Friday, November 28, 2008

Much to be thankful for

The children had a WONDERFUL first Thanksgiving here in America!  I still don't think they get all the hype (i.e. why do we get so excited about just another meal?), but for us, it meant seeing family and not having any concerts for an entire week.  This was also the first time we'd ever spent time in a real home just being together.  ALL together.  We took over Jay's parents' house from Monday until Friday morning and I'm not sure it will ever be the same!  

I was so thankful to be off the road and in a real house (with a bathtub and hot water) and to be with family.  But I received an amazingly unexpected blessing just by having down time with all the kids.  When we're on the road, we are always GOING the next town, to a restaurant, to a church, to the next town, to a restaurant, to a church...and we never have time to really just be together and enjoy being our own family.  But this week, we truly savored that time together.  I was a little anxious before we arrived about how smoothly it would go and how the kids would behave with us being all together for 5 days straight.  But the kids were wonderful.  Minimal fighting, maximum fun and flexibility.  

Jay's parents live near a college, and so we took full advantage of the soccer fields near the house.  Each day, the kids ended the afternoon with a very competitive game.  They are such good soccer players!  They put American kids to shame!  

The first night, I taught the kids how to play Spoons, which is a very fast, very rowdy card game.  They think it is the greatest game ever invented.  About every two minutes, we'd hear a burst of laughter and screams signaling the end of another game.  

All in all, it was a time I will always cherish with the kids.  Jay's family was so wonderful to take us in with open arms.  We are so thankful to our families for supporting us in this crazy year of our lives.  I am already looking forward to Christmas, when we have the kids in Texas for an entire week...just us and the kids!  Half the time I feel like I'm going nuts, but the other half of the time I see how beautiful they are and my heart just bursts...and that makes it all worth it.

P.S. Just a little conversation that took place this week:

Me:   Hey do you guys know who Santa Claus is?

Ezera:   Jesus???

Me:    No!  Do you know who Santa Claus is?

Ezera:   Satan???

Friday, November 21, 2008

Coming soon to a town near you!!!

 We were beyond excited to see my family in Memphis last week!  It was so great and I'm very thankful that everyone came down to have an early Thanksgiving and see the kids perform.  I cried my eyes out when they left! 

But thankfully, we will be going to some familiar places in the next couple of weeks.  First, we're headed to Americus to stay with Jay's family where we will have THREE DAYS OFF.  That's right.  Granted, we will also be practicing for our Christmas program (we add in a few new songs in December), but's gonna be great!  We can't wait to see the rest of the fam!

Then on Friday, Nov. 28, we head in to Dothan, our (old) home sweet home!  If you're reading this and you know us from Dothan, you have FOUR opportunities to see Children of the World.  That's right, people... not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR concerts in Dothan.  Here's the line-up:

Sun. Nov. 30, 10:00 a.m. - Greystone United Methodist (meets in Honeysuckle Middle)
Sun. Nov. 30, 6:00 p.m. - Covenant United Methodist 
Wed. Dec. 3, 8:30 & 9:30 a.m. - Providence Christian School
Wed. Dec 3, 6:30 p.m. - First United Methodist Dothan


We leave Dothan on Friday and slowly but surely make our way to Texas (again...).  But wait, if you live in my ol' Kentucky home, you will be pleased to know that we will be headed that way soon! Mark your calendars for January 4.  We will be performing at Crestwood Baptist in Crestwood, KY at 9:15 and 10:45.  I expect everyone I know to be there or be square.  YAY!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Photo Shoot

When we were in Clarksville, Arkansas last week, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful fall leaves and get some pictures of the kids.  I'm so happy with how they turned out!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Happy two year anniversary!"

Jimmy:   Happy two year anniversary!

Me: Do you even know what that means?

Jimmy:   Yes.  You've been married two times.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Welcome a new child into the Kingdom of God!

Yesterday morning, Isaac decided he wanted to follow Christ and asked Jesus into his heart!  We are so happy for him and we are sure the angels were rejoicing!  We were sitting in the sanctuary getting ready to go on stage when Isaac looked at me and asked, "Auntie, why do I not know Jesus?"  
I responded, "I don't know, Isaac.  Have you ever asked Him into your heart?"
"No.  I want to know Jesus."
I wanted to jump in right then and there, but the pastor was already in the middle of introducing us so I had to say, "Well, sweetie, I really want to talk to you about it more, but you have to go on stage now.  We'll talk about it after, ok?" 
After the concert, I pulled him out of the costume room and asked him if he still wanted to talk about Jesus, to which he said yes.  Isaac is still really struggling with his English and I wanted to make sure he really knew what we were talking about, so I got Martin to come with us and translate in Lugandan.  Together, Martin and I laid out the gospel for him.  I stressed that this was a decision that he had to decide for himself, and that he didn't have to decide today.
"I want to know Jesus today, Auntie," he said.
"Ok.  I'm not going to pray for you, though.  You need to do this for yourself.  You don't have to pray in English," I told him.
We all held hands together, and Isaac prayed in Lugandan all by himself.  Martin told me that he prayed, "Father, I want to follow you for the rest of my life.  I am so sorry for all of the bad things I've done.  Please forgive my sins.  I believe that Jesus is the son of God and I love you.  I will try to do the right thing from now on.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."  It was an amazing moment for all of us...I felt so blessed just to be a part.
When we were about to join everyone else, I asked, "Ok, Isaac, do you have any other questions?"
He thought for a minute and said very seriously, "Auntie, if I sin now, will I go to the fire?"
"Oh no, Isaac.  Now when you sin, God will always forgive you, no matter what you do.  You can pray to Him anytime you want to.  No matter where you are, He will always hear you."
He mulled this over for a few seconds and I asked if he had any more questions.
"Auntie, you mean I can pray when I poo-poo and pee-pee in the restroom?!"
He may be a child of God, but he's still an eight-year-old boy!