Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Things that make a mommy happy

My little girl is growing up! Tonight she went poo poo on the potty for the first time. And that's all I have to say about that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another story, another day

Sometime this spring, Linda, our women's ministry leader, sent out an email telling us that there were three positions open on the board, Worship leader, Mothers of Preschoolers Coordinator, and something else. Immediately, I thought, oh, worship leader, that sounds like fun. I'd get to pick out the songs and sing at the Wednesday morning Bible studies, and people would see me singing and I would get compliments every week and have tons of people who would claim me as "friend." You see where this is going, right?

Last spring when I got this email I was in the beginning weeks of a Bible study that has changed my life called Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. Almost as soon as I had those thoughts of grandeur about being the worship leader, I perceived a little niggling voice saying, "That's nice, but that would be all about you. I want you to do something for Me. I want you to do this MOPS thing."

So, I did what I always do. I sat on it. Brad and I went out to dinner, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I remember being so nervous that I hadn't responded and that God was going to give someone else the call, and I missed it. (Having gone through the experience of finding a MOPS coordinator, I realize how ridiculous the idea of having more than one person chomping at the bit to take on this responsibility is, but, nevertheless, that's how I felt.) As soon as possible, I got on the computer and emailed Linda back.

The roller coaster ride since then has been exhilarating. God has brought an organization to this that never would have come out of my brain alone. He's given me flashes of incredible insight, wonderful ideas, and fabulous ladies to work with. The irony is, I've been receiving praise and positive feedback like crazy, but it's like water off a duck's back. None of it compares to the knowledge that I'm doing exactly what God called me to do and that He has equipped me for His purposes. That is the kind of love and acceptance that I crave.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My last Bible study

Today was my last Bible study in Doha. We always have a special luncheon on the last day of the semester, and today was no exception. It was wonderful how God worked everything together. I knew it was my last day, so I volunteered to sing a special, to everyone's amazement because no one knew that I sing. That was kind of by design, but that's a different story for a different day. Anyway, Connie, the Bible Study Coordinator, got up to speak a few words about walking by faith. Her final thoughts were that we can trust God because He knows us. I then sang "If You Want Me To" and "He Knows My Name." The songs couldn't have been better suited to what Connie had to say. Then, sometime between yesterday morning and today she changed her mind and played a different DVD. She was planning on showing one about Heaven and Hell by Anne Graham Lotz, but instead she showed a DVD by Jennifer Rothschild about walking by faith instead of sight. (You should really take a minute to click over to her site; her testimony is incredible.) It was beautiful the way it all worked together.

Afterward we played some games which lightened the mood considerably. I'm a little embarrassed that the picture that is going to stick in the minds of the ladies here is me sliding violently across the floor in my high heels, falling to my knees, trying to be the first one to get a feminine hygiene product in Shelly's hand. It was so bad the woman who actually won gave the prize to me.

Now, I'm exhausted from holding in tears all morning. I think I need a good cry, but I have a feeling it won't come until after Christmas.

I'm going to leave you with some pictures from today.

Our lovely table decorations:

My adorable friend, Lanny, and her scrumptious baby boy:The ladies:

Ooh, I love this baby. Did I mention he's scrumptious?

My friend and mentor, Dianne, who is also leaving this week. :(

Monday, November 17, 2008

How could I forget

Last week when I said I was done, I was mistaken. How could I forget the most important picture? I just got it in the mail a couple days ago, and today I scanned it and made this page:

On our first day, when we were waiting for our reservation time at Cinderella's Castle, and the babies were getting crabby, we decided to go visit Mickey because it meant we could stand in the air conditioning for a half an hour. You can see how hot and tired we are in the picture, but that was all forgotten when we saw Mickey. Nick fell in love.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A day of accomplishments

We decided to do something fun today, so we went to the zoo with our friend Tom. I've already taken pictures of the animals there, and to be honest I was feeling especially sad for them today, so I didn't take my camera out until we went to the playground.

I was struck again by how fast the twins are growing. This is the first time we've been to an outdoor playground since we left the States two months ago, and it's amazing the progress that they've made.

They can go up the steps and slide down the slide on their own:

They can run around on the sand:

They can sit on the big swings by themselves:

But sometimes it's still really fun to be little:

Speaking of amazing achievements, tonight I was helping Catie write her name on the Magna Doodle and I was saying the letters out loud while I guided her hand. I said, "C." Then she said, "A, T, I, E." Isn't she smart?! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All Done!

To read that title correctly, you need to imagine Catie's sing song "Allllll Do-onnnnnne."

Our last full day of our vacation was at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay (pronounced like "key.") It was so nice. We were wishing that we had two days there just to hang out. Not only was it gorgeous, but it was full of all those little thoughtful Disney things, like boardwalks and free sodas and hammocks and pretty much anything else we could have wanted. It was a great way to end the vacation.

I couldn't resist taking some pictures of the kids lined up in their strollers on our last morning. They were all so happy, except Ryder, which ended up so funny looking in the pictures. These are the times you remember forever. After this vacation, the twins were so in love with their cousins. They still talk about Ryder (Ry-Ry) all the time.

These are some pictures I took on the bus ride back to the airport.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Desert, not Dessert

I have to admit, before we left for our desert safari on Saturday morning, I was wondering why I was willingly putting myself in the hands of someone who was going to drive as wildly as possible over sand dunes in an easily tipped SUV. And, I was paying him to do it.
We met at the Sheraton hotel downtown, not too far from our apartment. We went with some families from Grace Fellowship and the conference speakers who are here this week, Tom and Kim Blackaby.
I was really feeling silly for doing this when my bottom was hurting after our 30 minute drive through the city to the start of the dunes.

Duning is a major past time around here, so of course, there are some tourist traps (ie camel rides) at the start. We didn't ride, but some people in our group did, so we spent a little time looking at the ugly things.

This was my view for the next hour or so.

We did this. A lot.

And we saw this (the Persian gulf)

Our vehicles and drivers (they're sitting in the sand in front of the second to left car.)

My only comment on this photo is that the wind was making some unflattering shapes with my loose shirt and pants. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
The land across the way is Saudi Arabia.

This is where we ended up. We ate a traditional Arabic lunch and hung out on the beach for a little while. All in all, except for the scary driving (which actually was pretty tame, I only screamed 5 or 6 times), it was a very relaxing day.

After the ride, this is where Brad ended up. Even sitting in the front seat, he was feeling it.

She's a rock star

I would like to title this photo "The Little Girl Who Has No Idea What's So Funny But She Loves Being the Center of Mommy and Daddy's Attention so She's Laughing Too."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

43 down, 10 to go

Our first stop on our Disney cruise was Nasau. We went out after breakfast for a little shopping in town. We really didn't spend much time, but it was fun. Actually, although it was different than shopping in the US, it was way more relaxed than shopping in the souqs, especially the souqs that we visited in Egypt. I bought an embroidered table cloth and napkins and Brad bought a t-shirt.
After lunch, we went with Britt and her kids and Charles on a shore excursion to the Ardastra Zoo and Gardens. I explained a little on these pages, but really, it wasn't much of a zoo. After that, we rode around town a little on a guided tour. I thought that part was really interesting, but the kids were pretty tired.

Ruth and Rusty went on a different shore excursion for a dolphin encounter. I was jealous when I found out how much time they were able to spend with the dolphins. They have a DVD of their time there and it looks like so much fun.

That night, we had our Pirates IN the Caribbean party. Catie and Brindy were dressed like Tinker Bell and Nick and Ryder were our little pirates. Fun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008