Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Disney Dreams

We did it! We pulled off a magical Disney dream! As you know, the Louderback gang is spending a few days with Mickey. What you did not know was that the Barwick gang was joining us. The best thing is that our kids did not know either!
Noah and Ben have been best friends since they were 4 years old and this separation has been hard for both of them. I have to tell you that their reunion was priceless! We were in the room and Ben knocked on the door. We told Noah it was someone from the hotel bringing us something and he went to answer it. He was totally shocked to see Ben when the door opened! Noah was in total shock for the next several hours. In fact, I think all the kids were.

We have had a blast so far. We played miniature golf this afternoon. The weather is perfect! This evening we all dined with Cinderella and Prince Charming. The boys spent most of the time taunting the wicked step sisters. The girls were of course mesmerized by the beauty of Cinderella. We will be spending a full day tomorrow at the Magic Kingdom. Tim says we are going to stay till the park closes at 2AM. Fun! Happy New Year!

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in Texas

We have really enjoyed the last week in TX! All of the Louderback clan and my mom have been staying at my brother's new home in Kingwood. We have had a blast! My brother is an excellent cook so on top of great fellowship, we have had tons of great food! Yummy! The cousins have had so much fun playing together. Of course, Santa brought lots of new things to amuse them with. We have enjoyed some wonderful family time together and made some precious memories. I am so grateful to have been able to have this time with them. We were also able to see some of our dearest friends The Berg family. :)

We are flying to Orlando tomorrow where we are going to enjoy a few days at Disney!! Grandma gave us passes to the park for Christmas so we are going to enjoy one last party vacation before we head to Costa Rica. The kids are beside themselves with excitement. Grandma is the coolest. :)

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

May you have
the gift of faith,
the blessing of hope, and
the peace of His love
at Christmas and always.
Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Scared and Sad

I am just going to be honest, the past 24 hours have been pretty difficult for me emotionally. We left Virginia on Thursday and were able to hang in Nashville for a couple of days celebrating with Bethany. It was her birthday Friday. We had an awesome day. There are 9 children between us so actually getting to spend one on one time together is a rare treat. However, Tim was wonderful and entertained the troupes for us so we were able to have most of the day just hanging out together. We had so much fun! In fact, it was a perfect day. We ended the day at The Cocoa Tree where I had THE BEST chocolate brownie cookie that was ever made. AMAZING! If you are ever near Nashville, you must make it a priority to get one. Anyway, I digress.....We left Nashville this morning and it was a hard goodbye. To be honest, I was not expecting it to be. Bethany and I have not lived in the same state for years and our friendship is well acquainted with long distances. I did not really think this goodbye would be much different from the hundreds of others I have had with her. I was wrong. It was awful! We were both a wreck and honestly I have not been much better the entire day.
I am scared. I know that God has got this whole thing under control and I trust Him, I really do. But I am still scared. In 2 weeks my family and I are going to be in a place where they do not speak English and the world as we know it does not exist. It is all a bit overwhelming. I am certain that everything I am feeling is normal and part of the process and I am trusting God to give us all the grace to handle it. It just feels pretty yucky right now.
Just so that I can close on a lighter note, here is a picture of Bethany and her birthday present to herself. A nose ring :) I told you we had a fun day!! :)

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Open House for Kids

Today we had an open house at the kids school. They have had such a wonderful experience here. The teachers have been so attentive and helped them transition so well. They are very excited about how God is going to use them in Costa Rica and Panama. They have made some special friendships and have really had a great experience. Here are some pictures of some of the projects they have done.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Brain Overload

Wow, I just looked at the calendar and saw that Christmas is 2 weeks from today! I am telling you that I have lost all track of days, time, weeks, months while we have been here. I just look at the schedule they gave us and show up in the class I am supposed to show up in. We have no tv and basically no connection with the outside world so it was a bit of a shock to check out the calender this evening. Good thing I did all of my shopping early!
We have had yet another fast paced week. To be honest I do not think that my brain can hold one more piece of information at this point. Information overload!!! Thankfully, we have a half day tomorrow. We get out at noon so we can get some more shots. Won't the kids be so happy. :)
We will leave VA one week from today and head to Texas to celebrate Christmas. We are looking forward to a little time of rest and spending time with my family. We have our plane tickets and are set to fly to Costa Rica on January 2nd. We are getting excited!!
Well, I am going to dash back to my sleeping quarters in the pouring rain and try to get some rest.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

Our family received the neatest gift this week. One of our prayer partner churches sent us a 12 days of Christmas care package. I have never seen anything like it but we have had so much fun! Each day for 12 days, we open a new present. Inside we find a "themed" gift that coincides with the song. For example, today was day 4 and we opened the gift to find not 4 "calling birds" but a "calling card" to use while we are traveling around. On day three we found not 3 "french hens" but gift certificates for "french fries" and some "french cocoa"....anyway you get the idea. I am telling you, it is the cutest thing ever and the kids are loving it! They can hardly wait for each new day to open their gift!
A huge thanks to this sweet church family!!! Your thoughtfulness and support have truly blessed us! It is so amazing to me that these sweet folks have never even met our family but have been such a support to us. Isn't God good!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Missions Week Thank You!!!

During this time of year many Southern Baptist Churches focus on international missions. It is the time of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering which funds the work of Southern Baptist missionaries. I want to personally thank you for giving. We have been so impressed with the many ways that your money is being used. I can tell you without reservation that your money is well spent! The training we are receiving here is amazing. They really have thought of everything and we feel so well prepared for what lies ahead. What a privilege to be able to come here and focus on learning how to go and tell! We have also had the opportunity to hear many stories about exciting things that God is doing around the world! Your missionaries are making a real difference in the kingdom of God and your PRAYERS and GIVING are a HUGE part of that!
I have also been reminded this week of how many years I sat in church this time of year hearing all the talk of missions and feeling so guilty because I knew that God had spoken to my heart and I was not being obedient. There is no peace like that of being in the center of God's will. I have to remind myself of that when it does not feel very peaceful in my heart.
I want to say a special thank you to our home church in Thomasville. Thank you for loving us and supporting us. We are proud to go as a part of your body. We miss you and can not wait until we get set up so that you can come and serve alongside us with mission teams. We want you to know that we could not do this without your support. This is a group effort and we are glad to be part of your team!

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