Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Many Christmas wishes to all! (even beyond the actuall day!)

Here's Brenna and Darian w/ our festive tree. We don't have much with us, but found this tree (a gift for B last Christmas) in one of the large boxes we had w/ us from storage. So we decorated it w/ a joy-filled heart and smiling faces. And we even managed to break an ornament... something we've never done while decorating a tree. heehee

Hope your holidays are filled with many happy memories.
May God bless your new year. May you feel his presence and his peace in each new day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


My teammates leave in less than a month. That's such exciting news. God works and has blessed them to depart in January. What a glorious event! truly.

My last post i was sad to be left behind. Honestly, i was frustrated, heartbroken, and resentful as well. Sure, i wished them well, but it should be me too, shouldn't it?

And then i realized that my actions, my comments were saying that i would willingly follow God (didn't i too say, "here am i, send me" ??), BUT only if it were according to my conditions and expectations.

How absurd! If i am truly going to let God lead me, then i need to follow Him. Not just where i think i should go, but which ever direction He goes.
It's definitely not the easiest thing i've done, more likely one of the hardest. But i am now at peace with that, with letting God lead and being (or trying to be) content following.

for God to be in control of my life, i have to totally and completely let go.
even if that means i may not head the direction i planned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

being left behind...

When i was in 6th grade, we sold popcorn and cookies every week after school to raise money for class swim lessons. It was a cool event to look forward to. And the swim lessons were a special treat.

Oddly, i don't remember much about the actual lessons. I remember the locker room (we used to sing at the top of our lungs) and one major event.

After one lesson, the class was gathered out waiting to leave. My teacher (Mr. Clawson, if you wanna know) asked me to check the girls' locker room to make sure it was empty. So i did. Walked there, hollered in, and walked back to the lobby.

Noone was there!!! And as i glanced out the glass doors, but bus was pulling away. My class was leaving without me. I was being left behind.

I'm feeling a bit like that these days.

As the AussieMission Team prepares to leave, as we wait on our visas... it seems that the Griffiths will be the last to go... our teammates will most likely be leaving in January.

i am filled with excitement for the beginning of our vision, of God's mission. i'm ready to do a happy dance to see the Whaleys and Mullinses off at the airport!

and yet, i feel like i'm stuck watching the school bus pull away
and i'm suppose to be on it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

fun with friends

... well, some little ones...

Here are Darian and Brenna w/ some preschool friends on a day they came to help and play. The little ones love it when Brenna and 'the big guy' come to play.

readin' stories

more stories...and a bigger lap!

"swing me!"

We caught him!

Time on a tric!

more swingin'... but something looks odd...

goin' for a ride...

It's amazing to watch my kids adapt their play to bring joy and fun to some small friends. I am often impressed and shocked (in good ways) by the choices/actions of my kids. It's neat to watch their gentle spirits and kind hearts as they interact with younger kids. God is good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rejuvinating Weekend!

This weekend the Aussie Team got to be together for the first time in several months! After months filled with discouraging news and disheartening wait, having the team together refocused and re-energized my spirit and reminded me how much i love these people and want to serve God along side them.

We were blessed in so many ways over the weekend.

Corey and Emily loving on Ella, our newest team member. Don't they look great with a baby!

The guys talkin' strategy. You can't really see it, but Corey is diagramming something on a notebook he's holding in his hand.

Time with our Kairos church planting coach, Amos Allen, and his wonderful wife Anne. Thanks so much for coming down to see us!

Gathering to sing a bedtime lullaby, "Jesus Loves Me", to Ella. Jerry and Cindy Southern, Jason's aunt and uncle, and their liason from Round Rock, blessed us with their presence this weekend as well! So glad you were here!

Enjoying a lunch and wonderful fellowship with our team and some of our Skyline family.

Shawn presenting at Skyline's Interactive Prayer for Missions evening. It was such a joy for me to have our whole team at this event.

Overlooking a small section of the auditorium after the closing prayer. There was an amazing group of people there. What a wonderful event.

Chocolate Pizza!

Thanks to everyone who helped in anyway this weekend! I hope you know who you are and how appreciated you are! My heart is touched by the love, support, and giving spirit that was displayed in making this weekend wonderful!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

pine apples

On our first trip to Australia, our meet-the-country trip, we each picked some place fun/touristy that we'd like to visit. My choice... The Big Pineapple, a pineapple plantation and tourist center. Cool stuff.

I loved our day there! but i was surprised at how pineapples grow.

For some reason, i had always thought that pineapples grew on trees. Don't think anyone ever told me that, but then again, not sure anyone told me they didn't.

When a friend blogged about being suprised by the pineapple, i began to ponder my reasons for putting pineapples on trees.

Well, i believe it was explained to me by a three year-old at preschool the other day. ...

We were sitting under a pine tree. She was looking up at it. She began telling me about the tree. It was a pine tree. It had pine cones on it. AND (pay attention now)... soon they would turn into... PINEAPPLES!!!

it makes sense, well, at least to me and my young friend... we have pine trees. we have apple trees. so, shouldn't we have PineApple trees??

Yes, we should.
but i'm not in charge, so we don't.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

what did Moses think?

I've been wondering a bit about Moses. There's a lot to wonder about him, when you think about it. well, at least to me.

He was told to lead his people out of Egypt. And he did. It wasn't an easy task, but he did it. That's pretty cool. But that's not what i was thinkin' about.

Moses had a goal. He knew (mostly) where he was suppose to be going, the promised land. But sadly, it took a long time to get there.(... 40 years of wandering is a long time.) So, Moses wandered around the desert for a long time. He knew where he was suppose to go, but it was taking a long time, a very long time.

What was Moses thinking here?
... he seems to be goin' in circles, aimlessly waiting... how does he feel about that? does he ever wonder if he's on the right track? maybe he misunderstood his purpose? does he ever, even for a moment, doubt? question?

i know, i know... Moses got to talk to God, he even got to be in God's presence, His actual presence. But, he was still a man.

so, i'm left with my own wonderings...
what did Moses think about all that waiting and wandering?

Monday, November 3, 2008

a bit of fall...

some shots from our day at Chickasaw State Park...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

the Un-camping Day

Well, we were suppose to go camping with some friends. I was super-excited to go camping. I even made a trip to Memphis to get the sleeping bags out of storage (eek!). But Jackson weather was not cooperating...

... the forecast was rain on Friday... and cold... i don't do so well when it's cold and rainy and i'm sleeping in a tent... (actually, i get quite cranky when i'm cold and wet and stuck in a soggy tent, i tried it before.)

So, we cancelled the tent part and went camping... without the tent and sleeping part... just for Saturday. It turned out to be a lovely day. A georgeous day!! Spent w/ delightful friends! good times.

here's some shots....
Darian and Brenna throwing some rocking into the lake... (sadly, this encouraged one of the little ones to throw rocks and fall in... not the best day for a swim... but it all worked out)

a sweet daddy-daughter moment... (these are friends... not my family... teehee)

on our walk... D's climbing up the hill, and B's watching one of the younger ones... i love it!!

trying to start the fire for lunch... it just didn't want to happen... but the men won in the end and we had yummy hot dogs! and chips. and grapes. and choc. cake.

heading out for an after lunch hike...

he's just too cute. (and loves it when i take his pic)

ending the hike.. B's back in charge of the younger ones. :-)

Friday, October 31, 2008


... lots of treats for us... and oodles of fun!

Brenna and one of her friends... pre-devo and treating...

a quick shot after the activity... mummy making contest... Brenna's team was the only one to use the whole roll...

Darian passing out some candy... he wished the treaters "Happy Presidents' Day" or "Merry Christmas" as he gave them candy... aparently some kiddos were quite irriated by this... there was some yelling involved.

gettings some treats... and hugs.

the evening ended w/ a hay ride (it's really straw) around the parking lot. Super Girl thinks it might be quicker to fly.

We had a SUPER time w/ our Skyline family!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Football Pics

Surely, it's better late, than never! and if it's not, then quick! close your eyes!

The football guy and his proud little sis. After the last game, they liked eachother for a moment. I love this pic.

Aunt Jane and Brenna! She loves her nephew so much, she drove an hour to watch a game. (she loves her niece enough to coach her b-ball team for a few years, but that's another story) Janie and Bren got to visit during the game. love those smiles!

A moment to say hello! Darian takes some time for a pic w/ his aunt. It's almost shocking to see the height difference... maybe he's standing on his toes.

A special moment on "8th Grade Night"... Darian was thrilled to be standing center field with his parents... well, maybe not so much, but he did it anyway.
I'm so proud of my kids!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

great helpers...

On Tuesday, the kids had a day off school with nowhere to go. (Shawn got the day off Monday, so he watched them). Well, they did have somewhere to go, the had the preschool... just where every 10 and 14 year-old hopes to be on their Fall Break. :-) (okay, probably not)

But, as we all know, sometimes life is rough and you just have to go where you're told. (that's kinda funny... as i'm still in Jackson... ha)

So, as wonderful, obedient, well-mannered children, then trekked off to the preschool with me, waking up early, on their day off.

It was a banner day! I adored watching my kiddos play w/ my preschool kids. and the little ones adored my big kids! Darian and Brenna shared so much laughter and smiles. good stuff.

Once during the day, Bren was referred to (by another aide) as "The Pied Piper" while she was leading a bunch of kids around the playground. i smiled.

As he was surrounded by a good dozen little guys pulling on his clothes, he announced (with his hands in the air), "I feel like Gulliver!" i laughed. hard.

it's a day i will forever remember.
sure do wish i had a camera with me.

good memories.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"the Jump Show"

Overheard as my children were watching a bit of tv...

"Would you like this to be the jump show, this to be the jump show, or this to be the jump show?"

... hmm ... who knew there was a term for the tv show you 'jump' to during the commercials of the show you're really watching???

you learn something new everyday... or at least, i did, today.

do you use 'jump shows'???

Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Some moments call for shouting. And, there are lots of different kinds of shouts....

Recently, i had a shout-able moment. And that shout kinda snuck up on me.

Last weekend, Darian went on a youth group retreat. It was a quiet weekend, and the little one got some personal, undivided attention. good times.

So, we were enjoying a quiet evening after just settling Bren into bed. And, the phone rang. It was nearly 10. My phone doesn't ring that often, and never that late. So, i was slightly taken aback and ready for a wrong number...

... until i hear a deep voice... "There's someone here who wants to talk to you..." (a little shock, but no shout yet) ....

... then, a new voice... a weepy voice... "Mom..." (more shock, why would the son need to call from a retreat late at night???)... "Mom... I'm going to get baptized" (slight stunned feeling, but still not shouting) ...

... some happy, proud words, pass the phone to Dad, wake up Bren, jump in the car for a long drive (at the request of the son), an arrival at Victory Ranch, and the moment...

Watching the Dad baptize the son, a display of a commitment, a moment of hope and joy... one of the teens leads "Shout Hallelujah!".

I am shouting on the inside.
a perfect song for the moment.

Home, sweet home!

As our 'wait time' seems to grow and grow, i thought i'd take a moment to be thankful for some of the things God has blessed us with during this 'season' of life.

One of the most generous ways that we've been taken care of is our current 'home'. We're living in a furnished house that Skyline calls their 'host home'. They use it to help in many situations, and now they're sharing it with us. We are extremely thankful for their compassion and love for us demonstrated in one way through this home. Thanks!

Come in for a little visit! We're glad you stopped by!

Looking toward our side door (the white one). This is our living room! I just love the way it's decorated. The ladies that did it have so much more talent that i do! and the scenic painting is delightful!

A view of the living room from the other corner, the front door. (and the other half of the painting!)
A view of the bedroom Darian is using, from the door way. He's got a nice desk in the other corner. As i type, he and his sis are playing a board game on the bed.
The room that Brenna claimed! Her thought... "It's perfect for sleepovers!" We've only had a couple... but she still loves it.
The master bedroom... with a king-size bed! we've only ever had a full... we feel so spoiled! It's such a lovely, peaceful room.
There's a small tour... hopefully y'all can stop by for a real one!