Monday, February 20, 2012

New Birthday Post

I wrote a new birthday post for my daughter who turned 25 today. Check it out!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Childcare Website

Check out our new website for our kidcare and preschool.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Another New Blog

I know, this is hard to believe but I am starting ANOTHER blog! This one is a weight loss journal. If you want to check that out you can go here. If you would like to join my blog buddies on that blog, please let me know. The more we have the bigger support we have! 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My New Blog

Follow me to my new blog. It has links on there to my other blogs, as well. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Me & My Thoughts

It's just me. Well, me and my thoughts. There are so many of them that they come bursting our of my brain right through my fingers as I type. For those of you that know me, I am not a silent person. I can talk. I can talk a LOT. And do, often. When I was in school that used to get me into trouble. Maybe it still does. I am a very open person and I care about people a great deal. Can you care about others too much? I don't think so. We have been doing a study on love. Not just any love, but the love like Jesus loves. We are called to love that way. A tall order, you say? You bet. The tallest order you will ever get. Wrapped up in that command is every other command and direction ever given by God. If we will love like that then everything else falls into place.

This school year started for our family three weeks ago. We happily homeschool our two youngest children, grades 5 and 7. You are always welcome to check out those adventures on our homeschool blog. I am trying to blog more over there this school year. We have an exciting school year planned. We even have an awesome study on Africa that we will be doing that includes music and crafts. We enjoyed our three weeks in Kenya so much that if the Lord opens the door to move there for a time, we will gladly walk through it. You can keep up with our ministry adventures on our missions blog. I am hoping to update some of the water drilling pictures soon.

I just thought I would share some silly pictures of myself and just let everyone know that we are doing well. I am still reading and doing book reviews as quickly as I can. I love to read and am so thankful for the chance to get free books just for reading and reviewing them. What fun!

I am working on a new blog to take the place of this one. I am no longer "Colorado Dreaming" so I thought it was time to change the name of my blog. Watch for a post about the new blog and make sure you start following it instead of this one. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 8, 2011

More Kenya Thoughts

July 4, 2011

I have been home for over 24 hours now. I have slept much of that time. I’m not really trying too hard to stay up. I just want to sleep when I want to sleep. I know, that sounds so stubborn. I can be that way. One reason I just want to sleep is because of all the work I am going to have to do to get the house in order after emptying the suitcases and getting school stuff ready. I think I am avoiding it and sleeping is a good excuse.

I am having mixed feelings about being home. Is it normal to feel culture shock coming home after only three weeks? And is it normal for someone who didn’t get it while there? It was good to get home. It feels more “natural” doing things here because I have lived here for the past 45, almost 46 years. But even in the middle of doing things I normally do, I felt out of place somehow. We drove home from the movies and the streets were so clean and paved. There wasn’t a person walking anywhere. There were no cows or goats walking alongside the road or in fields, there were no fields. There were only buildings and apartments and houses. I began to feel guilty because of how nice things are here. I don’t think the people in Kilifi want things to be the way they are, they just are. The poverty levels are staggering. I found out that they live off less than a dollar a day. How can people live off that little? There has been a shortage of rain for the past 4 weeks and I thought that because it rained for ten to twenty minutes each day that it was good. I found out that it wasn’t enough. They need fresh water so badly. They need to be able to grow food to feed their families.

One of the places I saw daily was a milk cow plantation. We were staying on that plantation because some very wealthy people had built fancy homes overlooking the ocean there and rented them out. The “houses” that the people staying and working on the plantation didn’t look like a house to me. It was cement walls that connected 7 or 8 rooms in a row. It didn’t look like there could be more than one room for each but there may have been some rooms sectioned off with sheets or something. Our guess is that they were maybe 12’. There was another concrete box for each “house” that had one opening towards their home. That was the kitchen. It was about 5’ x 8’ or smaller. I am not sure all the homes had the “kitchen’s” because on the ones that faced the road those families would gather in the front yard and cook on a pile of wood. That is how they did it in the concrete area but this was on the ground. Their laundry is laid on the ground to dry at some of the homes. There are a few that have clothes lines but not all. The place we stayed in had a lady that did our laundry. She would wash them in a tub with a scrub brush and lay them on the ground to dry. We gave her a clothesline when we got there but she never used it. We would find out clothes laying in a long row during the day. They would iron them before they put them in our room. It left them feeling very odd. And kind of not clean or dry even though they were.
As you look at the picture above, I can tell you it is a far cry from the places I just described. I don't know why I didn't take a picture of those homes in the three weeks I was there. We drove by them at least twice a day, every day for three weeks. Maybe it was because I didn't want to seem like they were on display for visitors that thought them odd. As we passed by them we would wave and yell "Jambo" in response to their calls of the same. I am sorry I didn't take those pictures. I wouldn't WANT to stay in homes like that but I did feel a bit guilty for staying in a place like I did. It didn't seem like it "fit" with a mission trip. We were there to work with the people who needed it but we were living in a huge house with people who washed our clothes, made our beds, and prepared our meals. I'm not saying I wasn't grateful for those things. It just didn't feel right when each day I saw those who had so much less.
I do know that once on the field full time we will have a more modest home. One that will meet all of our needs but will not set us too much above those we have come to serve. And I am totally alright with that. I have a friend whose dad, a long term cross cultural worker, designed a house in another part of the world that helped keep the mosquitoes out and I am going to find a way to "borrow" that floor plan for our home. I was excited to hear about its existence.
As I am able, I will put more of my thoughts down. Thanks for taking the time to read.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Last Week In Kenya

It is almost four in the morning here in Kenya and I am sitting in bed killing mosquitoes instead of sleeping. I just can’t sleep when I am being eaten alive, sorry. I have tried everything. Last night wasn’t bad; I must have closed the net right or something. Tonight they keep coming in and I have many new bites. This is really the last night we will have here. Tomorrow night instead of sleeping we will be driving to the airport. I am not looking forward to starting that journey before a good night’s rest but that is the schedule we get to work with so we must make the best of it.

The kids have done really well, for the most part. Since this is a short term trip it is very focused because much work must be done in a short amount of time. The boys were bored in their off time but found ways to get along with their game boys and picking on their sisters. The girls easily went from sitting in on Discipleship Training to the water drilling site. At the end of each day, most of the time, they got to swim for a short while before dinner was ready. For the past week Tammie has been buying ice cream for dinner.  Those two things have given them something to look forward to. Most of their conversations are about the foods they want to eat when they get back to the states.

Today Jennifer told me she hopes to be fluent in Swahili by next year. I am not sure how we will do that but I think it is a great idea for our family to learn. I don’t think it would be hard for the two kids to learn and I believe we could learn it quickly. We would just need a teacher. The past three weeks I have had many teachers and have learned many things like words and they way they do things.

We have become very attached to a young Kenyan man that is on our team. He is twenty-three years old. He has taken us under his wing and made sure we get fair prices on things and that we understand what is going on. He has taught us much about Kenya and its people. We have “adopted” him into our family. The kids are planning on what we need to show him when he comes to visit in the states.

I have been learning more and more about the orphan situation that my friend is a part of. She has two acres of land and they have build three rooms on that land. The rooms have no floor. She has chalk boards on the walls to teach the children, remember, they can’t afford to go to school so she teaches them. They have a place to cook when there is food. Her vision would be to have a home for them so they have a place to sleep at night, clean clothes, food to eat and school supplies to learn. My heart has such a burden to join this cause and see it happen. They need a house big enough for bedrooms and school rooms. They need a water well and a windmill for fresh water and to grow crops. They need some fruit trees and some animals for food. They need clothes and school supplies. They need love, people who will care for them and show them the love of Christ through their actions. I am sure you can tell that this is heavy on my heart and I feel very passionate about it. Please pray that God will show me His plan for my life where this is involved, if any. It is a huge ministry that needs people and funds in order to work.

The drilling has been at a standstill for four days. The drill stem is stuck and so far they haven’t been able to retrieve it. They are still trying. They decided to use the first spot that they started to drill where they lost the bit in the hole to show everyone how to finish out a well so they have that knowledge. They did part of that today and will do the rest on Friday. They are still working on getting that drill stem out of the hole so they can figure out a way to continue on with this well and others using it. They are below 50 feet and might have even hit water but got stuck. We are still praying they will be able to finish that well and move on to the next test well. We won’t be here for that so we are praying they will carry on and keep going strong. You can already tell that some are not that interested in taking it somewhere else. But some are. Then there are some that want to look at it as a money making venture. That isn’t what was intended so I pray they do not follow through. They can use the water to grow things to sell but to sell the water seems like a bad idea. I believe John and I both are praying we can return soon and help continue on in this ministry so that it will be a success and many will have running water as well as living water. The goal is to use the water well ministry to plant churches. We want to be a part of that.

There must be a storm out there tonight because the ocean is very loud. I think the boys are sleeping up on the roof of the third floor again like last night. I hope they aren’t getting wet. I don’t want them to be sick. They didn’t get to swim today but will get to one last time tomorrow. They jump off the second floor into the pool. I have taken pictures and it is quite funny. John jumped off once. I didn’t get a picture so I will try to get him to do it one more time tomorrow.

I want to sleep so badly. I have to get up in an hour but I know if I try to sleep I will just get more bites so what is the point in trying? It’s this house, not Kenya. If the rooms had screens or closed windows it would be better and we could kill the bugs. Next time we will not stay in this house if I can help it. We are praying we don’t get Malaria from all the bites or an infection from the bites. The kids have a hard time not scratching.

I can’t wait to see Sami on Sunday. She will be at work but we will see her when she gets home. She has started her Mary Kay business back up and we are so excited for her.  We haven’t heard from Nick much. He is still in Missouri.  He is making some very teenage choices so we are praying he grows out of it soon. I am going to try to get one hour of sleep. I will post when we get home. Please keep your prayers coming.

Asante (Thank You) for your prayers. Please keep them coming.

Bwana Asifiwe (Praise Be The Lord)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Some Happenings In Kenya (long)

Monday June 20, 2011

I have written many things about our trip so far in a notebook. I have been transfering it to the computer when I have some extra time to devote to that. I would be putting all of this on my blog daily if I had access to it, but I do not. (I didn't have Interent until a week ago. Trying to catch up.)

I have fallen in love with Kenya. I can’t really explain it but I feel warmth inside myself for these people. They have been so loving and kind and welcoming. Last week was so full of activity. This week will have some. Today we are supposed to go into town and pick up a dress that I ordered (funny story about the dress, will tell you about it later) and have the girls fitted for dresses for an ordination ceremony for Joe and Tammy that is next Saturday.

I am sitting in the villa watching the rain poor down. I have learned that it rains often but doesn’t last for very long. The kids and I stayed at the villa this morning but will head up to the church for lunch. The kids are playing a game in the girls room. They have their moments of getting along and I suppose this is one of them.

The food has been different but still good. We have tasted some traditional Kenyan foods and just some regular recipes that taste a bit differently than what we are used to. The kids are adjusting very well to it. They know they can eat it or not but they will have to wait until the next meal to get something else.

I am enjoying the villa except for the mosquitoes. They are eating us alive. The kitchen help says it is because the owners won’t cut down the bushes next to the pool. I wish they would because then you could see the ocean from downstairs. You have to be on the second or third floors to see the ocean because of the bushes. The ocean is beautiful and I have taken many pictures of it at different times of the day. During the day you can have all of the windows open and enjoy the cool breeze. But around 5 they put down the mosquito nets and shut the windows in the bedrooms. It doesn’t always help. The windows also have shutters on them that do not fully close so you can’t spray your rooms and expect that to kill everything. More can get it. I am not sure why they don’t do anything about it when they rent out the home to people. Do they want their guests covered in bite marks? JC’s right side of his face is covered. Jennifer got her first bits last night, on her face. John and I have our foreheads covered in bites and my right arm looks terrible. People cringe when they see it. I also got bit by some kind of bug on my arm in the crease. It has been there for a couple of days now and kind of feels like a burn.  One of the ladies at church said it will just go away in time. We are keeping an eye on it. (It's healing slowly but surely). Next time we come I want to stay in a room that the windows close all the way so we can spray and kill the bugs in the room and not let more in.

Yesterday we were talking about roller coasters and other things that are scary. I said I didn’t do roller coasters because I have never been one to do things that are scary. I don’t like being scared like some people. For them it is a rush of excitement. Someone said that I was brave for coming to Africa. I said “No, there isn’t anything brave about that except maybe the plane ride. I’m not scared to be in Africa. I love it.” And I meant that with all of my heart. I was never scared to come here, only of the airplane. After being on five of them in two days I think I might be over that part. We traveled so many places just on the plane and went through different airports. Because of our cancelled flights we were rerouted to Dubai. That is an airport that is filled with people from all over the world. I wasn’t scared in any of the places we stopped. I just put on my smile and kept it there for all I passed by. Most of the time I got a return smile that was just as genuine.

Someone told me before I left that I need people too much. In a way I think I do need people but I don’t think that is a bad thing. It draws me to others in a way that builds relationships in a short amount of time. I have made many friends during this conference. I have only been here for a week (as of tomorrow) and I have made so many new friends. They can see that I care about them and want to be their friend.

John has just jumped in there and become a part of things. The people are so eager and happy to work. Even the women have gotten out there and worked at the water well drilling. And when there has been down time where they are waiting on something John will sit down and teach them out of the Word. One of the ladies told me about that last night. She said he really got them to thinking about how they need to use that well to reach out to others.

John and I were talking last night about the “next step” that God might have for us. We both feel that it will be even bigger than this trip and that there will be many challenges but it will be something big and exciting. We both feel if God truly wants us in a country outside the US He will make it happen. We also have said to each other we don’t see why we couldn’t do it. We know God is the ultimate provider and He will supply all of our needs.

We attended the church service yesterday. They have an English service at 9:30 followed by a Swahili service. That service ended at 1:30. The kids (including our girls) got up and sang and danced during the service for a couple of songs. Their songs usually last about 7 minutes or so. They aren’t as short as ours in the states. And when they worship, they worship with everything inside of them. I got some really good pictures. I can’t wait to get Internet so I can upload them and share all of this with you.

I got to listen to some wonderful Kenyan music the other day and when I get back to the states I want to get on Pandora and find a Kenyan station. I am learning some of the language already. One of my new friends told me yesterday she was going to teach me some and I told her GREAT, I want to learn. I think this is a language we could learn pretty easily, especially to read. The vowel system is so much easier than English. It would just be a matter of learning the words and remembering them. We would have to spend days just speaking Swahili and nothing else to make ourselves learn it.

Our Kenyan friends on the team left yesterday. They were only here for one week of the three. I will miss them greatly. I did my best to pick their brains about everything I could think of. I learned a lot from both of them. The kids are sad to see them go because they have grown so close to their kids. They helped me to understand a lot about the people and the culture. I know there is much more to learn but I feel blessed to have learned the things that I did over the last week. And I gained a great friend. I want to cry when I think about her not being here. We had great times. She took me to the market in Kilifi on Saturday and it was great fun watching her haggle with the merchants over their produce. It is something I would have to learn how to do if we ever live in a place like this. I am not sure I could do as well as her but maybe in time.  

The rain has stopped after about 20 minutes. The sun was always bright in the sky but now the clouds have passed and it is shining brighter than ever. I am unable to sit where I can see the ocean because I am charging the battery in my computer. When it is fully charged I am going to unplug it and move over. I don’t like sand very much but I love looking and listening to the ocean. We hear the ocean at night and throughout the day. That is how close we are to it.

Everything is very different from American and what we are used to. The supermarket is kind of the same and the only shop that you don’t seem to have to barter at. The ones on the street you barter for everything. Ruth even got my dressed cheaper than they had them priced. I am glad I had her with me. I think that if I lived here I would just order material and make my own dresses. They are very simple to make.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I find it so hard to believe that next week at this time I will be on a plane back to the states. It has gone by so fast. Last week we had the conferences that took up most of the time each day. This week we have done lots of running to the market for different things. There was an ordination ceremony for Joe and Tammie Friberg. Dresses and pants were made. Shoes and shirts were purchased. Hair was done on Friday (That took a LONG time!) This morning we got to the church at 8 a.m. The service didn’t start until 11:30 so it ended at 3:30 instead of 1:30. Lunch was served after that. It was a long service but very interesting. They take ordinations very seriously here. It is like a wedding. So many people came and it was great to visit with them when the service part was over.

There are children here that are “on their own”. A co-team member told me that they are street kids and they don’t really have a home. During the day they fend for themselves and then at night they sleep where ever they can find a place. And even sadder is the fact that some of these kids are raising other kids. These young girls, who are 9 and under, carry around babies on their backs. One of the younger ones who is always on her own has been coming up there with a infant that looks to be under 3 months old. She looks about 6, if that. A new friend, Joyce, has a program for orphans. They don’t have the money to pay to go to school. One hundred and fifty of them come each day. She feeds them and teaches them. She gets donations from other parents to help buy food.  She told me she doesn’t have much help and sometimes the help she has doesn’t do things the way they need to be done. Her vision is to get a well on that property so she can grow fresh vegetables to help feed the kids. When I wave at the children that stand around the gate to the church they get big smiles on their faces. And they come closer to talk to me or just smile. As I walk through crowds of these kids or even drive by kids they are so ready for me to notice them and say hello and wave. They especially want our kids to notice them and say hi. They also love for you to take their picture and show it to them afterwards.  

I am not sure what this next week will hold other than well drilling and more discipleship training of the pastors. We are very close to water. We are almost 50 feet down and water should be between 50 and 60 feet. We only have until Friday to get the well finished to completion. We know God can do a mighty work and get it done. It has been filled with many challenges this past two weeks. But they have managed to hit each one head on. There is hard coral that they have to go through. It is good for those here to see that there are things that will come up but there is always a way to work through them. There are some of the pastors that are really excited to take this water well drilling back to their church and use it to further the Gospel. We are praying that they can carry on once we go back to the states or that we can somehow come back and help them. It’s in God’s hands and He knows the plans He has for these pastors and us.
It is late. Time to rest for a bit. We have church in the morning and there are two services that we go to. John is speaking in the English one. Thanks for taking the time to read this long post. I know most of people don't have time to read things this long. Blessings to you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Five Flights to Kenya (Long)

June 10, 2011

We got a ride from a friend to the airport and got there at 2 p.m. When we got to the counter we found out the flight was cancelled and they didn’t have another one going to Washington anywhere else that we could make in time. The connecting flight out of Washington to Accra was only an hour and a half after this flight was to land. We spent a little time trying to get United to get us there somehow but they just said we had to go through our travel agent. We sat on the phone for two hours trying to get through to the travel agent and trying to get them to understand what we needed. John finally went back up to the United counter to get them to fix it since they had cancelled the flight. The main problem was our third flight, the one from Accra to Nairobi. It was all booked for the following two days. We told them to please find a way to get us to Nairobi anyway they could. So they came up with a flight from Accra to Dubai and then from Dubai to Nairobi. Yes, that is so crazy. It was WAY out of the way. Accra is in Africa and Dubai is NOT. So we were to fly to Africa, fly out of Africa and then fly BACK to Africa. Jennifer was upset the whole ride to the airport and for two hours after we got there. I am not sure if she was just going to miss her big sister or if the fear of flying got to her or both.

Since we had gotten a ride from a friend with a large truck to bring all of our luggage and ourselves to the airport we really didn’t want to have to go all the way back home and find another ride the next day. United gave us a discount coupon to call a local hotel at a lower rate. They had a shuttle to take us to the hotel and one to bring us back again the next day. We loaded up our stuff on the shuttle and were on our way. As soon as we got there we walked to the Whataburger next door. We had no eaten lunch yet because we were going to eat at the airport as soon as we got checked in, which we never did. Dinner was good. We went swimming for the next three hours and just relaxed for a bit. Sleep didn’t come easy but we all finally did sleep.

June 11, 2011 (Flight from DFW to Dulles. Flight time 6:15 p.m. to 10:05 p.m. Total hours 3, time zone change)

A good breakfast was served downstairs. The kids and John went swimming for an hour while I repacked our bags and made sure we had everything we needed together. We had to check out at noon. We headed back to the airport and checked in only to find out our flight was delayed. Later we found out it was delayed even longer. We ate lunch at Burger King and tried not to be concerned about the delayed flight. When we found out it was delayed an hour and twenty minutes we began to worry we would not make our flight in DC. John tried to talk to the people at the ticket counter but no one would even speak to him. Finally we decided we would get on the plane and deal with it in DC if we missed the flight. We were just so tired to dealing with United at DFW.

The kids were excited to get on the plane and find their seats. Jennifer cried for just a bit at take off. But was soon doing ok. She didn’t like the landing either. At the landing her ears began to hurt very badly (her dad has that same problem) and popping them and chewing gum did not work for her. Jonathan loved taking pictures out the window.

We arrived at Dulles with only about 30 minutes to spare for the flight to Accra. We grabbed our carry-on bags and took off running. John was leading the way and Jonathan was next. Jennifer stayed pretty close to me. I was able to run half of the way but I just couldn’t make it any further running so I urged JC to catch up with his dad as we walked and sometimes ran as fast as we could. The terminals were on opposite sides of the airport, complete opposites. We got there just in time. Since it was an International flight they wanted to know if we had our Visas and we told them no because we were just doing a plane change there. They asked about the Visa for Kenya and we told them we would get it on arrival. So they let us board.

June 11-12, 2011 (Flight from Dulles to Accra. Flight time: Total Hours: )

The flight to Accra was really long but the kids slept a little bit. I was able to catch a couple of small cat naps. When we arrived at the airport in Accra it was raining. We unloaded on the tarmac and got on a bus and were taken to the airport. We knew when we got there we would have to get our luggage and recheck it in. We talked to a very nice lady and man at the counter and they helped us sign in and go find our luggage. When we got our luggage we could not find my suitcase. It wasn’t there. I suppose it didn’t make the fast switch at Dulles. We went to the counter to report lost luggage and they told us we needed to make a report when we got to our final destination because the baggage was checked all the way to there. We headed back around to the flight check in counter by way of the outside of the building; we had to walk all the way around. While we were checking in some ladies that worked there took the bag tags off our luggage (they weren’t supposed to because we had them checked all the way) so when the man that was checking us in saw that we had no tags he asked about them. We told him what happened and he went through the process of making new tags for our three bags we had left. We found a restroom and then headed to our flight area. The man there told us we had to fill out some forms so we stopped and did that. When we go to the spot to turn those forms in they man there said we should not have filled them out and not to do it next time. Too funny! We waited in the terminal for a little while and tried to keep busy. We were so tired at this point that the kids were a little grumpy having to wait. We had used up a lot of time with all the running around that our wait was only about 20 minutes or so.

June 12-13, 2011 (Flight from Accra to Dubai. Flight time:     Total Hours:  time zone change)

I’m so squashed. This is the nicest air plane we have been on but I am so cramped. I would rather have had less fancy and more room. The young man sitting next to me doesn’t seem to have a concept of personal space. He is all in mine. But I have not said anything when he bumps into me and says nothing. I have said noting to him about him putting his legs in front of my seat where my legs are supposed to go. It is hard to put up with for eight hours but I will manage. I’m so proud of Jennifer. She is a real trooper. She has not had any more issues except her ears hurting. She is not scared anymore and loves the fact that she gets to watch movies or play games on the flight. We flew over the Nile River and the Red Sea. I pointed out to Jennifer on the map that we are flying over places we have read about in the Bible. The kids didn’t sleep at all on this flight. They have been too busy playing with video games and movies. I have dozed off here and there but it has been too uncomfortable to really sleep. We were served two meals and what they call a snack but it was more like lunch. It seems like they spend so much time feeding you. Some was good, some not so good. The same movies over and over get old, too.

We landed in the Dubai airport at about 6 a.m. This is a busy place. People from all over the world are here right now. The bathrooms are “holes in the ground” type potties. I was surprised that Jennifer didn’t pitch a big fit. But she just did what she had to do without a fuss. Inside this airport is a lot of shops. They have video games and other electronics and then the more traditional type souvenir shops. We walked through the places and checked things out but didn’t buy anything. I didn’t want to have to exchange our money just to buy something small. Our next flight wasn’t leaving until about 10:45 so we spent time playing Uno after walking around. JC was the champ; he won 3 of the 5 games we played. We girls each won one game. John slept as best he could while we waited.

June 13, 2011 (Flight from Dubai to Nairobi. Flight time: 11:?? a.m. – 3:30 p.m.    Total Hours:  time zone change)

The plane boarded at the correct time but it had some issues plus they had to reroute us a bit because of some bad weather on the route they usually took. That got our plane in an hour later than it was scheduled to arrive. The flight was a little less cramped even though we were on the same type of airlines. I made sure I got an aisle seat this time. This is the first and only flight we sat right next to each other without an aisle between some of us. On the flight before John and Jonathan were two rows ahead of Jennifer and I. That was odd but we were fine. John and the kids slept this whole flight and ate nothing even though they served a meal and some drinks. I tried to sleep but it did not happen. It was odd being awake and plane hopping for that long and changing time zones so many times. On this flight we actually go back over a time zone we crossed before and gain and hour.

When we got to the airport we did found a restroom and we so glad it wasn’t a hole in the ground. We got our luggage, got our Visa’s and then went to the baggage counter to report my lost luggage. It wasn’t in the system at all. I told them what happened with the tags in Accra and that when he redid the tags he must have erased my bag. I had the part of the tag from the other bag so I was able to give that to him. Plus we had our name on the luggage tag. We gave him our team member’s phone number and left the airport to head over across the street to the local airport for our next flight.

June 13, 2011 (Flight from Nairobi to Mombasa. Flight time: 4:40 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. Total hours: 45 minutes)

This flight was a very small plane. It took a very short time to get where we were going. But Jennifer slept the whole way. I fell asleep for a short time while we were waiting on the runway to take off. I am not sure that Jonathan slept on this one. He loved the fact that he got a small can of Fanta. It didn’t take long to get off this plane and find our luggage. As we walked out of the airport we were praying our team members would be there to meet us…they were! YAY! Almost there.
We got in a safari vehicle that they had rented for their time here and drove for about an hour and a half to Kilifi. And not just to Kilifi but way in the bush near the coast. We are staying at a villa that is on a plantation where they raise milk cows. The roads through there are so rough and bumby, it's terrible. The villa is beautiful, especially in the daytime when the mosquitoes aren't out. We had dinner and then went to bed. We were so glad to be in a real bed!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Countdown

In 6 days we will be going to children's camp.

In 13 days we will be going to East Africa.

So much to do, so much....

Blog update on our mission blog. I just can't do major posts on both. Our lives are so full of mission stuff right now that it is about all that I have to post about. Soon I will put more just personal stuff from summer. Like camp! I will try to put some pictures of camp before we get on the plane.

Love you all!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mission Update

I want to let you all know that I have posted a wonderful update on our mission blog. I would love for you to check it out and share it with anyone you might think would be interested.

Please keep praying for us as we continue on this journey of faith. We need your prayers especially during this time. Satan is going to be trying to upset our plans to minister to those in East Africa.

We leave in 19 days and counting...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lessons We Learn From Movies

My husband and I, along with our two youngest children are spending the week in Paint Rock, Texas to learn water well drilling from Water for All International. I began getting things together for our trip and cleaning last week. When we were at Targ*t the kids asked for a movie for the trip.

We are one of those rare families who does NOT have our TV hooked up to cable or even to an antennae. Instead of that, we buy movies and old TV series on DVD. We have a large collection of movies. This time they wanted to get the new Karate Kid.

Its a cute movie. Different and yet the same as the first one. This one takes place in China. This young boy loses his dad and his moms only option to make a living is to take this job in China. Dre is a 12 year old boy who is very upset about leaving the home he grew up in, the friends he has made in those years and everything he is familiar with. He has to learn a new language and make all new friends. On the first day he arrives he meets the mean kids that torment him throughout the movie. Getting a black eye on the day you get to your new home isn't exactly the way to a good attitude. After a week in China Dre and his mom have a confrontation. She has been trying to stay positive and find good in things. He finally explodes after holding it in and being bullied all week.

With our family going through mission training and planning on living cross-culturally long term very soon, this movie hit home to me. As I sat there looking at the moms face as her son blew up and told her how much he hated it there, I totally understood how she felt. As a mom, she had been trying to help him find his way and see the good. But he hated it. And there was nothing she could do to change it. It was her only way to make a living to support them. She didn't choose for her husband to die and leave her with that responsibility. But she made the choices she felt she needed to make that were best for her family.

Our son has been struggling with moving overseas. He doesn't want to do it. He wants to do the stuff we are training for, just not long term. He understands the need to go and help people have clean water. But leaving the home he has grow up the last 12 years and all of his friends isn't something he is happy about. We have been praying about ways to help the kids understand and deal with this move into full time service. We don't just want to throw them into a new world without preparation. We are preparing ourselves, after all.

While we watched the confrontation I was just moved to talk to him about it. I told him how I could understand how the mom felt in that scene. As a parent you want what is best for your children and you want to set a good example for them and help them through the hard times. I was led to ask a few questions. "When you grow up do you want your children to tell you where you are going to live or where you are going to work or do you think that is something you and your wife should decide?" "Do you trust us to follow only where God would have us go?" He thought about those questions and answered "yes" to them. That gives us a foundation to build on with him and our daughter. Some more questions they need to think about.

As parents it is our responsibility to decide what is best for our family. We don't sit around thinking "What can we do today to make our kids miserable" despite the fact that many think it's true. One of the best things a parent can do is seek God's will for their lives and the lives of their children. When we are inline with God's will we have a peace that isn't there at other times. Seeking His guidance is never a mistake.

Friday, February 11, 2011


While so much has been going on, I can honestly say that we are still taking baby steps most of the time. God is showing us only small bits at a time. He has been opening some doors for us and we are being faithful to walk through those open doors. So much is also still unclear. I believe God is doing that so we can show Him we trust Him and believe that He will bring about the purpose and direction in our lives in due time.

Our personal lives and those of our children seem to go from good to bad and back again on a minute by minute basis. While so many things seem to be falling apart we can't help but look on it as a possible "fresh start" and a time to begin again with a clean slate. John called a "family meeting" two weeks ago so we could sit down and share with each other where we were in life. It was mostly for the four adults in the family (did I say 4? Wow, when did that happen? In a blink of an eye, we have two grown children in our family. Time passes so quickly. Enjoy each precious moment of your children's childhood. Then have a blast with them as adults.) because the two younger kids just kind of listened and Star Princess feel asleep in my lap. "Dad" shared the things going on in our life with the mission stuff and with his work. Our older two are going through some hard times, major growing pains. But we took each one and tried to find some positive things that could be done and to look at it as an adventure. Also, some things we needed to pray about as a family for each other. He wanted them to know that we are a family, always will be a family AND will always be there for each other, no matter where we live. It is my hope that we will continue these and even when we are overseas, maybe we can S*kype our family meetings.

While we wait upon the Lord to open more doors and make more things clear on the mission side of our life, there are things that I know I must get done. We are always working on school for the kids. Plus, I have many things around the house that must be done. Part of my downsizing is to get the extra scrapbook supplies and fabric cleared out. But not in the way you might think. I am not just getting rid of it. I am using it. I have many pictures that need in books to prepare for storage. I have much fabric that needs to be made into things instead of stored. I have promised quilts to each of my children. Those MUST be made before we go overseas. I have set that as a goal. I can't wait to work on them and post pictures of each.

My writing has been non-existent with the exception of my blogs. That is my own fault. I just have not taken the time to sit down and work. It is work. Anyone who believes writing is easy is in for a shock. But it is still something that is inside me trying to get out. I must obey that command at some point and let the voice inside me speak. I pray I can overcome the barriers that hold me back and that the voice will be free to venture forth to share with all of us what messages God has given it.

Our "next step" is a training class coming up in March for a week. It is for water well drilling. I may or may not get to go. I have to find "childcare" for the two younger kids and so far, I haven't. Then I need to raise money somehow (be it donations, garage sales, etc...) for a mission trip for all four of us, which can be pretty pricey. We would need about $1,500, which would include the trip, passports, visas, shots, etc...  That is something we are required to do before we are commissioned by our church to go out. If you have any fund raising ideas for me, feel free to email me the details. We need all the help we can get. Of course, once we do that, it will be time to start raising the money for long term. God is good and will provide, I have no doubt.

That is all for now...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

If Ever You Worshiped

I saw this on a friends blog and it really spoke to me. Some days I just feel like there isn't enough time in my day and/or I don't use it the way I am supposed to. I feel I don't spend enough time in worship or with Him. But at the same time, I feel I don't do enough for my family. This song helps put things into a little better perspective about a moms day. I hope you enjoy it.

If Ever You Worshipped

By Danny Oertli

It wasn’t that long ago

You were a girl all alone

There was no way to know

How soon you’d have kids of your own

Now you’re the first one awake

The last one asleep

Cleaning and making your plans

And there are days when it feels

Like there’s no time to pray

You wonder if God understands

But if ever you worshiped, it’s now

If ever you kept your vow

You may not understand how

But if ever you worshiped, it’s now

The memory of leaves in the fall

Walking through the canyons so tall

God was so close in it all

Now your chance to worship seems small

Now you’re the first one to taste

But the last one to eat

When everyone goes their own way

And its your name that’s called

In the deep of the night

One more hour of sleep floats away

But if ever you worshiped it’s now

If ever you kept your vow

You may not understand how

But if ever you worshiped it’s now