Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Last First Day of Preschool

So I am of the Billy Madison generation, well the Adam Sandler generation in general...and when Billy Madison came out, it had a song in it that my sister and I would sing at the beginning of every school year...

"Back to school, back to school, to prove to daddy I'm not a fool..."

Well, last week...George found himself going back to school.  Granted, this kid under no circumstances is a fool, in fact I think that at his ripe old age of 4-1/2 that he is already smarter than me.

When we moved here, we knew he needed to be in a preschool immediately.  He needed kid interaction.  We are at a church with no other kids, his sister isn't necessarily the best playing companion...yet, he just doesn't have many avenues to interact with people his own age.  So, we sent him to a school with an opening that I was fond of.  Well, he was not.  At least that was the act he put on.  Every day we would pick him up and ask how the day was...he would say, "Not good" each and every time it would break my heart.  You see, in moving here, Tom and I knew the sacrifices we would be making, but George didn't.  He was leaving a school he loved with friends that he had had for two years.  Adjusting for him was hard.

So, fast forward to this past week.  We couldn't send him to the same school he finished up at in May.  It is in what is referred to as the "Northland" of the city and we now live in Kansas.  It would be a logistical nightmare.  So, we found a school closer to home. 

Last Wednesday, I held my breath as I sent him off (PS...check how stinking cute he looked!).  I'm not sure if I dreaded the afternoon or not, but as Tom picked him up and he got out of the car, I asked him the dreaded question...and he had a blast...PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

His first unit has been about blasting off into learning (all about space and still my heart) and Eliza is on the wait list to go hopefully later this fall.

Oh...and when he got home, we found a package for him from Aunt Ginny.  In it were first day of school goodies.  Now, if you don't know my sister, one thing you should know is that she has the gift of giving good gifts.  She just is so in tune with what you would want and what would be special for you.  I mean, I try...but she truly has a gift!  Anyway, the kids opened up their package AND...

Pete the Cat rides the bus...WE LOVE PETE THE CAT!!!  Not familiar, you should completely add learning about his groovy buttons to your to do list....

AND...You're Killing Me Smalls...with this shirt...naturally!


And thank you for praying for us in this transition...God is good! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Something BIG

No...I'm not pregnant...this news isn't THAT big.

BUT, sorry for my hiatus...ask my sister, when I have a secret, I can't say anything about anything because if I do...the secret is coming out.  I remember when I was pregnant for Eliza, I just didn't call Gwyn for days (I normally call her every other day...probably to her dismay).  I just couldn't...I KNEW I was going to blow the secret.

Well, here I am again, with a secret...but first, the story!

When we moved here, Tom and I talked about how I would need to work.  I struggled with this, I cried about this.  In Indy, I felt like I had the perfect job.  I worked and helped support things in our family, but my kids were right there.  I worked while they were at school and Tom had them a day.  I never stressed about that set-up.  It was awesome.  I knew it would be different.  I just didn't know how.

I looked for a job, and nothing seemed right.  But then our relator told us in a side-note conversation about a client of hers looking for someone, but she didn't think I would be interested.  He owned a remodeling company, and construction probably wasn't what I was looking for...haha.  WELL... I met with this guy and although I still wasn't 100% sure, it was the best opportunity that had presented itself.  I was going to be able to work from home, he was paying me (always a bonus), and did I mention I could work from home??  Looking back, I know that this job was what God had for me at this time, at this point in our lives, this season.  Because of this job, I was able to help our kids through the transition to KC life by being home with them (although if you ask George what I do for a living, he will tell you that I talk on the phone).  I was able to flexibly move us into our home and unpack (I still have probably 20-ish boxes, but I call that a victory).  I was able to be a part of our first mission team.  I was able to do so much that a full time office job just couldn't do.

BUT, the nagging feeling that this wasn't exactly what God had for me was there.  I was in the wilderness.  God was providing manna, yes.  And I took and ate it daily, BUT, it was just temporary.  It wasn't the end.

Well, last Monday, I quit...well gave my 2 week notice.  Now, I am not a girl to just outright quit without having something else up my sleeve (even though it isn't too foreign in the family I was you Daddy!!).  So here is the other half of the story.

I found an advertisement for an Administrative position at a local church here in KC.  Knowing how blessed I was in my time at Fall Creek, I applied!  And they offered it to me!  Granted, this job was full time...full time away from my babies...full time away from my home and all the responsibilities I take on...Between interview and offer, I prayed that God would reveal to me if this was the job He had for me in a very specific way.  I wanted the guy who would do the offering to tell me that he recognized that I had a family and that they thought about that.  Not sure what I wanted them to DO about that, but I wanted to know they recognized my family's importance. 

After the interview, I was told I would hear something by noon the next day.  By the time the clock struck 12:01 I had already discounted myself...this wasn't the opportunity.  I literally picked up my phone to text Tom my "woe is me" they aren't going to hire me, defeated text, when my phone rang.  A 816 number, one I didn't recognize.  I answered...sure enough, it was the phone call I had been waiting for.  He gave me the offer...and then the words I had been praying to hear, "now we know you have a family and small children, and here is what we can do for you..."  WHAT?!?!  Even now, I get teary...God is SO FAITHFUL!!!  HE is so good. 

So there you have it...starting Monday morning, bright and early, I am the Central Executive Administrative Assistant at Colonial Presbyterian Church here in KC.  I am so overwhelmed!!

Pray for my babies...I haven't been away from them like this since Indy...and truly I have NEVER been away from Eliza like this, well ever.  Pray for Tom.  He is picking up a great load in order for me to do this.  He is a phenomenal man, who loves me with all he has...I'm floored.  Pray for final details of our childcare needs and our schedules.  We have pockets of needs we are trying to fill and one of the "child provisions" is the possibility of moving to have Fridays off.  Give thanks to God for how he cares for us...that He can give us something, albeit temporary and difficult, and it can be exactly what we need for that time.  And that even in that He provides...

Friday, August 7, 2015

There's No Place Like Home

What is it about a house? 

A house makes it all seem permanent...makes it seem final. So, when we moved here, I was anxious to get the settled feeling and find the house we would make ours.  After a long journey, we finally settled at our house, two short doors up from a pizza restaurant (when the wind hits right, it just smells delicious outside!!) and across the street from Starbucks (I mean seriously...perfect!!).  But, I pause for a story, because God truly led us to this house and we feel blessed to have it...and He deserves the credit!!

We moved here in January and moved in with my aunt and uncle, to whom we owe so much.  We are so thankful for how they loved our family as we navigated the first couple of month of living here and how they spent time in our new home to help make it our home and how they continue to love our kids, even when we live 30 minutes south (and in Kansas of all places!!).

We thought for sure buying a house would be a quick process.  Our restrictions were Kansas because the school district was better and I worry we are going to mess up George's life often.  When we found the first house we wanted to make ours, we went back to see it with our realtor, for the sole purpose of determining what number.  What we found was water in the basement..  God protected us from buying a home that would have brought us a TON of issues.

Our first offer was on a home that went on the market and within 6 hours, the house had at least 5 offers.  We were one, and even offered over asking price.  We wrote a compelling letter on why us (I mean we LAID IT ON THICK!!).  All that effort was wasted as we were outbid by what was WELL over what they asked for on the house!  God must have had something better!!

Our second offer was on a house we liked...we could have made it a home.  It was across the street from the high school and I envisioned taking George across the street to the football games.  It really could have been fun!  Our realtor called in our offer to the other realtor before we sent in the paperwork.  The other realtor said to give our best offer, and our best was not good enough (even though it was asking price!!).  God again must have had something better!!

Third time is a charm, right?!  Our third offer was on a home that we made an offer on the first day it was on the market.  We liked the house but we just didn't LOVE it.  We couldn't commit to the entire asking price but really didn't have a reason why other than just not thinking it was worth it.  Our realtor I'm sure thought we were crazy...we just couldn't do it!  We found out that the homeowner wanted to hold out for more.  We were rejected...AGAIN.  Surely, God MUST have had something better!!

At this point, a lot of people expand their search, right...reaching out further into the suburbs.  But neither of us felt right about that.  We felt that if God had called us to Roanoke Baptist Church, he was going to give us a house within 12 minutes of the church (don't ask me why 12, but 12 it was!!).  We shrunk our radius and held again I'm sure our realtor was SO happy with us!

Offer four was 4 minutes from the church, surely THIS was it!  We loved the area...the house was alright, but we LOVED the area.  This was it, we were sure...We made a good solid offer, even over asking price...We were the among the first in the house (it went on the market at 9am and we were in it by noon).  Seriously, this house was  We were outbid, AGAIN.  God had something better...this was our last rejection.

Bill and Mary came to visit us to do some work at the church, how inconvenient the timing was for a house to go on the market.  But we knew we needed to see it, so we took them with us!  When we got there, we say a little old lady walk in.  She was the homeowner and asked if we would mind if she stayed in her office while we walked through, we were her 12th showing (yes, the first day on the market, it was about 2pm, and we were the 12th showing).  She was 93 years old and had lived in the house for 56 years.  Her husband passed away 22 years ago and it was time for her to move in with family to help take care of her needs.  She hated having to sell the house, but it was time.  The house was outdated...but we saw potential...I mean, what she didn't update, she maintained amazingly.  Could this be OUR house?  We decided to go for it.  Full asking price.  Our realtor called hers to say our offer was coming and tell her our story.  He told her that she would love our story.  She was a member of his church and knew how important it was to her to sell the house to a young family.  This was it...The next day, amid cleaning and painting at the church, we got the was ours!!  Finally...Oh, and you want to know how many minutes it is to the church from our house...12 on the dot!!  God provided!  God quickly we forget that...thankfully, He is faithful!!!!!!

Our home is wonderful...we pulled out the carpet to expose beautiful hardwood floors.  We peeled off wallpaper (shout out to Aunt Kathy, Uncle Dean, Emily, Braden, Calen, Dad...and if I'm forgetting you I'm sorry!).  We painted.  We installed ceiling fans.  We gutted the kitchen.  We made it home...and there is no place like it! 

(pictures are coming...soon...I promise)

So, all that to say, how can you pray:

Pray that we remain faithful to God's calling and nudging.  Pray that we would trust that He provides!  I always criticize the Israelites for wanting to go back to Egypt and not remembering how God provided for them day after day...but man, I'm just like them!!

Pray that this home that God has given us would be used for His Kingdom.

Pray for relationships with our neighbors that are developing.  God has blessed us so much with this community.  Pray we would be intentional.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sonic Slushes

I didn't get it...what the draw to Sonic was...until my sister introduced me a couple of years ago...a fresh fruit slush (lemon) that's some good stuff!!

Eliza got her first slush a couple of days ago...and she loved it!  I mean wouldn't put it down loved it! (and I loved that during happy hour, I got both Eliza and George slushes for $1.19 plus tax!!). 

Eliza has experienced many first since we moved here...

First stair climb
First steps
First shoes (not the soft bottom kind, but legit shoes)
First birthday
First bout of the stomach flu (which interestingly enough she gave to her entire family after her first birthday party...much like her big brother did!!)
First trip to the beach

and here in couple of weeks...her First time in school.

Now do I say this DRAMA!!!  We love our sassy little girl, but man, she gives us a run for our money.  She often has bruises on her forehead from throwing herself down, but her smile can blow you away.  She is our unexpected joy...and her brother is pretty crazy about her too!

Here's how you can be praying for her:

School - she has never been in a setting like that.  We are starting at one day a week.  She is currently on the waiting list.  Pray she will get in soon and for her adjustment

Drama - pray for wisdom for us in how to deal with her.  She is COMPLETELY opposite from George and we are struggling to fully understand how to handle her. 

Teething - She has 8 teeth and I can't wait for the rest to bust through so we can just be done!  Pray for comfort.

Nightly Bible Stories - She is reaching the age where we can finally do our nighttime devotions with both kids.  Pray for both of them as they begin to learn (and George grasp) truths about a God who loves them more than we could ever fathom!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bunk Beds

George started out as an old man trapped in a baby body...and well now he is still an old man, but he has grown up so much in the past 7 months (to which I tell him to stop and to which he answers "Sorry Mommy, I can't.")

Last night, he reached the ultimate big boy-ness...

  Bunk Beds!!

These beds were given to us a couple of years ago by the Manners, and I always figured that the time was coming where we would set them up, he would want to sleep on the top bunk, and I would worry endlessly that he would fall out and break his arm...well that night was last night.  Morning came, limbs were intact, overall it was a success...EXCEPT a little bit of my little boy left and replaced itself with a big boy...

I know it's happening and there is nothing I can do about it.  I can't ignore the fact he is growing up...I mean I just had to buy the kid 5T clothes!  Maybe God will answer my prayer and allow God to stop time, but for now, I treasure the times he holds my hand in the parking lot, asks me to sleep in his bed, dances to "Honey I'm Good" with me (yes, we do, I'm not ashamed!), and is just silly with me.

Here's how you can pray for George: 

He starts school again soon, a new school.  Pray for the transition and for friends.

He also starts Awana again soon.  He loves Cubbies and learning Bible stories.  Pray that this would continue. 

Last he starts soccer soon (Daddy will be his coach).  Pray for the opportunity Tom has to minister to these "5 Boys" as George calls them (the U-5 team) and pray for George with his teammates.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hello Again

When we left Northside, Tom kept telling people..."hey, keep up with us on our blog!"  And in theory, it sounded like a great idea!  We could tell you all about our happenings here in KC...the joys, struggles, crazy growth spurts of our kids, prayer requests, praises, sick days, and everything in between.

Well, we are entering our 7th month of residency in a foreign land, on the journey to make foreign feel familiar.  We have been told that we are "not from around here" as our neighbor gladly pointed out that Tom is the ONLY Cardinal fan on the block.  But also, we are learning as the great Dorothy said, "there is no place like home." (get my KS pun?!?!)**

So, that's what the blog is!  I will attempt to post regularly...I'm sure it will be every day at first, moving unintentionally into once a week, but I will give it a try!  Our kids are growing, our lives are changing, and we desperately desire to keep in touch...

**First footnote on the blog:  We have discovered that not everyone is familiar that Kansas City actually lies in both Kansas and Missouri.  And while our church where we serve lies on the Missouri side (literally 3 blocks away from the state line), our house is in Kansas.  If you need our address, please email me at

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's Time

It has literally been months since my last post...MONTHS!  I kept thinking that I needed to share all the horrific details of the roller coaster God has put me on the past few months.  It made me shy away from writing because truthfully, I don't want to relive it.  Once was enough.  Once was plenty.  But man, God has taught me a's what has happened...

Early April, Tom and I excitedly shared with our friends and family that George would be a big brother.  Two weeks later, we sat in my doctor's office thinking we would be seeing our healthy baby for the first time and the main thing I remember hearing was my doctor saying, "I'm concerned."  Worst words in the world for a doctor to say to you really.  Everything after is a blur.  I wrote it all down at the time.  Every horrible emotion.  I can honestly say that I understand the curse so much more now.  When Eve ate of the tree in the garden, God told her that because of that there would be great pain in childbirth.  And there was when I delivered me.  There was!  But then I went through a different childbirth.  I went through the birth of a child who never really had a chance in our world's eyes.  It was all pregnancy tissue our world would tell me.  And man, there was GREAT pain.  I felt that I would never be whole again.  I felt that I would never be able to be a mom again.  I felt that it was all my fault.  I went through the ENTIRE gamut of emotions.  I felt it all I think.  But the beautiful thing about the God I believe in, He never intended for us to sit in that pain, for the curse to be it.  

God recently taught me one of the coolest things I think I have learned.  It was in His curse, that He brought His solution.  He didn't give us a Savior who was already a king, or He didn't say ok Jesus, it's time for you to go to earth, I'll make you a ten year old.  No, He sent His Son, my Savior, in the form of a baby.  Through the pain.  Amazing.  And it is in Christ where I have begun healing, first, because I can KNOW where my child is and I can KNOW where I'm going.  My heart still hurts.  Often.  I still cry for a child that I long for, but as my husband preached this weekend, when Chaos encounters Christ there is Perfect Peace.  

Our story doesn't end there (I gave you fair warning, it has been a roller coaster).  13 weeks and 5 days ago, God gave me another child.  This one is growing healthy and strong and I pray that he or she is continuing to grow.  I struggled a lot at the beginning.  A lot.  I felt that I couldn't attach myself too much, because it was only a matter of time before God would take this one away too.  But Tom (seriously, he's smart) said something that is etched in my mind.  He said, "Sarah, we aren't guarenteed to have George forever, if he dies at 5 are you going to wait until our kids are 6 to love them?  A child is a gift, no matter how long we have them."  He's right.  George is a precious gift, I love that child so much.  This child in me is a precious gift, I love him or her so much.  And the child I lost, was a precious gift for the 9 weeks I had him or her, and I love him or her so much.

So there you have it, my justification.  So now here I am...anxiously awaiting to see my in 6 months, and the other when I get to heaven.