November was a wonderful month. I got brave on November 1st and took the boys to the zoo all by myself. I wanted to see the animals play with and smash pumpkins and Hosea was really excited about it. We had a great time but I may have gotten in a little over my head with a 3 week old baby and an active toddler! Let’s just say we all took really long naps when we got home that day 🙂
With all the cold days we decided we needed something to keep Hosea busy inside the house. John came up with this cute pompom/tupperware game and Hosea loves it! Yaya also came over a few times and read him stories. We are treasuring these last few months with family close by.
I continued working from home as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for WIC and taught my last Breastfeeding class of the year. Moses was even there with me to help demonstrate! I attended MOPS meetings along with the moms group meetings at our church. We even had a few more meals trickling in from friends and family! Since Moses was born we probably had over 25 meals brought to us– all delicious! I continued attending my Beth Moore Bible Study on the book of Esther, sporadically going to playgroup and mommy/baby yoga, and we had some more friends over for dinner. John continued working at the OP Farmers Market and started reading the textbooks for our next set of seminary courses coming up in January.
We had the opportunity to speak during a Sunday evening service at KC First Church of the Nazarene. We weren’t sure what type of format to expect but we were welcomed with open arms and greeted by name. They even chose to sing all Irish songs during worship! This group was made up of primarily “more experienced” church members and they were so kind and chatty with us afterward. We met many who currently hold or who have held important positions within the Church of the Nazarene and knowing they support us is a big deal! As we were leaving I heard one couple exclaim, “What a wonderful young family! So down-to-earth. They will be very successful.” This just made my day and reminded me that God’s plan for us is perfect!
John had his interview at Shawnee for his Local Minister’s License. We haven’t heard anything yet but this would be the first step toward his ordination in the Church of the Nazarene!
On November 16th we had the great privilege of speaking at my home church of Overland Park Church of the Nazarene. I’ve attended this church from age 3 through my college years. Even though we go to Shawnee now, I still occasionally visit OP to sing with my dad. My family has grown very close to the people there and they have been supportive of me throughout my entire life! They’ve given money for me to participate in various mission trips, volunteered with the youth group, prayed for me in college, attended my wedding, and had baby showers for me. Many of these people have become my family over the years and I was so excited to be able to share with them about Northern Ireland. John shared a story of redemption from when we were in Haiti and talked about how God uses people in our community to shape us to be more like Christ. They took a generous offering for us and a few people even said they would like to support us monthly!
The very next weekend we were invited to speak at the Nazarene Church in Wright City, MO, about 45 minutes outside of St. Louis. The pastors there are Joe and Kim Purl and they were my children’s pastors growing up at OP! I had such a great time catching up with them, getting to know their family, and meeting their four kids. Every year during the Thanksgiving service, all Nazarene churches take an offering for the World Evangelism Fund which is what supports our missionaries worldwide. We had a unique opportunity to share not only about us, but about Nazarene missions as a whole. We shared details about the 365m program and how it can prepare students to become missionaries with the Nazarene church. Congregations often hear stories from the mission field but they don’t often hear about how missionaries are prepared before they GET to the mission field. It is so humbling to know that people all over the country are investing in us as future missionaries! This is a photo of Kim and Joe’s daughter, Chloe. Hosea was her biggest fan over the weekend!
Thanksgiving was another grand affair this year! We had almost all of my aunts, uncles, cousins (and their spouses and kids) join us in KC for a big meal on Saturday. Here are some photos of my grandma and cousin Summer holding Moses.
We even were able to pull off a SURPRISE 80th birthday party for my Grandma Angie and Grandpa Rich that evening.
Everyone got out their instruments and we celebrated them through music. The kids even gathered to sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine’. We all put our fingerprints on a family tree that my cousin Jason painted and it was full by the end! Many of us got up to share funny stories or general things about how important grandma is to us.
For our two Thanksgiving meals, Hosea helped me make 2 paleo apple pies and was very focused in the kitchen. He loved rolling out the dough and “painting” on the egg whites. Being a 2 year old is fun! We ate with John’s family on Thursday, and my family on Saturday.
Thanksgiving weekend was a FULL one but we got in some great family time! Katie, Josh, Gabe, John and I even went out one night to see the new Hunger Games movie! This was my first time leaving Moses behind and I’m proud to report he was a little angel for his Yaya!
To top off an already meaningful weekend, we were able to take time Sunday morning to dedicate Moses at church. Pastor Jason showed him off to the congregation and we shared Moses’ life verse. 1 Corinthians 11:1 says “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” We want Moses to follow us as we, his parents, strive to be like Christ, but we also want this verse to be something he can say as he grows older and encourages others to follow him. We have only been attending this church for about 8 months but we have never felt more at home than we do here. Everyone has been so supportive of us from the first day we attended!
Our flight to Northern Ireland leaves on January 31st so until then, we are scrambling to get our visa paperwork turned in, pack up our things, read textbooks for our seminary courses, and finish raising our necessary funds. We have about 75% of our funds raised but we’re still looking for prayerful financial support. If you are interested in giving monthly or even making a one-time gift, visit web.nazarene.org/goto/carr_family.
Please keep us in your prayers as we enjoy this season of advent with family and prepare to leave the country in 8 short weeks!
Peace and love this advent season
<3 The Carrs