Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Cutest Part of our Weekend

The Pughs had a busy but good weekend.  I guess Saturday doesn't qualify as busy exactly, just away from our house spending time with this little fella.  And his parents, too, of course.

Ella's new favorite pasttime at T's house is to dress up in a piece of Katie's wedding dress and play bride.  She's too sweet and beautiful.  That day will be here before I know it.

Haddon is a sweet little bundle of fun.

And the cool thing about Haddon is, he gets to go to Paris this summer, too.  Oh, the fun things you get to do when your dad is in seminary!

As for us, I have a long list of things to do this week, and there is much packing to be done.  Yesterday I ironed all afternoon and made a packing list for the kids for my parents' house.  Today I need to get those things packed in bags.

We had a good prayer time and time of sending off at church and the Mission Community on Sunday.  I'm so thankful for the body of Christ.

And you know what else?  On a day week when there is much to be done, I'm gonna go ahead and say I'm thankful for Netflix.  A little extra TV-watching won't hurt those kids, right?    

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spring Photography Challenge - Week 4

It wasn't hard for me to fulfill the requirements for flowers this week.  I have thoroughly enjoyed Spring this year and tried to make time to capture all the fresh blooms.

One of the first nice days after the time change I got out to take some pictures just before sunset.  They start working on public flower beds early in the south.

I always know Spring is coming when the irises start to bud in my front flower bed.  They're always so pretty.

The azaleas were the perfect backdrop for my precious nephew (I had to throw one of him in here. :))

I'm always excited when one of our transplanted tulip bulbs takes root and blooms in the Spring.  They're so delicate and lovely.

 The same tree in both morning and afternoon light

And the wisteria...I love the wisteria.

It's been a beautiful Spring, and I'm hoping I'll get to re-live Spring a second time in France next week.  It's just beginning to warm up there.
 Nurture Photography Challenge - Spring 2013 Edition

Friday, April 26, 2013

Franco Fridays: Almost Here!

I can hardly believe we're one week out from our trip!  But one week from this moment my head will be in a tailspin making sure we have every last minute thing packed for ourselves and our kids.  I woke up this morning really excited, but at the same time, my mommy heart starts to miss my kids in advance.  Being a mother changes you from the inside out

I wanted to introduce our team so you'd have some faces to pray for: (from Left to Right)  We have Kevin, one of our students from Texas; Seth and Evan, brothers, students and graduates (Seth is actually missing his graduation ceremony next Friday.); Alyssa, who's been on several trips with our church and KJ in the past few years, and I couldn't imagine this trip without her!; Audrey, who accompanied KJ to Haiti in December on her first mission trip; and Amy and Chris, our other married couple in the group.  Amy actually grew up with KJ in the same hometown.  I'm so excited about spending time with all of these guys and gals.

I think the first thing you can pray for is that we (and our luggage) will make all of our flights, that air traffic controllers can get back to work, and we won't have to spend Friday night in the Detroit airport.  While we are in Paris you can pray for connections and meaningful conversations with the youth at Emmanuel International ChurchPray for us as we meet and converse with South Asians and others in the city of Paris, that doors would be opened for us, and that we'd have opportunities to share the gospel and have other meaningful conversations.

Pray for my children, who will be traveling back and forth between grandparents' houses and great-grandparents.  Providentially, they are going to get some good cousin time in addition to all the fun grandparents, and I know they will have a blast, but still...prayers are still appreciated since they'll be out of their normal routine and without Mom and Dad.  But maybe it's only ME, little mama, that needs help with being out of her daily routine of child-rearing. :) 

Beyond that, I am wildly excited and expectant, and I've been singing along with our French friend, Belle.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Story of a Princess Bed

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was two-years-old.  It wasn't so very long ago, but the years bring so many changes that in some ways, it is hard to remember what those days were like.  The little girl looked something like this:

And the little girl and her mommy went everywhere together, did everything together.  It was just the two of them during the day.  Their camera wasn't the best that could be found, and they had dial-up internet, but they were happy.  Her mommy checked her brand-new Facebook account twice a week.  Oh, the times.

 It was so long ago that the little girl still took a nap.

One morning while at Wal-Mart, the little girl's eyes fell upon a boxed set of furniture, a plastic bed, plastered in Disney Princesses, the kind of big-girl bed her mommy had thought to herself that she'd never buy.  But the little girl's eyes lit up, and she begged and begged for that bed.  Oh, how she wanted it!  Her mommy told her she'd have to talk to her daddy about it, but it would have been easy for the mommy to have put it in the buggy right away, because in those days, almost anything the little girl asked for at Wal-mart she received because...well, because the mommy was so charmed by her ability to talk and ask for things.

The little girl's mommy called her daddy on the drive home from the store and told him about the bed.  She passed the phone to her two-year-old daughter who said into the phone, "Get my bed, Daddy.  Buy me my bed..."  so piteously.  

So the big-girl princess bed was purchased and put together by the little girl's daddy, who very wisely told his daughter that the big-girl bed meant no more pacifier.  The big girl readily agreed, and though it was hard to go to sleep without it at first, she learned.  Mommy would rock her or lay down beside her, and she'd fall asleep in that princess bed, and she was happy.   

For 4 years she called the princess bed hers, and her room has been in sad need of some attention for those years.  It has seen many pieces of furniture come and go, had some crayon-writing on the walls among other things.  But the princess bed has been a special place.

A fresh coat of paint perhaps?

Pictures of Ella's new room coming soon!  It's a work in progress. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On the Road in Faraway Places

I have been looking forward to our mission trip to Paris so much, looking forward to what God will do in us and through us, looking forward to fellowship with other believers, looking forward to Paris itself... But over the past couple of days as KJ and I have gotten our plans solidified for our vacation/anniversary trip during the week after, my heart has reached the overflowing with excitement point.  It's really fun when it's the two of us.

New foods, new places, UNINTERRUPTED CONVERSATION. I know all you other folks with young children can relate.  Not being apart for two whole weeks?  Yes, we are getting excited.  It's hard to get my head out of the clouds.

We do have quite a good time together when we're on the road.  We've got our car rented (KJ has so much fun driving tiny European cars.), our route mapped out, and a remote control for the camera for lots of pictures of the two of us.

I need to make sure we have plenty of good France-related reading material and a good soundtrack for the road.  One of the most fun parts of our drive-time in England was reading Dickens' history of England aloud, and one of our regrets was not having all of our British soundtracks for the car.  It would have accompanied the rolling hills so nicely.

My England-loving heart had no idea I could be so excited about France, but my culture-immersion plan has had good effect, and I have high expectations, especially since I'll be in good company.

The best company really.  Happy 9 years to us.  They have been years of many graces and kindnesses of the Lord.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bathroom Update + Narnia Art

I still have one more wall that needs transforming in my freshly painted bathroom, but one of my empty walls got a little attention.  It went from this:

to this:

The above picture may be a more accurate look at the new paint color.  (It's hard to get the white balance perfect in that little bathroom with the camera.)  This was a fun little project that didn't cost me any extra money, which I was hoping I'd be able to achieve.  I painted some old metal frames I had with leftover paint I used on the other frame pictured above, and then I made the quotes from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Last Battle in PSE.
I uploaded the PDFs, and I think you should be able to download them if you wanted.  They're 8.5x11; I printed them off and had instant art for the bathroom!  When KJ came home he began suggesting various Lord of the Ring's quotes for consideration.  I think we could go book-quote-crazy around here once we got going.

Narnia Print 1

Narnia Print 2

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring Photography Challenge - Week 3

This week's photo prompt was Green/Nature.  Green is not hard to find right now; there's such a stark difference in the skyline now that all the trees are green again.  

We only have one little tree in our yard, and it seemed to go from buds to leaves overnight.

I even had a little green bug visitor when I was out taking pictures.

Green may have ended up being my favorite photo prompt thus far.

Nurture Photography Challenge - Spring 2013 Edition

Friday, April 19, 2013

Franco-Fridays: Leaving my Kids

James woke up crying at 12:30 last night.  He said the rain scared him and pitifully asked, "You take care of me??"

After getting up again 15 minutes later I decided I should just stay up for a little while and make sure he got back to sleep, and by the time I crawled back in bed it was that late time of night where all my fears and parenting guilt came crashing in, specifically about leaving the kids for two weeksWe leave two weeks from today, and there is a lot of planning going on around here.

This morning I made the kids get in bed with me; I was feeling kind of emotional, and I told them I loved them and that I'd miss them when we left for France.  Ella's cheery response?

"Yeah, but we're gonna have a really good time, too!"

James joined in, "We're goin' to T's house?"

"Yes, you're going to T's house, James." 

"Yay!!!!!  T's house!!"

Ella said, "We're going to Debbo's house, then T's house, then Debbo's house again, then back to T's house."

There were a lot of giggles from James at this point.  Clearly, I should leave my guilt and fears behind.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Difference Between Girls and Boys

Ella blows her dandelions with such elegance and grace.

James, on the other hand, is working really hard and having a hard time making a go of it.

It's easier to enjoy Ella's. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Photography Challenge #2

This week's photo promp was Turquoise/Splash.  Like many other photographers participating in the challenge, I found turquoise a hard color to track down...and even identify.  I think I usually call it by other names.  

My photos for this prompt aren't as exciting or artistic as I might like, but they do document a really pleasant Spring morning I enjoyed, walking and jogging by myself, a real treat for a mom like me.

As I mentioned in my weekend re-cap post today, I was really excited to find this splash pad.  The kids will really enjoy it on one of the hot summer days that are fast-approaching.