Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm Still Here

We are in the hurry flurry of packing like maniacs but I have some super cool pictures I want to post from our trip to Camp Buckner and the BBQ our friends in the neighborhood threw for us. I may not be able to post pictures until we get to Pittsburgh (one week from today!!) but I do want to keep posting on the excitement of our driving adventure (6-7 hours a day for 3 days across the country). So stay tuned. If we get a lot done today then I will be able to post some pictures this evening.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What to write about?

I usually have a few ideas about what I want to write about but I feel like I have writer's block. I got a weird comment from an "anonymous" person that said some hurtful things and I have been pretty uninspired since. Well, maybe self conscious is a better choice of words.

God has been speaking to me about how I need to trust in His love for me and to not let what other people think of me become an idol in my life. That is something I have struggled with my whole life I think! Oh, to be free from that!

I can't believe we are moving in 16 days! Our house still looks the same as it did 2 months ago. No boxes packed. Zero. None. I won't really be able to start packing until Friday and by then we will only have 1 week left to get the whole house packed before the moving truck arrives at our doorstep. I realized this this afternoon and have spent the rest of the day trying not to freak out about it. One week! One week? ONE WEEK!!! That is what is going through my head.

Speaking of the house....still NO movement on the house. We have not had anyone come and see the house since April 1st. 6 weeks. It is beginning to feel really pointless to keep the house clean and picked up all the time since no one comes to look at it. We had an open house, we have a great virtual tour online, great pictures, flyers in front of the sign, an add in the paper and those moving magazines you get at the grocery store. We reduced our price by $4K and are selling at a price that is competitive/lower than some of the foreclosures in the area. And still nothing.

I know that God is doing something even though I can't see it. God is faithful and has called us on this journey so we will not FEAR and we will trust Him regardless of how long it takes our house to sell. I have to admit that I thought we would have more movement than we have had. I think I was pretty realistic about it taking a while for the house to sell but I didn't think it would be this slow. It is very tempting to be afraid that no one will come and see the house for months and months on end and that this house will become our enemy.

Do you know something ironic? When we lived in San Antonio we bought a house in the inner city. It was a lovely house and we have so many great memories there. People cautioned us not to buy a house in the inner city because we would lose $$ and that it was an unwise way to use our money. We wanted to live in the inner city because we wanted to love and serve the least of these and because we felt like that is what God wanted us to do at the time. When you live in suburbia it is easy to ignore the poor and needy but when you live right next to them you get lots of opportunities. It was also affordable housing for us. We felt like we were following God's direction in our lives and were willing to risk losing some of our money because it was for God's kingdom. Well, when we sold our house in San Antonio to move to Dallas, we ended up making a decent amount money on the house. It was almost as if God blessed our decision to follow him and take that risk.

When we decided to move to the subarbs in Dallas we didn't hear the same cautionary statement from people. No one warned us that it was a risky move financially and that we would lose money on the sale of our house or that we shouldn't do it because it was dangerous to live there. I find it ironic (and humorous) that it is entirely possible that we may lose money in our investment of this house. I think we get caught up too much about what the world thinks about money and too many times end up making decisions based on loving money rather than loving God.

I am not saying that I choose loving God over loving money all of the time or even most of the time--it is something that I struggle with. Every time I do a Bible study on what God says about money I am convicted. Money is one of those subjects that gets people's blood pumping. Our old boss said the three biggest things married couples fight about are money, sex, and in-laws. Money has been our top contender. We have learned about how to talk and communicate about money but we have had some pretty big blow outs over the subject. It felt like a real victory the first time we were able to talk about our budget without me crying or getting angry.

Once we figured out that we brought different values and perspectives on money from our own families it got easier. It still amazes me that what you are taught about money as a kid will have a major impact on your marriage. Even if your parents never sit and talk with you about money you will still take away values based on what you see your parents DO with money. As a kid you pick up on what is important when it comes to money (saver, spender, giver? talk about it, don't ever talk about it). It makes me think about what values I want our kids to have about money.

I thought I didn't have anything to say but apparently I did. Do you think our old boss was right, are money, sex, and in-laws the 3 things married couples fight about the most?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Crazy Bleepin' Drivers!

I was driving to my mom's house yesterday enjoying some Veggie Tales music with the boys and some very disturbed driver decided to swerve into my lane and then slam on his brakes. Apparently the car that he was barreling up on in the right lane was driving too slow so he needed to switch lanes. Why he decided to slam on the brakes is beyond me. I honked my horn and he finally sped up.

As he sped up I noticed that he was swerving and driving in two lanes of traffic. It became obvious that he was drunk, high, or who knows what. It was 10am so your guess is as good as mine. I felt like I was in a dilemna. What is the correct protocol when you see crazy and obviously impaired drivers on the road? Do you call 911 or the non-emergency police phone? If the correct protocol is non-emergency police who keeps all the surrounding city police phone numbers in their cell phone? It seemed like an emergency to some degree because this guy was seriously going to cause a wreck. As I was debating in my head about what to do he exited and swerved between two cars almost causing another wreck. I didn't have enough time to get over to the exit and I didn't get the license plate number. If I felt more confident on the correct protocol then I would have taken better action.

So, what would you have done? What IS the correct protocol?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Cherry Tomato Face

Here is Ewan with cherry tomatoes in his cheeks. This picture makes me smile. I have had a hard morning and when I thought of this picture I smiled and had a little chuckle to myself. Hopefully it will make you smile too!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Chicks and Cars

I just got some wonderful pictures from Monica from our weekend trip to San Antonio and I think this one might be my favorite!

Look at the HUGE grin on his face...He has 2 absolutely gorgeous girls next to him who are holding 2 very cool cars. I don't think he could be any more thrilled.

I just have to take a moment and give a web toast to all our friends in San Antonio. You have been such a great support to me and our family. I love all of your kids as if they were part of my own family and I am so thankful for our friendship. Words cannot express the love we have for all of you. Thanks for coming to the party and sending us off to Pittsburgh! We will miss being able to see you while we are gone but we hope that you all feel free to come and visit!

Pictures of "The Belly"

I am 23 weeks along now and finally showing. We took our first pictures of the belly today. Here they are...

Ewan likes to talk to the baby and feel him move around. He couldn't resist being in the picture.

Ewan thinks my bellybutton looks really funny. Today he looked at it, laughed, and said, "It's sticking out. It's like a penis." Much laughter from mommy and daddy!

Sea World and San Antonio

We went to San Antonio this past weekend for a final goodbye bash with our friends. We stayed at a friend's house in Monte Vista which I named "Chatteau Abrams" as it was a perfect place for our family of 4 to stay for our visit. She had the most comfortable guest bed and soft sheets. Our mattress has seen better days and I felt like I was sleeping in heaven there.

We arrived on Thursday and got settled in. Friday morning we got up, had breakfast and headed out for a wonderful but long day at Sea World (pictures coming soon). We met our friends, the Odles, there and had a blast. Miriam and Ewan are the same age and love hanging out together. Ewan loved all the shows. He thought they were facinating. Isaac was easily distracted but he did enjoy watching all the animals. Both the boys really liked watching the sea lions at their little cove area and listening to them bark for food. The boys both got up at 6am after getting to bed late the night before so they were pretty pooped toward the end of the day. Ewan fell asleep in the car before we drove out of the parking lot.

Saturday we had breakfast with our friends, the Castros, at a super delicious place called Taco Haven in South Town. I highly recommend it next time you are in San Antonio! We went backto their house and sat in the backyard while the boys played. We headed back to Chatteau Abrams for a long nap and then spent the rest of the afternoon getting ready for the party we had to gather all our friends together. That was a BLAST! It was so fun to catch up with our friends and we got to see some friend we haven't seen in quite a while.

Here are some highlights from our trip:

Isaac is looking at the sea lions.

Ewan and I looking at the sea lions.

Miriam and Ewan holding hands on our way to see the dolphins.

Isaac watching the dolphins with daddy.

Daddy and the boys on their 2nd ride ever. They loved it!

Ewan crashed in the car as we left the parking lot.

Isaac, Joaquin, and Ewan playing with sticks in the backyard.