Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Michelle's Visit & Williamsburg, VA

On Thursday night, my friend from college, Michelle Tombrella, flew into RDU. After getting lost and taking a lot longer to pick her up than I expected, I finally picked her up from the airport to bring her back to Wilson for a visit. I have been awaiting this visit for a few months. Michelle and I have stayed very close these last 9 years of our lives. We have grown in the Lord together as we have become wives and moms. I love her dearly and was so blessed that she made an effort to come see me. On Friday morning, we got up later than expected to leave for our girls weekend to Williamsburg, VA. I have always wanted to go there. I love history, and after reading a novel series by Elsworth Thayne every summer, I decided it was time to go. Poor Michelle was sick when we left on Friday morning, but she endured because we were very excited about being together by ourselves, good ole girl time!!

Michelle and I are standing in front of the VA state sigh. It didn't take us very long to get to Williamsburg, about 3 hours.
After we got there, we drove to the historical district. It was after 1:00pm, and we were hungry, so we ate before we walked down the Duke of Gloucester Street. It was also very windy that day, so we were bundled in our coats.

This is the Palace, the Governor's mansion. Usually in the flowers are beautiful, but when you go in the dead of winter, I guess you can't expect much. There is a horse drawn carriage in front of the house.

We are in the stocks. We thought this would be a funny picture!

This is the capitol. There was a reading of the Declaration of Independence while we were looking at it. We wanted to be able to look in the building, but you had to pay. We decided that it would be better to visit with our family in the spring when everything was blooming and more people were there. It was fun, however, to see all the historical building I have read about for a long time.
Later that night we went to the outlet mall in Williamsburg, then we ate dinner at Olive Garden. We slept in late on Saturday (9:30am), and then went back to the outlet mall for more shopping. We ate lunch at The Petite Tea Room at the Antique Mall. The name of the tea room really fit the place, there were only four tables to sit at. The chicken salad and tea were wonderful. After lunch, we went to the Williamsburg Pottery. They had a lot of great deals and fun things to look at. We drove home after that and had a great Sunday at church and just hanging out.

Karis enjoyed having "Shell" all to herself on Monday until we left for the airport. I know that Michelle enjoyed being able to do some girlie things with Karis that she doesn't get to do with her two boys, Samuel and Joel.
All in all, it was wonderful time together. God again renewed our friendship and reminded me just how special it is to have life long kindred spirits in our lives. No matter how far away we are from each other, Michelle is someone who will always be one of my best friends. Thank you again for coming and blessing us with your presence. What a great God we have to allow us the chance to be together. Thank you Robbie and Justin for allowing us to spend time together and for taking such good care of our children.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Karis' First Sleepover

About 1:00 yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Lori Brooks. She said she was having major labor pains and wanted to make sure that I was home. Just a few minutes later she called back and said that her water just broke. Karis and I went over to the Brooks' house to pick up Hannah. The girls played awhile after Hannah got here and then they both took a nap, Karis did not want to sleep because she was so excited about Hannah being here. After they woke up, they watched BOZ so I could make dinner. Justin had to go to Raliegh for his internship at Open Door Baptist Church, so I was alone with the girls for the rest of the night. They played a lot, and I laughed a lot. For two two year olds, they really do play well together. They played in Karis' kitchen, read books, ran around the house, and mostly jumped from one bed to the other. I told my mom yesterday that I don't usually let Karis do that, but I thought this was a special occasion.

Hannah is "reading" Karis her version of the book.

After bath time and milk, the girls shared Karis' stool to brush their teeth.

I was a little worried about Hannah going to sleep since she has never been away from her mother, but she was fine. In fact, Karis was the one who didn't want to go to sleep. All in all, about 9:00 I didn't hear anymore noise from either room.
This morning, they woke up around 7:30. It has been a fun morning for them, and I have cleaned the bathrooms and blogged. It is nice to have someone else entertaining Karis so I can do some work.
I have realized through all this that Karis does share her toys pretty well but at times can be a little whinny. I know she doesn't do that at Hannah's house, but she does it at ours if Hannah takes something she doesn't want her to. I think it also has to do with her not getting enough sleep. I think she will probably take a big nap this afternoon.
Hannah's little sister, Madeline Grace, was born yesterday at 5:30pm. She weighed 9lbs. & 2 ounces and was 20 inches long. Praise the Lord for a new life and for the girls being so good here! Hannah can sleep over anytime!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Karis' Favorite Phrases and Words

I know that at times only mom's can understand what their child is saying. It seems that even at times, I don't know what Karis is saying, but here are some of her favorite phrases and words.


"whrestle, daddy"- wrestle daddy

"mommy goes," "nite, nite goes"- when someone leaves or she can't find her nite, nite(blanket she sleeps with.

"tee-tee self, nooo!"- this means we aren't supposed to tee-tee on ourselves

"read again"- anytime she wants to do something again

"Papa John, Texas"- my dad, she knows he is in Texas

"Hannah, Lori, Jonathan"- the Brooks family, if any are mentioned she says them all in this order back to us

"flo lyin fly"- it all sounds like one word, it is the name of one of her Hermie dvds that she loves to watch

"ray-ray"- we sometimes watch Racheal Ray on TV

"God's Wurd"- and points to the Bible


"nilk"- milk

"lu-cy"- she calls Calvin, our dog, Lucy when she is making fun of him, Lucy is Courtney, Justin's sister's dog

"yo-yo"- yogurt

'blessing"- every night before bed, Justin reads her a blessing, except now she thinks she has to have one read to her even before naptime

"playtoe" - playdough

I am sure there are many more than this, so I will add on as I think of them.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


This picture was taken when we lived at the Dale's home. Karis is sporting Carol's scarf. She looks pretty "girlie" to me!
As I was looking back through pictures of Karis, I was struck by how she dresses so much like her mom. I know that is because I am the one who dresses her and buys her clothes. Raising a daughter in this world is a joy and priviledge. Part of that is teaching her how to be modest and feminine at the same time. I know that Karis is only two years old, but I pray that I am already instilling in her the idea of modesty even in how she dresses now. I also pray that my clothes would be a reflection of Christ at all times. Our daughters are looking to us to lead them in the direction of Christ in all areas of our lives, especially in how we dress and carry ourselves. More discussion on this topic to come at a later date. I challenge us as moms to really look at how we dress and to evaluate if God would be pleased with us, and if not, what should we do to change it?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Love You, Justin!

On Valentine's Day, we are always reminded of how much we love our spouse. It reminds me of what a blessed woman I am to be married to Justin. God has brought us both so far in our marriage in the last seven years. I cannot imagine a day without him. Love is something that only God can give to us because He is the definition of love. The Bible says that "God is love." It is so wonderful and gracious for Him to allow us to see His love through someone else. I see it in my husband in His love for God, His passionate life to live every moment for the glory of God, the way he values our relationship, the way he loves Karis unconditionally, and the way he loves His flock.
God has blessed me beyond what I deserve in Justin. I cannot wait to see all that God has in store for in the next years of our lives. I will always be His and Yours.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Justin. He is standing in front of David Brainerd's grave, one of his great heroes of the faith.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Just Like Mommy!

I have learned a lot more lately how much Karis is just like me. The other day, after I went to the YMCA to work out, I came home and decided to take Karis to the store with me. She had been home playing with Daddy because it was his day off. I got her dressed, and then I put on my hat to run our errands. The next thing I know, she comes into my room with her hat and says "hat too, mommy." She wanted to wear her hat just like me. It is a humbling and flatering experience when your child wants to be like you. I pray that the things that Karis imitates in me are godly things. I know some of them won't be, and I praise the Lord for His grace to show her through those things in my life. He humbles me everyday as I do my best, in His strength, to train and discipline Karis in His grace. Children truly are a gift from Him, a gift that teaches us as much as we teach them.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Women's Ministry & Baby Shower

We had our kick off for the Women's Ministry at Carol's house on Saturday afternoon. It was a fun time of fellowship and food, as always, we Baptist love to eat! We all brought our own covered dish and had a wonderful variety of casseroles and dessert to choose from. The food was excellent. After we ate lunch, we all met together to discuss what we want out the women's ministry at our church. It was very refreshing to hear that most of us all want the same thing: a Christ-centered time to build strong relationships with other women and encourage each other in Christ. I am very excited to be one of the Bible study leaders. God is good to allow me to teach these women about Him through His Word. Please pray for us as we embark upon this new ministry in our church. More than anything, we want to see our women growing in Christ and growing together to better help "spur one another on in love and good works, (Hebrews 10:24)." (By the way, Jonathan Brooks, our associate pastor, preached on this passage in Hebrews on Sunday. He did a fantastic job challenging us to the commands in this passage.)

We also threw a surprise baby shower for Lori Brooks, Jonathan's wife. She is pregnant with their second child, another girl, and will hopefully be having her very soon, (at least she is very hopeful!) I was priviledged to be able to decorate a cake for the shower.

We are still saying "baby girl Brooks" because Jonathan and Lori have not decided on a name yet.

Another view of the cake.

God is so good to put new friends in our lives. Lori is very much like my best friend Laura from Beaumont. What a joy and blessing it is to have them here. I am also very blessed to have such godly women in life to spur me on in my walk with Christ. Our church families are so important. I pray that you are all involved in a local church body.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

True Faith

What is true faith? How can it be measured? What do we, as Christians, think that true faith looks like? These are good questions to ponder in our own lives. In Psalm 26, I think that David answers these questions.

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity,
and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
test my heart and my mind.
Psalm 26:1-2
David says, "I have trusted in the Lord without wavering." To trust God without wavering means that we trust Him fully for every aspect of our lives, good or bad. It means that we can totally rely on Him to bring about what is best for us and mandy times that means suffering. Trusting the Lord through that suffering is true faith, and we know that we only have that true faith because of God's grace in our lives. He enables us to trust Him more fully.
To ask God to "prove and try me." That might sound crazy, but it isn't. It shows that we know God is in everything and knows everything, He is sovereign over all. It allows us to see that our hearts and minds are totally His. I pray for myself that I will trust in the Lord enough to ask Him to prove and try me to see if my faith is unwavering. Thank goodness that it isn't really up to me, but up to Him who gives me the strength to be unwavering in the faith He has given me.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Saturday Night Fun!

Saturday night, Justin and I got to watch Hannah, Jonathan and Lori's 2 year old, so that they could go out on a date. We traded nights, so Friday they watched Karis so Justin and I could go out on a date. It sure is great to have new friends here our age and for Karis to have someone her age to play with. We had a great time watching them play and interact. I never knew how passive Karis was. She likes to watch and take things in, while Hannah likes to go-go all the time. It was a fun night of pizza and play. Justin and I had a wonderful time keeping the peace. They actually played together very well, with the occasional tantrum or fit.

Calvin is investigating the destruction of Karis' bookshelf. As you can see, Hannah and Karis had every book off the shelf. Hannah was "reading" the books to Karis, while Karis laid on her bed.

Hannah and Karis are playing in the kitchen and sharing very nicely.

Hannah and Karis looking cute as they set the table and cooked in the kitchen.
God is so good to give us children. He is always teaching me about His grace through Karis. I see daily His love for me and His grace through teaching Karis about how to obey. It is hard for her sometimes just like it is hard for me sometimes to obey Him. Thank goodness He is a forgivng and loving God to His children just like we should be to our children.

Friday, February 02, 2007

One Week of Potty Training, Special Moment

I would say that Karis is potty trained. She knows when she has to go to the bathroom. We had three days with no accidents until yesterday when we were having so much fun playing that we forgot to use the potty until Karis said "tee-tee self." She then ran to the potty because she knew that she had wet herself. I am still using pull ups over her panties, even though I call them extra underwear. She doesn' t know the difference.
Potty training really isn't all that bad, so don't fret it. Remember in the big scheme of things that God is bigger than even potty training.
Yesterday at breakfast, Karis was being a little difficult. I had to take her to the bathroom and calm her down. When we set back down to eat, I started eating and she looked at me and said, "pray, Mommy." Our children really can teach us so much. It also allows us to see that our labor and teaching of them is not in vain.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Karis' first snow

This morning when we woke up, Karis and I didn't expect to see snow. In fact, I had just finished getting ready for BSF, when Justin called and said it was snowing. I looked outside and saw the first small glimpse of a snowflake. When Karis woke up a few minutes later, we watched the snow together. BSF was canceled, so I decided to take Karis to McDonalds and the grocery store before it got too bad. She kept thinking it was raining, but she said "white,' refering to the color of the 'rain.' After we got home from the store, it had snowed a lot. We called daddy, and he came home to play in the snow with us. I'm not sure how much Karis liked it because her poor little hands were really cold, I didn't have any gloves for her. She did like trying to throw snow balls at Calvin!

Karis wasn't so sure about this snow at first.

"Look Mommy, snow!"

Karis tried to hit her daddy with the snowball.
What a wonderful surprise to wake up this morning and get to see snow for the first time in her life. God is so good to allow us to see His glory in His beautiful creation.