the weekend with my brother and his family, which included helping with a birthday party for my nephew. 3 hour birthday party + 18 active boys = 4 very tired adults. We were exhausted after the party and Nat, my brother, sister-in-law, and I just crashed when we got to my brother's house. I made lots of mental notes about boys and birthday parties:).

We left Monday morning to head out for the great state of South Dakota and chose the flat plains of Iowa as our choice state to drive through. Every now and then a little hill would pop up, but I'm from a state that has actual mountains, so Iowa was pretty flat to us:).

The second we entered South Dakota, we began seeing signs for Wall Drug which made us laugh! Never mind the fact that Wall Drug is 7+ hours from the southeastern tip of South Dakota. You really need to take a moment and go to the website just to, um, take it all in... :).

We spent three days in South Dakota (for my husband's graduation ~ our whole reason for the trip!) and met up with a friend from our church who was also graduating. Nat and I spent Tuesday morning wandering in and out of an old courthouse-turned-museum and found an interesting group of displays: hot air balloons, the history of under garments, and Vietnam. We were scratching our heads over how those three got grouped together:).

In the afternoon, we had a fun time riding go-karts and playing mini-golf. We really wanted to play laser tag, but apparently our group of 3 was not large enough:). The next two days were filled with graduation things and then we started the long drive back to Indiana. This time we chose to go through Minnesota and Wisconsin, but don't ask me what Minnesota was like since I slept the first three hours of our trip:). Waking up at 4 AM will do that to you! We were very motivated to get past Chicago before rush hour traffic hit and our plan worked, which made waking up that early worthwhile:).

I forget to bring my camera with me on our trip out West, but Nat's iPhone takes really nice pictures, so that's what we used:).

Nat and I at the falls in Sioux Falls, SD

The falls... obviously

We made a second trip down to North Carolina for my uncle's funeral. It was a quick 3-day trip, 9 hours each way, but it was good to see family.

Friday afternoon I knocked on my sister's hotel door to ask her something and when she opened the door, I couldn't believe we were matching. Then I saw my brother-in-law and noticed he chose the same colors my husband was wearing:).

I flew down to Florida in January hoping for this little guy to arrive while I was there, but he waited until I was in Thailand to be born... so I finally met my latest nephew ~ 3.5 months later! He's such a chunky monkey and looks exactly like his older brother:).

It's pretty rare to get all my siblings in one place at the same time and we're still missing one sibling here! My older sister is 9 months pregnant and her doctor wouldn't let her make the trip from Philadelphia to Charlotte. 6 out of 7 is still pretty good!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Time To Weep.

After fighting a year-long battle with leukemia, my uncle passed away on Sunday morning. On Saturday morning, his daughter-in-law gave birth to a healthy baby boy. It's a time to rejoice and a time to weep.

Nat and I were talking last night about how few family members we have lost. My Grammie died while I was in Thailand and that was one of the hardest things I ever experienced. Within the past few weeks my uncle's condition got worse, so I began to pray that he would pass away before Nat and I left for Africa or after we came home from Africa. It is hard being overseas when a loved one dies, and my merciful Heavenly Father kept me from going through that twice.

I don't know if my uncle ever got saved or not. Last I heard, he did not and that just breaks my heart. Please pray for witnessing opportunities with my extended family as we travel down to North Carolina for the funeral at the end of the week. It's going to be sweet seeing a lot of family members, but so sad because it's happening at a funeral.

God makes no mistakes though, and I'm glad I can rest in that.

"God On The Mountain"

Life is easy when you're up on the mountain
And you've got peace of mind like you've never known.
But then things change and you're down in the valley.
Don't lose faith for you're never alone.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

You talk of faith when you're up on the mountain.
Oh but the talk comes easy when life's at its best.
But it's down in the valley of trials and temptation
That's when faith is really put to the test.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I am quite pleased with myself this evening........

I am actually packed for a trip Nat and I are taking and we aren't even leaving until tomorrow!

(*insert round of applause here*)

We are leaving early in the morning, so I decided to pack things tonight and stick 'em by the door so they can be easily grabbed in the morning as we stumble about. (Whose idea was it to leave in the AM again??? :D)

My sweetheart is graduating way out in South Dakota, so we're about to put some miles on our car! Of course we're stopping to visit with some family members in Indiana, just in time to participate in my nephew's 9th birthday. I'm hoping this trip also includes a racquetball rematch against my brother:).

So, I'm going on another trip (no surprise) and I may or may not be blogging during this trip (no surprise).

Ready or not, here we go on a 2800 mile trip!!!