Wednesday, September 30, 2009

She is Watching Me . . .

I always knew that children learn from their parents. However, seeing it happen with my own child is pretty amazing! I was cleaning the kitchen and noticed that things got a little too quiet. I looked over and saw this:

Amazing! She did this all by herself. My purse was just sitting there. (Again, I realize that kids all over the world are grabbing their moms' purses, but still, I just love being a mom!)

She looks pretty good with a Longchamp purse, if I say so myself!! Watch out Brian, there are two of us now:)!

Our House is for Sale

Shared via AddThis

By the way, our house is for sale, and we had a second showing today. Please pray that our house would sell for a fair price. If you want, you can view our virtual tour online (above). There is some really cheesy music playing (you can shut it off by clicking on the speaker on the top right); however, the pics are great.

Uncle Rollie's Hat and a Flickr Test

IMG_1475, originally uploaded by brianandaleisha.

Okay, so I just have to vent. I have loved, loved, loved facebook, blogging, and entering into a whole new world of social-networking, until recently, I discovered something about my pictures.

I have a google reader account where I easily organize the blogs I read and follow. I subscribe to dear friends blogs, their friends blogs, and even a blog written by this girl who loves decorating and lives in Germany. Well, I have noticed something about other peoples' pictures. While I'm not a photographer by any means, my pictures, once posted on my blog, do not look as good as they do on my computer.

I also love, love, love my mac.

HOWEVER, I have been posting pictures on this blog since literally the day Cece was born, and it has taken me nine months to figure out that the picture quality is not great. ARRGGGG!

I guess it has something to do with the fact that when uploading pictures directly to blogger from my computer, blogger compresses them. So, after doing some research, I have found there are other ways to do this. Flickr happens to be one, but I'm not sure if I'm going to like this. For starters, I think I can only attach ONE picture per post. What will I ever do? Just one picture!!! Okay, enough of that.

This ONE picture (although there are five that I wanted to put on here) is of Cece (of course). She was at my parents house, and Uncle Rollie's suitcase was upstairs, open, and within her reach. She found his hat, and the rest, is well super-cute.

I'll try to get a few more posted (if this works, and I have the patience:))!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cece's First Words

So, Cece has started to say words--actual words, and she knows what some of them mean. I cannot describe what it is like, as a parent, to watch your child develop . . . . What is really funny is to watch her watch this video because she says the words again--with the video. She knows more than what is on here, but we didn't want to show off:)!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

I remember watching the Wizard of Oz as a young child. I HATED that movie. Mostly, because I was very afraid of witches. And also, because I just really wanted Dorthy to get home. I just remember feeling "home-sick" for her. "There's no place like home . . . . There's no place like home." The only part of the movie that I really liked was when she was back home safe with Aunt May (?? or Aunt someone).

Well, Minnesota is most certainly my home. I just love so much about it. There is just something about the air--might sound crazy, but I'm telling you it's fresher than most (and yes, it's usually more chilly than most). Being outside in Minnesota just makes me feel happy. Despite being really busy this time, Cece did get a few moments in the Minnesota air, and she got to play with the first fallen-leaves of the season.

As I am thinking about moving to Czech, surprisingly, I'm not overcome with homesickness. That is not to say that I will not experience that emotion and so many more. I probably have no idea "the hard" that I will face, at times. However, I do just want to take a moment to thank God for what he has done the past ten years, to make my moving to Eastern Europe something that I am so, so excited about.

Despite my personality, my deep connection to family, and my love for the Minnesota air, God started a work in me that first summer in Eastern Europe and had me begin to fall in the love with the air there too (despite some heavy pollution in some areas:)).

In all seriousness, besides Minnesota, Eastern Europe is my favorite place on Earth. What a gift! I know the Bible well (I really do:)), and I know that God certainly leads His children to sacrifice, but I also know through the Bible and through my own life, that He really, really loves us. And, He loves me enough to call me to serve Him, but more than that, to call me to serve Him in a place that He has given me a genuine love for.

I'm also wise enough to know, though, that it's not really about geography, but rather about people, and I really, really love the people of Eastern Europe.

I'm also wise enough (or at least beg God to keep reminding me) that I really can't love anyone the way that I should without Him. Please dear God, help me to love others, wherever I am, with your love!!!

(Here I am my second summer in Poland--feeling very at home.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Blog Background

By the way, what do you think of our new blog background? Allow me to give credit where it is do. First, my lovely husband did most of the work (he's much more computer savvy than I). Second, my new friend, Amy, helped me learn some HTML editing, and my dear friend, Heidi, was my inspiration. Check out their blogs: Amy, Heidi. (Also, all those great pictures of the three of us that you are seeing everywhere were taken by Heidi!)

Rollie and Cait's Reception

My brother got married! Rollie. That means all three of us kids are married now. In the words of his new wife, Cait, "I think that's just great!" I didn't take a single picture of the wedding or during the wedding day. I'm kicking myself. However, I did manage to record this little snippet from the reception.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Our September Update

As a way of keeping friends and family updated, Brian and I have decided to continue working magic with iMovie:). Here's what Brian wrote in a recent e-mail to friends and family:

We have been grateful for the encouragement and support we have received in this process and for the great conversations we have had with many of you. The months ahead will surely provide opportunities for more of these conversations, and we can't wait.

We have put together a short video that gives an update on where we are with raising support and how we are seeing God work on us through this process. As we have shared with many of you, we cannot wait to be in the Czech Republic and serving with Josiah Venture. We know that day will come, and we are blessed that we get to experience first hand the work that God is doing in Eastern Europe.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Proud Grandmas

I usually try not to post more than once a day. However, as Connie Patty wrote on her blog, "blogging is how I keep track of our life." I'm starting to give myself permission to just post especially when the pictures, videos, or words are pieces of our lives that I want to remember.

Here are some recent pics of some proud grandmas (both Grandma Gs--this is my mom with Cece and this is Kathy with her first grandson, Jackson. Jackson is my cousin, Mark's, son.)

Both Melissa and I (Jackson's mom) are going to have fun buying shoes for these two.

Tractor Ride and FAQs

First, I have to share this photo of Cece with her Grandpa G in Minnesota. She had her first tractor (really lawn mower) ride. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more. I have video of it, which I'm sure to make into a movie that I will likely post--don't you worry.

Next, I wanted to add some other FAQs from our website:

Q: When are you leaving?
A: We really wish we had a definite answer for this. Here is what we do know – we will not join Josiah Venture until we are 100% supported. That means we will need 100% commitment for our monthly needs ($7,400), as well as full support for our outgoing expenses ($55,000). Our goal is to be moving to the Czech Republic in January 2010. We sense urgency in regards to serving with Josiah Venture because of the specific roles they are asking us to do. Our motto right now is “Expectant waiting for God’s movement”.

Q: If I decide to support you on an ongoing basis, when should I start giving?
A: If you can begin your giving as soon as possible, it will allow us to join Josiah Venture sooner. The reason for this is that the funds we receive before we leave for Eastern Europe will go toward our outgoing expenses. For example, if we receive 100% commitment for our monthly support ($7400) today and those supporters begin their giving immediately, then we can expect to join Josiah Venture no later than 8 months from now ($55,000/$7,400 = 7.4 months).

Sunday, September 13, 2009


We are continuing our journey to the Czech Republic to serve with Josiah Venture. We have recently updated our website with Frequently Asked Questions. Brian did most of the work on these, and frankly, I think he answered some hard questions really well. Feel free to visit the FAQs section of our website for all of them, but I decided to post some of them on our blog.

Q: Why do you have to raise your own support?

A: From a practical side, we are able to invite the people who have supported us, mentored us, cared for us, and taught us to be part of our team in a way that would not be possible otherwise. This provides a larger number of people to experience the work of God in Eastern Europe in a very personal manner. And we hope that, in turn, expands the number of God’s people who are praying for this area, supporting the work being done in this region, and directly serving through mission work. In addition, we are able to keep you informed of the work we are doing and the fruit that God is blessing Josiah Venture with more directly than the organization can do as a whole.

There is also a very powerful spiritual side of this process that we are only beginning to experience. God will prepare us for the work that we will do as we continue to raise support, and we will learn to trust him in phenomenal ways because we walked this path. We will confirm the calling He has placed in our life as we share our story again and again. We will learn to prayer more fervently, submit more effectively, and hope more boldly. God blesses this process not only because it makes more people aware of the spiritual needs of Eastern Europe, but also because it will more effectively prepare His children to embark on this adventure He has placed in front of us. We believe he loves us that personally that He would use this time to teach us new things.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's All about the Hair

A lot of people ask me about Cece's hair. Have I figured it out? Well, as someone who has curly hair, I am well aware that you never really figure it out. You have to keep trying new things, and it's all about product. I really am having a lot of fun with Cece's hair. It does, however, take me longer to do hers than it does for me to do my own. One of my favorite parts of doing her hair is combing it all out. I usually do it while she's in the bathtub because it saves time, and she distracted. I just couldn't resist capturing what it looks like all combed out. I mean--is that not awesome!?

I'm not the only one who is fascinated with Cece's hair, so is her cousin, Kendall:
(To view in other formates and better quality, visit our mobileme gallery. By the way, if someone has a tip on uploading videos to blogger via a mac, please let me know--I feel like I loose the quality every time.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My New Dance Moves

Not long ago, I created a video of Cece's first dance moves (Poker Face). Well, she's added some new moves, and I couldn't resist making another video. I would love to believe that Cece is learning her moves from us, but I think the video shows that these moves are all her own:)! However, Here's some pics of Brian and I showing our moves.

Dancing in the streets of Vienna with my friend, Steve:

Here's Brian with his mom:
Here's a picture of my family dressed up for disco night:
Here's Brian (he doesn't really have great dance moves, but he sure thinks he's cool):
Yeah, so I thought I was pretty cool, too:

So far, I think Cece has us both beat:

(To view the video in different formates and better quality, visit our mobileme gallery.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Here is a video of Cece with some of her cousins!
(To view the video in other formates and better quality go to our mobileme gallery.)

I loved growing up with my cousins. This is one of my favorite pictures of me with cousins.
I really hope that Cece can be close to her cousins--despite distance.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Last night, we had dinner with Cece's birthfamily:
Cece with Mackenzy, her biological sister
Lauryn, Cece's birthmom, Lauryn's parents, and Mackenzy
Cece with Lauryn, her birthmom
I love this picture--staring at the shoes!
We are certain that Cece will cherish these photos and the stories we will share with her that demonstrate how much her birthfamily loves her.

Here are some pics of Cece with her Daddy in her "Daddy's MVP" shirt.  They are gearing up for gator football!