Friday, October 31, 2008

On Monday we were able to do something we've been trying to arrange for quite some time-- spend the afternoon with some Filipino friends. Jo and Ferdie and their kids have become friends through our time at the badminton court. Jo loves to cook and has been wanting to learn to make some American baked goods. It seems time just keeps passing and it doesn't happen.

In light of the fact that we only have a few more weeks in Palawan we decided we'd better do it now! Their older girls who are in college in Manila are home for the week and they were excited to join us in the kitchen also.

So, we had a great afternoon making cinnamon rolls, sweet bread, and crazy cake.

When we'd almost finished with the cooking Jo told me she wanted us to stay for mid-afternoon snack (at 4:30). In my mind the food we'd just made was lots to eat. But then they started getting out what they'd planned. Before they were finished we had juice, coffee, spaghetti, burritos, watermelon, mango, and the sweets. It wasn't supper to them because it didn't include rice.... but it did make me think people could be sorely disappointed if they came to our place for a snack! Anyway, we didn't need supper that evening.

The cylinder was released from customs yesterday and arrived here late yesterday afternoon. Garry & Ben spent the day installing it. In fact, they'll need to put some hours in this weekend to get the airplane ready to fly on Monday.

Belle finally got out of the hospital yesterday, though Abby is still confined until she finishes her antibiotics.

This morning I was once more surprised by a text from Jhean. Her mother had told her she had to come home for All-Saints day. Since home is about 7 hours from here she left this morning and won't be back until Monday. My Filipino friends say I didn't handle it quite right... I give my helper too much freedom to come and go, apparently. Which may be true since she seems to be missing nearly half the time.

This afternoon I made another batch of quasi-Korean kimchi. Garry and I have been eating it because it's supposed to be healing to the digestive tract and we're acquiring a taste for it. Kevin and Kaleb were a great help as we did laundry and prepared food for a possible trip to the underground river tomorrow. When they had spare time they headed for the court to watch their friends play badminton in the city meet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

On Sunday evening we went to see Belle... she had Abbie by c-section on Friday around noon. Abbie is on the second floor on IV and being watched because her breathing is somewhat uneven and her birth weight was low-- just over 5 pounds. Belle hadn't been able to see her yet since there isn't an elevator to the second floor and she wasn't able to do the steps yet. Glenn, as well as Belle's sister and mother were there taking care of her-- you see, the hospital doesn't provide much of anything, not even meals for patients. She is hoping to go home soon, but can't leave the hospital until her bill is paid-- about $600 or more. Ashley, Belle's 5-year-old is getting rather impatient to see her mother as she isn't allowed in the hospital. Life is certainly different here with its own unique set of challenges!

The tapioca pudding turned out well... a little thick as I wasn't sure exactly how much cornstarch to replace the flour with! But it was fun to make anyway. The boys weren't so fond of it-- Kaleb says it has a strange consistency!

The cylinder is still in customs in Manila. We are praying it is soon released.

Garry found out he needs to have 2 small growths removed from his eye area. The doctor doesn't think they are malignant but it seems better to be safe than sorry!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Thursday afternoon here now and the boys are training for badminton. Garry headed off to the eye doctor this afternoon and hopes he can get things done there quickly... we'll see! The cylinder is still in Manila... Garry has spent hours on the phone with FedEx and the customs broker, trying to understand what they need to finish the process. It seems we keep finding things out in small steps-- send one thing today, send another tomorrow. Please pray with us that it will be released soon!

Since I last wrote we were also able to go see Belle's new house. She and her family continue to build as they are able, though they are already living there without running water or anything but dirt floors. It is very cool there as it is a bit outside of town, which is a benefit. It was fun to catch up with Belle a bit again. Today she texted that the doctor says she needs an emergency C-section because of a problem with the placenta. Pray that it all works out well for her and the baby!

The boys have been doing a lot of bike riding this week. And after riding they seem to spend a fair amount of time fixing. Kaleb's tire popped the other day, then today Kevin said his spokes are bent. It's a great learning experience, though!

Kevin and Kaleb helped me make tapioca pudding this afternoon-- a friend game me some dry tapioca and I was excited to try it. It's been years since I've made it, or even thought about it. So that was a fun thing to do together.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good morning! How's your week starting? Here things are going abnormally normally.... Jhean came to work about 2 hours late yesterday and had to leave just an hour later. Apparently when she thought she was finished with her court case it wasn't so. She didn't come back yesterday and then texted last evening that she won't be here today either. She looked pretty worried when she left yesterday... maybe I'll get the rest of the story tomorrow if she comes to work! Her life is pretty hard right now with a million family obligations and this court case. It's obviously affecting life at our house also as we count on her to do many little things required by life in the Philippines!

The cylinder for the airplane engine arrived in the Philippines in record time-- just 4 days from when it was sent! However, it was randomly pulled in a customs study and is still in Manila waiting to be cleared. It sounds like we'll have to pay a hefty duty on it, but hopefully it will arrive here today or tomorrow.

Ben should be headed this way with the airplane from Northern Luzon today also. We'll be glad to have it here, securely hangared with our other airplane. We were planning some avionics work at the end of next month but found out this morning that it isn't going to be possible. God has a different plan!

Kevin and Kaleb are making tracks in their school and learning lots! They are excited to finished the semester and then have some time off while we travel and get settled in Canada. In fact, I think I'll be as glad as they are for our school break!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wow, I have really been delinquent this time! The yard has long ago drained and then flooded again and drained again! Today is sunny and beautiful, and hot! In my defense, I've sorted a huge pile of stuff since I last wrote :).

I thought you might enjoy Kaleb's french-fry tower. It was quite ingenious, though I must say the fries were rather cold before any of us were allowed to enjoy them!

Garry and Ben finished installing the engine last Friday and Ben took it flying. After the flight they discovered a problem with the compression which came from a bad cylinder. A new cylinder is now on its way here from the US, via FedEx express. Since our missionaries are all in town until the airplane is up and flying again we'll be particularly glad to get the cylinder here and installed!

Meanwhile Ben is headed to Manila to pick up the airplane that we worked on in northern Luzon this summer. We are praying for good weather for his return flight as he'll spend quite a few hours over the ocean.

Last weekend we played in another badminton tournament. This is Kevin and his partner. They were leveled higher than anticipated so had several hard games. They did amazingly well, though!

This week we've had the privilege of sharing lunch with several of our missionary friends. It has been good to hear what God is doing in their lives and ministries. It's encouraging to know that God promises to be faithful to complete the work He has started in each of our lives and in His Church! Can you imagine what it will be like when we, His completed bride, stand before Him at last? What a day that will be!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Good afternoon! It's pouring rain here this afternoon and I'm enjoying the extra coolness. The yard is flooding a bit, but I think it will drain when the rain slows down. Garry and Ben are making good progress on the airplane and hope to get the propeller on this afternoon.

This morning I decided to make some gluten-free bread, something I haven't done for a while. Garry was reacting to one of the ingredients and I'm not sure which one. However, I came up with a plan and decided to make bread today. When I looked in my cupboard for xanthum gum I realized it was missing-- yet another thing that "disappeared" between northern Luzon and here! I'd already come up with a rather long list of missing things, all things that we'd purchased in Manila because they are either much cheaper there or aren't available here in Puerto. I could hardly believe there was something else missing!

At noon the boys and I took lunch to the hangar and spent some time with Garry. Suzy and the kids weren't able to join us because the kids are sick. I know how hard it is when little ones are sick and I'm praying this afternoon that they are soon better!

After lunch I told Garry about the xanthum gum and we decided to look for the missing box-- again! We were headed toward a large pile of stuff when I saw a stove in the corner of the hangar, "Did you check in the stove, Gar?" I asked. He said he hadn't and we looked inside. There were two boxes with our name on them! We were thrilled! The stuff isn't that big of deal, we can live without it. But what a blessing to find it!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I realized last night that if things go according to plan we'll be moving out of our house in about 8 weeks. That feels very soon!

This week I've been going through our files and throwing away anything that we don't need. Many things are now available on the net, which really cuts down on the need to save papers-- a huge blessing! We will be shipping our things to Mindanao so we are trying to really minimize what we take. That will save money on shipping... plus, I think that the less stuff we have the more simple life is, which is always good!

Garry and Ben were able to hang the engine and begin connecting the tubes and wires yesterday. Or maybe they aren't tubes and wires, but there are a LOT of things that connect to the engine of an airplane! Suzy and I are contemplating taking lunch out there again tomorrow.

The boys have another badminton tournament this weekend, probably their last before we leave. They've been busy practicing with their partners and honing their skills. In between times we're getting school done and yesterday they played some basketball with other friends.

Jhean's situation is still a bit of an unknown, though things appear to settling down for her.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

\It's Monday morning and the beginning of another new week! I had a nice chat with my mom this morning while I made yogurt and put pork roast in the crock pot for supper. Now we're starting school to the music of the weedwacker in our yard. So I thought I'd take a few minutes while the boys are busy to blog...

Garry and I have been talking a lot lately about praising God and how thankfulness seems to have a dramatic effect on our attitude. Everything that comes to us comes through the Hand of God, and His plan is always to use it for our good and His glory. He is far more interested in our growth than He is our comfort, so He often allows things into our lives that are not comfortable. Yet they are good things because they help us learn about God and see the truth about ourselves. What an incredible blessing to be sons and daughters of the Most High, Loving God!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Friday we had a great time doing lunch at the hangar! It was fun to be together as families and watch the kids play together. Kaleb's paper airplanes got stuck in the rafters, which are about 20 feet high, much to our amazement. Then several of us joined him in trying to get them down with wads of paper. It actually worked after a while!

The engine mount is now painted and Garry and Ben hope to hang the new engine on Monday. The plane looks pretty funny without it! While Kevin was waiting for us ladies to finish talking he made himself a new fishhook. It looks pretty cool!

After our time at the hangar we went looking for a pair of socks for Kevin, which we were able to find. Then he had badminton training for a couple of hours. I'd made some Brazilian-style beans the other day and I was quite happy to find them in the fridge to make an easy supper... there's something about Friday evening at 5:00 pm not knowing what to put on the table that makes me feel cranky!

This morning we did some running around in town and the guys got haircuts. The whole barber shop/beauty salon experience is quite different here. For less than a dollar you get a haircut and a little "head massage". Now the guys are in town picking up some shoes we had fixed this morning. It continues to amaze us that all of the shoes that we brought to the Philippines with us have lost their soles at one time or another. I guess the glue isn't quite the same or something!

Jhean is back at our house working today. She carefully explained her current situation to me in perfect Tagalog, which I totally didn't understand! I think I'll either go to the lawyer with her on Monday or talk to her aunt who speaks a bit of English. I believe that things are going to be settled out of court after all. Keep praying!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thursday evening. Jhean, my helper, was released today on bail and I'm sure she's thrilled to be home. There are still lots of questions surrounding all that's happened and what our response should be. Please pray with us that we would know what our calling is in this situation and that we have courage and grace to follow it.

The boys and I spent extra time washing dishes and doing laundry today, but they were still able to finish their school. This afternoon they had badminton training. I enjoyed coffee with a friend around noon then Garry and I spent a few minutes doing errands and catching up during his lunch break.

Garry and Ben are making good progress on the engine change. Among other things, Garry has been working on repairing the baffling, which was quite deteriorated. It's looking much better now! Tomorrow Suzy and the kids and I plan to join them at the hangar for lunch, which is sort of a family tradition when the guys do a big maintenance project. We plan to get some rotisserie chicken and make rice and some kind of veggie. Maybe we'll even come up with a dessert of some kind, but I'm not sure yet.