Thursday, July 31, 2008

tour de house

ok-i'm finally starting to take pictures. i feel insecure posting them because i'm not completely finished "decorating" , but we have been so deeply blessed by this home that i want to share it with you. this is also my first attempt at "decorating" (long story as to why) so i feel insecure about that too. i have a few more projects up my sleeve, but they will take time so i'll have to post the additions to the walls later. today is pics of the boys' room. they have been doing great sharing a room and noah has adjusted to life in the big-boy bed splendidly. ari did tumble off hte top bunk so you will be glad to know we have now installed a railing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

oklahoma gots culture!

i must say i have been SO pleasantly surprised by the resources here in okc. i came in with pretty low expectations, but have found quite a bit of great activities here (thanks to my tour guide nicolette:) today she introduced us to the science museum. within five minutes i was calling sonny to ask if we could buy a membership. it was great! i was totally not thinking it would be a photo op and didn't bring my camera, but nicolette saved the day and took pics for me so i could blog about it. no photo. no blog.

noah and i in the tractorari spent the first HOUR staring at this gravitram. we had to pull him away when it was time to move on to a different part of the museum.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

oklahoma outing

yesterday our friends nicolette and sawyer invited us to the okc farmer's market and afterwards we made our way to the park at lake hefner. it was pretty steamy (as in, hot), but the kids didn't seem to mind and i got to pick up some fresh things to start re-stocking our kitchen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

my mom sent the cable:)

thanks, mom! now i can try and capture our new life in photos and share them with you all! or should i say "ya'll"? well...the only "room" i'm allowing you to see yet is the backyard, because, well, it didn't take much effort to "move-in" to. the boys have been out there in their kiddy pool everyday since arrival and it has been wonderful.

Monday, July 21, 2008

just words...

i left my usb cord in michigan so i haven't been able to load any photos onto my computer. no pictures=no motivation to blog for me. i figured i should at least give a quick update on our first week in okc and we'll just have to wait for my mom to send the cord to get some visuals. send the cord, mom!!

the varelas voyage in okc, ok

house far exceeding expectations
lots and lots of cardboard, bubble, wrap, and styrofoam
fast food
built new dining set, end table, computer desk, and bunk beds
trip to hardware store
heat, heat, and it doesn't really cool down at night
noah's first night in a big boy bed
more trips to hardware store
little nuts, bolts, and those cheapy "wrenches" that come with pre-fab furniture strewn about
our first annual everyone gets into the zoo free day
hearing people say "ya'll" and loving it
missing michigan and oregon not so much for the what, but the who
sonic, sonic, oh bless-ed sonic...when it's this hot, you need 44 ounces of refreshment
first time at church in 5 years where we weren't staff....weird

it's been a very eventful and a very good week. thank you for those who are thinking of and praying for us. more to come when you-know-who sends the cord:)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

dutch pride

background information: i come from a long line of hollanders who married hollanders and had blond little dutch babies. my husband, much to the shock and dismay of all those i grew up with, is not from that same line. my cousin, Jer, bestowed upon me a wonderful gift before my departure from grand rapids. it was two bumper stickers with the outline of a wooden shoe and inside were the famous words..."if yer not dutch, yer not much". he wanted to make sure all in oklahoma were enlightened and i promised to spread the news.
as i entered the van where my parents and sons were waiting my parents and i had a good laugh about the stickers. ari (5 1/2) read the sticker aloud as a beginning reader would. when he finished his face fell, he sighed, and said "i'm only half 'much'".

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

home sweet home

the voyage to oklahoma is complete.  all for varelas have reunited and we slept in our new home last night.  the trip went smoothly and now we begin our new journey here.  looking forward to sharing it with you...

Friday, July 11, 2008

two two-year-olds

"rest" (noah sonny) and "pure joy" (kara joy) come from two sets of parents who collectively hold four bachelor's degrees in Bible and have followed Christ since they were young children. you'll be happy to know despite this holy heritage...noah and kara still chose to fight over one pair of princess shoes today. yes, our children still sin.

so blessed to meet with my dear friend jeannette today and her precious family.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

what i'd like you to know...

rocks in my dryer is already on week two of her "what i'd like you to know" series. this week it is written by a wife of a marine deployed to iraq. they have two young children and as you can imagine it's a great read. if you don't have time to read it all here, i cut and pasted the part i thought was most useful...if you know a military family, a pastoral family, or many other families who may be walking through a challenging circumstance.
The most helpful thing of all has been when friends or family have simply called and informed me that they're going to help. I don't always know exactly what I need, and yet through many different people, God has provided what I'm not even sure of myself. People like the mother and daughter who have set aside one day a month to give me a day "off." Friends who call and say, "Hey, I'm at Starbucks. What would you like?" When we're sick--which has been, strangely, quite often this year--I've been surrounded by friends and family who come to my rescue, with medicine, diapers, food, or coming to stay with us when I've been too sick to get off the couch. I've even had blogging buddies send boxes to my husband's unit. I am unbelievably thankful for these people. God prompted them to do something... and they just did it.

isn't that the truth? it's hard to be that kind of don't want to impose, you don't know what they need, it may hurt their pride, etc. who cares!?? you know someone is hurting...DO SOMETHING! ok...that was more aimed at me than any of you so please don't feel yelled at:)
i'm really likin' this "what i'd like you to know" stuff. do any of you have something you would like people to know or know someone else who has something valuable to share? i'd love to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

disturbing images, part two

my mom has many toys in her home. one of them is a fisher price doll house with all the accessories. i didn't think my boys would be very interested (seeing as none of the dolls had light sabres), but as i was picking up the family room last night this is what i found...

yes...that is what you think it is....people in a car with four chicken mcnuggets bigger than their heads and a hamburger that would make the back end of the car drag on the road. surely they are not mimicing anything they have seen!??! they have such advanced imaginations:)

Monday, July 7, 2008

disturbing images...

this is one of my favorite decorations in my mom's house. it sits in her kitchen and noah has bene fascinated with it. he asked if he could have a pear, and oma said "no"...they are "pretend".

Sunday, July 6, 2008

not all who wander are lost...

my dad took his two oldest grandsons on a hike yesterday.
a giant leap on their journey toward manhood.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

red, white, and blue

the parade is a fourth of july must for the krommendyk family and i'm so glad i got to share it with them this year. my boys loved it and got to see real live "good guys" who fought the "bad guys" in wars past. right now all they see is a powerful hero with a real live gun. while i see those things too, i cannot help but grieve all that they have lost and suffered on my behalf. it almost made me want to look away. i cannot imagine being faced with the man on the cross.

Friday, July 4, 2008

what i want you to know, part 2

so, i re-read yesterday's post becuase i felt all insecure and almost pulled it off. i decided to leave it up, praying it would be read with the intent i wrote it in and focus on todays post of how people can minister to their pastoral staff and especially their families. these people are falling left and right and if they haven't fallen, they are being attacked. i desperately want those attacks to lessen and come from outside the church, not within.

ok. let's rock. i'm going to bullet cuz i could get really long-winded.

*and i quote (a current pastor's wife)-"give the benefit of the doubt". when in doubt...assume the best about your pastor, his wife, children, heck, even their dog:) if you know your pastor's heart is one that seeks God, then choose to believe the best. perceptions and gossip are often not true and can cut so deeply. if you hear someone else mentioning anything about your pastor or his family, no matter how small, take that opportunity to brag on them. find something positive to say. if you are really bothered by something the pastor/leader does-go to him/her and please not to anyone else.

*invite your pastor's wife to things. she seems very in demand, but she may be craving relationship, a chat over coffee, a compliment. please be very gracious and understanding if she is too overextended and can't attend. drop her a note and a starbucks card instead.
that's enough. i'll stop now. i'm just passionate about this topic right now. i hope i am for a long while so that i can use the insight God's given me to serve families in professional ministry.
thanks for getting through this with me. i promise not to tell you "what i want you to know" for a long time:)

*sunday mornings. wow. that came up repeatedly when i talked with pw's. this is a crazy time. if at all possible, talk to your pastor's wife about anything significant on any other day of the week. she is much more likely to retain what you say. if your pastor's family includes children who are in sunday school-type programs in the morning you could really relieve a lot of pressure by setting up some way for the children to be signed out and even given a snack for a few minutes while the parents field questions, meet visitors, etc. pastors children experience a whole different set of challenges i'm sure, and that's a topic for another time:) it is just very challenging to try and pick up multiple children in multiple wings of the building while each couple of steps brings another person that wants to talk to you. and that you want to talk to! this is your very small sliver of time to connect with your church body.
alright. i'll quit. thanks for hanging with me this far. i promise i won't tell you "what i want you to know" for quite a while:)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

what i'd like for you to know...

this post has been spurred by several events as of late. first, my experience as a pastor's (well, youth pastor's) wife over the past five years. this chapter is coming to an end and has caused reflection. the second, many wonderful conversations with two other pastor's wives whom i love and have had the privilege of knowing on a deeper level. third, an amazing woman from our church actually asking me how she and the church could care better for pastors families. fourth, reading posts from a pastor's wife i've never even met, but can identify with. and finally, i stumbled upon a new series at the "rocks in my dryer" blog called "what i'd like for you to know." the author is inviting one woman every week to share what they would like the world to know about their situation (being a mother of an autistic child, the wife of a soldier deployed, etc) what a fabulous idea! rarely do we ask each other this question, but it is so powerful. so, a woman from willamette asked me, and i thought i'd share a bit of what i shared with her with all of you.
being a pastor's wife is something almost impossible to imagine unless you've been there. (isn't that true of many things?) you are "on stage" all the time, yet you rarely get to speak. the closest anaology i've ever come up with is a wife of a politician. she is expected to be at her husband's side, smiling and waving, looking beautiful, and being likeable all without opening her mouth. her husband speaks a lot and is in a position that people like to critique. and they do. to her. the pastor's wife hears complaints about the man she loves. she wants so badly for him to be sucessful and have a high "approval rating", but she can't control what he does and how it effects people. if she is a mother things intensify ten-fold. she also has to make sure her children are loveable showpieces as well. have you ever tried to make a toddler conform?
sundays are incredibly difficult. it is the only few hours each week that she gets to communicate an image to the congregation and everyone is looking at her. and her children. she has just spent the morning running around doing all the sunday morning stuff by herself as her husband is spread so thin on those days. it seems everyone wants a piece of her in that small little window of time.
being a pastoral family is like being a celebrity. everyone feels they know you because you are in the public eye, yet they feel distant enough to make judgements. everyone wants to talk to you, but few want to really know you.
i realize this post has sounded very cynical. i am truly thankful for both of the congregations sonny served and have so many wonderful memories of the precious people there. i also have some wounds from my time as a pastor's wife. i know those are rarely shared and so i wanted to give you a glimpse so that you might know. if you don't know you can't help. i know the vast majority of people do want to be an encouragment to their pastor's family, they just don't know exactly what that might look like because they've never experienced it. i am hoping this will help in a small way.
tomorrow will be the fun post. what then shall we do? read the results of my conversations with pastor's wives as to what would minister and encourage them the most...should be fun!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

more michigan pics...

Noah after his haircut
...he recovered quickly

Mya and Noah getting a story before naptime

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

haircut...the new torture technique

forget the waterboard controversy, just tell the prisoners you're going to give them a haircut. well, if they respond like my son it will be much more severe than any torture method previously implemented. i must admit the screams were worth enduring when such a cute face emerged.