Monthly Archives: August 2012

Bucket List: Visit WV

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One more thing checked off our bucket list! We visited Lewisburg, WV. If you haven’t heard of this small town, let me explain why it was so important to us…
As many of you know, Aaron and I are high school sweethearts. We’ve been a couple since I was 15. He’s two years older than me, so we spent some time apart throughout those dating years. We was in college two years before I followed him to Mansfield University. And then, the hardest part was that I was student teaching in northern PA while Aaron attended West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) in Lewisburg, WV, which is in southern WV. We were an 8-hour drive apart for about 10 months. All the while, we were engaged, and I was planning our wedding!
Needless to say, we got married and I moved to Lewisburg with him. Lewisburg is where we first lived as a married couple, where I got my first real (teaching) job, where we eventually had our first child. Not to mention, it’s one of the cutest little towns in the States!
During our short time there, we met so many wonderful people who greatly impacted our lives. Ever since we moved away, we’ve been longing to go back. Last week we finally had our chance. WVSOM celebrated their 40th anniversary with a long weekend of activities. We not long enjoyed our time at Aaron’s ‘preschool,’ as Jacob calls it, but we also visited our church and one of my work friends.

Here is a picture of the boys at a playground:

They loved meeting our friends and exploring the town. Noah was quite proud that he had been to many of these places and had met many of the people before, “when he was a baby.” Aaron and I were proud to show off our beautiful family and share what God has in store for us.

Prayer Requests:

1.) I’m scheduled to start homeschooling on Thursday, Sept 6. Noah will be in 1st grade; Jacob will begin a kindergarten curriculum. Please pray for us as we begin a new routine.

2.) Pray for wisdom and strength as we prepare for our last purge of the summer. It’s getting increasingly difficult to decide what to keep, what to sell, and when to do what. (We’ll be setting up shop at the Macungie Memorial Park on Saturday, Sept 8 if you’re interested in buying our ‘good’ stuff.)

3.) Pray that our prayer and financial support will increase as we begin to visit churches and send out prayer letters.

4.) Pray for God’s timing in the selling of our big items: the house, the van and the car.

Thanks!

 

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Summer Birthday Season

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There are 6 people in our family, and we seem to like to celebrate birthdays only two times of the year. Noah, Hannah and I have winter birthdays while Levi, Aaron and Jacob just celebrated their birthdays. In fact, Jacob just celebrated his 4th birthday today! Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!! As we all have achieved some milestones lately, I thought a little Kelley kid update was in order.

Like I said, Jacob turned 4 today. He was so pleased with a modest cake and the few gifts he received today. He grinned, politely said, “Thank you” every time some one wished him a “Happy Birthday,” and he was thrilled with the family’s attempt at singing to him. He is such a sweetheart. Tomorrow we’re taking him to Chocolate World for more celebrating. Although that means he and Noah will miss a day of VBS at Faith Church, we wanted to honor his request for a visit to one of his favorite places. Here are pictures of our birthday boy. He’s blowing out his candles and opening gifts. The game was played and appropriately won by Jacob.

         

Levi celebrated his second birthday just two weeks ago, a day before Aaron’s birthday. Aaron and I were in the middle of training, so my mom threw Levi a party. When we got home, we celebrated both birthdays with some gifts and a take out dinner. Five Guys and Cold Stone Creamery saved me from cooking, while it made all the boys very happy! Levi got a guitar. He loves playing music and dancing. He is talking more and more every day. His favorite words are “no” and “why?” but he also says “k” and many other nice words. The boys got Aaron some Angry Bird pj’s and airplane underwear. I think they thought his underwear weren’t as cool as theirs. 🙂

     

Hannah is 6 months old. She is enjoying baby cereal and some veggies. At her 6 month wellness visit, she weighed only 13lbs, 9oz, which puts her at the 6th percentile. Such a tiny little peanut. She’s learning to sit up, and she’s loves sporting a pony tail on the top of her head. (And Levi thinks he needs the same hairdo…What a goof.) We so enjoy our sweet, mellow little girl. What a blessing she is to our family!

Noah is 6 1/2 years old. He is loving Legos these days. He and Jacob have been playing on the stairs (between the closed gates) with all their Lego creations. The closed gates at the top and bottom of the stairs keep them safe from the littler two…It makes for an adventurous walk up and down the stairs, but it’s working for us at the moment. Just today, Noah discovered that he has a loose tooth!!! At first, he sobbed. He was so worried that it would hurt, or that he’d swallow his tooth, or that he’d loose it without knowing it. He cried and cried, holding his mouth like it would pop out any minute. After holding him and reassuring him that it would take days (or longer) for it to come out and praying for him and telling him about the tooth fairy, he was still worried. Playing Jacob’s new game helped to get his mind off of it, but he still kept talking funny and playing with it all day. Finally, at the end of the day, he was excited about it. The idea of getting money for loosing a tooth was the winning argument. Sigh…

As for Aaron and I, we are tired. He has been working so much that we haven’t spent any meaningful time together since we got home from the training session. When he’s working so much, I feel extra pressure to keep the house running. I get lonely and feel as close to a single mom as I ever want to feel. We’d appreciate prayers for the following things: 1.) our stamina while we attempt to get ready for our move, 2.) our quiet time with God, and 3.) health. It seems like as soon as we get ourselves on a healthy spiritual and physical routine, we get slammed by one thing or another. We know it’s Satan’s attempt to discourage and distract us. We know we are doing God’s work. However, it’s hard to do our work well when we feel distant from God. Please pray that we’ll be diligent in making time for prayer and Bible study and that we will find true rest in Him. Thank you, friends!

 

Brownies, Beer Bread…and Snails!?!

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For those of you who liked the pancake mix recipe, here is the brownie mix recipe. I finally tried it, and I really like it. Note to self: Grease the pan so that the brownies don’t stick!

8 cups sugar + 6 cups flour + 2 cups cocoa powder + 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder + 1 Tbsp salt = Mix and store in an airtight container

To make brownies, mix 2 1/4 c mix, 2 eggs, 1/3 c oil, 2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 c chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 in pan and bake 30-35 minutes at 350.

I think I can make Texas Sheet Cake with this mix too, but I haven’t tried it yet. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

On to the second topic: Beer Bread. Yum!

I made three loaves yesterday because I was providing meals to two friends who just had babies (and one loaf for my family). I decided these beautiful blocks of sinful goodness were worthy of a picture. Let me explain…

You see, at the training session for Samaritan’s Purse, we learned that as soon as we sign our contract we can no longer consume alcohol. Not a huge deal. I’ve been either pregnant or nursing for so long that alcohol has not been part of my regular diet. However, I am a little disappointed that beer bread, or anything cooked/baked with alcohol, will no longer be part of the menu.

Before you jump to conclusions, let me explain further (and maybe even challenge you a little).We American Christians enjoy being ‘free in Christ,’ which indeed we are. Aaron and I aren’t prudes. We do consume alcoholic beverages on occasion, and we do not consider it sin. However, most other Christian cultures are much more concerned about living above reproach than they are about their supposed freedom from the Law. As missionaries (which all true Christians are), we need to be more focused on living as a representatives of Christ, on saving the lost and dying world, on NOT becoming a stumbling block. Most people see us American Christians as hypocrites. Do you realize that?? When we move to Kenya, people will know by our actions that we are Christians. They will see our clothes (I have to wear long skirts/dresses all the time), notice our respect for all mankind, and pay attention to what we abstain from, i.e. alcohol. Kenyan Christians take Christian living seriously. They truly are the salt and light of the world, and I’m honored to become one of them. My intention for the remainder of my time in the U.S. is to become saltier and brighter, to die to self instead of hold tightly to all the ‘freedoms’ I have been given.

(By the way, I’m totally not good at being salt or light or at dying to self. It’s just what the Holy Spirit has been teaching me lately. I have a looooong way to go, but I’m confident that the Holy Spirit is a good Teacher.)

Ok. Now that my sermon is over, let’s address the snail portion of the title.

Aren’t they cute?? This is what the boys made and ate for lunch today. Noah found it in his magazine, and he was super excited to eat snails! We spread mayo and mustard on a tortilla. Then, we added meat, cheese and spinach. After rolling them up, we cut them into 1-inch rolls. I cut ‘feet’ out of another tortilla to tuck under the ‘shell.’ We put a mound of peanut butter on the ‘foot’ for the heat and then added pretzel sticks. They turned out really cute and quite tasty. After lunch, we read the magazine and learned that snails’ shells grow with them just like a turtle’s shell. Hermit crabs, however, have to find bigger shells as they grow. And then, Noah asked, “Mama, can we get a hermit crab? My cousin Alex has one.” The whole moving to Kenya in a couple of months gets me out of buying a lot of stuff! 🙂