Monday, January 31, 2011

Salsaritas Date Night

movement and music

 It seems like I have been taking lots of pictures of Madelyn in her high chair lately. I think that's because she can't escape me! Sometimes she is such a ham and starts saying, "Cheeeese", the second she sees the camera. Other times, not so much.
 Despite my failed attempt to rid our house of pacifiers, this sneaky little girl still gets one for naps and bed time. She usually spits it out to actually sleep, it's just really nice for the whole getting to sleep part. However, occasionally she comes running out from a room with one in her mouth smiling as if to say, "Take that mom and dad!". She doesn't protest when we make her give it up though, which is nice! I'm thinking by the end of this month the paci will be gone for good.
 Madelyn loves to sing. I love it too because it shows me just how much that little mind is soaking up! She has learned most of her body parts this way and so many motions!
 "If you're happy and you know it wave your hands!"

 "If you're happy and you know it touch your feet!"
 "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands!"
 "The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout..."
 "Down came the rain and washed the spider out!"
 "Out came the sun and dried up all the rain..."
 "And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again!"

There is always lots of music and even more movement at our house!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

big fork. big girl.

 Hi! My name is Madelyn Kate, aka "I.only.use.real.forks Bilberry".
Sometimes mom and dad try to give my one of those cutesy forks that they have bought (a ton of) for me. I don't like them though (this month at least). I like real forks and I want to set the record straight. I'm a big girl now and I like big forks.
Have you tried eating lasagna with something that bends? I didn't think so. And just in case you were wondering, your eyes aren't playing tricks on mom gave me my vegetable lasagna in a hot dog tray because she's cool like that.
So in case you are preparing my next meal, make sure you give me a big fork. I'd really appreciate it.
Glad we settled that.

Peace, love and big forks, MK

the park with Daddy

Madelyn and Luke's Saturday date was to The Diner (their usual breakfast "baby cakes" on Saturdays) and then to a local park. The weather was absolutely gorgeous here on Saturday. Once they came home we spent the rest of the days with the doors wide open (which may or may not have started because of the smoke coming from the oven...oops!) or outside in the back yard. It was a beautiful sunshiny Saturday!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Ugandan Pastor and His Son

Hey everyone, it is Luke here again. I wanted to share with you again some things that God showed me while I was in Uganda with Parental Care Ministries

PCM was holding a youth conference the week we were there. Myself and a couple of the other guys had the chance to preach during the conference. I love teaching the scriptures. It is one of the great joys in my life. I truly believe that God’s word can bring dead hearts to life. I have come to know what Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “But He answered, 'It is written, Man shall not live by bread but by every word that comes from the mouth of God'.” This is so true. God’s word is life-giving. 

The conference was incredible to be a part of. The students would wake up around 6:30 in the morning and they would spend all day singing songs of worship to God and listening to God’s word as it was preached. Their devotion to the word and their desire to sit in the presence of God was so encouraging and challenging. We were not the only speakers for this conference as they brought in many other Ugandan teachers and pastors. 

On one particular day I was sitting listening to one of the Ugandan pastors preach but my ears were not really listening to his words. During those moments God was wrecking my heart. This pastor had brought his family with him. He brought his wife, one son who appeared to be around 15 years old and two smaller children. I had been watching the smallest child as he was sitting across from me and I was smiling at him. He seemed very scared of me... I think because he thought he was looking at a ghost. A very white ghost.  This young boy had to be around the same age as Madelyn. He was walking all around the bumpy and cracked ground but you could tell he had not been walking long. 
As his father began to preach, the young boy walked right up to his father’s leg and grabbed at it. At this moment God stirred my heart in a very big way. I began to wonder what I would do if I was preaching at our church and Madelyn walked up to the podium. How would I react? Would I give Kathryn a look that said, "Hey get this crazy kid!"? Doesn’t she know that we are trying to hear God's word? Doesn’t Madelyn know Daddy is working? Doesn't Madelyn know she is being a distraction to me right now? I’ve got my well thought out sermon with my nice bullet points ready to go and a child delaying it. Madelyn, can this wait? As I began to think about how I would react, God began to show me how wrong I was. 
God began to show me that my purpose, as much as I love preaching and sharing God’s word with others, my priority is to share God’s word with my daughter. To lead and love her well is to be my focus.

As the pastor continued to preach he raised his hand at one point to the crowd and while doing so placed his hand on top of his child. I think this is exactly how God wants us to lead our children. This is not just for ministers and pastors but for all of us. That we would reach our hand out to do what God has called us do but also to place our hand on our children and lead them. They are not a distraction. They are not our problems or something that keeps us from what we really want to do. They are hearts that God has placed in our lives for us to share the love of God with. To show them what it means to live for God in a world that does not. 

As he continued to preach my eyes filled with tears and I just prayed as God spoke to my heart. May I be like this man who lifts his hands to proclaim God’s words but may I always remember what comes first. Pastoring my family.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


 This beautiful little girl loves her ride on caterpillar. Matter of fact...she loves all toys that you can ride on! Her constant smiles, laughter and radiating joy make every day so much fun. I love my sweet Madelyn Kate.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


It's Luke here. I am not even sure where to begin. Kathryn asked me to do a couple of posts about my trip to Uganda. There were so many incredible experiences that it's hard to pinpoint just a few to share. It was really overwhelming to see God at work in such a beautiful country.

I want to start off by sharing a beautiful picture of the church in action and how that action can change lives in a very real way.

I want you to meet a beautiful young girl named Angel. She is a very shy girl, but she is very full of life. She is one of the 500 plus children that Parental Care Ministries serves. From the moment we arrived at the school Angel was connected at the hip to one of our team members, Lucie. I would always see these two together singing and dancing. The language of love is such a powerful thing; it does not need words. You could see the love these two were sharing anytime they were together.
Lucie noticed something about Angel. Her shoes were way too big for her. Angel would stuff trash bags into the ends of her little white shoes just so they would stay on her feet.

These shoes were the only pair of shoes she had.

I know in my closet I have quite a few pairs of shoes. I have my nice tennis shoes and my work tennis shoes. I have my black dress shoes, brown dress shoes and my boots (OK and my Converse Chuck Taylor's admittedly just because I want to be a hip rock star when I grow up). In my closet alone, I have more shoes than this sweet girl may have ever worn in her life.

Because of the sponsorship program through Parental Care Ministries and Dance -n- Drill in Tyler, Texas, all of the children in the PCM school will be receiving a new pair of shoes this year. It is exciting to hear about these stories but it is another thing to see these stories come to life right before your eyes.

Come to life is exactly what happened one day while I was in Uganda. I had the chance to go with Driver Emmy and Lucie to the market to start picking up some shoes for the children. It was just a small start to getting shoes for the 500 children.  This trip was even better than I hoped because we were able to take beautiful Miss Angel with us!
I know shoe shopping can be fun for girls. It is a fun thing to do to pick out a new pair shoes. Shoe shopping was a little different in Uganda than in America to say the least. Once you spotted a shoe that you liked, you then had to search for the match. It proved to be a little challenging, but was so worth it to spend time trying to find just the right shoes for Angel.
After a little while of digging, we finally found a good match. You can see in the picture below that her white shoe is too big for little foot. It was all she had up until that moment. Until some people decided to put their faith in to action. Through the generosity of others, lives are being changed by something as simple as a pair of shoes. To me, this is small picture of what it means to be the church. People giving of their resources. People going to serve and love. People's lives being changed by the gospel in action. 
In this moment I caught a glimpse of something that pray I never forget. Prior to our shoe shopping adventure, throughout the week I would see Angel sitting around the PCM campus like any other kid. Feet just dangling off the side of steps or she would sit in Lucie's lap with her feet in front of her.

Not this day. Something happened when she slipped on a pair of shoes that fit her. She crossed her legs and sat like a little lady in this tiny market of mis-matched shoes. I saw before my eyes this little girl who didn't have much and for most of the world's standards may not really matter, transform in to a little princess. I saw that the simple gift of a $10 pair of shoes gave something priceless to Angel. A sense of pride. A sense of self-worth. In a way I saw a pair of shoes give life. I pray that as she grows she knows that she is a princess. She is a beautiful young girl created by a Heavenly Father who loves and adores her. I pray that as she grows she will remember that a pair of shoes were given so she would know that God loves her and will always provide for his children. Especially his little princesses. I also pray that she knows that no matter what is on her feet, that she is His.
There is actually another team on the ground right now with PCM and the latest blog post shows the 250 plus children at the Mbarara campus receiving their shoes! Check it out by clicking here on Parental Care Ministries. You will be blessed!

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