Thursday, March 29, 2012

Small Style :: Time to Twirl!

The other night, I came home from work and asked Emilia if she wanted to play outside with me for a while.  (I cannot get enough of this awesome extended Spring we are having!)  She quickly jumped up, excited about the idea, but said she needed to change her clothes first- oh the drama. Already.  She went through 3, count them Three, shirts before settling on her "Rosetta Dress"  (There are many items in our house that are dubbed "Rosetta" something-or-other.  Rosetta is her favorite of Tinkerbell's fairy friends because she is the one who wears pink.  So most pink things are "Rosetta" this or that.)
Do you want to know why the first few shirts didn't make the cut?  They did not Twirl enough.  From the mouths of babes.  She knew exactly what she wanted and did not stop until she found it.  I love this whimsy part of her little personality.  She loves clothes that are "pretty", colorful, fun, and of course, twirly.  Paired with her favorite shoes (so glad I got them for roughly $4- they have been loved almost to pieces!), pink leggings and a pink paisley bow, we were ready to go!

Our little walk around the neighborhood was very enjoyable.  There were many stops along the way-

To look at the flowers that were similar to those Aunt Clare had picked for her last weekend:

 Not exactly roses, but we stopped to smell them all the same:
To take "Stair Breaks":
I love the way she sweetly crosses her legs anytime she is seated.  She has done this since she was itsy bitsy.  Such a little lady. ;-)

And "Grass Breaks":
And, of course, to play with rocks!:

*If this love of rock collecting continues, I am making her a shirt like Ross' sticker on the show FRIENDS-- "Geology Rocks"*  ;-)

We also raced along the sidewalks and ran away from bees.  I am so glad we took this little adventure- it was such an enjoyable way to come home from work.  (O:  (I apologize for the iPhone photos...I promise to dust off the "real" camera very soon!)

As Seen On Emilia:
Pink and Green Paisley Hairbow - handmade by me
Light Pink "Rosetta Dress" - Old Navy
Hot Pink Leggings - Gap, yard sale
Pink Floral "Rosetta Shoes" - Target clearance

Linking up to Small Style!  (Seriously, go check out the cutie kids over there and consider linking up yourself!)  (O:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rely {Fully} on God

The last few weeks have been a little rough in the Warren household.  I really feel like Satan has been attacking me with a few things and I haven't been doing very well with it.  It wasn't until one day last week while praying on my way to work that God told me exactly what to do.  {TRUST ME}.

As you may know, our main focus at present is raising support before leaving for Saipan in July.  This involves seeking out Support Team Partners who will commit to donating as little as $10/month for the 2 years we will be gone.  This money is what makes our mission work on Saipan possible.  In addition to that, we also have one lump sum amount to raise to pay for travel to Saipan, shipping of goods, etc.  A lot of numbers that are always on my mind.  In the course of only a couple days the week before last (it may have been last week actually...?), we had a couple sets of bad news in this area.  They really rocked my heart and I was honestly struggling with each sad response.

I do not want to go into great detail about this, because in the grand scheme of things it isn't overly important.  But, I will say that we have been heart broken to realize some relationships aren't as strong as we believed them to be.  Relationships that span over one or more decades.  It hurts.  It hurts hearing "no" from people of power within churches and not even being offered prayer or encouragement in its place.  It hurts to find out a church's promised commitment has to be revoked due to grumblings of a few.  It hurts being told "we can't help" from people we have known for years and considered close friends.  While maybe I shouldn't take it to this extreme, it feels like we are being told that we are not worth a sacrifice on their part- like the work God is calling us to do on Saipan isn't worth their $0.34 a day.

Yes, I do understand that there truly are circumstances out there in which some of our loved ones will not be able to support us financially.  The economy is rough and people have other obligations.  I am not saying any of this as a judgement against anyone.  The point I am trying to make is that even when a person (or group) says they cannot support us monetarily, it has rarely been followed up with an offering of prayer and encouragement.  We are in desperate need of the prayers and encouragement of those around us.  Prayer will be the fuel for everything we do Here and on Saipan.  I understand if one cannot afford to sponsor us, but please keep us close in your prayers and share words of encouragement.

As I said, Satan has really been pushing these sad thoughts on my mind recently and it has worn me down.  I started feeling defeated.  I started talking to God about each specific situation and how it felt.  Once I poured out my heart, I felt a sense of calm.  That is when I heard Him- not audibly, but definitely from Him- saying {TRUST ME}.  It was time to stop relying on my own efforts or the efforts of my husband, our missions director or other people.  It is time to rely FULLY on God and to know that His timing is excellent and perfect.  Yes, I am scared at the loss of shares we encountered last week and find myself wishing to reach our goal {soon}.  But, these are not things within my control.  God has the plan.  I just need to keep working towards the goal and HE will make sure we get there.

I want to add- This journey has had way more joys than sorrows, for sure.  God has used a number of people to bless us beyond our expectations.  More than once, a Share Card has come in or a conversation has been had and we are blown away by the generousity of our friends and family.  God's blessings are not coming from the places we had deemed most likely or the places/people we were "counting on".  His blessings are being poured out by His servants- those willing to sacrifice for the mission on Saipan. 

These people do not even know how much they have touched our lives, and they may never fully know.  But it was the reminder I needed to refocus my energy and emotions.  I only need to rely {fully} on God and His timing.  July is coming and through God's provisions, we WILL be ready.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Un-Planned Events

Sorry I have been MIA for a while on here...things are picking up with traveling to churches to raise support for our mission on Saipan and usually my brain is too fried to do anything else productive.  I hope to gather my thoughts into a somewhat coherent manner very soon to catch you up on the highs (and lows) of the past few weeks.  But for today, I'm keeping it light.  So I cannot mess it up too badly.

Emilia's birthday party is only two short weeks away- what??!  How can my little girl already be 3?  It just does not seem possible.  This itsy bitsy baby is no more.

She is growing up so fast and I have new things I love about her every day.  She is smart, funny, loving and kind.  She is always up for a good time and loves making new friends.

We have not done a large birthday party ever year, and did not intend to do so.  But, with our move coming up in July, we thought a party would be a great way to get all our friends and family together.  We are going to *try* and keep it simple, but that goes directly against everything I believe about parties and planning (haha).  Emilia has requested a Tinkerbell party, but wants to dress as Tink's friend Rosetta so she can wear pink- as is true "Emilia Fashion", if it's not pink, it doesn't exsist.  It wasn't until last week that I realized I am WAaay behind on planning and prep for this party...I am so ashamed!  Usually by this point I would have everything purchased, organized and ready (except for the fresh produce, etc.).  I started to beat myself up about it, but then had to remind myself that we have a LOT going on right now.  I still have time, I just need to get moving!  I hope to do a party post after the event, with the highlights, my favorite *Pinned ideas, and all our fabulous party-going friends and family.  (O:

Next, for the rant portion of this post...haha.  As the title of this post states, this is about The Un-Planned EventS, plural.  So I couldn't just stop with one.  This is going to be a completely random and unnecessary rant about a gathering we are attending tonight.  It serves no purpose other than allowing me to get it off my chest.  And while I may seem sincerely upset about it (which I AM!), I am also mostly talking in jest. 

So, we are currently part of a small group Bible Study at our church and it meets on Tuesday nights.  Last Tuesday we missed because I was sick, so we didn't find out until the prayer list was emailed out that this week's meeting was going to skip the lesson and have a Bonfire/Potluck party.  Sounds fun, right?  Yes, it will be.  That's not the part I'm twitching over.  The email went on to explain that each couple/family was to bring either a main dish, side dish or dessert.  BUT, it said we aren't going to "sign up" or communicate who is brining "if everyone brings corn, we will eat a lot of corn", to quote the email...ahhh!!  What??  No list or even a heads up about what we think we might bring?? 

I have been in a state of panic and probably have an ulcer now because of the stress.  If you know me in real life, you are probably laughing hysterically at my perdicament (as is my husband, every time I try to talk about it..)  I like order, I like lists and I like plans.  I like to have a good time, and I promise I am not a stick in the mud.  But the secretary in me is screaming!  I have litereally gone through a dozen different ideas of what to bring- trying to find the perfect way to optimize a snack with some nutritional value that will also keep hunger at bay...does such a snack exist?

I forgot to stop at the store last night after Zumba.  So I am now forced to scramble on my luch hour to the grocery store in hopes of finding the perfect dish to bring.  I may end up forgoing nutritional value and sustainability and go with Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip or a premade/precut cheesecake.  This is what happens when a male plans the party- I lose my mind and give up.  He brought this upon himself and will now suffer my wrath this evening over such poor planning!  (Not a *real* wrath, I do love this guy and his family.  But I intend to tell him about the ulcer, for sure.)

So, now that you have an extra little glimpse into my crazy ways...I hope you have a splendid day!  (But, really!  Am I the only one who would be so bothered by this??  There must be someone else out there twitching with me...???)  ;-)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Small Style :: Emilia's Stylings

Our little girl gets more and more independent every day and we are so proud of her.  Her most recent venture in independence has been dressing herself, "All by Myself".  That works out fine for bedtime, because no one cares if your pj's don't match...well, personally I twitch a little when her pj's don't match, but I'm working on that.  ;-)  A few days this week, she has gotten herself dressed before coming down in the morning.  As you will see, she has a love for girlie things and bright colors.  It reminds me of how my sister used to dress when we were younger- mixing of patterns, colors, textures was all OK if she *liked* it.  ;-)  Forgive my poor photo quality, but my husband snapped these with his iPhone and had to be quick before Emilia darted off to play. (O:

Emilia's Styling #1:
Emilia is wearing a white long sleeve shirt (Target), layered under a Cardinals shirt (yard sale find), paired with overalls (Target clearance for $4.80!), black tutu (Carter's sale- reused from Halloween costume and 2nd birthday outfit), pink and white striped socks (Old Navy) and the famous Rosetta shoes (Target clearance).

Emilia's Styling #2: 
Emilia is wearing a colorful striped short sleeve shirt (Old Navy clearance), under a Gap tank top (yard sale) and paired with polka dot leggings (Gap clearance).  *I mentioned to Jason that I need to rearrange the drawers in her room because this whole outfit was from our "nice clothes" drawer that only I dress her from when I am with her...but Jason noted that most of the fun, bright colors are in that drawer!  Maybe I need to spread out the love...(O:

I hope you get a little laugh from her outrageous stylings, as we did.  But remember, she is oh-so-proud of herself for doing it all by herself.  So we tell her she did a great job and we love the colors.  I think I will continue choosing outfits and letting her decide which to wear when we actually leave our house, but for playing at home, these are perfect. (O:

I am linking up to Mama Loves Papa's Small Styles again!

Oh!  And guess what!  I actually won one of her giveaways from last week!!  Woo hoo!  I do not have the best of luck with winning things, so I am super stoked about this.  Look at the beautiful pashmina and silk scarf I won!  This will be a great addition to my growing scarf collection, yay! (O:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Manic Monday

I have a friend (who blogs here) but who also had an old blog on which she usually posted a "Manic Monday" post.  This post always seemed so fitting because no matter what the state of one's weekend was, by Monday it all seems to have been a blur.  This past weekend was no exception for me.

After working 6-4 Tuesday thru Friday last week to make up for Monday's sick day, I was totally pooped.  But, Jason asked to take Emilia and I out on a little family date and even agreed to stop at a fabric store for a few supplies I needed (wow!).  We went to the mall food court for dinner because we love Chick-fil-A.  It was a wonderful evening spent together laughing at E's newest quirks and funny statements, holding hands, chicken and fabric.

I had high hopes of sleeping in LATE on Saturday, but Emilia had other plans for me.  She was in our bed by 7...but after waking at 4a.m. each day last week, that was still technically sleeping in.  ;-)  We bounced downstairs, arms full of all the supplies we needed to start working on her "Rosetta dress"- which is actually a tutu style skirt.  I really had no idea how I was going to put this thing together, but I knew I wanted it to look similar to the skirt Rosetta wears in the Tinkerbell movies.  So far, I *love* how it is turning out!  Unfortunately, my borrowed sewing maching started acting up with only 2 layers of petals remaining to sew...bummer.  But, I at least had it somewhat constructed and one layer of petals attached so Emilia could test it out after naptime.  Success- she loves it!  She says it is a beautiful Rosetta dress, so I think that is a win.  I want to wait until it is finished (as well as a coordinating shirt) before I post photos, but be excited.  Her fairy party is going to be SO fun!! (O:

Saturday afternoon we headed for Cape Girardeau for two church visits on Sunday.  We were very fortunate to have a Warren relative (don't ask my what relation..) open her home to us so we didn't have to pay for a stay in a hotel.  She was actually out of town for the weekend, but still let us stay.  It was weird but great.  Weird to be in a home we had never been to and felt odd searching for the right rooms to sleep in as well as tracking down the linen closet (luckily, it was IN the bathroom). ;-)  But nice to have a quiet place to ourselves for the night as well as an all-family naptime between the morning and evening services on Sunday.  Not to mention the amazing Barbie dream house she had in the play area of her basement (for her grandkids).  This wasn't a cheap-o plastic house, someone constructed it out of wood, complete with working Elevator!  Emilia (and I) were in awe!

Sunday was a whirlwind of a day, but we definitely feel blessed to have had the opporunity for these visits.  The morning church, Connection Point Church in Jackson, MO, was so welcoming and friendly.  We added 17 new committed shares, 7 additional prayer partners, as well as a substantial amount in donations to the general fund (which covers our plane tickets, shipping, etc.)  We were taken to lunch at a local BBQ place (yum!) and had just enough time for a quick nap before heading to the evening church in Scott City.   1st General Baptist Church was holding their Association's local meeting that night and had a youth-oriented service after dinner.  It was so refreshing to see all the young people of these churches coming together and putting on skits and other dramas for God's glory.  I love seeing passion in our youth!  Jason was given 20 minutes to speak and he did a great job.  We had a number of people come back and take Share Cards to look and pray over at home.  We left Scott City around 8:20p.m. and after one dinner stop (me) and one potty stop (Emilia), we made it home close to 11.

I am dragging this morning, but feeling incredibly blessed.  I am often asked if I am scared about moving so far away.  But honestly, I just feel honored and very very blessed to have been called to Saipan.  God is teaching me to trust His will and follow where He leads.  I cannot imagine being scared of these wonderful things God has planned for us.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Emilia's 2nd Year

I know this is super late...since E is turning THREE next month, but better late than never!  (O:  I originally found this idea on Pinterest a long, long time ago and loved it.  You can see Emilia's One Year Old photo here.  I think it is a great way to remember the little fun things about your kid at each age.  I try to list things that were big to her right around the time she turned two.
Three should be along sometime around April 7, if I can get my act together! ;-)

Have a great day!

Friday, March 2, 2012

On the road again

After attending our home church for the past three weeks, we are headed back out on the road this weekend.  Our director at General Baptist International Missions (GBIM), Sam has the next 5 Sundays scheduled all over IL and MO, and is working on the following weeks already.  Most weeks we are presenting at one church in the AM and another in the PM.  It is excited to see things line up and come together.

This weekend we are headed down around the Cape Girardeau area, about 2-2.5 hours from home.  Luckily, we have a relative that lives in Cape and she is hosting us overnight on Saturday and between visits on Sunday.  It will great to have a familiar face while away, and I'm super excited that we will have a decent place for Emilia to (hopefully) nap after morning church on Sunday.

The church we are visiting on Sunday morning has two services, which is a new first for us.  Jason has been given only 5-6 minutes to speak at each service.  This will be somewhat of a challenge- to show the passion we have, the need of the people on Saipan and move people to support- but luckily Jason is ready for it.  The leadership training he was at recently spent a lot of time teaching how to compact stories and presentations for the most impact.  J already knows exactly what he is going to say and knows he won't go over his alloted time.  That afternoon, at 3:00, I think, we are attending the Southern Missouri Local Association Meeting.  I think 3-6 is the business part of the meeting, which we will sit in on.  Then at 6:30 a worship service begins and Jason has been given 15-20 minutes to speak.  The awesome part about this meeting is that it will have members of all the local GB churches.  So we can reach that many more people all at one place and time.  Each visit will also include a Love Offering, from which we are raising the money we need in order to travel to Saipan, ship items over, etc.  So far, everyone has been very generous in their support and I look forward to adding more members to our Support Team.

One other thing I am excited about regarding this trip is eating at LAMBERTS!!  (O:  I had never been to this restaurant before meeting Jason's family and now I'm hooked.  Anytime I think we are close enough to stop, I beg.  Haha.  Yummy home-style cooking (we don't count calories on Lamberts visits...), rolls being thrown and a drink in one of those Huge 32oz travel mugs.  Even though mine will not hold Sweet Tea as it has in the past, I love the big jugs.  Ice water 32oz at a time will be lovely...right? ;-)

The part that makes me a little tired is thinking about the drive home after our Sunday evening church visit...and waking up for work on Monday morning.  I am very blessed to have a job that allows me to work any hours I want as long as I hit 40 by the end of the week.  I usually work 7-4, which means leaving my house by 6:20 and waking up by 5:30.  Hopefully I can sleep on the drive home.

I know God's plan is perfect and that He will continue to bless these visits as He has so far.  I am slowly letting go of my worry and sinful doubt.  I like to see the big picture, and I am learning to be content with the parts God shows me as we go.  We will get to Saipan, this I know.  I trust Him and I do not need to see all the dots line up right now.  God is in control and I am just happy to be doing His will!

Have a wonderful day! (O:

Embrace The Camera: March 1, 2012

Another awesome challenge I have recently come across and I am super excited about!  Emily, of The Anderson Crew, has extended the challenge to bloggers/photographers/mommas/etc. to not only take photos but to actually Jump IN them.  Thus, Embrace the Camera!  I think the part I love about this the most is that by forcing myself to get out from behind my camera, I will ensure that Emilia has many, many photos of us to look back on.  I have very few photos with my mom and want to do what I can to make sure Emilia has plenty- she may even say Too MAny. (O:

My husband, Jason took this one for me on Sunday before church.  He just got back home from a two-week leadership seminar in Abu Dhabi two days prior and brought me this gorgeous scarf!  Maybe it is just me, but I think I look super tired here...maybe I was tired.  But, tired eyes aside, I will embrace the camera and post our shots! (O:

Head on over here to check out all the others who are embracing their cameras and join in the fun!

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Small Style: All About The Jacket

As I mentioned here the other day, Emilia and I took full advantage of the wonderful, unseasonably nice February weather we have been having in the St. Louis area.  We decided to head to the park and I had already planned her outfit, since I knew I wanted to snap some updated photos of her while she played.
Currently, this is her favorite pose! ;-)

There is a back story about this adorable little coat- basically, I am obsessed with it.  I watched and waited, watched and waited at Old Navy for it to go on clearance (the only way I like to shop!).  Even once it went on clearance, I waited a little while longer for it to drop lower...and it was a glorious day when I stopped by, checked the tag and YES!!  It's finally the price I want to pay!! ($7, if I remember correctly.)  But, the story doesn't end there.  I purchased the coat a size up so Emilia could grow into it for next fall/winter...little did I know my family would be making a huge life changing decision to move overseas to become full-time an island called Saipan.  There is no need for sweet polka dot jackets on a tropical island, nope.  That is why I knew I had to get some shots of baby girl in one of my favorite ON finds, even if it is still a little big! (O:

Emilia's favorite shoes; she calls them her "Rosetta" shoes.  For those of you who speak Tinkerbell, you know who this is. ;-)  Another awesome clearance find, only $4.54 at Target!

As seen on Emilia:

Jacket:  Old Navy~ Clearance $7
Jeans:  Old Navy straight leg~ Yard Sale $1
Shirt:  Carter's~ Clearance (You cannot actually see this shirt because E insists on buttoning every button to the very top!) ;-)
Shoes:  Target~ Clearance $4.54

I am linking this post up to Mama Loves Papa's Small Style.  Check out the other great entries and join in the fun!  Today they are celebrating the 1 Year Anniversary of Small Style- including some cute giveaways!