Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tillin' up the hard ground.

This is our third new city in five years.


We have been around this mountain before. Why does my response look eerily similar to the last time?

We have felt God's staff leading us and know this is exactly where we are supposed to be.

Nonetheless, change sucks. I am learning how to adapt but it is simply not my strong suit. It really brings out the utter ugly.

Also, my little guy has been having a rough bout of things as well. He is a people person through and through. He would choose his favorite people over toys every single time. He gets beside himself when he sees his favorites. When we talk about what we are thankful for, it is always people (and occasionally creation). He has talked about all of his people every day, how much he misses them, calls them on his "hand" phone, and unfortunately, he has acted out worse and more often than ever.

On one of my rougher days I said to Joe at lunch, "What do you think about planting a garden?" He kind of tilted his head to the side. (What do you say to your emotional wife in moments like these? Smile and nod your head).

I hope it will serve us well to have our hands drenched in soil. As we tended to those plants daily I hope we will be reminded of God's gracious care for us. When we watered the garden as the Texas heat continues to climb, I hope we will ponder how plants require heat in order to grow and bear fruit....long, extended times of sun exposure. Not to mention, we love a good veggie or two around here.

I have always dreamed of having a garden but you don't really understand what kind of undertaking this would be for me. I cannot keep a house plant alive. When my mother-in-love, an expert gardener, talks to me about gardening it is only to suggest the most rugged, lowest maintenance plants around(just because she knows me). Even then, that plant is sentenced to death row. I spent several nights googling things like, "gardening for dummies" and "How to garden with a brown thumb." We are still in serious need for free advice.

We would like to formally welcome you to the Inaugural Terry family garden...

We planted tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, jalapenos, squash, cilantro, red and yellow onions. We say if you're going to kill a bunch of plants you might as well go BIG!

I do have the best garden assistant ever. He tramples...i mean, waters the plants with me.

He sure does give it his all.
And blocks outside the garden usually get watered too.

If we were all at dinner tonight, we would bow our heads to give thanks through whom all real, lasting fruit comes and we would raise our glass to a bountiful harvest.

"And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and dry places and make strong your dry bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose water fails not." Isa. 58:11 (amp)

I'll keep you posted ;)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Larry King Live Moment

Trying to get all four people dressed and looking pristine for Easter is no small task.

Easter sized breakfast? French toast and turkey smokies. Showers? Quick ones. Hair fixed? A little. Matching outfits? Oh wait, (someone else dressed Isaac) and we have to try for round 2. Bow? Where is the bow? We put it in and now she has taken it out again. "Elyana, keep you bow in child." Bloomers? Oops, forgot those. Diapers? Hope I have enough. Accessories? They might not compliment but I am goign to rock them anyways. Snacks? Got 'em. Bibles? Yes.The camera? Never. Canned food for the food collection? Oh wait, we forgot those so we are going to have to stop at the store. Oh wait, its Easter and stores are closed. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The convenient store? It works.

You know, after all of that we got there early (just the way my man likes it). We had fairly decent parking and were able to check in our kids without standing in line. While we are checking the kids in, this precious reporter taps me on the shoulder and asks if I will do an interview for the news. Me? The news? Oh no.

As I walked to her prepped area, my honest to goodness only prayer was, "Lord, please help me not to have a Joel Osteen Larry King Live theological gaff. Please."

She interviews me for about 5 minutes about why we are at the Stone, why we like it, what Easter means to me, and why its important to give back on Easter. Of course, talking about Easter made me tear up and of course that is the portion that the news chose. Not to mention, what I said might not be the most theologically sound.

This is why you take systematic theology.

The service was amazing. Worshipping our risen Lord all together was really powerful. The Ugandan children's choir was there and I was crying (shocker, right? ;). Matt's message about restoration ministered to me and I am sure to every person. A wonderful Easter that included a long nap by every member of the Terry tribe.

So without further adieu...here is the clip. (I'm about halfway in)

Love you all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The crushed child and a bumper sticker

So Isaac hit a kid on the Chick fil a playground. We have turned in that family as of late.

He came out of the playland for a full blown confessional.

We headed back into the play land to make amends with the little soul. Upon entering said playland, I hear weeping and gnashing of teeth. Its the little guy and he has managed to climb to the furthest tier of the playland. Bless his heart.

After several minutes of him continuing to cry and refusing to come down. Isaac and I scaled up to the top for a mending of hearts. When we made it to the top you could tell he was crushed. Isaac was very apologetic, they made up and then we all three made our way down the slide. Our train of play land reconciliation.

The mom and I were making small talk that lead to Easter which lead to inviting her to the Austin Stone Easter Celebration.

I did reassure her, "Hitting. Its not taught there."

A couple of days later the kids and I are headed to visit my aunt in Central Austin. I was making a left and the car behind me didn't have enough time to stop (i don't know if she wasn't paying attention?) and in an attempt to miss from hitting my car hit the front left corner of my car.

So thankful she didn't T-bone our car b/c Isaac would have been right there. So thankful I was in the white tank (i.e. the suburban). So thankful everyone was okay.

I prayed- "God, do you want me to tell her about you?"

I introduced myself to the other driver and she had apparently been in an accident 2 years ago and knew the drill. Within a few minutes the fire trucks and policeman were on the scene. We exchanged info, they made a police report, and the emergency workers cleaned up the mess.

Then, I looked down and saw a "Jesus" sticker on her car! Are you serious? People don't have these in Austin. The "coexist" bumper stickers are e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. I asked her if she loved Jesus and where she went to church. Let me tell you, when I lived in Austin 10 years ago mark my word this would not have been the case. God has been up to some big things in austin, tx in the last decade. Instead I just got to ask how I could pray for here and we went on with the accident process.

Isaac thought this was one of the coolest days.of.his.life. The fire man gave him stickers, the policeman let him touch their emergency vehicles, and the wrecker let him work alongside them.

When the "hooker guy" (as Isaac called the wrecker) let Isaac crank the car up onto the tow truck and it was almost too much for his little heart to hold.

Does life get much better than that for this for a 3 yr old boy?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Orphan Free Uganda- Answered Prayer!

Oh friends, isn't it amazing that God wants us to talk to Him? It still blows me away.

On top of that, He listens. The God of the universe listens when we call out to Him. Not only does he listen; He answers.

I almost glossed straight over this email the other day. Much to my wonderous surprise, look at what I received from a precious pastor in UGANDA (one that we are not connected to, by the way).

"Thank you for keeping your knuckles on Heaven's door for our Orphans and inviting other people to do the same.

Of late I have witnessed a tremendous flow(flood) of devine interventions into Jesus' Church that I pastor and the Non Government Organisation (Kassanda Cornerstone Foundation)that I work with.

It would be unfair not to share with you the glad tidings fervent prayer has drawn to my work.

Be blessed as you keep that up."

This kind and precious man wanted to remind all of us that God listens to His daughters. Be encouraged with me.

I love the way the New Living Translation says Hosea 14: "I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for ."

Have a wonderful Easter celebrating our God is alive!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Maiden Voyage

For work, Joe wears many hats. My dad calls him "jack of all trades." It is true that if he doesn't know it, then he wants to. His middle name, Daniel, is so fitting- "well versed in every branch of learning." (Daniel 1:4)

Part of his responsibility is to oversee my uncle's thoroughbred operation. When Normangee went under contract then my uncle always knew that he would like to have horse property in the hill country. He bought 94 acres southwest of Austin (near the Austin zoo) and we are buying a few acres in the corner to build a home.

Until then, we are living in the trailer. God bless our new home. I'm doing my best to focus on all the things I love about our new abode. Poor thing, it tries really hard. I am so thankful that Joe approved a new paint job because the wallpaper could have made my great grandmother cry it was so awful. It feels homey. It has enough room for Joe to have a home office and the kitchen has room for more than one person. Everyone is close enough that its easy to keep tabs on toddlers and a quick pick up before we leave the house takes less than 15 minutes. We are in business!

The land is beautiful but inexplicably raw. The previous owners inherited it from their father. The only saying proves true here, "When its every body's, its no body's." There has been very little maintenance or upkeep done on the land in some time. Everyone who comes out to the property looks like a deer in the headlights and usually mutters at some point, "wow, there is a lot of work to do." Its true. I have a three year mind set for this place.

My husband, visionary developer extraordinaire, can see the diamond in the rough.

Some days I can too. There have been a couple of days I am drowning in cedar remnants, bull dozers, dilapidated house debris, and cow manure (there used to be cattle on the land).

On the property there is a small portion of Barton Creek and Joe has been itchin' to test his kayak on the waters.

The other day the boys ventured out for their maiden voyage.

It looked so much fun that I climbed in afterward.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hello Pedernales, its so nice to meet you

The other night we packed a picnic and headed to the Pedernales River for a little family night. With a name like that, doesn't that make you think slimely, mossy and kind of back woodsy.


The Pedernales has sloping banks of sand, plunging bluffs with breathtaking stone, and you can see your toes wiggle in the water. Jack pot, right!?! Did I also mention that there were hiking trials and wild animal watching points. We were not fully prepared in a boy scout kind of way for the gold mine that we had stumbled upon. We made the most of our ill preparedness.

After eating our picnic dinner of chicken and apple sausages, a delicious avocado, multi grain chips (Terry family fave), and hot sauce, we mounted up both children and braced ourselves for the short hike down to the riverfront.

We were elated by each new view.

Rock throwing lead to...

Clothes tossing...

To water splashing...

To shell searching...

And it all came together for one refreshing family time together.

Then as we were leaving, I was thinking of all of you that I wanted to bring with us next time. When we go together we will bring bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, and lots of food so we can stay as long as we want. Lets plan a date, okay?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fridge Kind of Tacky Makes Me Happy

The last couple of weeks the rubber has met the road. The moving craziness has been reduced to a couple of trailer tasks and we are mostly settled. Just two minor or not so minor details.

We are missing a part for our double wide stove. For the last month it has been strictly stove top cooking. To my relief we picked up our microwave and grill this last week so I don't have to be quite so creative in the cooking department.

Other not so minor detail is our water. We had someone come test our water and when they did, the man said that it was crazy bad and he wouldn't let his dog drink it. No wonder my hair feels fried, it leaves weird spots on my dishes, and no matter how many times we ran the water the water through our Brita filter it still tasted like we were drinking out of a sewer.

One thing at a time around here.

On the other hand, there's nothing like coming home to a nicely decorated refrigerator, right? When we moved into the trailer, I am sure Joe was hoping that the fridge adornment would be left in storage. Alas, I strategically put it in one of the few boxes that were labeled "Terry Trailer."

And for good reason.

There is nothing like warm memories of those you love, missionaries, compassion children, toddler art, and "Wise Words for Moms" to christen a new season.

There are two cuties that we live closer to now too. Joe's brother and his family live in Pfluegerville and we couldn't be more thrilled to be closer to them and seeing them more often. She gave me their school pics at lunch last week and they are making our fridge look extra cute.

There is something about a colorful fridge to make a mama's heart thankful.

I'm sorry about my small pics. One way or another we are going to get the SLR back in working order. Until then, you just get tiny, barely visible tastes of what I'm talking about. Thanks for hanging in there with me ;)

Monday, April 4, 2011

We are family!

One of my favorite things about our move is that we are closer to family. There is a whole bunch of my favorite family members all within 25 minutes from us. It has only been three weeks but I have already seen glimpses of the fun we will get to enjoy together.

This morning we went and picked up my cousin's precious son for a little date together. We went to the Children's Museum and then went for a walk around downtown. You would think with all the quirky people downtown that there would be plenty to gawk at. No matter how excentric the person we passed or walked behind or saw across the way, no one flinched, took a second look or even batted an eye. Yet, when we walked by with three in tow it was as if no one had seen children in downtown in a long, long time. Or at least that many all in one stroller. It felt like we were in some really weird sci fi film where noone was allowed to procreate any more and so there was no babies on the planet, then all of sudden there is one that is discovered by some miracle. Yeah, that was us today.

The other night we went to my cousin's soccer game and her brother was in the stands. I was trying my best for our family not to cramp his freshman style. You know that that can be easily cramped. Do you remember those days?

Isaac knows no such boundary. As he scaled all the high school kids screaming his cousin's name and barreled onto his lap I was thinking, "Oh no, Isaac does not know what kind of ridicule he may receive. He may get picked on or made fun of." I did not want that. Then, all the high school girls let out a big simulataneous "aww" and kept staring incessantly.

My uncle leans down to me and whispers, "I think Isaac may become his new wing man."

One of the greatest blessings of all is that my grandparents and my uncle live about two miles down the road!! They are so loving and have made us feel right at home in southwest austin.

Here's Isaac and grandpa feeding the deer some corn right outside their back door. Within about 15 minutes, we saw 6 beautiful deer grazing on the goods.

My grandma is the kind of cook that makes you tear up while you're eating because its so melt in your mouth delicious. I did take this picture and send it my dad asking him if he was jealous. teheehee. He's a sucker for grandma's cooking too. Also, my grandma reads my blog so a big shout out to the best grandma EVER! I love you so much...

During our move I found this picture of my other aunt and me when I was little. She is so special to our family and love her dearly.

One night my grandparents even watch the kids so we could go to this quaint restaurant called "Thyme & Dough" where everything is hand made right in this restored historical home, they use all local organic produce, and every dish is made with love and care.

So thankful we are closer to these sweet family members that we love and thank God for each one of them!