Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blurry Line of the Lino Life

I don't always recognize it. In fact, after 12+ years of marriage, the line of it is often blurred. I was reminded this week.....I'm married to a foreigner.
[fawr-uh-ner, for-]–noun
1. a person not native to or naturalized in the country or jurisdiction under consideration; alien.
2. a person from outside one's community.
3. a thing produced in or brought from a foreign country.
When I first typed that, it sounded a bit strange. When we were dating, I hardly even noticed that the red-headed, accented guy was 'not from around here'. He liked American sports, knew how to order at trendy restaurants, could drive on the right hand side of the road, and could understand almost all of my Texan version of English. Actually, most everything we did was the Texas version of the American way. It's still that way.

But he is a foreigner. My sweet husband moved to the States from the country of South Africa 11 years prior to our first date in college. He wasn't born in Aggieland where we met or anywhere in the land of the free. The Lino family of five left everything except what fit in 7 suitcases. Family, pets, friends, culture, everything familiar - all left behind, all given up.

I have never fully realized everything he has given up to make our life together a seamless fit of our two cultures and ways of life. This week, I have been reminded of so many of the sacrifices he has made for us. His childhood friend from Africa is here visiting with his wife and the reminiscing is endless. Dinner with Nathan's parents, plus the visiting friends was such a reminder of the life he had before America and his American wife. It was a great life. One he remembers with such fondness. I am so thankful for the experiences he had prior to our life together. I am so thankful for his willingness to embrace our culture and blend our family into a wonderful combination of his South African roots and my Texas heritage.

He has done an amazing job of keeping the line blurry. I love that foreign man!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Easier With Practice?

In my mind, everything should be easier with the fourth kid. I've done it three times. I have this down. Really, why should the fourth one do it any differently than the previous three? In this particular case, I was not a willing participant. I did not want to do this. I should have, but just didn't want to take the time to do it.

Today is day 3 of being home with all four for the purpose of potty training the youngest. She turned two a couple of weeks ago and is most likely ready. Three different people took her to the restroom without any instruction from me last week during VBS. Evidently, she was giving all the 'I'm ready' cues. She has yet to do anything but sit on the potty. Nothing. Every 20 minutes or so. Nothing.

The other three either trained themselves or made it so easy for me that I can hardly remember it. I am sure this will be a lesson in my determination and patience - not hers. Practice certainly hasn't made it easier.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Complete Set

I am so excited to have this complete set of the Women's Evangelical Commentary - Old and New Testament. It is a fabulous tool for women desiring to enhance and have that 'extra' in their time of personal Bible study or preparation for sharing more of God's Word with others. Thank you to Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Kelley for making it a reality and my sweet husband for giving it to me.

Here is brief description of the New Testament version:
The Women's Evangelical Commentary: New Testament is a Bible commentary written and edited by women for women. While other commentaries take an egalitarian view of the relationship between men and women, the editors and writers of this commentary believe the complementarian view of the relationship between men and women most accurately interprets God’s intent as expressed in Scripture. Features include:

• Introductory background (author, recipients, setting, outline, themes)

• Verse-by-verse exposition, giving special attention to passages of interest to women without sidestepping difficult-to-interpret passages

• Charts, maps, and word studies

• Character sketches of women in the New Testament

• Pronunciation guide for difficult proper names

• Archaeological notes

• Featured articles on topics of interest to women

• Devotional insights and inspirational notes

• Suggested bibliography for further study

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Restful Results

This is what happens when you have camp in the morning and VBS in the evening. It's only day three and they are wiped out. Everyone is looking forward to a great night tonight at VBS and praying for heart change in lots of little lives. So thankful for willing workers sharing the Gospel of Christ!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Back to Back Grads

singing the months of the year
the kinder farewell
her speaking part went flawlessly
Back to back......that's how they will always be. Toads and Girly Girl are in back to back grades. He just finished 1st and she has wrapped up her kindergarten experience. Being the baby of the class with that late summer birthday, she started out a little slow and then really got going to finish off her year. She exceeded all of her academic goals and began the social journey of life in public school. She talks so lovingly of her amazing teacher, Mrs. Dees (who also taught Toads in kinder) and often calls me by her name instead of 'mom'. She can tell story after story of all the exciting things she was able to do and learn. She recalls her friends with great detail and fondness. Riding the yellow bus for the first time on a field trip, playing chase at recess, following the rules, getting to visit big brother in his classroom, meticulous artwork, singing song after song, and going to specials were some of her faves.

Mrs. Dees
We are so pleased with how her year transpired. We made the choice to send the kids to one of the local public schools and it has been a decision that we are very glad that we made. There have been many teaching opportunities when she came home discussing different situations and she is already experiencing and learning about the real world. Her teacher, Mrs. Dees showed a love and passion for success in all areas of life in her classroom and insisted that high expectations were met. It was such a pleasure to have someone who shares many of our values as her teacher and it made a distinct impression on our little learner.

Girly Girl and mom
The learning environment at PFE enabled the year of fun and learning to be something our Girly Girl will always remember. They have a great kinder teaching team who had the 5 classes all prepped and ready to show off what they learned to the parents on the last day of school. Our Girly Girl who wore tennis shoes with every outfit throughout the year changed her shoes for the performance and in her own reserved way, gave it her all.

so glad Dad's schedule allowed him to make it
Toads sang the same songs last year......with a bit of dramatic flair. Girly Girl put her own style on it this year. They will go back to back again in 11 and 12 years when they are high school grads. These foundational kinder memories have set the stage for some exciting times when it's no longer the days of the week and months of the year that they are performing. We anticipate many family meals of this precious Girly Girl telling us all about her day as she traverses these school days with her love for life and all that it holds.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Different Kind of Two

Mommy's girl

We had a different kind of two this time. String Bean (who isn't so stringy anymore) turned two last week and we celebrated as usual. The requirements were inexpensive and nothing that required my house to be spotless. The local butterfly park in our neighborhood was perfect. She had a wonderful time and the older kids had their bikes. All were happy. What made this one different is it was the first two year old birthday party we have hosted at which I was not either caring for a newborn or extremely pregnant with the next little Lino. A bit odd when we thought about it, but so right. Our sweet little family is just right. We are in such a wonderful place in life and loving every minute of it. Yes, there are moments of wanting to pull your hair out because of exhaustion or just irritation, but that it is not the norm. The norm around here is laughter, silly kids, lots of reading and swimming and just plain old fun together as a family.

Her 'sugar' birthday!
Bubbles and playground did the trick
String Bean is such a wonderful part of the Six Linos. She has become quite chatty and makes her opinions known. Being the fourth, she has learned to jump in and get what she wants. She is a momma's girl....still cries after two years of being dropped off in the church nursery. She gives some of the best snuggles. She loves her Bubba. She is a gift from the Lord.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Latest Trip

Linos & Byrds - 4 Cs and 4 Ks

A trip down memory lane can invoke many emotions. My latest trip took me to Corpus and back 30+ years. I have known Amanda since she was born (just a few months after me). We grew up together, spent holidays together, roomed together at A&M, stood next to each other at our weddings, had babies together, struggled through life together and so much more. While we were visiting this week, we looked through old pictures. How I wish they were digital so that I could post them here. Well, maybe not the incredibly out of style ones. But, it was so fun to see those pictures and remember all of the times we have shared over the years. Dance recitals, halloween, zoo trips, and baking cookies.

The Lord has been very gracious to us and allowed us to live close enough to each other so that we continue to make memories. We share a love for the Lord and are both deeply committed to our families. We never miss a beat in our relationship. We can not talk for a couple of weeks and still be so connected. Our short time together this week was rich in laughter and meaningful conversation, encouragement and fun. Such a blessing. It is a friendship I treasure and thank God for regularly.

In all of our imaginative play and dreaming as little girls, we never played out the current scenario......each of us married with four kids. The oldest is almost 8 and the youngest is 4 months. They too had a fabulous time this week playing and being silly friends.

This trip down memory lane invoked thankfulness and awe at the Lord's orchestration of the friendships in my life. It is one I hope I do not soon forget.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Never Would Have Thought It

I don't think many of us would have ever thought it would happen, but I am so glad it did. Ministry and cross-country moves can take us anywhere. It took us to NEHBC in Humble, Texas for what has now been 9 years. My little brother was in high school when I got married. His life certainly wasn't all planned out. Over time, the Lord has seen fit to move him and his precious wife around the corner from our house. Our lives are intertwined......they love our kids, he helps me when Nathan is out of town, they babysit (hallelujah!), we hang out, we worship and serve the Lord together. It's a great life. I have so enjoyed seeing how the Lord has continued to work in the Linos and Parkers to allow us to have such a wonderful relationship. I pray we have many more years of the same with lots of amazing memories. We love you D&J!

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