Monday, November 06, 2006

Catching up...



Okay, I am horrible at keeping this updated! We have had quite a lot going on the past few months, I will see if I can summarize it for you! My job with Southern Living at Home has gotten off to a slow start, but not bad. I am really having fun and meeting new people! The boys are doing great, they are just finishing up soccer for the season. They were on the same team this year which made it really nice to only have one game a weekend instead of two! At the game last week Ty scored 3 goals! GO TY!!!! They are both still enjoying school and doing quite well. Ty has applied to be on a science team, and we are waiting to hear if he made it. They were only picking like 2 or 3 third graders to join the team. I think he has a good chance to be on it, and I am not just saying that because I am him Mom! :) I will let you know how that turns out. Both of the boys are now in Scouts also. We took them on a camping trip, and Devon ended up sleeping in the tent with Jon and I because he was scared to be in his tent with Ty. They had a fun weekend of hiking, campfires, and blow darts...ahh scouting! Okay, the blow darts were made out of toothpicks and cotton, but still it is a skill they need to learn, right? Jon and I also got to go away for a weekend! We spent a whole 32 hours in California! We went for a friends wedding. It was fun to see some of you there, and if we didn't see you and you didn't even know we were on the west coast...please forgive us, we were only there for 32 hours! Next, my parents were here for 2 weeks! We had a great visit with them. The boys were out of school for part of the time, so we drove down to Savannah, GA. It was fun! What an amazing little town...we also went out to Hilton Head, SC and Tybee Island, GA. When we got back, I put my dad to work! He finished painting a few stairways, started painting my dining room, and put some IKEA stuff together for me! Thanks Dad!!! He tried to fix my garage door opener also, but I think it is a hopeless case and will just need to be replaced! So, I have told you about the boys, and me so I guess I will fill you in on Jon. He left on the 3rd for Colorado. They are taking the Crowns concert on the road! He will be back on the 20th. Yes, he will be gone for almost 3 weeks...I know, I think it is a long time also! So far the boys and I are doing fine. I have some projects lined up to keep me busy, oh and lots of movies! hmmmm....is there anything I forgot? Fall here is beautiful...the colors are amazing. I almost have trouble driving around because I want to look at the trees! They look different everyday! The trouble with fall is that the leaves actually fall...all over my lawn! So, I guess with Jon gone I need to find time to rake leaves also. Our weather is supposed to be back up to about 80 on Friday, so I think I will rake then. Okay, I think that is it..I will try to be better about this!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Go get a job!

Well, I have now offically entered back into the working world. I am a consultant for a company called Southern Living at Home. So, basically my job is to go to parties and show the product! I get to hang out with fun women, meet new people, help people with decorating ideas, decorate my own house, and make some money! I had my first party last night, and it was okay. I am excited to do this, but also nervous...I haven't had to stand in front of a group of people and talk in a LONG time! So, that is all that is new with us...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Special Day



Wow, today my baby turns 6. I really can't believe that he is 6 and has been in 2 weeks of 1st grade already! I asked Jon last night, how come our kids are getting older and we're not! (hee-hee). God has blessed us with a creative, active, outgoing, stubborn, funny (and many more things!)little boy. I pray that Jon and I are able to mold him to use his talents to better change the world and to show God's love in all he does. (excuse me while I wipe away my tears!)

Yes, our kids have been in 2 weeks of school already this year. So far, so good...they both love their teachers and are enjoying being back in school. Except maybe they are not loving the homework, but really, who does?

We had a great time the last few weeks of July on the west coast. It was great to be with friends and family again! Devon saw that is cousin Kyle had his haircut like a mohawk, and decided that is how he wanted his cut for school. He is now the coolest kid in the first grade. He actually looks really cute with it! Jon and I decided that if that was how he wanted to express himself right now, it was okay with us. Hopefully it won't lead to worse things down the road!

Both boys start soccer next week. There goes our weekends for the next 3 months! We enrolled them in Upwards Soccer this year. Along with practice they will also get a little bible lesson. Pretty cool.

As for Jon, the team is still working out the details of the touring schedule for 2007, but so far it looks pretty busy. I personally am not ready to really look at that or think about that yet!

There is something new with me...I am now a Southern Living at Home consultant. I decided I would like to try it, to have a little extra income for our family. I am hoping to give 5-6 parties a month. If you don't know what SLAH is, check out the website at southernlivingathome.com They have great home items for decorating and entertaining. I am hoping to be able to finish decorating my home as well! :)

I guess that is all to catch you up on for now...we are eagerly awaiting fall. Right now it is still in the 90's most days. Jon went through his mouth surgery just fine. He had a few weeks of pain and not really eating solid food, but he is back to normal now! Thank God!

That's it for now...

Friday, July 07, 2006

7 days down...

7 days down and 2 to go! Jon will be home from Mexico in 2 days! Today has not been the best day, of course it doesn't help that I put the boys to bed last night at 7:00 and at 11:00 they were still wide awake! I have no idea why...so today they are not the happiest boys. I am usually okay when Jon has to leave (at first), but by the end of the trip I really realize why God did not intend for us to be single parents! I seriously don't know how people do it by themselves full time. I myself will be in bed tonight by 10:00, I think midnight it the earliest I have been to bed so far this week, I have trouble getting to bed when Jon is not here also! But right now, I probably have the cleanest closets in the south! See you all next week!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!



Or as my British friends here say...Happy day we lost our territory! :) Freedom is a great thing, and I am so thankful to God that we live in America. Tonight we went to Lake Peachtree and watched a huge firework display. It was awesome! It started to rain about 1 hour before it was supposed to start and Ty thought it might be cancelled...but I assured him that it would be completely unamerican to cancel a 4th of July firework show just because of a little rain...okay it was pouring rain, but only for about 1/2 hour! The rain did cool things off about 10 degrees, so I am thankful for it also! It is now 12:30 am (yes, I should be in bed asleep by now!) and I am sure it is still about 80 degrees outside! Jon is in Mexico right now, doing a mission trip with Bill and the OM teens. They are working with another organization called YUGO. He will be home on Sunday, and then we leave on Thursday to the west coast! yippeeeeee!!!!!! We will be in CA and Oregon, and we hope to see everyone! We get home (to Atlanta) on the 31st of July and the boys start school again on August 8th. I can't believe it is almost that time again! We have had a fun summer so far, lots of swimming and playing with friends. We just had another family join OM and the boys have had a great time getting to know their kids! God is so good to provide instant friends and family here for us (and everyone at OM!). Well, like I said it is late and I better go to bed! Good Night!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Schools out for summer!



Just wanted to let you all know that Ty and Devon are done with school! Yippee! We can laugh at all of you who still have school for another month or so, but then you can be laughing at us when we start back up the first week of August! I did cry at Dev's Kindergarten graduation on Thursday, yes I did feel silly! Happy Summer, hope to see you sometime during it! Oh, and by the way, we had to offically turn our A/C on yesterday! Our humid, summer weather has begun!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

AMAZING!!!!! God is so cool!






Monday evening we returned from an amazing trip to the Cayman Islands. This will be my recap of the family side of the trip, you can read Jon's ministry update also in the ministry section! We arrived in the Caymans Monday, May 15th after a 2 1/2 hour flight from Atlanta. The weather was in the 90's with humidity pretty high and a slight breeze. We went and checked into our hotel and then hit the beach! Our hotel was pretty much right on the beach, and we were amazed at how good the snorkeling was right there. The last time I snorkeled was in Hawaii with my family, at least 20 years ago, and I HATED it! The fish scared me and I couldn't breath through the snorkel very well. So, I really didn't think I was going to do much on this trip, but decided to give it a try. The fish still scare me a little, but it was AMAZING!! The water was really clear and calm, and the fish were plentiful and brightly colored! The boys were even enjoying it. Devon actually really took to the snorkeling, and that is all he wanted to do all week, even in the pool!

On Tuesday I walked with the boys to a butterfly farm. We got to see and learn about the butterfly cycle and see tons of different butterflies flying around. Again, Devon loved it, Ty thought it was okay. For any of you that know Devon, you will remember he loves animals and bugs more than anything. After that we hit the beach again! The kids really enjoyed playing and swimming in the surf, and I enjoyed laying in the sun with my book! This was pretty much how the next few days went. On Tuesday afternoon we were joined by the guitarist wife and her two children, who are the same age as Ty and Devon, and Bill's youngest daughter Sharayah, who is 14. All the kids really kept each other entertained, and Michelle and I got to talk and enjoy the sun. Jon would usually finish up his ministry stuff by late afternoon and join us either at the beach or pool to play with the kids. There were a few nights that he had something to do at night also, but we enjoyed the time we got to spend with him!

Tuesday night was a rough night. I got the kids to bed around 8 pm and then Jon and I went to bed around 9ish, but then around 10 Devon started to fuss. I walked over to him, just about the time he started to throw up. I grabbed him out of the bed and ran him to the bathroom and had to hold him over the toilet while he got sick. He never woke up! I cleaned him up and put him back to bed. I think he did not drink enough water during the day and then had soda for dinner, which made him sick. He still does not remember getting sick! Then I went back to bed only to be woken up again 2 hours later by Ty. He couldn't breath. He had croup, and if you don't know what that is, it is kinda like asthma, but only attacks when you have a cold. Your windpipe swells up and you cough like a seal. Unfortunately it only gets worse if you cry, and he was panicking! When he would get like this at home I would have to take him to the emergency room, and they would give him a steroid shot to open up the windpipe. I was really thinking I would have to find a hospital in the middle of the night on the island! I was sitting with him in the bathroom with the shower turned on full heat (for the steam), Jon came in to check on us just as I passed out from the heat. Finally, we got Ty calmed down and breathing, and asleep on the couch. I just sat there a prayed for I don't know how long. I really felt like we were under attack. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well the rest of the night! Everyone woke up feeling fine and ready for the day on Wednesday!

Ty, Devon, and I ended up getting a little too much sun on Wednesday, so we decided to do something different on Thursday. We took a bus to a sea turtle farm! The bus was more like an overcrowded van that you had to yell, " stop!" when you wanted to get off! There were not 3 seats together, so we all mixed in with the locals! I could hear the boys talking to different people and telling them why we were on the island..."my Dad is in a band that is here to tell people about Jesus". I love the straight forwardness of children, they haven't developed that nervousness to speak up about what they believe in (and hopefully never will!). The sea turtles were really cool. The older ones are HUGE!!!!! There was a tank for smaller ones that we could touch and hold. The kids stood at that tank for over an hour playing with the turtles! The other family also came on this outing with us, so all the kids had fun together.

Friday was another swim day (I know sacrifices have to be made in the life of a missionary!). Friday night we got to go to the church that brought the team over to attend an island wide youth rally. Basically it was a Bill Drake concert. The team did some original songs and worship songs. Bill also gave his testimony and talked about the persecuted church. The kids were really into the music, and there was a lot of dancing and clapping going on. My heart was touched when I saw Ty turn off his gameboy to listen to the songs and talking. Then I got to take a picture of him, (with tears in my eyes!) standing with his hand raised and singing, "God of Wonders" with all his might! Toward the end of the concert I walked up to the balcony of the church to take some pictures. I actually think God lead me up there so I could see what happened next. Bill first gave a call to people to rededicate their lives and to seek out what God wants them to be doing to change their island,or the world, and tons of hands were raised (including Ty's!). Next he gave an alter call for new believers and at least 25 kids accepted Christ! I was standing on the balcony watching this whole thing, and I just felt God telling me, "See Suzie, this is why I had you move away from your family and join this ministry." It is hard to explain, but I really felt God's arms around me, confirming that we are in the right place. Amazing night...God moved in many ways!

Saturday is a day I will never forget. The team had the whole day off and the pastor of the church arranged and paid for us to take a 3 hour cruise of the Caribbean. Our first stop was a sand bar called Stingray City. Not only did we see tons of stingrays, but we got to get in the water and play with them! Okay, I was a little freaked out by this at first, actually, I was holding Devon and realized I was surrounded by about 5 large stingrays and I just started to scream! I realize that is not the best way to keep my 5 year old calm in the water, but I could not help myself! It was so eerie to have them swim up to you and brush against you! After a few minutes we all got used to it, and it was quite enjoyable! Unreal. A few people, including Jon, feed them some squid (I was not brave enough!). Both Ty and Devon really enjoyed touching and looking at the stingrays. Next stop was a reef a few miles away. We had a guide who was in the water with us, and he told us that he usually sees sharks and eels at this reef. Okay, remember how I don't really like to see the fish I am swimming with? I wasn't sure if I was going to get in the water with a shark! After a minute or two I realized I would regret not trying it, so in the water I went! The boys stayed on the boat with the other kids. The first thing I saw was a moray eel...about 5 feet long and swimming after another team member! That almost sent me right back to the boat, but I said a prayer and stayed in the water. The eel had its mouth open and you could see its teeth! Yikes! That's when I saw the shark, it was a nurse shark and was pretty harmless, but in my mind it was a SHARK!!!!! Jon actually got close enough to touch it, not me! We spent some more time snorkeling and enjoying the fish, coral, and anemones. God is amazing to put all this beauty under the water where we normally don't even see it!

Sunday morning found us in church at Agape Family Worship Centre in George Town. This was the church that brought the team over. They are a very charismatic, non denominational church, who knew how to rock! The whole church was jumping, dancing, shouting, and yes even falling to the ground during the worship time. I really enjoyed the pastor who was helping lead the worship, because he would dance and jump all over the stage! It was an awesome experience! The church's worship team lead worship for the first hour and then the Bill Drake team took the second hour with more worship and preaching. The kids even went and enjoyed the Sunday School. The service ended with the team leading the Newsboys song, " He Reigns" and the church just about fell apart with excitement! It was sooooo cool!!!! After church the pastor took us all out for Chinese food, and then it was back to the pool one last time! The team also went back to the church and did the evening service.

The next morning we got up and went back to the airport to fly home! I am sure there is so much more that I didn't even mention, like they drive on the opposite side of the road, and I never could remember which way to look to cross the street! Or, that the island is only 22 miles long and 8 miles across, and they are still rebuilding after being hit hard by Hurricane Ivan last year (in 2004). The people are wonderful, kind, and gracious! We have already been invited back! It is definitely a trip I think the boys and I (and Jon), will remember forever! Thank you God for giving us this opportunity, for keeping us safe, and showing us your people in a new environment and country!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Life Goes On

Well, we were invited to our first wedding here in Georgia. At first it didn't seem strange to me, but the more I thought about it, the more it freaked me out! It means we are really living here...we are building friendships and relationships here in Georgia. Which is a great thing, but it just hit me again that life goes on, no matter where you live. We left a whole lifetime of friends and family in California...and started a new life here. Our life is going on and so is everyone elses life back there...strange. I am noticing little things I am getting used to, like just now our weather alert radio signled that we are on tornado watch...ho hum...just like every afternoon here...when did I get used to that? I am leaving tomorrow for a women's retreat for our church. We are going to Banning Mills Resort and Spa. Sounds nice! I am not usually interested in these types of things, but I am looking forward to this. I guess I am looking forward to hopefully create deeper relationships here (since I really am living here now!). God is so good...that is all I can say about everything we have been through this past year or so. I know this is just kinda rambled thoughts, but I just needed to get it out! WE ARE LIVING IN GEORGIA!!!!!! I will write more on Monday, our 13th wedding anniversary! The picture I put on this is of one of the beautiful dogwood trees around our house!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I don't know what to title this!

Hey there,

I just wanted everyone to know (if anyone reads this!)that Jon did get home from Canada. He had an interesting spriritual battle happen there...I don't know if I should write about it here, but if you are interested email him or me and we will tell you all about it! Jon's parents are here now and it is great to see them and be with family again. There is just something so comforting to have parents around! The boys are also loving it...it didn't hurt that Grandpa brought them slingshots! Last night we had a hot dog roast in the backyard and next week we are going to be doing some sightseeing. We are looking forward to it, because since we have been here, there hasn't been much time for us to do that! I think this week, our weather is in the 80s...perfect! I will write more next week!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Oh Canada!

Well, Jon left this morning for Canada. Only a 4 day trip this time. I still get a little sad on the days that he leaves, but I would assume that is normal! I should have a pretty easy weekend with the boys. Tonight is boyscouts, tomorrow night I am hosting my Southern Living party, Saturday our friends Ben and Josh are coming to play and Sunday is church...easy breezy! I am hoping the weather is nice this weekend so I can get some more work done in the yard. I did do some planting today. I was given some tomato plants that I put on my deck...that way hopefully the bunnies and deer won't get to them! I also hung a fern on my front porch and potted some rosemary. I still have a gardenia plant that needs to go in the ground, but I am not sure where to put it yet. I don't know why I am writing about plants! Oh, about the Caymans, I did want to make sure that people understood that it is a mission trip and not just a vacation! I am not sure what the boys and I will be doing yet, so we might still get quite a few hours on the beach!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Cayman Islands

Yippeee! The boys and I have tickets to go to the Cayman Islands with the team in May! I am so excited! We still have to figure out where we are staying and how we are going to pay for it all, but we are going! This last Saturday we went for a BBQ with our small group from church. It was fun, and great to get to know people better outside of the church setting. The boys had a great time playing baseball and making smores! Pretty much everyone here has an outside campfire area. We really haven't used ours at all yet...I think we will when Jon's parents get here next week. Oh, yea, Jon's parents are coming out for about 2 weeks! We are very excited to see them, since it has been almost a year! I am trying to plan some fun stuff to do while they are here, but it is hard when we haven't even done that much exploring ourselves! Jon leaves for Canada on Thursday, and Friday night I am hosting a Southern Living party. At first I thought I might be crazy hosting a party when I really don't know anyone who isn't a missionary...but I have about 10 people coming already! Some of them are missionaries, and some are from church. Once I sat down and wrote out a guest list, I realized I knew more people than I thought! Another blessing from God!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Grandma!


Hey everyone! I thought I would catch you up on the last week in the Simpson house. But first of all, let me say Happy St. Patricks Day and Happy Birthday to my Grandma Brown. Last weekend our temp. soared to about 81 degrees. It was wonderful, not only because of the warmth, but it also made lots of flowers bloom! Things have looked so bare and bleak here for the past 2 months, that is is wonderful to see new growth and color burst forth! Also, the warmer weather made me realize that I do not want to go through another Georgia summer with long hair-so off it went! Jon and Devon like the new haircut, but sadly Ty doesn't (some of you may know, Ty doesn't like much to change around him!). Oh well, he will get used to it! Jon lead worship for OM on Tuesday and played guitar on Thursday for a group of singers. He did a great job...I still think is is amazing that he gets to do this for his job! God is so good! Ty is doing well, and Devon stayed home from school on Wednesday and came home early with a fever on Thursday. Although he did seem fine once he got home, funny how that works! Jon actually had to pick him up, because I was in Atlanta with another team member. What were we doing you ask? Well, we were going to one of my favorite places...IKEA! She had to buy some chairs for our team room and didn't want to go alone, so I just had to sacrafice my day to go along! Actually, I had some great conversations with her. Her and her husband were actually on a team for about 4 years that smuggled bibles behind the iron curtain! It sounded so exciting, and scary at the same time! She had some great stories about guards, and being arrested and actaully being put in jail (thank God only for 1 day!). That is one of the things I love about being here...you hear great things about God working and moving through people all over the world. It has really opened my eyes! I feel like I didn't know much about the world before I got here, and now I am learning about things going on in countries I didn't even know existed! Well, I think that is all for this week. One thing that stuck out for me this week from my mothers devotional is to live a life drenched in joy. It encouraged mothers to be nudged out of everyday routines and into the joys of life. for example, on your way home from picking the kids up from school, make an unexpected trip to the beach or park (I have to say park, because the beach is about 5 hours away). Things like that will not only be fun now, but will be great memories for the kids when they are older! I am going to try and do more things like that. Well, I better end this, I have 11 people coming over for dinner tonight...corned beef and cabbage! Yum!

p.s. Ellyn, the flower reference was just for you! :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Legacy


So, I started a new devotional book today called, "Legacy of Virtue, A Devotional for Mothers". I have to admit that Jon bought me the book for Mothers Day at least 5 years ago, and I haven't read it yet. I could tell you that I have been using other devotional books instead, or that I have just been too busy being a mom, but that wouldn't be true. The truth is, I really am just now trying to make devotions a regular, everyday thing in my life. So, anyway, I opened up the book to the first page, and read the quote, "The only thing that parents can take to Heaven is their children." Wow, I had to stop there and just ponder that for a minute. Am I living a life that Ty and Devon will want to model? Am I being the best example that I can be, and leaving a legacy that points to God? I hope so. I also hope that Jon and I are teaching them to love and accept people, all people...maybe not accept what all people do, but to love them anyway. I read an article today in Relevant Magazine that said, "I want to be known for passion, love, and a heart that follows God. I want people to see that about me, first thing. There's somthing different about my life, and it will also change theirs. I don't want to blend in." I thought about how I have heard parents say before that they just want their kids to blend in at school, to be like everyone else so they don't get made fun of. I think I want the opposite for my boys, I want them to be different, I want them to not have the fear of being different and to be able to stand up for what they believe in. I don't want them to blend in. Well, I guess I will end this here...I know it's not much of a family update, but this is what has been on my heart and mind today. I am now going to sit on the front porch and listen to the thunder roll in!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hi there!

This is my first blog... I'm hoping to keep this as an easy way for me to keep our site updated with news about what's going on with us. More to come!