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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First Perry Post!

About three years ago, "Fireproof" came out at the theater. Don and I were living in Colorado. We took a date night and went to see it. I loved it. I loved that it made it to the big screen, despite the lack of big time Hollywood features. I loved the message that it sent, albeit dorky at times.
I also really enjoyed feeling like I was back home in a sense. There is something about the way people live in the South that is unique. "Duh," you say. Well, OK. But when you are so used to it, you forget that certain mannerisms, accents, and ways of life are original.
Living in Colorado for a couple of years was enough to do two things for us (among many). First: we fell in love with the Colorado landscape (who wouldn't!!?). Second: we realized that we missed the South! Yes, we missed the "y'all", the buffalo style chicken wings, Alabama football (can you believe I'm saying this?), and even the weather (yep). I remember watching that movie and feeling a pang of homesickness at the drawl in their voices, even the houses and neighborhoods. The house that the main characters lived in reminded me so much of my parents' home in Georgia. I don't know, there was just something distinguishably southern about it. It was official. I missed the South.
Over the course of the next few yrs, Don and I both nursed a longing to return "home." Incidentally, I just finished reading a book called "Longing For a Homeland." I recommend it. I enjoyed it very much. For me, it gave some meaning to my feelings of homesickness. I get very nostalgic from time to time, for a variety of places from my youth (and Chi-hi-hildhood--that was for you, Mom--Sound of Music).
Living in Kentucky, although closer to the South, is still not what some consider the "true South". The good thing is that there are no red necks--WRONG! Haha. We actually liked the red neck qualities to good ole Nicholasville and Wilmore. We fit right with our banged up Jeep repaired a la duct tape, our older van with a few dents, and our front yard littered with boys' toys on hot summer days. I digress: although you can find Sonny's BBQ and Chick Fil A, winters in KY can be pretty brutal, and frankly, when you think that it's only a short trip from Cincinatti, well, it doesn't exactly make you feel like crankin' your country tunes, you know what i'm sayin'?

However, during the final leg of our seminary journey -- you know, the part where we had no idea where God was leading us, when I felt like Indiana Jones stepping out into nothingness and having nothing but a grain of mustard seed of belief in God that He was bringing us to just the right place, yea, that part -- we decided that it was time to put our yearnings to return South behind us. After all, we literally had no idea where God was going to put us, and so it seemed detrimental to continue to hope too specifically.

OK, well, I guess you all know where I'm going with this, so I'll get right to the point: It's so good to be back!! In many ways, God gave us the desires of our hearts.
Our house is in an older neighborhood. There are many trees (so far, pine trees are the main ones I recognize, since the others are not yet in bloom, and I have no agricultural background). Our neighbors are very nice. And the high school is walking distance from our house. Sometimes, when I drive the boys to or from school, we will see the sports teams out practicing on either the football or baseball fields. We have already talked about going to see some high school games this year. Can't wait! We are at the beginning stages of discovering Perry. But so far, we like it a lot!!
One of the best parts about being here is proximity to family. For those of you reading this blog who are far away from family... I have been there... Please don't take this as an "in your face." On the contrary, I know how it feels... to an extent. I debated about whether to even include this portion in the post, but then I feel an obligation to just express how thankful I am. And I am: truly thankful.

Here are a few updates on the children. We'll go in birth order. :)
Jon David was in a school play a couple of weeks ago. He came home from school one day before the performance, very excited about his part. He had one line, and was given permission to make his own dance moves! Haha! Has he forgotten his CoC background? ;)
Anyway, it was hilarious. Mom came up, and we went together. Bless his sweet seven and a half year old heart. He was a little reserved at first; he forgot when to say his two word "line" ; and he had to go to the bathroom towards the end!!! (why, oh why did I not remember to have him go before we left!!?). But what he was most upset about was that there was a mix up at the end of the performance, and he could not find me or Mom! :( I felt really bad about that. By the time he got to us, he was pretty upset. Having said this, the bulk of the play went well, and he was jammin' with the dance moves! I was cracking up. I guess he was one of about a fifth of the group (maybe less?) who were dancing down front. Hilarious! He even did one of Don's crazy moves that he taught him. I was cracking up, and loving it!
Here is the photographic evidence. ;)

True confession: I was having flash backs from the Central High school pep rallies, w/all of the kids dancin' on the bleachers... oh dear. There were probably about a hundred kids on the stage w/JD that night.Above: the move that Don taught him. Kinda hard to describe. We'll just call it the Caulley move.
I can just hear Will Smith telling this white boy to quit biting his lip!

And then, there's the classic: Walk like an Egyptian.

One day last week, I picked him up from school, and he immediately began telling me about an interaction he had with a classmate named Brendan. He said that they were playing football at recess, and he tackled Brendan, and that made Brendan mad. Brendan kept trying to get back at Jon David after that, and Jon David avoided him. Finally, Brendan caught him unawares, and jumped on Jon David's back. Jon David said that he (JD) started crying, and wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to take a while to think about what he should do next. Finally, he said, he decided that it was time for "payback." Yikes, I thought. Well, he came up on Brendan, and tackled him again. Brendan seemed upset. Jon David said that he realized that his plan didn't work, so he told Brendan that he was sorry, and Brendan apologized too! Ha! Have you ever in your life?
Jon David proceeded to come home, and make a comic strip out of his adventure from the day. Can you guess the title of his comic strip? "Dr. Payback." He drew on many sheets of notebook paper, and stapled it together. I should state that another source of inspiration here is the famous Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, which he has been feeding himself a heavy diet of ever since he got a hold of the books that Don has -- on loan from Grandaddy. He has been reading them faithfully every night before he goes to bed. This morning, he even brought one out to read before school, but he didn't have time.
Here are some samples from his writing. Yes, we'll sell copies for $50.00 a piece. JK

Below, the bubble in the top left should read: "let's finish this!" Which is what he said at one point. Forgot to mention that. What a kid. ;)

Luke: A couple of wks ago, he told me that a kid in his class named Xavier (what a cool name!) asked him if he would like to be his friend. Luke responded that he was hoping that they could be friends. AWWW! ;) It has been an adjustment for Luke to go to school for seven hours. In Kentucky, his half day program was only three hours! At first, he would say that he missed me. But he is doing much better now, and his teachers brag on him, which makes me feel good, of course. He is precious, as always.
Yesterday was Valentine's day, and he said that his favorite valentine that he received at school was the one he made for himself with his own Sports card valentines! Hilarious. The kid loves him some basketball.
He is one of the most compliant kids I have ever known. Rarely will he express jealousy over a prize that Jon David has received at school. He is good at sharing, and likes making peace. Having said that, he also is fiercely competitive, and is not shy either about expressing himself if he is not in the mood to bend to the force of a certain older brother.

The move was kinda hard on Caleb. I think in general, transition times are hard on babies, because they keep having to change routines. He is a typical toddler, getting into everything. But he is adjusting very well to our new surroundings. He does well in the church nursery (after initially making me feel kinda bad for dropping him off. :(
He is pretty much down to one nap a day(wouldn't you know it, the day that I'm typing this, he only slept for 45 min this morning!!! So I hope he takes a second nap at some point today!).
He runs around everywhere, loves to go outside, push the garage door button, attempt the tricycle (though it's still a little too tricky for him). He LOVES Jon David and Luke, wrestling with Daddy, cuddling with Mommy, watching TV... Poor guy, we sit in the car lane for up to an hour most week-days while we wait to pick up JD and Luke at two separate schools! The life of a third kid... Overall, he is a joy, and I find myself thanking God for my "special gift" so much! I call him that because all of my children are that to me, and because he is my last, and since Don and I had talked in the past about if we might want to stop at two, I appreciate this time with him a whole lot.
He doesn't talk a whole lot yet, but is good at making his opinions known! He says bye bye, Me (for Mommy), "uh oh", "dah!" (for Daddy), "deh" (which I'm pretty sure means "there", you know, like when he is giving me something, or trying to get a toy just right, etc...). He also rattles off a lot of babble that often sounds like (dadadada, dis, tuh tuh, etc...).

As for Don and me, well, we both feel like in many ways, that we have crossed over into the promised land. We realize that just like the Israelites, there may yet be battles to fight, but man, was it worth the wait! I am thrilled to see what God is doing, and I am so excited that I get to be a part of it! We absolutely love being here so far. I pray that God will continue to bless our family, bless our children and keep close watch over them at school, give them godly friends, help them to be a friend to the friendless. Praise God for his faithfulness.

To end this post, I am pasting some lyrics here from a song by Russ Lee. I heard this on the radio this morning on the way to Ladies' class, and thought how fitting.

I smile when I think about
The way You've turned my life around
I smile when I think about
The happiness in You I've found
I'm so amazed at what Your love has done
And when I think the best is yet to come
I smile!
I smile!

Wandering the dark
Lost in the confusion
I thought I was losing my mind for sure
I searched with all my heart
Looking for direction
Something to believe in
And there You were
And You were reachign down to me
You were everything I needed
I'm so glad You found me, Lord

'Cause You've turned all my gray skies
To the brightest blue, yes, You did
And my life feels like sunshine
And it's because of You
All because of You.. I smile


  1. So thrilled to find you blog!!! You are indeed a delight, sweet thing. So glad you're here!


  2. I love it, Anna! I love the updates on the kids and imagining JD in that school play...cracks me up! :) Miss you so much!



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