Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just a Couple More

This was Bella's "Sunday before Christmas" get up. Not something we typically splurge on but the whole outfit was a hand-me-down and she was quite a sight. Someone said that she looked like a life-sized American Girl doll.

You'd never guess she was packing diapers in that patent leather trimmed purse which SHE chose to match her shoes. What ever will I do when she become a teenager?!

Guess I'll throw her in solitary confinement with her big sis. =)

Annual Photo Shoot

Our attempt at the notorious family picture was, well... let's just say that the girls showed up and rocked the scene. Mamoune's countless hours of ogling herself in the mirror as a vain 10 year old paid off BIG! I won't harp on her ever again. The boys? The boys were less impressive.

I'm afraid that the neurons traveling from the brain to the actual body parts are hitting a detour somewhere along the way. "Hey Diz, lean on this wall and look natural." Cue stiff awkwardness that cannot be measured in words. "Okay, I was hoping for 'natural' as in relaxed and cool. Not so much the combined look of a staggering drunk and someone bracing to be hit by a semi that you're giving me."

Still, despite our failure to capture the elusive "everyone look this way and smile" shot, we did salvage the day with a few sucessful pics. Enjoy and Merry Christmas from the Sexton Crew!

See the mischief behind those almond-shaped eyes?
Adorable little devil, isn't he?

He's not a fan of photo day.
(In case the forced expression didn't give it away.)

Might be my favorite shot ever.
If you can enlarge it, you will see the funniest little
smirks on their faces.

Despite what you might be thinking...
they were not lined up for the firing squad.

This may be the last you see of her until she's 30.

Thankful for this moment of unrigidness.

Did I mention putting her under lock and key. Yep.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Brainiacs

Spotlight on Mamoune:

In home school yesterday, we began a grammar unit on nouns. Mamoune and Nathan needed to identify abstract and concrete nouns. I carefully and slowly explained the difference and gave the instructions for their workbook page. "Understand?" I asked. "Yep" they answered. "Okay, go ahead and write your name at the top of the page and get started." (Yes, I know who they are and it seems like a futile step in a home school setting but I make them do it anyway!)

--7.3 seconds later--

Mamoune: Mom, I need help.

Me: Help with what? You haven't started yet.

Mamoune: um, I have no idea what I'm supposed to do.

Me: I just told you what to do!

Mamoune: I know, but I forgot 'cause I had to write my name.

Me: (Briefly staring in disbelief. Shifting to Tim for either a warning look to "let it go" or permission to mock my child mercilessly. Permission granted. Commenced to raucous laughter.)

And if that weren't enough to warrant spotlighting the superior intelligence of our eldest daughter, well, earlier the same day-

Tim and I were having a snuggly, slow morning and instead of getting up and releasing the kiddos from the nights sleep, we just took the lazy route and whistled for them. It took several shrill calls before Mamoune finally emerged. We knew she'd been awake for some time (she still lives on Haitian time and rises with the sun) and so we inquired:

Me: Where you been?

Mamoune: In my room.

Me: Whatcha doing?

Mamoune: Playing with my Barbies.

Me: Oh. You didn't hear us calling you?

Mamoune: (dead serious) No, 'cause they were all talking and stuff.

Cautious laughter on this one...

I think Mamoune knows it's all in fun but hey... I've seen Child's Play and frankly, I don't like the way Barbie looks at me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Table Scraps

I made homemade chicken noodle soup last night and Tim was trying to guess a "secret" ingredient. Nathan was confident that he had it all figured out and began reciting his version of the recipe:

"It's got noodles, half-n-half, carrots, celery, chicken breath, lime juice..."

Yeah, he didn't get much farther than that. I'll be glad to share the full recipe but I gotta warn you; getting those chickens to breathe on the soup pot ain't as easy as it sounds.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Maybe It's Just Me

Do you ever wish that Tylenol worked in the opposite way?

Instead of taking it when YOU have a headache, you simply administer it to the person(s) who are giving you a headache and voila!

"Good morning, my darling children. Line up for your daily dosing." ;-)

Maybe that's just me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chivalry is dead?

Last night, after the kiddos went down, I was curled up in a tight ball on the end of the couch watching a UNC/PBS special on our "closest evolutionary relatives" -the Chimpanzee. Tim plopped down beside me. I wrapped my arms around myself and eyed the throw blanket which was all the way across the room. (no, it's really not a very big room- not the point) "I'm freezing" I said with a shiver. Almost instantly, Tim started peeling off his long-sleeved outer shirt and I thought oh my goodness,he is so sweet.

He freed his arm from the cuff and then... threw the shirt to the other end of the couch. huh? I started laughing and shared my unmet expectation with him. "Oops. Sorry 'bout that" he offered as he grabbed the shirt and wrapped it around me. Then, he walked over and got the throw blanket but accidentally smacked me in the eye while trying to cover me up. "Oops. Sorry 'bout that."

We managed to get through the early news broadcast and then headed to bed. When I came out of the bathroom, Tim was tucked neatly in on MY side of the bed. Not sure where this gesture was going, I asked what he doing. "I'm warming up your side of the bed. I figured I owed you one after botching the shirt deal." Oh my goodness, he is so sweet.

So, is chivalry dead? Nah. Maybe a little slow...but not dead. =)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Digging Out of a Hole

A whole month since my last post. I'm pretty sure that's a new record in patheticness for me. I'll do my best to dig out of this hole I've been hiding in. I would, however, like to point out that I believe it is entirely Tim's fault. Something about him being here all the time has killed my creative flow. Feel free to forward your complaints directly to him. =)

Speaking of Tim --he decided we should take the "easy way out" with our nativity this year:

Not to worry. I took Isaiah's "action figures" out of the box and set them up as expected. We decided to harvest out turnip green crop before they got hit with a hard freeze. Here are the bundles we collected. They were lovingly transformed into six quart jars of greens ready for a winter meal.

Justus was quite taken by the Christmas tree that magically appeared when he woke up from his nap. He is not so taken by the "no touch" policy that is strictly enforced.

Testing, testing, testing.

And last but not least in our parade of photos. This is Tim after Bella gave him a makeover using her purple eyeshadow/lipstick/blush. Apparently, you can use this one product for any part you want to highlight.

I will do my best to update again sooner than later! Surely, I can't do any WORSE than this. (Let's hope.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Okay, so here's the real deal people. This blog is suffering. You know it and I know it. It's downright pathetic.

The problem is this: when you decide to be more accountable for your time, you end up, well, being more accountable for your time. yep. In the past, something funny, bizarre, or interesting happened in our lives and I willingly and happily blew off my children's care, supervision, education, and occasionally even their need to eat to share it with you. I was happy...you were happy...the kids were poorly attended, ignorant, and hungry but otherwise happy. ;-)

Now that Tim is here and we're back to homeschooling the medium-sized members of the crew while chasing down the wee partners in destruction and death-defying stunts, in addition to the neighborhood ministry, it's so much harder to blow hours on end staring at this computer. In some ways, this is a good thing. In other ways -it stinks. I don't get to keep you all up to date with the minutiae of daily life, I'm probably losing wonderful memories of the kids, having no written record of them now, and I rarely get to Skype with one of my best friends on the planet. (I love you, Chris!)

Maybe just maybe, some day I'll find a perfect balance for all of this but in the meantime I'll have to do the best I can and lean heavily upon the gracious and forgiving nature of my reading audience. =)

Here are a few moments that I've wanted to catch you up on:

Halloween Party 2009! We had a great time with lots of food, tons of candy (thanks to all who donated), crazy karaoke, and Monsters, Inc played on a big screen outside.

Melissa in her Pippi Longstockings costume.

Mamoune and Mia in their 80's punk get-ups.

And here's Tim is his ever so creative costume of himself. Party-pooper.

Yet, despite his lack of participation in our fall festivities, the boy built me an amazing potting bench out of a door and an old beam we dragged off the side of the road. Oh yes, skill and resourcefulness! It makes me proud.

And lastly for this long overdue post -a moment compliments of Bella. She's been potty-training herself for awhile now but was recently suffering from a back up in the system. While enjoying some quality time sitting in front of the toilet waiting for her "movement" this conversation ensued:

Me: Poor baby, I can hear the gas rumbling around in your tummy.

Bella: Dat's not gas. It's pwably the monkey in my tummy.

Me: uh, you have a monkey in your tummy?

Bella: yep.

Me: Okay, well what does he do in there?

Bella: Sometimes he eats my breakfast but he just had a snack so pwably he's doing nothing.

Goofy kid. But on the bright side, next time your feeling a little gassy, you can just blame it on the monkey in your tummy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Aged to Perfection

During homeschool yesterday, I was doodling on my dry erase board (not a very good example to the kids, I know). Nathan asked me draw him so I did:
It made him happy. Then I did this and we all got a good laugh. Now we know just how he'll look if he really takes after his father. =)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Going Green

Tim here, making a cameo appearance on the blog:
Human beings got their start in a Garden, and the Bible's narrative tells the story of God's work to return us back to fellowship with Him in a new creation. There's a lot of theology in a garden, and maybe I'll write about that some day, but for now here are some pictures of what God's growing in our backyard:

I enjoyed this beautful head of broccoli in my salad today!

Looking forward to cabbage, and collard greens, too.

And turnips are on the way...

Compost: next year's fertilizer! Yum, yum...

We use the garden to supplement our food, teach us dependence on God, and teach the kids in the neighborhood about creation stewardship. The most annoying thing about the garden is when Mama Hazel (91 year-old who lives behind us) yells across the yard, "Amie's garden sure does look good!" (Amie has yet to pick and squash a cabbage worm between her fingers, which is the official initiation to green living).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Peeps on Parade

I want, I want, I want!
(maybe he just wants his other shoe)

As big as he is, we're still hoping he grows into those teeth. ;-)

Cutie patootie

Chubby cheeks, luscious lips, and chocolate eyes.
He should qualify as a candy bar - sweet.

She was torn between posing for the picture
and watching for spiders.

I love this and it makes me sad at the same time.

Goofiness personified.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Movie of the Week King

That was the exact title as it appeared in our little channel info box at the top of the screen. I kept thinking "King" what? The kids were just annoyed that whatever the title, it was preempting America's Funniest Home Videos. After they went to bed, I flipped back to that channel. I watched long enough this time to realize it was King Kong --the updated version. I was hooked.

You see, I remember the days when like "The Wizard of Oz" certain movies were only aired once or twice a year. King Kong was one of those special airings we were allowed to stay up and watch. Of course, the old black and white version was not nearly as gross as the newer one. Tim is forever traumatized by over sized, head-sucking, grub creatures.

I snuggled up to my sweet hubby and mused, "If I ever become the love object of an unnaturally huge gorilla, will you risk your life to save me?" He assures me he will. He's very good to me.

As the movie ended and the mighty Kong fell from his death perch atop the Empire State Building, I sighed, "At least I didn't cry this time." Tim shot me an incredulous look. It's true. I was a soft-hearted animal lover as a child. I knew that if some genetically altered beast attacked our small suburb, I alone would be capable of soothing the savage beast. I knew Ann Darrow's pain.

20 years later and five kids, I'm afraid to say that a love-sick monster roaming the streets and randomly throwing people to their deaths has less sentimental pull as it once did. I would more likely be one of the B-52 pilots than the ditsy, species-confused blond teetering off the edge of the tower. Call it cynicism, call it realism. Mostly, call it a relief to my husband who still can't believe I ever cried over such a stupid movie.

"How did he get to be so big anyway?" Tim asked.

"I think he was flushed down the toilet as a baby and lived off of radio-active waste in the sewers of New York city. Or maybe that was another stupid movie." =)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"And Justice for All"

You're familiar with the adage "two wrongs don't make a right." We've said it to our kids and I believe it's true...mostly. But since none of my kids bother reading this blog I feel safe in admitting to you that, despite its truth; that second wrong---sometimes feels really right! For example...

I do my grocery shopping at the same place, at more or less the same time, with the same basic list every single week. Which means that I look at the prices of those same items every single week. I know when something goes up or down by even a few cents. I also, have a reasonable understanding of marketing. I get that the cheap, no-name brands are gonna be on the most annoying shelves while the high-priced Tommy Hilfiger's of pantry staples will be at eye-level and easily within reach. Whatever. I'm not opposed to squatting or stretching to meet my budget needs. However, I am against blatant false advertisement. It bugs me. It irritates me. It assaults my sense of "liberty and justice for all" dog-gone-it! And sometimes when you reach this level of indignation, you are tempted to take the law into your own hands; to commit another wrong. I know.

It. happened. to. me.

For weeks, months even, I've noticed that the particular establishment wherein I do my shopping, which shall remain nameless, at least until the heat is off; places various "sale" tags through out the store. Nothing wrong with that, you're thinking. Agreed. As I've shared with you, I buy recycled toilet paper (shiver). The particular brand that we use costs $2.78 for a "big roll-4 pack." It has been at that price for the duration of the time I've purchased it. Months. But suddenly, there is a colorful, attention-grabbing, sales tag sticking out of the shelf stocked with recycled toilet paper that reads: "WAS $2.98, NOW $2.78!! You save .20!" Huh?

As I walk up and down each aisle I see tags like this one. Gerber baby food jars have always been .68. I know, because I've been buying them for almost two uninterrupted years. They were never 88 cents! I am not saving 20 cents. All over the store, I find that I am surrounded by lies. BOLD FACE (type set) LIES!!! Shameless deception geared to manipulate the naive shopper into spending unnecessary money in the name of savings. Innocent, God-fearing people being taken advantage of by "the man!"

There is only one thing to do.

I look to my right. All clear. I look to my left. No witnesses. I consider looking up to discern the location of the nearest security camera. But it could be just above me which would offer a direct shot of my face; that never turns out well for those of us forced into the life of a criminal avenger. I reach into my purse and fish for a weapon. I withdraw...a #2 pencil. Drat! I was hoping for a ball-point pen. It'll have to do. With the speed and precision of a cobra, I scratch the words "NOT TRUE" on the sales tag. Oh yes, in all caps!

sigh. I think I made my point. And now that they know what they're up against, I expect coorporate headquarters will repent and resolve to only offer truth in advertising any day now.

Your welcome. =)

Monday, August 31, 2009


Tim requested that I post this. I had no intention of doing so. I am complying for his amusement. I've been reading a lot lately and that has a tendency to stir my inner writer. Problem is my inner-wanna-be-writer is sometimes sorely lacking in material. The following is an exact copy of a very embarrassing moment:

"I need to write. I'm not sure why. I don't know what there is to stay. Stay?! SAY! I certainly don't know why I am writing if I can't even spell. Silly. And yet I am compelled to sit here, pen and paper in hand, and dribble on in senseless words; which only further proves my point --I have nothing to write.

Strange though. It feels good to put the pen to the page. The motion of the letters and the flow of words is soothing. Weird. Maybe this is my therapy. Maybe I have something to say but don't know it yet. What if the pen figures out the message before I do? Goofy.

So far, I've manage half a page of absurdity and self-deprecation. Where is the therapy in that?

I think I am insane. Fortunately, I now have a written record of it."

I would just like to point out, that this was a brief moment of illogical, literary blabbering most likely brought on by stress and extreme fatigue. I am not crazy! Really. It's not like I hear voices inside my head or something whack-o like that.

What? Did you say something? Oh. Never mind.

Maybe It's Just Me

Recycled toilet paper.

Some things just shouldn't be marketed as recycled. I know it doesn't mean what it sounds like it means; just the same, it conjures up certain images of, well, someone else having already taken care of business using the roll of paper now hanging in my bathroom. It's disturbing. But what's more disturbing? Knowing that I paid an extra 78 cents for the recycled stuff. 78 cents more to torture myself with images of double dipped tp. scowl.

I repeat: some things shouldn't be marketed as recycled. But maybe it's just me. =)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Tell Tale Truth of Toddlers and Tantrums

Tim was drawing out an observation about Justus for our older three to ponder. Basically noting the fact that not long ago, he was a happy baby who only fussed when he needed something -food, drink, a diaper change. But now Justus is driven by a much greater force...want. And because of this wanting, he can be one fussy baby.

His new thing (besides trying to walk backwards- hugely entertaining) is to come running toward me, arms straight up, crying, "uh...uh...uh." Desperation in every step. I grab him up into my arms and immediately those chubby little hands stretch out for something else. "I want you! I want you! I want you! I want something else!" It seems for a moment that his greatest longing is to be wrapped up in the tender embrace of a loving parent. Turns out the spoon on the counter top is just as satisfying. And even though I try to snuggle, and squeeze, and kiss him; he's way over it and ready to climb down with his spoon and conquer the world. sigh.

And there lies the "tell tale heart." The part where God uses my own child against me.

How many times have I done this to my Abba Daddy?

"I want you, God! I want you, God! I want you, God! Oooh, that's shiny. I want that!"

From desperate to distracted in two seconds flat. And maybe God is saying, "Okay, I can give you that but first let's just look at each other and giggle. Nuzzle in and let me love on you for just a minute." But I'm already twisting and squirming and doing the limp fish so I can slide out of His lap and out to conquer the world. sigh.

I imagine God saying, "I love that kid, but she can be one fussy baby."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Brainiacs

I am adding this new segment to our regularly featured posts. It will consist of quotes by some of the smartest kids we know. ;-)

You will probably see a lot from this self-declared Queen of Common Sense:

Mamoune: Nine million is like...more than a hundred!

Her third grade teacher should be very proud. We are.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Out of the Mouths of...

the elderly??

We've heard many interesting reactions to the racial make-up of our family; but THIS ONE may be my all-time favorite.

A few weeks ago we joined our friends (the Wright family) for a family luau and met even more family members than we'd met at the previous Easter gathering. Aunt Lucy and I were side by side in the service line; she handed out plates and I served the chicken and mac-n-cheese. We made small talk and laughed about various things. She seemed as content to have me there as I felt in being there. I had no idea what she was thinking.

The next week Melissa filled me in. Some of the family were talking the day over and we came up in the conversation. Aunt Lucy turned to Melissa's mom and said, "You reckon he ever got mad when she kept having them black babies?"

Oh, how I howled! Just call me Gomer. Tim is quite a man to tolerate this harlot of a woman stepping out on him FIVE times. Too funny.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Saturday mornings is traditionally throw down in the living room and watch kids TV day. (Nevermind that our refusal to get cable has doomed us to watch the same three Hannah Montanna episodes over and over. shrug)

This weekend Nathan took great care in preparing his pallet. In fact, he used all of his bedding AND his brothers bedding to make it as fluffy as possible. As he settled back on the 6-8 pillows he had confiscated from around the house, he sighed "Aaah. Mom, look at what I made just for me."

"Wow. That's so very selfless of you." I replied suspiciously. "Aren't those Izzy's blankets?"

"Yeah, but nobody else helped me. It's like that story in the Bible about the chicken."

Quizzical looks from both parents.

"The one where she does all the work and doesn't let anyone eat..."

We busted out laughing. "Nathan! You doof. The Little Red Hen is not in the Bible."

"Well, it's probably in the Catholic Bible!"

Good heavens! I may not get to blog for awhile...I'll be brushing up on the Apocrypha.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Aged to Perfection

Just a quick follow-up to the previous post on aging. Tim was riding the kids around on his back one day last week when Nathan said, "Come on, Bella! Climb up on the donkey."

Tim looked up and said woefully, "Remember when I was a horse?"

I snickered and adjusted my ice pack. Apparently, even imagination cannot fend of O.L.D.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wouldn't It Work Better If...

we could all grow old gracefully.

After church Sunday, Bella and I were going to race Tim to the van. I took three half-running steps when I heard a pop and felt a crazy pain in my right calf. I stopped abruptly and clenched my leg. "Okay Mommy?" Bella asked with genuine concern. "I don't know. Something just popped." I wasn't really explaining it to her as much as I was just trying to process it out loud. I thought I would "walk it off" but the slightest pressure sent a direct message: "Houston, we have a problem."

I tore my calf muscle. Fortunately, we were headed to a surprise birthday party where our friend (and physical therapist!) to a look-see at it. Tim stayed home yesterday to man the fort while I followed a regiment of RICE (which I now know means rest, ice, compress, elevate). Today, I am feeling much better. Still hobbling but not nearly as much pain.

Yesterday afternoon I was perched on my sick bed -the couch- with my leg propped up eating a late lunch. As I lifted the spoon to my mouth a pain shot through my fingers and into my forearm. I dropped the spoon with a gasp. Shook my hand out and tried again. "Ouch!" I said while again losing my grip on the spoon.

Tim looked at me with dismay. "What now?"

"I don't know. It hurts to hold the spoon." And with a great pout: " I think I'm falling apart."

Normally at this point in the conversation Tim would say something wonderfully compassionate like "yeah, I think you have that um, oh, what is it? Oh yeah, O.L.D." But he didn't use that one on me this time. Instead, he asked, "What have you been doing lately, baby?"

"Nothing!" I replied emphatically.

He shook his head in feigned sympathy. "Well, maybe you should start doing something. Doing nothing is killing you."

I should've seen it coming. Goof.

In contrast, Bella comes to me regularly and gently pats my leg. "It's popping, Mama?" Today, she brought my ice pack and with a look of intense warning said, "It's bery, bery cold." At least someone will love me even when I'm O.L.D. =)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Table Scraps

After the funeral of our friend Ty, we were having dinner and talking over life and death. Isaiah declared with much irritation, "Man, black people always have to die." We couldn't exactly argue with him --especially when we were somewhat amused by his indignation over the issue. Tim said, "Well, yeah, Ty was black so...that's too bad for you." I chuckled under my breath. (While I can't stand children who torture each other, I consider it our parental obligation to torture the children. =))

Tim took it a bit further. "You know, Isaiah, I ate dinner with Tyrone several times and now I'm eating with you. That probably means you're going to die someday."

"Aw, man." Isaiah bemoaned.

"And Ty was a musician. You like music, don't you Diz?"

The mouth hung open. Poor kid. He was practically standing at death's door when Mamoune had all she could stand of our nonsense and dropped this pearl of wisdom.

"Good grief, Isaiah. They're just irritating you. Everybody has to die in their lifetime."

Nothing gets past that girl.

And don't worry -Ty would totally approve of us using his passing to torment our kids.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

In the Loop

After much praying, processing, and planning...

You are invited to check out our NEW ministry blog

Another Sexton blog? Good grief!! I hear you. But I think you'll understand when you see it. God is stretching us in new and exciting ways and maybe, just maybe you'll want to be a part of it. Click the link and let us know what you think. (Didn't mean for that to rhyme -cheesy.)

Ready to "launch?"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Photos from Haiti

Troy and Tara: missionaries extraordinaire!
One of my favorite shots. Truly Haiti -people everywhere.

The uncommon art of breastfeeding.
Becoming more common thanks to Heartline Ministries.
Upper/Middle class housing
Low-Lower class housing

The difference between the haves and the have nots is stark.

See the woman smiling in the left corner?
Beautiful tension.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


We are home. At this point, we are processing much. The best I can offer you are some examples of contrasting emotions we have and continue to experience:

We were sad to leave the crew and I nearly melted down after fighting off nausea the duration of both flights (Atlanta to Miami and then Miami to Port-au-Prince).

BUT we were so excited to see our friends Troy and Tara, and Paige, and the little people!

We were overwhelmed by a visit to the Missionaries of Charity ministry which was filled to overflowing with children suffering greatly from illness and starvation. Amazing and greatly needed work being done there.

BUT I was so struck by the work of Beth McHoul and Heartline ministry as I watched the women's class where boobs were being whipped out everywhere by moms who've learned the importance of breastfeeding and now have firm, even plump little brown-eyed babies! Amazing and greatly needed work being done there!

We enjoyed every minute of our time with the Livesay Crew and love laughing, crying, and praying (while laughing and crying) with them. So refreshing.

BUT it was hard to leave and I miss them so much already.

We were glad to be reunited with our crew who were quite successfully spoiled by their grandparents.

BUT like many of you, we were devastated by the news that we have lost a wonderful friend, Tyrone, and will miss him so much.

And tomorrow, I am anxious to spend time with one of my favorite couples.

BUT I am heartbroken that they will leave from here to move far to the Midwest and I will miss them so much, too.

ugh. In a book I've been reading lately titled "The Beautiful Mess" the author talks about the clashing of this fallen world and the Kingdom of God. He refers to it as beautiful tension. Like two weather fronts coming together in a frightening but awesome display of thunder and lightning. The beauty is in all of these relationships and what each of them means and has meant to us. The tension comes in the distance, the separation, the ending of a life on this earth.

Yeah, we are still processing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Done and Done

Believe it or not the final segment in the saga of Tim and Amie's dating life has been posted. And not a moment too soon.

We head out tomorrow for Atlanta and then Haiti. We will arrive back from Port-au-Prince the day before our 15th Wedding Anniversary. I don't know if we'll be able to con a date night out of the grandparents since they will be weary to the bone by that time but we'll see what we can work out.

Regardless, I have really enjoyed sharing our story with all of you. Remembering where you come from and how God has faithfully brought you through is good for the soul! And despite how disgustingly mushy it is...I must say that it makes me fall for my man all over again. Thanks for reading!!

See you all in 10 days, if I don't manage an update while we are away.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Peeps on Parade

Photos below but first, here's an update on life with the Crew.

    Last week was full of fun and visits from friends. We got to hang with Jena -back from Uganda. Yeah! We also, put her to work kid-sitting at the doctor's office while Tim and I picked up our anti-Malaria meds.

    We got to catch up with our friend Heather (formerly known at Faith as "Cammie") and meet her beau, Eric. We had long and mutually encouraging conversations. Well, the mutual part is a bit of an assumption. =) Eric made quite an impression! Especially when he let Justus dive head first out of his lap to the floor. We will certainly never forget you Eric. We'll think of you often while working through our son's developmental delays. Only kidding!

    Speaking of Justus ---these past two weeks have been HUGE for him (besides the head injury, ha!). First, he is a walking maniac. Second, he is officially a member of the Sexton family. We received his final decree of adoption on Thursday. AND lastly, he is a whopping 1 year old today. To see how this love lump entered the scene, read here and here and here.

    And finally, I am packing like a wild woman. We will leave on Thursday for Atlanta where our parents will become contestants on a new reality show called "Extreme Grandparenting." Not really, but they will think they are on Survivor by the end of the week. Tim and I will fly out on Friday to spend six days with our favorite missionaries in Haiti! If you don't know much about them -read their blog here and you will soon see why we love them so.

As you can see, it's been a busy couple of weeks and will continue to be a busy few weeks. Pray for patience in the midst of chaos, for safety while traveling, and for grandkids to go easy on their elders. Here are the photos as promised:

Heather, Eric, and the crew!

(notice Eric is NOT holding the baby-we ain't stupid. ;-))

An awesome couple!!! Aside from the fact that they make us feel really old.

A big box for a big one year old.

What could it be guys?

No matter. It all ends up in the same place.

psst...another post has been added to the brain dump. Click here to check it out.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Getting Paid

I never dreamed that I could get paid to blog. Nor would I have imagined that the currency of choice would be chocolate but...true to her word, Mrs. Sarah came through with the goods. Yummy! I'm thinking of having a t-shirt made that says "Will blog for food!" I'm not too proud.

To show my gratitude and lest anyone think that I would milk the situation for more than my fair share of chocolatey goodness, I am adding another post to the story. Almost done!

ps. We have had computer issues for a week or so, which is partly to blame for the lack of activity on this blog. But I have lots of fun stuff to share and hope to get it updated soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sweet Motivation

Well, I started out last year with the goal of writing "Tim and Amie's Love Story" and finishing it by our anniversary. June 25th marks our anniversary AND my being exactly one year over deadline. oops. Truth be told, I may never have finished the story if not for a certain level of bribery offered in the comments of the previous post. Sarah McNeil has dangled a carrot in front of my face...a CHOCOLATE carrot, that is. And like a faithful mule, I am plodding along after it. =)

A new post has been added to the story at Amie's Literary Brain Dump and the last (or last couple) of posts are well on the way. It'll be finished by our anniversary this year for sure.

Thanks for the sweet nudge, Sarah!

If you're new to the brain dump site and haven't read the previous entries, click here to start at the beginning and then click "previous posts" and read from the bottom post up.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Confessions of a non-Scholar

I'm still bouncing our Sunday School discussions off of you. Hope you don't mind.

"Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God." Luke 8:1

Glad tidings. Good news. Gospel. Good news of salvation? hmmm. Yes and no. The good news of "the kingdom of God." What the heck does that mean?

Average 21st century evangelical Christians tend to focus the gospel we share (at least theoretically if not in practice) on what we have been saved from. And I'm willing to admit that's a big deal. Sin, guilt, death, hell, eternal separation from God ---a huge deal in regards to life after death.

But most of us, God willing, have 75 or so years of life before death which begs the question: what are we saved to? I think the verse above (and the preceding chapters of Luke) tells us --the good news of the kingdom of God.

You already know by the title of this post that I am no scholar. I have no seminary education, but according to my understanding and some help from Luke and the Holy Spirit (I don't think they had seminary educations either so take it for what it's worth ;-)), the kingdom of God seemed to look something like lepers, prostitutes, and demoniacs being touched, loved, and restored; the rich selling what they have to give to the poor who are no longer outcasts; and systems that perpetuate neglect, abuse, oppression, and hierarchy in the name of religious piety and arrogance being challenged by justice, community, equality, and freedom in the name of and imitation of Jesus.

Not much has changed. We still have our cast offs -addicts, homeless, immigrants. We still have the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. We still have greed, systemic poverty, and corruption. While Jesus walked the earth, He lived the kingdom of God. Exampled it for us in every relationship. And His devoted followers did likewise. What about us?

Do we know what we've been saved from? Praise God! Do we know what we've been saved to? If Scripture clearly defines it --will we follow?

"Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peeps on Parade

Mamoune gets the first frame for two reasons.
1. Her birthday was Sunday and I failed to post it.
Here she is with freshly permed birthday hair.
2. Because she is responsible for the next group of pictures featuring Isabella
wearing some... unconventional fashion creations .

The Gypsy-Pirate Wench Look

When you just can't decide between wandering aimlessly
and walking the plank. OR...

The red-carpet ready and slightly risque crocheted dress.
(Granny -do you recognize your blanket?)

Oh look! The paparazzi. Muah...love you all...muah!
You thought that was revealing. Here's some serious flesh for you:

And last but not least today; here we are on our Mother's Day date.
It was peaceful. We were alone. We were happy.
We have really big foreheads. shrug.