Sunday, February 24, 2013

Details, Details

Details are not my strong suit... 

And for those who know me well, I will give you a moment to collect yourselves, wipe the beverage you just spewed off your screen, and catch your breath from the peals of laughter. 

...and if I was a "Detail person" this would be a list with bullet points, but as you can see it's not. 

How's this all going to work?  We've had a few FAQs and so I will attempt to answer some of it here about the details of our trip.  Honestly, at this point, all questions are excellent for helping us think through particulars we may not have thought about. 


In order to sell our house, we have to be out to paint and do minor repairs so we plan to move out locally at the end of April and do the work while living close-by in the trailer.  

We will leave Houston mid-May.  Em's college classes end May 9 and she has her Spring Formal Dance to attend on May 11.  So we can't leave before then, right Emily?  Our 22nd Anniversary is May 18 and I think it pulling out to begin our Great Adventure on that day would be fitting and beautiful. 

We have a few events to attend as well as a desire so see some specific places so we are planning around those anchors. 
May 25-26 Show Hope's 10th Anniversary Celebration in Nashville, TN
July 19 - I leave for China from Chicago, O'Hare
July 28 - I return to Chicago from China

Here is our list of tentative states to visit 

  • May - Louisiana, Tennessee
  • June - Kentucky
  • July - Illinois, Minnesota
  • August - Wyoming, Montana
  • September - Utah, Idaho
  • October - Washington
  • November - Oregon
  • December - California, Arizona

Doug will continue to work full-time.  Our plan is to drive on the weekend to a campsite and set up for a week or two, explore, discover, learn, and then pack up and move to the next place.  Doug does have vacation he will use for fun days to do cool stuff besides driving.

If you've seen a REALLY AMAZING place in the U.S. or camped somewhere extraordinary, please tell us about it in the comments.  

If you live in one of the states listed above, or nearby, let us know we'd LOVE to meet up!  

We LOVE to see new people and places!  We LOVE road trips! We would LOVE to sell our house, but practically speaking there is no way to do it with 11 people in 2000 sq. ft. 24/7. We want to show the kids the Pacific Northwest where I grew up, where Doug and I spent our newlywed years, and where two of them were born. 

We do plan to return to Houston and buy property here.  We don't have a hard date, but tentatively we will be back in the South for Winter.  

If you have other questions or ideas, ask away!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013


Our Great Adventure has recently taken a turn for the 

Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Great Adventure" has been a theme throughout our nearly 22 years of marriage.  

Now not only will our Adventure involve my trip to China, it will involve a move and an extended road trip for our family.

Recently, the desire to sell our home has married with our desire to see these great United States resulting in a plan to sell or store our belongings, move into our RV Travel Trailer, put our house up for sale, and travel the U.S.A. for a period of time.  

Right now, Doug has a job that is 100% virtual and he's been working from home for the past nine months.  He can work from anywhere, so why not the road?  

God always seems to have a "Great Adventure" for our family when we follow Him.  

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Life is beautiful chaos. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Haircutting Havoc

She did it by herself... 

She hid in the corner of her room... 

She knew...

She knew it was wrong... 

Look at that face!  It says it all. 

What she didn't know is that it would change her hair forever.  The curly baby locks are gone but not in the controlled, cute, first-haircut way we had planned, but hacked off haphazardly falling to the ground unceremoniously. 

Why?  What went through her head as she held those scissors then watched the first locks fall to the ground, and the next, and the next.  

She obviously regretted it.  The tears that fell as I tried to fix it, even it up, cover over the hack job she had achieved were evidence of that.  "Mommy, why you cut my haiw?" she fussed.  

How many times?  How many do I do this exact same thing.  Gossip, snip, snip.  Short-temperedness, hack, hack. 
Sarcasm, cut, cut.  The damage and the changes that take place may be able to be covered over.  It may be fixed, but it will not be the same.  Sometimes the results of my sin are long lasting.  Sometimes, they can be made into something beautiful by The Redeemer.  Sometimes it's just a big mess there is no way to untangle. Sometimes.

But this I call to mind,

    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning 
 great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23

Tomorrow is a new day, with new mercies (and a visit to Mommy's hairstylist). 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ever Had One of Those Days?

It seems the CHAOS has overwhelmed the BEAUTIFUL in my mind lately.  

Traffic and crying and drama and long lines and problems that aren't really problems but unravel me.  

Why am I on edge?  Why do I fret?  Why so impatient? Why worry? Why?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.


I will trust that God is at work in me. 

I will trust that God is at work in my children. 

Life is messy, expensive, time consuming, and BEAUTIFUL!  

I will trust and rest and rejoice in Him. 

Rejoice in the Lord, I will say it again, REJOICE! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

How You Can Participate in The Great Adventure!

Many of you know that my heart has been drawn to the plight of orphans for a long time. For years I've known of Maria's Big House Of Hope, the medical care facility and orphanage Steven Curtis Chapman and ShowHOPE built in China in 2009.  I have the amazing opportunity to travel to China with ShowHOPE for nine days of surveying firsthand and working in Maria's Big House Of Hope. 

If you haven't read about how this amazing opportunity came about, start here:

The cost for the trip is $4700.00 and we have already made a down payment of $500.00 has been made.  The deadline for the first half payment is April 1 with the entire amount due June 1.  I will travel July 19-28, 2013. 

If you would like to give to support my effort to help orphans in China here is how you can do it: 

Non-Tax Deductible Option
  • Send cash/check to me
    - or -
  • Use PayPal to donate directly to me 
Tax Deductible Option
  1. Send me a check made out to ShowHOPE (don't write my name on the check)
  2. Complete this donor form

And please, please pray for me.  

Pray that my time will be blessed and that I will be a blessing to those sweet people I will be serving!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Just to Clarify...

Several friends have asked if I am going to China to adopt a child.  While we would open our hearts and our home to a precious one from China, their policy requires more income than we make for a family our size to adopt from China.  Now, I'm not saying it's "impossible" because over and over in scripture God says, "NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE." and I think He means it! 

So, if you feel led to pray that God would send me home with a wee one, PRAY!  

However, at this time the plan is for me to go with an open heart and open mind and see what is happening in China through at Maria's Big House of Hope and then pray about how we can be a part of that good work that He has begun. 

I am looking forward to sharing more details about my trip soon, as soon as I have them!  Pray for PATIENCE for me as I wait for more emails and correspondence from ShowHope about my trip.