Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quick Update

JM had his appointment today, and we really didn't learn anything new. They did some blood work, and the Dr. talked us through each option and explained everything in detail, which helped a lot. Two things that gave us a little hope was that he told us that people who do a lot of bush hogging and people who work with birds are more prone to histoplasmosis, and that he thought whatever was causing the lymph nodes to be enlarged has been going on for a while. This is good news to us, because while we were in Missouri JM was on the grounds crew at the Missionary Training Center and cut grass everyday. The place is also covered in goose poop. He started having constant allergy/respiratory problems while we were there and ended up with pneumonia in May. The few people we have heard of that have had histoplasmosis have also had pneumonia. We are still praying that this is what he has, as it will be the quickest to cure. We should hear back in about a week from his blood work, which will tell us if he has histoplasmosis.
We are still waiting to hear when he will be scheduled for the biopsy, but it should be early next week. We did find out that, as crazy as it sounds, it would probably be better for him to have lymphoma over sarcoidosis. Lymphoma can be treated and cured whereas sarcoidosis is a lifelong condition that could potentially keep us from being able to serve overseas...

That hurt just to write. We hope and pray that is not the case. It is our dream, our life's goal to be missionaries. To go to the ends of the earth. To bring the Gospel to those who have no access to it. But we know that God is in this and He directs our steps. We know that He does not need us. He could send another couple, a neighboring tribe, He could make the rocks cry out. But we pray that He still desires to use us, because we desire to be used by Him. We know that we must also be willing to be used in whatever way He asks- even if it means staying stateside. We have to put our desire to be overseas missionaries in His hands, and be willing to accept whatever His will is for us. That sounds strange doesn't it? Usually you hear of people placing their desires for "the American dream" in His hands and sacrificing those dreams and goals in order to be missionaries. But it works both ways. God's ultimate desire is that we believe and obey Him- no matter what. I think of the many wonderful missionaries at the Training Center who are now serving Stateside due to health or political problems in their respective countries. Most still desire to be overseas, but are submitting to the Father's will for their lives and ministry- even if it is not what they planned or even what they thought God had planned for them.

So, as you pray for us, we ask that you pray that JM just has histoplasmosis, but also that we would be willing to accept the Lord's will, no matter what. Please also pray for the financial aspect of all this. We are not sure about our insurance with all of it, so pray that the Lord would provide for all the tests and treatment, as debt from medical bills could also delay us from leaving.

Psalm 29:11 has helped me today-
"The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace."

and Peace. Thank you Lord for giving us both today.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Where we are for now...

This is very hard for me to write. I know that may come as a shock to you considering the previous things I have written- one would assume that nothing is hard for me to write, but there are a few things that fall into that category. It is hard for me write, because I am still reeling from the events of this past week, and really still have no idea what to think.

We were on our last leg of paperwork for our visas. We were given the ok to come to PNG if we got our support level to 60% (we are currently at 51%), all our stuff is already on its way. We were preparing ourselves for our last Christmas in the US for the next 4 years. We were traveling hard and fast in one direction- a direction that we were very excited about, then we hit a speed bump. Well, more like a pothole really. A big pothole that causes your tire to blowout and your car to spin out of control and leaves you sitting beside the road wondering if your car is totaled or if you will be able to get back on the road again.

The Wednesday before last we had to have chest x-rays as part of the paperwork process in order to get our visas. Unexpectedly, JM's came back showing some enlarged lymph nodes. They scheduled him for a CT scan this past Thursday. The results from that said that the swollen lymph nodes were "extensive" and he had one of 2 conditions, Sarcoidosis or Lymphoma. We were shocked, scared, and very confused. We had a family Christmas party to attend that night, so we just held everything in and tried to get through it. We called a few people to tell them to pray, but decided not to tell his family until after all our Christmas events because we didn't want to ruin anyone's Christmas. So, Saturday night after all the family festivities were over, we told JM's parents. His sister was there who works for the best pulmonary doctor in the State, and she immediately got on the phone with him to get some help. She took the disk from JM's CT scan to him and he looked at it today. He said that he thought it was one of 3 things Sarcoidosis, Lymphoma, or Histoplasmosis. The latter was good news to us as it has a short and simple treatment, and is very common in the Southeast.

JM now has an appointment on Tuesday with this doctor and they will do blood work and a biopsy to determine what is really going on. As of now, we still feel very strongly about our calling to PNG. We do not feel like the Lord wants us to change our plans about going- He just might be changing our timing a little. We of course, are praying for the condition with the fastest healing time, so we can continue as soon as possible. We know that there are people living and dying everyday without access to the Gospel and the longer it takes to get over there- the longer they will go without hearing. We feel very confident about JM's health. He doesn't feel sick at all, and even if the worse case scenario of cancer is true- we know that Lymphoma is very treatable.

Right now, we are just trusting God with His timing. I don't understand at all. I mean this seems like a perfect time for us to go to me. We are almost done with paperwork, our support is almost where we needs it to be, jeggings are in style, and that is a look I will never be able to pull off, our stuff is already there... I don't understand, but I trust. I learned a long time ago that God is good. Knowing that, we are able to trust Him, love Him, and praise Him in every situation! Our times are in His hands (Psalm 31:15) and there is no other place I would want them to be!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

6 years...

Six years ago today. JM married this girl...

She was just sitting there, bored looking, skinny, tan, well-rested. Why wouldn't he marry her? Before 3 kids and many sleepless nights gave her dark circles under her eyes. Before pregnancy gave her stretch marks and melasma. Before two c- sections caused her abdominal muscles to atrophy. I mean look at this couple? Aren't they attractive? I wish I could tell them not to worry. In six years, you will still love each other, and have lots of fun together. In six years you will be getting ready to move for the 2,389th time. You are getting ready to move across the world...for the second time. Don't worry, you have already lived in 2 different countries and 3 different States. AND, you have three kids...three daughters. I know, I know, that last part sounds scray, but relax, you won't have any more after that! :)

Actually, I am pretty sure that if I told that girl all that, she would have run away crying. She was a little high strung. She was also a little stupid. She thought it was better to spend her money on tanning rather than on food. Yeah, I think if I could talk to her now, I would simply tell her, "Eat a donut, honey, you don't know what you are missing."

I like the girl in this picture much better. She is a little jigglier, a little whiter (ok, a lot whiter) but she is a lot happier. Thanks JMGJ for making me a wife, mother, and better person. I love you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I am not an angry blogger

I wanted to be. I had full intentions on my next post being an angry post, but God did not want that for me... or you, so he humble and convicted me, and I am sure you are grateful. I know it has been a long time since I have posted, but I have been at the doctor, literally, everyday since that last post. You see, we are currently working on our third phase of paper work to get our visas for PNG. This phase is mostly medical tests to prove that we don't have TB, HIV, meningitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, the plague, the flu- both bird and swine, botulism, eczema, chicken pox, stephens- johnsons syndrome, erectile dysfunction, pre- menstrual syndrome, irritable bowl syndrome, hot dog fingers, count choculitis, etc. etc. etc. It has been a pain, but at least we know we are healthy. We also thought it was going to be very expensive, but God is good and always provides for us! The costs have been a fraction of what they are supposed to be! PRAISE JESUS!

This leads me to why I was going to write this angry post. You see, a certain someone that we know had a conversation with someone else about tribal ministry and what it costs. This missionary (we'll call him "Joe Missionary") was telling this other guy (we'll call him Sam Sacrifice) about the costs of the solar panels and appliance systems in a tribal missionary's house. When Joe Missionary told Sam Sacrifice the costs of these systems, Mr. Sacrifice asked, "wow, couldn't you just give up some things and not have as much?" as he pulled out his iphone to tweet about how missionaries should be willing to give up more. Really? These missionaries (myself included) are going to live in the middle of the jungle and have solar panels to power the bare minimum, have a bucket flush toilet, and have NO AIR CONDITIONING, but we should be willing to give up more??

See, that sounded angry didn't it? I was planning on writing a lot more when I found out that my 3 little girls had to have blood drawn for HIV tests. You see, I have a very hard time watching them go through medical stuff. I knew it would freak them out and they would not understand why we were doing this to them, but thankfully the Lord took care of them and provided us with some numbing cream through my Mother-in-law the pediatric nurse, so it didn't hurt. I am very thankful because I would have literally passed out in the doctor's office if I had to watch them scream and cry through that! I also got really angry thinking about Mr. Sacrifice's comment when I thought about how much money we were spending just to get this stuff done, but the
Lord provided, and reminded me that I have nothing to be angry about.

The truth is, we SHOULD be willing to give up more. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell ALL his possessions, to come and follow Him- not just some of them. All believers should be willing to give up everything- whatever He asks, to be obedient to Him. No matter how much I think I am giving up, if He asks me to live with less, I will. I can choose to be content knowing that He knows what is best for me, and what will bring him the most glory. Amen.

So, here it is. The not-so-angry post. After all, if I end up in a place like this, what in the world will I have to complain about?? :)

Yes, this in an actual photo, from an actual place where actual NTM missionaries serve in PNG. If the Lord called me to "suffer" here, I would do so gladly.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Aftermath...


Stop eating yourselves!!!!

Awe, that's better!


JM and I looked at this picture and got a very eerie feeling. You know, like the cake when it was intact, was us our first year on the field. All nice looking, and happy. But we are afraid that this is some sort of prophetic picture of what we will look like after 20 years. Our house all falling apart, and our faces bitten off. Needless to say, I was a little freaked out. Then, I remembered all the wonderful missionaries we met at the Missionary Training Center who spent years on the field, and who went through some crazy and difficult experiences but who came out looking like regular people. Our friends, Bob and Sonya, for example, had to emergency evacuate from not one, but two different African countries due to civil war. They lost their homes and all their possessions (including their wedding pictures) but they don't look like they've had their faces bitten off. In fact, they are attractive people. See?
This picture makes me feel a lot better. I think I will look at it instead of the one where my face is bitten off. I just can't handle that anymore.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Cake

Funny story...
So, I just recently had my 29th birthday. Don't worry, I didn't freak out. I know I have come across as a total spaz in this blog, and I am a total spaz about some things. Getting older is not one of those things. I am 29. Big Woo. My husband is 9 months younger than me which means nothing to me other than he was being conceived as I was being born. (That statement was for you JM...think about that..muhahahaha!!!) But he is constantly trying to make me feel bad for being older. My response is usually, "who cares", but he usually keeps it up. I think he is insecure and is not as comfortable with getting older. GET OVER IT MAN!!! IT'S HAPPENING!!! Anyway...

My wonderful husband wanted to get me something awesome that I would really love for my birthday. He knows I love cake. He knows I love to watch all those cake shows where people make crazy cakes that are really cool and make you say "that is a cake?" We have a friend in Alabama (Hey Ann-Marie!!) who makes said cakes. She should have her own show. Seriously. And, as it turns out we were going to be in Alabama for my birthday. I realized this and started dropping "hints" that I wanted an "Ann Marie" cake for my birthday. I did this by writing it on her facebook wall. Well...JM was way ahead of me and had already talked to her about getting me a cake! He is so sweet, and thoughtful, and hot! (Although, he did get mad at me because it ruined the surprise, and he pouted about that for a while, but I told him it should make him happy that he figured out exactly what I wanted all on his own... I also promised he could have a piece of the cake. I think that he was worried about that) Anyway...

I got a tribal cake. And it was AMAZING!!! Here are some pics:

JM starting a fire with sticks, and me holding baby Mia..

Lu and Mae hanging out the window...

I love all the little details...

And it was delicious too!!!

We haven't eaten any of the people yet. I think I will let each person each their own gum paste self. I am not sure who will eat baby Mia. I am pretty sure that I cannot. I imagine that will give me very strange nightmares! Anyway... My birthday made me very thankful that I have such a talented friend and such a thoughtful husband! Thoughtful and hot...check out those beefy arms! :)

I love you JMGJ!! Sorry I made you think about yourself being conceived!

**More on this picture to come. I am not ready to relive the events of this day yet. I might need therapy before that can happen!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why I am a terrible missionary...

1. Because I like Harry Potter, but have a plan if I ever get caught coming out of the theater after watching it. I will just say, "I am about to move to a place where witchcraft is commonly practiced and I am just doing research."

2. Because even though I don't curse, I think it is really funny when people use the first letter of a curse word instead of the actual word. I know it is a euphemism and the meaning is the same. Still funny.

3. Because I hate homeschooling, am a terrible teacher, and secretly wish I could send my kids to Hogwarts....for research of course.

4. Because I am still trying to figure out how to get my air conditioner to the tribe with me.

5. Because if I have to cross this in order for people to hear the Gospel, well, they just aren't going to hear. Not gonna lie.

6. Because I hate flying, especially with 3 young children, and I know that everyone else on the plane with me hates me flying with 3 young children.

7. Because I own a Britney Spears cd.

8. Because I just told you that I own a Britney Spears cd.

***Side note*** Speaking of Britney Spears, I think Justin Bieber is proof that the feminist movement has come a long way. Now teenage boys are being inappropriately marketed as sex symbols and not just teenage girls.

8. Because of shameless plugs like this one..

9. Because I only have 3 kids.

***another side note*** Speaking of having a lot of kids, who wants to take a poll as to whether or not the Duggars are going to go for an even 20?? And speaking of TLC shows, I used to watch Jon and Kate plus 8, but that was when it was still "Jon and Kate" plus 8 and before they got rich and famous and completely lost their minds. I think the fact that I stopped watching should go in a list called "Why I am a good missionary."

Ok, I have gotten way off track here, but I just thought I would share all my shortcomings with you. Thank goodness for the fact that when we are weak, He is strong!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Most of the questions were about our housing/living situation in the jungle. We had two classes on "Missionary technology" that should have equipped me to answer these questions, however, the information was WAY over my head, and I only got to go to about half the classes. You see, as in churches everywhere, the MTC had a childcare problem. Too many kids and not enough workers. The stereotype about missionaries having lots of kids is true in most cases. I think it is because we are all too poor to afford birth control. But that is just a theory. Many of the beautiful, incredible, angelic ladies that worked in childcare had older kids that they had to get on buses to school every morning, so childcare started after the first class everyday, meaning I missed the first class everyday. I feel very confident that I missed the half that I could understand, and everyday when I walked in the door they started the lecturing in a foreign language.

Ok, so now that you know that, here are the best answers I can give to your questions. I basically just grouped them into 3 questions since most of them fit into these 3 categories:

1. Will you live in a mud hut?

No. We (and I use the term "we" very loosely) will build our own house when we get into the tribe. It will be a few steps above a mud hut. Here are some pictures of some other missionary houses....

house being built

finished house

inside of house (please notice the fans, and note that there will be 10x that in my house)

2. Will you have electricity and running water?

Yes. We will use solar panels for our energy. The solar panels will be used of course when it is sunny for power. This is the best time to use anything electrical. It is called "sun- sync" hours. But, we will also have those panels hooked to batteries that store the energy for us when it is night time or rainy. The more solar panels we have the more electricity we will have, but at $600 a pop, we will be very conservative with that energy. This leads me to the appliances question...we will use special "energy efficient" appliances like this twin tub washing machine...

and this refrigerator...

The fridge is a chest stlye fridge that uses 98% less energy than a standard fridge. Stop saying "fridge". Ok. I can also tell you all the ways to make "that thing that I will not say again, but you know what I am talking about" be more efficient. For example, cover everything, even ice cube trays. Just a helpful hint from me to you to help your "you know what" run more efficiently, save energy, save the planet and get you a high five from Al Gore. Speaking of high fives from Al Gore, our house would get us tons of those.

Now onto running water. This is one of those things that went right over my head. Basically we will get water from a fresh source nearby or collect rainwater in a tank. Either way, we have to build a tank with some height, so we can pump the water into the house. The higher it is the more "head" we have. "Head" is a good thing. That is all I know about that. Oh, and we will have a water filtration system to clean the water and keep us from getting e. coli, giardia, the plague, etc.

3. Will you have internet?
Maybe. We could purchase a satellite modem, and pay a monthly fee for service, but I think the modem costs like $2,000, so that is definitely in the "want" category and not the "need" category.

Ok, so that is the best I can do for now. I am sure some of my smarter missionary friends will read this and think I am an idiot and answered all these questions wrong. If that is the case, please correct me in the comments section, so people will know the truth. I know you want the truth. It will set you free...wait that is a different kind of truth. Sorry... out of context quote.

Friday, November 19, 2010


My friend Michelle (hey Michelle, I was going to put a picture of you here, but I only have pictures of you from high school, and I want to still be able to call you my friend, so I didn't add it) suggested that I do an FAQ about PNG post. At first I thought I would just wait until we got there, so I could answer questions more accurately, but now I think it will be fun to go ahead and do it, and then revisit the questions once I get there to see how dumb and/or naive I was about everything! So, if you have questions about PNG or New Tribes or anything really just comment here or you can email them to tribalwife@yahoo.com and I will do my best to answer them. Until then, I thought I would go ahead and tell you just a few of the most common questions I get now and the answers to them...

1. Where is Papua New Guinea?
Above Australia.

2. Are you taking your kids with you?
Yes, I love my kids. I would like to see their faces everyday- not every 3 to 5 years.

3. Are you going to home school?

4. Are your kids going to be illiterate?

5. What do your parents think?
They are proud, but very very sad.

6. Do you have to raise your own support?

7. Are you going with "the Southern Baptists" or the "IMB"?
No, we are going with New Tribes Mission

8. Did you know that if you go with the IMB you do not have to raise your own support?
Yes, and that would be pretty sweet.

9. Why aren't you going with the IMB?
Simply, God just did not call us to go with them. He called us to New Tribes, so we said, "ok".

10. What is your biggest fear?
Ending up on peopleofwalmart.com

There you go. If you want to know anything else, just ask and I will answer. It might not be a "correct" answer, but it will definitely be answered!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Remember this baby? The one with the ambiguous hair color and the double chin ?

She was born...

She learned karate...

She watched Austin Powers...

She did this... a lot...

Then she stopped. She accepted that she will forever live outside of my womb and made peace with her life...

And now back to this...

I don't know what she is trying to accomplish, but I am NOT putting her back in there!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


This is Elisabeth Elliot. She is the ultimate Tribal Wife. I have read almost every book she has ever written. You should too. I read a lot of missionary stories. I have read so many, that it is getting really hard to find ones that I haven't read yet, which makes me very sad. If you have any recommendations, please tell me! Anyway, I really like all the missionaries books I have read. I cannot think of one that I just didn't care for. But, there are some that I do like more than others. The real ones. It is easy to tell when someone is being totally transparent and honest, and when they are telling you only what you want to hear. I am not saying that the missionaries are lying in the books, they are just only sharing the "good" or what the majority of average Christians consider "good". You see most missionaries live on support from family and friends (as we do) and there is a certain pressure that comes with that, to appear like nothing ever goes wrong and you are always happy and singing hymns and baptizing 300 people a day. Again, I still like those stories, but I really love the ones that include the guts and the glory. Those who let it all hang out, so to speak. I think it is because I am following in their footsteps and want to know everything I possibly can about this life I am called to- the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the tough and the easy, the the funny and the tragic, in short...everything.

I have recently learned that a few people read this blog. Some very unexpected people read this blog, and when I heard it, I got a little embarrassed. You see, I write this thing like no one is reading it, because I really don't think anyone reads it, so I say what I want to say...what I am feeling at the time...what I want to remember about this time in my life. I let it all hang out, so to speak (well, not ALL of it, don't worry). The reason I became embarrassed is because most people think missionaries are supposed to be these super Christians. The ultimate followers of God. The Varsity team. I have learned that is the image in most people's minds. That was the image in my mind growing up reading all those stories. That is ok, I guess, I am sure that a lot of missionaries fit that description, but I don't. I am just your average Christian. I know that a lot of people think that packing up and taking your family to live in the jungle is not "average" but it is not true. I am average. You see, it doesn't take "special" people to be missionaries (although, we could stop raising support right now, if I had a dollar for every person who literally said, "it takes a special person..." to us). I am not special. I am average. I don't have any talents. I have never be really good at anything. Just average. But, God loves average. He loves to use people who aren't special. Because He gets the glory with average.

What does that mean exactly? It means I am just a person who has lived my life for myself and given it over to Jesus, and of the two I realized that there is no better way to live than completely surrendered to Christ. I have given Him my life and have not been disappointed by what He has done with it. I heard David Nasser preach a sermon once called "God wants to ruin your life". Well, He totally ruined mine and made it WAY better than I could have ever made it myself. Simply put, I gave up my plans and dreams and trusted God for His plans and dreams for me, and have never looked back. He is so faithful to His Word that His plans are to "prosper you and to give you a hope and a future." It means I am excited for this life He has chosen for me, because I know He is good, and I could never plan anything better for myself.

What it doesn't mean is that I am rich and healthy and never have problems. It doesn't mean that I will always love every part of being a missionary. It doesn't mean that I will always like the people I am ministering to. It doesn't mean that I will never be tempted to quit and come home.

I say all that to say this: This blog is real. It will always be real. That is scary for me sometimes because in all honesty, it scares me that our supporters will read it and not want to support us anymore, or that people who don't support us never will because of some dumb thing I said. But the goal I have in it is that some very average mom, wife, or young girl will read it and say, "if she can me a missionary, than I can be a missionary" and for people to know how to pray for me and my family. How to really pray for me and my family. But the ultimate goal is so that whatever happens with this ministry of Tribal Church Planting and Bible Translation- God will get the glory. So here is my family as we really are. Just an average family. If we can do this, any family can do this.

**I realize that is not entirely accurate to tell you this is our family as we "really" are when one child is dressed as a mermaid and the other is dressed as Snow White, but you get the point, right?**

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Yesterday I posted about my desperate desire to know my baby's hair color. I realize now that it came across as me being terrified that she would have red hair. That is NOT the case! In fact, there is a part of me that wants her to have red hair...or blond...or purple...just something different. See these two. Yeah, the ones with the frogs on their heads. They have the EXACT same hair color. They were born with it. It fell out and came back exactly the same. Brown. There was and never has been any question. With this new little peanut. I have no idea. Sometimes it is brown looking. Sometimes red. Sometimes blond. But I NEED to know. I am her mother. What kind of mother doesn't know what color her baby's hair is?? Actually, that is dumb, I know. First of all no one asks that. People can just look for themselves and everyone knows that it can change. But a couple weeks ago I had to write it on her passport form. I had no idea what to write. I asked my husband. He had no idea what to write. I wrote RED. From that point on I have been plagued with the thought that it actually isn't red, and I wrote that on her passport application! What is this going to mean for her life? What is it going to mean for my life? When we return from the US in 4 years and I have a little blond or brunette kid and her passport says "red" they are going to think her mother is some sort of color blind dummy who doesn't know what color her kid's hair is!!! Ok, so maybe that is a little dramatic. I mean look at this picture. This is the actual passport picture. Is she gonna look anything like this in 4 years? NO. I know that. What I don't know is what color her hair is, and that bothers me!

P.S. My husband has this fascination with putting frogs on my kid's heads. I have no idea why. This might be more disturbing than not knowing what color my daughter's hair is. I know it is at least as disturbing for the frog.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I have a question.

I desperately need an answer to.

It plagues me night and day.

My life is troubled.

My spirit is disturbed.

I will not be at peace until I get an answer.

Does this baby have red hair??

I mean, I know she has a double chin, but is her hair red?? Thanks for your input! I will feel much better once I know!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Supper. Yeah, I said it, and will say it again...Supper!

I made this for supper tonight. (Yes, I am southern and I say "supper". It means "dinner" or the last meal of the day...unless you are like my husband who eats a 4th meal at midnight.) It is pineapple coconut chicken and the recipe can be found here:


But, I made it with rice instead of black beans because my black beans were dry and I did not plan ahead long enough to soak and cook them. Plus, this is a "low carb" recipe and I do not believe in "low carbs". In fact, I believe in carbs,lots of them, and their ability to make my life happier and my jeans tighter. Anyway, I loved this recipe and am excited because I am pretty sure I can get pineapple and coconut in PNG! Yay!

I have been a little worried lately about cooking over there. I have a hard time with "from scratch" stuff. Also, I know ingredients will be limited. I bought some tools to help me, like the Kitchenaid and a pressure cooker, but I have never used either and I shipped them over with our stuff last month, so who knows if they will help or if they will actually be the cause of our house exploding or burning down or something. Who knows.

Anyway, just thought I would share. It is yummy if you like chicken and pineapple and coconut milk. Coconut milk is my new obsession, which is weird because I really do not like coconut that much. Go figure!


I would like to apologize for my last post. I don't know what got into me. I guess when I see disturbing photos, I feel the need to share them with you. I need you to feel as disturbed as I do. Misery loves company and what not. Speaking of disturbing check this out...

My child covering herself in dirt...

She loves to do this...

I have no idea why...

But it disturbs me. And my bathtub...

We go to a lot of different churches and share with people about our ministry. They are always amazed that we are taking three little girls into the jungle with us. I always hear, "I don't know how you are taking those sweet, precious, daughters of yours to live like that." To that I usually say, "Have you met my children?"

Thursday, October 28, 2010


They love to imitate what we do. And right now, this seems to be all I am doing, so why wouldn't she copy me? I just hope she knows what could happen if she starts that this early...

She should be afraid. Very, very, afraid. I know I am.

This actually insipred me to write a little thank you note to my brassiere...

Dear Friend,
Thank you for all your support over the years. Even though you have made me uncomfortable at times, I realize now that it was for my own good. I will be dedicated to our relationship forever.
Yours in deepest gratitude,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ok, so maybe it isn't all bad...

My husband says I am a pessimist. I do not agree with that. If anything I say I am a realist, but just as Ferris Bueller didn't condone any "ism". I don't really condone being labeled an "ist". Amen. Anyway, so I made a passing reference yesterday that I hated the gym. Did anyone catch that? I know it was subtle. But, I do have to say that there are some good things about it. And I will list them here:

1. I get to pee without an audience.

2. I get to shower without having to jump out soaking wet with shampoo in my hair because I am convinced that one child has killed the other.

3. I get to listen to my ipod shuffle.

Before you make fun of me for only having an ipod shuffle, please know that I love it. It is tiny and pink and clips onto my shirt, and weighs practically nothing. (I do, however, take it off before I get on the scale. Every ounce counts) Also, it is very simple and easy to use, and I can only listen to it at the gym anyway, so why do I need it to show pictures or fancy things on a screen. In all honesty, I would have no idea how to work an ipod any more complicated than this one. I learned a little acronym a long time ago that has sort of become my theme in life- KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. For me, it means, "if you are stupid, keep your life simple, and you will be a lot less frustrated". Amen.

Anyway, this song by Shaun Groves came on and I haven't listened to it for a while, but I remembered why I love it, and listened to it 2 more times before I left gym. I just thought I would share it here...

Jesus brings a meal for tips
Jesus trying hard to quit
Jesus raising two alone
Jesus drives a heavy load

When we love the least
When we love the weak
When we love these
We love Jesus

Jesus with worn wrinkled hands
Jesus sows a patch of land
Jesus hides a tattooed arm
Jesus keeping dinner warm

When we love the least
When we love the weak
When we love these
We love Jesus

Jesus waves a foreign flag
Jesus wrings a washing rag
Jesus leans on prison bars
Jesus swinging in my yard

Here is what Shaun says is the reason for writing the song:

I have met so many people who hate God because those of us who claim to love God haven't loved them yet. And I believe now that church services, Christian music and books are not God's primary means of convincing them otherwise. We are. They will know Him by our love for them. Yet I still find it difficult at times to love everyone I meet - not just the upstanding and clean - as if I am loving Christ Himself.

So, I don't know it the gym is doing anything for my physically, but is certainly helping me spiritually, which is probably the best thing about it! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

I hate the gym

I hate the gym. I went for the first time last Friday. I went in and took it easy since I just had my abdomen sliced open 6 weeks prior. Well, that very easy "workout" (seriously, it was pitiful, and probably should not even be called a workout) left me sore for the last two days, and I don't have high hopes for tomorrow either. The thing that is the most pitiful is the fact that I am this sore from that sad little 30 minutes at the gym. I hate the gym.

Our family trip to fair made me go, though. Five weeks after having Mae, I climbed the Great Wall...something like 13 miles of the Great Wall. 13 miles and like 7 billion steps. I remember being tired, but not overly tired afterward, and definitely not sore. Oh, I was also carrying my baby in a sling the whole time. Five weeks after having Mia, I walked around the fair for a couple hours, and thought I was going to die. I am seriously out of shape, but I seriously hate the gym.

Our life in China made me in shape. We walked everywhere. I had to climb 3 flights of stairs to get to my apartment. I went up and down those stairs several times a day just to do my laundry, let alone actually going anywhere. Also, fresh fruits and veggies were cheap, and American imported junk food was expensive. I liked this "way of life" diet and exercise much better than going to the stupid gym- I hate the gym. I was getting in shape without even realizing it. And do not even get me started on the price of fresh produce here. Here I am at 15 weeks pregnant. I could not fit my big toe in those jeans now. And my stomach hasn't been that flat since, well, whenever this picture was taken.

Anyway, the point is. I would like to be in some sort of shape before we leave for New Guinea. I mean, I am pretty sure that daily life will be very physical, perhaps even more so than in China, and I am going to need to be able to do more than just stroll around the fair for a couple hours without getting winded. I just really need some motivation. I have had several people tell me that I should train for a marathon, and that would keep me motivated. To that I say...no thanks. I don't mind running as long as it is a short distance. The longest I have ever run was 5 miles, and that was in college. It took me a whole semester to build up to that, and that was when ephedrine was still legal. I ran around the track at on campus. I did not go to the dumb gym- I hate the gym. Anyway, I think Marathons are "the new thing". It seems like everyone is doing them. I wish I was a part of "everyone", but I am not. There are a lot of things that seem to be trending with my peers right now, that I just don't see myself being a part of- marathons, natural childbirth, Calvinism...just to name a few. One trend I would like to get on board with is cakes. Have you noticed that everyone is making cakes these days? I would like to be a part of the eating of the cakes, not the making. I will leave that to the talented people. Did I mention that I hate the gym? Just wanted to make sure my feelings were clear on this subject.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Fair

The very first step to becoming a "tribal wife" happened eight years ago at the Mississippi State Fair. It is where JM and I had our first date. Every year that we are here we go to the Fair for a date. We do not actually ride any rides. We eat. We eat a lot. We eat a lot and then we get honey sticks and Malone's taffy to take home and eat even more. It is by far the thing we look forward to most in the year. Birthdays, wedding anniversary,etc.- none of it holds a candle to the Fair Date. I know we are weird. That is why we are married to each other. Our mutual weirdness is what keeps us together. Anyway, we have never taken the kids because we rarely get to go on dates, so we usually reserve this day just for us. This year, however, we felt the need to include our older girls and show them where it all began. We felt the need, and their grandparents gave us money to take them. While we briefly thought about all the delicious food we could buy ourselves with that money, we quickly realized that:
A) Our kids can talk and would say, "What is the fair?" when asked by their granparents.
B) The grandparents would expect pictures.
C) The grandparents are our babysitters.

So, we decided not to be horrible parents and actually take our kids with us. It turned out great anyway because of the colicky newborn I had at home, I could not eat most of the stuff we like to get anyway, so it would not have been as fun for us. I can imagine that eating a polish sausage with peppers and onions would cause my sweet little "Captain Screamo" to simply pack her bags and leave. "I'm going to live with some lady who loves me enough to only eat bread and water", she would say. "Wait, don't go, I AM only eating bread and water for you!!" Sorry, that got a little dramatic. Anyway, so we took the kids. They had a blast, and so did we.

And I did manage to get some of the food I love...

The girls got to pet some smelly animals...

And ride some ponies...

And some other rides...

Including this large scary slide. My fear of heights made my hands sweat just watching my husband take my precious middle child up those stairs. It also made me nauseous. And feel the urgent need for a bathroom. But that may be too much information...

She, however, loved it...

Little fear junkie...

She loved it too, but no one is surprised here. She has always been obsessed with slides...

And I was tempted. Very very tempted...

Overall, a great day...