Friday, November 18, 2011

35 Reasons

35 Reasons I love you, Justin (for your 35th Birthday)

in no particular order...

1. Your steady personality
2. You get more handsome every year
3. Traveling with you (and our boys)
4. You are always willing to pick up slack in the house
5. Even though you are a great husband and father, you always desire to be better
6. You allow me time to myself when I need it
7. Star gazing with you in countries around the world
8. You are a runner
9. You put up with my desire to move furniture on a regular basis
10. Caleb Andrew
11. Levi James
12. You make me laugh
13. You hate coffee, but you are willing to sit in coffee shops with me while I enjoy it
14. Our very detailed financial spreadsheets
15. You have never raised your voice to me
16. You put up with my version of crazy
17. Tithing is always first in our budget
18. The way you play with our boys
19. You are never embarrassed to carry my purse in public or get lipstick on yourself from kissing me goodbye
20. You drop us off in front of the church on Sunday mornings so we don't have to walk down the street and go into church sweaty
21. Getting away, just the two of us
22. You love your family and put forth the effort to stay in touch with them
23. Your faith in Christ
24. You still think I'm beautiful and tell me often
25. The Word of God is important to you and you make reading it a priority
26. You are teaching our sons what is means to be a man
27. You show our boys how to love a wife
28. You do not allow our boys to be disrespectful to me (or anyone else)
29. You don't care much about material things
30. You gladly eat whatever I cook
31. You are passionate about the outdoors (even though we've lived in major cities full of concrete for almost 10 years with no mountains in sight)
32. You think through decisions carefully and with prayer
33. You care about the poor and needy and take action
34. You let me talk about deep things at 11pm
35. Through all life's ups and downs and crazy twists and turns, you are by my side.  For always.

I love you more than you know.  Happy Birthday, Babe!

China: The Terracotta Warriors

After Beijing, we flew to Xi'an to visit the Terracotta Warriors:

We went to a factory that makes replicas, and the boys "dressed up" like a warrior:



And Caleb decided to fight one:


Our first look at the real Terracotta Warriors:






Pit One:












Wagon wheel (center):








They had one of each type of warrior on display in cases.

Notice the color on the back of his jacket...they were painted originally, but most of the paint did not survive:








We had a very memorable trip to China. It's still hard to believe we stood on the Great Wall of China and saw the Terracotta Warriors in person. We get to have such amazing experiences living on this side of the world!


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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mommy, Take My Picture!

The boys were in a picture taking mood the other day, and Caleb kept asking me to take his picture. It's quite a change from the normal, so I was happy to oblige. (And I have no idea why he's constantly striking the "runner's pose.")






























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Monday, November 07, 2011

Still Here.

I wrote this post back in January.

I still struggle with those things today.  Being present in this moment and not worrying about or wishing for the future.

My friend, Andrea, posted this video on Facebook today.  I'm working on truly being here today.



BE HERE NOW from blaine hogan on Vimeo.




 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Hard Questions

Yesterday during school, I was playing some music (the boys and I all had a song in our heads that I was trying to replace).  A song was playing that references 2 Corinthians 5:17, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."  Caleb asked me, "what is a new creation?"  We talked about how Jesus changes you after you decide to follow Him, and then Caleb asked, "Will I have to leave this house to follow Jesus?"  He was confused about whether or not he would have to move out and leave us if he decides to be a follower of Jesus. His question was about the immediate, but I had a hard time telling him "no," since we never know what our Christian faith will require of us.  God wants us to completely rely on Him for our provision and for our future, but, thankfully, He always goes before us and will never leave us nor forsake us.

Our kids know that just because Mommy and Daddy are Christians does not automatically mean they are Christians.  It is a decision they will have to make on their own, and Caleb understands this.  He said to me, "I'll decide that when I'm 18."  I just smiled and looked at my 6-year-old who is beginning to understand what it means to be a Christian.

Later in the night, we were all sitting on the living room floor, and I was telling Justin about Caleb's questions.  Caleb had more questions for his Daddy.  "Is it hard to be a Christian?"

Whoa.  I think we both sighed a little because how do you explain to a 6-year-old that, yes, it's hard but it's worth it?  We told him that life is hard because we live on earth, but that as Christians we have the Holy Spirit to guide us and comfort us and give us peace.  Then he asked a question that was really hard to answer.

"Can people who are Christians decide not to be Christians?"

Yikes.  He certainly wasn't asking for, nor were we wanting to get into, the once saved, always saved debate.  :-)

In his childlike way, he's questioning what it will cost him to follow Jesus.  And it will cost him.  I'm so glad he recognizes that already.

But it is so worth it.



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