Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rich and poor have this in common: the LORD is the MAKER of them ALL. Proverbs 22:2

On Sunday, I am boarding a plane that is headed to Dallas, Texas only to board another plane headed to the Stann Creek District of Belize.
(I am probably suppose to give credit for posting this map of Belize but I don't know how so here is how I found it. I went to google, typed Belize map in the search bar and it appeared. I hope that's enough credit....)

I will be helping with a VBS for some of the village children of Belize. I have so many thoughts and emotions running through me right now. I feel excitement yet at times I am paralyzed with fear. Excitement because I have wanted to go on another mission trip since I came home from one in Juarez, Mexico, 8-years-ago. Fear because 1) I HATE flying and 2) I don't want anything to ruin this trip (i.e. my attitude). If nothing else comes from this experience I pray that the love and patience Jesus shows us everyday is shown through me, and the other 60+ in our group, to the Belizean people. I don't want my own selfish motives or spoiled American views to get in the way. I want to show these people they are just as important (if not more) to our Heavenly Father than some girl that never wonders where her next meal will come from or which of the 100 outfits in my closet I am going to wear today. I want them to know the Almighty Lord loves them more than comprehensible.
To be 100% honest I have some very selfish reasons for going on this trip as well. I want to come home with a renewed appreciation for my life, my family and my relationship with the Lord. I want to realize the things I stress about on a daily basis are taking the precious joys of life away. I want to be encouraged that I can make a difference in the Lord's kingdom just by loving others. On a lighter note, I am looking forward to a week without my phone or computer!

How it all came to be:
My friend, Carrie Webb, first found out about International Servants from a friend of hers that traveled with them before. She asked if I would like to join her on her first mission trip and it didn't take long for me to make a decision. My biggest concern was the expenses that went along with a trip like this. Of course, no amount of money will keep Gods message of salvation a secret. I sent out many fundraising letters with only 3-4 return donations, leaving a wide gap between what I had and what I needed to go on such a trip. I quickly realized I was going to have to put a little more effort into this. Luckily, I have a wonderful group of supportive friends and family. We rallied together and decided a garage sale would be our next plan. I received many wonderful items for our sale, very little of it junk. I think I had set a goal of about $500 over the three day sale. When the first day of our sale came to an end we were just shy of that goal by $100! By the end of Saturday, the last day, we had raised almost $1400!!! I still cannot believe that I was dumb enough to put a limit on what God does and will do for His message to be heard.
I will say that the garage sale wasn't that much more of an effort on my part. I had a great group of woman (and my husband) right beside me the whole time. I am so grateful to my mom, Aunt Ann, Aunt Sara, Ruth Ann, Mary Ann, Rebekah and our Claire Bear for being so helpful and willing to to do anything to get me to Belize. Thank you so much for all of your time, money and love.

I don't want the week to go by too fast, but I look forward to sharing stories and photos from my trip to Belize. I also want to thank everyone that has donated to this trip and please continue to pray for our group and the hearts of the Belize people.

If you want more information on the mission I am traveling with, it is International Servants.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Anniversary Trip - STL

We had an awesome time in St. Louis celebrating our anniversary. It was a spare of the moment trip, but we are so glad we went through with it. We needed the time together and had so much fun. We left Monday morning, of course, it was a little later than we had scheduled and of course there were many stops involved. Especially, when you leave without Matthew's shoes! The first place we hit up was the City Museum.

Arriving at the museum! Happy to be out of the car.
This museum is so much fun! I highly recommend it! Patrick put it best "it's a life size game of shoots and ladders!" If you haven't been GO and if you have been I know you agree with me! It would even be fun for a group of adults...hmmm...small group trip...I think so!
Matthew had a blast and so did we!
The entire museum is an old deserted building
and all of the building materials inside are recycled.
(Sorry for the not-so-great picture quality. The lighting inside wasn't ideal.)

Yes, this is an old plane and firetruck just literally hanging out!

Yes, this is wayyyyy past Matthew's nap!
There were several walls covered with old stamps.

There must of been 1,000,000 metal restaurant containers lining the walls.
Matthew on the train, of course!
Going down the slide!
Apparently, there is an entire roof to the museum with more things to do, like a Ferris Wheel. We did not venture out on the roof or see the World Aquarium but I have a feeling we will be going back soon.

We then went to check into our hotel. To be completely honest I was scared to death because we had booked it on Hotwire. I guess Patrick has always booked hotels through Hotwire but it is a little scary. When you search for hotels it doesn't actually tell you the name of the hotel you are looking at. Apparently, that is how they can get them for cheap, because you aren't buying the name. I was for sure we were going to end up at some dirty, scary place but it wasn't at all! We stayed at the Crown Plaza, downtown St. Louis, right across from the arch, and the pool was on the roof! I couldn't of asked for a better place to spend the night.
Our room was huge and had a great view.
We were on the 22nd floor and Matthew loved pushing all of the buttons on the elevator!

View out our window.

We enjoyed a great dinner with one of Patrick's good friends from Valpo, Al Clark.
She took us to an Irish Pub not too far from our hotel and we had a great time catching up with her. We will be seeing her, and many more Valpo friends very soon, when we take a long weekend vacation to the Dells in the beginning of August.

We went back to the hotel and enjoyed the rest of the night in the pool.
We were planning on hitting the Arch Tuesday morning before we headed back but it was just too hot. It was 105 with a heat advisory of 115. TOO HOT! So we went back to the pool and then got home just in time to eat dinner and take Matthew to VBS.
A little photo collage!

Friday, July 8, 2011

What a year (or two)!

Two-years-ago Monday, Patrick and I, celebrated our wedding day.
July 11, 2009, seems like yesterday yet at times seems like forever ago!
We had an awesome day, celebrated with great friends and family
and wonderful memories of the big day!

Wasn't he lookin' fine!?

I have to admit our first year was a lot easier than our second. I am hoping the third year is a little easier but welcome any challenges because I know we will overcome them!

Our life has changed so much in the last two years and I know there are more we will encounter.
I decided in recognition of my husband and our upcoming anniversary I would make a list of just some of the things I appreciate him for. Here goes...
10. I love how he can befriend anyone. He doesn't really care how awkward, embarrassing or strange it is. He will walk up to a complete stranger and have a 30 minute conversation about absolutely everything and nothing at all!
9. He is uber active. Almost to an annoyance but it keeps me going and I need that. I would hate to be married to a couch potato. He would much rather be swimming, taking walks, playing volleyball, golfing, taking Matthew to the park or grilling out than be glued to the tube or computer.
8. He can juggle school, work and a pretty demanding family. I am thankful that we are no longer dealing with that schedule, at least for the time being, but he did it.
Something I can say I could never do.
7. He allows me to spend time and money hitting up thrift stores and garage sales!
6. I think he is and will be an amazing RN. He cares so much about all of the patients he takes care of. It genuinely upsets him when he finds out they are not taking care of themselves.
5. Believe it or not he is a pretty amazing cook! He can grill like no other!
4. He supports me no matter what. Even if everyone else is telling me what I should be doing. He really listens to what I want and then assures me everything is going to be okay. And MOST of the time he says I am right!
3. He is an awesome father to our son. I couldn't of asked for a better dad for my children. I cannot wait to watch him at our children's school/church/sporting events.
He is and will be their biggest fan.
2. He will go to church, every single Sunday, with or without me. Even when I beg him to stay in bed he will say something like "you can stay here but I am going to see JP (our pastor)." Causing me to feel guilty and grudgingly get ready for church all to be so happy I did go in the end.
1. He chose me. Anyone that would do something that crazy must be crazy. I am such a handful. I can go from happy at one moment to so mad I can hardly talk the next. I expect a lot from him (with room for little to no error) and yet he still loves me.
Through the good, bad and the ugly mornings.
I am excited to celebrate many more anniversaries and see where the future takes us.

Friday, July 1, 2011

More of this and that...

I really need to get in a better habit of blogging because I am always thinking of good things to blog about and then when I finally get the opportunity to put it all together my mind turns to mush.
I will start with the visitor we recently had for the day, Matthew's cousin Brayden. Brayden and Matthew are the same person just 4-years apart. All I have to do it look at Brayden and I see what Matthew will be in the next few years. I think it is marvelous. Like Matthew, Brayden can be a handful, however, he is one of the most active, friendly, happy, adventurous and awesome kids I have ever met. He would much rather be exploring the world he lives in then sitting in front of the TV. I did get a few shots of both boys watching the tube, but that is just because I may have made them so that I could get things ready for the park and pool.

Do you see what I mean about their similarities?! They definitely have the very strong Kirby genes running through their little bodies!
They had so much fun together!

On to another topic: Matthew's bedroom
Here is a little timeline of his room.

Yes, it is a mess. You should probably get use to that at my house.
There is still a lot of work to be done in his room. I am so happy with the outcome though! Next item of business is to make him new curtains. It turned out looking exactly like the inspiration room from the Ikea website. And Matthew LOVES it!

The bathroom is still moving pretty slowely. My stepdad has agreed to build a vanity for the bathroom as I am having a hard time finding exactly what I want or breaking the bank doing so. Here is a vanity we will be trying to model with a few alterations.
We will see how it turns out!
You should check out their site.
They have a pretty awesome house
and her husband built pretty much all the awesome stuff in it.

I will leave you with a little Kirby summa time fun!
I almost forgot. Our Matthew is 100% potty trained! He stays dry at night and even woke up last night to use the restroom! No more diapers! Thank goodness!

Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath