Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's Thursday! We are finishing up our school for the morning and getting ready to go to the hangar for lunch. We'll take a picnic out there and have lunch with Garry! On the way we'll stop to pick up a printer cartridge for him (yesterday there weren't any in town, but they said new stock should arrive today--we'll see!) and drop off my computer to have the disk drive replaced.

I spend plenty of hours like this, so thought I'd post it for you:). Because all our flights are scheduled one at a time, sometimes it takes a lot of communication before everyone knows what they need to know-- how many passengers are travelling, how much weight can Garry take, is there a load coming back to town, what time should the cargo be at the hangar, and what time should passengers come. Quite a bit of this communication is done by texting or sometimes e-mail, but there is always calling to do also!

Blessings to you today!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ever wonder how you weigh an airplane? This is how it's done on a Cessna 185-- tail lifted high and front wheels sitting on special scales. What do the numbers on the scales mean? Well, that one is beyond me! But the airplane weighs just over 1 ton, and Kaleb says that sounds WAY too heavy to fly!

Some days just begin out-of-wack. Such was my Tuesday... One of the first things I needed to do was give my girl cash to go buy lettuce, so I spent about half an hour looking for a key to get cash. Finding none, I texted Garry, talked to Kevin, and looked again. I did finally find the key... in my pocket! Much to my surprise, Neva came in and told me she already had cash anyway-- I didn't need the key.

From there I went to the kitchen and found our chicken soup for lunch on the stove. I was just a little annoyed that I hadn't seen it the night before, because by now it was surely spoiled! So, hoping to make the best of a bad situation, I fed half the soup to my dog, figuring that she would still be fine. However, the girls arrived home just after that and informed me the soup HAD been refrigerated and had only been taken out of the fridge in the morning! Oh, well, Kody had a great breakfast!

In the meantime I'd also texted the girls and told them to buy bread for sandwiches for lunch, since I thought the soup had spoiled. The bread did arrive in time for lunch, but after I'd made a picnic lunch and taken it to the hangar we tasted the bread, only to find it was old. Oh, well, a chewy sandwhich isn't the worst thing that can happen to one!

Such was the beginning of my Tuesday, followed by a splitting headache and at least three tries to order some school books for Kaleb. Some days you have to either laugh or cry:)!

Today has begun quite a bit better than that! Garry's deep into paperwork and I am doing school with the boys-- well, right now I'm taking a break and writing a quick blog!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Another new week, promising to be full of joy, challenges, and opportunities! Kaleb was up in the middle of the night for no reason, unable to sleep. Since Garry was also awake for several hours, they had a nice visit last night... that's what they say, anyway-- I was sound asleep, thankfully!

The boys and I started the morning off with a Tagalog lesson, something we've been wanting to start again for a while. Then it was on to math, writing, and reading. What fun to see them learn and grow in different areas! The more academic part of school is finished now, and they are busy at projects of their own invention. I made a menu for the week and passed it on to Belle, who's making a shopping list. Neva is taking care of the young man who delivers purified water to our house. I'm hoping to conquer some of the office work that piled up while we were gone.

Some guys should be going to the hangar this afternoon to help weigh the airplane. Kevin is planning a badminton lesson for this afternoon, and I'm getting together with some friends to pray.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I thought I'd post a few more pictures from our days away... it was so refreshing and so incredibly different than anything we usually do!

Any idea what this fruit is? We found it growing aloing the beach and thought it was pretty neat. We haven't seen this plant before, and we'd love to know what it is and whether it's edible. My housegirls say that the stems are used for braiding something. Our first thought was that it looked a bit like pineapple growing from a tree... but then we got closer to it!

Coming home has also been great-- Garry was back at the hangar yesterday and got a lot accomplished on the airplane. I think his next project is to weigh it.

Garry and I had a great walk around our neighborhood this morning. We love walking because it's a great time to talk-- no interruptions and a little exercise! The boys have been busy drawing today and making their own drawing books, complete with home-made binding.

Later we'll listen to a tape, I think, and have a relaxing evening. It is a privilege to be servants of the Most High, enjoying His grace and always amazed at His bountiful suppply and incredible love!

Friday, March 23, 2007

We're home again! We had a lovely time up north, enjoying the sun and the sand. This is the first time we've spent any time on the beach here and not all come home burnt! The island where we stayed was beautiful with white sand beaches and clear water.

We all found different things to be our favorite at the beach. We all enjoyed some snorkelling-- though Kaleb prefers not to go where there are funny-looking fish. I think the snorkelling was Kevin's favorite part of being there, and he spent a lot of hours with his head in the water. The reef is quite amazing!

Kaleb spent a lot of time flying a kite, and sometimes we all joined in his fun. One morning he had it flying right across the island when it crashed into coconut trees on the opposite side! The kite went incredibly high, much to his joy.

We all loved the great food that was included in our package deal. I particularly enjoyed not having to think about meals for a couple of days! The drive north was also enjoyable, as was the boat ride to the island.

We stayed in a cute little bamboo cottage, complete with a semi-salty shower! We were thankful they ran a generator all night so we could use the fans! Garry and I enjoyed some swimming, reading, and a bit of relaxing. We also enjoyed walking around the island, though it was a short walk-- about 15 minutes if we didn't hurry!

Times of quiet and reflection are good for all of us-- a wonderful opportunity to focus on God and what He is doing in our lives. In our two days at the beach we were stuck again by the fact that our only responsibilty is to stay connected to Christ, the Head, and do as He commands. Of course there will always be more work than we can do. Of course we can't do it all, but we can do what He intends for us to do, and that is enough. We also spent time pondering that we are God's children, loved perfectly by Him, perfectly acceptable because we are in Christ. All the treasures of the Godhead are ours-- wow!

It is also wonderful to enjoy His creation and be awed by His amazing creativity. When we experience the diversity of creation we are reminded that we are also diverse people, people with different gifts and ability, differing passions and distinct aptitudes. Oh, that we would learn to better enjoy our differences and spur one another on to what God has planned for each of us individually, which will produce what He has for us a Body.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Yesterday Garry had some time at the hangar to work on 660 and finish up a few other things. He was able to run the engine up, so now he's about ready to weigh the airplane. Weighing an airplane is quite a process... I'll have to get some pictures of that for you!

The boys and I were busy packing and then they spent some time helping Garry. Packing?! Yes, today we're off to a small island to the north of us. We are hoping to enjoy some sun, some waves, some snorkelling, and a few hours to just lay in a hammock and read! It's been a busy few weeks and we are thankful for this opportunity to get away.

We should be home on Saturday, and we'll let you know how it was!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Good morning! While you are still enjoying the tail-end of your weekend, we are deep into Monday morning! Garry had an early flight this morning, bringing out a work team from a location to the north of us. He was in the air early enough to be back before the jet landed and made it impossible for him to taxi back to our hangar. Now he's off for the second load of people. It would be fun to have dinner with these folks and hear what they have learned and experienced in the past 2 weeks, though I'm not sure if that will be possible or not!

I really should post a few more photos of airplanes and the incredible variety of things Garry does at the hangar, but I haven't taken pictures of that yet. So, you'll just have to believe me that his life is actually very exciting and varied... and I will try to get some pictures.

For now, a few more shots from home... I thought you might like to see Kody, short for Kodiak (named after the new airplanes NTMA is moving toward). She's a great watchdog only because her size frightens people-- she is incredibly friendly!

I am by the radio and enjoyed a nice phone call with a friend this morning. We've also almost completed school for the day, and I've taken care of a few office details. The girls are busy making chicken taco filling, which smells wonderful already.

Kevin's garden is growing, slowly but surely. Actually, this isn't his garden, but some nice tropical fruit he's also nurturing:). Bananas reproduce so rapidly here that they are almost a weed-- the trick is cutting down or moving enough new shoots that at least one tree can grow and produce fruit. Did you know that a banana tree only produces one stalk of bananas, then it has to be cut down-- or used for aesthetics only?!

Kaleb is getting drawing lessons from a friend-of-a-friend, who is quickly becoming our friend as well. He enjoyed doing a project this weekend where he cut out and colored different things to paste together on a large sheet of cardboard. It made a very fun picture!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

These are our friends who were just here! They took some great photos, so we thought we'd pass some of them on to you:). It's always fun to get a different view of what has all-to-quickly become normal to us! Here they are in the garden area of our favorite coffee shop-- it's also the only one in town!

This is the airplane that Garry is currently flying. It needs to go down for some major maintenance as soon as possible. In fact, if you'd like to help get it back in the air or help this flight program with other ongoing expenses, we can tell you how!

This is the airplane Jason and Jonie came to help get back in the air! They installed wingtips to increase its effectiveness here and did some other projects that needed done after 3 years of sitting in a salty environment. Jason got a lot done while he was here, but there is still a bit of work to do before it's back in the air again.

And these are some of my favorite flowers-- they are just beautiful right now! A good reminder to bloom where we're planted to enjoy the beauty and grace that surround us!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Wednesday! We were sad to say goodbye to Jason and Jonie this morning, but are excited that they will continue to be part of our team here in the Philippines. We're excited to hear how God works out the remaining details of their summer.

Garry is at the hangar, getting ready for tomorrow's flight. He'll take some cargo to a station interior, then bring some passengers back. One of the items on his load is a small generator to provide them with added electricity when there isn't enough sun to charge their system through the solar panels. A generator is also a necessity to run larger items like a coffee maker or washing machine. We are so thankful that theirs has arrived in the country and can go interior tomorrow!

The boys and I are working on cleaning up the house a little. Then we're hoping to have a little time to play badminton before Garry comes home. We've missed the exercise and the fun!

Blessings to you today!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Another new day. More mercy. More grace. More reasons to be thankful and more opportunities to pray. What a blessing to serve the King of Kings, to daily be about His business! And He has not reserved it for a privileged few, but has offered Himself to all of us!

Today Garry is back in the air again... heading south to one of our locations with a teen home for a week of break from boarding school and Jason and Jonie. I'm interested to hear what Jason and Jonie think of their time in this location as this is their first time to see a tribal location. We are so glad they have this opportunity!

I'm trying to finish some work on the financial side of the flight program and the boys are working on projects. Kevin arranged his desk with some cool things under a new piece of glass. They both built another kite... though Kaleb is the one who has spent more time in the kite industry. Kevin is making a top out of hard wood, using his "bolo" (a large knife or machete). He's made several already, and they spin amazingly well.

I think the girls who help me are glad for a quiet day after lots of company and lots of cooking:). Yesterday we made a picnic lunch to send to the tribe, so there isn't a lot to do today. They'll be thrilled to go home early:)!

Enjoy the journey-- this moment is all we'll ever have!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Good morning! Thanks so much for your many prayers on our behaf! Garry is feeling somewhat better, though still not quite his normal self. The rest of us seem to have kicked our colds and flu and life is feeling a bit more "average", which is a wonderful thing!

I haven't posted for quite some time becuase it's been so busy-- a great kind of busy! Jason and Jonie have been helping us with a big maintenance project on the airplane (that would be the guys!) and office work (that would be us women). We have gotten an incredible amount of stuff accomplished. I am particularly encouraged by some of the Excel things Jonie has done for me that will save me time every month! She has also done hours of data entry and hours of looking up information on the web, things I don't know when I would have ever accomplished!

In between other things we have been asking God to work out the details of a visit from our headquarters in April. We're looking forward to this time that we have set aside for strategic planning. The details of our time have been a bit fuzzy, but God is bringing things into focus and organizing what needs done in an amazing way!

In the past couple of weeks we've also added a new family to our team-- Todd and Julie are in Manila and beginning language study! We are hoping to see them soon, but the details aren't arranged yet. We know them from McNeal and are thrilled that we get to work together again!