Sunday, April 17, 2011

Reunited, And It Feels So Good

There's been a bit of travel going on around here lately. Craig spent some time working in Houston recently. I had the privilege of joining him for part of that time, (Woo-Hoo!) but it seems like we've been separated for SO long.

That could possibly be due to the fact that 1 1/2 days after his return, I hit the road for a completely selfish pursuit.
I rationalized that, because I was taking three of our children with me, it was perfectly acceptable for me to do so.

Our special guest travel companion was my mom!

Some highlights from my mini-house-hunting-conference-attending-family-visiting-quality-time-with-husband trip to Houston:

It was marvelous to sit in a WARM breeze on the patio of a cafe and enjoy a yummy lunch with the sound of birds in my ears, while gazing into the eyes of this man.

I recommend the veggie panini at Cafe Express in Houston.

What a rich blessing it was to hear sound biblical teaching from Conrad Mbewe, known as the Spurgeon of Africa. It was a delight to meet and talk with his lovely wife, Felistas.
We were especially blessed to see the great speaker of the "Truth in Love", our friend, Voddie Baucham. We thoroughly enjoyed our brief time with his family and a few of their friends.

A very special aspect of the visit was partaking of some of Voddie's amazing culinary skills. For lunch, we had some of his leftover chicken curry (some of the best we've had - complete with his own homemade curry blend), and for dinner, we enjoyed his delectable gumbo. This guy is highly skilled in the kitchen, which, by the way, is nicely outfitted with lots of excellent tools and gadgets. (I'm hoping that Craig's competitive nature has been spurred on by Voddie's impressive knife collection.)

Spending time with Titus 2 women was such a refreshment for me. I went home feeling as if I had been to the fillin' station. I look forward to spending more time with Voddie's wife, Bridget, and her wise friends.

The men enjoyed a grand time of "iron sharpen[ing] iron".

Before my flight back to the 'burgh, we had a nice brunch outing with my Uncle Mo & Aunt Shirley; and my cousin, Tammy, joined us with her husband, Bo, and their sons, Tres & Morgan.

Some highlights of my trip to Ft. Wayne, IN, to join my friend, Lauren, for the Vera Bradley factory outlet sale:
Given the number of shoppers over the five days of the sale (we only attended two), I was very impressed by the organization by all of the staff. Other retailers could take some pointers for their Black Friday and other future large sale preparation.

It blessed my heart to have a fellow shopper ask about my purse that I carried. I was delighted to inform her that I had made it myself!

These are some seriously fun shopping buddies! Lauren's youngest son, Timothy, was such a good sport throughout our excursion. It's a wonder we didn't completely wear him out. After the sale, we headed to Panera for lunch, followed by an outing at Hobby Lobby (since there isn't one in Pittsburgh).

We occupied ourselves during our half-hour wait in line with photos, edifying conversation, and determining our plan of action for sale shopping. It helped that we had also gone the day before. That way, we weren't tempted toward impulse purchases, and we knew exactly what we wanted by this time.

I'm really not a die-hard Vera Bradley fan, but I do like some of her pieces. I felt silly even traveling to buy bags, since I enjoy making my own. Still, there are things I'm simply not going to make myself, and it was a fun excuse to hang out with Lauren and her precious family before our upcoming move to Houston.

Vindication: Craig's exact quote (about my travel bag, which was my priority at the sale) was,
"That bag is 'bad', I have to admit."

I've been wanting one of these double change purses for a while, and I was pleased to NOT pay $25 for it.

I deliberated over getting this wallet, and on the second day of the sale, all of my shopping companions insisted that I get it for myself. They backed me into a corner. What else could I do?

I'm more of a Wal-Mart sort of purchaser of office supplies, but who could resist these adorable binder clips? I really don't care to know how far they were marked down on the final day of the sale...

Gabriela decided to stay behind at Lauren's house and babysit the other children with Craig Grayson. This was her compensation.

Craig's mom recently complimented one of my purses, so I bought this tote for her in the same pattern. She doesn't know it yet. :-)

Although I enjoyed my special trips, it was nice to again have our family all together.  I couldn't resist this moment with the children gathered around Craig.


  1. Oh, Dayna, how blessed you are! We so appreciate the ministry of the Baucham family! Jasmine's book, Joyfully at Home, has recently been a popular topic in our circle because it is so encouraging and quite well written. Please tell her so for us.

    You've inspired me to try my first purse...just bought fabric on the way back from a lobbying trip. Although time is tight right now, hopefully I'll get through my first attempt and still be pleased with the result. If not, I'll just call it "education!"

    We do hope your moving process continues to be fun and blessed!

  2. Oh, Kim! I can't wait to see photos of your purse when it's finished!

    My mind is funny. When I saw "lobbying trip" in your post, I immediately thought, "Hobby Lobby". Then I realized that you meant that you had actually been lobbying. :-)

    Thank you for your kind words about our moving process. It just doesn't seem real right now, but I know that it'll soon be upon us.

    Oh, and yes! God is really blessing a lot of people through the ministry of the Baucham family. What a gift it is to have a young lady like Jasmine to faithfully admonish other young ladies to live biblically. I love that she's so real. We're slowly working through that book, too. I will certainly let her know that you appreciate her ministering through her book.