Wednesday, June 29, 2011

my sister

my sister just found her husband's urn.  my parents put it away so that she could have it when she was ready. She wasn't "ready" but she came upon it while looking for something else.

Let me ask you...

Would you be able to praise Him in this storm?

Because the first words out of my sister's mouth via skype, as she was holding what used to be Ben, was...

"God is good. Thank you, God, for taking him home."

After the past couple of weeks, of John being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, which is by no means a death sentence, i have been worried. scared. angry. sad.  Even in that circumstance it is hard to praise the Lord.


I am proud of you.  The Lord is using you to transform me and so many other people around you. Probably even people that you don't know personally.  Thank you for holding on so tightly to your faith in Jesus Christ, because it sure does encourage me to hold on tighter.
You are SO right. God is good. And Ben is HOME.

I'm going to share something very personal and intimate with you all. Because I want this for each of you.  I want you to be able to praise our good God in the storms that you face.  I want it to be your first response too.  I sure do want it for myself. And, I know, my sister would want it for you, too.

The day after my sister lost her sweet husband, we were in the car, listening to worship music, and she was doing this...

Praising Jesus in the midst of the worst storm of her life.

Please lift her up today.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Busy Weekend!

Last week was a little crazy. Up and Down. Exhausting.

So, A fun weekend was in order!

Friday, i took the boys, along with some other moms and kiddos to the Splash Station. I was a little nervous that i wouldn't get a chance to relax- you know- having two little toddlers and all, but it was perfect for them, and I got plenty of time to lounge and WATCH my kids have a great time.  I told my friend, Kristy, "This is the most relaxed time I have ever had around water since having kids." The Lord knows I needed it. :)

This little buddy spent a lot of our time there in goggles. It was hysterically cute!
Of course, his face never went under water.

After lunch treat... as big as his head :)
Yummmmm... hot dogs.

On Saturday, we slept in a little and went to brunch as a family.
Hallelujah for chorizo, egg and potato breakfast tacos!

Then, we went to Elkhorn Days.

Our church is in the Elkhorn community, so we wanted to get involved with the town's annual Elkhorn Days events. We had a tent where we passed out free water bottles as people enjoyed different booths and activities after the big parade.

Picture #1- our Tent. Picture #2- our float.
I stole these pictures from Reverend Ronnie Rothe. Ha ;)

The boys had a good 'ole time riding horses, jumping in bouncy houses, sampling italian ice and eating fried food. A kids dream, I tell ya ;)

It was a fun- but exhausting- day.

I woke up Sunday morning with a sore wrist... so, naturally, i thought i slept on it wrong. By the end of the day Sunday, i could barely move it.  I've been wearing an ACE wrap, and it helps a little. But, boy, does it hurt. I'm thinking maybe I have tendonitis, and passing out water bottles, aggravated it? Who knows? I do know that it is painful wrestling boys, lifting boys, and opening juice cups. :(

Anywhoo, Sunday morning we had a great time of worship at church and we spent the rest of the day recouping from the previous week and busy weekend.  I still feel worn out, maybe emotionally, from the last couple of months, but I know that God is going to do great things. And I'm so encouraged by the many blessings he has already given me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

when it rains, it floods.

I'm gonna attempt to describe the past few days in a fairly short post.

You know how every time you turn on the news these days you see tornados, floods, wild fires, earth quakes, tsunamis??? All of these crazy natural disasters??

I feel like my life mimics those right about now. One thing after another.

The saying, "when it rains, it floods", is singing true.

Two short months ago we moved from Birmingham, away from all of my dear family, to Omaha.  Now, this isn't really a bad thing. I'm happy-  most of the time ;) - that we are here, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are supposed to be here, but, still, it has shaken my world.  It has been hard, though not as hard as i expected. I really miss my family. It's a beautiful storm, moving here, finding our place, and settling in a new world.

My brother in law passed away 2 short weeks later.  Death is hard. Especially when it is that close to you.  Especially when you see people so dear to you endure gut wrenching emotional pain.  Weeks have gone by and it isn't easier yet.  Death is never pretty, or easy, or even expected, but this one, was especially rough.  I miss Ben. I hate what my sister is going through. I hate what my parents are going through. And it's so hard to be away.  Even in the midst of this ugly storm, God is here.  His hand print is everywhere.  He is carrying us. He is showing up and doing great things.  This storm is big. It may be the most difficult storm my family ever faces, but even still, i can say, this one is a beautiful storm, too.

This past weekend, the day my mom and sister flew in to Omaha, John was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  Again, seeming like one after another, a storm hit. My ground shook.  The first 24 hours I was terrified.  I didn't know much about type 1. I didn't know what to expect.  But, now, I just hate it for John.  I hate that he has to prick his fingers multiple times a day and administer himself shots 4 times a day.  (My John, who is squeamish when it comes to needles and blood.) And the food. Counting carbs. Cutting out sugar. BOOOO!  John had to stay in the hospital Fri-day and night, Satur-day and night, and Sunday morning and early afternoon.  At least he got half of a Father's day! We are working on establishing a new normal. A normal that is always changing.  The good news, is that I know this will become a beautiful storm, too.

Our few days with my mom and sis did not go nearly as planned. But, it was perfect timing that they were here. Thank you, Lord.

My sister had a hard few days.  Please pray for her.  She and my mom are in the air right now, flying back to the 'Ham.  I miss them already.

Family is so important.

These last few days I tend to find myself waiting for the next "storm". I don't want to live like that.  God has so much for me here and now. And He is good. His plan for me is good.

Matthew 6:25-34

New Living Translation (NLT)
 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Here are a few pictures my sis took over their visit.  My little budding photographer sister. :)

Sporting our BenBen shirts. (My sweet brother-in-law)

John playing with his father's day toy. :)

So, it has been raining, and storming but at the same time, God has been raining down His love, and mercy, and grace, and He is carrying us through each of these storms... the big ones and the small ones.

OH! And I can't forget to mention the real tornado we ran from on Monday night. Oh my... I haven't been that scared in a long time.  We were out to eat with friends... eating dessert in a restaurant full of windows when the sirens went off and our waiter told us a tornado would be there in 10 minutes.  Ashley freaked out. Then I freaked out. Then we all made a run for it to get to our kids.  We made it safely.... but I'm not so sure the stress of that 20 minutes won't take a few years off of my life ;). (Either the stress or the creme brulee crepes that John watched me eat.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Mom and Sister come TODAY!

Watch out Omaha... the Teate girls are in town! :)

Takin' ya back old school....

I can't wait to spend some time with the women most precious to me.  Boy, I have missed them!

Dad- we sure will miss you!!!! We'll be celebrating you on Sunday all the way from Omaha. I love you, and you really are the greatest Dad and biggest blessing.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jazz, Golden Toes, Bedrooms, and a Hair Cut.

Best title I could come up with. Boring, I know.

Not too much to say today...

Just wanted to share a few snapshots from our weekend....

My first try at a hair cut. Not too bad.
This would also be Joe's first "buzz cut".
Poor guy has a widow's peek and a cowlick on either side.
I think he looks super cute. John does too, except for the first time he saw it.  
I called him upstairs to take a look. I had Joe on the back patio in just his underwear.
John looked and me a whispered, "Babe, he kind of looks like he belongs in a Holocaust camp..."
....shaved head, tall and thin, just undies. 
I could see why he thought that. :)

I thought I would share a picture of the boys' room. I moved Joe into Noah's room. 
This is the first time they have had a room together.
They think it's really fun!

This weekend we went to Village Point. John needed to stop in the Apple store, 
so we thought we would head over there for dinner, too.
They had a wine festival and Jazz band.
We were there before the crowd, so the boys got to play and dance around.

Last but not least...

My new nail polish! Picked up a small treat for myself while we were out.
I also got a new nose ring...or stud I should say.
Loving the sparkly gold. You can't see the sparkles so well, here though.