Monday, August 25, 2008

God's Phone Message and "Go Go"

I have entertaining stories about each of the girls:

First - Hannah has a way of saying things that come out of nowhere that are completely hilarious. And today she did it again. The background to this little story is that she absolutely loves to ride her bike. And she is getting quite good. But rain has been in the forecast lately. So when she asks to ride her bike, I have been answering with, "Yes, if it's not raining." Today I came home from buying groceries, thankfully all by myself! I left Dale working on church stuff with Kaitlyn napping and Hannah entertaining herself, which she does quite well. When I arrive Dale tells me that Hannah got a special phone call today. Then she pipes in, "Yes, God left me a message that He was going to stop the rain so I could ride my bike. He left a message because I was too busy to answer my phone." All of this said very matter-of-factly. And in fact, we had a beautiful couple of hours today when she did get to ride her bike!

Second - (Beth will enjoy this one!) Our friends the Wallers have a cute and very big boxer named JoJo. When we stayed with them on our recent trip back to Nashville the girls really bonded with her, especially Kaitlyn. She started calling her "GoGo". The funny thing is that now every dog is "GoGo". A few days ago she brought me a page from the newspaper saying, "GoGo" over and over again. I told her that wasn't a dog, it was the newspaper. She kept persisting. I took the paper and noticed that it was the classifieds with several pictures of dogs that were for sale! I asked her if she wanted a dog? She immediately said, "uh huh". She knew what she was doing all along!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our Team is Arriving!

This past weekend The Andersons arrived in Seattle after driving 3 days from Irving, TX. We had the joy of feeding them and giving them shelter until they were able to get into the condo they are renting. Here we are at dinner Mon. night getting to use our new table! Jennifer, Joshua and Brady Anderson are on the left with Chuck and Angila at the end.

The Fullers will arrive in part on Sunday. Greg and his moving help will be here then, with Shelly and the kids following on Thursday. This is the last family that will be joining us - at least as far as we know at this point - if there's anyone else out there feeling a Holy Spirit nudge this way, come on! I could start naming names, but that would be more of a word from Tina rather than the Holy Spirit.... Anyway, we are encouraged by and excited about these families who are forsaking the comforts of "home", and stepping out in tremendous faith in order to join us in spreading the gospel in the NW.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day at the Lake

Today we went back to the park at Silver Lake. This time we took swimsuits, beach toys and Daddy. We are all so glad he's back home! It was a hot 90 degree day here, so it felt great to be in the water. The girls went swimming and dug in the sand. The pictures are of us on a paddle boat.

Blue Boogers

Recently I found our "climber" walking around the play room with a couple of markers in hand. She had moved a climbable toy next to the shelf so she could reach the markers that were on top! This was the result. And yes, her nostrils were blue for a couple of days! I'm no match for a toddler with climbing skills AND ingenuity! The markers are now high and hidden. If she finds them this time we're in trouble!

Monday, August 11, 2008

We Went Exploring

Late last night I decided that today would be a day of exploration. We have stayed pretty close to home for the last week or so and I've been focused on house chores and errands mostly. Needless to say, we were all a little stir crazy, especially with Dale being out of town. So this morning, not knowing entirely what the day would have in store, I packed everything I could think of we might possibly need, loaded the girls and off we went. I had seen a park a few weeks ago from a distance as I was driving around and was hoping to find it and check it out. I was first proud that I found it and really glad because we had a great time. It was an awesome day with a high in the 70's, sunny, pretty blue skies.... I had to rub it in since Dale was in TX today in 100 degree weather!

This park is in Silver Lake. The first thing we had fun doing was playing on the huge playground. (You don't get the full effect of Hannah's expression until you double-click the picture to zoom in.) :)

Then we ran and picked up some lunch and came back to have a picnic on the beach! The park is on a lake with a staffed beach front. You can rent canoes and kayaks and swim.

One thing I did not pack was swim suits. But, I did have extra clothes for the girls, so in they went. Hannah was begging to get in the water and had a fun time splashing around.

Kaitlyn spent most of her time going back and forth between building in the sand...

...and running back to the water.

Here ironically, Hannah was working on a hill with 3 crosses "like where Jesus died", she said, when Kaitlyn tried to "help". Hannah didn't want her help and wasn't very nice about it. I actually went to take the picture at a sweet sisters-working-together-moment and caught this instead.

Kaitlyn's sandy face - the result of the altercation with big sis.

After playing at the beach for awhile, we decided to end our time at the playground. We cleaned up and were off to the swings.

Although we all had a blast at the park, one of my favorite parts of the day was letting the kids fall asleep in the car while I drove for a couple of hours taking in the scenery to the tunes of Andrew Peterson. It was the therapy I needed. And this picture isn't even half as beautiful as what I saw.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Braswell Household

Recent random happenings in the Braswell house......

1) Kaitlyn has become a climber. And since Hannah was not, this is new for us. I've found her standing on top of our kitchen table multiple times, grinning from ear to ear. I feel like every time I leave the room I'm going to have to take the chairs with me! She's trying to climb out of her crib. And last night, she was scaling the bathtub wall. She'd grab a hold of a bar that is a few inches above the soap ledge and pull herself up onto the ledge. Then laugh as she slid back down into the tub! I see ER in our future. I don't have any pictures of this yet since I've been too busy getting her down from these places. But maybe one day I'll have my camera close by....

2) Hannah enjoys helping me around the house, so I'm trying to milk it as much as possible right now. Here she is cleaning her bathroom mirror, and boy was it spotless after all the wiping she did!

3) Kaitlyn eating, but mostly playing, with cottage cheese.

4) We recently got a new dining room table and this was some of the packaging. The girls had tons of fun playing with all this styrofoam. I thought is would be fun to leave it out for a couple of days. So, I put it in one room where it could be manageable. And it was fun - they got their tools and had fun digging and building - but it wasn't manageable. The bulk of the styrofoam is gone now, but I'm still finding those teeny tiny pieces everywhere.

5) We've had an empty dining room since moving in and finally were able to get a table to fill it! We've had this one all our married life.......

... and it's held up well. We've never had room for anything larger before. It fits well in our kitchen, but with all the entertaining we will be doing we've been praying that we'd be able to get a larger table with which to do that. And sooner rather than later since by the end of this month our entire church planting team, which consists of 8 adults and 7 kids, will all be here permanently, so we'll be having everyone over for team meetings once a week. Finally, last week we found just what I had been looking for, and for a super great deal!

6) Kaitlyn is growing up way too fast! One thing she loves doing now is brushing her own teeth. Of course, I do assist.

7)Hannah also enjoys helping me cook whenever possible. Grandma even gave us a pair of "Mommy and Me" aprons at Christmas. Here she is getting ready to help me make bananas foster pancakes tonight for dinner. Yum!! And of course Kaitlyn didn't want to be left out. She had her own bowl of imaginary pancake mix to stir.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Friends in Town

The Lord has blessed us in an amazing way by providing 3 other families who are relocating their lives to Seattle to help us plant Connect Church. The Fullers, one of those families, stayed with us last week while they were in town making arrangements for housing and trying to find a job for Greg. Greg and Shelly have 4 awesome kids. Only two, Shelby, their oldest at 6, and Eden who is 7 months, joined them on this trip. But the whole family, including Nash, who is 4 and Noelle who is 2, will be here permanently at the end of the month. We're so excited about that!

The week was really fun, especially for the kids. Shelby and Hannah, although almost 3 years apart get along wonderfully. By the end of the week, they were almost acting like sisters. Here are some pictures of the older kids playing at one of the local parks.

The kids gave us a few "concerts". I didn't get a picture of Shelby, but she's probably on the drum set accompanying the piano duo.

Kaitlyn LOVED having Eden around. By the end of the week the first word out of her mouth each morning was "baby". She was so sweet to her. She loved patting her head - gently I might add - and giving her toys to play with. One day she brought Eden one of her baby food jars and spoon. So, Shelly helped Kaitlyn feed Eden, which she got a big kick out of.

If you are reading this take a moment to pray for the Fullers as they prepare to move - that God would provide for every detail and comfort them during this time of change and adjustment.