Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cooking Day!

Kari will be posting soon, but for now you can catch some of our pictures from Cooking Day here. It was sweet fellowship and we felt like Rachel Ray as we introduced recipes to each other. Okay, mabye not...
This album also includes some 5A pictures and random January pictures.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Beginning Monday

I hate to believe the ODP is really dead. However, because Dustin's blog is in hibernation, I know that a few of his faithful readers come to mine to catch up on him. I am encouraged by his discipline which includes cutting back on things like blogging, but I know some are curious how the ODP is faring.
I remembered that he always posts what classes are coming up. Blake, Eron and Chance usually do that as well. I think it's a great idea, so the folks back home don't just think of the guys as "in seminary" but can actually hear more about what they are learning and how to pray for them or whatnot. After a nice long and much-needed break, I think he's ready to settle into the routine of the semester. He said he is looking forward to these classes more than any previous semester. There will be TONS of reading and papers, but he's (being the King of organization) already charted it all our and divided up his reading and assignments. It is a heavy load, but he's excited.

Starting Monday, Dustin will be taking the following classes as he embarks upon his 3rd semester at Southern:

Introduction to Christian Philosophy - Dr. Stephen Wellum

Introduction to the Old Testament 2 - Dr. Peter Gentry

Ministry Evangelism: A Holistic Approach to Gospel Ministry - Dr. T. Vaughn Walker

Survey of Christian Ethics - Dr. Kenneth Magnuson

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Little Henry =)

Handsome Henry... the "phew-neph" as Dustin says.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy Birthday to Erin's brother! And that reminded me to post...

Happy Birthday, MOM! We love you! As I barely begin a lifetime journey of striving to make a home, it's slowly starting to sink in... I have only just begun to understand the amount of labor you put into our family in laundry, cooking, prayer, early mornings, love, forgiveness, etc. Once I have kids, I'll probably again be thinking of how ungrateful I was all of these years. THANK YOU for all you do and continue to do. Your "labor of love" is remembered, especially on this day.

This is the only picture I have on my work computer.

Monday, January 22, 2007

6 Months and a BABY!

Like my friend Sarah's recent post, the title's a bit deceiving. However, today does mark our 6-month anniversary and we do have a baby to announce.

Two things struck me early this morning as I was thinking about how I've been a Mrs. for 1/2 of a year...

First, I was really amazed at how fast time flies. It's nuts. The next thing we know, we'll have quite a few little Butts' kiddos and more gray hairs than we care to admit and live in "in the middle of the jungle somewhere" at this rate. It's incredible how much can change in your circumstances and in YOU (from growing in areas like cooking to having sin exposed) in such a short time. Second, I was just thinking about how I'm so stinkin' in love with my husband. (Obviously, the phrase "in love" is way more loaded than the flippant way it can come across. I'm in a biblical covenant. I understand, but I'm also stinkin' in love - ha!) I never was much on people marking their "months" when they were dating as anniversaries (doesn't the word imply a YEAR... annual?), but to pass the 6 month mark in marriage is pretty cool. As we reflect, we see the gracious hand of God upon our lives and we know ourselves to be thoroughly undeserving.

And for the baby announcement - Uncle Dustin and Aunt Jamie have a new nephew to present to blogland. Pictures will soon follow... We are so excited to announce the arrival of Henry Amos Martone, little brother to the adorable Ethan Cash and sweet son of Dustin's sister and brother-in-law, Alison and Johnnie.

Also, check out Kari's site, because it inspired me this weekend. Helpful links! Target had baskets on sale, and our new and improved kitchen owes Kari Plevan a big thank you! Looking forward to more, Kari!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Check out this interview with Mrs. Charlotte Ennis (family pictured above) on marriage.
HT: Carolyn McCulley

"The longer I've been married the more I appreciate the gospel. I've seen first hand how deceptive sin is and how important it is to be able to identify it clearly and to apply gospel truth and grace in the situation. It is precisely because sin makes us blind that we need others to help us see."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

from the mouth of babes...

I begin by acknowledging the fact that I am spoiled. In the field of elementary education, I feel I have about the best job you could ask for. I teach at a Christian school and the Lord has given me an amazing class. My first 21 new friends in Louisville were these kiddos, as strange as that may sound. They work HARD and I push them HARD and they are learning so much.

But sometimes, as all teachers of any sort can affirm, it is the teacher that learns the most. This rings true if you teach at a summer camp, preach from the pulpit (men), or when you teach your own children.

I am the one who brushes up on long division, Civil War facts, verb-transitive, etc. What always surprises me is how much I learn from them about the Lord. I come home with all sorts of stories for Dustin. It shouldn't surprise me. The Lord Jesus Himself really values children throughout Scripture.

Anyway, a long introduction to a thought for your day:

I was teaching through Acts 7 last week and we were discussing persecution and the martyrdom of Stephen. I assigned a small activity. They were to write a card to an imaginary Christian who was being severely persecuted in China. I wanted them to keep in mind the story of Stephen to encourage the person. We discussed how this story in-depth and how we aren't always promised safety and comfort in this world. Long story short, I'm sitting here grading after school and some of their letters held a childlike encouragement that I wanted to pass along...

Here are some excerpts:

In Acts 7:51, Stephen will not give up his faith even if it means he's going to die.

... God has planned this in your life for a reason.

We will continually pray that you will not lose faith in the Lord.

Stephen is a wonderful example because he loved his enemies and prayed for them.

Stephen gave an amazing speech to the whole Sanhedrin! If God gave him the power to do that, then surely he will provide teh power to stand up for your faith!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding...

and the line that stuck out to me the most because it's oh so true...

Fellow Brother,
You are brave. I have not tasted true persecution, as you have...

Rise and shine.

While I am still able to blog from time to time, I agree with Dustin and Blake that sometimes it's just not very high on the priority list. However, the encouragement received from various blogs lately has been welcome. When you are "far from home" it is also a great way to keep dear friends "close" and not "out of sight, out of mind" so thanks from the Butts! One of Dustin's missionary friends jokingly e-mailed about how he would now stay in touch with our family through my posts, so I guess I need to keep it going!!

For now, it's a chilly morning. The kind of day where you drink coffee with your husband and have a throw around your shoulders and another one in your lap as you eat together. I had like 6 layers on as I went to the car. =) I thoroughly enjoyed the day off yesterday, and I'm ready for my 21 kiddos to come pounding in the room before too long. I'd better be going, but I'll be updating soon. Catching you up on life in tha 'Ville.

Random tidbits:

1. You all need to own the latest c.d. by Sandra McCracken, The Builder and the Architect. I highly recommend it.

2. Go to and read up about a unique opportunity.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Long Weekend

I am not trying to rub it in, but I do have to pay tribute to a very special someone!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Linkin' Up - Practical Websites

Kids are working hard on Morning Work. I want to post a quick one with some practical and fun links for you I've found over the last few months...

1. Q&A with a newlywed - Recently, we had some friends over who are engaged. They asked us some really thoughtful questions about marriage and in what ways were we least prepared, what one piece of advice we would give, etc. When I ran across this, I thought about them. This blog is very helpful, by the way, for single and married women and sometimes the men.

2. Save on your groceries - Great grocery coupons found here. Enter your zip code and start saving.

3. Traineo - Keep up with your fitness goals here.

4. Kiddos - Take your kiddos to They can type up thank-you cards to relatives, read stories, enjoy jokes, etc.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Funny Photo

I think I mentioned on a recent post that my dad's brother, Uncle Bill, is also our family dentist. Although I've moved to the chilly KY, I refuse to get a new dentist. Dustin's a big fan of my Uncle's dental practice as well, so we'll just keep going on our visits back to TX. We've been twice now.
This was our FIRST visit together to the dentist. My uncle's a fun guy and we always goof off. Dustin and I saw this picture up on his office bulletin board at our Christmas visit and they said they'd e-mail it to us. I'd almost forgotten about it. I'm a goofball - I confess. Enjoy.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Happy Friday to all!

We definitely enjoyed having our 3rd overnight visitor to our home last night. A friend who lived on the same hall as Dustin last year needed a place last night (dorms are still closed), so we loved having him on our not-fancy-but-sleepable air mattress. Since our house is... um... cozy, I had to tiptoe to not wake up sleeping Dustin in one room and sleeping Tim in the other. No problem! Anyway, long story short, I got ready REALLY fast by flashlight and here I am, EARLY, the first one to school in a very large building (semi-scary, by the way, so I have Sandra McCracken in the background for company), settling in to start the day. (Happy Friday and Date Night Day, by the way)

How do you start your days? Piper calls them "morning fights" and anyone who has midnight feedings with babies (not me, but I always think about those moms), early morning jobs, or 7:00's or 8:00's in college or seminary can truly attest to the fact that it's a war. Or, at first, anyway. Anything's easier with time, right? Maybe. Cooking's getting easier with time. And fun. My kids are getting the hang of division. Despite their Math teacher. Learning my way around Louisville's much easier now.

With the "Resolutions" (on normal mornings), Dustin and I have been setting our breakfast table at night. I read that in a magazine somewhere. We have it all set up to where it makes me laugh. We have this system we started and we try to remember everything from planners (with the day's tasks or birthdays to remember) and sugar for our coffee to our vitamins waiting for us in our empty breakfast bowls. But there you have our Bibles/journals, right next to our place settings. We eat and then Dustin leads us in reading together and then individually, then pack lunches, and then get ready. New rules to be up by 5 and out by 6:30. And I don't say this to brag (it's only day 5 and today was flashlight morning), but to my shame. Last quarter, I was an inconsistent MESS with the mornings. And, of course, it affects the entire day to some degree. I stayed up too late, so I slept in to late. I think I was late 3 times to our Thursday morning teacher devotions. Out of control. Stay up too late. Sleep in too late. It's not rocket science. Bad habits. Wasting time. Lack of self-control. You know? So, I'm working on it now and it's going so well THIS week, but what about next week. It's scary to think I could revert back. Erin and I were recently discussing the FREEDOM of discipline and self-control.

I remember a few things as I strive for a balanced view of how a disciplined life should look. I tend towards legalism if I strive for anything disciplined. Or secret and ugly pride. Or a Martha (distracted by much serving) mindset that never stops and sits and worships. I didn't mean to get personal with this though, so let's go to the general.

I used to do these morning prompts on Fridays, for whoever happened to stumble along my posts. They were kind of fun, because you guys are way more word-savvy and wise and insightful!

Here's the morning prompt:

How do you maintain a disciplined life while avoiding the pitfall of legalism or a rut of duty-driven routines? Furthermore, what very practical ways do you (or even just HAVE you in the past) discipline your mornings (or afternoons or evenings or whatnot)? Not just in the Word, but with your homes. Or balancing work with family, with the proper emphasis on the family? Am I making any sense?

Feel free to comment.

**Oh... head to for more about keeping your resolutions with the right motive.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's official! Chris and Sarah are hitched.

Praise the Lord for my dear friends and their wives. I had a blast talking with sweet Becky yesterday about the latest Peek wedding as we worked out together yesterday. You can hear more about it at both Peek websites (see my sidebar ((I think that's what it's called)) for their links).

I'm so happy for Chris and Sarah!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

We're back.

Well, we had a lovely Christmas break. It was so nice to have 2 weeks off of school and I actually started to miss my kids after awhile, so I guess I can't complain about my job! I am at work right now, just had a minute during my conference period, so I wanted to check in. My blog's been DEAD lately, but we're alive and well.

I want to post new pictures soon. We enjoyed a Christmas breakfast here in Louisville and a few days together and then headed to TX for about 9 days, with visits to Mesquite (my family), Gatesville (Christmas Eve at Nana's), Lampasas (Dustin's side), Gerlt House (sweet Gerlt fam, of course), Panda Express (quick visit with my dear friends, Aaron and Charity Clayton) and even the Dentist (Uncle Bill). We enjoyed the visit and the time was full, yet relaxing. I'm still allergic to Texas. =) Missed being at the CB Reunion. Someone give us the low down! That's where I met Dustin - every New Year's will mark Eron/Kari's Wedding Anniversary as well as the night I met Dustin Butts!

Here we are kicking off a New Year. We went to bed at 8 last night, just to make ourselves able to get up at 5 this morning after weeks of sleeping in. New Year's Resolutions, or just Resolutions (think Jonathan Edwards) are in full swing. I have 22 (maybe more) accountability partners, since I shared them with my kiddos, so there's no cheating. =) Mainly, we're striving for a more (by God's grace) disciplined year in 2 specific areas - spiritual (namely, consistently reading God's Word/prayer and health (better choices in our diet/menus and consistent exercise). They are more specific and some more personal than those, but those are the big headings.

Although our trip was excellent, it is also very good to be "home" to our church family and our little apartment that we've grown to love. Dustin played football (in the cold) with the guys the other day. On Sunday, we heard 2 sermons on Sunday about prayer. They have the sermons online now, or some of them anyway. If you are interested, head here.

I need to be going. Happy New Year's!

M&J Stone and Mindy - sorry we didn't get to catch up in Arlington. We just missed you! Hope to see you soon!!