Monday, February 26, 2007


Daniel and I made a quick trip up to Oklahoma City Friday night for our friend Ryan Smith's birthday party. It was a smashing birthday party - kareoke, "whose line is it anyway" renditions, sharades, dancing, stand-up comedy, and more! Our last visit to OKC was for Ryan's birthday last year - too long of a time between the two visits. I've only really known Ryan through Daniel, although he was in Turkey in 1999 and 2000 when I went for short term trips. However, I feel like I've known he and his wife, Adriane, for much longer. There's just something about the bond of Christ and our hearts for the nations that makes friendship so easy and painless! I commented to Adriane Friday night that it's easier to come in her kitchen, wash dishes with her, and chat about anything and everything after having only seen her 4 times in my life than it is for me to connect with people I've known in Fort Worth for over a year.

Connecting with people - that's what life is all about for this little girl. And Ryan and Adriane are super fun people to connect with...and did I forget to mention Daniel's other good friend, Andy Edwards, who lives in OKC? He and Daniel were once roommies as well. Ryan, Adriane, and Andy all love Jesus and pursue intimacy with him which is why our hearts are drawn to friendship with them, even living 3 1/2 hours away, and they also love to have a good time...can you tell? We had a great weekend of laughs and encouraging conversations. We spent the night with them and had a lazy Saturday. We took their new Toyota Highlander around the nearby lake and almost got blown away by the gushing wind on Saturday. Then we headed back Saturday evening after dinner with all of them. Fun times! Fun times! Isn't God good?!?!!!!

Ryan turns 32 today! Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, Granny!

My granny turns 88 today! 88 - can you imagine!!??!?! Her life hasn't been easy - she's watched her husband and 2 of her children die. She's a woman of faith. And she's in love with my little niece. It's so neat how new life gives life to the elderly. I've watched granny go from looking old and tired from life to looking like she has a little more energy and willpower to stay here on earth for a bit longer when my cousin's baby Annie was born in 2004 and now with my niece Meredith's birth just 3 1/2 months ago! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRANNY!

And here they are, the Cohns! Aren't they stunning?!!

Newest Little Friend

Remember the pictures from our Super Bowl evening with friends? Well, exactly one week later, 4 days before the due date, Rebecca and Brent became official "mommy" and "daddy". We visited them last night and met Caroline Olivia. She has the fullest head of hair I have seen on a baby in a long time! Welcome to this world, little Caroline!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mardi Gras

Several of us native Louisianians and our "married-in" or "dated-in" counterparts got together tonight for a Mardi Gras celebration in Fort Worth! We have to be true to our roots! Funny thing, though. I never celebrated Mardi Gras when I lived in Louisiana, but this is my second Mardi Gras festivity since being in Texas! :-) Michael and Meg are regularly getting everyone together for an event, and this night it was to celebrate "Fat Tuesday." Meg made some great jambalaya and the Bufkins brought a king cake.

The New Orleans tradition, begun in the 1870s, borrows heavily from European customs. As part of the celebration of Mardi Gras, it is traditional to bake an oval cake in honor of the three Magi, or kings - thus the King Cake. The shape of a King Cake symbolizes the unity of faiths. Each cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors: purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power. A small baby, symbolizing the baby Jesus, is baked into each cake. Like the biblical story, the "search for the baby" adds excitement, as each person waits to see in whose slice of cake the baby will be discovered. While custom holds that the person who finds the baby in their slice will be rewarded with good luck, that person is also traditionally responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next party or gathering.

Jason was the lucky one with the baby and will be the provider for the King Cake next year!

Thanks, Michael and Meg, for hosting a fun Mardi Gras celebration....anyone giving anything up for Lent? (I know, we're not Catholic either, but I like giving something up and being reminded of the days leading up to Easter!) I'm giving up chips for Lent and Daniel is giving up coffee. You're welcome to hold us accountable. What are you giving up?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day - by Daniel

Hi, blog and everybody who reads it. This is Daniel. First of all, I just wanted to make sure you knew I have me the greatest gal this side of Neptune. I told Kim recently that I like to go on adventures, so for Valentine's Day, she set me on a scavenger hunt. Loved it! I've got a funky idea of romance; I get excited about getting clues and driving around town. Anyway, at work today, I look in my box and find a note telling me to go to the Panther City Coffee shop. Well, I'm excited. To say the least. An adventure! I get there with wide-eyed wonder trying to figure out what surpriseful happiness awaits me. I go to the counter and realize I'm supposed to order whatever I want, so I did (an Almond Joy...coconut, mocha, almond stuff, etc.) and went upstairs where I greeted my sweet bride. We sat down and talked about stuff, and then the barista came upstairs and brought Kim a chai on the house; she just thought Kim's schemings were so sweet and thought she should have a chai. We thought that was cool; I'm sure you agree. Then Kim gave me the next clue, which was to go find her car and look under her seat. So I did so and found my GPS I got for Christmas and a note saying we're going to find our first geocache! I was so thrilled I positively fainted! Not really, but I thought I'd just say that. If you're not familiar with geocaching, I will explain. My buddy Ryan introduced me to it. It's basically treasure hunting for geeky, lazy people who don't want to bother trying to make out the smudges and clues on pirate maps. Instead, they go online and find the exact latitude & longitude coordinates of the cache. Then they enter the coordinates into their handheld GPS and drive, bike, canoe, or pogo-stick to the location. When they find the geocache (which is essentially a box with a visitor log and little trinkets inside), they sign the log, take a trinket, and leave a new trinket. It's a fun little global subculture. Anyway, it was pretty cold, so we just drove there and when we got to the place, we didn't really find it, cuz it was like in someone's house or something. We were confused, timid, cold, and hungry, so we decided to just be happy we were together and go get some food and try the geocache thing again sometime soon. And my oh my, this blog entry is becoming a lengthy ordeal, so I shall try to wrap things up. After a strange and hurried pit stop at our friends Mike and Tina's home, we went back to the house and Kim blindfolded me before entering. I sat down, thinking we were supposed to be getting something and then going back to Mike and Tina's, Kim unblindfolded me to a beautiful spread of things Kim knew I would love--sweet notes, candy, festiveness--an overwhelming deluge of thoughtfulness. I was speechless. Then she made me a lip-smackingly tasty dinner of salmon and loaded potatoes. Fantastico! Bravo, Kim. I do love that gal. A great Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day - by Kim

So....2 of the greatest men in the whole wide world gave me flowers today...and I just wanted to share them with you. (And my mom was also a part of the flowers from my daddy!) Daniel delivered the
tulips to me while I was tutoring at school - what a sweet surprise. And the flowers from my folks were waiting for me at the house when I got home that evening!!! What a great Valentine's Day!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Be An Abolitionist

Modern day slavery. I had never thought about it until last night when Daniel and I saw a preview of the film, "Amazing Grace." It debuts in theaters February 23. We encourage you to go see it!

Here are a couple of websites to learn more about modern day slavery and human trafficking. and The following are statistics and brief stories taken from The Amazing Change website. For the complete stories you can click on this link.


27 Million: Number of people in modern-day slavery across the world
Sourced by the UN, New York Times, Amnesty International, The Christian Science Monitor, and Free The Slaves, among others.

800,000: Number of persons trafficked across international borders each year
Sourced by the US State Department, International Justice Mission, and, among others.

17,500: Number of foreign nationals who are trafficked into the U.S. every year
Sourced by the US House Of Representatives, and the Polaris Project, among others.

91: Number of cities in the United States with reported cases of trafficking
Sourced by Georgia State Representative Jack Kingston,, and Polaris Project, among others.

50: Percent of all victims are children
Sourced by the US House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, and the US Department of State, among others.

$50 Million: US Government budget for efforts against human trafficking
Sourced by the US State Department.

$19 Billion: US Government budget for efforts against drug trafficking
Sourced by the White House Drug Policy website.

20 Million: Number of bonded laborers in the world
Sourced by Free The Slaves.

218 Million: Estimated number of children working aged between five and seventeen
Sourced by the International Labor Organization.

126 Million: Estimated number of children who work in the worst forms of child labor - one in every twelve of the world's five to seventeen year olds.
Sourced by the International Labor Organization, UNICEF, and the US Embassy in Uruguay, among others.

300,000: Estimated number of child soldiers involved in over 30 areas of conflict worldwide, some younger than 10 years old.
Sourced by UNICEF, the BBC, and Amnesty International, among others.


An abducted child kept as a slave in the Lord's Resistance Army, James was forced to brutally kill his own brother who had been abducted with him. He was rescued from captivity, but demonstrates the fragile psyche of a child victim forced to kill or be killed.

Sita in Bihar
Thanks to Free The Slaves' presence in Purnea, India, Sita is no longer suffering at the hands of her captors as a bonded prostitute.

International Justice Mission had just raided the rock quarry rescuing 76 people from bonded slavery including many children. Just as the operation was complete and IJM staff were leaving, a desperate woman banged on the door of one of the cars in IJM's caravan.

For Nagaraj, the hope of a life of freedom was stronger than the threats and abuses he and others endured in the brick kiln. The worst part, he says, was seeing his children there, getting sick from excessive work in the searing heat, knowing that they could never go to school and would grow up to become another's property. Nagaraj himself was a slave since the age of 12.

Laxmi Shrestha
Lami is a ten-year-old RUGMARK student who was rescued from a Nepali carpet factory by RUGMARK inspectors at the age of six. She now lives at a RUGMARK rehabilitation center and attends fourth grade at a nearby private school.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl XLI

We had a really low-key Super Bowl party, but had a great time with our friends, Brent and Rebecca. Rebecca impressed us with delicious ribs...and it was her first time to make them! Props to you, Rebecca.

Rebecca and Brent have become sweet friends of ours over the past year. They have been married about 2 years and have shared with us some of the the wisdom the Lord has given them about marriage. We're thankful for their hearts for Jesus, for missions, and for holiness. They are a great couple to share life with...and eat ribs with! And in just a couple of weeks, they're gonna be mommy and daddy!