Sunday, January 30, 2011

Long Week

I haven't had the time or energy to blog this week. I was going to blog Wed about the kids going to the dentist. I took some pictures of them all. I was so proud. Hope got her first xrays and she was grinning ear to ear and said, "The dentist is so much fun!" And Emma just layed there with her mouth open like a princess. I was so proud of them all. Then when I was checking out I got a call from Lance with some serious news. A friend of Luke's from Cub Scouts had been in a serious accident.

I couldn't ask Lance any questions because I was trying to pay my bill, so I drove straight to his office when we were done to get some details. He didn't know much except it sounded very serious. I left his office, drove home and hadn't been there 10 minutes when I got another call from Lance with devastating news. Jonathan had died.

A precious, sweet, active, 9 year old boy lost his life at recess at school. How do you wrap your mind around that??? I had told Luke that Jonathan had been hurt, and when I had to tell him that he had died, he was in disbelief. Then angry. Bless his heart. How do I explain something like this to my son when I don't even understand the why?

Lance and I went to the hospital to be with his family. My heart grieves for them. How do you process sending you son to school never to see him again? It has really hit our community hard. His memorial service was yesterday. About 900 people attended. It was such a sweet service remembering this sweet young boy.

He loved Scouts and I have to say that yesterday made me proud to be a scout wife/mom. There were so many scouts from 3-4 different packs/troops there in uniform honoring one of their own. I know it meant so much to the family.

It's been so hard to see my son come to grips with his own humanity. And see the cruel fact that life can be so short. We want the answers. Why?? The only thing I can rest in is that God is still on his throne and it broke His heart too. And that He loves us despite the sadness of this fallen world. And that He has purpose that we might never understand. But I can trust His heart and His love for us.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Kids Keep Me Laughing!

In our women's Bible study of the next year we are reading through the chronological Bible. We started Jan 1 and we'll be finished Dec 31. I'm really excited. Plus, our pastor challenged our entire church to read through the Bible this year. I've tried to read through the Bible several times in my life, but have never made it through. Lance is doing it with me, so that is making it easier. The accountability helps!

Last week on our way to church, Luke had his Bible in his lap and anounced to from the back of the car that he was going to read through the entire Bible. :) Totally on his own. Without knowing that Lance and I were doing it. So he started reading at Genesis 1:1. And everytime we're in the car driving to church, he reads his Bible.

Well, this morning as we're driving to church, Luke calls out from the back of the car, "Momma, what does c i r c u m c i s i o n spell?" Lance and I just looked at each other. Lance: "What buddy?" Luke: "What does c i r c u m c i s i o n spell?" Lance: "Circumcision" Luke: "What's that?" Lance and I start laughing to each other. Lance: "Well..." He then tells Luke about the piece of skin that covers the penis. And what circumcision is. And as he's saying the word, penis, Emma yells out, "Penis!" Hahaha! After he told Luke what it was, Luke's first words?? "Does it hurt???" Hysterical!

Then, on the way home from church, he started reading his Bible again. And from the backseat we hear, "Dad, do you remember how Lot's daughters' got their babies??" I just about died! Lance and I had just read that passage last night. I had no idea what to say! Lance and I just looked at each other and laughed. Lance said, "Yeah buddy." Luke replied, "That's just wrong!" hahaha! So the Bible is giving my son quite the education! What am I going to do when he starts reading Song of Soloman?!?!

Then on the way home tonight, Emma and Hope cracked me up! Sara had asked Luke to open a pack of crackers for her. When he did, he ate the top part of one of the crackers that had broken. Sara started whining about it and tattled on him. I told her it was no big deal and Emma pipes up: "Lukie, don't eat my sister's crackers!" LOL!!! We all started laughing! Then Hope says, "That was so hysterical!" haha! Love my kids!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Good Friends

Some of our best friends, the Terrazas family, are leaving Monday to head to Virginia for training with the International Mission Board. They will be there for 8 weeks and then they are off to Kenya! This is the second set of close friends who have left for the mission field in the past month!
We had the Terrazases over for dinner this past week, and tonight their two oldest are over for a sleepover. Nicholas and Luke are the same age, and Katie and Sara are the same age. And they are all best friends. (They also have Nathan who is Emma's age!)

Luke and Nick

Sara and Katie
Emma and Hope
We started the night with an arts and crafts project. I thought that Katie and Nicholas would like having pictures of their friends with them in Kenya. So we took the above pictures and then we painted picture frames to put them in. They all had a lot of fun doing it. And the best part was when Nicholas said, "this is cool!"

Working hard!

The finished project!

Then we ate pizza, popped pop corn, drank root bear, ate candy and watched a movie! All the junk food groups! Ha! I wanted it to be a memorable night for all the kids. They won't be able to see each other again (except Skype) for 3 years. :(

Loving "The Little Rascals"

It's going to be so hard to say good bye to the Terrazas family. They are such good friends to us and it's hard to see our kids' best friends moving so far away. But, we are so proud of them at the same time! It is such an amazing thing to watch your friends answer God's call to do something that so many of us would think so hard. We are going to miss them terribly. But can't wait to see and hear what all God is going to do through them!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Growing Up!

Nooooo! Don't grow up yet!

Sara lost her first tooth today. :( She was sooooo excited! We just discovered it was loose a few days ago. Today at lunch I asked her to let me check it and it was VERY loose! So when we got home, we pulled it. She was soooo scared! Ha! Bless her heart. She came to me asking to have it pulled, but when it came down to it, she started crying. :) Lance and I kept telling her we didn't have to do it. I told her she was stressing herself out and just not worry about it. We'd tell her to go on and play and she'd tear up again saying she wanted it pulled.

Finally Lance got a hold of it and gave a good tug. Pop! She was so happy! She couldn't wait until she went to bed. All she could talk about was getting dollar bills from the tooth fairy! She's been asking me for a couple weeks for a dollar bill. It's been so cute. She's starting to know the difference between coins and paper money. Just another sign of her growing up. :( Hope and Emma still are content with coins.

The tooth pulling has topped off a great long weekend. We had a relaxing Saturday around town. Then after church Sunday, we took the kids to Tulsa. We went to a western store we love there, then went to the hotel to let the kids swim. I was so disappointed in that. The hotel has an indoor pool, but it wasn't heated! Seriously?!?! We spend more time in the hot tub than pool! Luke was the only one who swam a lot in the pool. Sara jumped in several times and swam quickly to the steps and out! ha! Hope and Emma splashed some on the steps and Lance and I barely put our toes in!

After we cleaned up from the pool, we went to Casa Bonita to eat. We LOVE Casa Bonita! It's kinda a Faddis Family tradition to eat there when we go to Tulsa. Then today, we went to the Oklahoma Aquarium again. :) Lance hadn't been yet. We bought our family season passes today! We loved it just as much as a few weeks ago! We are really going to enjoy going this year!

We got home, had dinner with my parents and brother and sis-in-law and then came home and had the kids in bed by 7:30! Without a peep from anyone! Great weekend and wonderful memories made!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Remembering Haiti

One year ago today, an earthquake changed Haiti and my family forever. I've spent the whole day wishing I was there today. To mourn with my friends, to celebrate with them, to pray with them. I've been distracted all day. Part of my heart is in Haiti. It always will be. And I know that I have a son there. And he's not here. That is hard. I've wondered all day what I would blog about on this day. A day of remembrance.

There are so many directions I could go. How proud I am of my husband for answering God's call to go to Haiti 9 days after the quake. How blessed I am to have gone back twice with him this year. How amazing it has been to see our friends and family rally behind our mission there financially and in prayer. My children's heart for a brother they haven't seen and don't know. So many things.

But I thought I would post pictures of my friends in Haiti that are making a difference for The Kingdom. My Haitian family. These people are sold out to God and to making Him known to Haiti. I am proud and blessed to have worked with them and to know them. They are truly inspirational.

This is Jacques. When Craig Miller, the director of Thirst No More, showed up in Haiti 2 days after the earthquake, Jacques is one of the first people he met. Jacques was a teacher. His school was destroyed. He walked up to Craig and said, "How can I help?" He worked for no pay. His English was good so he began as Thirst No More's first translator. Now, one year later, he in in charge of the brick construction. He is an amazing young man who loves Jesus. I am proud to call him my brother in Christ.

This is Jay Louis. He has also been a translator. Jay is has a smile that lights up! And he is so amazing with kids. One of my favorite memories of him is from my first trip to Haiti. We went to a horrible orphanage. Words cannot describe. Jay immediately went to one of the babies and held her the entire time we were there. And this last trip, he help us take pictures of all the orphans by tickling them and getting them to laugh. He is such a fun guy.

This is Ben. I met him on this latest trip. He has just recently been working with Thirst No More. He graduated from high school last year. His desire is to go on to college. I pray that he is able to. You can see his desire to learn. He is new to translating and he wanted to know exactly how to say things. Such a sweet guy.

This is Gelin. I met Gelin on our first trip. He is in charge of the translators. He is such a soft spoken, sweet man who knows how to laugh! Gelin carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. His mother and wife are both ill. He juggles caring for them, organizing the translators, and helping out the Thirst No More staff. And does it all without complaining. He is a rock. But I know it wears on him. I was able to chat with him on Facebook tonight and asked him how we could pray for him. He responded, "my soul, my future, my family and my country." He is such a special man.

This is Jean Phillipe. We met Jean Phillipe on our trip in May. Jean Phillipe wants to be a nurse. He was working as my translator while I triaged patients for clinic. Lance's translator had to do something, so Jean Phillipe jumped in to help Lance. He was in heaven. He was on the edge of his seat. You could see him soaking in all the information. And he catches things that I wrote down wrong or when Lance struggled for a word, Jean Phillipe knew what is was. Jean Phillipe loves his country. And he has a strong commitment to God and His words. Our prayer is that he is able to attend nursing school and be able to give back to his country like he wants to.
This is Dario. We called him the Haitian P. Diddy! Ha! We met Dario this last trip. The man has NO accent! I kept accusing him of being from the States! I seriously thought the guys were all pulling a joke on me. I couldn't believe he was Haitian! I had the best time getting to know Dario. We were able to talk about God's plan and how He is in control even in the chaos and unknown. Dario is very encouraged by all of the teams that minister in Haiti. He sees the love we have for him and his country and he is so grateful. I can't imagine how his faith has been tested in ways I won't ever understand. Yet it stays strong.

This is Sam. Sam worked with us on our trip in May and then again this last trip. We were only able to work with him one day this time and when we picked him up, he was wearing his Razorback shirt! Love it! Also, in this picture he is showing you his bracelet. We gave it to him back in May. He was wearing it this time too! Six months later! It has symbols on it that take you through Christ's sacrifice for us. And he can tell you exactly what they mean. I love that he still has it and uses it to tell people about Jesus.

This is John and Bailey Cordero. They are a young, newly married couple who moved to Haiti in November to work with Thirst No More full time. John is in charge of the construction initiative and Bailey coordinates teams from the US. I am so impressed with them. And jealous of them. If Lance and I were at their stage of life, we would be them! They are living in Haiti, on support and have no plans on leaving. Love them!
And finally. Erin Murphy. I love this girl! Lance met Erin on his first trip. She knows Craig. She is also a trained photographer. Craig asked her to come down and photo-document the relief efforts and the team while they were there. She came immediately. She went back to the States, quit her job, raised support and moved to Haiti. No hesitation. Just answered God's call. She is the nation coordinator for Thirst No More in Haiti. When we went in May, I just fell in love with her! She has become like a little sister to Lance and I. She is an amazing woman. She has a heart for the Lord and for His people. She is such and encouragement to us and helps us to stay connected to Haiti in a way that makes us feel like we haven't left. And the coolest thing about her! She met her fiance in Haiti! Isn't God cool?! Erin is single and didn't care about moving to a third world country where there is no prospect of men. Yet, God had His best for her in that country! Paul's parents are career missionaries in Haiti. He was born and raised there. So amazing to see someone follow God in faith and then see that He had the best plan for her! Why is it so hard for us to see that?!?!
So there you go. The future of Haiti. The people who love the country and it's people. Who have devoted their lives to making a difference. I am inspired by them all and honored to call them my Haitian Family.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow! (sort of) :)

We got snow yesterday. Not as much as the lower part of the state, but enough to keep the kids out of school today. Emma has been begging since yesterday to go outside and play in the snow. It was hysterical! So this afternoon, we had a chance to get out for a few minutes. Holy Cow it was cold! We couldn't stay out more than 45 minutes. It wasn't much snow, but enough for the kids to have fun. :)

My beautiful snow bunny!
Seriously the cutest 2 y/0 in the world!

Luke had a blast hitting Lance with snowballs!

Emma making a snow (grass!) angel. Ha!

Look closely and you'll see Hope's snow angel! (her favorite thing to do in the snow)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lazy Day

Lance and Luke went to Lance's cousin's house today to cut some logs to take to a sawmill so he would have boards for our barn. They have a son close to Luke's age and live on a big piece of land, so Luke loves to go there and play outside with Easton. They were gone most of the day. So the girls and I had a lazy day at the house. They stayed in pj's all day! :)

We watched a Barbie movie and made crayons. The only bad part of the day was when Sara's fever spiked. It got the highest it's been. 103.1 It scared me. We started her on antibiotics today and hopefully that will help her kick whatever this is.

Other than that, it was a fun day. Emma was running around all day asking for gum. It's her favorite thing! Hope was jumping off the couch, bed, and most every other piece of furniture. Ha! And poor Sara was dancing to the Barbie movie when she felt good. :)

Love days like this.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Girl Time

Sara has been sick with a fever since Monday night. Lance and Luke were at Cub Scouts and the girls and I were just hanging at the house. We had been playing and I noticed Sara laying on the couch covered up in a blanket. That's not normal. I felt her and she felt warm so I got the thermometer out and she had a fever. Nothing major. Just 99.something. Lance said you really can't even call that a temp. But then at 6:30 am she came into our room feeling like she was going to throw up. She didn't really, but she felt awful. So she stayed home from school. And every day since, she's run a temp in the morning, feels fine during the day, then runs a fever again at night.

Today, Hope and Emma had "school" so it was Sara and I out on the town. :) I had several errands to run and lunch planned with a friend. We had the best day! It's so much fun to be able to spend one on one time with each of the kids. And that time is hard to come by. So when it happens unexpectedly, it's a blessing.

Sara is such a mature little girl. It's like hanging out with a friend. I like asking her opinion on things to buy. Today, Hobby Lobby had all their Christmas stuff 90% off! That's like giving it away! We had fun picking out Christmas decorations and gifts for next year. And we went to Target to buy some shirts for Emma. She REALLY enjoyed that! She LOVES fashion! Ha!

I hate that she's sick (thank goodness nothing too bad), but it really was a great time with her, so I'll take it!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things I Don't Want to Forget

Emma roaring all the time.

Luke reading 200+ page books in 2 days.

Sara's face when she reads something for herself.

Hope mischievous grin when she gets caught doing something she's not supposed to and the "I'm sorry" kisses that follow.

Calling Emma a silly girl and her responding, "No I not! I Emma!"

Luke thinking he's going to draw/write a comic book for people to buy.

Sara playing "Jolly Ole St. Nicholas" from memory over and over and over again on the piano.

Hope loving Eli, her "boyfriend."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Not Ready!

I'm soooo not ready for Christmas break to be over. We have had the BEST break! I am really enjoying the kids all being home, the relaxed mornings, the lack of stress about bedtime, doing something fun almost everyday. And tomorrow is our last day of break. :( This has been the best Christmas season. The kids have been so good the past couple of weeks. And I think it might have had something to do with me just having the attitude of not stressing. I haven't stressed about the house, the chores, all the running around for all the family Christmases. It amazes me how much my attitude affects my family. So convicting.

And now, unfortunately, we are heading back to the routine. I'm striving to keep the same attitude. I have realized, but not necessarily taken to heart, that my stress level is directly related to my worry about what other people think. Whether it is family, friends, or total strangers.

I am not one to make New Year resolutions. I'm not a very introspective person to begin with so it makes it hard. I definitely have goals for my family and my life, but I don't feel the need to make a promise at the first of the year, that more than likely I will fail at. But! I am starting a new Bible Study at church next week in which we are reading through the Bible in a year. I am excited about it! And, I am really striving now to just not care. About what people think. I want to place my family first. And that might mean a messy house. Or being late to some things. Or just not going to some things. But, when I'm not stressed, we have a much happier family.

So. There it is. My "resolution" for the new year. And I'm going to be tested on it in 2 days. We go back to life as usual. We'll see how I do!