Friday, March 23, 2012

isn't it ironic...don't you think?

We got back to Dallas last Friday night.  We were tired...very tired!  And we had about a 2 hour drive ahead of us to get home.  sooooo ready for our own beds.  By the time we got to our car, it was 11:00.  We decided we could make it home because those beds were calling us.  At 11:15 a pickup truck swerved into our lane, hit us, and sped off into the night.  Thanks to God's protection and John's great driving, we didn't hit the wall on our right or the other car to our left.  We pulled over, called 911, and waited 45 minutes for the police to get there. 

We stared at each other, laughed a little bit, and prayed and thanked God!!  Here's the front of John's car.  I just thought it was a little ironic that we made it safely to the other side of the world and back and then had a wreck as soon as we were "home."  Reminding me once again that we are safest right where God wants us.  We could die any day/anywhere...and I want this life to matter...investing in my husband, my kids, my friends, my neighbors, the people around me who need hope and healing and Life!

And in other good news, the insurance company called John yesterday and told him that they were going to classify the accident as an uninsured motorist accident, so our deductible will only be $250 instead of $1000.  $250 never sounded so good!  :-)

I'm pretty overwhelmed and tired this week.  I'd really appreciate your prayers as our time here in Waco is getting really short, and we have lots of steps to do.  I'm sad to leave Waco.  It has been an incredibly special season of our lives.  Recently, God gave me this verse...

Psalm 126:6
He who goes out weeping
carrying seed to sow
will return with songs of joy
carrying sheaves with him.

I just love that.  Because there are really fun parts about going out.  But there are also really hard parts.  It helped so much to go see our new home and friends, but it's still hard to leave here and then leave Atlanta again.  But there's a promise...a harvest...songs of joy. 

p.s.  the precious photo of catie's hands is by my amazingly talented friend, Jodi Zorzi!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

things I love right now

Here are a few things I'm lovin' right now...

This veggie mix from trader joes.  I miss TJs!!

Since I can't just run and buy this pre-chopped deliciousness, I have to do it the old fashioned way.
But it's SOOOOO worth it!

I just heat up a little olive oil and cook it in the skillet until the carrots are just right.  mmmmm!

This weed...
It's a little stalk full of seed pods shaped like HEARTS!!! 

The kids picked me a few on a walk the other day! :-)

These books...
That was a good one, but I'm really enjoying every book I've read of his!
They have been my very happy down time lately!

This game with the kids...
Richard Scarry Busy Town
So now you know some of my latest faves!
Have a great day!! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

back home from our trip!

It has felt so good to be back home.  We missed the boys SO much, so we've gotten to enjoy lots of hugs and snuggles and wrestles!

Our trip was really, really amazing!  We come back more excited than ever about what's next for us.  We loved the place and the people we got to meet.  We loved out teammates and their kids. 
I love the mix of Arab culture and western influence.  We are NOT going to be roughing it! 
Here's proof...

A mac store!  There is every store imaginable, malls,'s a cool place!
It's also a really cool mix of third world and modern.  Modern stores and restaurants with sheep or goats or camels on the lot next door.  You can easily jump in a taxi for not too much money.  Kids don't need car seats.  It's a different world...but not so different, too.

We got to look at 3 schools.  No decisions yet, and nothing seems to be the perfect fit.  Most schools are already full for next year, and the one that has openings doesn't have Kindergarten.  So, we're still praying it through.  And knowing that God has a great plan for us and our kids!

While we were there, we got to do some COOL stuff!  Here's us on Mount Nebo where Moses got to go to look at the promised land...

Here's what we were looking at...

Here we are at the dead sea...

A street view...

I know some of you haven't gotten a chance to visit us in Waco, but don't worry.  There's lots of amazing stuff to do right around our new hometown, so you can just come visit there!  :-)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

my kitchen window

This winter has been the most mild and beautiful weather.  Since it has felt like spring most of this season, we made our own winter snowflakes with borax and ball jars.  We've had them hanging in the kitchen window.  They often bring a smile to my face when I'm washing dishes.

Catie-girl made the colorful ball.  I love it.  I think it might even go to the middle east with us!

We had the BEST time hanging out with our future teammates last week.  She mighta' thought I was a little nuts when I asked if I could keep her old oatmeal container that was heading to the trash, but I'm so glad I did!!  My mom sent back some flowers from her yard in Atlanta with the boys, and now I have this super-cool tin written in Arabic (that reminds me that the harvest is now!) holding flowers from my mama.  It's my favorite souvenier!  Tomorrow I'll post some more pics of our trip and some updates about our great time there!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fun 2 days part 2

Today we went and saw 3 schools and a language school. The schools for the kids were fascinating. Two were bilingual...and big...and impressive. One was smaller and caters to third culture kids. The two big ones don't have openings, but we're on the waiting list. We'd really appreciate your prayers for direction.

I'm sorry for the lack of pics. Most of them are on our camera, so we'll post more pics once we're home. But here are a couple pics of the boys I'm missing...(except they're the pics are in the first post cause posting from the iPad is a little wonky!)

Awww...I miss those boys! Can't wait to see them in a few days!! A couple months ago, I was having a day of feeling like "what are we doing to our kids?!" We're choosing a life that has so many benefits for them, but it also involves lots of transition, lots of unknowns, living farther from grandparents, and less roots (which I highly value!). And in that moment of fear in my heart, I felt like God said, "you did not choose Me, but I chose you" and peace just flooded my heart...cause I know that since God is choosing this life for our family that even in the transition and the unknown that there will be Life and joy in the midst. Being here and seeing it with my own eyes has brought so much peace to my heart, too. This is a good place. And I can't wait to see all the ways that God shows up in the midst of this journey!

A fun 2 days!

Yesterday we went to some friends' house who live here in the city and work for the same company that we work for. It was so fun to get to know them and pick their brain about education, language learning, and what they would pack to bring. For example, I need to bring my face moisturizer because many of them here have skin whitener. Good to know!! They served us our first Arabic breakfast...falafel, hummus, pita, and eggs with veggies. Soooo yummy!

We got to do 3 taxi rides yesterday, but don't be impressed! The only reason we got anywhere was because of our friends here who speak Arabic told the driver where to take us! We got to see John's new office which was so nice.

We spent the evening hanging out with our teammates. I'm really enjoying and so thankful for this sweet opportunity to start building relationship. We're working through a long list of questions provided by the home office in America. Those questions are providing us with great jumping off points to have some good conversations. I made a coca-cola cake for everyone. But at the corner store they only had Pepsi. I did feel slightly traitorous to my Atlanta roots!! :-)

Catie is doing so great here. We went to McDonald's the other day. She went right into the play area and made a friend. She was excited to see camels yesterday. She said, "I KNEW there would be camels here!" She's trying new foods, sleeping well, playing with new friends...I'm really proud of her.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

She's just a girl like me!

Yesterday was so much fun. Two ladies and Catie and I went on a road trip about an hour and a half from here to meet with a local lady. The country is BEAUTIFUL in the spring. We saw some amazing Roman ruins on the way. Then we got to the city. I checked google, and that city began in 5000BC. Whoa!!

When the lady met us, she was wearing the full muslim covering. Just her eyes showed...and the adorable baby on her hip. But I realized that I've felt intimidated and scared by that kind of outfit. That's embarrassing to admit...but true.

When she got into our car, she pulled back the face covering, and guess what? She was a woman...just like me. She laughed and talked (English and Arabic fortunately). She's a mom and a wife. Do you know why she wears the full covering? Because her husband wants her to. Wow...I have some things to learn from her.

John did some amazing stuff yesterday, too! You'll have to ask him about it!

Last night we went out with our teammates and another friend. We went to the most amazing Arabic meal. Delicious!! When you come visit, we'll have to go!

Well, we're about to grab a taxi, put our non-Arabic skills to the test and head out.
Sending love to you from the middle east, friends!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

My view from here part 2

I'm trying to figure out how to make a post from my iPad, so here's part 2. Part 1 has all the pics!
> Isn't that view just beautiful?!?
> In the evening we had a yummy dinner...homemade pizza and...
> DIET COKE!! Courtney, I got that picture for you! :-)
> After dinner we spent the evening connecting with our new teammates. They're amazing, and it's so fun to be building friendship with them!!
> Today, John is off to his new office, and I'm off with two other ladies and catie to go on a home visit. I'm already feeling motivated to learn Arabic. I want to be able to understand people and communicate!! Here's our little cheat sheet on john's phone... (see picture in first post)
> Shukran for reading and being part of this journey with us!

Fwd: My view from here

> Our travel to the middle east was easy peezy lemon squeezy (to borrow one of catie's cute phrases!). Catie traveled like a champ, and we all got some sleep on the overnight flight. When we left Dallas, our amazing friends/pastoral oversight peeps were there to see us off. (They were actually there to fly out for a spring break trip, but the timing couldn't have been more perfect to hug their necks and pray together.)
> Yesterday was a great first day of our trip. We had a restful and refreshing day. We got to connect with each other, with Catie-girl, and with God all morning. I got to sit on a balcony and have time with Jesus and look at this view...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the zoo!

There are lots of things to love about Waco, TX.  One of them is the Cameron Park Zoo.  A precious friend of mine is a zookeeper there.  (Which always makes me think of the book Goodnight Gorilla and makes me wonder if animals ever follow her home!)  ANYWAY...she got us behind the scenes tour with some of the animals.  We got to pet rhinos and feed giraffes.  It was a BLAST!! 

Hello, Mrs. Rhino!

John scratching behind her ear...

Zach was so brave!

I love Jacob's face in this one!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hello, Fellowship Bible Church!

Welcome to everyone joining us from the FBC Serve Conference.  For those of you who don't know, John is at our Atlanta church today!  I've gone to church there from the time I was four years old until we moved to TX two years ago.  I'm hoping that lots of you got to see John today or meet him for the first time.  He is such a blast and lives his life with so much integrity, so I'm glad you got to know him.  If this is your first time visiting our blog, then...


And if you're already a regular around here, thanks for coming back!  We're so glad you're here and would love to invite you to jump into this amazing journey God has called us move to the middle east to build relationships, share Jesus, disciple people, and be a part of a Regional Headquarters for Antioch Ministries International.  Wow, that's a mouthful...but it means we'll just invest in people in our country and city, and we'll get to invest in missionaries throughout the middle east and Africa.  I can't really imagine anything more exciting!  We feel so blessed that we GET to do this!

So, how can you be a part of it with us?
1.  Pray!!! 
2.  Contact us to get our updates. jmcm97@gmail (dot) com  That will help you know how to pray and ways to be involved!
3.  Follow our blog...just hit follow to be notified when we put up a new post.  It's another way to get to know our family and to know how to pray. 
4.  Come visit in the Middle East.  You probably should go ahead and get on our calendar.  We're expecting LOTS of visits!  :-)
5.  Set up an appointment with us this summer.  We need a team of financial supporters who will invest in this ministry.  Just email us, and we'll connect with you to find a time!  It'll be low pressure but fun to be together and to get to share what God has called us to do.
6.  Call, email, leave a comment on the blog...just loving us and encouraging us in the journey would mean so much.  And thank you to all of you who already do that so well!

Well, thanks for stopping by to talk to John today.  Thanks for clicking the link to our website, and thanks for being part of this amazing adventure!

John and Cristie

Thursday, March 1, 2012

my favorite place in Waco

My mom was here last weekend!  It was so much fun and so refreshing.  We went to a place called Homestead Heritage, and I think it's my favorite place in Waco.  Here's some pictures of our fun!

At the gristmill...

tree climbing...

checkin' out the cactuses with mimi...


My mom has a wooden biscuit cutter, and I have wanted one since I've been married.  I found one at Homestead and treated myself! 

Such a fun day!