Thursday, April 26, 2007

When Animals Attack

You've seen these shows, right? Well, maybe this isn't quite as dramatic as that but it is fair to say that we've been getting up close and personal with nature recently.

Incident #1: Have you heard the world's dumbest country song..."I wanna check you for ticks" or something like that? If you love the song, I'm sorry. No, not sorry for offending you. Sorry for your incredible lack of good judgement.;-) Either way, our poor Nathan has been viciously attacked twice in 48 hours by these pesky parasites in the most undeserving of locations. eeeooww!

Incident #2: Just before going to bed last night Tim informs me that there is a spider in our bathroom vent (fan thingy) but not too worry, "he's much too big to get through the slats." I keep wondering if he actually thought I was going to be okay with that information. ??? So, I begin questioning which would be worse; facing the fear of a middle of the night potty run knowing that this creature could be hovering over my lap or the fear of my bladder exploding within my own body. I'm leaning toward the latter when I decide to investigate the situation for myself. There was definitely something up there. And it was big. And it wanted to be in our bathroom really badly. But upon closer examination it was no spider but a super-sized, steroid pumped, hypodermic needle for a stinger hornet.

We tried the obvious. Turn on the fan and he'll get sucked right out. Not this bad boy. Next we tried the who knows how old wasp and hornet spray. Works from 25 feet away! We poised ourselves in the door way, ready for a quick escape should he wedge through in his rage. Tim unleashed the power of the jet stream. It shot out like a wet noodle. I could've spit farther than that thing shot. Useless. We rummaged through the cabinet for an answer and at last chose a sure weapon from our arsenal also known as the bathroom cleaners. You'll never see this on a commercial but I'm telling you Clorox Bleach quick clean up spray is multi-purpose.

The first few squirts irritated him slightly. Ha! Major understatement. He was ticked. Then the fumes began to take over and he was subdued but not down for the count. Another good soaking and the battle was over. This morning Tim popped off the vent screen so we could see the true enormity of our foe. A monster, a beast as big as a horse. Don't believe me? See for yourself...

Incident #3: Mamoune bursts through the door shouting "Mom, there's a snake and it's going after Nathan!" Can you say adrenaline rush? I run through the house searching for shoes which seem necessary for protection. The best I can find are my steel-toed flip-flops. No good. Next I grab the machete and the extra long grill tongs. Please, I'm a professional -don't try this at home. I run down stairs to see Nathan glued to one spot and my daughter is now guiding me by standing halfway up the steps and saying, "he's down there somewhere." Oh, you mean down here as in anywhere within a two mile radius?! Thanks Mamoune.

Soon, I spot the slithering serpent. He's a reddish brown color which confuses me. We've caught earth snakes or worm snakes as they are often called but they were usually more gray than this guy. Unfortunately, crawling into the barn where my kids are playing and then having questionable coloring was not in his favor. I whacked with the machete and caught him about a third of the way back from his head. He tossed and coiled for a second but was otherwise incapacitated. It was at this point that I got a good look at his head and realized that he was in fact a harmless worm snake. I felt horrible. I scooped him up with the blade and put him on the concrete so I could end his suffering quickly. A quick chop to the neck did the trick.

Worm snakes, for those who don't know, are utterly and completely harmless. They eat earthworms and other insects. I won't post a picture because I am too ashamed. What can I say? In the future, I will attempt to accurately assess the danger level (within my ability) but ultimately, if it's between the snake and my kids -the snakes gotta go.

Isn't nature fun?!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The New Baby

We are very excited about our newest family member! We've never had one this color but that's okay. She's just right for us. The name? Oh, we're calling her Sienna. Our precious little Toyota Sienna Sexton. You can call her "Yo" for short. What?! You thought I meant something else? How silly of you! ;-)

Here she is:

Forget the cigars...air fresheners all around!

Another New Arrival

It's coming soon!

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Birthday Dream

Wednesday was my (Amie's) birthday. It was a fairly normal day -grocery store, bathing kids, church in the evening. Nathan was completely appalled that I had to do grocery shopping on my birthday. He thought I should "eat donuts and watch TV all day". He knows me well. And he's not the only one. Frank and Angela Pribyl came to dinner last night and much to my surprise brought this:

Yep, it is exactly what you think it is -an Entenmann's Chocolate Donut Birthday Cake! How incredible is that!? I couldn't have been happier. I won't tell you how many "pieces" of cake I ate. yummmmmm.

And I have to give props to Angela for her total creativity. I think she's on to something big. I have three consecutive birthdays coming up and now, I am all about the donut cake. Just think. You can have all different flavors: chocolate, glazed, sprinkles, frosted, powdered. AND no plates, no forks, no knife required. It's genius.

The only way to improve on this masterpiece would be to stack the donuts on a foundation of cheesecake...maybe next year!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Attention Grandparents

Here is a Bella update especially for the grandparents. (Everyone else can enjoy it, too!)
At her last doctor's visit she weighed just under 12 pounds. I think she holds most of that weight in her cheeks. She is the sweetest thing; smiling and cooing constantly. We admit she is spoiled and it's our fault. But who could resist this face?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

On Becoming a Man

A milestone was reached in our house this week. Don't worry it's nothing too graphic. We were in a hurry to get to church Sunday night. I was in the only bathroom that is technically inside our house trying to get ready when Nathan (yes, Mr. Whimsy himself) comes to the door. I give him my standard can I help you? raised eyebrow and he informs me that he needs to potty. Since I am looking into the sweet face of my oldest but still baby boy, I see no problem. I tell him to come on in but I need to finish my make up.

Nathan takes a step forward then shifts back again and says "what do you want me to do?" In my mind I'm thinking he just wasn't listening. In his mind, he's thinking that his mom has completely lost it. I repeat the instructions to come on in while I get ready and take care of his business. He looks at me, perplexed; raises his little index finger and as respectfully as possible says "you're going to stay in here while I go to the, uh, no. I don't think so, Mom."

For a brief moment I was tempted to remind him that he did not allow me to potty alone for the first four years of his life but I thought better of it. My little Munchkin Jeans is growing up...without an Oedipus complex!

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Birds and the Bees...and the Bull

Ah...Spring is in the air. And here in the barnyard, spring is the season for love. That is love and uh, mating. That's right. The world has awakened to spring with one thing on its mind -procreation.

It all began with a simple question over dinner:

Nathan: Do birds ever fight each other?

Innocent enough. Sure they do. They fight other birds to protect their nests or their babies. It wasn't until Mamoune added her two cents that we realized our plight.

Mamoune: Yeah, I saw two butterflies fighting today, too.

Oh boy. Tim and I exchange a sheepish glance and do what every wise and well-prepared parent does. We change the subject.

Our avoidance program was working, too. And then the cows started getting frisky. In the pasture (which spreads directly in front of two picture windows in our living room) are four cows. One male, three females. I have taken to calling them Sammy and the girls because the bull reminds me of Sammy Davis, Jr. Maybe I'll post a picture soon so you can see what I mean. So, a few days ago Sammy began wooing the ladies and the ladies began vying for position. At one point they were displaying dominance by head butting and other things so I yelled for Tim "Come quick, it's a chic fight!" He wasn't impressed.

Our denial scheme was beginning to crumble. How can you keep avoiding what is right outside your window? When you are eating dinner and you gaze out over the meadow to find that oh, look dear, the Discovery channel is on again or when you are sitting on the couch reading to your kids and one of them says "What is wrong with those cows?!" The gigs up. And so, my valiant and wonderful husband educated my children. I can't tell you what he said because I was in the shower but I'm sure it was brilliant. I'm just glad it was him and not me.

In the meantime, there seems to be a lull in the action. The problem (in my expert opinion) is a young and well, inexperienced bull. Having worked for a vet and having a clear understanding of the artificial insemination process, I can say with confidence that he will get no help from us. It seems they've reached a time of mutual separation. Maybe the mood just isn't right. Maybe it's hard to focus with three children running like banshees all over the pasture. Or maybe the ladies are just biding time in hopes that a bull with some skeelz will wander into the meadow any day now. Go figure.

Oh, and as for our kids education...the chickens next door picked up where the cows left off. So continues Home school Biology 101. Cursed spring time!


A Heavy Sigh

We've only been blogging for a few months now so I don't want to make this sound melodramatic but I feel certain that this is the hardest post I've ever had to write. The name of this blog is "The Sexton Crew in Haiti" and the purpose as you can read above was to track our progress as we move toward mission work in Haiti.

I've typed ten different segues into this and they were all stupid so here it is plain and simple. We are not going to Haiti.

Confused? So are we. Disappointed? Yeah, us too. Wondering why God brought us through this whole process including selling our house? Well, then we're in good company. Still believe that He is totally in control and working things for our best? Even in the midst of some sadness over what isn't to do we!

We want to make a few things absolutely clear about this situation.

1. We have not had a "falling out" with the Livesay family. Far from it! They are the top of the list of things that currently turn me into a blubbering puddle of tears. We love Troy and Tara and all their youngun's (Tara loves that word ;-)) and not getting to join them is the hardest part to let go of.

2. The work being done in Haiti is good work and it is much needed. Our love for and desire to see Christ work in the Haitian people has not waned. Troy and Tara's work in LaDigue is vital and they are amazing in it!

What happened? The short version: God changed our plans. The longer version: The more we researched and got to know the organization we were going with the more we felt that our family and ministry styles did not line up. There were a few red flags (well, maybe yellow flags) in the beginning but we felt strongly that we were to move forward until He gave us a clear answer. We tried to be faithful in our part and He was certainly faithful in His.

So, here we are. Take Haiti out of the equation and you're left with just "The Sexton Crew." Is that enough to hold your attention? If not, that's okay. We are grateful for all of our readers, lurkers, and stalkers. We are thankful for your support and prayers and quite frankly, we still need them. And after weighing our options regarding the blog and with the encouragement of some friends who are obviously lacking entertainment options, we've decided to keep the blog up. After all, we live in a barn and that in and of itself has given me tons of material.

We have no idea what our next step will be. But as we said in a letter sent to those who had planned on supporting us financially; we believe "God has set us on a path toward greater service, greater faith, and an even greater desire to seek His face". The path hasn't changed only the scenery. (Thanks for those words, Wheezy!)

We will need to change the name of the blog soon but I'll leave it be for those who only get to check in every few days. Thank you all again for taking this journey with us. Stay tuned for life in the barn. =)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Happy Easter Everyone!

In the midst of trials, chaos, difficult decisions, and a million little things that can make us totally and completely self-focused; it is great to stop and give full attention to the ONE who deserves it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Progress Report

According to, 'progress' is:
movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage

Note that the definition does not say anything about the speed of the movement. Because of that, I can unequivocally say that we are making progress!
  • So far, we have $650 a month in pledges--our goal is $1500 a month (I can't update the thermometer on this site because only Amie understands this)
  • We close on the house this Thursday
  • We have moved into the barn, our intermediate housing until we leave for Haiti
  • Pledges and one-time donations are coming in almost daily--Thank you!!
  • We are working on our prayer/thank-you cards (it's slow because we have no Internet right now--please be patient with us--we are truly thankful and will express it tangibly as soon as possible)

Here are our prayer needs:

  • Wednesday's walk-through and Thursday's closing to go smoothly
  • Isabella's adoption-pray for completion in record time
  • We have no phone or Internet at the barn because we don't know our address (there is a good reason for this--too long to explain)
  • Settling into the barn--lots of stuff, not lots of room, need patience!

Thank you all for your awesome support. We are truly blessed to have all of you on the team. Our progress toward Haiti is slow, but steady, and God is faithful. We're looking forward to seeing how He gets us there--and when!