Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall fun!

Fall is, hands down, my favorite season.  There comes a day, typically in October, when I step outside and can feel it.  The air is a bit cooler, the leaves are less green, and it just smells like fall.  Jeramie senses it, too, and we share a wide-eyed look that says, "Bring it on.  Let's do this."

The hoodies come out, the windows go up, and our house constantly smells like pumpkin.  I think our love for the season is quickly rubbing off on Ethan, too.  A few days ago, we walked outside and he declared, "What a beautiful day! Fall is my favorite year!"

Going to the pumpkin patch is a much anticipated family event each fall and this year's trip was especially built-up.  I won't name any names, but someone had to be removed from a birthday party, kicking and screaming, the morning of "pumpkin patch day" a few weekends ago.  We canceled our visit for the day and I'm honestly not sure who was more disappointed - Ethan or me.  We more than made up for it the following week, but not without learning a hard lesson in controlling our emotions. 

Just keepin' it real.

Now, back to happier times...

First up, I was able to join Ethan on his first-ever field trip and it was about as cute as you can imagine it to be! He has made fast-friends with Parker this year and their friendship warms my heart.  They were pretty much inseparable throughout the whole trip!

Other field trip highlights include: feeding a goat, picking out a pumpkin, and finding our way through a millet maze.  Good times!

A couple days later, Jeramie, Ethan, and I ventured out to a new-to-us farm outside of Raleigh.   It was much smaller than the others we've visited, but so fun! Ethan was most looking forward to the corn crib and it did not disappoint! Little did we know that we brought home about a cup of kernels in the pockets of his overalls, half of which showed up in the washing machine a few days later.

Ethan was all about feeding the animals there ... for about two seconds.  Once he saw the size of this cow's tongue, he quickly changed his mind! I put on my brave face for his sake, but I'll admit that I didn't love it, either.

I mean, really. Look at that tongue! ...and Ethan's face.  Everything about this picture makes me laugh!

There were a few other fun things for kids to do, too - rubber duck races, barrel train rides, and an awesome playground!

Of course, the hayride out to the pumpkin patch was a big hit! Each of us brought home a pumpkin, which we plan to decorate sometime this weekend, and I'm pretty sure it's going to involve power tools.  Stay tuned.

The prized pumpkin in the patch.

After a quick trip through the corn maze, our afternoon at the farm was complete. If you're local to the Raleigh area, check out Naylor Family Farm (but find a coupon first)!

This face? He can do it on command and it cracks us up every single time.

It's fall, y'all! We hope your days are happy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On saying "yes"...

Up until I was twenty-one years old, I had never stepped foot inside an airplane - a fact that greatly surprised many of my college friends.  Growing up in Small Town, USA, I'd never had a reason to fly anywhere and, quite honestly, the desire was never there either.

Fast-forward through a couple years of college and my roommates and I came up with the grand idea to fly to Los Angeles to visit another college buddy.  It wasn't until I began walking down the jet-way that I started to panic and question our decision.  Surely I could keep both feet on the ground in North Carolina and see our friend some other time, right? And what part of my brain thought it would be a good idea to lose my "flying virginity" on a cross-country flight?

Once we boarded the plane, I discovered that my seat was separated from my friends' and I may or may not have cried.  Some poor military guy, who was well-versed in traveling above the clouds, got stuck beside me - the irrational first-timer.  His tan knuckles were white by the time I was done with them, but he managed to convince me that looking out of my window wasn't such a terrible idea.

I've loved flying ever since.

Over the past ten years, I've found myself in planes headed to California, Oregon, Ohio, New York, and Florida - but never outside the borders of our country.  I'll often get the itch to fly somewhere, but rarely has it crossed my mind that the "somewhere" might be more than a few hours away.


Four months from now, I'll be walking down another long jet-way into quite possibly one of the biggest planes I've ever been on.  I'll settle into my seat for ... I don't even want to know how long ... and, yes, I'm sure there will be tears.  (Mandy - get your knuckles ready.)

God has given me an opportunity to travel to India with Global Hope India and I'm still in awe of how He works.  Much like adoption, international missions has never been "my thing".  I'll support "those people" who are "called" all day long, but I've never "felt led" to personally participate.


I've been learning over the past few months that caring for orphans and making disciples of all nations aren't callings that give us the warm-fuzzies.  They're commandments that will most likely make us a little uncomfortable.  Adopting a baby and leaving my family for an international missions trip have never been on my short-list, but they're on God's and who am I to say "no, thanks"?

So, I'm saying "yes, please" and I would love your support.

First and foremost, please begin praying today for our team.  There are around ten of us going, flying into Hyderabad then traveling in-country to Kesigna.  We'll be in India for about nine days, with a day or so of traveling to and from the U.S. on either side.  While I do pray for the safety of our team and the people we'll be loving on, my main prayer is that the good news of the Gospel will be heard loud and clear by the people of India.  Furthermore, I pray that they will be empowered to share it with others long after we leave.

In addition to your prayers, I am in need of financial help to make this trip happen.  The total cost is $2,800 and I need half of that within the next two weeks in order to book the airline tickets.  It is very difficult to ask for money, especially after wrapping up Heart Walk fundraising, but I'm stepping out in faith that some of you would like to financially support God's work in India.  If that's you, I would ask that you prayerfully consider being a sponsor of my trip.

You can make an online donation by following this link: Donate to Joye Mullis


You can write a check payable to Global Hope India, with a note included with my name, and mail it to: 400 Fayetteville St., Suite E Raleigh, NC 27601

(All donations are tax-deductible.)

Am I nervous? Absolutely.  Am I excited? For sure.  Do I sometimes look up and think, "Lord, what exactly are you doing?" Just about everyday.  Getting to a place of saying "yes" to God is a wild journey, that's for sure, but I'm confident it's where He wants me ...and you.

Thanks in advance, friends.  Your support is greatly appreciated!

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"
-Matthew 28:18-20

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Washing" D.C. in Photos

A few days before our trip, Ethan and I were having a conversation about where we were going and what we would be doing.  I referred to Washington as simply "D.C." and Ethan found it necessary to correct me...

"Mom, it's not D.C. It's Washing D.C. You hafta say the whole word."

My bad.

I'll refrain from captioning every photo with "the sky was so beautiful!", but it really was.  We couldn't have asked for a more pleasant sight-seeing day and I'm glad we were able to experience it all before this week's shutdown!

Other trip highlights include: Jeramie meeting John McCain, riding an underground trolley from the Senate office building to the Capitol, and meeting up with friends for dinner and play-time before heading back to N.C.

We're looking forward to returning some point... for a longer stay!

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