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The Park Family Times

This is a great place to come if you want to see pictures of the 2 cutest boys in the world: Samuel and Jeremiah Park and keep up with what's going on with our family.

Updated: 2014-10-04T20:30:13.726-05:00




Well, I realize that the hurricane is much more important than this post, but I actually have a quiet moment at the house, so thought I'd update everyone on the C25K thing.

Wednesday morning I took J to school, came home and went running! Crazy! The beauty of running when it's as humid as it's been lately is you stay a little more hydrated. :) I did notice that at the end of the one minute runs, I felt like I could have kept running a little further. Good sign, huh? It did all hurt a little more though -- shin splints mostly.

Then Friday J and I went to the gym and I did it again. This time I started the Week 2 routine which is running for 90 seconds and walking for 2 minutes (alternating). I did OK. It's a little harder on a treadmill b/c you have to push buttons to start running and walking, but all in all I did good.

I have a sweet friend who told me this week that she thinks she's come down with something b/c she ran 3x's this past week (she wishes to remain anonymous so as not to create great alarm in far reaching places at the idea of her running, on purpose). She's seriously considering going to the doctor to ask him to do something to make it stop. :)

This friend also told me you can search for couch to 5K on iTunes and get music podcasts that way. I think I'll try that. I may have had my fill of christian indie music.

Blessings to all and if you are in southern Texas, know that we are all praying for you!!!

I did it


I did day 2 yesterday while Jeremiah was at gymnastics. You're right, it is nicer outside. :) But part of the reason it was so easy was because I was listening to this. This guy put together 30 minute music tracks to listen to while you do your runs. There is another guy who did one as well - his is more techno music -- you can link to it from the c25k website. But the one I listened to is independent christian music.

Independent means that it is recorded without the oversight of a label company. If you know anything about indie music, you know that some of it is indie for a reason. The same is true here. But the redeeming factor is that the guy tells you when to walk and when to run. So no keeping track of time, no wondering if you've gone too far, etc. Just follow the prompts. Run when he says run and walk when he says walk. It is very mindless. And I don't know about you, but easier is ALWAYS better when it comes to exercise.

So now there are 3 of us on this "program" -- which one of us will actually finish this thing. My bet is on Lisa (no offense Sara).

C25K Update


Wow, I was a little overwhelmed that 9 people actually still read this blog on occasion. I was especially shocked when one friend said I inspired her and she has started this journey as well. I hope you guys are not disappointed at the following post:

Reasons why I have not moved on to Day 2 in the C25K:

1. Day 1 was on Thursday, Aug. 28. Friday I was too sore. Then came Labor Day Weekend - who in the world actually works out on a 3 day weekend. Please!

2. Monday night (Labor Day), my purse was stolen at the local Subway (the restaurant. No Irving does not actually have subways that you ride -- I wish). So that threw out Tuesday as I was depressed and busy working on purchasing my life back (new purse, new wallet, new cell phone, etc., etc., etc.)

3. Wednesday: Jeremiah is now in school Tues-Thurs. Since Tues was a wash, Wed. was my first real "day off" -- who wants to spend that working out. Besides, the Fajita Festival is next week and I had LOTS of work to do.

4. Thursday: I went to the gym for my free personal trainer thing that you get when you join. I had a very enjoyable, yet hard workout with Rashad. When it was all over, he sat me down and tried to sell me more of those hard workouts at a very reasonable price of $60/per session. Are you kidding me? When I hesitated, he had to bring in the used-car-salesman version of Val Kilmer to convince me that $80/month was not really all that bad for 2 sessions a month and that if I didn't spend that kind of money, I must not be really serious about my health, etc. Well, by the time it was over (I honestly had plans of doing my treadmill run that day), I felt so dirty & grimey from the conversation with aforementioned not-very-enjoyable-person, that I just had to go take a shower.

5. Friday: I was very sore from my very enjoyable, yet hard workout with Rashad.

6. Weekend!!! Run? Really? Doubt it!

So here we are Monday morning. Jeremiah has gymnastics at 10. My plan is to drop him off and then run around the block a couple times. We'll see how it goes. Several of you suggested that I run outside rather than a treadmill. My only problem with outside is it generally doesn't have childcare. So I'm going to take advantage of gymnastics. I make no promises that this will happen again, but I'll at least try it today.

Lisa, I hope you're having more success than I am. :)

Couch to 5k


I am fairly certain that no one in the world still reads this blog, but I'm going to fool myself into thinking that someone might.

Summer is over and we are entering real life again. For me, this includes getting back to the gym on a regular basis. Today I joined LA Fitness. I started the Couch to 5K program. I am not promising that I will actually finish it. In fact, I'm not just amazingly gung ho about it, which may do well towards helping me actually finish it. How's that for crazy logic. Thank you Laura for turning me onto this. If anyone wants to join me, here's a website with some more cool stuff about this program, including some downloadable music to help pace you through it.

Anyway, I realize that a 5K is not that big a deal, especially considering the fact that my sweet friend Sherry, did a triathalon recently. (If anyone reads this blog still, it's Sherry, so I had to give her props here). Anyway, I've done one 5K before -- the Blue Bell Fun Run. It was AWFUL!!! The hills were killer. I think it took me 45 minutes. Terrible! But at least we got free ice cream at the end (yes, at 8am).

Anyway, I'm thinking about using this blog to post my thoughts/reactions to this Couch to 5K thing. I figure since I don't actually use it to update on my life anymore (I'm addicted to Facebook right now), that it might be a good motivational tool to pretend that there are people out there holding me a little bit accountable.

However, I would also like to say, that I'm very bad at seeing things through. For instance, the laundry usually sits, clean, in laundry baskets until it's time to do more laundry again -- never having graced the inside of a closet or dresser before it's back in the dirty clothes basket. I'm really good at starting projects, and feeling very compelled to finish them, but eventually losing steam. So, I make no promises.

In a perfect world, I would journal here about the process of preparing for a 5K again (and hopefully losing some weight along the way), and then sometime toward the end of Oct. I would actually, successfully finish a 5K. That's the goal. But I see a lot of hurdles to jump over the next 9 weeks. We shall see.

I did Day 1 today. 25 minutes on the treadmill, alternating running and walking. By the end, I had walked more than I ran (part of the plan) but I was worn out! The cardio stuff at LA fitness is upstairs. I was worried I might fall down the stairs when I was done -- I seriously considered the elevator. :) I followed this with some ab work, squats, free weights for my arms. About 45-50 min. total. We'll see if it improves any. :)

OK, that's all for now. I just realized, even if no one reads this, it will be a fun journal to look back over when this is all over (assuming I finish). :)

Happy Birthmother's Day


You may not realize that today is Birthmother's Day! And so we want to take a minute to publicly say how much we love and appreciate Jeremiah's Birthmother! She is such an amazing part of our family and we cannot imagine our lives without her. I hear of other adoptive parents who do not have an open adoption and I feel so sorry for them because they are missing out on such an incredible relationship.

Jessica, thank you! Thank you for loving Jeremiah!!! Thank you for loving us! You are a gift from God and we thank Him for you daily!

(I stole this beautiful picture from her facebook). :)

A Little Taste


Here's a little taste of what we've been doing the last month of so. It's just a little taste b/c I've been very lazy about taking pictures. March is always such a crazy month for us with 2 birthdays, Spring Break, Easter, etc. that by the end -- I'm done. And it takes me all of April to recover.

(image) Decorating Easter Eggs.

(image) Granbury Lake - ComChurch Irving Retreat.

(image) Sitting on the dock of the bay -- well, actually it was a lake.

(image) Mom Mom had her birthday. I won't tell you how old she is. :)

(image) Sophie Fogle -- I don't have girls so I can say this:
she is the cutest little girl I have ever seen. She is so precious!!!

Jeremiah's Birthday Party


(image) Some say it's the best one yet, but I'll let you be the judge. :)

(image) This is old moving boxes tranformed into a castle for the kids to play in. Very fun!!!

(image) My little posers.

(image) Jeremiah's favorite present -- his own "tuxedo" -- he loves this thing and has worn it almost all day every day since his party.

(image) In case you didn't get a good enough view of the cake the first time. :)

How Do Kids Get So Smart


So the Park family has given up desserts/sweets for Lent. This is not something our church requires us to do, we just thought it would be a good idea to join with other believers around the world focusing on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Lent is a 40 day season of fasting leading up to Easter. The thing about Lent that I was not taught growing up (as Lent was not something our tradition celebrated) is that Sundays do not count. In other words, Sundays are always the day of the Lord and so on those days, you can partake in whatever it is you're fasting from. (Bring on the sugar!)

So, that's the backstory to this story. This past Sunday, we were camping in our new popup camper. We had gone to the little store at the state park and decided that since it was Sunday, we would buy some oreos. We went back to the camper and were sitting at the table eating oreos, when Samuel says the following: "You know that song, "Open my mouth and feed me your word, I'll receive it thankfully" (a song written by Ross King that we sing regularly at ComChurch) -- eating this cookie reminds me of that song." David: "Oh really. How come?" Samuel: "Well, this cookie is really sweet and what Jesus did for us on the cross was also really sweet." Wow!

Backstory #2: Yesterday I spent the entire day feeling very sorry for myself. I miss my friends in CS. I miss having people to meet at McDo so our kids can play. I miss having girlfriends over for lunch. I was sad, grumpy, lonely, etc. And I kept asking God "How do I get myself out of this funk?" I haven't yet found the key to just stop feeling sorry for myself.

So last night, Samuel & I were on our way to soccer practice. It's about a 15 minute drive. And he was singing "This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice. And be glad in it, and be glad in it....." over and over and over and over and over! Really, it never ended. I started to get annoyed and then, I thought, "Maybe God's trying to tell you something." So I listened. And I prayed. And I apologized to God for being so grumpy. And I rejoiced in the day that the Lord has made.

I'm working on pictures -- we'll see if we can get some up in the next day or two. Blessings!



I've been thinking lately about waiting. As most of you know, we are starting to do church in our home here in Irving. We've been "meeting together" for almost 2 months now. 5 of us. I'm getting really anxious b/c there aren't more people here. I want this thing to grow NOW. I mean, God sent us here, why aren't we being "successful."

Someone very wise said to me the other day, "I never regretted waiting on the Lord. I may not have been happy. I may have even kicked & screamed a little, but I never regretted it." That really hit home. I started thinking about waiting and here are some questions I have about it:

Why don’t we like to wait?
Why do we always want things NOW?
Is a desire for instant gratification cultural or part of our "sin nature"?
What’s wrong with waiting?
Is it something we can practice?
Is it something we even need to do?
Is there something wrong with getting everything now?
What does “wait on the Lord” mean?
How does that apply to my daily life?

Here is a list of a few things I wait for:
-David to get home
-food at a restaurant
-money from IRS
-checkout at grocery store
-to talk to someone on the phone
-food to cook

Have you noticed that our culture has created ways (indeed, industries) to cut this waiting down to a bare minimum. Think about it: fast food restaurants, electronic filing (or better yet, a loan for the amount of money the IRS owes you), self checkout, express lanes, call waiting, microwaves. We've even done away with the idea of layaway and replaced it with credit cards. The list could go on and on. All so we cut down our waiting.

So how does this affect us spiritually? This "need" for instant gratification? I don't know. But I'd like to explore it. I know there are not many people who read this blog anymore (since you've all had to WAIT too long for me to update), but if you want to comment and give me your thoughts, insights, I would love it.

Shelley, it's time to Update


I've gotten at least 2 of these comments so far this week from people who are not in my family. So I guess I should update.First for Jeremiah's arm -- it's looking really good, considering. Sorry no pics yet. It's hard to get him to sit still long enough.Second, the boy's are doing really good in school. Samuel really enjoys his. His favorite subject is math (he's even been known to ask for extra math sheets to work on during inside recess- he definitely did not get that from me). He's making good friends and enjoys going to school, so that's good.Jeremiah still struggles with the "transition" of school. He gets shy and clingy and has been known to run away when it's time to go to class, but is fine within about 2 minutes. And then when I come to pick him up, he doesn't want to leave. I think he's really enjoying his new friends and his teacher.David is loving his job! It's pretty stressful right now, but I think he even enjoys the stress. One perk that we weren't really expecting is that he's home for dinner almost every night (I think he's missed 3 since we moved). This is very different from College Station. But College Station had it's perks that we miss here (like being here in the morning when the boys wake up).I have made some friends here. I'm still longing for girlfriends who I can "hang out" with during the day. But I've gotten back to the gym which helps relieve stress and have found a "playgroup" that meets on Monday mornings.ComChurch Irving is going well. We meet as a ComGroup on Thursday nights. We eat together and talk about what's going on in our lives. This is a great place for encouraging and ministering to each other. We also meet on Sunday nights for some praise time and teaching/discussion time. We've been listening to different podcasts before this time as discussion starters, so if you have suggestions, we're open to them. Also, if you'd like to join us for any of these times, don't hesitate to let me know.Here are some pics of what's been going on with us lately:We celebrated our 14th anniversary the first week in January. Look at the beautiful 14 roses I received from my boyfriend. :)Jeremiah being..... Jeremiah!Samuel & Jeremiah rockclimbing at Horseshoe Junction in Brenham! There was no one else there, so they did this for almost an hour.Samuel on the bungy jump thing. Jeremiah kept acting like he was gonna do this, but never did. David did it and was sore for days.Jeremiah is the instigator of all things pretend. He's really into costumes and make-believe. Here is the whole family in on the action: Grandma, Jeremiah, David and Samuel. I got to be the photographer. :)This picture is too cute! Not only does he love to dress up, but he loves to bake. So this way he gets to do both. Thanks Grandma![...]

Jeremiah Update


Here is what I sent to our church regarding Jeremiah (I'll try to get a good pic soon):

First of all, thank you all so much for your prayers over the past week for Jeremiah. Here's the latest. We watched his arm all last week while we were in College Station. The Dr. had said we should come home if it got infected. To our untrained eyes, it never reached their description of infected. For that we were very thankful. We returned to Irving Sunday and took Jeremiah back to the Dr. Monday morning. Both his regular Dr. and the Dr. who took out the stitches looked at it and were surprised at how good it looks. The top cut is almost completely healed. The two that are close together looked better than they expected. They still think that the piece of skin b/w these will eventually come off, but agree that it's well on its way to healing.

After it heals, they will refer us to a plastic surgeon to look at pulling the two edges together to minimize scarring. Our understanding is that this procedure would be "optional," but at this point, probably something we would do. This is much better than what we expected.

I've had several thought processes as we've gone through this. The most telling happened late one night while I was praying over him asking God to heal his arm. What I wanted was for God to make his arm whole again, but deep down inside I did not believe that when he woke up in the morning it would be any different. I want to believe that God would do that, and I believe it when I ask for healing for others, but for some reason I struggled with believing He would do that for us. I just kept thinking about the father who said, "I believe. Help my unbelief."

Crazy Weekend


Friday: Parks arrived. Ann & I took cupcakes to Samuel's class for his birthday.Samuel passing out cupcakes to his classmates.The class singing Feliz Cumpleanos!Friday night: David & I went to a company Christmas party while the boys stayed with Grandma & Grandpa. It took us 1 hour and 45 min. to get to Frisco and 35 minutes to get home. Welcome to the metroplex!Saturday: I made this cake for Samuel's party. It is my least favorite and the hardest one I've done. Those "cute" little round things on top were the biggest pain -- they almost brought me to tears.Saturday 11:30am: Samuel's 8th birthday party (kid party). We were a little worried, being so new, that no one from his class would show up, but we had 5 and it was perfect. Here are a few pics.Samuel & Jaylon -- apparently his best friend at his new school.Samuel & Carson.Trying to push his face in the icing while Samuel blows out the candles.Saturday afternoon: Jerry hit his head on our very sharp cabinet and cut his forehead pretty bad. We debated stitches, but opted for butterfly bandaids.Saturday night: Ate dinner at Taco Bueno with the Parks and the Tiltons then back to our house for pie.Sunday 8:30am: The adults are eating breakfast in the dining room. The boys (Samuel, Jeremiah and my 13 year old cousin Kenny) are playing tag. They run from the play room into our room, the big boys close the french door behind them. Jeremiah apparently tries to push it open and instead his hand goes through one of the panes. Screaming ensues. David grabs Jeremiah's arm with a towel. I call 911 and ambulance arrives minutes later. They take Jeremiah to the ambulance and triage his arm. Then David & I take him to the ER where he gets 29 stitches. Yes, 29!!! It was terrible, awful, scary, stressful, all those things you are imagining right now. And I've been reliving it all week. It's hard to get those snapshots & sounds out of your mind. Jeremiah is fine now. He has a bandage on his arm that we have to change everyday. He's taking antibiotics and will proudly tell you what happened and how brave he was. (He doesn't tell how Mom almost passed out several times at the hospital -- but what he doesn't know won't hurt him).Sunday 11am: We return home and begin getting ready for Samuel's family party. David grilled burgers & dogs. Mom brought some beans. We had a great time. Here are pics:I LOVE the look on his face! It captures so much about who Samuel is.Needless to say, we were all very tired come Sunday night.Tuesday: Jeremiah had his Christmas party at school. Here are cute pics:Jeremiah and Ms. SheriTate & Jeremiah with the funny faces.Tate & his Mom, Meredith. They live across the street from us.Tuesday night, Stacie (from BCS ComGroup) came to visit and we all went to dinner with Jason (who's at our house this week painting ceilings -- also from BCS ComGroup).Tonight: Jeremey & Lindsey are coming to visit.Thursday: ComgroupFriday: the Fogles come for the weekendSunday: Daniel & Kimie are coming to visitMonday: Jeremiah gets his stitches out and Sara comes to visit.Monday pm: Santa comes to visit. :)Hope you guys have a great week and a blessed holiday with lots of friends & family.[...]

Pictures from Life in Irving


(image) Oh my word! Could he be any more handsome?!?! That's right -- uniforms! This is Samuel's first day of school. He's really liking it!

(image) We went to the Irving Christmas Parade. Here we are waiting for the parade to start.

(image) We went with Meredith and her twins, Tate & Avery. This is Avery sitting in my lap.

(image) Here's Tate bringing back his loot from the Red Hat ladies. The candy was definitely the highlight for all the kids.

(image) The Christmas tree is up. It's official now -- even though I haven't bought a single present yet. How long do you think I can wait? I am the world's best at procrastinating. I'll let you know.

Counting Our Blessings


This week they have been numerous and I've decided it's time to write them all down, mostly b/c I need to write it. Hopefully it will encourage you as it has us. Spoiler: this is pretty long so I understand if you don't make it all the way through. :)1. Samuel is doing great in school. His teachers are bragging on him and even seem a little surprised at how well he's doing (we, of course, are not).2. Jeremiah has done wonderfully at his preschool. He gets a little timid and shy when we get there (I know that's hard for some of you to believe), but then he opens up and does great. The little boy from across the street, Tate, is in his class. That has helped tremendously.3. Thursday when I took Jeremiah to school, Janabeth (the director of the preschool and mother of a 2nd grader in Samuel's class) said, "Hey Shelley, why don't you let me pick Samuel up from school and drop him off at home?" Wow!! I had been praying all week for a solution to the "waking Jeremiah up from his nap to pick Samuel up from school" dilemna. She's done that for the last 2 days and what an incredible blessing. Jeremiah slept till 4:30 yesterday.3. I met one of our next door neighbors, Carlos, on Thurs. He was so friendly and so excited about us being here and about there being more kids in our neighborhood. He then told me the names as well as interesting bits of information about everyone on our street. It was so neat!! These people really do know each other. He also told me about the neighborhood Christmas party next week (that we will be attending). What a blessing!!4. Thursday, David & I signed the final papers on our house in College Station. We have a contract on it with a family from Houston. But get this: We had come to an agreement on a price (this was several weeks ago) and then we heard that someone else wanted to make an offer. So our agent told the first offer's agent and the family upped their offer by $600. That meant that we were only $500 from our listing price. Now the relocation company buys the house from us and sells it to this family (I think this is so we won't have to pay any closing costs). But the relocation company said that the appraisal came in higher than the agreed price, so they are buying it from us for $1000 more than that price. Amazing!!!!5. Thursday night, Jilaine came over for dinner. Jilaine went to ComChurch when she was at A&M. She graduated in May and is now teaching at Irving High School. It was so fun having her here. We had a great time just getting to know each other (we didn't know each other at ComChurch). She told us she had been waiting for us to get here to do church with us -- so now there are 7 of us!!! That's exciting! :)6. Friday I met a neighbor from across the street: Mike. He is the preacher at Walnut Hill church of Christ. He was so nice and when I told him we were going to be doing church in our home, he was so supportive. Even said that if he came across anyone who would rather go to church in a home setting that he would send them our way. I was very encouraged by this.7. Friday night Brad & Laura came. We were so happy to have them here. In case you don't know, they are the other couple that's moving to Irving with us to start doing church together. They came to look around and to sign a lease on an apartment. They are moving in next Sat. We went to dinner with them and Jilaine came and joined us. So I guess that was the first official meeting of ComChurch of Irving. :) It was so fun to just stay up late talking to them. They are such a blessing to our family and we are so excited about them getting up here. Both of them start their new jobs on Dec. 10.8. This afternoon, we went with Meredith, Tate & Avery (the family th[...]

Life in Irving


6:30am -- David leaves for work. I don't know what time he wakes up or what he does b/w getting up and leaving. I wake up and throw on clothes. This is different from getting dressed -- this is simply putting on something you can walk outside in, usually includes a hat.6:45am -- wake up Samuel, feed him, make sure he puts on his uniform and gets his shirt tucked in correctly.7:30am -- Jeremiah & I walk Samuel to school. If you thought we were close to school at our house in College Station, we're about half that far from school here and most of this walk is through the large playing field behind the school.7:45am -- the bell rings for school to start. Jeremiah and I then play on the playground on our way home.8ish -- Jeremiah eats breakfast then watches his morning TV while I get dressed (this includes decent clothes, make-up, hair improvements, etc.)8:45 on Tues/Thurs -- Take Jeremiah to his preschool. Yesterday was the first day and he did great! We're really blessed to have found this place and to already know people there (the little boy across the street from us, Tate, is in Jeremiah's class)-- This week the time b/w morning TV and naptime has been filled with shopping, getting stuff for the house. Today Jeremiah & I went to McDonalds for lunch.12:30-1pm -- put Jeremiah down for a nap and pray he goes to sleep since it's significantly earlier than his nap used to be. (On Tues/Thurs I pick Jeremiah up at 1pm)2:30 -- wake Jeremiah up from his nap (there's something wrong with this in case you were wondering) and go pick Samuel up from school.2:45 -- Samuel gets out of school, we all walk home. This is followed by snacks, playing in the game room, playing outside, any number of things until Daddy gets home.4:30-6 -- David gets home sometime in this window.6ish -- eat dinner as a family. We've been able to do this a lot in the last 2 weeks, it's been very enjoyable.7:30 -- Start getting Jeremiah ready for bed.8pm -- Start getting Samuel to bed.8:45pm -- After the boys are both in bed, David and I start unpacking the last of the boxes, hanging pictures, hanging hooks on backs of doors or various assundry of other things to make our house more like a home.10:30-11pm -- crash in bed and sleep really hard until 6:30 the next morning and we start again.All in all, it's good! Samuel loves his school and has already made quite a few friends. What a blessing -- and his teachers are an answer to prayers. Thank you for those prayers -- God has been very faithful.Here are a few other things that have happened recently.Sunday night, David's parents came up and spent the night. David & I realized how ready we were for people to come over. Being "just the 4 of us" is fun, but we really like having people around too.Tomorrow night, Jilaine is coming for dinner. She used to go to ComChurch and now teaches at Irving HS. We're excited about getting to know her better and seeing what the Lord has in store for her and us.Friday, Brad & Laura come up to find their apartment. We are really excited about them coming this weekend, but especially about them moving up here. Only a week and a half. Yea!!And I'll close with a funny story: I mentioned that Jeremiah and I went to McDonald's today. We had just sat down in the play area to eat when a rather large, attractive black man walked straight up to me. He said, "Is this your son?" I said yes and he handed me a small tub of Carrot Oil Hair Strengthener. He said, "After you wash his hair, brush it and put this on it." He may have said more, but I was too flustered to hear the rest. I said, "You are an answer to my prayers." He smiled and left. He turned back around and said, "Put it on everyday now." I s[...]

So many pics


My very cute boys at the carnival in the parking lot of Post Oak Mall in College Station.Our family!! (aka our ComGroup!)What a great action shot!!! Samuel had a early birthday/going away party the second weekend in November. He invited both of his classes, all of ComKids, his soccer team and the kids on the street. We had it at a park, played soccer games, ate cake and played on the playground. Everyone brought an unwrapped soccer ball or soccer gear to give to a toy drive rather than gifts. It was lots of fun and very easy!! :)Samuel playing the soccer costume relay! Thanks to our wonderful ComGroup for coming and doing the games. It was such a huge help!Jeremiah playing the soccer costume relay. He giggled the whole time!The VERY cool cake I made for the party. It Rocked!! :)The look on Samuel's face is priceless!!! He had about 40 kids come -- lots and lots of fun!The view from my new breakfast room when I woke up on Thurs. morning after being sent to bed Wed. night at 11pm. Have you ever seen so many empty boxes?Samuel with some of his classmates on his last day of school. They had a little going away party for him complete with cookies & ice cream. They got a school shirt and all the kids signed it -- very cute! We are really going to miss South Knoll!The cake Anne made for our going away party Friday night. It was at the bowling alley and we had a blast. Thanks to everyone who came out. We felt very honored!!I'm not sure I've found a better use for used packing paper than putting it on the trampoline and diving into it. The boys have had a blast!! Sorry Kristi -- it kind hurts seeing it after the hours of stuffing it into trash bags. Know that your nephews are having lots and lots of fun with it!Samuel and his latest lego accomplishment. Brendan, he wanted to make sure that you saw this! It even has a motor and spins. Pretty cool, eh?[...]

How Things Change


Monday morning I was in my house, eating breakfast with the boys, all 4 of us walked Samuel to South Knoll for the last time -- it was a very enjoyable morning.

Today, I woke up on my own to a very quiet, NEW house. My kids are in College Station with their grandparents. David is in Austin working. I am here in Irving with some very dear friends: Kristi (my sister-in-law from Austin), Anne, Kristen & Laura (3 amazing women and part of our community in College Station). They are here helping me unpack. And let me tell you, 5 people unpacking goes much faster than 1 of 2 people unpacking.

Last night at 11, they looked at me and said, "Shelley, go to bed!" So being the obedient person that I am, I did. When I awoke, every box in the kitchen, utility room, living room and family room had been emptied. Food was in the pantry, books had been arranged on the shelves. There's even a very cute display in the corner of the living room. They went crazy! Who knows when they went to bed. Which would explain why it's 8:30 and they're still asleep- that and the fact that there are no kids here to wake us up. :)

Last night, as we were getting ready to go eat dinner, the neighbors across the street came over to introduce themselves. They are Sam & Meredith, with twins 3 months younger than Jeremiah, Tate & Avery. They were very sweet and I think we're going over there for dinner Saturday night.

I'm honestly very nervous about being here, in Irving. Nervous about being away from our community. Nervous about being back in the big city. Nervous about the boys' schools. Nervous about this whole church plant thing. Nervous about not knowing anyone. If I stop and think about it too long I can get really overwhelmed. But then I get random emails, like the one I got from Jeff M. yesterday, that confirm that we're doing the right thing and so I continue to put one foot in front of the other and unpack one more box and trust that God's taking care of it all.

Hopefully I'll update soon with pics of the new house.

This week


This afternoon, I will drive to Ft. Worth and drop Jeremiah off at my parents house. Then I will join David in Irving for the 75th Annual Irving Chamber of Commerce Gala (complete with champaign and fireworks -- David says it's for my birthday). We are staying at a hotel there and then will go to the new house in the morning for the inspection. I will then go get Jeremiah and head home.

Today Jen will be here at our house when Samuel gets home from school. She will stay here till Brad & Laura arrive around 6. They will take Samuel to dinner and then put him to bed. Stacie will arrive about 9 and spend the night. Then she will take him to school in the morning. We have an amazing community!!!

I have been in touch with a lady who lives in Irving. She is the director of a preschool that we're thinking about enrolling Jeremiah in. She is also a member of the PTO where Samuel will go to school. (I found her by recognizing her name from the preschool website when I saw it on the PTO website -- crazy!!) She also has a daughter in the dual language program, 2nd grade and we are arranging a time over Thanksgiving holiday for our kids to meet -- that way Samuel will have at least one familiar face on his first day. What a blessing!! She also told us that there is a family that lives on the street where we are buying that have twin 3 1/2 year olds -- the Lord is soooo good!!

Brad & Laura are the couple who are moving to Irving with us. They may have someone from church who wants to buy their house. How awesome would that be -- and this other couple is in our comgroup so comgroup would just continue to meet at Tiltonia after B&L leave. Laura applied for some jobs this week -- pray for that.

God continues to confirm our move. But, as it was the last time we did this, that doesn't seem to make it less painful -- well maybe it does. Maybe I don't know exactly how painful it would be b/c I've always had the confirmations. Nonetheless, it's still really hard! I've been pretty weepy the last few days.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! We couldn't live without them.



Just to update: we have a contract on a house in Irving and hope to close "on or before November 9". We will move in the week following.

You can get more info regarding our move at this website: Well, not much more info yet, but it will come soon.

Big News!


Most readers of this blog probably already know this or have at least heard a rumor about it -- and once you know it and all that goes with it, you will know why I have neglected the blog world for the last several weeks.

We are moving to Dallas -- actually Irving. David got a promotion with Atmos (he doesn't like to toot his own horn, but since that's my job, he was promoted to VP of Rates & Regulatory Services -- I'm pretty proud).

This was a hard decision to come to (and continues to be a hard one to live out), but after seeking much council and after several members of our ComGroup agreeing to move with us, we are going. That's right, our ComGroup had been planning to plant a church here in College Station as a part of ComChurch, but when this opportunity came up, several of them said that maybe this church plant thing was supposed to happen in Dallas and so they are coming too. (Right now, I'm imagining Sherry's face -- priceless I'm sure).

We have found an area that is about 20 min. from David's office and also has a dual language program where Samuel can continue learning Spanish. Now we're just looking for the perfect house in that area. It's a relatively stressful process. And we've already made several trips up there to look at houses. But we're feeling pretty peaceful about the fact that the Lord already has the house and the neighbors picked out. It's like a really big scavenger hunt. :)

So, sometime before the end of the year, we are planning to be moving North. Our plan is to have a house big enough where people can come stay with us, and since everyone has a reason to visit Dallas at some point, please let our house be the place you choose to lay your head at night while you're there.

If you want more info about my incredible trip to St. Petersburg, Russia with Come Before Winter, please visit this blog for a great report and beautiful pictures.

I'm Home


Well, after a missed flight and lost luggage and returning to a different city (DFW) than we originated from (Austin), I am finally home from Russia.

The trip was incredible and until the last 6 hours, rather uneventful. The weather was perfect, the hotel was Russian, the women were beautiful - inside and out, the worship was amazing, everything about the week was wonderful!!

I hope to be posting a more play-by-play of the trip soon. Maybe Thursday when I have some more time to myself. We'll see.

Anyway, thank you for your thoughts, your prayers and your support. Words cannot express how much they mean to me.

Off to Russia


Well, tomorrow at this time, I will be on a plane to St. Petersburg, Russia (via DC & Frankfurt). I am going with Come Before Winter for the 13th renewal (my 6th). I'm pretty excited about it! Actually, I've been very distracted the last couple weeks and yesterday it hit me that I am leaving on Thursday. So I've been pretty stressed since yesterday -- but a few key pieces have fallen into place this afternoon and now I'm getting excited!

Thanks to my in-laws and my Mom for keeping the kids during the day over the next 10 days (Mom will be here Mon.-Thurs, the Parks will keep them the other days) while David works. Thanks to David for handling the nights and weekends and general running of the house. Thanks to our ComGroup who are signing up to come hang out in the evenings with my 3 boys. Thanks to everyone who has offered to bring food, walk kids to school, babysit, whatever. We have a wonderful community and are proud to be part of it.

And thanks to all of you who are praying for us -- we couldn't do this without you. I'll try to update my blog while there, but I'm not counting on internet access.


South Padre, June '07


The middle of June, the four of us went on a family vacation. I don't really remember the last time we did this where we weren't going to see someone (although we enjoy those vacations as well). But this was definitely the best typical "family vacation" we've ever had. We had a blast. We spent time at the beach, in the pool, dolphin watching, eating, Schlitterbahn, in the pool some more -- it was great!! We were there for 4 nights and could have stayed a couple more days. We will definitely be going back.

Enjoy the pics.

15 years ago


Fifteen years ago today I did a very wonderful thing. I went on a date, for the first time, with a very young David Park. We sang at the nursing home with the AFC, ate at Swensen's and then went to a park where we sat on a bench and talked for a long time.

The ride since then has been amazing!! We've started jobs, quit jobs, traveled around the world, enjoyed sporting events, theater, moved 5 times, owned 7 cars (I think), "owned" 2 houses, had 2 kids, spent countless hours in the car, even more hours watching Dora & Little Bill, eaten some amazing food, gained weight, lost weight, laughed, cried and overall had a blast.

Saying yes to that date was the smartest thing I've ever done. Probably smarter than saying yes to the marriage proposal -- seeing as if I hadn't accepted the date, I probably wouldn't have gotten to the proposal. (How's that for crazy logic?!) I love my husband!

David, thanks for stepping so far out of your comfort zone and doing something that was totally illogical. I love you for that!!!

Camping at Jellystone Park


School started Monday! Life is finally getting back into some sort of normal routine. Whoop!!

I promised I would update you on our summer once it was over, so I'm trying my hand at slideshows. Here's my first attempt. It is of our first summer trip: Camping with the Fogles. Ken & Anne (& their kids Jayson & Sophie) are some of our closest friends here in CS and we had a blast camping with them the beginning of June. Anne took these pictures which would explain why there are none of her. :)

Thank you for being patient with me as I basically took the summer off from blogging. I hope to get back in the swing over the next week or so.

Also, if you have not discovered google reader, you should check it out. It is one site where you "subscribe" to all your favorite blogs. Then when you want to check them, you go there and it shows you all the new updates to your favorite blogs at once. This is a far cry from going from one bookmarked blog to the next checking to see if Shelley finally added something to her blog. :) Anyway, just thought I'd share the joy I received from my sister with this discovery.

Love you all!! Hope the first week of school has been good to you.