Monday, October 28, 2013

Grady's Birthday Week

Grady's birthday week was full of all kinds of events. It's hard to believe that his 5th birthday has come and gone. It's weird to say that I have a 5 year old.... Am I really that old? Apparently so.

Last weekend we went home to help with the Helping Hand Benefit, which I think went really well. Brandy, my sister, did an outstanding job of speaking truth about the needs in the  community. Since we were home, Grady was able to see a few of his Grandparents, and ended up with this...

He was super excited, and we had to start building right away. We built legos all week, and now have all 5 boxes put together. I must say that I really enjoyed putting them together. It was a great time of just sitting and working with Grady while Grace was napping.
On Tuesday of Grady's birthday week, Grady got to go on a field trip to a farm. While he was there he picked a pumpkin, saw a baby lamb, went on a hayride, and ate donuts. He really seemed to enjoy his first field trip.

This past week was also spirit week at NTBI. This past weekend was Tribal Cup, which is a competition between NTBI Jackson and NTBI Waukesha (which is the campus in Wisconsin). Tuesday we dressed with our twins the Godsey's...

Wednesday, Grace dress wacky for Wacky Wednesday. Grady did not want to dress wacky for school.

For Formal Friday, Kent and I dress up as well. It was fun taking out our fancy clothes.


Ok, so we're going to go back to Grady's birthday celebrations. Wednesday, Grady had his first birthday party with friends. Samuel and Griffen came over for lunch. Grady picked out the menu, so they had box macaroni and chesse, hot dogs, apple sauce, juice and cupcakes. I didn't have any problems getting them to eat that lunch!

After a birthday lunch, they played legos for awhile, ok really it was like 3 hours. They did really well together, and Grady really enjoyed having them over.

Finally, Thursday had arrived and Grady's actual 5th Birthday was here. Since it was his birthday, and food is very important to me, Grady got to pick out his breakfast meal. Which ended up being pop tarts!
After school and a wonderful lunch of potato soup, which Grady also picked, we opened presents. 

My favorite present was the world blanket that he got. About 4 weeks ago he picked out the fabric with the world map on it and then I turned it into a blanket. I love that Grady loves to look at maps. I believe he knows more about where things are in the world, at the age of 5 than I did at the age of 28.

Later that afternoon, Grady and I went to check the mailbox and Grady had two packages. One from his grandm, Lala, and one from his babysitter in Bluffton, Madison.

I'm pretty sure that I was more excited than he was. The bottle was so cool. All of these things were stuffed inside the bottle and the bottle came in the mail just like any other package. I love getting the mail here at NTBI. Mostly it just brings junk mail and bills, but every once in awhile it brings really cool packages like these.

Later still that afternoon, Kent and I had ran out to get a winter coat for Grace. We hadn't been out for 15 minutes and Kent's dad calls. He was at NTBI! He had drove 2.5 hours to surprise Grady for his birthday with 4 pizzas and 4 2-liters of pop. It was wonderful. So we ate supper at 3:45 that after noon.

And then we had cake with Grandpa Rockwell. He is such a blessing to our family. We're so thankful that he came up to surprise us and share Grady's special day.

Now, in case you've lost track of the day, we're still on Thursday, Grady's actual birthday. After Grandpa Rockwell left, we headed out to a trout farm in Jackson. It was pretty cold so we had to bundle up. Grace barrowed a snowsuit from Rilla, and we headed out.

While we were there, we road a hay ride, saw lots of trout and ate donuts. Grady also got to play with his friend Gavin. It was a great ending to his birthday!

To finish the week, my friend, Kate, and I ran the 5K for the Tribal Cup. We were going to run a 5K last weekend, but decided to run this one since it was free! We knew that we would not do well, but I didn't expect to come in last by 5 minutes! My goal was to run it without walking, but that didn't happen either. It was definitely humbling. But we did finish and it was something that we can say we did together! Here is our before picture.....

And our after picture. It was exhausting but still a good experience.

Kent did his part as well for the Tribal Cup. He went with his friend Ray to play football. Despite their hard effort, the Jackson football team fell short of the winning. But they put forth a good effort none the less. However, over all Jackson did win the Trial Cup!

The week was full of lots of exciting events, but as always life keeps moving on. We have an Exodus test tomorrow and need to read the rest of Leviticus by Monday.

In the mists of all this God is working on molding us to be more like him. This week he's ask me to slow down. To focus on my marriage and training my children. I can have tons of people over, have my house picked up, the laundry done, supper on the table, my homework done, and get all A's and B's but none of that will matter when we move on from here. It will matter that in spite of busy weeks like this, I keep going in him. In spite of my busy week, it will matter that I loved my husband and cared about his needs. In spite of busy weeks like this, it will matter that I still made time to train my children and read books to them. Funny how God always allows for things to get done when our priorities are straight and he's the center focus of what we're doing.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

We were blessed enough to go home again this weekend. Kent's dad's 60th birthday was on Saturday, so we decided to go home and wish him happy birthday. My sister, Brandy, was kind enough to open her home, feed us, and help us with our kids.

While visiting with people I realize that I get many of the same questions. Therefore, I decided that I would do a post about the questions I sometimes get and the answers to them.

FAQ #1: Are the classes what you thought they would be?
YES! They far exceed the expectations that we have. We're learning not only about the Bible, how it flows together and the book of Genesis, but we're also learning how to study the bible and how to share our faith with others. The classes challenge our walk and increase our understanding of the Word.

FAQ #2: Are you settled?
Yes we are. It took longer than I thought it would, but we're finally there. The settled part involves so much more than just having everything in our apartment put away. It involves figuring out a schedule, working on relationships, seeing what works for the kids and what doesn't work, knowing how much time we'll need for which homework assignments, knowing how long does a "quick trip" to the store really take, and as a married couple, getting into a grove that works for us all to function together everyday, all day.

FAQ #3 How are the kids adjusting?
Grady is doing well. He loves people! He gets to go pre-school 5 days a week and play with other boys his age, and then every day at 3:30ish he gets to go outside and play some more with them. I'm pretty sure he's just thankful to be settled. He's know since May that we were moving, first to the Lockwood's and then here. We finally have a home. A place we can call our own.

This would be Grady with his two playmates and Grace. They love to play outside and climb all over. I'm pretty sure the boys thought they were going to save the world!

FAQ #4 Do you take the same classes?
Yes and no. Kent goes to a class at 8:00, while I get the kids ready for day care. I'm not required to take that class. I take the kids at 9:00 to day care, and 2 or more days a week I go to chapel and Kent goes everyday. Then at 10:00 and 11:00 we sit beside each other in class. Right now we have 2 classes, but that will end on Friday, and we'll have the same class from 10 to noon with a 10 min break in the middle. Kent also has to take some electives that I don't have to take. Currently, his class is Tuesday and Thursday from 1:10 to 2:00. This means that Kent will graduate with a associates degree in pastoral ministries and I'll graduate with a certificate.

FQA #5 What do you need right now?
This question always gets me. What do I need? I had two ladies ask me what I needed today. They have both already given me many things, whether it's gift cards, laundry soap, shampoo, candy for the kids, or paper products. So what do we need... We need your prayers. I tell people we're here for 2 reasons, to learn about God's word and to make our marriage stronger. So my prayer would be that the things we're learning would not be just head knowledge, but heart knowledge too. Also, that God would use this time to strength our marriage. I've already seen Him working in this. Through some experiences over the last year, I have a better understanding that our marriage has to be rock solid before we can be missionaries. I'm thankful for this time to work on it.

Well, I think that's it for now. If more questions arise, I'll be sure to share them. We're blessed enough to get to be in Bluffton again in 2 weeks. We'll be staying with Brandy and helping her with the Helping Hands Pregnancy Resource Center's Benefit Dinner. The Dinner is of no cost. It will be Saturday, October 19th at the 4-H building in Bluffton. The doors open and appetizers at 6:00pm and supper at 6:30pm. Even though there is no cost, you still need to make reservations by October 13th. You can do that by calling 260.824.4263 or by emailing Tammie is doing the food and I get the privilege of helping her prepare it and serve it. It's always a rush to serve as many people as you can in as short as time as possible. I hope you'll join us. It's a great time of fellowship and gaining knowledge of what Helping Hands is all about. If the above options are too difficult for you to make reservations, just send me a text and I'll get you signed up.
Yes, that was my shameless promotion for Helping Hands, but I believe in the work that they are doing and hope that you'll take the opportunity to join us to find out for yourself.

Three Events

So truth be told, I love to have people at my house. I totally enjoy being able to serve people, to feed them, talk with them, and give them a place to relax. Last week, in the span of 5 days we were able to host 35 or so people at our home on 3 different occasions. Here they are...

Event #1: Open Dorm night
This event is geared towards the singles at our school so the guys and girls can go into each other dorms, since they aren't allowed to do this on any other day. Kent said why not invite some people over to our house.... well it ended up being all the married couples and their children.

We all ordered the free pizza from the cafeteria. As usual, it was amazing!

We started supper with 7 adults and grew to 16 sitting around our 6 person table.

5 kids ate pizza at the coffee table.

After supper, the ladies sat around and visited.

So did some of the men,

Some of them played games. They played 2 games, this is the second one. It's called Masterpiece. Now.... Kent, Ben(my brother), and Aaron and Ryan(my brother-in-laws) are ban from playing this game. We found out after some time that the guys had figured out a way to cheat and thus always beat us girls. So Kent finally found another group of people that would play with him!

The entire evening was wonderful. Grace came to me at 10 and told me she was tired, so I put her to bed. Grady and his friends, Gavin and Hosanna, were still going strong. We laughed, talked and just enjoyed being together as friends. Finally at midnight, everyone thought they should probably retire for the evening. Grady did in fact stay up till then, but fell asleep just as soon as he was in bed. Lana, helped me pick up and I'm so glad she did, because the next morning we moved right into event 2.

Event #2: Lunch with the Single Guys next door.
   About 3 weeks ago, Kent invited the dorm next door over for fired chicken! I didn't think they would take him seriously, but I was so glad they did. We started cooking at 10am. We made fired chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, bread(which was a total flop) and apple crisp. Nine guys came over at noon and seemed to enjoy the good food and fellowship.

Event #3: Married Ladies Chapel
Every Tuesday, the Ladies and Men meet separately for chapel. The men meet at the same house, but the ladies move around. Tuesday morning it was my turn to host. Monday evening brought picking up the house and preparing a light breakfast. It was a blessing to gather together with this ladies. I'm thankful for each opportunity to meet with them and get to know them a little more.

We've been here 7 weeks. When I first came, I thought I would never make friends. But as we all know, relationships take time. Lots of time. I'm grateful that God allowed us to have these events so close together. They were a great time to build relationships. Each conversation is a blessing, a chance to gain a little more understanding of these women.