Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Jesus is the Reason

The kiddos are snuggled in their beds in their new pajamas while hubby and I finish up some last-minute jobs before we retire for the night as well.  It is our family tradition to open one gift Christmas Eve, and that one gift is always a pair of new pajamas.  Now that the bigger kids are old enough to remember past years, this is one tradition they look forward to.  Even though they know what they are going to open, at least they don't know what they will look like.  Unless, of course, you are Micah (our nearly four-year-old) who is always with me when I go shopping.  Since I was choosing everyone's pajamas while he and Mackenzie (our baby) waited in the shopping cart, I went ahead and let him decide which ones he wanted.  Why not?  They still got wrapped, and he was still just as excited to open them as everyone else.  But, that kid lives in excited mode.  It is just one of the descriptions of a three-old boy.

We will be spending Christmas Day at home with just our own little family since our closest family is more than 1,000 miles away.  I guess since our own family really isn't too little anymore, it is going to be a houseful even without anyone else.  I am looking forward to the sounds that await us tomorrow morning.... the excited chatter of kids who just can't wait to open their gifts and the beautiful, traditional reading of Luke 2 by Daddy.  Our Brianna memorized that passage of Scripture in her 3rd grade class this fall, so she has asked if she can quote it for us.  There is nothing quite like the sound of hearing your children quote the Bible.

Christmas evening we really will have a houseful, as we are hosting the Golden State Baptist College students who were not able to go home for Christmas.  They will be coming to our home for their Christmas dessert (pies and cheesecake, anyone?).  We are greatly anticipating that time with them, as they really have become family to us now that we have dedicated our lives to teaching them! Another tradition our family has that they will get to participate in with us is that of having a birthday cake and happy birthday song for Jesus.  We even bought lots of candles for them to blow out with our kids.  If anything, they will have the opportunity to learn a new tradition that they might like to implement in their own families one day.

I want to wish each of you a very merry Christmas as you celebrate with your loved ones.  Not only is Jesus the reason for the season, He is THE reason for everything we do.  May we all remember to keep  Him at the center of our celebrations.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


This little cutie turned one this week, and we have been in celebration mode!  For our family I think Mackenzie's birthday will always mark the start of the holidays for us, starting one big party that begins November 22nd and runs right through her big sister's birthday on January 2nd.  Of course, with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year right in the middle of my girls' birthdays, it is going to be one big day after another.  I don't think anyone will be complaining around here, especially since that means cakes, pies, feasts, and presents will be included.

Our family wants to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving as you celebrate your families and all of the blessings God has bestowed upon you this past year.  We counted our blessings this morning, one by one, and thanked our good Lord for what He has done for us.  We are blessed more than I think any of us will ever truly realize.  Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My In-Laws: Joel & Margaret Sloan

In my last post I introduced you to my hubby David's oldest brother Tommy and his family.  This time you will meet his second brother Joel.  And just to keep you straight on the line-up, I have provided this pictorial view of the eight original Sloan children, in birth order.  As you can see, we have quite a few introductions left in this mini-series.
Joel is very easy to describe: happy all. of. the. time.  I honestly think he may have been born singing and smiling.  (I'll have to check with my mother-in-law on that one though.)  If he can't sing, Joel is probably whistling or humming.  He really takes the words of the verse in I Thessalonians 5:16 "Rejoice evermore" to heart.

Because he grew up on the mission field of Mexico, Joel (like all of the other Sloan children) is fluent in Spanish and English.  It is fitting that the Lord is using him to work with both language groups on the border of Mexico/Texas/New Mexico.  

Joel married Margaret, whom he met in Bible college.  They have two sweet daughters and a son in heaven. Joel currently pastors two groups in one church building - a Spanish church (Iglesia Bautista Agua Viva) and an English church (Living Water Baptist Church), both in Chaparral, New Mexico.   He has also been the pastor of:

+ Templo Bautista El Paso in El Paso, Texas
+ Iglesia Bautista Colina Alta in El Paso, Texas
+ Mision Bautista Agua Viva in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Have I told you yet that Joel doesn't sit still?  He and Margaret are hard workers and are always busy!  Our own son Nate is a lot like his Uncle Joel.  I wonder if it has anything to do with both of them being the second born?
{Below} Joel has always loved cowboy hats, which is why I chose to illustrate him that way in the pictorial graph above.  Here is some proof of that from when he was a little boy:
It is a pleasure to know how joyfully Joel, Margaret, and their daughters serve the Lord each day.  They keep us encouraged to enjoy our work for Christ.  And isn't that just how it should be?!

Whistle while you work!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My In-Laws: Tommy & Mona Sloan

So, I am starting something I have wanted to do for a long time.  This will be a mini-series where I will introduce you to my hubby's family.  There are so many awesome things about David, but one of the best things I inherited when I married him is his family.  You can read a little more about his parents (2nd generation missionaries) and grandparents (1st generation missionaries) here.  

David is the sixth of eight children.  Four girls; four boys.  And my poor David was born right in the middle of all of those sisters.  So, he grew up with three brothers who didn't usually want to play with him and with four sisters that he didn't really want to play dolls with! 

It all worked out though, because he survived and they are all friends as adults. :-)

First up, I will introduce you to David's oldest brother: Tommy.  He was named after his father, and has followed his father's footsteps as a missionary to Mexico.  He married a pastor's daughter, Mona, from Austin, Texas. They have five awesome kids who are full of life and personality.  Their oldest daughter recently graduated from high school.  My oldest child Davey (who is 12 years old) was recently looking at pictures of his cousins in this particular family and said (with a voice that has started to deepen... what?!), "Mom, we're (the cousins) not a bunch of little kids anymore."  Wow.  He is so right!

Tommy is now the pastor of the church that their father started in Chiapas, Mexico, and the work is going strong.  He is also the founder and director of Compassion Radio, a 24-hour Spanish radio broadcast which reaches across an area of 5 million people in southern Mexico and Guatemala.
We are so proud of the work this family is doing for Christ!

And, I just have one thing to say to my nephew Hank that you see in the picture above:  "Hank, your Uncle David completely understands what it feels like to grow up in the middle of four girls.  You're gonna make it!" ;-)  (It is going to make him a great husband one day too.  Trust me!)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My baby... 5 months

Though she looks vivacious and outgoing in these pictures, don't be fooled.  We were tickling our little dumpling to get these beautiful, big smiles. Our Mackenzie is actually a quiet baby, content to observe the noise around her most of the time.  {And, believe me, there is plenty of noise to observe in her little world with four siblings!}
Can I just say how much I love this girl?  Maybe it comes with being a more experienced mom each successive time, but I am finding so much pleasure in caring for a baby again.  I now no longer worry (as much) about what her cries mean, what comes next in her schedule, what to do when she is sick, etc...  Even my bigger kids are amazing with having a baby sister and are quite competent in their baby care skills too.
And her Daddy?  Oooooh.... her Daddy!  The only thing better to a grown man than a little girl to call his daughter... is having two little girls to call his daughters!

Our home is such a happy home.... noisy, messy, and happy.  I would have it no other way.
 Sloan children - Easter Sunday 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Personality Traits

In addition to our family pictures that I shared in my last post, these are the individual and "smaller group" photos that were taken that day that I wanted to share as well.  I love seeing my family through someone else's eyes, since it seems I am usually the one behind the camera.
David and I are so very different in our personalities and backgrounds, yet God chose to put us together to complement one another in the best way possible.  I believe He orchestrates this miracle in every couple who marries in His will and in His timing.
Once a couple who are opposite in personality begin to have children, it is entertaining to see whose personality the children will reflect - dad or mom.  The more children you have, the more fun the combinations become of kids who are each different and unique in their own individual ways.

Time to get to know our family a little...

{Below} Our firstborn Davey... cautious, achiever, steady, diligent, tender-hearted, protective, planner

{Below} Our second-born Nate... witty, active, silly, fun-loving, outgoing, imaginative, spur-of-the-moment, friendly

{Below} Brianna, our third... gentle, compassionate, kind, sincere, artistic, sweet, submissive

{Below} Micah, our fourth (and baby of the family when these pictures were taken)... leader, charmer, sociable, funny, life of the party, fearless, mischievous

If you knew our family well, you would probably agree that our kids with the more steady, laid-back personalities ("think, then act") are the most like their daddy.... Davey, Brianna, and Mackenzie (our 3-month old who is not featured in this post.  Her own special post is coming soon.)

The other two, Nate and Micah, get their outgoing personalities ("act, then think") from me.  Those poor two that are the most like me... well, they have a long road of learning ahead of them.  Ask me how I know. {wink}

(BTW, the house in the background of our family pictures in my last post is not where we live.  Some people have asked me about that, so I thought I would clarify.  It was just a beautiful home near the park where we were photographed, so our photographer thought it would make an amazing background.  He was right!)  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

David Sloan family 2013

Yes, these are pictures from last year, but I wanted to get them posted before we eventually get our 2014 pictures taken.  I have a feeling that this year's pictures will be even better, though, since we will have our new little Mackenzie with us!  

Since I have these pictures plastered all over our living room walls and my hubby's office, I thought it was about time my blog got updated.  So, here goes...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Country Divided

And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  Mark 3:24

No doubt you have heard of Ukraine in the news these days.  What is happening in Ukraine is very important, but it is likely that many do not really understand what is going on.  Why are we suddenly hearing about this once quiet country in the news?  The truth is that these problems have been just beneath the surface, and it was only a matter of time before they erupted.

The recent uprisings are, in short, for this reason: Ukraine lies in the middle of the east (Russia) and the west (Europe).  It is a country divided by history, politics, culture, and even language as you can see in the picture below:

The fightings are a tug-of-war, of sorts, between two sides, and it is hard to tell what will eventually happen.

It breaks our hearts to see this country we love in such turmoil.  For us, the picture in this post is not just a map.  It represents real people that we know and call friends, and we greatly desire to see them live in peace and security.

I read an excellent article on the Washington Post that gives an overview of Ukraine's history and current political situation.  If you are a history buff or love politics beyond your borders, you may enjoy reading the article (found by clicking here).  It is lengthy, though, so you may prefer watching this two-minute video instead: (found by clicking here) to get an overall explanation of what you are seeing in the news.

We are praying for the Ukrainians we love and for the missionaries who still remain there that they would be able to stay permanently.  More than a decision of "east or west," this country needs God.  My hubby is planning to fly to Ukraine next month to help run a Men's Conference.  I am already praying that God will use that Conference to strengthen the men of Ukraine to stand - not for one side or the other - but for God.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Missions Articles {with links}

So, I guess you all figured out by now that I am no longer posting my hubby's Focus on Missions audio clips. It didn't take me long to see that I was going to have huge issues with the amount of space it was taking to upload them on my blog.  We considered deleting them as we went (once we thought you all had had a chance to click on them and listen to them) in order to keep uploading more; however, it was too much work for me to go through in uploading them only to just turn around and delete the previous work.

However, just because I am no longer uploading the audio clips does not mean that you cannot continue to listen to them!  Don't forget to tune in to to hear the Focus on Missions series air weekdays at 12:15pm and 10:00pm, Pacific time {The times are not to-the-minute specific, but pretty close}.  Of course, KNVBC is great to listen to any time of day, and I hope that you were able to tune in during the holidays for some amazing Christmas music.

I have mentioned this before, but wanted to mention it again.  My hubby also writes articles about missions and Israel for the North Valley News website.  Here is a list of articles he has already written, in case you missed them and wanted to catch up:

The Cradle of Missions
Next Generation of Missionaries
The Purpose of Missions
Why Support Israel
Gentiles Place in Missions
Biblical First-Century Missions in the Twent-First Century
Ministering to Your Missionaries
Ministry Opportunities in the Mission Field
Called to Missions
How Shall They Hear
God's Purpose for Israel
The Work Schedule of a Missionary
And, since I'm on the topic of my hubby and missions... David will be speaking in Ecuador soon at a week-long Missions Conference. Since he grew up as a missionary kid in Mexico, Spanish and English are his first languages, so it is not uncommon for him to be invited to speak to Spanish-speaking groups as often as he is invited to speak to English-speaking groups.  I am so proud of him and all of the opportunities that he is given to serve the Lord, especially in the area of missions... the heartbeat of our family and ministry.
I hope you are enjoying your New Year as much as we are thus far.  2014 is looking like it is going to be a great one!