Friday, November 25, 2011

Material World

I know you all would probably prefer a family update, but this morning I've got some thoughts that I want to organize into more clearly defined ideas. Blogging is a good way for me to do that, as well as to encourage whoever still manages to come across this completely outdated blog.
I woke up this morning to the sounds of toddler feet at 5:00a.m. I love that sound, because I know that he's still up for sleeping and that means a snoodlefest with me for a couple of hours. I treasure those sweet moments when I can kiss his little forehead and caress and smell his little head.
This morning, however, the "Black Friday" sales kept me from falling back to sleep. I hadn't even looked at any ads, but I lay in bed wondering if there was something I might be able to get for the kids and if it might just be worth it to get up and run out. I slipped out my arm from under the baby's head and sat down at the computer to peruse those enticing ads.
Thankfully nothing jumped off of those pages that was compelling. Maybe that was my selfishness since I wasn't looking for me, but I soon crawled back into bed and fell asleep content that I wasn't missing much. It was a much sweeter morning snuggled up with my precious baby.
Later this morning I was cleaning my closet- hanging up clothes that had been piling up on my dresser. As I neared the bottom of the pile and saw the other mounds of clothes that I hardly wear my stomach began to get tangled up a little. Maybe I'm just emotional but when I see all that I have (and of course everything I buy is at bargain prices), I get uncomfortable. I've been exposed to poverty and I know what could be purchased- even for the price of one of my cheap $4 or $5 shirts. And there are a lot of cheap shirts in my closet.
My mind quickly goes right to Dwight Stone. Who? Dwight is a missionary to Romania from our church here. He has laid down his life for the gospel and continues to do so. I love to be around him. He is encouraging, he knows the Word, he is passionate, he is winsome and just a sweet older man. He convicts me. He has poured himself out. He eats a can of beans for dinner many nights. He lives in a tiny apartment so that he can use all that he has for God's purposes. He has a ministry to gypsies in sector four. These are people who are not acknowledged by the government. They are not born in hospitals, so they don't have birth certificates, aren't allowed in schools, and are uneducated, unable to get real jobs, and are the poorest of the poor. On top of that, they are despised by their own country. Dwight reaches out to them with education, food, medical care (several nurses on staff) and hygiene items. But, above all, he is preaching the gospel to mothers, fathers, grandparents and children. His means of reaching hearts is through helping them with what they perceive to be their real needs. He then helps them to see their One True Need- Jesus Christ.
So...I guess this perspective that I'm sorting out in my own heart goes like this.
Another cheap t-shirt, or a bottle of ibuprofin for Dwight to bring to those hurting?
Another cheap t-shirt, or a jacket to bring to a child who will freeze in the cold snowy season?
Another cheap t-shirt, or a warm meal for a mother of a nursing infant?
These things Dwight can use to reach the hearts of the gypsies. To advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Where are my priorities? Am I shutting my eyes and pretending that these needs are just too far away for me make any difference?
I think God can do amazing things with my small sacrifices. It's embarrassing to even call them sacrifices. A sacrifice means that I go without something for the benefit of someone else. I'll never go without a clean, nice shirt. I'll never be in need of a warm jacket. I have to choose which warm jacket matches best with my outfit.
So this morning, by God's design, I happened to land in I John. I end with this.

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever."

I like to think that I do not love the world. When I look in my closet, I'm embarrassed. I wonder if it doesn't tell me something else.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Okay, so this morning we pulled out the kids journals of their birth through the first years of their lives, and have had so much fun remembering the little cute things they did (and some of the not-so-cute). Poor baby Dax has very little journaling of these first two years of his precious life, and I want to play a little catch up here on the blog!
I guess the first thing that makes him such a fun little munchkin has been a habit over the past couple of months as he's watched Reilly playing baseball. We would go to the games, but had to be sure to bring Dax's own baseball gloves. Yes, I said gloveS. That would be one for each hand. And two times (at least) he has taken a nap or slept with them on at night. He is serious about his "guzge". That's the closest to the pronunciation I can get. "Guhshz" is Kurt's preferred spelling. He also loves to take the catcher's stance with the glove, but with such tiny hands trying to manipulate the glove, he can't really catch anything yet (in the glove).
His other sweet affinity is jumping. I've put some of that on the blog, but it has since evolved into jumping off of things. Last week, it was jumping off of the piano bench like 50 times in a row. He was sweating profusely in our 74 degree living room. I got out the video camera just when he decided to be done. This morning, he was jumping off of Kurt's chest while Kurt was laying on the floor. I'll have to say, he's very stable and very athletic.
He's also into calling everybody's attention to "WATCH! WATCH!!" while he performs some athletic feat or does something funny...yesterday in the car he kept saying, "WATCH Shea Shea!!" (and in between the "watch" and "Shea Shea" is this really cute pause that he has developed as he's learning to put words together). When he had gotten her attention (or perceived that he had) he would perform the Count's (from Sesame Street) evil laugh- which he has down pretty well! He probably did this about ten times in the car.
Dax has recently learned to climb out of his crib...much to the dismay of his parents. Yesterday he climbed out a couple of times, and after realizing that he was not supposed to be climbing out, he decided to take cover in our bedroom and I found him (after who knows how long) sitting in the corner on some pillows with a sippy cup just chillin'...while he was supposed to be taking a nap! He typically gets out of bed (knowing that he's not supposed to be up), and comes out of the bedroom with a sheepish grin and greets us with as much sweetness as he can muster- at two years old he TOTALLY understands how to schmooz!! He says with such put-on schmooz, "Hi Mama! Hi Poppa!" I was startled at 3:00 this morning when I woke up to see Dax standing next to my bed! Though I didn't hear him, Kurt said that he came out of bed asking for his blanket! Kurt searched the house at 3:00 while Dax layed with me and when Kurt found it Dax went right back to sleep snuggled up with "Deedee" (as he used to call it! He now says "blanket" quite clearly!)
Speaking of schmooz, Dax has just about everybody he knows wrapped around his little finger. He LOVES to give hugs to just about anyone at anytime- even perfect strangers. He layed a big smooch on Marissa (Shea's friend) yesterday at church. And I mean on the lips. Anyway he is such a love, and is super easy-going.
We've been swimming a lot this past week, and being so easy-going has been such a blessing to me. He doesn't demand to be in the pool- in fact he's quite content just hanging out with me as I watch the kids- as long as I have some food for him ;). He will just sit with me and walk around and watch all that's happening.
Dax loves to eat! He will eat just about anything, and will eat off anyone's plate if it's left out. He has upset many kids when they come back to their plate only to find it emptied by the little man. He loves kiwi, melon, cukes, all vegetables and fruit, really. I can hardly think of a thing that he has turned down in the past month! He does love sweets too.
I can't believe the sweet little munchkin is two!! We celebrated his birthday at Cherokee Cove again this year- he opened his presents on the deck from Aunt Maggie and Uncle Chuck- Mr. Potato Head (which he LOVES and plays with quietly by himself for long periods of time), a Mets t-shirt from Pop and Granny Dee (he said, "Let's Go Mets!!" when he opened it), a crawl tunnel from grandma and grandpa (which I nearly bought for him myself) and "little surfer" outfit, and three balls from mom and dad (various sizes and shapes).
Dax has been learning to command people to do things that he wants them to do recently. It's rather hilarious to receive a command complete with hand gestures in case you were wondering exactly where he wanted you to be. "Sit down here" he tells me when he wants me to feed him lunch. And he points to the chair where you are to sit. Of course we're helping him with "asking" and not "telling" people what to do. But it's awfully cute anyway to see him with such command.
Last night after we had put Dax to bed I decided to go in and check on him (about 30 minutes later) to see if he was still in bed (little stinker). I went in, and he was laying on bis back awake playing with the velcro on his slippers. I said "Hi sweet-pea" quietly. He looked up at me, and with all seriousness he reached up with one hand and waved me out of the room. "Go away" he said. I cracked up at his sweet innocence. He wasn't being rude at all. "Go away" he said again. No malice. Just two year old sincerity lacking a little in the social politeness area. So I said, "Please, mommy?" "Please Mommy"- he repeated. "Good night sweet-pea". "Good night mommy". And off he went to dream-land.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I was doing a little clean up in my room when Macy walked in.
"Mom, can I please have some string cheese?"
"Sure, but I don't know that we have any more."
"We do mom. I smell it."
Hm. All kinds of things come to mind. First, how does a four-year-old, or anyone for that matter, 'smell' string cheese? What does it smell like? Second of all, if the string cheese really does 'smell', I'm pretty sure she wouldn't want to eat it at this stage in the game. Third, I'm almost confident that there is no string cheese left. Which leaves me to wonder, what did she smell? Most likely, as is the case these days, her imagination is running wild with all kinds of sights and smells, and her world of pretend sometimes crashes in on the real world. That's all just fine with me. She's as precious as can be!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Singing an old song from TMC chapel many years ago this afternoon while cleaning the kitchen...

"And I would rather be a doorkeeper in your house..."

Shea was listening and gave me quite a puzzled look. The question that followed sent the house into a giggle fest.

She was dead serious. And seriously questioning my ridiculous song. "Mom, 'a dorky bird?'"

Monday, April 11, 2011

March Visit from Grandma and Grandpa

Blowing Rock is a sweet town that our family loves, so we thought it was about time to introduce it to Grandma and Grandpa. The pics are out of order, but we'll go with it.
Kilwin's in Blowing rock. The smell of this ice cream and candy shop wafts through the town, and you can't help but be drawn in for a bite! It's pretty yummy ice cream too. Free fudge samples rock.
Sweet Macy loves this version of vanilla with fruit. Not sherbet. I happened to like it too.
Sugar Shea.
Sweet Kinlers.
It's pretty fun to watch those workers making all kinds of delightful treats.
The park in Blowing Rock. Mom and dad hadn't been there yet, and it has quickly become a favorite spot for our family to spend the day.
Dax didn't really feel comfortable on grandpa's shoulders. Ya think? I'm pretty sure he left marks...
The girls wearing their "Little House" dresses that grandma made for them. We are Little House on the Prairie fans.
Never knew a kid his age could love a book so much. Now he has two "Llama Llama" books, and without fail, every time you ask to read to him, will pick out one of those two books. I have to admit, I have "Red Pajama" memorized.
Here is the crew at our park in Blowing Rock. It truly was "our park" on this day! There were hardly any people there all day. It was a beautiful day for a picnic, playing catch, a few volleyball instructions, Lucky's first swing ride (he was hilarious and several park patrons asked for a snapshot), and lots of smiles. It wasn't until the end of the day as we walked past the park sign that we read, "Absolutely NO PETS ALLOWED". Oops.
Thanks for entering our world, grandma and grandpa, and for making your trips to NC a regular part of your lives! We love you!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Photo Shoot

A little photo shop does a lot of good! Look at my handsome young man...
Sweet Boo!
Camo Kya in typical "fun" gear. She asked to wear the leggings. Of course. She is so colorful on the inside too!
The sparkly girl. Always a smile on her face.
Mrs. Photogenic. It's hard to get a bad picture of Shea. She's also the little photographer. She was competing with me to arrange my subjects creatively.
Sweet baby Dax! Today I asked him, "What's your name?" Very curious to know what he thinks. His answer: "BUBBA!"
Those silly Gebhards kids.
These two have become pals recently. They get along great, and Kinley is included in the boys club which meets under our house (a pretty cool "hideout") for after school play with neighborhood boys.
Almond eyes. Runs in the family.
It's been far too long since I've posted pictures or any Gebhards' here's a few pics. The kids brought home school pics that I could purchase today (love those new techniques!) and all of them wanted to buy I promised that I would take some of our own with a REAL background (not the old school waterfall with two live ferns perched beside them) and that I would copy them whatever size they wanted to share with friends. So we got them all cutesied up and went to our photo shoot destination which happens to be our own backyard. Amazingly beautiful! We had lots of fun as you can see. There was such sweetness between them! I love it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yesterday I was struck by something I'm sure I have read many times in my "Proverb of the day" ventures. If you're keen on the Proverbs, you might be a little surprised since you may realize that Proverbs 5 is largely devoted to avoiding the pitfalls of the adulteress. The phrase that really caught my attention is in fact a description of the adulteress. But, a description which I think we can all relate to on some level. Here it is.

"She does not ponder the path of life." (v.6)

I highlighted and emboldened the word ponder. I don't think we take much time to ponder anything. Life is too busy. We have lots of things to do. And we have everything we need (or so we think). So this morning I spent an hour pondering with the Psalmist and I have been greatly blessed.
Just to note, the "end" of the one who gives in to the adulteress (and no doubt the end to the adulteress herself) is this:

"And you groan at your final end, when your flesh and your body are consumed; and you say, 'How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof!'"

I don't want to wait until my "final end" to ponder life. We MUST resolve daily to meditate and ponder on truth, or our bodies will be consumed, and we will be left without hope, wanting nothing more than to go back and settle our matters with God.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun in the Mountains

Again, these pics were taken around Thanksgiving...but we had such a great time roasting wienies and riding four-wheelers. The kids were rockin'! Mom and dad were here to enjoy the fun too (and capture some pics too!). Thanks to our friends the Reese's for providing the fun afternoon in the beautiful mountains of NC!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Grandma and grandpa joined us for a couple of weeks around the holidays.
Dax loves Turkey.
The girls learning "Settlers" with the gaming expert, Mr. Hohn. A patient teacher.
The official Thanksgiving picture.
Four-wheeling with Grandpa.
Okay, so yes, I'm really behind posting pictures. But here they are. There's a great website that will load your blog into a book (we've done it once) and I need to catch up with pictures now so they make it into the book for this year. Check it out- "blurb" is the name of the website.
Anyway, these are pictures from Thanksgiving last year...I know, I know.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Crafty Girls

The girlies decided that they wanted to contribute to the school's craft show, so we came up with an idea and they delivered! They cut, sewed, and beaded little stockings that fit gift cards. I think they sold all but one of them! I wish I had taken a picture of the display. They did such a great job! So proud of my little crafters!!