Monday, March 21, 2011

Super Daddy!!!

Over the holidays Andy and I discussed the potty-training dealio about Eden. When should we do it? when are we home for a few days etc etc. So the plan was over Christmas break we would train her. Then we all took turns getting colds, and the sickness so we knew we would have to postpone until Feb. February came and went and as we got into March it dawned on me we leave for furlough in a couple months and I HAVE to potty-train her BEFORE we go and she needs a couple months under her belt. OK, cancel everything this week we are doing it!!!

I pull out the calendar to see what I need to cancel, and realize Hungary has a National Holiday and Daddy will be home from work! Yay, perfect!! Daddy can play with Novie and Eden and I can get to work.
Then my husbands throws me the MOST AMAZING curve ball yet since having children. "Why don't I do it this Sunday??" "you take Novie to church, have a date day with her, and I train Eden!" I about fell over!!!!! When does any man willingly volunteer to deal with pee,poop, accidents, dirty , laundry and a stubborn 2 year old?? YAY!!!!! I was still in a state of shock which produced an open-jaw-speechless-moment. So we got planning...lots of juice, crackers, treats, undies, pants, towels, etc. the whole works. We got her excited and at 6am when she woke up Sunday morning her little adventure into Big girl undies began. The morning was going pretty rough as Novie and I left for church.

Novie and I got home from church and I could tell Daddy was using his last inkling of patience. She had had quite a few accidents and we weren't sure how this would pan out, but man, was Andy determined!! We could really use that $30+ a month we had been spending on diapers.

We had lunch together, laid the girls down for their naps and when Eden woke up she was dry! That was it, something clicked while she was napping that afternoon and the rest of the day was a breeze with NO accidents!

So what did my AMAZING husband do to make this happen?? He used the timer on his phone. Yep, that's it. He set it for every 10min, then 15min. and every time EVERY TIME it went off they went through the WHOLE potty process, sit, wipe, wash hands, flush etc. Yes it was a LLOOONNNGGGG morning for the both of them but it really worked. ALL they did that whole day was potty-train NOTHING else! and it worked.
Parents, Potty-training in a Day really works, if that is all you set-out to do that day, it will really work! Eden is "peeing on the potty" proof! She is also completely dry when she wakes up in the morning and from naps. No accidents yet and no midnight potty trips (even thought I packed up those zipper footie jammies thinking she would wake up several times the first week at midnight.) But she sleeps the whole night, no midnight trips and she wakes up dry. We knew it was a success when we drove an 1.5 hrs. into the Buda side of Budapest with no stop and she made it there and back dry! Such a big girl..I'm so thankful and grateful we are out of the diaper stage but its another reminder they are growing up too fast!
Anybody need some size 5 diapers or pull-ups???

Once again, my husband is AMAZING! :) Thank you Andy!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Sacrificed Day Off

Thank you, Nikki, Matthias, Geoff, Ashley, Miri, Filipe, Jonas, Shona, Kezia, Eszter, Dan, Dan, Andy, Novie and Eden!
Our yard looks amazing!!

March 15th in Hungary, is a National Holiday which = day off. No school and No work! Yay! But man, did we work! and work hard. The interns blessed us greatly with some major elbow grease yesterday.
They showed up around 2 and worked until dinner! They weeded, pruned, raked, replaced poles, trimmed hedges, pulled up alot of dead and overgrown plants, pulled vines, cleared out the cellar roof, driveway and garage, moved totes and bins, someone even vacuumed my house since half of the yard made it inside ;) most by me! The list was absolutely endless, and quite overwhelming.
Andy and I walked around our yard last week and were overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done in preparation for furlough. We want to have our yard perfectly pruned and manicured before we leave knowing it will be a forest when we return. We have been praying for warm spring weather and praise the Lord for "YES" answered prayers :) We leave for furlough in 11 weeks but only have 4-5 free Saturdays to get everything done. This saved us 2-3 Saturdays having our interns come and help!! I still cannot believe how many came out, and how hard they worked. At the end of the day as we were preparing our individual pizzas, I asked Dan to come in and make his pizza and he says, "can I keep working on one last thing?" YES! of course, what a blessing these interns are!! Thank you guys and girls for your hard work we are grateful for everything you have done for us!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I don't remember a time in my life when I was so desperate for spring to get here! I had a rough winter and felt it was winter in every area of my life. Andy and I had countless meetings and phone calls bringing bad and discouraging news, and often we were asked not to tell anyone and not to share, which sometimes makes the burden almost too much to bear. I struggled with being discouraged daily, struggled with some relationships, or lack of them, struggled with being home all day, going days without talking to an adult. Andy and I struggled in Jan finding time for each other. I felt I struggled this whole winter spiritually and mentally. Man, Satan was hard at work this winter, but Praise the Lord as believers we have our heavenly Father! I cried out daily, learned alot and was greatly blessed by His Word, He knew exactly what I needed, and saved me at my few meltdowns and breaking points.

Yesterday was our first day of spring! I stood outside in a gorgeous patch of sun, just stood there feeling it's warmth, listening to the birds, and praising the Lord, Spring has come! Now, here in Hungary it may go back into hiding again but right now, Spring is Here! and I'm staying hopeful and very positive that it will stay!!
I am a Florida Girl! you ALL know it, I am proud of where I came from, I LOVED that I grew up by the beach and from a State that boasts of warm gorgeous weather 10 of the 12months. I never saw snow, lived in snow, did winter things, experienced winter until I was 18 years old in college. I've now have had 4 whole winters under my belt, expert right? ;) but I still find it so difficult and tricky to comfortably survive winter... what's the trick, someone has to have some words of wisdom for this freezing uncomfortable Fl girl?! and the cabin fever! no one told me this was a real illness to deal with. I always think of this scene from Muppet Treasure Island and wonder how the song would have gone if it was winter and they were trapped inside for 3+months...

Today we were outside from 9am-5pm only coming in for lunch, a short nap time and potty breaks, we had all windows and doors open all day, had 2 cats come inside and had to then watch the door every time little ones went in and out. We spent a couple hours at the castle walking around campus, visiting with friends, kicking balls around and rolling in the grass. It was a beautiful day, I was so grateful it came on a Sat. for Daddy to enjoy it with us! So excited about spring, taking photos and being outside every day!!
Eden spent the whole time running in circles and rolling in the grass. She was being a snake, crocodile and Shark, she cracks me up!
The girls gave a few of the interns quite the workouts.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A lesson to learn from Hagar

Last night we were blessed to have Dr. Dan Anderson and his wife Rosalie over for dinner and later on that evening Ms. Rosalie was able to share with the staff wives in a short devo.
She started off by saying, I'm going to share about a lady most of us know little about, we've heard the story but do we really know the repercussions of her life, what God taught her and what she really went through. The Life of Hagar. I really wish I was able to record this Bible study I was GREATLY encouraged!! Let's see if I can do Rosalie justice on what she shared. I really want to share with you what I learned and encourage you as well!
"Who Sees Me and Why Do I Care?"
We immediately are aware of what Hagar's name means, "dragged away", "desolate one." Can you imagine being called "dragged away" your whole life? We look at Genesis 12 when Abraham and Sarah leave Canaan because of a famine in search of food and land in Egypt. we see them lie to save Abram's life and we know Sarah was beautiful and greatly desired. Pharaoh wanted her and gave Abram riches and wealth for Sarah, we also know a great plague came upon Pharaoh's house and the deception was revealed. Sarah returned to Abram taking her slave with her;Hagar (we know Hagar was Sarah's Egyptian handmaid) Gen 16:1. So Hagar's name is first mentioned, "dragged away" was just that dragged away from her home and family in Egypt to serve Sarah.
For 10 years Hagar is not mentioned she is serving Sarah, fulfilling her every last beckon call and desire. Hagar was unseen, unheard of, a slave, not noticed. Many times we are frustrated at being unseen, not thanked, never heard of. Have you ever joined your husband in ministry to a conference or on a trip and hear, "I've never seen you" ", oh, your his wife" "have we ever met before, I've known your husband for years." Unseen, unknown, possibly unheard of. We are at home keeping the house and family running. The other end sometimes we don't want to be seen, or heard of because it would mean more work, more time away from family, more obligations and responsibilities.
But Hagar was unseen until....Sarah offers her to her husband!! Sarah had been barren for 90 years!! 90 years! maybe she offered Hagar b/c she was SURE that Abraham was the "barren" one unable to provide children and it would amount to nothing proving this theory. Who knows the reason why, but Hagar goes from slave status to 2nd wife status in the matter of moments and immediately becomes pregnant. Imagine Sarah at the news of that!!! All of a sudden Hagar is noticed! really noticed. As women we can make or break a ministry by our desire to be noticed and be happy. We stir up discontentment we are ungrateful and think of ourselves first and have a "woe is me" attitude. This discontentment can alter a ministry, cause our husband to leave the ministry and cause tension among other colleagues in the ministry. Without even saying anything our facial expressions and our eyes speak volumes and speak the truth. "Your eyes are the window to your soul." "out of the heart the mouth speaks."
Immediately there is discontentment and strife between Sarah and Hagar, Hagar was valued and noticed and treated Sarah with contempt (disrespect) Sarah got pushed to the back burner for a brief moment and ran to Abraham to complain, Abraham offered no help or wisdom and Sarah sought revenge against Hagar. Gen. 16:4-6. She treated her so roughly that Hagar ran away! Often when things get rough we run away. Often we "seek revenge" as women. Maybe it's ignoring the other women, being unkind to her family, arguing, gossiping, disrespecting. We use the art of "getting even" when we are wronged. Sarah lashed out, "got even" and pushed Hagar away. Hagar ran away, the Lord found her and told her to return! How often do we turn our backs, run away and have to return to the situation and continue on when we should have stayed and finished in the first place which would have been easier! Hagar saw God, vs.13, God spoke to her, told her she would bare a son that would be the father of "more descendants than you can count" his name will be Ishmael which means, "God hears." In the matter of moments Hagar went from "dragged away" "desolate" to "God hears". God would give her a son and she would have a daily reminder through the rest of her life that God hears her. She returned knowing God would always hear her.
Ismael was born, and as he grew up Hagar was reminded daily, God hears me and that her son would give her more descendants than she could count. I can only imagine her attitude towards Sarah about this. I wondered if she flaunted this in Sarah's face. Years pass and we do not hear of Hagar for a few chapters..we do not know what is going on, on a day-to-day basis. We see God come to Abraham and Sarah promising them a son in their old age, Isaac is born and in Genesis 21 we see Hagar mentioned for the last time.
For years Hagar is unseen and unheard of again. But Hagar was raising her son and we see the repercussions of her attitude towards Sarah without it being spelled out for us. Who see us and why do we care?? our kids see us, our co-workers see us, the interns, students, neighbors, they see us, study us, watch us and learn from us. Ishmael was watching his mom, saw the contempt and mirrored her actions to a tee. We see Sarah get pregnant give birth to a son, and can only imagine how the tables turned in that household. Sarah after 90+ years gave birth to a son!! Genesis 21 begins with Isaac's birth and vs. 8 begins our last little tidbit of Hagar's story. Isaac was to be weaned so maybe about 2-3 years old, a HUGE celebration was going on for Isaac a feast was given and as Sarah looks out on her guests she notices Ishmael making fun of Isaac and gets livid! She demands Abraham to cast out "that slave and her son" he was not to benefit from Abraham's inheritance.
You know the saying, "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world". Hagar over the years must have held onto that contempt for Sarah, her son watched, learned and copied his mother's actions. He responded the way his mommy had for years and reaped the consequences of his actions harshly. Not only was he cast out but his mom as well, Sarah knew Ishmael learned this attitude from his mommy. Who sees me and Why Do I Care? Sarah saw Hagar for years, saw Ishmael in his moment of truth, and both were cast out into the wilderness. Hagar planted the seed of contempt over Ishmael's 16 years, it grew and came back to bite her. As Hagar was sent away I wonder what was going through her head, regret at her actions? relief being freed of her duties? failure on how she raise her son? we don't know...
We do know as mom's our kids are a mirror reflection of us and the repercussions of our actions now will haunt or bless us for the rest of our lives. They will rise up and bless us or have contempt towards us. Whatever we do now will reflect in our children 10 fold. Our bad attitude at our husband's boss for making him work late, our gossip about other women, complaining about being discontent, being wronged the list is endless, it will mold our children as they grow up by our words, facial expressions, actions and eyes.
We need to strive to remember we are being watched all the time and act and react right and godly the first time.
When we look back on this story we can ask ourselves many questions about our lives in ministry.
Are we surviving or thriving? Are we thankful and grateful or unthankful?
Are we fleeing or flourishing? Are we a good or bad example?
Do we see God as punishing us or blessing us?

We may not understand our situations but we also do not know the half of it, we do not know what God has in store for our future, or for our kids futures, we do not always know what we need to learn, or what we are currently being tested on, we need to focus on the now, flourish where God has placed us, and do it right the first time.

Who Sees You and Why Should You Care?


There's this fabulous song by Francesca called "This is the Stuff"" boy, did she nail it. I don't know about you but it's amazing the little things that drive me CRAZY! Random articles of clothing all over, food in the sink, stickiness on the floor, table, counter and furniture, and of course losing a cell phone or keys, stubbing your toe, forgetting an item at the store, dust, mud being tracked in and re-cleaning a was spotless area 5min. after scrubbing it of course the whole other spectrum like whining, fighting and no manners. What gets on your nerves??? it's almost comical it's the little tiny things and not the HUGE stressful ones. But the repetition of the every day mundane tasks and obligations.
Our days as mom are often mundane, many small petty jobs like folding clothes, cooking, baking, cleaning, organizing clutter, playing peace maker, changing diapers, always moving, always multitasking, always checking off that mental list. It's the little things that chink away at our patience and cause us to lose our passionate luster for life. What does it for you? what brings you to tears begging for a break, day off or a thank-you?? what deflates you? frustrates? annoys? Man, I understand moms the little things that drive us bonkers, we all have them, all want them to disappear they are constantly the same yet often different.
Sometimes I take a step back and look at my life and wonder how others see it. I often think what is next and at the same time want time to retract or freeze. Being a mom is the toughest most wonderful roller coaster I have gotten on so far. I often tell myself, "Tabitha find joy in the mundane activities, be creative or they will drive you crazy" it does not always work. As I write this to kinda regroup myself for the day ahead I glance at my "to-do" list, breath a deep breathe of calming air, pray and get moving. I have a ginormous list of mundane tasks to get done. I will have a good attitude, be grateful for what I have, joyous in these tasks and do them well. Here's to all those mommy's who have a list of mundane tasks today, let's do them well, not allowing the little things to drive us crazy (at least not too much.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Czech Republic

This past week Andy and I talked with our director here in Hungary about helping our friends in the Czech with their Winter Camp wknd. We received word back on Tues morning and left Fri morning for the Czech! Andy and I were excited to be an encouragement to our friends in the Czech and they were such an encouragement to us!! They work extremely hard to keep this ministry going and there are only 2 couples running the WHOLE campus!! and they are doing an incredible job!
Mirek ran camp, cooked food, preached, ran sound, he would do it all to make it happen for these teens

Winter Camp had about 40 people in all. Andy was able to speak Friday evening and bring the Gospel message to the campers.
Praise the Lord we saw 3 teens accept Christ as their Saviour!! It was exciting to see the joy in their eyes and the excitement of their friends who invited them for the wknd.
Andy and I were able to teach English to the VERY Advanced group (which means they were ALL fluent just looking to learn some new vocab words and practice speaking) we played games, gave them lists of words to write stories with, and mostly practiced speaking and forming complete/correct sentences.
Yeah, its been over 10 years since I've had to take English..haha, I had to brush up on a few things and I also learned a few things! Yes, very humbling ;)
It was an action packed wknd for sure! Starting at 8 and ending around 2am each night (I went to bed before then though) no shame :) I did play one crazy run around game and did not help out my team at all, they lost and I take full blame for it...I'm old and chubby and cannot out run a 14 year old boy ;) Out of the 40 points we got I got 2 and that was in the first 5min of the game before they caught me being sneaky..yep did not get around them ever again for the next hour. Oh, well :)
Sunday morning they started at 9am for Quiet Time and then had a Brunch at 9:30. Andy and I slept until the alarm went off at 8!!! Mom's and Dad's we SLEPT IN until 8 it was the most incredible feeling in the world!!!! Most days by time 8 rolls around I have laundry going, dishes done, I played for over an hour and had 2 cups of coffee, hah-hah, it was amazing! We helped with breakfast, ate and had one more meeting before the campers left.
Sliding down the slide to the frozen pool, we couldn't get any of the campers to participate in the Polar Bear Swim, I don't blame them!!

Then back in the car for 5 hours. It's also awesome traveling with adults, we only had to stop once and we only stopped because I was begging for a coffee from McCafe :) We had 3 people squished in our backseat, I drove there and back b/c if Andy drove he has to push his seat all the way back making room for those long Daddy legs...but I like driving alot and would do it again, only jealous I didn't get a 3hr. nap like everyone else ;)