You have to try this...Emma swears by it! Much better than any ointment we have tried ever....

Miracle Skin Salve 2oz

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What a cutie!

Smiley Six Weeks Old

Elliot is six weeks today. It has gone so fast. I remember with Emma, I could barely believe I made it six weeks. Things are vastly different with Elliot. He has had his moments, but for the most part he is a joy! Nothing like first time motherhood. But I am sure we will have our moments yet to come.

Elliot and I went to the doctor today to get cleared for me to go to work. And unfortunately, Dr. Stinson cleared me to go back. So I start next Tuesday. :>( But at least I have a job to go to. For that I can be thankful. And we expect to have no debt and a considerable amount of savings within the year. Thanks be to the Lord! For great things He is doing.

This is the closest to a smile we have gotten, but maybe after Tal gets home we can get a better one!
Lounging in the swing. One cool dude!
Thank heaven for our little Elliot!
Emma in her less than smiley self
Emma showing off her potty training carpet. This is our special carpet guards. In other words, vinyl table clothes
Emma taking pictures of Elliot


Another long one but worth the reading. Especially for all parents.

Author: Elisabeth ElliotSource: Love Has A Price TagScripture:
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Darkness Never Conquers Light
"I spent all day today at the Shore Country Day School Annual Fair and Sale. A huge bash, enormous fun, all the parents pitching in enthusiastically to sell hot dogs and manage games. There were balloons, pompoms and crepe paper all fluttering about, music playing, pie-eating contests, cream-pie-throwing contests (the teachers volunteered their faces as targets), raffles, etc. My job was to oversee the antique car ride. The car in question was a three-quarter size scale model of a 1903 car with a tiny gas engine that putted along at six miles per hour. The tots drove it, with one of the fathers 'riding shotgun' on the running board...."
This is from a letter I received from one of my four brothers not many weeks ago. I hear from all of them, and from my sister and mother as well, quite regularly. Few people, it seems, correspond regularly with anybody nowadays, let alone with their own relatives. Crowded lives, expensive postage and the convenience of long-distance phone calls are the usual excuses.
But we have always kept up with each other, thanks to our mother who when we first went off to boarding school began sending copies of our letters around to the others. As the years passed we began to make it a little easier for her by making carbons of our letters, and week after week, year in and year out, she takes a good-sized chunk of her time to sort and stuff copies into envelopes, which she addresses and stamps and sends off around the world--always including her own cheerful newsy page, on which nearly every sentence is an exclamation! Or a double exclamation!! Or contains words written in CAPITAL LETTERS!!!
There was another paragraph in my brother's letter, very different from the first: "This week I drove to Children's Hospital in Boston to chauffeur a mother and her little boy, who has acute leukemia. The child is having (1) radiation on the brain, (2) chemotherapy and (3) some dreadful spinal injections in the bargain.
"The scene in the playroom where all the little children come with their mothers to wait for their 'medicine' (that seems to be the term) is too much: all these little, bald, gray, elfin phantoms, peering out of brown-ringed eyes. One tiny girl with a cane. Little tots with stuffed frogs and teddy bears clutched under their arms. Bone-chilling screams coming from the room labeled 'Special Procedures' (read spinal taps and marrow scrapings, I guess).
"A whole room full of beds where they sit, propped up, while the lethal chemicals drip through plastic tubes into their veins. One teen-age girl lying on her side in that room, quietly, with tears dropping slowly across the bridge of her nose. One colored baby with just enough hair left for her mother to have arranged two pigtails exactly the thickness of twisted black sewing thread about three inches long."
A letter came in that same mail from another brother: "'Twas the eighteenth of April in seventy-five....' Yet two hundred years later I am sitting in a hotel almost in sight of the infamous Berlin wall that represents the opposite of all that Paul Revere stood for. Yesterday I crossed that wall into East Berlin, and from the time I entered with stony guards carefully scrutinizing me and my passport until I came out--again under the cold eyes of sullen-faced guards--I never saw a smile from one official.
"By contrast I spent lunch and all afternoon with a group of six joyful, hearty pastors and Christian leaders who hugged me, gave me strong handshakes, joked, prayed earnestly, spoke words of encouragement to me (yes, not vice versa), promised to pray for me, pronounced a benediction on me at our parting.
"One man said, 'Everything is gray here, no color.' That is both literally and symbolically true. Very little color on the streets, buildings still pock-marked with shells from street fighting at the end of World War II. Gray, sad faces. Another said, 'You can only be a happy man in this country if you know Jesus.' 'Here you are either a Christian or not a Christian. No middle ground. When we don't have outward liberty we learn more of true liberty in Jesus."'
The juxtaposition in a few paragraphs of these scenes--gaiety, anguish, persecution--read through hurriedly one morning as I opened a pile of mail, brought once again the insistent question of God's meaning and purpose. What does he want of us? How, finding himself in such starkly opposing frameworks, is the Christian to respond to God? Is it best, perhaps, to try not to think about him when one is watching a pie-throwing contest? Ought one to try not to think--better still, to try not even to see anything at all--when one has to enter a children's cancer ward? Shall we not even read about the suffering on the other side of the Wall? But that is not accepting life. It is evasion. Those Eastern European Christians are not evading, they are rejoicing. How can it be?
Another letter came to me, this one from a young woman I do not know: "This year the Concerts and Lectures Committee at the college I attend has sponsored a series of lectures concerning the topic, 'What Future for My Generation?' Yesterday the guest speaker was the black activist Stokely Charmichael. Although I have been upset about the direction our world seems to be heading, his talk along with the others has prompted me to write to you.
"I am getting married in June. My question is this: What responsibility do you feel a Christain couple has in regard to having children? . . . I know the Lord is totally in charge of the future, but it frightens me to think of my part in bringing a child into an unhappy and unstable world."
Music, balloons, cream pies. Brain tumors, barbed wire, death. This is the world we live in. Ever since the Garden of Eden was sullied by evil it has been an unhappy and an unstable world. Has it ever been right to bring a child into such a world? For the Christian it is right--a thousand times right. For it is the will of God that married people accept the responsibility of children. It is the will of God that we live in the world--this world of light and darkness, of gladness and suffering--for it is this world that Jesus Christ came to redeem. Christianity, alone among the religions of the world, looks steadfastly at the facts, whatever they may be, and says there is an ultimate explanation, an ultimate purpose, a glorious answer.
"Everything belongs to you!" Paul said. "The world, life, death, the present, or the future everything is yours, for you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God."
We cannot protect the child we bring into the world. ("This, this is the victory of the grave; here is death's sting, that it is not strong enough, our strongest wing," wrote the poet Charlotte Mew. "But what of His who like a Father pitieth? His Son was also, once, a little thing....") But we can bring him to the Cross, where all longings, all hopes and failures, all sin and sadness and pain and fear are gathered up in everlasting love and transformed for us forever into glory and beauty and Joy.
So what about the country fair? Try to keep God out of it? Why? He is watching it. He sees us watching it. Does he mind that we have a hilarious time? "Everything belongs to you!" Try thanking him.
And what of the children with the tubes running into them? He sees them. He loves them. He has not finished yet with their redemption. Can we watch with him-- watch and pray and hold them up to everlasting love?
And the prisoners and exiles--they, too, are in his plan. "God has no problems," Corrie ten Boom says, "only plans." We suffer with them because they are members of the same Body, but our Christian faith enables us to look steadfastly and not hide our eyes, to pray earnestly and not despair, because Jesus commanded us: "Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world!"
Copyright© 1979, by Elisabeth Elliotall rights reserved.
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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It has been awhile

I haven't posted one of my devotionals in awhile, mainly because it has been a hastle getting to the computer since we moved to Memphis. But this one touched me particularly today. It reminds me of Brother Lawrence and his simple devotion to our Master. Sometimes in the midst of dirty diapers, the long cycle of weeks (sometimes it feels like I live for Fridays only to repeat the process in a never ended cyle), the endless list of chores, the cumbers of this life from aches and pains to burdens, I guess in all of it, I forget what life is about. And this helped me remember at least for a night. And my chains of this life are but a thread of this woman's own, and still she seemed to be able to live life with simple beauty, free from the guile that often betakes my attitudes about so many things that I come across.

Elisabeth Elliot's Daily Devotional

Title: Never Frustrated
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
The first time I saw her she had her back to me as she stood washing dishes at the kitchen sink. She was wearing a dress with a small black and white print, and an apron. She had a slight hump between her shoulders, gray hair, and I could see the wire for her hearing aid running down over her left shoulder. I said something to her but she did not respond.
"She's deaf," my sister said in a loud voice. I thought it was rather too loud a voice, and asked (softly), "You mean she can't hear a thing?" "Not even if you shout!" Ginny shouted. It was true. Mrs. Kershaw couldn't hear even if you shouted--unless you shouted directly into the tiny microphone she kept pinned to her dress.
I touched her shoulder, and she turned to me and smiled. "Oh, here she is!" she said, in a flat, nasal tone and a slight lisp. She had heard about the daughter who was away at college, and her smile of welcome was pure radiance in the wrinkled sweet face.
Mrs. Kershaw was a widow who had come to help my mother. She was quite literally a godsend. Over the years Mother had had a succession of "helpers" who were usually more liability than asset. (One of them met her at the front door when she came home after a shopping trip with, "Oh, Mrs. Howard, I have a surprise for you!" Mother's heart sank. The girl had spent the day, instead of at the tasks assigned, painting her room--woodwork and furniture--shiny chocolate brown.)
God must have seen that Mother had learned her lessons of patience and humility and deserved at last one of his saints, a woman utterly without guile, ambition, touchiness or egotism of any sort. Dear Mrs. Kershaw! When we get together for family reunions we always talk about her. We remember how . . .
She lived alone in a big old wooden house a couple of miles from our home. One of us would pick her up in the car every morning and take her home in the evening. Usually she was at the door, ready to come out when the car arrived. Once in a while we went to the door. There would be a sign on it: "I am home. Please come in." She could not, of course, hear a knock or a doorbell or the telephone. If you wanted her, you had to walk in and find her. She was never afraid the wrong person might want her.
When she got into the car she said what a nice day it was. If the sun shone she said, "Folks can do things outside, work in their gardens." When it rained she said, "Gives folks a chance to do what they wants."
We were sitting at the lunch table in the kitchen one day when a painter was climbing around outside the window. "Gets around pretty soup-le!" she remarked, meaning supple.
One evening at dinner (she always sat at the table with us) the discussion was about Bible names. Five out of us six children had Bible names and Mrs. Kershaw thought this was such a nice idea. My father kept her in on the conversation by speaking into the microphone which she held out to him. She smiled and nodded. Next evening, apropos of nothing, she said, "Harrison isn't in the Bible. I looked him up." Bless her heart! Her only child was named Harrison, a middle-aged man by then.
We always had family Bible reading after dinner. One evening my father said he would read from 1 Thessalonians. "That's a nice book," Mrs. Kershaw said. Nobody answered her remark, partly because we were supposed to be quiet for the reading, and partly because nobody could easily reply--we would have had to ask for the microphone. She looked around the table inquiringly; then, supposing that our silence might indicate disagreement, she said, "I don't know whether it's any good or not, but I like it." We smiled and nodded our agreement and she settled back with a contented sigh.
She often took care of a man who was in his nineties, and she would tell us about him. He was inclined to be a bit crotchety and unpredictable, but she said, "When they gets old they gets that way sometimes. Hope I'm not that way when I get old." She was in her mid-seventies but not, in her mind, even approaching "old."
She would spend hours sitting with my step-grandmother who lived with us and was confined to her room upstairs. Nana was quite deaf, too, so the two of them would chatter away, often at cross-purposes, but not minding, Mrs. Kershaw doing her best to cheer up an otherwise very gloomy lady not much older than herself. Once my father overheard a conversation between Mrs. Kershaw and a Belgian lady who was visiting us who did not speak English. The answers did not match the questions at all, but he let them alone until he heard Mrs. Kershaw repeating several times, "What is your name?" The Belgian lady, by guesswork, figured out what she was asking and replied, "Victorine." "Oh," said Mrs. Kershaw, "Freda. That's a nice name." At that my father felt it was time to help out.
Mrs. Kershaw was not a great cook, but she knew how to make applesauce and brown sugar cookies. The gallons of the former and dozens of the latter were consumed as fast as she could turn them out. She could do plain country cooking--meat, potatoes and vegetables--and she loved to see us eat. One of my brothers spurned the cabbage on his plate. She begged him to eat it. "Why don't you like cabbage? You like chicken, don't you?" she said. Often her comments amused us beyond concealment but she always laughed with us, looking eagerly around the circle for any clues, confident, I feel sure, that she knew we were all crazy about her.
She did get old, finally. I suppose she was well along in her eighties when she had to go and live with Harrison in a tiny cramped room, so packed with her furniture and boxes and things that she could hardly move. I visited her there in a little town some distance from ours. "They calls it a clam town," she said of the village near the New Jersey shore. "Well, I call it a clam town, too--the people just kinda clams up, you know. Yes. Not friendly. They're not friendly at all." They don't know what they missed.
If ever a woman accepted the demands of her own life with simplicity and grace, it was she. It was a positive and active acceptance of the given. Words which have taken hold of our minds today like some noxious fungus--hassle, frustration, hang-up, put-down--were never in Mrs. Kershaw's vocabulary, nor could they have been. She wasn't interested in herself. She had nothing to say about herself or her own feelings. She lived for us.
I think of the contrasts Paul speaks about in 1 Corinthians 4. It is illuminating to set them in two lists and read straight down one list, then read down the other and ask oneself which describes his own life.
handicapped--never frustratedpuzzled--never in despairpersecuted--never have to stand it aloneknocked down--never knocked out
"We know sorrow, yet our joy is inextinguishable. We have 'nothing to bless ourselves with,' yet we bless many others with true riches. We are penniless, and yet in reality we have everything worth having."
For Paul to have said that--Paul, who had suffered the loss of all things--ought to shake up our categories of what is "worth having." Mrs. Kershaw would have said the same. I doubt that it ever occurred to her that she had been deprived of anything in her life that really mattered. The Lord had made his face to shine upon her and had given her peace, and she brought that shine and that peace to our house every day.
Copyright© 1979, by Elisabeth Elliot

A few more pictures, since I can....

Tell me about it boy!

Paw Paw and Emma reading a book

MawMaw and Elliot talking
Paw Paw through the lense of Emma

Elliot contemplating the world
Emmy having fun!

Way to Go, TAL

Tal has finished all of his SEC testing today. He, once again, passed with flying colors with an 85%. Now all he has to do is start next week. Thanks be to our Lord! It has been a long process but well worth the effort to get to this point. Now the fun begins and the real studying and working. And as he said, he has to make the real money now. So continue to pray for him as he works to establish himself in the field and starts to learn the ins and outs of being a financial planner.

Good news! Our house finally had another showing after two months of inactivity. We don't have any feedback yet, but we are confident that the Lord is watching out for us and it will sell at the right time. Thank you for your prayers. And also, pray for our realtor, Betsy Richey, this has been a really slow time for her and it would be a blessing for her to sell a house or two (even if it isn't ours, but we sure hope it is!!!) So if anyone knows of anyone looking for a house in Benton, AR, tell them to look up 1607 Lenore on the Century 21 website or they can go to the Crye-Leike website and see it too!

Emma, Elliot and I are back in Memphis now. We got home and got the kids some baths and Emmy is now rediscovering her toys. And Elliot is relaxing in the bouncy seat. I better run and get a few things done before Tal gets home for the night.

See you soon!


Monday, January 29, 2007

Mary's talk

Your Linguistic Profile:
60% General American English
30% Dixie
5% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

100th post

We have offically posted our 100th post. That is entirely too many words about our life, but I am told people like to read it.

Well, Tal passed his Series 7 with an amazing 91%! Way to go Tal!!!!!! The national average is 73% and he hasn't even had a business class or degree. He has been studying hard for the past six weeks. But he also has had a few distractions. In addition to Elliot, he has had his Emmy to play with, my headaches and we have all had colds, we went out of town this weekend, and all the other little things we have done. We are so proud of him. He has one more test tomorrow, the 66. And then he will be done. Everything should be good to go after that.

We have been in Sheridan since Friday. We came to visit all the great grandparents, Grammy, Aunt Jamie, and all the other wonderful relatives. We had a great time visiting with MeMe and Granddaddy for lunch on Saturday. They had ribs, chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese, apple salad, and a host of other great foods. We also had Christmas with them. Emma got the cutest coat, a jewerly box and her change for her piggy bank. Elliot got his piggy bank and a great outfit as well as a blanket from one of his great-great aunts (MeMe's sister). I racked up with a cute coat, a recipe book full of cookie and brownie recipes and a cookie jar. Tal got a gift certificate for some pants and the most incredible scrapbook detailing his life thus far. It had every program, newspaper article, etc from his entire childhood and young adult life. It was awesome. Thanks, MeMe for all the hard work.

Emma had a great Christmas at Grammy's house too with Grammy and Aunt Jamie. She got tons of Dora things and her favorite new toys which are animals models. And to top it off she received the cutest pair of frog pjs and it has been the dickens to get them off of her. She currently is wearing the pj top with some jeans to go to town. Fortunately, you cannot tell it is pjs unless you knew. So we have an adventure trying to get her to understand that she can only wear pjs at night.

We then went to MawMaw's for her famous fried chicken, which was excellent by the way. We were joined by Tal's Aunt Vickie and Uncle Clinton, Counsins Beth and Ron and their two boys, Bryce and Rhett (they are the cutest boys, and Emma just adores them.), Lindsay and Reese, and Richard. We had a blast there swapping stories and letting Elliot sleep in MawMaw's arms. It was the quietest he had been all weekend. It was great seeing everyone.

The only reason we regret moving back to Memphis is that was are so far away from all the wonderful people that we are privileged to call relatives. They are such a blessing to us and we will be counting the days until we can see them all again.

So the other big announcement is that I am typing on our new computer right now that Grammy got for Tal and I for Christmas. We are very thankful for it, and thanks to the laptop and wireless internet and the fact that I can stick the memory card right into the side of my laptop, I should have more updates more frequently. YEAH!!

And I am still in Arkansas, because our car sprung a gas leak on the way here. Thanks to Granddaddy we smelled it on Saturday. We decided it would be better to have it fixed here and since I am not working this week, I decided to just say here while Tal took his test. Grammy played hooky with us today and she and Emma are off on an adventure getting car tags and Destin. Elliot is getting a much needed nap and I might try to do the same, since it is quite quiet at the moment!

Enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Y'all it's official...Tal's got a lot of dixie in him

I guess there's no denying that I'm just a good southern boy.

Your Linguistic Profile:
40% Dixie
40% General American English
5% Midwestern
5% Upper Midwestern
5% Yankee

A Big Day for the Ewings

Well, we finally made it to Sheridan to celebrate Christmas and Elliot's birth. We have had a great time getting to see everybody. Here are some pics from the past two days.

Here is Grammy, Tal, Elliot, Gracie, and Granddaddy
Here is Lindsey playing with all of the cousins.

PawPaw and Elliot

Mommy and Emmy. Emmy is wearing her new "frog" jammas.

Emmy's new frog slippers

Granddaddy and Elliot

MeMe and Elliot. Meme skipped lunch just to get some Elliot time.

MawMaw and Elliot.

Lindsey kept finding the ball in Gracie's hair.

Gracie, Bryce, and Rhett have become best buddies.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Elliot today, isn't he adorable?Whew that flash was bright!
Elliot and his bouncy seat
Elliot loves to bounce

Emma and Elliot Laying togetherElliot in his big boy clothes going to his checkup
Elliot falls asleep
Emma eating a grapefruit or "frukie" as she calls it

Elliot with his mouth open
Emmy's daddy and Emmy
Emmy and Emmy's daddy in the DARK CAVE
Emmy next to her dark cave
Emmy and mommy
Elliot with Daddy
Emmy at the table
Emmy with her frukie and bottle wearing mommy's tshirt
Elliot finds baby Susan *the doll*
Emma discovers frost on the window panes
YEAH frost is fun
Elliot is tuckered
Elliot and daddy
Princess should get some time in the limelight too.