Our Life

Sunday, July 15, 2007

College Hiking Trip

On Saturday, we took a group of 34 international students hiking for the day. We went to Tunica Hills, which is right on the border of LA and MS and is only about 2 hours from New Orleans. Louisiana is pretty flat so I wasn't so sure how great the hiking would be, but the area was absolutely beautiful and had great hiking. We hiked for about 3 hours and of course it rained almost the whole time! We didn't mind the rain, though, because it was better than being blazing hot like usual!

All the students enjoyed themselves and did really well on the hike. I was nervous about twisted ankles and snake bites, but God kept us all safe so we were able to enjoy the day! :) It was a great opportunity to have good conversation with these students, many of whom we had never met. Please continue to pray that God would use Chad and I to share His Word and that His Name would be glorified!

Friday, July 13, 2007

4th Anniversary!!

Yesterday Chad and I celebrated our 4th anniversary! I can't believe we have been married 4 years . . . they have been kind of crazy (Doulos, Katrina), but we've been so blessed and have had a great time together!

We don't ever get each other prizes for our anniversary because we usually like to go out to eat somewhere new instead, but Chad sort of broke the rule (I didn't mind) and got me beautiful roses for the office and for home! What a sweetheart!

We got all dressed up and went to a little Italian restaurant in the Quarter called Irene's. Thanks to our great friends Owen, Amanda and Austyn Nease, we had a gift card so we could splerge a little! The restaurant is really beautiful with a real cozy feel and isn't very touristy.

We had Oysters Irene for an appetizer . . . they kind of looked like loaded potato skins except it was an oyster on the half shell . . . very delicious! Chad ordered the duck and I got cannolloni. Both were really good, but I think Chad made the best choice! We were debating whether to get a dessert until our waitress Nora said they had creole cheesecake . . . You see Chad and I have decided to find the best cheesecake in New Orleans so we had to get a piece . . . right?! I wanted to ask Nora to take our picture and I joked with Chad that maybe if I told her it was our anniversary that she would give us our cheesecake for free. Sure enough, she brought us the BEST cheesecake we've had so far . . . compliments of Irene!!

We had a fabulous dinner and loved Irene's. It was also a great time to relfect on the last 4 years. A couple sitting close to us came up to the table as they were leaving . . . they said they were betting that we were on our honeymoon! I was proud to tell her that we were celebrating 4 years! What a compliment!

After dinner, we went home to finish watching season 1 of The Office, which was our joint anniversary prize, even though we don't get prizes!! All in all it was a wonderful anniversary!

Hopefully we will have some pictures of our Orlando trip soon. I let my mom do all the picture taking so I have to get them from her. Also to come, pictures from our hiking trip tomorrow . . . we are taking 43 . . . yes 43 . . . international students hiking for the day!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Day at the Beach!

Last Saturday we took a group of 27 people to Gulf Shores for a day at the beach. It was so fun and absolutely beautiful! The 20 students were all international students so it was great getting to know them and see them interact with each other. There were 8 different countries represented! We even had one guy from Romainia come that was afraid of water . . . I guess he just needed to get out of New Orleans! I have lots of pictures so hopefully they communicate how much fun we had better than I could tell you.

We set up a tent for those that wanted to hang in the shade.

The Gilberts!

Me and Laura (from Columbia)

I love this picture . . . when would you ever see 2 guys from China, 1 from Trinidad and 1 from Austria talking and sitting in a circle on the beach!

3 of the girls getting to know each other.

Nadia and Christian from Ecuador.

Lei was getting bored so the guys buried him in the sand.

Here are all the guys that came with us.

And all the ladies that came along.

What a great group!

The trip was so encouraging for Chad and I! We love hanging out with these students and getting to know more about their countries and cultures. They are so brave to come to the US, not to mention to go to the beach with a bunch of strangers. Speaking of the beach . . . Chad and I are headed to Orlando tomorrow to vacation with my family!! We're so excited and some rest is much needed!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dads and another cute baby!

Two weekends ago, Chad and I made a spontaneous trip to north Mississippi. My dad was going to be there visiting his family, it was my dad's birthday, we hadn't seen the family since October and we had a 7 week old cousin that we had never met. It was great to be able to get away and to see all the family for the weekend. Kate, our cousin, was the best baby and is such a cute little girl.

Dad is going to be a great grandpa someday!

So I mentioned that it was my dad's birthday. He has the biggest sweet tooth this side of the Mississippi and a mom that spoils him, which means that he had two banana puddings and a german chocolate cake waiting for him when he arrived. For some reason I didn't think about us having candles and singing, so when I got hungry in the afternoon, I just took a good number of bites of the amazing german chocolate cake. Well, you can see in the picture that I slightly messed up the take-a-picture-with-your-cake-and-candles thing. Oh well, the cake was really just that good!!

For Father's Day, we decided to meet Chad's family in Baton Rouge to do some grilling. I didn't really understand why Mr. Boone was cooking for us on Father's Day, but Chad said he loves cooking/grilling so much that we should just let him. I really think Chad just loves eating what his dad cooks!! The girls played cards while the boys threw the football and Mr. Boone slaved away over the grill. We had a feast of steaks, baked potatoes, corn, salad, rolls and brownies. What a great day! Chad and I are both blessed with incredible dads!

Noah Langford

How cute is this little guy?!

Our friends, Justin and Melinda, are now parents, which is so crazy! Noah was born on May 30th at 6 lbs. 5 ozs. He is so cute and such a good baby. We have gotten to visit a lot since they live on campus, just down the street from us. Justin and Chad have been friends since 8th grade . . . they've been together through high school, college, and now seminary!

Doesn't Chad look like a natural?!

Speaking of Chad . . . I have to brag on my wonderful husband. I've been a bit stressed out at work the past two weeks so Chad has had to be very patient with me. One day he came in my office and put a paper sack on my desk. I love prizes so I was really excited. To my surprise, I pulled out a bottle of the moisturizer that I use each morning. I was almost out of it, but I didn't plan on buying another bottle for myself even though I love this lotion. So Chad noticed that it was almost gone and ordered me another bottle. How sweet and thoughtful is that?! I'm blessed!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Party Time!

Going Away Party for the Neases :(

Last Friday night we had lots of friends over to the apartment for a going away party for our great friends Owen, Amanda, and Austyn Nease. They are moving to Oklahoma for a great ministry opportunity and we are really excited for them, but as Amanda would say, "This time is bittersweet, but I'm still at the bitter." They are such a great couple and its been so fun watching Austyn grow up so we are really missing them already.

The party was really fun . . . I think in total we had 27 people and 6 babies/kids at the house, which I might add is not that big. It was tight quarters for a while, but I don't think anyone minded! Evidently though, our party wasn't wild enough to keep our friend Jason from snoozing on the couch!! He had a long day of work so we didn't hold it against him, we just took pictures instead!

Chad and I did realize, however, that this party signaled the transition from having mostly friends that are married to now having several friends with kids and more on the way. It was a new dynamic for us . . . not that we don't love the kiddos, but it was just that we realized that the season of our life and those around us is changing.

Austyn has Chad wrapped around her finger!

Graduation Party for Blake

On Saturday we drove over to Lafayette to celebrate Blake's high school graduation. It was a really great day. Mrs. Tina had lots of good food, not to mention that Mr. Boone made the best crawfish etouffee I've ever had for lunch! We had the party for Blake in the afternoon and then went to his graduation at 7 pm. Blake's class has 450 students so Chad and I ended up leaving after the G's so we could head back to NOLA. Way to go, Blake!!

Blake and his best friend/brother Andrew

Chad and I with Blake

The Siblings . . . aren't they cute!

Monday, May 21, 2007

3 Month Summary

So I'm going to go ahead and start off by apologizing to everyone who we told to be checking our blog because I haven't updated in 3 long months. My bad. I could say that life has been crazy, which it has, but I even have to admit that it hasn't been SO crazy to the point that I couldn't take some time to post.

So here I go with lots of pictures and stories to quickly recap the highlights of the last 3 months!

We started off March by celebrating Laura's birthday. We decided to have a party at the house and I volunteered to make a cake, but wanted to find out from Ivan about Laura's favorite cake. The only help I got from Ivan was that she wanted a cake with nuts. Nuts. That's it. So I went for the carrot cake with cream cheese icing and chopped pecans sprinkled on top. I didn't think about the fact that they had never heard of carrot cake and that it didn't sound too appetizing, but they loved it, especially Laura! Ivan got Laura a dog for her birthday prize and she was so excited. Marcello is the name they chose for him. Laura is at home in their FEMA trailer all day so Marcello is a great companion for her.

Later in March, my parents came to visit for5 days. We had so much fun with them relaxing, eating lots of seafood, shopping, and playing games. Ivan and Laura went to eat with us one night for seafood and then beignets. My mom was asking lots of questions about Colombian food so Laura decided to make a traditional Colombian meal for us one night. That was some good eatin!! Everything she made you put in one bowl so it was almost like a stew that we would make. We had rice, beans, corn, pork, avacado and plaintains! I had told my mom the story about the cake with nuts so she decided to make German Chocolate cake for dessert. Ivan and Laura were in heaven!! I was so glad my parents were able to spend time with Ivan and Laura because they have become some of our best friends.

For Easter, we headed over to Lafayette to visit Chad's family. Good Friday ended up being the perfect day for a crawfish boil . . . I think we boiled 60 pounds of crawfish, corn, potatoes, and mushrooms. It was great food and a great weekend hanging out with the Gilberts!

At the end of April we set off on a road trip to Birmingham to visit some friends that used to live in New Orleans before the storm. We went to Secret Church at the Church at Brookhills on Friday night with Jenny and Stephen, which was an incredible time of teaching from David Platt. We had such a great time with the Riddles!! Thanks friends for letting us come to visit!

At the beginning of May we celebrated Ivan's birthday. We surprised him by taking him out to eat at and Italian restaurant, which is his favorite type of food. Then we went back to their trailer for cake and prizes. Earlier in the day Laura called me frantic because Ivan had decided that his favorite cake was the one my mom had made, German chocolate, and she had no idea how to make it! I had to call my grandma, Mama Sue, to get the recipe so Ivan's birthday would be complete! Laura did a great job with the cake and Ivan was so excited. We got Ivan a desk lamp for his birthday because he will soon have his own desk in his own office. They have to be out of the FEMA trailer by August, but they found a house to rent starting in June. They are so excited to have space and a yard for Marcello. Laura got Ivan a huge poster of bats to go in his office because evidently he loves bats!

Chad finished the semester last week, but unfortunately is taking 2 weeklong workshops in May. So school really isn't over yet, but if we can make it to June we will be great. Graduation for the seminary was this past weekend, which is exciting, but also kinda sad. Great friends will be moving on soon. Chad went to graduation, but I got to babysit the most beautiful little girl, Austyn, because her daddy Owen was graduating and his wife Amanda wanted to be able to fully enjoy the time. I had a great morning with Austyn and just thought I would include some pictures because she is so cute!

So that finally brings things up to date. I'm really going to try to do better about posting from now on! We are so thankful to all our friends and family for your encouragement and prayers. God is so Good and Faithful, shoeing us many times through your support. Thanks!