What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend Recap

Someday I really will post pictures ... but it will not be today.

The past few weeks have been busy, but so good.

  • I hosted a garage sale for a friend going on a missions trip this summer, and we raised over $1300. Can you believe it? That's 4 times as much as I thought we might raise. Praise the Lord!
  • We attended our first life group meeting. Our church is starting a bunch of small groups, and we are excited to be involved.
  • We had dinner with four other church couples on Friday night. It's a super cool idea. The church provides childcare, while all the "young adult" couples are divided into groups of 8-10. The groups meet at one of the couples' homes and share a potluck meal together. It was good to meet other people - we didn't know anyone else in our group before we got there. I think it'll make our big church feel a lot smaller. It's nice to recognize a few faces when you go to service.
  • What else? Evan had a soccer game on Saturday. Corrie and I did some shopping. And the four of us joined another family for an outing to "Onionfest," an annual festival in Weslaco. Highlights of Onionfest included the bloomin' onion, the fajita nachos, Evan scaling a rock wall, and Corrie rockin' out to the live music. Our girl loves to dance.
I'm looking forward to a new week.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Welcome to Texas!

They came, they saw, they ... ate! We've been hosting visitors here on and off for the past month. My mom came from Mississippi, Emmett's good friend Eddie came down for a day, and Emmett's parents came down this week. We're not exactly sure what to show people - this isn't exactly a haven for tourists - so we've been taking everyone out to dinner.

Our favorite places:
Rudy's - I think this is a Texas-only kind of place. We LOVE the brisket and potato. BBQ goodness.
Peter Piper Pizza - This is Evan's must-have for lunch. It's the local Chuck E. Cheese, but the pizza tastes about the same.
Costa Messa - Our (Chicago) friends Chris and Kindra gave us a gift certificate to Costa Messa when we moved down here, so it's one of the first places we tried. Yum! It's a loud restaurant, too, with mariachi bands on the weekends, so the kids just blend in with all the other noises. We recommend the botana platter (something that we've only seen in the Valley) and the fajitas.
Taco Palenque - Local fast food, similar to Hawaiian plate lunch ... except with fajitas, Spanish rice and beans instead of katsu, sticky rice and mac salad.
Dai Tung - This is our favorite Valley Chinese place so far. Evan wolfs down the dumplings.

Besides the food, we've kept visits pretty low-key. We've walked around the UTPA campus, played at some local parks, and visited the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen.

It's been a pleasure to have family and friends visit our new home. It makes life here seem more real, like we've been officially recognized as residents of the Rio Grande Valley.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cowboy Day

One of these days I'm going to figure out how to post pictures on this thing! Actually, I think I already know how, it's just that we forget to download pictures from our camera. And I'm using a new computer, so I've never actually put pictures on this computer.

Today was Cowboy Day at Evan's preschool. They had games, a cowboy lunch, a singalong and a dance. It was fun! Corrie and I were in charge of the "pin the badge on the sheriff" game, along with my friend Claudia. Corrie didn't have much patience for hanging out by the game, so she and I did a fair share of wandering around while the kids were playing games. When it was time for the singalong and dancing, I wondered how Corrie would do. She is on the go all the time, and I doubted that she'd be able to sit still and pay attention. Hooray - I was wrong! She loved listening to the songs, and she enjoyed watching all the dances. Everytime they'd stop performing, she would clap and cheer. "Yay, Evan!" She is super cute.

Evan deserved the cheers. He and his friend Emma had to skip together, do-si-do, and swing your partner. He did everything just like he was supposed to, and he looked like he was taking it all very seriously. He said that his favorite part was when he and Emma got to skip down the line together.

Oh, but this morning ... we all stayed up way too late last night. Evan had soccer practice, and by the time we got the kids home, fed, bathed and into bed, it was 8:30 or 9. Emmett and I stayed up till midnight. So this morning, we were all struggling to get up. Finally everybody was awake and downstairs. I was trying to get the kids dressed for Cowboy Day (hats, boots, jeans, bandanas), plus assemble an easy "Hawaiian chicken" dinner in the crockpot. Corrie wandered over to ask me a question, and while I answered her, I poured a can of mandarin oranges directly into the trashcan. Good grief!

Tonight I am going to bed at a reasonable time. I think I am a better mom (and cook!) when I'm well-rested.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Being Available

During my senior year of college, my friend Jeremy wasn't sure what he would be doing after graduation. He figured he had three options: (1) grad school (2) a job (3) missions. I'm pretty sure he prayed about all three. He also made himself available to do any of them. He applied to grad school, interviewed for jobs, and went on a spring break missions trip overseas. As time went by, God narrowed his options. The jobs and grad school didn't pan out, and his heart and willingness for missions grew and grew. The next year, he went to Russia with IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students).

I'm in a similar boat. Now that we're settled in the Valley, I'm starting to see ministry opportunities all around me. The questions are : Where is God working? And how can I join Him?

I have a passion for working with families in poverty, work experience in a ministry to teenage mothers (shout out to New Moms!), and I'm currently a stay at home mom to two children. What do I do with myself?

Lately, God's been making connections. I've had several conversations about starting a Teen MOPS group here. My husband and I are also applying to be foster parents, possibly to adopt. I've met many moms who are new to the area - who feel disconnected and adrift. We're almost ready to commit to a church that has needs for small group leaders and kids' Sunday School volunteers. There is much potential and opportunity for ministry.

So I'm trying to do what Jeremy did: make myself available. I don't know what to focus on yet, so I'm sowing little seeds in lots of directions. I'm trusting that God will close some doors and open others wide. Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear.