Monday, September 29, 2014

On the first day of Fall...

On the first day of Fall, I had a photoshoot that was amazing.  A lovely subject, lovely light, lovely place, and favorite books.

I don't know about you, but that makes me want to find a nice place to sit and read a book.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Counting Gifts

"This is just a season.  It will not last forever."

Those were the words my sister-in-law said in my face last night, and I needed to hear them.  This week, more than any other, has felt like a week of transition with dominoes falling into place of people and churches being so generous with their time and money to partner with us.  And the house showings.  Don't forget the house showings.  It has been our busiest week yet with those, and we are grateful.  Today a realtor showing my house commented that it was super clean and well-maintained.  It's kind of ridiculous how validated that made me feel, but you know, for all you women that do the work no one sees.  This afternoon I was able to rest, and the blinds were all open, and light streamed in, and I exhaled and enjoyed the cleanliness, but I wouldn't want it to stay this way.  It's too much work.

The kids and I were out for 3 hours on Monday running errands and buying pumpkins.  "Mom, you're going to buy ANOTHER ONE?"  We have two more on the back porch.  I don't regret it; my porches have never been more inviting.  
Cooler temperatures came right on time with the advent of Autumn, and boy, has it felt nice.  We've spent lots of time at parks letting the kids run free in the past week.  It's just so nice when it no longer feels miserable outside, am I right?

They've had some intense hide-and-seek games.

A few years ago now I read Ann Voskamp's, One Thousand Gifts, and the concept of seeing all of life as a gift really took hold of my heart.  It's still hard to "Give thanks in all circumstances" when the circumstances are hard or not the way I want them to be, but if every little thing comes to me from a loving heavenly Father, who is working all things together for my good, then every little thing really is a grace and a gift.

I've been keeping my own list this year, hoping to make it to 1000 by the end.  It's been such a good practice throughout each day, trying not to take things for granted but feeling really and truly grateful for so many things:

  1.  brewing coffee on a cold morning
  8. fresh starts
 35.  Dad and Josh in Guatemala together
 71.  watching Sherlock with Parker and KJ last night
 83.  the kids each eating one bite of broccoli :)
133.  James' sticking-up hair in the morning 

The list kind of serves as a diary of sorts of the past year.

185.  looking forward to Skyping with Del
270.  being able to see Papa
340. reminders the Lord cares for me
365.  Amazon Prime
425.  talking to Mom
483.  the very thought of iced coffee
503.  I get to move to England!  It's really coming true!
534.  not running out of gas
585.  an e-mail from Kristen Sosebee

I'm at 773, and I'm going to keep counting graces, because this really is just a season, and I don't want to miss it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Talking with James

"Mom, I have something to tell you."


"I'm going to go to college."


"But prob-ly not 'til I'm older, like 11."

"Good to know."    

"James, what would you like for breakfast?  Toast?"

"No.  Can I have a hot dog?" 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


What's your favorite memory at this house, James?

"When Judson bought me that gun and we sat in the floor and shot it at the fridgerator."

I really love my brothers, and it makes me happy to see my kids love my brothers.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Last of Summer

Last Monday we had some unexpected fun.  I unexpectedly dropped the kids off to play with cousins while I did the grocery shopping, and when I went to pick them up the girls (of course) didn't want the party to end.  Since you only live once, and summer days were waning we brought Claire home with us for the afternoon.

I'm really glad we did because they had so much fun.  So much fun that when T came to pick up Claire they couldn't bear for the party to end, so Claire spent the night, a first-time sleepover experience for both the girls.  She was a much-loved overnight guest.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pugh Family Pics

For a brief lunch on Labor Day the Pugh family was all together.  I thought it would be great to take a picture of the middle generation.  Most of the time we only take pictures of our adorable children.  It turned into a round of a lot of small group pictures that were fun to take, and I know we'll treasure.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Franco Fridays: As you go...

Sacre Coeur and Montmartre are good places to go where you can see both the beauty and culture in Paris, as well as get a glimpse of how hard immigrants work to live there.  I'm not sure if I mentioned before that the Punjabi people are considered a people group unreached by the gospel.  But they are being reached in Paris.  When we visited last year we were able to meet the first young man Parker shared the gospel with who believed in Jesus.

It was a hot day, and there were several guys selling cold drinks for a euro.  It made you really glad to see them both for the opportunity to connect them with Christians who speak their language and for that cup of cold water they offered.

It was a fun experience to be in Europe during the World Cup this year.  Even as someone who knows absolutely nothing about soccer, in a city with people from all over the world it was enjoyable just watching people be so excited about it.  You could walk by different restaurants and pubs representing different countries and cuisines and hear all the yelling and cheers at the television.

Being in Montmartre always reminds of the movie, Funny Face, and I hear Audrey Hepburn singing, "I must philosophize with all the guys, around Montmartre..."

We walked to dinner where we ran into a group of girls from Texas and also met a man outside the restaurant who has, what seems to us, one of the most discouraging jobs selling flowers.

Your heart broke for these guys, who walk by restaurants trying to sell flowers, and they're constantly turned down, and their product is perishable.  One night at the end of our trip KJ and I were alone, and we had one more Bengali tract left to hand out, and we saw a guy walking in the opposite direction.  I had KJ chase him down, and we laughed later at how novel it must have been for him to have a tourist chase him down and beg to pay a ridiculous amount of money for one rose.  The rose-seller's smile was so big, and I told KJ I'd never loved him more for buying me that flower.

Just carrying my bass...

Back to the Metro where the Concorde station boasted some cool design.

And then back to our bus stop, Porte Maillot, just in time for sunset over the city, maybe around 10:30?

We had one more opportunity that night.  I think KJ bought some bananas and gave him some information and the number of a Bengali-speaking pastor.

Good night, Paris.