Friday, April 27, 2007

Too busy not to ask people to pray

Brad and I were talking yesterday about sending out a prayer letter, but with all that's been on our plates we said we're too busy, and that we'd get one out next week. Then we started the day discouraged by the news that Abby had lost her spot at the bi-lingual school, we are in the midst of moving even though we haven't received an acceptance letter from the University of Vienna yet, making it impossibe for us to get our visas and we have $500 remaining in our monthly support needs. So we called on our prayer team to pray for us. We were overwhelmed by the number of you who took the time today to pray for our requests. We received many e-mails of encouragement...two in particular I want to share with you.

The first one was from the church we asked you to pray for...who was considering partnering with us...we heard back from them today that they have decided to partner with us! Praise God! This put us at 99%. The second e-mail came thirteen minutes later from a young woman who was the first person to support us with a one time gift. We hadn't heard much from her until today. After reading our requests, she and her husband felt led to support us for the EXACT AMOUNT we needed to reach 100% of monthly needs!

So while we continue to wait on the Lord for our visas and schooling for Abby, we have reason to rejoice and hope in a God who cares deeply for us. THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

p.s. If you don't get our email prayer updates, contact us at and we'll add you to the list.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Ahhh, the joys of moving! The fun of going through things you didn't even know you had! This post is a desperate plea to get rid of these mantles that were once owned by Brad's grandmother. He "ripped" them out of her old house with his BARE hands when she had to re-locate...and since then, they have been a source of contention with us! You see, we HAVE NO ROOM for them and no one else in the family WANTS THEM! I'm sure they remind him of his sweet childhood in that house...but I think it is time to part with them. PLEASE! SOMEONE! ANYONE! HELP me get them to a good home!
The mantles found good homes! Brad can rest easy now and KISS THEM GOODBYE! Thank you!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Extended family...

Rowan Smith had her 1st birthday party today. It was a celebration of her first year of life...and it also was a celebration of friends and family sharing memories just like old times. This group of friends truly is an extension of what we consider family. We love you and thank our gracious God for you! (There were too many great pictures to choose from, so you'll have to click below to see more)
Rowan's 1st Birthday Party

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Muffins worth making

It is a little after 8 pm. The house is quiet with all of the children in bed and there is a scent of cinnamon and nutmeg in the air! I should be packing, but I am making Paula Dean's Apple Raisin Muffins instead. These are definitely muffins worth making! I joked with my mom that these will probably be the last things I bake in this oven, with next week being so crazy. Sad to think about! I think I'm gonna turn in myself...but before I do, I'm gonna have another muffin and drown my sorrows in a big glass of milk!:)
I'll close with a picture taken this afternoon. Abby, Elisabeth (my 11 year old niece) and I had a girls' day out. We went to see the off-Broadway production of "The Lion King". This was my second time seeing it and I had forgotten how great it is! If you get a chance, go! We made a pact that our new tradition when we come home from Austria (on vacation or home ministry assignment) would be to see more plays together...just us GIRLS!

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Friend loves at all times...

God has known just what I have needed today. In the midst of trying to organize, pack and purge...I received a phone call from our missionary friends, the Dossetts. Mark and Karen ( and their 4 boys) have faithfully served in Vienna for over 13 years with International Teams, working with Iranian and Afghan refugees. They were the couple who actually introduced Brad and me, and we have been really encouraged by their family and ministry over the years. It was great to share our struggles, fears and even pray together. God knew I needed someone who knew exactly what I am going through to love on me today!

Then I got a call from another friend, as I was getting ready to go into Bed, Bath and Beyond to get some "Space Bags" for all of our winter clothes. She said, "call me when you get home so I can run a little something by"...that little something was a dozen of the BEST chocolate covered strawberries ever! (check out Croissan'Time if you would like to indulge a little) Thanks Tanners!

We have been well loved by so many of our friends! Some have watched our children, some have taken our "stuff" off of our hands, some have offered to type out my recipes, some have helped us pack, and many of you have prayed! A big heart-felt THANK YOU to all of you who have sacrificed to make this move a little easier on us! We truly are grateful!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Coral Ridge Mission Conference

All of this week, we have had the opportunity to attend the Coral Ridge Mission Conference. Brad and I have been sharing our story of how God has called us to Vienna with anyone who will listen! We have attended worship services, Sunday school classes, luncheons, dinners and classrooms...we have talked with young and old and are excited by the questions that have been asked and the prayers and support that have been given on our behalf.

We also have had the privilege of meeting seasoned missionaries from around the world that Coral Ridge supports and we even have had the chance to talk with some of them about how to make this new transition easier for our family. Yesterday at a luncheon for the Women in the Church, Carol Arnold (Co-founder of Equipping Pastors Int'l) ministered to me on a heart level. She shared about how "God gives you the grace as you need it", and I have been reminded this week just how much grace has been abundantly poured out on our family and will continue to be lavishly given to we need it! Our God is so gracious in equipping the body with many gifts and talents and desires of the heart that can be used for HIS Glory! We are so thankful for Coral Ridge and all of the churches and individuals that are partnering with us on this journey to Vienna!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Taking a break for a crepe...

Moving overseas makes you finally go through the high school, college and even wedding piles that you once threw in a box...hoping they would just magically arrange themselves by the time you found them again. Well, that is my project tonight. sigh...

Only 11 more days until the movers start to pack up our container. sigh again...

Levi must have heard my sighs from the other room and came in to give me a much needed break!

Levi proceeded to say, "Mama I want a grape...wif peanut butter, jelly, syrup and whip creem"!
I then said, "Your wish is my command my dear sweet one"...well not exactly, I knew there was a huge stack of leftover crepes that Brad had made from the day before, so his request could be granted without much difficulty.

So we took our break together...he enjoyed his crepe, while I ate a bowl of delicious Apple Jacks. I know... not a very exciting blog entry...but the distraction was a sweet moment I will cherish in my heart, along with many other memories that were made in that kitchen.

Adding the final touches to his crepe...

Levi then moved on to the leftover milk from MY cereal...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Luke's class travels to Austria

Luke's second grade teacher, Miss Woodburn has been teaching different cultures from around the world this she invited us to come and share our vision for the country of Austria. As many of you know, we are moving the end of June to Vienna. Brad will be attending the University of Vienna and we will be starting an international church plant in the center of the city. (If you are new to this blog, check out our ministry website HERE).
It was fun to interact with the kids and talk to them about what life might look like for us in Austria. They even got to see some pictures of where Luke and Abby will go to school next year. We passed around Schillings and Eurocents (the old and new money of Austria) and they even got the history of how coffee ended up in Vienna. Abby got to join us, and helped pass out "Austrian Flag" cookies to Luke's classmates. We taught them the song "Vater, wir danken dir" and how to say goodbye in German. The class was excited that we were going to be sharing the love of Christ with others, but are sad to see Luke go.

Please remember to pray for Luke (& Abby & Levi) in this upcoming move. It will be a huge transition for them!
Pray that they would make friends easily, that they would like learning and using German, and that their faith would continue to grow as they see the faithfulness of a GREAT God who loves them very much!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beech Mountain Team Building

Team building in the mountains is the way to go! We finally got to meet as families just having fun together. All of the kids really hit it off and enjoyed exploring their new surroundings together. The "big" kids (aka the adults) had lots of time for talking, laughing, sharing and dreaming about the future once the little ones went to bed. We are very excited to serve with these families and look forward to what God has in store for us in Vienna!

Are these kids cute or what...can you imagine all of them speaking German with a Viennese dialect?

One of our traditions in NC is to go fishing. It was a very special fishing trip for Emily and Ewan, as they had never gone fishing before. Everyone caught a fish and we enjoyed trout for dinner...sort of... I'll spare you the photos of removing the skin and bones and then deep fat frying it! It was all about the total experience I suppose.

And if we weren't having a ton of fun already...then it snowed 6 1/2 inches! I don't know who was more excited, Brad or the kids! They went sledding at the golf course and on the closed ski slopes! It definitely was a suprise highlight of the trip!

I'll close with one of my favorite shots of Levi...expressing pure joy as he played with his new friends!

If you would like to get the McMullen's take on the week, click HERE.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

North we come

After a busy weekend with Tomas and Lana's wedding, spring break is finally here and we are off to one of our MOST favorite places in the world...the mountains of North Carolina. Beech Mountain to be exact. Brad has been going up to this place since he was 7. Lots of memories...lots of fun...lots of playing...lots of laughing...lots of eating (oh yeah...lots of driving too...about 16 hours) But we have our snacks, our iPod, the DVD player and the Gameboys for the kids! Can you guess the favorite snacks of our family members? (The sixth person is my mom)
A. Peanut M&M's?
B. apples with peanut butter?
C. Slim Jims?
D. BBQ Lays Potato Chips?
E. white cheddar popcorn?
F. Mounds bars?
(see below for the anwers)

We are meeting Jeff, Jodie, Ewan and Liesl McMullen and Dominic, Kathryn, Emily and Andrew Christisen (another family who is also considering Vienna and will be going to assessment and orientation in June.):)
All of us are very excited to spend some quality time together! We'll be sure to post lots of pictures when we return home!

Have a blessed Easter! And click
New Album 3/31/07 11:39 PM
if you want to see some great shots from the wedding

the answers for snack quiz:
A. Me Moo B .Brad C .Abby D. Luke E. Levi F. Stacey