Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Stand in Awe...

Daddy and Zeko buddy.
The snow covered van next to our bronco is our new van!

Having fun together on the top bunk.

One last snuggle before mommy heads off to Cheesecake Factory for work.

Happy birthday Isaiah!!

Greetings from the ice covered Dallas region! We have been hit with a frigid ice/snow storm this week. I know all our friends in CO are probably laughing at the ridiculousness of practically shutting down the city for 3 days now due to "inclement" weather with temps in the teens and twenties during the day. However, with windchill it has been as low as -9. So there :) We've learned that Texans tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to anything freezing that falls from the sky. The blessing of it all is that it has given us some wonderful family time at home together. With DTS closing campus Tues-Thurs this week, Jon getting called off work Wed. morning and me getting called off work Tuesday night, we've have 3 glorious days of being home together with nowhere to go. Jon's getting a bit of cabin fever so he's out picking up a few groceries, but other than that we haven't ventured out anywhere. So nice!
So, I stand in awe of all the amazing things God has blessed us with. We got to renew our food stamps for another 6 months, WIC support, and the kids are still covered with Medicaid until April when we'll renew them again. The biggest blessing came the first week of January when we were able to purchase a used 2005 Chrysler Town and Country minivan. We got a special gift that was desginated for this purchase and the gift covered all but $100 of the price. As we were driving home from picking it up, the worship song, "I Stand in Awe" came on and brought me to tears almost instantly. We serve such a generous Lord who provides well beyond all we ask and think, and I just can't thank Him enough.
Jon is back into the swing of things with school. His classes have a ton of reading as usual. We are both amazed at how many books he has read in the last year. He continues to enjoy his classes and enjoys hanging out with some seminary buddies of his while he's on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays each week.
I am still waiting tables at The Cheesecake Factory and really enjoying it. I am working 4-5 nights a week and I've earned the privilege of working a number of closing shifts which helps bring in a little more money each month. The tips were particularly good in January and that has allowed us to have a bit of breathing room financially and help us nearly pay off our debt and begin saving a bit for tuition in the fall. I am also able to take a quick trip to Ca in the middle of February to visit my family for a weekend. Ezekiel gets to go with me so he can meet all of his aunts and uncles for the first time. We with both get to be there for my nephew's dedication and get to meet him for the first time too. I am really looking forward to it- and I'm sure Ezekiel will be excited too!
Graci, Isaiah and Ezekiel are doing well now after a month of illnesses spread through all three of them. They all had a horrible chest cough and cold for the first two weeks of the month. No fun! Especially when Graci is the only one who really knows how to blow her nose by herself. Isaiah is good at inhaling, but hasn't quite figured out how to blow the air (and other contents) out of his nose. Ezekiel is just a cutie who is happy letting his nose run all over his face and smearing it on his hands right before mommy comes with a tissue. The dear :) Graci and Isaiah's favorite past times of late are singing worship songs together, dancing, and tickling mommy. Graci has found my tickle spots and LOVES to torture me.
Last weekend Jon took Ezekiel to the emergency room after he had been running a fever of 102. The only thing that kept it down was pumping him full of tylenol. We wanted to be sure there were no infections, so daddy sacrficially sat in the emergency room for 5 hours with the little man to make sure all was well. They ran all the tests and everything came back fine, so we all deduced that it was just teething. He still hasn't broken any teeth through, so I'm guessing he'll get a few of them all at once and his poor little body is on overload from it. His fever broke Monday morning and we haven't seen it since. Thank you, Lord!
Apartment Life is going well, but seems very busy at times. We met a Kenyan lady last week and she said that there are a fair amount of Kenyans who live in the complex. (There are actually a LOT of Africans in general who live here.) We exchanged contact information and are hoping to set up some kind of a potluck with Kenyan food. I'm so excited! With a complex as large as ours (708 units), we've been averaging 50-60 new residents moving in each month as well as that same amount renewing leases each month. We are required to talk with 50% of both lists to welcome them and see if they will be renewing their leases. This can be very time consuming. Please pray that we can do our job here well and help the residents connect with each other.
Jon has been asked by a pediatric neurologist (Pam) that we met in Kenya, to do the architectural designs for a medical clinic for YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in Tanzania. He is very excited and yet intimidated by this venture. We are meeting with Pam and her husband tomorrow night for dinner to talk details about what it all will entail. We renewed Jon's passport so he'll be ready to fly out to see the land possibly in March during one week of his spring break. He would be working from home and maybe only go to TZ once or twice throughout the entire process. Pam saw some designs of Jon's when we were living in Kenya a few years ago and the name that kept coming to her mind was Jon's. We all prayed about it and decided to take this leap of faith and see what God has planned through it. Jon will be able to work on the plans over the summer and some during the semester. Thankfully for our sake, nothing happens quickly in Africa, so there isn't the time constraint pressures or even guidelines that one would have to deal with in the States.
Jon's twin sister and family came down from Kansas to join us for Christmas and Isaiah's birthday (Christmas Eve). It was quite cozy with 4 adults and 6 kids ages four and under in our little apartment, but we had so much fun! It was nice to stay home for Christmas this year and not travel anywhere.
Whew! I think that's all the nitty gritty details I have to share for now.

Blessings to you all :)