Sunday, March 31, 2013

jumping the waves

we went to bali last week for a regional conference.  it was such a great time to get away, be fed and encouraged by the Word and have fun with our family.  honestly, luke was pretty terrible most of the time.... as he has been for about three weeks.  he sobs if i leave his side and sometimes he sobs and i have no idea why.  so, i went in pretty drained and had some low moments there.  he would wake up and sob for 15-45 minutes with no obvious cause (accept that i later discovered he had three new teeth).  i would lay with him and try to comfort him but the crying and thrashing didn't stop.  i was at my end and unfortunately it often showed in my attitude towards him.  

this conference wasn't about strategy or anything concerning indonesia, it was solely for the care of our souls.  and it was so refreshing for me.  it's been a long season of unknowns and cultural difficulties and it was topped off by a few very rough weeks with luke.  God spoke His peace to me, He spoke words of encouragement, He gave us a new vision for the day to day difficulties we've been facing.  we're in a battle and we need to cry out to the One who is always victorious.  it was a perspective that we desperately need as we look forward here.  

He also spoke to me about luke.  i have a Father who is slow to anger and abounding in love.  God knows that these days aren't easy and He is merciful and compassionate towards me in them.  He also enables me to be merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love towards my kids... because that is who He is to me.  i know these things, but sometimes i just need the Holy Spirit to say it again to me.  
i don't really know how to photography scenery at all and this picture doesn't do it justice.  it was beautiful!

our kids went to "school" most days (thanks child care workers!!!) and we went to our sessions.  we had a great group of people from tx come to share with us.  we also did a lot of fun things in our free time....

we went to the beach.  danny started jumping the "waves" with our kids, which was a huge hit.  do you see that massive wave that mary and danny are jumping?!?  that is a pretty good picture of mary's level of love for adventure... :)

we had dinner on the beach

luke played balinese music every morning on our way of out breakfast

we did a lot of swimming, which i have no photos of because i was in the pool... but here is us ready to go swimming.  :)

danny had a plate of bacon every morning.  bacon is hard to find (and really expensive) on our island because it's primarily muslim.  but, bali is primarily hindu so the bacon is plentiful.  :)

we also went to a water park... which i intend to not do again for another 5 years.  it's just not that much fun for our kids, since they prefer to not have their faces splashed with water.  :)  

...and finally luke crashed.  i love sleeping babies.  i mean, i love them when they are awake too, but i love holding him while he sleeps.  :)

tomorrow i'll post more about bali... some of our good friends from America just happened to be vacationing at our same hotel!  a gift from God.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

monyee the monyet

this week it was mary's turn to bring the class mascot home.  

meet monyee the monyet (monkey, in indonesian)

we were supposed to take pictures of monyee around the house doing normal things with mary (i think?).... and that is what i did.  i will print them out soon and she'll report to her class.  thought i'd share our time with monyee on here.  

eating cereal with monyee
kissing monyee on the back porch
this is the best one.  what are mary and monyee doing, you wonder?  oh, just guarding the tomb of Jesus... until He rises three days later.  that wooden thing on the stone (read booster chair) is the sign that says keep away.  her new thing is role playing the resurrection story of Jesus.  usually, she's the soldier, but she always assures me that she's a good soldier.  we read the Bible almost every night, but i will say, i think a lot of her Bible knowledge/obsession is from her nest entertainment videos.  
reading at night with daddy.  that's the Bible we read and we really love it (if you're in the market for a new kid's Bible).  it's the Big Picture Story Book Bible.  through all of the stories it weaves the promise of a Savior, the restoration of the people and place of God and God's promise to bless all nations of the earth.  
mary reading to monyee.  this is a Bible too... which i would not recommend.  but, mary actually calls this her "schedule book" and usually looks to see when her guitar practice or school time is.  where did she get that idea?  not sure.  but usually guitar practice comes right around 8pm.... bed time.  :)  
mary, luke and monyee helping me make zucchini bread.  i hope that they still want to "help" in the kitchen when their "help" would actually be helpful.  :)  usually takes me four times as long and twice the mess... but they LOVE pulling the chairs up and helping me.  i look it as an activity for the kids, not something i have to get done quickly.  :)
there's life with mary and monyee (which by the way is what luke has called mary until about 3 weeks ago).   :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

dirt play

dirt + water = fun

luke kept filling up that little tea pitcher over and over again... and each time about half of it landed on the floor.  but, look at those chubby, dirty hands.  i just love them. 

they were planting seeds, serious business.  

after they played in the dirt they wanted to play dress up.  i resisted taking pictures of eli is his tutu (for you, ben) but i will gladly share luke showing off his pink.  we have many pictures of my little brother dressed in dresses, bonnets, and jewelry... and he's very manly now.  luke has enough basketball skills and hits mary enough to prove his manhood.  :)

mary gazing affectionately at the peanut butter on her finger.  a girl after my own heart.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

what fills our days...

here's our life as of late... i have been lazy with the camera but the good old cell phone is always around.  so, here's everyday life by the phone.  

i don't know where she learned that licking the beaters was okay?!?
mary hanging out with the basketball girls... my kids love these girls!

he's a stud.  that's all.  

train time!
love these two.
luke hiding behind mary when he heard the motorcycles come.  i was right there to provide protection but he chose mary.  cute.  

an afternoon walk on our street... 

luke petting the rooster... we go looking for chickens in the little neighborhood behind our house on most of our walks.  we also buy crackers from the sweet little lady that sells them out of her house.  

craft time before dinner.  i have to confess, it was a genius idea.  they loved it.  the beauty of it was that it is a new activity and that i was there on the floor with them the whole time... so i'm save this for those "special" times (read: exhausting parenting days) when i need a mood booster for the family.   

happy birthday to our favorite friend, vera!  

my kids love having her around our home and we loved celebrating her.
an update from the last post regarding the need of joy.  we are doing better around the pierce home, but still not fabulous.  today the electricity was off from about 2-5pm (it's dark inside the house by that time during rainy season because it's so overcast).  that makes for hard afternoons.  i needed to get out of the house and get luke into a different scene to snap him out of his terribly pathetic mood.  the boy wakes up on the wrong side of the bed after naps sometimes... and it makes me crazy!  i took him on a run in the rain and he loved it.  he loved getting wet and he loved looking at the "bee-yuck" (that's "big trucks") that pass us.  it was a win for us.  then, after dinner the attitudes shifted down again so danny played trains with luke and i read to mary for 45 minutes.  the girl loves her some books and now i know more about spot than i ever wanted to.  all was well again and we had a good evening!   thank you, Jesus!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

we need some joy!

we've had some rough days around the house lately. the last four days our kids have whined at a whole new level.  mary had some of the worst fits ever and luke bursts out in tears over nothing.  i know this is just a speck of difficulty in the grand scheme of things, but in the moment we can feel really defeated.

today we desperately needed something to bring the mood up in our home.  so, we pulled out the "jumping bed" as the kids call it.  we used to have it in our living room always, but it's been away for months.  they were so happy to have the jumping bed back... and SO WAS I!  :)

they played on it on and off for the rest of the day and danny wrestled them after dinner.  it was so fun and just what our family needed.  fun together! 

look at that jump from luke... and amazingly enough he usually lands on his feet.   

that little look on luke's face is dangerous... he's going in for the kill... 

and there is the tackle!  which usually ends in tears from someone.

then luke decided he wanted to take a rest on mary.  sweet boy.  he is such a lover (and a fighter)!  side note: luke is laying on mary's "nice side."  wonder what the "nice side" is?  well, it originated from my stomach.  mary would come up and lay her head on my stomach and tell me she wanted the "nice" side (read: squishy side).  i tell you what, she knows how to make a mama feel good.  

i'm thankful that God's mercies are new every morning.  i'm thankful that i am mary and luke's mom, even when they have terrible attitudes.  i'm thankful that i have a heavenly Father that is love to me; even when my attitude is terrible and i have no gratitude in my heart, He loves me.  i'm so thankful that He is gracious, unendingly gracious to me.  i'm thankful that He always gives us sweet moments of joy (even when i'm not looking for them) that remind of me His love and thoughtfulness towards me.   

-mary got up early today and sat with me as i prayed... i played with her hair and prayed out loud as she listened.  it was so peaceful and precious to be with my little girl.  and honestly, it helped me focus so much!  i wasn't rushing thinking about what i had to do next, i was just sitting with mary and praying.  and mary was so still and didn't talk to me (which is a real rarity these days!), she was just with me.

-luke usually says "bodoh" for the word "thankful" when we talk at dinner.  tonight, when danny was answering luke's question about thankfulness danny said "i'm bodoh for..." and luke stopped, "no, daddy not say bodoh!" and then he tried to say thankful and it was hilarious.  not funny at all as i write it, so it's okay if you don't laugh.  all four of us were dying in laughter at the dinner table... and we needed it.

-tonight we had music on while the kids were playing on the jumping bed.  danny and i started dancing together (i know, aren't we cute?!?)  :)  every single time we try to dance luke ends up in a full out hysterical sob.  he doesn't like it at all!  this time, mary saw us first and pointed in delight (which is also rare) and luke followed her emotions of excitement.  they started giggling and thought it was fun we were dancing together.  i was proud of mary who led luke into joy, rather than sobbing.  i was also thankful that danny and i could have a little fun together.