Marriage: established on a strong foundation in Christ

on my heart, thoughts

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! So many exciting things are happening; I have a lot to catch you up on!

On May 5, Joshua asked me to be his bride. I said, “yes, thank you!” Our wedding is drawing close on August 5. Joshua moved down from Pennsylvania to Texas in June, and we have been getting to know each other better in person as we prepare for marriage. Up to that move, our entire courtship and part of the engagement had been long distance. Seeing each other in person nearly every day is so different than being separated by 1,400 miles, but of course wonderful.

We see marriage as more about God and his purpose than it is about us. Joshua and I are united in our love of Jesus, and we desire everything in our lives to flow out of that first love. Joshua has a heart for evangelism and ministry, and right now senses that he is in a season of preparation and equipping. He fully supports me serving the Lord at GFA for this season, and right now our plan (as we submit it to God and earnestly seek His leading!) is that I’ll continue serving at GFA while he works as a personal trainer and pursues some further education. We’ll be living in the Dallas area following our marriage.

Ministry Update

Our web team has been staying busy this summer too! We have had several part time employees or volunteers join us for different periods of time, and I am grateful to have had Clara, Elizabeth and Laura join us.

Almost everyone in the ministry has been involved in the launch of a big project called the Mission Support Team. This new sponsorship initiative now enables people all across the West to sponsor “behind-the-scenes missionaries” here at GFA. In other words, supporting the staff like me! Each of us working here at GFA facilitates the work of more than 100 national missionaries on the field, so we play a vital role in allowing the mission work to continue to function. Bringing the staff to full support enables us to do more to reach Asia with the Gospel!

Web has played a big part in this project, and you can check out the fruit of our labors at the new web area – www.gfa.org/mst!

I’m grateful for a chance to get to serve Jesus with this team and to utilize the webby world for God’s glory!

happy fathers day!

a day in the life, photos, stories, thoughts, words

A few favorite pictures of me and Daddy. I’ll have to see if I can find any when I’m not tiny. But Dad is still as good-looking as ever : )

Learning to pray! I treasure this photo.

and storytime!

and my Grandpa Big Mike on my Mom’s side

and Grandpa Chris on Dad’s side

oh and Mommy too

our whole family (minus Clara, who was not alive?)

and Dad and three of us girls this winter.

I  am blessed to have such a great Dad.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy-o!     Love, Ellie-Bird

film:: at the beach

a day in the life, photos, words

^ i took lots of pictures of melissa

^ my super awesome (and super cute) parents

^ it was only very very windy. that was actually why i mostly used my film camera, because the blowing sand was reeeaaalllly bad for my digital SLR. (after just a few minutes i was noticing grittiness on my lens.)

^ jellyfish

^ melly building the sandcastle. more precisely, the fab tunnel she dug.

^ our sandcastle. self filling moat! so awesome.

the end!

Chocolate Chip Chiffon Cake

words

This photo shows just one step in making this delicious cake, the cooling period where we have it upside down on a bottle.

The recipe is from Mema, my grandmother on my Mom’s side. And it is word for word from the original. You’ll have to open the link to read all the semi-ridiculous wording.

Cake recipe: Chocolate Chip Chiffon Cake

The frosting recipe I use:  4-Minute Butter Frosting

This is absolutely one of my family’s favorite cakes, and we make it for almost every birthday. It’s that good.

but there are good things.

a day in the life, photos, stories, thoughts, words

I was thinking about how inconvenient and not nice this ice covered weather is. But there are good things – like, we have a wealth of stores on the intersection just near us, so it’s not extremely difficult to get groceries when we need them, because we can just walk.  But what if we lived in Autumn Chase or something? no close stores.  (There would be the huge amount of nearby neighbors, though.) And at least i’m stuck at home with nice people! I love my family.  And we do fun things together, like me and Clara blowing bubbles outside to see if they would freeze.

And walking to the Asian supermarket with Dad on Tuesday to get vegetables. I held onto his arm; so if one of us slipped the other was there to hold both of us up. Thankfully we didn’t ever both slip at the same time.  (I think I should say thankfully instead of luckily – because luck isn’t real, and I am thankful to God.) And then today since we were stuck at home again, Amy, Clara, Dad, and I (and Ginger) walked to Redbox to rent a movie. Walgreens didn’t have good ones (I suppose everyone is renting movies since they’re stuck at home?), so Amy and Clara and Ginger walked home, and then Dad and I went to the Redbox at CVS.  Got Toy Story 3, and then also got tortillas at the Mexican market.

And at dinner time tonight, we were all listing the number of layers we were wearing.  Clara took the prize for 5 tops, 3 pairs of pants, and 3 pairs of socks.

Our power went out sporadically this morning, but didn’t stay out for long. So we can eat breakfast. (Biscuits and gravy this morning- delish.)

Dad and I were able to go to prayer meeting on Tuesday because a friend (who had chains on his tires!) picked us up.  Such nice fellowship.  Not too many people were there, but some braved the cold and walked from their apartments.

And we can bake! Biscuits this morning, gingersnaps yesterday.  And countless cups of tea. We have to wash spoons throughout the day since we use so many to stir our tea.  (We also have to change Ginger’s water throughout the day too, since it freezes. She was in the garage some today, and Clara was reading a story from the Grimm Fairy Tales book! But that’s a rabbit trail… or shall we say a dog trail?)

I think that was the most I have written on this blog since like… ever.  But there is a list of wonderful things for you.

Christmas

a day in the life, photos, words

^ My sisters and I bring Mom and Dad breakfast in the morning. Tea, coffee, muffins.

^ the Christmas tree.

^ This is the candy cane lady. She’s been in the family for as long as I can remember, but she’s been around for a more than that too – her base says 1954.

^ I made this apple pie.   And for your information, Betty Crocker makes a better pie crust than Nourishing traditions or those girls from the pie shop in Brooklyn. (whose recipes I’ve used previously.)

^ My super cool camera lens mug from Photojojo.

^ Melissa in all her new winter wear, looking like she stepped out of an Anthropologie ad. [handmade boots + gloves, and scarf and forever 21 headband.]

^ Dad held Riette alot. She’s adorable.

^ A big delicious dinner. It made for delicious leftovers too.

^ At the very end of the evening we went to see Christmas lights. I fell asleep on the drive home.

new mexico

photos, stories, thoughts, words

we are driving a rental van this trip, which is rather strange. but there’s this sweet storage space in the floor that Melissa calls the Jew hiding place. On the day we drove to Albuquerque, we ate lunch at Rosa’s Cafe in Amarillo which has been tradition for the last couple years.

^this was our view much of the time.

^the trees actually do turn colors here. it’s beautiful.

^ and yes, in corrales there are signs for horses.

^ the sandia mountains are beautiful.

^ new mexico definitely has cooler and prettier license plates than texas. the normal ones are yellow, but these turquoise centennial ones are nice.

^ we spent the day with my cousin Esther and made these lovely earl grey tea cakes. recipe here.

and even though i have to keep chapstick in my pocket at all times because of the desert climate, being here is worth it.

but still, i feel like texas is my home. that’s where God has called us.