Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Incarnation Day

We went to a Christmas Eve service at our church last night and it was a very good time of focus for us. Today, we celebrate the day that the Son became incarnate and was born into the world. We hope that you will remember this life changing event in the history of the world. God has definitely changed our lives through this sovereign act by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We pray that this is a joyous time of year for you and your family. Praise God for the active relationship He has had in our lives.
Praise Him,
The Leathermen

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve's Eve...

Where did the time go since the last post? I have no idea! So it is now 2 days before Christmas and I have officially finished my shopping, and now we are getting ready for our company coming in town (Grammy and Papa), and enjoying our time of fellowship in celebration of Christ's birth. Tye has loved learning about baby Jesus and the Christmas Story. He already has the jist of it and can name all the character's involved. Here are a few pictures and photos from the past few weeks. I am almost 36 weeks along now and feeling so much better than I did with Tye at this point. For all of you who went through that ordeal with me, it was at this time of the pregnancy that I got bell's palsy and had the c-section. Praise the Lord that this pregnancy has been so much better, and Baby Jax is still cooking. Tye is ready for him to "come out and play". Little does he know that Jax will be more interested in eating, sleeping and pooping than actually playing, though.

We finally got enough of the missing parts to put together Tye's birthday present (a swingset). We are still missing a few pieces, but have enough for him to swing and use the glider. He has had so much fun with it already.

We went to see Christmas Light around Kingwood last night. The Monney's went with us and the kids loved it. We went to a very special house that always does an amazing job each year with a variety of train sets. As you can see...the boys were mesmerized. We had our Starbuck's, so we (parents) were very happy, too. The video is too dark to see anyone, but you can hear Tye as we passed by all the houses with lights.

In case you have not heard this infection laugh lately...

His laugh at 2 years..

His laugh at 15 months...

His laugh at 5 months..

What is more fun than a gift...the box that it arrived in!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow"


It started out like pseudo-snow, more along the sleet lines, but our kids don't know the difference, but then turned into genuine snowfall by the evening. I think Tye is going to be like his mommy and prefer the 80-90 degree Southern weather, as opposed to the 30's like last night, but we tried to have fun nonetheless. He was quite intrigued by it, and said "SNOW", with much enthusiasm and expression, but did not want anything to really do with it. Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Whew! What a week...

So weeks in December all seem to be eventful. Last week was one of them...very fun, but lots going on. I will just do the narrating with pictures below.

Tye in his "birthday hat" from Mother's Day Out. He thought it was so special. He has gotten so expressive lately, here is just one of those many expressions.

As of now, Tye is not a fan of anything resembling a dessert, so he loved that he got to blow out candles on his chicken "guggets".

Tye's friend, Luke, came over to say "Happy Birthday", and they celebrated by cooking golfish in the kitchen.

This pictures is for you, Laura. Here I am at 33 weeks...only 7 weeks to go! We are still without a middle name for the baby, but Jax is what we are going with for the first name (as of today).

We had so much fun picking out a Christmas tree. Tye loved running through the maze of trees. I will post some of the after pictures of our decorated tree later.

Russ and Tye at Santa's Farm. The Kingwood High School Ag Dept. decorated all the stalls of their animals and they let the kids all walk through and pet the animals. It was a fun time had by all.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"I be 2!"

After much Bake Sale baking, and Thanksgiving partying, we just didn't quite get enough, so we had leftovers on Friday and celebrated Tye's 2nd birthday on Saturday. We tried to keep it simple with just family and our friends, Shane and Lindsay, in from Indonesia. However, that totaled about 20 of us...simple, huh? We had a great time grilling burgers and the kids (Tye and Charley) played with play dough, sidewalk chalk, punch balls and of course...time at the "Tyeland" park. We had a great time and finished off the Thanksgiving desserts, along with the pumpkin spice cupcakes. Tye enjoyed the ranch dip more than his corndog or his birthday cupcake, but that is my "never touch a dessert" boy, afterall.

Here is my question, though. So we celebrated his birthday on Nov 29th, but he isn't actually 2 until Dec 4th. So do we pretend he is actually 2 now, or wait until Thursday to break the news? Not that it really matters, just curious as to your responses.

Here are a few pictures from the special day. The cute thing is that we taught him when his birthday is, so if you ask him, he says, "Asember four" and on Asember four, he will "be two". When you ask him how old he is now, he "be one". Too cute! He was much more efficient at opening gifts this time and was so kind in telling everyone "tat too" (Thank You) for the gifts. Hope you all had a fantastic thanksgiving holiday and enjoyed your time with family or friends.

Our traditional, "family picture"

Yummy ranch dip!

My favorite construction workers :)

Happy Birthday to Tye!

Tye, Charley and Tim...Fun with play dough!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, Uncle Dave!

Yesterday, we celebrated my brother's birthday! He made it another year and we are thankful for that. Mom grilled some yummy steaks, with banana pudding for dessert. Tye, of course, helped open gifts and learned how to blow the party favors as well. Here are a few pictures from the night.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grammy & Pappa's House

Good times at the Dallas Zoo!

Tye trying to learn how to blow a dandelion. He was not too successful, but made for a good picture.

I could not resist this face.

Well, it had been a while...actually, I think since June, but we finally made it up to Big-D to visit Russ's parents and his sister and new husband, Ethan. We had such a great time...Tye had so much fun that he chose not to nap while we were there. That does not mean he did not get put in his pack and play for 2 hours, but he did enjoy play time in it. We had dinner with "Aunt Bibby" and "Unca Efan" and then went to the park and Dallas Zoo while we were there. Whew, a fast weekend, but packed with fun. We got back home on Sunday night to hear our son, wheezing the entire night. Come to find is that season again! The Croup and all those other random virus's that kids get. He is finally getting a little better, but not fun for parents (or their kids). Here are a few pics from the weekend and a shout out to Tye's buddy, Asher. Asher can have the lead if Tye can play the keys with a bouncy ottoman. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

He shoots...he scores!

Now that the weather is cooling off...for Houston that means it is finally below 90...we have pulled back out the outdoor toys and Tye has really enjoyed rediscovering them (we had to put them away due to Hurricane Ike). Here are a few photos of him shooting baskets. He has quite good form for a 22 month old.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Our Turkey Slideshow

Here is the slideshow for our pictures to Turkey. Sorry there are so many, but I promise...I did condense.

Jetlagged, but home!

I know, we said we would post while we were in Istanbul, but that did not happen...sorry. We are now home and settling back into our somewhat normal routine. That means, we are not waking up at 3am wide awake and falling asleep at 8:30pm every night. Tye has done the best of all of us, though. He did not seemed phased by the crazy 8 hour time difference. Anyway, we had a fantastic trip full of fun in the Turkish sun, sightseeing in Istanbul, and many laughs. Much thanks to Ryan and Laura for their fluent Turkish that helped us survive in the country, and their wonderful hospitality, as well as a playmate for Tye while we were there.

There was no rest for the weary because we flew to the beach the morning after we arrived in Istanbul. That means...we evacuated for Ike on a Wednesday, came back into town with no power the following Tuesday to pack. Thankfully, my cousin, Troy and his wife, Alyson let us stay with them to do a little laundry and get a good nights sleep and then we flew out on Wednesday. Our 8.5 hour full flight to Paris, then 4 hour layover, and another 3.5 hour flight to Istanbul...not fun, but hey, we figured we can do anything for 1 day. We got into Istanbul that evening and flew out to Kusadasi (the beach) the next morning at 8am. Whew...after settling into our villa, life settled down a bit. We were a short taxi ride to the beach, and about 30 minutes from Ephesus. We enjoyed them both, and as you will see from the pictures...the docked cruise ship tourists enjoyed Ephesus the same day as well. It was sooo crowded! We tried all week to take a ferry to Samos, one of the Greek Isles, to get Laura her much anticipated Greek Salad, but never made it bc the Port workers were on strike all week...bummer. The beach water was beautiful and the scenery was spectacular.

After a week, we flew back to Istanbul. We had a babysitter for the kids the first day and had a chance to do some sightseeing in the historical European side of Istanbul. We visited the Blue Mosque, the Aya Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar. Let me pregnant women were TIRED! We were there during the last week of Ramadan, so that was an interesting sight to see the festival atmosphere they had set up for every evening. The people there were so friendly and often enjoyed a cup of "chay" which is like a very strong hot tea. We spent most evenings, enjoying fantastic Turkish dinners, hanging out at the house playing cards, their wii, and lots of laughs since there were 2 one-year olds and 2 pregnant women in the house, we layed low by 8:00pm.

Okay, so that was the trip in a condensed nutshell...I will put a slideshow up as soon as I can, but here are a few pics to get it started.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Evacuation from Ike

On Thursday, we left Houston and headed for Fredericksburg, TX. Bethany's family has a house just outside of this town and so we had a place to go to retreat from the hurricane. As most of you know, Ike came on shore about 2 am Saturday morning and we were all watching the news and the weather channel for the most up-to-date information that we could get. All of us evacuated except Ray (Bethany's dad) and he and Don Allison stayed behind in Porter. Don Allison is a friend that is driving down to Guatemala and his family will be flying down to meet him this Thursday. He and his family ( will be living in the Canilla/San Andreas metro area ;) for the next 6 to 7 months doing medical mission work in close coordination with the Ficker family ( ). John Villanueva, who works with us and specifically with Agape in Action is driving down with Don in Agape's 4 runner with a 4 wheeler stuffed in the back of it. (Please see previous posts for pics on this event).

All of this to say that we are all safe and were mostly spared from the wrath of the hurricane by the Lord's hand but some of our neighbors and friends had some damage to their homes and property. We plan to make the trip back to Houston tomorrow to get ready to leave for Turkey on Wednesday. We have been planning a trip to see our friends "Los Lobos" since March and we are hoping that everything is still ok for our flight out of Houston. We have heard that they just opened the international airport today in Houston. Please be in prayer for the citizens of Houston and the surrounding areas during this time of recovery. We hope that all power and utilities are restored by the time we get back from Turkey. ;)
Our next post might be from the other side of the globe.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The "Tyeland" Park is completed!

Here are a few pictures of Tye's new playground at my parents house. Tye has loved helping put it together and now is enjoying playing on it. He absolutely loved the gravel and I think he has enjoyed that more than anything so far. He just fills up his dumptruck and dumps it out to only do it again, and again and again. He is learning how to maneuver through the playground and is also conquering the tire swing and the big boy swings. I have thoroughly enjoyed the swings as well. Thanks "Gadat" for the "Tyeland" Park.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We are having a boy!!!!!

We had a our first big Ultrasound appointment today, and we are having another boy. Looks like Tye will have a little brother and we are very excited for many reasons and some of them include that fact that the placenta is normal, there is a good solid cord insertion, and in general the entire preganancy looks very healthy. (If these things sound odd to you, then you should ask us about the last pregnancy...we will be happy to share the history with you). We are very happy and are praising the Lord for what He is doing and the way He is forming the child He is giving us. We ask you to continue to pray with us for our soon-to-be-born child. Please be in prayer for Russ also, as he is going to Haiti this Friday to visit some missionaries that we support through NBRI. Above is a picture we got at the doctor today. Enjoy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Its been busy aroung here

Last week we had a guest staying with us and his name is Matt Bell. He was in the Houston area for about 4 days and spent all but one night with us. It was a pleasure having him here and we did our best to help him get ready to continue on to NC. Matt and Heidi Bell, along with their son Isaac have been in Guatemala for that last two years doing medical missions with Agape in Action. It has been a joy to work with them these two years and if you want to check out some of their adventures while in Guatemala you can check out the Agape in Action blog, bookmarked on this blog.

Russ did his best to help Matt get things done while here in the Houston and Matt and his friend Martin (from Guatemala) got back on the road to NC on Wednesday night after driving to the US from Guatemala the weekend before.

Did I mention that it has been quite warm around here for the last few days? Well it has. This past weekend, Bethany attended the local Scrapaloofa at her mom's church. It was a Friday night and all day Saturday event. This meant that Russ and Tye got to have some guy time. They definitely had a good time and on Saturday, they went to Tye's grandparents house to help Granddad assemble the "park" for Tye. Tye's grand parents have a park for Tye which is the best way we know how to describe it to Tye at this point. It is basically everything a kid could want in a playground. It has a slide, swing set, bridge, climbing name it they've got it. Needless to say, Russ, Tye and Granddad had a good time working on the playground on Saturday and Tye did his best to contribute to the effort. On Sunday afternoon Russ went to the lake with Chuck and Adam and they had a good time after a little bit of a battery fiasco with the boat (but that is another story).

Well that was our week, more or less, so we invite you to let us know what you have been up to lately and we will check back with you soon.

R, B, T and ?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

His drunken' sailor walk...

Just for's Tye and Isaac on the trampoline at The Ficker's house. Enjoy1


Sunday, July 20, 2008

We are home!

We had a fantastic trip to Guatemala, and it is always bittersweet to be back. Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers while we were there. Here is the slideshow of all of our pictures...I know there are a lot, but it is too hard to choose and eliminate, and with so many adventures, I had to include them all.

Love to you all...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Heading Out

Well we are heading out for Guatemala tomorrow and we will be gone for about 10 days. We always pray for a good trip but that is a very general phrase used to encompass many different events that occur on a mission trip. We ask you to be in prayer for us and for the team that is going down with us. We also ask you to be praying for a replacement doc for Matt, Heidi and Isaac because they are leaving at the end of this month. The Lord will work it out in His timing and we desire to have full confidence and faith in Him for providing for these needs. He is our sustainer and provider and nothing that we do will progress without His blessing and provision to make it happen. We are excited for the Bell family to be moving on to the next chapter of their lives but we will definitely miss them and their hard work and friendship in Guatemala. Please be praying for them also, as they move back to the States to take on their next mission. We will check in when we get back....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Libby's wedding and some news...

Well, we had a great time at Libby's wedding and they should be back from their honeymoon today. Congratulations Libby and Ethan!!! Tye was a very cute ring bearer and he got the privilege of walking down the isle with Blake who was a beautiful flower girl (escorted by Russ). Russ had to make sure they walked all the way down to the front without making a detour. Russ led the congregation in two songs of worship and it seems that a good time was had by all.

In other news, Bethany is pregnant with child #2. We are very excited and we ask you to be in prayer with us as the Lord knits this child together in Bethany's womb. We are trusting in Him to create the child that He has for us. We look forward to the blessings He has for us to through this child.

These are some pics of the wedding and the events thereof.

Tye checking out the flower arrangement on stage.

Tye holding hands with the cute flower girl :)

Bethany and Tye saying cheese at the wedding.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Getting ready for Aunt "Bibby's" wedding!

We tried on Tye's tux for Aunt Libby's wedding next weekend, and he definitely has been going through a growth spurt, because...well, it did not fit. So back to Al's for the exchange. Here are a few pictures of him showing off his "special" suit. We are trying to talk it up as much as possible so he does not mind wearing it for a few hours and actually walking a straight line down the aisle next weekend. Libby is doing much better and went back to work this week, so praise the Lord for her healing. Thanks for all the prayers.

Okay, so I could not pass up posting this picture. He found these glasses in a box of toys a friend of ours gave us. He loved them.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It is the beginning of June

Well, it is the beginning of June and the year is flying!! Tye is 18 months old today. It is pretty warm here in Houston but we are enjoying the temperate evenings. Last night we sat out in the driveway and drank some ice water. It was nice. The immediate future for us holds: a trip to Guatemala July 3-13, refinancing our house, Russell's sister getting married, and looking for a missionary doctor to work in Guatemala. So we will be pretty busy for the next few weeks (Lord willing, we will find a doctor sooner than later). Please pray for the doctor search specifically.

Also, Russ's sister is having some health problems right now that could cause a delay in her getting married if the doctors don't figure it out soon. There have been rumors of her having anything from mono to Hep A to some sort of autoimmune disease. As of today, she does not have the Hep or the autoimmune but they still don't know what the problem is. I am not a doctor but none of these sound like good options. She has been nauseated for 2 or 3 weeks now and according to the most current tests, she is having some sort of liver problems. Not fun.

Tye is running around the house like a crazy man and he is a total joy to our family. We thank God for him everyday. As you probably noticed, above are couple of pics of him that were taken by our friend Rachel Vogel. Thanks Rachel...they turned out great.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

How many ways can you ride a pink flamin' truck?

Tye decided to give it a try and see how many ways he could come up with to ride this new truck of his. I know, I has pink flames, but know that these are the before pictures. It will get repainted before too long, and I will update on the new color of choice. We bought it at a missions market fundraiser for missionaries that are going to Prague, Curt and Vicky Mobley. Tye was attracted to it instantly. We simply set it out in the front yard, yesterday, and Tye went at it. He could care less about the color. Here are some of the pictures to prove it...

1. The good ol' fashioned way, daddy pushing.

2. Tye's way, "I'll do it myself."

3. In the truck bed...

4. Nice view from the roof...

5. The "Dukes of Hazzard" way, in through the window...

6. ...and, head first.

7. The classic "cheese" smile, to show off the fun!

Have a blessed week, and please pray for our missionaries.