Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Interview over at Married to a Baller.

For those of you interested in more details of our story, how we got here, where we've been, what I struggle with, what I've learned.... then you can check out an interview I did over at Married to a Baller. 

Erin Crispin, the blogger behind Married to a Baller, has been such an inspiration to me. I love getting to know other basketball wives, because they "get it." For instance, they know this life sounds way more glamorous than what it really is and thus we can easily relate to daily life experiences. Erin is a dedicated wife and a mother of four who loves Jesus. Her blog posts often encourage me and remind me that God gives us strength to endure the life that He has planned for us. That said, she makes it look way easier than what I know it really is!

(In other news, we gave Kaleb his first haircut... and suddenly he looks so much older. Sigh. I knew that would happen, which is why I procrastinated it. He is awfully cute though, toddling around and looking more and more like a "big boy." I will be sure to post pics soon.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mid-Week Randoms.

1. Kaleb and I rode with John to practice this morning so Kaleb could walk around a bit. Well, that didn't go over so well because he didn't want to walk. John's coach said "hi" and he just got all shy and started crying. But, we did have a nice long walk back which gave me time to do some thinking about life.

2. My thoughts this morning went something like this: What a bizarre life I live. I mean really, I kind of live two different lives. Of course, I am the same character in each story.... but I can't imagine being in the States and riding with John somewhere and walking back as if I had all the time in the world. My mornings at home are usually filled with errands, and nap times often mean tackling little projects around the house. Not that I lead a super busy life in the States, after all when you are only home for a short season it is hard to get involved... but it is so much different than here. I like both lives, they are just so different.

3. For instance: We stopped at a bakery on our little trip home. I tried to order wheat bread... even had the right word for it... but they were out. (Wheat bread is hard to come by here!) So I don't even know what I ended up with, but I did end up with some yummy little pastries... which I *think* were filled with rhubarb, but don't quote me on that. Honestly, I rarely go to a bakery to buy bread in the States unless Panera counts. ;)

4. I find myself so thankful for the little things over here... like getting in contact with a woman from the States who directed me where to find SWEET POTATOES for THANKSGIVING!!!!!! Yay. Seriously, it is little things like this that just make my day over here! Like I said, two different lives here. At home, I'd just run out to Hy-Vee.

5. I saved the best for last. Seriously, God never ceases to amaze me. Since the time we found out we were coming here, I have been looking for a church. I thought I had found one, and on John's first Sunday home we attempted to go. The problem? The church is no longer meeting. The missionaries are still here and hoping to relaunch this summer. They graciously invited us into their home for dinner and the fellowship was really refreshing. That said, they later sent me contact information for some Americans that came over to start a church.

Can anyone guess where from? Probably not, I would have never guessed myself. Lincoln, Nebraska! Not only that, but the sending church is Lincoln Berean which is where John went in his college days. This is a crazy small world God has created. They only meet twice a month, so we FINALLY get to go this Sunday and we are so looking forward to it!

Enough random ramblings for one morning,
Suzanne

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Outliers by Malcom Gladwell.

I realized the other day why educators had been on my mind. It is because I recently finished the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  One of the chapters "Rice Paddies and Math Tests" was an interesting read on education systems around the world and one of the determining factors of a child's success- especially those that come from lower income families.

The author did a fabulous job at using real life stories to make his point. Gladwell used facts to present his case, but primarily used case examples which made the book all the more interesting to read. I would highly recommend this book to any parent, grandparent, or educator. Successful people aren't just born, they have been awarded opportunities and have taken advantage of them which later leads to their success. Does our current education system hurt or hinder the next generation? You decide, but after reading "Rice Paddies and Math Tests" you may find a valid argument that will hopefully lead to further discussions and research.

That being said, I do believe that what the world defines as success is often different than what God defines as success. But, we still want to raise children that make a difference and who use the talents and abilities that God has blessed them with to the absolute best of their ability. As the stories in this book will attest, it takes hard work and diligence to land at the top, it doesn't just "happen."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

From one year to the next.

Kaleb at one of daddy's first games last year:

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Kaleb at daddy's second home game this year:

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Still my sweet Kaleb but SO MUCH bigger! He loves going to John's games now. Last time he started kicking his legs and waving his arms as soon as we entered the gym. There are two mascots that he adores and as soon as he sees them, he wants down from his seat so he can get close enough to touch them. When he sees John during warm ups he tries to get on the court. Now that he is walking more I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of chasing in the games to come!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Laughter, sweet laughter.

We took Kaleb to this open field behind our apartment to work on walking, little did we know we were in for a far greater treat.

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Who knew throwing bread to the birdies could elicit such laughter from a little one? Cherishing every moment with this little guy. (Side note: this video was actually taken over a month ago, when it was much warmer!)

Spaghetti Dinner.

What do you mean I have to go straight to the bath tub?!!?!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall Fun.

My little guy loves being outdoors, as I imagine most little boys do. So, we are trying to take advantage of the cool, crisp air before winter settles in. The colors outside are beautiful; I can't stop marveling at God's creativity. Although he was hesitant about the idea at first, Kaleb now loves playing in the leaves.

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Loving fall.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Great Educators.

For whatever reason, I have been thinking about educators lately and the ones that made the biggest impact on my life as a student. Ranging from elementary school to the university level, I realized there was a common theme. My favorite educators were the ones that challenged me the most.

Sure, their classes were hard and they expected a lot of me. But I rose to their challenge and usually excelled in them even more so than easier classes. I wouldn't have gone to school with a high fever for just any teacher, but for some I did. I once had a professor read a paper I wrote and hand it back to me saying, "I know you can do better." And I could, so I did.

My point is two fold. First, I must do the same with Kaleb. I love him and will eventually expect a lot out of him because of that love. Like a good teacher, I will have to let him make mistakes but be there to correct him when he does. I can't say "no" before he gets into trouble now, but must first see what he does (unless it is a matter of safety) and then proceed accordingly. As easy as it is to just do things for our little ones, I must be patient as he learns, guiding him along the way. There will be times when I would rather prevent him from making a mistake instead of letting him fall and being there to pick him up and comfort him afterward. However, the point of parenthood is to raise children that will become independent, responsible and productive citizens of society.

This leads me to a bigger, more important concept. My Father has the ability to make my life as comfortable as he wants. But does he? No. Why? Because He loves me. I would never know the mountainside highs if I didn't have to experience the valleys. I know there will be hard days ahead of me. I have friends going through hard times and I just want to take it away from them, but I can't. The one thing I have been assured of though, is that God, like a good teacher, will refine us all in those trying times. Some of His most beautiful, faithful followers are the ones who have been through the fire and come out on the other side more alive than before.

I wouldn't have had that relief of being done with a semester if it wouldn't have been hard. I wouldn't have been so excited to get a top grade if the test would have been easy. Even as a fourth grader, I wouldn't have learned what I did had my teacher not pushed me and my classmates. In all of life, no matter what the age... we all have so much to learn. I am thankful that God doesn't give up on me, but that He continues to teach me daily. I am thankful that He gives me wisdom, that he puts trials in front of me that require me to submit everything to Him.